Sunday, November 1, 2009

I Love a Halloween Challenge!

It's not often when you're charged with helping someone celebrate a holiday for the first time.

It happens when you're a parent, but then those people don't remember the celebration.

For Halloween this year, I had the great joy and privilege of helping someone celebrate Halloween for the first time as an adult. One of my co-workers , named Pei-Yeh, was here from Taiwan, and she was fascinated by the holiday.

I invited her to my house for the day with lots of plans in store. First up: my friends Matt and Becky came over, with many tools and stencils and a hollowed out pumpkin. Becky is the ultimate craft queen: she can sew (being a lifelong quilter); she can crochet; she papier-mache'd their Halloween costumes. She also, not surprisingly, is a crackerjack pumpkin carver.

Unfortunately for Becky, hubby and I had gotten the world's most difficult pumpkin the day before Halloween. Warty and thick-skinned, it resisted any tools we could throw at it: pumpkin tools, steak knives, paring knives, even a hammer/screwdriver combo. This explains why our pumpkins turned out thusly. You guess which is which.

Once finished with the carving, Pei-Yeh wanted to see my torch and watch me make a bead. I had previously made her a necklace using some beads I made:

So now, since I had a frog bead that I needed to make for a friend, she went out to watch. Here is what I made; it's probably the best frog I've managed to make thus far.

Once finished with melting glass, Pei-Yeh and I changed into our Halloween costumes and prepared to go trick-or-treating with Son the Younger and one of his friends. Since they are 16, we hoped to blend into a crowd of teens. Here's a pic of me and Pei-Yeh in costume:

Here's my sweet baby boy... doesn't he look cute?

And this is his friend the Evil Clown, who took great and horrible glee in scaring older children all over our neighborhood.

We had a wonderful time trick-or-treating, and no one question Pei-Yeh's age, although I got a funny look or two and one snide comment.

After the trick-or-treating fun, we headed downtown. In Austin, that means 6th Street, which is party central. I've never been on Halloween, simply because it's such a zoo. It's a great place to people watch on any ordinary weekend, and the street is barricaded on weekends to allow for foot traffic, so on Halloween? On a Saturday night? With perfect weather? Fuhgeddabouddit. And I would have, had it not been for Pei-Yeh. But what the heck, I'd never been, so off we went.

We left early, arriving around 9pm. There were plenty of families and lots of older folks to be found. I would assume that as the evening gets later, the average blood alcohol gets far higher, the younger set comes out to party, and the costumes get wilder. I was more than happy to come early and go home early. Still, there were some great costumes.

The Shrek family. Notice that even the baby is dressed up. How cute is that?

This guy was on stilts and had some serious stilts skills. He was as comfortable on stilts as I am on my feet (and more so some days).

I'm not sure what this guy is, but it's a cool costume.

Pei-Yeh was delighted to pose with Yoshi.

And tell me this isn't the greatest group costume ever: the entire cast of the Mario games!

I've spared you a couple of the other pictures I took, like the dancing fat man who painted himself blue. Suffice it to say that Pei-Yeh thinks all us Americans are crazy.

I'm not sure she's wrong.

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