Something Old, Something Boo

Gaithersburg residents Chris Hays and Randi Wright will be the hosts of 80 guests decked out in papier-mache masks made specially for the occasion. Not Halloween -- their wedding.

"We wanted something a bit out of the ordinary for a wedding, but still kind of classy," says Hays, a graphic designer. "We're both big on the holiday. We didn't want people dressing up like ghouls or monsters or anything."

He purchased Venetian masks for the wedding party and they ordered 75 plain masks that Wright, also a graphic designer, decorated with a theme in mind. "They're all about some aspect of us," Hays says. "From favorite movies to favorite artists to favorite food."

So a guest wearing a "Family Guy"-themed mask might be spotted mingling with a guest wearing a Georgia O'Keeffe mask. Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro and "The Fifth Element" were also inspirations. Hays says although "there's not much tradition" in his nuptials, he and his bride-to-be wanted to make their special day "interesting and memorable." Sounds like a winner to us.

Rescue Rick on a Mission

It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's . . . Rescue Rick the Grass Cut Man?! Yep, that's right. Coming to a random location near you.

Richard Mudrinich is a financial securities associate by day and a cape-wearing crusader of lawnmower safety by night (and on weekends sometimes).

The Great Falls resident says he created his superhero after he ran over his foot with a lawnmower in 2003 and underwent five surgeries. "People in the hospital told me how frequently these accidents happened," he says. "I started to think of what I could do to raise awareness of yard safety."

Rescue Rick officially debuted in 2004, handing out leaflets at public events to "draw some positive attention" to his cause. He has since popped up at gas stations, schools and the Mall.

"I decided to enter the world of entertainment in the form of a renaissance yard man to communicate the safety message," Mudrinich says.

He says his family and friends support his cause but are "laughing along with me" at the concept of Rescue Rick and his outlandish costume (bright red cape, yellow T-shirt, Groucho Marx-style nose and multicolored socks).

Despite the lighthearted jests, Mudrinich says he's "trying to essentially mimic Johnny Appleseed" by distributing leaflets wherever he goes and will be out in full Rescue Rick regalia promoting his message this Halloween.

End Notes

* "Star Trek" star George Takei announced he is gay in the latest issue of Frontiers, a biweekly Los Angeles magazine. The 68-year-old actor said Thursday that his new role as psychologist Martin Dysart in the play "Equus" inspired him to go public with his sexuality. Takei and his partner, Brad Altman, have been together for 18 years.

* Despite her very public struggle with postpartum depression, Brooke Shields is going to be a mommy again. The 40-year-old's publicist confirmed Thursday that the actress is pregnant with her second child with husband Chris Henchy. Their first daughter, Rowan, was born in 2003.

* Actor-turned-rocker Jared Leto was spotted chatting on his cell phone outside Caribou Coffee in Adams Morgan on Thursday night. The 33-year-old, whose band, 30 Seconds to Mars, performed at the Patriot Center the night before, went casual with a gray wool jacket, jeans and facial stubble.

-- Compiled by Korin Miller

from staff and wire reports

A guest at Chris Hays and Randi Wright's wedding will don a Stewie ("Family Guy") mask.