Staying Shiny

My life as a Uber-geek in a Bridal world

Challenge Day 10

Day 10 - Something you're afraid of
This one's easy and really needs no further explanation other than to say that I have discovered the ability to teleport across a room when one of these bad boys appears!
I also have a bit of an issue with heights.  Not so much the height itself, but the prospect of falling from it unsettles me.

Challenge Day 9

Day 9 - Put your iPod on shuffle, first 10 songs

I suck...I don't own an iPod.  But if I are few random songs I would have on it.

The Beauty of Grey by Live
Exit Music (for a film) by Radiohead
Firework by Katy Perry (guilty pleasure song)
Brick by Ben Fold Five
Levon by Billy Klippert (cover)
New Orleans is Sinking by The Tragically Hip
Wander this World by Johnny Lang
Superman's Dead by Our Lady Peace
I Got a Feeling by The Blackeyed Peas
Yeah by Usher

So I don't know if you see a pattern here because I'm pretty random with my music tastes.  I guess I mostly love songs that tell a story or have a great beat.

Challenge Day 8

Day 8 - A place you've traveled to

It's pretty sad, but I'm not much of a traveler.  It's not that I don't want to, it just seems that it's not in the cards most of the time.  I've never left the North American continent, but I have extensively traveled Canada and some of the US.

So here's where I have been in this awesome country that I live in.  In BC I've been to Vancouver, Prince George, Kelowna, Kamloops, Creston, Golden, Cranbrook and a bunch of little places in between.  Alberta, being my home province, is the most extensively traveled and I've been pretty much everywhere from Fort McMurray south.  I briefly visited Regina in Saskatchewan but I've pretty much just driven through that province.  I spent a few weeks in Winnepeg, but not in the winter.  I have spent a lot of time in southern Ontario since I have  ton of family in that area (Toronto, Barrie, Penetanguishine, etc.) I also went to Montreal once upon a time ago.

I've driven from Alberta to California a couple of times so I've been to all of the states that are on the way. I've been to Las Vegas 4 times in one year, although I was underage the whole time so it kind of sucked after a while.  I've spent a little time on Utah with some family.  I've traveled to Los Angeles, Anahiem and San Diego.  We went on a family vacation to Washington DC once but I was pretty young and don't remember it very much.

I've sort of been to Mexico as well, but it was just a quick jaunt to Tiajuana so I don't know if that really counts.

One day J and I will go to Europe, which is our ultimate travel goal.  I'll call it very very late honeymoon since we never did go on one.

Challenge Day 7

Day 7 - Favorite movies

I'm a big movie buff so it's really hard to pick.  I just went with a few of my all time favorites that I could watch over and over, but there are way more than this that I would call favorites.

I am a big fan of foreign films and this is one of my favorites.  It is such a touching story and very well acted.  I will also never watch the dubbed version of this movie as I really do hate dubbed movies.  I like to watch the original performance given by the actors and their voices are a key to that.

Most quotable movie ever!  How can you go wrong with pirates and swords and R.O.U.S's and miracles and Andre the Giant saying the line that will forever make me smile "Does anybody want a peanut?"  I could watch this one a thousand times.

I love a good mind game and this is one of my favorites.  I find serial killers fascinating as well so I love the psychology of this one.  Plus, it's got great cast.

Simon Pegg + zombies = frakking amazing!  This one makes me laugh, especially when the outbreak first happens and the main characters are totally oblivious to it.  I now own a cricket bat just in case the zombie apocalypse occurs.

Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors and this adaptation of his book is awesome.  I don't think this one gets the recognition it deserves most of the time.  Great story, great actors and awesome sets.  Plus, who doesn't love Dustin Hoffman as a cross dressing pirate.

Browncoats unite!  I love that this film even exists.  It is a tribute to the power of the fanboy.  Firefly was a show that never should have been cancelled and I am so happy that Joss Whedon got the chance to finish his story.  Nathan Fillion is amazing.  I will always be mad about the Wash thing though.  Just saying.

Challenge Day 6

Day 6 - A song that makes you cry

I don't know what it is about this song, but it gets me every time.  "My Name" by George Canyon.  

Challenge Day 5

Day 5- pictures of things that make you happy

My awesome hubby!  He always has the uncanny ability to make me feel better no matter how bitchy I'm feeling or how bad my day has been.

My horse Simple Jack.  I fell in love with him when he was just a baby.  He has nerve damage in his lower lip that makes it so he can never fully close his bottom lip but I think it gives him character.  He always seems happy to see me and will come out of the field straight into the round pen as soon as I walk out into the field.  He also loves to wrap his neck around me and give "hugs".

Meeting my first Cylon!  Me with Aaron Douglas at comicon last year.  He was so nice and gracious with his fans.  I have now made it a goal to meet all of the final 5 cylons.  Maybe even all 12 if I can swing it.  Cylon #2 will be at comicon this year (Colonel Saul Tigh!)

This makeup job won me a contest and praise from Anthony Zuiker (creator of CSI and author or Level 26) and his wife.  It was a pretty cool feeling since it was an international costume contest.

My Doctor.  Doctor Who always makes me smile.  Especially episodes with David Tennant as the Doctor.

Working on the farm.  There is no better feeling for me.  I love getting in there and getting dirty.  

Challenge Day 4

Day 4 - Something you're looking forward to
I can't wait to go the The Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo in June.  We had a great time there last year and this year will be even better.  We are going for 3 days with my sister and brother-in-law.  I love spending time with those two and getting to be geeky with them in awesome.  I started working on my costume the other day and I hope it turns out good.  I got the bustier done and just have to add the feathers to it once they get here.  I'm going as Blind Mag from Repo: The Genetic Opera. If you haven't seen it and are a fan of horrors and musicals you need to see it.  Plus it stars Anthony Stewart Head who is just awesome (he played Giles in Buffy.  Remember the Once More with Feeling episode?  It's like that only with copious amounts of gore)  Here's a pic of what I'm attempting to put together

More than anything I'm just looking forward to 3 crazy days with J and my sister and her hubby.  It's going to be a blast.

Challenge Day 3

Day 3 - Your siblings and parents

Family is the most important thing in my life.  I love nothing more than spending time with my family, my nephews (7 of them) and nieces (3 of them).  Two of the kids live in Ontario so I rarely get the chance to see them and I miss them all the time.  I love sitting in the rain and snow and watching the boys play in a football game or taking my niece swimming or playing video games with them or just hanging out with the oldest one (16) and laughing and talking for hours.  I love hanging out with my siblings and chatting with my mom.  I am very grateful to be park of such an amazing family.

I can't find a recent one of all of us together so here's us in a few pics instead of one...
My awesome mom, sister and me at my sister's wedding.  My mom has always had this uncanny ability to know exactly when a camera will snap and freeze up like a deer in headlights.  

Me with my brother and family at the Olympic Torch relay.

My other brother, Doctor Beardo.  Yes, he really does have a doctorate and he plays in a death metal band.

My dad (in the wheelchair) and my half-brother next to him at the MS Walk-a-thon.  I was in this one too, but I was way at the other end of the picture with about 15 people in between us so I cropped it down.

My "other" family.  Just because I didn't grow up with them doesn't make them any less my parents/siblings.  Here is J with his sisters and parents.

Challenge Day 2

Day 2 - Something that stresses you out

Time, or the lack of it, stresses me out.  I often feel like I bite off way more than I can chew and if I just had a few more hours I could get things done to my satisfaction.  I'm one of those people who often tries to do everything themselves rather than ask for help.  This is no because I don't think someone else can do it, I just know that I won't have anyone but myself to blame if something goes wrong.

Jumping on the 15 day challenge bandwagon

A couple of J's cousins are doing this on their blogs so I thought I'd give it a try, especially since my blog doesn't usually feature a lot of real facts about my life, but rather generalizations and overviews.  This is going to be a little different for me since I am a pretty private person but here it goes...

Day 1 - Self portrait picture, and 15 interesting facts

I stuck to the spirit of this challenge and chose a photo that I did take myself.  I'm no photographer so be nice.

Now for the facts...
1. I have been married for close to 8 years now and I still am amazed that I found such a great guy who truly loves and supports me.  It's nice to have a best friend to hang out with every day.

2.  I suck at cooking.  No really, I am not a good cook at all.  I can make a few things very well, but everything else turns out either over or under cooked.  I do make a very good Shepherd's pie, Root Beer Chicken or Superbowl style finger foods and chicken wings.

3. I used to be a Figure Skater.  I skated for 16 years and coached for about 10.  Then I blew my knee...

4. I love ice cream, but it doesn't love me.  Every time I eat it I get sick about 20 minutes later.  The problem is I live half a block from Marble Slab Creamery and we go there about 3 times a week every summer and it's usually my idea to go.

5. I am obsessed with Zombie movies and Doctor Who....if you've been following this blog you probably know that by now.

6. I grew up in a very religious small town and I still am a bit naive about the workings of the world.  I didn't grow up around drugs or fights or a lot of the bad things that people do to each other so I rarely see the bad in a situation even when I should.

7. I majored in Technical Theatre in University with a focus on lighting and sound.  

8. I collect McFarlane figures, particularly Spawn ones.

9. I'm not a fan of tropical locations.  Perhaps it's because I sunburn very bad and very easily so I don't want to risk ruining a vacation because of a bad burn.  I will burn in about a half hour even with an SPF 50 on.

10. I have saved my brothers life twice.  Both times I pulled him out of water.  Once was a river when he was about 3 and once out of a frozen lake when he fell through the ice while fishing.  

11. I strongly dislike tomatoes, onions and olives.  I love spinach, broccoli and zucchini.

12. I tested 10 grades (and passed with high marks) of Royal Conservatory of Music for piano as well as took their Harmony and History exam and I can barely read music.  I play by ear and used to memorize the pieces when my teacher played them and then pretend to be reading the music.  I can read it, but it take me a lot of time.  I would compare it to giving a grade 8 Science textbook to a smart grade 1 student.  They might be able to sound out the words, but it will take time and probably not make sense.

13. I love to sing, but I get very bad stage fright if I have to perform.  J or my sister usually force me into it ie singing with a band on my birthday or being in a musical.

14. Halloween is my favorite time of year.  I love dressing up and making costumes.

15. I have to sleep on the left side of the bed, but I always move to the right side in the morning, once J leaves for work.

There we go.  That wasn't quite as hard as I thought.

Face Off

Anyone who knows me knows of my little obsession with costumes.  Halloween is my favorite time of year and I love doing crazy off the wall stuff and make up so when I heard about this show I was super excited.

A show strictly about special effects make up?  I love it.  The challenges where great and each of the participants had their own amazing styles.  From the very beginning I loved Tate and Connor.  Tate is imaginative and innovative and a little unorthodox.  Connor is a serious technition and has perfect form and style.  I was very happy to see them in the final and to see one of them win!  I have to say that probably one of my favorite things about this show was that the judges were not just "random famous types who have no business actually critiquing".  They are people who not only work in the business, they are great at what they do!  Ve Neill (Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, and the Pirates movies) Patrick Tatopolous (Independence Day, Godzilla and Underworld: Rise of the Lycans ) and Glenn Hetrick (Legion, The x-files and Buffy/Angel) are the judges.  I learned alot of new techniques watching these artists work and I can't wait to put some of them into practice in the future.

Here's a few of my favorite makeups from this season:

Anthony's creation in the body painting challenge.  I wish I could have found a full body shot so you could see the piece of bark being torn away from the torso to reveal the skin.  Brilliant work.

Connor and Jo's creation from the alien challenge.  I could see this on an episode of Star Trek for sure.

Connor's zombie.  I love the classic take and the leathery "I've been a rotting corpse for a while now" look.  I could see this one on the set of The Walking Dead.

Tate's zombie.  This really shows the difference between those two boys.  Connor's was excellent in it's execution while Tate's had vision and imagination.  I love how his makeup tells the story of this woman being grabbed from behind and torn open. (Note the fingernail tearing on the chest.)  The torn jaw and bloated tongue are disgusting and great touches.

Gage's creation for the finale.  He choose to do Industrial Hansel and Gretel.  It was his most brilliant work and very disturbing.  The shard of metal in the witches mouth and the child hands pushing out of the witches stomach were great.

Tate's post-apocalyptic Little Red Riding Hood.  Awesome concept!  I loved the idea of the group of strong female warriors banding together and hunting down the werewolves.  I am amazed that he made a werewolf this intricate in basically 3 days.  I also loved that is was white and had a tail.  I want to see this movie.

Connor's haunted Frog Prince.  Masterfully executed and interesting.  It was cool to see him do some major problem solving when his frog head piece collapsed after casting.  Here's a close up of the Frog's face during his moment of transformation
The best part was that he ran a small tube into the actors mouth that he blew into and it inflated the bladder under the chin just like a real frog.  This is why Connor won.  Amazing work.  I'm sure he will have a very successful career in Hollywood but I hope Tate gets a lot of work out of the show too.

Now that I'm feeling inspired, it's time to start working on costumes for ComiCon.

10 things that made me smile this week

I have decided to try to do this once a week and since my weeks begin on Tuesday at work, I figured Mondays would be a good day to do this so here are 10 things that made me smile this past week

1.  The look on my niece's face when she ran up to give me a hug after not seeing me for a couple weeks.  Little miss A, you are the sweetest thing in the world.

2.  Monday lunch dates with J.  J works on Mondays but we have a standing lunch date every week and it always brightens my day.

3. Uncensored bridesmaids.  I worked with an awesome group of bridesmaids who totally understood that their role was to support the bride but that didn't stop them from being wild and crazy and a little foul-mouthed.  Totally made my day.

4. Unexpected visits.  My Grandpa showed up at my work on Friday just to give me a hug and tell me he loved me.

5. Double date night with my sister and her hubby.  Had a great time visiting and laughing and eating Chinese buffet followed by a movie date to see Black Swan.

6. Warmer weather.  Finally spring is starting to make an appearance.  I even went out without my winter coat yesterday.

7.  Cranberry Goat Cheese.  Sometimes it's the little things.

8.  Fancy Hats.  I came across a sweet purple sunhat (for free I might add) the other day and I can't wait for an excuse to wear it.

9.  Being told that I'm very intelligent by a co-worker.  Always nice to hear.

10.  Playing fetch with the seeing eye dog that lives in my building.  I love that dog, he's so good at his job and I love the way he turns back into a puppy when he's not working and just loves to play.

Fantastic New Wedding Gowns

We got a new shipment of wedding gowns in at work today by an amazing designer, Kitty Chen.  We ordered the gowns from pictures and I am more than pleased with the quality of these beauties in real life.  In fact, I like them better in person than I do in the pictures.  Here are a few of my new favorites:

This is London and she is gorgeous!  The dress is light and so very soft and feminine looking.  I love the way the skirt opens into these soft flowing cascades and the peaked neckline is awesome.  It really is better in person and the price is very reasonable.

Meet Flora.  She is light and flirty and the lace is so classy.  I love the flowered shoulder strap and love even more that is comes with an optional second lace shoulder strap for those that want that look.  This one is a great gown for a church wedding or even a destination wedding with it's light fabric and small train.

This is Paris and she is by far my favorite!  The skirt is really hard to see how beautiful it is in the picture.  It has these really great leaf like cut outs made of sparkle tulle so it really shines in a subtle way and has really neat real feather details interspersed in the skirt as well.  I know it sounds weird to have feathers, but it's done in such a smart way that I really love it!  This one really blew me away when I opened the box and I can't wait to put it on someone to see what it looks like.  I also like that the sparkley belt is optional.

Thanks Kitty for making such fantastic couture gowns for the bride who doesn't want to go into massive debt for her wedding.  I'm loving these gowns!

The Boe Argument

J and I are both sick.  We caught this nasty flu that's going around.  It sucks.  So last night we decided to go to be early and watch some Torchwood.  After watching a couple of episodes, we decided to go to sleep.  That's when the argument started.  (You know you're officially a geek when you have a heated argument of this kind)
We got discussing the character of Captain Jack Harkness and I made a comment about how I believe he became the face of Boe.  Now J loves to play devil's advocate so he disputed this.  I really think he does this just to tick me off.  It ended up in about an hour long debate with me trying to recall every little fact and figure that has been stated about The Face of Boe in either Doctor Who, Torchwood or The Sarah Jane Adventures.  I consider these shows the cannon and while the books, comics and audio shows have merit, I'll stick with the cannon anyday.  After many point-counter point arguments, we finally went to sleep.
But I do not consider this case closed.  Not until I can get him to admit I am right.  I have spent the last hour researching The Face of Boe and I have come to the conclusion that I WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG!  Now to wait for him to come to bed so I can argue this some more.
Funny the things geeks will argue about....

He better be careful though, I'm about 5 minutes away from pulling out the feat Powerword: FINE (prerequisite - being female.  Saving Throw: None  Effect: Automatic end of argument and WIN  Immunities: None - however does not work on other females)

It's official

So it's finally official.  I have been working as acting manager at work since the last manager went on maternity leave in December, but today I was officially made manager.  Not that that changes much with my job, but it did come with a nice raise and the promotion of another girl to the position of supervisor to help me out and take some of the load off of me since I will still be retaining my other position as Head of Alterations.  The owner also has named managers for our 2 other stores as well since the other Manager will be going on Maternity leave next month as well.  It's nice to finally have all of this figured out so we can start to get back into a routine at work.

In other work related news... I'm feeling pretty good about myself right now.  It's not too often that we get requests for specific consultants at work when people book appointments but it's not unheard of.  Most of the time it's because the Bride is a friend of someone who works there and wants them to help.  When I went into work today I saw that I had 7 appointments booked specifically with me for this week alone.  That is a really large number of requests!  To top it off, I don't personally know any of these people but they all asked for me because someone else (in most cases a past bride of mine) has referred them to me.  I had my first 2 appointments today and they both found gowns.  It's nice to know that our customers appreciate my work.

Here's hoping things are starting to look up some more.

A little perspective

Sometime life decides to throw a little perspective at you.  I thought the last little while that my life was a little rough but a few friends of mine are going through things in their lives right now that make me feel petty and ashamed for ever daring to feel bad for myself.

One of my best friends started dating this girl about a year back who has 2 kids.  I was a little bit leary at first because he's a great guy with a big heart and I didn't want to see him get hurt.  But once i got to know her and her kids, I saw what he saw and fell in love with them too.  We took them into our heart and her kids are like nephews to me and always make me laugh if I'm having a bad day.  About 6 months ago her oldest son started to feel very poorly and gaining lot of weight.  After a few trips to the doctor and a few more to the emergency room he was diagnosed with Cushing's syndrome.  Cushing's is characterized by severe weight gain, a pronounced hump on the back or neck, a very round face and severe acne.  It all made sense as this described K exactly.  After a lot of test and scans they discovered a large tumor in his brain that had destroyed his pituitary gland and a large brain bleed that has made it impossible to remove the tumor until it is under control.  It has been a long road with tons of doctors and drugs and poking and proding and various other things that no 15 year old should ever have to go through.  He has had to withdraw from school as it is just to much for him.  This last week has been very hard as he is getting depressed and has started talking about how it would be easier if he was dead.  That is a heartbreaking thing to hear.  Tomorrow he goes for another brain scan to see if there is anything they can do for him.  Here's hoping....

Another friend went through a really rough experience on the 19th of Feb.  She was cooking dinner when her 18 month-old son grabbed the cord on the electric skillet and flipped boiling oil on his head, arms, back and feet.  She managed to get her hand on his eyes and save him from some very permanent damage. He is in the children's hospital right now and has undergone 1 round of skin grafting on his arms and foot and will have to have another round done on his forehead and scalp soon.  One positive thing about this is he is so young he won't remember the incredible amounts of pain he is forced to endure right now.

Then I came across this blog about this couple dealing with the unexpected loss of their 4 month old baby....

Seems trivial right now that I worry about stress at work and get frustrated over cold weather.  I guess I needed a little perspective in life.