Saturday, April 22, 2017

...books, vampires, and work parties...

“…happy endings are possible,
even in situations
as fraught with complications
as this one was.”
~James Howe, Bunnicula

We have one more week left in the semester and then we go into final exam week. That gives me one more week to finish preparations for the new faculty search, somehow put together the final touches on my summer school cemetery course that begins immediately after graduation, and complete my own final paper for my graduate course. Thankfully I submitted my chapter edits last week so that is not left on my to-do list. At this time of the semester, we are all busy and stressed. 

What do we do in situations like this? In the English department at my university, we throw parties!

I love working in the department; my colleagues are the best; and, arguably, we have the best majors! In a typical academic semester, we do not see each other very often. With various course schedules, if the students are in my courses, I often do not see them as a collective group. The same can be said for my colleagues.

Our university theater is currently performing the children’s play, Bunnicula; because it is based on the book, and since I teach adolescent literature, it became the perfect theme for our semester party. It was even one of our majors who came up with the idea, which fit perfectly because, well, we are a department who likes to dress up.

None of us had time to do much planning but it all came together perfectly.

Yesterday, I donned the new Victoria Beckham for Target bunny collared dress and was a dress twin to one of my students who wore the pink version. The dress is boxy and shapeless. If you look at the Target advertisement, they clearly tapered the model’s dress. Nevertheless the bunnies on the collars were cute and fit yesterday’s party theme.

I figured that several students and faculty members might wear lace bunny ears since they’re somewhat easy to come by so I opted for Lace Avenue’s corset-style ears. If the headband did not squeeze my head so, I might wear them everyday.

I do not have many photos that I can share publicly but here are a few decorations and the Bunnicula puppet, created by a colleague in the theater department.   

Fortunately, this was timed near Easter so I was able to convert some Easter items into Bunnicula party items. Yay Capitalism! I brought in white-ish vegetables since Bunnicula drains the juice from them in the story.

Cauliflower, light yellow sunburst tomatoes, and parsnips were some of the decoration and food options.

And, as a reminder to myself of one of the perks of wearing black, the last picture shows a very small (most likely) fruit punch dot on my the white collar. Really?!? I mean, great for a Bunnicula party but *Sigh* Fortunately, it came out easily. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

... Baskets & Caskets... and the basket goes to...

“You rarely win,
but sometimes you do.”
~ Harper Lee

I am a girl who prefers quality over quantity so when two contestants participated in my Baskets & Caskets competition, I really was overjoyed! This is not a contest blog so when I have had contests, even I admit that they’ve been a little weird. Weird but fun! And, I think I have some pretty cool prizes.

Jade at Daughter of a Jaded Era was the first to submit her entry entitled, “Peculiar Easter tradition of witches.” I absolutely loved it because it includes “odd traits of the Finns” which I adore because I love learning about other cultures. She shared a bit about virpominen, which I really hope catches on worldwide because dressing up like witches or Easter bunnies and going trick-or-treating sounds amazing! For more details and an adorable picture of Little Jade all dressed up, check out her post!

Now, I hate contests where you submit something and a coin is flipped to determine the winner! Bah! Why put in any effort, right?!? I was going to have judges to make this official. My original idea was to have my fella be the judge so that I was not being biased, but my fella was with me the first time I met Jade in person back in February 2015. To make a long story short, the three of us ended up running through snowy D.C. streets so that my fella and I could make our train. We’re both punctual people but we were enjoying our time together when a snowfall completely took over the city. Cabs stopped; the metro was delayed. It was a mess. We made our train though and had an amazing adventure with a new friend. Needless to say, my fella could not be the judge of this contest although he read both posts.

Madame Mari Mortem made the second post entitled, “Mortem's Tricks or Treats: Twas The Night Before Easter...” Madame Mari Mortem put together (as in with her mad sewing skills) the perfect Easter ensemble for a Goth! I’m still dying over her dress and that over-skirt! Swoon worthy! Not only is she cute as a button from the eyes of one of those other-worldly Coraline characters but she has the technical skills to talk the talk and walk the walk!

What was the Goth Gardener to do with one Gothy Easter basket prize and two amazing posts?!?

Fortunately for me, this semester I now have a goth girl student advisee whom I pretty much want to adopt! I sent her an email explaining my dilemma of needing a judge. She came to the goth-rescue by reading the blog posts.

And the winner is….

Madame Mari Mortem, my dear, you had us at that amazing dress but adding a haiku! You completely spoke to the little black hearts of this English professor and her English major student!  The awesome haiku, that even my fella copied down for himself, reads:

Pastel gloom be gone
Hallowe'en we miss you so
At least it's raining.

And you know what? It did rain today! And, there are only 197 days until Halloween! 

Madame Mari Mortem, please send your address to me at:

But, everyone is winner in my garden so Jade will be receiving a little something too!

Thank you both for participating!

Now that we have another holiday behind us, today we celebrate
National Bat Appreciation Day! ^o^