My fellow Americans. As a young boy, I dreamed of being a baseball; but tonight I say, we must move forward, not backward; upward, not forward; and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!
It's been a hell of a journey completing the costumes that we never explicitly decided to build; the costumes that just started coming together out of deliberate ignorance towards the issues that, were we of sound mind, would surely have halted our progression very early on. One of the costumes needs to be squeezed inwards to fit through the door of the room in which it is being built? Never mind. One, if not both costumes would need likely need a commercial vehicle to make it to the event? Not a problem. A full week after the event I'm not sure whether I had my head in the sand or if was faith that these issues would resolve themselves, but I'm happy to say that, ultimately, they did.
My partner in crime was in another part of the country for most of the day, so I was left to apply the final touches to the costume (a couple of which were pretty fundamental and thus mildly panicked touches). The support systems, or the mechanisms that would allow us to 'wear' the costumes, were not put in place until about an hour prior to leaving for the event. I had long had the idea for executing this part of the costume in mind, but not being completely confident that it would work, it became somewhat of an elephant in the room.
I could scarcely believe when the costumes were finally ready to go, and all of the aforementioned issues that loomed large on the horizon for what seemed an eternity failed to materialise. Honestly, I think whether it was head-in-the-sand syndrome or blind faith, it is perhaps an unhealthy practice to encourage. One day we might break that camel's back, but for now we look back on a successful and eminently fun night.
As usual, we attended the Freakscene Halloween Ball in Cork City, and my thanks goes out to the crew for putting on yet another great night. One of the big draws for me is the photography studio set-up (usually our costumes render us incapable of carrying a camera, or at least using it). This year, it was Paul Maher who helped capture the costumes for posterity:
I'm also indebted to David Hegarty, who captured us roaming around the venue:
My friend, Mark, was also captured in his Mark I Iron Man costume:
My favourite picture of the night again belongs to David:
A wonderful panoramic image of us on stage which captures the general buzz that was so prevalent on the night.
On the subject of being on stage, I'm delighted to say that we scooped 1st prize in the costume contest. The reaction to the costumes from everyone was truly humbling; especially when we were on stage and subjected to Freakscene's "clap-o-meter" segment of judging which drew an ovation from the audience that we were in awe of. I can honestly say that it is the love of craft and the hobby that compels us to carry out these projects rather than to make spectacles of ourselves (and I mean that in a nice way), but it was a tremendous feeling. We came home with this guy:
That wasn't before some major logistical issues had to be resolved, however; could it be that one of those so-called 'non-issues' did in fact materialise after all? Well, yes and no. I forgot to mention that Kang needed to be transported in a pickup truck, and even then we struggled. The person who kindly brought us in didn't stay out for the night, so we were left wondering how we would return home without having to consider abandonment. Thankfully, the venue management team were good to us and offered to house Kang until we could figure out transport the next day. He therefore set up shop in the cloak room:
Things didn't prove to be much easier in the cold light of day the following morning; we had to transport him across the city by hand (drawing odd looks aplenty, half-covered by a plastic bin bag to protect him against the ill-timed rain that we fell foul of) and house him in the store room of another building, where he would lodge for a further night. He eventually made it back in a friend's jeep, a little easier to squeeze in given the dents and knocks he received on the night.
Overall, it was a great night which reaffirmed my love of the holiday and that, despite the odd cul-de-sac which appears during the building process (and associated frustrations), the effort is invariably worth it.