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October 30, 2000
a year ago
two years ago
three years ago

Work Party

We dressed up. I put on a faded purple shirt with a very faded patchwork flannel jumper over it. The jumper had made me look pregnant even before I was pregnant, so now I looked absolutely enormous. I then put on my tiger's eyes. I blinked a bit and felt pretty okay about how I could see, but on John's cautions, I brought all my contact lense stuff and was very glad of it later.

John wore coveralls, a t-shirt, and over that the coat of a powder blue tuxedo with tails. A 'subtle' green tail was then attached to the back of the coveralls, and the tail mixed in with the other tails. He had on his head a hat with tentacles that all ended in eyes, and as the final feature he put on a set of silver slotted sunglasses. He decided to be the very non-subtle alien dad to my Alien Mama. It was pretty stunning in its full glory. In fact, when we got to work, people were loud enough to be heard all the way down the hallway when they first saw him.

That was pretty good.

I, on the other hand, creeped out everyone I actually talked with for a while. They would notice that something was 'wrong' and then I'd figure out when they really noticed when they started staring at my eyes. A lot of people took really, really obvious double takes. That was pretty cool.

The really bad thing, however, was that when I tried to work I found that the poorer prescription in the right eye really precluded doing anything on the computer. My focus was so bad that I was getting a headache, so I swapped back to my normal eyes for a while so I could actually work. And work I did! I did everything I wanted to do for the day before it got to be 10 a.m., mostly 'cause that's when I had my massage therapist appointment. My hips and back and shoulders and arms were really looking forward to this, and while I felt kinda bad in that I wasn't getting much stuff done today, I knew that it would make life just that much easier all together.

So I went, and I was very glad I did. Michele worked me over so well that by the end of the appointment I was nearly asleep. It's that interesting state where I think I'm actually asleep, but I can still feel everything she's doing. She said that my body remembered that this was what it was like to relax and just did it with her encouragement. The belly salve was really nice, again, as was the overall body workover. I really, really enjoyed it and when I went back to work I was pretty clear. From noon until 1 I just plowed ahead again with the stuff I had to do and got a remarkable amount done before John picked me up to go get lunch and ice from McDonald's.

All McDonald's restaurants seem to have this great policy where they'll give ice to anyone that asks for it. You can take a cooler over and they'll fill it for you, no questions asked, it seems to just be a community service that all the restaurants will do for you. It's very keen. The only McDonald's we knew was right next to the Crossroads mall, and I remembered the cheesesteak sandwich I'd had, and so we went there for lunch. The sandwiches were just as good as ever. John had a salad with his, and I just had some cole slaw that looked kinda grey and dingy but was crisp and really yummy. I was mildly surprised between the texture and the appearance, but was very glad of it. It was lovely with the melted and gorgeous sandwich.

We then got the cooler of ice, and then went to the party site, as they were setting up by the time we got there. John and I set ourselves up outside and cranked the ice cream and it set up really quickly and we were really glad. We were mostly done with it by half and hour until the party and I had time to wash up, get my tiger contacts in again, and we packed the ice cream in salt and ice to let it cure. We then helped the entertainment committee set everything up. John was actually detailed with tearing things down as well, so we'd be there all afternoon and into the evening as the party was supposed to go until six. The party started just fine and the caterers did really good food with a multi-layered dip, lots of fruit and veggies, and two great, big piles of teriyaki and hot wings. Everyone was eating the wings happily and commenting at how good they were.

Seeing was mildly weird, but with no close work I could actually see okay and I didn't get any headaches. It was fun watching the more subtle reactions everyone had. Jeff wandered by while a very pregnant Sandra and I sat and ate things and Jeff said, "Ah! The two pregnant ladies dressed up as... pregnant ladies!" Then he did a double take on me and blinked a lot. Sandra was actually dressed as a bowling ball, in a black t-shirt with three holes painted on one side. That was much funnier than my 'costume'. It was cool to talk with her about the odd psychological twist that actually being able to eat a lot if one ate well was doing to our brains. It's okay to be fat! It's astonishing what a difference that makes, especially when one knows that one really isn't fat per se.

The party itself wasn't all that big, not nearly all the folks from work came, which was a shame. It was mostly the old-timers and us plus some of the folks that were in on the organizing and only a few new folks or visitors that wanted to see what an American Halloween party is about. The Irish were most amused, and noted that they never had anything that big back home on this holiday. Lynn and Sudipto showed up late and told me that the whole group had been working hard all day. It was mildly sad, as if the group's only started learning how to work as if it were a grinding away rather than take the time to refuel and rest a bit.

The desserts were all pretty interesting and the cake turned out a bit too chocolaty, so folks actually thought it was a brownie from the top. The ice cream turned out really good, creamy and thick and mildly spicy and defintely pumpkiny. I was very glad it cured well and the texture was very nice and custardy creamy with the egg richness. There were various cream pies, and a apple caramel pie as well. I'd been thinking about making an 'apple worm pie' with thick glass noodles in along with the apples and spices, but judging from the other desserts it would likely not have been recieved all that well, and given what won, I guess even the ice cream and cake were too different or something.

Anyway... both desserts were completely eaten by the end of the dessert time, so I wasn't sad. The entertainment committee had hired a clown as well, for the kids, and this time the clown wasn't scaring all the kids, which was good. The other year, nearly all the kids were scared to death of the clown. This time they all gathered to watch her and cheer her magic show and there were a very large number of parents that asked her to do birthdays or parties for them, which was very cool.

Food and talking and walking and stuff. That was just fun. Lots of 'look at her eyes!' and kids backing away from me when they actually noticed. Quite a number of 'are those contacts?', 'does that hurt?' and 'can you actually see out of those?' All of which were even funnier. The most startling thing about them is the color, bright yellow against my skin color is kinda weird, given that most people assume that I'll have dark eyes. And then they noticed the cat slits. Someday I'll have to get together a tiger outfit. As it is, though, it was subtle enough to startle a large number of people in a good way.

John and I helped clean up everything at the end. The caterers were going to take care of all the tables and food, but we took care of putting away the decorations so that they could be used next year as well as the candy that had been left lying around and all the snack things that were left. It's really cool, but for Halloween Doritos makes their 3D snacks in small bags with Scooby and Shaggy on them. Given a very cursory examination, those snacks actually could be Scooby snacks! Munch crunch happiness.

When we left for home, it was already dark but only 6 p.m. Neither of us were hungry, at all, so we skipped dinner. Fezzik got his dinner as soon as we were home, and both John and I happily sat down to watch Monday Night Football, which was an entirely mindless occupation after all the work of the day. Sure, it wasn't technical work, but it was still work and it was something that made a lot of people have a much brighter, more fun, and happier day, so that was very much worth it.

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