Thursday, December 29, 2016

Poshmark vs ThredUp review part deux: adventures in second hand revisited

Recently I realized that this post that I wrote over a year ago about the resale sites/apps Poshmark and Thredup were getting a lot of new views, so I thought maybe it deserved a revisit [Tangent:...or maybe not...but that's up to you to decide. You can read this or skip it. Free will is a spectacular thing, isn't it?] Since that initial review, I have used both several other times, for both impulse buying and reselling some of those impulse buys. I thought I would update everyone on how I feel about both outlets today, because as is the case with most things- I have some strong opinions and they may have ebbed and flowed a smudge.

 Buying secondhand online to some is a dicey premise [Tangent:...because one might assume the items they are buying are soiled or belonged to dead people who still haunt them. Haunted clothes seem thrilling to me, but I understand the the populus as a whole might not share my excitement.] but really, buying secondhand has become a constant in my life. I like nice things but am the cheapest person alive, so using Poshmark and Thredup allows me to have 10 J Crew sweaters in my closet that I probably got for maybe the retail price of one and several anthropologie pieces that were under $30. [Tangent: To be honest, I've probably been in J. Crew or Anthropologie all of twice respectively, because I'm afraid they're going to Pretty Woman me. No, not sell me into a life of prostitution, more condescend to me as if I don't belong there, willing me to return with a litany of shopping bags and hat boxes to rub into their faces my unleashed purchasing power! "Big mistake! HUGE!"].

These services are perfect for people that love a good thrift store jaunt, but sometimes lack the will to go outside in the cold and/or put pants on. So guilty.

ThredUp

Buying: 
In my last blog post, I hadn't yet bought from the site, so that aspect was not one I could speak to on quality, but since then, I have definitely made up for lost time and bought A LOT of items. Here are a few of the ones I find myself wearing a lot. Nothing was over $25 and that skirt on the bottom was $4.99!

I was incredibly also impressed with how the items  were delivered. The presentation was comparable to getting items from Ann Taylor and not from a virtual thrift store. I felt full-time fancy and appreciated it. It was pretty clear that the items were inspected and pressed and were in awesome shape. Not that the packaging should count...but come on...it does. The attention to detail/branding wasn't lost on this gal.
Selling:
 The selling of the thredup is super easy, you request a prepaid mailing bag on the site and get one in the mail in about a week's time, then you fill it with items from your closet. I love the ease of that process and know that what they don't accept they will donate to charity, so it kills two birds with one stone [Tangent: You can ask for items back if they are of value and you want to sell them on another site. I never have opted to do this...but it's nice that you can.] Here is a handy dandy video that explains it much better than I.

As I mentioned in the last review, the first bag I sold to them was a bit of an embarrassment, since I sent them roughly 20 items and made just over $4. The second bag was a bit more strategic...and I added in a few girls items  (since they take KIDS CLOTHES TOO!) [Tangent: Not that I buy children's clothes for imaginary children...I buy them for me. Wait, that sounds equally weird. I'm 4'11! It's a luxury I enjoy!]  

 This subsequent batch was a bit more reasonable, I made $22, which seemed more on target since a few items sent still had tags. Long story short- you're not going to get rich off this, but it's a great treat for unloading a bag of stuff out of your closet. 

If you want to get $10 credit on ThredUp, shop using THIS LINK! (I get $10 too!)

Poshmark

Buying:
 I am an OG poshmark enthusiast, as you know, and have been using it regularly for years. It's my go to when I need something specific on the cheap. [Ex: When I needed combat boots and a plaid mini for my Empire Records halloween costume a few years ago or when I needed red tennis shoes to be Sonic the Hedgehog. Basically anytime I had to make an ass out of myself in a costume...Poshmark was there. That should be their slogan! "When you wanna look like an idiot, come see us." Wait, nevermind...that may be the worst tagline ever. ] The site has even made it now where in addition to keeping track of "liked" items, you can make offers via an "offer" button. [Tangent: I LOVE this feature because it brings out my inner wheeler/dealer, the one that refuses to pay the assigned price. I don't low ball folks but it makes the thrill of the deal all the better.] 

There are things like Madewell sweaters and Tom's ballet flats that I was always into, but never wanted to drop a big chunk of change on. Luckily, I know Poshmark has them in serious droves (as in Loooooots to choose from.) and most for 20-30 bucks. 

Selling :
Selling on Poshmark can be feast or famine. I will sell three items in two days, and then not see any buying activity for 6 months. It's built up like a social network, so depending on how many followers you have will determine how much exposure your "closet" has and how often you share things to the themed "parties" they have. I will say certain brands I have no trouble selling and accessories are super easy because they aren't size reliant. As long as you include measurements, solid photos and disclose all the needed info, you should be good to go. I've made almost $1000 using this app. True it's been over 3 years, but it's still something.

I love that the shipping and all is included [Tangent: As you may remember, its consignment...so you keep 80% of your sale and 20% goes to PM, but that includes your shipping costs- so you don't have to pay for that! You simply print it off when your sale goes through and toss it into a box and it gets to the buyer in 2 days. It's insanely idiot-proof which I enjoy!] 

You are probably going to make more with this app/site, but you won't purge everything at once, so if you wanna do a quick closet clean-out and get everything out of there, this probably isn't your best option. There is a sweater I have been trying to sell for 2 years.WHY DOESN'T ANYONE WANT MY DAMN SWEATER!??!

If you want a promo code to get $5 credit at Poshmark, signup using: HGENX  
  
So this is what you get for your sudden interest in my hoarding of used clothing..another updated blog post. I blame you. I'm like that. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

My podcast debut

I really don't like the sound of my own voice...which is weird because I talk incessantly. As with most of my irrational fears or insecurities, I like to pretend they don't exist. [Tangent: Like my fear that the holocaust is going to happen again or my strong aversion to claymation. YIKES! I just try to be brave in those situations. I mean, that island of misfit toys isn't going to attack me and push me into a fascist regime, right!?!?] In the last few months, I have volunteered to or been invited into several things which means innocent bystanders are being subjected to my pitchy grating tone regularly. [Tangent: You can read one of them here.] 

I'm a big podcast fan, so have been telling my friend Ryan [Tangent: You remember him best from this post and this post. Both stories are brought up on the podcast.] for months that I want to be on his podcast- Biff Bam Bort (which used to be all about Batman 66 but is now just 3 dudes sitting around talking about pop culture, which is decidedly in my wheelhouse.).  
Anyway, what we got was 55 minutes of utter nonsense (but funny nonsense) and probably not for everyone, but I thoroughly enjoyed doing it because as I just said I got to talk utter nonsense for an hour and laugh...which is my ideal way to spend an hour. Check it out unless you are squeamish or easily offended or are looking for something that will enrich your mind, because this probably won't unless you want think learning about the return policy at Spencer's Gifts is a "THE MORE YOU KNOOOOOW" moment.

You can listen to it here by scrolling to the bottom. The episode is called Chingy and Hot Dogs for The Ride Home (even though the last part of that title gets cut off a bit in the end. #professionalism !] Check it out if you've ever wondered what my voice sounds like. Spoiler alert- it's like a less appealing dog whistle!

You can also find Biff Bam Bort on iTunes and stitcher and all those fun places!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Thanks Goodreads for making me read stuff in 2016

So I make a lot of promises and don’t always make good on them. I know this about myself. It’s not always a lack of commitment (though sometimes it is)- it is often just I get distracted by a shiny object or over-commit myself or go all in on a passing fancy (when I should probably just say I want to hypothetically do it and not Do it..do it..ya know? ) This year I decided (after taking a couple years off from one of my favorite hobbies) that I was going to read 20 books in 2016. [Tangent: I know this is going to be a huge shock to all of you who think I am edgy AF and super too cool for school (NONE of you think that!), but I used to read A LOT. Like I would hear about a book that sounded interesting and actually go out and read it. I had favorite authors and everything. Then I got a smart phone and I 100% am blaming that device for superseding books in my life (and not just for the stuff that pays my bills, but for important things like googling "what is LeeLee Sobieski doing now? or falling down a vortex of Chuck Tingle titles.). I wasn't just distracted, but was dwelling in the land of delusional pretension where I couldn’t possibly put an e-book on my phone because that would somehow ruin the experience. Ya know- the magic of flipping and folding and smelling the written page. I was an asshole because guess what guys? E-books are the cat’s pjs and you can download them for free from the library whilst sitting on the toilet or lying in bed aka primo me time(and you don’t have to lend them to people and disclose that they have been sitting on the back of your toilet for a month...or have people judge your questionable titles in a doctor's waiting room. EEK!).]  

In January, I randomly deciding to click on my dusty Goodreads icon on my phone to add something I read about in Entertainment Weekly [Tangent: Don’t judge! They have some killer book reviews.] onto the growing and unruffled virtual “to-read” pile. I was greeted with:

“Would you like to participate in a 2016 reading challenge?”

And guys…I did it…and I stuck with it and fell butt-crazy back in love with reading after a brief hiatus. In fact, I ended up reading 35...and it was easy! [Tangent: Promise that I am not bragging so much as getting in print that I finished something I started when there were zero consequences.] I even have proof

I finally took all my friends up on those suggestions that they have been giving me for the last several years and sprinkled in some from my favorite authors and some that sounded so terrible I had to get my eyes on them for myself [Tangent:I’m looking at you Me Before You and the Holly Madison autobiography (yeah...that Holly Madison).] Unlike boys, I seem to have no type when it comes to books…or do I? Here are some of the reoccurring themes I found in my reading.

  • Number of books about mental hospitals: 3
  • Number of books that deal with disability: 5 (If you count Frankenstein as a disability book…which I feel on the fence about.)
  • Number of fiction Books about human experimentation: 3
  • Number of books featuring a naked person on the cover: 3
  • Number of Celebrity Tell-Alls that made me 100% more interested in the celebrity: 3 (But seriously ya'll- get on that Rob Lowe autobiography!)
  • Number of Mary Roach books that made me incapable of having a conversation that didn't include the facts therein: 2 
  • Number of books featuring lobotomies:  6 (that number seems really high, right?)
  • Number of books that make characters from religious text way more  interesting:  2
  • Number of books targeted at angsty teen girls and probably not women in their mid 30's: 5
  • Number of Kurt Vonnegut books I had been meaning to read but hadn't: 3 
  • Number of books based on TV/Movies I already was a fan of: 3
  • Number of books that discuss the porn industry: 3 
  • Number of books that made me laugh out loud in inappropriate places: 5
  • Number of books written by people who are really funny on Twitter: 4 (spoiler alert. Mary Shelley isn’t one!)
Seriously, I am so stoked about it and can’t wait to be a nerd (or spoiler...maybe NERDIER) again next year. It has also saved me A TON of money I was impulse spending on Candy Crush and Frozen Free Fall. Feel free to ask me about anyof these  because I have opinions for DAYS! 

I also am so excited I once again got to live out one of my Tim Gun annual mantras to the absolute fullest ! 

 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Down with the Sickness (50 ways to leave your cold)

Although there is no optimal time to get sick (kind of like there's never a perfect time to get pregnant or wear that shirt that's sheer but has long sleeves), I'd definitely not recommend the midst of holiday goings-on aka mid December. Like my nose, it blows...hard and raw. I've missed out on nog-fests, dinners and open bar holiday parties for liquor companies. Life is not fair. While I should be wowing you with some kind of heart warming or glitzy Christmas post, instead you're going to get one about mucus. You'll deal.

As the daughter of a nurse, I have not only acquired a really dark sense of appropriateness and humor but also a giant arsenal of medicinal treatments for anything that could potentially ail me (both of the Walgreen's and Kooky bananas variety.)

As the snot volcanoes started to form in my nasal passages and the Harvey Firestein started to set into my voice, I called on every single weapon at my disposal to slay the beast of a cold. [Tangent: yes. A cold is a cold and is small potatoes to most, but for me- anytime I get sick I go into panic mode. I have craptatsic lungs and am what they call "medically fragile" so even though I feel bulletproof and badass most of the time, I'm not. As I get older and realize what a shit storm hospitalization is, I have come to terms with beings a vigilante. I'm that annoying person that will harp on you to get a flu shot and tell you to go away if you're sick. Anti vaxxers need not apply!]

It's been yeeeears since I have really had a legit cold, so I am exceedinglyrusty at how these proceedings even go down. Instead of being level headed, I just threw everything at the wall of sickness waiting to see what stuck (I know that sounds like a vomit euphemism, but it wasn't. I was vom-free.) [Tangent: as any scientist would tell you, this is the worst way to find what works. Having 100 variables in an experiment of finding a successful outcome is the worst idea ever. This is why I made a 71 in high school chemistry (but it was honors!!!)] Here were some of my methods.

  • Drink pretty much just hot toddies morning noon and night. So a couple years ago, I invented a drink recipe that is not really delicious, but definitely clears sinuses (of not just you but anyone in a 3 county radius). [Tangent: People (aka my family) often say it smells like I'm drinking a Yankee candle.] Years ago I got a starter pack of essential oils and had not a clue what to do with them, but after letting them collect dust in a drawer I broke em out for allergy season and learned they can take a hot toddy from 0 to 60 real quick. I mix hot tea, whiskey, lemon, local honey, a drop of peppermint oil and a drop of lavender oil. If nothing else it will make your home smell good and make you a lot drunk.  [Tangent: I couldn't tell you if it was alcohol or my immune system that was exhausting me, but I like to use the tactics of old timey prospectors to feel better.]
  • Netti pot like it's going outta style. As I've written about before here, I'm a big believer in a netti pot and it's more foolproof cuz, the netti bottle. When I was little, anytime I was sick, my dad would tell me to gargle with salt water (which always seemed like bullshit and something he leaned in the navy or on the farm, but it always worked even if I swallowed it and always gagged). This is the next natural progression, plus I like any treatment that immediately makes you feel better. [Tangent: Even if the cost is that feeling that you've been knocked out by a giant wave and are momentarily choked with sea water.] I sometimes even put a drop of that lavender oil in my Neti bottle with the salt solution (because what the hell else am I gonna do with all these oils?!?!?) to make the inside of my face smell refreshing and not like week old snot funk. And when I wasn't doing that I was just hitting my face with saline spray every 10 minutes to knock those boogers loose. My sodium intake through my nostrils has probably broken a record in the past 10 days. [Tangent:...I mean unless there's a human that ingests only kikoman soy sauce through an NG tube, then they probably earned that depressing crown. I shouldn't be so quick to assume that title.] 
  • Take all the medicine  I mean within reason (sort of). You best believe I pulled out all my best gal pals: sudafed, Zyrtec, Mucinex, Flonase, Tylenol, Afrin (when desperate because I was sick of blowing my nose all night). Vitamin c gummies for when I want to delude myself into thinking I'm indulging in a delicious sweet treat, but I'm really boosting immunity. I even swabbed my nasal passages with zicam the max number of times a day, even after I read an article warning a loss of olfactory powers among patients that used it. OH WELL! I NEEDED WELLNESS MORE THAN THE ABILITY TO SMELL! Priorities change when your throat is the width of a coffee stirrer.
  • Dip myself in Vicks vapo rub So I guess there are different camps, but I was not raised in a Vicks family. Like I guess it was around, but I never remember using it as a kid or basting myself in it nightly when a cold struck. Maybe I was too nasally sensitive and the idea of that was too much. Despite all this, when this cold rolled around- I got balls deep in Vicks. [Tangent: Eww...not literally...that would smart.] There were points when it was on my neck and chest and the soles of my feet, even though the logic that an ointment on my feet would affect my chest and head seems like dark magic [Tangent: One of the recommendations for a sore throat is to slather your neck in Vicks and wrap it in a man's sock. Does that sound ridiculous? Yes. Did I do it? Also yes. At that point I would have summoned every deity to do my bidding.]
  • Liquid Diet. What goes best with hot toddies? Hot soup. I ate any variety...homemade chicken noodle with bone broth....chili...to 20 cent Ramen. My taste buds didn't discriminate. 
So after all of those shananigans, yesterday was the day I finally felt like a human woman. My voice is almost back...I mean as back as it could be. [Tangent: On the regular, my voice is sub-par.] Also, I finally have a computer that is functioning. Oh, bury the lead...my old macbook committed suicide last week and as a result I (for days) thought I had lost a LOT of writing that I am saving for a special project. [Tangent: Surviving being homebound without my laptop was hellish. First world problems...I am fully aware.] Luckily, it was pulled from the wreckage! Christmas miracles all around.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Netflix Documentary Hits & Misses vol. 22 (Nov/Dec 2016 Edition)

I know…I know…I have not exactly been consistent in my documentary reviews as of late. [Tangent: Gasp! It may have been a couple months.] I’ve been swamped with some fun and then some decidedly not so fun stuff…but I can’t completely blame that; my intake of media has not been null.In the last few months, I have been undertaking a mass horror movie marathon as well as trying to finish up my self-imposed resolution to read 35 books this year. So in those fringe hours, early morning and late late night, which is usually earmarked for solo doc watching- I have instead devoted to those pursuits. I am my own worst enemy.

Amanda Knox- B
This one was one that I have been hearing about since it "dropped” on Netflix. [Tangent: Can I pull off that use of the word “dropped”…did I even do it right?] I was familiar with the story because I watch a lot of 20/20, but I had forgotten a great deal about it- so I was somewhat interested getting retold the story, and hearing it from Amanda’s own mouth. The doc is told basically from Amanda’s perspective…and she came off just as one might assume…kind of disconnected and cold but somehow sympathetic. I still can’t decide if I think she did it, but I think it was an interesting watch. If you dug Making The Murderer with the fervency I did (or true crime in general)-then you’ll be into it.

Jesus Camp- A+
Just in time for Christmas, Netflix has re-added one of my all-time favorites to streaming- JESUS CAMP! Back when I got dvds in the mail through the service- this is one I watched over and over.  If you asked me to recommend 10 docs,this would probably be in my top 5! Being from the South and not really being super religious, [Tangent: I'm a unicorn. I was raised Catholic…which is an altogether different animal so makes it hard for me to relate to a lot of things…like the goings on in this movie.] I find extremes in religion both foreign and familiar. The plot of this movie is pretty easy to glean from the title, it’s about a group of children attending a summer church camp…and it follows their attempts to recruit Christ followers in any way they can…even at bowling alleys. As you know if you have read any of doc blogs, then you know that I love a film about children deeply immersed in a niche group. If you like this one, then watch Magic Camp and Bible Quiz. By the end you will have a favorite kid…mine was clearly Levi with the rat tail. [Tangent: And feel free to checkout this article after you watch about what all the kids are doing 10 years later  and the impact the movie had on their lives.]

Children of God- B+
Another big doc draw for me is if it is about a cult. [Tangent:You know how much I gushed about Holy Hell in one of my last posts! I guess it goes in line with being deeply intrigued by anyone that follows a belief super strictly.] All I knew about children of God prior is that the Phoenix family (as in Joaquin and River and crew) were members as children. This 1994 film, which is only an hour in length, is a very informative…in fact it has a more journalistic PBS vibe than a movie vibe, but I was on board. It is jam packed with weird music video bits produced by the cult that are equal parts terrifying and catchy. Also, a cult leader nicknamed “Daddy” who communicates through weird comic books??!?  This cult, like a lot of others, made me sure that the 60’s and 70s were basically just like Hair and The Who’s Tommy.  [Tangent: I also regularly ask my mother “Are you sure you weren’t in a cult?” because she had long blonde hair, wore flowy dresses and spent the 60s in Honolulu and San Francisco. Seems like the perfect storm.] At this point, you can’t change my mind to the contrary.

Queen Mimi- A
Yet another trope that draws me like a fly to cow pies is delightful and somewhat surly old people. There is honestly nothing I would rather spend 90 minutes on, and Queen Mimi is definitely one of my favorite eclectic old folks movies. Mimi is a woman in her 80s that lives and works in an LA laundry matand has  over the years built a bit of a fan club. Included in her gaggle of loyal admirers are Renee Zellwegger and Zach Galifinakis, who invites her to premieres and considers her almost family. As the movie unfolds,the viewer (as well as the filmmaker) uncover some secrets about Mimi that no one, including her close friends know. It has quickly joined the ranks of Gray Gardens, Burt’s Buzz, Iris and Magical Universe as “Favorite Docs about kooky old people.”

Floyd Norman: An Animated Life- A
I didn’t expect to love this one so much, but soon I was pulled into it and even tearing up, after blindly choosing it to watch one day.The subject, Floyd, is a long time Disney employee who has worked on everything from Sleeping Beauty to some of the Pixar films. [Tangent: Stylistically, Sleeping Beauty is one of my all time faves. That color palette!!] It makes me so mad I had never heard of him before because he has literally had his hands on so many things animated in popular culture  in the last 50 years. He was so passionate about his life’s work that it can’t help but make you feel like you’re not doing life right unless you’re obsessed. [Tangent: That’s a very highjacked and very mutilated John Waters quote.] I’ll try not to give too much away, but just prepare to fall headlong in  love with this dude. He’s the best.

Vintage Tomorrows- C-
This is one I watched months ago, so I am having a hard time recalling much about it. That doesn’t speak of my crap memory but more that this one just wasn’t that memorable. It follows, through profiles and interviews, steam punk enthusiasts. As stated before I love watching any doc that uncovers some niche group of people that follow an unconventional interest or lifestyle. I guess it would be better if you were totally ignorant of what steam punk was, but for me it just could have been a lot better; I felt I spent most of the 90 minutes scrolling through FB.  I did find it interesting to learn about the “maker” aspect and the creativity and craftsmanship that goes into it.

Ok. See, I'm back. There will be more coming soon. What should I watch next? 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Animal Babies Nursery: The Creepiest Toy Ever


I have a niece and two nephews under 5, so I'm not immersed in children's popular culture 24/7; 365- but around the holidays I casually dip my toe in so I can be the cool aunt on Christmas morning. This is not something I half-ass. I spend time scoping out toys in stores and via Google- and I have come to the conclusion that the majority of them are terrifying. Case in point- Animal Babies Nursery. This innocuous sounding toy is the creepiest thing I have encountered in a long time, and I spent the entirety of October watching horror movies. These animatronic plushes are part innocent cuddle time...part Island of Dr. Moreau...and all nightmare fodder.

My first encounter with these scary beasts was when I was combing through the gender specific girls section trying to find something freak-out worthy for my five year old niece. Misshelved among the Cabbage Patch Kids and Puppy Surprises (a nostalgic head scratcher unto itself) was nestled a Baby Animals Nursery creature called the baby kangaroo that made me audibly gasp and perhaps drop a well-earned F-bomb. [Tangent: Being that I was window shopping solo at that moment, this didn't go over well with the lululemon wrapped momarazzi hanging in the aisle. Oh well. I don't take back my reaction. It stands as valid and 100% warranted.]


I'm not a total square, I know that animals with human traits are a tale as old as time. In prior years, my eyes have been personally accosted by the likes of Equestria Girls and something called Pinkie Cooper. Both are bipedal mammals (ponies and puppies respectively) clad in go-go boots and mirco minis with human lady proportions. Seriously, I am sure they are a hit with little girls (and maybe some niche internet perv groups.) But something about these Baby Animal Nursery toys are even more aggressively upsetting than those animals from the phylum Fashionista.  I can’t even put my finger on it, but now when I close my eyes, the peaceful black is replaced with that non-blinking kangaperson. 
 Because my twisted curiosity is stronger than my need to live peacefully ignorant of the horrors of the world, I was soon flung headlong into the internet vortex of these animal babies and each one was creepier than the last. I can just imagine these thumb sucking monsters sticking their hard plastic faces out from behind a pillow and "babble" in the most terrifying of manners.

 EEK! That calico cat solifies my status as “more of a dog person"! That werid turtle abomination? The humanzee with bangs? And dear god that rabbit makes Frank from Donnie Darko look like Peter Cottontail.

I cannot pass judgement on kids today, nor do I want to. Granted I can still sing the entirety of a theme song for a cartoon based onpersonified gummy bear candies in a renaissance setting...and don't get me started on the enigma that is the Popple.  But come on,  this shit is horrifying. This weird humanoid kangaroo in a diaper with its blow up doll expression and promise to cry like a person and say the word "yummy" is enough to rob me of a week's sleep. As my friend Katie observed when I showed her the pic, "if they can hold a bottle, they can hold a knife."

Now aren’t you feeling their vacant eyes crawling on you from all sides as you hear their robotic giggles? Sweet dreams.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

for shane.

This past week has been crazy (and not fun crazy but the kind of crazy that liquifies you). Not only have I felt spread thin but as if I was passed through a pasta machine and came out in tiny strips. Here I am on the other end fervently trying to press those strips back together...only the now everything seems haphazard and out of order. But slowly but surely I am getting my shit reassembled.

Last Wednesday I was just starting to let it soak in that I would soon be living in a world with a president Trump (Still that phrase seems strange to type) and prepping for my boyfriend to have surgery the next day, when my best friend called me to tell me that our friend Shane had passed away that morning. Immediately I dissolved and felt like I had been punched hard in the chest. All I could do was go lay down.

 In the last 5 years, I have seen a lot of death and lost a lot of major people in my life that were among my greatest champions. It doesn't get easier. In fact one by one as they fall I feel way more vulnerable [Tangent: as I try to remain slightly more hopeful that they have rubbed off on me.] When deciding what to blog about today, it seemed right that I wrote a little bit about the legacy my friend Shane leaves behind.  Damned if he didn't encourage me regularly about my writing and the fact that I wasn't living up to my potential. He was a real ass hole in that regard, even though he was right.

I met Shane probably 9 or so years ago when his best friend and my best friend started dating [Tangent: They are now married so that all worked out. Here's proof we didn't eff up our friends relationship].

 In situations like that it is always a crap shoot if friend groups are gonna mix and you know by default that you will have to spend a lot of time together in group settings so you might as well learn to be cordial and tolerate each other. Only unexpectedly, two people that could not be more different (Shane and I) became very good friends. He was brash and outdoorsy and unafraid of public opinion and didn't mince words...at all. At the time in my personal narrative, I was a puss. I was scared of most everything (mostly of my own potential and life possibilities),  and decidedly indoorsy by design.

It a bizarre juxtoposition, but it all worked out...we both were SUPER hard to offend and liked to talk for eons about seemingly everything from music to politics to religion, so our friendship worked strangely well and organically. Authenticity was important for both of us...and I don't think you could meet a more authentic dude or one with less of a filter. I thought hard about a story that would best describe our friendship and the good time and good human that was Shane and I settled on this one.

Shane was in the National Guard and had spent a huge chunk of time in Africa doing work and building wells, so in his absense from Nashville- we were pen pals. At that time I was learning to drive, so I weekly would send him updates and I would hear all about his travels. When he returned he had all these new interests and stories and had discovered a love for taking pictures. Of course like most things he attempted, he was really good at it and I wanted to push him to do more [Tangent: One of his pictures hangs by my sink so it bares witness daily to my spitting out toothpaste.] One day probably about 7 years ago, we planned to walk around Radnor Lake together and shoot the shit. [Tangent: This was pretty regular- we would just find some activity and then just a lot of aimless wandering.] Yes, I was being outdoorsy.

It was such a good day. Perfect weather. I don't even remember if Shane took many pictures, but I do remember we talked a lot about where you could hide a body (which is pretty par for the course of our convos.) I also remember that after getting about a mile into the trails, I realized my battery on my chair was near dead.  My power chair was new. I had  no inkling of a notion on how to put it into neutral so he pushed my 350 pound chair up hills and over some not-so-smooth terrain back to my car..for roughly 3/4 of a mile. I felt awful (and physically he probably did too) but didn't show it.

As we reached my car, I apologized profusely for not paying attention or for not charging my chair the night before [Tangent: If you know me at all...you know how my semi-Catholic upbringing has made the words "I'm sorry" a knee jerk reflexive reaction to most things.] , but he made no issue of it and immediately laughed and said, "So are we going to eat...which Cracker Barrel is closest? You're gonna buy me dinner. I'm hungry."

And we did...he could push me a little further when there was hasbrown casserole on the line. That day is just indicative of him as a person and his effect on me...pushing me when I felt stuck and putting me and everyone else in his life at ease. That was his role (and often times became my role when he felt stuck in any capacity). He was always down to go on an adventure and I was happy to be his copilot. Even when he went on his biggest adventure of packing up his car and driving to the Maine wilderness, we stayed in touch and helped each other stay accountable for being the humans that we were capable of being. I'll miss that. Being at his funeral and talking to his girlfriend and his friends and family, I've seen how far reaching he was and the many sides he showed to so many people. Everyone needs a circle of humanity they can rely on for complete honesty, and I was lucky to have him as part of mine.

In looking for pictures and digging through old messages and emails, I found one from around the time my dad died. When I said I hated feeling like a pussy all the time, he told me that "it was Ok to be a pussy because the rebound to self would make all that weakness feel worth while." [Tangent: SERIOUSLY! WHO TALKS LIKE THAT?!? Shane...that's who.] Now I synthesize all those sentiments as I deal with his passing and damned if he isn't making sense of things even when he is not of this earth. I say this all the time, but it is a spoils of riches the people that I have in my corner, and he was definitely one of the greats. Cheers, friend.


Monday, November 7, 2016

A day at the Newseum

I wasn't gonna write tonight, but being the night before an election for me is like Christmas to a child. Only instead of clenching my eyelids worrying about if I am going to get the Aladdin VHS or Barbie dream house, I'm worried that I might get an orange in my stocking instead...like literally an orange. [Tangent: That is the least nonpartisan (but still kinda partisan) analogy that I can muster ...but ya'll know what side my bread is buttered on...so I need not go any further with that.]  Thinking about politics and how insane and frustrating they can be, it reminded me that The time was nigh to pull an "Aunt Linda" and tell you more about my trip to DC, the land that has spawned that frustrating insane child! 
During our time in DC, we saw a bunch of things that made a quality merlot out of every last one of my mind grapes, but the suggestion that I am happiest I took was to go to the Newseum. [Tangent: Growing up in a house that's white noise was CNN (there was no reason a second grader should know all about the Gulf War or the intricacies of the Anita Hill confirmation hearings...), I vowed I would only watch it once a day as an adult, when I could choose my programming for myself. Even then, I hypothesized that it would be like a daily vitamin and I wouldn't enjoy it. Then I went on to study Journalism...and twas my gateway drug because now I watch the news all the damn time. It's still the white noise in my home- 2-3 episodes of local news...Nightline...20/20...even Inside Edition (diversify!). Let's not go into reading articles online. ] It was amazing, and each exhibit made me say "I can't believe I am seeing this!" The only bummer was that this was the first museum that we visited, so it gave all the others humongous loafers to fill. 

The newseum is located not far from DC's China town and seriously has every relic from modern televised history that you could imagine. [Tangent: Smithsonian better step up its game! I mean I know the American History museum has Dortothy's ruby slippers...but the Newseum has the Unibomber's cabin, where of course Jamie had to Kacsynski alongside the famous sketch...trying not to get dirty looks from fellow tourists.]
 In fact while we were there, they had an exhaustive exhibit on terrorism, which included wreckage from Ground Zero and things taken from the site of the Boston Marathon. [Tangent: Since I was thousands of miles away in college on 9/11, I guess the enormity of it never fully penetrated. You can imagine that it is something distant until you are just feet away twisted metal from the twin towers. Seeing that backed by a wall of 9/12 front page headlines from all over the country was disturbing and heartbreaking and beautiful in one brush stroke.]
There was also a section of the Berlin wall on display with one of the watchtowers. [Tangent: I was young when the wall in Germany was torn down, so a lot of the images that I associate with it were added to memory bank in my adulthood. Ex: that video footage of David Hasselhoff dancing atop it with a piano scarf and that snippet from the documentary I reviewed last month, Animism, where a woman was in a romantic relationship with the wall and oddly fondled it. Once I stifled the release of those images, I really took in how awesome it was to see in person.]

There really wasn't any part of the self-guided tour that didn't make me wish I could take my brother, Chris, and my dad to this place. They would have lost their minds. This soulless robot actually teared up a little when Jamie and I were looking through the print archives of famous publications (including famous headlines like "Dewey Beats Truman" and the first issue of Rolling Stone) because I couldn't call and tell them about it.
There were little nook displays devoted to stories which I remembered ruling the airwaves during my lifetime like the 2000 election drama and the OJ trial. I mean, not to brag, but I got to see Juice's suit. That was worth the $22 price of admission alone.
 
If I ever go back to DC, and if it doesn't spontaneously crumble to the earth after tomorrow's election results, I will 100% go back because I am positive that we didn't see everything. THERE WERE 6 FLOORS! It almost made me wish I had followed my senior year in high school dreams and gone into broadcast journalism...but oh well, I'll always have this approximation brought to you by the Newseum. 


Sunday, November 6, 2016

An Honest Lipsense Review (with a discount!)- Ugh...I drank the Kool-Aid


 A few months back, my fellow blogger/internet friend Ash participated on a 30 Day Lipstick Challenge on instagram...this meant she wore lipstick for 30 consecutive days. To some this is the norm and a "challenge" that they could sleepwalk through, but to me (at the time) it seemed like an insane impossibility. [Tangent: Let me backtrack. I love makeup. LOVE IT! I don't live in it. I sometimes even go to work without a stitch on because sleep > makeup, but I sold it for YEARS back when I was in college and shortly thereafter and amassed drawers and drawers full. Even still, lipstick has ALWAYS been my Achilles heel.] Since childhood, when I played with my mom's cosmetic stash, I have been unable to look like a normal human while wearing lip product. To keep it from getting on my teeth (which is inevitably does), my knee jerk reaction is to pucker and part my lips [Tangent:... in that really unfortunate looking way that can only call to mind Jamie Fox's Wanda character from In Living Color. It's not what I would call a "sexy" look. ] for this reason I have been a big proponent of a nice tinted chap stick or just go with a very literal nude lip. In other words my Bonne Bell gets more mileage than my MAC. [Tangent: What can I say, MAC has yet to make a $2 lip gloss that tastes like a sparkly cousin of vanilla frosting. GET ON IT, ALREADY!]

 However, I am now mere days away from 34 and have decided I need to try to behave like an human woman [Tangent: I mean the kind that wanted all of the Disney Lego mini-figures, who loves the Little Debbie product line more than is healthy and who thinks farts are hilarious...but a woman nonetheless.] For that reason, even though I am not so much a beauty blogger, I feel compelled to tell you about a product that has transformed me into a lipstick person...in an honest way.[Tangent: No, I'm not steering my blog towards that...but I love a good no BS review. Also, while I'm in brackets- I don't mean that now I am a literal anthropromorpic tube of lipstick...that would be startling.] This also entauls having my big meatball head all over the net. Here goes. 

A few months ago, my friend Alex started selling something called Lipsense [Tangent: Virtually all my friends with kids have a home business, so I have an inordinate amount of Lularoe leggings and fiber lash mascara, and essential oils and anything else that is sold online or at parties.  I'm a sucker for an impulse buy...shhh...don't tell. Because of this, I have an equal number of purchases I rave about and purchases dripping with buyer's remorse. Actually probably more of the latter.] Prior to Alex, I had never heard of the stuff and you know my position on lip product, so even though it seemed legit and she was ultra crazy enthusiastic about it, I was incredibly cynical and gave a HARD pass initially. [Tangent: I am about to say something that will prove my design snobbery, but I have told Alex this time and time again in person, so I have no issue stating it on the internet for all to hear. Senegence, the parent company of Lipsense, spends very little on marketing and design because they instead spend that money toward new colors, products etc. The logo, branding and marketing materials need a complete update because the font is DISTRESSING, and I don't think reflect the quality of the product! I thought it gave off a dated or matronly vibe and didn't match the price point. If they are looking for someone to design them some new marketing materials, I'm on board. Call me, Mr. Senegence...if that is your real name.]

All my snobbish tendencies pushed aside, I soon found I was dead wrong in my bitchy assumptions- the product is begrudgingly DAMN GOOD! Apparently you shouldn't judge a makeup item by its cover because I have now 100% drank the Kool-Aid and I love it. In fact-  it's pretty much all I wear on the day to day since about April because I don't have to reapply and it doesn't budge for up to 18 hours once swiped on. [Tangent: This is essential for me because on any given day I do breathing treatments and am picked up by others, so my lip product really needs to stay put and not get all over everything and everyone in my periphery. I'm also inherently lazy so I love the fact that I just have to do my makeup in the morning and I'm golden till nighttime when I take it off with a makeup wipe...at least my lips are.]  And I don't mean that in a "says it doesn't budge" kind of way...like you can literally eat and drink and hardcore make-out with multiple partners [Tangent: Ya know...a given Tuesday.] and you will be still looking like you just put it on. Alex even went to the dentist with hers on. [Tangent: And yes, I am sure she is super excited this picture is on the internet now.]


There are some things which are different about it...not necessarily bad... just things that you have to get used to, so I'd rather tell you about them so you aren't surprised. The scent/texture/feel took a minute to adjust to because it is so drastically different than anything else [Tangent: It has a sort of alcohol-y smell, but I got used to it pretty quick...and by second application, it didn't phase me a bit.] because unlike other products- it bonds to your lip instead of sitting atop them. You apply in three one swipe layers (letting each dry in between) and then top with a gloss coat, specially formulated to seal in the color.  [Tangent: I realize that regiment sounds hella tedious...but it's really not. You're only gonna have to do it once daily, and it really only takes a minute and a half.]

Then there are the things which are awesome- its vegan and cruelty-free and anti-aging and devoid of wax, lead or anything which might cause cancer or make your future babies grow tails. [Tangent: I mean babies with tails sound real cute theoretically...but probably better kept in your imagination.]

Because I am edgy as a butter knife, I started with a color simply called nude [SO RISKY!], but I loved it so much soon I had welcomed a rainbow of shades into the fold..from a deep plum to a pale pinky nude called First Love (the ultimate everyday color!).  [Tangent: Also, Christina Aguilera and Jennifer Anniston live and die by the stuff...and those are two very different ends of the makeup spectrum...so there are lots of options available.] Also I kind of like the idea that I can get all mad scientist with it and do a layer of one color then a layer of different color etc to really make the colors work for me. Even the different glosses can change the look a little depending on their tint or opacity. It makes me feel like I am using my art minor. [Tangent: Color mixing, yo!]
top row: Bella w/ opal gloss (L) Plum w/ glossy gloss (R); Bottom row: Nude w/ glossy gloss (L) First Love with opal gloss (R)
In case you need more shots of my giant noggin...and evidence that I can't make a normal face in photos and own too many glasses, check out the pic below. Even though the background is the clutter- filled guest room, it illustrates that I finally found a perfect red lip that doesn't rub all over making me look like a sad clown on a bender by the end of the day; I'm generally not going for that aesthetic. This is miracle of miracles [Tangent: About 3 years ago, I finally became able to wear red lipstick in public and not feel like a craigslist prostitute or someone wearing a costume. I finally got used to seeing it on my face and not being completely freaked out by it. I even (dare I say) liked it. Progress.] I was extremely doubtful that it would stay and that my lips wouldn't appear to be molting after a few hours, but no BS, they looked great...even hours later. I loved it. So hard. And I HATE being wrong...so this admission is very hard on my ego. 
I literally just went to Walgreens wearing crimson red,  but I felt like a sex pot picking up RX's and discount Halloween candy.
I would not bullshit you, the system is a teench pricey (for a goodwill gal like moi) at $50, the color ($25) and then a necessary topping gloss ($25) to seal it in [Tangent: I repeat! YOU HAVE TO HAVE BOTH COMPONENTS. The color won't work without the sealing layer...I tried.],  but honestly that is but a drop in the bucket next to the drawerful of untouched lipcolor I have. [Tangent: I don't know about other distributors, but I know Alex offers a money back guarantee or the ability to swap out your color so you won't feel like you're gambling your monies or just straight up throwing it out a speeding car window. She understands it's an odd experience to buy makeup online, and to be honest, some of the colors look a little different online (hence why I included the below picture). She wants you to love it like she does. And if want to see what a color looks like on an actual human, she can send you examples or see them posted in her open and very helpful FB group.]  It's a great way to try it out. Here's a good look at some of their best sellers.
If you have about a million questions, feel free to leave them in my comments section or hit up Alex's FB group for a color recommendation (or to see some other colors that might not be available on the site), she loves the opportunity to recommend things and forced me to step outside the beige. 

I'm a big girl now! Thanks Lipsense. 

OH YES... Alex is offering my readers a chance to get 10% off and free shipping if they buy product through this link and write in the notes section "Sent by That Girl in the Wheelchair"! She'll then invoice you with the discounted rate.
Any Questions?

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

My unfounded fears of travelling to DC

I've been putting off writing about my vacation for weeks, because I find it hard to tackle and wonder really does anyone give a shit? Although I LOVE reading about people's getaways, I find writing them really awkward...but I know they are good references for other people...so here goes...I'm awkward 99% of the time so truly, this is just on brand for me. This will likely be part 1 in a series so if this is your thing, "yay!" and if it's not...."oh well." [Tangent: I am writing mostly to tell people what I wish I knew before I went to DC, so suck it.]

Last month, Jamie got some vacation time he had to use that wouldn't roll over, so of course I got excited because it meant an excuse to go somewhere during that narrow window when the weather and landscape is at it's pinnacle of coppery gorgeousness and before the havoc of holiday reigns down upon us, and we become too over-scheduled to even wipe our butts. I'd been tossing around the idea about going to DC for a while and we thought election time would be optimal time to experience this city.  [Tangent: My dad was invited to go to Obama's inauguration by his democrats group, and he didn't go...I'm still bummed he missed out and wanted to carpe the ever-living f#*k out of the diem...especially given election season always makes my inner patriot emerge from its caccoon. I needed to go STAT. Remember where I revealed that slowly, and much to my chagrin I am shape-shifting into my dad, the fact that I was super jazzed to go to a bunch of museums on my "relaxing vacation" only further supports this hypothesis.]  

For some reason, unlike every one of my fellow peers from Tennessee, I never visited DC on my 8th grade field trip, so clearly I was deprived. Although, to be honest, everyone I know that went said the only things they remember are staying in a hotel with their friends or watching an Adam Sandler movie on the bus. [Ex: Jamie went in 8th grade and said his fondest memory was that the ads in the subway were for Hot Shots Part Deux, that Snow's Informer was really big and that he bought juggling scarves. Middle Schoolers are unappreciative assholes. Lesson learned.]

My former roommate and forever sister, Andraea [Tangent: She's my personal Oprah. Seriously, she and I are opposite in so many staggering ways but are basically the same person. Go read her blog.] lives there and works there and is a big deal there, so more than anything I really wanted to go see her...and have her escort me around her city. 
 Within hours of texting her, I had concocted this plan in my head, fueled 90% by enthusiasm and misplaced senses of security, to drive to DC...which is an 11 hour drive overall [Tangent: Unfortunately, outside of backing it out of a tight parking space, Jamie cannot drive my car, which is the only vehicle between us capable of lugging around the monstrosity that is my power chair. I also know if I want to travel in a city, I would go apeshit and Hulk out in frustration if I had to pushed around in my manual chair. Additionally, Jamie might not be too jazzed to push my chair all over those cobblestone streets.] In lieu of flying (which is also a gamble with a power chair), we decided to make the trip a couple days longer and stay with his parents on the way there and back. They live near the Virginia line, so its the perfect halfway point. Once again, this was on a grossly confident day that I concocted this plan. [Tangent: The furthest I had driven prior was in April when I went to Atlanta. Interstate driving for more than 5 hours in a day when you use hand controls is a beast. Cruise control doesn't exist in my universe.]

Aside from the drive itself, I acquired a couple other new worries after fully committing to this trip. It mattered not that everyone had reiterated to me numerous times how handi-friendly the area was, my mind raced with new unfounded fears like...

1. How do Subways work? 
As I slept in a bed at Jamie's parents house, halfway to DC, I started to have a mild panic when everything started to come into focus. Parking in the district is crazy expensive and frustrating, so I would have to shed my country mouse ways and learn how to use mass transit. [Tangent: All native Tennessseans probably share this ignorance about mass transit. It's so off my radar that I kind of forget that in some mythical places some people use it everyday. Riding the tram at the Atlanta airport hardly counts and Jamie said he was terrified the one time he rode the subway alone in NY. I swear, we are not complete slack-jawed yokels. Maybe.] All of these factors I had been too busy (or naive maybe) to plan out. I just imagined I would jump off a cable car and land on Andraea's stoop...easy breezy and ready to see the sites...as if there are even cable cars in DC. [Tangent: Perhaps I fell asleep watching the Full House intro. Who knows?]
Yes, the metro system seems super daunting. Luckily Andraea showed me the ropes, and even showed me that if you act like you know what you are doing, and are in a wheelchair, you don't even need a metro card. [Tangent: I mean you probably do...but I am down for the cheaper albeit possibly unethical option if it makes things easier. I just didn't make eye contact and tried not to look as confused/overwhelmed as I felt.]  We only rode it a couple times, but I was pretty excited that we didn't get off on the wrong stop or get on the wrong route. I am most thankful I had a local to show us what to do, because I didn't want "Tourist: TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ME" to be written on my forehead. This website is a good primer.  

2. How much of a pain in the ass will it be to get an accessible cab? 
I have only taken a cab a handful of times and usually my overserved friends made the call on that and I was using a manual that can be tossed in the trunk. [Tangent: Including the time I rode home in a party cab with strobe lights and blaring music and mardi gras beads for a ride that was less than 3 miles.]  This whole business of not driving everywhere is so outside my wheelhouse that I am not even in the driveway of said wheelhouse. [Tangent: Am I using the term wheelhouse properly? I don't even know anymore.]  In Nashville, accessible cabs exist, but not in mass and I have never summoned one before, so to be honest I just kind of assumed it would be a huge ordeal...much like most things that are specific to people with disabilities.

Luckily I googled (fully Ask Jeeves style as is my MO): "How do wheelchair users hail taxis in DC?" and I came upon the most helpful website ever. On this site I was patched through to the Taxi transit app, which gave me the ability to schedule my taxi via app and even request an accessible cab.
do you like my obnovious Jason Manzoukas wallpaper?
I worried that I would have to know hours in advance when I needed a pickup, but it worked like a dream and generally, if we were near downtown, which we always were, we only needed about 10-15 minute notice. Only once did they send us a sedan, but he immediately called in for a minivan to pick us up. [Tangent: It was surprisingly convenient, and most of our drivers were so nice that Jamie didn't even feel provoked to ask them, "Have you ever seen the movie DC Cab?" even though he really wanted to.]
 
3. Did I really just blindly book a hotel that no one has ever heard of? 
When we first picked our destination, we assumed we would just stay at an airbnb [Tangent: We had such mind-blowing experiences with our stays in Atlanta and Gaitlinburg, that surfing the app has just become a pasttime of mine, even if I am not going anywhere. Oh and while we are on the topic, this seems ripe for a shameless plug. Use this link and get $35 toward your first trip.], but as we searched the "accessible" options that offered free any kind of parking, we realized all the decent ones were already booked.  Therefore I went for plan B, I asked around what was a good neighborhood to stay in and sight unseen booked a room via Expedia at a small boutique hotel called The Normandy. [Tangent: I ran it by my friends and a colleague that went to school in DC. Everyone had been so shocked that I found a hotel in a hip part of DC for under $200 a night. Their surprise meant I was starting to become certain it was a front for a crackhouse or haunted...or both. A money-laundering hot spot swarming with ghosts. Perfect.] 

I was dead wrong. The Normandy was freakin' adorable and the staff was SO NICE. Here's proof!

It was small and private and tucked in between a bunch of embassies and most crucial- it was totally safe [Tangent: Unless some sort of reverse-Argo situation transpired.] When we arrived there had been a mix-up and they assigned us an accessible room, but not one with a roll-in shower, so within an hour they had sent someone on foot to the rire-aid down the road to buy me a shower chair. [Tangent: I sincerely would have settled for sitting on a bucket, but I was impressed with their commitment to service.] They even were so baffled by my robot car that they let me park illegally on the street all week in lieu of worrying about valet...and my bill was never charged. These people were the bees knees. And the inside was super cute toille wallpaper and a super nice bathroom and dammit if now I don't want a bedside espresso machine. 

Also, it wasn't haunted, but this sucker was right next door...and probably was. It had a very Great Expectations vibe. Every morning when we waited for our cab, we looked for faces in the window.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween costume 2016: Stranger Things have Happened.

photo booth courtesy of Chad McClarnon
 With all my pains-taking effort directed at sexy costume culture this season (and every season since I started this blog), it's clear that for Halloween 2016, I opted to be the sexiest option imaginable: a chubby toothless preteen boy. [Tangent: I feel like that sentence is gonna yield some sketchy search results from some To Catch a Predator regs, but I'm too lazy to rectify it. Move along pervs. Get off my internet!] Literally I come up with a new dumb costume idea every week of the year, so I had been juggling a couple ideas when my friend Ryan [Tangent: Who will forever be F*#kable Milhouse. If you don't remember that story, read about it here. It's my favorite thing in life.] told me he was gonna be Eleven from Stranger Things. After scrolling by a "Justice for Barb" photo on Instagram, it occurred to me that Jamie's hair was just about perfect for  his favorite character, Barb....and then I followed suit by portraying my personal spirit kid, Dustin.  [Tangent: Jamie did accuse me once of trying to "Danish Girl" him because we came up with this couples costume mere days after watching that movie.]  
Our friends Bethany and Nathan also jumped on board as Steve and Nancy, which made us even locked in further to this costume concept.  
 


It seems ironic that my bearded boyfriend who doesn't own a hairbrush or wash his face ever was super jazzed about portraying his Netflix spirit animal. [Tangent: He hadn't used a blow dryer or shaved with a non-electric razor until this past weekend. He is 37.] Equally upsetting was how stunning he was as a teen girl. His skin was awesome, which is quite a punch in the face to someone like me who spends too much time, energy and money on skincare.When I told my friend Laura that I did his makeup, she said I did "too good" a job. Everyone was unsettled and thrown aback by his new look...mostly because he hasn't been nakie faced since he was Rex Manning in 2014 and he looks like a different human. [Tangent:He lost a shit ton of weight this year with his new job, so it made him slighly svelter than he would have been any other year so it seemed like a good time to go full drag. It made me only slightly uneasy that the jacket he is wearing is MINE.]  

His costume came together incredibly easy. The weird mom jeans and loafers were from Goodwill. I found the PERFECT Barb shirt on Etsy in the Lovely Betsy shop after searching "vintage bow blouse pink" and those killer glasses were actually these reading glasses on Amazon. Because vintage trapper keepers sell for some unintelligible reason for nearly 100 bucks online, he cobbled one together out of a clear front binder and an print off of her actual trapper keeper from the show. I cannot convey how much I use google image search. My mom did his hair after following the instruction, "Just do it like yours in the 80s." and I did his makeup, which just made me sad because I finally got confirmation on how long his eyelashes are, and how wasted they are on a redheaded man.

In the grand tradition of me making myself look whatever the opposite of sexy is [Tangent: I swear next year I am wearing makeup and being a girl dammit!! Why do I always paint myself into this corner with gender role mix-ups?!?!? If there is something Freudian about that...I don't want to know.] I went full tilt on my Dustin costume. I had cords and converse, so I bought the shirt and hat on Amazon for really cheap and found a jacket that would work at Goodwill. Through some googling, I learned the best way to make yourself look toothless is by using something called "Tooth Black," which is basically black wax. If you ever had terminal braces, as I did, then it's the sensory equivalent of that weird wax you used to put over your braces if it was cutting up the insides of your mouth. It never really worked in this context, so I was happy this cheap $3 invention stayed on all night even after visits to the drink station and the mashed potato bar.  [Tangent: Also two days before the Halloween parties we were attending I decided I needed bike handlebars so I bought those up on Amazon Prime too...and returned them via UPS today. I know that's likely fraud of some kind, but sincerely what the hell am I gonna do with bike handlebars now? Let's be honest, i need that $25 more than I need to have the illusion that I'm riding a bicycle...unless I wanted to take another simulated ride with the mom from Beatlejuice and a ventriloquist's dummy. That option is now gone.]

photo cred: Chad McClarnon

As was the case the year  that Kim and Kanye stole my mermaid thunder, another high profile lady and I had similar ideas. Because Stranger Things is so zeitgeisty right now, its no shock Amy Schumer also opted to be Dustin this year, creating a real "Who wore it Better" situation.
As is always the case, Halloween just reminded me how amazing and fun and creative the people I know are...and how hard I continuously have to step up my game to stay at that level. UGH! I love Halloween so hard!  What were you...or do you have some semblance of dignity unlike this gal?
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