Playing The Numbers

No, not the lottery numbers.  (Although, I do try to play that sometimes.)  I’ll explain in a minute.

But first, a moment of happiness, or a sigh of relief….

The top picture was taken around 11/2, and the bottom photo was taken just the other day 11/13, just barely 2 weeks later.

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Happily, massive difference between what was looking like a starving horse through most of September and October, to one that is pleasingly fattening up in a matter of weeks.  Chewbacca has lost weight on me before one or twice, and my usual “bumped up” program has always helped him put it back on within 1-2 months.  For whatever reason, I spent over 3 months struggling with him this time around, and my increased diet regime just was not working, and I was getting worried.

Then, just randomly, it suddenly starts working again and he throws on a good 50 or 70 pounds in 2 weeks.  I don’t even know how that’s possible, but there is the evidence.  2 photos 2 weeks apart, and drastically different results on the same diet.

So that’s awesome.  Playing the numbers on the horse-scale, lol!  I am relieved that Chewie is packing on the weight now.  Winter will be upon us, and I will never let him look like a skin and bones rescue case.  If I can’t manage his weight, I will not let him degrade.  I owe him at least that much.  It looks like I’ve avoided major decisions for the immediate future.  I’m going to start him up on some alfalfa cubes too, and see if I can get him to eat them, and hope it helps bump his weight up.  I’ll have to keep Luke away from those, he definitely does not need that kind of extra weight.

So, those aren’t the only numbers I was talking about.

Here’s the thing- I’ve learned so much about many things in the last year, especially about God and how He works.  I’ve learned how much He has helped me in my life, and I’ve realized that nothing comes up as chance, or coincidence.  It’s impossible.  As I look at my life, I realize everything I’ve done and experienced has happened on a specific path, for specific reasons.

I won’t get too much into my mostly crazy beliefs, but suffice it to say, I do believe there are signs that God uses to guide and direct, if you’re not too blind to see them.  I admit – 102% of the time, I am.  LOL!  Maybe that’s why I’ve gotten off on such the wrong track in most of my life.

I believe I have pursued things that defied God and went against what He wanted for me, or where He was directing me.  I believe He put certain things into my life from an early age to help guide me, and when I’ve turned away from where I was supposed to go, it’s done nothing but cause pain.  The good things in my life that have always helped and guided me, have never caused pain – only brought joy.

But, God works all things for your good – even the bad things.  I have had a lot of bad things that have been twisted up by God’s power to work for good, and lead to good ends.  I try to have faith that I am following the right path, and some of the numbers line up – literally – to help me think I am.

For example, my street address of my lovely apartment that I am quite at home and happy in (and have lived there for a year now) is the same address as my work.  The numbers are the same.  How crazy is that?  I joke that maybe the perfect man for me might have the a birthdate that falls on the same month & date to match those numbers.

As I move forward with my life, trying to figure out how to make the most of it, I have also composed a list of points I do and do not want in a future man.  I’m not going to get into the details of that list, but suffice to say, for the most part, I consider it so above-the-level that it will likely never be met.  Because not only do all the points need to be unwaveringly met, there also needs to be a mutual attraction and desire to evolve into a relationship.

Sadly, I think that the latter part of that requirement is actually beyond the scope of reality, so I spend a whole lot of time sheltered in fantasy, and as a result, chase or intimidate away most people.

The funny thing is, there is one guy out there that I know that actually meets all of the criteria of my have and have not list.  All of them.  But, unfortunately, he falls into the latter part of the above sentiment and has no interest in me.  It’s a bummer.  And no, his birthday doesn’t match my numbers, but it comes close.  Damned close.

Who knows, maybe if I keep my eyes open, I will actually hit that lucky number.  I am at least, giving it my best shot, but I’m also being me.  Because that cannot change.  I am exactly as God made me.

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Corn Maze 2016

Sometimes I apparently go for a month without making a post, and then now, here are two in a couple days.  I actually forgot to post this earlier.

Prior to my 1 year celebration of freedom, I went out to the annual corn maze drive.  I’ve gone 3 years straight, and drove a different horse each time!  I took Chewbacca the first time, Jesse last year, and Luke this year!  LOL!  I did not plan that.  Just how it worked out.  So while Chewie and Jesse have experienced the corn maze once, Luke has done it three times.

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Luke drew in a lot of compliments for his behavior and looks and it is hard to believe that sometime in 2017 (don’t know when he was born), he will turn 20 (ish).  TWENTY!

All of my horses are getting up there in age, but Luke was called my “go-to horse” at the corn maze.  Really, I never thought of that.  Technically, I’ve owned him the longest (Jan. 2017 will make 10 years), and he’s certainly got the most miles on him, but Chewbacca and Jesse are also my ‘go-to’ horses.

Each one of the three is trained the same, broke the same, experienced the same.  While Luke has more miles on him, the other two still have hundreds of miles and have hauled everywhere and been put into every kind of situation I can come up with to put them in.  I would not hesitate to hitch up any of them and take them where I want.

The only reason Jesse didn’t go to the corn maze this year, besides the fact that I can only haul & drive one horse at a time, is that his cart got a flat tire and I need to fix it.

Obviously Chewbacca is retired due to lameness and is, sadly, falling apart on me.   At only 17 years old, I am torn over making an extremely difficult (and permanent) decision when it comes to his well being.  He has been losing a dramatic amount of weight since August, and his lameness sometimes gets the better of him.  I see him dragging his toes more and more often, watching his bad leg collapse out from under him once in a while, and it also stocks up.

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This is a recent photo of him, just earlier in November.  He looks “ok” I think because his hair is all frizzed out for winter. He is worriedly thin, and my maintenance and support and supplements are no longer helping him through this.  His left hind leg, in this photo, though perhaps hard to tell, is also badly stocked up.  It goes up, and it goes down.  Sometimes he’s too lame to even walk from one end of the paddock to the other, sometimes he is so jazzed up he speeds around like a 2 year old, kicking up his heels.  It’s very give and take right now, but I am worried and alarmed.

In addition, I see him carry himself differently now, and between his altered gait and loss of muscle tone and weight, he just looks terrible and I am highly concerned.  He has dropped weight twice on me in the past, but never to this degree and he has always bounced back within 2 months.  I’ve been trying for 3 months now, and I am going to see what happens at the end of November.

Just a few days ago, while letting them run loose on the farm (something I do with them from time to time so they can eat grass in the front yard – don’t worry, it’s all fenced, and they know the routine), I called them back down to the barn. I’ve been working on getting them to come when called from progressively farther distances.  Now, I can be clear across the farm and call them and they will come.  So nice!  Such good boys🙂

Anyway, Luke came running and Chewbacca simply could not keep up.  He tried trotting and sort of switched into a tr-canter and slipped when his leg couldn’t do the job.  I noticed him get visibly frustrated at that.  I know his nuances and in a flicker of a moment, he was noticeably frustrated that he could not get to me in pace with Luke.

I hate to say that Chewbacca is just falling apart on me, but he is.  I hate to see this happening to a young horse (I consider 17 young…), but his legs are slowly getting worse.

And while Chewbacca is only 17, and Luke is 19 – he isn’t even my oldest!  Dixie, who was foaled in June, is currently 21!!!  In 2017, she will be 22!!!  Holy cow!  Twenty – two!  Little ragamuffin (Dixie is the grullo, Jesse is the black) hasn’t done anything in a few years.  She just hangs out.  She’s a good girl, and definitely the Queen of the Barn, no doubt.

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Jesse is somewhere between 14-16.  We’re not really sure.  He does have papers, but they were lost.  But we think, he was born in 2001 or 2002.

Each and every one of them has been there done that, with the exception of Dixie.  She hasn’t done much, and I wouldn’t trust her off the farm.  She’s been a great driving pony for kids who aren’t terribly demanding, but her trail & road etiquette is horrific, and she simply isn’t worth the fight or the risks to life and limb.  So, she gets to hang out, and despite being grullo in color, she is turning gray with age!

I have been very blessed to keep these horses in my life, and it has not always been easy to maintain them, or afford them.  (I don’t own Jesse…).  But I have been very very lucky to have such wonderful horses to work with and I owe them all the best I can provide.

They are all my go-to horses.

 

 

 

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One Year Later.

One year ago today, I finally broke the chains.  I ended the abuse I was enduring.  I got free.

One year ago today I snapped. I  was done with 12 years of mental cruelty and slow torture that prison inmates aren’t even subjected to that put me into a suicidal mental state.  And this – was called love.  It was my responsibility as a good human being to be a good wife and endure the abuse in the name of love.  It was my fault if I got hurt, if my flame got snuffed out.  I needed to be stronger.  I needed to “grow a spine”, as he used to say.

I did.

I was often told – multiple times a week – that I wouldn’t know what to do without him.

He was right.

I didn’t know what to spend my money on for myself first.
I didn’t know what road trip I’ve always wanted to go on first.
I didn’t know I could make so many new friends.
I didn’t know I could have so many wonderful adventures.
I didn’t know which sofa to pick for my new apartment.
I didn’t know which photos of him to burn first.
I didn’t know I could ever be happy again.
I didn’t know I could actually be around people who didn’t hurt and abuse me.
I didn’t know what project to start working on first.
I didn’t know what a great life I could build.
I didn’t know I could be so creative.
I didn’t know I could be so strong.

Thanks for the learning lessons.  One year later – I am in a whole different place than I was back then.  I know 2016 isn’t quite over yet, but here’s to hoping 2017 will be an even better year.  It’s gotta only go up from here, right?

 

 

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Changes on the Horizon….

2016 has been a wild year!

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I know, I know.. it’s not over yet, but my events have ended for the year, which means I am now focusing on moving into 2017 with a whole new perspective.

I’ve gone through many changes in 2016.  My life on the whole has changed dramatically.  In 2015, it ended in utter turmoil.  For about a month, I was homeless. Sleeping on a friends’ sofa, and staying in a hotel.  I had broken mentally and emotionally in every way imaginable, and only maintained a spiritual prayer that it would all be “OK” on God’s pure Grace.

I was afraid of all these terrible things, that in the end, really never ended up happening.  It wasn’t so bad, and support came through for me in ways I never imagined or expected.  As I move forward looking on to 2017, some of the things I once feared happening are on the brink of taking place, and I believe I can handle them.  I’ve found my strength and focus, and while half the time I still have no idea whether I’m coming or going, I am at least beginning to make peace with that fact, and I leave it all in God’s hands.

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Que serra….   What a road it has been.

Not too long after 2016 started, I finalized my divorce.  12 years of hell and abuse ended on paper, but the mental and emotional damage would be long lasting.  Along the journey of 2016, I discovered entirely new aspects to who I am – found loves I never knew I had, renewed old passions I thought were gone forever, explored creativity I did not think I could possess.

I’ve made new friends, and I’ve walked off 70 pounds, with about 800 miles clocked so far – and amazingly, my feet are still holding strong!  Hahaha!  I’ve driven on a 2750 mile road trip and saw 9 states along the way! Most of all, I’ve been back to Dragon*Con – something I definitely thought was long gone from my life.

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I took Luke out to a show and had a blast, and next week we are going to drive through the Star-Trek themed corn maze!

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Tomorrow, I celebrate 8 months since that little pink slip on my marriage was stamped.  In a few days more, I celebrate 1 year since I got myself free and changed my life in massive ways.  In a couple weeks, I celebrate 5 full years of being cancer free (Thanksgiving Monday, 2011!).

There are many changes I’ve been through in 2016, and it still isn’t done.  There are more changes on the horizon.  Not all of them are easy changes, but so far, nothing has truly been easy, I’ve just gotten through on God’s good humor.  I strive to do the best I can, and make the right choices.  They are not all easy choices, but I make them with the best of intentions.

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I ended this year’s convention “season” with 2 Best in show awards.  One was Best in show out of about 60 entries, and the other was a Best in Show 3rd place award out of 200 entries.  Pretty cool!

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I got to hang out with awesome friends, and feel so privileged to be part of a very special group of incredible people.

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I am working on a new costume for 2017, which I hope will be well received.  It should be a lot of fun anyway!  I’m also working on a few new projects for over the winter, and I hope to have some new kinds of artwork available in the early part of 2017 as I get into sculpting, molding, casting, and painting more and more.  I’ve done quite a bit of sculpting & casting and learning my way through mold making.

I’m excited about some of the changes coming, while I am saddened over other changes, but I am learning to make peace with myself, past, present, and future, and I can only hope that as 2016 closes and 2017 begins, I will continue on this journey and find my way.  I am in a totally different place as of today than I was this day one year ago, and I can only hope as I move forward, I start to think less and less about the past and more and more about the road to come – however bumpy it may be.  I am ready.  Hear me roar.

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The Creatures of my Trip

I also brought along my bug lens and my bird lens with me while I was on my trip!  I was glad I brought the bug lens, because I really did not find too many birds, but got some shots of interesting and cool bugs!  I found a few spiders, too, and got my first ever close up shot of a jumping spider’s eyes.  I’ve been wanting to get a shot like that for a long time, but I never can find jumping spiders!!

If you have ever seen a jumping spider, they are extremely small- about the size of the tip of your index finger.  I was so thrilled to get one close up and get his eyes!  So cute!!!

Enjoy!

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The Great Adventure Part III : Branson

After Dragon*Con, I was still on a sort of a surreal high that I even went (I mean… like a month after… LOL!).

The day I left the Marriott Marquis and downtown Atlanta behind for another year was a sad day.  But,believe me, I’m already thinking about Dragon*Con 2017, eagerly awaiting the chance at getting a (nearly impossible) room at the Marriott, and planning out costumes in addition to the Predator for next year.

At any rate, I was not ready to end my trek through the American south juuuuust quite yet.  A few other things on my bucket list included seeing Branson, Missouri and visiting the Titanic museum.  So, with Dragon*Con (sadly) behind me, I hopped in the car and took the scenic route from Atlanta to Branson.  I spent the night in Memphis (no, I did NOT go walking in Memphis, and I totally meant to.  Dammit).

On my way out of Memphis, I discovered that Bass Pro Shops owns a pyramid.  Who knew, right?  And by the way – Bass Pro Shops are apparently as common in TN as Waffle Houses are in Georgia and Dollar Stores and Kentucky Fried Chickens are in Kentucky.  Oh, and if you are ever wondering, I do believe that the state roadkill for the entire south is armadillos.  I’ll be damned if I saw a living one at all during my stay (and I tried… I really tried), but roadkill armadillos?  Every ten feet.  Seriously.

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And then, the following day, I discovered the most beautiful place in America:

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Yep.  Who knew.  Arkansas is freaking amazing.  I’m sure it’s hot as could be in the summer, but the day I drove through it was 80 and clear skies and my eyeballs got treated to mountainous scenery as far as they could see in every direction.  Needless to say, I took multiple scenic routes and ended up spending about 4 hours just driving around Arkansas alone.  It was beautiful.

Eventually, I made it to my destination!

Photos were not allowed in the museum, but believe me, if you ever go to Branson, it’s worth the $20 admission or whatever it cost to see this.  This was AMAZING.  There were real artifacts, and letters written by passengers and survivors, and the only photographs of the Titanic to exist all on display, not to mention a full-size replica of the top tier of the grand staircase, and many other full size replicas.  The museum was loaded with factual information, interesting documentaries, fascinating expedition photos, and of course memorabilia and a gift shop.  I bought a T-shirt and a magnet🙂

Yes, I am soooooo glad I did this.  I’ve always loved stories about the Titanic long before “The Movie” came out (you know that isn’t the only Titanic movie to ever have been made, right?).  This was just so cool to visit, and I definitely list Branson, MO as a recommended place to see.  I’ll go back in a second if I have the opportunity.

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Branson really reminded me of a small-scale of Las Vegas (another place I would love to go back to again).  It wasn’t quite as “glitzy” with a ton of lights, but it was basically a touristy town set up on a strip and loaded with shows, theaters, restaurants, and all the tourist-stop attractions you could want.

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They even had a giant King Kong and Transformer.  I mean… cool!

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And, they take their stop signs seriously in Branson.  Really seriously.

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I did a little cruising around at night when the lights on the “Branson strip” came up.

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In the morning, I visited the other thing that is an attraction in Branson; Table Rock lake and Dam.  I wasn’t there for all the touristy stuff.  I just wanted to see the Titanic Museum.  The other things that interest me were nature stuff, so I visited various parks around Branson before I headed to Table Rock Dam.

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(see the rainbow?)  Yes, I know my sensor is filthy.  That was called laziness.

Once I was done touring Branson, I turned the windshield NorthEast and headed (dreadfully) back towards Chicago.  But!  There was ooooone more place along the way I decided to stop and see:

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The last time I was in St. Louis, I was not able to go into the Arch.  This time, I did.  I had an odd desire to put on my Stahma Tarr costume and start walking around.  LOL!  Going into the arch was really  a neat experience.  The elevators to get up to the top are like little escape pods.  Extremely cramped and you have to hunch over, and yet somehow, they managed to cram 5 seats into them.  I can’t imagine 5 people in one!  Anyway, it was a super neat experience to end my trip with.

And, by the time I pulled into my apartment parking spot, after 10 days and 8 states, and 5 days in Dragon*Con costuming and fantasy bliss, look how many miles I piled onto my car:

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The other thing I collected through my trip (besides T-shirts and magnets):wp_20160908_11_50_25_pro

Sadly, none of them won!  But they sure were colorful.  And Alabama does not have a lottery, apparently.

Overall, I had an AMAZING experience, and was so happy I had the chance to actually do all of these things that were just wishes for so many years.  The only “holy shit!” moment I experienced was a guy in Alabama that ran a stop sign and ran me right off the road.  Thank God for wiiiiiiide shoulders and flat corn fields.  Apparently, he needed to go visit Branson and understand the concept of stopping at a stop sign.  No worse for wear, he came inches from hitting my car, but at least one of us was paying attention.

The only other unhappy experience I had during my experience — was that it HAD TO END.  LOL!

I’m totally ready for Dragon*Con 2017. (Well, maybe not really.  Although secret costume construction has begun!!!)

 

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The Great Adventure – Part II : Dragon*Con

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Obsessed?  OK… maybe just a little.  Maybe.  But you have to bear with me.  It has been since 2004 since I last attended this GLORY of all things Science Fiction and Fantasy.  So yea, Dragon*Con 2016 was a very special thing for me!

My redemption comes… and it comes in the form of a giant hotel and a yellow dragon.

If you don’t know the tale of woe of my life, I’ll fill you in on the basic details:  I’m obsessed with Predator.  I’ve been Predator costuming since I was 13 years old, and in 2002 I “discovered” the greatest Science Fiction and Fantasy convention in America.  I attended in ’02 and again in ’03 when I met another Predator there that ultimately I married.  I barely managed to attend Dragon*Con ’04 against his objections, and it was the last time I was ever “allowed” to go.  Every thing about our 12 years of abusive controlling time together was about taking away my joys – and it started with Dragon*Con.

So, now that I’m free – the first thing I decided the day I left him late last year was that over Labor Day 2016, I was going back home.

Dragon*Con is held every Labor Day, and this year was the 30th one.  (Next year, 2017, is the 30th anniversary of both Dragon*Con AND Predator!! – That’s going to be a BIG DEAL).  Dragon*Con is a Sci-Fi/Fantasy convention, not to be confused with a Comic Con – they are different (but only slightly).

The last time I attended this glorious “mardi gras of all things geeky and nerdy” in 2004, Dragon*Con’s attendance was around 25,000.  It was contained in 2 hotels (The Atlanta Marriott Marquis and the Hyatt Regency) and an interconnected mall.  Even then it was amongst one of the largest conventions in America.

In 2016 – the attendance was listed as just over 77,000 badges sold.  It was contained in a 4 block “City” that included the Marriott and the Hyatt, the Hilton, the Sheraton, the Westin, the Mall at Peachtree Center, and the Amerismart Buildings 1 and 2.  And every local club, and even the Georgia Aquarium a few blocks away.  Dragon*Con has become a city within the City of Atlanta.  I think next year it should get its own zipcode.  The Dragon*Con parade, which was just a small thing in 2004, has now become the 2nd largest parade in all of Atlanta!  Only their Thanksgiving parade is bigger.  And the “muggles” come out to watch, too (you normal folks who don’t dress up!)

So, after a beautiful drive through Tennessee and a trouble -free drive through northern Atlanta, I looked up through my open sunroof and look what I saw for the first time in 12 years…….

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HOME BABY!!!

And Dragon*Con Fever had definitely – DEFINITELY – hit Atlanta in a BIG way.  There were signs and banners all over the city for Dragon*Con, and I even heard that the airport had a massive banner in it, too – Welcome to Dragon*Con!
Everything said Welcome To Dragon*Con, and Dragon*Con this and that all over the place – from restaurants to bus stops to all the hotels.   To say that D*C has grown since the last time I attended would be quite the understatement.  It was incredible.  Magical.  It was everything it always was and should be and will be.

Officially, Dragon*Con actually started on Friday Sept 1.  But unofficially, it began as early as Tuesday Aug 30.  Next year, I might check in sooner, and stay a day later.  Because while it also comes to a close on Monday, Labor Day, there are still events taking place that day, and check out can be a little crazy when the masses all decide to leave at the same time.

Let me just say – I took a couple hundred photos and several dozen videos.  No, I can’t possibly share them all here.  I am working on a video from the whole trip, and once that is done, I will share it.

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I can tell you one thing – The Marriott Marquis is like no other hotel.  It is jaw-dropping to walk into it and look up (or down if you go to the top — and I did).  It is a remarkable hotel, and the perfect environment for Dragon*Con without a doubt.

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By Thursday evening, there had to be a solid 5,000 people in the Marriott, I really don’t know.  With Dragon*Con being so spread out over a few blocks, that staggering 77,000 in attendance never really seemed so bad.  I don’t think there were more than 5,000 people in any one hotel at any one given time.  I do know the fire marshal had to intervene a few times to cut down on the numbers!  Ha!

At night, though – D*C becomes a party con.  Thousands of people pack into the Marriott (and the Hyatt) for after-hour parties in the lobby, the ballrooms, and the pool areas.  Besides the parties at local clubs and bars, the host hotels actually become raves – lights and dancing and thumping loud music and shoulder-to-shoulder-to-shoulder passage through the hallways if you’re lucky.

For that reason, I couldn’t wear my Predator at late night for fear of something getting broken.  So, Thursday night was a non-Predator night.  Instead, I creeped people out with my Samara Morgan (The Ring).

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This is a costume I first did around 2005 when The Ring first came out.  It wasn’t that I was crazy about the movie, honestly, I’m not a huge fan of horror films.  But The Ring, at the time, did at least show off some new tricks, and the first thing I thought was that I had “the hair” to pull of a good Samara.

So, the costume was born, and I have to admit- it is so so so fun to creep around the hallways and freak people out.  In the Predator, I have to try to scare people.  In the Samara, all I have to do is show up and people are freaked out.  I lost track of how many people I made scream just by walking around.  I’d come around a corner and people would literally stop what they were doing and run the other way.  It was awesome.

And, this is a great example of costuming on a budget.  All totaled, between body paint and fabric, I’m pretty sure this costume cost less than $40.  So while, it’s true that my Predator costume cost nearly $1,000 and depending on what you are doing, you will definitely pay big money for a good, accurate costume, the Samara costume just proves you can have a screen-accurate (ish) costume on a starvation budget.

Samara got me through Thursday night of freaking people out and by the time I finally slithered my way back to the hotel room, showered off all the body paint and collapsed in bed, I had been up 23 consecutive hours.  I was actually trying to make it a full day, but I failed.  Goal for next year, perhaps?  Hahaha!

On Friday during the day, I still wasn’t ready to don the Predator!  I knew I would be in it for long stretches over several days, so I was actually pacing myself and as such, I brought a couple of alternate costumes.

Friday morning I donned up my Legend Dark Dancer dress.  Now, I did the dress as seen in the movie when it first appears on the dancing mannequin.  I did that because I was too uncomfortable with the idea of 77,000 people seeing me walk around half naked with that huge drop V in the front of the dress.  Call me crazy.  I may have lost 60 pounds this year (so far), but I was just not up to letting modesty go. (Maybe next year….)  Besides, I think being faceless adds a creepy factor to costumes.

I got a lot of compliments on the dress, and it went over pretty well.  Hey, it was another comfortable one to wear, so there’s that.

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I did try to put on my Stahma Tarr (Defiance) costume, but that one requires yellow eyes, and I have a lot of trouble getting contact lenses in, so I did not end up wearing it.  I really am terrible at contacts, and need more practice.  Next year, I am going to do at least 2, possibly 3 costumes that all require different colored eyes.  So….

Anyway, so Friday night was a costume contest and I had entered it in my Predator.  God I love this suit.  Did I mention how much I love this suit?  I am SO PROUD of my beautiful Predator, and I put it on around 3 on Friday and didn’t get out of it until after 11!

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^^ On stage at Dragon*Con, Sept. 1, 2016.

The suit was amazing rave success.  I did not place in the contest, but I do love just being up on stage and hearing the crowd roar.  A couple things surprised me about people’s reactions to the suit at Dragon*Con.

Thanks to a tip on a simple way to do sound effects, I installed sound.  I have had this for the last few cons I’ve attended, and I have had a lot of compliments over it.  I really didn’t think the sound was “that big” of a deal.  I know many people have sound in their Predators, so I really didn’t think anyone would “care”.  The number of people who commented with raving compliments about the sound at Dragon*Con was just staggering to me.  I was shocked.  So, I guess not “everybody” has sounds, or it just completes the costume.  I lost track of how many thousands of times I heard compliments about the sound over the whole weekend.

One other thing that surprised me was that I had several dozen people take video of me.  And I’ve so far only found 1 video that actually has me in it (ha!).

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Friday night, I found an Alien and a couple Colonial Marines to hunt down.  They never saw me coming…..

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Saturday, I doubled up on the Dark Dancer and the Predator again and for something a little different, I brought out a gag-prop with me that I figured I would carry with me for an hour or so.

Here’s the final thing that really shocked me about Dragon*Con.  I mean…. I was really surprised.

I figured for sure no one would know what it even was supposed to be, and not really care about it.  Boy was I wrong.  Way wrong.

I had built a couple of baby Predator dolls over the summer, and brought them with me to Dragon*Con.  I took one with me out onto the con floor, and immediately, the comments were overwhelming.  Staggering.  If thousands raved about the sounds, tens of thousands raved about the baby (and sound!).  It was non stop for eight hours.

My arm was basically numb after carrying the doll with me for so long.  It doesn’t weigh much, but with the armor on, it really did put a major kink in my arm!  ha!  Nothing a few ibuprofen couldn’t fix, I suppose.

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Above, Saturday, with some of my Star Wars Friends.

Below, Saturday afternoon.dragoncon2016

Saturday night, group Predator shoot with my friends.dragoncon2016-pred-group

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In the video below, I actually made the cut along with a Stormtrooper friend of mine.

Sunday was  repeat of Saturday – 8 more hours of Predator and I donned the Samara once again for some more freaking people out.

Monday morning was the dawn of a sad day…. Dragon*Con was ending.  I saw William Shatner that morning and then checked out.

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Although I was incredibly sad to leave the beautiful city of Dragon*Con behind, my road trip adventure was not over.

 

Stick around for Part III :  Branson, Missouri, and more.

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