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?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

I got new lungs (well a lung tattoo anyway!)

I'm really glad I didn't start getting tattoos when I initially wanted to. At 18, I would have a lot of really dumb Dawson's Creek quote tattoos (probably in some form of Chinese character to keep things mysterious.) or an ode to Garden State on my lower back or something along those awful lines. Luckily I pussed out around every turn and didn't get any when I was young. [Tangent: I live under the assertion that people aren't the people they truly will be until they are 25.  At least that's how I was...and most everyone I know. Before then you are still in the long "figuring it out" stage.] Fear wasn't the issue...indecisiveness always was.

Luckily, now that I am creeping towards 34, I have a much easier time making decisions...which means over the last month, I have been acquiring a new tattoo. [Tangent: It took a couple sittings because my badass self thought a rib tattoo would be no biggie. It twas not. It hurt like someone was trying to dig into my rib cage with a salad fork. My threshhold for pain is generally fairly high. I sat with a smile on my face when I got my foot done...but this was PAINFUL. My friend Rae, who went with me, said it convinced her never to get her ribs done...and she has TONS of tattoos. Let's just say I got the studio got bombarded with many deserved F-Bombs and S-Grenades on day one. It was my personal war zone. The coloring day, which was yesterday, was thankfully a breeze! Why did I have to decide to get it over my actual lung!?! Why did I have to want tattoos in the two most painful locations? I'm an idiot.] For the last roughly 9 months, I have had crazy insomnia, which leads me to come up with a lot of hare-brained ideas and attempted late night vision quests. The idea for this tattoo was the result of this. 

I have crappy lungs and I had this idea that I wanted a set of amazing lungs to compensate. Because I stalk etsy and imaginary purchase prints pretty much daily,  I have seen some gorgeous anatomical botanical marriages and I wanted just that...on my body...forever. [Tangent: I gave birth to this brainchild actually on the 6 year anniversary of my lungs attempt to kill me.]  

Once the idea was planted in my head...I couldn't let it go so ran it by my best friend, who was with me when I almost died. She would tell me if it was a terrible concept (That's why you have friends!) and she assured me it was I went ahead and emailed Eli Draughn at Safe House Tattoo before I could decide against it. [Tangent: He did such a good job on my foot canoe that I was super excited to see what he would draw up. Besides, everyone at Safe House is seriously the nicest and the whole experience is NEVER intimidating, and if you are going to spend a number of hours unable to might as well be surrounded by nice people.] 

Even though I was halfway tempted to leave it black and gray so I could be a human coloring book [Tangent: My niece was super excited about that scenario...even though the concept of a tattoo is a heady one for a 5 year old. She tries to rub the one off my foot.], I'm even more in love with it after getting it colored. So much so that I want to show it to everyone...which is pretty much me pulling my shirt up at the drop off a hat revealing my pale scarred up short-waisted belly to anyone showing an ounce of interest. [Tangent: Yeah...bitchin gallbladder removal scars make me look like I was felt up by Edward Scissorhands or Revenent style bear attacked.] I'm that person now. I'm the kind of person who is contemplating wearing a bikini top as a I mean, I won't....but I'm considering it. I mean...look how freakin' pretty it is! Wouldn't you?

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Making the Pilgrimage and Losing my Festival Phobias

Even though my first concert was technically a festival [Tangent: Nashville River Stages 1998! What! What! I was in the thick of it during a Foo Fighters pit session...which might have been the coolest event of my teen years! Don't be jealous that I also saw Fastball, who were a thing for 5 minutes.], I have always found them terribly off-putting.  I tried to ignore these voices of "this is a terrible idea" when I decided to attend Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival a couple weekends back...and I'm glad I did.

Because I love a bargain and a time saver, I love the idea of seeing lots of bands I love in one convenient place, but they normally carry with them lots of variables that make me nervous.

What if it rains? 

What if the bathroom situation is unsavory? 

What if parking is a nightmare?  

Ughhh. So many crowds. I will never see. 

What if my old lady kicks in and I am tired by 8 o'clock and don't want to stay for headliner? 

What if someone super wasted is seated next to me and gets a little too hands on?

Based on my prior experience with all-day outdoor shows, these are ALL valid concerns and can truly harsh my music buzz. When rough terrain, freakishly hot  weather and loads of people are who are similarly sweaty and possibly intoxicated are thrown in, I usually opt out because age has dropped by bullshit tolerance significantly. This is why I have never been to Bonnaroo. [Tangent: Oh...that and the camping. Kimmie don't camp. I cannot begin to explain the reasons that is a terrible idea.] Thankfully I doubled down and bought a ticket to Pilgrimage Fest.

The fest, now in it's second year, takes place on a horse farm in near downtown Franklin, Tennessee and is organized by Kevin Griffin of Better than Ezra fame and got a producer credit from new middle Tennessee resident, J. Timberlake. There were a couple key selling points that got me intrigued and made me think "Hmmm...maybe I could do this."
  • The Saturday show featured Violent Femmes, Cake and Beck, which is a lineup that a younger Kimmie would be super jealous be quite transparent- 33 year old Kimmie was equally psyched about it. [Tangent: Kiss Off is a song that will take me from 0 to 60 so fast. It was a dream to see it live...and after seeing Cake live a few years ago, I couldn't wait to do it again. Although the Sunday Americana-heavy lineup was incredibly tempting, we knew Saturday was the way to go.]
  • The drive to the festival from my home takes maybe 15 minutes
  • Day passes were under $70  (day passes aren't even always an option for some fests!)
  • The headliner goes on at 6, which means I could be home and in my jammies in time to watch the nightly news. Old woman level achieved!
I had been to Harlinsdale Farms once before for an AmericanaFest event a couple years ago, so I knew the layout was well...a farm...but luckily I am filled with misguided senses of security to do things like off-road. I imagine it would have been not-so-fun in a manual or if it had rained [Tangent: Mud is the enemy so I did many an anti-rain dance to stave it off.], but overall the accessibility options BLEW ME AWAY! I took full advantage of all the VIP disability access options. [Tangent: Even though Jamie and I had to pee side-by-side in the double-wide port-a-potty and I had to go shoeless while inside the plastic poop box to best leverage my mobility. I never said I was super classy. Luckily, it was day one and the facilities were surprisingly clean and it's mostly the fault of my enormous and unweildy chair!] 

The ADA seating was on a raised platform adjacent to the paid VIP fact it was higher therefore better than the VIP section, so our view was possibly better and without the surcharge. Also, it was generally vacant except for Jamie and I so we felt pretty pleased with ourselves [Tangent: The well-intentioned ADA seating options do not always pan out so golden. Read about one of the nightmares at the riverfront here.] that we could sing along loudly to Blister in the Sun and not be judged....and furthermore didn't have to listen to other people doing the same. [Tangent: Speaking of blistering in the sun, it was disgustingly steamy outside that day at 92 degrees. Swamp ass for days. It was awesome to see they had water bottle fill up stations to keep folks hydrated, which trust we took advantage of...along with the retro-sno truck. I'll wager they made bank at the festival!]

Probably the act I was least excited about out the 3 must-sees was Beck. I've always liked Beck but I was worried it was going to be all sad Sea Change stuff and I feared that would not play well on an outdoor stage. Thankfully I was dead wrong. Beck is a teensy sex beast of a human and I was perma-smiling the entire time. [Tangent: At one point during the overlap of the Beck and Cake shows, you could hear a weird unintentional mash-up of The Distance and Loser. At this point my head exploded.] I was so impressed with his musicianship and dancing, and CONTROVERSIAL STATEMENT- he had an undeniable Prince quality. I cannot be certain, but he was so convincing and had everyone hyped to such a degree...I would not be surprised if the Scientology center in Nashville gained some new "personality test" participants after the show. 
 The shows and vibe were awesome. Although I don't know if I would bring my children (if I had them...because I feel I would need me time if I indeed had hypothetical kids), there were loads of families there. When we were walking out to our car well before 9 PM, I overheard from the people in front of us how relaxed it was and how it had a good crowd, but never felt "crowded." I honestly can't wait to go back next year.

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