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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Halloween, Day of the Dead, and all the performing arts

The past couple weeks have been insane.  I can't even think about work right now, or I'll need a brown paper bag to breathe into.  So here's the insanity of personal stuff:

1.  Halloween.  So, being a huge nerd, and having huge nerds for kids, we did a Doctor Who costume theme.  I talked Husband into going as Eleven (he is so over the Doctor Who themed costumes, he swears this is the last time).  I decided to go as Victorian-era-evil-snowmen Clara Oswald, and then the kids would be monsters (Cora a Weeping Angel and Vee a Dalek). 

Husband ordered his costume, it looked fine.  I pieced mine together from a Victorian costume purchased at Halloween Express, and that was a terrible idea, it completely fell apart before our party.  Ridiculous.  I should have known better, but oh well.  So, I pieced it together some items from some of my steampunk stuff, and looked nothing like Clara Oswald, but oh well. 

The party itself was fun, but there was very low attendance this year, due to a massive outbreak of plague, and another awful plague called pregnancy.  Ick on both accounts.  Honestly, I also felt like crap, and if it hadn't been my party, I wouldn't have been there either.  Needless to say, we had a lot of booze left, where we normally have empty bottles.  I also think old age seems to be playing a role in dwindling attendance/drunken antics.  Disappointing.

Then there was the clusterfuck of Halloween proper.  The city of Lexington CANCELED Halloween.  Okay, so they postponed trick or treat until November 1, because the weather forecast was ooh, scary rain and winds.  Pfff.  Guess what it didn't do until well after trick or treat?  Yeah.  I hear the weather was lovely for trick or treat on November 1, but we wouldn't know, because we had the ballet performance instead.  (Story to follow.)

Since we wouldn't get to trick or treat, and holy crap, I spent a lot of time on these kids' costumes, they're going to wear them, dammit!, we went to the indoor trick-or-treat at the Horse Park.  Free admission and free parking.  Kudos to them for doing that.  It was insane, they had a gazillion more people than they probably expected, and apparently half-way through, they'd already gone through $7K worth of candy.  We didn't get a lot of candy, but we got to show off the costumes, get some bourbon, and watch some horsies. 

The kids' costumes looked pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.  For Vee's costume, I stuck with something simple, because she was just NOT going to tolerate a real costume.  So, I took an old dress of Cora's, added some brown tulle to make it darker and poofier, and then added Dalek balls (Styrofoam balls cut in half, spray painted with gold paint, and hot-glued to some stiff blue ribbon).  For Cora's costume, I took a traditional angel costume, made it silver, and then made her silver.

For those of you not familiar with the awesomeness of Doctor Who, here's what an actual Dalek looks like:

Here's what Weeping Angels look like:

Here's what my kids looked like:

Cora was very pleased with her costume, and got lots of compliments.  She was also happy to torment her sister with her "scary angel face."  Vee was not amused.  (She grumbled at her and said "No!" and walked away in a huff.)  Vee seemed to at least not be offended by being a Dalek, but she did refuse to carry around the egg beater and plunger.  She carried around a Dalek and a sucker instead.  She does, however, oblige me in answering the question, "What does the Dalek say?" with an enthusiastic "Exterminate!"  I'm so proud.

Since my costume fell apart, I opted to recycle the Amy Pond Kissogram costume from two years ago.  Here's our family photo:

We'll get some extra mileage out of the Weeping Angel costume (and the Kissogram costume) though, because Cora and I are totally dressing up to go see Day of the Doctor in theatres this month.  Because, yes, we're that nerdy.

2.  Day of the Dead.  We had what seemed like never-ending rehearsals leading up to Halloween for Dia de los Muertos, a ballet written and choreographed by the director of Cora's ballet school.  The neat thing about the ballet school is that they put on professional performances at the Opera House and use the students in them (to varying degrees).  So, lower-level students like Cora get these cute little parts, while the real talent is featured in starring roles.  There were six performances, and since there was only one cast of village children, we had to be at every one.  I wasn't crazy at first about Cora missing almost two full days of school for it, but honestly, it was such a great experience for her.  She absolutely loved it, and she was a real trooper.  It was a tough week for her.  We were at the studio for dress rehearsals Saturday and Sunday, at the Opera House for nearly 5 hours on Wednesday night for the final dress rehearsal, then there were two performances on Thursday, on Friday and on Saturday. 

We attended the Friday performance, and it really was just wonderful.  I was, of course, holding my breath, waiting for my kid to do something crazy.  Geez.  She certainly does like to try to steal the spotlight.  In the funeral scene, all the kids take flowers to Estelita's grave and are then supposed to return to their village family.  Well, Cora lingers at the grave to "pray" after all the other children have left, crossing herself, before returning to her position.  Yeah... that's my kid.  I was just waiting for her to knock over a proper ballerina and take center stage. 

Anyway, it was a crazy few days for me too, trying to work around pickup and drop off at the opera house.  Before Friday's performance, we had to go to a local brewery for a fundraising kickoff to try to win a challenge (we didn't win... but I ate an awesome gyro from the greek food truck, so I still won).  I chaperoned both Saturday performances (and impromptu chaperoned during the final dress rehearsal), which is total insanity, because not only did I have to keep 13 of the 5-6 year olds from destroying the opera house, I also had to dress them, and get their hairpieces properly secured, which took a shitload of bobby pins.  They were supposed to come wearing make-up and their hair secured in either a low bun or braids/pigtails and hairsprayed to plaster it to their heads, but some didn't, so I did make-up and hair too.  And making sure everybody goes potty before the show, because inevitably the curtain goes up and someone will have a potty emergency. 

Then after the show, had to get them all undressed, costumes put away, get them dressed and deliver them safely back to their parents.  We had children missing clothes, missing shoes, it was all kinds of crazy.  But we made it through.  I certainly learned a lot about ballet, about theatre, about costuming and stage make-up, and about herding feral cats, er, spirited ballerinas.  And there was probably only a half dozen times I wanted to throttle my kid.  The rest of the time, she did great.  And, let me tell you, bringing an iPad with a Tinkerbell movie on it works wonders for keeping ballerinas gathered in one place and quiet.

After the last performance on Saturday, we got ice cream through the drive-thru, went home and watched Nightmare Before Christmas in bed.  

3.  Violin recital.  Inconveniently scheduled the same weekend as the ballet insanity.  Cora had to go rehearse with the accompanist on Saturday morning, but fortunately didn't have a performance until 3pm (which we had to be there at 1:45 since I was chaperoning).  Her recital was at 3pm on Sunday, and with Daylight Savings, at least she was well-rested by then.  We made a run to Target that afternoon to buy new dresses for her and Vee (fortunately Vee approved of Cora's selections for her... she can be really picky about clothes).  She performed really well, she's been working hard on her staccato bowing, and it paid off. 

(Cuts off before the last note, because my stupid phone ran out of storage.) 

So, that's been our week.  Fortunately, we're just back to the normal state of insanity.  Orchestra rehearsal is canceled this week, and we have three rehearsals left to master Beethoven's Fourth.  Pfff. 

I have 5 more modules and the final exam to take by Thanksgiving weekend in one class.  In the middle of Insanity Week, I had to take a field trip to a public health department in the capitol, to take a tour, and do a presentation two days' later (tough to work on a presentation when you're at a 5-hour-long rehearsal, ugh).  I'll have a presentation to do in that class too in December. 

So, that's that.  I wanted to get all the pictures up and blog before I never ever did it.  Also, I worked tonight until about 11:30, and if I did anymore work tonight, I was going to lose my mind.  I might still lose my mind, but that is another problem entirely.

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