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.

Cultura, Halloween, Los Angeles

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.


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.

Familia, Halloween

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.

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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.