So Your Job Won’t Let You Dress Up

I love Halloween. It’s one of my favorite times of the year.

However, my job doesn’t allow us to dress up for Halloween. Honestly, they’re missing a great opportunity for some extra fun. Everyone’s distracted anyway, throwing candy at each other, decorations everywhere. Costumes are just a nice cherry on top.

I’m not the only one who’s complained, but higher-ups stand firm. No costumes.

Well, I’m not gonna take this with a boring work-day outfit.

Here’s what you do when your job won’t let you dress up for Halloween:

First of all, black. Wear all black. Everything black! Besides being the only acceptable fashion choice, it looks spooky. Don’t have black? Guess what. Thrift stores have black! And if you like to wear it, nail polish. Black nail polish. Black makeup. Or blood red, whatever.

First-and-a-half of all, if you don’t want to wear all black, bound it up. Take a character, and create a modern, appropriate outfit for it. You wanted to dress like Ariel from the Little Mermaid, but the office won’t allow a bikini and tail? A green skirt, a purple shirt, red earrings.

Second of all, spooky accessories. Skull earrings, bat headband, Freddy Kruger belt buckle, Friday the 13th tie, I don’t know. Whatever you have that could say ‘spooky’, put it on.

Third of all, have a little fun. You carry a purse to work? Guess what. Your purse is not a pumpkin. You write a lot at work? Guess what. Your pens are now bloody syringes (available at a party store). Your computer wallpaper is now a graveyard. Your tissue box is now wrapped like a mummy. Your water bottle is now shaped like Frankenstein’s monster. Your lunch is now brains. Commit!

And most importantly, have fun. Halloween is a fun time. Even if I’m not allowed to dress at work, I’m gonna be wearing all black, with all my spooky accessories, throwing candy at the kids I work with. Maybe even some of my coworkers.

Have a safe, fun Halloween!

Hugs and Spooks

Alexandra

The Yard’s Still Not Decorated…

Today was originally going to be a Halloween DIY.

I love Halloween. But this year has been so odd and busy that Halloween seems to be a passing thought.

It actually feels like an obligation.

I don’t like that.

However, I’m working more. I’m focusing on keeping my videos and blogs on schedule. I have to prep for a couple of big events, like going to a college four hours away who offered to read my play in their Reader’s Theatre. And I still have books to read.

I haven’t watched any Halloween movies because I’m just not in the mood.

Who am I, and what have I done with the real Alexandra?!

But this happens.

All we can do is our best. If Halloween gets stuck on the wayside, then that’s just how it is. I’m sure on the actual day, I’ll feel much more in the spirit of things.

Don’t worry too much about the celebration of things. Yeah, it’s nice, but if you can’t do it, don’t be upset. I would rather let Halloween die than to have a panic attack decorating because I could be using this time to work. And if you’re able to celebrate, let’s do the Monster Mash!

Hugs and Spooks

Alexandra

The Relationship

Another story time, whoo hoo! Only because I feel there is wisdom in my breakup. That’s right, I’m talking about my Glasgow relationship.

Again, we’ll call him Tom.

He and I met in a little coffee shop/study space for postgrad students at the University of Glasgow. I got there early enough to find a table (as there was never enough seating there) and was reading some class material, sipping on a hot cocoa when a man approached my table. He had his backpack over his shoulder and his wallet in his hand. “Sorry, do you mind if I sit? There’s no more free tables.” Being the polite person I am, I allowed him to sit at my table and I continued reading. His coffee came, he took out his own reading materials, and…

“Excuse me. What do you use for your iPad?” See, I had this app on my iPad called Noteshelf that let me take notes and highlight the reading material, saves it, bookmarks it, everything. Best thing for a postgrad student who has to read a shit-ton. Anyway, he continues, “I have an iPad, and I would love not having to print papers or lug my brick of a computer.” And that’s how we started talking.

His name is [Tom], from [redacted], and he’s studying [a science of some form]. Two hours later, I need to head to class. And he asks to meet me again at the postgrad coffee shop two days from now. I say yes, and fumble to my class.

Two days later, I get there early, get a table, and Tom comes in. How exciting! Look, Ma, I’m making friends! He sits at my table; “How do you manage to get a table?” I get here early enough. “You must sleep here, then. Every time I come here, there’s no table.” And we’re back to chatting. Two hours later, it’s time for me to head to class again. As I’m leaving, he asks for my phone number.

Now, at this point, I’m hesitant. My number? And what do you plan to do with my number, sir? But, I give it to him. Another friend in my phone book…right? Before I think too much, I go to class.

He texts that weekend. We meet up again, I leave, he texts, we meet up, I leave, he texts, and the circle continues. Until one fateful day, a couple of weeks later: “Can I take you out some time? O a date?” Another hesitation. I have a bad history with dates. I’m traumatized by some I’ve been on. Also, I’m here for my education! But, Tom’s so easy to talk to, and I know we’d have a good time, so I said yes.

That Friday, he takes me to a ramen restaurant, where they were showing Spirited Away on the big screen. And it was a great date. We talked. We had ramen. We strolled around the Duke in city centre. And it was so nice. He listened when I was talking, he laughed at my jokes, he commented on how smart I was. By the time we parted ways on the subway, we agreed to a second date.

Now, my friends and family are probably screaming at me right now, “Why didn’t you tell us?!” Because I didn’t want to. For several reasons. One: my hesitations caused me to pause when it came to announcing anything. Something intuitively told me not to tell anyone about Tom, a baby bear warning, I know. But I also didn’t sense a danger which is why I continued. Two: sorry, but relationship/dating announcing is kind of annoying. I couldn’t talk to anyone I know without them badgering me with questions about the date and about Tom. Hey, in class we talked about that play you did- “yeah, cool, so when are you and Tom going out again? Has he texted you?” And forget a real relationship; then everyone would be asking about potential marriage. And three: he asked me not to tell. On our second date, he brought up becoming a couple. He liked me and wanted to continue dating, however, his family would only support him while at school if he focused on his studies and stayed away from distracting things like relationships. His family was strict. And an added bonus with keeping our relationship on the down low was the American presidential election. He’s not American (wasn’t Scottish either) and his family had strong opinions about Americans. Which I am.

The point is, we kept our dating quiet because he and I would’ve gotten an earful if we made it public.

We were happy to agree with each other, and after that second date we were a couple.

This seemed so nice! How, you wonder, does it go absolutely tits-up?

Well, you get to wait.

That’s right! We got a cliffhanger! Stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon…

A Message from Certified Black Cat Toothless

Hi!img_6251

I’m Toothless, and I’m a black cat.

I spend my day sleeping, eating, sleeping, snuggling with my human, eating, and being a papa figure to the other cats, since I am the oldest.

I love soft food, pets, and sticking my leg out when I lay down.

Halloween is coming up.

Black cats are seen as superstitious creatures.

We are no more or less dangerous than any other cat.

I less so, since I’m so domesticated I refuse to leave the house. And I’m chubby so I don’t run much.

Black cats are given a bad reputation, and around this time of year is when we are bullied, hurt, even killed the most.

In reality, we can be sweet. We can be snugglers. We can give hugs and kisses.

Please don’t hurt us. And don’t let others hurt us either.

#blackcatsmatter

-Toothless

Face Painting

I recently was volunteered to do face painting for a small fair. I’m not the biggest fan of being volunteered to do something, but I also have an impossibility to say no.

So I did it.

And I thought, since it is the Halloween month (and tomorrow I’ll be doing some of this), I could give some tips about face painting, specifically for the masses. Here’s what you do:

  • Have a plethora of knowledge. Know how to paint more than cat whiskers because some girls will come up to you and ask for a horned Pegasus with a flower crown. There are plenty of tutorials online of specific animals and other things.
  • Paint brushes, not makeup brushes. Just trust me.
  • Non toxic, non waterproof face paint. Learned this one the hard way. Use actual face/body paint.
  • Have a cup of water for your brushes handy.
  • Have a designated brush for black. It’ll be your most used color.
  • Practice before the day. It’s kind of embarrassing giving a girl a ‘unicorn horn’ that looks super phallic.
  • Practice on yourself too. Every time I do face painting at a fair or anything, I have my own face painted so they know who I am and what I do.
  • Towels, paper towels, tissues, and everything in between.
  • Makeup wipes are also a life saver. I did face painting for a bunch of girls who just got finished with cheerleading and needed all of their makeup wiped off.
  • Put your brushes on a towel on the table. Or else they’ll roll away and you’ll find your designated black brush two hours later in the grass.
  • And lastly, don’t trust lilac body paint. It tends not to show up well on skin. Get regular purple and mix with white on site.

There’s probably more rattling in my noggin somewhere, but these were the ones I remember immediately. If you find yourself face painting for a multitude, just stay calm, have some of your own music on, and have fun. About 99% of the people will love what you do.

Good luck.

Hugs

Alexandra

P.S. Here’s face painting at the little fair:

Plane Outfits

I have a story I’d like to share about something that happened when I was at an airport a while ago. I wrote it in my phone when it happened and I don’t know why I’ve never shared it. So here we go:

I love flying (I really don’t, but this is a story). When I was in college, I had to fly 2-4 times a year. Gross.

I’m flying back to school after being in the States for a brief unfortunate period (those in the loop and in my messages know what’s up). So, I’m sitting in the first airport, recently medicated and slightly woozy. But whatever, let’s fly anyway.

As I sit like the good little girl I am, across from me is a boarding school douche. You know these guys: blazer with an emblem of a club, that green sparkling water S Pellgrwhatever, expensive fruity coffee he sips with a pinky up, loosely greased back hair that looks good on literally nobody. Guys, he even had trimmed and waxed eyebrows!

I didn’t care about anything other than getting through this flight without passing out.

Anyway, as I was minding my own business, he leans forward over his laptop with a Stanford sticker on it and says hi. My medicated ass is not up for conversation, but I’m not rude so I say hello back. In the most casual way he possibly can, he asked if I was a lesbian.

The fuck?

I reply with a sharp no, and then this money bank douche tries to continue the conversation. I cut him off and asked why he thought I was a lesbian. Because why the hell would you drop that in the most casual way?!

“You’re dressed like one, and I wanted to know before I tried talking to you.”

The fuck squared?!

I always thought those private school assholes were a stereotype until I met one who wouldn’t talk to me if I was a lesbian.

You cannot assume a person’s sexuality based on anything unless you hear it directly from their mouth. So me and my medicated queer self will excuse you, good sir.

So, that’s the story I found in my phone. Honestly, I remember maybe half of this conversation as I fell right to sleep as soon as I entered the plane (I didn’t even make it to the safety demonstration).

But, the point of this story is clear.

Watch out for private school assholes.

 

Why Do I Look Like a Hoarder?

I have a lot of stuff.

And with the new trends of minimalism being the end-all, be-all of living, I wonder if I have perhaps too much stuff.

So, why do I look like a hoarder?

Well, because I lived.

Let me explain.

First of all, everything I’m surrounded by are either memories, knowledge, craft, or pleasure.

I surround myself with memories because I lived. I’ve had a long life, chock full of memorable events. I like looking around, reminiscing on the good times after so many bad times. Does this justify having a magazine cutout of a liger named Patrick on my wall? Yes, because I met him and the woman who saved him, Tippi Hedren. Use your power for good, and help all species. What about the flyer for the United Makeup Artists Expo? I was the only student in the University of Glasgow to go! What an accomplishment, and a learning experience! Look at these accomplishments, these happy moments, these little lessons. Why wouldn’t I want to surround myself with them?

I surround myself with knowledge because I lived. Learning as much as you can is what life is to me. Learning about the world, the past, the present, and most importantly, yourself. Learning how to make yourself the best person you can be. I have many theatre books, art books, textbooks of various forms, self help books, biographies. I have binders with my research, class notes, writings, articles. I have journals of self-findings, self-betterment. Look how much I’ve learned, and how much I strive to continue to learn! Why wouldn’t I want to surround myself with them?

I surround myself with craft because I lived. It took so long for me to figure out what I like to do, and I like to do a lot. I’m actually still figuring out what I like to do. I make jewelry. I craft things (as you’ve seen in past posts). I make videos. I write. I draw and paint. I sew. I cosplay. And I plan. I am a very big planner, so I make that as pretty as possible. Because of this crafting that I love to do, I have lots of supplies. Everything from wire to brushes to rocks. And because organization is a passion and need, I have to have shelving and drawers to put everything in its proper place. Look at these passions, these hobbies, these moments of happiness! Why wouldn’t I want to surround myself with them?

And I surround myself with pleasure because I lived. Life may not have been the kindest, but I can have kindness in my living space. I decorate with happiness. Little plushies of things I like, funko pops of characters I feel a connection with, flowers, my talented friend’s art, the teapots I’ve started to collect. Are they necessary? No. But do I like having them around? Absolutely. This space is my place of comfort and relaxation. It’s a place I can either focus on my work or take a breather and play a game. Look at this color, this beauty, this love! Why wouldn’t I want to surround myself with them?

Now, I am not in any way saying I don’t get rid of things. I do. Something I find is no longer of use to me, something that can be a bigger help to someone else, or even a hobby that I don’t do anymore (bye bye jazz shoes). I always make sure that I am organized and tidy. The only place that is almost never tidy is my desk because of everything I do there.

If minimalism is your style, then go for it! Whatever makes you comfortable in your own space, do it.

I love my space. And I hope you love your own space, or are on your way to loving your own space.

Hugs

Alexandra

Am I Allowed To Scream in the Title?

4:21 pm

Originally this was going to be a post about concert tips.

Today I was supposed to go to a concert. But as we took off, about two miles down the freeway, we got some smoke and some scents of coolant. Uh-oh.

We had to go about 20 more miles before we found another exit (and fortunately an auto shop).

And we received some bad news about a potentially broken engine…

5:10 pm

Yep, our engine decided to poison itself.

We have an extended warranty, blah blah blah, legal, blah, copay, blah. It’s a mess. I’m just hoping the warranty works.

And to add insult to injury, enterprise and hertz (the two rental places in town) are out of cars.

Oh my girth

7:19 pm

Guess there was an Avis in town too. And they did have rentals available. I think my night was saved.

A very nice lady from the auto repair place gave us a ride to the Avis, we got a rental, and we are on the road!

We are late to the concert…

But we’ll only miss the opening acts…

And that’s okay…

I guess

8:55 pm

We made it.

Just.

And what a nightmare to get to our seats!

We had to check in. Check in is on the fourth level. Up the stairs. No, check is in the fourth lobby. Used the wrong stairs. Up again. Down again. Checked in. Up the stairs to our seats. Down the stairs to our seats.

We were up and down stairs at least a dozen times.

But now we’re here. And I get to try to calm down.

But we made it before the main event (which is Fall Out Boy, by the way).

11:02 pm

The concert is over.

Was it worth the stress and turmoil?

Yes, honestly. But now I’m exhausted, it’s about two hours home, and I have to get up early for work in the morning.

Concert tip: if your concert is 100+ miles away, just rent a damn car.

Fears, Weaknesses, and Strengths

When I was in my undergrad, I had a Young Adult Literature class my senior year. While having a class discussion about Brandon Sanderson’s book Steelheart, we talked about fears.

Two of my classmates asked what my fears were. And I stumbled. Of course, as a human, I have fears but in this moment I didn’t know what they were. I was unaware of the term ‘trypophobia’ at the time, and I didn’t know I had a fear of the ocean.

Anyway, I answered that I didn’t know. Obviously, they were dumfounded. ‘Heights’? No. ‘Spiders’? Nope. ‘Snakes’? Nah. ‘Being alone in the forest’? Not anymore.

‘Wow, you must be a strong person.’

Um.

Does that mean that people who have fears are weak?

I just remember thinking how fears correlate with strengths and weaknesses. Here’s what I’ve come up with: they don’t. Having few fears doesn’t make you strong and having many fears doesn’t make you weak.

Don’t worry about how many or what kind of fears you have.

Hugs

Alexandra

A Message from Assistant Edgar

IMG_1570It is 1 October 2018.

It is the start of a new month.

I am aware that others see a new start in a new year. However, I see a new start in a new month.

The planner gets updated, the goals are reworked/reset, and you get to write a new month on all of your paperwork.

It is a new time.

If the past month was unkind to you, take this as a new start.

Start again.

Sincerely,

Assistant Edgar