Goodbye SF, Hello Texas, and Reflections of COVID-19

I moved to San Francisco in 2008, shortly after my 23rd birthday. I only visited once and decided then and there I was moving, and three months later I arrived. I had only intended on living in the Bay for 2 years. I assumed I would have my fun (with a time limit) and then come back to Austin. Boy, was I way wrong!

In California I really came into my own. The longer time went on, the more extroverted I became. The more I found myself confident in my opinions, speaking up when I could. My style was OFF THE HOOK (I take pride in this!!). I made the best friends! Ones I know that I will be in touch with forever. I developed amazing skills and tried new hobbies – hello DJ world, improv performing community, hiking and watercolor times! I fell in LOVE. I found myself. So why decide to leave?

Truth by told, as much as I love San Francisco and cherished my time in the Bay, I had been feeling for a few years that I was ready for a new adventure somewhere else. John and I had been talking about trying something new together for a while and couldn’t ever really decide. When I started working in marketing for the Curran theater, I knew that I would be tied to SF as long as I had this job. I grew my skill-set so much! I planned so many amazing parties, red carpet events, after parties and beyond. I was an avid part of the VIBE of the city. (I want to address my career separately, so am only touching on it here). But when COVID first came around I lost my job pretty immediately, and all of entertainment went cold, I felt the time came to make a big change.

I know I am a super intuitive person. I was the first person in our group of family and friends that realized, very early on, how big of a deal COVID would be. I envisioned losing my job immediately, industries shutting down, flocks of people moving out of cities – things closing for months on end. Despite feeling this way, I persevered. Everyone was let go, letting go of more people, and places were on hiring freezes. Businesses were closing left and right. It felt hopeless. I tried everything I could everyday to get a new job. I brushed up on my skills and got 3 additional marketing certifications. I didn’t feel confident that the job market had my back in SF, with remote work blooming everywhere and everything described above. John’s work was always remote, so we decided it was time. From a career perspective, Austin felt right because I knew companies would be moving work with all of the tax breaks and cheaper cost of living, so all of the opportunities I once had in SF were now relocated as well.

I ended up going back to work for a previous employer, remotely, and an old amazing (and very chill) boss who confirmed I could move anywhere I wanted. This was so exciting because I knew what I was getting into when all of the rest of the world felt scary. I was going to have a reliable source of income with great work-life balance, and could live anywhere I wanted…

You see, John wants to go to grad school….in Edinburgh! He likes the program at the university and has connections through his work. It would be a 1 year plan and we intend to go in a year from now, when vaccines are administered to everyone and travel is opened up. So in the meantime, we decided, it was the time to be closer to my family. Hence, preparations for Texas were en route.

The weekend we decided to move we were in Carmel.
My California man, taking a risk to become a Texan temporarily and live in a *gasp* RED STATE!

Telling our family and friends was the hardest part, but for the most part everyone was pretty supportive and excited for us. Austin is a really rad town, it was where I went to college 15 years ago and the first city I fell in love with. I was excited and nervous at the same time. I spent the last 12 years building myself up to be this person, a West Coast performer who loves nature and the great outdoors – how could this person exist in Texas? Where it’s HOT and the views don’t always align with my own?

I grieved. A LOT. I cried. EVEN MORE. But after everything is said and done, I knew deep down this was what we were supposed to do. My parents are in their 70s and I’ve been gone a long time. If anything, COVID has taught us that we are not promised tomorrow. So make memories while you can, NOW.

Our socially distant, Alamo Square park goodbye shindig.

I loved my apartment on Alamo Square so much. I lived there for 10 years, and the park was on my front doorstep! It did me well, and later on, John moved in and it did him well too 🙂 . I am forever grateful for the memories we created with our friends and families who visited us and spent time in our home. The backyard BBQs, charades, dance parties to records in the living room, Tuesday Night Dinner club, and more! While I knew I could stay there as long as I wanted, I was ready to grow and that entailed being uncomfortable.

We packed our belongings, sent them off to Texas, and said our final goodbyes with tears in our eyes. It was very painful leaving, one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I feel so connected to California. We want to move back and settle down when we are ready to do so – but we have more adventures ahead (in Texas and Edinburgh and maybe somewhere else along the way).

The last sunset in our neighborhood we experienced, before moving the next morning.

We drove across country with Beatrix in tow and stopped at some unique places along the way (I’ll write about that as a separate post). After navigating Las Vegas, Moab Utah, Denver Colorado, Amarillo and New Mexico, we eventually made our way to our new home in Austin. We have been here a few short months and it finally feels like we’ve settled into our new surroundings. And merging old Texas Emily with current California Emily is a lot easier than I thought. I am the best version of me yet! I am so excited for what is in store this coming year – I feel very grounded and have had lots of time to reflect and plan goals.

In our new home in Austin.

Throughout everything, John and I are lucky and happy to have each other in this crazy time. We both have steady remote jobs that allow us the flexibility to explore our surroundings. We have our cute cat who snuggles us everyday. We have close friends down the street, who also moved from SF just 6 months prior to us! My family is only a 2 hour drive away. And we frequently zoom and facetime with his family and our friends back home. Who knows where our future will take us, but for now – we are taking it one step at a time.

Happy 2021, may it bring you health, wealth, and happiness!

33 And Me

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MEEE ❤ . Last Friday I turned 33 years old and had a big ole Olympic themed birthday extravaganza to celebrate. It was a special birthday and the vibrations were high on life! Maybe because of the energy of the Olympics, since it comes every 4 years, but things felt great and now I’m even older than I was before.

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I’m aging like a fine wine and some things that I’ve really started to love in my 30s are:

  • Staying in to cuddle / play with my cat. Yes I am a cat lady and have always been. But I didn’t get Beatrix until about 3-4 years ago. My 20s were all about exploring events, meeting new people, finding things outside of my home to occupy my time. I wanted to have my own cat for many years before I finally did it, and I’m glad I waited because I don’t think I would have had the full 20s social experience that was mine here in one of the biggest cities in the country. Plus my cat rules so hanging out with her is always a win in my book! I think it makes me MORE creative…
  • Habitually reading before bed / going to bed at a reasonable hour / getting up earlier in the day. YES. I know. I am NOT a morning person by any means. However getting up around 8am on a Saturday morning to make tea and head to an early yoga or boot-camp class…SIGN ME UP. I love being productive earlier in the day and relaxing at night. And the crazy books I’ve been getting into lately….MORE PLEASE!
  • Realizing that food / drinking / lack of sleep affects my body differently now. You have to change your habits from your 20s because they make you feel like ass in your 30s. It might sound sad to you if you are in your twenties now, but believe me it’s not sad at all. In the last few months I’ve realized a LOT about my health and patterns that I needed to change, and honestly I LOVE FEELING PHYSICALLY good!
  • Personal / life reflection. I’ve been really introspective in the last year. 32 was a super challenging year for me emotionally, realizing things about myself that I wasn’t very aware of in the past. I believe it’s always good to be open and honest about who you are and where you want to go. Sometimes you can’t get there without letting go of some baggage.
  • Wanting more podcasts and documentaries. YES. I never thought I would not listen to music regularly or want to watch something scripted, but LEARNING is where it’s at in your 30s my friends. WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF REAL LIFE STORIES!

 

IMG_1036.jpgI can haz Rick & Morty?!

We are all unique individuals who live on this rotating planet, on the third rock from the sun (anyone else here grow up watching that gem??) and it’s a pleasure that shouldn’t be taken for granted. I MADE IT ANOTHER YEAR! I get to learn even more crazy things I like about myself and evolve! Here’s to many new adventures in 33 🙂

 

 

Watercolor Delight

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When I was a little girl I was VERY very shy. People freaked me out (let’s be honest, they STILL do) and I didn’t talk much. In order to become more social, my dad forced me to take a LOT of community classes (drama and art) and play on various sports teams. I loved the sketching and painting classes and always wish that I continued on with art (and theatre too tbh), but when band came into my life there was little room for anything else.

Now that I am older and exploring my creative outlets, I recently fell back into painting. I took some watercolor classes last fall with the City College Continuing Education program, and I rekindled a love that I hadn’t thought about in a while. It came back to me pretty easily and is *kinda* like riding a bike. I’ve also been working on my hand lettering too; it’s really fun to learn!

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Seinfeld forever.

 

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Whale you?

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If you want to get that boy’s SOUL.

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NOM NOM.

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Consider me Miles Davis.

I want to continue to work on my style and eventually create and sell prints. I love how painting brings out my creativity that I otherwise don’t get to utilize in my day to day job (as it is definitely more math and data oriented). Hopefully I will have more updates around this soon! #demilsart

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Spring Cleansing

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Spring has sprung y’all and I am feeling it! I think this last winter was a bit of a roller coaster for me, emotionally and mentally, and I feel like I’m in a good spot at the moment, taking it all in, and working on my “spring cleansing” if you will.

I am an idealist. My Myers-Briggs personality profile is INFP. It’s literally part of the idealist category. I also struggle with perfectionism. I think of grandiose “shoulds” in my mind and get down sometimes at the fact that I’m not even close to my grandiose vision, when in reality, the only person who could even be close to those goals would be a superhuman like Oprah or Elon Musk. And I’m NOT a superhuman, so why do I create superhuman goals??!

We live in a very different world now than our parents and our grandparents. Everything is a lot easier now. We communicate much more quickly. Think about the middle ages and how long it would take to even get a love note!!! And now we live in a world where people can “swipe left” and instantly connect with a love interest. We NEED instant gratification now, and not everything is set up that way. So we get down on ourselves when we don’t lose weight fast enough, or we didn’t save as much money as we thought we would, or the fact that we don’t have a boyfriend just yet. It can make you crazy and it definitely makes me nuts sometimes. And when you toggle a lot of things ongoing like work goals, fitness goals, hobby goals, relationship goals, financial goals, etc – it’s pretty easy to be “goaled out.”

I do this to myself. I am my own worst critic. I give myself way to much to focus on and when I start to feel like I’m stretched thin or that I don’t have the energy for something I get REALLY down on myself, that I didn’t get to where “in my perfect world” I THOUGHT I would be. But one thing I’m trying to focus on this year, is removing this way of thinking from my patterns and be more present. At the end of the day, I want to congratulate myself on what I DID vs. what I DIDN’T accomplish.

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I’ve also decided to pause my efforts on some things that I didn’t feel I was putting 100% of my energy into, like my radio show. I just got to a point where I had my obligations, work-life balance, social calendar, fitness calendar, etc etc and I wasn’t happy allotting my precious time to hobbies or interests that weren’t making me happy anymore. And you know what, I feel a lot less stressed out! I want to talk about music, how it’s influenced my life, where I am now in a bigger post, but right now I wanted to share that it’s ok to take breaks. It’s ok to feel like you can’t do everything. It’s ok to take time to yourself for a breather and re-focus. Some people call it spring cleaning, and I call it spring cleansing  🙂

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You got this! Pause the things that aren’t working for you anymore, reflect, and listen to yourself. Maybe there are new interests waiting for you around the corner!

February Birthday Month Extravaganza

Now that March is almost over, I can finally blog about February! HA! Y’all have no idea how busy I’ve been the last couple months, so the fact that I am FINALLY even writing this post is amazing. #thefutureisfemale I KNOW all my lovely loyal readers were DYING to know what I’ve been up to lately, losing sleep every night due to my lack of blog updates, BUT HERE WE ARE PEOPLE! <cry laughing> 😉

John and I are both February babies, same week even! February was a pretty busy social month for us, from St. George spirit tasting in Alameda, to a surprise viewing of Silence of the Lambs (comedy!!!) musical, to Mortified storytelling, and a crazy trip to Tahoe in between, there was plenty of fun that was had.  I did miss this blog dearly, but think about all of the cool stuff you’re gonna hear about now.

 

IMG_0670St. George spirit tasting crew! Their gin is the best, but they also have brandy and vodka.

IMG_0624.jpgBrother-sister time at Faction Brewery with breathtaking views of the Bay.

IMG_0765.jpgSRSLY the funniest musical right now! I almost keeled over when I saw the backup dancers dressed as lambs…

I think it’s fun that we both get to celebrate our birthdays together! But it’s also Valentine’s Day too, so we kinda have to limit what all we end up doing as far as eating out goes. Usually a big group outing on one of our birthdays, a private night out on the other birthday, with a nice chill night together at home cooking for Valentine’s Day. We both worked in the food industry for many years and Valentine’s Day is literally THEE WORST night out to eat in the entire year. DON’T DO IT!!! This year we opted to make our own goat cheese and spinach stuffed ravioli with a tomato, basil, lemon, and parmesan sauce, while watching our favorite series on TV right now, The Magicians (more on that later…I can do an entire post dedicated to sci-fi entertainment BTW). #scifiFTW

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Our Tahoe trip didn’t go according to ANY of our plans, which made for a very interesting trip to say the least. SO MANY MEMORIES!! It was absolutely gorgeous and nice to be in a cozy cabin among a winter wonderland with great friends.

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We were surprised by our friends with this BOMB DOT COM purple glitter birthday cake on the first night. It was truly unique and tasted delish with a passion fruit mango filling! Have you ever heard of passion fruit mango cake or filling? I HAVE NOT. It was a cake for made the gods. Which means I am a goddess…

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Upon first glance this cabin looks adorable, but upon further inspection it is indeed a cursed cabin! (our friend broke her leg falling down the stairs, the morning after we had a 6 hour plumbing problem!)

IMG_1064But ahhhhhhh that view tho…

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My favorite part of the trip was getting this SUPER RAD narwhal Kigurumi which I practically didn’t take off! It’s a big thing with my friends, everyone is a different creature and I finally got one and I love all things narwhal now! They are the unicorn of the sea… I couldn’t be a unicorn because Rosie already had it, so this was just perfect and uniquely me. John got a walrus one too, and we basically lounged in them all weekend while watching a vast array of dvd options from our Airbnb,  due to the cable being out from the BIG STORM.

IMG_1132.jpgLook at all that snow! We were stuck in traffic for 4 hours in the SAME SPOT due to avalanche control :-/ BUT IT WAS WORTH IT!

As you can see we were pretty busy all month, and I didn’t even get into everything going on at work. With a big industry conference at the end of February and some work travel to Vegas mixed in, I haven’t been available to decompress until now! FEAR NOT my readers, you’ll be seeing more of me soon… (you’re gonna get so much rest tonight I bet)!

xo-

Emily

Happy Holladaze!

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MERRY EVERYTHING 2K16 – and happy winter solstice! We are heading off on a holiday extravaganza trip to Texas where we will stay in San Antonio and Houston, and then make our way to NOLA for NYE. I can’t wait to embark on our journey and I hope you have a festive holiday as well. And if not, there’s ALWAYS alcohol…

Be back in 2017 to blog more about everything and nothing. Xo – Emily.

Thankful & Stuffed

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2016 has been a crazy year full of tremendous change. We saw loads of sudden musician deaths, an insane presidential season with our first reality star president elect, and had never ending hangovers (I don’t know about you but I don’t think I’ve been more drunk in my life! And getting older, these hangovers don’t feel any better). While it’s easy to get down about losing our favorite celebrities (<tear for Prince & Bowie>), the fact that the Giants lost their chance to play in THEE World Series in an even year (WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!) AND Golden State Warriors lost the playoffs, or the state of our country (ahem #notmypresident)… I was thankful to celebrate what I DO have in my life, instead of what I don’t.

Things like:

  • An awesome boyfriend. John moved in earlier in the year and things have never been better. While I know of some other friends who are already married with kids, newly married or newly engaged, or just plain been living with their significant other for a while (or recently split from living with a significant other) – THIS is my first live-in boyfriend and a really big step for me. Not to mention, he’s a cutie ❤
  • Our adorable baby cat. She is the best emotional support cat there is (look up #beatrixvonwhiskerton on my instagram if you want proof).
  • RENT CONTROL Y’ALL.
  • A loving family, even though they are another state away. While we might not always agree on everything, I have a very supportive and loyal family who is always there for me no matter what. Also, I have the most diverse, eclectic group of sisters that a girl could ask for and they are great role models.
  • My awesome friends! I love those weirdos! CAN I TAKE YOUR PICTURE SO WE CAN MAKE MEMORIES?!
  • This damn city. SAN FRANCISCO YOU ARE WONDERFUL! I feel that I have really come into my own the last almost decade I’ve been here. (WHAT I’M GETTING SO OLD). Where else can you witness the rolling fog (Karl), run in Golden Gate Park, have bonfires at Ocean Beach, get #lit at Gay Pride, experience Bay to Breakers, see too much, see things you never even knew could happen (FOLSOM STREET FAIR if you want specifics), go hiking – wine tasting – camping all at your finger tips, and wear costumes for any and every occasion?!
  • Tapping into my creative outlet. Whether it’s through podcasting + djing, art, THIS BLOG, cooking, or attempting the new makeup tutorial, I am thankful that I possess drive to try new and creative things.
  • My health.

Here’s to the best stuff out of our shit bag of a year, y’all. Let’s make 2017 GREAT all around 😉

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Sideways in Sonoma

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I’m pretty thankful for the fact that I live so close to wine country. It’s easy to gather some friends, get on the highway, and find yourself among the vineyards within an hour. While I used to take advantage of this much more when I was newer to the city, it never gets old having a #wineday. And going during autumn is my absolute FAVORITE time of year to experience wine tasting. The vineyards are colorful (not just green), it’s a bit slower paced, and I can get wine drunk while wearing comfortable sweaters. WINE WIN! I personally gravitate towards Sonoma over Napa because it is less touristy, has cheaper tastings, and people are more down to earth. Not to mention it’s a tad bit closer to the city, and less time in car = more time drinking, so LET’S GO!

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I love starting out tasting sparkling wine first because it’s a great way to ease into your day, especially when you start tasting at 11am. Domaine Carneros is my absolute favorite sparkling tasting experience; the view is amazing, the wine is very dry (just what I love), and they have caviar! I love getting all bougie up in there because I am not bougie in real life so it is an all around cool experience. (Caviar should be round, and hard, and of adequate size, and should burst in your mouth at *precisely* the right moment. #overboardforever).

Gloria Ferrer is another good option for a day starter and is close by in Sonoma, but you might have to wait if you don’t have a reservation. I know a lot of people like Domaine Chandon as well, but it’s a bit too crowded for me on a normal day. I like to go when there isn’t anyone there so I can have a good seat and order oysters, because #idontlikecrowds #introvertproblems.

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I’ll be makin’ room for some more vino in this sweater dress ❤

Another fun spot is Cuvaison. This is probably my favorite place in Sonoma. They are small but have a GREAT VIEW, fun people work there, and the wine is on point! I could spend an entire afternoon just lounging outside on the patio. They also released a new wine with label artwork by THEE Andy Warhol! Super artsy and different – check.

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I mean, LOOK AT THAT VIEW!

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I usually almost always stop by one of my longstanding favorite spots, Bartholomew Park. You can’t buy the wine anywhere other than at the vineyard, they have a gorgeous picnic area and hiking trails, a wine history museum, and THE BEST sauvignon blanc this side of New Zealand! Srsly check them out if you make your way to the area.

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John & I at Bartholomew last year on a hot summer day. You can honestly have a fashion shoot in these vineyards, as I have had many times…

Other places that I enjoy in Sonoma are Ravenswood, Artessa, Gundlach Bunschu, Truchard (a fav of my sis and her SOMMOLIER HUSBDAND y’all), and Larson Family Winery (they have cornhole!).

Some things to note:

  • Most places comp your tastings if you buy a bottle so if you end up liking something it’s almost always more cost effective to buy a bottle rather than just pay for the tasting (depending on how $$$ it is).
  • You WILL have wine lips so it’s good to have wine wipes close by as to not embarrass yourself.
  • DRINK WATER!
  • Take fun pictures in the vineyards drunk that you can show off to your crew later. “Hey guys, I found my new profile pic!! New Christmas card, anyone?”
  • In the holiday season, always wear ugly sweaters. Sometimes you might be surprised at how amazing people will treat you in an ugly sweater.
  • It’s easy to walk into another party’s limo; I recommend not doing this unless you purposely want to start a commotion – then proceed.
  • Have a great time 🙂

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Ugly sweater extravaganza a few holidays ago.

Parks & Rec

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Living in San Francisco is amazing in so many ways. We have beautiful architecture, rolling hills, gorgeous bridges, redwoods in Golden Gate Park, and the ocean is on our doorstep. Not to mention we aren’t too far away from wine country or campsites! And the weather is always pretty amazing…

Sometimes it feels overly crowded. I mean, if you look at the buildings in the city you can see just how close quarters everyone is. Luckily, there are parks sprinkled throughout the city that can provide a mini getaway when you have no intention of leaving your parking spot because #parkingsucks. John and I enjoy walking throughout the city and exploring businesses along the way – anywhere from a new taco spot to a dive bar we haven’t seen before. It’s a nice way to get familiar with your neighbors and surroundings.

Although my favorite park to walk is the Panhandle of Golden Gate, we also enjoy making the trek up Buena Vista Park off Haight street, which are both close to our house. It’s a little oasis with a great view and interesting people watching 🙂

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Pictures don’t do this view justice!

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My dad worked for the Recreation & Parks department of the Air Force for almost 40 years, so I grew up going to parks all over the country. I volunteered in creating trails for new parks and working to eliminate brush. I used to make mulch from our TROY BUILT CHIPPER VAC you guys!

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It looks like this!!!

Anyways, happy Friday! GO OUT AND ENJOY THE PARKS!

escape from san francisco, halloween 2k16

This Halloween I fulfilled my dream of being the incredible Joanna Stayton, played by Goldie Hawn, from Overboard! I LOVE THIS MOVIE SO MUCH Y’ALL and have been thinking about doing this costume for YEARS #overboardforever. What’s great is that John loves Kurt Russell (as do I, hello HOTTIE ALERT!) and decided to be Snake Plissken from Escape from New York. We thought that it would be more recognizable for him to wear an eyepatch and go for Snake’s look because if we weren’t standing next to each other while he was Dean Proffitt, he would just be wearing plaid and would look similar to his everyday self (I guess he could have worn overalls and carried a tool box but truth be told, John doesn’t love Overboard the way that I do (HOW DARE HE) and he wanted to be Snake. COMPROMISE people! That’s what love is all about ❤ )

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Don’t we look GOOD?!

The point is, we both were characters we loved while representing a real life powerhouse in the love department. Kurt and Goldie are hands down my favorite celebrity couple and a great inspiration for relationships everywhere!

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We ended up going on the Sunset Sound System boat party to celebrate Halloween (on top of another house party the night before). The Sunset Crew are a great group of local underground house + techno DJs that have been throwing the best parties (that happen to fall on Sundays) for over 20 years in the Bay Area. The boat parties are a ton of fun, are usually 3 floors, and feature edgy DJs from Berlin to NYC and all over the world (talk about LEGIT). This year I was STOKED to hear Prosumer. AND since I was on a boat, all night I got to say things like:

  • THE ENTIRE CIVILIZED WORLD KNOWS THAT ALL CLOSETS ARE MADE OF CEDAR!
  • Andrew, are you gonna bring me my lemon or do I have to squeeze it from my hat?
  • Caviar should be round, and hard, and of adequate size, and should burst in your mouth at *precisely* the right moment.
  • I was a SHORT…FAT…SLUT!

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I made the jacket from a white satin robe, shoulder pads, gold rope, gold tassel ribbon, and sequins.

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All in all it was a pretty successful Halloween weekend. People loved our costumes, we hungout with our fun friends, listened to great tunes, and got to ride a huge boat around the Bay!

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Just for fun, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite clips. Hope you all had a Happy Halloween! Now I have to start brainstorming what I want to be next year…