2009 Nov 08 | Texas Renaissance Festival

Our Halloween costumes from Friday night made it into the HoustonPress.

A lot of people skipped this lecture because there was an exam coming up, so some of the people scattered around a bit to fill in the big holes so the professor wouldn't feel as bad.

At the customer service desk at Wal-Mart. I think these are all the items people leave at the register or something, but there's milk and frozen pizza and other quickly-perishable goods all over the place.

Aww, I got all excited because I thought there was a big sale on orange juice, but it was actually the price for fruit punch; the OJ was just misplaced.

I'm usually pretty good at ignoring all the junk at the check-out counter, but I couldn't help myself when I saw this, which I haven't had in like 10 years.

My favorite cheapo watch broke, so I bought another one. The only problem is they only had it in a woman's color. Oh well; it's rather subtle.

Someburger in the Heights. Super greasy, super good.

This is annoying. They locked the mailboxes so I couldn't get in late at night.

I went in to have the Jeep's blinker fixed and get the oil changed...

... but thankfully I showed up at 8:00 rather than 7:30 because it looks like they had fairly recently moved back their opening hours.

And I still love Allen the mechanic. He couldn't find a diagram for the wiring of the Jeep headlight anywhere, even after he called a few people, so he ended up taping it together to get it to work and jiggling it around some to make sure it would stay. Then he told me if it broke again to go to the Jeep dealership, and he even told me which parts I would need them to fix. Then he didn't even charge me for labor on the headlight; just for the oil change.

That's a lot of smileys for a toilet flushing instruction sign.

For the weekend we went to the Texas Renaissance Festival. This was a map of the grounds. I was going to print one out ahead of time but forgot, and they only sold them in the programs, which I didn't want to pay for. Thankfully they had maps up by every bathroom, but I still never quite figured out where everything was, even though I walked by everything at least five times.

A show from the roof.

The Magic Garden had a nice little walking path through the woods.

With some alcoves spread throughout.

Something I wasn't expecting: elephant rides.

Practicing juggling in the morning before all the people arrive.

Lots of good music.

A girl doing some sort of weird act.

And, of course, lots of neat outfits.

Each week they have a different theme, and this week was toga. I think the theme kind of annoys the workers, since they're not period, but I guess it's one way to get more people to dress up who wouldn't normally.

I liked how her body painting matched her outfit.

Some guys with an executioner.

A band of Irish singing songs.

Comedy show.

Most of the hawkers had some naughty things they would yell to get people's attention. For example, this one always said, "Look in my chest!"

There were lots of pretty pavilians, too.

The chapel, which you could rent out for weddings.

Sometimes the accessories make the costume, like in this case with the shield.

Aw, that's just cute.

Jumpy things.

A pretty parrot.

The German pavilian.

A living statue.

Most of the shows had lots of dirty double entendres.

Shakespeare spoofs.

One of the skimpier-dressed women there and me.

A really big staff head.

A very well-done archer.

Nice suit of armor.

The Pan legs were rather common.

That's one way to make the bathrooms smell better: just duct tape a bunch of incense up on a wall.

Yummy food.

I was pretty much always getting lost, but at least this climbing wall let me know where I was at when I could see it.

A guy with a glass of water on his head.

A glass blower.

Wow, that's absolutely horrific.

A big horse.

Some funny performers we could barely understand.

Chalk drawing in the dirt.

One of the best costumes there. He has wheels in the back legs.

A chain mail shop that had lots of people showing off its items.

Also a really neat pair of costumes; the guy had a spear full of bras.

Wine and Alchemy, my favorite musical group there.

In addition to a beautiful female singer and dancer, they also had a male belly dancer who was absolutely amazing. He had a great costume and did the correct belly-dancing movements and facial expressions extremely well.

The Gutenberg Press had a lot of funny signs and books like this one.

They make their own paper.

And do demonstrations of how to make the books.

The fake foxtails were extremely common.

A show with falcons, vultures, and owls.

There were a couple of different "king of the log" games where you tried to knock your opponent off.

Who you know is more important than what you know. In this case, someone who works at the fair who can sneak you in through the worker's entrance so you don't have to pay the entrance fee and who also knows some friends you can stay with so you don't have to leave the camp.

The little loft we stayed in had tons of sleeping pads and blankets and even a space heater, so it was really comfortable.

They actually had a whole area behind the store with tables and a fridge and a microwave and a grill and tons of other supplies.

Another act.

One of the biggest, most muscular, and most attractive men out there, whom all the women were taking pictures with. The workers called him the Malibubarian (Malibu barbarian).

The mud guys, who did acts in a big mud pit. Actually, very little of the act involved mud; most of it was getting the audience fired up.

Belly flop into the mud.

Another act involving belly dancers.

Shooting arrows.

A heavy-duty Segway.

I'm not sure exactly what this is supposed to be, but it's impressive.

Someone had a long day.

Not period, but still a crazy outfit.

The most revealing costume we saw.

Jousting tournament.

If you're not going to be accurate, shiny is a good second option.

A neat table and chairs.

Fireworks which basically tell everyone to go home for the night.

Eating dinner with some of the workers we were with.

We went walking around at night only to spend half of the time dodging sprinklers set out to keep the dust on the roads down.

Ah, the joy of reading the toilet stall humor.

Argument between the old folks and the young folks.

A fake horse by the jousting arena that I thought was real every single time I walked by it.

Looks like a fairly normal pickle seller. Except what's up with the wheel?

Nut fell off? Just use a locking pliers to hold it on. Pretty smart.

Weapons training.

And later on, some weapons matches.

Christoph the Insulter. People would pay money to have their friends insulted. The first people to do so were a group from New England who had the Texas people insulted, which was pretty funny. At the end, he asked who he should insult for the finale, and of course we chose the New Englanders.