Post-Halloween Sugar Rush

Last night’s haul was pretty good, I’d say. For a 4-year-old, that bag full of candy must seem infinite. Thankfully, she agreed to bring half of it to a Day of the Dead dinner party, which alleviates the pressure to eat the junk for mom & dad.

So: the costume. I realise, looking back at my blog, that I kind of over hyped the whole Squidward costume thing. Here are a couple pics, just the costume (the mask is the saving grace), then one with the cousin, before hittin’ the streets.

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I was kind of surprised that I didn’t take a proper photo of my daughter in the costume. I think Halloween is too stressful. It’s like a race against time to get ready and get out there at dusk, but before it’s too late. The last thing on my mind was: Daughter, please stand very still and pose for some photographs. Actually, I always found it stressful, and never really liked it as a holiday. Too much pressure. Some of my teenaged costumes included “rocket scientist for NASA/nerd” and “hardware store lady.” As a child I went trick or treating dressed as a bunch of grapes, with dozens of purple balloons attached to my body. I think that is the true meaning of Halloween: fun yet traumatizing. The candy is like a buffer, a self-medication to soften all that embarrassment and confused moments of: “Why did I dress up? What am I supposed to be?”

Much like life.

Philosophy of Hallow’een

The philosophy of Hallow’een frustrates me: it is a 100% #firstworldproblem. It is a consumer’s holiday, an event which promotes nothing but shopping. Even the notion of generosity is overlooked: we buy candy to give away to kids, but can you imagine how better spent that money could be? Say a normal family spends $20 on candy, $35 on a costume and another $20 on decorations. What if they instead gave $10 of that $95 to a charity? Like the Food Bank or Dans La Rue, to feed street kids real food? Maybe its because when I was growing up, I always wore those orange cardboard UNICEF collection boxes. That was a great idea, great marketing, but it disappeared.

Maybe I was set off by watching a show last night that took you inside people’s over-the-top Hallow’een homes. Or perhaps because I saw costumes at the big box store, and was grossed out by how cheaply they were made and by how flammable they looked: a fairy costume for kids ran $35 before tax. Don’t even get me started on adults who dress up. Mind: blown.

So I do appreciate the moms that recycle costumes, or DIY them (a friend is making a paper mach horse for her son’s cowboy costume). I’m into that: keeping it imaginative, fulfilling and fun. Not expensive and competitive, which I think some people get carried away by. It’s more fun to be ghetto that to be the best.

Speaking of which, I’ll post some progress pics of the Squidward costume tomorrow.

Squidward Costume Anxiety

For Halloween this year, my 4-year-old has told me she wants to dress up as Squidward Tentacles from Spongebob. I’ve been to the big box stores, and there are no Spongebob character costumes, which leaves me one option: DIY.

This is a fine line: I don’t want the costume to be unidentifiable, or ghetto, or not fun to wear. Also it’s getting cold outside so it also has to be toasty. This is not going to be easy. Maybe I can woo her with a frilly princess dress…

This mask would be a quick fix, only it is overpriced and probably adult-sized:

This looks uncomfortable. And too literal:

Quaint. Not my style:

The fun-ness would be in active legs: the extra pair of legs attached to her real legs so each pair of legs (one real, one fake) moved in tandem. Also was thinking of adding the Krabby Patty hat. Need to get to Value Village to source a white trucker’s hat.

OK. So today I have some work to do. I need to find:
1) Kids plain brown polo shirt.
2) Grey long-sleeved shirt + 2 pair matching leggings/pants.
3) 6 pairs grey sport socks to go over her hands & shoes. And stuffed one to be extra feet.
4) White trucker hat (possibly with blue bill).
5) Try to make a Squidward mask. Maybe some sort of mask/hood stuffed into the shape of his bulbous head and nose? And paint on a frown with makeup? I need grey face paint.

Seriously, I am into this costume over the standard fairy or princess. But it has to be fun. I’ll update developments as they come. You must be at the edge of your seat in anticipation!!!

Update: Check how the Squiward costume came out!

Tour Round UP and OUT

The end of this tour is nigh, and I thought I should talk a little more about it. I last left off in Vegas, the heart of darkness. The next day we were in California which made everything awesome. The morning of the 30th we did Morning Becomes Eclectic at KCRW (which you can listen to/watch here). Our L.A. gig was great; we got to meet a lot of our fans afterwards and hung with friends. We also got this incredible room that night at the London Hotel in West Hollywood…which might not seem interesting but the little luxuries are rejuvenating after two weeks of touring.

The next day was Hallow’een. We rented a car (essential to an enjoyable L.A. visit) and headed out to Buzznet/Stereogum for an acoustic session (which is probably somewhere on the internet but I can’t find it). Then we visited the Dangerbird office, went for lunch, then headed back to the bus. It was getting late in the afternoon and we were invited by Steve Nice out to Pasadena for trick-or-treating with his family. Back home we are used to bundling up under our costumes because it sometimes snows on Hallow’een, but out in L.A. that is not necessary. Neptune’s crinolined-and-winged fairy costume was just fine. It was very cute and very fun and by the end of it we were all exhausted. We got back to the bus and a very different kind of Hallow’een was underway in West Hollywood…revelers were just heading out to the annual street party thing that goes down. It was just weird to see so many grown adults dressed up…they take Hallow’een very seriously in Hollywood, I guess.

The next day we woke up in Solana Beach, a seaside suburb of San Diego. We went down to the beach with the intention of just checking it out. But being Canadian and all, we found the water a bit cool but totally swim-able. The whole band spent the day on the beach, swimming, jogging, chilling, laughing that people thought they needed wetsuits; Neptune dug in the sand and went in to, playing the classic “chase the waves” game. That really mellowed us out and Murray and I questioned why we didn’t live closer to the ocean? The next day some sunburns revealed themselves.

Then it was San Francisco. Awesome city but the weather changes so frequently throughout the day. We walked to the park, then went to the theatre to see Zack and Miri Make a Porno because the song You and I (Are a Gang of Losers) is in it. I went to see Hollywood Chihuahua with Neptune so I didn’t see it but apparently the song is right at the end and really prominently used. Anyhow, the next day was our show, which was interesting because the power went out twice: first during the opening band’s set, then again during changeover. We waited a long time for the power to come back on (apparently they were doing maintence and the whole block was out), during which we sat backstage with some acoustic guitars trying to figure out what we could do with no PA, no lights. Then all of a sudden the crowd cheered under the one emergency light and Murray was on stage with an acoustic. He sang Missiles and There Goes My Outfit and the lights came back on halfway through Deuxieme Partie (Second Part). We played a makeshift Bandwagoneers while Laura and my keyboards loaded, the hammered through the rest of the set.

We were parked in some small town in Southern Oregon on election day. The front TV on the bus was CNN and the back TV was Fox News…but eventually they were both on CNN because a Canadian can only take so much Fox News. We ordered pizza and beer and watched Barack Obama destroy the competition. Good job, USA. You’re coming back.