November 03, 2011

All Hallow's Eve 2011

This year for Halloween, Tomas was an Army man from Toy Story and Liam was a Pancho Villa/Zorro type figure. Katie taught her classes dressed as a scarecrow, and Chloe wore three costumes at different times during the day—Tomas the Tank Engine, a Jamba Juice employee where the smoothie went horribly wrong (fruit in the hair and everything), and finally, a zombie. I, on the other hand, was a fuddy-duddy. I had several meetings at work where a costume would not have been appreciated. I did, however, wear my bright orange socks with black bats on them.

Here's the gang just before trick-or-treat time. Utah weather has been known to be pretty horrible on Halloween, but this year, it couldn't have been more perfect. I think this was the reason we had more trick-or-treaters than usual and had to send Chloe out for more candy.

Sebi joined us for trick-or-treating. He was a punk rocker. Rob and Mary Ann did a fantastic job on his costume. I wish I had a close up of the patches on his jacket. They created patches for wild punk bands from the eighties and even made up a few. My personal favorite was The Living Pelt, which is a nickname Sebi's uncle gave him referencing his hair when he wakes up in the morning. Poor Sebi didn't have such a great day at school because none of the other second graders knew what a punk rocker even was. Luckily when he showed up at our house, several neighbors came by who knew immediately what he was and even recognized some of the band names. Tomas and Sebi had a great time going around the neighborhood together. Tomas especially liked giving Sebi the low down on which houses give the best candy.

True to the Isaak family tradition, we got our pumpkins finished seconds before the first trick-or-treaters rang the doorbell. Below you can see that Chloe did the Facebook "like" symbol. Liam created an angry bird pumpkin. Katie helped Tomas with his crazy face jack-o-lantern. After which, she quickly carved a basic jack-o-lantern face because she was running out of time. I did the Ampelmann figure. If you don't know what that is, it's the "walk" symbol on the traffic lights from former East Germany. Berlin has now adopted it and it's a beloved symbol from the city. I was surprised two parents who came by actually recognized it.

After Tomas and Sebi finished with our neighborhood. I took them along with Liam over to the Mc's neighborhood. I thought our neighborhood had a lot of trick-or-treaters out, but holy cow, you should have seen the Mc's neighborhood. They have neighbors who create a haunted forest in their back yard. There are also a couple of houses that hand out homemade donuts and scones. And my favorite was a home where the whole theme was Pirates of the Caribbean. I could write an entire blog post on just that house, but to give you an idea, they made it rain on their front porch, had a life size ship's wheel, and the dad made a very convincing Jack Sparrow. No wonder I saw carloads of kids being dropped off in the neighborhood. Honestly, I thought these houses were really cool, but they also made me feel tired. I just don't have the time and energy for something like that. But, I can't wait to see what the pirate house comes up with next year.

November 02, 2011


I survived Homecoming week. And, quite well actually.
  • The Brimhall Essay Contest was successful and produced a fantastic winner.
  • The Founders Luncheon went off without a hitch. And believe me, there were some hitches that could have gone off. I owe many thanks to great coworkers and students.
  • A record number of people participated in the Hike and Light the Y. I don't dare say how many were up on the Y because even though I don't know what the maximum capacity rule is, I'm pretty certain we surpassed it. We couldn't have asked for more perfect weather though. Once again, the Student Alumni did an awesome job.
  • It looked a little dicey at first, but good weather prevailed for the parade. Chloe and I had a blast marching along with the Student Alumni.
When my events were done and I wasn't attending Alumni Board meetings, I tried to make myself useful helping out where needed.

Liam was also with us, but he and his friend practically ran all the way up because  he wanted to be one of the one's who got to screw in a light bulb.

Chloe marching along in the parade.
A couple of crazy parade watchers
THE highlight of the week was Homecoming Spectacular, a huge production in the Marriott Center showcasing many BYU performing groups. This year, they got Brian Stokes Mitchell to headline the show. Katie and I have been big fans of his ever since he starred on Broadway in Man of La Mancha, and we saw him perform some of the songs from the musical on TV. And then a couple of years back, we got to see him perform live with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir*. In Homecoming Spectacular, Brian Stokes Mitchell was A-MA-ZING. After the show, I sounded like Bartok, the bat from the movie Anastasia, when all I could say was, "Wow! I tell you what, wow!"
A nice perk of working for Alumni Relations was that Katie and I were invited to a reception with Brian Stokes Mitchell after the performance. I was in awe watching him make the most of the few moments he had with each person. He was so personable and gracious.

Here is a photo of us with Mr. Mitchell. He certainly makes us look good, doesn't he? We like the photo so much, we're thinking of using it for our Christmas card—forget about the kids. Well...maybe not.

I wonder who they'll get for next year's show. This will be a hard act to follow.
It was a busy week, but all in all, a good one. Oh, and BYU did win the football game.

*click here, here and watch some of my favorite Brian Stokes Mitchell numbers from his performance with the Motabs.