Friday, November 4, 2011
Halloween 2011: Jesus Left Chicago & Other Adventures
Once again, the collective crew of The CKT have made it through our traditional Halloween adventures. Well, Ben has been unfortunately delayed in his costuming, but I believe he's rocking out in some kind of Satanic getup this weekend (NOTE: I have no actual confirmation of Satanism in Ben's life). As in year's past, we're happy to provide the highlights of our ongoing attempts to act like more like children the closer we get to 30. Let's run down our nights one Cool Kid at a time!
So over the past few years of living in Chicago, my girlfriend Jami and I have gotten back into Halloween in a major way. And while we've had some pretty decent couples costumes the past few years (recall: Flint & Lady Jaye, Chuck & Blaire, Scott & Ramona), this year I think we took things as far as we could in assembling pieces to be Ned and Cat Stark from "Game of Thrones." The actual choice for costume came late in the game, but once Jami decided this was the one, she also decided to make a lot of the costumes herself on a sewing machine she got last Christmas.
Baby did a good job too! The capes and my tunic and other bits and bobs were put together by her, and she painted up my shield to be a bit more Winterfell-ish (you can't read it in his pic, but it says "Winter Is Coming" across the front). My main contribution was super-gluing the world's cheapest Hand of the King broach. More on that in a minute.
Jami was a little bummed we couldn't find some suitable fish flair into her costume, but she pulled Cat off pretty great (that wig was super long and out of control!). Overall, our goal at Halloween parties has become tallying how many people actually know what we're supposed to be. This year about ten folks knew, many of them from the Song of Ice And Fire books and NOT the TV show. Props.
On Friday night, we went and saw my buddies Wally Dogger play in the musical costume of ZZ Top at a bar in the Loop. The openers were a band dressed as Doctor Teeth And The Electric Mayhem (who I was told played some Muppets shit but were rocking some modern pop song when we showed up) and a band of dudes in USPS shirts who played as, you guessed it, the Postal Service. They were all right, I guess.
But the Dogger crushed it as ZZ Top. Pauly was in character as Billy Gibbons all night, and they made their way through most of the big hits: Tush, La Grange, Gimme All Your Lovin, Cheap Sunglasses, Sharp Dressed Man and you know what they closed with. Solid night.
Also: at one point, Dogger guitarist Swerve came up to me and said, "What's that pin for?" I say, "I'm the Hand of the King." Swerve says, "You give the King handjobs?" And I say, "No, I said I'm the Hand of the King." And Swerve says, "Yeah, but what if the King wakes up some morning and is like 'Hey, where's my hand?'"
While we were at the show, we saw a couple good costumes. This new guy to the crew named Brandon impressed with a Starfleet uniform. I've said it before and will say it again: Star Trek cosplay is the original cosplay. Also: my pal Thumbtack is up there and his costume is...well...it's Thumbtack's costume.
Here's Pauly's fiance Megan as Mrs. Potato Head and Swerve's girlfriend Elise as Harry Potter. I know the latter is pretty obvious from this pic, but when I first saw her, I thought the tie signified she was a waitress or something? Megan's also a pretty involved Halloweener (a few years back she came to our party as a functioning beer pong table), and this year I thought her hat really pulled Mrs. PH together.
Saturday night, we headed out to the 'burbs for a party with Jami's grad school crew. I don't know if you can tell, but her friend Lauren as Snow White above is like seven months pregnant. She's hiding it well up there, but it made for a super adorable costume at the party. Tiff is Snooki for the second year in a row, but I fucking loved it both times because of all that bronzer. She's actually quite pale!
The party was full on with folks in costumes and fire tossers and stuff. There were some folks dressed up as Spike and Dru (those "Buffy" fans aren't going anywhere, guys) as well as this hilarious kid of about 11 who was super pumped I could tell that his costume was supposed to be Steampunk (Steampunk Van Helsing to be precise, which I should have known from the crossbow). But the award of the night went to these folks:
I think Scott Pilgrim's costumes are going to be around for a while at Halloween. This pair was great because duder was a super big comics fan, and he said last year he got really bummed because he went as Mr. Sinister and no one knew what he was supposed to be, but I spotted Todd Ingram from across the room, and we high fived.
Late that night, I stopped off at one more party to see my buddy Guy Zach Nie, and guess what?
"Do you know a girl with hair like this?" BOOM! It was pretty spectacular catching up with The Guy for the first time in maybe three years.
My girlfriend Sam and I went to a costume party at a friend's house on Friday and we dressed as Gonzo, the Great and Animal! Sam even made the Muppet costumes from scratch!
On Saturday, we braved the snowstorm and went to the Chiller Theatre horror convention with two objectives: Meet/take a photo with Elvira and buy some DVDs.
Sam convinced me to dress in my Pee-Wee Herman costume from last year cause it would make a more fun photo with Elvira, whose appearance at the show would be her last in costume EVER.
The show was STUPID fun. Every single person there was nice and excited to be around. And Elvira! We found out she was doing one of those photo op things where you go with her behind a curtain and take a photo with a backdrop. But that was at 6 PM and cost $40, and we wanted to leave earlier than that, so we found where she was signing and walked into that area. Dominique Swain, Martin Landau, Furio from Sopranos, Robert Carradine and a bunch of others were in the same area, but Elvira's line was so long it stretched from one side of the room to the other and then back again. So we fought the crowd to get in it.
The line was so long that being in the back of the line meant we were snaked back to the front of the table and got to stare at her for a second. She's so gorgeous in person! I mean, that woman is polite and energetic and just breath-taking. I asked Sam to go over and ask her handler how much it cost to take a photo with her. The lady told Sam it was $60 at the table. Holy shit! I don't have that much money!
But as Sam's about to walk back over and ask how much it costs just to say hello to Elvira, someone grabs my arm from behind. IT WAS ELVIRA!
She'd gotten up to take a picture with a fan at the front of the line and spotted me. "I want to take a picture with Pee-Wee," she said out loud so her handler could hear her and get the Mistress of the Dark's cellphone camera. Sam looked back in the chaos at me - her eyes wide.
So, I'm standing there. Elvira's got her arm around me to my left. "Can you do the laugh?" she asks. And I can, really well, so I do it. She's cracking up. "That's great, I love it!" she squeeled.
So, in Pee-Wee's excited voice I say, "If you love it so much, why don't you marry it?" And she's dying! She's laughing hard! So I put my hand on her left hip like it's a prom picture.
Her booth lady snaps it, but there's no flash. "Do you mind waiting while we get the flash on? I want to put this online," she tells me up close. "Sure! That'd be so rad!" I tell her. By this point I have no charm left and my brain is melting and holy EFF, it's ELVIRA! And she's asking ME if it's okay to take a photo!
So in the second picture attempt, I raise my free right arm in a screaming pose and she's laughing and I know it's better and the flash goes off and she says thanks so much - Elvira's thanking me!!! - and I can't think straight and I say thanks to her. Just a real fast, "Thanks!" And she'll never know how much that whole series of events meant to me - how heartfelt and sincere my thanks was.
Cause I've this lady has been an idol of mine my whole life! And I never made it a point to meet her, let alone try and get a picture with her. And this was her last appearance IN Elvira make-up on the East Coast. And this whole thing happened during THAT!
So Sam is pretty dumbfounded, too. And I feel like I'm dreaming. And she asks if I want to stay in line since I didn't end up taking a picture with her on MY camera phone. And I tell her nah, this story is better than ever getting a picture with her. And so we walk away.
A little while later, the electricity went out - TWICE. The whole con floor went BLACK. The snow knocked down power lines. But everybody kept having fun. The electricity came back up and everything was fine. Cause like I said, everybody was completely polite and fun. Just a really nice crowd.
And later that night, Elvira Tweeted this:
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Hands down. Dressing up in costumes. Decorations. Haunted houses. Costume Parties. I absolutely love it all. But along with the usual festivities, there's another reason I look forward to Halloween each year.
Not too long ago, my friends and I began a yearly tradition for Halloween: every year, we all head to Orlando, Florida, and do a three-day extravaganza at Disney World--specifically hitting up the very, very awesome Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party where we all dress in themed costumes and rock out at the Magic Kingdom! It's tons of fun and we have a blast walking around the park in our costumes, going on rides and taking photos. Past themes included Peter Pan (I was Tic-Toc the Croc), Disney Villains (Scar) and Prince and Princesses (Beast).
Now, you may have noticed an non-human theme in my costumes. Keeping with that, this year, when we decided our theme was going to be X-Men, I immediately jumped at the chance to dress as one of my favorite characters: Kurt Wagner, aka, the incredible Nightcrawler! I decided to go with the movie version of the costume because not only was Alan Cumming absolutely amazing in the role but also because I would have looked TERRIBLE in tights. Completing the X-Men was: my friend Chrissy as Emma Frost; her boyfriend Dustin as Cyclops; Dustin's best friend Johnny as Gambit; and my friend Amanda as the very awesome Kitty Pryde.
Before we get to the pictures though, I want to share my favorite story of the night.
The evening was coming to a close and before heading back to the hotel we decided to hit up one more ride: Splash Mountain. Now, if you've never been on this ride, let me sum up. It starts off as this nice water ride through an inside cavern. It's very peaceful, and there's nice music, animatronic woodland creatures frolicking about and a innocent story about a rabbit playing a prank on a Bear and a Fox. Then all of a sudden, the tone changes, the storyline gets really dark and you suddenly go on this massive drop straight down and get soaked to the bone. Normally, it's insanely fun and totally cool, but considering my costume, I really, really didn't want to get wet. To make matters worse, Kitty Pryde and I were in the front seat. Thankfully though, Nightcrawler's a teleporter.
As we were going down the drop, we all threw up our hands for the picture, and as soon as I saw the flash of the camera, I curled into a ball and ducked, which caused the massive splash of water to fly right over me and smack Gambit in the face. I then popped back up like I was there all along. Whereas the others were soaked, I was totally dry. It absolutely looked like at the last moment I BAMFed away for a second. It was awesome.
So, anyway, it was a really great trip and I can't wait for next year! And now, pictures!
Hey, it's Kiel again! I put out the call to some of our rad bros in the comics biz to share their Halloween's with us too, and they killed it!
Above is Marvel TV bad ass and "Thundercats" writer Todd Casey as Peter Parker, which he wore to be a photographer at a fancy, shmancy Hollywood party. Oo la la. Included is his buddy Ben in a Flash costume that Todd helped him glue together after Ben's boyfriend made it from scratch (maybe they read our Ben's post?).
And it wouldn't be a holiday without a hugable photo of Archaia's Mel Caylo which we have here as our boy snuggles up to a chick-a-dee while dressed as a Hawaiian. That lei joke never gets old on Halloween, y'all.
Finally, to remind y'all of what the holiday is really all about, here's my niece LuLu in a Rapunzel costume she begged my brother to make, and which he dually begged my mother to chip in on (and that's great, because Lynn Phegley thought she was all done with Halloween when I went to college).
Hope you guys got lots of apples with awesome and useful razor blades! See you next year!