This week of July 2nd- Conclusions, Beginnings, and The Labrynth of Jareth


Concludsions– The Verdict on Michael’s Job

I know, I know I’ve left you all hanging for a week– I’m sorry! For those of you who haven’t heard through facebook, the winner on Michael’s job is…drumroll please…

The Antelope Valley YMCA!

Yes, on July 14th we will be packing up our tiny apartment and gently cramming our assorted antique furniture into a U-Haul to make the hour drive to our new two bedroom, centrally air-conditioned appartment in Lancaster, California. For all the blank looks and painful moans I’m receiving from people as I tell them, we might as well be packing a covered waggon and striking out for the uncharted West. Apparently the Antelope Valley is a lot farther away in mental miles than driving ones.

I will still be keeping my job, working four long days instead of a standard schedule to cut down on the traffic, because traffic there is bound to be. I keep reminding myself that this move means a two bedroom appartment in a gated community with central air, a dishwasher, and a walk-in closet for less than we’re paying for a cramped one bedroom in Glendale. Central air, dishwasher, closet. Central air, dishwasher, closet. Maybe if I say it enough times the drive will seem a little less like commuting from the moon.

I am very, very much excited to be near our friends up there, especially being in the same complex as Matt and Jillian Rojas. I’m excited that this could mean a little more stop-and-think time for me, something that I never schedule enough of in the city. And I’m excited for Michael. I feel like these last few weeks he’s made so many strides as a leader, I’m really excited to see what will happen to the Antelope Valley program. I may be biased, but I think he’s going to totally rock the job.

 

Beginnings–Tom’s Toys Bel Air Opening

So why haven’t I told you all about this last Monday? Because I was up to my elbows in boxes getting ready to unveil the latest addition to the Tom’s Toy store chain on Saturday. The store is beautiful. It really is. The employees are fantastic and I’m so proud of the work that we all did to put the store together. There’s something about putting together a retail store, especially a toy store built into an antique book shop, that is just so satisfying. I was so exhausted by the end I required a shot of espresso every other hour to stay alive, but I feel the result definitely paid off. Here’s a few pictures taken two days before we opened:

The thought of hanging the play tent from the balcony was a combined genius idea by me and Dana. We were having trouble finding a place to put these huge play tent boxes and she said she wished we could hang them from the ceiling. I thought we can work with that…

 

Boxes, boxes everywhere but no more room to put all this stuff!!!

Finally, on Saturday we opened the store to a great reception by the community and I staggered home and passed out for two hours, just in time to put my make-up on and scurry off to the latest big event I’ve been anticipating for a while:

 

The Labyrinth of Jareth

For those of you who were very puzzled by the facebook pictures I was tagged in a few days ago, that was me and Michael all dressed up fantasy-style to attend what is apparently the fantasy costume event of the year (which somehow I’ve been oblivious to for the last ten years or so…).

Loosely formed around the masquarade ball portrayed in the movie Labyrinth, The Labyrinth of Jareth is an annual gathering of all seelie and unseelie folk (good and bad faries and other mystical creatures) as well as humans, mechanicals, and other beasties to renew the treaty that keeps the magical folk from running rampant over Los Angeles the rest of the year. What this means for the rest of us, apparently, is an excuse to wear crazy costumes, drink fancy booze, and enjoy an evening of performance and mystical ambiance. Think of it as the nerd’s West Hollywood Halloween party–with much more velvet, much less latex, and one of two less drag queens (although there was this strange, very hairy red and blue fairy that kept following us around.)

For me, I loved the mystery of the event. The Park Plaza Hotel is an ancient building off of Wilshire built in the era when grandious ballrooms were still considered an essential. Sypher, the company that runs the event, had lit every area in a strange, unearthly light. There were masked dancers everywhere and strange sights wherever you looked. I let my imagination run away with me frequently, but it felt like I had been dropped into a fantasy novel (such as The Dresden Files) into one of those scenes right before the other shoe drops and all the monsters that lured the unsuspecting hero into their midst throw off their masks and unsheath their talons. I felt like I should be hunting down an un-dead enemy, bargaining for the life of a hostage, or solving some magically derived crime of gruesome proportions.

I’m normally a pretty conservative person, but for the occasion I decided to get a little fun. Michael decided he wanted a velvet vest, a cowboy hat, and a chain mail eyepatch. After some lengthy discussion we decided we didn’t have to match. Because I didn’t have time to do any fancy make-up the day of, Marissa and Michael helped me do some henna on back and front. Overall I thought everything turned out okay, I especially liked Michael’s vest, and we have some great ideas for next year!!

Here’s a few photos I unceremoniously pirated from Jay and Melissa’s facebook:

The high-priestess fairy Jill is practicing her ‘not amused’ glance…

These are Jay and Melissa’s awesome costumes. Jay spent many, many hours on his scary armor and I think it totally shows. We also went with Melissa’s lovely brother and his wife, but I don’t feel I know them well enough to put up their pictures without warning. They had amazing costumes– he was wearing a dapper suit with a bubble helmet and an octopus mask (top hat daintily perched on top of the bubble, of course!) and she matched him in an evening gown drapped with nets and seashells complete with an octopus fascinator. Awesome!!!

Can’t wait until next year!! There are times like these when I love being a totally unabashed nerd.

-Jill

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