Friday, September 30, 2011

Dexter and Victim: Halloween Costumes!

Ever since I posted a photo of me dressed as Dexter's victim for Halloween in 2009 in my "Three New York Years" post, I have noticed that a lot of people are finding my blog by searching for Dexter's victim Halloween costume ideas. I have to say, I sympathize with this, because back when Eric and I decided to be Dexter and his victim for Halloween that year, I did lots of Googling myself, for ideas, inspiration, and basic "how to make this work" type of guidance. Honestly, there wasn't much to be found.

Sure, you can buy the "official" Dexter costume from Showtime, but it's pricey (currently on sale for a mere $60!) and comes with only a shirt, apron, and face slash tattoo. Weak! And why would Dexter even need a face slash tattoo? He doesn't slash his own face, people. And there's really nothing out there for you if you want to do a couples costume and include Dexter's victim in the fun, too.

So, I thought I would help all the Googlers out there find what they're looking for and tell you how exactly Eric and I created these Dexter and Victim Halloween costumes in 2009:

Dexter and Victim, Halloween 2009

Plus, Dexter starts back up this weekend, and I am psyched about that! So this seems like quite an appropriate time to get in the Dexter spirit, don't you think?

Let's start with Dexter himself. Eric wanted to wear Dexter's classic kill uniform:

Looks like Dexter has subdued his victim

Going in for the kill

So, to recreate this look, here's what you need:

The shirt: Dexter's kill shirt is American Apparel's Baby Thermal Long Sleeve Henley in color "Army," available here for $28. (When Eric was looking for this shirt in stores, the Army color was sold out, so he ended up with the Brown color. Not an exact match, but it worked.)

American Apparel Baby Thermal Long Sleeve Henley in "Army"

The pants: Dexter wears cargo pants along with this henley, and I believe Eric found a pair of olive-colored cargo pants at Old Navy for fairly cheap. They have a pretty decent selection here.

Shoes: If memory serves, Eric just wore brown or black shoes, nothing special.

Accessories: Eric accessorized his costume with a black plastic apron, which I believe we found on Amazon for fairly cheap (something like this, although I think we found something much cheaper at the time). I'm sure you could also find something similar in a hardware store, Target, WalMart, etc., but we went the online shopping route. He also picked up some black leather gloves from a street vendor (again, I'm sure you could find something similar at Target, WalMart, etc.), and of course, a bloody knife purchased at a Halloween store.

Really, Eric-as-Dexter came together very well:

Looking evil!

True, Dexter doesn't usually allow his victims to enjoy a lovely beer while killing them, but you get the drift.

As for me as Dexter's victim, that took a little trial and error, so this is where I give you all my tips.

As we all know, Dexter likes to wrap his victims in plastic wrap as he torments them with their bad deeds before going in for the kill:

That is one well-wrapped victim.

Here's how I was able to recreate that into a workable Halloween costume:

What to wear underneath: Unless you are far more daring than I, you will probably want to wear something underneath your plastic wrap. I opted for a nude tube dress, or more specifically, the Cotton Spandex Jersey Too-Short Tube Dress from American Apparel in color "Nude," available here for $29.

American Apparel Cotton Spandex Jersey Too-Short Tube Dress in Nude

The Plastic Wrap: Once you've got your tube dress on, it's time to wrap yourself up. This is where the trial and error came in. First of all, you do NOT want to wrap your full body in one continuous sheet of plastic wrap. What ends up happening there is as you go up and down to cover your top and bottom, you end up with the majority of the plastic being wrapped around your waist, which ends up making you look pretty thick in the middle. And honestly, ladies, who wants that? What you want to do is wrap your top, then cut off the plastic. Then start again just below your waist and wrap your bottom. When you're finished, add a little to the middle as needed so it looks continuous, but you should still have something of a waist with this method.

Another very important tip: do NOT keep your feet together as you wrap your bottom half. Let me tell you, that plastic wrap gets TIGHT. If you keep your feet together, you will end up unable to walk, sit, and...well, use the bathroom. I highly recommend keeping your feet at least shoulder-width apart as you wrap to give yourself a little room to move. To add extra wiggle room, I then cut small slits at each side of the "skirt" which gave me enough give that I could lift it, plastic wrap and all, as needed for bathroom breaks. You can probably best see my slits in this picture of me on the subway:

See the slits on the side of the skirt? You can see my nude tube dress peeking through!

I also added some clear packing tape to the top of my plastic wrap to make sure everything stayed put and there were no plastic wrap malfunctions during the night.

A word of warning: wrapping yourself in plastic is HOT. Not sexy hot (although maybe, if that's what you're into), but "OMG I'm so sweaty under here!" kind of hot. Be prepared to sweat like a maniac underneath all that plastic! Now that is sexy.

However, an unexpected bonus for me was that it was quite waterproof when we got caught in a sudden downpour. So multifunctional!

The bleeding face: Everyone knows that before Dexter kills his victims, he takes a souvenir drop of blood by cutting their cheek. I created my face cut with some makeup from a Halloween store: a fake cut, a little adhesive, and some fake blood that I over-applied until it dripped down my face a bit.

Pretty good look at my face cut

If you want to go extra bloody, you might try squirting a little fake blood into the inner layers of your plastic wrap at your belly, to look like you've already been stabbed! I planned to try that but hey, we were running late. That's life.

Accessories: My favorite accessory was my blood slide necklace, which oh-so-perfectly complimented my cut face. I found it on Etsy (something similar can be found here, or just search "blood slide necklace" on Etsy). I'm sure if you are crafty and/or have access to a blood slide it would be simple to make your own. I just loved that little extra Dexter touch.

This is the best shot I have of my necklace

And of course, I topped the whole ensemble off with a pair of deep red heels, red earrings and red nails. 

So there you have it - my tips on how to create a Dexter and Victim couples Halloween costume. If you try this, I would love to hear how it turns out! Happy Halloween, and Happy Return of Dexter this weekend!

I am so ready.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

50/50 Premiere

Before I get to the meat of this post, I first wanted to say happy birthday to my dear little Achilles! Today we're celebrating Achilles' 8th birthday, although really it is the 7th anniversary of his adoption (the vet estimated he was about a year old when we got him). And of course, happy early birthday to my mom tomorrow (although it will be on-time birthday by the time you read this, I'm sure)! I'm lucky to have these two in my life, I gotta say.

Monday night Eric and I left work at 5:30 (hey, did I ever mention that our office buildings are right next to each other?) and walked one block north to the Ziegfeld to celebrity-watch at the 50/50 movie premiere.

Red carpet all set up for the 50/50 premiere

Things got started a little later than we expected so we had a bit of a wait, but we did get to see Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Anjelica Huston and Bill Hader! Seth and Anna came over to greet the crowd, which was quite nice - they each spent a while signing autographs and taking pictures. Joseph and Anjelica just waved as they went in, and Bill Hader just always shows up at these sorts of things and goes straight inside.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen

Anna Kendrick

Bill Hader

Anjelica Huston

I have to say, when we used to do this all the time I don't remember the crowds being that bad. I mean, it was crowded, sure. But everyone seemed to be fairly respectful and polite. The past couple of times we have done this, however, the crowds have been loud, crass, rude, disrespectful and "pushy," which frankly, is an understatement. It really is making it not much fun anymore, so I can't say how many more of these celeb-watchings are in our future. This time, the autograph-seekers were so awfully pushy, even Seth Rogen called them out on it. They just all swarm in from the back when the celebrity comes over to the crowd and shove things in their faces, not caring who they trample, elbow, push, shove, etc. in the process. Seth Rogen at one point said, "sure, I'll sign for you, but not if you're sticking things in girls' faces." Way to go, Seth!

Poor Seth getting irritated and pushing the papers, pictures, etc. out of his face

I do have to say, though, I might be convinced to deal with the pushy autograph folks at least one more time if Ides of March premieres at the Ziegfeld - Ryan Gosling and George Clooney? Yes, please!

I do think 50/50 looks like a good movie, so we'll probably check that out one of these weekends. Are you planning to see it?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mellow Weekend

Did everyone have a wonderful, relaxing weekend? I feel like Eric and I have been so on-the-go for so long, it was nice to not have anything major planned this weekend. I even got to nap! Oh, how I have been longing for a nap. It was every bit as glorious as I anticipated.

As of Saturday, I officially made it out of my first trimester with this pregnancy. Hooray! To "celebrate," Eric and I went into the city Saturday afternoon to wander around the super enormous Buy Buy Baby store to start getting a feel for things we'll need. Obviously, our storage is extremely limited in our apartment, so we're really going for a "less is more" approach with baby stuff, as well as looking for creative storage and space-saving solutions. It's going to be a challenge, but I'm up for it. Of course, Buy Buy Baby left us both feeling like, "Wow. Babies need a lot of crap." So, we have our work cut out for us to get to the bottom of it all! Any mom readers out there, please don't hesitate to share anything that your baby absolutely HAD to have, or anything that the kid couldn't have cared less about. Advice is welcome!

Saturday evening we watched the Gator game, of course. I do love me some Gator football. We have a couple challenging weeks ahead of us on the schedule now, so let's go, Gators!

Sunday Eric and I went to the mall for lunch, and while we were there I got quite angry when we walked into Macy's and I saw this:

No. Just...no.

I mean, clearly I just skipped three months of my life, here. Welcome to December, folks! Honestly, who forgot to tell Macy's that it's not yet October? I mean, they already have CHRISTMAS TREES up. That's just sick. I even think it's a bit too early to be stocking holiday merchandise, but full on decorations and everything?! I mean, I like Christmas and all, but I haven't even started thinking about Halloween yet, that's how early this is. So I'm officially boycotting Macy's between now and January. I just can't deal.

After the mall we hit up Target, then came back into Hoboken to check out the Hoboken Arts and Music Festival on Washington Street. It was a really nice little festival, featuring live music down by City Hall, lots of great art vendors, and of course, street food. We had a great time wandering through there for a bit, admiring the art and enjoying the music.

City Hall is the building on the right, and the stage with live music is over there to the left.
(For you Cake Boss fans, Carlo's Bakery is right across the street from City Hall, just behind where I'm standing!)

Vendors lined up along Washington Street

Now that's a delicious booth.

It's sort of like a paint palette exploded, but I like it!

We spent the rest of our afternoon/evening relaxing at home, which was quite nice. Sometimes it's just nice not to have anything to do, don't you agree?

Hope you all had a great weekend, too!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Boston

Last weekend Eric and I took the very last of our summer (now spilling over into fall) domestic trips, this time to Boston. I would say we made a pretty good dent in the northeast (etc.) this summer, wouldn't you? Niagara Falls, Toronto, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Boston, even Washington, D.C. for Eric...yup, that about does it.

The answer to your first question is yes, this trip was also planned around baseball. This is my life. Although Eric had already been to Fenway (and therefore it is not a new stadium to cross off the list), I had never been and Eric felt we just couldn't go to Boston without going to Fenway Park. So, we picked a day when the Tampa Bay Rays would be in town and planned a weekend around it. My cousin Jacob and his lovely (expecting!) wife Zita live there, so we were excited to visit with them, see their new home, and check out Boston a little bit.

We took the BoltBus from NYC up to Boston at the crack of dawn (6:30 a.m.) on Saturday. As we walked to the PATH train at 5:30 in the morning there were still people stumbling home in their going-out clothes from the night before...remember those days? Good times. Now we are old people who are starting our day at the crack of dawn, rather than ending it. And time marches on.

BoltBus was great, much better than the Chinatown buses I used to take back and forth between D.C. and NYC when Eric was a summer associate up here...I once rode in one in which the seat in front of me was literally held together by a 2x4. I also rode in one once in which the driver kept falling asleep and starting to veer off the road. Passengers tried talking to him to keep him awake and when he finally stopped at a gas station, half the bus decided to take cabs the rest of the way home (which was quite a considerable distance). Not me, though! I lived on the edge and stuck with Sleepy, and lived to tell about it. (Mom, I hope you skipped this paragraph.) But anyway, BoltBus was comfortable (albeit freezing), had electrical outlets at every seat, and got us there FASTER than their website said would happen. Amazing!

Jacob and Zita picked us up from South Station in Boston and we set right out for a walking tour, largely along the Freedom Trail but with a few quick detours here and there. We saw Jacob's office at the start of our tour, and also made a detour into the Botanical Garden because it's pretty. We also saw the duck statues from "Make Way for Ducklings," which were adorable. As Jacob and Zita are expecting their first child in December, the cluster of strollers parked at the ducks made for a good opportunity for them to fill us in on their stroller research. Yay for stroller advice!

Tons of stroller parked at the ducks...there's me on the left being told about the various stroller features by Jacob and Zita

The people that go in the strollers playing on the duck statues

Jacob and Zita in the gardens

Enjoying Boston so far!

We also stumbled upon a big festival calling for the legalization of marijuana, which was...fragrant.

The fair food booths (funnel cakes, fries, pizza, etc.) must make a killing at this gathering.

After these various detours, we really got on our way with the Freedom Trail. We started at Boston Common, then saw the Massachusetts State House, Park Street Church ("My Country 'Tis of Thee" was first sung there!), Granary Burying Ground (final resting place to the likes of Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Paul Revere, and the Boston Massacre victims), King's Chapel (I loved the cool pew boxes inside), the site of the first public school, the Old Corner Bookstore, the Old South Meeting House (where the Boston Tea Party began), the Old State House (where the Declaration of Independence was first read in Massachusetts), Faneuil Hall (I loved the grasshopper weather vane!), Old North Church (where Paul Revere hung the lanterns to signal the approach of the British: "one if by land, two if by sea") and Paul Revere House. Jacob and Zita were great tour guides!

Massachusetts State House

Park Street Church

Paul Revere's marker in Granary Burying Ground

The grave of Samuel Adams in the foreground, and the headstone for the victims of the Boston Massacre behind it to the left

Inside King's Chapel

The site of the first public school

This is the Old State House, and the Declaration of Independence was first read in Massachusetts on that balcony. I thought this was a cool picture of an old building in the middle of modern-day Boston, complete with construction!

Grasshopper weather vane on Faneuil Hall

Paul Revere statue with the steeple of the Old North Church behind him, where he hung his lanterns

Standing on the Freedom Trail!

We also made a brief stop along the way for cupcakes, because we are people who like to stop for cupcakes.

Mmm, cupcakes.

After the Freedom Trail fun, we made our way over to the aquarium to check out the seals outside. I love me some seals.

The aquarium - we didn't go in, we just wanted to see the seals.

Oh, hello there!

By then we were all pretty beat, so we headed back to Jacob and Zita's house. They have a lovely home! It was great to see their place, and we settled in just in time to catch the Gators game (as I also flipped through all of Zita's pregnancy books!). We ordered in some BBQ for dinner, and then spent the night watching football and playing Mario Kart on the Wii, at which I am laughably terrible.

Jacob, Zita and Eric (and Theo!) playing Mario Kart

Theo just stares lovingly at Jacob all the time

Playing Wii with cousin Jacob

Jacob and Zita going to town!

On Sunday, Jacob and Zita went out and picked up some bagels and pastry for us for breakfast, then we got ready to start our second day in Boston.

Happy family!

Jacob and Zita took us out to walk around the Harvard campus, which was lovely. We really just sort of meandered around and enjoyed the pretty scenery.

I already forgot what building this was, but it was pretty.

Nothing like a little croquet on a Sunday morning

With the John Harvard statue

We saw this in a tree on our way back to the car and I thought it might just be the cutest thing ever. If you opened the door, there was a little stuffed bear and stuffed tiger inside!

This guy was also hanging out nearby, and I thought he was pretty cute.

We didn't stay at Harvard too long, and then Jacob and Zita drove us out to Fenway and dropped us off so we could spend some time exploring the stadium before the game started. We bid them farewell then got ready for some baseball!

Fenway Park

Outside the stadium

Self-taken

Inside Fenway

Ready for Red Sox v. Rays!

With the Green Monster behind us!

We had standing-room only seats up on the very top level, which really weren't bad because we were able to get a little ledge to lean on (and eat our hot dogs off of!), but it was freezing up there in the shade when the wind was blowing - in the 50s, probably? I mean, that's just not baseball weather. On the upside, it calmed my usual craving for a cold beer! (Seriously, do you have any idea how rough it has been to visit all these stadiums this summer as a pregnant woman without beer? Baseball just needs beer, and that's all there is to it. Hot dogs and water just don't go nearly as well together.)

View from our "seats" at the top

Press box to our left

But, the game was great - the Rays ended up winning it 8-5, and I really liked Fenway. I guess I'm an "old stadium" kind of gal - it just feels more authentic to me, or something.

Just like Wrigley, I liked the old manual scoreboard (they're in the process of changing the numbers in this picture!)

Rays dugout

Tim Wakefield pitching for the Red Sox

David Price pitching for the Rays

David Price got hit right in the chest with a ball (ouch!) and everyone rushed out to make sure he was okay

David Ortiz, just as he hit what looked like a home run but turned out to be foul

Eric and I had to leave the game a little early to catch the train (the "T," excuse me) to South Station to pick up our bus back to NYC. We took the Lucky Star bus back this time, and first of all, this is their logo:


Who wants to tell me exactly what that is supposed to be? The best we could come up with is some sort of pig/deer/dragon/kangaroo hybrid, or something. So that's your first problem. Really, the Lucky Star bus wasn't bad, but the ride was much longer (and also included a stop) and the bus dropped off in Chinatown, so further from home for us. I prefer the BoltBus for sure.

But, we made it home without too much trouble and had a really great couple of days in Boston! Thanks again so much to Jacob and Zita for your hospitality and tour-guiding services - we're always happy to return the favor if you decide you want to bring the little one to the Big Apple next year!