2009 Jul 19 | circus, masquerade ball

I can take either I-45 or a few different local routes to school, and they all take right around 20 minutes, depending on traffic and red lights. Sometimes it feels like one way takes longer, though, so then I keep track for a while and confirm that none is really much better than the others.

If you tell them you have 50 key limes, do they actually count them all?

I noticed the top of this cereal box was taped closed. I don't think I'm gonna take that one, just in case.

Ooh, a Viper. Hopefully I can get beside him with us both being the first set of cars at a red light.

Because that way I can hit the gas quickly and start going faster than him after the light turns green, which will mess with his ego and make him want to show me who's boss. And it worked! He really flew away, which was fun to watch.

Arg, a parking spot in the shade and close to the theater when I parked farther away in the sun. And of course someone would park here before I could walk back to my car and move it here.

In OD/Med (glaucoma evals and follow-ups, retina stuff, red eyes, etc), we have to present our patients every time and discuss what we're going to do. If you have a long-term glaucoma patient, it's helpful to put tabs in for each visual field or other test that has been run on them so you can flip to it quickly.

I love these pants. They're long and straight so it looks like she has tubes for legs and no feet.

If I ever get annoyed by any patients, I just have to walk by this window, look at the roofers throwing chunks of solid tar into this melter, and realize at least I work in the A/C.

That parking job is absolutely horrific.

Hmm, I don't think they even make Zip disks any more.

I love the shipping places where you can send it out via USPS, UPS, or FedEx. You can compare prices and shipping times across all of them.

Yeah, the ramp isn't quite that steep.

The keys on the laptop I use for research will occasionally decide they don't want to work, especially the ones on the right half, so I made this little text file with all the letters and numbers so I can just copy and paste if that happens.

Someone burnt some popcorn in this microwave at school and it set off the fire alarm, making everyone evacuate the building.

You can really smell the tar in the library when the roofers are working, and I think it comes mainly through this vent.

I wonder who answers this emergency phone.

Making my mask for the Summer Sin Masquerade Ball on Saturday night, step one: paint it black. I've always hated how brushes leave streaks, but spray paint stinks and takes too long to dry, not to mention gets all over.

All that stuff for one little mask. Actually, I didn't use most of it, but it's nice to have out just in case.

This motorcycle driver was pretty aggressive. Then again, none of them in the US are nearly as crazy as the ones in Europe, who drive on the lines between cars all the time.

I wanted some Kix, but I don't want this jumbo box.

Saturday morning we went to the circus. It was Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey. I wonder when they combined?

Motorcyles in a steel ball.

We had the cheapest tickets, which gave us these seats.

However, we had seen some open seats which were a lot closer, so during intermission, we grabbed some food and headed over to those instead.

When they have multiple acts on at once, I always worry that I'll be watching one when another one does something really cool.

This guy walked across this using only his feet, which was pretty impressive.

Trapeze artists.


My favorite acts were the guy on the stilts and the guys on the bouncing rubber tire thingies. Too bad they weren't selling those to take home; they looked like a lot of fun.

We had parked in a lot a few blocks away and walked so we wouldn't have to pay for the parking at Reliant Stadium. Plus, the line to park there was pretty long, and it was probably faster walk. However, when the circus was over, we couldn't go out through the doors we wanted. We decided to cross the street using a bridge instead of walking the entire way around the stadium, but then we got to the end and there was a fence. Thankfully we found a gate we could squeeze through.

People take their carts to this bus stop from Fiesta and then leave them there. Fiesta really should put a cart corral here.

I'm using a combo window cleaner / Rain-X spray, and it seems to work pretty well, although not quite as well as the regular Rain-X on its own.

Making my mask, step 2. Basically I just glued a bunch of little stars onto it in swirly patterns. I think it came out pretty good.

This had been my orginal plan: have a bunch of stars and suns and moons floating above and around the mask. However, I couldn't find any clear plastic or anything so you'd only see the shapes and not what was holding them up. I ended up trying thin wire, but even that you could see, so it ended up looking more like an alien with antennae rather than floating celestial bodies, so I just trashed the idea. Sigh.

And another decision: clothing. I had pretty much decided on this shirt with transparent stripes and leather pants I had bought at the Salvation Army, but I still had to figure out how to wear it. Untucked shirt? Nope; the shirt is too big and it looks goofy.

With a tie, since it's a ball? Nope. The tie doesn't really fit the outfit, and it looked manlier to leave the neck open.

With a belt, since I'm tucking the shirt it? Nope. Actually, the pants were too tight for the belt. There wasn't a hole to make the belt that tight, so the belt bulged out. So no tie, no belt, shirt tucked in.

Right before I left for the ball it started to pour. It was actually a pretty scene headed into the city.

And this little road always floods, so cars jam up when they realize the can't get through. Thankfully I didn't have to take that section.

My idea of putting these around my mask didn't work, but I still really wanted to use them in some way, so I ended up making a bracelet. I was thinking about putting them on a chain I was wearing around my neck, too, because usually the more accessories you have the neater the outfit, but that looked too feminine. Better to not force it and end up looking dumb.

We got there pretty early; there were only a few other cars in the parking lot. This guy pulled in front of me, which I though was rather rude, but then we realized he was the parking attendant. Since we were there before him, though, we got to park for free, which was nice.

They were supposed to let us in at 8:30pm. We had to wait until 9pm before they found wristbands for drinking, though. Then for some reason they weren't opening the main room, so they had us all go into this room instead. We were fine with that, though, because we just played pool for a bit. Which is much harder when you're wearing a mask, by the way.

Two super-flexible performers and us. They were really fun to watch; they were walking and crawling all over the place and constantly contorting themselves around each other.

Some dancers up on a stage. Actually, one of my favorite things about the event was the music, which was techno.

Some other early arrivals.

Another couple, with the woman being just a tad risque.

Red and black. I liked the guy's chin piercings, too.

The guy on the left was actually one of the performers, although we didn't realize that until we saw him on the stage.

Hmm, just wearing lingerie doesn't really fit the theme, but whatever.

Aw, this would have been a really cool picture, but unfortunately my camera sometimes has trouble focusing if it's dark. You can tell just how tall this guy really is when someone is standing beside him.

A better picture, but without another person for reference.

Another red and black theme.

The contorting women on stage.

And getting really close to the crowd.

Some of the audience.

Some more performers.

And another one.

The DJ in one of the rooms hidden by someone dancing.

A shot of the crowd.

Ooh, I like shiny outfits.

Driving on Sunday morning. And of course there's an accident that shut down two lanes. It was faster to hop onto the feeder here and then back onto the highway after the accident.

It's kind of weird when you're going faster than the ambulance behind you. You keep seeing the lights and hearing the siren, and you automatically want to pull over, but that would be worse than to just keep going.