Sunday, November 7, 2010

Working Mom: Halloween 2010

Halloween 2010 was awesome and reminiscent of my college days when Shannon and I dressed up as drag queens every year. This time, I was not a drag queen and there was no drinking involved - just hundreds of adoring fans (no, not fans, really, just students and not all were adoring, but stay with me here), lots of partying (as in class parties), and much posing. Those sexy poses from my college days did come in handy here.

2nd Incarnation as Drag Queens - Our Stage names were Olivia & Desiree

Our Final Incarnation - my wig was much improved this time and so was the make up.
This year, I was told that I absolutely have to dress up for work because I teach two 9th grade classes and it just happens to fall on Parent's Day every year. Since the moms have come to expect this tradition of teachers dressing up in costume on Halloween, I was told that it was absolutely unavoidable. I had not really dressed up since my college days, but what the heck.

I had that awful white disco costume left over from AFWJ Convention 2009 when I was on the committee and we did a performance at the Cabaret Show. The performance was based on Mamma Mia, and I was quite pregnant at the time. I decided it might be a good idea to use that costume again and be a disco diva complete with a Farrah Fawcett hairdo and lots of make up. I got the wig online from Amazon and copied the make up cues from the photo that came with the wig. I had to buy some cosmetics that I did not already own - eyebrow pencil, eyeliner, pink lip gloss, etc.

Adie, 50s Girl and me, the 70s Disco Diva

I did one practice session about a week before the big day and discovered that my rolls of fat do not bode well with this lovely white disco suit. So, back online, I searched and searched for some kind of girdle or body suit that would help hide my rolls. I finally ordered Spanx but then realized they would never get to Japan in time for Halloween, so I then went to my local department store and got some help from a nice saleslady who recommended a 2-piece girdle. Yes, they are tight and constricting, but I looked so much better with one on, and just to get used to it, I wore it under my work clothes all week. I knew that the big day would entail high-heeled shoes, so I really wanted to limit my body to one shock at a time. As it was, the girdle must be the big secret for many women in their 30s and 40s. What a great way to "slim down" without actually doing the slimming! It is certainly not recommended for every day as it does get tiring, and even on the fourth day of wearing it, I had to remove it by about 3pm. But on the big costume day, I looked and felt great in it. My feet, on the other hand, suffered greatly, and are still in recovery mode.

I was a disco diva, complete with microphone, but many students and teachers thought I was supposed to be Mariah Carey, Madonna, Lady Gaga, or Beyonce. I didn't exactly deny that. I mean, they are all divas who have worn pretty wild costumes out in public and some of them may have even worn sequined bell bottoms at one time or another. And, let me be frank. If I could come be born again into any lifestyle, I would choose to be a world-famous diva with a great voice, like Celine Dion or Mariah Carey.

Here is what I actually was supposed to be: A retired disco diva who is past her prime, but she comes back to the stage to perform once in a great while. I wasn't anyone in particular, but when you watch shows like American Idol, you'll often see performers like this - coming back to sing their old famous tunes but looking way too old to be on stage and certainly nothing like you remember them. (Someone told me that I am still young-looking, but she is really really old so I can understand her point of view.)

Of course, I can't explain all that to students, but that's what I was!

I had to teach two classes in costume, and the other two classes were the Junior High class activities, so it was more like a party. After school, we had a party for the ESS (English) club, so it was a full day for me. There are photos on my facebook page that students took while I was teaching, or just before or after class. Those are funny because it looks like Mariah Carey is teaching a high school class.

Enjoy the photos!

My team teacher for one of the classes who also acted as my body guard, if only for a few fleeting moments.

My biggest fan: We told him that I was supposed to be Nicole Kidman just to get him more excited about it.

Same biggest fan from above photo, but this time, he is wearing a Batman costume. Forced into it, I guess, and he probably wouldn't like me posting this on my blog, but I just had to!

With the boys of 3I class.

Hilarious but real photo of a 50s girl and a diva actually eating the school lunch. Was it edible? Yes. Was it gross? You be the judge.

Four teachers, one dressed as a student and he fit right in!

With some of our students from 1I Class.

My contribution to the English Club's party - Kitty Litter Cake. Mmmm.

I decided to give Ailin a good memory and go pick her up in costume.
She thought that was pretty cool and so did her teachers and classmates.

Monday, November 1, 2010

October Round-up

I noticed a few new things this month.

About Ailin:
Her hair is finally growing thicker and longer and faster. She just got her hair cut in August and will need it again soon. She says she wants to get her hair cut just like mine.
She says funny things like "French Rice" for McDonalds french fries.
She's really sassy. It gets worse each month.
She can speak English and knows a lot of words, but I think she chooses to speak Japanese. She often surprises me with a slew of English words or sentences, so I know she is picking up stuff. Yesterday, she said, "You're mom. He's dad. This is brother. I'm Ailin."
She really wants to learn to read. We may have to start Hooked On Phonics or something similar soon. Oh, where will I get the time?

About Luka:
He is much more "INTO EVERYTHING" than Ailin ever was. I have put locks on every single cupboard door in the kitchen, plus the garbages and many of the cabinets throughout the house. I may have to put a lock on the toilet too.
He likes to play hide and seek, as in peek around the corner and then run away.
He likes to stand up on his high chair. Not good!
He also likes to crawl from his high chair onto the table, and he can do this very quickly...just to get some food that he couldn't reach.
He really likes his Papa. (and of course his Mama too.)

About myself:
I am getting old and fat.
I discovered a secret weapon though - girdles and spanx.
I finally decided that out-sourcing is a good and necessary thing in some cases. Hello professional house cleaner and hello professional typer.
Every year, I start out by promising myself that I will keep my work desk organized and clean, that I will keep up with evaluating of homework and projects. It all goes well until a virtual tornado hits my desk in September, and I am left with a huge pile of evaluations, a messy desk and NO TIME to possibly do it all. (Then, I promise myself that I just won't assign homework next year! Ha! How easily we forget.)
I discovered Genius Playlists on iTunes works really well to help me listen to my 1000s of songs, most of which I have forgotten about. Genius rocks!
(I can't believe I just wrote that something "rocks".)
I am working too late every night and need to get out of this office earlier so our evenings can go smoother. (See above!)

I learned something new too.
The word "kaba" in Japanese means hippo, but it can also refer to a stupid idiot. The word "baka" means stupid, so if you call someone a hippo, you are really throwing an insult their way. It might be akin to our English insult, my personal favorite, "dumbass" as in dumb donkey or dumb butt. Please do not ask me how I learned about this.

Not much going on this month except our EXTREME preparations for Halloween.
Annual Sports Festival at Daycare on the 4th.
Bilingual Kids Club on the 23rd.
My School celebrations on the 29th.

I am SO TIRED from celebrating Halloween that I have decided there will be no Thanksgiving this year. I just can't handle another month of expensive preparations with Xmas just around the corner.