So for Halloween this year, I gradually accumulated the pieces I’d need for a truly disturbing outfit. Not some horrific character you’ve seen in a movie or on TV, not someone from comics or literature, but…me. 180-proof, undistilled me.
The idea was to find a suitable garment, some kind of jacket or overcoat, capable of carrying the weight of a pin collection I’ve accumulated over the years, without falling apart under the weight. And the pins themselves? Ideally they should fit into one of two categories: science (mainly NASA mission pins) and fiction (pop culture stuff). If you take one good look at the sum total of what’s on the jacket, you pretty much know what my interests are.
After numerous fruitless searches for just the right garment, the answer landed in my lap courtesy of an e-mail about a ThinkGeek 50% off sale, which happened to include something described somewhat vaguely as a “men’s steampunk jacket”…but it had giant lapels that were really well-suited to what I had in mind, especially since that would mean I wouldn’t be constantly poked by the pinbacks. And it was 50% off…sold! The jacket’s actually quite lovely – it’s got a great weight to it, it’s warm, and looks great just by itself. On its own merits you could probably be done with Halloween right there. Me…I want shiny stuff on it.
Let’s start with the “science” category. This is mainly mission logo pins from various space missions, as well as a small handful of pins depicting commemorative stamps issued by the U.S. Postal Service if I didn’t have appropriate mission pins in my collection. You might notice that, from top to bottom, the missions’ destinations are moving outward through the solar system. At least until you bump into the hippo, and then it becomes a bit more random.
Things get even wackier on the “fiction” side, from Pac-Man to Gatchaman to Totoro.
You might have noticed a few significant gaps on the “science” side; these are reserved for some new additions incoming from Russia. Yes, you heard it here first, I colluded with a Russian… to acquire some vintage pins from the Soviet-era Venera Venus lander missions of the 1970s. Those haven’t gotten here yet, but there’s already a place for them when they arrive. It’d be neat to add some ESA and JAXA mission pins to the mix at some point…if I can find any, or indeed if those agencies spring for such things.
So, is this my new “uniform”? Perhaps too early to tell, but it certainly describes the contents of my head to a tee, and I can tell you right now…it’s very comfortable. Here’s to dressing up as oneself for Halloween.
And now, an unflattering picture of myself