Category Archives: Halloween

Halloween with the cousins

Halloween was pretty chill this year. My cousin Nancy hosted another party this year. She teamed up with a co-worker and used his house. Some of the cousins came out too.

The costumes:

First Halloween

No, we didn’t plan this out. The costumes were just convenient and easy to put together.

The explorers

Adrian and Alexis as Diego and Dora; too bad you can’t see her really cute backpack… or Adrian’s purse satchel.

Calvin Ellis

He’s not Clark Kent, he’s Calvin Ellis, Superman in Earth-23. Ellis is black. (I love it when he shows off his geeky side.)

Sorceress and Diana Prince

Ingrid made a great sorceress.

R2 Chola & Calvin Ellis

I got worried when Nancy (R2-D2 in a tutu) started getting near the fire pit. Tutus are flammable, right?

Ingrid & Tony

Tony has had that mask forever. He used to scare me with it when I was a kid over 20 years ago.

Superheroes gotta eat

Superheroes gotta eat.

Superheroes gotta stay hydrated

And stay hydrated.

As for the day of, I went on a run in the neighborhood, checked out the decorations and dodged trick-or-treaters. A lot of people put up cool decorations and people drive in to the area. Despite seeing a bunch of trick-or-treaters a few blocks away, no one actually came to our apartment. Oh well, more candy for us.

Morning becomes offensive

The first present for blackface Christmas — what my play cousins at PostBourgie call the season shortly before Halloween and through Thanksgiving — comes from KCRW’s Instagram account.

Not cool, KCRW

I voiced my disappointment via Twitter and on Instagram.

I checked back a little later to find a flippant response from the person behind the Instagram account.

Not cool, KCRW

Oh right, I should just chill since it’s Halloween. I forgot that makes it okay. Not really.

Earlier this week I receive a mailer asking me to resubscribe to KCRW. Over the past ten years I’ve subscribed on and off as I enjoy the music and news programming. I was likely going to renew my subscription, but now am reconsidering.

I follow KCRW’s social media accounts on Twitter and Instagram. I was extremely disappointed, offended and saddened to see one of my favorite cultural institutions in Los Angeles feature one of it’s deejays (Anne Litt) in a Native American costume during the Masquerade Ball (10/27/12). While I respect an individual’s First Amendment right to wear what he/she wants, I do not support institutions that feature a prominent member in what is the Native American equivalent of blackface. I also do not appreciate the belittling response: “Hey y’all. No disrespect .. It’s Halloween. !!” (Screenshots can be found here: [link] and [link])

Dismissing valid concerns is not a suitable response for a public radio station.

Sincerely,

Cindy Mosqueda

For those not in LA, KCRW is a public radio station based out of Santa Monica College. They carry NPR as well as locally produced programming. Their music programming is highly regarded. I’ve always enjoyed the diversity on Morning Becomes Eclectic, especially when Nic Harcourt was at the helm. Harcourt featured some of the best bands in Latin America even though the primary audience is not Spanish speaking. I first subscribed in 2002 after starting my first full-time job. I subscribe on and off, mainly because I’m lazy about renewing my subscription or funds were tight in grad school.

Playing catch up

I got Mayweather-ed

How neat is this picture? That’s my brother Adrian attempting to make me the Victor Ortiz to his Floyd Mayweather.

Iowa City?

I wanted another chance to wear my costume and celebrate Halloween. After work on Monday, I went for a short run and wore an orange tutu. I ran down whatever street in my neighborhood that seemed to have the most trick-or-treaters or nicely decorated homes. My favorite Halloween display featured a scary yard transformed filled with GOP presidential candidates in Emerald City, well Iowa City. All the candidates’ faces were taped over scarecrows and the door had a sign urging kids to knock for handouts.

Michele Bachman's tea party

They even had a cute tea party set-up. I didn’t get any trick-or-treaters at my apartment, but did see lots of kids out in the neighborhood and many homeowners decorated their homes or played Halloween music.

Spirited Away

Later, Sean and I had tacos and drove over to West Hollywood. I wanted a chance to wear my costume again and also wanted to finally check out the Halloween madness in West Hollywood. It’s so close and I’ve never gone because the crowds and parking hassle intimidate me. Now that I’ve checked it out, it’s out of my system. It’s just way too crowded. I’m fine with large crowds at concerts or marches. At least in marches the crowd is moving in one direction and I always feel like I have an out. There were several moments on Santa Monica Boulevard where I felt trapped and could barely move. I’m fine with just checking out photos on the LA blogs. As for parking, that was easy only because we were willing to park in Beverly Hills and walks the rest of the way (about a mile). We stuck around for an hour before going home and watching Monday night TV.

The Two  Fridas / Las Dos Fridas

The Two Fridas

At least I did see some impressive costumes. The best was the two women doing a tableau of The Two Fridas. They got all the details down in their costumes. I can’t imagine they did much walking. I’ve seen plenty of Frida Kahlo costumes, but never seen anyone go through such effort to really bring one of her self portraits to life.

La Virgen de Guadalupe

I also liked the woman dressed up as La Virgen de Guadalupe.

As for Día de los Muertos, I skipped out on those events and honored my loved ones who have passed with a simple prayer. That feels more meaningful to me than dressing up, painting my face and buying lots of sugar-skull printed stuff at one of the many festivals in LA.

Halloween with the family

Ramses and la Chapulina Colorada

I love Halloween. I love my family. And I love parties. (Though not in that order!) Saturday night brought all three together at my cousin Nancy’s Halloween party.

Nancy (the awesome hostess) and Sean

First off, Nancy (as an Adelita) was the perfect hostess. She and her helpers did an awesome job decorating the house, preparing food and snacks, ribbons for the best costume winners, and making sure everyone had a great time.

Lori sad at her grave

My favorite decorations were the white van in the driveway with a label bearing the name of the San Bernardino County coroners office and the family graveyard in a corner of the yard. My siblings and several cousins had headstones, but my cousin Tony didn’t make one for me. I didn’t mind, but Lori was sad to find her headstone.

Costume prize ribbons

I also liked the silly best costume ribbons.

Group shot

The best part — aside from the food, drinks and dancing with friends and family — was checking out everyone’s costumes. It’s always fun to see costumes come together or seeing what someone came up with. More costumes after the jump.

Continue reading

Halloween on a budget: El Chapulín Colorado redux

Red & yellow!

El Chapulín Colorado was one of the very first costumes I ever blogged about for the Halloween on a Budget series. I’m bringing it back because I decided it’d be the easiest costume for me to put together. I had everything in my closet save for the pair of yellow shorts.

This year's costume: La Chapulina Colorada

Here’s what I recommended for the costume in 2007 along with my 2011 additions or omissions (in italics):

1. Red hoodie sweater (optional: a Chapulín Colorado t-shirt, but you still need to cover your arms)
I used my Chapulín Colorado t-shirt and layered it over a red long-sleeved shirt. I don’t have a red hoodie.

2. Some yellow fabric (felt would work) to make the heart and CH emblem
I didn’t need this since my t-shirt is already printed with the Chapulín Colorado emblem.

3. Bright yellow shorts
I found a cheap pair at one of those mall stores that sell no-name brand basics.

4. Red opaque tights
I bought a pair a couple of years ago at Target. Since I never wear them due to their brightness, they were still in good condition.

5. Antenitas de vinil, or red antennae with a yellow and red ball on the end (I found a pair at the 99 cents store, but they fit tight since they’re made for kids)
I don’t know what happened to my 99 cents store antennae. I made a pair with a $1 headband from the swap meet, yellow pipe cleaners glued to red fuzzy balls. I had the latter materials in my arts & craft box. I’ve been wanting to do this costume for a few years so I had the materials as a backup.

6. Red and yellow sneakers (like these)
I still have my Asics Tigers, but if I didn’t, I would have worn my red Chucks.

7. El chipote chillón (the red and yellow hammer)
Don’t have one. Less to hold while at Halloween parties!

8. Steady stream of famous phrases
The back of my shirt is printed with “no contaban con mi astucia!” That’s all I have.

9. I added a tiny pair of red and yellow earrings with a heart on them.

Halloween on a budget: Hairdresser on Fire (Morrissey inspired)

Hairdresser on fire

I’ve mentioned this costume before. Here’s the snippet from my A Very Moz Halloween post:

A few years ago, I created a costume inspired by a Morrissey song. I was a “Hairdresser on Fire”. It was way too conceptual — and warm — to wear on the crowded dance floor in a club.

I didn’t include any photos in that post. I don’t know why, but I’m correcting that now.

Hairdresser on fire - Morrissey inspired costume

Hairdresser on fire:

1. Stylists’ smock with scissors, combs and other stylists’ tools. As you can see, I didn’t wear a typical stylist smock. My mom made this jacket out of some scrap material.

2. Decorate the smock with flames. I used red, orange and yellow felt. I’m not a crafty person and my hand sewing is horrible. Thus, this took me a little while. If I was going to do this again, I might use shinier material to make it more flashy.

3. Make up a salon name and add it to the smock. I used fabric safe letters.

4. Modern and stylish haircut. Most stylists I’ve known don’t do anything crazy with their hair, but it is often colored and styled. Makeup can be simple, but spend some time on the hair.

5. Wear whatever you want underneath your smock, but you should definitely be “remarkably dressed.”

6. Act very busy, so busy!

Edited to add: If anyone in LA wants to borrow this costume, I’d be happy to share it. You might have to remove the letter C from the front of the jacket, but that shouldn’t be difficult.

Halloween on a budget: La Dama from Lotería

La Dama (from Lotería) Costume

LA DAMA: La dama puliendo el paso, por todo la calle real.
The Lady: The lady, taking an elegant walk along the main street.

It’s a shame that I’ve been doing the costume series since 2007, but this is the first time I’ve bothered to put together a Lotería inspired costume. It’s not for lack of trying. Some of the cards featuring people have been on my idea list for a while, but it was easier to write about other costumes.

I found this teal dress last month when I went shopping for my birthday party dress. Although I thought it might be too fancy for the party, I bought it anyway because it was on sale and I liked the flattering cut. As I checked it out in the dressing room mirror, it also reminded me of La Dama (#3) from Lotería, the sophisticated and elegant lady in her tailored blue/teal suit, pink accessories and perfectly coifed hair.

I tried my best to recreate it.

La Dama costume

La Dama:

1. Teal or light blue suit or dress. If you wear a suit, wear a pink blouse and small white scarf/bow at the neck. Since I wore a dress instead, I added pink up top with a scarf.

2. Pink hat. La Dama’s hat looks sort of like a beret, but I went with what I could find in Forever 21, a simple knit cap.

3. White gloves. I found a nylon pair for $7.

4. Pink shoes and clutch. I didn’t have a clutch, so I used what I had available. I bought it at Ross years ago.

5. A small bunch of flowers

6. Conservative makeup and curled up hair. Obviously, I didn’t do the latter. I don’t even own a curling iron.

dama catrin

If you would like to make a Lotería couples costume, get your significant other or a friend to dress up as El Catrín. I’m sure few people keep long coat tuxedos hanging around in their closet, so that will probably need to be rented. Don’t forget the monocle and cigarette — in a cigarette holder, of course.

Thanks to Sean for the Photoshop help.

Halloween on a budget: Mexican calendar girl

Calendar girl (3)

If you’ve ever picked up a calendar from a bakery, butcher shop or other small business, you’ll recognize the stylized images of beautiful women in typical Mexican garb. I wrote about this years ago on the old blog:

La Adelita as a chromo art Mexican calendar girl

Part of this idea came last night. I went to have $1 tacos and sangría (yum!) with Ome at Don Antonio’s. I noticed the cheesy carnicería/panadería style calendars on the wall. One had a drawing of a higly sexualized Adelita. I loved it. So, we flirted with the cute waiters and they gave us calendars to take home with us.

The first representation of a Mexicana is a painting of la Adelita, but she needs to put on a little more clothes or a bra. If you’ve seen Mexican chromo art calendars, you’ll know that the men and women in the images are idealized depictions. The men are bronzed, muscular, and virile. The women as voluptuous and gorgeous. Angel Martín’s painting is no different.

***

Inspiration and the costume

I cut off the ad for the restaurant and affixed calendar (the pull-away two month per page kind) and left the calendar hanging in my bedroom. Mexican calendar girls kept following me around a few years later when friends gave me a journal with an image of a vintage Mexican calendar girl on the cover. I carried it around until it started falling apart and the pages were filled. The image comes from a book called Mexican Calendar Girls.

All of these lovely [light-skinned] Mexicanas inspired me to dress up as a Mexican calendar girl for Halloween. I ditched the idea because I had to buy a new huipil blouse. I gave away my favorite after I lost weight.

If you don’t mind conceptual costumes, want to get out your pretty embroidered blouses and rebozos, then a Mexican calendar girl might be a good costume.

Calendar girl (2)

Mexican Calendar Girl

1. Huipil (embroidered blouse) – I used the white ruffly blouses worn by Mexican restaurant waitresses everywhere because that’s all I had available

2. Full-length skirt and boots or sandals

3. Rebozo (shawl)

4. Dramatic makeup and hair in braids

5. Big earrings, bangles and a rose to carry or pin in your hair

6. Calendar pinned below your blouse with an advertisement for a bakery or other small business (print 2 months side by side on white paper, make sure to include lots of saint’s days)

Obviously, I didn’t make the calendar. I didn’t buy anything for this costume except the rose hair pin.

For more inspiration, make sure to check out the Mexican Calendar Girl website.

Halloween on a budget: Maggie the Mechanic

Maggie

I started reading Love & Rockets in the summer of 2009. And then I stopped. I was a bit confused by the early sci-fi influenced. I put the books down until later that year when Sean gave me the first three trades as a Christmas gift.

Many faces of Maggie

I went through the three trades faster than he expected and soon I was reading the Locas II collection.
I was drawn in to Maggie and Hopey’s world of Hoppers and beyond. Jaime Hernández’s stories, which spanned 25+ yeas, were artfully told and drawn. Plus, the people are just beautiful and have an awesome sense of style.

Maggie the Mechanic

For the Maggie the Mechanic costume, I’m focusing on young Maggie. She’s always had a talent for working with machines. In the initial stories, she apprenticed for famous pro-solar mechanic Rand Race, rode a hover scooter and had some crazy adventures in the jungles.

Maggie the Mechanic

Maggie the Mechanic Costume

1. Skinny jeans and a tank top (or classic mechanics shirt, bonus if you get a Maggie name patch). Note: the costume can be done a lot sexier as seen above where Maggie is a mechanic in a bikini and kneepads.

2. Hair in a pixie cut style, spiked up

3. Goggles or a head band

4. Loose fitting jacket (optional)

5. Lace up boots

6. Tool belt, tools and tool box (the box is optional, but could work as a purse)

7. Loop and cross earrings

8. Work gloves

9. Some curves. Maggie has always been portrayed as curvy, even as she gains weight in later years. If you have a shapely butt, good for you. If not, get some good jeans that make your butt look good and start doing some squats and lunges.

Costume bonus: You can save it for Comic Con.

Halloween on a budget: George Lopez (post ‘Lopez Tonight’)

Whenever I put together my Halloween costume suggestions, I try to include some related to current events or scandals. Frankly, I had a tough time thinking up some for this year. A lot of the current events on my mind are not things I feel comfortable joking about for a fun and festive day like Halloween.

After watching TV last night, the idea came to me: George Lopez… post cancellation of Lopez Tonight

I know a lot of people were upset when TBS cancelled Lopez’s late night show in August. Some people seemed to be upset that yet another hardworking Chicano had lost his job. The recession has hit Latinos the hardest out of any other ethnic group. Others were bothered by the lack of diversity on prime time and late night television. I can appreciate the sentiment, even if you rarely watched Lopez Tonight. I didn’t, but I don’t have cable.

George Lopez (post-Lopez Tonight) costume

Here’s what you’ll need:

1. A nice suit

2. White dress shirt

3. Bright colored tie

4. Dress shoes (with black socks! guys, you shouldn’t have to be reminded)

5. Spiky salt and pepper hair

6. Bleached white teeth

7. Silly faces and lots of hand gestures

8. Pink slip with CANCELLED, Lopez Tonight and TBS logos sticking out of your suit pocket in lieu of a handkerchief

If you do something after work on Halloween (a Monday), you won’t even have to go home and change. You can just put the pink slip in your pocket.