Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Letting My Inner Freak Flag Fly

Halloween Carnival was a blast. Kira looked FANTASTIC in her costume:
I didn't get a picture with her wings on. They were purchased (sigh), but they still looked great with her costume. The eye makeup was hand-drawn, based on a kit I saw online that had a glittery tattoo to be worn over just one eye. She looooooooved her costume & thought it was the best one there, even though she didn't win any prizes. (Ro was irritated with that!)

One of *my* favorite costumes was Kody's. He put the whole thing together with finds from the Salvation Army. Guess who? (looked even better in the dim gym)
I got a shot of the entire eighth grade in all their finery. Mark's in the way back, in case you couldn't pick him out.
The carnival was a huge success, the class made lots of money, and everyone had a great time. The haunted house was VERY popular, with many screams echoing from behind the walls. And guarding the entrance?
I *told* you I love Halloween. mk

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Did I Mention That I Love Halloween?

I spent a few hours today helping the 8th grade create their haunted house for the Halloween Carnival tomorrow. I'm going in tomorrow as well, since it's not quite done. Also will help with setting up the games, etc. It promises to be a great time.

I had so much fun with the haunted house. They use the stage, and hang sheets and things to partition it into "rooms." The kids designed it all, and chose what goes in each room. Mark S is the guide who brings the groups through. When you first enter, there is a long hallway, Mark is sitting in a chair in ghoul gear, pretending to be a dummy. Jumps up and scares them. They then flee into a room, where there is a ventriloquist's dummy sitting on a skeleton's lap in a chair. Chair will move by itself. Group then flees to next room, where there is a kid on an operating table and a mad scientist/surgeon in bloody lab coat & scrubs is "operating" on his brain. He is restrained, but breaks free of his restraints and goes after the surgeon, who then forces him back into the restraints. Much groaning and screaming. Group then goes back out to hallway, where there is a "touch table" with gross things. Next to touch table is a caldron hiding the "disembodied" head of another kid, who will scream and growl. Kids flee into the "bedroom" where there is a coffin with a ghoul in it, who rises from the dead. They flee into the final place, which is "outside" with a rusty wheelbarrow filled with leaves and bones, and a ghoul in the corner holding a pitchfork and pointing the way out (and Mark pops out from a hidden entrance to scare them one last time.

And of course there will be freaky lighting and music and fog and spiderwebs and things all over the place. It will be pretty good, I think.

On other Halloween news, I went over to Ro's to try to temporarily color my hair black. Unfortunately, although my hair is now much darker, it is not actually black. Sigh. I guess I'll just use some color spiking gel in it. I'm dressing up kind of punk/goth for tomorrow. Much fun.

Kira's costume is complete except for the wings. I'm actually taking a break from them now to write this. I tweaked the pattern's design for the wings, because I wanted them to be pointier. And I've done a last-minute change of fabric. I was going to use plain netting, but it just doesn't seem dark enough, so I'm using the same sheer that is on the sleeves. Kind of ties the whole thing together.

I picked up some classic Halloween movies today. I've been wanting them for a long time, but hadn't gotten around to it. I got "Friday the 13th," "Halloween," and "A Nightmare on Elm Street." Now I need to find some time to watch them with Mark. It'll have to be after Kira goes to bed, because she will get WAY too frightened.

OK, I think I've taken a long enough break...better get those wings done. mk

Update: To hell with this. I'm gonna buy some damn wings tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Betsy Ross I Ain't

As many of you know, I make a lot of costumes for the kids. I usually make their Halloween costumes, as well as several costumes for Spirit Week each year. This means I sew. Now, I don't particularly LIKE sewing, although it's kind of neat to see a vision come together, but because I can't find exactly what I want other places, I make it.

So, I'm in the midst of sewing Kira's Halloween costume for this year. She is going to be a Goth pixie. (This was her idea, people--although I LOVE it.) I'm making a short black satin dress with long sheer sleeves and an overlaying black vest with cool embroidery on it (I didn't do that) and sheer petal-type ruffles at arms and waist. Oh, and wings, that velcro onto the back of the vest. She's also got some great accessories to go with it, and we experimented with makeup last night and determined what we were doing with that.

Anyway. The dress is done, and I am now working on the vest. And I am doing some of my LEAST favorite part...pinning patterns and cutting the fabric. I HATE pinning. And you can tell I'm starting to get a little irritated with it because I'm starting to do things like just pin one edge and then wing it on the cutting, figuring it'll be close enough. And one part I didn't pin at all, just kind of held it on the fabric and went. This is a major contrast with how I did the dress, where I was so detail oriented. I am justifying it in my head that this is a *costume* and I have already spent more time working on it than she'll spend wearing it (yesterday I worked on it for eight or nine hours, and four or so today). But then I get all fussy again.

I am learning a lot about sewing, though. Each costume I make, I learn a different skill. This time I had to do darts, which was new for me, and I was very nervous about it, but they went really quickly, really. I also discovered a new stitch on my sewing machine, which I'm using like crazy.

And I will be thrilled to see her in it, and she is just so excited about it, every minute I have spent, every ache in my back from bending over the pinning (the damned pinning), every penny I have spent on this, will be worth it.

Stupid pinning. mk

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sports Jinx

Sports enthusiasts are superstitious people in general. It's pretty well known that Michael Jordan wore his North Carolina shorts under his Bulls uniform for every game. Tiger Woods wears red on the last day of a tournament (red is a good luck color in Thailand, where his mother is from). Wade Boggs eats only chicken on game days and draws a good-luck symbol in the dirt before each at-bat.

Similarly, sports fans are often superstitious. Many fans have a lucky shirt or hat that they wear when watching games. Mark has a lucky shirt, hat, lanyard and Paul Pierce figurine that he has to have with him whenever he watches a Celtics game. He is convinced that these are lucky. (And Paul Pierce has to be facing the television.)

Rationally, we realize that these things have no effect on the outcome of the game (especially fan stuff). Yet, some part of us insists that it helps.

Yesterday, Mark's team lost the semifinals. Last night, I watched part of the Red Sox game with Brenda and Brian. We stopped watching when the score was 5-0; Brenda was exhausted and we were all a little depressed at what looked like a spectacular loss.

Turns out, the Sox made a phenomenal comeback, pretty much right after we stopped watching. When I read that this morning, my first thought was "oh SURE, we stop watching and they start winning!" My next thought was that yesterday I was a major sports jinx. Maybe if I hadn't watched Mark's game, they would have won. Maybe I should be banned from major sporting events (I watched the Super Bowl, the Patriots lost. I went to a Red Sox game, they lost to the Yankees.). Of course, the many times that I *have* watched a game and there has been a win was drastically overshadowed by these losses. Seems I, too, have more than a little streak of that ol' superstition. I know, I KNOW, that having my eyes pointed at the action on the field had zero effect on the outcome. In fact, having my eyes on Mark's field was probably a positive thing, as I was showing support and yelling encouragement (in the pouring rain, no less). But still, a little niggling thought keeps poking at me. maybe is IS your fault, it says.

Kira's got her last soccer event of the season tomorrow, a round-robin tournament. Where's my lucky hat? mk

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sports are all children's games revisited...

While we were watching Mark's game today (they lost...very disappointing, and Mark is crushed), another Mom and I were talking about how you could describe the rules of soccer to a young child. Turns out, it was pretty easy. Soccer is a big game of keep-away. You're keeping it away from the other team, until you can put it in their goal. :)

Basketball is keep-away, too.

Football is a really fierce game of tag.

And baseball is a game of monkey-in-the-middle between the pitcher and the catcher, with the batter as the monkey.

What think you? mk

Any excuse not to clean...

I'm cleaning my house today and catching up all the laundry. It's been way overdue, and I have extra motivation in that I am having company tonight...Brenda and Brian are coming over to watch the Sox game. Yay! (and no, Bren, I am not cleaning JUST because you're coming. I was going to clean anyway.) They actually invited themselves over, which I think is fabulous. I hope they do it more often. (hint, HINT Brenda!!) They are so busy that it is hard to know when they would be available to do things, and they are avid sports fans and don't have cable, so they are dependent on others' TVs to catch the games. (also, I wouldn't have thought to invite them, mostly because I forget about professional sports games *and* I forget that she has to go places to watch them.) But now I get some Bren-time! So I am excited and pleased that they are going to be here.

But right now I am taking a clementine break. The timing of the break was dictated by fish oil capsules. I've started taking those to get my Omega-3's, since I don't eat any fish products, and Omega-3's are supposed to help lower your triglycerides, and mine need lowering. They are said to possibly also have a positive effect on depression, which would be a great bonus.

Anyway, one of the horrible (HORRIBLE) side effects of fish oil capsules that I have been experiencing is belching. FISH belching. It is totally disgusting. (Aren't you glad I shared that with you?) I have discovered that if I eat right around the time that I take the capsules, that it is somewhat lessened, but not completely, and then when it starts up, I usually eat something else, like a fruit. Hence the clementine. Supposedly if you keep your capsules in the freezer it will help reduce this side effect, but I am so horrible about remembering to take my meds, that if I don't have them RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, I will forget to take them.

Mark's team is supposed to have their semifinals today. Obviously, they won their quarterfinals, with a score of 5-1. (Mark made 15 saves.) It's drizzling right now, and supposed to rain pretty much all day. That is going to make for a majorly sucky time if they have the game. I'm really hoping that we'll reschedule for tomorrow, which is supposed to be mostly sunny. We'll see.

Well, my break has definitely lasted long enough. Back to work! mk

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Facebook is killing my blog

Not really, but it sounded like a great title. And truthfully, I have checked Facebook every day and updated my status and checked everyone else's, but I haven't even looked at my blog feeder in ages and now I have like 1000 entries to catch up on. Ain't gonna happen.

So, here's just a little catch-you-up, and hopefully I'll be better.

The Wellbutrin doesn't seem to be helping. I have another appointment on Wednesday, and we'll probably bump up the dosage. I had such high hopes for this, I will be so disappointed if it doesn't work. But at least I have someone who is actively working with me on this.

I had more blood tests, this latest one to check my cholesterol, which turns out to be high. Dammit. Now I'm working on changing my eating habits. It's hard. Add to that, I have completely stopped consuming any alcohol at all, and I'm being much better to my body. Am impatiently awaiting results.

Mark's soccer team has done an outstanding job, and ended the season undefeated (three ties and five wins, including against the team that had won all seven of their other games). Playoffs start Tuesday. We're playing a team that has been taught to cheat. That bothers me a lot. They cheat at ALL the sports they play. How horrible.

Mark has done a great job as goalie. He's had two shutouts, and the other five games, let in a total of 7 goals. He's averaging about 9 saves per game. One game he made 16, another 15. (yes, I'm keeping track) He has improved so much since last year, and he's much more confident and focussed. I love it. I still do my "goalie groupie" thing, where I set up my chair down by the goal to watch the game, and when they switch sides at the half, I move my chair down to the other end. Hey, I'm there to watch him, right? If I'm in the middle, I don't get as good a view of his action.

Kira has done very well in her first year of soccer. She has scored three goals. She's very aggressive and rather skilled, one of the top players on her team. She's enjoying herself immensely, too, which is of course the most important thing. She has her last regular game on Tuesday, then they have the "tournament" on Saturday, where every team plays every other team for a fifteen-minute game. Interestingly enough, the busline championship game is also on Saturday. If Mark's team makes it, there will be a major conflict for me. I have already decided that I would go to Mark's, because it would be his last soccer game in middle school, and would also determine whether there would be a banner hanging in the gym, which Mark reeeeeeeeally wants. He said he'd love to have one for soccer and another for basketball, in his eighth grade year. That *would* be pretty nice.

Basketball starts next week. Mark is psyched. It's his favorite sport. Kira is also playing, on a 3rd/4th grade team for the Y. She's happy, too.

Um. I know there's more, but I'm pretty wiped out. Yesterday I spent the entire day in bed. Major headache. Today it's still lurking, giving little warning pokes every now and then. I had originally planned to do the weekly shopping today since tomorrow the kids have the day off from school. I was also going to work on Kira's Halloween costume. I don't think either of those is going to happen. I think I am going to have a silent day, after I take a little something for this headache, which is actually getting worse even as I type. Dammit. mk