Archive for October, 2011

Haunted Nightmare Haunted House

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Last night I stayed up north for awhile and checked out the Haunted Nightmare Haunted House in Bothell. I had a great time last year, and really enjoyed this year’s theme, “Boogie Nightmare!”

This year’s haunt started on a trail through the woods by the building, which felt scarier than the actual haunted house. One of the volunteers went with me as I was chased by ghouls, demons, and the regular scary outdoor stuff. (I am very much an “indoor Kat.”)

Once we got inside, we waited a bit while the fro-donning zombie I endearingly refer to as Disco Stu lumbered around. He and I had been talking outside earlier and he gave me hand-warmers, so it was kind of hard to be frightened by him. Further reducing my suspension of disbelief was hearing his voice on my companion’s walkie-talkie.

Him: “What’s the hearse girl’s real name?”

Someone Else: “Kat.”

Us: (Laughter.)

So I walked through the haunted house in a small group, navigating twists and turns full of flourescent lights and 3-D figures, hearing someone shout my name and cackle every few seconds. At the end, there was a clever “Brady Bunch”-themed room where Alice the maid had all the kids’ severed heads on platters. It was better than all of their reunion specials combined.

Even though the thought of a Brady Bunch revival is more annoying than scary, I managed to let a real scream escape from me at one point. One of the zombie girls did an excellent job of pretending she was part of our group before she turned around and jumped at my face. I must admit I was more than startled. You win this time, zombie girl.

Coincidentally, the Alaskan Way Viaduct has been closed all week, diverting traffic to my regular route along I-5 and its nearby arterial roads. I have my fingers triple-crossed that it reopens early to ease everyone’s Halloween weekend travel times. That said, I’m glad to have been able to wait out my commute with a freaky little zombie and some living dead disco-pimps!

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Adventures in Everett and Beyond

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

First, happy birthday to Holly, who is 21!

Second, even happier birthday because you’re going to the casino like a good girl!

Before the party, I went to Costco to gas up, and I encountered some of the employees talking about the car. They were gesturing and saying “BARBIE DREAM HEARSE” really loud within earshot, so I walked over and said they can just ask me if they have a question about the car. I never know if people are talking that way because they want my attention and don’t know how to get it, or if that’s just how they talk. Anyway, one thought it was a hearse, the other thought it was a limo. I thought they sounded a lot like Jessica and Ashlee Simpson in the Icebreakers Liquid Ice Commercial. I cleared up the confusion (or perhaps caused more) by stating that it was a limo-hearse, and walked in to buy 30 gallons of everything.

Then I went to Brown Bear and gave the attendant a tour. Since we were talking a whole bunch before my wash, we both got distracted. He forgot to tell me to put down my antenna… and I forgot to put down my antenna. Now I have another thing to add to my laundry list of things to do. I wouldn’t mind just removing it. The only good station on AM/FM radio is NPR, and I can stream that.

After I drove Holly and her friends, I stopped into Walmart for the novelty of it. The cashier said she saw me pull up and complimented the hearse, saying she’d like to buy one herself someday. I gave her the advice I give everyone (research research research!) while she tried to find the proper pricing code for my bundle of kale. Not surprisingly, she doesn’t ring up kale very often. In fact, I’m surprised Walmart had it in the first place.

Then I passed back over the Bridge of Doom in Marysville. Although I usually go a steady 50 mph for fuel efficiency, one whiff of that nasty sludge gets Barbie up to 75 in no time. There were actually workers on the bridge at 10pm inhaling that odor. As long as I see people doing this, I will never, ever complain about my job. Eek!

Geaux Custom Hearses!

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Not many people know this about me, but I spent two years living in Baton Rouge attending LSU. Living on the edge of civilization was neat for awhile, but obviously I had to keep on truckin’. Someone I met at Geek Girl Con tipped me off about this beautiful custom LSU tailgating hearse. (Thanks, Chris!) I hope to see in person one day, even though it would mean attending a football game.

No kidding, it has a coffin, which of course contains booze. It would be cool to do the same thing with Barbie, but then I wouldn’t have room to put all the people needed to consume it.

Even though I graduated from UT-Austin and have no reservations about advertising this fact (scroll down), I still love the tiger fans and enjoy the occasional offbeat LSU story. Yes, they’re rival teams. But somehow I manage to identify with more than one thing without feeling personally conflicted. Not being into sports helps.

Geek Girl Con Wrap-Up

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Seattle’s first Geek Girl Con was a huge success. Festivities started the night before with a big Offbeat Bride party at Urban Light Studio, hosted by some of the lovely panelists at the con, driven by yours truly. (Check out the BDH featured on Offbeat Bride, an excellent one-stop resource for unique brides-to-be!)

On Saturday and Sunday, geeky girls and the men who love them came from all over the US and Canada and as far as England to celebrate comic books, cosplay, RPGs, vidja games, and other things that deviate from mainstream fun. Early on, the organizers were expecting only about 500 guests, but the convention actually sold out and they had to turn people away.

When I arrived Saturday morning, the line outside the Northwest rooms at the Key Arena went to the back of the courtyard. Before I even pulled into the loading zone, I was greeted by several Seattle Center workers wanting to check out the hearse. One of them said I should park in the courtyard, and if there were any physical way for me to do this, you know I would have!

Even though I usually stay outside with the hearse at events like these, I ended up snagging a vacant vendor table inside the convention. I like to be able to show the hearse in person, but people were walking to the building from all directions, so I wouldn’t have captured enough passersby to stay busy. All the action was inside anyway, and I managed to snap some good pictures and meet some fun people.

I sat next to a revolving door of authors and tv stars, including popular steampunk writer Cherie Priest and actress Chase Masterson. One of the highlights for me was probably meeting Emily Huh, one of the co-founders of I can haz cheezburger? which has been a source for many good LOLs over the past few years. I wish I could have seen the panels given by all of these fine ladies, but when you fly solo, you gotta keep an eye on your merch.

On the other side of me sat artist Mike Dipetrillo, who kindly kept me company and watched my table when I allowed myself to be freed from the clutches of starvation. By the end of the con, he joked that he had practically memorized my 30-second elevator speech about the Barbie Dream Hearse. I’m sure it got tiring for him to heard the same description 100 times, but he was a good sport (and his art is pretty cool).

GGC ended on Sunday with an early evening ride to the airport with a Chicago blogger and her kiddo, heading home after a weekend of geekdom. Here is my tiny passenger in the back, waiting for mom:

Afterward, I did a quick photo shoot with Tyler at Golden Gardens before the sun went down. It’s not the best view, but it’s quickly becoming my go-to for waterfront spots I can get to before sunset. I thought he did a good job despite the environmental constraints. Sneak preview: