pushing up the daisies 2021.

This weekend I went to Pushing Up the Daisies 2021 and it was everything I hoped for and more. I was seriously very excited about it which could have set me up for extreme disappointment but luckily it was great and no one was disappointed.

LOVIN IT.

Pushing Up the Daisies 2021 was held at the Historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery. The event is always held there and it needs to always be held there or else it’s not Pushing Up the Daisies. Maybe it seems like an “odd venue” but I think it’s the best venue of all time. If I was dead and buried there I would be glad that living people paid to be there and came to party with me. It’s just the highest level of respect, wanting to party with someone. And showing up for that party. Even if they’re dead.

I wish the dogs were still there.

Last week I spent a lot of time thinking about and getting pumped for this event. I planned my outfit, my snacks, the ways I was going to entertain myself. It was my music festival for the summer, I guess. Since I don’t recognize or have any interest in any bands in the Gov Ball lineup anymore. I was mostly just excited about being outside and listening to live music. The outside world and bands playing music both make me really happy.

So I was there all day mostly alone. I laid on my beach blanket and wore a bathing suit because everywhere is the beach and I don’t care what anyone says about that unless they agree. It was a really, really nice day. The sun was so bright and warm. An impossibly perfect spring day.

IMPOSSIBLY. PERFECT.

Like so perfect that the thought of the possibility of more perfection in the future as the summer approaches makes it EVEN MORE PERFECT.

It was great. And the bands were great! GREAT GREAT GREAT.

First up was Sofia Oro. I thought she was super talented but what do I know, really? Either way I was entertained and she did awesome covers of Wicked Game by Chris Issak and Criminal by Fiona Apple. Also she was only 17!

Wow. What a way to start the day and it was only 1:30pm.

Sofia!👏🏻

Next up was Rockstar Racecar from Bloomfield, NJ. They were introduced as from Montclair but then they were like “Actually Bloomfield but no one cares about Bloomfield so we say ‘Montclair.'” I would like to submit that I DO care about Bloomfield and acknowledge that it is a different, separate place from Montclair. Thx.

I enjoyed them! The one guy had blue hair which is always fun. In my notes I wrote that they had a song about Coney Island and how much they like it and I personally hate Coney Island LIKE A LOT but I did like the song.

Then I got super into my snacks and taking pictures of myself and I stopped paying attention and taking notes for a while. The following bands performed during that time: Steel Press, Viktor.Digital, Pynkie 5, and Morningside Lane. Although I wasn’t FULLY paying attention at this point I do know that it was all enjoyable music and I would surely return to listen again.

Thinking a little bit harder about it I do fully remember Pynkie 5 because the gal was wearing THE CUTEST OUTFIT and if anyone ever tries to tell you that outfits don’t matter they are IDIOTS.

Then the clock struck 5 and it was time to transition from the day session into the night session.

My boyf joined for the evening sesh and I was 💕👏🏻🤗

Puppy Pile started off the evening sesh, and I kind of remember what they were like but mostly I just got stuck on thinking about their name, Puppy Pile, and thinking about a pile of actual puppies. And this made me glad. So thank you, Puppy Pile.

Hudson City Rats were up next and they’re always fun. I enjoy their instruments and their vibe and their beards. Thank you for your service.

The CROWN JEWEL, if you will, of Pushing Up the Daisies 2021 was Jersey City’s own Desir Decir. Yay! Love them! LOVE THEM LOTS. Glad to see them back in the world! I’m glad to see everyone back in the world post COVID and they are part of and encompass everyone so good to see ya Desir Decir.

Going into the day I thought the last band was going to be The Jack Moves, who are also very fun. But then it wasn’t them and I was confused. Did I invent that The Jack Moves would be there in my mind? It wouldn’t have been the first time I invented something in my mind that simply wasn’t true. But I returned to @rockitdocket on Instagram to confirm and didn’t see them there but clicked over to @jcmusicscene and there they were tagged in a post on April 19 of this year promoting Pushing Up the Daisies. So I’m not crazy…well I am but at least not about THIS particular thing. Whew. Guess they just couldn’t make it. We’re all human, after all.

Anyway the last band ended up being Lapeche and I’m sorry but I was very tired and already at home by that point. It was a long day! I’m sure they were great though. Shout out to Lapeche, I’ll catch you at the next one.

BECAUSE COVID IS ALMOST OVER SO THERE WILL BE MORE, A TON OF “NEXT ONES” AND I CANNOT WAIT.

Pushing Up the Daisies 2021 was a great time and I think everyone there would agree. If they don’t we don’t need them.

I really didn’t take many pics of the show and only have silly ones of myself, like this. Sorry.

The cemetery looked great mostly because helpful local folks have been volunteering for “Wake and Rake” events on Saturday mornings for the past few weeks! They awoke and were raking and also doing other types of groundskeeping to really make it super nice for all of us.

Thanks everyone, you did a fantastic job with a valuable public service and I salute you.

YOU, yes YOU, can keep an eye out for future Wake and Rakes here. If they set more up I think I’m going to do it some Saturday soon so maybe I’ll see you there! Usually there are goats that trim the grass and maintain the grounds and I’m not sure what’s up with them so I guess people are the goats for now.

Thank you everyone for a lovely, sunny, snack filled day in the cemetery I can’t wait to do it again soon.

snowfolx roundup.

I’m here today to present to you a snowman roundup. Maybe I should say a snow PERSON roundup? Or snow FOLX? I’m gonna go with snowfolx, that sounds fun. This is a snowfolx roundup, you’re welcome.

Watching over the Citibike rack by Van Vorst Park.

It has snowed a metric shit ton this winter but according to the forecast there won’t be snow for the next week AT LEAST so I think that calls for some reflection. Hopefully the snow currently on the ground will melt quickly and the snowfolx will soon be a distant memory.

My favorite pic of snowfolx taken by me.

But what a fun memory they are! I hate winter and snow but I actually do really enjoy snowfolx. Whenever I walk by one on the street or in the park it truly makes me smile. I think because snow disgusts me so intensely, it’s a nice feeling to see that someone has done something creative and even ARTISTIC with it.

Abstract and colorful snowfolk on a stoop in downtown JC.

Like, “snow is here and it sucks and is terrible but let’s USE IT TO MAKE ART,” is truly a brilliant and life changing idea.

Lost an eye. 😬

Snowfolx for pres.

Or probably more accurately, people who build snowfolx for pres.

TINY BABY SNOWFOLK ON FROZEN POND AND THEREFORE THIN ICE!

Snowfolx are most likely all built by children, but I know there are some adult-imagined snowfolx out there. If I didn’t hate snow so much I would make some!

Classic three balled snowfolk in Van Vorst Park.

But I hate snow and want it to die and don’t want to spend any time with it unless I’m skiiing and even then it’s a tenuous relaish.

ADORABLE MINIATURE MAILBOX SNOWFOLK.

So it’s just cool to see these snowfolx around the town and I wanted to give them some recognition and appreciation and show them my support. Winter is tough and hard and sad and stupid but snowfolx give me something to giggle about and be grateful for and I appreciate that.

A dog peed on this snowfolk in Lincoln Park. 😬

THX SNOWFOLX XOXO.

xmas cookies.

I spent a big chunk of the last two days making Xmas cookies and I’m going to take a moment to reflect on that.

Making Xmas cookies is pretty hard and I’m very tired and also my back hurts. It’s enjoyable but it’s also very, very hard, you guys. I need to express how hard it is and how tired I am.

It is so hard.

This year I made an actual plan, too. Which should have made it easier. And it did! In years past I was like, “I have ingredients, I will make cookies.” And that was it. I just went for it without much thought.

And I never had enough time. I was always rushing around before my dad came to pick me up like, “HOW ARE THESE COOKIES NOT DONE YET?’ WTF?! WHY IS THIS MY LIFE. I AM A FAILURE.”

But this year…NO! I was a NON-failure.

Cookie level: Expert/Non-failure

Yesterday morning I went for a run because I do that now and while I ran I developed the cookie plan/mantra of “sugar cookies-peanut butter cookie dough-banana pudding-take a break and drink coquito-and watch Prom on Netflix-bake peanut butter cookies-then double chocolate peanut butter cup-then fudge and fudge is so hard-then Russian tea cookies-then sleep.”

So it was laid out. And it was time to begin.

sugar cookies.

Sugar cookies are the only baking thing I’ve mastered so far.

I call the ones I make “Shan’s Sugar” and I think that’s quite nice. I used a star, ornament, and Xmas tree cookie cutter. I got some GOOOOOLD sprinkles at Target and I was pumped AF to sprinkle them.

This is the recipe.

peanut butter cookies.

These cookies are an Xmas tradition in my extended family and I think probably in the extended world.

You make the dough first and then put it in the fridge and wait two hours so in the interim I made banana pudding.

They’re like…pretty simple? But did not turn out. And I was pissed.

So pissed that I woke up early again today and made MORE dough and put it in the fridge for TWO MORE HOURS OF MY LIFE. This second batch came out better so I threw out most of the shitty burned first batch.

Ugh.

banana pudding.

Banana pudding is not an Xmas cookie but I did make it. I made this Paula Deen version of banana pudding for a Friendsgiving in November. IT WAS A HIT. Even though Paula Deen sux.

My boyfriend commanded that I make the banana pudding for him since I wouldn’t be home at our apartment for Xmas so I was forced into it.

JK I loved every minute.

JK I didn’t but I did add Oreos also at his command.

And that was a pretty good idea.

break time.

After not really doing much I had to take a break.

I sipped on some coquito that my boyfriend got off of Instagram and watched The Prom on Netflix.

It was fine. Any musical will charm me as long as there is dancing and fun costumes.

Any coquito will also charm me.

double chocolate pudding peanut Reese’s cookies.

After the break I did bake the peanut butter cookies but as I said they pissed me off so moving right along.

This was my first time making these double chocolate pudding Reese’s cookies and by the time they were done I felt sick from taste testing and also eating raw batter I licked from empty bowls so I haven’t gotten to taste them yet.

It seems like they’ll be delicious! I also had some fun cutting up the special seasonal nutcracker Reese’s because why wouldn’t I?

These cookies were made with dough that was already put together so that was interesting and stuff.

fudge.

Fudge is hard as hell to make and super labor intensive. As a kid I was OBSESSED with Xmas fudge that my Grammie made but I was always thinking, “Why does she ONLY make this at Xmas?!”

BECAUSE MAKING FUDGE SUCKS.

My first attempt at making fudge the regular way was a huge failure, but last year a kind and benevolent client of mine emailed me this recipe. It’s a bit simpler and therefore probably idiot-proof.

So it’s how I make fudge now. And my dad likes it and he is the Fudge Judge for all the world. Believe it.

russian tea cakes.

After I made the fudge I was exhausted and pretty much died so I had to save the Russian tea cakes for this morning.

As a kid the Russian tea cakes were a fav for me. I don’t really know why but I do think that I went through a phase where I was into anything vaguely “Russian” because I was trying to connect with my Eastern European roots. Like I got really excited learning about tzars and shit. Czars?

Anyway, I made these a few years ago and I felt “meh” about how they turned out, but this year I think I did okay!

Well…after the first batch when I didn’t have enough flour in them. I even followed the recipe. I swear I did. But the dough looked suspect and I was right.

Ugh. Trash.

After that, i added more flour and I did okay.

Ready to share!

So that’s my cookie story and I’m sticking to it. I would ask like, “What Xmas cookies do you like to make?” but no one ever answers so I give up.

xmas wrapping.

I’d like to discuss xmas wrapping. It turned into a more interesting activity this year, due to the fact that I’m trapped in my home and looking to turn anything into an interesting activity.

A full 13 years ago (WTF?!), I started my first adult job in Manhattan as a Production Assistant on the show “Car Wars with Funkmaster Flex.” The office was located on 21st or 22nd or something, and 6th Ave. You may be aware that on 6th Ave in that area there is a CONTAINER STORE.

I had never been to The Container Store! My boss sent me there one day for some kind of nonsense but I didn’t even care because I WAS GOING TO LOOK AT CONTAINERS OF ALL KINDS.

It was December, so they of course had all kinds of Xmas stuff out. But one of those Xmas things was an ENTIRE CART dedicated to Xmas wrapping. A whole little cart you could keep in an extra room in your house and just use for present wrapping because you really had your shit together and so many presents to wrap.

And also you had a whole extra room in your house.

I truly aspired to one day possess this xmas wrapping cart. I could just see myself as a stay at home rich person, wearing cashmere leisure wear with an apron because I was also baking cookies. I had a ton of stuff to do to prepare for the holidays but I made it look perfect and effortless. This was my future!

This was not my future. Despite not trying very hard I never got rich! In fact quite the opposite. Wow, what a shock.

So for many of my adult years I half-assed xmas wrapping. Most of the time I just brought my gifts home to my parents and wrapped them with paper my mom already had. It seemed like a waste anyway, because the paper only gets torn off and discarded. It’s far from sustainable and therefore not trendy.

Listen, I’m glad “sustainability” is now in everyone’s consciousness because it’s important, but it’s also fair to call it a “trend.” Because it is. For now.

Anyway, I definitely didn’t sustainably wrap presents this year, if that’s what you were wondering. I actually went super hard and really wanted to get a lot of materials so I could have a lot of fun. I needed an activity. I NEEDED TO ENTERTAIN MYSELF. I went to “Wondershop” at Target and got a ton of shit.

THESE. ARE. AVOCADOS. IN. SANTA HATS.

Bags and wrapping paper and bows and labels! I wanted to get ribbon but I drew the line there, because it’s pretty expensive for not a lot of ribbon. I think.

I didn’t really buy wrapping supplies with certain gifts or people in mind either. I just bought what I loved and piled it all into a pile, Grinch style but I wasn’t throwing it off a cliff.

I was bringing it home to throw all over my floor so I could choose to wrap presents based on my whim at that moment.

A WHIRLWIND

Unfortunately I don’t have that wonderful gift wrap cart I once aspired to, and my gift wrapping supplies are stored in a box in my hallway on top of some other boxes and everything is really a mess. I really don’t have enough room in my house for all of my fun shit.

I’ve been wrapping presents a little at a time because wrapping hurts my back A LOT. Again, I do think that the cart would help with that because it would allow for me to stand and wrap in a designated wrapping space. Just like a stand up desk!

Even though my back hurts I’ve really been enjoying it. It’s calming to roll out paper, and cut the paper, and tape the tape, and pop on a bow. Then you’re done! And you can wrap the next one. It’s even fun putting gifts in bags, and I enjoy the satisfying “fluff” of tissue paper; getting it just right.

My back hurts 😔

I hope you enjoy your xmas wrapping as well. It’s a year unlike any other and we may not get the chance to really enjoy dumb stuff like this again because we’ll be too busy once we’re allowed to leave our houses for real. You know what I mean.

what to wear during your holiday break vol. 2.

One of my favorite posts to put together last year was “what to wear during your holiday break” and now I’m back for more.

As you may know this year was a completely different year from last year and we all spent a ton of time sitting around our houses on our asses. We’ve been wearing lazy clothes while hiding in our houses this entire year and we’re not going to stop anytime soon.

Overall I’m not really a proponent of lazy clothes. I like to “look cute” and “get dressed up.” I really, REALLY miss wearing black tights and dresses and makeup and real shoes. This is really, really hard for me.

But I thought it would still be fun to celebrate some lazy clothes because I got quite a few new lazy clothes this year and they’re kinda fun!

So here we go.

what to wear during your holiday break while you’re reading a book.

Yes I’m reading Home Body. Every single one of a certain kind of gal is currently reading it as we speak. I guess I’m just that kind of gal.

The kind of gal that likes amazing poetry without really knowing that much about poetry. But it’s amazing.

My outfit is from ACTA and it’s my favorite new lazy outfit. It’s really soft but not TOO soft. I love the material. I have a code for ACTA if you have any interest. Click here to go to their site and use code SHANIMAL15 for 15% off.

If not, move along.

what to wear during your holiday break when you want to fret over the impeding apocalypse but in a onesie.

This is a leopard onesie.

I guess it’s kind of intense and I think it’s a size too small because it’s not as comfy as I hoped.

It’s from Old Navy. The small size isn’t their fault, it’s just my assumption that I can still wear the same size I could wear back in March.

Which is an untrue assumption.

what to wear during your holiday break while protecting your bird from certain death.

Here’s a sports bra option for when you have to turn up the heat all the way for your bird and it’s too hot to live with a shirt on.

My tropical budgie pal Elvis needs to be protected from a draft at all costs. If he feels the slightest chill you can see in his face that he is terrified of his swift imminent death.

He needs to stay warm so we keep him warm. That’s what we do in this family. Even if human family members have to take our shirts off in the middle of winter. Bra top is from Free People.

what to wear during your holiday break to look out the window and feel sad because you miss your friends and family.

When it’s cold and I don’t want to deal with being outside but it’s still sunny and I need sunlight, I love to sit by the window.

I love to sit by the window and stare at the street and think about all the fun I’ve missed, Santa baby.

This year has been shitty. We all know it. A lot of us won’t see our families. I’ve been quarantining to see my parents and sister for Xmas but I won’t be able to see my brother and his family. It’s a tough pill to swallow. I’m choking on it. So is my mom.

So I’ll just sulk here by the window in my cropped “Jersey City” sweatshirt from JaneDO and tie dyed pants from Old Navy because like what else to I have to do?

what to wear during your holiday break while you adult color and/or reenact a preschool school photo.

I need to get back into adult coloring. It is fun, soothing, passes the time…all good things.

Adult coloring really relaxes the mind. For a long time I thought it was a hoax and a trap but my sister got me this adult coloring book a couple of years ago and it just feels good to do.

This also looks like a photo of me that I have from preschool that I’m going to try to find when I go home this week. STAY TUNED.

Oh PS the whole outfit is from Old Navy. I love the thermal top because it has moons and stars on it. A VIBE.

what to wear during your holiday break while wrapping presents but only a couple at a time because it really hurts your back.

I got this sweatsuit in the fall and I do love that it’s a like a MATCHING SUIT.

It’s also nice that it’s red so it’s festive and if I put on a green headband it’s red AND green and THAT is a beautiful thing.

Sweatsuit is Old Navy again. 85% of this stuff is Old Navy. As I said, I’m not usually a fan of lazy clothes but now that I pretty much wear them every day I like to have a lot of options and Old Navy has cheap but quality options. It may be cheap but it’s also soft and comfortable and I AM INSIDE OF MY HOUSE.

Also, wrapping presents really, REALLY makes my back hurt and I’m not sure why but if you have any tips plz share.

what to wear during your holiday break while you get in bed and wait for santa.

Oh shit did that sound sexual? It’s not, I just meant wait until it’s time to open your presents.

The time goes slow when you’re stuck inside, so it’s nice to be comfortable while you wait.

This is another full matching sweatsuit but it’s not very flattering so I’ll just reveal the top half. Some things remain sacred.

Best wishes for cozy holiday outfits for every single one of you, my friends.

the gigantic miniature show 2020.

It’s back! The Gigantic Miniature Show at Deep Space Gallery!

This show is always exciting and fun because there is a TON of art from a TON of artists and it’s all over the place and kind of a free for all in the most beautiful and delightful way.

I’ve said this before but I love this show in particular because it features affordable pieces of art and allows anyone to be a collector, or get gifts for a collector pal because it’s so close to the holidays. I’m super into the concept of democratizing stuff and making it available to everyone. By “stuff” I mean literally everything. All the good things in life. Everyone deserves a little luxury and a lot of fun. And that’s what I feel like this show is all about.

I’m no art professional and really just an art layman (laySHAN) but I think art is best when it’s out in the world for a ton of people to enjoy, existing in a fluid state and not trapped and locked away in some rich dude’s house.

But I digress.

So on to the art! I’m going to show you some of my favs and also you should go check it out. The Gigantic Miniature Show will be display and for sale (even to us commoners) at Deep Space Gallery until January 31, 2021.

rebecca johnson.

Rebecca Johnson, @frankiebinx on Instagram, made these wooden looking plate looking pieces and they’re great. The top one features her pup Frankie, I believe. That one says “sunshine,” and another one says “medicine.” For some reason I can’t unscramble the letters well when they’re in a circle like that so I challenge you to figure out what the other 2 say because I have no idea.

dylon egon.

Dylan Egon put a big one of these up next to the Jersey City Medical Centee toward the beginning of our pandemic reality and I always loved it. When BLM started picking up speed in the late spring he added the BLM flag to it. And I guess to three of these small ones too!

molly craig.

As a food and a thing I’m generally opposed to Hot Fries, but as a beaded piece of art I’m fully on board. Hot Fries cheers, in which you each take a fry and cross it like swords, to Molly Craig.

<I don’t know who this is plz halp>

I enjoyed this because it made me think of the passage of time but like when time feels like it takes forever and you’re stuck in a bad moment and it sucks. Kind of like 2020. And the title of this is… “2020.”

delilah miske.

A couple of collages from Delilah Miske.

All I know is that this one has a scorpion and I love it.

All I know is that this one has a hummingbird, and I love it.

robots will kill.

These pieces from Robots Will Kill are great in that they are all of a fun little robot pal doing a fun little robot pal thing out on the world. The top left has three little birds and is there more my most fav. It’s very important that we respect robots as a thing because they will one day be our overlords and we need to get on their good side as soon as we can.

alexis kandra.

This gal always makes little animal squares like these and of course I love them because they have ANIMALS. Last year there was a dragon one and also a black Pegasus one I liked. This year I liked the tigers.

joe waks.

I’ve seen this artist’s work on the street and thought it was old ads that were still in really good shape and I was like how are they in this good of shape?!

I’m an idiot. This is modern street art. Probably from like our current decade. Not old ads. Just FYI.

sean lugo.

These bearsss are ev-ry-whereeeee

But they are! Ive seen these bears by Sean Lugo around JC and I’ve also seen them in Philadelphia. And that equals everywhere. I love that about them, don’t get me wrong. I love that they’re everywhere. Keep it up, bears.

keith garcia.

Keith Garcia, @bel_biv_devoe_1 on Instagram, is another consistent fav. As I was typing “consistent” it tried to auto correct it to “concise” and it made me think about why I like this art and the reason why is because IT IS CONCISE. The squares and the angles and the color palettes. And I love the MAC machine ones most because when I was a kid I would try to get my mom to buy me stuff and she’d be line “I have no money” and I’d be like “Just go to the MAC machine!” Because I thought it had unlimited money. I mean MAC machines DO have unlimited money right?

gigi chen.

Gigi Chen makes some of my most favorite things OF ALL TIME because she almost always puts a bird on it, at least from what I’ve seen. These were a little out of my price range but they’re the kind of thing I would def buy if I could ESPECIALLY THE PIGEON OBVIOUSLY.

Someday.

kyle orlando.

We went to Kyle’s show “Always Nervous” at Deep Space back in September and it was really fun. I know you’re like “ugh shan again with the animals,” but all of the pieces have this same cat figure doing cat figure things. And he’s a fun funny little guy. That’s all I really have to say about it but just know that I enjoy this cat figure and its shenanigans a great deal.

norm kirby.

Norm is a Jersey City legend. Not a lie. My favorite things he does are the drawings of local places. I also really like the wire skulls. Update: The skulls aren’t made with wire but with a 3D pen using plastic which makes me like them MORE.

casey bolding.

Some colors from Casey Bolding I must have enjoyed. I think I like them more as a group than as individuals. Maybe they’re supposed to be together?

leandro comrie.

I like that these works by Leandro Comrie look kind of creepy and I really like the little ghost guys in the middle on the right. Nothing like little ghosts guys to entertain me.

macauley norman.

I can’t believe I didn’t get a pic of any of his stuff because I love it! But here is a screenshot from his Instagram of the one I liked best, this Mona Lisa gal.

That’s the show! DM Deep Space Gallery on Instagram at @deepspacejc to go check it out!

thanksgiving at home.

Just a quick little recap of a Thanksgiving at home.

Or, a Thanksgiving without really going anywhere.

I was really stressed about deciding what to do for Thanksgiving. But in the end I decided not to risk it and to stay home at my own house.

Unfortunately I am far from having the culinary skills to prepare an entire Thanksgiving at home.

Luckily my mom was nice enough to prepare send all of the food to me! Via socially distanced delivery boy, which is my dad. I don’t think he likes to be called “delivery boy” even though he was one in this case. Sorry Lexx.

Delivery!

We woke up on Thanksgiving morning and had a leisurely biscuits and gravy breakfast.

After breakfast I insisted that we dress up because I always dress up on Thanksgiving even though it is mostly inside and I wear slippers the entire time.

Dressed up. Slippers out of frame.

Slippers were certainly worn for Thanksgiving at home.

At the last minute I decided to set the coffee table up like a real “table” and I felt really proud of it. I mostly didn’t think I had enough “home items” to make a cute little table but I DID.

We drank Irish coffees and mimosas and got pretty drunk before the meal, a time honored family tradition.

When we were ready I warmed up the food my mom sent and it was TIME TO EAT.

Before warming.

Cheesy bread, turkey, stuffing, 3 kinds of potatoes, green beans, etc. ALL THE HITS.

After we ate I demanded we go to Lincoln Park for a “hike” because at my parents’ we usually go into the woods behind their house for a “hike.”

“Hike”

It was a successful “hike” because we spotted a hawk!

“Hawk”

When we returned home I ate some cookies I made and pumpkin pie from Edible Underground and then it was time for bed.

The end.

ghost of uncle joe’s 2020.

I went to Ghost of Uncle Joe’s 2020 on Saturday evening and it…was fun. That’s all I really have to say about it as I 100% dropped the ball on taking notes. I didn’t even get any acceptable photos.

What a nightmare.

The event itself wasn’t a nightmare. Just my handling of it as a classically trained journalist. Even thought blogs aren’t journalism and no one should ever believe they are.

UNLESS YOU MEAN LIKE A SPOOKY HALLOWEEEEEN NIGHTMAREEE?!

Because it WAS that.

If you would like more in-depth, researched, and professional coverage of Ghost of Uncle Joe’s as a whole please see my post from last year.

As for this year I will say: I loved the Jimmy Eat World cover band. Like give me Jimmy Eat World in any capacity and I will be fully satisfied.

I also loved the cool backdrops to take photos in front of. I should have tried harder to get good photos but I didn’t and that’s on me. The backdrops provided were fantastic and I could have probably gotten some fun stuff.

The event was BYOB which I also loved but maybe that contributed to me not taking good notes or photos. I did drink like three homemade iced Irish coffees and no less than 26 Michelob Ultras.

Finally, they had a fun little cartoon ghost mascot wearing a leather jacket this year and OBVIOUSLY I’m obsessed with his cute little cartoon ass so I got a tote bag with him on it. And that was a victory.

That’s all I got. Sorry.

peacock costume.

In my mind nothing can really top last year’s Ms. Frizzle costume. But this year I had some fun making a peacock costume.

Halloween is different this year! Everything is different this year! We have to do the best we can! Overall, Halloween was a welcome distraction from all of the lame crap going on: COVID, the election, the end of the world as we know it.

I decided on a peacock costume for three reasons:

  1. I’m obsessed with birds.
  2. I’ve been really into a blue and green color palette lately.
  3. I thought it would be relatively easy to create a peacock costume on my own. “Easy” as in high reward with not much effort.

the materials.

My interpretation of a peacock required the following materials:

Blue Bodysuit – I selected a bodysuit with long legs and sleeves because it’s going to be incredibly freezing today.

Blue Wig – Wigs are really fun to wear and I wanted an excuse to wear one, even though peacocks don’t technically wear blue wigs or really have any blue features on their heads at all.

Blue Ribbon – I was afraid I didn’t get enough and in the end I actually really didn’t get enough and would get way more if I ever do this or something like this again.

Not enough.

Peacock Feathers – Duh.

Duh.

Peacock Fan – I thought this would be a fun way to mimic the “tail” and also give me the opportunity to carry around and use a prop. I LOVE A PROP. This fan can also be used for other future fun fancy events! If it doesn’t get lost in the graveyard tonight. TBD.

Face Rhinestones – I have never used these before so we’ll see what happens.

Blue/Green Glitter – It has been a year since I got this glitter on sale at Target and it has been floating around in my Caboodle and getting in my way this whole time. Very excited to finally use it. And yes that link is to the pink/purple version. They’re out of blue I guess. Not my problem.

Feathery False Eyelashes – No idea how these are going to work. I may not even be able to figure it out. We’ll see.

construction.

I constructed the costume last night and as I predicted it required minimal effort. There was only one part of it that required construction, the feathery part.

I just cut the ribbon to make a “belt” and then cut more pieces of ribbon to tie peacock feathers onto the “belt.”

Essentially making a peacock “tail.”

Keep in mind this is technically the “tail” of a male peacock so in a way this is peacock drag. Dude birds are just prettier and therefore better to model costumes after. It’s not my fault.

Perhaps a hot glue gun would have been more effective but I got the wrong size glues for mine last year and then never got the right size glues. I’m no craft master and never claimed to be one, you guys.

That’s it! Not going to post the finished product until later. So get excited. Or something.

i miss prom.

I know it’s not punk rock to say you loved prom but I like, LOVED prom and I miss prom.

Don’t get me wrong, high school was a garbage fire for me, as it was for 90% of people. It’s a hard time. Besides my ass looking the best it ever looked and the best it ever WILL look, high school was a real shit sandwich. It was just like, I wanted to do what I wanted and act how I wanted and didn’t feel like hearing what LITERALLY EVERYONE had to say about it. Like, get a job. Leave me alone.

I mean come on.

ANYWAY I loved prom because I love getting really dressed up and my hair and makeup done and going to an event with other people who are dressed up and also taking pictures. I loved the process of planning and choosing and building and finally wearing my outfit, and I really, really loved to see what everyone else came up with too.

As an adult, I really, really miss prom, and I say it every year. And I try to think about adult things I could participate in and force others to participate in with me that would be as great as prom. And there aren’t any. Weddings come close, they’re pretty cool. If I was rich and attended more GALAS maybe they would be more like prom, but I’m not rich and don’t really attend GALAS.

So now I’m going to reflect on the proms of my past as a nice walk down memory lane. Or like…A PROMENADE.

sophomore prom.

Yeah there was no “sophomore prom” at my school but this is when I went to someone else’s junior prom as a sophomore. I regret not also going as a freshman so I could say, “I went to 4 proms!” But no one asked me and it’s too late for that now.

The prom I went to my sophomore year was at the high school of the guy I was dating. The high school was Phillipsburg High School and even though it wasn’t my own high school I had many happy times there and glance at it fondly if I’m ever riding or driving west on Route 22. Personally I think Phillipsburg as a whole is a super interesting microcosm of the American Experience but I digress. One day I’ll write a book about it, swear.

Phillipsburg High School’s prom was BADASS and better than my own prom in one way: there was actually a “promenade”! As we walked down the sidewalk into the gym, parents and younger kids and other citizens of the town gathered to cheer us on. I wasn’t expecting it and it was super fun, like a red carpet! I felt famous and fabulous and loved the attention! I can picture most other high schools probably doing this, but my high school was a regional high school and it wasn’t so easy for local folks to stroll over and wait around for a show of adolescent finery.

Beside that I don’t remember much else about this prom EXCEPT what I wore.

An orange-y kind of dress, selected precisely because I couldn’t figure out what color to call it and that was exciting to me. It tied in the back and cut in on the sides to reveal some skin. LOVE TO SHOW SOME SKIN. I have my mom looking for a pic of this dress for me at my parents’ house, standby. Edited: she sent them!

One of my friends helped me do my hair as she was working at her part time job at a video store. I do miss video stores. One of the video stores in this small chain became a tanning salon at one point. I miss tanning salons too.

Don’t really know what I’m trying to convey here.

I was in a golden jewelry/accessories phase at this point (as I am now), so I had gold shoes and earrings and maybe a bracelet? I have to look at the photo more closely when my mom finds it for me. Edited: I don’t see a bracelet, case closed.

K that’s that one.

junior year.

Junior year of high school was when I returned the favor to my boyfriend at the time and invited him to MY school’s prom! Woo!

Our prom, ostensibly for the whole history of time, has been held at the Hunterdon Hills Playhouse. I still don’t really know what their deal is, besides being our prom venue. There were fountains and a gazebo there so that was cool for pictures.

A FREAKIN GAZEBO YOU GUYS HOW LUCKY WERE WE?!

Gazebo!

My junior year prom dress was my favorite prom dress. I loved them all but this one was ALL SEQUINS ALL OVER. And purple. Which isn’t a color I usually wear but I thought it was fun.

I got the dress at a seemingly now defunct store called Cache, inside the Lehigh Valley Mall. It was a different time for obtaining prom dresses, people didn’t really use the internet or Instagram to find and buy things, so it kind of seemed like it was hard to find. But I found it AND I LOVED IT. And by “people didn’t really use Instagram” I mean that INSTAGRAM DID NOT EXIST YOU GUYS.

The problem with this dress was that someone else in the senior class had the exact same dress but in a hot pink kind of color. Why is this a problem, you ask? To this day, I’m still not 100% sure, but I think it had something to do with a story someone made up about me saying I “looked better than her” in the dress. Which I did NOT say, at least not until later AFTER she attacked me during our powder puff football game and I had to kick her in the face, in self defense. I do remember actually kicking her face but that could just be the memory that has been created over the years. Did I Mandela Effect kicking her face? Maybe. This was almost 20 years ago.

OH MY GOD THIS WAS ALMOST 20 YEARS AGO?!

Either way, I remain disappointed that both of us gals fell victim to this common ploy handed down by the patriarchy. They only pit us against each other to distract us from doing bigger and better things and I honestly didn’t have time for their shit and I don’t now but I think you know that.

I don’t think it would be completely out of line to guess that the boys on the football team, our peers and classmates we grew up with, who coached the powder puff teams, spent some time thinking about which girl fights would be the most entertaining and easiest to orchestrate on a powder puff game stage. Once the plan was made, they planted these seeds of discord in the angriest, most likely to start a fight girls and before I knew it I was on my back on the grass, completely blindsided, kicking for dear life.

We existed merely for their entertainment, after all.

Beyond the dress, THERE WERE SHOES. They were pink and they had really high heels and giant fake lace flowers on them and they were from Bloomingdale’s at the Bridgewater Mall so I felt GLAM AF.

I don’t think I have any pictures of them and that is a travesty. And I am PISSED that I cannot find these shoes. They’re in shoe purgatory somewhere with the shoes I loved that I wore to my brother’s wedding. IT IS AN OUTRAGE. After an extensive Google search I can’t locate either of them even in internet form. I hate everything.

At the time I had just entered into a pretty serious silver phase that lasted through college (I have Tiffany to thank for that, but my blue box phase is FULLY OVER), so I wore silver jewelry this time around. That feels significant to me because I hate silver jewelry and would not wear it right now, BUT I used to feel the same way about yellow gold jewelry (or more specifically in my life, yellow gold COLORED jewelry) when I liked silver.

It’s a tangled web.

senior year.

Senior year I was in Miami/Key Largo for Spring Break and it was bad ass. Unfortunately I decided at the very last minute that I wanted to look for a prom dress at a huge mall when we were on the way to the Miami Airport to go home.

We rushed around the mall and I tried things on and it seemed hopeless UNTIL we turned a corner and ran right into a nice little store called Group USA (it looks like it’s called Camille la Vie now).

JK the store was huge.

There were so, so many dresses. Every style, every color, organized in a rainbow of color. My head exploded. It was like shopping on the internet before the internet because the level and quality of choice I was given was seemingly INFINITE!

We only had like 7 minutes in this store. It was a whirlwind. I wanted to try on everything but could only try on a few things and I had to make a split second DECISH. I thought about how my sophomore dress had been like “trendy” and my junior dress had been “sexy,” so I was like what HAVEN’T I done?

And then I threw myself a real curveball because I went with a classic pale pink one. This isn’t really my style but that’s the fun thing about clothes because you’re just wearing them and can change them at ANY TIME. And I had fun with it!

Senior prom was fun, it really was. I went with a guy friend and not a boyfriend. We went together in a big group of friends.

The next day we went down the shore. It was the whole shebang.

I don’t remember the shoes or jewelry with this dress, besides that my mom let me borrow a pretty necklace of hers. THANKS MOM K FIND THE PICS NOW.

I really had an awesome time and I’m genuinely sorry for the high school folks that don’t get to have a prom this year. Virtual prom is not the same vibe and they should have a real prom next year but that ALSO won’t be the same vibe because they all will have had a year at college or in Europe or smoking bongs in their parents’ basement but out in the open now and no one will be the same person anymore.

Basically you can never go back and do prom again, good or bad. And you cannot try to do prom a year later. The youth this year are screwed. And I’m sorry.

But I miss prom.