(Warning: There is bugs in this post. Specifically ants. There’s also A LOT of cursing.)
I have had a fucking week from hell and I’m just over it. All I want to do is lay down and fucking cry. I have no one to vent to so I hope you will allow me to share here.
Sunday night around midnight, my husband is going to bed and…there’s a fucking invasion of ants in our master bedroom. Couple weeks ago, the apt below us had a swarm in their master bedroom closet.
I need to point out that I have a hardcore phobia of ants. Like, even trying to talk about it gets me all shaky. So needless to say I had a fucking panic attack that night. They were on the floor, the bed, the curtains my fucking pillow – everywhere. I was hyperventilating and sobbing my eyes out and shaking so hard because I was so freaked out.
Meanwhile, my poor husband is trying to kill them, wipe them up, smoosh them, etc and every time he moved something, there were more.
I wound up doing like 6 loads of laundry (they were in the bedding, extra linens, clothes, etc.) and couldn’t even bring myself to sleep in my own bed because I was so freaked out. I was up until 7:30am before I was finally able to doze off for about 3 hours on my couch.
Of course, my apartment complex is made up of fucking assholes. So Monday they were – big surprise – total fucktards about the whole thing. “Do you eat in your bedroom? was their reply.
First off, no I don’t.
Secondly, who the fuck cares because I’m pretty damned sure the people below us don’t eat in their closet so it’s ridiculous for you to act like I somehow brought this on myself!!!
They were absurdly unsympathetic telling me that *I* had to put out traps because they couldn’t for “liability” reasons. Oh and I needed to move every single piece of furniture away from the walls by the so they could spray Tuesday. They couldn’t help me in any way because, of course, of “liability” reasons. I told the property manager I have permanent neck damage so there’s a very low limit to what I can do, and she was like, oh well that’s what you have to do.
So Monday night my husband and I do our best to make sure you can at least get to the baseboards as best as possible. Furniture doesn’t fucking float so there’s only so much it can be moved since we still need to, oh I don’t know, access the bed! The living room is a disaster with overflow of laundry & linens I haven’t put back away and now furniture and things taken out of the room for access.
Tuesday I sit around all day and….pest control doesn’t show! Who’s surprised?
Oh the pest control company had “an emergency” so they’ll be here Wednesday instead. First thing, before noon, promise.
I get up early Wednesday and…wait. By 12:30pm still no sign. So I call. “Oh they’re supposed to be here sometime today, you’re on the list.” Thanks.
Finally come about 2pm. The guy asks if I have any allergies or sensitivities. Uh, yeah to almost everything. Especially scents. (My husband can’t wear cologne because it gives me migraines. Even his stupid deodorant reeks to me. I buy unscented everything.) Oh well, he says, this stuff is horrible. It even gives ME headaches and I don’t have any sensitivities.
And this is what you want to spray in my BEDROOM??
So after all that, he wound up baiting and setting up traps instead, no spray. He said he’d spray outside heavily (which is the problem in the first place IMO since our whole building is swarming in ants. Like, they are everywhere!!)
Meanwhile, my husband has like 30 huge, puss-filled awful bites all over his arms and legs. I have about 4 on my feet since he was one the one right in the mix of it. Apt complex does not give any shits.
We haven’t seen any more since but I’m so nervous now and worried because we never had them before and the just BAM! a ton all at once. They had to come from somewhere and I’m so afraid they’ll be back.
I’m so done with this place and so very, very tired of their bullshit. I wish I could just pack up and leave tomorrow. Of course if we wanted to leave it would be thousands and thousands of dollars in early termination fees and if we just left without 90 days notice, we could never get a place anywhere else ever again. Not like we have the money to move anyway which is why we’ve been stuck here so long in the first place.
It’s just become nearly unbearable and I’m just so damned depressed lately about everything and so overwhelmed. I feel like just laying down and crying. It’s all I want to do. I have no motivation, no energy, nothing. I’m just so done with it all and I’m tired of being powerless and beat up.
A few months ago I decided I wanted to attend my first ever con: Tampa Bay Comic Con 2015. And if I was going to go, I was going to cosplay. Back to the Future is my all-time favorite movie (and movie trilogy) and 2015 is not only the 30th anniversary of it’s theatrical release (originally released July 3, 1985) but in Part II, 2015 is “the future” that they travel to. (October 21, 2015.) So it just made sense that my first ever cosplay should be Marty McFly!
Of course having an idea to do a female Marty McFly cosplay and actually putting it together is two different things entirely! Because as it turns out, Marty’s 1985 outfit is not only more complex than it initially looks, it’s also full of rare, vintage pieces – all in men’s sizing. And while Michael J. Fox may be small guy, he’s still a guy. And I’m not.
So I needed to find suitable outfit parts that would still look like the original and yet be made for a woman. I was also unwilling to spend hundreds (or even thousands!) of dollars on this outfit and wanted to do it inexpensively as possible. It quickly became clear that I needed to approach this creatively.
In other words: this was going to take some work.
To start, this is Marty McFly’s famous 1985 complete outfit:
It’s a LOT of layers.
- a burgundy tee shirt
- a white button up with a black windowpane pattern
- black suspenders
- custom Guess jacket with those distinctive dark blue accents
- burnt orange puffer jacket, jeans
- Nike Bruins red and white sneakers
There’s also a ton of details like three pins on his jacket, his headphones and walkman, his marron Eastpak backpack, etc. I spent a lot of time looking up reference photos and learning all about what the original parts were so that I could find, make or modify compatible female pieces.
For example, the white and black windowpane button up shirt. There was a limited run of a reproduction version a few years ago by Shah Safari. Of course, they were in men’s sizing. And if you could find one on ebay, they were going for $100 and up.
So I scoured the web and wound up finding this women’s shirt. It cost me about $10 shipped and looked really good. Plus, it had the added benefit of actually FITTING me as a woman!
Next up was the puffer vest. I admit I never wound up finding exactly the right vest. I ordered four separate pieces over several months and settled on a red one. Yes, I know that it’s technically orange in the film. It’s a burnt orange color. Due to the lightning process and coloration of the movie, it looks red. (There’s even a big debate among casual viewers if it’s orange or red!)
The original is by Class-5. They went out of business in the early 80’s, so finding an authentic one is not only nearly impossible, it’s an extremely expensive proposition. Even if I did find one, again, it would be in men’s sizing and thus too large for my size 4 frame.
I wound up settling on a red puffer vest. I also did buy an orange one but it was too neon; much more of a bright safety orange vs the darker burnt orange puff vest original. I also bought a woman’s size one to help give it a little bit of shape. Puffer vests really do nothing for your figure so I opted for one that, while not screen accurate, looked good on me and still gave the impression and look of Marty’s original outfit.
Like everything, Marty’s original shoes proved hard to find as well. Through research I found out the originals were Nike Bruins but they don’t seem to make this color combo any longer.
I spent time searching ebay and various websites but the few white-with-red swoosh versions I found were nowhere near the right size. I wear a women’s 6.5 which would mean I’d need a men’s 4.5 (which really is a boy’s size at that point.) I finally had a lucky break when I found a vintage pair of red and white Nikes IN MY SIZE that had a very similar look. They are labeled “ACE ’83” but were really an excellent find.
Marty McFly also has a very distinctive cassette walkman that he uses in the film. The original is a AIWA HS-P07 (or AIWA HS-P02 MII apparently one version was US and one was international but they both have the same styling.) These very rarely come up for sale and when they do…you guessed it. They sell for hundreds of dollars! I figured getting something with a similar “look” was close enough so I found this for about $10 on ebay instead:
Marty wears a distinctively 80’s digital watch. When he’s trying to call Doc Brown from the payphone in Lou’s Cafe in 1955, it beeps. This was the easiest piece to track down because They still make basically the exact same model! Casio Men’s CA53W Calculator Watch. It’s available for about $15 on amazon!
Marty’s backpack seemed like it would be easy, but it turned out it turned into one of those 30 years later challenges. The original is a marron Eastpak. A few years ago, they even re-released it as the Eastpak Pak’r Returnity Red but…those are sold out too.
I wound up buying a vintage Jansport bag. I took off the logo and added some handmade “pig ears” out of sued leather to give it the look. (The leather diamonds are sometimes referred to as “pig ears.”) Another $10 ebay find.
Of course, the biggest challenge was THE JACKET. A one-of-a-kind, made by the studio just for the production, it was my biggest hurdle. And it deserves it’s own post so….to be continued!
See Part II: The making of my Marty McFly 1985 Jacket here!
Saturday, August 1st, 2015 I did my first ever cosplay: a gender-swap/crossplay of a female Marty McFly (of course from the 1985 movie Back to the Future) and attended Tampa Bay Comic Con. This was also my first ever con too! I had such a fun time.
I also got to meet Lea Thompson, who played Lorraine Baines McFly – aka Marty’s Mom – who, in Back to the Future has the hots for her son, “Calvin Klein.” I had planned my costume months ago, long before I knew she was going to be there, so it was a fantastic opportunity!
First off, pics!
But you’re my….you’re my…
I even spotted Doc Brown! Doc, you’re my only hope!
Doc and I proved quite popular and several people came to get photos with us – including Spiderman!
And of course, with time travel, one needs to be careful not to run into your other self! You might cause a time paradox – the results of which could cause a chain reaction that would unravel the very fabric of the space-time continuum and destroy the entire universe. (Granted, that’s the worse case scenario. The destruction might, in fact, be very localized, limited to merely our own galaxy.)
Back to the Future was released in theaters exactly 30 years ago this year on July 3, 1985. Plus, in Part II, Doc brings Marty to “the future” which is THIS year: October 21, 2015. So when a few months ago, I decided I wanted to attend my first ever Con, there was only one character that made sense: from my all time favorite movie ever, Marty McFly!
I’m going to do a separate post all about the process of putting together the costume because while it looks simple enough, there are a LOT of details and converting a 1985 man’s outfit to something a woman could wear 30 years later and trying to get all the details right, was harder than it appears. Look for that soon.
But it was SO much fun and it’s hard not to have a good time when people tell you things like, “you are the most legit Marty I’ve seen!” If you get a chance to attend a Comic Con, do it! And, have fun with it and cosplay too! Don’t be afraid of being “silly” or “embarrassed.” Everyone there is there because they also love the same things you do and they will appreciate your enthusiasm and dedication to your fandom.
I will definitely do more cons in the future. (Or perhaps, the past! )
It’s a good time to be a Back to the Future fan. Not only is the movie celebrating the 30th anniversary of original theatrical release (on July 3, 1985!), 2015 IS the future! In Part II, they travel to October 21, 2015.
Which means, so like, you’re not kidding me! We are in the future.
As part of this celebration there is so much awesome BttF stuff either already out or coming out soon! I’m going to highlight a few items fellow BttF fans might be interested in!
First up, is a new “behind the scenes” book which is already out: We Don’t Need Roads: The Making of the Back to the Future Trilogy I pre-ordered my copy:
Coming September 27th, is the new Lego Dimensions game! This is similar in concept to Disney Infinity, but of course the Lego Dimensions is (1) LEGO!!! (which, anyone who’s played any of the Lego games knows what a great sense of humor they have!!) and (2) will feature a Back to the Future Expansion!!!
AND…next year (January 19, 2016) there will be a Doc Brown Expansion! I mean, look at the little steampunk time travel train!!
The day before the future, October 20th has a few really nice items coming out.
First, there’s also a new book coming out: Back to the Future: The Ultimate Visual History Hardcover, full color 224 pages I’ve seen some previews and it looks like it’s going to be a nice collector piece for fans. I’ve got mine on pre-order.
AND, Universal is releasing a 30th anniversary blu-ray edition in several versions:
1) If you just want the movies this is the version: Back to the Future 30th Anniversary Trilogy (Blu-ray + DIGITAL HD)
2) If you just want the animated series (never before on dvd!) this is the version: Back to the Future: The Complete Animated Series
3) BUT…if you want the creme de la creme, with the complete series, complete animated series, new features, documentaries and even a light-up Flux Capacitor box…well, THIS is the version you want: Back to the Future: The Complete Adventures – Limited Edition (Blu-ray + DIGITAL HD)
I have already pre-ordered it. This is a limited edition version so I can easily see it selling for a huge markup after the fact.
Nice thing about pre-ordering on Amazon is that if the price goes down between now and release, you automatically get the lowest price. (For example, it was $99 when I ordered it but it’s now $88 so I will get it for that – or lower if it goes down again. Plus, they don’t charge your credit card until it ships.)
Of course, this just barely scratches the surface of Back to the Future goodies!! You can also dress like it’s the future: Back to the Future: Part II: Marty McFly Cap Replica
And this is just a bare handful! There are so many wonderful products out there right now, or awesome items coming soon.
Plus on a related note…here’s a sneak peek of something else I’ve been working on the past few months. Full blog entry coming soon but let me just put the words “female Marty McFly cosplay” and “Tampa Bay Comic Con” out there as a teaser:
You may have heard about the new craze: adult coloring and adult coloring books! I have to say that when I was a child, I LOVED to color. So I was very excited to see more complex and detailed books being published and targeted towards grownups.
Back in March, I ordered Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book and had to wait nearly a month for it to come back in stock. My copy finally arrived in April. I’ve been slowly but surely working on pages since. Mostly at night after Love goes to bed, I sit down with my Prismacolor colored pencils and use it as a way to wind down from the day.
I thought I’d show off some of my completed pages; a mini gallery of colored pages to help inspire your own creativity!
The first page I colored was a squirrel. I hadn’t colored with any detail for years so I was a bit rusty.
Next I colored the “crow” bird. I got a little more adventurous with this page. I figured it’s an “Enchanted” forest so why not let it be more fantasy?
Third, I did the hedgehog.
Fourth came the castle on a mushroom. This one I got creative with and made half the trees spring and half of them autumn. I even made the grass on the mushroom reflect this color scheme.
Fifth, I did the bunny. I went for whimsy with the rabbit, making it colorful and more floral based.
Sixth came my largest one to date: the leaf sailboat. This one took me a total of three evenings to finish, about a couple hours each evening. I really paid attention to the detail, shading and layering of it.
As you can see, I’m definitely learning and improving as I go!
Most pictures took a few hours to color, either all at once, or in the case of the sailboat, a few hours a night for three evenings. When I first started, I was using Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils, 48 Assorted Color Pencils and later decided to upgrade and get some more colors so I upgraded to the Prismacolor Premier Soft Core Colored Pencils, 72 Colored Pencils.
A lot of people also like to use things like markers or gel pens. I bought Fiskars Gel Pen 48-Piece Value Setfor accent and punch of color details but I haven’t used them yet. I want to add some sparkle to the dragonfly page.
I find it very relaxing and a good way to reduce stress. I’m not alone in this experience! Articles have flooded the internet like this one on Huffington Post which says:
When coloring, we activate different areas of our two cerebral hemispheres, says psychologist Gloria Martínez Ayala. “The action involves both logic, by which we color forms, and creativity, when mixing and matching colors. This incorporates the areas of the cerebral cortex involved in vision and fine motor skills. The relaxation that it provides lowers the activity of the amygdala, a basic part of our brain involved in controlling emotion that is affected by stress.”
or even a study from San Francisco State University which showed:
Creative activity was found to have both indirect effects and direct effects on performance-related outcomes…The results indicate that organizations may benefit from encouraging employees to consider creative activities in their efforts to recover from work.
In other words, coloring is not just for kids anymore!
In addition to Enchanted Forest, there are so many other options!! I have also recently picked up Creative Haven Creative Cats Coloring Book and Creative Haven Entangled Coloring Book. (I haven’t started those yet though!)
So have you rediscovered coloring yet? Share your favorite book(s) and some of your own completed coloring pages in the comments!
With the Tampa Bay Lightning playing game one of the Stanely Cup Finals tomorrow night here on home ice in Tampa, it reminds me of the last time they made it this far: the 2004 Stanely Cup Finals. I was fortunate enough to go to one of the games (Game 5) to see a Finals game in person.
I went to Game Five with my dear friend Rand. He had tickets to Game Five (guaranteed to see the game) and Game Seven (only goes to 7 if needed) and he offered to take me to one and Love to another, our choice. I picked game 5 because I just had a feeling it was going to 7 and I wanted the two of them to get to go to a game together. It did, they did and Love got to actually see the Lightning win the Cup in a game 7 on home ice. Experiences like that are priceless.
Let’s hope Lightning strikes twice and we can bring the Cup home to Tampa again this year! Go Bolts!
It’s my birthday tomorrow, May 16th!!
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Chris Daughtry came out to give a concert performance at Busch Gardens Tampa’s “Food and Wine Festival” on Saturday, April 25, 2015. I of course, knew him from American Idol all those seasons ago and liked the songs on the radio, but I didn’t really know more than that. I was really curious how he would sound in person because we both liked him a lot on Idol. So I made us brave the oppressive heat and head on out for the show.
Turns out, he puts on a truly fantastic show! Love said, “He’s a rock star!” because he just worked the audience, joking, chatting with us and his band and just really had a great stage presence. I am so glad I was nosey and wanted to check it out because it was a really good show.
Poor Chris though was clearly not prepared for the Tampa heat. He kept wiping down his face and head and drinking after every song. At one point, he said, “How long have you guys been out here waiting? All day?? Bless you!” and laughed. It was about 87F with a feels-like about 97F that day so definitely a typical Florida scorcher!
Really good time though and if you get a chance to see Daughtry, I would recommend it!
My little orange fuzzbutt, Ginger – aka FLÖÖF – turns a whopping two years old today!!
I just love my fluffy girl and she brings so much to my life with her silly antics and oh so orange self.
I’m so thankful that she came into my life!
Who knew this little ball of orange fuzz would turn into my fluffy love?
Happy Birthday to my FLÖÖF today and many more!
I was so excited last November when I heard Sarah McLachlan was coming back to the Tampa Bay Area – after nearly a decade absence! Even better, she was going to perform at Ruth Eckerd Hall. A wonderful, acoustically beautiful theater that seats just under 2,200 people. The last time I saw her was at the then-named Ice Palace (currently the Amelie Arena) where the Tampa Bay Lightning play; a venue that holds more like 20,000!
As ever, she was beyond wonderful! It was so good to see her.
I spent a lot of time trying to find out the camera policy for Ruth Eckerd Hall and was only told “flash photography is prohibited at all performances.” So I figured I would bring my DSLR and my point-and-shoot as backup just in case. Because “no flash” is not the same as “no cameras.” The security guard questioned if it was a “detachable lens” on the DSLR and I admitted yes, but that I had no plans to detach it since I did not bring other lenses and he waved me in. Many people were using their cell phones for photos and I did see some point-and-shoots.
We were row W, seats 26 and 27 so about 2/3 back just off center. There is no center aisle in the stadium seating but they are nice, comfy seats with plenty of leg room. The view was wonderful and I used my EF-S 55-250mm IS lens to get a combination of full stage and close-up shots.
The set was a variety of both current songs off the most recent, “Shine On” album (released in 2014) as well as classic songs from older albums. It was a great variety.
She also took time to talk about some of the meaning behind some of the songs and even joked about the fact she has a large number of “depressing love songs” because she said they’re just so much fun to write!
She further joked when she did two “happy” songs in a row.
The lighting was dynamic and ever-changing throughout songs, shifting through colors and really made for a beautiful visual companion to the music.
It was absolutely wonderful and I truly enjoyed my “Evening with Sarah McLachlan.” She promised not to be gone so long next time and I think we all will hold her to that!
Click any photo for a larger version.
My Nanny – my Mom’s Mother; my maternal grandmother – passed away this morning. She was 98. She had been suffering from dementia for years though so we’ve mourned her in spirit for a long time, today we mourn her in body as well.
Nanny was a widower. My grandfather was killed in a car accident when my mom was only 9 and she never remarried. Nanny had 6 children and I am the youngest of 13 grandchildren. I’ve lost count at the great-grandchildren at this point! She owned a flower shop in New York for years and continued running it years after her huband’s death. Later, she worked at the Social Security department from which she retired.
I used to spend weekends with her when I was a little girl in PA. She’d make me pancakes in funny animal shapes. I’d go with her to church and she’d braid my hair – always too tight! – to keep it neat. I spent several summer vacations being her Navigator as we drove from Florida, up to North Carolina, then PA, NJ and NY to visit with her children and my extended family. We’d be out for two months driving thousands of miles together as I helped keep an eye on the maps and pick out good hotels from the AAA guide books for us to stop at.
I have so many warm memories of her and us together. Decorating her Christmas tree while listening to old Christmas albums; baking cookies; the special pineapple cream cheese roll she made for me because she knew how much I loved it – just moments of love and kindness.
I’ll miss you Nanny. I love you and thank you for being a strong woman. And instilling that into several generations of women – myself included.
Love is in the air this weekend and I love my fans! So I’m running a sale this weekend now through Monday. Use coupon code LUVU15 at checkout to save 10% on any order!
Been eyeing a rainbow moonstone full moon tree of life pendant? Maybe my glow in the dark full moon tree of life pendant? Or one of my new wire wrapped heart necklaces? Perhaps you’ve wanted to get a custom family birthstone tree of life pendant to celebrate family? It’s ALL included with the coupon code!
But hurry! Discount only good through Monday, February 16th 2015.
So…um, this is awkward. I’ve been meaning to write an entry for awhile now and it looks like it’s been more than two months since I last did. Whoops. And here we are not only in 2015, but midway through the second month of 2015. Yeah sorry about that.
I did get around to making a fun infographic summing up my PhoenixFire Designs year-in-review over on TreeofLifePendants.com, but…I apparently never got around to doing any kind of recap here, nor any sort of new year post either. So let’s see if I can do a quick drive-by of 2014 and an update of what’s going on now.
Hrm, looks like nothing terribly memorable, with perhaps the exception of my now quasi-famous shot of Ginger:
Which wound up later in the year being voted as one of the sample images used by iPrintfromHome.com calibration pack.
Had some problems with my car on Love’s birthday. It was the start of me eventually having my mechanic disconnect my overdrive gear since it was getting stuck engaged which left my car stalling out as a result.
I literally didn’t write a single entry that month apparently. The final weekend of the month I did my first ever stint as a guest vendor at the Bay Area Ren Fest though.
Little FLÖÖF cat, Ginger celebrated her first birthday on April 1st. Aw…my fluffy orange girl.
I also got invited back to do the final weekend of the Bay Area Ren Fest again:
And, I continued to have problems with my car stalling out. (We still hadn’t figured out the source of the problem at this point.)
Well, May is always my birthday month. So I turned 37 on May 16th 2014.
I got my awesome EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM lens for my birthday. It’s a beast. L-glass quality (even according to Cannon) but without the official designation because they don’t ever officially label crop-body lenses with the “L” designation.
I made my first ever tree incorporating genuine diamonds for a custom order:
No blog entries posted this month either.
I received my custom cut, massive 16mm blue flash natural rainbow moonstones from my supplier:
Which allowed me to introduce the stunning, LARGE natural rainbow moonstone full moon tree of life pendant people had long requested:
August. Ugh, that was a month. August 1st, Love was in a major accident and our beloved Element was totaled. Love was ok – really battered, bruised and sore – but he walked away.
Love’s PS3 gave up the ghost, leaving us with a couple dozen games and no console system.
We celebrated our 16th anniversary by a wonderful dinner at Capital Grille.
Ginger helped celebrate Halloween by being festive:
I dressed up in my Steampunk costume and handed out candy at my Mom’s again this year:
And I premiered my glow in the dark full moon tree of life pendant:
November was SUPER busy so I didn’t write any blog entries.
But we packed up the Rogue for the first time for a show and everything went in so easily:
PhoenixFire Designs did Crafts & Drafts show November 15th:
PhoenixFire Designs did Shopapalooza November 22nd:
Love and I celebrated Thanksgiving just the two of us (having missed his family’s event which took place the day of Crafts & Drafts!) and we made a turkey:
And I had a whopping 117 orders in my etsy shop for the month of December!
Including the one that made me reach 2,000 sales in my etsy shop!!
Ginger made best friends with the Christmas tree and spent all of December underneath it:
Love and I enjoyed some seasonal fun at the Magic Kingdom:
Love and I had a lovely Christmas:
And I made gluten free sugar cookie for my Mom who was diagnosed with Celiac Disease earlier in the year:
And the cats helped us celebrate a simple New Year’s Eve at home:
So there you go! A brief look at 2014. Maybe I’ll get around to writing an entry for 2015 at some point. But…not right now. Because now I need to feed the kitties then ourselves. But soon. Look, I brushed the dust off and wrote this, right?