Pq, Elivira and I letting our freak flags fly.

Ever met a childhood Idol? You were told it’s a bad idea, weren’t you? “Don’t meet your Heroes. They never live up to the image you have of them in your head.” We romanticize them. Write fanfic. But I’m not calibrated like the people who say that. I’d rather KNOW if the person I’m paying so much attention to, learning about, emulating is really as awesome as I think they are! Sure it’s disappointing if we build someone up to be more than human only to learn they only have one heart, but If you’re gonna idolize someone, you should make the effort to meet them and look into their eyes. You need to watch how they interact with people. You may think it’s easy to be fake version of yourself in front of others… go to a fan-con on a Sunday. By this time the celebrity guests have had possibly up to three days of signing autographs and hugging strangers. This is what we call a Grind. If they are still laughing and telling unsolicited stories to the fans, one fan or clique at a time, they are probably worth a couple inches on a pedestal. It’s hard to spend three days signing autographs and being ON and pretending to like everyone if you aren’t truly grateful of your support team and your fans. People are weird and clingy and smell funny. Some are better at being in public than others… I can’t stop talking. I think really fast. I have to take a really deep breath before I ask a question in interviews or you can’t understand me because I talk too fast if I’m jazzed about the subject! I’m kinda spastic. It works for me when I’m doing a freak show ballyhoo grind.

I was lucky enough to join the First Ambassador of the Nerd Nation, David Ward for my first whole weekend as a fan at a fan-con. I’ve been a vendor- which feels a lot like having a table at a fancy flea market. I’m used to naked pagan hippy phamily festivals. You take tons of munchies and who cares if you can’t decide what to wear to the party after the main ritual? Take all of your broomstick skirts and sarongs (or in this case trashy dresses 😉 )… not really necessary at a fan-con in the city! I still forgot all my hairbrushes. I spent three hours Saturday creating an Amy Winehouse worthy bouffant- with a six inch fine toothed comb from the front desk at the Hampton Inn!

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Finally ready!

I managed to channel a little Amy and a little Devine for a photo op with a childhood idol: Elvira. Yep. I met THE Mistress of the Dark! I know everyone else there did too! Shut up! I remember watching her on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson before I started PRE-school. You couldn’t convince me that the Oakridge Boys weren’t singing about her. It was my name in Spanish 1 & 2 in high school.

I did my research. I read articles and interviews and watched YouTube videos of quick fan-con interviews. It was promising… just had to get past a publicist and a disinterested convention info czar. I bought a groupie with my PIC, Pequliermo and Elvira- I went right to the one I wanted to interview and since she dug my mode du jour she agreed to a short chat! She is TINY! I’m 5’7” flat footed and plus sized. I had on 4 inch heels with 1.5” platforms. I could have scooped her up and toted her away except her handler- who was fantastic, btw- may have been half my size, but she was a tatted and tanned black hair dying lean muscle rocking mama… who could’ve bent me ways I wasn’t engineered for if I’d tried to. So I restrained myself. She looks SO YOUNG. She’s trim and toned and taped into that iconic plunging black gown we all recognize. She’s gracious and said my name was cool! (I know she says nice things to everyone! Shut UP!) I got her autograph on her officially licensed Elvira Sleeping Mask. I do wear them. You think I’m a priss? SO? Lol. The only thing I don’t like about it is I can’t see what I look like when I’m wearing it.

My boots were not made for walking though… Why isn’t Dr. Scholl’s making patent leather knee high platform heels yet? After wandering around a bit we ran into Captain Stabtuggo and Maybelle, heading for the tattoo contests. They are the Cutest Gross Couple in America! A few minutes later we saw David heading to the same- of which he took first prize in portraits! Woohoo! I needed to go over my notes and pick which of my prepared questions I was going to ask Ms. Peterson the next day, so Pq and I rode out to Little Five Points (LP5) for something hand blown and to mock the jerk at the front cash register at Junkman’s Daughter. Go to their fb page and read the reviews. It’s a thing. Oh and we needed real food. We found the best Mexican joint we’ve ever been to down past the theater and it even had free parking. El Bandidos. Go there. Marvel at the well oiled machine.

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Awesome art at a Mexican joint in LP5 with especially rad food.

I digress. We ate, we left. I spent over an hour in the bathtub trying to comb out all the ratting I’d done earlier in the day. I studied, packed, repaired the sink in the hotel room, fixed some buttons on my jacket and pretty much stayed up until 5 am with my nerves.

I got up and put on my best tacky journalist costume. OK, David would point out it took forever, but in his haste he left behind his Boomstick/Ash/Evil Dead tshirt, but I found it before we cleared the room and checked out. My time blindness saved his cool shirt! I felt vindicated. Time Blindness is bad, but [this time] it feels gooooood.

I got there. With THANK YOU, YOU ROCK flowers in hand (purple callas). She wasn’t there yet. I found the Darkside Bakery Booth and bought Nutella fudge. You can’t have it… it’s MINE. Too nervous to eat. Go back. Too nervous and courteous to get in line- I don’t want to get in the other fans’ way, or keep her from greeting them. Her assistant could give other celebrities’ assistants lessons in how to protect the brand while still being a relatable, respectful, and respected human being. (Captain Oblivious of Where he’s Standing was Chyna’s assistant. If he’d been standing at her table I’d have spoken to him first! He was behind C.Thomas Howell’s table, next to hers. He needs those lessons I mentioned.) Why is it that when I’m nervous I suddenly can’t work my phone and become some kind of grandma luddite? Couldn’t find the voice recording app I installed. Pq’s video camera failed… lucky I scrawled out some notes! I sit down next to an auburn beauty with a kind and gleeful smile. I give her the flowers and reintroduce myself- She remembered me from the day before- after gobs of people and changing my hair! *Breathe* *you remember how, right?*

I mention her family’s costume shop and ask her what her favorite costumes to play in were when she was a kid. “You know even as a kid I was into the sexy ones. The slinky black dresses or harem/genie costumes, black cat.”

With the new wave of feminism all over social media I was curious what it had been like starting out in Vegas and Hollywood during such chauvinistic periods and how she overcame it- A one woman show in a man’s world that has stood the test of time. Few Actresses are still sex symbols beyond receiving that first AARP invitation. She is still a sex symbol at 64. It’s okay to be a sex symbol. It’s subterfuge. If you’ve never seen her on Carson go to YouTube next. She uses her appearance on camera to psych everyone out and then wham! She’s the smartest, sharpest, punniest person on stage and the guys don’t ever whimper. No matter how fiercely she spanks them (verbally, with comedy of course) they are nipnotized. I bet she could charm free itunes out of Tim Cook and give him the finger at the same time and he’d offer her his iphone so she had a spare. She said that,

“It sounds like sour grapes when you start talking about all that- you sound like a bitch. People think you are a bitch, I don’t wanna be a bitch. You have to do like Ginger Rogers, ‘work twice as hard, be twice as good and be able to do it backwards in heels’.”

She went on to say that many of the male groundlings she’d worked with went on to more successful careers, but [most of ] the women didn’t get those opportunities, and that it was great to see creatives like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler doing so much.

Will you ever retire or are you going to keep working until you drop? “I think about it every day. I’ll get texts from like three friends with pictures from New York and Bridgeport and I just think, ‘Damn retirees! When do I get to have fun!?’ I can’t imagine how much more fun she’s had over the years because of her job!

Last question. There’s a line again. What’s next? “I’m working on a few [things] – just different projects. I don’t like to talk about them too much because sometimes you do and then it doesn’t happen. I don’t want to jinx them.” But she is sure of this one: new state of the art slot machines, ‘like 10 feet high with old horror clips and comments when you win. There will be a clip and then I’ll tell a joke.” They will pay homage to the old days of horror. There will be virtual slot games to follow. She’s interested in animation too, doing voice work. I could’ve popped. I love animation. An Elvira Cartoon… maybe Adult Swim could get back to producing something really cool.

I thanked her, like three more times, for her time and for being so freaking awesome. She and her assistant gave back warm smiles and kind words. I watched them both with the fans. It’s Sunday afternoon. They should be ground down by all the intense attention. It doesn’t seem to faze them. They are happy and energetic and chatty with everyone. And they hadn’t been into the edibles that some of the guests had been giving the stars! They are both truly appreciative of the fans.  After all, without us they’d be out of work!

Mousetraps- AKA Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Today is National Grilled Cheese Day. Yay! Another insignificant holiday that I have no idea how it became a holiday… HOW does that happen??? January 14 is Dress Up Your Pet Day. Wait, WHAT? That’s EVERY day on the internetz, isn’t it? Anyway, in honor of Grilled Cheese day I had to post some of my favorite tips and Grilled Cheese variations. Yes, I’m going to make you wait for the keystone of this post. because IT IS Legen…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

DAIRY! Haha- it actually isn’t “dairy” at all! But we ARE talking Grilled Cheese here! Now you are really curious, aren’tchya?

Sooooo… Without further ado:

Recipes:

I’m Gluten Free, but there are recipes for GF versions of classic recipes all over the place- my book is in the works and I can’t wait to share it with you but for now you gotta fend for yourself. So use whatever bread you like. These are just suggestions.

 

Can you see the Jam Bubbling? Nonstick pans are best for this sticky sammie!

Can you see the Jam Bubbling? Nonstick pans are best for this sticky sammie!

Jam Today: (Screw the White Queen! I’m HAVING JAM!

  • Whole Grain bread- I like using the middles I cut out of the Udi’s Whole Grain Hamburger Buns. I can’t finish a whole burger if I use the whole thing, so I trim it! Then I save the middles for sammies!
  • One slice of Extra Sharp Cheddar
  • One slice of Muenster
  • One Tbsp. Strawberry Jam or preserves
  •  Dash GARLIC SALT- Yeah. I am going THERE.
  1. lube the bread, sprinkle with garlic salt and slap the lubed sides together
  2. put the bread on the counter and put the cheddar on top
  3. apply jam
  4. apply muenster
  5. grill*

Viva Italia:

  • Crusty Italian bread cut lengthwise and flipped inside out- cut sides face out, crust sides in.
  • two or three slices of -Fresh Buffalo Mozzerella
  • two slices Smoked Provolone
  • Thin slices or shreds of Parmesan
  • four to six slices de-seeded Roma Tomato
  • baby or flat leaf spinach -as much as you want
  • 6 leaves Fresh Basil, shredded
  • Italian seasoning
  • Garlic Salt
  • Pepper
  1. Lube the cut sides of the bread and flip them together, place onto counter
  2. apply Mozerella
  3. apply Tomato
  4. Apply IN THIS ORDER! THERE IS CHEMISTRY AT WORK HERE! Salt, Pepper, Italian Seasoning
  5. Apply Basil
  6. Apply Parm
  7. Apply Provolone
  8. Grill*

Creamy Dill and Artichoke

  • French bread, cut lengthwise and flipped crust sides together
  • 4 Oz. Double or Triple Cream Brie
  • 2 Oz. Chopped Frozen Artichoke Heart, sauteed in buttah with gaaaahlic sawlt and peppah
  • 1 Oz. Chopped Onion, sauteed with the chokes
  • Fresh or dry Dill weed to taste
  1. Lube the cut sides of the bread and flip them lubed sides together
  2. Apply 2 Oz. of Brie
  3. Apply Dill
  4. apply chokes and onions
  5. More dill if you like
  6. Apply the rest of the Brie** This may be easier to do if you make little blobs of the Brie and just drop it onto the veg Or shmear onto the other slice of bread. Just lay the slice with the filling already on it into the pan, quickly shmear onto the other slice then apply it to the stuff in the pan. Keep reading that will make more sense in a few seconds.

Crusty Bread: What was all that flipping the bread around? I just gave you two very tasty recipes involving Crusty Breads. The crusts don’t absorb the lube well and they are already caramelized so they are going to burn before you melt your cheese. Lube the cut sides and face the crusts inward. The fat in the cheese will soften up the crust to a lovely toothsome nibble.

Pans: I feel I should address them. I will flip. If I don’t feel like preheating my cast irons in the oven I will use my nonstick. But if I DO feel like Preheating I do one medium and one small and BOOM I have a Pannini Press that didn’t cost me $1500 or more shelf space. I crank the oven to 500º with the irons inside. I let them roast for about 10 min after the preheat alarm goes off.

“Making a Grill Set”: You don’t want to have a lot of delay between putting the bottom piece of bread in the pan and getting the top piece on and under a pan. You also don’t want the lube all over your hands and counter while you are assembling the set. So you apply the lube to what will be the outside of the bread in the end and slap them together. Put it down on the counter as if it is a finished sandwich and pile the cheese, etc. on top of THAT. That is a Grill Set(up). The transfer to the pan simply requires you to skillfully peel the slices of bread apart, put the piece with everything else on it lube side down (duh) into the pan and quickly pop the piece you just peeled away from all that on top, lube up. If you are using irons, quickly get that small one on top of the whole mess and while using a DRY towel AND a Hot Holder mash on the small pan just enough that the whole thing is LEVEL and crackling really good. THIS HAPPENS KINDA FAST. Be careful! Don’t try to set up another. You don’t have that much time. But you have more than you ever have before because you didn’t use butter to lube your bread.

You will not taste the difference- unless you count the lack of the taste of burnt bread- but you will NEVER burn your Grilled Cheese Again if you use MAYONNAISE. Yep. Not as much as you would if it were being used as a condiment on the inside of the sandwich. That will be too greasy. Just enough to lightly coat the bread. Like, Apply it the way you do for a cold ham and cheese and then go back and scrape off most of it. Don’t scrape hard enough to rough up the bread. Be gentle. Be nice to it. It’s all so soft and delicate right now. Act like you like it! Sheesh! Here the Mayo is a TOOL. It is a lubricant and a conductor of heat energy into the sandwich. It is not a flavoring. When you lune a pan with nonstick spray you just do a light coat, right? Same thing. Oh, and Your Welcome! 😉

The reason we do TBT

Because we need to remember. Sometimes we need to remember the good, but sometimes we need to remember the…erm…not…so…good.  This one was a particularly experimental look from my days at the worst hair school in the world. THE WORLD. Lol. The teacher stole product, sat in her cubicle and judged people’s morals from on high- hmmmm… I was bad for believing that LOVE is LOVE, but it was ok for her to take whatever she wanted to from the school- we paid tuition and STILL had to pay for product to use on our own hair. And I knew she was stealing it because she only did it when the owner was definitely out of town and took it in a black trash bag. By the time she was gone I had lost so much respect for the place that I couldn’t finish there and had realized how gross humans really are anyway and had decided that this was wrong for me as a career, but great as a hobby! LMAO I have learned from my hair mistakes… mostly…

Blue won't break! If you have never tried Blue Hair dye before you are better off using it as an Ombre toward the end of your hair so that if you decide you hate it there's less to cut or grow off.

Blue won’t break! If you have never tried blue hair dye before you are better off using it as an Ombre toward the end of your hair so that if you decide you hate it there’s less to cut or grow off. I wish I still had that Apron!

Anyway, I’d done some drastic coloring, tried to strip it and ended up breaking my hair so badly that I buzzed it and bleached most of it and rocked this punk…skater…ish…thing for a minute. This was before I got my coveted neo-geisha head tat on my right shoulder, but in the mirror behind me you can see a little of my Star Gazer Lily between my shoulder blades- It’s before I added Eureka and Anemone to it. I was another girl then…