Mundane; Magnificent

I’ve always gone on about how life is the greatest adventure, but sometimes it feels like life is actually just a crummy, mediocre version of a really boring, really difficult adventure.

I mean, come on. Filling out tax forms, paying bills, buying groceries, getting the flu shot–none of those things are particularly fun or exciting or daring like adventures are supposed to be. You could probably argue that you could turn those things into an adventure if you had the right mindset, but the reality remains that they’re pretty mundane things to do.

Of course though, adventures aren’t 100% danger and excitement and thrill. Adventurers still have to do things like cook food and buy supplies and pay for places to sleep and walk on a path for gods-know-how-many hours a day if they’re trying to travel somewhere. And if the adventure is set in the real world, it makes it even more likely that the adventurers will have to do some of the mundane things required to stay alive and get a good (or at least decent) sleep at night. Adventures do have their dull moments, we just tend to write those out of the story.

But really, you could argue that adventures are just mimicking real life, except that they’ve been glorified to exhibit all the fun, dangerous bits and modified to leave out most of the boring ones.

In a way, that can make it pretty difficult to relate to adventures, when we feel like our lives aren’t very similar.

Which is something I feel a lot in my own life, and in my writing too. I mean, I’d love if my life was more exciting, made of more than just work and school and sleeping and writing, and I could go travelling and exploring and learning and all the exciting things that adventurers get to do. But at the same time, in POTS (the story I am presently writing) I find I have almost the opposite problem. My protagonist (who’s from this world) is off doing all these crazy exciting things and I’m trying to find a way to keep her human, keep her relatable. After all, she’s modelled after a teenager from our world, so I want her to really feel like a teenager, and not some distant action hero. So I almost have to pay more attention to the mundane bits of the adventure, whereas in my own life I’m trying to pay more attention to the exciting ones.

It’s quite a situation.

But I think it kind of emphasizes what exactly we find appealing about adventures. We like the danger, the excitement, the exploring and exploits. But we’re looking for the relatability, the parts that let us see ourselves in those same adventures, no matter how fantastic and out of this world they might be.

And that’s why the characters are so important, you know? We need a character that has the same fears and doubts that we do, the same morals, the same view of the world. We need a character that is going to react to an extreme situation in a way that we can understand and sympathize with. When the adventurer finally becomes the hero and does something big and brave, we still need to feel like, if we were in their shoes, we could have reached the same state of courage.

So I think it’s kind of cool to put characters through mundane situations, to see how they would act and behave. It’s like… this character can take down dragons and supervillains, but could they handle taxes? Would they know how to pick a ripe avocado at the supermarket? Can they cook a fancy quiche when they’re more used to kicking butt?

Which is probably why coffee shops and dinner dates are common scenes for fanfiction. We just love seeing our heroes act human.

I’m thinking I may have lost my original point through the course of this post, but ultimately I think that adventures aren’t that different from our everyday lives. They still have mundane, human moments amidst all the chaos and thrill. They just happen to have a lot more chaos and thrill than the typical life of a layman.

And like I said, with the right mindset, you could make just about anything into an adventure.

What was the last adventure you had?

May all your adventures have a touch of humanity in their magnificence.

-Alex

A Grand (Re-)Entrance

I’ve been thinking about how I should perform this grand entrance.

Leap out of the shadows into a brilliant spotlight with confetti cannons and a deafening fanfare?

Let a drumroll build up suspense as I slowly descend from wires attached to the ceiling, graceful as a bird, until my feet touch ground and a dazzling array of fireworks and spouts of flame awe the audience?

Walk into the room all cool with my sunglasses on and a disinterested shrug, greeting everyone with a, “Hey, wassup?”

But I’m not sure any of those entrances are quite accurate. My real entrance is more like a personification of the “:S” face, with lots of wide eyes and sheepish frowns and a kind of shuffling step as I brush away some of the dust and wonder if anyone remembers me.

Ahem. In any case.

I am putting forth an effort to return to blogging.

I’m not here with promises or anything crazy, I’m just putting forth an effort. I’d like to start blogging again so I am going to try. Whether or not that will be successful is debatable.

First though, because some of you may be wondering: I will be doing the usual Your Story thing, but I’m actually gonna do it in the fall (maybe start it September, end it November). The summer just came much too quickly for me to arrange anything so I’ll wait till things are more manageable before getting that up and running again. That being said, start preparing your stories! I hope to hear lots of them this year.

Second: my blog needs some serious help. I need to get a new banner and update my pages and aaargh. So much to do, so much to do. This place is a veritable disaster and I am sitting disgruntled and flustered in the midst of it. Huff.

Third: I have been on quite the adventure of my own.

I mentioned before the whole depression thing and that I didn’t really want to talk about it here, and I’m still not really keen on it, but the whole depression thing got a lot worse over the past couple months and has only very recently gotten much, much better. That was another part of my long silence, I suppose. Not easy to blog when you just feel like lying in bed forever and ever.

Still. It’s an adventure, even if it’s a dark and dangerous one. Lots of obstacles, lots of villains (most in my own head, I suppose), lots of struggling and darkest hours and chasing a speck of light that more often seems to get darker than brighter. But it’s an adventure, and I hope it’s made me stronger, and I hope that one day I will emerge officially victorious and be a little more prepared if it chooses to rear its ugly head again.

Anyways. Just wanted to stop in, say I’m still planning on rescuing this poor blog, and give a little update I suppose. Hopefully in the next little while I can get back into the swing of writing blog posts and discussing heroes and adventures and magic and all the good stuff.

Maybe I shall aim for a post a week? I know, I said I wouldn’t make promises, but still. I like to have a goal, even if only for the sake of having a goal.

I hope to see you around and hear from you soon and read lots of amazing stories come fall.

Take care, dear adventurers and heroes.

See you around.

-Alex

A blog post with very little in it…

I’ve been sitting on this post for a while (a blog post, not a literal post), trying to figure out what to say. I’ve had a few ideas, started typing them out, then ultimately scrapped them. I think I’ve forgotten how to blog. This is a problem.

At some point in my life I should actually try to finish LotSF. I started writing it so long ago… April of 2013. That means it will be three years old this April. That’s bizarre.

It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. I don’t know. There’s something about the story that feels timeless. It’s always there, always waiting, paused for a moment until I’m ready to pick it back up again. I haven’t posted a chapter since last May. Wow… um.

Of course, a lot of things have happened since then. A lot of personal issues, a lot of stress, a lot of everything. And this poor blog has suffered for it. And now I’ve forgotten how to blog.

It’s kind of made me look at my blog’s purpose again. I didn’t really have a purpose when I started, other than I liked fantasy things and wanted to talk about stories and heroes and stuff. I still want to do that, but I want to have more of a goal, you know? I want this blog to be inspiring. I want it to be a refuge and a comfort, if not for others, then for myself.

Here’s a fun fact: I always listen to Jónsi’s music when I blog. Always. It’s an old habit that started gods-only-know how long ago and is one I’ve always stuck to. So I suppose if you’d like to understand the spirit of Valourbörn, listen to Jónsi’s album “Go”. All of those songs have contributed to the words on this blog at one point or another.

It also reminds me of a friend of mine who happens to be learning Icelandic at the moment (some of Jónsi’s songs have Icelandic lyrics, you see). In fact, I shall call her out by name, for dear Jenny hasn’t been terribly active on her blog either. We shall have to remedy this ;)

So what shall be my blog’s newly defined purpose then, getting back to the matter at hand? “To inspire” is noble, but vague. I would like to try to use it to understand and explore the world. All the magic, all the beauty. I would like to try to use it to understand myself, and let others do the same. We’re all brave adventurers, we’re all epic heroes, we’re all warriors and explorers and magicians. And that’s what I love. That’s what I’d love to pursue.

I shall have to think on it some more, try to figure out what that means from a more practical standpoint. What shall I write about? How shall I inspire? Who knows, who knows?

I shall think on it. I have another post somewhat drafted anyways, so that’s at least a start, and then we shall see where this blog takes us. Hopefully somewhere pleasant :)

I also have a new banner image that I need to finish colouring that I’ve been working on for an actual year holy cow.

In any case, this post was basically just me putting out a blog post to prove I’ve not forgotten my poor dear blog. Sorry it’s not exactly eventful ^^’

But hey, there’s a comment box down below and I’ve dearly missed you. What adventures have you been up to?

-Alex

Your Story Is Incredible

Another year ended, another Your Story project completed. It was a little messier than last year, I didn’t do half as much for it as I would’ve liked (story of my life, I know), but it still happened. That’s the important part–it happened, and the stories that I got to share were so incredibly important.

Stories of love and loss, stories of depression and hardship, stories of struggle and sacrifice and strength and success. Real stories. Your stories.

It’s kind of incredible, sometimes, to hear someone talk about the most significant memories they have and understand something so… so deep about them. Like… the people you see on the street, the people you work with–people who you don’t know all that well–they all have stories upon stories kept safe in their memories. Whether they’re fifteen or fifty, there’s some story they have to tell that’s just… real. Real and raw and important. And doing this project, hearing your stories… sometimes it really hits me just how incredible that is.

You guys are amazing. Your stories are amazing. Thank you so much for sharing them with me. Thank you so much for letting me share them with others.

I’d like to keep up the tradition and do this again in the summer, and I look forward to reading the stories yet to come. Thank you again for sharing your adventures with me. Keep inspiring others with your light.

Your Story 2015

Your Story 2014

May your struggles bring you strength.

-Alex

Another Year Gone By

The year is almost over, can you believe it? I’m not too sure the past few months even happened. They all feel like a restless dream.

But it’s the end of 2015, finally. A lot of things happened this year, worldwide and on a more personal scale. It seems to be the case for a lot of people that 2015 was a rough year to get through. I can agree with that. There were highlights, sure, but it seems the year was more swamped in stress and struggles than anything else.

But let’s catch up with the last few months, shall we?

October

I wasn’t around all that much in October with very sporadic posts. In the end, I didn’t get done everything I wanted to. I hardly did anything, it feels like. I didn’t even do my usual costume post, but I suppose I’ll do it now. I was Midna from Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess this year, and wow was it a fun costume to make. Midna is such a lovely character and it’s pretty empowering to be the Twilight Princess for a night. I was pretty pleased with the outcome and had a fantastic Halloween.20151113_154432

November

November was, of course, time for NaNoWriMo. It was a very rough month. I made my word quota on the first day no problem, and then it all went downhill from there. I didn’t reach the word count goal for the entire rest of the month. There were so many days when I didn’t write anything at all. I ended up having 18,000 words to write on the last day. Normally, that would be eleven days of writing. Eleven days. Eleven days of writing all saved for the very last day.

You sure as hell bet I made it.

I almost died, but I made it.

nano win 2015

(It says I wrote 21k words on the last day but 3k of those were from after midnight the day before)

I will admit, I did cheat a little bit. I changed my timezone on the website so that it gave me four extra hours to write. From the minute I woke up until 4am, I wrote and wrote and wrote. Pounding out two, three, four thousand words between classes. Writing through meals. Writing more than a thousand words per every half hour. It was very very close. The last several thousand words were probably more gibberish than anything (I didn’t even have time to correct typos…) but gods above, I wrote 18,000 words that day and I never ever want to do it ever again.

December

December was an odd month. It passed by slowly and yet all too quickly. Christmas sprang up out of nowhere. We didn’t get snow until a couple days ago (we’re in Canada, for crying out loud, what nonsense). I saw family and friends. We got a kitten at the end of November and have spent the month cuddling and wrestling with the little stinker. My sister and I got matching tattoos, which was a first for both of us. I’ve baked so many cookies and read so many books and stories and have spent so many lazy mornings in bed.

20151203_162518-220151225_124028

And now we’re here. Almost in January. By the time this post goes up, I’ll be ringing in the new year with friends and 2016 will be just a few hours away.

I can’t wait.

I want to kiss 2015 goodbye. I’ll take with me the few good memories. I’ll carry forward the new friendships I’ve made. And I’ll leave behind all the rest because frankly I don’t want it. This year was far too much and not enough. It was a struggle and a war. There’s no promise that 2016 will be better, but at least we’ll all be stronger.

But as always, it’s resolution time. Last year’s resolutions:

  • Finish that book. It’s never too late.
  • Keep working on that bravery thing. It doesn’t happen overnight.
  • Find balance. In body and soul, mind and spirit.
  • Reflect more often, and be mindful of the little things.

For point number one, I was successful. Again, it was kind of by cheating. I wanted to finish the second draft this year but in a sense, I didn’t succeed. I made it to chapter 38, which was still four or five chapters from the end. But I was so frustrated with how hard I found it to rewrite every chapter that I decided to write the last few chapters as more of an outline than proper narrative. So I didn’t technically finish it, but I finished it enough for me to be satisfied and move onto draft number three. I’m also pretty convinced that a lot of writing is just learning how to cheat.

For the next two points, about bravery and balance, I’m not so sure I was successful with either of those. There was a lot of stress, a lot of inner struggle, and both peace and bravery were hard to attain. That’s all right. That’s what 2016 is for.

As for reflecting more often, I think this happened a lot this year. With the whole depression thing, it’s led to me spending hours in my journal, trying to figure things out, trying to find some hope in the madness. I’m not so sure I was mindful of the little things, but it’s another thing I can work on in years to come.

So for this year’s resolutions?

  • Work through the 3rd draft
    • Get some people to read it
  • Blog more (I’ve missed it)
  • Find balance and bravery, one step at a time
  • Build up my self-esteem
    • Start by admitting that my words and my self are important
  • Let go. Just let go. It’s the past. Let it go.

My resolutions are perhaps more detailed and extensive than previous years, but 2015 was rough and left a little more work to be done for the next year. I think these resolutions are worthy ones, and I hope to work towards them in the coming months.

Last but not least, a song to give you inspiration for the new year. This one is Battle Scars by Paradise Fears. It’s a couple years old now but I only stumbled upon it recently.

Happy New Year.

May it be a year of strength and success.

You can do this.

-Alex

TRIALS: .solo();

your story banner

[ABOUT YOUR STORY 2015]

Before I begin, I just want to say that I am still accepting entries. I know there are only eight days left, which isn’t a whole lot of time, but if you are able to come up with something, I’d be happy to share it. Otherwise, the project shall return again in the summer, so there’s always that. But for now, onwards to the next entry!

This entry comes from TS over at The PewPew Diaries. In it, he recalls the trials faced when trying to balance work, school, and relationships, and the sacrifices that come with it.

Enjoy.

***

.solo();

“Next time, train your employees better before sending them here,” she said to my mentor, with a smile and an affable tone. If you hadn’t heard her, you’d think we were exchanging pleasantries. Though it was hard to swallow, I deserved it… kinda.

————————

March, 2014.

I’m just 2 weeks into my job as a Support Technician, maintaining and upgrading workstations at a certain company. Pay is decent, job is somewhat fun if you love puzzle-solving, and you’re never overworked. Clock in at 9, lunch break at 12 – 2, knock off at 5. That’s usually the case if I don’t screw up.

Well, then there’s this particular occasion where a deceptively routine case was tasked to me. I almost destroyed a regional manager’s career that day. I was to migrate her workstation to another laptop, which normally just meant copying all the files over and reinstalling all the programs they are to have according to their clearance levels. Little did I know her laptop was a variant, and had relied on authentication to access her some of her most important files. Meaning to say she couldn’t access these files on another PC, even with her own user logged in; it has to be that one laptop, because even cloned systems based on the host would generate a different authentication key and be locked out of files previously secured on the host.

We’d normally have to call in upper management to bring in another guy from another company that provides the authentication software and do the paperwork.

If I had done things as-per-usual, I’d have created a huge mess for everyone. The original laptop would have been scrapped after the migration, and the regional manager would have no way to access the files unless we sent it down to decrypt, which takes quite a while. It’s all sensitive, confidential data, too.

The company (it’s a bank, if it makes things worse) is huge. I don’t know how many lives I could have potentially screwed up that day, but it’s probably a lot.

Fortunately, I ran into a few odd problems that alerted seniors on the company chatgroup, whom then checked with our office and realised I – a rookie, was working on that case. In the end, one of the senior engineers came down after 6 and we worked things out together. It didn’t help that our client was a master at passive-aggressiveness. She uses her words well; sopped in poison and tailored for harm. Confident and imposing in execution, from body language to tone of speech – her calm and steadiness belied a ruthless sea of anger and impatience.  

It was a nightmare being grilled under that pressure, and knowing that from a bystander’s viewpoint our client seems to be rather friendly. She suggested a few unpleasant things about me, and our line of work, but I let it slide because I know I can’t (and shouldn’t) fight back.

At about 9.30pm, we finally got it done. She sent us off with some creatively masked words and paradoxically kind gestures. I stepped out of the building to get a bit of fresh air after more than 12 hours at work. I haven’t eaten dinner, and home is more than an hour away. My brain and stomach hurts; every step I take towards the train station reverberated through my entire body in pangs of pain. I was halfway through dragging myself to the station when I felt my phone vibrate in my pants pocket.

…Oh my god what else could you possibly want, now?

I’m not religious, but in that instance I prayed to every god and deity I knew of to spare me from going back to the office again.

My prayers were answered when it’s revealed to be a Facebook notification, and not a message from the boss or anyone from the company.

It’s from a girl I’ve known for a few years. Let’s call her C.

C and I used to hang out frequently, but never had the chance when she started her school term. She’s good company, and I’m really glad we’re friends – we could talk about anything for an entire day.

I didn’t realise how much I missed C until that day.

Heh. It turned out to be a pretty good day afterall. I’m pretty sure I’m smiling for the rest of that week, too.

————————

All that happened more than a year ago, with a couple of months to spare. But no, this isn’t about to become a retelling of my summer love life. Nothing worth mentioning ever happened between the girl and I. And heck; it’s so warm around here all year round that pretty much everyday is summer. We have ‘monsoon seasons’ though, which just means more rain.

To some of my peers, I might have a problem.

I’m already 21 years old, with my next birthday coming in about a month. That number is also the number of years I’ve gone without a date. Yeah, don’t even talk about having a girlfriend –  I haven’t even gone on a single date (‘official ones’, anyway).

“So yeah, during the summer before we’re starting school, I kinda realised that there was something missing in my life.”

“Oh?”

“I got myself a longboard.”

“…huh? Dude, you… dude..”

In his defense, I probably should have phrased that whole thing better.

My lovelife is a barren wasteland. My mom doesn’t say anything about it – she doesn’t probe into the relationships of her sons. My friends, though, would occasionally raise the question, especially whenever we get together and talk about life – running from exploding creepers, fighting dragons and chasing skirts. Unfortunately only the latter happens in real life.

Know how your extended families would ask if you’re attached during festive occasions? It’s starting to get so weird for me that my friends’ families are asking me. I know that there’s no shame in failing or getting rejected; my problem is that I don’t even try. While I do have crushes and rarely – fleeting periods of limerence, but I’ve never acted on them.

There are times where I wished there was someone where I can share a moment with. And I think that eventually, I’d like to be partnered with, but it’s not a priority. And as it stands, in my current position I cannot afford the time to. There’s school, which I’m struggling to distinguish myself from the 50th percentile, plus there’s probably a part of it being a self-esteem issue, too.

I no longer remember whether, during all the times I’ve had with C, if I had ever loved her.

I just hope what I’m giving up today is all worth it.

-TS

TRIALS: Keeper of the Coins

your story banner

[ABOUT YOUR STORY 2015]

It’s been a while, but I’m back to posting Your Story entries again, starting with this one from Olivia Berrier over at Often Clueless, Always Shoeless. This is her take on the battle with depression and what it feels like to go through it.

Enjoy.

***

Keeper of the Coins

 I’ve spent a fair bit of time battling the depression monster.

It’s not an uncommon thing, but the very nature of it feels so isolating. Among all of the physical and emotional aches that come with depression, for me the worst one is the inability to communicate exactly how it feels.

I’ve tried. I’ve spent many hours with extremely patient friends throwing out metaphor after metaphor, as if I might somehow be cured if I could only find the right words.

I can’t say that writing about my depression cured me, but it definitely helped. I also don’t think that I ever found those perfect words, but I did find some words, and I’d like to share them.

I’d never say ‘this is what depression is,’ but this is what depression (or a small part of it) is to me. If this passage speaks to your particular struggle as well, then I hope having a metaphor will be armor for you like it was for me.

If this isn’t what your monster looks like, then I hope someday you’ll try to find some words of your own. Even if they aren’t perfect. An indirect light is infinitely brighter than total darkness.

 

My metaphor for the unpredictable daily fatigue of depression:

 

Every day she began with an energy allowance. The tiny silk purse was returned to her every morning, some days with few coins and some days with even fewer. But never more than that, and never as much as she wished she had to get through the day.

At first, she was guarded and sparing with her coins, trying to ration them out so she might not be completely broke by the day’s end. She only succeeded in this goal once or twice, and after that she decided it wasn’t worth the effort because the extra coin was never added to the next day’s purse. It was just lost forever, unspent.

Some activities cost more than others, and—as is always the way—the more expensive ones were the things she wanted most to do. Yes, she could exercise today, but only if she spent her entire purse on that one activity, and spend the rest of the day on the streets moaning and crying and waiting for the blessed daybreak when she would receive another allowance. And was it really worth it?

But at times, the alternative hardly seemed better. She could spread her coins out, choosing only low-cost activities so that she could buy enough to fill her day. She stayed off the dismal streets, but in the end that was her only accomplishment. The enjoyment from the cheaper activities was tepid, at best. And while tepidity was better than the cold, she longed for true, honest heat that only came from fulfilling usages of her time.

She tried using her money to make more, as biblical parables suggested would be prudent, but all of her investments failed her dismally. She would look at the empty purse at the end of the day, and lament that she had nothing to show for it, not even tepid memories of lackluster activities.

As she received her ration from the hooded, shadowy figure, she asked him what she might do to be worthy of a more substantial allowance. She asked in earnest, but the keeper of coins was either deaf, mute, or completely uninterested. He gave no reply, not even to her binary question of whether it was even possible to earn more coins.

Approaching the problem differently, she started keeping detailed notes on how much she received each day, and what activities she had done the day before. This act of recording cost her coins and gave her no happiness in return, but this was one investment that she felt sure would pay off in time.

One day, her purse was larger than usual, and she eagerly looked back through the book to see what her purchases on the previous day had been.

It had been an expensive item: talking on the phone with a friend. Ultimately, she had run out of coins early that day to balance the larger purchase of the morning, but maybe the coin keeper had liked that? Maybe it was waiting to see that she would spend her money on worthy activities, and when she did she would be rewarded.

Without hesitation, she spent her entire large allowance on the most expensive purchases she could think of; things she hadn’t dared to attempt even on her best days, but it would be worth it. For the rest of the day, as she shivered on the streets with an empty purse, she reminded herself that it would be even fuller tomorrow than it was today. Curling up on the frozen sidewalk, she let that thought be her blanket as she drifted off to sleep.

Then morning came, and she stood in line to offer her purse again, proud and shaky from yesterday’s activities. She held her hand out with a smile, ready to receive the weighty purse back, but when the keeper of coins dropped it into her hand, it was horrifyingly light. Peering inside, she saw the smallest ration she had ever been given. Even with the blandest of activities, she would still be spending half the day or more in the elements.

“I don’t understand,” she said, looking at the faceless hood. “You rewarded me last time. Why would you punish me now for doing the same thing?”

The keeper stood there, unmoving, calmly waiting for the next dawn when he would fulfill his duty yet again.

“Just tell me what I have to do!” she cried at him, tears stinging her eyes. “Tell me how I can earn more coins and I’ll do it. I’ll do anything! Just tell me!”

But he only held out one skeletal hand, palm open, beckoning with his fingers. She was crying. Crying came with a price, and it was an expensive activity. With ice in her stomach, she opened the purse and took out almost all of the coins and handed them over, and then she shuffled off to find one more tepid activity before she would be banished back into the cold.

-Olivia

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween, my dear readers. Whether or not you celebrated, I hope that it was a lovely day for you.

I know Halloween means different things to different people, and I know that for some of you it means nothing at all, but I hope that you all can feel it. I hope you can all feel the magic of the night. The feeling of a warm candle’s flame in a sea of darkness. The feeling of safety amongst many fears.

I hope that you can feel that peace in your hearts, and that it lingers for a little while.

Tonight is the night that magic is strongest, and it will be a couple days yet until that magic fades again. So in the meantime, while the magic is still so strong, I hope that you can take the light of the jack-o-lanterns and capture it in a spell. Just a little spell will do, but let it be something to preserve that special peace. A spell you can summon on days with no candle flames. Something to bring you light in the darkness.

Weave a little witchcraft. Let the magic flow through you.

Take care.

-Alex

Costume Crisis

Wow, times flies when you’re cramming for midterms. Can you believe Halloween is on Saturday? It’s only four days away. Four days. Are you going to dress up? If so, have you figured out your costume yet?

While I certainly hope you’ve got your costume all worked out (I acknowledge my hypocrisy and embrace it), never fear if you’re running late. Because I’m about to show you a whole bunch of wonderfully last-minute costumes that will save your procrastinating butt.

1. The No Costume Costume

Too busy to make a costume but want to pretend that you actually put some thought into
it? White t-shirt + black marker + beer (optional) = a cheap and easy “no costume” costume.

 

2. The Identity Thief

All this costume needs is some of those “Hello my name is…” stickers and a sense of humour. If you want to have even more fun, you can actually steal the name tags from other people and truly give the costume credibility.

3. If life gives you lemons…

You’re guaranteed to be a hit with this clever costume. Though I’d advise some caution, given what endings people have come up with for this saying… (I claim no responsibility if you try this costume and get pelted with lemons or have lemon juice squirted in your eyes.)

4. The Fruit of your Labour

Who wouldn’t want to be a bunch of grapes for Halloween? All you need is a bunch of purple balloons and some way to attach them to your body and you’re good to go.

5. Ceiling Fan

Get it? Ceiling fan? Hilarious, amirite?

6. Upside-Down Man

This is one of those costumes that will probably cost you $0 to make, but will undoubtedly cause you enormous sadness and discomfort when you actually try to wear it. How are you going to collect candy like that? How are you going to eat party food like that? I don’t know, but hey–you’ll definitely make people laugh.

7. Fork in the Road

It seems like if you’re going to make your costume last-minute, you need to have a certain sense of humour to pull it off. With a costume like this, you’d better be prepared to explain it to far too many people.

8. Brawny Man

A flannel shirt is all you need to be this popular paper towel icon. And also probably a roll of paper towels so people will understand.

9. Wilson

Ever watch the show Home Improvement? Remember Wilson, the neighbour whose face we never saw? You possibly have no idea who I’m talking about, but this costume is pretty fun anyways.

10. The Black Eyed Peas

Want to be a celebrity for Halloween but don’t want to put in the money or effort? Well with this simple costume you can be one of the Black Eyed Peas and potentially confuse all your friends.

10. Cereal Killer

Do you hate breakfast? Have no time for Halloween costumes? Want to get a few laughs? Then boy, do I have a costume for you.

11. Low Budget Man

Think you can’t be a superhero on a low budget? Well think again, because with this phenomenal Low Budget Man costume, you can fulfill (almost) all your superhero dreams.

12. Nudist on Strike

With this lovely costume, you can wear your regular clothes while still being fully in costume. Just look at how impressed the person beside them is!

12. Where’s Waldo?

Striped shirt, striped hat, some glasses you stole from the movie theatre, and there you go: a perfect Waldo. And then you can listen to people say “Where’s Waldo?” and pretend not to be able to see you for the rest of the night. Bonus!

13. Jellyfish

Attach some toilet paper to an umbrella, throw on your best tutu, and you’re a majestic jellyfish ready to wow the crowds. Bonus points if you’re cute.

14. Charlie Brown

This costume possibly works better (read: looks cuter) if you’re a small child, but all you really need is a yellow shirt with a black zigzag and you can pull off this classic character.

15. A Mask Fixes Everything

But if all else fails and you’re truly stuck for a costume, just get a Halloween mask and call it a day. If nothing else, you can mask your embarrassment at having procrastinated for so long.

Remember kids: whatever you decide, stay away from offensive costumes, respect real people and cultures, and have fun.

What are you going to be for Halloween?

Alex

 

Who Wore It Better?: M-M-M-Mummies!

Before I begin: as I was typing out the title of the post, the first thing that popped into my head was some vague commercial jingle that I couldn’t for the life of me remember, and so I sat here for a good five minutes struggling to think of it. It is, in fact, the Chia Pets commercial.

I sincerely hope you now imagine the title of this post being sung with that tune.

Ahem. Anyways.

Firstly. I realize there are now less than ten days until Halloween. I realize I have very much been slacking in the Halloween posts. Apologies, apologies. I shall do my best to make up for it. I’ll give you so much Halloween content, you’ll probably cry! (Probably not.) All while simultaneously facing the horror of midterms and academic failure.

ALSO! Because I keep forgetting to publicly announce it: I have extended the deadline for Your Story until the end of the year. So you have no excuses plenty of time. I’ll resume posting entries after the chaos of October has ended. So yes.

Aaaaanyways. 

It’s time for another edition of Who Wore It Better? This time with mummies. Ah yes, the wonderful dusty and shrivelly corpses of Egyptians with curses to spread and nothing but wrappings holding them together. It’s a costume that’s not only pretty creepy, but also serves to keep you nice and warm, all wrapped up like that.

Bring on the contestants!

  1. Nothin’ But TP

Out of time? Out of money? Well hopefully you’re not out of toilet paper, because a few rolls of TP are all you need to perfect your mummy costume. Cheap and easy, it’s really the perfect Halloween costume. And hey–what better way to keep your kids quiet than by swaddling them in three plies of the good stuff?

2. Grins and Giggles

While mummy wrappings can be pretty great on their own, sometimes you just need that extra something, y’know? This person has very cleverly added a skull mask–a simple but effective touch that really makes this classic costume shine. Bonus points for how gigantic the skull is compared to the body.

3. Pure-Blooded Pharaohs

These costumes are quite impressive. With some bling and a nice Egyptian flair, these costumes really capture what the mummy is all about. After all, you had to be pretty rad to be mummified. (That was a True Historical Fact.)

4. Dead as Dirt

Now this is a realistic costume. I mean, what do you think happens when you suck the brains out of a person’s nose, wrap them up, and leave them to dry out like a raisin for hundreds of years? They end up looking something like this.

5. Mummy?

Maybe I’m just suffering from midterm brain, but I’ll admit it took me longer than it should have to get the joke. Why are there so many pregnant women dressed up as mummies? I get it now. Mum. Mummy. Har har. Very clever.

So which mummy costume was the best of the best?

Happy voting, and may the best mummy win!

-Alex