Tag Archives: vacation

Courting Casualties, Episode Four: The City Built on Her Dead

In which I head to Savannah, GA for a much needed vacation, hang out in a cemetery, and tell ghost stories. But not IN the cemetery. That’s illegal.

432 Abercorn. Approach at own risk.

432 Abercorn. Approach at own risk.

Bonaventure Cemetery, main entrance.

Bonaventure Cemetery, main entrance.

Statuary in Bonaventure Cemetery. Savannah, GA.

Statuary in Bonaventure Cemetery. Savannah, GA.

Mercer House, Savannah, GA. Home of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and also several murders and a museum.

Mercer House, Savannah, GA. Home of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and also several murders and a museum.


Yeah, I didn’t buy these, but they were hilarious.

Intro/Outro music is Ghost Story by Kevin McLeod, used under the Creative Commons License.

Counting Casualties is also available through iTunes! If you enjoy the show, please consider subscribing. Have a suggestion for a future episode? Tweet me @ExquisitelyOdd.

Thanks for listening and, as always,



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Vampire Girl’s Adventures in Disney

There’s nothing better than sleeping in your own bed after a week of sharing a hotel room with your mother and little sister. The Princess Tiana room at Port Orleans Riverside was actually pretty cool: allusions to other Disney films, a Little Mermaid-themed shower curtain, light-up headboard.



Little Sister had never been to Disney before, and in the wake of the divorce and our grandfather passing away, mom thought we could all use a break. I hadn’t been to Disney since I was ten, since I wasn’t sure what to expect. Disney has started this new “Magic Band” program, which is actually pretty cool. They send you a rubberized bracelet that acts as your payment card, room key, and allows you to access “Fast Passes” to certain rides.

You bet your ass my first request was The Haunted Mansion.


Parts of the park were under repair or reconstruction, but we hit up the Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor, the Mad Tea Party, Peter Pan, It’s (Unfortunately) A Small World, a couple of boat tours, blah blah blah. The coolest thing we did the first day was have lunch at the new Be Our Guest restaurant in Belle’s Castle.


It. Was. Gorgeous. Sadly, there was no library room. I think they really missed an opportunity there.

We tried the grey stuff. It's delicious.

We tried the grey stuff. It’s delicious.

Wednesday, we went to Epcot, which sucked. It was hotter than hell and there really aren’t many things to do other than walk around the World Showcase. We headed back to the hotel for an extended nap, followed by dinner at Planet Hollywood and Cirque du Soleil’s La NouBa show, which was AMAZING.

Thursday, we accidentally caused my sister to have a panic attack on the SpiderMan ride at Universal Studios. In our defense, we asked the lady if it was a rollercoaster and she said no, it was a flat track with a couple of car spins.

She wasn’t WRONG, but she neglected to mention the ILLUSIONS of rising and falling. Little Sister was pissed.

I thought it was a cool ride.

Since Universal is mostly rollercoasters, we didn’t do much more than walk around the park. We hit up Olivander’s in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, I got a butterbeer, Moaning Myrtle haunted the bathroom, oh, and Ginny, Fred and George were there. I didn’t meet them, but I saw them.


At Universal Studios, I caught the Horror Makeup Show, Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Revue, and a magic show.


Lon Chaney’s makeup kit. I might have freaked out.


It was my very real fear that Chucky doll would animate and host the show. Thankfully, it didnt happen.

It was my very real fear that Chucky doll would animate and host the show. Thankfully, it didnt happen.

The Horror Makeup Show was hilarious. Having sat in the center front row, it was my treat to attempt to dislodge the stake from our host’s chest. I told them it was not advisable to remove the object of impalement, least he bleed to death.

They asked if I was a doctor.

I hemmed. “You… could… say that….”

Friday, we were back at Magic Kingdom (where I was once more in The Haunted Mansion), and we had high tea at the Grand Floridian Hotel, which is so wonderful. We had the Buckingham Tea, which consisted (for me) of a pot of Mad Tea Party tea, a selection of six finger sandwiches, a scone and strawberry tartlet, and a dessert. I got the English torte. I was delighted.


I rounded out our adventure by adding to my collection of Alice in Wonderland tea sets with four new cups, a tea-pot, and so much Wonderland tea I’ll be set for months.


I also used an entire bottle of sunblock and as a reward, have not suffered sunburn. It’s a freaking miracle. Sadly, it wasn’t the most relaxing vacation and we weren’t home five minutes before mom and Little Sister were at each other’s throats. I might need a vacation from this vacation.

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The Ladies of Hoopskirts: DragonCon 2012

Another year, another highly successful con!

This year we stayed at the Westin instead of the Hilton.
Exercise bonus: .3 miles UPHILL
Easy access to view the parade
Complimentary Starbucks Coffee and Tazo Tea
MASSIVE television for DCTV

Oddly shaped room (the Westin IS circular, so all the rooms were vaguely pie-shaped)
Tiny bathroom (pro: shaving mirror. Made the making-up processes easier)
Impossible to leave during the parade

Other than that, it was Con as usual. My AMG Alice’s was a success on Friday. At one point, Julie and I found a hallway that, the farther you entered, the closer the ceiling got. So naturally, we took Shrinking Room/Growing Alice photos.

No cake required.

I felt rather menacing roaming Atlanta with my pepper grinder and 4-inch Demonia boots.

I was also very tall. Alice, our roommate, was also dressing as AMG Alice for Con, and brought with her the most adorable hobbyhorse I’ve ever seen. His name is Snickerdoodle, and he will fuck you up. I want one.

Saturday I met with my darling friends Cat, Michael, Jenn and Karen (and Lauren, who photobombed us), for lunch. I should have known Saturday would be amazing after I fought my way from the Westin to the Hyatt, only to find Cat had texted me to say she was… in the Westin. I made it back, we ate lunch, and who should I run into but the Goblin King himself? He and Sarah are really cool people. We high-fived.

I walked around dressed as a street magician/Widgetesque from The Night Circus and attended several panels on busking and writing. Not together.

Sunday. Sunday was the day I dreaded and was most excited for. Sunday was the Masquerade and I was going to be on stage. I rewore the Black Patchwork Suit because I was in terror of anyone (especially me) messing up that gorgeous white beast. Jareth, Sarah and Amanda (their friend) were in my den. We all collapsed on the floor and promptly formed the Hoop Skirt Club (with the exception of Jareth, as he was not, in fact, wearing a skirt of any kind). Julie joined us. We lamented the necessity of our undergarments. Sarah was smart enough to wear cargo shorts.

Jareth and Sarah stole the show. I was proud and very glad I’d met them.

I did not win anything. I did not expect to. I DID almost get crushed by a dalek. Only at Dragon*Con. In my horror, I nearly missed my entrance, forgot my routine and promptly dropped my juggling ball (unlike Jareth, I brough my Sil-X. I live in terror of dropping my acrylic). I recovered, danced a bit, and trotted offstage. Later, I could not stand to watch my own recap, though everyone said I looked and did great.

Though I may have had a stage mishap, I’m pretty sure I SLEW the gauntlet. The gauntlet is the after-contest photography portion of the event where those willing line up with cameras and take photos. We rotate in sets of 3 on stage so everyone gets a good shot. The other two girls posed; I contact juggled. At one point someone said, “Oh, now she’s just showing off.” I felt successful.

And so the Con ended. There’s a lot of little in-between stories, cute puppeteers, Doctors attempting to sonic screwdriver the “happy red matter ball,” flirting with boys, meeting two Tiny Lil’ Miss Grand Supremes, breaking it DOWN to the Cruxshadows (while wearing the White Dress), and stellar makeup skills. I learned the importance of not being afraid of publishing houses/agents, what I’ll need to do before I can let the novel-thing venture out into the world, and I’ve reaffirmed that my life is basically awesome.

I think there may be some other super important life moment, but I’m so tired and have yet to recover from the Con.

I have to work AND prepare for a belly dance show.

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