Saturday, October 26 – I managed to sleep in until 8:45, which wasn’t really all that much sleeping in, considering that I didn’t get to bed until nearly 2 the previous night. Still, better than the usual awakening at 8 o’clock sharp. I went out to get Becky and I some much-needed bagels from Einstein’s for breakfast, then we headed back out to run some errands in Toco Hills: first to the Kroger for some party snacks, then to the nursery next door for pumpkins, then, finally, to Toco Giant for party booze. I took a much-needed shower after that, then I set about doing some chores to prep for the party: I vacuumed Giles’ couch in the front room, I threw the blankets we use to cover the couches into the wash, I vacuumed our main couch (that sucker was by far the most expensive piece of furniture I’ve ever purchased, but 9 months on, I still love it), I swept up some, I helped Becky to move our big, Oriental rug so it wasn’t off at an angle like it had drifted to over the past couple of months, and then I finished the vacuuming and sweeping. Whew! But good news! After catching my breath for a bit, I did more chores: I threw my clothes into the laundry, I swept up the back deck, I set up the deck chairs, folding table, and the cooler, and, finally, I set up our Tiki torches in the back, including the nice centerpiece one that Paul and Meera had gotten us for our housewarming party a few months earlier.

While I was working on setting up out back, Becky was decking the halls with fake cobwebs:



Spoooky! She also got Cornelius dressed up for the occasion:



With all that done, Becky laid down and took a nap as I watched some Futurama on TV, then did the dishes. I replaced the cushions on Giles’ couch after that, as they were finished from having gone through the laundry. Don’t worry: Giles would make them filthy again in no time. For then, though, Becky and I went out to get a late lunch/early dinner at Taco Mac in Decatur. Or, we would have, were it not too busy, despite a relative dearth of Sportsball on right then. We opted for Big Tex instead, and that worked out just fine.

When we returned home, I started us a fire in the fireplace, then we put on some of Starbuck, a Quebecois movie about a middle-aged guy who can’t seem to get his life on track, but suddenly finds out that he has hundreds of illegitimate children, thanks to a clerical error at a sperm bank he periodically donated to in his youth to get money. Then hilarity ensues, in mangled French. Actually, it was pretty good. Good enough that they decided to make a near-scene-for-scene remake starring Vince Vaughn a few months ago. Which is why Hollywood cannot have nice things.

I set up – but did not light – our fire pit out back, then I got dressed at around quarter after six. Minus the head, of course. Becky and I continued watching Starbuck as we waited for our guests. Before any arrived, though, we took some shots in front of Becky’s big mural. Though she didn’t manage to get everyone throughout the night (I know we missed Deb’s rather hilarious Minion Dave from Despicable Me due to her arriving later on after taking non-blurry photos became a difficult task, and, of course, some folks couldn’t be bothered to put on a costume despite my numerous threats against doing so), it provided a great ersatz photo booth for our guests:



Becky was the prettiest Flame Princess. As you can see, she got actual flames this time! Well, sparklers. Still, they wouldn’t allow those in the Shelter the previous night, so that was a plus for her.

As for me, being slightly weary from the night out at the Shelter on Friday only added to my costume, in terms of my body posture:



Of course, anyone not wearing a costume would be deemed to be:



UNACCEPTABLLLLLE!

Should my food be spiced or if I was told that I really smell like dog buns, then:



ONE MMMMILLION YEAAAARS DUNGEON!

Fortunately, our first guests did no such thing. Sam and Lisa started it off, arriving at 7 o’clock. Lisa was Princess Witch:



…and Sam was Princess Brony:



We got things going from there. They arrived with Cicy, who made sure Giles was a pretty princess, too, in his dog-shirt:



The rest of our guests started arriving after that. There was Hair Metal Rocker Tim:



…or maybe he was dressed in Dutch high fashion, circa 2005. Not quite sure which.

I think one of our favorite outside-the-box costumes was Heather’s:



Just scrubs? Nope, we recognized her as being Piper Chapman from Orange is the New Black. Becky liked it enough that she took another picture in profile for her mug shot:



They also brought a friend of theirs, whose name I forget/lost when my phone died in January. She was Princess Nurse:



Another honorable mention should go to Lynn and Ted:



We didn’t really know Lynn and Ted; they’re friends of Sam’s and Lisa’s whom we had yet to meet. But – unlike literally everyone else who fits that category – they decided that it didn’t matter that Sam’s and Lisa’s Halloween party was being held at the house of some folks they’d not met before, and came anyway. We really appreciated that, and so they get gold stars.

Chuck, meanwhile, also rode his bike in, but he seemed to be hiding his face from us:



When we got a look at poor Jim, we figured out why:



The GADOT helmet really completes the ensemble.

I think one of our favorites, overall, was Elizabeth’s 70s Housewife, if only because she sold it so well, bringing her own “VALIUM” and Scotch tumbler:



Though, after Cicy put her crown on him, the ever-surly Princess Paul was a real cutie, too:



Pictures in which Paul is smiling: somewhat more rare/less verifiable than pictures of the Loch Ness Monster.

The evening went by quickly and smoothly. Jim had brought Maddy along, so Giles had someone to dog-play with, too:



After it had gotten going, I made a nice fire out in our pit. To date, it’s the only real use we’ve gotten out of it, but it was still worthwhile:



Though, really, it was more suited for Becky than for me:



Ah, there we go.

Before long, I realized it was past 11 o’clock, and that most of the party was still outside, and, furthermore, loud, so I wrangled folks back inside. This pleased Giles, as he loves nothing more than getting under foot:



I wonder what he’s looking at?



Ah, Sam being Sam. Of course.

And really, that’s as good a place as any on which to wrap it up. As things wound down, I put on several episodes of Adventure Time for Elizabeth and Lisa. The last of our guests departed at about 12:30, then we cleaned up as best we could, before hitting the sack at around 1. A very good time, I’d say. Not a super-high turnout, but we’re still glad that everyone who made it came. And I, especially, was very glad to just be able to get some sleep.

Sunday, October 27 – okay, you guys, I know this is going to come as a huge shock, but, after staying up partying until 2 AM on Friday and then 1 AM on Saturday, I woke up feeling pretty darned ill. I know, right? I got myself up very slowly, but couldn’t manage to go get groceries with Becky. As she went on her own, I instead cleaned off the porch and put away the Tiki torches. So at least I wasn’t completely worthless. I laid down for a bit after that, then I did the dishes, then made myself an early lunch to try to put something on my stomach. I ate as we watched some of a show called Orangutan Diaries, about the same facility in Orangutan Island, but filmed by a British crew, a year earlier. It was decent enough, and so we decided to record some more of it, since there appeared to only be a few episodes of it.

We followed that with a Breaking Magic (the one with actual reveals of magic tricks), then we put on a Rick Steves’ Europe about the countryside of the Czech Republic. Good, since we missed that. I got up to call my mom and check up on her after that, then we watched another Breaking Magic, followed by some of Going Medieval, a British-produced History Channel show about, well, Medieval times. It was kind of silly, though, and so we turned it off in favor of Chris Hardwick’s standup special off the DVR. It was funny, but we’d heard about half of the jokes in it from when he’d come to Atlanta on tour in 2012. Still, it gave us something to watch as we finally carved our pumpkins:



Fun fact: carving letters is WAY more time consuming than I thought it would be. But, there you go, completing my costume, if a bit late for the party.

When we finished with that, I drove out to get us some Pizza Hut for dinner. It was still grungy on the inside, it was still a shit show of inefficiency and behind the counter, and it still took forever to get the food I’d ordered. So, I decided that would be the last meal we got from there in some time. We eventually tried it again not long ago, but, while it was cleaned up some, it was still a disaster in terms of no one having a clue how to make the food in a less-than-obscene amount of time. So, screw that noise, I think.

On this particular evening, we ate while watching the new special, How to Build a Planet, hosted by Richard Hammond, famous for hosting Top Gear and/or nearly killing himself in a horrific car accident. How that qualifies him for astronomy facts is beyond me, but it was entertaining enough. Since Hammond sort of reminds me of a shorter, less-dreamy David Tennant, we put on a Doctor Who after that. Well, I guess I may like David Tennant, but Giles wasn’t as impressed:



“DOG WANTS YOU TO GO TO BED.”

We wound down the evening with the new China, IL, then we retired to bed for the night, nice and early, so as to try to catch up on sleep. Despite all indications, Halloween was still actually a few days away. We’d have one last event before then, too.