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Aug. 19th, 2015

In the realm of "1st World Problems" and bitching to get it out, here's my rant and keep in mind I can't remember if I previously mentioned this here or in my Facebook. Probably FB since it's a challenge to get me to do anything lately and FB is a blip, an instant message and things are over with. Sorry about that LJ. I've been a lazy ass lately. Anyway, my insurance adjuster agreed to see the car one more time and inspect it before processing the paperwork for the repair. He and his boss worked on my claim (and other people as well,) and they were able to find a loop-hole clause that allows my car to be paid for, minus the deductible of course. Well, I was thrilled to bits when I found out and there was a warm fuzzy in my heart that it wouldn't be any hassle. It's now 14 days later and while I'm grateful to have a rental car, a Jetta Passat no less, I'm really over the paying $20 extra dollars a day for supplemental insurance on the thing. It's costing me MORE for the friggin' insurance than my deductible on my regular vehicle. The only thing I can say is that the damn car is covered for if ANYTHING weird or tragic happens while I'm renting it. The rental car company won't come after me for any damages whatsoever and that is why I haven't cancelled it yet. The way my luck goes -- yeaaaaaaaaaah -- better fork over the cash and be safe, rather than sorry. That said, I'm ready to have my POS car back now. Thank you, Universe for getting the majority of the cost paid for and allowing me safe passage but if we could get things back to normal, that would be fine.

Last Saturday Scott, Lauren and I went to the "Unity Festival" where Culture Club, Book of Love, Howard Jones and C&C Music Factory were scheduled to play. Sadly due to cancelled flights in JFk airport, Howard Jones didn't get to play and they changed the order of performers It was outdoors in an open-seating kind of event and the concert rain just hammered the stage and everywhere in between sets. Lauren bought special tickets that weren't cheap but they allowed us actual seats, even if they were hard plastic folding chairs just placed in a field, and we had special access to an air-conditioned trailer with real toilets, as opposed to using a Port-o-Potty in the pitch dark. Considering the weather changed wildly between full sunshine and 90 degree temps to (NO I AM NOT KIDDING HERE) a monsoon with gusting sideways wind and rain -- the festival was *interesting* to say the least. Three days later and my butt is still sore from sitting on those chairs. We were in the elements from 3:30 PM until past 1 AM. When we finally got back to my car, the damn battery was dead in the rental vehicle. I had to flag someone down and have them give us a jump start. Good times, hahaha. I was exhausted. It was fun being with loads of friends at the event though and some I hadn't seen in ages -- so THERE -- there is your silver lining.

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Tampa Bay Comic Con - August 1st 2015

Yesterday Sean and I met up with Scott and Lauren and went to our local Comic Con. Due to some wardrobe malfunctions we arrived later than I'd previously estimated and when we got to the convention center it was seriously raining. We're talking monsoon proportions. The Police Officers controlling the intersections at the light and farther down the tunnel, wouldn't let anyone cross. The officer even said to me "That's a GREAT costume!" but there wasn't any favoritism, which of course, I'd be OK with. I'm not too proud. Instead they wanted everyone to walk down the street, run across a park area, go underneath a bridge, walk up a flight of uncovered stairs, circle around through the other side of the park and finally arrive at the side of the building where the convention was held. Yep. Stupid plan period, but especially in a Florida thunderstorm with lightning. We were like "SCREW THAT". Lauren, Sean and I spent at least 30-45 minutes hunkered-down underneath the eave of a building trying not to get drenched from the sideways spray of water. People just gave up and ran through the rain. Their clothing, shoes, and costumes were soaked before they got to the entrance. Even if you had an umbrella, Mother Nature wasn't forgiving because the wind gusts just ripped it upward and turned the thing "inside-out". It was ridiculous. After waiting what *felt-like* AGES, the cops were called to an emergency situation. They left and we calmly walked across the road and underneath the covered sections and then went inside. Heh: rebels. No jay-walking ticket. A big middle finger and screw you to THE MAN.

The Con was nice. Admittedly, there were a lot of people attending and the organizers didn't suitably staff the food and drinks zones. Guests had to wait over an hour to get something to eat and most of the time you'd have to wait for the food to be re-stocked or cooked in addition to the hour waiting time. There were legitimate complaints. Luckily I'd brought a few snacks in my purse but it wasn't enough to tide us over. The group was there for eight hours. We'd have been there longer but as mentioned earlier, we arrived late. Next year there will be precautions taken. I want to get a hotel room near the convention center so I can come and go back to the room as needed for rest and food. Plus I can bring my own food and wine and stock it in the hotel mini fridge. (At the convention center, I had to pay $25 for two side salads, an orange, oatmeal cookie, a gatorade and a cup of tea. Ridiculous.) I'm also considering getting a weekend pass instead of a one-day only ticket. That way if I don't see everything, I can go again later. That will also allow more time to focus on specific events during each day. There won't be any pressure to DO EVERYTHING within a time span of open and closing business hours. It can be spread out and more relaxed. Relaxation leads to enjoyment and enjoyment leads to pleasure. Everyone wants that, right?

Even with those issues, the Con didn't suck. As I mentioned in an earlier entry, I wasn't sure if my costume would be understood or well-received with the other guests but nothing could've been further from the truth. They loved me. I couldn't walk two feet without people shouting at me and saying how much they loved my Medusa outfit/headpiece or if they could either take a photo with me or have one of me alone. I'm not the kind of person who needs that kind of attention, nor do I like that much focus on ME. I'm usually the one sitting in the back of the room taking in all of the details and atmosphere or other people. Sure, I'll open up with friends or let loose in comfortable surroundings, but I'd never been to this Con before, so nothing was familiar. Anyway, I was overwhelmed (*in a positive but exhausting way*) that so many people were responding to my costume in a favorable manner. Sean said if I'd charged for pictures, I'd have easily paid for the cost of our tickets, food/drinks, gasoline to/from the venue, and more. Which of course was amusing but also felt weird. I have a goal of making the headpiece include movement of the snakes, as in they writhe around, hiss and Medusa saying things, but it'll take a lot of mechanical effort and I'm concerned about people wanting to touch the snakes and breaking the headpiece. The funniest part was the amount of people who asked me about my contact lenses and where I got them. Hello? It's called the internet and you can get all manner of special effect lenses on the world wide web. Before they asked me any other questions, I'd tell them how comfortable mine are and how although my peripheral vision was limited, they were soft lenses and not a problem to wear over an extended amount of time such as four hours. Mind you, I wore mine over thirteen hours on Saturday but that's not advisable.

I loved this girls costume: Toothania (the tooth fairy) from "The Guardians" movie. Her crystal wings were incredible and so delicate looking. I asked her how she made them and she said with shelf liner. Whaaaaaaaat?! How in the hell? Tell me more.

Tim Rosser was great and I enjoyed talking with him about his costume and the character of "Ronan the Accuser". Good stuff!

Sorian as Harley Quinn. She made her costume from scratch - all of it except the latex corset. She did however begin a special one for this character but it wasn't fully completed by the time of the Con. Poor thing, she worked so hard and only had one hour of sleep before the event. She looked wonderful.

Sorian and Mister J - the Joker. I have no idea who this fellow was but he looked super and in-character. He saw Sorian and did a bee-line to her. Hahahaha. Of course. ';)

Misha as Medusa and Sorian as Harley Quinn.

These girls were cute and creepy, too. I chased them down so I could tell them I liked their costume idea. So original - the Grady Twins from "The Shining" movie! I mentioned to them that they must go to the Spooky Empire convention in those outfits and they'd be a hit.

The major bummer of the night was the drive home and what happened during the drive. Ugh. Nothing I can do now about it but it sucks. We had SERIOUS flooding and the highway was closed down shortly after we drove through the area, but of course I knew nothing about it before I got into the thick of the mess; so I had no choice but continue down the chosen path to reach our destination. I drive a Mazda 3 and it's not very high off the ground. The SUV's and other higher trucks were driving through the flooded areas without a care in the world and making high wake zones for the rest of the traffic. My car got swamped. I'm not joking. It was scary and sounded like were floating in a boat along the road. Sadly, no...we were in my vehicle and something electronic got wet. As a result I have no tail lights. Sean checked all of my fuses in both boxes and we replaced the tail lights. I have headlights, dashboard lights, backup lights and brake lights - but no tail lights when I'm driving. That's not good and it's very dangerous. If I'm caught in a blinding rainstorm or driving at night someone could rear-end my car. Since I don't plan on going anywhere after dusk, that's not a factor. However, we've been having insane rainy weather here for the past three weeks and I can't ignore the issue. Not only could I get a pricey ticket, it's a matter of life and death not only for myself but for other people on the road. They need to see my car from behind. So yeah, unless the Universe decides to cough up some cash, I'm not sure how to resolve the matter and I'm worried. I'll need to take a day off work to take my car to the dealership. I really can't afford it but until I know exactly what the problem is - I won't know how much I need to save up for. The whole thing pisses me off. It's so typically Catch-22.

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Jul. 21st, 2015

Comicon is coming up. You'd think I'd be more excited about dressing up in Cosplay and whatnot, but honestly, while I'm looking forward to seeing things, I'm also rather calm and indifferent. Let's face it, it's not San Diego Comicon, it's Tampa, Florida. Maybe because I haven't looked at the schedule to see about who will be there, what workshops they are presenting, or even what vendors are showcasing their art, that my interests haven't been tweaked?

There doesn't seem to be much promoting of the event on FB, so I need to hunt it out online, especially considering tickets weren't cheap. I will be dressing in my Medusa costume. With the exception of a semi-sexy Spidergirl boustierre, there's not much going-on in my closet promoting Comics and definitely not Superhero's. My nerdy side isn't nearly as strong as my love of Halloween and all things Sp0oKy. You know me, fiction-wise, I do-so love a good villain. Captain America is boring. Whaaaaat? I said it! You keep the darling hero. I'll take Loki and Darth Vader. Anyway, after Comicon on Saturday there's an after-party at The Orpheum and I plan on attending. Guess I need to figure for an alternate costume. One can't wear the same thing to two events. Quelle horreur! ;)

EDITED: Now I'm nervous. It's now three days before the event and I've had time to further discuss my costume with my friend Sorian. I was a bit hesitant at first about the connection, but after Sorian told me that Medusa was in the Batman comics, I did a bit of research and found out she also has an epic battle with Wonder Woman. (Pfffft. Superman couldn't be bothered to get involved.) Sure, Medusa gets her a$$ kicked and her head lopped-off, but she puts up a good fight, and all is fair in a battle between a high Gorgon priestess and an Athenian warrior princess.

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Wonderland After Dark: Mad Tea Party 2015

Welcome to "Wonderland After Dark" where nothing is as it seems. Where right could be left or it could be right or wrong. Upside down is right-side up and falling down a rabbit hole might be nothing more than a literal stumble and a psychedelic head-trip to an alternate reality. A dream if you will allow, but don't be scared. You're in no danger. Come closer. Let's take a journey together. Like Alice did at one time as she searched for the white rabbit, just take that step forward and

"In another movement down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again."

Let's go through the forest of GIANT glowing mushrooms. You are so very large but they are incredibly tall or perhaps you've shrunk again and are so very small? Either way, I'm told there is an all-knowing caterpillar that lounges on one of them and smokes a hookah pipe, but I've never seen them. Keep an alert eye though because it could be anywhere and I'd surely enjoy some wisdom of the ages.

The Caterpillar and Alice looked at each other for some time in silence and at last the caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth and addressed her in a languid, sleepy voice.

"Who are YOU?" said the caterpillar.
Alice: I- I hardly know, sir. I've changed so many times since this morning, you see...
Caterpillar: No, I do not 'C.' Explain yourself.
Alice: I'm afraid I can't explain myself sir, because I'm not myself, you know.
Caterpillar: I do not know.
Alice: Well, I can't put it any more clearly, sir, for it isn't clear to me.
Caterpillar: You? Who ARE you?

Oh dear, which way do we go? This sign is terribly confusing, but surely there must be one truth to it?

Ahhh, yes! There it is. I see it. Do you? Let's go to the left.

Alice: "Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
Cheshire Cat: "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to."
Alice: "I don't much care where."
The Cheshire Cat: "Then it doesn't matter much which way you go."
Alice: "So long as I get somewhere."
The Cheshire Cat: "Oh, you're sure to do that, if only you walk long enough."

Hang on. We're going inside, er, I mean through the rabbit hole. Or is it down? Either way, let's try to enjoy the ride.

Little Alice fell
the hOle,
bumped her head
and bruised her soul.

Whew! That was topsy-turvy but we made it through the hole and in one piece. I was a little nervous, but we're fine. I can hear music and laughing. How about we explore the surroundings?

Alice: "How long is forever?"
White Rabbit: "Sometimes, just one second."

We've finally found that crazy white rabbit and he's led us to the Mad Hatter's tea party! Despite what he said, we aren't late at all. Oh my. Look at the goodies: Creme-filled pastry puffs, lemon cookies, dates, brownies, marshmallow Krispie treats, pixie sticks full of both tart & sweet powder, Sixlet chocolate candies, and chocolate Oreos with raspberry creme. Everything to make a tea party MAD FUN and please do - help yourself to a nibble (or two) with a cup of tea. There are sugar cubes if yours isn't sweet enough. Just pull the mouse out of the teapot and pour away.

Look! There's Alice! She's as pretty as the tales describe her.

Well, passing by the table of the Red Queen is most unusual. Do we dare eat a tart or any of the other treats? No one is quivering in fear, so maybe there's more here than meets the eye? All of the characters from the book seem to be getting along and there's no screaming "OFF WITH HER HEAD!" by the Red Queen. Curious and curiouser. Let's have a bite to eat, then we'll keep going and see what all this madness is about?

Alice: "Have I gone mad?"
Mad Hatter: "I'm afraid so, but let me tell you something, the best people usually are."

Mad Hatter: "Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality."

“But I don’t want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad."
"How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn’t have come here.”

Tweedle Dum: If you think we're waxworks, you ought to pay, you know.
Tweedle Dee: Contrariwise, if you think we're alive you ought to speak to us.
Tweedle Dum, Tweedle Dee: That's logic.

Mad Hatter: No wonder you're late. Why, this watch is exactly two days slow.

White Rabbit: Your Majesty, members of the jury, loyal subjects... and the King... the prisoner at the bar stands accused of enticing Her Majesty, the Queen of Hearts, into a game of croquet, thereby and with malice of forethought, molesting, tormenting, and otherwise annoying our beloved...
Queen of Hearts: Never mind all that! Get to the part where I lose my temper.
White Rabbit: ...thereby causing the Queen to lose her temper.

Nah, not really? We can keep our head and relax. The Queen is not upset. I'm told that everyone is here for the mad tea party, Wonderland After Dark, where we can all let go of our character roles. Everyone performs their anointed persona and delivers the lines on cue so the story runs smoothly. At night, we're free to let loose and between you and me, I'm relieved.

Let's go sit with the Caterpillar, Cheshire Cat, and the Red Queen of Hearts. Grab a cocktail or some soda-pop on the side table. The Caterpillar is sharing the hookah pipe and telling everyone fabulous tales of the Bandersnatch and the Jabberwocky. It sounds very exciting, doesn't it?

Mad Hatter: Well, I've never heard it before, but it sounds like uncommon nonsense."
Alice: "If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense."

Alice: "Well, that was the silliest tea party I ever went to! I am never going back there again!"

March Hare: ...to us. If there are no objections, let it be unanimous!
Mad Hatter: A very merry unbirthday...
March Hare: A very merry unbirthday...
Mad Hatter & March Hare: A very merry unbirthday to us! ...
March Hare: A very merry unbirthday to me.
Mad Hatter: To who?
March Hare: To me.
Mad Hatter: Oh you!
March Hare: A very merry unbirthday to you.
Mad Hatter: Who, me?
March Hare: Yes, you.
Mad Hatter: Oh me!
March Hare: Let's all congratulate us with another cup of tea, a very merry
unbirthday to you!

Thank you ever so much for joining our mad tea party! If you ever find yourself near "Wonderland After Dark" again, please do DROP in and feel free to share any of your Six Impossible Things with us in the comments below. In the meantime, you can join other M-A-D celebrations at *A Fanciful Twist* (our wonderful hostess) Vanessa's gathering. After perusing her festive tea, look to the right side and you'll see a long list of other people who've shared their own fabulous parties.

Those of you who love to look backward in time and see what was, here are a few links to some of my earlier events:

Mad Hatter's Tea Party - A pre-party INVITATION & Photoshoot Party Pics!

2013: 6th Annual Mad Hatter's Tea Party.

2013: Wonderland After Dark - Cocktail Party

2010: 3rd Annual Festivity of Madness: Mad Hatter's Tea Party

2009 : Part ONE of TWO gatherings in which we celebrate the day! Fairies invade Wonderland

2009: Part Two: a day in which the festivities continue! Mad Hatter's Tea Party

For those who are new to my journal or joining in on the Tea Party from Vanessa's (A Fanciful Twist) blog -- welcome! If you don't have a Live Journal account and wish to leave a comment, please use an Open ID Profile, or reply in "anonymous" mode but include your name and a link to your blog/website, ok? That way I can stop by your corner of the world, read, say hello, and be a part of your fun party. Yay and thanks for joining in the festivities!

Jul. 9th, 2015

Tea Party Madness: I'm wearing my Cheshire Cat sunglasses.

Jun. 28th, 2015

Well, the party came and went. We had around 13 guests and I really feel that everyone had a good time. It was low-key and no one got crazy-drunk and accidentally tipped-over a cracker tray. (*Cough* -ME- *Cough*) - so yeah that was a success. Hahaha. Seriously, it went well, like an adult party should where everyone talks, laughs, eats delicious food and hangs out. For better flow, I set up the food and desserts inside and stationed the drinks outside. As previously with the outdoor movie night, I made a small lounge area with a blow-up mattress draped in red satin sheets, tons of throw pillows, a low table that held candles and a hookah pipe. The yard was festive with fun lanterns, small lights glowing along the fence-line, tiki torches, and fans blowing the cooler evening time sea breeze on the guests. Most of the guests spent the majority of time outside. That's how pleasant it was - which if you know Florida in summer - it was a minor miracle. Our humidity and mosquito's do not fool around. Hahaha. Anyway, I'm still editing photos but will share the majority of them on July 11th for the tea party.

Side note: vacation is soon and I can't wait. I have books and magazines galore waiting for me to just *BE STILL* and read them. Nothing sounds more nice than that. Absolute relaxation. No work. Other days will be full of hiking in the mountains and seeing waterfall areas, visiting with Sean's mother and step-dad, plus exploring small towns and doing semi-tourist things. It's going to be glorious and I really need to unwind from reality. There's a lot on my mind and too much work-stress lately.

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Jun. 16th, 2015

I've been so incredibly busy. The past three weeks have been jammed-crammed with putting "Alice in Wonderland" ideas into action and making them a reality. It's been a lot of work, but more fun than anything, and hopefully the friends who are able to attend my party will think so as well? I want to give a big SHOUT OUT to Sean, Lauren, Scott, and Eric for their assistance on various projects. Their help has been instrumental on making sure that everything goes according to plan. I'm very excited about this years gathering and I'll share photos at the big reveal on July 11th, so make sure you check back here.

Side note: I love throwing a fete but the most frustrating part are the people who won't commit to an RSVP. There are literally 39 guests who can't give me the benefit of clicking on a simple "YES" or "NO" internet link. If they show up, I'm thrilled and it's good to see them. If they can't make it that's fine also. I don't need to know why. There will be other opportunities to hang out in the real world such as the club or going to an art show, or even a restaurant. I just need them to tell me (the hostess) what their intentions are and if I should expect them. I have food and beverages to make and need to know if what I've planned is enough to satisfy everyone. I can't have people leaving my house hungry. Common courtesy. Why is that so difficult to understand? </end>

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May. 25th, 2015

I'd like to tell you that I'm well-rested, feeling fit, super-ready to go back to work and firing on all cylinders - but that would be a lie. Oh my god, what a whirlwind weekend spent with fabulous friends, an excess of movie watching including the new Mad Max "Fury Road" film in 3-D (*which wasn't Oscar contender material but there was enough action and pretty War Boys to fire up my fantasies for a few months,*) and then there was an especially obnoxious film called "Zom-beavers" mixed with plenty of alcohol, snackies, and things got out of control. The next day was spent attending a "Thunderdome" costume/dance event at The Social. Photos are included below. Honestly, no regrets. I'd do it all again tomorrow...just let me get a few hours of shut-eye, ok? ;)

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May. 21st, 2015

Oh goody! It's that special time of the year when my friend Vanessa hosts her annual tea parties. Twice a year she invites all of her friends to not only share their own gathering, but to blog-hop and see what others have done as well. In the spring it's an Alice in Wonderland meets the Mad Hatter theme and later in October are the Halloween festivities. It's fun to prepare for and this year will be no exception, after all it's the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland; so I really plan to *BLOW IT OUT* with elements of the weird and fantastical animorphism. Make sure you check back on Saturday June 11th!

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Apr. 2nd, 2015

Thanks to a few friends giving me free tickets, (Scott and Kara,) I was able to go to the Ren-Fest a few days. Sean and I met up with Scott, Lauren, and a few other people and did all of the faux-Renny things that one does when they attend. If you've ever been to one, with the exception of local performers and artist works, it's the same thing no matter where you live. The only event that differs (and based on what I've seen) is Pennsic - but those people GO ALL OUT and camp for a weeks time. Or is it a full month? Geesh! I admire their dedication but I'm all about taking a hot bath/shower and having working plumbing. At my age GLAMPING is more my style. I'm fine and freely admit it because I've done my fair share of sleeping in tents and roughing it. I've paid my dues.

Anyway, point being -- Sean and I had a good time. The last day of faire, we dressed up in theme for their "Barbarian BBQ" and we had a our pictures taken several times. I'd bought him a semi-Viking outfit at a local costume shop and it wasn't authentic but it looked good, plus it was light-weight so he wouldn't die of heat exhaustion. I knew it looked good when one fellow walked by Sean and said outloud in his sing-song, femme-voice "OH MYYYY! A big barbarian. It must be my birthday!" I loved that. Hahahaha. Yep. Life is good.

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