Posts Tagged ‘party’

So a few days ago Cecil had his 1st birthday. Yes, that’s right, he has managed to survive his first year on this planet, and while I don’t think he had any great epiphanies about what he wants to do with his life just yet, I think I can confidently say he has had his best year so far. Also he got his first cupcake and was all WHAT IS THIS AND WHY HAVE YOU BEEN HIDING IT FROM ME.

We had a little party for him this weekend. It ended up being about 20 adults and 5 children (aged 9 months-8 years), not including ourselves, crammed in this little house. Cecil had a blast. Madeline was in heaven, except for the part where she got so over-excited we had to lock her in the basement for an hour, and Gus tolerated the whole affair.


…I wish I had some profound or witty observation on my first year of motherhood to add, but I don’t. It’s been a year. Parts of it have been amazing. Parts of it have been awful. Parts have been unforgettable, and other parts very dull. But overall it’s been great. And I expect this next year to be even better.


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For the past couple of days, rather than doing the usual things I do or even the interesting things I’m planning on doing, I have been making costumes.

Squid costumes.

This was just the prototype squid hat, made from this pattern from Instructables. It is only a beginning. I have made a Dark Priestess of Cthulhu costume, partly out of leftover fabric from my wedding dress. I have made two other full squid costumes, a Temple of Cthulhu (built on a portable coat rack) and tomorrow I will make the Mother of the Squid out of an old Ikea laundry hamper.

No, I have not gone into some mad HP Lovecraft fugue state. It’s for the show.

Yes, at the Torture Memos CD release we will be performing the complete Cephalopodae – A Ballet about the Spiritual Life of Squids. I, being the crafty one with the sewing machine, have been press-ganged into making costumes and set pieces.

Today I had some friends come over and help (I provided them with beer and fish and chips, don’t worry), but yesterday as I was working alone, cutting out tentacles, stuffing fins, measuring the coatrack which was to be dedicated to the Old Ones, I listened to B.J. Harrison’s excellent audiobook version of The Moonstone. Me and Ben both like his podcast, so we buy his audiobooks, because who doesn’t need audiobooks? and they’re well done and pretty cheap. The Moonstone, if you’ve never read it, is considered one of the first mystery novels. Wilkie Collins wrote it around 1850, and it has many plot elements which became cliches – a fabulous diamond from India, mysterious foreign strangers lurking around, the crime taking place in a country house in the middle of the night, a wise-cracking servant/lower-class person pointing up the failings of his “betters”, a misunderstanding between lovers stopping the mystery from being solved in the second chapter etc. What’s sort of awesome about it – what totally flew over my head when I read the original book at twelve or thirteen – is how all of those tropes (except, unfortunately, the racist ones*) are subverted in the course of the story. Wilkie Collins invented the cliches, but only as things to smash. It’s not his fault that later authors picked up on them and took them seriously.

So if you’re in the market for an audiobook, I heartily recommend the Moonstone. Ben listened to Tarzan of the Apes (also available at the link above), but I hate Edgar Rice Burroughs so I boycotted it. If you’re in the market for some entertainment next Friday night and you live in Toronto, come to the Tranzac and see my squid costumes. And my performance in the Torture Memos, of course.

*Bearing in mind that this was written during the height of Britain’s colonial period, it’s hardly surprising that Collins would think of the people of the Indian subcontinent as subhuman. They’re impressive and know lots of neat tricks, but they’re not people like the English characters are. It’s still disappointing, and it still grates, as does the constant paternalistic sexism (“No woman has any principles” etc), but the story is still good and the characters engaging.

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Last night I went all the way to the east end for what turned out to be a birthday party (not for me) at a little bar that just happened to be having a karaoke night.  The karaoke was hosted by an enthusiastic little woman about six inches shorter than me in a white pantsuit, high heels, and a green lame newsboy cap perched on a big head of straw-coloured hair.  She seemed to have been transported magically from New York in 1972.  She had a table full of funny hats and scary-looking prizes (a teddy bear that sang, a giant pale pink stuffed dog, some very cheap-looking cologne)  – none of which I won, but I didn’t buy any raffle tickets, so I can’t complain.  The bar was full of happy people From North Bay in tight jeans singing Shania Twain songs.  Good times.

I sang “Natural Woman” and “Time after Time”, drank too much, spent
more money than I should have, and had a blast.

There was also a fire-spinner performing out front.  She was actually on the same streetcar as I was on the way east, and I had ample time to wonder who she was and what she was doing.  You know, I’d be much more impressed by fire-spinning if it didn’t have such a goth-hippie vibe.  Seriously.  She was pretty much a goth hippie.  She was wearing a leather vest with many grommets in it, a school-girl kilt, knee socks with sandals, and had her hair tied up in a tank top.  (I know it was a tank top because I saw her tying it up on the streetcar.  Only hippies do that.)  She was accompanied by a shy-looking girl in those batik crossover pants who played a Celtic drum.

She was a good fire-spinner (as far as I can tell), and I’m sure she worked hard to learn the skill, but like I said…hand drums.  Leather vests.  Tank top on the head.  You know, if you’re performing a circus trick and you’re not a clown, you should either wear normal clothes or some kind of COSTUME.  If she had been dressed up like, say, the devil, or Betty Boop, or a pirate wench, it would have been cool beyond words.  That would have been something.  Instead she made me feel like I was at a folk festival in a small town about ten years ago.

I suppose it’s possible that those WERE her normal clothes, which is even sadder if you think about it,

Anyway.  Karaoke fun.  Ben didn’t sing but has vowed to learn Copacabana for next time.  I will bring the camera.

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It’s Sunday morning and I haven’t even made it to the couch (still in bed).  I went to a party last night and…well, you know.  I drank about seven beers over five hours, which is a pretty pleasant pace – you feel lit up but not falling over – and talked to some cool people about autism and fundamentalism and lots of fun stuff.

I had this nightmare Friday night which scared the crap out of me, though in retrospect it’s pretty funny.  I was living in an episode of the X Files – I know it was the X Files because David Duchovny kept driving by in a red convertible – and it was some kind of social-collapse dream, because I was trapped in an empty high school.  As long as I stayed inside I was fine, but every time I tried to leave the school, aggressive bullies pelted me with footballs – really HARD footballs – and I had to go back inside.  There was some other stuff with dogs, too, and the dream ended with me making a mad dash for the gates and going down under a hail of footballs. David Duchovny didn’t save me.  That woke me up at about 6 AM, so what did I do?  Got up and read some horror fiction…yeah, not a great idea.

So I went to bed fuming on Friday night, had scary and disturbing dreams, did nothing all day except hang around the house and watch Jesus Camp, then went to a party and drank a lot…that’s my weekend.

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