MASTERS OF EVERYTHING. So, Larry received his Masters and I requalified in the Beretta M9. There happened to be photos of both events. I look super tough in my flak jacket without plates and super cool Air Force issued flight suit pajamas. Sweaty. Once again, Larry, Harry Potter lookin’ em eff. I think I would die happy today if someone photoshopped a lightsaber instead of a diploma. But a serious, badass intricate one from the Old Republic that you had to risk your life and prove you weren’t crap. Like venturing into hella dangerous hidden crystal caves on Dantooine and fight Kinraths n’ shit and BUILD yourself your OWN lightsaber that responded to your personal traits and skills, not the crappy gold and purple lightsaber someone just machined at some crap Toydarian junkyard and gave to you. But, I digress.
LADIES! I am so pleased to see such a fantastic array of nominees for this year’s Emmy awards. Larry and I have made a real effort to plug back into high-quality television, via DVDs, Amazon Prime, and Netflix. We don’t subscribe to cable, but we use the internet to keep our monthly entertainment overhead low. Plus, signing contracts in the 2010s is so retro. For reference, here are the nominated shows we are up to speed with:
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Orange is the New Black
Saturday Night Live
The first nominees are Outstanding Lead Actress in the Drama category — I have been an avid Downton Abbey fan since its inception, and Michelle Dockery is a master in portraying a hard, difficult woman of high breeding, yet you can connect with her soft heart that’s hidden under all the layers of ice. I really can relate, and I appreciate her ability to do so in a believable way. Additionally, Robin Wright as an equally icy Claire in House of Cards is so beautiful and talented (and her wardrobe is to die for)… and it’s so refreshing to see women in their forties and beyond recognized with relevant dramatic roles on television (well, Netflix). Claire and Francis are the ultimate power couple, and I am a fan of a high-speed, functioning, realistic child-free couple. I don’t mean “We can’t have a child”, but child-free by choice. This is so refreshing.
For Outstanding Actress in the Comedy category — I will have to cater to Taylor Schilling’s amazing performance in Orange Is the New Black. The nomination is for a comedy, but the show skates mostly in the drama category. Taylor’s role is certainly more drama than funny lady, evidenced by the first episode of season 2. Let’s hope those deciding the outcome of awards can recognize her talent to dance along the line of drama and comedy, giving her character depth not seen in the other ladies’ performances. One episode you feel so terrible for her character, the next you are screaming at the television for her character’s blatant idiocy. For supporting, I haven’t seen enough of these shows to make a judgment call, but Red is quite a strong force to be reckoned with, and the viewer is left wanting to know all about this mysterious russkie. I also appreciate half the guest actresses nominations are from Orange, and I really, really appreciate Laverne Cox being the first transgender actress nominated. Did you know she has a twin brother who plays her male counterpart, pre-operation role? Holler! And lastly, Natasha Lyonne’s character makes me want to be best friends with her. I love her hair.
For supporting actresses, Downton Abbey has a competition between the Dowager Countess and Anna Bates (two more strong female characters… awesome!). However, my vote goes to Game of Thrones for Cersei Lannister. Her rollercoaster antics and legendary manipulation seem effortless. Additionally, I feel that Game of Thrones also deserves to scoop up the Guest Actress in a Drama with Lady Olenna’s performance definitely winning out over Kate Mara’s very short-lived portrayal of Zoe Barnes in House of Cards (and the fact that I find that character infuriating, disappointing, and ridiculous on the whole).
WHO, WHAT? The strangest thing to me a couple days ago while catching up with my neighbor. She mentioned I was “outdoorsy”. I can honestly say that’s never been used to describe me. At all. But I supposed living here in Louisiana, it could be true. I bought a new beach cruiser bike and ride every day, and walk my dog every day, too. I do every 5K that I can, and for some weird reason, I’m trying to incorporate more fitness into my life. I hate team sports with a passion, but running, cycling, swimming, yoga, are things that suit me. The “leave me alone” workouts.
EYEROLL. When I am searching for recipes online, I cringe whenever I see “kid-approved eats”. Since when do kids get to decide what they eat and don’t eat? There’s no such thing as “kid-approved eats”. Kids need to eat whatever their parents want to eat. You’re five. You don’t do anything for anybody or pay rent or pay for groceries or further current society in any way, shape, or form. STFU and eat.
29. So, I had one of those birthdays last weekend. My friend Amie was in town with her husband from Whiteman Air Force Base. We went to the Margaritaville casino’s seafood and steak place, called “Jimmy’s”. I like it for their scallops, and not just that the decor looks like how my bedroom is set up. Anyway, it was nice to see her and catch up with everyone. She says she is “twenty nine, on my third touch and go”. Clever girl.
MASTADON DEGREE. Today was Larry’s master’s graduation from Norwich University in Vermont. He has spent the last week there, doing a residency course. I was unable to obtain leave but luckily, the graduation was streaming online. Yesterday he was able to see Condoleezza Rice speak. He said she handled the protesters “with class”. I always have to muffle giggles when I attend or watch higher academic graduations. Doctorate garb (excuse me, Doctoral Regalia) is looking like Harry Potter motherfuckers. “Why are you grinning so stupidly?” “Totally Harry Potter. I live for this shit.” Love love love the Italian Renaissance looking berets, too. Hardcore academics.
I will obtain a Doctorate one day just so I can wear the outfit for Halloweens, carrying a wand. Just look at this guy. He just got his diploma from Hogwarts. I feel like when Larry’s not here, I get overwhelmed with stuff to do. He doesn’t do much housework or anything like that, but he keeps me on a schedule of sorts, accountability if you will. Otto has though, ensuring he gets his daily walks.
STELLAR STELAR. A “new” Parov Stelar album is due out in August 19th… I am pretty excited about the track Clap Your Hands. However, I have most of the songs anyway, I wonder why they chose to release it again on one album. Very odd in the age of iTunes and selective song purchasing. Anyway, it’s Electroswing at its finest… & the album is aptly named. Go on now, buy that song. I just got around to listening to Pink Martini’s 2013 release (shame shame on me). Some tracks are fascinating, but I sure took a shining to “Heliotrope Bouquet”, but it’s only a minute long. Damn. It’s another trip around the world with Pink Martini, but it’s no “Hang on Little Tomato.” I want to hear Timothy Nishimoto’s crispy, clear voice singing in Spanish, thanks.
SENIORS PROM. Yesterday I helped out with the local Veteran’s Affairs Retirement Center’s “Senior Prom”. Get it, seniors? I suited up, Betty Draper style and helped out. The airman that was running it said that no one dances, they didn’t last year (because of all the wheel chairs). I took that as a challenge, grabbed another volunteer, and swing danced a little bit. While I was dancing, an older gentleman asked if I wanted to Jitterbug. He stood up on wobbly legs, but was actually a very good dancer once he got going! I was very impressed. After we crowned a prom queen and king, I stuck around to talk with them for a bit, and the queen said she liked jazz music. I brought my piano music with me, and she showed me where the piano was. This place has a really nice Yamaha upright (brand new), and rumored to have a Steinway, too. I played for about an hour and attracted a very exuberant crowd. One lady even asked, “Do you play at Pilgrim Manor?” (the place I volunteer on the weekends). Ha, a groupie! Just kiddin’. I promised to come back Saturday afternoon. & so I will.
“You are a fascinating woman.” I received that very stunning compliment today.
DEF-CON. Dallas Comiccon 2014 was a blast! Larry and I stayed at our usual stomping grounds, the historic Hotel Adolphus in downtown Dallas Leeloo Multipass. Oddly enough, this particular hotel was also on the recommended list for Con attendees put out by the event organizers. So, upon arrival, valet took our awesome PT cruiser ride, and I got a high-five for carrying Tauriel’s bow up the stairs in the lobby. Plenty of other neckbeards and geeks, one senior-aged one in an honest-to-goodness three wolf moon-like shirt.
When we arrived in Dallas on Friday, only a 2.5 hour drive from home, Larry and I had dinner at a French restaurant in the hotel. The decor had gilded accents and amazing murals painted on the ceiling. It was certainly an experience!
The con itself was crowded, with a lot of cosplayers. This one in particular lacked two categories of the usual fare, though, which I found to be quite surprising. I know Star Wars Episodes VII, VIII, and IX are slated for release eventually, but it’s been years since a new film came out; this explains the obvious lack of interesting Star Wars cosplayers, although I did find a pretty sweet Darth Revan (my favorite Star Wars character, ever). There was a Jedi here or there, but nothing of note. And the other ComicCon staple is Lord of the Rings. Hello, there were no Frodos, Bilbos, Legolas’, or Galadriels. This is odd because of the new Hobbit films out, literally, right now. Usually, convention-goers have their eye on the latest characters in films… Not sure what happened this time. Maybe I’ve been out of it too long since going to cons (I’ve been to two already this year after a six-year hiatus).
This was Larry’s second convention; we attended the Dallas Sci-Fi Expo in March, his first experience with this sort of thing! This time he put together a costume to wear. He was a Teutonic Knight, super historically accurate with real steel chain mail. Yes, he wore chain mail around all day. It weighs a metric shit ton! Lots of con goers wanted his photo because he looked pretty badass. I debuted my Tauriel costume, from the second Hobbit film. What an Elven badass. Anyway, on to the photos!
DEF-CON. This weekend is Dallas ComicCon 2014. I am finishing up my Tauriel costume; made six arrows from scratch and they turned out pretty awesome for my quiver. I finished the last few stitches on my dress last night, and my leather corset arrives Wednesday (fingers crossed). I hemmed Larry’s Teutonic knight tunic (tunic-tonic knight perhaps?) and took in the sides to make it less fatty boombah. He is going to be dying in the heat on our four-block walk from the Adolphus Hotel to the convention center. I told him chain mail was going to be heavy and hot all day at the con, but a first-time cosplayer always sets their comfort aside for badassery. Seasoned cosplayers like myself know better and learn to combine to two rather quickly. I get to wear a comfy dress all day with leggings. Leggings, people!
SUMMER 2014 STYLE. I cleaned out my closet, set aside a box for donation, and a junk pile — I unearthed some Urban Outfitters tank tops circa 2006. I moved the rest of my sweaters into the spare closet in preparation of my eighteen plus months of summer. Feels good, man. Shreveport’s summer started about two weeks ago, with highs in the mid-eighties. Doing maths, I leave for Guam when it starts to get cool in the early fall timeframe, which is another six months of constant summer. When I return, it’ll be the same time of year as it is now in Louisiana, with another seven or more months of heat. Minot coats and sweaters, be ye banished!
- After searching years for a perfect “beachy” scent, I have come across Bobbi Brown‘s aptly titled Beach, in which she offers a body scrub, lotion, perfume, and body oil. It has hints of sunscreen, sand, and basically it’s summer in a bottle. The only thing missing is sand in your sheets.
- To complement your base tan, Clairins self-tanning gel smells a lot like chemicals, but it’s non-streaky and lasts about five days. I also found MAC‘s “Mineralize” line of shimmery bronzers extra lovely for face and body. Thank goodness matte skin is out the door, giving way to healthy, radiant, and dare I say, shiny skin.
- For lips, my sister is a Mary Kay consultant. I told her to send me “orange lipstick”, and she mailed me Mary Kay lipstick in Sunny Citrus. It’s the most amazing orange. If you’re not into lipstick, try Burt’s Bees tinted lip shimmer in Cherry. Both are super reasonably priced. If you need a MK consultant, leave a comment and I’ll get you in touch with the best!
- Tommy Bahama just released a new swimsuit line today called “Map Floral”. It features nautical maps behind tropical flowers. The top is unique to TB because it’s a new style: it’s an underwire cup with straps like a bra, but it ties in the back to cast off any bra-like characteristics. For gals with more on top, it seems like a welcoming change than the usual (and painful) tie top that puts all the weight on the small area knot behind your neck… or swimsuit tops that look embarrassingly like a bra.
- Lastly, blue sunglasses & vegan sandals by Tom’s.
SUNSKI. I am outside right now, under a clear sky and scads of sunshine. Although things have been difficult at work; with the dark cloud of two months of temporary duty in Alabama followed by a deployment thereafter, I am trying to take time to relax and work on this here tan. Eight months away from a spouse with base exercises before you leave (further separating your time together) needs doing peaceful things to help you manage it. Did I mention there’s a bustling bird feeder six feet from where I am sitting?
Anyway, as mentioned, I will be heading to my old haunt of Montgomery, Alabama in June and July. I spent June, July, and August there in 2008 to receive my commission in the Air Force. It’s where I had my first experience (albeit contrived) with military life, including meeting Larry. It seems like the worst time of the year to go, weather-wise, & I’ve been chosen to go pay a visit during the hot summer months twice. However, a silver lining is on the horizon, as Devin is also assigned to attend this class for these two months, so I will have my best friend in tow, whom I haven’t seen since November of last year. Following my two months of 5k’s, 10k’s, and constant working out, I am shipping out to Guam for six months. Luckily, those 5k’s and 10k’s will exorcise the flab (see that pun there?) and be awesome for beach times overseas. Too bad Larry won’t be around to appreciate it. Lame.
90 LUFTBALLONS. Last weekend was my Granny’s ninetieth birthday celebration. Nonagenarian. She’s embarking on the wonderful journey of her tenth decade. Tenth, people. She is still as sharp as ever, completing the newspaper crossword each day, in pen. She can do the Cryptoquip (which I’ve never been able to do, which is ironic, given my career field). She works out regularly and attends the Lutheran church on Sundays. So the key to a long life is family and a healthful mind, body, and spirit. And paella. Let’s not forget that.
For her party, we surprised her with an eighteen-passenger limo bus. We were unable to secure a classy limousine because it was prom weekend (of course), but this party bus had a TV, bumping stereo system, leather seats, party lights, and built-in bar and ice chest. We all BYOB’d and set off to dine at the world-class rated “Christini’s” Italian restaurant in Orlando. I made an awesome playlist for the bus, including electroswing remixes of Louis Armstrong, Lawrence Welk, and of course, more Xavier Cugat than you can shake a maraca at. The restaurant was amazon, and we were all seated at a long table, tended to by a half-dozen extremely handsome Italian waiters. The accordion player came around, and I requested all of my Gramma’s favorite songs, including “The Anniversary Waltz”, “The Third Man Theme”, and “La Dolce Vita” (which stumped the player like it did last year. Fellini, people. Fellini… only the most memorable movie to date about Rome besides “Roman Holiday”). It was amazing to see all of my family together, including all my aunts and uncles. What was not amazing was arriving at the hotel in Daytona Beach at 1130pm, then checking out at 4am to catch a plane home to Louisiana.
4DAPUNX. There’s something oddly ironic about walking your dog in Suburbia sporting a Rancid …And Out Come the Wolves t-shirt. Yeah get some. Starting a riot, but not outlandishly enough for the police to be called. Since like, five of them actually live in my neighborhood.
España. Larry and I went to see the Shreveport Symphony this weekend, with special guest Jason Vieaux; he plays classical guitar.
The program consisted of the following:
LUIGI BOCCHERINI: Symphony in D minor (“La Casa del Diavolo”)
JOAQUÍN RODRIGO: Concierto de Aranjuez
SILVESTRE REVUELTAS: Suite from Redes
MANUEL DE FALLA: Three-Cornered Hat Suite No. 1, Ritual Fire Dance
He has long hair and looks every bit the tortured musician. And by tortured I mean a semi-famous and extremely talented wearer of scarves. I saw the guy who sold me my piano’s dad at the event; I think he was trying to figure out where he knew me from. A few hours later, Larry realized he had food poisoning from an ill-fated office meal outing at Fuddrucker’s. Does anyone eat at Fuddrucker’s? If you do, why do/would you eat at Fuddrucker’s? Obviously, Larry wanted to lose a few pounds by sitting on the toilet with a trash can in his lap, brought to you by
Carl’s Jr Fuddrucker’s. Gets that extra weight loss edge.
Lastly, guess who made the international news. Good ol’ B-52, H model. Even made InfoWars, and you know it’s not news nor conspiracy fodder until Mister Alex Jones gets a hold of it: