Wednesday, September 28, 2016

It's ridiculous sexy halloween costumes 2016 Edition (get your pumpkins out!)

Last week, I was waiting to be disappointed by the latest iteration of American Horror Story and as the minutes ticked by, I began to have a really important talk with my boyfriend...one that has been bubbling beneath the surface of our relationship for months...What do we want to be for Halloween? [Tangent: One of the things that drew me to Jamie initially was his love and respect to the most hallowed of days, Halloween. We both love the holiday and throw a lot of enthusiasm behind our costume each year, and unfortunately that has put a lot of pressure on us by our friends to show out year after year. Therefore we are super tempted to do the most shocking thing possible...and put minimal effort in. I told Jamie he should wear regular clothes and a Scream mask from Walgreen's and I will just wear a witch hat and a "this is my Halloween costume" shirt. Just kidding...we finally settled on something and I am super excited about it.] While having this conversation, I began to realize that my slothful blogging as of late means I haven't even started to work on my annual sexy Halloween costume post. Tragic. [Tangent: What's more upsetting is that I have been living with a folder of scantily clad women in costume in my iPhone since mid August. I'm so glad I haven't misplaced it or taken it to Verizon, because that (and probably a hell of a lot of other things on there) might mislead  people about my character. Like the time I was selling some bras (never worn) on ebay and I took my sim card to Walgreen's to make prints and then it just made me look like a real freak to the lovely sales associate.]  Luckily, you guys won't let me forget and I have been inundated with not-so-gentle pokes to keep me on this crucial task.

If you are new around these parts, then you are probably scratching your temples wondering what the hell I am talking about,  but one of my favorite parts of the most hallowed of weens is seeing the ridiculous sexy costumes that are unveiled each year. Seriously, pumpkin spice lattes are bullshit- this is the stuff people should get crazy pumped for.

At first, my natural inclination was thinking they were A. dumb and B. uncreative. Then I realized just because they are not my thing personally doesn't mean they are all that bad. If nothing else, they are hysterically funny (probably inadvertently.) [Tangent: You can't remain stoic when presented with a sexy Beatlejuice or Sexy Spongebob.]  Despite my resistance, they have stubbornly bore into my heart's sweet spot. 

Of course there are some looks which by nature skew towards the sexy side- a French maid, Harley Quinn, a Playboy bunny...but I love the creative genius that is a sexy chicken or a sexy corn on the cob. To me, their existence is the highest of art forms.  [Tangent: If you want to fall down that rabbit hole: you can see my obsession grow in these posts  2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.] Although I am not the girl that aspires to be a sexy rubix cube for Halloween, I think her story deserves to be told...or better yet the costume designer who decides that a brain-bending toy from the 1980s is yearning to be sexualized. I wanna meet that guy. I think he'd be fun at a party.

Each year, I check out Yandy.com, because truly one need look no further if you are in the mood to bare your tsotchkes in a way that screams "yes! I'm dressed like a sexy gumball machine, deal with it!" Let's check out this year's crop of ridiculous thigh-high sconced getups! 

Disney a-go-go
We've all been there...sitting watching a Walt Disney production thinking, "Damn, I wanna hit that!" Sure some characters like Jasmine or Tinkerbell (or hell, if you're me- Aladdin...hubba hubba) naturally show some skin and have some pepper in their pot...but Yandy thinks, "why stop there? Why limit yourself? Who not bring the animal stars into the fold?"

Clearly, nothing is sacred, not even orphaned animals from two of the most tragic Disney films of all time [Tangent: Surely if there was a vagina- baring baby Simba, the perfect emotionally confusing group costume would be born.] . These two characters have some severe mommy issues, but who says they can't work for girls with daddy issues too? Versatility- that's a Yandy staple. Also, kudos to this sweet model for appearing easy breezy and care-free with a big top over her goodies.

I can say with 100% certainty that this is exactly what Lewis Carroll envisioned when he wrote about Alice's adventures in Wonderland [Tangent: At least I'm guessing, because the 1860s were the era of spandex/faux fur literal cat suits. I've never been fantastic at history so I refuse to fact check that.] To be honest, this saucy Cheshire cat is actually modest for Yandy standards, the thing I found curious is the bizarre placement of the tail, and the way this smizing spokesmodel chose to showcase it. She could have sassily posed with it in her hand, but no- she let it dangle in her crotch region. At least I know now that the beloved smirking feline from my childhood is packing! Meow indeed. [Tangent: 2 things. Smiriking Feline is a good strip club name. 2. This is my all time favorite Yandy model. I became familiar with her work when she was "sexy hamburger" a few years ago. A woman that can give come hither glances while donning a tiny sesame seed bun chapeau is truly a talented. THAT ISN'T EASY!]
 If you can conclude that this is Dory from Finding Dory, then you get a gold star at deductive reasoning. Aside from the color scheme and ambiguous appendages, there is nothing really that screams "fish with a cognitive disability." A lot of these costumes will have people at your halloween party asking, "So what are you again?"Frankly, this one isn't that repulsive to me. I kind of like it and I may have googled "fish lip hoodie" because that is a winning look that could possibly work for everyday, right?


Sci Fi...Oh My! 
From Leia in a gold bikini to Uhura, there are logical and iconic sex pots from outer space. These are not those, rest assured. 
Of course, George Lucas has not greenlit these sexy Chewbacca or sexy Ewok looks. Much like the "sexy space goblin" aka Yoda from years past, these are marketed as "furry space companion", and "far away galaxy bear" respectively... which in itself makes me laugh really hard. [Tangent: I sincerely love thinking about the fuzzy boots on that Chewie. It's as if the famed wookie has simply shaved from mid thigh to below the knee. It's not unheard of. I pull this move a lot in early fall when boot season kicks in. Regardless of my disgusting habits, this is more Chewbacca MILF and less Chewbacca mom]
So....I'm guessing you didn't get "spaceman" and "cyborg" from these images either? The one on the left seriously looks like a gymnastics leotard from team Brazil paired with a pom pom head band [Tangent: I like that if you get frustrated saying "but I'm a martian, duh!" then you can lose the headband and opt into something else altogether. Wearing a leotard seems more logical for a gymnast anyway]. To give credit where credit is due, I give the designer of the sex-bot mad props for his restraint in the robo-gina area. By the looks of those crazy boobs, It could have easily spiraled out of hand.

More Bastardized Characters from your Youth
You thought I was going to stop ruining your childhood with those hotsy totsy Disney looks...nope. I'm about to make you equal parts horny, shocked and nostalgic. It's a deadly combo.
I sincerely cannot remember if I have showcased this sexy Dumb and Dumber suit before, but I'm too lazy to investigate and honestly- it begs to be shown again. The girl who wears this is saying, "I wanna have a dude saying 'so, you're telling me there's a chance' all night, but I also want my ass cheeks to hang out a bit." [Tangent: I think if I were going to approach this look, I would go with Harry and not Lloyd. Orange crushed velvet doesn't make the men come a'runnin...just ask every dress I wanted to wear to the 8th grade dance.] Can I be candid? This one almost made my "i kinda like these" list.
 It's incredibly progressive and forward-thinking to not pigeon hole the weird bodycon costumes as Mrs. Pacman. I mean you could easily slap a bow on her, but I like that this sends the message that it is neither a masculine not feminine pursuit to like chasing ghosts and filling their face with balls. Oh. Wait. [Tangent: Also, Lady Hamburger is SELLING that pinky costume. Kudos for days.]
Can we all agree that Taz is the absolute worst? He doesn't really talk...he just runs and slobbers everywhere (and occasionally wears hip hop gear), so I find it curious that is getting a turn in the Yandy sunshine. I mean maybe the razor sharp teeth and tongue coming out of the navel are comely to some...but I don't get it...and I don't want to meet those folks.
Speaking of 'What the literal hell?'....I give you sexy Patrick Starfish. The world is taking crazy pills. Also a lot of starfish are hermaphroditic, so I hope you don't party with a lot of marine biologists who will make weird jokes to you about that all night.

History...now with more boobs! 
 I was decent in history. It wasn't my worst, but it was never my best subject. I am bad with dates (IN SO MANY WAYS) so I cannot confirm or deny the historical accuracy of these two costumes, so ya'll may have to weigh in. Even still, I assure you these are the best ways to prove you are interested in world events.
Alexander Hamilton is surely the founding father that I would want to know in the biblical sense, so I gather a lot of other ladies wanna show their spirit (for the man and the musical stuck in everyone's head) this Halloween. Here's the issue- men in that era wore a LOT of layers...how does one let their titties out a little? EASY! Take out the shirt layer altogether and sub in a weird necklace dicky/ascot contraption. Problem solved. [Tangent: This is another one I almost liked.]

I think we can all agree the most potent way to pay tribute and show respect for the greatest generation is to strap working propellers to your ta's. Right? This sexy WWII pilot (or something?) is nothing if not laced with subtlety.

Animal Style
From the beginning of time, women have been wearing cat ears and a corset and calling it a costume. This should not be a shocker.
 Ok. Before you laugh off this completely ridiculous costume. Consider this: Maybe this lass in the unweildy claw gloves and tiny top hat is just a big fan of the independent film "The Lobster." This is not a woman scrambling in a stupid costume, maybe she is a cinaphile. Show some respect.
Not gonna lie. I hate birds, but majestic raver parrot is a look that I would strongly consider

Something is Fishy
"Under the sea...under the sea...life can bet better...down where it's wetter...take it from me" Gross. Dammit. I just ruined a song sung by a Jamaican crab. I am not pleased with myself.
God I love a mermaid costume (as evidenced here) so my problem with these is not that a mer-kini exists [Tangent: This is America...I hope it exists!]...it's that if you think about it- it gets a bit troubling. What is the sexiest and most recognizable aspect of a mermaid? The tail. By making the only fish portion the crotch...well, let's just say things get a little dicey for me

Law & Order 
I watch the news twice a day, so I see that the position of being a police officer in the US is a controversial and often heated spot to be in, but that doesn't mean that yandy won't crank out as many iterations as possible of the standard sexy cop.
 I'm not sure if this is the way to support the blue lives matter movement, but there are stranger concepts out there. Most of these are just your run of the mill chicks with handcuffs...except that one on the far left that is just a weird two piece smattered with grenades and caution tape. Stay away? No problemo.
This decidedly non-regulation sexy prisoner uniform is one of my absolute favorites. Why? That inmate number brings back memories of the only time middle school math class was ever fun for me. Remember getting to use calculators for the first time and you felt like a golden god? Not only did you feel like you were cheating, but because you could spell Boobs with the keys:  80085. Numbers can be fun, kids! [Tangent: If I were to pull off this uniform, I would have to change the inmate number to 55378008 and only stand on my head to make the joke work. Since that is pretty near impossible, it's pretty safe to say that I will never be a sexy inmate. Dangit!]

Naughty Superheroes
There are so many sexy comic book characters on the yandy site. Some make sense. Wonder Woman and CatWoman can't help but ooze sexy vibes (because they are quite literally composed of a boustier and vinyl catsuit. The seductive quality is innate), but these not so much.
Riddle me this, Batman, do you think that weird question mark vagina adornment is on purpose or purely coincidental? I'm gonna wager they had an inkling what they were doing. [Tangent: Also, fear not, the site served up a spicy version of the Jared Leto joker from Suicide Squad...just in case you were in the mood for something even more terrible than the original.]

I think I saved my favorite for last. I give you Sexy Wolverine...sans mutton chops and adamantium claws [Tangent: Thanks nerdy boyfriend for telling me what they were called! I would have called them scissorhands.]. So, basically it is a one piece with boots. When yandy serves up a costume that is completely devoid of anything that is critical to the original character, I know they have hit their climax! [Tangent: My all-time favorite offender in this arena is the Sexy Texas Chainsaw Massacre costume - Miss Leatherface that completely lacks the titular leather face. People who wear that look on the 31st are likely confused for a Tool Time tool girl all evening.]

Whew...that post only took me two weeks to grind out. [Tangent: Pun not intended.] Also, it should be blatantly obvious to you by this point that I am not working as a Yandy affiliate...even though I am fairly certain I give their URL serious traffic. You'd be surprised how many people google "sexy care bear"...or maybe you wouldn't after reading this post. Wonders never cease. 

Which is your Favorite?  

Sunday, September 25, 2016

If you are reading this...you're awesome!

Whenever I puke my blogs (...and therefore my thoughts and feelings) out into the ether, I am unsure of how much of it is sticking? Where is it all landing? [Tangent: Maybe puke was the wrong verb to use in this analogy...or maybe it was perfect. That is kinda up for debate depending on your mentality. I'm a disgusting type of human who thinks a graphic image is more effective, so it stays.] Metrics and blog diagnostics can really only tell you so much. Like I can tell you that someone found my blog last week by googling "Ellie Kemper Peed" and someone else found me by searching "Spread Eagle in Living room." I'm sure neither found what they were longing for. I can also tell you that I am super popular in Romania and  Ukraine, even though they don't speak English and so I'm not 100% on their comprehension of my nuanced perspectives. [Tangent: I mean...just yesterday 3 people somehow jumped to my blog via this site that is all in some soviet dialect all about gastrointestinal health. The mind reels.] I guess what I am saying is that I never know the hows and whys of the people that make my readership climb some days more than other. 

What's your deal? 

WHY ARE YOU HERE!? 

WHO ARE YOU!?!?

This month has been a doozie and one of my longest in years. Stress levels were super high and sleep has been rare, hence why my blogging is like the aforementioned theoretical puke and all over the place. [Tangent: Yeah, if I'm going with it...I'm going hard.] It makes me feel good to hear from people that are sticking with me, even in my incompetent and non-regimented blogging [Tangent: Seriously, you committed bloggers who crank out 3 a week on a scheduled timetable awe and baffle me. Some days I just can't force it and other days I can sit at my laptop and have too many ideas that squeeze out of my fingertips onto the screen. I'm definitely all or nothing in every facet of my life.]. It helps that occasionally I get virtual high fives when I desperately need them or little reminders that there are real people on the other side of all this binary code who give a shit about my rambling opinions and erratic feelings after 6 years on this ferris wheel.

Sometimes these messages from the great beyond of internet strangers are bizarre and make me laugh aloud inordinate amounts. Ex: Sometimes I get marriage proposals in scrambled English, or rather people (represented by horses) being very non-selective, but knowing for sure they want a wheelchair wife.
[Tangent: I have written about this happening previously here. My sister has a theory that their must be a resource center for people seeking citizenship, and one of the "hot tips" is to find a gal with a disability to court as we must seem desperate or easy marks or something. To be honest, its terrible, but kind of an interesting angle.] Should I be flattered or completely repulsed that these folks assume I am the Heidi Fleiss of the disabled community? A little from column A...a little from column B.

Then other times I get really nice emails that kind of throw me for a loop and make me feel like this whole thing is not a waste of energy. On one of my most draining days last week where I was running on coffee fumes, I opened my email to find the best kind of email. I wasn't gonna write about until my friends asked me if I was going to...and I thought "why not?"

The message was from a hilarious girl I had never met who was born into a body that was atypical. She grew up very much like me, perfectly mainstreamed and not having a lot of everyday exposure or assumed commonality with other people who were born into different bodies. Even though she was completely successful and had awesome friends and family, she still felt like she didn't quite have a community or an understanding peer. She found my blog at a time when she was going through some soul searching, and apparently felt a kinship and it gave her a lot of confidence to put herself out there and even try new things that are effing terrifying...like finding love. Even though I had never heard from her before, she emailed me to tell me 'thank you' for being a spirit guide of sorts. CRAZY RIGHT!?!? 
 Because I guess I am a selfish person, I set out to blog purely for me... with zero ulterior motives to help anyone. I'm the worst. This URL was an outlet and a way to keep myself sane when I felt less than. 2010 was the beginning of an upending time for me,  so it seems serendipitous that this period also have birth to this blog. Flowers grow from manure... That's just science.

Who knew amid my rants about slutty Halloween costumes and potato chips and parking woes that someone gleaned something helpful and that I could normalize disability in some capacity, even though I am far from a normal human.  [Tangent: The idea of being told I inspire someone always has left me with a tremendous icky feeling, usually because it's provoked by nothing and there's absolutely no explanation. Ex: Those "You Go Girl" moments when I am out on the town from drunks on second avenue. Context is crucial. Because I can be a judgemental bitch, people who work too hard to inspire have always warranted eye rolls from me and so I have tried super hard to distance myself from that position. Not 100% why, I guess I just feel you do you, and if it helps people or others take notice then great...that's just icing on the cake of life. It's reminder that you are livin' right, but to set out to do that is laced with expectations and unnecessary pressure, at least to me. I don't want to be chicken soup for your soul. I want to be whiskey for your mind. Is that a good analogy? Probably not...it's probably on par with that puke one I used earlier. . If you have to tell people your goal is to inspire, then its off-putting like a school assembly and doesn't afford you the wiggle room to fuck up occasionally.] The way she presented it didn't make me nervous or uncomfortable or even gross me out, it put some air in me when I was feeling kind of deflated. Again, it was all in her approach/context. I was so glad that I could be a peer to make her feel like she wasn't alone in that boat, plus she seemed rad and compared me to Liz Lemon, so she clearly knew my love language.

I know having badass people in my corner, who 'get it', has made all the difference in helping me through this thing called life. Without being super lame, it put mittens on my black heart to know that I could do that for someone else, even unwittingly. However, if you call me an inspiration, there is still a 45% chance I will punch you in the throat. 
So if you read this blog and never leave comments, leave one once in a while so I know you are not a bot! It's fun to hear from real people...even if they are soliciting me for a life partner.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Netflix Documentary Hits & Misses Vol. 21 (September 2016 Edition)

I was never a girl scout, so I am not 100% on this...but isn't there a campfire song that says something about "make new friends but keep the old...One is silver but the other is gold." Because sometimes I prefer movies to actual humans, I thought I would relate this mantra to my monthly Netflix postmortem. Some of those that were on my watch list were brand new additions to this streaming service and others were ones that have been hanging out in my queue for YEARS! I think it was a good mix, but I am positive you guys will tell me your thoughts. Feedback is something you have in droves...and I LOVE IT! I'm prepared to fight about it.

 Holy Hell- A
I am eternally grateful to people who over document everything, without people who hoard images (moving and still) then movies like Holy Hell would not be possible, and it's great and needs your attention post haste. Just reading the synopsis on Netlfix, it had me with the word "cult." [Tangent: Maybe because my father shared the name of an infamous cult leader or because I came of age in the Marshall Applewhite era, but I have always been fascinated with learning more about people that sign on to join into these types of inclusive yet ostracizing arrangements. Though Ive written tons of papers about it during my educational process,  I seriously cannot research the topic enough; it's a never ending black hole of 'what the fuck.' It's no shocker that I love getting sucked into movies about it. I loved the Source Family and Going Clear and even The Who's Tommy...which I am aware is not based in realism, but is one of my fave movie representations of falling under a charismatic leader.] I dare you not to fall under the spell of Michel, the speedo-wearing ex Rosemary's Baby extra who runs a flock of lost souls. He is giving me equal parts Tommy Wiseau from The Room and Ricardo Montalbahn's Kahn in Star Trek. Although his mind control and way he abused his followers was disturbing, I dare you not to laugh hysterically at the shot of the the creep-tastic cult leader wearing a neon french cut swinsuit and tossing grapes into the mouths of his adoring sheep. So again, immese thank you to the film student/cult member who brought this story to film. I was under its spell.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi - A
Since my innaugural doc post two years ago, people have been all, "you gotta watch Jiro." It checks all my boxes: adorable old people, passion and delicious food [Tangent: Sushi is my kryptonite. I love it, but I understand it doesn't melt everyone's butter. If you're not down with seeing a cavalcade of raw fish bits and up close shots of dead octopi being massaged at length, then maybe you'll be turned off. Honestly that would be the only way you may not love this.], it's unconscionable that I have been so damn resistant. OK, that's not exactly true- I can tell you exactly why it has taken me a while to get around to...I'm a multi-tasker by nature and often I absorb docs whilst partaking in other activities...like writing this very blog post. Therefore, I have started watching this Oscar contender roughly 19 times before realizing I didn't speak Japanese and was losing track of the subtitles and missing huge plot points because I was trying to do two things at once. I knew it needed undivided attention so I waited until I could afford it that. I'm so glad I did and even more relieved that it lived up to the hype that it was given from various trusted sources. Thankfully I dont have to report back that my movie peeps have shitty taste. Truthfully the message of throwing yourself into your art and leaving a legacy that is true to you and your high standards is one that can be applicable to things beyond sashimi. Give it the attention it deserves.

Vernon Florida- B-
This is one of those docs that has been festering in my queue for over a year, and even though it was under an hour, I was having a hard time pulling the trigger. Apparently even though I LOVE Grey Gardens (which was born in the 70s and is pure magic) with every shard of my soul, I am a bit of an ageist when it comes to documentary films. This is based on almost nothing other than many of my faves are the age of toddlers, so when my non-fiction movie isn't slick and modern, I lose my film boner. I'm such a jerk, but at least I am well aware of my blaring faults and prejudices. After all Vernon, Florida has one of my favorite aspects a film can have- a band of weirdos showcasing their weird unabashedly. [Tangent: If you follow +FloridaMan on Twitter, then you know the reputation of Florida men being a little on the bizarre trainwrecky. This doc only proves that the notion is rooted in some semblance of truth. Sorry male Florida readers...I'm alienating you with these words. Come back!!!] This movie gives the floor to a handful of residents of the small swampy town and allows them to share insights about their vaired lifestyles. It reminded me very much of talking story with some of my North Carolina family members, so maybe the concept wasn't as novel to me as it would be to some. It's a charming little movie, but if you're interested in this, I'd definitely recommend Finder's Keepers as a good plan B. 

Who Took Johnny - C
True Crime docs and stories are among my favorites because I love an unraveling mystery and uncovering new information and clues in the span of 90 minutes, but because I love this genre so much- I am hard on it. I had super high hopes for this doc, but just thought it was OK. The case was not one I was familiar with  prior, a boy named Johnny goes missing while delivering papers in the early 80s and the film showed the investigation/or lack thereof that ensued. It has everything you come to expect from these kinds of movies: a frantic mother and his endless quest for truth,  a bumbling police departments, twists and turns. All the usual suspects for the true crime genre.  Honesty I have probably seen episodes of 20/20 that I got more excited about. I know that's probably a terribly calloused view of a true tragedy, but it left me wanting more.

Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made - A+
I have been waiting for this film to hit streaming channels so I could sing it''s praises because technically I am cheating and saw this at The Belcourt as part of it's grand reopening week. Despite sharing a surname with Sir Indiana, I had somehow escaped childhood without seeing any of the movies in this franchise, [Tangent: I know...I know...pick your jaw up off the ground. It was on in the background noise of my home, but I likely protested it because I would rather be watching Full House or Revenge of the Nerds 2: Nerds in Paradise for the 100th time. Clearly, my taste was questionable, but my resolve was tireless. However, I did ride the Indiana Jones adventure ride at Disney Land, so I lived it, right?] so when my movie bud, Ryan (aka Fuckable Milhouse forever and always) said he wanted to see this with Jamie and I, I had to admit that fact to him...and myself. Therefore, I pregamed for this outting by introducing myself to Raiders of the Lost Ark, which I loved and which made watching this doc 100x better. The movie is about a crop of latch-key kids who spent every summer of their childhood doing a very impressive shot-for-shot remake of their favorite film. It becomes more than about simply that though, as you get to see how they fueled their tumultuous childhoods into this diversion...which took them on many an adventure and became much bigger than they imagined. I found myself tearing up many times and falling in love with every member of the cast, especially the dog (who plays a fun role). It will make you nostalgic for childhood and your love of film.


Animism: People who Love Objects- A 
First off, let it be known that I love any chance to sit mouth agape staring unblinkingly at a subculture that I don't partake in but yearn to understand, so when I saw a movie about people who are sexually attracted to inanimate objects- I watched it the first day it was available. [Tangent: My feelings about this movie are almost identical to those I felt watching the disturbingly and not intentionally hilarious: My Monkey Baby- it could have been double the length and I would have hung on every batshit crazy moment!] If you live for docu-series like Taboo or My Strange Addiction or My Crazy Obsession- I promise you will be on board. So many moments are not xerox'd into my brian wrinkles- the woman who fell for the Berlin Wall and very seductively stuck her palm through its holes...or the woman having a commitment ceremony with the love of her life, Bruce, a carnival ride. This is not a spoiler, there are many more moments that will be conversation fodder for you at parties for months to come...at least if you go to a party with me...because WE WILL TALK ABOUT IT!

 What should I watch next? I am am taking your suggestions!!
Also if you live in Nashville, go check out The Belcourt's lineup for Doc-tober!  

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

My voice is apparently a commodity...who knew?

A couple weeks ago, I got an email at work asking me if I would be interested in doing something that does not fall at all under my very particular set of skills. In fact it is probably tied with Harlem Globetrotter as things that I am the least likely to be asked to do, which if you know me at all...means I will say yes. [Tangent: As much as I hate being terrible at things, I have too much curiosity in my blood and fear of missing out to turn down an experience (or money).]  Long story short...today for two hours I did voice-over work  for a government agency's training program. Yes. Someone paid me to read and talk. My huffy mumbly ass! [Added Bonus! There was also a green screen partially involved so I could live out that Al Roker fantasy. Now I'm wondering how many people will find my blog by googling "Al Roker Fantasy."]

There are a lot of things I love about myself. My voice is NOT one of them. [Tangent: Before you misconstrue this as a compliment fishing expedition...save it. We all know mine is not the greatest. It's OK. Don't try to convince me otherwise...even though I already know you have the phrase "but it has a Macy Gray quality to it" waiting at the tip of your tongue. I've heard people politely try to convince me otherwise, but I still can't stand hearing myself speak. It's the reason I use a default voicemail message. In my mind, I sound perfectly pleasant and I don't like reality to knock me in the nuts and convince me otherwise.] You know I'm not being hyperbolic if you've ever heard me sing a breathless karaoke version of Bohemian Rhapsody or Black Hole Sun or have tried very unsuccessfully to talk to me in a crowded place. [Tangent: My tone is a bit on the low end and SUPER monotone, so good luck hearing me at a concert or where a lot of ambient sounds are happening, because tonally I am akin to background noise.] Luckily I have medical backing for my shitty and very unsoothing voice.

When I was 16, I was hospitalized medically for the first time with a gnarly case of pneumonia, which left me intubated for four days. When they pulled that breathing tube out of my throat and up through my mouth, it left one of my vocal cords paralyzed permanently. This meant I was working with one lone cord and my voice sounded like a lifetime smoker who had been gargling with aquarium rocks.   It also made the fact that I speak on the inhale (instead of the exhale like most folks) more noticeable, because I was permanently trying to get breath when I could into my craptastic excuses for lungs, now only more craptastic after pneumonia. Yay!

Trust I tried to rehab that bastard lung. For weeks I want to speech therapy at a voice center in Nashville that housed tons of gold records hanging on the walls. Maybe I would leave sounding like Vince Gill..that might be interesting, right? [Tangent: But I don't love pop country music voices one bit...so I think I would be even more miserable in that scenario. Now if they could make me sound like Johnny Cash, we might have a deal. Wait... I pretty much already did sound like him during his "Hurt" era.]

My main vocal exercise is one I still do (mostly to see what I would sound like if I talked like a normal person): "Say multi-syllabic 'M' words after holding out the mmmmm sound."

"mmmmmmmmmm-motorcycle"
"mmmmmmm-monster mash"
"mmmmmmmmm-medicine."

I SOUNDED CRAZY!

Prompted by the therapists, I also had to read "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish" concentrating hard on my breath control and voice strength. [Tangent: This totally sucked the joy out the complex storytelling in that one.]  I was speaking on the exhale, but it wound up sounding like a straight up robot sex phone operator, which is a really fucked up way to interpret Dr. Seuss. [Tangent: I imagine a lot of ladies behind 1-900 numbers are more "Hop on Pop" kinda gals, anyway.]

Anyone that was around me during that period in my life can vouch that my "new voice" they were trying to train was very off-putting. My best friend refused to talk to me when I was practicing my exercises because it creeped her out so much to hear that bizarro version of me. Sounding like you are awkwardly and unintentionally trying to seduce someone 24/7 is very odd....so I just settled into forever using my old voice incorrectly...and here we are awkward pitchy vocals and all.

Since then, I have had all sorts of stuff try to bring down that lone vocal chord. I've lost my voice dozens of times and even had a trach tube for a week and a half and another lengthly love affair with intubation. In that time, my voice has likely become even worse...but even still I have bamboozled someone with my personality into thinking I should do VO work! SUCKERS! :)

Advanced apologies to speeech therapists for ignoring their teachings, teachers all over Tennessee who might have to hear me on these training videos, and those who have any semblance of vocal training.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

I survived Fashion is For Every Body...and I loved it

Sometimes it kills me how many amazing ballsy dreamers reside in my periphery. By surrounding myself with creative badasses with take no prisoners tattooed across their foreheads, I have really had to up my game...and I love that. I feel like I am an apprentice of experience... constantly learning. It saves me from having to go back to school, which is perfect because I am a cheapskate. This past weekend was one of those moments where it hit me hard. I saw a friend's dream become real and it was amazing to witness that live in three dimensions.

As I wrote about in this post a couple months back, for the last year or so I have been watching my friend Alicia, the fantastic beast of a human behind Spasionista, scheme to put together Nashville's first fully inclusive fashion show, Fashion is for Every Body. 
 
via Catchy Eye photography

 She pulled me on board back then and my 'yes' could not have come more easily. [Tangent: Yeah...I know I am I'm not always the most fashion-forward individual. I wear a looooot of tshirts and goodwill dresses, think heels are dumb and have had some iteration of this same haircut since I was 4. Clearly she was using my other talents.]  Of course, I had that shred of fear that people would see it through a condescending lens of "Isn't it precious...look at those wheelchairs pretending to model. They think they're really doin' it." but I knew after meeting the folks on board that this was as legit as it gets. 

Models of all different ages, body types, sexes and abilities joined forces to take the stage at Houston Station's Abrasive Media and blow people's minds to a Bowie soundtrack intercut with a behind the scenes doc and interviews with the participants. [Tangent: And...I got to dust off my modeling chops...lest we forget that time I was a Kroger spokesmodel in a very buck toothed period in my life or when I was inexplicably on a READ poster. or when my elbow made the back of a Justin Townes Earle album. My claims to fame are random at best.] It was neat to see a 6 foot tall fashion week pro walk the same runway as someone who had never done this at all before...and who wasn't actually walking.

Maybe because I don't do it all the time, I LOVE event planning and seeing something come from nothing. Also, being involved meant I got to model which for me had two HUGE draws:
  1. Ridiculous hair and makeup. I may have told both the awesome hair and makeup team [Tangent: My dream team was Pamela Hawke and Karen Percy.] to go apeshit with adornment. I wanted every piece of lash, glitter, feather, hairspray. If it could be affixed to my face - I wanted it.  My personal goal was to get as close as humanly possible to full drag, because when the hell else would I do this. Go big or go the eff home. I was pretty dang smitten with my faux hawk pompadour they dreamed up that was like a sexy Johnny Bravo. I was into it.
  2. I got to wear designer looks and be dressed and primped by stylists. I seriously wish I had someone to adjust my collar and make sure my vag was covered every time I left the house. It's not unheard of that I look like a full on unmade bed, so that's a service I would take full advantage of. 
captured by MF Sagi
 I'm not sure what it looked like...but back of house was a madhouse in the best possible way.  In the hour and I half show, I had to fully change looks 5 times [Tangent: Thank you Catland Forever Couture, Opium Vintage, Pura Vida Vintage, Amanda Valentine, and Alter Ur Ego Jeans/Amputeez for clothing me for the night.]  I will never look this edgy ever again in life. 
Left Look by Alter Ur Ego and Amputeez. Right look by Opium Vintage. awesome shots via Catchy Eye Photography. 
I don't even try on clothes when I go shopping because I find the whole ordeal exhausting, so I felt like swapping looks that many times was craziness, especially considering I lost any shred of modesty after look one. Pretty soon we just all were full nudie booty smashed together like sardines. [Tangent: It was the ultimate in bonding so I am thrilled that all involved were some of the most fun individuals I have ever had the pleasure to be around....therefore I didn't mind them seeing me in nada but my stick on boobs, whilst getting doused in additional hairspray.] Not to be hokey as hell, but all involved had the prettiest outsides and insides. That kind of soul balance is incredibly rare.

Although I''m sure I made a lot of awkward faces on the runway and may have come off a teench Gollum without even trying, I didn't care...it was one of the most exhilierating things I have ever been a part of and I can't wait to see what kind of magic Fashion is For Every Body dreams up next. When I went to retrieve hugs from my friendly faces in the audience afterwards, they were expectations for the event were blown out of the water. I was so proud we pulled it off...even with catering snafus and some avant garde level drama- we did it! Alicia always says she isn't into babies, but I saw her have hers last weekend...and she should be a proud mama!
after the show with my PR partner Beth!
 I'll be sharing videos and more photos on the That Girl in the Wheelchair FB page, so stay tuned so you can feel like you were there. 
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