Hallowe'en was much cooler this year than last year.
On Tuesday (30th), Arlo invited a bunch of friends and Eazelites to Riace's pre-Halloween dinner. Andrew and I patched things up and I invited him along, and we just kinda enjoyed the spectacle. It was pretty surreal: many people were dressed up, and the wine was flowing very freely. There was a DJ station set up at the back, which would play classical music for a while, then Arlo would take over and play dancy stuff, and then when he left it would revert again. One night segue was Front 242 going into Van Halen's "Jump". It was very much like we were in a movie, but we couldn't figure out what kind of movie.
Then yesterday, Gary announced that he was going up to SF to see the Halloween festivities, since he'd never been before. I hadn't been in a few years, so I tagged along. Arlo promised to go with us, in drag, if he didn't have to drive, but when I took him up on this offer he bailed. :) Feeling uninspired, I decided to go as a salesman: I never dress up for anything anyway, so it seemed like a fun idea. I skipped out of work after lunch and Andrew & I went shopping at Target and Walmart and Ross -- all the k00l places. Ross was simply amazing! I think we stayed in the tchotchke aisle for a half hour until finally even I had had enough and had to drag Andrew away from cuckoo-clock candle holders kicking and screaming.
I was somewhat amused to find out that I had a functional tie, but no decent dress shirt.
Gary was dressed as a punk, with a sleeveless shirt, leather vest, studded collar, and gelled-white spikey hair. His friend Josh*e was a raverboy, with patched jeans, white fur, white hair (with 2 little cat ears), and blue/white makeup. Sharon was a dark princess, with a poofy/lacey black dress and this neet glittery makeup that only twinkled randomly in certain light. There were a bunch of other people, too, whose names I can't possibly remember: One was the Memento guy, one was a Soggy Bottom Boy (from "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"), etc etc. The Memento guy was well done and even sorta looked like him in the face a little. He walked around with a polaroid, taking pictures of people in the crowd and then writing on the polaroid things like "They have lost someone too."
Parking was miraculously easy (someone has good karma) but the crowds were incredibly dense and booze was hard to come by, so I took my leave of Gary's friends briefly to trot my corporate-tool self over to a party Eskil's ex-neighbors were having. As I got close, I realized that having a Hallowe'en party 2 blocks from Castro @ Market is clearly an invitation for civic unrest. There were way more people than could possibly fit in the tiny livingroom, and random drunkards and homeless people (ready for Hallowe'en without costume) joined in.
I missed Eskil and his date, but Dan was there (dressed as a devil, with electric glowing pitchfork and red tail) and I accompanied him to the corner store to fetch more alcohol for the party. I've never seen drinks go so fast: after all the plastic cups and coffee mugs were used up, people were sipping mixed drinks out of cereal bowls. Ian soon re-appeared, dressed as the crocodile hunter. Fearing his costume wasn't obvious enough, he also brought along an inflatable kangaroo, which was a hit with the women. After I'd had some drinks, said hi to people, and sized up the barely controlled chaos, I took leave and re-entered the larger, uncontrolled chaos.
No fewer than three people were dressed as DuffMan. I was incredulous at the first one and then just stunned by the time I saw the third. At least two letters of anthrax (one with a cute Osama bin-Laden stamp), and one bottle of Cipro. Four guys dressed in foam outfits of Pac-man, Ms. Pac-man, and two of the ghosts. A he and she robot that were absolutely amazing (little lights and "danger" meters and everything!), a shy Andy Warhol, a giant Vanilla car air freshener, some Tron characters, and way too many drag queens.
Once it was deemed to be "over", a solid line of police with clubs started wedging open the street and telling everyone to go home. I dunno where they came from because there had been almost no cops up till that point, but I felt kinda sorry for them because closing down the party is probably the least enjoyable part of their work, and they were being really good about doing it in a way that didn't piss people off.
I didn't get back home till about 3.30, and today I started to feel bad about how little work I got done yesterday, until I realized that Hallowe'en really should be a holiday anyway. I mean who cares about Columbus Day anyway?