Night of the Living Wed

Our annual Halloween bash is over. I find myself a little sad — as I do every year — and a little relieved. It’s a TON of work, but every year so far I find myself missing the excitement of it, the very *madness* of it, as soon as it is done. And I always say things like: “Next year, we’ll start on the zombies in August” and sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t, but for whatever reason it seems to just get better as the years go on. Live, learn… rinse, repeat.

Since I haven’t blogged much of late, here’s a pictoral overview of the past few weeks. Click on the thumbnails to see the lovely full-size photos.

First there was the PVC. A big honkin’ stack of it. All 10 bucks worth. I love craft projects that involve a hacksaw. B. and I stayed up terribly late one night measuring and cutting all the pieces to make the body frame of the zombies. We made small alterations as we went along, and I think next time I’d definately want to move their waistline up on the frame. The frame was wire tomato cages, bent into a basic torso shape.

An assembled body. Even just the frames gave me the creeps. One night I was up too late working on various crafty things, and watching zombie movies on TV (28 Days Later, Cabin Fever) and I went outside at something like 4AM to bag up some trash for the garbagemen the next day. I made it as far as the top of the steps before the partially-assembled zombies at the bottom came into view. I stopped, looked at them for a moment, and tried to convince myself that we’d built them, I should not in any way find them scary. Then I turned around and fled back inside. I waited until it was light out before I went to get the trash.

C. and M. came over to help us finish assembly, placement, and clothing detail. They were also instrumental in making the moth-eaten curtains, and in the electrical work that was the front, side, and back yards. Some folks get a little into their work. C., on the other hand, was merely enjoying his labor a little more than most. At least this part of it. And I’m still very sorry for almost electrocuting him with the candlebras that had gotten submerged in rainwater.

A super-scary addition to the graveyard is the unfilled latex zombie masks that I got from Darkside Displays. From the same shop, I got a pair of sateen purple lantern bodies, which, when filled with a battery-operated light source, are wicked cool. I hope to take some pictures of this year’s decor before I take it all down, as I think I’m more than a little impressed with the work of everyone involved.

Even The Kitten gets in on the ferocious Hallow’s action. The orange blur in the lower right is her Special Halloween Treat — a spider with glittery lefts and bells, stuffed with catnip. See the fangs? See her fierceness? Fear The Kitten! Fear her! Except when she’s in her adorable bat costume, then you must hug her. She was to spend the entire night locked back in my bedroom, with perhaps a brief appearance in her costume, to join the revelry and see that yes, really, Mom, I don’t want to be out there. She received visitors a few times over, and eventually fled under the bed and missed her debut entirely due to exhaustion. She slept the entire next day on top of the Big Chair in the living room.

Eventually party time — the day of K and C‘s wedding! — came rolling in. We discovered quickly that we weren’t the only ones working for weeks in advance to prepare. For Halloween, not the wedding. I read K’s blog often enough to know how much shopping and choosing is involved with wedded bliss. However, this picture of MB and J is proof-positive we have some seriously craft-y people in our midst who were also working like mad. This rendition of Pirates of the Carribean was made at MB’s own sewing machine. In a matter of weeks. While she had pneumonia. And did I mention that she also brought food — a HUGE plate of delicious veggie spring rolls? Amazing, woman! Amazing!

Thanks, of course, to everyone who helped out this year. We want to keep inviting more people, and I want to keep adding fun bits and surprises and projects, but that means eventually we’ll need help. And, wow, does it ever appear that help is delicious! Thanks to M and C, for the lighting and the zombie-work and the endless answering of questions, and the jerky and the pumpkin-fluff… and I’m so sorry you lost your dear new toy! Thanks to B, who humors me when I want to stay up ’till 2AM cutting PVC on a school night. Thanks for G and M for the fantabulous cupcakes. Thanks to MB and J for the slug/bug rolls (and we’re sorry for not eating more of them, but I did my part with 2!). Thanks to the whole McD clan for the giant amounts of disgustingly delicious foodies, plus the help and keg education. Thanks to C for the homemade salsa that I ate for breakfast this morning. And thanks to everyone else who food was so good that I didn’t get any. Thanks to everyone who brought anything, or did anything, or just showed up excited and happy and ready to have a good time.

And, of course, thanks most of all to K, for making it through the third year of this mess, even if she doubts the process sometimes.

We are thinking about revising the costume content for next year. The categories are weird and need to be simpler. Also, I think some people don’t like the ‘most lame’ category. There are always lots of blanks in that one, and then lots of people who vote for people we know they don’t like who have just-fine costumes. And I had hoped that someone would get into the idea of always shooting for lame-ass costumes. A says he’s trying for it, but I thought his Adam Ant get-up was fanstastic. As was last year’s Johnny Cash, even if he needed a wig and some fake wrinkles. Maybe one year he will show as Morrissey. That would rule.

Speaking of ruling: my parents actually showed up at the shindig this year. I asked what costume they were wearing and Mom said something about “The costume of your mother” in a very grouchy manner and then reminded me that she wants her basket and the cooler she lent us returned in the condition they were handed over in. I sort of gathered that when I turned it over to let it drain and dry and found her last name in foot-tall permanent-market-lettering on the bottom.

And how many times do you get the chance to post a picture of your mom tapping the keg? Especially when it’s her third big cup and she’s loudly protesting that she’s not drunk, she’s my mother and if I keep teasing her about it, she’ll kick my ass. All kidding aside, Mom and Dad seemed to have a good time, my friends all think they’re a hoot, and they left before S. got drunk and started grabbing people’s asses. (Though they did miss getting to meet J, T, and L — who I wanted to all get to meet one another. Maybe next year.)

It was a smashing success.

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