[note: I am using a dinosaur machine running on Windows ME OS right now and have been trying to load pictures all day without success. I'll post pictures of Costingo in my Heartland Wrap Up in a couple weeks. Until then, let your imaginations run wild.]
Week one of Western Michigan is in the books and it's been a Heartland Hoot. Gun Lake Jake and Bonus Mom Annie have been more than gracious out here in Middleville. You gotta love having the laundry and cooking facilities of a home environment in the middle of a month long voyage into the Heartland. Most of the week was spent hanging out, visiting with the step-fam (including the 6 adorable step-nieces/nephews), cursing out the cable guy, working on an art project, hitting the race track with step-bro, and watching football. Thursday night brought special guests: lil bro, longtime VTK reader lc, and lc's cousin, mac. The new NYC blood immediately dialed it up a notch - beers on Thursday, gallery hopping and wine tasting on Friday, mangotini's, high balls, dinner party, cards, uno, and parlor game on Friday night, blah blah blah, but that's not why you're here. You're here to hear the much anticipated review of ... Costingo!! [trademarked].
It goes without saying that Costingo kicked ass; the question is just how much ass did Costingo really kick. For those readers who are not in the know, "Costingo" is a type of costumed bingo dance party that you throw with much gusto for the locals lucky enough to receive a ticket. Only 20 tickets were printed and hand marked, and I'm quite sure each one will be a collector's item by the end of the year. We began preparations on Saturday at noon: VTK designed the graphics, mac and Annie made the cupcakes for the cupcake frosting competition, lc pumped up the jams with a mixed cd for the dance party (Madonna and Kelly Clarkson were both well represented), lil bro set up the 8 foot inflatable ghost, and the whole gang put up the characteristic hodge podge decorations that set Costingo apart from your run-of-the-mill costumed bingo dance party. It's not Halloween; it's Costingo (which is also distinguished by the excessive use of the word "Costingo"). When the kids first showed up in their cheerleader, rockstar, "Incredibles", pirate, football player, and ... stylish beach girl rockstar (?) outfits, they seemed a little confused by the random decorations, the apparent overhyping of "Costingo!!", and the poindexter, gypsy fortune teller, stripe man, spot lady, phantom of the opera, and hippie outfits of their hosts. But once the dance party and the cupcake frosting competition got underway, they put the go in Costingo. Champagne and Costingo High Balls got the adults (the aforementioned hosts, princess leia, fisherman, and clown) in the groove and Costingo was officially ragin like a cajun. A rousing game of bingo, hot dogs and mac and cheese, more dancing, and paper plate pumpkin drawing competition later and it was time for the awards ceremony. Luckily, all the Costingitos/as won prizes and the only tears shed were a brief fuss by the 2 year old and a well managed cry by the 7 year old who smacked her teeth into the top of my head while bouncing around on one of my patented Worm Rides. We capped it off with one more dance session and in the end, in the words of one of the Costingitas, it was the "best party ever". Naturally. A party is one thing. Costingo is quite another thing.
And then, as all great party weekends should end, we all drank too much, played "flip cup" and the parlor game, everyone got competitive and pissed off at eachother and went to bed mad. ah, family. Fortunately, we had a nice sunny day on Sunday after 3 days of rain and we got to go on the boat on the lake and play with the kids (including facepainting where the requests I got were for a butterfly on the cheek, a basketball on the cheek, and a black and white portrait of their late great grandmother on the calf (she settled for a bumblebee on the cheek)). See you next Costingo, lil bro, lc, and mac. As for the VTK, I escaped Boston to enjoy my Yankees in the playoffs in neutral territory and ended up in Michigan, home of the Detroit Tigers, who made the playoffs for the first time in 19 years and will be starting the Division Series tomorrow against ... the Yankees. At least I won't feel homesick for that enemy feeling.