Toad in the Hole

November 02, 2006


So, we went to a Hallowe'en party Saturday night, after a day of gardening at Chaparral House. (This is an event both strenuous and on the abrasive side of social: supervising really isn't my thing, and we each have to supervise volunteers. The volunteers -- the other voluinteers, as we work for free too -- are generally great, and bless 'em every one.) Anyway, we had to scare up cheap costumes fast.

I've had this pair of wings for a few years now, so with some face paint and black shirt and skirt, wotthehell, I was a Moonbat.


Hallowe'en night, I hastily slapped on more paint and the same wings to be yer basic domestic gargoyle


and sat at the foot of the stairs (easier than moving all the plants out of harm's way) and handed out gummi eyeballs.


As I said over t'Twisty's: When the kids are scared of your candy you know you're doing something right.

Hey, kathy a, we have a few left over.

I feel I should footnote here that the flash rather flattens some of the effect of the face paint. In both versions, the pale stuff is glow-in-the-dark. OTOH, my pupils aren't really red, and that was a nifty look IMO. Clearly I need more practice, but I like this face-painting stuff. If the damned stuff were less itchy I'd do it all the time.

Posted at November 2, 2006 04:41 AM


Ha ha ha ha ha -- you know what I'm thinking? American Gothic. Totally.

I love the gummy eyeballs. I gave out foil-wrapped chocolate fudge-filled eyeballs, peanut-butter filled lips, and ears, fingers and toes with crispy rice. No one was scared. Everyone took a handful. (sigh)

Posted by: Sara at November 2, 2006 01:41 PM

Oh, and as for face paint, I have the kind of skin that breaks out if you look at it the wrong way, so when I go for a fully painted costume look, for example when I want to look dead, I always use actual, hypoallergenic cosmetics sponged on, not greasepaint. You can get most of the colors and blend (e.g., white coverstick delicately enhanced with purple, green and blue eyeshadows) to create some rather impressive effects, and using inexpensive pencil-type cosmetics, you can get quite a few colors for just a few bucks and keep them in a cool, dry, protected environment for years as long as you use some kind of sterile implement for application. A tiny amount of fake blood for shock value can go a long way, and a properly stored tube can also last a long time. Glowing in the dark may be hard to accomplish this way, but your skin will thank you on El Día de los Muertos.

Since you so enjoyed painting on a mask, and since you are looking into more ways to paint, I highly recommend exploring this next year. Also, you can use a soft wax they sell at costume shops to make scars, or areas of torn flesh that you paint over with the same stuff to make it look real. I think your nursing experience could feed this with some marvelous results. Imagine the fun you could have handing out eyeballs if it looked like one of the ones in the bowl might be the one you just ripped out of your forehead, for example.

It took me a long time as an adolescent to realize that the thing I loved about cosmetics was that it was just painting, and that I really should be just painting, that I didn't need a box of Princess Marcella di Borghese eyeshadows, but a box of oils, crayons, colored pencils, felt-tip markers, and a canvas other than my own reflection. I often wonder how many other little girls get their art drives perverted in this manner. Thank goodness for Hallowe'en where it doesn't have to be about being pretty, or where it can be about redefining beauty, from the ground up, as it were.

Posted by: Sara at November 2, 2006 02:23 PM

A moonbat! I love it, mind if I use that next year?

Posted by: PSoTD at November 2, 2006 03:14 PM

Oh, feel free! The moonbat earrings I picked up at a Wild Bryde sale don't show in the photo; I'll have to take a closeup of them later. If I'd had time et cetera I'd've added bat ears and teeth... maybe a furry jacket? Bat mask with moon halo-style (paper plate) would work too.

Sara, yes about that painting urge. Actually, I've had a jones to paint things since we saw the Quilts of Gee's bend show a month or so ago. We have been thinking about doing something to the stucco around the front porch, which is currently entirely the wrong shade of turquoise. Maybe lots of saltwater tropical fish.

Posted by: Ron at November 2, 2006 04:43 PM

You were a fine moonbat at that!

Posted by: Janis at November 2, 2006 05:43 PM

oh, excellent -- 2 costumed looks, with one set of bat-wings and some face-paint! those are very nice wings.

ron, you have totally been misleading us with the old/fat/ugly hoo-ha. are not.

and [ahem] your berkeley is showing. wrong shade of turquoise around the porch?? fish are the way to go! or tiles. more plants? aquatic plants, tiles, and fish. eh, it'll work out.

Posted by: kathy a at November 3, 2006 03:38 AM

kathy, hey, anyone can look good in a faceful of glow-in-the-dark. I have a mild obsession with glow-in-the-dark, possibly a childhood leftover from my favorite set of Rosary beads*, which were g-i-t-d and I used to scare my sisters with them as a prop to stories** I told at night; possibly because I am after all from Harrisburg, home of Three Mile Island.

*Yes I had the sort of childhood where it was possible to have a favorite set of Rosary beads.
**Ellen told me about those stories years ago, that I used to tell them every night when the four of us were in our bunkbeds (the brothers had the third bedroom) and I had a dim memory of what she was telling me but no least notion of what any of those stories were about. Funny.

It's the wrong shade of turquoise because it didn't turn out as I'd planned. I was looking for Roberto Burle Marx but ended up with more like 1950s bathroom. But it'll be perfect as a background for reef fish.

Posted by: Ron at November 3, 2006 03:33 PM

Janis (bows), thank you. We had a great time, especially once Joe gave up and took that damned parrot off his shoulder. I couldn't persuade him to take his sword along, alas; he said it wasn't piratical enough.

Posted by: Ron at November 3, 2006 03:36 PM

you were an older sister, right? i was the big one, and had the top bunk. my friend and i totally traumatized my sweet baby sister once -- i told a scary story about a witch, and my friend poppped up in the window wearing a 39 cent mask at the critical moment. did we ever get more than the reaction we bargained for. my poor sister could not even look at the INSIDE of the mask without screaming, for months. so, i don't like masks, and have tried to not scare little children, and believe in PTSD.

no need to apologize about the rosary, so long as i don't have to tell you about the GITD plaster praying hands.

Posted by: kathy a at November 3, 2006 07:27 PM

I had a glow in the dark jesus night light but my mother didn't take to it too well since we are Jewish.

Posted by: Janis at November 4, 2006 04:45 PM

Given that I'm third-generation atheist on my mom's side, rosary beads of any kind would have been peculiar. That atheism might explain why I had two siblings rather than many, though I admit I envy the bunk beds.

Posted by: emma goldman at November 6, 2006 02:20 AM

I'm 48 and I still haven't lost my taste for Halloween. I dressed up my dog and went out that night.

Posted by: Rhea at November 6, 2006 03:09 PM

I like it too, when I get a chance to assemble some interesting get-up. We tried to dress the cat up but he wasn't buying it. He wasn't all that interested in swatting a candy eyeball around the front path either -- I should have stuck some catnip into one.

Then again I'm not sure we'd've wanted to be hosing puke off the sidewalk at night either.

Next year, better paint. And Rhea: how did your dog take to getting dressed up?

Posted by: Ron at November 8, 2006 04:58 PM

Very scary!

I'm catching up on blog reading... did you know that in bloglines one of your posts brags that you are a 5657 year old woman? ;)

Posted by: Rurality at November 9, 2006 12:45 AM

Neither of us talks about it in public much, but actually I'm Mel Brooks' mother.

And does he ever visit? NooooOOOOOOooo!

Posted by: Ron at November 9, 2006 01:07 AM

never been much for halloween (not big in my part of the world) but thanksgiving... lordy, you guys are onto something with thanksgiving... who'd have thought you could move to asia an adopt an american holiday with gusto? even heading up into town to get me some turky next week, such is my attachment

Posted by: cc at November 17, 2006 04:03 AM

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