Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Wind in the Hallows

4:44am. The house is finally quiet and the day ends like it began with me lying in bed listening to the wind playing in the treetops. It’s been a long day, but I’m still a bit wired and I can’t fall asleep so here I am writing.

We had a most triumphant Halloween costume party tonight. We’ve been planning for weeks, buying decorations and making arrangements, coming up with ideas for games, prizes, and decorations.

I woke up at 8:30 this morning to a huge tree crashing down in our neighbor’s yard thanks to the Santa Ana wind that’s made its way from California to our side of the Island. I’m glad to host the winds over here because it’s given the firefighters a chance to get things under control over by San Diego.

I went back to sleep after making sure nothing hit our house, and didn’t wake up again until noon, then the race against the clock began. Even with the best planning there are things I always forget so I had Katy and Mark running out to pick up stuff all the way up to the party hour. They were a huge help.

Jessica and I worked on the decorations most of the day and it came out really well.

I’ll probably be picking the cobweb stuff off of my furniture for days, and I might still be finding little silver skull and crossbones at New Year’s, but every time I find one I’ll think back to tonight and smile. It looked great with the pirate flag Rog painted for us hanging as the backdrop to the food table, and my huge old dictionary doubled as a very impressive spell book.

We kept all the alcohol on the kitchen island and it’s a good thing judging from how the floor looked by the end of the night. There will be much cleaning going on tomorrow, but I don’t mind that part a bit. The more cleaning to be done, the more fun you know you had and this place is a mess!

I labeled the party “DeathFest 2007” and explained this was to celebrate the death of all the things we’d like to let go of in our lives this year. I wrote in the invitation that everyone should bring a list of the things they wanted to “put to rest” and we burned our lists at midnight in the firepit on the patio. I was impressed at how many people remembered to bring a list, and glad that I could provide a way for them to at least take a step towards letting go of things that were no longer serving them in their lives. It wasn’t quite the ceremony I pictured in my head, but I think we made our point under the just-past-full moon.

We went through five boxes of hors d’oeuvres like it was nothing. The Jello shots were a big hit, as were Katy’s “Black Death” shots. Our magician friend, Ray, worked the party beautifully, freaking people out with his tricks left and right. He’s excellent at his craft. There was a good mix of guys and girls, and I think everyone moved about pretty well. I didn’t see too many sitting in one place for long. That thing I read about putting food in one room and drinks in another works really well to keep people mingling.

The costumes were great! There were several pirates and fairies, Dorothy and Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz, and Gene Simmons in the Kiss make-up days. We had a geisha, lots of ren faire costumes since many of us are into that, a bee, a clown, Johnny Depp from Pirates, and a military guy. My costume was Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Even though the dress wasn’t quite as slinky as the dress in the movie, I think people got the point with the big pearl and diamond necklace, elbow-length gloves (big mistake to wear gloves as the hostess - I can’t tell you how many times I had to whip them off to deal with appetizers and party fouls) and the long cigarette holder that was kind of the hallmark. I had a lot of trouble getting my hair in the up-do, but I think it was passable. Mark was a Rabbi and Katy was a pirate wench. They both looked fabulous although Mark had trouble with the beard and finally gave up and ditched it.

Overall I think the party was a great success - high five! I may not have stuck with college long enough to get a degree, but I damn sure learned how to throw a party. It is definitely a lot of work, but at the end of the day, when you’re laying in bed listening to the wind and reviewing the night in your head, and you can’t get to sleep because it was all just so cool, it is totally worth every detailed effort.

Pictures here.

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