Saturday, October 24, 2009

Going Green

I've continued my non-fiction reading into why and how people make decisions. I'm reading an insightful, if clunky, book right now that is basically despairing over our need/desire/expectataion to find the optimal solution for every decision. The despair is because when you give too much attention to every one of the hundreds, if not thousands, of decisions you make every day, the fear of making a sub-optimal choice can be paralyzing. I identified very much with his assessment of someone who spends too much time reaching for an ideal solution instead of settling for and being happy with a solution that is sufficient - it meets all necessary criteria and gets the job done. May not be the best, most creative, most elegant, shortest, longest, or cheapest solution, but it will serve and the solution doesn't require more than that.

I was reading this on tuesday when I realized that the reason I didn't have a halloween costume picked out for tonight's party was that I hadn't picked the *best* costume. I didn't want to recycle Medusa or the cactus. I didn't have time to make Maleficent - and I don't have the paint on latex the headdress, as I envision it, requires. (someday... someday!) I thought about what I did and didn't have available to me and decided just to be a regular ol witch. I had black clothes, I figured I could make a hat, and I had an embarrassment of green eye shadow just waiting to be used as foundation. Dressed up with a black cat pin, a black and silver bat and spiderweb table runner as a wrap, and a homemade hat, I made it to the party in costume, got positive feedback, and had a perfectly good time. I did not win best costume, but I did not feel the need to win, nor did this detract from my enjoyment. Top costume honors rightfully went to Jon&Kate+2 (my part asian co-worker and his blonde wife were rocking the look so well it was truly frightening) and Princess Leia (who came with Darth Vader and their two Jedi Knights with light sabers - yes, Darth dad had a light saber!).

I probably put more effort into the food which people enjoyed too. I made witches fingers and demon eyeballs. The fingers are breadsticks - dye dinner roll dough green, roll into small logs, slash twice across the middle for the knuckle and use egg wash to stick an almond half or slice on the end as a fingernail. (This dough wasn't as tasty as it could have been, but they tasted ok and looked really eerie.) The demon eyeballs are lychees and/or longans from a can stuffed with cherries from canned cherry pie filling. I put them together the night before and covered with lychee syrup, then today I transferred them to a decorative bowl with a few ice cubes and a squeeze of lemon. They go pretty well as a sangria-like addition to party wine.

My foodstuffs got honorable mention. Runner up was a fantastic box of kitty litter. In truth, devils food cake with crumbs on top to make it look like litter, decorated with distorted tootsie rolls. It was served in a (New!) cat box with a litter scoop. It looked tasty when sliced and put on a plate, but straight up, there was some serious "I don't wanna!" going on. Top food honors went to the J&K costume winners for a Good Eats meatloaf shaped into a ghost and 'frosted' with mashed potatoes. I'm not sure how they blackened the ketchup to draw on the eyes and I'm pretty sure that's a good thing not to know.

To sum up. My costume, while not the best ever, was actually pretty good. Certainly sufficient to the task. I really enjoyed doing the green face makeup, even if it did take a while to scrub off. My witch fingers, while not the best ever, looked fantastic and were sufficient to the task. The lychee eyeballs were fun and delicious. I have a couple pictures but not the means to upload them just now, so I went with yet another text only post. My costume probably looks better in your imagination anyway.

Let me know what costume ideas you've got for this year and if it's your best possible effort or just enough to get by and still enjoy yourself.


rachel_elwell said...

I thought of you the other day when I read this financial blog entry on choice.


CrankyOtter said...

Hey! That's the book I'm reading. The author is not a linguistic genius. He often makes a point in one paragraph, has a segue in another paragraph, then starts talking about something that contradicts his point, then makes his point. So while it's possible to see where he's coming from, it's not the easiest of reads even though he intends it for a general audience. I like what he's talking about but not how he says it.

MarciaBC said...

I always figured I'd wear dog ears attached to a tiara, and go as a royal bitch.

CrankyOtter said...

BOL! genius.

Junior and Orion said...

LOL at Marcia!!!

We are betting you looked great CO!!!

Junior, Orion and Meowm