October 30th, 2011

Kevin and Lisa

Happy Halloween

Yesterday evening, Lisa and I and travelswithkuma got into costume — me in my referee uniform, Lisa in her cheerleader outfit, and Kuma Bear as Dangermouse — and went into Reno, where various Halloween-weekend events were announced. We spent a couple of hours walking around the downtown casinos (and Lisa won $5 playing blackjack) and costume-spotting (and being spotted) before going over to the Nugget in Sparks where there was a "Halloween Hoe-Down" and prizes on offer, and besides, we were hungry and were going to have dinner at John's Oyster Bar.

Lisa got some nice comments, and there were other questions to which we'd worked out an answer. When one half-witty fellow said to me, "Why a referee? Why not the quarterback?" Lisa simpered at him and said, "How do you think our team won the game?" He didn't have an answer to that. BTW, to save explanation time, we said that Kuma was the Team Mascot.

Unfortunately, the music was Much Too Loud and full of Too Much Bass, so shortly after signing up, we actually fled that area of the casino and, having had our fill of gambling (Lisa was unhappy about having lost all of the money she'd won earlier and then some), we instead went up to the arcade to play pinball. Unfortunately, they're not keeping their pinball machines in good order, which seriously spoiled the fun.

Just before 11 PM, we went back to the area where the costume festivities were happening. We hadn't quite figured out how the costume judging would happen; had we known what they were actually doing, we might have done a better job of working the system. What happened was that the people hosting the event picked out what they considered the best three costumes and then the crowd picked among them for the prize-paying positions (1/2/3). Because we hadn't "worked the judges" because we'd been driven away by the noise music, we hadn't a chance.

I was pleased that the judges ignored the army of Sexy Nurses and picked three decent costumes, one of which (a very expertly-made gargoyle costume that would have been right at home at any SF/F-genre event) had already caught Lisa's eye. From among the crowd in the area where we were standing we picked up on the fact that the other two finalists (a Headless Bride and Old Lady carrying a Baby) were simple store-bought outfits, while the woman wearing the Gargoyle had built hers from scratch). We were among those cheering the Gargoyle, and she won the $500 first prize.

We stuck around for a little longer, chatting with some folks in lovely outfits that would go quite well with the steampunk crowd (and the woman we spoke to said she was going to some steampunk events). They knew enough about SF/F genre events to have heard of Worldcon and CostumeCon, but hadn't heard that Worldcon was right in Reno this year (aww, too bad!). But then things started getting loud again, and it was getting on toward midnight, so we headed on home. It was only after we got home that we remembered that we'd intended to go shopping at Winco (open 24 hours) while we were in Reno. It's not every day that you have an excuse to go showing off costumes in public like that.

I'm glad we stuck around, and am trying not to be disappointed that we didn't attract enough attention to make the final. Our outfits are a lot better-looking than the typically-cheap store-bought costumes, but OTOH both my referee uniform and Lisa's cheerleader uniform are basically just buying the uniforms from the appropriate companies. Only Kuma's Dangermouse costume is completely hand-made. The Gargoyle deserved her win, and good for her!