Monthly Archives: August 2012

Public Service Announcement: CCLS

It’s come to my attention that a previously age-specific form of psychosis is spreading quite rapidly outside it usual range, and that the general public is still mostly unaware of how likely this illness is to show up in the people they love.

What is this illness?

CCLS (Or CLS, for those who are only slightly eccentric) is a condition where the brain receives excessive signals in the sympathetic and pleasure centers whenever the subject encounters an animal, usually a cat, in a non-domestic setting. Acute cases involve these signals sending in any setting regardless if the animal in question is physically there, or if it’s an image, and the subject to believe that the animal cannot survive without them.

 

How to tell if someone is suffering from CCLS

Mild and moderate symptoms include a strong affinity for cats, owning anywhere from two to six cats, setting aside a budget for cat accessories, obliviousness to cat hair on furniture and clothes, and a sort of “sixth sense” for the presence of cats.

Severe cases can involve owning upwards of ten cats, preferring feline company over human company, frequently changing any conversation to or incorporating cats into the subject, referring to their cats as “my children”, often feeding and/or adopting strays, and owning excessive amounts of cat accessories.

 

What to do if a loved one if suffering from CCLS

Subjects experiencing CCLS should be handled with caution. Judgement or removal of their cats can cause extreme trauma or distress. Loss of one of their cats can be as devastating as the loss of a friend or family member.

If you discover a loved one is experiencing CCLS, be careful how you go about confronting them. Bluntly telling them they’re becoming or have become a Crazy Cat Lady could upset them, at which point the best course of action is to hand them a kitten and hope that distracts them from the fact that you just called them crazy.

 

I hope this was an informative and helpful announcement, and that this syndrome can be recognized as a serious mental condition.

Or, you know, a lifestyle.

I love cats.

Until next time.

Ciao!

Sad Day.

Well, the haunted house I worked at the past two years is having it’s auditions today, which means it’s the start of haunt season. From now through halloween, many talented actors and not-so-talented volunteers and crew members will be doing everything they can to bring you the very best scares they can, or, if they’re one-time volunteers, until it stops being fun. (I have no delusions whatsoever about what it’s like to work at a haunted house.)

This year, I won’t be scaring. As a whole, that’s a completely depressing thought, and I’m still not sure I want to completely admit that, but, as it stands, I can’t commit to the old haunt full time, and the ‘new’ one just has too much drama attached already.

To all my readers who are planning on going through a haunted house this year, or if you know someone that will be, please, heed my advice.

No matter how cool you think you are, no matter how scared you may or may not be, do not, and I mean DO NOT fuck with the actors.

They’re not there to trap you in a box, or hold up your group for hours in some asinine joke. They’re there to scare you through the maze of rooms and hallways the crew built to entertain the public. I cannot possibly express to you, dear reader, how dangerous it is for them to do that. While most of the customers are just annoying at the worst, some will actually attack the actors. You can be arrested for this. Unless a waiver is signed, it is illegal for an actor to touch you, or you to touch an actor. For the most part, they don’t say anything about it if it’s all in good fun. Like if they scare you, and you pat them on the back, or something good-natured. No actor is going to call security on you for that. But when you resort to punching a masked guy for startling you, or some snot-nosed 12 year old thinks it’s hilarious to pull a female actor’s hair so hard she almost gets whiplash, then the job is made considerably more difficult.

DO NOT ACT TOUGH.

They just laugh harder when you get scared. Even if you don’t get piss-your-pants terrified, they still make fun of you.

CONTROL YOUR GODDAMNED KIDS.

This was the biggest peeve when I worked at the haunt.I swear to frog, some of these parents would come through and just giggle their hideous faces off when their unruly brat would terrorize the actors and destroy the sets. Or, they’d let their kids go in without them, thinking it’d be some half-ass carnival haunt, and the kids would mask their fear by being incredibly obnoxious, and even violent. The actors will call security on your shithead little brats if you don’t control them, and you’ll have wasted however much money you just spent.

(I don’t dislike kids. I dislike the ones that never got raised to be people.)

 

REMEMBER: The actors are not getting paid to take your bullshit. They are getting paid to stand around for 5, 6, 7 hours and scare hundreds of people a night. Just because you paid $25 to get in doesn’t ,mean we have to be nice. If you go along with it, allow yourself to get scared and don’t try to fight the whole way through, you’ll leave satisfied. Everything will be gravy. If you decide to be a dick and ruin the experience for everyone around, you’ll probably end up wasting your time and money, only to get kicked out, and maybe even a brand new criminal charge on your record, depending on what you’ve done to the actors.

 

I really can’t stress this enough.

And if you decided not to read all of this, then here’s a summary.

Have fun. Get scared. Don’t fuck with the actors.

One more time.

 

DON’T

ATTACK

THE

ACTORS.

Are we clear?

My apologies for the uncharacteristically humorless tone of this blog, but this is kind of important to me. Not enough people know how to act when they go into a haunted house, and it sickens me what people think is acceptable.

Well, I promise the next one will be funny.

Ciao!

Yet another short hiatus. Also, Wings!

I apologize, but I’d gotten sucked into the TARDIS and only just made it back to my own time stream.

Anyway, I thought I’d make today’s blog a little DIY manual for my crafty friends out there.

“What cute craft project do you have in store for us?” You’re probably not wondering. Well, this one is multipurpose! Yayyy!

You can use it for a costume, or if you just want to sit in a public area and confuse the hell out of the random passerby, or if you’re into whimsical photography, or if you’re into whimsical hipster pictures taken with instagram. Whatever your fancy, this is pretty neat.

Pretty wings for people who like to be difficult.

You will need:

Old stockings or pantyhose in whatever color floats your boat

Several wire hangers or a spool of thick wire.

Wire cutters. Nice heavy ones.

Needle-nose pliers. or whatever pliers you fancy.

Incense stick (Alternatively, you can use a hot pointed metal thing, but I’m assuming my readers are as… special… as me, and the hot pointed metal thing is probably a bad idea.)

Glitter!

Glue

Thinner wire

Electrical tape (Or duct tape, but electrical holds up better for this.)

Two long ribbons

Hot glue. (Adult supervision required. This goes for you, too, Kristen.)

Your choice of paint. (Optional. The glitter’s optional, too, but let’s face it, who passes up glitter?)

Have all your supplies? Let’s get to it!

Step 1: Shape

The size of your wings depends on the number of wire hangers or the amount of thick wire you’re using. You can make teeny tiny ones for a baby or some poor defenseless pet, or great big ones, it’s really up to you. Just remember that the nylon stockings only stretch so far. Unless you’re going for a patchwork look, and I’ll get to that later. This is a basic how-to.

First and foremost, untwist and straighten the hangers or thick wire as best you can. You can clip them to size or twist some together now if you like. Now pretend you’re a bender robot and bend that wire into a basic wing shape. Add curvy bits if you like or just do a rounded-ish wing like a flutterby. (Ever notice all my tutorials have a lot of “Your choice”s in them?) Make sure the ends of your wire can come together, and use your pliers to twist the ends tightly and wrap them in thinner wire and electrical tape. You don’t want wire ends stabbing you while you’re trying to pretend you’re a fairy. Unless you’re into that.

Rinse and repeat for another wing, and a second lower set, if you want a nice full set of wings.

Got the shape now? No? Well, somebody doesn’t like to follow directions. I’m not waiting for you.

Step 2: Stretchy stretchy

Assuming you’ve kept the elasticity of the nylon stockings in mind, your frame should fit just fine into it. If it’s looser than you anticipated, simply stretch is out more and clip to fit. To secure it, you can either melt the opening a little, or just tape it up with electrical tape. I always recommend the tape.

Always.

Moving on.

Step 3: Decorate and make a huge mess.

Now you get to do the fun part. Paints, glitter, glue, leaves, dangly bits, small dogs, whatever you want to decorate your wings with, have at. You can use a lit incense stick or hot metal poky thing to melt controlled designs in the nylon, as long as you’re careful, Kristen.

Once you’re done decorating, there’s one last step. Ready? No? Okay, let’s move on.

Step 4: Ribbons. Ribbons everywhere!

Arrange your wings the way you’d want them while you’re wearing them, secure them with lots of tape and wire, and then attach your ribbons so they can be tied over your shoulders. You can substitute elastic bands, but what’s the fun in that? What? Oh yeah, it’s easier. Whatever floats your goat.

Now let everything dry completely.

Completely, Kristen.

Once that’s all done, tie those babies on and run around your local shopping mall like a kid whose mom doesn’t care if they get diabetes.

Hope you enjoyed my serious, informative tutorial on a completely serious project. I’ll be back next time with a somethingsomethingsomething.

Ciao!