Halloween 2003

Here we are at Halloween 2003 already...since I keep getting more verbose with my introductions since so much keeps changing from year to year, you can jump right to the photos and multimedia with these links, or you can keep reading for the full scoop...

Party Photos
Costume Gallery

Most Original Costume
Cyd the Fandango Puppet

Scariest Costume
Robin (Devil in a Blue Dress)
tied with Robert (Legolas)

Ultimate Costume
The Barbieri Toy Story Family

Name that Tune
(Spooky Movie Themes)

Haunted Headstones
tied with Jeff J.
(which surprised no one!)

When I finally found the duplex in Cupertino with my long-awaited YARD, my immediate thoughts were "We can play Quidditch in the backyard!" and "I can finally make my own graveyard!" followed soon after by "And I can finally plant a garden!" - priorities, you know! ;)

I had waited so many years to have the space to make my own elaborately-carved foam gravestones, so I was very excited that I finally had my chance...but whose graves should they be? What epitaphs? As I was struggling with that first step, I had my favorite brainstorm for 2003 - the gravestones would be a quiz! I used my favorite spooky characters from TV shows, movies and novels, made sure I had exactly 13 (of course!), then had an absolute ball making the gravestones!

Since the Haunted Headstones quiz gave us another activity, I left off the Spooky Scramble that would have just been an exact repeat from last year...maybe in a couple more years after they've forgotten the answers I'll resurrect the Spooky Scramble... ;)

Doug was the winner of the Name that Spooky Movie Theme Quiz this year with 9 out of 13, but Daniel was a close second with 8 - I didn't think the movie themes would be that challenging for this crowd of music geeks...haha... Even though I take myself out of the running because I am hostess, people often vote for me in the costume contest, but this was the first year I got any votes for Scariest, let alone the most...should that scare me? ;) Thank goodness it was an unseasonally warm evening, since we needed all the space we could get due to being a record year with 32 total in attendance! I even had some more first-time Halloween guests from the Choral Project - hooray! This year not only was there a Halloween Live Webcam Broadcast inside, but there was one outside showing the graveyard as well! I also tried my hand at editing some digital video footage in iMovie on my new widescreen PowerMac laptop, so you'll find a few of those sprinkled in here and there...enjoy!

Party Photos
Costume Gallery


Here is the party documented on webcam...both inside and outside in the graveyard!

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Party Photos

First some ambience, and Kael and Lisa inspecting the graveyard...

Cool Candles More Cool Candles Mantel Zoom Kael and Lisa inspecting gravestones

Some screen caps from my "Be Scary, Britta" command performance, followed by the full video... ;)

Scary Britta 1 Scary Britta 2 Scary Britta 3

Captain Jackie Sparrow ready for action...Didn't you know that Jeff O. & Louie worked in Tahoe as blackjack dealers in college?

Capt Jackie Blackjackers

Tracia with newlyweds Cassandra & Louie...Par-tay!

Cassandra and Louie party

Just like real spectral photography, eh? Cute Wolf Cub with Big Daddy Wolf (and Mommy Riding Hood in the corner)...

Moving Ghost Cute Wolf Cub with Big Daddy Wolf

I had gotten my hands on a copy of the Disneyland Haunted Mansion Holiday songbook of Twisted Scarols, so I printed out lyric sheets in case anyone might want to sing...of course they did! Daniel bravely sightread B-flat minor (6 flats!) on the piano in candlelight...

Scarol Singing More Scarol Singing Daniel Playing Scarols 1 Daniel Playing Scarols 2 Daniel Playing Scarols 3

Dan the Ham...always screaming when the videocamera comes his way! ;)

Dan the Ham 1 Dan the Ham 2 Dan the Ham 3

Happy Birthday to Peggy, to the minor tune of the Volga Boatmen...haha...

Happy Birthday to Peggy! More Happy Birthday Peggy!

More party...what the heck is Daniel doing???

Outside Party What is Daniel Doing?

Watch the video first if you can...Cyd the Fandango Puppet decided to dance on all the graves, which she definitely did...then Daniel put on his mock "shame on you" face...then Capt. Jackie Sparrow said "Ye'll Pay Fer Yer Crime, Puppet!" holding her at swordpoint until finally, the poor puppet was left alone on the chair in the yard...awww...

Cyd Dancing in the Graveyard Shame On You! You Will Pay For Your Crime, Puppet! Lonely Fandango Puppet

Unfortunately, Jeff J's performance as Emo Philips in the new Las Vegas show "Siegfried and Emo" was too dark on the video, so all I could get was part of the extended writhing on the ground being attacked by the tiger...sorry Jeff! There I am ghostly grading the gravestones quiz...

Emo Philips with Tiger Grading the Haunted Headstones

Come on, come all, see the annual ritual of the bleeding heart!

Chiroscuro 1 Chiroscuro 2

First we stab the heart to get the blood flowing nicely...ah, there it goes!

Stabbing the Heart Bleeding Heart

...then we cut into slices and serve...watch the video to find out whose heart it was! ;)

Serving the Heart

Sexy Mammas! Melanie with quite the pose...then there's Nathania the David Lynch Fan...

Quite the Pose! Nathania the David Lynch Fan

Robin and Nathania, say hello to the camera! See, Sheila WAS there! Capt Jackie attacks the Ghost...

Robin and Nathania Sheila WAS there! Attacking the Ghost

Robin says "Have you seen my card?" and presents you with this...Robin, where did your eyes go? Oh, your earrings I guess...

Have You Seen My Card? Spooky Robin

When you get people together with swords, of course there will be a swordfight...the Toy Story Family thrown on the ground like their respective toys...

Swordfight 1 Toys

Some more candid party "action" photos...

Living Room Party Party Graveyard Patio Party Party Kitchen Party Corner

Even more party photos...

More Graveyard Party More Outside Party more party More Outside Party Even More Party Even MORE Party

So, I had seen this poster for Return of the King online, so I told Robert to pose shooting his bow so I could Photoshop him in...hahaha...silly, I know, but fun!

Legolas in Return of the King Robert as Legolas Robert in Return of the King

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Costume Gallery

Naughty Nurse Nathania Captain Jacqueline Sparrow (Melanie)

Naughty Nurse Nathania...Captain Jacqueline Sparrow (Melanie)...

Legolas (Robert) and Arwen (Maureen) Keith, aka Tourist Man

Legolas (Robert - who tied for Scariest Costume) and Arwen (Maureen)...Keith, aka Tourist Man...

The Kat in the Hat, with Lori Things Kael and Lisa, Gay Colonial Couple

The Kat in the Hat, with Lori Things...Kael and Lisa, Gay Colonial Couple?

Emo Philips with Attacking Tiger (Jeff J.) Heidi and Noah

Emo Philips with Attacking Tiger in the new Las Vegas show "Siegfried and Emo"(Jeff J.)...Heidi and Noah as a hand of blackjack...

Britta, Your Haunted Hostess The Devil in a Blue Dress (Robin)

Britta, your Haunted Hostess...The Devil in a Blue Dress (Robin) who tied for Scariest Costume...

Man of Leisure (Daniel) Danae and Peggy

Man of Leisure (Daniel)...Danae and Peggy...Peggy's stars all over her outfit glowed in the dark!

Cyd the Fandango Puppet Cyd's Back

Cyd the Fandango Puppet by and far won Most Creative Costume! If you haven't been to a non-AMC movie theatre recently, you probably haven't seen the Fandango.com online movie tickets ads with all the various paper bag puppets acting silly, but she was spot on and hilarious!

Barbieri Toy Story Family Princess Audene and Sir Jeffrey

Bullseye the Horse (Tracia), Woody (Doug) and Jessie (Ashlyn), the Toy Story Family, who won Ultimate Costume...Princess Audene and Sir Jeffrey...

Princess Mononoke (Angie) Xtopher, Lisa and Xander

Princess Mononoke (Angie)...Big Daddy Wolf (Christopher), Red Riding Hood (Lisa) and Cute Wolf Cub (Xander)...

Louie the Impromptu Door

Louie the Impromptu Door (since he didn't come in costume)... :)

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More Decorations

Fair warning...since I had the yard decorated as well as the inside, there are a lot more decoration photos than in years past...enjoy!

When you arrive, you see a sign that says "Caution - Masks and/or Costumes Must Be Worn In This Area!" Following the path around the bend, you see a previous visitor who wasn't as lucky as you sitting under the tree. As you approach the front door, you see that it is blocked by the Webmistress of the Dark, who says "Noooo...you cannot enter here...to find your way, you must Follow the Fog..." just as you see a trickle of fog coming from the open side gate down the pathway to your left...

Caution - Masks or Costumes Must Be Worn In This Area! Caution Zoom Front Tree Skeleton Front Walk Welcoming Webmistress Window Ghosties Front Window Follow the Fog

Following the fog through the open side gate, you see the graveyard shining in "artificial moonlight" (I called the effect "Disneyland spooky"), complete with 13 gravestones. Your way is also lit by candles in the branch sconces on the wall of the house to your right. If you stop to examine the graves, you might be surprised by your haunted hostess hiding behind some headstones!

Graveyard with Fog Branch Sconce on Outside Wall by Graveyard Side Yard Graveyard Graveyard Graves More Graves Dark Ghost Even More Graveyard with Fog Graveyard with Fog - Ground Angle

Approaching the signpost at the corner of the graveyard, you see the sign pointing to the right towards the "Castle" entrance...but first you decide to look around the backyard and patio, which is lit by candles, some in black cat luminaria...

Backyard 4 Backyard 3 Signpost at Dusk Patio Backyard 2 Backyard Luminaria in Backyard Luminarium Zoom Patio Corner

Coming back to the gothic arched door in the stone facade, you enter and see the "Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here" gargoyle above, with the the kitchen to your left hidden by a stained glass window that is also reflected in the china cabinet glass...Edward Scissorhands peeks over the cabinet while the witch guards her brew in the cauldron with the crystal bone ladle...lemonade iced with a frozen hand is to the left of the entryway...

Facade 1 Living Room from Kitchen2 Ghouls Bubbling Cauldron with Crystal Bone Ladle Ice Hand in Lemonade

After being greeted by the two ghouls, you enter into the living room lit entirely by candlelight, with the spellbooks on top of the TV (can you spot the webcam on the wall?), the ghosties on the window, the fireplace, the black cat and pumpkins tapestry, yet another Edward Scissorhands, and all the gargoyles clustered on and above the piano...

Couch and Fireplace TV corner with ghosties 2 Books Fireplace Tapestry Edwards Gargoyles

Of course the smoking, bubbling and glowing Mad Scientist display was on the living room coffeetable yet again...I couldn't decide which angle I liked best for the Mad Scientist display photo, so here are both...

Mad Scientist 2003 Mad Scientist 2003 - another angle

Continue through the living room into the foyer to find the Spooky Spread of all the ghoulish goodies, including new recipes like the Fried Spiders and Gravestone Cookies along with annual favorites like the Eerie Eyeballs and the Decayed Corpse Chips with Entrail Salsa...for those not interested in the witches' brew, I provided the potion ingredients to make your own zombies...

Spooky Spread 2003 Make Your Own Zombie Fried Spiders - new for 2003 Gravestone Cookies

Eyeballs 2003 Eyeballs Zoom 2

Decayed Corpse Chips 2003

Off the foyer is the downstairs bathroom...in honor of the 10th anniversary of The Nightmare Before Christmas, one of my favorite movies, I decorated the bathroom with all sorts of Nightmare paraphenalia, some collected when I worked at a movie theatre when the movie opened, like the standee, buttons and oversized bus-stop poster, and some purchased as recently as this year, like the plush Jack Skellington doll...I also decorated the upstairs bathroom a little, just to be festive...(yes, that is spiderweb toiletpaper!)

Bathroom 1 Jack Poster Nightmare Standee Bathroom 2 Bathroom 3

Upstairs Bathroom

Since my black cat Kylie is always wisely hiding during my big parties so I can never show her off as my best Halloween accessory, I just had to throw in this picture...she sneaked outside the day after my party and headed straight for the long grass near the graveyard, so I took advantage of the opportunity...heehee...

Evil Kylie

So, since Halloween was on a Friday but I had my party the previous Saturday, I had leftovers to bring into work on the actual October 31st. I usually wear a full costume to work, but since I am often the only one, AND they called an all-hands company meeting for that day, I felt the full ghost outfit would be inappropriate, so I just wore my spiderweb lace shirt (which I easily hid under a company jacket for the meeting) with skeleton earrings and spiders in my hair...here I am in the kitchen at work...

Hair Spiders at Equinix Halloween at Equinix

And very last, a few of us went out on Halloween night to a couple haunted houses...little did I know that my costume glowed so nicely in black light...cool! ...but it did make me quite the obvious target for all the ghouls jumping out at everyone...Yes, that is a closeup of my silly Halloween socks, too... ;)

Glowing Ghost Ghost and Gargoyle Silly Socks

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Enhanced Eerie Elegance the book

Enhanced Eerie Elegance: More Halloween Party Ideas & Recipes with a Touch of Spooky Style is the next essential Halloween party book! Building on ideas and concepts presented in the first Eerie Elegance book, with new techniques from the quick and easy to the elaborate and challenging and everything in between, you too can elevate your party with Enhanced Eerie Elegance!

To order your copy, please visit www.EerieElegance.com!

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