I went to a Renaissance Festival last weekend.
Go ahead, make your fun. I'll admit that I was fully planning on making fun of myself for going as well.
Boy, was I wrong about Renaissance Festivals. In a word? AWESOME. There were wenches, knights, jousts, dragons, tree people, homeless fairies, and ALE, among other awesome things.
My one regret from my first Renaissance Festival is that I personally did not dress as a medieval character, nor did any of my comrades. I also concluded that the only thing better than going to a Renaissance Festival....is going to a Renaissance Festival on Halloween weekend.
Not only do you have all of your crazies dressed as dragons and knights, but you also have individuals walking around in all sorts of other out-of-theme costumes including, but not limited to, Iron Man, Jason Voorhees, Harry Potter, and Asian children dressed as Batman.
And let's please pay proper homage to the many, many creepy points this man added to the festival by showing up dressed like this.....
(in case you don't see it, i'm talking about this uber creepy molester-esque grown man dressed as a clown)
Now for my favorite character of the day. He was followed VERY closely by the jousting knight with Heath Ledger's Joker face paint and the Asian Batman children, but he pulled out the win. I don't think I ever actually saw the guys' face, but he was parading around the Renn Festival all day with a troop of wonderful freaks all dressed in the most realistic and comprehensive dragon costumes I'd ever seen. As they walked by, I was thinking "Norwegian Ridgeback! Hungarian Horntail! Chinese Crested!", but then I remembered this was the middle ages, not Hogwarts.
oh don't mind me y'all. I'm just over here doing dragon stuffs.
As you can imagine, after consuming the finest ales and ciders the Middle Ages had to offer, we had to relieve ourselves from time to time. Don't be mistaken though. This was done in the privies, definitely not in bathrooms.
However, we would have had to consume a LOT more than we did to render our money or services at "Feathers of Pleasure." Your guess is as good as ours as to who in the Renn Festival marketing department thought that was the best name possible for this particular merchant.
I have a hunch that whoever was behind "Feathers of Pleasure" was also behind this little establishment.....
Oh, and here is the dragon again. Just hanging out with his dragon friends while a crowd of onlookers watches in awe.
I wouldn't suggest going to a Rennaisance Festival if you are unable to shed any aversion you may have to all things creepy or weird. This girl was dressed as what can best be described as an anime wood nymph fairy and was "granting" small children's wishes. Not at all disturbing....
About halfway through the day, it dawned on me. You know, the reason I was enjoying the Renaissance Festival so much?
Being at a Renaissance Festival is the closest I will ever get to being a part of Middle Earth.
Unless I buy a plane ticket and fly to New Zealand to walk the Lord of the Rings trail to Mordor with Dwight Schrute, a Renn Festival is the next best thing. Albeit the wizards are nowhere near as cool as Gandalf and the Rohirrim could take the Renn Festival knights in a joust any day, it was close enough for me.
And look, Treebeard was even there!
(there's a real person in there, dressed as a giant, talking tree. awesome!)
Enough of my LotR/Renn Faire nerdgasm for today, though. Let's talk about Halloween.
I spent Halloween with the 8th graders of course, seeing as it fell on a Monday. The teachers at my school were definitely encouraged to dress up, and I went through a number of thought processes trying to decide what to wear to school that day.
The first and foremost thing I had to keep in mind was that the costume had to be "school appropriate." I use this phrase so often in my classroom, I sometimes have to stop and remind myself what I even mean by it. Basically, "school appropriate" when you teach 8th grade means nothing that will spark even remotely perverted thoughts, nothing illegal or immoral, and no full face masks or hats.
First, I was going to dress in 80s workout garb and go as "1987," but I thought that concept might be lost on a room of people born in 1998. Then, I was going to go as the Cheshire Cat, but when I went to tape the purple duct tape around my black shirt, there ended up being no good shirt location on which to place the tape without it being too tight here, accentuating a risque body part there, etc. etc.
Finally, I just borrowed a leopard print shirt from my roommate, put on cat ears and a cat tail, and went to school.
The next thing I had to worry about was the Halloween Dance occurring after school that day, mostly because I was the one in charge of it, being a student government sponsor and all. My cosponsor and I slapped up some decorations, paid the DJ, and hoped for the best.
Now, I had not been in attendance at a middle school dance since I attended middle school in 1999, and it soon became apparent that I had either gone to a very different type of middle school than the one where I currently teach, or middle school dances have simply changed.
I miss the days of middle school dances where slow songs were actually played. Remember those terrible slow songs from the late 90s?
Lyrical masterpieces such as Backstreet Boys "I Want it That Way," KC and JoJo's "Crazy," and Brian McKnight's "Back at One" were nowhere to be heard.
Awkward-"ass-out"-arms-stiff-and-locked slow dancing was nowhere to be found.
Males and females weren't even gawkily standing against walls, looking around longingly at the opposite sex wishing they had the kahunas to ask them to dance.
The only music played was rap or hip hop, I was taught how to "dougie," and there wasn't a slow song played the entire 2 hour duration of the dance. My cosponsor and I spent our time "white girl dancing" (as our students put it), and judging the costumes of the 6 students who actually showed up in one.
A 7th grader dressed as a red Teletubby won.
I was a leopard. She teaches science. Hence, her mad scientist costume. Behind us is a sparsely populated dance floor because apparently it's not "cool" to go to a middle school dance anymore. Sigh.
I bought a bottle of Cab Sauv and some Hershey kisses on my way home, and spent the rest of the evening handing out candy to the 3 trick-or-treaters I got. Mostly just drinking wine and eating all of the Hershey kisses on my couch as I watched Halloweentown on the Disney channel, though.
My life is apparently very sad, so I'll end on this positive note. I got a sweet hair cut and color with Nicole over at Salon 2000, and highly suggest you hit her up if you're looking to get your hair did.
This should be TWO thumbs up to chicks who know how to do some good hair :).