Thursday, October 24 – summer appeared to have well and lost its grip upon Georgia as it was quite chilly when I walked Giles before heading into work for the morning. After getting a cup of coffee and reading for a bit, I started work on my poster for SfN (this would, to put it lightly, take a bit of effort to complete), then I stepped aside to help Shavonne get the floating table in our side-lab operational, to minimize vibrations as she was doing LFP experiments. I spent the rest of the morning working on the poster, then, after lunch, spent more or less the entire afternoon working on it, too! So exciting! Still, I needed to work up an outline in slide form before I could even think of the final layout, and so I really needed to get cranking on it. After a solid day’s work, I felt a lot better about it.

I left at 4:30 to meet Becky, then, after a brief trip to the gym, we headed home to get cleaned up and to have some burritos with meat from the crock pot for dinner. We ate while we watched the Daily Show and Colbert, but we didn’t have time for @midnight, as we had to head out at around 7:15 to go up to the big cinema off I-85. Since there isn’t all that much we go to that cinema for, least of which on a Thursday, that could really only mean one thing:



Rifftrax! We hadn’t gotten a chance to go to a live show yet in 2013, so we were glad we made it to at least one, just in time for Halloween. As you can see, it was a movie that featured a protagonist who appeared to go to WVU. But, actually, it was George Romero’s classic Night of the Living Dead, the movie that launched the zombie movie genre:



Though, as the riffers pointed out, the word “zombie” was never used in the film. Still, rare is the movie that is both a cinematic classic and good MST3k material, so how could we not go? It was every bit as fun as we’d hoped, too.

We made it back home a bit after 10, then read some and put on a bit of Futurama before drifting off to sleep. Lots more fun to come the following evening.

Friday, October 25 – upon arriving at work, I poured myself a cup of coffee, then got right to the grind, adding some more data from Chaitanya to my poster outline. I did that right up to our lab meeting at 9:30, then I met with Paul to discuss what I had for the poster while I had my lunch. I took a break to read for a bit after that, then I talked to a grad student from the big lab on the same floor as us for a while, giving him instructions and tips on how to use the isoflurane system I’d loaned out to him. I read a bit more after that, gave a prospective Discovery Phase med student a tour of the lab, then left at 4:30 to pick up Becky at Yerkes.

I went home only briefly to drop off Becky so she could walk Giles, then I drove back out, first to the growler store to fill a couple for our party on Saturday, then to Fellini’s for pizza for dinner. I called my mom as I went, then, when I got everything set, I settled in and ate as we watched the Daily Show. I started us a fire in the fireplace as Becky gave Mary Elizabeth a call, then we watched Colbert, followed by the @midnight we’d missed, as well as the newest one. We followed that with Jeopardy!, then a show called Nature’s Matchmaker, all about efforts to repopulate critically endangered species. It was pretty interesting, overall, and I’ve love to see an update on all of the projects showcased a few years later.

We got dressed in our Halloween costumes after that (minus my head, of course, which would have to stay off until we arrived at our destination), then we departed the house at 10 o’clock – much later than our usual – to first stop at Kroger to pick me up some yellow dish gloves (we weren’t the only ones in costume there, and I found a nice, cheap pair without difficulty) and some cash for the evening, then finally to the Shelter for their Halloween party.

You may note I didn’t link to the Shelter’s website there. Unfortunately, they went out of business at the end of 2013. Still, this would prove to be an excellent final night there. We arrived late because we knew it wouldn’t get going until quite late, and we had to persevere until the costume judging contest. We just barely made it, too, as we snagged the very last parking spot in the sprawling lot the Shelter “shares” with the Booty-shaking club up the hill, a solid 100 yards away from the club. Still, we made it:



As you can see, I was the Earl of Lemongrab. Becky’s costume was not as elaborate, but I think she’d done an excellent job with working it out such that she could still move around, all while obviously being Fire Princess:



Yes, we both had Adventure Time costumes. Register your lack of shock and surprise here.

I wouldn’t exactly call the place “crowded” (later, we’d figure out that much of this was because folks don’t seem to want to go to Buckhead for a club night. I’d love to sniff my ITP nose at that, but I honestly can’t blame them. Becky and I both loved the Shelter but we would have loved it more if it was more or less literally anywhere else in Atlanta), but it was the most full of people we’d ever seen it. I suppose part of that was how popular Halloween parties are, and part of that was that we rarely arrived so late in the evening. Whatever it was, you can read Becky’s excellent writeup about it, done much sooner following the event. I’ll try to add my own spin here.

In hindsight, I really do like how Becky pulled off her costume. It was clear who she was, and it allowed her the freedom of motility to dance:



I, on the other hand, struggled most of the night to keep my head on straight:



Not that I didn’t give it the ol’ college try at dancing:



Fortunately for me, the stilted gait that would be expected of Lemongrab trying to dance covered up the fact that I was incapable of any more fluid movement. I think it helped, overall. I noticed the Mad Hatter next to me taking lots of pictures and seeming to mentally catalog things, so I made efforts to look good:



This would turn out to be a good decision, as he was, in fact, a judge, and I wound up getting selected for the finals for the costume contest. So that was nice.

Not so nice? The heat. So, dance clubs can get steamy. No surprise there. My gloves didn’t help, and by the end of the night I had to drain the sweat out of them, exposing my pruned-up hands in the process. That head, though, was the worst: it was a freaking oven in there. And rehydrating wasn’t exactly possible while staying in character:



Don’t worry, that beer was mostly there for show, and it took me the whole night to slowly sip it. I did take off my head from time to time to get water, too, but I tried to stay in character as best I could.

We continued dancing, and had a great time. Finally, as the night wore on, the costume contest was announced, and I was called up to the stage:



You might recall that, the previous year, at the Masquerade, the contest was a democratic one, in which costumes were rated on audience applause. A thoroughly elaborate Bender – well deserving of the title – wound up winning, but it relied a lot on folks “getting” the costume. Anyone who didn’t watch Adventure Time wouldn’t get ours, and so I was happy that I appealed to the judges. They gave me an opportunity to show off on stage:



I’d love to say I won, but I took first runner-up. Still a good deal, since I got a half-dozen free t-shirts, two of which are so nice I wear them regularly, and the rest of which I just use for the gym. So that’s not bad at all. If I had my druthers, I’d have awarded first prize to the hideous, zombie Grady twins from The Shining for being a good combination of well-executed and outside-the-box. Instead, it went to some girl in a catwoman outfit. Because, y’know, sexy sexy Halloween mrow, or… something. Eh. Excuse me if I don’t get too excited about that, but it seemed like the whole night was doing a great job of not being one of those Halloween parties, then it went ahead and awarded sexy over clever and/or well-made. I suppose it was somewhat inevitable.

Don’t get me wrong: we had a great time, and I in no way expected to win first prize myself. And, really, if that was to be the final trip we made to the Shelter, it was a great one.

I collected my free stuff, then we headed home for the night. It was late. We didn’t get back home until about 1:30, which is crazy for us in our relatively-old age. Still good to know it’s even possible for us to stay out that late on a Friday night, though. After getting cleaned up, though, I was overjoyed to be able to go to sleep. I’d need it: we had our own Halloween party the following evening.