Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Got Milk?

So yesterday was Halloween, and AJ and I went out to the Castro. No we didn't get shot at - at least not with a gun (plenty of cameras shot us though!)

Strangely, this year was probably the most mellow of all the years that AJ and I have gone out in the Castro. In the past, it's been crazy packed, but this year was rather mellow. Well, if you don't count the 9 people who were shot at. But since we weren't there to witness that, it was mellow to us.

I have been stressing out over Halloween for the past two months. Every year, I feel the pressure to make a costume, any costume. At first the pressure is to out do the previous year. But soon I let go of that ambition and I would be happy with just a decent idea. In the end I usually cobble together something at the last minute, and this year was not different.

AJ says that he comes up with bad ideas, so he doesn't even try to come up with anything. Instead he let's me come up with an idea - and then he helps with the execution. In the past we've always gone as a costume couple - that is, our costume related to each other. We've gone as Milli Vanilli (Girl You Know, it's true), as the Wham (Wake me Up... Before you Go Go), The guy on the Pringles container (AJ was Regular, I was Cheez-Um Flavored), and last year we went as crayons (AJ was Red, I was Yellow).

This year I was at a loss. The only thing I could come up with was boxes of cereal. I had ambition plans to build huge boxes of cereal, complete with packing styrofoam spilling out of the top of the box as if it was the cereal itself. AJ would go as FRANKENBERRY and I would go at BOOBERRY.

But alas it was not to be. Ever ambitious, I bought the cardboard the day before halloween, and we ended up watching Mission Impossible III that night instead of working on the costume. It was down to the wire.

So an hour before AJ got home, I had a change of heart. We were going to go as Milk Cartons instead. AJ and I were going to be the "missing child" on the back of the carton and things would be peachy keen (no makeup!).

AJ seemed incredulous that we could build two milk cartons and have time to go out and enjoy ourselves. I had faith though. I can do wonders with cardboard, an X-Acto blade and a glue gun. I didn't go through four years of Art School for nothing.

So after a quick dinner (mmm. homemade moons-over-my-honey roasted turkey sandwiches) we got started. It was 8pm.

I had mocked up a quarter scale model of what the milk carton should look like before AJ got home, and so we proceeded to measure and scaled it up to 100% on cardboard. We only had a limited amount of cardboard, so there was no room for error.

We measured once, measured twice and cut once. I showed AJ how to score the cardboard with my bone folder, and then I proceeded to glue gun together the pieces, as we rushed to get out the door.

I had also previously printed out the MILK CARTON copy (I decided to keep the design completely utilitarian and plain - mostly because I didn't have time to design anything fancier), and after the cartons were assembled, and the head/arm holes cut out, we glued on the MILK CARTON graphics.

It was done. And it was only 9:15pm!

The Castro seemed pretty mellow, and to our surprise, we were a huge hit. We have never had that many people ask us for pictures (people started to ask us if they could take our picture before we even got to the Castro!). It seemed that we were able to get around fairly easy because of the bulk of our costumes. People saw us coming!

Strangely, and this happened a lot last year - we were quite popular with the busty women. Large breasted women seem to love us, and many asked to have their picture taken with us. We, of course, obliged.

At one point we had our photo taken, and the guy came up and asked us our names and said he was from the Chronicle. He said to check sfgate.com - but alas we never made it on the photoslide show. Oh well. It was exciting to be asked.

This year's costumes were decent, but nothing stellar. We missed a chance to take a picture with the Fat Albert gang (including MushMouth), but we did snag a photo of the group of flight attendant drag queens, the group of cocktail drinks, and my favorite, the bagged Spinach (now with e.Coli!!!!).

I love topical slightly offensive costumes.

Strangely a few people were offended by our costume. I guess if you had a missing child, our costume would not be funny. Luckily it was only one or two people who seemed offended or saddened by it. We did have to explain our costume to a few (very drunk) people and a few people seemed obligated to hit our costume. Why does wearing a large cardboard box give people the permissions to hit you?

Most of the Asians out on the streets seemed to get a kick out of the type of milk I was as well. But AJ looked incredibly adorable walking around in the milk carton. Maybe it was the way his head was sticking out with the glasses, but I swear he was a walking cartoon character....

And in the end it was a good Halloween. We walked back to our apartment and as we started to open the gate and climb up the stairs, a car drove by saw us, rolled down their windows and asked if they could take our picture. We obliged, of course, pleased that even though the party was over, we still had people wanting our photos.

On getting home I immediately logged on to SFGATE.com to see if they had uploaded our picture (miraculously fast). AJ scoffed at me (with good reason, as they obviously did not have time to upload them). And that's when we found out about the shootings.

So this might be the last year for Halloween in the Castro, and I can't say that I blame anyone. Actually, no I CAN blame someone - I can blame the fool that brought a gun and shot at the 10 people. Our experience was mellow - we were completely clueless as to what happened when it happened. On the way home AJ and I walked right by where the shooting occured and completely obliviously, we asked "why the heck are all the police here in riot gear?"

I used to live right in the heart of the Castro. It was chaos and the neighborhood always got completely wasted. Worse, each year has seemed to have less gays and more annoying bridge and tunnel straight people coming in and trashing the place.

But I'd be lying if I said that I would NOT miss it. I love the energy, the costumes, and though I stress out about it, I love coming up with an idea for the costume and making it. I can blame my friend RITA for that - as beforehand I was never a huge Halloween person. But she showed me how fun it was to make a costume and dress up.

Next year though - if they don't cancel Halloween in the Castro, I'm totally planning early. I'm going to start making the costume at least a day ahead of time.....

9 Comments:

At 6:13 PM, Blogger Felisa said...

I love it! The last picture is so sweet!

 
At 6:16 PM, Blogger Felisa said...

Also! In junior high, my friends and I went as Crayola Crayons! We used that colored butcher paper found in every high school across the country and made simple tubes for our bodies (with armholes) and cones for our heads. We decorated the tubes with surprisingly accurate lettering and designs and away we went! The only thing we hadn't considered were curbs: stepping up and down. We didn't really have enough clearance in the tubes, so at first, they started to rip a little at the bottoms (kind of like side slits on a narrow skirt), but we didn't want them to rip further so we resorted to hopping onto and off of curbs.

I kind of want to do that costume again!

 
At 10:46 PM, Anonymous Julie said...

I bow down to your mad glue gun skillz!

 
At 11:31 PM, Blogger jackhonky said...

I HEART my GLUE GUN. I used to have a small one, but I lost it, so I told AJ to get another one for this project. I'll never lose this one again. I forgot how awesome GLUE GUNS are.

Miracles can be created with a glue gun or fabric glue. I kid you not.

 
At 11:37 PM, Blogger jackhonky said...

Felisa, I have to admit, we took liberties with our crayon costume. Check it out.

 
At 11:45 AM, Blogger Felisa said...

Irvin, that's creative and so much more comfortable than the butcher-paper tubes! Alas, we did not go as far as coloring our faces. I tried that one year in SF: I was dressed as Smurfette. I don't know, but the blue body paint was s-t-r-e-a-k-y.

 
At 8:41 PM, Blogger Jon said...

That's a cute costume.... but admit it, you wish you went as the crocodile hunter like I did!

Halloween is all about bad taste- there was one year where my Korean friend suggested I dress as a Japanese soldier and she would dress as a comfort woman...but that was too distasteful, even for me. ;-)

 
At 9:09 PM, Anonymous Karen said...

Adorable photos - I'm glad that you got Ben to take the pics on your way to the Castro party!

 
At 12:34 PM, Blogger Rita said...

Aww . . .

Wistful. And vicarious(ly happy).

YAY! AWESOME AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love,
r

P.S.
Felisa, as Stella can attest, the penguins had to do quite a bit of curb hopping last year, too. Hanh's suggestion was that we go as "sexy penguins"--i.e. wearing the penguin heads but with short, black & white cylinder bodies and our legs sticking out, dancing-soup-can style--would've taken care of that. But...sexy penguins???

:P
r

 

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