Either everyone is buying me REALLY expensive birthday gifts (P.S., it’s my birthday), or this whole Halloween business is getting straight out of control.
A few years back, I dropped a ton of dough on this Snow White get-up:
For a larger group costume of Disney Princesses:
Sick costume, I know, but was it really worth $150 of my student line of credit hard-earned dollars??
Let’s just leave that one rhetorical.
In any event, if you’ve got a Halloween party this weekend and don’t want to be a sucker like I was, here are a few easy, punny costume ideas I curated (that’s what Hipsters say when they want to add value to something, right?) from various corners of the interweb that won’t break the bank:
So this weekend I confirmed a suspicion I have had for a very long time: I really, really suck at crafting.
To all of you ladies of Pinterest out there making holiday wreaths out of used q-tips, the classified section of the newspaper and the blood of a male unicorn; I salute you. Because I am straight-up hopeless with a glue gun.
Let’s back up a little bit, shall we? Remember this summer when I blogged about my experience at Adult Summer Camp? Well, this weekend I attended another event put on by that crazy group of PeterPan children: a pubcrawl… for charity.
I know. I thought this type of thing only existed in my dreams, too. But guys, it REALLY HAPPENED.
There were about 75 of us total, and we were supporting Santa Comes to Bay Street, a charitable organization that sponsors needy families during the holidays. The plan was to pub-crawl to various bars around Toronto, and on the way stop at Toys R’ Us to purchase gifts for the children we had been given to sponsor.
I was matched with an 8-year-old girl named Vivian. How amazing is that name for an 8 year old by the way? I wanted to buy her a fur, some pearls and a bottle of Chanel No. 5 because that’s what a bad-ass b*tch with a name like Vivian deserves.. but she said she wanted art supplies, so pencil crayons it was.
Anyway, back to the crafting part. We were encouraged to dress in festive costumes for the event, and were told that ugly Christmas sweaters would NOT do.
I had a group of about 6 friends going, and my friend Lia suggested that we all go as Christmas Trees. She had made this costume before and assured us that it would be really cute. (And, more importantly, would make for fantastic Facebook photos.)
Since it was pretty labour intensive, I was volun-told I would be assisting with the preparation.
I tried to warn her that arts and crafts were not my forte. Growing up, my mom banned almost all craft projects from our home due to their inherent messiness. For our creative endeavours, we were limited to the use of construction paper, crayons and safety scissors. Glitter was strictly prohibited. White glue was permitted only on special occasions; and under strict supervision.
Because of this, I became very insecure about my crafting abilities, and developed a strong aversion to arts and crafts in general. Plus, I’ll be honest, part of me always thought that once you start crafting, it’s only a matter of time before you turn into this:
But these tree costumes weren’t going to make themselves. so I had to suck it up.
So we set off on a Toronto-wide blitz of craft and fabric stores in search of supplies. Prior to this, I hadn’t been inside a fabric store since grade 7 Home Economics class, when I ambitiously chose to make a series of pillows spelling out “BREE” from a hideous blue and white floral fabric. Obviously this was a disaster and my letters were completely illegible, but I displayed them proudly in my room anyway. Once, I showed them to a confused friend, who asked: “Why do you have pillows that spell NERF? do you really like Nerf guns or something?”.
After that, I switched to shop class.
So basically, I had no idea what to do in places like Michaels and Fabricland. So many decorations! So much glitter! My mom would have an aneurism. Luckily, however, I was dealing with a crafting pro. At one point I asked her how we would get the decorative stars to stay onto our tree-topper headbands, and she looked at me, with dead seriousness, and said “You’d be surprised at all the things you can hot glue onto yourself.”
Indeed, I would be.
Soon we got to work cutting, trimming, and ironing while eating frozen pizza and listening to the Justin Bieber Christmas album. I know what you’re thinking. Best.Friday Night. EVER. But I’m sorry to tell you it was not. My lack of crafting ability quickly became a bone of contention, and we proceeded to spend the next 6 hours fighting and making passive aggressive comments at each other. It’s not my fault they don’t make proper left-handed scissors, Lia. And like, sorry I never learned how to decoupage; I was kind of busy getting a law degree.Sheesh.
Plus she kept “accidentally” burning my fingers with the hot glue gun. Likely story.
I didn’t take many pictures of the whole experience because, quite honestly I planned on repressing it.. but here’s an artistic rendering of what I looked like the entire time:
Despite the fact that it literally almost ruined our friendship, in the end I think we came up with some pretty sweet costumes:
Will I have a future in crafting? Probably not. But hey, at least I can say I gave it a shot. And I’ve still got the hot-glue gun scars to prove it.
Today is an extra special day in The Camel Life, because not only is it All Hallow’s Eve, it’s also… (dun dun dun……) my birthday!
That’s right folks, I came into this crazy world on October 31st, along with all the other little ghouls and goblins… and Rob Schneider and Vanilla Ice, apparently.
Embarrassing fact alert: My dad calls me “Pumpkin Toes” because of this. Any of you try this, and I will cut you.
I started my 27 19th year of existence as any sane person would: By going for a run…. in a hurricane.
Despite the forecast projecting gale force winds and heavy rainfall, I somehow convinced my friend Colin to come with me:
I don’t think he actually thought I was serious.
But guess whaaaaaaat??
Yes, I actually did wear this ridiculous outfit for a four mile run in downtown Toronto. And yes, I actually am that crazy.
I realize the cat ears are a bit of a non-sequitur but, as Colin said… #YOLO. Plus, my writing teacher has been encouraging us to try and use more “physical comedy”.. so this counts, right?
Let me tell you, after three years of living in this city, I’ve finally figured out the way to make friends here. It’s by wearing a motherfluffin’ tutu. So many people honked their horns, high-fived me, smiled and yelled “You go girl!” It was awesome!
But the best part of the whole thing was that Colin was basically horrified the entire time. He said he was cool with it, but kept running like 10 feet ahead of me and leading me down random, deserted routes with no traffic… I think to avoid being seen with me.
Like, where are we in this pic anyway?
Is this even the GTA?
Just kidding. He was actually a really good sport about it. And I wasn’t even the weirdest person we encountered. We do sorta live in the hood, which means you can always count on someone crazy to take the spotlight off you.
I even got hit on aggressively by two hobos. I guess at my age, you take what you can get eh? 😉
In retrospect, although I looked awesome, a tutu may have not been the best choice in the rain. That sh*t soaks up so much water it’s ridiculous. By the end of my run I felt like I was carrying an extra 15 lbs on my midsection. Maybe I’ll remember that feeling when I’m stuffing cupcake #17 into my face later today.
………. Probably not, though.
Well, off to enjoy my favourite holiday/day of the year. And in the meantime, here’s a little playlist of indie Halloween jams that you can rock out to at your Halloween party and immediately up your hipster cred.
Be warned though, none of them are actually about Halloween. They just have Halloween words in the titles. They’re probably actually about feelings.
(And this one isn’t really indie.. but it’s got Nicki in it, so still counts).
Question of the Day: Do you love Halloween like me?
……..Or is it one of those random, weird Holidays you could take or leave.. like National Leftovers Day… or Sneak some Zucchini Into Your Neighbour’s Porch Day? (Not a euphemism.. real holiday. See: http://urbantitan.com/10-weird-holidays/)
So no one guessed what I was going to be for Halloween. Guess that’s cause no one cares I made the clues too hard.
If you couldn’t already tell from the title of this post, I was Nicki Minaj!
Or, as her friends (and crazy inner voice) sometimes call her.. Roman:
Let’s back up a bit first though, shall we?
Pulling off a Nicki Minaj costume as amazing and true-to-life as this one was no easy feat. First I had to find the perfect wig and accessories:
Then, I had to scour the mall along with all the other last-minute WhoreHall-o-weeners to find the outfit. The tank top and leggings are from American Apparel (which was basically extortion. $50 for leggings? I am wearing them every day to justify this) and the tutu I had from last year when I was a ballerina:
“Upcycling” at its finest.
Tutus are amazing, by the way, and should totally replace Spanx. They circumvent all that uncomfortable squeezing and smoothing by simply covering your entire midsection with layers of fluffy pink tule.
Then I spent a good 2 hours putting makeup on:
Seriously. I had so much makeup on that it actually hurt my face. I don’t know how b*tch does it.
In the end I think I pulled off a respectable Nicki. Although I was no Sophia Grace…
I was all ready to go and then… disaster struck. I opened the fridge to get my bottle of wine for the party, and it tumbled off the condiment shelf, cascading towards the ground. I dove to save it like a wide receiver, screaming “Nooooooooooo” in a sort of slow motion, distorted groan… but it was too late. It hit the ground and smashed into a million pieces, the wasted sweet nectar spilling all over the floor. It felt like this scene in The Spy who Shagged me when Austin Powers drops his Mojo.
I realize that this analogy is actually sad on many levels.
Since lapping it up would have been too dangerous (even for me), I was left to pick up the pieces.. both literally and figuratively. I mourned all of the good times we could have had together while sweeping. That particular bottle was extra special to me because, while buying it, I had bonded with the checkout lady at the liquor store over my nails.
She complimented me on my great manicure, and I was like “oh, It’s not actually a manicure, it’s these new Sephora nail polish strips”. Then she was all “Cool! it’s perfect for Halloween, without being too over the top”. and I was like “that’s EXACTLY the look I was going for!”
………And then the guy in line behind me got pissed off. So we parted ways. But I’ll always have the memories.
I searched my fridge for something to take its place, and found half a bottle of vodka in my freezer. I worried that it might no longer be good, because, as Lucille Bluth taught us, if you don’t drink the whole bottle after you open it, it goes bad.
But I am happy to report that all worked out OK. Depending on your definition of “OK”..
My friends were dressed as “birds of a feather” and luckily tolerated having Nicki in their presence even though that makes no sense and would never happen IRL.
After a little pre-game, where I forced everyone to listen to “My jams” while I rapped (badly), we hit up a Halloween party at the Toronto hipster bar Parts and Labour.
I had a few reservations going in, given that the theme of the event was “A Smithfits Halloween”; a tribute to british indie-rockers The Smiths and horror-punk group The Misfits.
I wasn’t quite sure how Nicki and all of her VaVa Voom would fit in.. but agreed to go anyway.
Man, they took this theme seriously. Those who weren’t dressed as Danzig or Morrissey had cool, indie costumes… like John Travolta from Pulp Fiction or Scully from the X-Files.
The downstairs bar, which is usually a sweaty hip-hop dance party, had been transformed into an emo post-punk shoegazing fest, full of kids with painted skull faces swaying to “There is a Light That Never Goes Out.”
And I’m just there in my tutu, like “Can we get some SuperBass up in here?”
Morrissey would not have been impressed.
Anyway we bailed pretty soon to get poutine. Then stood on Queen Street West trying to hail a cab for almost an HOUR. Torontonians are mad serious about Halloween. Mad.
Then, when I got home I watched last week’s episode of Parks and Recreation which made me CRY LIKE A BABY.
And as I sat there, eating my saline-tinged french fries, openly weeping over Lesley Knope and Ben Wyatt’s engagement… I thought maybe, just maybe, this is a new low for me.
Then I remembered the smashed wine bottle.
Sigh. What could have been
Question of the Day: Did you celebrate Halloween this weekend? How? If not, what are your plans for Wednesday?