Halloween, GaTech Homecoming and Chomp & Stomp!

Halloween weekend was the kind of weekend that highlights how wonderful life is in in-town Atlanta. The more I hear people comment on how "safe" they feel in the suburbs the more I realize they have no idea what they're missing out on. Friday night, after handing out candy to over 100 trick-or-treaters in Grant Park, we headed to a friend's costume party in Reynoldstown (costumes, with hints, below). Bluegrass band and BBQ from DBA? Perhaps I can overlook the sudden freezing temperature!

At noon the next day we hopped on our bikes and braved the frigid headwinds to join friends tailgating the Georgia Tech Homecoming game. After a couple of hours we jumped on the Beltline and cruised over to Cabbagetown for Chomp and Stomp. There we hung out with my brother and a few former co-workers. The transition from engineer friends to artist friends was barely noticeable as both events were so full of lively, happy people (and beer). Next weekend is MothBall - after that I'm hanging up all my costumes until 2015!!

Rollin' with my Gnomies

Awesome, awesome, awesome Inman Park Festival this year. O&I joined several our Grant Park neighbors in the annual attempt to beat the Guinness Book of World Records record for most people dressed as garden gnomes. 202 of us marched in the parade while wearing the obligatory red pointy hat, suspenders or vest (for men), suspenders or apron (for women) and boots. The photos below show us pre-parade, during the parade and post-parade (yes, the silly selfie). FUN!!!

38th Annual Grant Park MothBall

MothBall was almost a month ago and I'm still struggling for words to describe the experience. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about: MothBall is Grant Park's annual costume ball. The theme changes year to year; the 2013 theme was Hootenanny. How this all relates to me/And Topher Too? I was this year's Grant Park Neighborhood Association (GPNA) MothBall Committee Chair; as such I led a team of 10 Grant Park volunteers for three months. Together we brainstormed and built the entire party from the ground up. A task that sounded simple enough in the beginning but turned out to be extremely challenging. (You wouldn't believe the number of unpredictable complications that never stopped being hurtled in our direction. Even three hours before show time we were still confronting unexpected challenges).  

Fortunately, karma bestowed upon me a team of genuinely talented, hard working and supportive volunteers* that made the process fun, friendly and unforgettable. My sincerest thanks go out not only to the 2013 MothBall Core Committee but also to every single neighbor who showed their support. Three weeks after the event and we're still hearing rave reviews. If a picture is worth a thousand words then check out the photos below to see the looks of pure joy on everyones' faces.

(*Paul & Christy Simo, Jeff Rodgers, Lauren Rocereta & Rob Bernier - y'all are amazing. Thank you for your patience, brilliance and encouragement! You're the best neighbors ever.)


MothBall Core Committee marching in the EAV Strut Parade

And Topher Too - Proud 2013 MothBall sponsor


Atlanta is pretty awesome

I'm swamped with MothBall details. We lost our venue with less then three weeks to go. We've found a new venue and now I'm revising contracts and following up with all the performers, vendors and sponsors (so they don't go to the previously planned, non-inspection passing old location). As soon as all these loose ends are tied up then it'll be time to get to crafting. If you haven't marked your calendars and bought your tickets - PLEASE DO SO NOW! Click here. 

Even though MothBall has taken over our lives, there were two events this weekend that O&I just couldn't miss. Oliver's favorite beerfest: Hotoberfest. My new favorite thing to do: the Great Bicycle Parade as part of Atlanta Streets Alive. 

If you haven't already noticed I'm slowly building a small contingency of Muppets. MUPPETS TAKE ATLANTA! I've decided that each time we do the bike parade I'll add one or two more muppets. This time I added a speaker with a Muppet play list to my bike and I made Fozzie's costume better (added ears). For next time I want to make Beaker and the Swedish Chef. Stay tuned for Spring 2014!

*Muppet photo credit to Erik Voss

10 days til the Peachtree Road Race!

Memphis has Bealle Street. Chicago: the Magnificent Mile. New Orleans: St. Charles (or Bourbon, depending on who you ask). And my hometown, Atlanta, has Peachtree Street. Home to the world's largest 10K! With 60,000 registered participants and 150,000 spectators lining the street, Peachtree Street is the place to be the morning of Independence Day. Oliver and I always do the race as Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty. It's one of my very favorite family traditions (so much so that I just bought us adorable Christmas ornaments to commemorate the event)! Only ten more days - I can't wait!

Click to read: a Timeline of the Peachtree Road Race's history

These ornaments are the cutest!! I'm so happy to have found them online. Shout out to #Annalee and Sue Coffee. #LadyLiberty #UncleSam

Atlanta's Streets Alive & the Bicycle Parade - Spring 2013

Inspired by the Great Muppet Caper, we decided to join the 2013 Atlanta Bicycle Parade as Muppets. I made both of our costumes from things we had around the house (felt, headbands, styrofoam balls and a foam Braves tomahawk). Sadly, the hour leading up to the parade was full of thunder, lightning, hail and flash flood warnings. Just when we were about to bail ten of our neighbors biked by our house, in full costume, on their way to the Downtown start line. It was just the push we needed! The wet weather kept most spectators at home but we still had fun. I'll use any excuse to dress up as Miss Piggy and ride my bike down the center of Peachtree Street! Our thanks and appreciation to the organizers of Streets Alive and everyone in the Atlanta bicycle community!

Atlanta Streets Alive

Labor Day Weekend in Atlanta

Labor Day weekend in Atlanta is crazy. Currently going on in downtown (where we live) and Midtown (3 miles north): Dragon*Con, SEC football kick off games, black gay pride, a free concert in Grant Park and a Braves games. A few miles east there is Drive-In Invasion and the Decatur Book Festival. This year was the fifth** consecutive year that I've attended the Dragon*Con parade. And while it was not the BEST it's ever been it was certainly the most crowded. Word is out - this parade is a must see. Many of the costumes were ones I remembered from past years. My favorite new trend is combo costumes. For example: Ghostbusting Blues Brothers, steampunk Disney princesses, kilt  wearing Stormtroopers and zombiefighting Muppets. I wish I had better photos to share; if you want to see more try doing a flickr image search for DragonCon 2012. 

**Click here to see my photos from 2011

Count down to the Peachtree Road Race: one month

Atlanta is home to the world's largest 10K race. Every Independence Day 60,000 registered runners (and an estimated 10,000 more unregistered runners) hit Atlanta's main street, Peachtree Street, and run from Lenox Mall to Piedmont Park. The runners come in all shapes and sizes - and in our case, all types of patriotic costumes. Since 2006 I've been "pub running" the Peachtree Road Race dressed as Lady Liberty along with as many people as I could convince to put on a costume at 6am on a holiday. (Someone on the sidelines captured a photo of us that first year and used it on Wikipedia as an illustration of the costumed runners.) 

This year's road race is only one month away! That's just enough time to make or find a costume. We're inviting everyone we know and anyone else who is interested to join us. There are three requirements: 1. Patriotic costume 2. Appropriate running shoes 3. Keep up with a slow jog. Send me an email if you want information about when and where to meet us. 


(with Uncle Sam and Rosie the Riveter)

(with Uncle Sam and Paul Revere/Sam Adams/Young Ben Franklin)