What the Heck Happened to Halloween Costumes?

I remember Halloween when I was a kid.  I remember costumes that we threw together with thrift store items or bits and pieces left over from old costumes stored in a Rubbermaid box under the stairs.  I recall one year when my grandmother made me a costume of an angel and I believe my sister was a devil.

I was in the mall last year around Halloween and some company had rented out an empty space for the month of October and set up a Halloween store so The Boyfriend and I decided to peruse and see what was up.  They had some awesome makeup, props, and accessories but the thing I couldn’t believe was how much the costumes had become all about guys getting fun and creative costumes and girls getting costumes that showed the most amount of skin and really didn’t make any sense at all regarding the supposed “theme”.

For example, I give you the two wizard (read: Harry Potter rip-off) costumes I spotted.  As you can see, the male version is quite good.  It looks like the movies did.  The female version, however, is somewhat…off:

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Now I’m not a prude and I’m all for sexy costumes if someone desire to wear one, but I don’t understand why the guy gets to wear the actual GOOD looking costume and the woman is stuck either wearing the male version if she actually wants to look like the movie character, or she had to parade around with her ass cheeks hanging out in close to freezing weather.  It’s Canada up here, people…we used to have to wear costumes that would fit over snow suits.  It’s freaking cold on Halloween.

Another example we stumbled across was an M&M costume.  Yes…the candy that apparently will not melt in your hand (I still call shenanigans on this) somehow managed to be turned into a sexy costume.

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My problem with this?  IT’S NOT A FREAKING COSTUME!!  It’s a skin tight tank dress with a picture of an M&M on it.  It’s like when you were little and you’d get the cheap costume with a picture of superman on the smock and a cardboard picture of his face with a crappy elastic around your head and you’d have to pretend to be Superman looking like a weanie in a plastic blue smock and a mask that broke in five seconds.  And you don’t look like a weanie in this one…you look like a chick wearing a bar dress with a stupid picture of an M&M on it.  NOT a costume…dress with a picture of what your costume was supposed to be.  There is a difference.

Just to emphasize my point, I give you the following comparison.  Again, the guy’s costume actually LOOKS like what the character is supposed to be, and the chick is wearing a tiny, short dress with a picture of the desired character pasted on the front of it.

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I am of the opinion that if you want to wear something “slutty” for Halloween, dress like something that is supposed to look that way.  I don’t understand taking the name of whatever you want to dress like, putting the word “sexy” in front of it, and then destroying what the concept of the costume was supposed to be in the first place.  For example, in the Batman universe, Harley Quinn (on of my favourite characters) is always sexy.  I’ve seen her in the jester costume and I’ve seen her in the awesome outfits she wore in Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City (Google searches for pictures here and here.  A “sexy” costume of her would make sense.  A sexy costume of Robin, The Boy Wonder?  That just doesn’t make any sense to me:

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Heck, one of those even has a picture of Robin in the bottom corner and honestly, I don’t see his boobs popping out of the costume.

I don’t know…honestly I prefer to still make all of my costume with odds and ends from the thrift store.  I love picking through the racks and finding the perfect item to go with the concept and pulling it all together to take the wee tots trick or treating.  I still have a giant Rubbermaid bin of all the costumes I’ve had in the last ten years in the storage closet (much to The Boyfriend’s chagrin) just in case I need to use something from a past outfit and I love it.  I think it’s great to see people dressed up in original costumes or things they made themselves.  It seems like there’s so much more care and fun put into it.

I know it’s a month early and all but Trick or Treat everyone…hope you all have a great Halloween and get your hands on massive amounts of candy!!

A Trivial Pursuit Game I Could Really Get Into…

I was at my local Chapters last Halloween and they had a huge display of various themed books and games in the middle aisle.  I was browsing around and being a big fan of the holiday, I was drawn to the display.  The following is probably one of the most awesome themed Trivial Pursuit game I have ever seen.

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Now, I’m a Tim Burton fan in general.  I’ve loved the man’s work since I was a tiny, wee child and saw the epic hotness that was Batman.  The twisted and dark essence of his movies were always some of the most fascinating and spellbinding works of cinema I could ever drink in and honestly, not much has changed since those times.

The Nightmare Before Christmas was my favourite movie that Tim Burton was ever affiliated with.  I LOVE Halloween and Christmas if obviously awesome so inherently, the combination of the two was absolute genius.  That is why, when I saw this game, I pretty much squealed with joy and just had to capture the moment.  I love to play Trivial Pursuit and this would be SUCH a guilty pleasure to play.

Sadly, however, I had no money on me at the time of this wonderful find and it was no longer in the store when I went back.  So to anyone reading this who feels the need to bestow a gift upon me, this is an appropriate item.  Granted, I’ll have to find some people who would play it with me…

Dear Santa….WTF?

Well friends, Christmas has come and gone and tomorrow night is new years.  I gave it a few extra days because of Snowmageddon and all the delayed mail and frantic postal workers trudging through five feet of snow, however, I can deny it no longer.  Santa failed to write me back this year.  I took the time to painstakingly hand write such a lovely letter and I received no return post from the North Pole.  Fail Santa…epic fail.

I checked the mail eagerly every day after work, but alas, the dream was not to be.  My boxspring still droops where it somehow was broken, Mr. Pip cannot open his own cans of food and the boyfriend has no belted sweater to call his own.  I hope that he had time to write all the little kids who wouldn’t understand his lack of dedication to his fans so they can go one more year with that total belief and excitement, but I myself am saddened.  Perhaps next year, friends.

I do plan to try again next year, hopefully not hindered by a freak snow storm and I’ll be sending the letter out well in advance of Christmas.

A Second Snow Day: Beating Cabin Fever

I awoke this morning to much of the same weather as the night before.  The snow was coming down like a white blanket outside my window, the lane way looked like we hadn’t used the snow blower at all the night before and there were people up and down the road in all directions shoveling like their lives depended on it.

I dutifully checked the local college website and informed the boyfriend that his classes were canceled for the day and he could stay in bed.  He mumbled a rather unintelligible yet distinctly celebratory noise, rolled over and went back to sleep.  I then checked my work email, hoping for good news and that I could go back to bed as well.  Unfortunately, there was only an email saying that the office was open and if we felt it was safe enough, we were to head on in.

Wanting to keep everyone informed, I sent a quick note saying the college was closed in case anyone had kids that were attending and went to have a shower and work up the courage to dig myself out of the lane way.  I got dressed, I put my hair up a la ponytail style (that’s right, I’m all about cutting edge fashion) and I said goodbye to the boyfriend.  I then decided to check my email one more time and lo and behold…SNOW DAY!!

It was official, I didn’t have to go to work.  I decided not to go back to bed as I had already showered and was wide awake, so instead, I sat and watched about five episodes of Intervention and did some work from my laptop.  Yes, I’m just that exciting…working from home on a snow day.  However, I also cleaned the house which was the inspiration for the boyfriend’s motivation to put the tree up this afternoon/evening.

So that is what we did to keep ourselves from going insane because we couldn’t leave the house.  We dragged the giant box of Christmas decorations up from the basement, organized everything, got rid of a few things that were ready to go away, and we set to work decorating.

The mishmash of decorations in the lovely storage box that lives in the basement 11 months of the year

The pile of stuff the started accumulating after we went sorting through the storage bin

The boyfriend sorted all the decorations into various categories such as indoor lights (for the tree) outdoor lights (which we are estimating are over 20 years old), run of the mill decorations (shiny, coloured balls, garland, etc..) and sentimental ornaments to name a few.

While he was doing this, I used non-tree decorations and made other areas of the two living rooms look a little spiffier.  I used green and silver garland for the upright lamp posts in either room and they turned out looking rather nice.  I then set to work on jazzing up the lovely new entertainment stand.  I put green, leafy garland on it and we set most of our figurines on the shelves.  I have since noticed that we have a great deal of penguin paraphenalia.  When the boyfriend and I got together, little did the two of us realize that we both really liked penguins and between the two of us, we have a lot of them.

It looks a little cluttered, but I couldn't bare not to put them all out

When I was finished doing that (while at the same time torturing the boyfriend by making him listen to the Glee Christmas album), we started in on testing the strands of lights.  This proved to be difficult because some of them were mine from when I lived on my own and some of them were the boyfriend’s which had been collected over approximately the last 10-15 years.  So in testing them we found that some of the lights didn’t work but the others would come on.  We would simply replace the defective lights and move to the next one.  Some, however, were the ones that if one light didn’t work, the whole strand didn’t work.  After much frustration and swearing on the boyfriend’s part, we decided that we could make due with two working strands of lights as they were kind of long and if we were sparing, we could manage to get the whole tree done with them.  I don’t think we did too bad of a job considering he’d moved on to testing the outdoor lights (and diligently making sure they all worked and no two like colours were side by side) while I tried to string the lights on the tree.

This was problematic for several reasons.  The small amount of light strands, as mentioned above, the fact that I’m just not very good at stringing lights, and lastly, the fact that we have a rather fat Christmas tree and I have rather short little arms that will not reach around this.  The tree itself is in a corner and I could not just walk around it, so I had to get creative and reach behind the tree, throw the lights over the tree and generally stretch my wee little arms to the limit.  This was the end result (only of stringing the lights, this is pre-decoration):

Its kind of sparse in some areas, but overall, not to bad.

During all this rigamaroll, Mr. Peep decided to hide in his usual cautious place; the mat in front of the kitchen sink.  I’ll admit that it’s not the best hiding place, but he actually usually blends in quite well and he likes to sit there when there’s something going on that he’s curious about, but too afraid to get close to while it’s still happening.

He sits on the very furthest side of it and stares into the living room whenver we're moving things around

After this came the final stage of decorating (for now…outside stuff will come later when we can move through the yard).  We put the ornaments on the tree.  I would like to point out that none of our ornaments have any kind of theme or reason to them, they’re just a collection of things we’ve accumulated over the years.  Sometimes we will decide that a few are too ragged and they will get tossed.  This year we parted with a whole bag of strung beads and various other things for donation.  We each have our various sentimental ornaments that were gifts over the year that must go on the tree.

I always tease back and forth with my friend about how her tree must be perfect and matching have a theme and she always just stares in awe at the tacky mismatch and disarray of mine every year.  The year we lived together in an apartment was the best because I was the one that owned the tree and it was spectacularly tacky that year on purpose just for her.  You can see her well decorated and nicely themed tree on her blog here.  I will admit its very lovely, just not my style.  Even the boyfriend looks at our tree now and then and shakes his head.  After it was finished and we had all the supplies put away, Mr. Peep ventured out to check out the scene, immediately placing himself under the Christmas tree and chewing on the branches.

Our Christmas tree 2010

He has already knocked off one decoration...I expect to find more

An Epic Journey Through a Frozen Wasteland (or My Trip Home From Work Today)

As some of you may know, we get a lot of snow where I’m from.  Southwestern Ontario gets dumped on pretty bad in the winter and we’re pretty much used to it.  I remember tonnes of snow days back when I was a kid, but I lived in town, so I’d get to go to school and play in the gym and watch movies all day because the country kids couldn’t make it in on the buses.

As I got older, snow days got further and further apart until, eventually, they really stopped occurring altogether.  No matter how many feet of snow there was outside in the morning, I always just got up, got dressed, dug myself out and headed into work; usually at a whopping 25-35 kilometers an hour down the city streets.  Today was no exception.  I got up, plowed my way through the foot or so of snow on my little side road until I got out the main road and headed on into work.  I was one of the few that bothered.  A great deal of people, mostly out of towners and some that were in town, didn’t make it in at all.  I was there until 11:00 am when the email went around that we were officially to be sent home.

SNOW DAY!!  It was like a nostalgic feeling, throwing me back to the days of being a kid when there was nothing to do but whatever I wanted because I didn’t have to go to school (in this case, work).

When you’re a child, however, you don’t take certain factors into account.  For example, when you’re a kid living in a very small town, bad driving conditions don’t even enter into the thought process.  You’re already outside wallowing in the joy of the snow.  Today, I learned, this is not the case for an adult, which I have sadly become.  Driving conditions are very much an important factor to those of us who drive a car or rely on public transportation to get us places in weather conditions such as this.  I will say I’m impressed with my little car’s ability to get through the snow.  It’s pretty impressive considering there’s not much to my wee hatchback.

So, upon hearing the news that we were set free, I offered to drive a coworker home as far as my place so she could walk (I wasn’t crazy enough to go gallavanting all over hell’s half acre) and we set to work cleaning off my car as it already had about a half a foot of snow on it since 8:45 that morning when I arrived at work.  When that mission was accomplished, we headed out onto the roads at the designated 25-35 km/hour.  This was effective all the way until I turned onto the side road that leads to my house.  Immediately, I was stuck.  We tried pushing, we tried rocking (I definitely tried a lot of swearing) but to no avail.  Us two tiny little people were not big enough to get my car out of it’s predicament.  However, a nice young man was trudging through the snow at that moment and he offered to help us out.  Thanks to him and my coworker doing the pushing and me nudging the gas pedal gently, we got Bob the Car unstuck.  I thanked him profusely (and choose this moment to do so again…thank you, Sir) and my coworker headed off home.

I then got as far as the very end of my own laneway and was once more stuck in the freezing mire of snow.  This wouldn’t have been a problem but I knew that I was blocking the side walk and I was probably going to be buried by a plow at any given time.  So I got out of my car, trudged inside and got the boyfriend who had not bothered to brave the weather and go to school.  We dressed in out warm coats, mittens, and boots and we got out the trusty old (and I do mean old, like…thirty years old) snow shovel and pathetic little bag of road salt and we literally dug Bob the Car out of the snow.  At some points, I was on my hands and knees scooping snow out from under the car because it was packed under there so tight.  I should send a revised list to Santa and add on a new, plastic, ergonomic snow shovel and save my back the pain.  Eventually, we were able to get the car into the driveway and now it sits there, slowly being buried under a barrage of snow squall that isn’t supposed to end until Wednesday (it is now Monday).

I came inside, cracked a beer and sat my butt down on the chair to watch some Netflix and that is where I now sit.  Occasionally I get up to check the height of the snow and I did managed to snap a few pictures of it as well.

Notice the fence and the snow that is halfway up it...that means it's up to about my thighs

My somewhat redneck type neighbours put a mattress and box spring out on the curb a couple of weeks ago and they’re still there, leaning up against either side of the light pole.  They are now half buried in the snow and I’m doubting will end up picked up by the garbage collection again this week.

You can just see them, leaning up on either side of the light post

There were people up and down the street digging themselves out of the mess.  The boyfriend and I have decided to wait until the snow is more likely to be over and then give it a shot, as the snowplow is going to go right by and bury the laneway again anyway.  We have a snowblower, I just don’t know now to start the damn thing.  We will be getting to that later when we feel motivated enough.

My poor neighbour is up to his waist in snow

Some kids down the street were enjoying themselves, however.  They were digging in the massive piles of snow at the side of the road and throwing snowballs at each other.  This took me back as well.  I used to do this with my sister and all the neighbour kids and it was great.

Fun in the snow...definitely more than the adults on the street

These last two pictures were my favourites that I managed to capture.  The first is of a view down the row of houses I live in.  You can see the snow coming down really well and you can also see the various places in which it has accumulated.  The second photograph is just of the top of our fence and the tree behind it with all the snow sitting on top.  When it stops actually coming down, I’ll be heading back outside to get more detailed pictures, but I don’t want to get my new camera wet, so it will have to wait until at least tomorrow.

I really love this picture, it's just so pretty.

The only time trees look pretty in the winter is when there's snow on them

Bizarre Little Thrift Store Finds: Christmas Edition

So the boyfriend and I went on a random thrift shopping adventure yesterday.  He just wanted to browse and I was on the lookout for belted sweaters.  Christmas is fast approaching and the boyfriend is always rather cold.  As per usual, while he browsed the video games and textbooks (yes, the boyfriend eagerly checks out the textbooks at the thrift stores), I wandered around in search of bizarre and interesting things that one could only hope to find in a second hand store.  This trip was not a disappointment and because of the approaching holidays, the stores were chock full of wonderful Christmas items to see.

First up, a stocking.  But no just any stocking.  This was home made…with latch hook.  I find that the eyes are the creepiest thing about this stocking.  Santa either has deep dark patches underneath his non-existent eyes or his eyes themselves are nothing but dark, black frightening patches, not unlike a shark who is about to devour his prey.  This stocking must have frightened many a child back in the day on Christmas morning.

I would be terrified of this on Christmas morning

Another creepy thing I spotted was something I’m assuming was supposed to be an angel of some sort.  However, it seems as if the male angel has a female angel growing out from the side of it.  I mean LITERALLY out of the side of the male.  She’s got one arm and then her mid-waist connects to his side and they freakish Frankenstein stitches are covered by some kind of shield.  It’s like a Christmas science experiment gone wrong.

Yes, melded together at the side...so creepy

Elves are a jolly lot.  They’re happy and bouncy and oh so fun and dancy, right?  Well, not this elf.  This one is completely demented.  It’s got weirdly smeared lipstick and googly eyes and these odd little eyebrows.  With his sparkly little hat and shiny green tights, I would be very suspicious of this elf if he were working in Santa’s workshop.

I feel as if he's looking into my soul....*shudder*

A theme I noticed while browsing the Christmas wonders on all the shelves was Santa statues holding geese.  It was odd because I wondered why Santa would be holding such a thing.  Then it occurred to me that perhaps, Santa was delivering these birds to be eaten as Christmas dinner.  Which is all well and good, I’m by no means a vegetarian.  I love turkey at Thanksgiving and Christmas and the occasional Easter dinner.  So I understand the concept of perhaps eating these cute little geese for dinner.  My problem with this is, they seem so happy to be hanging out with Santa and if they ARE food, then he’s delivering them up for slaughter.  It kind of seems mean.  If he’s going to be delivering food to people, it should be dead before hand.

The poor unsuspecting geese

In one of the stores, there were a bunch of little statues of kids playing in the snow.  There was nothing particularly odd about them individually, however, two over them were placed on the shelf in such an unfortunate manner that I couldn’t help but share the amusement with the rest of you.

Someone was not paying attention at the store when they put these on the shelf.

The last thing I found that day was just something that was quite odd to be sitting on the shelf at all, let alone with all the Christmas ornaments.  A Coke bottle.  A little glass coke bottle with actual coke in it.  Just sitting on the shelf, happy as can be.  It was just odd.

WTF???

So yes, these were my Christmas adventures in thrift store land.  I will, of course, be keeping my eye out for any other marvelous treasures as well as belted sweaters.