Naturally, I'm a week late posting about my favorite holiday. But as often as I've been posting this year, it's no suprise.
It was suggested to me back in August that I should be a pirate for Halloween. In the past, I would've thought that was far too ordinary. But a friend of mine here at work, whose family puts together a haunted house in their backyard every year, said that this year their theme was going to be a pirate ship. But I still didn't sound like something I would want to dress up as.
Then I found out my granddaughter got herself a pirate costume, and she looked so cute in it I just had to join her (dressing as a pirate, not looking cute)
When I first saw the concept art for Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest's Davy Jones, I thought it would make an excellent costume, but I knew it was something I could never pull off. Even the "Professional" masks I saw in the Halloween stores looked like crap. I only recently found out that Bill Nighy(?) was completely covered with CGI effects in the film, as opposed to wearing prosthetics and makeup.
So I figured I go with a zombie/Davy Jones'-crewman-type pirate.
You can click on the pics for a closer look
The first thing I did was head to the Salvation Army to shop for costume pieces, primarily clothing that I could cut up and reassemble to fit my needs. I picked up:
- a white dress shirt
large pair of ladies' dress pants
faux suede "little black dress"
wide leather belt with large buckle
silk belt with tassle
white gauze ladies' pants
Because they were having a half-price sale that day, my purchases came to a grand total of $13.50.
And here's what I did with everything:
I cut the top off the sombrero (because it was too pointy) and stapled the brim to the sides of the hat. Then I spray painted the whole thing with a bronzetone & mossy green.
I cut the sleeves off the dress and slit it up the front to make a long vest.
I cut the collar and sleeves off the shirt, put it on backwards and cut a new neckline. It was kind of a shame to do that, since the shirt actually fit me, which is unusual. I have a tough time finding dress shirts that have long enough sleeves.
I cut the legs off of the gauze pants, and, thanks to the help of my lovely wife, sewed them onto the shirt for poofy sleeves.
The leather skirt was cut in half, and turned each half into a boot topper for my old army boots.
The leather belt didn't need any modification, and the silk belt ...um, I forgot to use.
I went to the beach for the first time all year to look for barnacle-covered shells and stuff. Found plenty of shells, but almost no barnacles. Lots of seaweed to choose from, though.
I took advantage of MaryAnn being out of the house one afternoon to bake my beachcombing treasures in the oven to dry them out. The house smelled wonderful. Not.
Once all my costume pieces were put together, I started aging everything with combinations of moss green, light green, slate blue-gray, rusty brown, and black acrylic craft paint.
At Michael's Craft Store, I found some really cool yarn that looked like seaweed.
I hot-glued shells, seaweed, fake seaweed, and some Spanish Moss to my costume.
I stayed up til 3am trying to finish everything.
Halloween morning: on to my face. The area around my eyes was a latex appliance designed to be used for a vampire look. I used Spirit Gum and liquid latex to put it on, and did the same with more shells and bits of the seaweed yarn, which blended really well with my beard.
It wasn't quite the look I was originally going for, but somehow it turned out better than I thought it would.
After I got all dressed up, I headed out. It was about 1:30 in the afternoon. There are a lot of people who know I dress up every Halloween, so I had to make my rounds. Unfortunately, my timing was a little off and it felt like I missed a lot of people.
By about 4 o'clock, I met MaryAnn at her daughter's house to start trick-or-treating with the grandkids. They somehow seemed less than enthusiastic about going out with us; they basically ran up and down the block (they live in a gated cul-de-sac) without giving us a chance to catch up. We stopped to have a bit of dinner so the kids could go out again after dark.
Pirates John & Gianna, and the scream twins Nicky & Mikey:
But MA & I decided not to stick around after dinner since we felt it was going to be a repeat of their earlier trick-or-treating. So we headed over to my parents' house. As usual, mom couldn't look me in the face without wincing, but still insisted dad take pictures of us.
Me & my lovely wench
I tried to give Keil some pointers on make up for his costume. He wanted to be Dr. Jeckyll/Mr. Hyde, so he shaved half his week's worth of chin stubble, and put half his hair in a ponytail and made the other half wild and stringy. He wore a black cape and tore one sleeve of his white shirt, and smudged fake blood on himself. We didn't stick around long enough to see the finished product.
We wanted to head back to our old apartment complex before it got too late. But only one of our old friends was around, so we didn't stay very long.
At this point it was 8pm, and we still hadn't heard about any places that were having costume contests or anything. My eyes were getting heavy. I wanted to take a nap. We decided to get something more to eat since our earlier dinner was somewhat unsatisfying. We went to The Good Steer for burgers. The place was practically empty, but the staff was all dressed up, so that was nice.
I was really getting tired (and maybe even a little cranky) by the time we left the restaurant. We couldn't think of any place else to go, so we went home. We trick-or-treated one of our neighbors, but the whole block was dead. It was around 9:15 that I decided to call it quits. I felt exhausted and was too tired to even think about heading to a club or something. I just wanted to get all the stuff off my face, which can take an hour or more to do.
To sum up my Halloween, I was happy with my costume, but I didn't see a single other costume anywhere that made me say "Wow, that's cool!", so the day was a little disappointing.
And here's a final word from Jamie: