We Had Such Grand Plans

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This post is purely for me because nobody cares what I did for Halloween when we have a massive election going on. But I care and I can’t start my month off properly if I haven’t blogged and created a new banner. So here goes!

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“We Had Such Grand Plans” could be the title of this whole year. We make plans, they backfire. Over and over and over again. But  unlike the rest of 2020, my plans for Halloween this year actually sort of worked out. Well, mostly. The only part of my plans that didn’t work out was that Joon was at her mom’s this year and couldn’t really participate in my grand plan but I forgive her because she sent me a photo of herself wearing the costume I designed and it looked absolutely smashing on her. So there’s that.  I actually think I had a even better Halloween than ever because I got to do all my favorite things.The rest of my family might not agree but I was a happy camper.  And by favorite things I mean: making crazy costumes, carving pumpkins and eating Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Really, that’s all that matters to me.

First up let’s talk about costumes: The grand plan was I would be the mad hatter, Payam would be Volcano Man from the movie Eurovision: the story of Fire Saga, Bug would be a Plague Doctor and Joon would be a witch. Except when I showed Joon the sketch she promptly decided she wanted to be the Mad Hatter. Fine with me! She makes a better model for my work anyway.

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A week before Halloween we got to work. Bug created her plague doctor mask out of a balloon and paper mâché. I thought we were going to paint it black but once we saw how historical and interesting the newsprint was we decided to keep it unpainted as a political and historical statement. That was all Bug’s decision which I think is brilliant. Instead of throwing this mask away I think it will be an art piece we keep in the family for a long time.

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For the Mad Hatter I whispered up some cardboard similar to my crazy cake lady hat. That was such a fun costume. This hat didn’t turn out quite as well as the cake but it was still over-the-top silly which is really all I cared about. Of course Joon looks amazing in her thrift store suit, her crazy hair and the cane her dad put together for her.

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Payam’s costume is a hodge podge galleria of ramshackle cardboard glue-gunned together to look like armor. His helmet is made from San Pelegrino boxes. It was really fun to make. If only I maid a faux fur cape I think I would have really nailed it. But considering he only wore if for the photo I think I put in more than enough effort.

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Around four o’clock I called the family (Sans Joon) together to take a portrait in front of our garage. I’m thinking this is going to be the background for all family photos this year. No need to hire an expensive photographer for Christmas cards when I can use my handy dandy remote and my camera on a tripod. It’s not as magical but then neither has this whole year been. I think families standing in front of garages will pretty much sum up this year.

As you can see I am still learning out to use my remote. Hopefully I’ll be a little more natural at it for our holiday photos.

I want to say, and then we carved pumpkins but you can tell we actually carved pumpkins first. Whatever, it fits better here in the post.

 

I’m so happy Bug shares my love of carving pumpkins. Yes, it’s messy and slimy and gross but it’s also really fun!

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Bug made a pumpkin eating a baby pumpkin and I made a laughing scary mouth pumpkin. Not super creative but fun nevertheless.

We didn’t want to spend too much time on them because we had a photoshoot to do in the tunnels with Bug’s creepy plague doctor costume! And even though I planned all sorts of time to do it we still managed to run out of time and rush the whole thing. I don’t think I’ve ever done a photoshoot where I don’t feel rushed and don’t make a thousand mistakes. It’s kind of the nature of the biz since your subjects usually get bored way before you ever nail the money shot.

Anyway, I forgot my tripod… it was super dark and green from the weird tunnel lighting. In some ways I think it makes the shots better but I also know I could have done a way better job.

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I think it definitely checks all the creepy boxes.

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Pretty much encapsulates 2020 I think.

 

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And so that’s that! We came home, ordered pizza from California Pizza Kitchen, handed out a few candies with tongs and masks on and called it a night!

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And yes, we already voted. In case you were worried.

Warrior Dresses

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I’m not trying to be a fashion blog. You’d think I was with all these pictures of dresses lately. It’s just that we were supposed to go to a wedding in New York this past March but it got rescheduled to this summer (hopefully) due to COVID 19 and the girls have been itching to wear their fancy dresses. So when we decided to finally go visit my parents in the desert this last Wednesday, I offered to let them wear their dresses in exchange for a fun photoshoot. I thought they would pass, in favor of endless days of Minecraft but they actually jumped at the idea. I was so happy.

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No, I didn’t let them wear their dresses all day while we hung out with my parents. That would be silly. They wore proper attire of cut-offs and doc martins of course. It was just a quick little trip to the nearby hills in their fancy dresses. They did get their tulle petticoats full of foxtails. It was a bear to pull them all out one by one but to me, it was worth it. I love playing dress-up with little girls and taking photos. It’s my favorite thing to do!

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For kicks, the girls borrowed Payam’s new bow and arrow because there are not sissies in fussy dresses. They are warriors in fancy dresses with combat boots on under all that tulle!

Why does Payam have a bow and arrow you might wonder? It’s a product of our apocalyptic end-of-the-world thinking…We both have been guilty of crazy late-night amazon purchases to while away this quarantine madness (mental illness alert) and while I end up with bags of dirt and gardening pots showing up in boxes… he ends up with a bow and arrow. To each their own. It’s funny what GIANT AIR QUOTE these uncertain times END GIANT AIR QUOTE have done to each of us. You never know, you might have to learn how to grow your own food or shoot it with an arrow! I jest. But I’m sure everyone is going through something similar.

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It was such a breath of fresh air to go out to the desert to visit my parents. It felt like a vacation. Not only were all the wildflowers popping, but it was also just so nice to see people again! I’m still feeling really uncertain and scared every time we add someone new to the mix though. I don’t even know where I draw the line anymore. The girls have asked one friend over so I do the math on that…Do I still wipe the groceries down before I put them away? Not all the time. I’ve been really lax. We wear masks but our conservative friends make fun of us. It’s just a lot of uncertainty and worrying. And Payam is having surgery on his neck next week so I’m really wound up right now. Wound up to do a lot of nothing.

I didn’t realize it was getting to me until I saw my psychiatrist this week and she asked me how I’m doing and I burst into tears. I’m actually not doing as well as I thought I was. (I prematurely decided to lower my meds when the weather turned spring-ish) and now I’m paying the piper. It’s been days of feeling like a pressing impending doom is weighing on my chest and I have no motivation to do any of my usual creative outlets. So not me. And then I start giving myself guilt trips for suffering a priviledged white girl disease and it just gets worse and worse until I’m laying down in the middle of the day trying to sleep the day away.

So it’s a good thing I saw my doctor. But enough about me. I will get better. I always do. I am kick-ass at getting better.

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The girls are great. We have two teenagers in the house now that June turned 13. I was so worried it would be a bummer birthday because she refused to make plans and turned down all of my ideas. I got a big no on the birthday parade idea. :(

In the end, Joon was the wise one because we had Payam’s mom and uncle over and she requested sushi (such a treat!) and it was the perfect way to spend a birthday. Then the girls made a giant snickerdoodle cookie and Payam scooped a mountain of ice cream on top of it, stuck a candle in it and we sang like it was a proper birthday cake. I put out zero effort. Who knew! Birthday parties can actually happen where I don’t do anything?!!! Cah-Razy.

Obviously it’s the end of the world.

Just kidding.