|By: Paul S. Cilwa
|Page Views: 6543
|Blog Entry posted October 31, 2010, in which we celebrate our third favorite holiday.
On the yearly holiday countdown, today is #3: Halloween. And we celebrated over the entire weekend, beginning with an awesome party last night and the candy-ladling tonight.
For last night's party, I wore my usual costume: A Vulcan surfer ("Live long and prosper, dude!"). There are no good photos; this is the best I've got. But a number of people at the party "got" it and complimented me on it. Okay, it was just two. But, still.
The party was at our friend Gregg's art gallery in downtown Phoenix. It also exactly coincided with Michael's Halloween party at his medical school, with which he had promised to help decorate. So I went to Gregg's to be there on time, and put the address into Michael's GPS so he could make an appearance at his school party before joining us late at Gregg's.
Gregg's party included lots of hors devours and avery hot bartended, as well as a costume contest (which I didn't even enter; the competition was far too fierce). But the centerpiece was a sort of revue, with professional as well as non-professional performers, including Gregg. This was the tenth such show in the past eleven years. It included a number of performers in drag, leaving me at a loss to describe it. It wasn't exactly a "drag show" because not everyone was in drag and besides, in a typical drag show, the performers mimic Diana Ross or Madonna or Judy Garland, lip-syncing to their recordings. In this case, while the songs were-lip-synced, they were parodies of songs (some quite raunchy) with gut-wrenchingly funny (and very professional) choreography, props, and lighting.
It's hard to say what was best because it was all so amazing. But one of the guest stars was well-known drag diva Celia Putty, who did two numbers: One as an adult (and filthy) Wednesday Addams, and one as Sarah Palin. There was a sign up asking we not take photos without permission from Gregg, and I was very good in general, but I just couldn't not take a cellphone picture of the Sarah Palin sketch, in which Palin is strapped to an electric chair, surrounded by hunky "border guards", waiting for a phone call from Obama to halt her execution, to which, when the phone rings, she sings, "Let it please be him, oh dear God, it must be him, if it's not him…then I will die!"
Of course, we were supposed to have our cell phones off. After the first act, I turned mine back on and found four calls waiting for me from Michael. As I should have expected, he had been unable to operate his GPS ("It turned off by itself," he complained, not seeming to get that this was because he hadn't plugged it in.) Fortunately, by then he was in the neighborhood and I was able to guide him in, in time for the second act.
Anyway, that was last night. Tonight, we began the evening by decoration for Halloween…at 5 PM. Our neighbors had all been decorated for weeks, but Michael didn't want to risk our decorations being stolen. So it all went up at once.
Michael has very specific notions of where everything is to go; so my contribution was mostly moving the ladder for him to climb so the components could be placed.
A beautiful sunset signaled both the completion of the decorating, and the arrival of the first of the trick-or-treaters.
We always have a beautiful, seasonal wreath on our front door (again, courtesy of Michael). But for today only, a special Halloween wreath.
Then there was the cemetery, which occupied the entirety of our pocket-handkerchief lawn.
A howling ghost greeted visitors who dared to pass the cemetery.
We also had a fog machine to make the cemetery more eerie, and Michael dressed up as…something, some kind of banshee, I guess (one of the visitors labeled him an "angel vampire").
Zach usually combines pieces of various costumes. I'm never sure what the end result is, but it's usually pretty scary.
So I sat in a chair and handed out candy as Michael stood still in the cemetery and yelled "Boo!" at the kids who dared ask for it. At least one kid was so terrified he ran off and refused to come back, despite his parents' best efforts to convince him that Michael wasn't really a vampire angel.
Around 8, Zach and his friends returned from trick-or-treating with huge sacks of loot. Zach insisted on "taking a turn" handing out candy, which meant he intended to hide and yell "Boo!" at kids who came along.
In any case, at 9 PM we closed up shop; and Michael and I had all the decorations down and stored in the garage by 9:20. With only my photos to prove they had ever existed at all.