LIFE: Murder Mystery Dinner

For the last ten weeks, my fiance has been practicing with his improv comedy group, RPG Comedy, for their upcoming murder mystery dinner theater. The show was titled Holmes and Watson “Parliamentary” He Said, and was part two of a three part mystery. The story for this show focused on stolen legal documents, foreign spies, and a double homicide. However, there is an overarching mystery as to who is Moriarty.

Eddie was cast as Mycroft Holmes, who would be hosting the dinner party and at the head of the case. Included in the cast were Sherlock and Watson, as well as various outrageous characters including a crazy doctor, two suffragettes, and various businessmen and members of parliament. Those attending the show were encouraged to participate by doing our own detective work, which included interviewing the suspects and reviewing dossiers.

The entire show lasted about three hours, which was broken up between a four course meal and an interactive show. By the end of the night, every table made their final guess. Our table hypothesized that one of the suffragette’s was sleeping with the son of a man in parliament, and they conspired to kill his father to rise in power. So, they poisoned the tips of the suffragette pins that were being passed out to everyone. The pin successfully killed the lord in charge, but his secretary was accidentally killed instead of the man’s father. As for the foreign spies and the missing documents, we had no clue.

Turns out the victims had been poisoned as we expected, but not from the pins. What we missed was that several of the suspects and the victims met at a bar before the dinner and the poisoning happened there. A mind-control drug (that actually exists) was being administered slowly, and an overdose cased the murder. As for the foreign spies, it was one of the victims who had accidentally been murdered by her partner.

Needless to say, I’m not a very good detective. But our table did win the prize for the most incorrect (and creative) answer of the night. We won bars of chocolate, so I guess it’s better to be the best loser than anything else!

Overall, the mystery was very well written, albeit a bit difficult to piece together. I learned during the after party that this was due to the previous show being too easy. So, the writer cranked up the difficulty. Granted, it probably would have been easier if it was easier to hear what the actors were saying. There was a birthday party in the next banquet hall over and their music was extremely loud; and while Eddie blew out his voice to project over the music, quieter characters such as Watson tended to get drowned out by the noise. This left a lot of clues go unnoticed.

That being said, the actors did an amazing job of staying in character throughout the entire night and for really acting their hearts out. I’m very excited to see part three of the mystery and finally learning the identity of Moriarty.

While there, I also took many photos of the event for RPG Comedy to use. Some of my favorites are down below for you to check out!

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LIFE: My Turn for a Bachelorette Party!

As the wedding creeps closer at an alarming rate, my weekends are growing increasingly busy with appointments, family events, and last minute planning. This weekend we had my bachelorette party with my closest friends and family. The day started off with lots of cleaning and preparing the house for guests. Eddie was kind enough to surprise me with a small gift for the evening, a Mooncake plush from Final Space. Ever since the show came out I’ve been wanting a Mooncake, and I was surprised to see him appear on the kitchen table.

Shortly after my Matron(s) of Honor showed up to help decorate the house with blue and orange balloons, streamers, and candy. It’s a good thing that Eddie’s birthday is in a few days – I don’t have to worry about decorating!

Slowly, people started arriving at the house and we all went to Painting with a Twist! We had about thirteen of us painting a sunset that I had picked out. It was great getting a to listen to Panic! at the Disco and paint with my friends. Everyone’s pieces turned out great, and I hope they all liked the painting that I picked out for us.

Once we were done painting, we went back to the house to eat dinner and play games – particularly, Cards Against Humanity. The night ended with opening some gifts, both family friendly and not-so-family friendly.

I am very blessed to have such wonderful friends and family who want to celebrate this moment in my life and spoil me with their love and kindness. I would not be the person I am today if it wasn’t for them in my life, and I’m glad to share this special moment with them all.

Life: Engagement Photos!

Back in August and September, my good friend Kaiden took me and Eddie’s engagement photos. We’ve been waiting patiently for our photos to be edited, and they’re finally here! While we ended up getting about 80 proofs back, I’m going to share some of my favorites with you guys. I’m so very happy with how they turned out and am thankful for having such a talented friend who was willing to help us.

All photos credited to Kaiden Dunn. You can check out more of his work at his deviantart and instagram.

 

LIFE: North American International Auto Show

As a perk for working with GM, my office purchased tickets to the Auto Show in Detroit. We took some time out of our day to ride the people mover over to Cobo Center to check out all of the new vehicles.

It was my first time ever attending, since I never really cared much about cars until I started working in the automotive industry. I was ill prepared to take photos of my experience (left the DSLR at home) but I did manage to snap some pics to share on my instagram! Overall, I had a pretty fun time walking around and seeing JUST HOW MANY CARS COULD FIT IN ONE BUILDING.

Then, I suddenly won a free ticket for having the most social media posts at work and ended up going again, this time with Eddie, Nancy and Jay. Our double date was, and while this time I chose not to bring my DSLR (because I really didn’t feel like carrying it around) I had way more fun.

Overall, would I want to go again? Maybe not for the cars (since I’m honestly not a huge car person) BUT I loved the photos that I was able to take and for that reason I’d be happy to go again in the future.

 

 

Life: Living with Emetophobia

TRIGGER WARNING: This blog post may contain topics, words, and experiences that may trigger anxiety or panic for those with emetophobia.

 

I think it would be safe to say that winter is the worst time of year for someone with emetophobia. Flu season is in full swing and it seems like everyone around you is sick. Catching a stomach virus and vomiting seems like an inevitability, and my anxiety is always telling me that my luck is running out.

I’ve been living with a fear of vomiting for almost 20 years now. It was something that I developed as a child and continue to struggle with on a day by day basis. For the longest time, I thought I was crazy. I was the only one I knew who had this fear. I didn’t even know there was a name for it until I was in college.

Imagine my surprise when I suddenly stumbled upon a website (this one to be exact) that opened my eyes to the fact that I wasn’t crazy or alone in the world. As Anna S. Christie states on her website:

It is a fairly common phobia, manifesting mainly in women and more acutely in adolescents than adults…symptoms range from mild disturbance to acute panic attacks (rapid heartbeat, rush of adrenalin, difficulty breathing, choking sensations, derealization, dizziness, fear of dying, numbness, sweating, trembling). Most emetophobics….would rather die than vomit…In severe cases, emetophobics will show symptoms of OCD and agoraphobia. Since the phobic fears her own body, this disorder tends to be particularly debilitating. Avoidance of the stimulus is impossible, and thus without treatment the emetophobic is continually re-traumatized, ritualistic behavior intensifies and the condition worsens.

Imagine fearing something that is a normal bodily function, something that your body does to remove toxins from your system to save your life. You can’t run away from your fears like someone who may be afraid of mice or clowns. Your fear is your own stomach, your own mind. Continue reading

2017: Year in Review

With all of the holiday parties I’ve attended in the last few weeks (seven in total if I’m counting correctly), I haven’t had the time to write a proper blog post. There were quite a few big events that took place in these short 12 months, and everything seemed to fly by. Here is a brief review of the milestones for this year as we look forward for 2018!

January – March:

  • Went through an Escape Room for the first time, and survived!
  • Started playing the Neebs and Associates D&D Session.
  • Saw Aaron Carter in concert.
  • Nancy and I got engaged to our boyfriends within a week of each other!!
  • Saw Green Day and Simple Plan in concert.
  • Shared an Artist Alley booth at Shuto Con.
  • Met Mystery Skulls!
  • Won a signed copy of The Burning World by Isaac Marion.

April – June:

  • Mark and Catherine got married!
  • Saw Aaron Carter (again)
  • Saw Markiplier’s Show.
  • Bought my wedding dress!
  • Nancy got married, and I was one of her bridesmaids.

July – September:

  • D&D Birthday Celebration.
  • Went to the 89X Birthday Bash with Jen.
  • Eddie and I purchased our first home together!
  • Went to the Ren Festival with Nancy and Brianna.
  • Took a two-day vacation to Toldeo and Sandusky, OH.
  • Started new Social Media position

October – December:

  • Went to a Lions Game with work friends.
  • Halloween House Warming!
  • Youmacon
  • Five year Anniversary
  • The Art of Falling was published!

LIFE: Five Years with Eddie, Eight Years of Youmacon

Last weekend I celebrated my five year anniversary with Eddie. It’s crazy to think that we’ve been together for five years, since it feels like not much time has passed.

For those who aren’t familiar, Eddie is my best friend and husband-to-be. He’s a Pisces, a youmafan of football, reading, D&D, and anime. While we grew up only a neighborhood apart (him going to Chippewa Valley and me going to L’Anse Creuse), as well as having several mutual friends, we didn’t meet until our paths crossed in the Creative Writing Club at Macomb Community College. Eventually he convinced me to join his Improv Comedy Club, and while I didn’t actively play any of the games, I was a committed audience member. Our first date was at the local mall, where we walked several laps, drank lemonade, and had our first kiss. Our second date was at Youmacon, where we spent the entire time roaming the convention (while I was dressed up as Danny Phantom.) Our courtship lasted a few days, and we were officially dating within the week.

Since then, we’ve been through so much together and have grown as individuals and as a couple. I’m very blessed to have him as my partner, and I can’t imagine a life without him in it.

Now, enough with the sappy stuff and onto Youmcaon recap! This year I had the pleasure of working Press with Team Final Rush to take photos with some other photographers. While they focused on cosplays in the halls, I focused on the cosplays that participated in the Masquerede Contest. Below are a few of my favorite shots taken from the night:

Continue reading