Boxes of Parts and Doodles on a Page

Hey All,

So. An update on the Halloween Happenings around here. Even though I have been SUPER busy, (My first Dance Showcase is THIS WEEK…. insert hyperventilating noises here) I have managed to get some work done. It’s really a good thing I decided to document it here… it’s keeping me motivated. lol.

My little orange helper... my kitten Ivy

My little orange helper… my kitten Ivy

We had three boxes and a tupperware hidden around the house with our existing Halloween decorations.It took me a while to find them, but once I did, I split them between three big bins. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t kinda excited about it. Some of this stuff I hadn’t seen in years; Donations from my Momma, Phoenix,  who was more then happy to give them to me since she mostly just decorated when I was young to appease us kids. It brought up for me little waves of warm recollection as I slowly unpacked the little pieces of my childhood…. but that is a completely beside the point.

What I was really trying to do was separate the stuff out into categories. The first bin was for stuff that didn’t fit the theme. Basically that will just end up being the stuff I used to decorate the house. The second was for stuff that was usable, and not in need of any alterations. Things like the fog machine, the big fake spider, plastic skulls, the cobweb-y cloth, etc. The last bin was for stuff that needs to be edited or fixed up. The pieces and parts, if you will. There wasn’t a whole lot of that to begin with, but Green Lantern and I have buying little things here and there to add to it. You know… fun stuff like body parts, pots and silk flowers for my soon-to-be mutated plants, ping pong balls which will become eyeballs, and baskets which will soon become the cage for my new “pet.” So excited. 🙂

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Two of the Sorted Bins… Sans Ivy

The other things I have been doing with my time is sketching. Lots and lots of sketching. I think that is the graphic artist in me. We were taught in design school to make thumbnails or draw out our ideas so we can get a clear picture of where we are going. I have never really let that go. I was a sketcher from way back anyway, so it just helps me clear my head of all the jumbled mess of ideas I have for this. Likewise… I would like to make a note and say I love Pinterest for this. It has give me a great inspiration for what kind of creepy contraptions to build. More excitement.

At Phoenix’s suggestion, I am entertaining the idea of just building my shop outside of the house and not a real and actual “haunted house” in the garage like Green Lantern and I had originally planned. The point is that I probably just don’t need as much space as we needed for our original theme. So I have played around with layout a little, and have in place a working vision of what I think I would like it to look like. I think it might still be a little ambitious… but what is life without a little risk, right? Maybe I won’t get all the way there… but I will have fun trying anyway.

An Early Concept. Don't want to give it all away!

An Early Concept. Don’t want to give it all away!

So I’m not expecting to have any updates on this for a little while. It is gonna be a killer week (which I might feel the need to comment on later), and my focus is going to be entirely on work and dance. However, I am hoping to maybe have a project to talk about next time. Way cooler, right? Have a good week everyone!

Cheers,

BG

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The First Step

Hello All,

It’s August! And you know what that means! It’s time to start thinking about Halloween!

Ok… Well maybe you’re not ready to start thinking about Halloween yet. The kids aren’t even back in school yet. But for me, it definitely is. See, this is a big year for us. It is our first Halloween back in the states together, and the first year where we would really be able to celebrate the way we wanted. Green Lantern and I are definitely Hallow’s Eve Enthusiasts. You know, the decorate the front yard/House and carve pumpkins and get costumes and watch scary movies all month and maybe even turn our garage into a haunted house kind of Enthusiasts.  And to top it all off, we had come up with the absolutely perfect theme. Like… literally perfect from the garage design to the costumes. The point is… when you have to make everything from scratch, time is key. Starting early is a must.

But… that didn’t happen. Because, as happens when you are married to a super hero, the universe called and the world needs saving AGAIN. So Green Lantern went off on his surprise second deployment a few weeks ago, leaving me in our (relatively) new house alone for the third time since we moved in. And this time, for much longer. Hooray military. Whenever you make plans… they go up in smoke.

Anyway, needless to say the plans had to change. That really awesome perfect theme (Which I will be filing away in the back of my mind and not saying here because SOMEDAY my Lantern will be home and we will do it) had to scraped. It just isn’t feasible for me alone to make it work. I needed something a little easier. Probably with a little less mechanical work. Definitely with less heavy lifting. I wasn’t ready to give up… I still wanted to make something amazing and impressive, and I still wanted a theme. So I started going through the normal themes that would be easier to pull off. Pirates. Witches and Covens. Alien Crash Site. Spider Queen. Cemetery and maybe Ghosts. Zombie Virus. Arkham Asylum. When Green Lantern and I started discussing ideas, I had settled nicely on either Nightmare before Christmas or a Demented Alice in Wonderland. However, I have to give credit for the actual theme all to my Lantern. He had literally come up with the perfect theme for me to run alone that combined a whole bunch of things I loved.

So… my 2014 massive Halloween undertaking is…. (Insert drumroll here)…. The Mad Botanical Genius.

Ok…. so it might sound a little out there. Maybe it could even be considered a bit of stretch. But let me paint a picture. In her garden of mutated plants, the botanist takes on an aura of Pamela Isley (Poison Ivy in the Batman Universe). She has an intense love for plants and a passion for science. Her experiments lead to these mutants… abominations that are half plant – half human. This is truly a perfect fit for me. Poison Ivy is my favorite villain in the comic book universe. But the theme also allows me to incorporate my theatre love… Little Shop of Horrors. I can just imagine an Audrey II, maybe holding the candy in his mouth, as the crowning jewel of my lab.

The last piece of the puzzle though, what makes it truly original, was made at Green Lantern’s brilliant suggestion. My flower shop isn’t struggling to survive on Skid Row in the 50s or 60s. Oh no. Mine is a little more… turn of the century. In order to create a comprehensive theme that was clear and easy to understand, all the way down to my costume, we decided that a little steampunk would really add to the ambiance. Personally… I love this. I love everything about it. It allows me to create a whole character and persona to embody, and that can only add to the strength of my theme. The best way to get people to go along with it and buy into it is to commit completely… and I can definitely do that.

I have decided to use my blog here as an outlet for the process, and a way to measure my progress. I am planning some really cool stuff, and it would be nice to share it with someone since my Lantern is off being busy. Hopefully, I will be able to document the whole process from start to finish, and maybe even include some how-tos for some of my prop making. I know it is going to be a long and drawn-out process. Let’s face it, other than my Necronomicon last year (for the production of Evil Dead the Musical), I have never  really taken on a really huge project. And this… well this is bigger. But… It’s good to have goals, right? I simply cannot wait to take this frightfully fun and delightfully creepy trip with all of you. So stay tuned… and I will definitely be updating this soon. I have to go sort through my Halloween collection and see what can be used.

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The pile of Halloween Stuff we have acquired over the years. As good a place to start as any.

Well… wish me luck. 😛

Cheers,

BG

Home at Last <3

Hello all,

Now I will openly admit that Green Lantern has been home for a few weeks. But honestly… any other military wife out there will tell you that once the guys come home, you do go MIA for a while. All of a sudden all of those routines that you have gotten used to, all of these habits you have formed are suddenly and completely interrupted. I find myself now struggling and running around the house full speed when he is gone, trying to get everything done so that when he gets home I can just sit in the same room with him and not feel obligated to get up and do anything. It’s an adjustment, but it is the most welcome adjustment in the world.

That being said, let’s talk about the welcome home a little bit. It was so beautiful, I really feel it is something that needs to be shared. Of course, the ceremony was a bit of blur. However, I can say that if you ever have the opportunity to go to one, do so. I think that it is probably the truest and most raw form of emotion that I have ever seen. I was standing in this mass of people, clutching this sign that I had spent literally weeks drawing and coloring and perfecting. His wedding ring felt heavy on my hand. I was so tired of wearing it. I would go from feeling flush like my skin was on fire from nerves to freezing cold with fear. I was SO anxious. I just wanted it to be over already.

Check out that Sweet Sign Action!

Check out that Sweet Sign Action!

When they opened the door to the hanger, and the guys (and girls) started to walk in, in formation, I couldn’t help but scream and yell. It is that level of excitement where you can barely control what your body is doing. Your heart is caught in your throat and your head is pounding. I couldn’t even see my Lantern… but I knew he was there. Somewhere in that mass of men in uniform was mine. He was ok, and he was HERE.

When they released the soldiers, it took me a few minutes to find him. But as soon as I saw him… there was no way anything could have ever kept me from him. When I got to him, when he hugged me and picked me up and kissed me… it really does make it worth it. I couldn’t pull away from him… not even for a second. The whole event has almost this dreamlike quality to it. For the rest of the day, I just kept staring at him. He was here… in my house… eating my food… playing with our dog… talking to me. He was real; not this moving image on the computer anymore.

I always hear that when they come back, it can be difficult. That the soldier can be a different person from what you remember. Honestly… it was never a worry. It is common knowledge that Green Lantern and I don’t do well apart. But it’s for a good reason; It’s because we belong together. He completes me, and completes my life. Everything is wrong when he is away. Having my Lantern coming home felt way more natural than him being away. There was no element of difficulty to it. I just wanted him with me. That feeling of treading water was finally gone. It was everything I needed. It was enough to make me feel normal again. In the end, that was all I really wanted.

Reunion

Cheers,

BG

Here’s to You

Here’s to you Military Wife.

Here’s to the woman who watches her husband get on that bus. The woman who sits by a computer or stares at a phone for hours on end, waiting for that one message that says “I’m ok.” The woman who holds back tears every time the internet crashes and she loses him for another day. The woman who wishes for one more call, one more word, one more letter just to keep going.

Here’s to the woman who warms her own bed, dries her own tears, and holds together her own house. The woman who makes too much food because she isn’t good at portioning to eat alone. The woman who eats in front of a computer screen or a television, just so there will be noise to keep her company. The woman who mails box after box, just so he knows that she thought about him.

Here’s to the woman who cuddles her babies (Furry or otherwise) to make them feel better when they can’t understand. The woman who gets up in the morning, even though all she wants to do is lay in bed. The woman who cleans up the messes and fixes the problems that inevitably show up as soon as he walks out the door.

Here’s to the woman who fills the void with projects. The woman who travels until she can’t walk, exercises until her body burns, works until she can’t think straight, or makes art until her hands are blistered or covered in muck. The woman’s whose only motivation is that one face that she can’t see.

Here’s to the woman who turns to her family. The woman who calls her mom every day just so she hears her voice other than when it’s lecturing the dog. The woman who attends gatherings and holiday parties alone, when everyone else gets to be with their spouse or significant other. The woman who tries so hard not to let it bother her that she wonders whether or not it would have been better to spend the time alone.

Here’s to the woman who fights her demons alone. The woman who hides the insomnia or nightmares behind coffee, and the depression behind a few more carbs than she needs. The woman who sleeps in the living room because sometimes the bed is just too big, or reads until the wee hours of the morning just to occupy her mind. The woman who can get herself so paranoid that she sleeps with a baseball bat in her bed. The woman who reaches out until she has literally fallen apart, then stands up and starts to put herself back together, because her other half isn’t there to help her.

Here’s to the woman who has to learn to endure. The woman who crossed an ocean to be with him, and stays just because this was where he left her. The woman who feels alone even when surrounded by people, because she knows that none of the people around her really care that much what happens to her. The woman who makes plans and lets people drop them, just so she can say she is trying to make it work in a place where she just doesn’t quite seem to fit.

Here’s to the woman who waits. The woman who watches husband after husband come home, watches the joy spread through a community, and tries not to drown in self-pity. The woman who puts on the brave face, who smiles and is happy for them, when the anger in her chest boils up, and she would give anything in the world to be one of them.

Here’s to you Military Wife. I understand. I have done every single one of these things, and I have matched you tear for tear. I have felt every gut-wrenching worry. I have prayed every silent prayer. I have felt every sigh of relief when that message finally comes. I know what it feels like when someone who doesn’t really understand what you are going through tries to offer help, and only makes it worse. I understand how much the wrongly chosen words can hurt. I have felt every stab of anguish when ANOTHER picture of someone else’s homecoming turns up in your Facebook feed. I understand. I understand because I feel it all right now.

I’m not going to tell you to keep your chin up. I already know that you can do it.  You’re strong. You have to be if you married the military. I’m just saying that I understand. And even though you feel alone, you aren’t. I’m right here, feeling it all with you.

Cheers,

BG

 

The Freeze Ray that Stops Time

Hello all,

I pretty much just have one thing to say today, and it has been on my mind for probably about a week now. To whoever is sitting around messing with my clocks and making time putter along at a snail’s pace…CUT IT OUT!

I have been home for a couple of weeks now, and I noticed something very strange. While this deployment has not been moving really fast, there was at least a particular pace to it. There was a rhythm. I didn’t necessarily like it… but I was willing to deal. It had spots where it slowed down a little, and I thought that November would never come, but without fail it did.

Mid-tour passed too quickly. I would describe it as trying to hold water in your cupped hands. You can only hold it for so long before it starts slipping through your fingers. I was positive as I got on a plane on the opposite side of the airport as Green Lantern that I had blinked, and our time together was already over. That was almost more painful than the long lead-up to the deployment before it started. At least at that time, I had been given A LOT of time to process. When I got back from mid-tour, the few weeks I had before I turned around and got on a plane for another 20 hour travel day went fairly fast. That was just because I was super busy trying to get everything ready and clean before I left. I had animals to take care of, arrangements to make, Christmas presents to wrap and mail to get out. It always seems that at the holiday season that time is short anyway, and I was completely grateful for it. The three weeks at home with my family passed quickly. Not only did I have people all around me at all times, but it was mostly people who I really cared about and had truly missed for over a year. By the time I came back home, I was tired, but I would say I was as happy as I can be with Green Lantern off in the sandbox.

That leads me to now. Two weeks later. ONLY two weeks later. After a heroic effort of cleaning my house, washing all of the laundry plus bedding, towels, and puppy stuff, reorganizing my closet, trying to find the right sleep and workout schedules, restocking my pantry, finishing three books and countless art or design projects, I feel like I have officially hit groundhog day. Everyday is just the same thing, over and over again. To be honest, sometimes I don’t even think the date changes. I look at a calendar and think “why isn’t January over yet?” I look at the clocks and swear that sometimes they just don’t run at all. I find it completely infuriating. It is as if time has slowed to a crawl just to mock the fact that I have been living here for months on end without my Lantern. Let me tell you… it SUCKS.

There is nothing I want more in the world then my husband back, safe and sound, with me. During the day, it’s ok. I get out, I take care of the things that I need to do. I have the animals. They are long, but manageable. In the evenings, when I’m settling down, I find myself feeling either like I have drank too much caffeine and can’t quite get comfortable, or inescapably lonely. I’m exhausted, but I lay in bed or on the couch and don’t fall asleep.  Now, in what most people would call the home stretch, I am having more problems than I have encountered up to this point. I don’t sleep as well. I miss him so much more every day. Nothing completely  fills my time, and I am always distracted.The animals are drawing off of me, and getting just as restless. I’m sure it has to be frustrating for them too, though they probably don’t know why. We are all off.

What can I do but press on? I know that this, like the slow patches before mid-tour will pass. Someday soon I’m going to start that deep cleaning of the house so it will be spotless before he comes back. I’ll take that commissary run to stock the house will all of the things he loves. I’ll venture out on the German economy to find those special touches he insists that he needs. I’ll arrange and rearrange where I have put everything, trying to settle on just the right balance for when he walks in. I’ll start prepping and pre-making food so I don’t have to lose the time with him. Someday soon. But after all of this time, I just can’t help but feel that it isn’t soon enough. It could be tomorrow, and it still wouldn’t be soon enough for me. I have a NEED for my Lantern, and I can’t just put it off like I have been doing up to this point.

Especially in my small community, I think all of us wives can agree. I am positive that I am not the only one feeling this way. Plain and simple, it is just time to bring the soldiers home.

Have a good day everybody! Hope you aren’t stuck in a rut like me.

BG

Bring on the New Year

Hello All,

Well many things have happened since I wrote last. Notably, the world tried to end, and failed in the most epic way possible. The holidays came and passed. 2012 disappeared into the past, and was replaced by 2013. Personally, I think it’s a good thing. 13 has always been lucky for me. Also notably, in my world at least, I went home. I went home for the first time in well over a year.

As much as Green Lantern and I love living in Europe, it has gotten very lonely since my Lantern has been gone. You miss a lot of things that are going on with your circles of friends and family. Travel is not as much fun when you are alone. Likewise, once the holiday season hit, it became that much more apparent that I was stunningly alone. I wished so much that I could be with him, and as I started to decorate the house and try and get in the spirit of the season, I found myself lacking a serious amount of happiness and excitement. That was why I knew the time was right; it was time to go back to the states and see my family.

There were two main reasons for me to come back. My daddy, Batman, was finally retiring from the Air Force. The second was to meet my new niece. In June, Green Lantern’s sister and her husband had welcomed their first child. I would of course give her a superhero identity… but I thought I would let her grow up a little first. 🙂

What can I say about my little super niece? To say the least, it was quite an amazing experience. I am the first to admit that I don’t know a whole lot about babies. I worked in the schools to be sure, but before three, my experience level goes to practically zero. When she was in a good mood, she was an absolute joy. She smiled and laughed,  loved to play, and never cried once when handed to me (a fear I had been harboring since I approached the concept of seeing her). That was definitely a plus. Getting off the plane, my sister-in-law practically threw the baby at me so we could get aquatinted. She looked at me with these big, dark eyes… and I got a feeling slightly akin to falling in love. She was so pretty, so interested in this new, random person who was suddenly holding her.

However, on the down side, I also happened to choose the week that she had two new teeth coming in. Now I can’t say this with 100% certainty because Green Lantern and I aren’t parents, but after spending the week with that little girl, I would be tempted to say that teething is the experience that tells you whether or not you are really cut out to be a parent. Pegging purely on that, I was almost tempted to give her the identity Siryn. For those of you who aren’t familiar with her, she is one of the X-men, and her super power was her super sonic screams that could incapacitate her foes. Let me tell you, once she felt the pain, she was loud and proud and ready to let everyone know it. Location did not matter; needless to say it made for some very long car rides.

After spending a week in the north, I flew back south to join my side of the family for the first main event of 2013. The retirement ceremony, noting Batman’s 30 years of devout and amazing service to the military, was moving. I can honestly say that the pride that swelled in my chest was one of the strongest sensations I had felt. Not just for him, but that fact that I came from him. We truly are a family of heroes. And seeing it, hearing all of these wonderful things that people were saying about him and how he changed their lives, I was amazed. He really, truly changed the world. It filled me with aspirations. I felt like I was a child again; I wanted to be like him. I wanted to mean that much to the people who have me in their life. I want them to look at me and be inspired too, just like Batman did for me, and continues to do every day. It certainly gave me something to think about as we move into the next year.

2013. I am excited to see what is in store for me. Green Lantern will finally be coming home. New travels and worlds to explore. New friends, or new experiences with old ones. Knocking one more thing off of my bucket list. I feel like, as I sit here right now, anything is possible, and this year is the year to make it all happen.

See you next time!

BG