Saturday, November 16, 2013

Caste's 18th Birthday, Disneyland, & A Special Shoutout

Hey guys! This is going to be a bit of a combo post because I need to recap my week or so and I also wanted to do a blog post about something very important to me, but I know the important thing would be embarrassed if I did an entire post about it.

So first, let us recap!

This past weekend, we went to a party at a local pub called Cameron's (we've been there before, and we love it) for our cast's birthday party. This year, the Bawdy Caste turned 18! Yay! The party was full of drinking, laughter, and karaoke.


The cutest couple EVER, Jules and Matthew
Mid West! I really hope this isn't a real gang sign.
Everyone, meet Jim Norman, aka "NAWMAN." Norman is originally from Ohio! He is my midwest buddy and I adore him. He works with our cast director, Jared, at the local high school as a teacher. I love hanging out with Norman because he gets my funny midwest quirks and he also has a much heavier accent than I do, so people make fun of him instead of me (just ask him to say warm Napa cabbage salad)! But seriously, Norman is an awesome guy-- and no, I won't stop calling you Norman, Norman. Midwesterners unite!

Directly after the party, Patrick and I left for Disneyland! Because of all of the hard work Patrick has been doing and is about to be doing (he is booked with training classes and on-site trips through the end of the year), we were rewarded with a trip to Disneyland, all expenses paid (or, well, the hotel and a really great meal paid) by his company. As always, we did a ton of walking, and my legs have still not recovered. We spent the first day in DCA and the second in Disneyland (but we stopped in DCA for lunch), and I got to meet a bunch of characters that I've never seen out before... including Frozone (not pictured) and Santa!!!

Max, Goofy's son, from "A Goofy Movie"

I got in line to see Buzz but he had to go take a break so Woody came out instead!

Howdy partner!

A tiny pie from room service! MMM!

On the Mark Twain. Fun fact- Walt Disney sold Tom Sawyer's Island (the island that the Mark Twain sails around) to Missouri back in the 60's. There is no proof of this that I can find, but if it's true, that island has a Missouri zip code!

My charm bracelet! Patrick bought it and some charms for me for my "300 days since I quit smoking" present. I LOVE it! I even went a little charm crazy and bought seven myself in addition to the five Patrick got me.

Disneyland was all decorated for Christmas! Yay! We even got to be around for the tree lighting at 5pm!

I'm a record catch!

I met Santa! Yay! Now let's see if I get those earrings for Christmas :)

Dug! (Up, 2009)

I know, I know, that was a TON of recapping, right? Sorry to bore you guys! But seriously, there wasn't much to say other than all of that was a grand ol' time and I enjoyed myself immensely. But you all know that I'm always good for some pictures!

Now, on to the important part!

Let me take you back to 1997. I was just 5 years old when I met her, a little girl wearing a overalls and a backpack twice her size. Her hair was insane, she had some serious Hermione Granger bangs going on, and she became my best friend-- just like that. We lived pretty close to each other, though neither of us knew this until we we were allowed to cross the main road to each others' houses. When you're a kid, car rides are always long, even if they're just a mile long. We grew up playing Bratz dolls and exploring in her house, irritating her brother, poking holes in the neighbor's bike tires because he was a jerk, and being the other's sister that she never had.

As we grew up, we didn't exactly know what we had. We always had other "best friends," and we still do, but our friendship was always the strongest of these relationships. It wasn't until we were older that we realized, "Hey, you're really not going anywhere, are you?" When it came time to enter high school, we didn't know what we would do because we were going to different schools. We cried on the last day of middle school and worried every time we hung out that something would change.

But let me tell you-- nothing changed. We grew up, we shared secrets, we spent months apart only to reunite like no time had passed. We took prom pictures together, attended each other's graduation ceremonies and cheered like lunatics, and while she went away to college, I stayed home and went to community college. We never expected some of the things that happened in our lives, but it made us stronger as a pair. After a couple of years, she moved down the street from me (and stayed there when she wasn't staying up at her place at her college), and up until I left for California, we spent almost every single night in her kitchen or her garage, just talking and laughing and making fun of each other the way girls do. Our moms became best friends, too, and as we got older, her brother stopped being a jerk and started being my brother, too. Her family adopted me in every sense of the word and mine took her in open-armed. To this day, she is the first person I call if I'm too upset breathe, the first to know any good news I have, and the first to comfort me with the bad. She would do anything for me-- like the night she drove over a half an hour to come get me at 10pm, got a speeding ticket, spent most of the night listening to me talk, and spent the entire next day making sure I was alright. She has always been the strongest person I know and has carried me through more than I could ever thank her for.

Our "best friend" piercings, which neither of us have anymore. Later, we replaced the significance of a piercing with something a little more permanent.

Our tattoos

I was an only child until I was 14 years old, but I've had a sister since I was 5. 

And so today, on the day I post this blog, my very oldest friend and sister, turns 21.

Erin, if you by chance read this-- too bad, I'm not taking it down. Also, remember, I have worse pictures than this, so you have to be my friend forever. I love you, I miss you, I'm so damn proud of you and the woman you've become, and happy birthday!


Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Bawdy Caste Takes Reno (the most Rocky Horror that you will ever see in one post)

Hey guys! It has been a CRAZY busy week! On Sunday night, we went over to Doug and Julie's house (friends from cast) for a pumpkin carving party! It was super fun. There were a ton of delicious snacks and we watched Tim Burton movies while we carved our pumpkins. Doug and Julie have taken to buying fake, hollow pumpkins and carving them so that they can keep them for the next year. I say that's genius, and with the design I did, I wish I had done it, too!

Julie's cupcakes were adorable!

I loved the use of the pumpkin candies here :)

My Scooby Doo pumpkin! 

Patrick's baby pumpkin with Perry the Platypus!  

Blimey! It's Harry Pumpkin!

For months now I have been looking forward to the Bawdy Caste's annual trip to Reno to do a show. When I found out that I could have the days off, I was just itching to get there and go on a little road trip with Patrick. On Monday morning we started our journey to Reno, but first we had to make it through the mountains-- which meant making it through the snow. What's funny is that, in Michigan, we have multi-weather tires for our cars. There is no need to switch tires out each season unless you're serious about making your tires last. But here, in California, there is really no need for that unless you live up near Tahoe. So when Patrick told me about his concern of the weather conditions for the trip, I thought he was nuts when he said he was going out to buy snow chains. I've never even heard of that except for things like large trucks or farm equipment (aka things that would need to drive on unpaved roads). We made it through to Reno with little to no problem, but we were fortunate enough to be able to drive earlier in the day, when the roads were just wet and not quite icy. A few other cast members were stuck going later in the day and ended up having to stop at Donner Pass (insert cannibalism joke here) and "chain up" so they wouldn't be ticketed.

Yay! Snow!

When we arrived, we checked in to our hotel, the El Dorado, which is one of three connected hotels that range in price and style. Each contains a casino on both the main and lower floors, along with tons of restaurants, bars, and small shops. There is even a game room in one of them for the underage guests. Luckily, I am over the legal age, so I got to gamble (for the first time ever)! Patrick gave us each an allowance and, surprisingly, we made back more than we spent at the slots. We spent the first day napping after our road trip, having cocktails with our friend Master Delfino, dinner at the buffet with a few other cast members for Victoria's birthday (happy birthday sweetie!), and then some gambling. We went to bed before everyone else because we are old souls, and we woke up the next day completely sober, not hungover, and well rested.

The majestic crew with their YARDS OF STRAWBERRY DAIQUIRI. Jack (the one on the far left) had a plan to get a first down of daiquiri, which meant that they would drink ten yards of the stuff. Here, they have 4 1/2 yards, and I know Jack filled up twice after that and Jeb got in on the goal by purchasing one, as well. No word on whether or not they made their fruity goal. Hehe

My first slot machine! To be honest, I find them more annoying than anything else. I don't like wasting money!

We went to breakfast and then spent the morning walking around the area with Master Delfino, hitting up the pawn shops nearby. Both Delfino and Patrick bought themselves watches, and Patrick paid for a really cool vintage ring with flowers on it (which I would put up a picture of, but I am having it resized) that I wanted to buy for myself. Afterwards we spend the day roaming around, napping, and being anxious about the show that night. Both of us just wanted it to start so we could see the venue and prepare ourselves. We brought all of our really big props and we knew that we would be lugging all of them up a freight elevator to the 4th floor, which we were not looking forward to.

Refills on the yard long daiquiris

The drunk fools of cast. Hey, it's Reno!
Photo credit: Kirsten Ward

Lindsey is a monkey! Love her. She's the one who cut my hair :)

Once we finally got there, we started unloading almost immediately. It turned out to be all okay! The venue was HUGE! They provided giant carts for us to roll our props up on, so it only took two or three trips to get everything up to the 4th floor. The University of Nevada, Reno was hosting our show and this year, they fully anticipated a big crowd. We found out when we arrived that they had three entire ballrooms set up and unseparated for the show, along with about 700 seats. The audience filled nearly every single one of them. It was truly incredible. Doing the Reno show was one of the most awesome things I have ever experienced. I can't wait until next year.

Jared as Riff Raff on the freight elevator, which had convenient chairs!

Jeb as Frank in his entrance costume. He danced to Miley Cyrus' "We Can't Stop"

The half of cast that wasn't too preoccupied for a cast photo
Photo credit: Shannon Wilke

Our trannies! Siobhan, Kirsten, Angela, and Victoria
Photo credit: Kirsten Ward

Our gorgeous Colombia, Lindsey
Photo credit: Kirsten Ward

Jack as The Criminologist
Photo credit: Shannon Wilke

Our INSANE audience
Photo credit: Shannon Wilke

After we came home, we pretty much rested all of Wednesday. Patrick taught a class on Thursday and, unfortunately because I had to work the next morning, that night he went to our Halloween show in the city and I stayed home. I really wish I had been able to go, there were some awesome costumes that he got pictures of! According to him, the girl dressed as Ramen Noodles won (rightfully so).

One of those "Wish I had thought of it" moments

Since I wasn't going to be doing anything for Halloween, I decided to do my makeup while Patrick was teaching. Tim Burton's "Red Queen" from the 2010 version of Alice In Wonderland

We spent another day working and being exhausted before we had to be ready for Saturday, which was yet another Rocky show-- but it was a very special show. We started this week with Reno, then moved to Halloween, and then to Saturday's show, which was the Bawdy Caste's 18th birthday and our regular MC Dan-o's very last show. That's right, the Bawdy Caste has been running for 18 years. We're finally legal and Dan-o decides to leave us.

Dan-o, throwing toilet paper at our crowd for the last time.

Boo! But seriously, Dan-o will be missed. I have never seen someone so effortlessly move a crowd to their feet and evoke such excitement from everyone he passes. He is leaving cast in order to pursue a life in politics (I guess wearing fishnets and corsets can totally sabotage your political career-- who knew?). I've only known him for a very short time (for less time than everyone else on cast because Dan-o isn't always able to make shows in the city) but from the moment I met him, I knew he was a wonderful person. Dan-o, on behalf of myself and the rest of the cast, I wish you the best of luck in your pursuits. You'll do well in whatever it is you do!