Adventures In Freelancing: 5 Things I Miss About Working In An Office

After “How’s that freelance writing thing going?” the most popular question I get from people is “Do you miss working in an office?” My usual answer is “I miss working with the cool people I’ve worked with over the years, but I prefer working from home.” I really do love being a freelancer and the freedom it brings. I can get up whenever I want and go to sleep when I want (though that freedom will disappear for a while once the baby is born, I assume). Plus, on days when I’m feeling a little more shut-in than I prefer, I can always run over to the coffee shop, get some amazing coffee, tea or a chai latte and talk with the always-friendly baristas. But, if I’m being completely honest with myself there are some things I do miss about working in an office. Here are five of them.

1. Being Able To Blame Someone Else For Getting Me Sick
Seeing as how I only have regular contact with one person (the missus), it’s really easy to figure out who got me sick. When you work in an office there’s always someone who may or may not have gotten you sick, but working from home narrows the possibilities down pretty substantially.

2. Work Parties
Around Christmas time, I actually got pretty bummed out because my company party consisted of the cat and I watching Silent Night, Deadly Night with a Coors Light at 3:30 p.m. on a Friday. Hearing the missus come home talking about how she could hardly get her work done because of all the holiday parties she had to attend didn’t help. It brought back fond memories of the occasional holiday party or the company picnic that gave me my last opportunity to play football. Plus, getting a little (and sometimes a lot) buzzed on the company dime was always a lot of fun.

3. Free Donuts
I’m not the biggest fan of sweets in the world, but I do love a simple glazed donut. I miss that thrill of the chase when word got around that free food/candy/donuts were on the water cooler. If you weren’t quick, you weren’t getting a treat (at least in the days when there were more than a dozen people in the office). The other day, I got a real hankering for donuts and realized it was because I hadn’t had one in quite a while. I guess I could start taking advantage of the Dunkin’s right down the street, but food always tastes so much better when someone else buys it.

4. Lunch
I was lucky enough to work with some great people, so our lunch time was actually a lot of fun. We’d either all get together in the office’s lunchroom and talk about comics, TV and life or all head out to a singular location and do the same there. Lunches got a little thin there for a while, but once we moved down to the city I found myself surrounded by a lot of those same people. Sure, not every lunch was amazing, but it was nice to know that I could see some friends and get some interesting food. Now, lunch is just another way to get food in me so I don’t pass out. Without other people involved, I have a tendency to forget to eat until late int he day, which leaves me lightheaded.

5. Free Stuff
Between the free table, people getting rid of their stuff and the constant flow of things into our office, there was always something being offered to you that you’d otherwise have to pay for. In addition to that, we had access to one of the largest comic book and trade paperback libraries around (I’ve never seen a bigger one personally, but I’m sure they’re out there) with nearly every comic printed coming in every week. This might sound strange or greedy, but it’s not easy going from unlimited access to none. I think I’m finally done with the withdrawal that came after that, but I do miss being able to keep up on all the comics I cared about and getting the occasional free action figure. On the flip side, I also miss having a place to get rid of some of my comics. You’d be surprised at how hard of a time I’ve had getting rid of a longbox I’ve had in the backseat of my car for months.

Adventures In Freelancing: Interning

As I promised, this week’s column (hopefully columns, actually) will focus on breaking into the world of pop culture writing. I did it the hard way by becoming an intern first. During the Christmas break of my Junior year of college I found an old issue of Wizard that had a whole feature about how to become an intern at various comic companies and what you could expect from the experience. With that and some addresses I found online for a few magazines, I applied to places like DC, Marvel, Rolling Stone, Wizard and some others. I sent out a bunch of resumes in envelopes on nice paper, went back to school and waited (this was right on the edge of when physical resumes were losing favor and everything transferred over to digital).

One day towards the end of the school year, I was awoken by a phone call. I didn’t have classes on Fridays that semester, so I could sleep as long as I wanted. The only reason I even got out of bed was because our phones were set up so you could tell if the call was coming from within the school system or outside (different rings). I figured it might be important, maybe a parent call or something, but it turned out to Matt Senreich, then of Wizard, but soon to leave to go start Robot Chicken. We did a phone interview that I honestly don’t remember much of, though I was worried I sounded like I just got up and a week or so later I found out I got the internship! I was on cloud nine, but I also had a few worries: what if DC or Marvel called and wanted me to intern for them? Where the hell was I going to stay?

Well, the first turned out not to be a problem because I didn’t hear from either of them and don’t know if they ever even got my resumes on pretty paper. Even if they had, I figured that Wizard would be the best place because I’d be potentially interacting with people from all kinds of companies at various levels. My other problem was also soon taken care of when the folks at Wizard suggested renting a room at a nearby religious university called Nyack College. I had a problem with this place right off the bat because they wanted me to sign a paper that promised I would neither do drugs nor dance while on school premises. I swear to you, both of those items were in the same sentence. There was also something forbidding drinking as you might expect. It wasn’t that I wanted to do drugs or dance, but I didn’t like signing away my rights. Without any other real alternative, I swallowed my moral indignation, signed the papers and spent nine weeks living in Nyack, New York, driving to the former site of Wizard in a nearby town on the weekdays, working and spending the weekends in downtown Nyack hanging out in bars and going to barbecues at staffers houses.

I had a ridiculous amount of fun meeting my fellow interns and the rad people who worked at Wizard, ToyFare, Anime Insider and InQuest, but that’s not the point of this piece and I’ve waxed historical for a bit too long I think. I went in thinking I would be a coffee monkey or tasked with making copies, something along those lines and while I did make copies, I also got to mix it up a little by doing some writing and also helping to organize the comic book library. We also got to sit in on planning meetings for upcoming issues which was hugely interesting to me as the various writers and editors threw out ideas for features based on comics that wouldn’t see print for months!

When I wasn’t making copies or filing comics, I would get small assignments. Most of us cut our teeth writing sidebars in the Price Guide. Luckily we were working with some really solid editors who would take the time to pull us aside and tell us what we were doing right and wrong in our pieces (using incorrect tense or verbiage and just getting facts wrong). We also got to write some news stories which sometimes involved actually talking to creators, but I had one assignment that turned into my white whale. I was assigned to talk to the director of that movie Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow, a guy named Kerry Conran. The Hollywood editor at Wizard gave me contact information to set things up with his assistant. I was nervous as hell because even though the director hadn’t done anything (and hasn’t done any features since, this dude was Hollywood and on a whole different level), but gave the assistant a call and…Conran couldn’t do the interview. I called a bunch of times after that trying to nail things down, but it never happened because the movie was like two weeks away from being completed and the timing was really bad. The assistant was super nice and at least sounded like he felt bad about things not working out, but it’s not his fault and there’s no hard feelings, I even dug the movie when I saw it. But I learned a few lessons through this ordeal: not every assignment is going to come through and keeping your editor up to date on what’s happening is super-important, no matter how seemingly bad the news might be. They’d rather find out ahead of time that something’s not going to happen than when it’s too late (I learned that lesson again during my tenure at Wizard and can’t tell you how much I regret needing another lesson).

I learned a lot in those nine weeks. I had no idea how magazines were put together before going in and learned probably about half of the steps that summer (the research and design departments were like foreign territory at that time). In fact, I can honestly say that I leanred more about the magazine world during my few weeks there than I did in four years of college. The amount of lead time magazines work on, especially monthlies, is kind of shocking when you think about it and a lot can go wrong between the time you close the issue (finish all work on it and send it to the printers) and when it comes out. Creators can jump off books or the news can get leaked before the issue comes out, any number of things, but you’ve got to just power through and hope the next issue kicks even more ass.

I also learned basic interview skills. I had done some of this with friends for the lame journalism class I took the first semester of my Freshman year, but I knew those people and I idolized everyone in the comics world, regardless of their status, so it was intimidating. I still get nervous when I interview anyone, even friends in the industry, but it’s all about putting that aside and asking really good, interesting questions and knowing when to freestyle follow up questions. I learned that checking out other interviews with your subject really helps because you can pick up where other interviewers left off and hopefully get more and better information out of them. You don’t want to do the same exact interview they’re doing other places right? The thing to remember is that all of these people, even the biggest names in this or any industry, are just people like anyone else. In my time I’ve talked to down to earth directors and top shelf artists. I always tried to keep my interviews levelheaded, respectful and not too fanboyish. I’ve been present for ultra fanboy interviews and they’re just painful and don’t get great results from what I’ve seen.

The most important thing that I learned at Wizard was time management. In the magazine world, you’ve got a very set time table to do your work in or else it won’t make the issue, someone will have to fill the space and you’ll probably get yelled at. So, even if you’ve got to spend an hour in the comics library organizing the Justice League comics (no easy task unless you’re an uber fan like myself) you’ve got to have a handle on doing the research for your Price Guide sidebar and arranging the interview for your news story. I had those skills before, thanks to high school and college, but my internship showed me exactly how important that skill is when it comes to work. And boy, do I use that now what with writing for several different venues all of which have their own cycles, time tables and due dates. Being organized is key.

So, what you’re really probably wondering is, “How the hell do I get an internship?” I recommend keeping an eye on Journalism Jobs, Media Bistro and Craigslist for whatever area you feel comfortable traveling to. I personally haven’t used those sites to get an internship (before my time), but when I look for new freelance opportunities from time to time I invariably see postings on those sits looking for interns. Be warned, they’re usually unpaid. Even with the seeming decline of print media in New York City, this is still the best place to look for internships at magazines or websites. There’s always someplace you can stay and the fact of the matter is that if you don’t want to move for an internship, they’ll easily fill it with someone else. Maybe you can crash with a relative, family friend, school friend, guy you meet on the subway, rent a hotel room or even get a room at a place we dubbed Footloose University.

Hell, on the way out to New York, my parents drove me in their car and towed my car behind theirs. Somewhere in the Poconos my dads car broke down thanks to a dying alternator. There we were stranded in an SUV with a trailer and a sedan hooked up to that that we couldn’t drive because the drive shaft was disable for towing purposes (or something like that, I don’t know much about cars). I was reading “The Langoliers” at the time which made everything even creepier. We sat there on a busy highway at night waiting for a tow truck that could not only tow my dads car but also my car behind it. He was a really nice guy who also broke the rules and gave all three of us a ride in his cab which was against the rules. We got a hotel room and luckily a mechanic was able to fix my dad’s car soon after. He also fixed my car and I drove it the rest of the way. That night the idea of this whole endeavor being cursed swam through my head and things looked dire (what would happen if I missed my first day as an intern the following Monday?), but then I said something that my parents repeat to me all the time: If it was easy, everyone would do it. Sure, that’s an extreme, weird situation and has nothing to do with writing or working in the pop culture world, but it’s a good motto to live by because there are thousands of people out there who WANT to do the same thing you want to do, but a much smaller number of people who actually do that thing. Another good motto comes from the greatest poet of our day, Jay-Z: “I’m a hustler homey, you a customer crony. Got some, dirt on my shoulder, could you brush it off for me?” Be the hustler, not the customer, but take care of your own shoulders, otherwise everyone will think you’re an asshole.

Give the internship thing a shot. You’ll probably learn a lot of the same things I talked about and a whole lot more as many internships are in the field of website and blog news. This industry is always changing, so the more information you can absorb, the better!

Adventures In Freelancing: An Introduction

I fully intended to kick this recurring column off last week as Friday marked the one year anniversary of my being laid off from ToyFare. It was a really strange and stressful time, but it actually turned out really well for me because I was able to realize a life long dream: working as a full time writer. I probably never would have jumped into the pool myself, but being thrown in really helped and now I’m moving along swimmingly.  Sure it’s freelance and no it wasn’t easy to get to a point where I could–in theory–support myself if I lived on my own and in a different state, but I’ve really grown to love my new job and don’t even find myself trolling websites for jobs anymore. It’s a good place to be at.

So, with that in mind, I wanted to start a recurring column where I talk about doing freelance writing for a living. Since I mostly write about toys, comics, movies, TV and other pop culture elements, the column will pull from that experience, but I would imagine that my experiences are somewhat universal and can be applied to other topics. I obviously don’t know everything, but hopefully I know somethings that might help you out either getting work or avoiding some of the pitfalls I fell into. I encourage lots of comments and questions. Next week’s more robust column will be the first installment in a multi-part post about getting work!

I’m Sure SDCC Is Rad, But So’s The Met

Okay, so New York’s Metropolitan Museum Of Art probably isn’t as cool as SDCC, but it had a few things going for it. One, no weirdos in costumes. Two, it didn’t have that familiar con smell to it. And three, I got to see some cool art, which included sketches by one of the most famous artists of all time, some pop culture relics and a giant hall filled with armor, so it wasn’t TOO far off. The above picture is of the American Wing of the museum, which was featured on Project Runway last season (I don’t remember it, but the missus does, which lead me to searching for this pic). We kicked things off with a tour through the incredibly boring American Wing which mostly had furniture. Holy shit, you guys, looking at old chairs is boring. Anyway, I eventually ducked into the musical instrument section where I saw some crazy old instruments, heard some incredibly pretentious teenagers discuss the intricacies of outdated instruments and got to see two pieces of musical history. I love jazz. When I started getting into it, I thought big band guys like Benny Goodman were squares, but as I delved in I found that he was a sick musician whose orchestra could swing like no other. His Live At Carnegie Hall two disc set is absolutely worth checking out for anyone interested in the man or swing or jazz. Anyway, I was pretty excited to see Goodman’s clarinet on display. According to the sign next to it, it’s the one he has in the picture which was taken just a few days before he died. The other piece of popular music history on display was Ringo Starr’s Golden Drum which was a gift given to him by the Ludwig drum company in 1964. It’s not super interesting, it’s not like the 70 year old Beatle actually played the thing, but hey, I still haven’t been to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame yet, so I’ll take what I can get. Here’s another pic. We didn’t actually go down and walk through the Hall Of Armor (I have no idea if that’s what it’s called, it just makes sense because, you know, it’s filled with armor) but I snapped this pic from above mostly because the armors look awesome and it reminded me of how Jim Lee drew the Batcave in All-Star Batman And Robin The Boy Wonder. I want to see a movie set just in this wing where these bad boys come to life and kick the hell out of each other. There was also a pretty big showcase of Picasso artwork that was kind of whatever. I guess I’m not really into the man’s art or at least I don’t want to look at it with tons of other slow and smelly (hey, I guess it is like a con) people in small rooms. There was an interesting display at the very end of the circuit with drawings Picasso did. The man sure loved to draw naked women. My favorite piece that I saw was this one, I can’t remember the exact name of it though, but it’s something like “A Former Patron and His Ingenue Visit An Old Artist.”I got a kick out of this one because my reading of it is that Picasso’s poking fun at himself, showing himself drawing these huge naked people while his stuffy old patron shows up and is most likely embarrassed and confused by what had come over the artist. Hey, I just found a link on the Met’s site, the piece is called “Patron and his Retinue Visiting the Studio of an Old Painter,” check out more info here. The last picture I snapped, I wasn’t supposed to. It’s a cartoon for The New Yorker by artist Barney Tobey (you can read his 1989 obit here to learn more about the man). I’m not sure if you can read the caption, but one well-dressed woman is saying “Keeping it dusted must drive them crazy!” to another well-dressed woman. It’s kind of meta, but it was fun.

We also checked out the American Woman fashion installment, which was kind of cool, though, again, not really my thing along with a collection of photographs by Leon Levinstein which I loved. He basically walked around New York in the 60s and 70s and snapped pictures. They’re amazing. Nowadays we have reality television to give us a look into peoples’ lives, but back then, all there was was guys like Levinstein snapping pictures on the streets. I loved it. It helps that I’m fascinated by New York’s long history, but he had a great eye for snapping pics that really capture people in their natural element. Absolutely worth checking out if you’re in the area.

What I’m Thankful For: My Parents (and TV!)

2008-11-20
12:17:57 am

Okay, so one of the reasons that I haven’t been posting as much the past five days or so is because my parents came in for a visit on Friday and left Sunday. I had asked my dad to root through the boxes in their basement and bring some of my oldest action figures and he responded in spaces with boxes full of He-Man, Batman, Silverhawks, Star Wars, Ghostbusters and plenty of other random toys from my childhood. So, first of all, a huge thanks for that, Dad’s awesome.

But that’s not all, for not real reason, Mom and Dad also took Em and I to Best Buy where they treated us to a brand new flat screen TV as well as a new DVD/VCR player (which is great, because, as regular readers know, I’ve been watching DVDs on my PS2 and our old TV SUCKED). So, again, they’re awesome and not just because they bring and buy me/us stuff. This isn’t really the forum to get into all the great things they’ve done, but, according to Rickey, they’ve got to be in the top 3 sets of parents of all time. I’ve got to agree.

The TV is freaking mind blowingly awesome. After setting it up we watched Kung Fu Panda and it looked AMAZING. I kept giggling throughout the movie because it looked so good. I was astonished both by the quality and my parents’ generosity. Aside from all that, though, the movie is awesome. The voice acting is spot on (Jack Black, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, David Cross even Angelina Jolie and more) and the action scenes are SICK. It’s great to see filmmakers who realize you can do all kinds of things with CGI and not be shackled down by the physical world that real movies are. It’s also just a lot of fun, Jack Black’s funny without being TOO Blackian. I recommend everyone check it out.

I ended up staying up late after everyone else went to bed just to watch Friday the 13th 5 (I wanted to see how it looked on the new TV), there will be a Halloween Scene review soon. I wasn’t quite tired after that, still, so I popped Star Wars Battlefront II into the PS2 and had some fun with that for a while, but I wasn’t quite done so I watched some TV just to see how it looked. I eventually tapped out around 3.

On Saturday Dad and I watched college football, bouncing between the Notre Dame game (my team) and his team, Ohio State. But we weren’t just sitting there as Dad and I (but mostly him) built these frames with shrink wrap on them to place in our windows to help keep the cold out this winter. Meanwhile Mom and Em made Christmas cookies all day. And mind you, they got in around 5 on Friday and took of Sunday morning. I think Rickey’s right (though I’ve known this for a while), they’re the best. Thanks a lot Mom and Dad!

What I’m Thankful For: The Real World

2008-11-13
4:46:23 am

My name is TJ and I am, in fact, a Real World-aholic. It feels good to admit it in public, but, to be honest, I have no problem talking about my problem. I’ve been a fan of the Real World for a long time now, which doesn’t necessarily vindicate me, but it might explain some things. 1996’s season in Miami really sticks out in my memory. I would have been 13 or 14 at the time. The funny thing is that, in the early 90s, my parents sat me down and told me they didn’t want me watching MTV because of shows like Beavis and Butthead and rap videos objectifying women.

I followed that rule for a while, but eventually started watching MTV after school and whenever I’d stay up late. The funny thing is that I never liked B&B and I really didn’t like rap at the time (and I’m still playing catch up today). But the show that really caught my attention was The Real World. I have a basic knowledge of the seasons before Miami (I’ve probably seen most of them in reruns by now), but Miami was the first one that really grabbed my attention, partly because of theaforementioned inclusion of Wilstorm Editor Sarah Becker. But the whole cast really intrigued me. These were the kinds of people I didn’t experience in my everyday life and it was really cool to see them all together and trying to start a business (which, if memory serves, never took off).

Real Worlds Boston and Seattle were also pretty big deals at the time and probably the last seasons where they didn’t stunt cast as much as they do today. I remember talking to my friend Shannon on the phone in high school for hours and one of the big topics of conversation was always the Real World. She was the first person I talked on the phone with for more then two minutes. I don’t know why that’s important, but it’s fun.

After that things started getting crazy with all the drama of Hawaii, then New Orleans and heading back to New York for the tenth anniversary. That was one of the first things in pop culture that actually made me feel old because I actually remembered ten years of something on TV. Of course now I know it to be just the first of many events to make me feel old.

I don’t remember much about Chicago by name except for the fact that two guys I would go on to know in college, Jeff and Pat got their way onto the show, though I didn’t know them when the episode aired and haven’t seen it since. As I’ve heard the story, they found out where the show was while they were filming and actually set up a lemonade stand outside the house. Eventually they got noticed by the housemates and made their way onto the show! My friends tell me that you can actually see them in the background of an episode that I would love to see.

After Chicago was the game changing Las Vegas which I remember watching every week in Jacob’s room in college. It’s weird how such a debaucherous show could bring people together (he was in my wedding party). By this time I wasn’t talking to Shannon about every episode anymore, but Jacob filled that space pretty well. You know a season’s gonna be crazy when there’s practically a threesome on the first episode. Jacob (who was a year older) and I would watch the next few seasons together until he graduated.

After that things definitely get fuzzy and I have to refer to the Wikipedia page just to remember who was in what cast, but I was also equally enamored with the Real World/Road Rules Challenges which would pit casts from the two shows against each other in games of a physical nature. I was also a Road Rules fan until they decided to take a Survivor approach and kick people off. “Why become more like the show that’s trying to steal your original concept?” I thought. Anyway, I appreciated how they’d schedule Real World seasons to follow Road Rules and vice versa and then once Road Rules tanked for whatever reason they’d fill in with the various challenges.

After college I spent a few months at home where I worked most mornings at Barry’s Bagel Place at Westgate and most nights at the Chad/Chad/Toth house (I really miss that place) watching whatever was on MTV (I regret to say that that included The Hills along with the less embarassing Real World and Challenges.

Luckily, when I moved out here to New York I found a kindred Real World spirit in Rickey, who shared my love of how ridiculous the show had become. You see, back when I was a kid I actually wanted to be on the show and now I’ve reached the peak age at which I could make it onto the show (a realization that struck me a lot harder than it should have). In three months I’ll be too old. Depressing. But after a while, that desire to be one of them transformed into an amazement at how self obsessed some people can be as well as a kind of character study. Sure the inclusion of camera will change how people act, but Real World definitely offers the budding writer (which I still consider myself, until I hit the top of that age limit as well) a great look at some truly interesting characters. But, let’s be clear, I don’t want to sound all literary and whatnot, I do like watching people get drunk and make bad decisions. It’s the same part of me that liked watching Jerry Springer when I was younger.

Anyway, Rickey and I stayed pretty well caught up, though I did fall of the wagon for a season until he told me how awesome it was and I caught up with episodes online (I wish every season was available online, I’d watch the crap out of that). Since then I’ve been watching every season and challenge as they come out.

What I like about the challenges is that you get to see these characters that you got pretty close to in previous seasons. To me they’re real people but also just characters on a TV show and seeing them all together on another show is like seeing a cool comic book team-up where you get to see a group of characters you never thought you’d get to see again.

Like I said above, I do have a problem and I accept that. I’ve known for a while that my love for the Real World and it’s bastard offspring is somewhat unnatural, but it really hit home yesterday when I realized that there wouldn’t be any new shows this weekend as The Island (the latest challenged) aired it’s last episode two weeks ago and it’s reunion show last week. I guess I’ve just got to wait until the new season hits which features a cast in Brooklyn. How crazy is it that I’ve been living this close to a Real World house and not set up a lemonade stand yet? Hmm, maybe there’s still time. What do you say Rickey? Interested?

What I’m Thankful For: Halloween

2008-11-07
2:47:59 am

As I’m sure you could tell from my near daily Halloween Scene posts throughout the month of October, I’m a big fan of Halloween. Unfortunately I’ve had some weird Halloweens over the past few years. My senior year of college I got pretty sick with bronchitis and pneumonia, so that sucked. Then my first year at Wizard (I started on October 17th), I was too new to get invited to one of the guys’ Halloween party (I also was too much of a wuss to ask if I could come, so no big deal, I just watched horror movies in my hovel of a room). The year after that, my first Halloween married we went out to the bar. Em went as the killer rabbit from Monty Python while I went as Charlie from Lost. Neither of us were very creative with our costumes. Then last year I got sick again, just a cold this time, but it was still annoying.

So, this year, I was psyched for Halloween and refused to get sick. It helped that I was sick about two weeks before (yeah!). And boy was it a fun one! I was even able to make it last for a full week as we had a party to go to on the 25th. Thanks to Em’s smartness I went to the first party as a black and white zombie from Night of the Living Dead.

I wasn’t able to find a black suit based on the first zombie we see in the beginning of the movie, but I was able to get a gray one and then Em did my makeup. Ah, it reminded me of my days doing musicals in high school.

It also reminded me of a horror movie because, while we were getting ready the freaking power went out and Em had to do both of our makeup(s?) by candle and flashlight. I was pretty sure a slasher was going to break in at any moment OR a real zombie outbreak would happen. Oh, it was also a dark and somewhat stormy night. Crazy! We then went to a party where we drank, which as you all know is just asking for trouble (especially for Miley Cyrus cut outs).

Oh and at the party we also played a super fun board game called Pimps and Ho’s. I’d throw in a link for you to check out their site, but it might seem a bit lewd, just put the name in the browser without punctuation or spaces and check out the fun.

So, that party was great great fun, but it wasn’t the end of the Halloween festivities. In addition to the plenty of horror movies I watched, we also dressed up at Wizard and there was a costume contest. I took second place and won $10. Woo hoo, thanks Summer for setting it up! (I’m the one in the monkey suit by the way).

We also carved pumpkins and I took the old school Nintendo approach and did Boo from the Mario games. It didn’t involve much actual carving, but I did have to shave all the orange off. I think it turned out pretty good and the trick or treaters seemed to like it, even the punk kid who said “More” twice after I had already given him two pieces of candy. Little jerk.

But even THAT wasn’t it. Halloween night we went to a party of one of Em’s coworkers’ house. We didn’t want to do the makeup thing again and I didn’t want to wear the monkey suit (it’s freaking HOT inside that thing), so we stole Rickey and James’ idea from a few years ago (the rabbit/Charlie year) and wore big boys footy pajamas. Man that was fun.

I also played beer pong for the second time and for two games, my partner and I were champions of the world (which I told everyone at the party, most of whom were strangers to me up until that point). There’s nothing funnier than thinking about myself, drunk and dressed like a little kid playing beer pong. There was also a baby at the party which was weird. I tried not to swear too much around her, but I did. Sorry Abby.

So yeah, that was this year’s Halloween. I’m gonna try and get my streak of not being sick on Halloween back up again and keep enjoying the creepiest night of the year.