Dear Leelah

I couldn’t have said this better myself, so I’m just going to leave this here.

For ways you can help:

And to all the others in her position,

THERE IS HOPE. Don’t give up. You are loved, and you will be ok. Countless people stand behind you, including me. You are not alone.

Rescues are the New Crack – How to Prevent Animal Burn-Out


Helping rescue animals is addictive.  It’s not too hard to figure out why. Seeing an animal go from frightened and abused to happy and well-loved is an incredible high. When you think about how many there are still needing help, and how few there are of you, it’s easy to start over-extending yourself. And as well-intentioned as this may be, you’re no good to anybody if you run yourself ragged. Consider this post your guide to avoiding dogaholics/cataholics anonymous and ending up on Animal Hoarders.

Time: The more animals you take in the more time it takes up; walking, cleaning, grooming, playing, training, vet visits and more. If your circle of friends starts to fade away, or you find yourself neglecting other important duties, consider scaling back the number of animals in your house at one time. Consider also that you have to divide your attention between all these animals as well as your own. Ask yourself – is everybody getting all the one-on-one time they need to be well-socialized and emotionally healthy? How about your lover/roommate/kids? If somebody comes to you asking for cuddles or other attention, are you  able to accommodate them?

Money: If you lose your house or can’t pay the rent, where will the poor little dears stay? Make sure you’re not donating so much of your money that you have none left to sustain a reasonable lifestyle for yourself. If you haven’t yet used up all of your free time, consider organizing a fundraiser instead. This is something you can do with friends and family too, which is great because chances are they might kind of miss you by now.

Sanitation: Are the animal beds laundered, the floors washed and vacuumed, and the yard clean, or is the whole thing starting to become a smelly poo-filled mess? Sanitation is extremely important for both you and your critters, so if things are starting to get out of hand you need to take a step back and get things back under control. Nobody wants to get rescued from one filthy house only to end up in another. Clean that shit or scale back your rescue efforts.

Emotions: Yes, it’s an amazing feeling when your foster pet finds their loving forever home. But it can be a painful one, too. Consider it your heart’s growing pains. If you’re not careful it could break. Your animals want you to be happy just as much as you want them to be, so make sure you’re able to keep yourself in a positive state of mind, for their sake and yours. Sometimes you just need a bit of a break, and that’s ok!

For anyone devoted to helping animals in need, you are amazing and I thank you. Let’s support each other by making sure we’ll be able to continue doing so for as long as possible.

13 Last Minute Halloween Costume Ideas

Shit. Halloween is coming up really damn quick and you still have no idea what to do. Well that’s scary. What are you going to do? Here are some pun-free ideas for men and women, boys and girls, individuals and families, sexy and non-sexy, all more clever than that dumbass “nudist on strike” idea you thought you’d have to resort to.

Paper Bag Princess. This one is empowering! Get a yard waste bag (there are a lot of those this time of year) and cut a hole in it for your head and arms. You can hem (i.e. tear) it to as long or short as you want. I also thought of tearing the bottom into strips up to the knees or thighs and curling them outward to be all stylistic about it. Use more paper bag or yellow construction paper for a crown. Works for people (mostly females) of any age.

– Alternate version – If you want a more fetish version, or if you want to make it into more of a couple’s/boy’s costume, you could be the garbage bag prince or princess. Make a duct tape crown. You can even use duct tape as a belt and/or harness. Somebody will have to cut you out of it at the end of the night 😉 Sexy! Seems like it would be slightly more wearable too.

The Mad Hatter. Just wear your strangest clothes and a pile of hats. I did this last year and put it together in about half an hour. This costume is suitable for anyone of any gender or age.

Charles Manson. This is best for men with beards. Basically just dress like a hobo, put a smiley face on your forehead (because swastikas are still bad, mmkay?) and walk around with a crazed look in your eye. If you have a lady partner she can dress up like a hippy. Add some blood. If she’s blonde or has a wig, you can have her put on a white dress and be Marilyn Monroe. You can be Marilyn Manson! Ok, so that’s kind of a pun. But you have to forgive me for that one because it’s awesome.

Zombie. Dress like a hobo again, tear your clothes up, and get it really dirty, and add some fake blood and deathly makeup. Works for any age/gender/sexiness level.

Photo credit: Mommyish

– Zombie Baby. Pregnant? Stick some doll limbs to your belly with fake blood around them. AHH IT’S BREAKING FREE! Although you can probably do this even if you’re not pregnant (or even a woman) too. Google image search “zombie pregnant halloween” for epicness.

Sheet ghost. This one is a classic, and I did this when I was 21. It was a huge hit. Get the ugliest sheet you can find and put eye holes in it. Only takes five minutes! Also works great as a couple’s/group/family costume, especially if you have a girl to go as Lydia Deetz. Oh, and make sure to walk around going “WOOOOOO!!!”

Sugar Skull. Wear a cute black dress, lots of hair flowers, and the rest is all makeup! Guys can do this too, but wear a suit instead of a dress, and no flowers. Unless you feel like it.

Rosie the Riveter. Jeans, work shirt, red bandanna around your hair. It’s almost not even a costume!

Doctor/Mad Scientist/butcher. Some of us took science in college. Others of us are just strange. People like us probably own a lab coat. Put it on, and the rest is up to you.

Lydia Deetz. I’ll admit I did a terrible job with this last year (which is Why I changed my mind and decided on The Mad Hatter at 3am the morning of work), because nobody got it at the party I wore it to. But basically you just put on a plaid skirt with a longer black skirt underneath, white shirt, and black sweater. Best if you have black hair or a black wig and make yourself pale. Awesome when combined with a sheet ghost. Can be a dark version of sexy school girl or just normal, but keep in mind for better or for worse the normal version is very warm.

Morticia Addams. Elegant black dress, black hair/wig, red lipstick. Fucking DONE.

– Teenage idiot, also known as “unlicensed even dumber Karen Smith.” This is for irony and it’s hilarious. Just put on lingerie and rabbit ears, and when someone asks you what you are, point to the ears and go “I’m a MOUSE, duh!” Oh shut up, it’s funny.


Donate your Tears to a Worthy Cause

Most charities ask that you give up either a little time or a little money to support a worthy cause. But there’s one form of aid you can give that doesn’t really require either of those, at least if you already have a pet. It’s animal fostering, and it is such a roller coaster ride I had to write about our experiences with our first one.

Fostering is extremely important in helping animals because sometimes a shelter just won’t work, and they need a place to stay until they can be adopted, otherwise they might not get a chance. Shelters are overcrowded (or like for our rescue, may not even exist), or an animal might be too sick or stressed to stay in one. In providing a foster home you’re making sure the animal can be in a normal, loving home environment where they can be comfortable, recover from an illness, or learn some new skills to impress potential new fur-parents.


We adopted our dog Lulu from the Manitoba Pug Rescue, and she had been in foster care for a very long time. The girl was an already mature papillion and seriously emotionally damaged from having lived her entire life as a breeder dog in a Missouri puppy mill. She was simply not a normal dog, a lap dog breed that would freak out at the slightest noise or possibility you may try to pet her. To this day I instinctively tell everyone her history so they don’t think I’m the monster who made her like this, and they can understand why she’s acting so weird. She spent her whole first visit with us shaking like a leaf with her tail between her legs. But I have a soft spot for the under dogs, and I couldn’t deny her a chance at a loving family. She wasn’t perfect but that’s why we had to take her. We would just have to be very patient. She still shits on the kitchen floor and cowers when we try to pick her up, but now she plays and smiles and there are moments you would almost think she was normal. There’s a light in her eyes now that wasn’t there before.

An adorable one.

We joined the rescue’s page on Facebook to keep up with dog play date parties (a great way for the dogs to socialize and to create a supportive community around them) and last summer I saw the call go out for foster homes urgently needed for some dogs on their way up from a kill pound in Indiana. I knew Mike was seeing the same message and would ask if we could volunteer. He did. And though I was hesitant, I agreed as long as it wouldn’t be for too long and because who better to help teach Lulu how to dog than a little dog friend? She needed the company, because she sure as hell was not finding all that much comfort in us. I can’t imagine what that would be like, surrounded by nobody but the “enemy” and cats.

So we took in Blaze, a puggle, and on the ride home he lay his head in my lap and that was that. I became this sweet little guy’s best friend.

First night home and acting like a total gentleman.

Blaze was awesome from the start. He was fully trained, never once peeing in the house, extremely obedient, and because he’s a beagle he talked, just like Snoopy. He loved snuggling under blankets and didn’t care much what he was doing, as long as it was next to me. He was the perfect dog, so we found it strange that nobody snatched him up right away. In fact, it took about two months. What the hell? And the longer it took, the more attached we got. People told us all the time that they would love to foster, but they just couldn’t give them up. And let me tell you, it’s not that foster parents are any stronger or less emotional about it. It still hurts like hell. But it’s that we want to help SO much that we’re willing to be a little sad about it. It’s worth it. The sadness in a way is what we’re giving of ourselves to help.

Just look at how she looks up at this princely boy!

But here’s the thing, It’s not even just about being sad, you expect that. It’s about how willingly saying goodbye to someone you love knowing you could have held on to them goes so far against nature and every instinct you ever had. That’s the worst part. And it makes you almost doubt your sanity. I was in complete terror of losing him forever, sad knowing it had to be done, confused wondering if it really did need to be done, guilty, both for letting him go and considering keeping him, which would reduce the number of available foster homes for other animals by one, afraid again that no dog would ever be as awesome as him and we will have missed our chance, in yet more fear that his new family somehow wouldn’t love or appreciate him as much as we did (how could they not?), guilty again that he would think we abandoned him, and excited that he would find a forever home and we could then help another dog. This shit can fuck you up. Say, where are my pills?

They say the first one is the hardest. I hope that’s true. Not that it stopped us from doing it again anyway.

What I found helped enormously was the day he returned from the last adoption event, being told how much he fell in love with this prospective couple, and hearing about our next foster dog. To me this was incredibly important, and helped me to move forward and be reminded of why we were doing this. I would highly suggest anyone going through this to do that – go check out the other animals that need your care. It’s one thing to know there’s a need, another to put a furry (or in our case, balding) little face to that need. You need to focus on the positive aspects of letting that fur-baby go instead of on how much you’ll miss them. Need more words of encouragement?

-It’s almost impossible to fear this animal will think you’re rejecting them, however dogs in particular love easily and live in the moment. They look to the future far more than the past.

-Your foster pet is going to LOVE their new home. Really, they’ll be ok.

-There ARE animals just as cool as this one. You just haven’t met them yet. How are you ever going to if you can’t move on to the next one?

-There is always a need for more adoptive parents, but FAR more need for more foster parents. By keeping this one, there might be one less space in your home for more, meaning one less foster home where animals in need can stay. This can also mean less money (through adoption fees) for the rescue, money they very much need to continue the good work they do and to provide medical care for the animals they’re currently supporting.

Are you hesitant to foster because you don’t want to go through the heartbreak? Now here’s some encouragement for you.

-It’s SO worth it. Totally serious.

-It’s a great way to experience the joys of a pet on a temporary basis. Maybe you travel for part of the year and a pet of your own is too much of a commitment. Fostering is a great idea! Maybe you think you want to adopt but aren’t really sure if it will work out in your home or what kind of pet would suit you. Well, what better way to try it out?

-Want a pet but can’t afford one? When you foster, all the expenses related to caring for the animal are covered through the rescue. Food, toys, vet, everything.

-Ever go through a shelter and say “I wish I could take them all!”? Well, fostering is the closest you can get to that. Where adopting allows you to care for a limited number of animals, fostering multiplies that number like crazy without turning you into an animal hoarder. Some people can help hundreds.

-Love puppies and kittens, but hate that moment when the little bastards grow up? You could have puppies and kittens in your house all the time!

-Does your current pet need a buddy? Ours did. Fostering can give temporary company to a pet who might be a little lonely and need someone to play with, or as in our case, be a real confidence booster for a pet with emotional issues. After hosting Blaze, Lulu is a changed little woman.

-If you don’t want any/more kids, but your hormones are plenty active, it’s a great outlet for your need to nurture. Especially since so many foster pets need a little extra TLC. Go nuts and put a dress on that four-legged little girl. I won’t judge.

And neither will she.

So we bit the bullet and said goodbye to Blaze. I handled it much better than I expected I would, and I bet he handled it even better. The very next day we picked up Fabio, a surrendered boston/beagle mix with a skin infection and a broken foot, and he could not be sweeter. I love him too, and I’m really grateful for the opportunity to care for him for a little while.

Fostering will break your heart. But it will also make it swell up so much. This is a really great thing that you can do that won’t cost you anything and will barely take any of your time. Everybody benefits. If the only downside is you cry a little because you got to experience all the love this animal could give for just a little while, you’re still coming up way on top. Besides, half those tears will be tears of joy.

I made Fabio a meme!


~In loving memory of Lulu, 2006-2014~

The Roots of King Cabernet

If you find yourself in Winnipeg one night and there’s one show you don’t want to miss, it’s a King Cabernet show. Boasting the best music, striking visuals, frequent performances, and King Cabernet’s own outsized personality, they stand apart from any other events out there. For anyone beyond the point where typical clubbing is the go-to form of entertainment, but a quiet night in just isn’t a valid option, these events offer the perfect elixir. With shows like this, with such tangible motivation and drive, it’s impossible for a curious party-goer not to wonder how it all got started.

King Cabernet started DJing on Saturday late night radio for CKUW ten years ago, at the time also attending Mod Club at the Pyramid every Thursday. Wanting the opportunity to DJ in public, the moment came 6 years later when he chanced to speak with DJ Aaron “The Invisible Man” Young, a Mod Club DJ who was bar manager at the late great pub J. Fox’s. Aaron was then DJing “It’s a Mod Mod Mod World” nights, during which 8-10 people would play 10 favourite songs. King Cabernet, who’s real name is Kevin, expressed an interest in doing a mini set at one of these events, but Aaron did him one better and offered to let him do events monthly. After working out the concept of playing old 60s movies while playing retro music, CINEMA GO GO was born, featuring Kevin billed as DJ Cabernet

“Aaron chose that name because, he said, ‘Kevin, you’re always the best dressed man in the room, you have the best taste in movies and the best taste in music. You are, in short, a cabernet,’ ” says Kevin. “Personally, I think he just wanted to watch some movies on a slow night.”

Over time it became evident that Sunday nights weren’t ideal for the emerging events, but a friend, Evan Quiring – writer and artist for the comic book Los Luchadores Mysterioso – had reunited his lucha mask-wearing surf guitar band The Rockdoras and were slated to play J. Fox’s one Saturday.

“I decided if we couldn’t bring people to Cinema Go Go maybe we could bring Cinema Go Go to the people, and DJed between their sets while projecting the whole time old drive-in trailers onto the screen behind the stage. At this point Aaron said it clicked for him: A crowd that enjoyed the kitschy visuals and enjoyed my taste in music made him want to push and promote me more, and I ended up doing a gig there with short lived 50s rockers The Blackbirds one night in early October.”

During this time the then DJ Cabernet was teaching himself the rudiments of film editing and taking intriguing high impact scenes from old filmes noires and 30s exploitation films like Reefer Madness, to play these essential parts of the films while the music played. Somehow, it all synced up. “I realized once and for all the whole ‘Pink Floyd recorded Dark Side of the Moon as an alternate soundtrack to Wizard of OZ’ was complete bullshit. The brain naturally syncs up visuals and sound no matter what. One could swear what’s projected on screen is a music video for the song and it isn’t. I realized then I now had a gimmick to distinguish me from other DJs: I had an encyclopedic knowledge of bizarre & obscure films and a means to take clips from said movies and show it as well as just play music.”

That night turned out to be key in a number of ways. Amongst the crowd were The Blackbirds, comprised of Andrew Maxwell, an early supporter of DJ Cabernet, and two people he’d end up teaming up with at various points in the future: local rockabilly sensation Greg Arcade, and Rafael Reyes, guitarist for the Mexican folk/spaghetti western/prog rock band Mariachi Ghost. Also in attendance was Greg Ash, bar manager for the Yellow Dog tavern who was there enjoying his night off. Ash enjoyed DJ Cabernet’s set so much that he asked if he would play at the Yellow Dog. Cabernet leapt at the chance. The first SHINDIG! event was held there in November 2010, just a few months before the closure of J. Fox’s.

King Cabernet (right) and Mod Marty at Bond and Burlesque

At first, DJ Cabernet considered SHINDIG! little more than a hobby. But little did he know about the impact that the shows would start to generate. It soon became clear that SHINDIG! was the most stable ongoing event around, and before long DJ Mod Marty, another dapper guy who looks like he stepped right out of an episode of Mad Men, asked if he could do a guest spot. Since DJ Cabernet was starting to get a little too burned out and doubting whether or not he should continue, this was perfect timing.

Working with Mod Marty turned out to be just what DJ Cabernet needed. When Marty was playing he had the freedom to socialize with the crowd. That night, the two became partners. In a remarkably fortuitous turn of events, it became obvious immediately that Marty understood perfectly the vibe he was trying to achieve with the music: scuzzy garage rock, gritty soul, and sleazy sax jazz. Along with the movie clips DJ Cabernet began to incorporate featuring GoGo dancers, LSD dream sequences, and car chases, all the elements combined to help make a night at the Yellow Dog (which is actually a very nice place) seem to be a night at some trashy dive bar circa 1967.

From that point on the success of SHINDIG! continued to rise, but Kevin remained aware that the shows were still falling under the radar. Something had to be done. So he decided to team up with the Rockdoras at Pop Soda’s Coffeehouse & Venue. Since the place had such a bohemian air about it, and since Keyboard player Vanda liked promoting shows with themes, he suggested making it an Andy Warhol themed event. The group loved it, and a date was immediately set.

Image from the MOTOWN GETDOWN!

At which point the Rockdoras broke up, and DJ Cabernet was left with a date but no band to play with.

“I could have just given up the date to someone else, but I kept mulling over the idea of doing a Warhol event and in what was either a moment of inspiration or possibly desperation, I called up Rafael and asked if he’d be interested in putting together a Velvet Underground tribute band. In what I now see was an EXTREME stroke of luck, I was apparently talking one of the city’s biggest Velvet Underground fans who leapt at the chance to form such a band.”

From there the project became more and more elaborate; Warhol ran three movies at a time at his parties so there needed to be three projectors running his movies at the party. He had dancers so DJ Cabernet and Mod Marty had dancers. Warhol decorated his loft in silver so they used silver tinfoil to cover the stage. They even recruited some local pop artists to display their wares as well.

King Cabernet considers this theme for a first-time event the kind of thing which is both the best and the worst to do. The enormous challenge in channeling an artist with such broad forms of expression necessitated reaching out to many types of creative people to help pull it off.  But once you’ve gotten over such a big hurdle, all other challenges seem small my comparison. It was a baptism by fire, and subsequent events have proven to be significantly easier.

“Looking back, I know why I poured so much blood, sweat & tears into organizing and promoting the event. I was extremely frustrated with my day job, and being turned down a promotion at work after years of working in an in-between capacity made me seriously wonder if I was any good at management. Actively organizing such a large-scale event that ended up filling up Pop Soda’s to capacity and that had rave reviews from everyone who attended was a vindication for me,” he says. And he’s right. There are some things that the 9-5 working world just can’t teach you that your passions can. Indulging in these passions isn’t just a luxury, but a necessity. Some say they do it to stay sane, but I believe it’s about even more than that. These are the things that complete you, that help you to become more of who you really are.

Of course, by this point DJ Cabernet was more than just a DJ, as his best friend Craig pointed out. He offered up an idea for a new name, something that would roll off the tongue. Kevin liked the idea, as it played with his own initials and he felt it sounded like that of an obscure Batman villain.

King Cabernet was born.

To be continued…

Viva Las Vegas 16!

It was clear last year, but it’s even clearer this year. Viva is an art form of strategy. There’s SO MUCH to do, so much to buy, so much walking, so many people…you really do have to plan it down to a science if you want to get the most out of it. Last year was like a test drive. This year, knowing what I learned from last year, went a LOT better.

First of all we went in a much larger group. Instead of two people, we were about a dozen, spread out over three rooms. This meant that no matter what you wanted to do, there was always someone around who wanted to do it with you. So we got to do a whole lot more of what we personally planned, whether it was clubbing on the strip or checking out a ton of burlesque. Here are some other tips I’ve learned.

-Don’t lose track of the time. Keep serious track of that shit. It gets away from you and then that one-time event is over. And don’t forget to make sure your phone is set to the right time zone! D’oh!

-Travel wearing your largest items, like your crinoline. It’s crazy how much space it takes up in your luggage.

-Bring a camera, or a phone that takes pictures if you’re ghetto. Like me!

-Don’t even bother with pretty shoes unless they’re also the comfiest ones you own. You’ll be miserable. The amount of walking/standing/dancing you do is beyond anything else. The foot pain can get pretty epic. The best is to find ONE pair of super comfy shoes that go with everything from a bathing suit to an evening dress, because then you also save room in your suitcase. I have some leather maryjanes with a modest heel that I couldn’t live without. I packed NO shoes, I just wore those the entire time. No regrets.

-Leave room in your luggage for all the stuff you’ll buy. Making all my crap fit for the trip back home was quite the feat.

-If you can’t stay at the Orleans, try to stay at the Gold Coast, Bill’s Gamblin Hall, or somewhere within short walking distance of these places. There’s a free shuttle to the Orleans every 15 minutes and it beats the crap out of taking the bus or paying for a cab.

We stayed at The Palms, and could see - and hear - The Orleans from our room.

We stayed at The Palms across the street from The Gold Coast, and could see – and hear – The Orleans from our room.

-Show up to the car show early. It won’t be as hot, and it makes a hell of a difference when you can quickly get around, take pictures, and get autographs without a big ass crowd in the way. And seriously, if there’s a shop doing a big sale, you’ll want to get there first. I went to the car show on just three hours sleep and nevertheless I’m glad I didn’t sleep in.

-You don’t have to look a certain way by any means, there is no competitive attitude and everybody looks very different (in the same room you might find one girl in glittery evening wear and another in a playsuit). That said, if you have ever wanted to go all the fuck out or experiment, this is the time and place.


-You might decide that sleep is overrated. Bring a flask. Not for alcohol, but for espresso or Redbull.

-Alcohol however, you might decide is not overrated at all. If you want to get drunk on a budget (while eating some super amazing Italian food) go eat at Batista. It was crazy delicious, and your meal comes with unlimited wine. AWESOME wine.


-Once/while getting drunk, drink plenty of water. This goes for all year round.

-If you plan on clothes shopping, it’s best to wear something you can try things on over. Change rooms are very scarce.

-If you decide you like sleeping more than setting your hair, do pincurls. They can last 2-4 days depending on your hair and what you do with them at night. I’m so glad I did them Friday night, because they lasted from 9am car show to 11:30pm burlesque competition easily. My hair still looks pretty good after sleeping on it, the flight, over two and a half hours in the car, and I still have curls on Monday.

-For the love of god bring a sun hat or buy a parasol if you have any plans on going to the car show. It’s the fucking desert.


And now the final tally!

What we did:

-Shopping. So much shopping

IMG_1496 IMG_1497 IMG_1498 IMG_1502 IMG_1503

-Relaxed by the pool

IMG_1464 IMG_1466

-Attended a dance class, at which I was a total fail train

-Went to the car show and spent absolutely no time looking at cars. There was just too much great shopping to be had.

-Hung out briefly with Cholita and Micheline a couple times. They’re super sweet.

And people to meet


-Did a ton of people-watching, because absolutely everyone looks incredible.

-Took in a super fun kickoff burlesque show at a pub, a world class burlesque showcase, then burlesque competition


-Took an amazingly efficient and helpful burlesque class by Miss Karla Joy

-Saw La Cholita and the Kreeps. They’re AMAZING. FYI, Cholita broke her leg in a tumble at the burlesque show on Thursday night, and kept on rocking like a trooper despite being in a wheelchair for the rest of the weekend. I fucking love her.

-Said hi to Tempest Storm

The haul:

-5 dresses


-2 vintage cardigans, including one in hot pink cashmere


-3 flower hair clips



-3 snoods

-1 tshirt

-1 little cherry print duffel bag


-1 signed DVD, Modern Pinup Hair and Makeup by Micheline Pitt



-About 11 hours of sleep over 3 nights

-About 2 bottles of wine, and a boot full of strawberry daiquiri


-100% foot pain

-Still feeling sore, achy, and mysteriously bruised

-No hangovers

-A tan, no sunburn.


And when I got home, I found this note that had been left for me.


My Halloween Costume – The Mad Hatter!

I have very poor documentation of my costumes of halloween past. This time I was proud enough of what I created to take some pictures, though they’re still of pretty poor quality. This costume didn’t start out this way. At first I was going to be Lydia Deetz, from the last scene of Beetlejuice where she comes home from school and dances to Harry Belafonte up in the air. I wore a white button up shirt, black sweater, plaid skirt, and black skirt underneath. The black skirt was floor length so I needed to roll it up at the waist. It’s high-waisted so I couldn’t zip it up if I was going to roll it. I had to wear a belt to keep it up, and then the belt and all the extra fabric pooling around my waist was very unflattering. So I wore a girdle on top of the skirt. Awkward. I put in my Bang Thing and put my hair in a half ponytail just like she has in the movie. I did my makeup just so.

The result was…accurate, almost. My hair is long and red, not shoulder length and black though. And the outfit itself…boring. Absolutely nobody knew who I was supposed to be. There was another girl at the bar that night as Lydia, not necessarily an accurate replica except for her perfect Lydia hair. Everyone knew who she was, and she looked a shit ton better than me, who looked short and dumpy beside her in my layers of school girl outfit. And that thing was  HOT. The sleeves on my shirt didn’t even have buttons so I was pretty uncomfortable.

There was no way I could wear this again, meaning I was stuck for what to wear to work on halloween itself. I went to Bea’s house late the night before because we were both in pretty black moods for our own various reasons. She suggested I should be the mad hatter based on all my weird clothes and many top hats. She lent me an awesome little top hat with a little bird on it, purple stripey socks, and surprisingly comfortable black and white striped shoes. It’s a rare thing when I borrow clothes from someone else. In fact I absolutely cannot recall a single time this has ever happened before.

So I went home and at 5am set to work. I took Mike’s big top hat and wrapped pretty green and pink ribbon around it, tied my own green mini top hat on top, and clipped Bea’s top hat beside that. I clipped in a ton of flowers and feathers, including one huge black one, and stuck a voodoo doll in front. The next day I wore a black satin top with a high neck and ruffles, my corset with the ribcage, my green spider skirt from Rockabetty with the full crinoline, the stripey socks and shoes, and a cropped velvet tea jacket that is so soft and cuddly I really wish it went with more clothes. I did my eyebrows and lips purple, and used different pretty shades of metallic green eyeshadow. On the way out the door I thought to grab Mike’s walking stick with the scorpion in it.

I looked pretty cool! My dad even took a ton of pictures, I didn’t even know he had a camera. And I wasn’t uncomfortable at all, because basically I was wearing all my own clothes in a silly combination. I had to stick a skirt inside Mike’s hat to keep it from falling down my face too so it was all cushy. Everyone at work loved it, and I’m now up to 60 upvotes on the halloween subreddit.

So fast, easy, and FREE costumes can totally work in a great way. You just have to be creative! I think I’ll wear this to whatever halloween event we go to next year. It’s a shame only a few of my coworkers got to see it.

Ahhh! Hat hair!