for the crowd

Why so freaking serious, already?
October 23, 2008, 11:33 pm
Filed under: Events, Rambling | Tags: , , ,

That awesome time of year is approaching! Halloween, bitches. It was my favourite holiday as a kid, I’d get all worked up and festoon my bedroom with fake spiderweb, so thick you had to duck and dodge to get through. This year, in the spirit of things, I did it again, only less chaotic, but I still have problems sitting up too straight on my bed.

I think it’s a stupid sentence, if I were to say that costumes are a big deal on Halloween, but I’ll say it. Costumes are a big deal on Halloween. I think one of the best things to do during the holiday is going out and just seeing what people have done. I love people who make their own costumes, just because the take on things can be so original – even the people who do something on the fly, as long as it’s creative. Last year I had three costumes for three different events – I was a necromancer for my Halloween party (I put on a turban and festooned my house with signs for my going rate of raising the dead), I was a femme fatale for Halloween weekend (I put on a polka dot dress, elbow-length gloves and a fedora), and for actual Halloween night I actually went as Trent Reznor, circa 1994 – I stood outside the bar and had my friend pour cornstarch on me, and then rolled around in it to make sure I was completely coated. Then I got totally drunk (I was staying in character, right?) and made an ass of myself (also in character).

Unfortunately, there will be an unavoidable sight for me this Halloween.

(He freaks me out. Like he’s got something in his pocket and I never wanna find out what it is.)

It’s so weird – half the people who get dressed up are awesome and original, and the other half don’t put any thought into it at all. It’s like people who get tattoos – some put a lot of effort and thought into it, creating designs to showcase who they are and who they want to be, and everyone else picks a numbered picture off the wall.

Saying that I’m predicting that a good one in five costumed men I see at the bar is going to be the Joker wouldn’t be right. It’s not really a prediction. I know that they’re going to be everywhere, and I really dislike it. It’s on par with people who wait until the last minute not knowing what to dress as, and then cave and buy some fangs and fake blood and go as a vampire. Actually, it’s worse, because the Joker requires a lot more care in his costume than your run of the mill black-clad vampire. You have to find/order in/make that crazy suit, you need to do fake FX scars on your face and then plaster it with makeup. Two guys I know (none of them, I might add, fitting the requirement of being tall, blonde, svelte, good-looking and charismatic) recently had a discussion when I asked who they were going to be for Halloween. “I’m going as the late Heath Ledger.” “The Joker? Yeah, me too.” A few days later I called another friend of mine over my own costume predicament, and he said “I was thinking of going as the Joker.” Despite my pal’s relative attractiveness, stylishness, and charisma, I bleated in alarm. There is going to be an infestation.

Not only that, but you know half the men (over half?) dressing as The Joker will be, well, not up to par. Their costumes will be shoddy, they won’t even try to play around with their voice, they won’t even have an inkling as to understanding the character, and really, isn’t that just kind of insulting to Heath Ledger? I think he did a fantastic job, like most people – you just can’t watch that movie and say he didn’t, or you are just seriously in denial. (I have a fun joke of saying, indifferently, “He was okay” whenever someone asks me what I thought of Heath in the role – you’d be amazed, or maybe you wouldn’t, at the sort of reactions I get).

This year I’d planned to go as Harley Quinn, but then I scratched the idea. At first I was amused to maybe go as the Joker’s villainous escort, but then I was quickly annoyed when I realised just how many Jokers I would be seeing this Halloween (and as a result, the cost of a pre-made Harley Quinn costume went up – srsly, eighty bucks on ebay for a velveteen jumpsuit that might look like crap on me anyway? Really? And there is no way I’m going to make my own out of spandex, I’m not suicidal). Seriously. If you really love the character and could actually pull it off, then great. If not, though – if you’re just going as a shoddy version with bad grease makeup and a paunch, then why bother? I think I’ll personally ignore and snub any man I see dressed as the Joker this Halloween, unless he staggers up to me and greets me in that strange little voice. If you’re going to do it, go for it, completely.

I won’t be Trent Reznor this Halloween, but I’ll be a wolf girl, with a gigantic fur skirt and one damn ugly mask. I don’t care what girls do for Halloween – if they want to do the Mean Girls “slut rule” that’s fine by me, but I don’t need Halloween to be sexy – I’ve got the rest of the year for that.

You’ve got a little bit over a week until Halloween, so hurry up! Think of something. Go as your hero. Go as the thing you’re afraid of most. Strap some branches to you and go as an Ent or something, for chrissakes. I guess lots of people go out on Halloween to hook up – much like every other weekend, but they get to play with being something they’re not. It’s more fun that way, I understand, but I kinda wish people would have even more fun and play with it outside the bounds of being sexually attractive. (I’m not dumping on hooking up, casual sex, or any of those, I’m just sayin’ that something beyond the usual ‘sexy maid’, ‘sexy bunny’, ‘sexy angel’ (???), or ‘sexy pirate’ might be nice to see).

Actually, one of my best pals is demonstrating the best of not caring about being attractive and just wanting to have fun quite well, because she’s going as one of our favourite characters this Halloween – Old Gregg from the cult tv show Mighty Boosh.

And if you have no idea who that is, that’s okay. I have Youtube on my side.

“It’s attached to your rod, motherlickah!”

Anyway, Happy Halloween, kids! Hopefully I’ll post once again before the holiday, but don’t hold out for hope. Anyway, stay safe, and if you’re going out with friends, remember: there is no ‘I’ in ‘drunk’.


Fringe Fest 2008
August 22, 2008, 11:53 pm
Filed under: Events | Tags: , , ,

(from festival city

Today I thought I’d be a proper blogger and go out and do something and observe and take notes. Yeah, didn’t really work out that way. But whatevs.

After work today I drove down to Old Strathcona to check out the Fringe Festival. One of these years I’d really like to go and see some shows, but my parents usually aren’t interested in it, and they’d always be who I’d go with. All of the friends I have now are, well, hate to say it, but a little culturally out of it. They’d rather listen to generic rock music and bitch about classes during the school year and get drunk and hook up with each other than go see some decent improv or a book reading. Anyway!

What I really like about the Fringe is the crowd it brings. It’s a lot more eclectic than what you’d see at Capital Ex, and a lot more colourful. Like any outdoor display in Edmonton there were booths everywhere selling things from airbrush tattoos to palm readings to homemade t-shirts, all of which tempted my wallet, and I couldn’t fully resist their siren call. I picked up a few gifts and then loitered.

The Fringe is completely crazy and I never know what to do there. I always visited the Fringe when I was very small and was shepherded around by my parents, or when I am, well, this age, and sometimes a bit shy. There are tons of performances going on but I never try to figure them out. Instead, I stop and admire the street performers.

I didn’t have all day to wander – I wish I did – but I did have time to catch one performance by the most adorable Asian girl ever, named Billy Kid. Or Billie Kidd? Who knows. She had a bawdy sense of humour, was completely out there, and was pretty damn good with her magic tricks. She performed three in a row, and while everyone’s seen versions of the tricks she pulled (and she even showed us the whole ‘fake transfer’ move from one hand to the other that people who do coin tricks use – crap, wait, she told us not to tell anyone that she showed us that ;D) there were a couple stunts she did that were completely unexpected. Like suddenly causing oranges to appear. Or – and this was the finale – producing a melon from under her hat. (It was a cute hat, by the way… like a red bowler hat. Oooh. I want. It would make for such nice outfits).

Anyway, I had no problems with giving her five dollars at the end of the show. Everyone, if you watch a street performance, you should tip. Tip ’em nice. I mean, if you’ve got no money then whatever, the show’s on them, but honestly, if you do, part with a couple bucks. Those people make a living doing that, it’s something they love and they just want to be paid for the hard work they do. Also, not dropping a couple bucks in the hat is just kind of rude, though I guess the same could be said for people who show up on the street and start doing weird things in front of you and then demand money for it. IT’S ALL RELATIVE and whatnot. What I mean to say is, if you like the show, give ’em a couple bucks. If you don’t, don’t. I know that when I catch the last half of a show and then determine that the performer is sort of an annoying jerkoff, I just walk away. No harm done.

If you’re in Edmonton and haven’t gone yet, then what are you waiting for? It’s free to drop by and just look around, unless you want to donate a handful of change at the door. It’s a great atmosphere, and definitely one of the better representations of what Edmonton has to offer, artistically. So go! Maybe I’ll find someone during the weekend to go see a show with. The festival ends on the 24th, so get crackin’, peoples.

Hey, Stuff Goes On In This City

I have a valid excuse for not posting. Really. A friend of mine from the States came to visit for the past two weeks. Unfortunately for her, her first taste of Canada was Calgary, because I took her to see Trent Reznor. (Good show, by the way, even with the drum machine breaking down for a moment there). And I also annoyed the Hell out of her, probably, when every second thing I said was “Do they have [insert object/company/commercial/etc here] in America?” You know. Ketchup chips and et cetera. Apparently they don’t have the same angel in those Philadelphia cream cheese commercials where she is that we’ve got. And no Albert the manservant either. Or that really annoying strawberry-flavoured Mini Wheats commercial. Uh, anyway.

Beyond that, though, there’s nothing like someone showing up from out-of-town that forces you to rediscover and appreciate your own living space. I took her out to the Heritage Festival, Fort Edmonton Park, the Valley Zoo, the Telus World of Science to see the Bodyworlds Exhibit (pretty creepy and unnerving, but I definitely recommend it), and the Royal Museum to check out the Dragons exhibit. I also took her on a tour of West Edmonton Mall. To people that live here, the mall is just a mall, and I am usually among those puzzled and amused by the bewildering amount of tourists wandering around, until I realise our mall is equipped with a themed hotel, an amusement park, a waterpark, an ice skating rink… you get the idea. When my friend was here I even stopped to watch the sea lion performance. It’s a little too much. Apparently now Calgary is going to attempt to outdo Edmonton and build a bigger, better mall. So another friend of mine says. Who really knows if Calgary is that sad.

Anyway, another thing we did was attend this year’s Animethon. I usually attend every year, even though I inevitably just get annoyed. I mean, I’m a nerd and I know it. I’m friends with people who can’t stand “gamers” and so on, and usually carefully ignore my own weird-ass obsessions because as far as they’re concerned I’m still pretty cool and at least I shower. But I also have friends who are into pretending to be elves. Whenever I go to Animethon, though, I feel like I’m surrounded on all sides by crazy people who spend half their lives dressing up as people that only exist in a cartoon. Then again, whenever I go to places like concerts I feel like I’m surrounded by a bunch of idiots, and to go even further with that, whenever I go to a NIN concert I have to wonder why Trent has such a giant ratio of unattractive people for fans. I mean, can’t Nine Inch Nails fans go for a run, ever? This prompts me to turn to people I know and spitefully say, “Ah, the gothic subculture. One of the few places where it’s okay to be fat.” Wow, I’m a bitch. Oh well. Anyway, back to talking about the Animethon.

I missed last year’s because I was supposed to be attending the last day but, due to late flights and my inability to watch overburdened single mothers with babies struggle, I missed my flight and was stranded in Salt Lake City for a night. This year, Animethon practically robbed me at gunpoint, demanding a twenty-four-dollar entrance fee for Saturday. “It gets you into a lot of events” was the stern lecture I recieved when I expressed my disbelief at the price. Wow. That’s a far cry from the good ole days where you showed up with a donation for the food bank, and then would pay ten dollars to gain access to the vendors’ room if you wanted to. Also, they failed to give us our day passes; we had to go back ten minutes later when we realised this (because I asked the guy who was handing out booklets and schedules and he waved us by saying we didn’t need any such thing) and luckily they remembered us, but not before looking down on our ignorance (until I pointed out the mistake was theirs, though. So whatevs).

At least I recieved commendations for my bravery from a few fans, since I showed up in my new pair of black stiletto boots that could literally kill a man. One guy hugged me, and another, after I told him I was also wearing a corset under my dress, claimed that I recieved an Honourary Iron Man Award. Well, at least the majority of anime fans and the like, when all piled together, are really, really nice. My bitterness comes from the fact that I’ve known a lot of them that are just pricks and think they know everything, even about stuff they know nothing about, like, you know, life. Yeah.

What else to talk about? I can talk about seeing Bodyworlds. I admit to being incredibly freaked out, especially when faced with the pregnant woman. And the man that was set up in slices. Completely, utterly insane, and unapologetic, too. Very cool. I was hooked into wanting to go see it after a morbid episode where I was sitting down on my break at work to read the paper and read about the guy who was walking around at Capital Ex and The Taste of Edmonton mostly-naked with his musculature system painted on his skin. That was acceptable and normal until I looked at the photo and realised that the guy taught me in junior high. Mortifying.

The only thing I can say is that for big cultural events like, for instance, the Heritage Festival, I wish it wasn’t so goddamned expensive. It was still a lot lighter on my purse than Capital Ex was, though, especially its wine-tasting area. Yeah, they were selling little bits of food to go with the liquor and everything was sold by tickets, and one table was selling these cute, tiny little lamb pies for five tickets each. One ticket = one dollar. Five dollars for that? No thanks! I spent it on half an ounce of scotch instead. Yeah, I got pretty sloshed at Capital Ex, thanks for asking.

So that’s that! Edmonton. Lots of stuff going on here. But unless you pick wisely, it’s no fun if you’re broke. Psh. But let’s not end on a downer. Here’s a fun song to make everything better. And all that. I love this song right now. Not sure why. Heard it for the first time in a long time on the way to the airport because I was listening to the radio for once. Gasp.

“The moral of the date rape story, it does not pay to be drunk and horny”. Classic.