|If you saw the gallery of them,
our costumes were awesome.
our Saturday night was as well.
I was super-prepared for the evening. Besides all the issues of getting the costumes together on time, I made sure the night was going to be a success. On Friday night I programmed the addresses of all the parties we planned to hit into the GPS and put the relevant phone numbers of the hosts into the Alphasmart. I charged up the camera battery fully, then also packed another camera for back-up along with its own fully charged batteries *and* another set of batteries. Fathers-to-be aren't this prepared for their partners to go into labor. The photos are only part of it, but they're the one thing I get to take away at the end of the night that I can share. I wanted to be damned sure to get good pics.
As it turned out, we only actually made it to one of the parties of the four. We skipped the one here in Fort Worth in part because we were running late already (Dani was lukewarm on it anyway; it was her friend's party). The reason why we were late was because the first step after you get your costume ready is to get some pictures in your costume. We took pictures in the house, then took another handful of the two of us in the yard with by the decorations.
We finally got on the road at ~7:30pm, which was a lot better than last year where we were still putting the costumes together in the car on the way to Dallas just past 9pm. The only thing Dani saved till the last were her nails, although she did make me pull over so she could do her dominant hand without bumps.
We finally made it to Dallas and arrived at Liz's party by around 8pm. Her yard totally rocked! She had cobwebs over gravestones with corpses coming out of the ground in front of them all lit by black lights and red lights shining through the fogger. I mean, everything we did to our yard, she took a dozen steps further. For example, we have a giant spider on our roof. Liz has *two* giant spiders on her roof... and a witch! It was flying in circles at the peak of the rooftop. Liz had it powered by AC running through a transformer to a windshield wiper motor from a Saturn. I'm telling you, she rocks.
I took a bunch of pictures at the party, but 90% of those turned out to be crap. Because we were working in low light to take the pictures in our own front yard earlier in the night, we turned off the auto focus once we achieved the right setting for the portraits, then did everything else without allowing the camera to attempt to make any adjustments. And then we never bothered to turn it back on again! I didn't notice this until we were arriving in Oak Lawn later in the evening. I was pissed, but at least the rest of the night was salvaged. The party was great anyway, even though I have limited photographic evidence to prove this. We had fun, met cool people, and plan to be back next year. And for Liz's Xmas and Easter parties in the meantime.
We had planned to leave before too long so we could make it to Brandon and Omar's party. They live not too far from Cedar Springs, the street where all the action is, but they were planning to leave their place to head down to the street at around 10pm, which is around the time we finally left Liz's. Since we were already so late, we didn't make it Brindle's place either, so we only used one of the four addresses we planned to visit that night. So much for all the GPSing.
After having parked about half a mile from the block (because parking really is that intense down there on Halloween), we finally made it to the street. Somewhere during the final stages of putting together the costumes together earlier in the night, Dani proclaimed, "If nobody recognizes us in these outfits, I'm going to feel really stupid. Well, we didn't feel stupid. Hell, we were fucking famous. Starting from the time we got out the car to head to the block party and all night long people were like, "Riff Raff! Magenta!" Everywhere we went there were people singing "The Time Warp." This happened at least once every ten minutes for the entire night. It isn't often that I'm right, but it was nice to have the point driven home constantly.
One guy (who wasn't even in a costume) serenaded us with three songs from the show and would have gladly sang still more were it not for the fact another couple came up and wanted to talk to us. That's the beautiful thing about Oak Lawn on Halloween. People are really there for what I think Halloween is all about. You check out one another's costumes and just revel in the pageantry of it all. Sure, some people don't bother to dress up, but then there are freaks like us who put hours of work into getting a costume right. Now multiply that by the hundreds of people who do go all out, and cram them into a little section of a well-lit street. There's nothing else like it.
Actually, Dani wasn't as impressed with the costumes we saw this year compared with previous years. I thought they were about on the same level, just fewer "stand-out" examples perhaps. However, I was able to take a lot more pictures this year (probably about 3 or 4 times as many) since we brought the Canon Rebel XT. Last year we had the Fuji that took about a second and a half between shots. If you screwed it up, then you were like, "Sorry, can we do that again?" And if you're trying to catch someone passing by or an interesting scene happening, then you had better do it fast and get it right the first time, or you miss the shot. The Rebel does 3 shots a second, so I was going postal with it.
To my disappointment, we didn't see a lot of Star Wars costumes this year. I saw a Darth Vader and a Clone Trooper plus a couple Jedi. That was it. Last year, in addition to us as the Emperor and Yoda, there was a Vader (in that awesome $1,000 version of the costume) an Anakin Skywalker, a biker scout, and a bunch of random Jedi. There was a Matrix Reloaded version of Neo also, recalling my costume from several years ago.
If anything, this was the year of the super-hero. Superman and Supergirl were everywhere. There was also an Aquaman, a great Flash costume, Spiderman, Captain Planet, a Batman or two, a Bat Woman, a Cat Woman (the Halle Berry version), a couple Wolverines, several Wonder Womans (Wonder Women?), Space Ghost, and even a really accurate version of He-Man and a guy from the Elfquest comic book (Don't know his name; I never read that series).
And of course there were a lot of transvestites. I mean, we're in Oak Lawn. This is what some people wait all year for. There's a drag show on the outdoors deck of a bar at one end of the street. The main thing is that the street has a runway for most of the length of the entertainment area (i.e., from where the bars start at one end to where they finish at the other). People parade along through that as they like. Down at the end by J.R.'s people can watch from the bar's balcony. There's usually someone up there with a spotlight and (though not this year for some reason) an announcer doing snarky play by play.
Overall the night was great. And we even had an extra hour of it this year! Since daylight savings time ended at midnight, the bars were open an extra hour. Unfortunately, most of the crowd started to thin out around the pre-fall-back 2am, so only a few die-hards were still around for the last hour. Still, that made it easier to get good photos. It is so packed at the beginning of the evening that you almost cannot walk down the street itself. I resorted to bouncing between the side streets where there were fewer people in order to get good photos.
I can't be everywhere at once, so I regret missing out on seeing some friends, but overall it was a great year, just like last year and the one before that and so on. I totally cannot wait for the next one!