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A Tribute to my Stepfather

I keep starting this post over and over, trying to find the right words to say. It’s been a difficult morning, my head is pounding, and I feel pretty numb. I was originally going to keep this to my private social media for my friends and family. But Ed was very special to me. He was family. I feel at least part of his story should be out there.

I guess you could say I’ve been lucky to have both a stepfather and a stepmother in addition to my biological parents. They both found new love after their divorce and while that created hardships for the three of us in the beginning, I was always happy for my parents because I could see that they were happy with their partners.

Yesterday, I lost my stepfather. He was a strong man, who always knew how to make you laugh with his jokes and he was another person I could share my toilet humor with. I remember the many weekends I’d come over to spend with him and Mom and there were plenty of fart jokes between us. Yeah, we were that family and it was the best.

I remember him jamming out on his drums – he was damn good at that. Ed always told me how he used to be in a band when he was younger. It was the time of his life, playing drums every weekend. He never kept it a secret that he was popular with the ladies back then because he played drums. It makes me laugh when I think about the night I was over at their house for New Years and I woke him and Mom up right at midnight by banging on the drums as hard as I could.

I’m pretty sure I gave them a heart attack. It was worth it.

I remember all the different motorcycles he used to own, going from BMWs to Triumphs to Harleys. But no matter what motorcycle he rode, he rode those beasts with passion and he loved nothing more than to fly down the road with the throttle wide open and feel the wind whip at him. My family is full of motorcyclists and he was no exception. Going on the large group rides with him, my mom and our family of motorcyclists were something I always looked forward to. We had a blast on our bikes.

I remember Ed taking no shit from car and motorcycle salesmen. He’d challenge their hidden fees and the extras they’d try to sell or claim were “required” in the bill. To this day, it makes me laugh when I think about the time he was ready to throw the car salesman through a window because they tried to force us to buy Zaktek and said it was something they cannot remove. “NO ZAKTEK!” he screamed at him. It was hilarious. And yes, they took that Zaktek charge off.

I remember my mom telling me he had cancer as a teenager. I don’t know the exact year, but I know I was young. I feel like he had been battling it ever since I knew him and that was probably the case. The doctors had given him less than a year. Because it’s Ed, I know he said “Yeah right!” and he was determined to beat cancer. And he did survive past that date and continued to survive for, what, 10 years later? Time flies when you’re kicking cancer’s ass.

Ed was a dog person. I remember all the times that he loved on his Rat Terrier, Baby Doll. She loved me too but ultimately she ended up being Mom’s dog. She loved her most. And I remember when he brought home Harley, who’s still alive and kicking so far. They’re the two best dogs. Ed spoiled them all the time, giving them treats, taking them on walks twice a day, and just straight up loving on them. I won’t lie when I say it was an adorable sight, seeing man’s best friend and man bonding so tightly.

Steve and I were going to fly out and visit him next week for 4th of July, at Ed’s request after a recent scan. Cancer had taken over his liver, but the guy was a fighter. He kept going and we were sure he’d be able to survive this too.

Ed had an incredibly strong spirit, but unfortunately, his body couldn’t keep up with his strong will to live. I wasn’t able to say goodbye and I wish nothing more than to be able to rewind the clock and find a way to have visited sooner. I wish his body had been stronger so he could have lived another 20 years. I know he and mom were looking forward to attending my college graduation in December.

But I know he’s up there watching over me, over mom, over his brother and his son and grandson. I’m glad that his son Austin was able to visit him one last time and say goodbye. I’m glad my mom was there to take care of him all the way to the end. I am glad that he was surrounded by love in his last few days and I can find a small sense of relief knowing that he is no longer in pain. He’s with his Baby Doll again and he can ride free.

So ride free, Ed. I’ll see you on the other side.

photo credit: Joan Allen Photo
All Posts, Books, Literary Fandom

Highlight of my PHXCC 2016: Interviewing Pierce Brown

photo credit: Joan Allen Photo

Okay so there were honestly a lot of highlights for me at Phoenix Comicon this year. The group costume project was AMAZING. I felt like a total badass in my Cyberpunk Harley and I had a total blast taking my seamstress’ five year old around as my little mini Harley.

But the bookworm in me had a dream come true. Thanks to my AWESOME friend Stitch with Fanboy Rant, I was able to join him in his interview with the original Howler himself, Pierce Brown and his editor Mike Braff on Sunday of Phoenix Comicon. We talked about the book mostly but unfortunately, due to his busy schedule with signings, didn’t get to focus on the man behind the Red Rising trilogy. Stitch and I sincerely hope we’ll be able to do a part II to the interview with these guys in the future, but for now, give it a listen below.

And if you haven’t read the Red Rising trilogy yet… WHY HAVEN’T YOU? GET ON IT.

But seriously, it’s one of my favorite series right next to the Harry Potter series. And that’s saying a lot.

Go check out and subscribe to the Fanboy Rant Podcast on any of the following networks! This guy has some awesome plans in the works:

iTunes

Soundcloud

Stitcher

Google Play

All Posts, Booking Through Thursday, Books

Booking Through Thursday #1

I love book blog memes! They’re great because you can share things about yourself or your reading habits and fandoms with your readers PLUS you get to find other book bloggers to follow and geek out with. Who wouldn’t love that?

So as part of my goal to begin really blogging every week, I’m jumping on the weekly meme called Booking Through Thursday! It’s weekly meme that provides a question for you to answer on your own blog, usually about reading and books. Then you link up on the main meme page and see what other people’s answers are on their own blogs. Anyone can join in – it’s all about having fun!

Anywho, onto the question. This week’s question is:

How often (if ever) do you weed out your library?

Well, honestly the idea of having to get rid of any books makes me sad. I’ve always dreamed of having my very own library in my house since I was a girl. Unfortunately, my boyfriend’s house does not have enough rooms to allow me to have such a thing so most of my books were donated or put into storage when I moved in with him.

But this is why I started getting into ebooks and audiobooks, and why I now love my Kindle Fire. I never have to get rid of books ever again! YAAASS. As of now, I don’t really ever weed out my books.

How about you? Do you ever go through your books and donate/give them away? Or are you a fan of ebooks too?

All Posts, Cosplay, Fitness, Updates

2016 Projects & Goals (So Far)

Well we are already half way through February (WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE OMG) and I have a lot of things I want to do in 2016! And I used that particular Batgirl photo as my header because that is my “I’m gonna kick 2016’s ass” pose.

Okay fine it’s just a cool freaking photo and I wanted to use it. Sue me.

To hold myself accountable – and hopefully force myself to make some time to make sure everything happens THIS year – I wanted to share with you my goals for 2016 in cosplay, photography, and anything else! Continue Reading

All Posts, Beauty, Cosplay, Cosplay Makeup

Cosplay Makeup Tip: My Harley Quinn Foundation!

Ever since I first debuted my Arkham City Harley in 2013 (or was it Arkham Asylum Harley in 2012?) I’ve gotten quite a few requests about which foundation I use for the costume! Usually when you see Harley costumes, you usually see stark white faces akin to her classic jester look. Those looks are usually achieved with a cream makeup of some kind or even clown makeup! I think this is perfect for her classic look!

However, the Harley costumes I have I felt needed a bit of a different look. In the game I noticed while her face was noticeably white, but I didn’t feel like it was cream makeup she would have used for these looks. Plus whenever I really take a look at her design in-game I tend to notice a little bit of her skin tone showing through the white which you can achieve with a face powder very easily.

Source: Batman Arkham City Wiki

Source: Batman Arkham City Wiki

Therefore, instead of using any cream makeup, I actually use Ben Nye’s Super White Professional Face Powder. I use this for a number of reasons with the first being that Ben Nye makeup is designed for the theatre stage. Think about it – when you’re on stage under a lot of lights (which means a lot of heat and sweating) and more often than not as a performer you’re on the stage for a couple of hours, you need a makeup that will last.

Photo: York in a Box. Harley costume: Maise Designs

Photo: York in a Box. Harley costume: Maise Designs

The other reason why I use the powder is because I have more control over how opaque I want the white powder to be on my skin. Most of the time, I put about 2-3 coats of the face powder so that my face is pretty white, but my skin tone still shows through a little bit as well! Right now I have the .9 ounce bottle and it has lasted quite a while. I found mine at a local costume shop, however you can find them in various sizes online on Amazon as well as here: Ben Nye Face Powder.

So there you go! That’s what I use for all of my Harley costumes.

Have more questions about what I use for my Harley makeup? Feel free to ask in the comments!

Photo by Tony Julius Photography. Batman cosplayer: San Tan Batman

Photo: Tony Julius Photography. Batman cosplayer: San Tan Batman. Harley costume: Maise Designs

Stay fabulous & geeky,

Nichole

Header image by Grant Brummett <3

All Posts, Beauty, Product Reviews, Reviews

Harley Quinn Inspired Nails by Espionage Cosmetics

Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I am a fan of Harley Quinn from the Batman universe. I’ve cosplayed a total of five different version so far with a sixth design coming this year for Phoenix Comicon. 😀

Naturally, I had to get my hands on these HQ inspired nail wraps from Espionage Cosmetics when I saw them at Comikaze Expo last year. I’ve had these things sitting in my bathroom for a couple months and tonight I finally tried out their nail wraps for the first time. Continue Reading

All Posts, Beauty, Makeup Tutorials

How I Conceal My Dark Circles

Ever since I could remember, I’ve had dark circles. Whenever I leave the house without makeup (which is rare these days) I usually end up getting asked if I am feeling okay or how I look tired.

To which I respond, “IT’S JUST MY FACE, THANKS.”

Naturally, this is one of my insecurities. I also happen to be a cosplayer which means I have my picture taken in my costume at cons a lot. There’s nothing worse for me than seeing my dark circles sitting there on my face in the picture going “LOL I’m making you look like a zombie!” Continue Reading