Tattooed Mom’s Wine & Booze Revue

First and foremost, I am not your typical “wine connoisseur” by any means. Sure, I had a few years when I polished off a bottle of a wine a night after a stressful day at work, but I am incredibly picky about the wine I drink, as far as taste and after taste go. I don’t pick out the woodsy or whatever tones in a glass I am enjoying. I enjoy it as long as it isn’t dry or tasting like beer. There are many like me, who like to drink, not pick apart what they are drinking. This review is for you my friend.

Cost is rarely a factor. A bottle of Barefoot Sweet Red is cheap, potent, easy to drink, and is actually….wait for it….sweet. Sometimes, the pricier wines are less tasty. That being said, I can safely recommend any of the Barefoot wines, especially the White Zinfandel and the Sweet Red.

Recently I was in an Italian style market in my little harbor town, and the wine selection was stupendous. Buuuuut…..I was only able to locate one bottle of Sweet Red. That is what prompted this revue. Grand Traverse Select Sweet Red is the bottle of choice. Moderately priced at 11.99 a bottle, 12.5 % alcohol by volume (a little less than Barefoot if I remember correctly) and a warm fuzzy feeling after the first couple sips. As far as sweetness goes, this brand is a little drier than I prefer, a little less sweet than the Barefoot. Not quite in that typical dry red wine zone, but closer than I prefer. I would probably only buy this brand again if there was no other to choose from. Like the day I got it. C’est la vie!

So there you have it. My revue for the most recent bottle of wine, the one I am currently consuming. Stay tuned for more! Don’t forget to subscribe for updates!

Metal Maven Attends EDM Festival!

Yes, you read that right.

electric forest 008

Before I really begin, I should disclose a few things. I am not a festival goer. Hell, I rarely attend concerts. I am more of a dive bar, garage band kind of gal, though if Rob Zombie is playing near me I will try to get tickets, and I have seen Hollywood Vampires. I just think I can spend all that money on other things, like tattoos, shoes. You know, the priorities. Recently I was given the opportunity to work as a vendor at an EDM festival, Electric Forest to be precise. I don’t even listen to that kind of music, but I was getting paid to be there and when I wasn’t working I had free range of the place because of my wristband.

electric forest 004

Festival people are an entirely different species of humans. In fact, many of the locals here experience cognitive dissonance at the sight of a festival goer, resorting to name calling or assuming the worst. Easy to do, when the average festival goer uses  neon tape as tights and barely has more than a boa or tie dyed frock on. They stink, they do drugs, they steal, people die all the time and it gets covered up. Well…not exactly. Sure, they camp out for about 4 days, with no shower, so they have that camp life scent about them. Or they don’t, and quite frankly I was surprised at how smelly they were not, with the way locals talk.

electric forest 102

Yes, weekend one had some theft and drug possessions going on. As I pointed out to my friends however, a look at the local cops and courts on a weekly basis and you see that it’s no different than the average night outside the festival. Fake reports go around constantly, leading people to believe things like people die and it gets covered up, or someone lost a finger and it was found by someone else. Well, that finger incident that went around Facebook after weekend one was a hoax….it was a fake finger. Investigated. There are cops all over the festival, checking on things. They let pot slide inside the festival, but keep an eye out for other drugs, which is a good thing.

electric forest 112

Now, all of that aside, here comes the real experience, from the viewpoint of someone who never goes to festivals like this, and doesn’t listen to EDM either.

electric forest 002

I worked in the Candy Shoppe, for Cosmic Candy Company based in Pentwater, Michigan. My primary job was to be outside the shop, selling kettle corn, drinks, cotton candy, and this amazing organic green tea virgin mojito. When I say amazing, I really mean it. I made them so damn amazing that when I went to grab a burger and fries from one of the other vendors, they gave me my food for free because I made him the BEST green tea mojito in the world. His words, not mine. We were placed in the perfect spot to catch the droves of party kids that were flocking from one stage to the next, as well as flocking from their campsites into the main area of the festival.

electric forest 120

There were college kids, dreadlock sporting seasoned festival goers, dad’s accompanying their preteen daughters, metal heads walking with their loved ones, and people of all ages, from infant to elderly. I saw a man walking with his infant in a front pack, and a couple being pushed in their wheel chairs around the festival. Mostly, what I saw, was a bunch of rich 20 somethings dressing in elaborate (or not) costumes doing their thing. They tip well. Once I was offered a hit from a joint, but I was working so I turned it down with a frown. Our mojitos were a big seller, with only one person turning it down due to a lack of alcohol in it. Everyone else loved them, and they loved us. There were so many thank yous coming our way, so many people told us they loved us and appreciated us working while they came to play. I got compliments on my tattoos, and was told how pretty I was by more people than I can count.

electric forest 099

That’s what working looked like. My second day working was the last day of weekend two, two weekends being the new thing this year. The festival carried on until 3am, then everyone closed up their booths and went home. My shift ended at 7pm, so I went wandering because I wanted to see the forest at night, I’ve seen so many pictures, I wanted to see it in person. 7pm is still light out, so I made my way over to the food vendors for a burger. That free burger I mentioned earlier. I ate the burger and fries while listening to a bluegrass band strum out some Grateful Dead tunes on the main stage in that section. After scarfing that down I headed into Sherwood Forest, the centerpiece of the festival. Some amazingly talented, creative, and imaginative artists got together to bring this forest to life. I got to know the layout, sort of, while it was still light out. I took photos of what I encountered, from a group of improv mimes dressed in all yellow old fashioned clothing to three aliens exploring a new world that spoke in a series of clicks. A giving tree, a trading post, and several stages and building put together with ample space to sit and rest if the need hits. Then I found Sherwood Court, the main event. There was EDM blaring, and every now and then I would catch something that rang familiar because my oldest son listens to it.

electric forest 001

People were laying all over the fields, just taking it all in, or dancing along with their friends. The bigger groups of friends came with a totem, something they made to signal the others so no one gets lost, on a long pole. Two girls walked by me with their wrists tied to each other, clearly not wanting to get separated. I found a vendor selling tea and got an iced tea, then wandered around some more. There was an area called The Hanger, which drew me in like a moth to flames. It had a strong 20s vibe to it, sort of like if electronica and neon had been available in the 20s, this is what it would have looked like. At one point, I just sat on an old couch in a set called There’s No Place Like Home, and listened to jazz fusion for a while. People sat next to me, everyone was really friendly and chatty, and it was just a neat atmosphere. Then I wandered back into the forest to await darkness.

electric forest 128

I sat on a bench that surrounded a giant sculpture of a goddess, near the Jive Joint, another vintage themed set, and listened to the oldies play while the sky grew darker. Behind us was a “silent disco” where everyone was given a set of headphones and let loose on the dance floor. Then, all the lights were finally visible, and it was time to walk around the forest again. First of all, I was not on any drugs last night. That being said, when I came upon the giant elephant in the middle of the forest, I thought I was tripping. They did such a good job on the lights for that elephant that I literally second guessed my own sobriety. It was amazing. The fairy houses came to life, and I was seeing things I hadn’t noticed before. Each of the art installments were lit in different ways, providing a striking contrast between forest during the day and forest during the night. Yes, EDM pounded through my entire being. But I have a 19 year old son who listens to it, so I wasn’t completely taken aback by it.

electric forest 118

Neon hula hoops, glow sticks, light up shoes, and glow in the dark body paint washed over the crowds of people herding themselves from one stage to the next. I have to hand it to them. They got in way more walking than I did, and I walked a lot. By 1am I was done. I had worked all day, walked all night, and was flat out tired. I found some teriyaki chicken and rice, munched on that, and wandered among the vendors looking for something to buy as a reminder of my time there. Pins are a big deal to everyone who goes to Electric Forest, so I found a vendor that was selling in three price ranges and picked one from the cheapest, a cute little white and black voodoo doll. Perfect for me. Then I went back over by the Candy Shoppe, and plopped down to eat my food under a tree. I was there until I got a ride after the festivities, so I just relaxed at the tree a bit. This is when so many people just randomly talked to me, checking up on me, asking me if I was alright, or if I needed water or anything else. They told me they loved me, blew kisses, reminded me how awesome I was, that I did great today, and that I was beautiful. These kids look out for each other at festivals, knowing that dangers exist, trying to eliminate as many of them as they can. By the end of the night, I walked away with my pin, a blue plastic flower, a tiny pile of unicorn poo, a hot pink gem, a bowl of weed, and enough mud on my feet and the bottoms of my pants to create my own art project.

I plan on volunteering to work next year’s festival. This time, I’ll be bringing some of my handmade jewelry to trade in the trading post. I am also looking into becoming a contributing artist, because that would be just the bee’s knees!

Little Slice of Part Time Paradise

pentwater 131

I recently moved to a tiny harbor town just north of where I grew up. Many of my friends hung out here when we were in school, I hung out in Silver Lake and Muskegon instead. Imagine if you will, the forest suddenly coming alive with historic stone homes and clapboard beach houses, breaking away to the saltless shores of Lake Michigan. The streets are not tree lined, the forest is among us full force, even breaking through the older sections of sidewalk. Patches of woody areas freckle the landscape on the streets before the shoreline, and sandy beaches make way to the cold but welcoming waters of the big lake. This is the kind of town where you can walk down town and hit the farmer’s market, grab a BLT and a bloody Mary, then peruse a used bookstore within minutes of each activity. This is the kind of town you can read your copy of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein whilst walking back home, never really fearing the prospect of a hit and run or drive by shooting or abduction. This is the kind of town that has the most picturesque cemetery I have ever been to. This is the kind of town that will make the rest of my time here bearable.

Women in Horror

I came across an article outlining the state of horror and female horror writers. It says we write about love, torment, sexy vampires, and aliens, but shy away from the really scary stuff. Even Mary Shelley, the Mother of Horror, shied away from the genre after Frankenstein was published. Why? Is it because we put love first? Is it because we see the element of horror in every day life and wish not to write about it?

Whatever the reasons may be, I wish to change it. I have begun a writers group, and our focus will be on scaring the ever loving hell out of each other, and ultimately changing the male driven genre of horror. It’s not all sexy sparkling vampires you know!

Stay tuned for updates and details regarding publishing! The Daughters of Shelley are coming, be afraid!

Supporting the Arts

At one point in time, artists of all genres were appreciated and supported with gusto. Kings and Popes paid with coin and property in patronage of the arts. Then somewhere along the way the tables turned. The arts became not as important as they once were, and the starving artist was born.

All too often we hear things like “get a real job” or “yeah, but what do you really do” and my personal favorite, “well that’s nice, so what is your career choice?” As if oozing creativeness isn’t a valid career choice. This just goes to show how little regard there is for the arts anymore. Or does it?

I have stumbled upon a website connecting artists with patrons of the arts, offering a platform for artists to receive money to support their writing, music, photography, and creative processes. Let’s be honest here, if I had income coming in alongside my part time job it would be so much easier to homeschool my youngest son and write my books, make jewelry, print out my fabulous photographs, decoupage everything, restore furniture, and sew clothing.

So here it is, and now I am looking to you for support. When you subscribe it will be on a monthly basis, and you can subscribe for as low as $20 or as high as $1,000 per month. Each level comes with exclusive rewards, such as first looks at projects, video chatting, and even a personalized piece of jewelry from my newest collection!

Go HERE to see what all this is about! Thanks for your support!

 

NSFW: The FBoy Phenomenon

FBoy….well…that was just what I did for the title. Today’s subject my friends is about fuck boys. What are they? Who are they? Why are they here? How have they ruined dating? How do we get rid of them?

Ladies, in our race toward independence and sexual freedom, we created the phenomenon now known as the fuck boy. It began innocently enough, in fact we used to call them “friends with benefits.” No one had to be in a relationship they didn’t want to be in, no one had to get their hearts ripped to shreds and stomped to pieces. Life was great! Alas, all good things must come to an end, and a transition began to take place in the dating world.

I can’t even say that it happened all of a sudden, because it was gradual. More and more guys saw the benefits of being “just friends” and began to adopt that attitude. Hell, they may not even know it, but we programmed them into being disposable. Now no one is sure how to date anymore, people are being used when they just want to be loved, and fuck boys rule society.

They don’t have to. The whole fuck boy situation can be ended ladies, and it starts with you. And Her. And me. And that chick over there, and that one right there. All of us. Stop. Sleeping. With. Them. That simple. Don’t put out to fuck boys, and fuck boys will disappear as quickly as they appeared. Or maybe even quicker if they know they aren’t getting to tap that ass without any type of commitment.

Look, I’m just as guilty as everyone else. In fact, I may be one of their biggest enablers, putting a shelf life on relationships the way I tend to. Still, I am so tired of seeing my fellow ladies bent over what some fuck boy did to her, whether it be stealing, abusing, or lying (or whatever shady thing they do). I want it to stop.

I may never get courtly love to trend in society again, but I can make a plea to all the ladies out there to help put an end to this ridiculous fuck boy business. We can stop the madness!! Never cry over a stupid fuck boy again!! Or at least, get something out of the situation. Here is my proposal: 13 Dates and then sex. If he’s a fuck boy he will let you know right away by denying your proposed 13 dates rule. A typical fuck boy won’t be investing that much of his time just for a piece of ass, so it will save you both time. As more and more women adopt the 13 dates rule, eventually the fuck boys will hit enough roadblocks that they have to rethink their man ho ways. Either that, or all the fuck boys will hook up with the ho for life gals and leave the rest of us to our dating experiments.

All this aside and between you and me ladies, we made them. We sleep with them. We encourage their man ho behavior by setting our standards so low. Yes, we love sex. Yes, we can still exercise our sexual freedoms. Yes, fuck boys will probably always exist in some form or another. But you, yeah you, the one crying over being ghosted by that hot guy with the tattoos and tongue ring, you didn’t have to have sex with him. You made a choice. Make different choices! See how I didn’t say better choices? Because I freaking love you bitchachos and don’t want to see or read about you crying over a dumb fuck boy anymore!

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog at the top right of this page!

Making a Tangible Change

There are many things that I’ve always wanted to do. I could make a huge list, and focus on all the things I have yet to do but have always wanted to do, but in that time I could actually do some of those things. So what blocks us from making that critical shift from passive wanting to active doing?

After my third tattoo I knew it was going to be something I would keep wanting, so to fend off that constant inner nagging of want I purchased a kit and began tattooing myself, just like that. It was a matter of months between the moment I knew I really wanted it and actually doing it. No blocks there. Other things I have been wanting to do for a really long time I appear to have some blocks up preventing the tangible change. Like living on the beach, or building a rat rod.

Today I smashed one of those imaginary obstacles and began the long and painstaking process of painting a deck of tarot cards. I’m opting to just do the 22 major arcana cards, otherwise I would have a lengthy venture ahead of me getting all 78 of the suckers to be uniform in design and theme. I would probably give up part way through, to be honest. But the effort got me thinking about this subject of wanting versus doing. My biggest obstacle is myself. I do exactly what I set my mind to doing, and I don’t do what I am too lazy to set to. It is really just a matter of will power and determination, and most importantly, action.

Life is like an RPG game (yes, the irony here is not lost on me, just bear with me). You get no where you need or want to be by just standing there, or sitting around, or thinking about all the things you have always wanted to do. You have to move forward, achieve minor goals while never losing sight of your big time goals, accept all rewards that come to you as tokens of doing things right, and accept new goals along the way. Life is a grand adventure, and there are so many options. You just need to get past yourself and take that ride.

Surprise, Surprise

So, fixing my mistakes in Kindle Direct Publishing was considerably easier than I anticipated. I still haven’t quite figured out the page number issue, but having a printed hard copy of my book proved to be rather useful in correcting my mistakes. Hopefully I will have all the bugs worked out by my next publication.

So, in case you are late to the game, I recently published a book, a booklet actually. A guide, not quite pocket sized, that addresses parenting for people who relate to Peter Pan’s desire to never grow up. As I was editing today I found the original document I saved in a writing folder and I realized how much time passed since I first began working on this guide and today, as I submit my final corrections for publication. I started this project in 2012, and it underwent many changes between then and now. At one point, I almost considered scrapping the whole thing, and at another point I considered turning it into a script I would read for a YouTube video. Ultimately, I just wanted to get my feet wet in the publishing world, and make my works available to the public. Sure, I put a price on my advice, but it’s a low one, under six dollars, and you have your choice of format (digital or paperback). In truth, I don’t really expect to sell many copies. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it would be super ultra fine if I did, but that wasn’t my main goal here. My main goal was to publish one of my completed projects, and I did just that. Mission accomplished. Now I feel like I can carry on with some other projects, and maybe even work on book two of Monsters of Mayhem.

Stay tuned! Subscribe to my blog for updates! Don’t forget to look for Cleverly Disguised as a Responsible Adult at Amazon!

Lessons Learned

As I navigate through the publishing world on my own, I discover mistakes I’ve made. Even though I thought I had the formatting down, as it turns out, I did not. Since I was using this first one as a learning guide, I bought a print copy of it. In hindsight, I would have done many things different, but I needed a hard copy to really make that decision. I won’t even be sad if that is the only copy I sell, because I am working on a revised copy now. I even have a clever little marketing scheme to employ, which I will keep secret until the big reveal.

Experience is my best teacher.