Gratitude Pie

Happy Thanksgiving!

I baked this and will consume it shortly.

Here is my top ten list of things for which I am thankful:

  1. My family: my husband, and all he does to support me without question. The kids, and how freaking adorable and amazing they are. I’m very lucky.
  2. Health. Mine and my family’s.
  3. That we have everything we need. Food, clothes, shelter, clean water.
  4. My friends. They support me emotionally, they don’t judge me, and they make me laugh.
  5. My extended family. I know I am loved, and for that I am grateful.
  6. I have freedom and choice and privilege. I try not to take these for granted.
  7. Creative outlets, like writing and painting and singing. They make me feel alive.
  8. Entertainment (books, TV, movies) that awakens me emotionally and spiritually, and those that release stress by making me laugh.
  9. Opportunities where I can be alone. I like to recharge and explore my relationship with myself.
  10. Yoga. It is my happy place; it is my place of worship, where my body is the temple and I get to say thank you for taking me through this life.

nanopoblano2019

The stalks, they have ears

This past weekend, Brian and I followed tradition and hiked our way through (what was in 2007) the largest corn maze in the world!

This corn maze is grown and perfected every October, and if you’re ever in the vicinity of smalltown Dixon, California, I highly suggest you check it out.

This year it took us about an hour to get through, but that’s because there was pretty extensive wind damage and we were rerouted, bypassing a good chunk of maize maze…in years past, it’s taken us the better part of 2 hours to get through, and this is with a map, a compass, and water.

Did she say a map?

Why yes, that’s how crazy this maze is.  I seriously doubt you’d be able to make it through without the map.  Goodness knows I barely manage with the map.

each square is worth a few steps’ distance. yikes!

This year, we went through during the day, but the real fun is to go through after dark.  The corn is so high that any surrounding light from civilization is pretty well blocked out, and you need to bring your own light (red-filtered headlamps for us, because we’re badass like that).  The best part about night-mazing it up is to be able to sneak ahead of your group, hide in the corn, and then scare the living crapnuggets out of them.  Beware about scaring me, though, because I am always ready to impale zombies through their glazed eye sockets.

descending into the maze…

consulting the map cuz we be lost…

the corn goes as far as the eye can see!

the maze at night…pee-your-pants, zombie-eat-your-brains scary.

This year, we emerged triumphant, relatively unscathed, and picked out pumpkins to go home and carve.

we think this is our subconscious surfacing to say that marriage is terrifying.

To top off the weekend, Brian and I reprised our costumes as Queen of Hearts and Mad Hatter at my company Halloween party and we won second place!

yup, that’s fake blood on the mirror.

Happy Halloween, everyone!!

This Is Halloween – Part One

I love Halloween.  J’adore.

This is me saying that Halloween is stinkin awesome, you guys!

I mean, what other day can you dress up in a fab costume and become someone (or something) else and get rewarded for it by stealing candy from kids with minimal negative consequences?

No other day.

I love the art that is Halloween costuming.  I’m a purist in that I don’t support the personal usage of entirely pre-packaged Halloween costumes.  That’s too easy, that’s a sell out, plus who wants to pay $49.99 to wear a piece of tissue paper that barely covers one’s ass?  Thanks to the fact that I grew up with an awesome, crafty mom who made my costumes and also freaking loves Halloween (up until the year she retired, she also dressed up for All Hallows Eve), my costumes have been original, creative, and epic.

My first H-costume was classic.  Timeless.  The Balloon-filled Pumpkin.

check out my embarrassingly large and saggy breast-o-lanterns

Looking back, this costume was brilliant because I was still getting the hang of this walking and running thing, and I was basically wearing a bright orange sack filled with balloons, so if I fell (which, my parents gleefully report, I did several times in the time it took to visit the 4 houses in our court), I simply bounced around on the pavement, unhurt but also unable to get up.  And goodness forbid that one of those babies popped and scared the crap outta me, cuz the only logical explanation for a sound like that would be a warning shot fired by hooligans wanting to take my candy.  Oh hells no.

A favorite costume from my years as a youngin was a fairy princess (I learned at a young age all about the fairy monarchy, and my plan was to come out on top).  And by favorite, I mean that I wore it several years in a row.  It was actually a leftover costume from dance class my mom put me in when I was 5 and all I did during performances was stand there and cry, so I figured I should get some mileage out of that otherwise wasted, yet totes fab, tulle.

this photo was candid, not posed. you can see how much I loved my little brother, at that time doomed to wear my hand-me-downs.

Even though I’ve always lurved Halloween like a zombie lurves brains, I developed a more primal obsession for the ghostly holiday after I executed the most awesome costume in the history of fun-sized candy bars:

excuse me…la, la, laaaa, la, la….

That’s me as Daria and my best friend as Jane, from the MTV cartoon show.  This show was witty and sarcastic and smart, and it was ME.  I loved this show so much, I wanted to lose my virginity to it.

My friend and I got way into these costumes and into character.  We got the boots at a discount store, the wigs at a Halloween store, the green blazer was my mom’s, and pleated skirt I found in a thrift store, and the orangey shirt I just had and still wear to this day.  We practiced not smiling for pictures, and we practiced our dry, witty comebacks to rhetorical questions like “Where’s the beef?” and “Who let the dogs out?”

Well, all that hard work paid off, cuz our unsmiling mugs made it into the yearbook that year.  Yup, we were famous.  In high school.  For like 5 minutes.  But the experience sparked something in me, something that had been lurking ever since my mom painted those rosy pumpkin whore cheeks on me.  I loved the challenge of turning myself into a current, recognizable character that got reactions from people.  (Like, favorable reactions.  Nothing that involves throwing food at me.  Ok, you can throw candy.  And cake, if thrown expertly into my mouth, but let’s not get too crazy.)  My quest to outdo my smug Daria self has continued every year since then.

Mary Poppins – My mom helped a lot with putting this bad boy together.  We already owned most of the pieces, but my mom found the perfect hat and glued on all the daisies.  And the red bow tie was practically perfect in every way.  I am very proud of this costume!!

The building in the background is South Hall on the UC Berkeley campus, which was the inspiration for the rooftop for the “step in time” scene in the movie.

Over the years, I have gradually conquered the majority of characters from the Wizard of Oz.   All I have left now is the crowning glory of becoming one of the flying monkeys.

I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore – My mom captured that cheap whore quality with copious amounts of makeup.  She sewed the blue dress from scratch and glued on hundreds of sequins to make those smashing ruby slippers.  Please also note the 101 Dalmatians plush toy as Toto – a new take on an old friend.

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

Hello, my pretty! – The Wicked Witch of the West rocked it hardcore.  She wore her green skin with pride, and so did I – that’s green eye shadow slathered on my face for a full day of grad school classes.

…and your little dog, too!

Ding dong the witch is dead – After reading Wicked by Gregory Maguire and going to see the fabulous musical by the same name, I decided to bring the Wiz costumes full circle and be the ill-fated Wicked Witch of the East, who was the first true owner of the ruby slippers…until something large and heavy probably crushed her skull.

this must have been the view from under the house

I found these absolutely perfect red shoes in a thrift store for $2 and painted them with red glitter.  I even picked up these tights in Salem, Massachusetts.  That’s how legit they are.

Hokai, so I have several more amazing costumes to share with y’all, but this post has already grown longer than this election season.  Stay tuned, bloggers.