Friday, October 31, 2008

Dead Spirits

That refers to my favorite shoes, Easy Spirit. I've found a couple of pair at a thrift store, and almost twenty years ago my mom bought me a new pair of 1 inch heel black Easy Spirit shoes, and those have been worn more or less since then depending on what job I had and how my weight fluctuated and so forth. I haven't worn them much at all these past few years because they were damaged a little bit in a flood, but for most things I would think that hiding the damage with a black magic marker would work. This year, one of the shoes also had some damage from mice, but again I decided that the damage could be hidden with a black marker.

So, those were the shoes that I wore to the Halloween party on Saturday. I've gained some weight since last year, so they were a bit tight, but they were still better than a lot of other shoes.

This year I've decided to sort of downsize a few things in my life. I feel like I'm wasting too much time and energy on stuff that doesn't really matter, like ceramics and Star Trek. These last few years I have put a lot of effort into my Halloween costume, and this year I decided that had to stop. This year I decided to just not do anything special, not enter any contests, not spend weeks and weeks making a costume, not make any weird food, not carve a pumpkin, not help with the decorations, etc.... Since I didn't spend a lot of time on a costume, this left me in a position to actually be a judge in the costume competition, which I had never done before. But other than being a judge, I decided to just show up for the party without having done anything special and just try to enjoy myself without it having to be any big deal.

About the only thing I did special was my hair. My hair was dyed really red. I don't mean red like genes from Ireland red. I mean red. My natural hair is brown, and this was a non-permanent dye, so my hair turned out like a shiny Dr. Pepper can. And my hair doesn't curl easily, so when I really want nice hair I have to sleep in perm rods. So I did that too.

My dress was black lace over red, but hardly any of the red shows through the black. And I had a black hooded cape. I was going to also wear a black witches hat, but at the last minute I decided that the hat needed a few more feathers, and I hot glued my arm. I decided I really didn't want the hat, since I'd spent so much time on my hair.

Funny thing about the hair. Two other ladies, also wearing black, and one of them also minus a witch hat that she meant to wear, also had this same curly red hair. Except that they were both wearing wigs. But we were all in black and all had nearly the same hair.

Back to the shoes. Over the years, I have put pads in the shoes and taken pads out of the shoes and put these little things on the bottom of the shoes so that I don't slip. So with the weight gain the pads have come out of the shoes, but they still had the non-slip things stuck on the bottom. So I was walking around, and I was thinking that there was something wrong with one of the shoes, like the non-slip thing was maybe coming off. But I looked at it, and it was very firmly still attached to the bottom of the shoe.

The party always does seem to get off to a slow start. Last year it really got off to a slow start because of some problem with the music. This year again there was some problem with the music, but this time it only took about ten minutes to fix.

After long discussions and debates and people getting upset, the party had changed from being a party for everyone to being an adults only party and then back to having to vote on the issue again. After almost two hours of a meeting using Robert's Rules of Order we came up with a compromise of having it be an adults only party after nine, and that from seven to nine the children were allowed, free of charge with a paid adult, but that the bar would not be opened until nine after all the children had left.

So after all of that and thinking that we had a good compromise, only the one family brought two children. So that part of the evening that usually has children's stuff going on was rather dull. And some of the adults really seemed to resent giving up alcohol for even the two hours. And of course there are several people who are just traditionally late anyway.

One thing that does not have to do with children that gets done earlier in the evening is the weird food contest. But this year there were only four entries, and for some reason the voting kept being pushed back and pushed back again. So the voting should have been done by eight, but I think it ended up being done past eight-thirty. Anyway, the idea is to vote on the weird food before anyone eats it, so that everyone gets to see how weird it is. So by the time the voting was actually done, I'd had something else to eat, and I wasn't really hungry. So I ended up not even trying any of the weird food.

Okay, so the weird food awards were awarded, and the kid costume awards were awarded to the two contestants, and then there was the children's dance contest with two contestants, and then the two kids went trick-or-treating at the tables (which did not get them much from me since I totally forgot we were supposed to be doing that and I had already eaten about half the candy at our table by then). So the family with the two children left at nine without any drama, and right about then my friend who is always late showed up.

I went to ask someone who the other costume judges were. I volunteered to be a judge several months ago when I decided that I couldn't get my planned costume done in time and I really didn't want to spend a lot of time making another one. A friend had also volunteered several months ago, when he decided that his costume was so good that it just wasn't fair to compete with it. The rest of us just weren't following his reasoning at all. If you've spent five months making a great costume, then you're supposed to win, and there's nothing unfair about it. Not like everyone else didn't have the same opportunity to work on their costumes for five months, just that most people chose not to do that. So we found someone to replace him as judge, and we made him enter the contest. The other two judges were already sitting at a front row table, so a changed seats for a bit.

We have a few Klingons in our group, but they decided that they didn't want to be Klingons for Halloween since they are often Klingons during the rest of the year. They brought two other Klingons as guests, but they didn't win anything. I have a friend who made a costume of "Sponge Bob SCARE pants" two years ago, but due to various mishaps he didn't get to wear it until Saturday. He was funny, but he didn't win. We have this woman in our club who is like eighty-five and half-blind, and on her birthday she likes to do traditional old lady type things, like jumping out of airplanes. So this old lady went as a biker-chick, with those fake tattoo sleeves and a leather vest and hat. Her daughters came as the musical group HEART. The theme for this year was B Movies, so we had three people show up as bees. We also had a killer tomato, a 50ft woman, and Sarah Palin. Then we had the usual ghosts and werewolves and vampires and witches.

And then the three of us went into another room to decide who won what award. We agreed right away that my friend's five months in the making Ironman was Best in Show, but we also had to decide such things as Best Group or Couple, Best Recreation, Best Use of Materials, Most Beautiful, and Most Disturbing. I was saying I like this and I like that, and the guy that we drafted to be judge at the last minute was doing the same thing, but we really didn't know where to start. Luckily, the third judge was sorting out the cards and picking out those who were in a group. Okay, that works. There were a few couples, but that award went to a family who all came as characters from Speed Racer.

After that we tossed some cards that we didn't think were special, and then we sorted the remaining cards that might fit in different categories. We liked the vampire, but he just didn't seem to fit in with anything. He wasn't Disturbing, and he wasn't a vampire from a particular movie, so he didn't qualify for Best Recreation. While some of our guys would have no problem walking away with the Most Beautiful award, I didn't know this guy, and that might have offended a whole room of women who didn't get the award. We finally decided that as much as we liked him, we just couldn't give him an award, because nothing fit. We narrowed down Most Beautiful to three women, and then decided to discuss other things for awhile and come back to that. There was a couple that everyone liked, and I thought that they were holodeck characters from Star Trek Voyager. My fellow judges didn't agree, so we were really having a problem with the Best Recreation. There wasn't a Most Humorous award, so we passed over the Killer Tomato and Sarah Palin and Sponge Bob SCARE pants. Most Disturbing went to the 50ft Woman. We kept changing our minds between the three women up for Most Beautiful.

Our hostess came to see how we were doing. We were half done, but we were kind of stuck with the rest of it. I asked her if she thought that a certain couple were from Voyager, and she said that they were, that they were from the holodeck program Captain Proton.

So then everything worked out. The couple from Captain Proton got Best Recreation, and since we didn't plan to give two awards to the same person, that took Queen Arachnia out of the running for Most Beautiful. So that only left two women for Most Beautiful, and I knew one of them would be just as happy with Best Use of Materials. So Most Beautiful went to the witch that came with the vampire. The name of the costume that got Best Use of Materials wouldn't mean anything to anyone, so lets just say that it was a red cape and a long red dress and a long black wig and a headpiece with black feathers. She sort of looked like Cher, if Cher ever went anywhere fully dressed.

M & J showed up after we presented the awards. This is a tradition for them, to show up in the best costumes after it is too late to be in the contest. Rarely do they enter the contest, and when they do they almost always get Best in Show. This year it would have been tough, as I still would have voted for Ironman. But they did have excellent Joker and Cat Woman costumes. The one theory is that they always show up late on purpose, so that other people have a chance in the contest. But if you ask them about it, they say that they were at home fixing something on the costumes.

After the contest there's a lot of dancing. I don't dance anyway, but a lot of people don't dance till after the contest, cause they don't want to risk damaging their costumes. And there is a lot of posing for pictures, which I didn't do much of this year as I went in the black dress and cape and didn't have an elaborate costume. But I'm afraid that I even forgot to have my picture taken with the lady who got Best Use of Materials, cause we always get our picture taken. I just forgot this year.

Someone who didn't win anything came and complimented us on our judging and said that she would have picked the same people. So it's always good to get compliments on your judging from someone who didn't win. Hopefully there are no sore losers in this bunch.

While I was walking around and talking to people, I again noticed that something seemed to be wrong with my shoe. Again, the non-slip thing was firmly attached. I sat down and took the shoe off. It wasn't that something was coming off of the bottom of the shoe, but the bottom of the shoe itself was coming off. Okay, well, maybe I can glue it back together and keep them for some later costume, but I guess that is the end of me just wearing them as regular shoes.

I was tired, but I stayed til one anyway. I did not stay to clean up. Those people were still there at like three in the morning.

Sunday morning I checked my email and there were a few emails about the party. I guess I somehow didn't check my email on Monday, so on Tuesday I had 52 emails, mostly about the party. Most of it was the usual stuff, like this was the best party ever. Every year someone says that this was the best party ever. I don't think that this was the best party ever, but I don't think that there was anything wrong with it either. I don't think it had much to do with either there not being many kids there or not having the bar open til nine or any of that other stuff that we were all talking about before. I think I just really enjoy being a contestant more than a judge or just a regular party guest. But I think that I enjoyed the rest of the month more by not being a contestant. I think that most of the time I just put too much work into it for a costume that I'll probably only wear one time. So I'm probably not going to do that much anymore, even if it means that I don't like the party as much.

Well, I should do some work now. I would like to go to some stuff later, and tomorrow I have a busy day of after Halloween clearance sales. Not that I'm going to buy lots of costume and decorated stuff, but I do always buy some, and then there is discounted candy and discounted orange dishes and discounted black T-shirts, etc....

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