Rocky Horror Nerves

Party Monster
On the 18th, I'll be performing in the Rochester Rocky Horror Reunion Show at The Cinema. I'm excited, of course, but also nervous, not because I'll have to go back up on stage for the first time in over 10 years, but because I have to bake/decorate a cake. I'm happy to do it, of course, but it takes a LOT out of me. That, and there's not going to be any rehearsal, and we'll be winging it as far as blocking goes.

This photo is me, by the way, back when I had orange hair, and also performed in Buffalo with The First Church of Rocky Horror. This is X-Mess 2003 at The German House, my final performance in A Rather Tasteless Joke, as Rocky himself. I wish there were photos of me when I played Rocky in a bikini (I used to be that thin), when I first started.

I've played many roles. The list of who I HAVEN'T played is actually shorter (Frank, Riff, Brad, Eddie). I started, after a little while of being Crew, as Trixie. My official role was Part-Time Rocky, otherwise Trixie/Crew. I even played Francine/Frankie in Shock Treatment in a Shocky Horror Double Feature! My favourite role was Columbia, but probably because I played opposite my favourite director PJ as Eddie, and he lifted me high above his head three times during Hot Patootie :)

That's who's organizing this big ol' reunion. PJ was my first RHPS director. The reunion show is not just a reunion of A Rather Tasteless Joke and others he'd been a part of, but for all casts of Rochester Rocky Horror, and there's been a lot! We're going to split/share each role in this massive performance, 5 Franks, 3 Eddies, 6 Janets/Brads, etc (those numbers aren't accurate, by the way - I'd have to go check the official cast list to see how many of each role we have). I'm going to be one of 4 Criminologists. My scenes are "Life is an Illusion" just before the Bedroom scenes, "Forbidden Fruit/No Picnic" (that's for ALL of us, because it's going to be an orgy or a picnic (and you know, the line ends: "no picnic"), and the ending "lost and time, and lost in space, and (what is this movie lacking?) meaning."

Stuff (tm)

Lexx - Zev
I've had very little to report, but now that I've built up a bunch of that very little, I can make a substantial post.

Kicked off my Only-Horror October (see my last post) fine, but haven't had a guest over yet, which is kinda lonely, but then again, I'm an introvert, so it's okay. Posted a lot of quick reviews to all of them on my Letterboxd. Have watched two 5-star films. The Gate, which I don't watch every year, but is my all-time favourite horror movie, and oh my shit, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is AWESOME. Never saw it til last night :)
I have skipped a couple of scheduled films, which I will get to at a later date. Right now, I'm caught up, except for The Dead Inside (a favourite, which I'm waiting on Charles to watch), Slugs, which I probably won't watch, but who knows, and the original Funny Games, and Evil, which are both foreign, and I wasn't in the mood for subtitles last night (after trudging through The Nameless, which was just awful).

This conversation happened:

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Sunday, I lugged two extremely heavy and full trunks (as well as a bunch of other stuff) down my stairs, into the car, up the stairs at Vertex (the goth club), and set up shop for the night at the Gothic Garage Sale flea-market event. I stole the space next to mine when no one claimed it, because I had a LOT of stuff. I made $90, but after paying Charles back for last week's music lesson, and buying a couple of drinks, my total profit came to about $40. Still good though!

I don't know if every city has a First Friday event, but Rochester's art galleries and such have a public art crawl called First Friday. I've been to one, but I didn't count it because it was also the opening of a gallery exhibit I had some art in. I hadn't remembered til it was too late since.
Ron invited me out this time, picked me up (he finally remembered how to get to my house), and we had a really nice time (I'm also pretty happy, because I thought he was starting to forget I exist, because our usual Tuesdays are no longer since working nights. So having him ask me was a nice turn).
We went to the Village Gate for a gallery event for one of his friends, who had her art all hanging in a doctor's office! We meandered a bit, explored dark crevices on the third floor (where we actually found a hidden event, which Ron ended up going to on Sunday). Then we scooted next door to Anderson Alley, which I haven't been to since it was a fabric factory. Hung out in a printing press for a long time, then went off to a sweltering embossing room, where Ron, inventor and engineer, chatted up with one of the guys, while I ran into Brendan, Casey, and a couple other friends. Then Ron took me up to Nosferatu Studios where I fell in love instantly.
We ended the evening at Starry Night cafe, just chewin' the fat out at a table. It's been such a long time since I got to really sit and talk to Ron, just us, so I don't get drowned out in the cluster of people talking over me, and it was so nice, and I'm really happy he invited me out. I needed that.

And everyone and their brother has been posting to my FB wall, or texting me about the return of Twin Peaks. I only needed to hear it once, guys ;)

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Only Horror October

Dead Inside
Here are all the images I've created to promote my Only Horror October.

It was pretty easy to compile with all the suggestions I got, plus going through my to-watch list on my Letterboxd. I even added an extra segment for TV shows and Short Films! I had a terrible time not filling the whole list with Travis Betz's stuff (one of my all-time favourite directors). His are the only films on my list with repeat viewings.

My original promo piece:


The schedule:


Extras (the "maybe" list):


Shorts and Episodes:

October Horror Movie Marathon

Dead Inside
Last year, one of my favourite directors, Travis Betz held a home event where he had compiled a set of scary movies for every day of October. Since October is my favourite month for such obvious reasons, I've decided to do the same. I opened up the ol' suggestion box on Facebook a couple hours ago and have already gotten a TONNE of suggestions!

I'm also scouring my "to watch" list. I want this list to mostly be comprised of films I haven't seen yet (or haven't seen in a very long time).

I'm open to suggestions from you guys too! Comedy horror, goofy horror, light horror, spooky, eerie, creepy, true tales, ghost stories... anything you can think of (but no, Showgirls isn't a horror movie, unless you count the part where someone actually licked a stripper pole).

I want about 3 movies a night, at least, and I'm going to categorize them, too! I've begun compiling now in a private post. I'll give you guys a peek at what's been suggested already.

  • Every Takashi Miike movie (so much that I've decided to dedicate a whole category/day to the man).
  • Tucker and Dale vs. Evil
  • Suspiria
  • C.H.U.D.
  • Trick r' Treat
  • The Woman in Black
  • Phantasm
  • Strange Circus
  • Phantasm
  • Funny Games
  • The Bay
  • Pontypool
  • Maniac
  • House Hunting
  • The Collection
  • Nightwatch & Daywatch
  • Evil Dead (originals and new)
  • Evidence
  • The Perfect Host
  • House of the Devil

    That's not everything, and those are only off the Suggested list. I still have a list of my own.

    So... got any suggestions?

Fringe Festival (Part I)

Kaylie
Over last weekend through this coming weekend is Rochester Fringe Festival. Now, our little Fringe festival has not been as good as others, and but this is only our third. The first was awful, the second had its moments. This year seems to be pretty good, but like all Fringe festivals so far, there seems to be a certain guarantee you'll pick something awful to attend. The first year, I didn't pay for any events, but did sneak in to a number of paid events (there were very few free events the first year). All the ones I snuck into were terrible with the exception of one which was okay. They were all overpriced as hell for what they offered, too. Last year, I went to a couple of free shows, and they were great, and then went to one paid event, which I only went to because I had friends in it, and it was based on Lovecraft, or Poe or something equally weird. It was okay but barely. Definitely overpaid.

So this year, I promised no paid gigs unless I knew they'd be good!!!

I attended two paid gigs, one I chose, because my violin tutor gave me a discount code, and I know she's really great- and come on, any show featuring violin is going to be cool. The other Charles chose, and I warned him... but he paid for us both, so I let him make his mistake. And I hope he learned from it.

The first event I attended was Sisters of Murphy - a free Irish rock show led by my friend Mark, in the pit at Manhattan Square Park. They were great as usual, but they mostly played from their second album, which I admit, I really don't like as much as the first. But they did play a couple of really great songs. "Katie Dear" and a cover of Flogging Molly's "Salty Dog" closed the show, and people immediately flocked to the next act, found elsewhere in the park.

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Elsewhere in the park: fire, brimstone, French, and Steampunk. I'd dubbed it the Giant Fiery Steampunk Deathtrap, but they call it Circus Orange's Tricycle. We got up to where they started the show, right outside the concert pit, and we stood right by the speakers. Very loud metal-clashing sounds boomed in harmony from the speakers, making the whole park sound like a gigantic steam-powered musical factory. Fire shot out of the pipe jutting from the back of the trike, steam billowed from the sides of the front, Firelee, trapped inside the front wheel began to walk, and the giant slowly began weaving around the ocean of people. The crowds followed the trike around the whole park. From where I stood, it looked like people had crowded right up against it, but they did have in-costume security to keep people at a safe distance.

Two figures stood atop the 18-foot machine - a clown named Foo, speaking a combination of French, Gibberish, and a bit of English, stood up front leading the way with his companion, a mad scientist figure running the pyrotechnics.

Sound like a spectacle without a story? Artistic director Rebecca Carney will tell you otherwise.
The experimental performance approach emerged out of improv, but the current storyline is scripted around the talents of the Circus Orange actors, Carney says.
She created Tricycle's story and characters from imagination — and her dreams. The characters, including Foo, who rides the 18-foot-high tricycle, have been commissioned by Flammee, the queen of the southern region, to bring light back to the people. Firelee is the character who plays the light.
"The play begins where we find the light. There are stops along the way — different worlds. There is the fire world and the sentinels — soldiers who belong to the queen. We encourage the audience not to stay seated because they become a procession to the introduction of light," says Carney, who plays Filier, the keeper of the tricycle.


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While Foo fought fire demons, I spent a great deal of the play fighting my way through the hordes. Whenever fire shot out of some apparatus, it lit the sea of heads in front of me, showing me how far back I really stood - much further than I thought. I looked back, and saw it was just as densely packed
behind me. I wasn't sure I'd ever get to a clearing. I squeezed through people, tripping on abandoned lawn chairs, and when the show neared its end, I finally made my way to the exit stairs!

But then I realized, it's almost over, and I've enjoyed what I've seen so far, even though I couldn't make out the storyline or see most of the other characters, and oh look! There's a spot against the gate, right toward where the trike is headed! I crammed myself up against the gate to see an army of soldiers and stilted animals leading the trike to its endgame. They then set up dancers on a stage, twirling fire parasols as parts of the stage and surrounding areas lit on fire, or shot fireworks into the sky. The giant wheel dislodged from the rest of the trike and attached to a wire, which shot the wheel, with Firelee still inside, about 50-feet in the air! She spun and danced inside the wheel as it lit with fireworks around the outside, turning it into a giant areal pinwheel. This performance mesmerized the audience, and intensified rapidly, until it exploded into one grand finale! I love fireworks, and this completely blew me away! It's also the second-closest I've been to exploding fireworks. Glossing over that ;)

I managed to take a bunch of videos and got a few photos. The best one I'll post here, but if you want to see the compilation of all the videos, you can check [this link].




The next day, I got up early to see my violin tutor Lauren's performance with Sticks, Strings, and Paint. The "and paint" part of the show was boring, but I really enjoyed the rest. She performed with half of Quartet 442 (violin and cello) and two percussionists.

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Afterwards, Charles wanted to stay for the "Laptop Orchestra," which was anything but. This is the lesson every Fringe-goer learns: some events you pay for are shit. I knew right away it'd be shit, and I tried to warn Charles. I almost decided to walk back to the East End to catch other festivities on my list, but he insisted I stay, and he bought my ticket. We sat down and he immediately regretted the decision, as we came face-to-face with a little kid choir, a school mascot, and only two laptops in sight. Turned out to be just a bunch of half-fancy-dressed students failing at their noise experiments. It's like they didn't do a test run at all. Nothing delivered with success. And oh, NO ORCHESTRA, laptop or otherwise, was really involved. I wasn't expecting a symphony. I was expecting a finished performance. We left halfway through.

I put Charles under Onus for that one, and made him take me out to breakfast.

I saw a play called "Simple Question" that had promise, but the acting wasn't that great (except from the female lead). I later overheard that it was their first performance, so that's forgivable. The story of this play goes: guy meets girl at bus stop; guy hits on girl, which is not well received; guy continues to bother girl, and even grasps at her arm, which she deflects; guy picks up a business card girl dropped by accident on the bus and proceeds to stalk her with a guitar; girl chases guy off with a knife; both get arrested; guy continues to convince girl to go on a date with him; girl roundhouse kicks him in the face; (this is where it should have ended, but the police officer who arrested them concludes the story in a monologue) guy and girl drop charges against each other and get fucking married.

I was happy the play delivered swift justice to the side of the stalker's face, and then PISSED that the story continued into rewarding harassing behaviour by having the guy get the girl after all. A friend pointed out that this actually happened to a much more horrifying extent back in the day, and that blew my mind. Still, though...

I ended my first Fringe weekend at Java's where a band called GRR! played some really good covers in a lounge-y jazz-y way (I don't know if Cake originally sang "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps," but that was my favourite cover).

And that's all for the first weekend. Not sure what (if) I'll go see anything today or tomorrow, but Thursday, I plan to see a free Cello Show at Java's. Hopefully Ron or Meagan or someone can come with.

Soylent (day 2)

Science
Today's my third day of trying out Soylent (just downed some breakfast - so this post is about days 1 and 2, and the product itself).



After TWO YEARS, I finally got my shipment of Soylent, of which I was an original backer. My 1-Week supply cost $65 (although now that it's on the market, it's $85 a week, with a deal for monthly subscriptions).

The nutrition it packs is AWESOME, but it's got A LOT of carbs, and 2000 calories!!!! But it offers 100% RDA of every nutrient people need to live well, doesn't taste awful, and lasts in the fridge for a couple days (so I can split those calories, and have actually TWO weeks of the stuff). I would sign up for a subscription if it didn't cost half a month's pay (for me).



I'm really liking the energy I've got with this Soylent. I had so much energy yesterday! I had half the pitcher leftover from Sunday (when I started - Soylent for breakfast, lunch, snack, and then ate a regular food dinner), so I had a tall glass for breakfast, one for lunch, and one for dinner - straight-up replaced all my meals without hunger pangs. My exercise routine kicked my ass as usual, but I didn't nap afterwards! I couldn't! I was restless. I got A LOT of cleaning done (were it not so cold yesterday, I would have gone for a walk too). I'm hoping for the same kind of energy today - I made a pitcher late last night, so I wouldn't have to pour my breakfast over ice today.

I'm really surprised at how full it leaves me. I mean, I don't feel stuffed, but I feel satiated. I do miss food sometimes, so last night, as a snack, I had some radishes and popcorn. But honestly, I wasn't actually hungry for it. I was just bored. The one downside of this Soylent thing is how boring it is.

(Edit: The other downside is it makes your poots smell really bad, but the gassiness is just your guts getting used to a new diet. And it gives me kinda bad breath, though I haven't confirmed that my breath smells with anyone else, but I notice it).

As for the taste; yes, it does taste like cake batter, and also has that grainy taste to it, too. But that graininess is not overpowering. I also get a good mini-workout every single time I drink the stuff, because I have to shake the pitcher (it's sealed) before pouring, because of separation. I have to shake it for a full 30 seconds before I feel like it's mixed enough. My very first glass was over ice, and I tried to make it last (I thought I had to). That was almost as big a mistake as eating gluten-free bread. The bottom of the glass collected sediment, but I was able to see that before I made the mistake of drinking it. I let a little of the ice melt, and gave it a good mix before quickly downing the rest.

Soylent's not meant to replace food forever, but I guess it could. It definitely gives you a deeper appreciatioin for real food though.

Aaaand Soylent Green was not people in the book. In fact, it was a vegan substance. 7 billion people on the planet, no real food, global warming, food riots, welfare state, birth control, physical defects... It's like Harry Harrison predicted the future.

Selling Lolita

Shimotsuma Story
I'm getting rid of a few of my old lolita dresses/skirts.

The full link is here, with better descriptions, more photos, and prices. But here are a few photos:

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Pimped Out Case

Michiru
Been a while since I had a project that lasted all weekend (not including my previous project, which turned out moderately okay, but didn't work out, and also isn't totally done anyway). So yeah! Actual Weekend Project!

It's 99.9% finished! I'm just waiting for a hygrometer to arrive in the mail. I was sick of the hideous hard green interior of my violin case, not to mention the need for a cloth to wrap and tuck so the violin didn't knock around in the case whenever I took it anywhere.

So I ripped out the insides (took out a few parts, too), cut & pasted some padding inside, and lined it with red velveteen. I also added a peacock-blue elastic band for photos, and hand-made my own humidifier by drilling holes into a cut of random plumbing tubing (which I corked at both ends. I'll fill that with water beads when winter comes (made a small one to test out of a tea tube, and the water beads sucked up the tea residue and it smells awesome). Sooner, if the hygrometer says I should.

A few antique photos and postcards, and bam! I really love how it turned out.

The only parts I bought were the tubing, the hygrometer, and the elastic (and an extra tube of glue). The project of re-upholstering my case cost me a grand total of about $8. I also bought myself a music stand, which arrived today. It's a tiny bit wobbly, but works for what it's good for.

I did this because I really wanted a case that protected my violin instead of just housed it. I also wanted a hard-case, so I could put stickers on it. Lauren (my tutor) gave me a good site to go to that she said is basically Amazon for string instruments. I checked it out, aaaaaand, I couldn't afford one of those cases if I saved my entire paychecks for a month. So I took things into my own hands.



Remember, it doesn't matter if you can play, as long as you can wow 'em as soon as you open the case ;)

In My Bag

Ne Porte Pas
Haven't done one of these since I was about 20. Inside my bag right now is (from left to right, roughly):

a white folder, which is actually a large watercolour page I folded for convenience back when I'd go to Dr. Sketchy events (which Rochester never advertises on the off-chance they do hold one). I use it to keep printed stuff and bunnies safe.

My schedule book, which was just a notebook, but I needed something bigger than my little calendar (yes, I still hand-write my schedule, because my iphone sometimes deletes things I put on its calendar for no visible reason (and deletes it off the cloud, which, come on). I wrote in each day - it goes from just before my trip to Boston to Ron's birthday (coincidentally), with one blank at the end for notes.

My wallet, including: my business cards, health/insurance cards, credit card, staff ID & license, and shopping cards. Sometimes money, if it fits. And some secret paper notes ;)

Headphones (which are sound blocking), hair band (no, not White Snake... this time), emergency painkiller, random bunny.

Then there is a smaller purse for smaller things (because my bag doesn't have a pocket).

Lipstick, compact mirror, keys (home & work), pen, pencil, moolah, bandaids (in a handy little container), and my glasses cloth.

Then there's my violin lesson notebook (which is just a moleskine that I mod-podged a picture of Emilie Autumn onto), my current read (All You Need Is Kill, by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, which is the book that Tom Cruise movie about a Save Point is based on), and my violin's shoulder-rest, which I forgot to take out of my bag from yesterday's lesson (it doesn't fit in my case without dismantling it, and I hate dismantling it).

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