Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Happy Halloween!

November 1, 2014
Oakland, CA

For the past four years, in celebration of each Halloween since we've returned to California, we've attended the costume party thrown by our friends Dominique and John at their home in Oakland.  Scott is, bar none, the best at coming up with costume ideas that are creative, fun, reasonably easy to execute, not break-the-bank expensive and (usually) easily identifiable to others.  For some reason, though, the costumes he comes up with frequently involve me dressing up as a man, and usually a rather unattractive one, at that.  I gave up fighting it long ago. It's easier just to go with it. (Besides, it makes me look like a good sport!)  

This year, we decided to go as members of the '80s new wave band Devo, famous for their 1980 hit 'Whip it,' not to mention their signature red, energy dome hats (which we had to order from the official Devo fan website).  It's fun wearing something that looks like an upside-down flower pot on your head!

Q: Are We Not Men? A: We are Devo!

Every year, Dominique really pulls out all the stops with the decorations and food, including a fair amount of jello formed in Halloween-themed molds.  And as if that's not enough, she, John and their daughter always dress up in a creative and well-executed family costume.  Sadly, this was the first year that their adorable daughter, now 12, refused to dress in costume with her parents.  This was also the first year that S'Barkles the dog did not dress in costume.  All good things must come to an end, I suppose.

Our hosts, as Ray Rice and his abused wife
It’s really a kid’s party but all the parents come as well and everyone dresses up.  The kids are cute and there are always at least a few adults dressed in amusing, current pop culture-themed costumes.  

Vanessa, as the evil Cersai Lannister from the popular TV show 'Game of Thrones,' complete with own costume-appropriate wine goblet
Every year, one of the favorite party activities among the kids is always bobbing for doughnuts (suspended from strings on a beam on the patio).  I think some of the adults wonder when they are going to get a chance to play! 

Preparing to bob for doughnuts. 
Disclaimer: these doughnut pics are from 2012.  One really doesn't need photos of kids trying to eat doughnuts without using their hands every single year...
Coincidentally, this year was the tenth anniversary of their first Halloween party, just as it was the tenth anniversary of our now-infamous, blow-out Halloween bash before we sold the house and headed for Mexico.  Although John and Dominique are new friends since our return to the Bay Area whom we did not know ten years ago, by pure chance, they picked up right where we left off, throwing their first party the same year we had our last!.  It was a bit of a bittersweet milestone for me, especially as I had wanted to have an anniversary party commemorating that long-ago night that friends still talk about.  But Dominique and John’s party was more fun than ever this year, definitely proving to be a worthy and fun distraction that allowed us to get our Halloween fix!  

Now, to start thinking about next year's costumes...hmm, hoping to be able to reuse that Devo whip we bought for my costume this year...

More photos:
Scott's energy dome vodka jello "shot" before it completely collapsed
The annual pre-party photo at home

Things might have gotten a little out of hand with the Devo whip...

The bowl of collapsed energy dome vodka jello we brought to the party was a bigger hit than anticipated, especially considering that we had no shot glasses...
This friendly hombre kindly lent me one of the shot glasses from his bandolier
Just another Devo photo op

Playing with the creepy decorations...
Aaaaaannnnd, another successful Halloween is in the books!