Best Nine. Not Breast Nine.

Waiting until the 2nd of January makes this less of a cheesy 'I should write something to see in the new year' post, right? Yes? Awesome. I made my own HashtagBestOfInstagram2015 picture this morning, then decided I had more to say about it than would fit in an Instagram post. Unfortunately there's no tits in it, but you get enough of those in my every day social media anyway. Shush.

So stuff to say. 2015 was the worst. It was also the best. I got real injured and real sick and lost my driving license and learned not to trust people so much. But also I got better and I got my license back and I found the best animals in the world and I learned that if you're more discerning about the people you trust brilliant things happen.

Without further ado...

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Starting top left...

I took my first solo vacation this year. (Trips home to the UK don't count.) After following the Nerdist for yeeeeears I finally made it to Meltdown comics and saw Harmontown recorded. Many boxes ticked all at once. Also super proud of myself for not jumping on stage and making out with/punching Dan Harmon. It was, after all, about 3 weeks after the Community finale. Which I still haven't fully recovered from.

Next. Chewbacca and Mara Jade. Fur Kids. The BEST.

New tattoo by Oliver Macintosh. The octopus represents wisdom, grace and adaptability. Lose a limb? No problem. Just gonna grow a new one. Also come near me I'll ink you.

BURNING MAN. CAMP KASHYYYK. Made a bee-line for these guys screaming CHEWIE IS MY HOME BOY, then traded some pics of my little Wookiee for a bottle of champagne. Black Rock City is where my soul lives, and it keeps excellent company there with Marisa. Playa Wife for Life.

TARDIS costume, for funsies. I discovered this year that I don't like going to the cinema without making myself a hat first. A realisation... with some Sid-led galvanisation, that would lead to Dream Job #2. Because apparently you can have lots of the things you want if you work hard. Many thanks to Kitschy Koo and Maythinee for accompanying me on these adventures. And providing rhinestones in the colours I don't have yet.

HUNTRESS THOMPSON. Because obviously.

My first standalone burlesque act, Fanatical. It still has a ways to go but I'm so proud of it already. Jesse Smigel, my favourite Art Pirate, is the mastermind behind the pasties which [SPOILERS! COME SEE THE ACT!!] Thanks again Marisa for bustling my butt, Sid for cutting the track, Melody for the floor space and Ricardo for the chance to debut at Brunchlesque. Hugs also to the wonderful folks of the Vegas burly community for your cheers and support.

Cosplay art funness with the genius that is Scott Berry, AKA Costographer LV. We went to Dagobah for the day and it was awesome. Lady Luke Skywalker. Brilliant. Keep your eyes peeled for our upcoming projects. So freaking exciting.

And finally, The Most Fabulous Thing is definitely seeing my byline in actual print. Have been dreaming about this for a long ass time. Geoff Carter, thank you for the chance. All eyes on Vegas Seven for columns of joy.

Extra thanks go to: My Family. Always. Rach, Sammy, Gemma, Jenny, Caroline, Lizzie, Katie, Natalie and Fran for being brilliant friends. I wish England wasn't so freaking far away. To Dave, Dustin, Misty, Eric, Laura, Marcus and Cris for making Vegas (and Disneyland) most excellent.

Happy New Year.

A Regional Burn 

Those of you privy to my life will be well aware of the shitty summer I had. I'm not one to violetly shrink when I have a problem. (Also lets be honest, the summer was pretty much the apex of two/three years of salty, salty tears for me.) I won't go into detail. You either know already or you'd be bored by it at this point, but I will say everything was capped off by an error by someone, somewhere, causing me to disappear in the eyes of the DMV and have my driving license revoked. If you've been to Vegas, you'll understand how goddamn awful that is. And if you've ever tried to prepare for Burning Man and one of Melody Sweets' burlesque extravaganzas in Vegas with no driving license, you're probably weeping for me as you read. I know right? Go grab a tissue and read on... Despite this, I made it to Burning Man. I did. And I had all the epiphanies one would expect there. I had a marvellous time. But I couldn't stay for the Burn... Labor Day Weekend is a big one it seems, and midday on the final Saturday I found myself crying my eyes out on a bus as it sped from the Playa, leaving my fellow revellers to the catharsis I thought I'd been cheated out of. 

Your author, however, is an imaginative and resourceful young (still!!) thing, and I made a plan for my very own Burn. 

Today... 3 months after it was revoked, my shiny new license arrived in the mail. I write this with a smokey smell clinging to my sweater. Here's what I did: 

             HAPPY BURN FOLKS. 

I think I can safely say that a chapter has closed. On to the next one. 

PS... Regarding Chewie. He's been on the Kidney Diet a couple of months now and his most recent tests showed a vast improvement. He has far more energy these days and absolutely loves Mara Jade. They're adorable together. His eyes are also improving no end. I've reduced his meds and surgery is looking less and less essential for him. Good. 

A bunch of excellent news 

Folks! Had Chewie to see his eye doctor today - which is always fun, because that's where all of his foster moms work - and we had two sets of really good news.

Firstly, his eyes are improving for the first time since they first met him last September. I can reduce his eye drops for the next couple of months and surgery doesn't look so urgent. Which is wonderful. He suffers from dry eye syndrome, and Las Vegas is not an easy place for a dog who can't produce his own tears. But a month of extra meds has put him in a really good place. Wonderful. Happy WookieeMom.

And second, I took all of his test results with me today and Dr took a look. He's of the opinion that his kidneys are a lot better than I'd previously thought, and he thinks it's likely the kidney diet can improve him rather than just delay complete kidney failure. This is marvellous news. I'm going to get a third opinion too, because THERE IS NOT ENOUGH KNOWLEDGE IN THE UNIVERSE, but I'm really hoping that we get a long and full life together after all. 

HAPPY FACE!

   PS I'm back at work tonight which is good. Sickness and injury seem to be behind me finally...

PPS I brought Chewie a little friend. Mara Jade is my new foster kitten. Which more than likely means I'm keeping her forever because she's awesome and there's no way I'm giving her up. Ha. 

  

Vets And The Folks You Find There 

Hey! It's been a while. Again.  I could tell you it's because I've been far too busy to write, and I guess that's true... I had a birthday, I moved into a new apartment, I went to London and then LA, I ADOPTED A WOOKIEE DOG... But also I'm terrible at keeping habits. And updating the blog is a habit. Bleh. Boring. 

Anyway, the Wookiee. Of course you all already know this. I'm the worst kind of person... A Facebook addicted over-sharer who takes too many pictures of the cute creatures in her life. Wookiee The Chew (Chewie to his friends) has already been all over the Internet. He's a dude. And freaking photogenic. So, while I can't imagine anyone being offended by the onslaught of his awesome snaggletoothed mug, I guess I almost apologise for the volume of posts. 

The reason for this post though. Turns out this Wookiee probably won't live to see hundreds of years like most of his species. Although we're still going through tests and second opinions, it looks like he little guy came to me with Chronic Kidney Disease. If this is indeed the case, there's  nothing we can do to reverse the damage already done - he's on a special renal health diet which should slow his deterioration down but now it's a wait and a lookout for complete kidney failure. 

Life, as they say, isn't fair. 

There we are. We take things in our stride. And the most important thing is that this little sausage alien monkey has THE BEST time I can possibly give him. And this:

If he wasn't sick, we would not have been at the Vet the other day and would not have happened to meet AN ACTUAL BLOODY STORMTROOPER. 

Rick Lester and his lovely wife Pam were in the waiting room with their beautiful dogs, Diamond and Duke. We got to talking, and as usual with me, it was about 45 seconds before the conversation turned to Star Wars. Yep. Turns out Rick Lester, an actor and stunt man, was AN ACTUAL BLOODY STORMTROOPER. As well as a Doctor Who villain, James Bond's body double and countless other stage and screen accolades.

   Chewie and I were massively star struck. Check out his IMDB page here: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1527991/ 

So that's kind of all for now. If anyone has any tips about caring for a dog in renal failure send them my way. You can never read enough. 

Also ideas for adventures with Chewie. I'm serious when I say if he's going out, then we're going out in STYLE. 

One Year Later

It's exactly a year since my life completely turned on its head. Max, the Poppa Bear of Hawksmoor Air Street, promised me 27 was all chocolate and champagne. It kinda wasn't.

It was heartbreak and hard work and tears and thousands of miles.

It was learning to drive. It was passing my test. It was driving two Mustangs and a Camero through the desert within my first six months. It was re-realising my dreams and who I am. It was the discovery of the true friendships in my life, and the joy in sharing the earth with some truly excellent humans.

It was bubbles. It was independence. It was star spangled.

Lost love and I used to chat about the songs we'd get married to. This one was wonderfully prophetic:

"Our vessel that carried you and me Now sits at the bottom - the bottom of the sea It's formed a natural reef Upon which new things have grown Things so wonderful that I had never known." Tall Ships - Vessels

Things turned out to be pretty fucking great. And now I'm off to have pancakes because it's my fucking birthday.

I continue to heal. And while I do, I shine.

Thanks for your continued support and love, friends. X

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Update on the #BalletAdventure

Hey! I've been going to places! Here they are: IMG_8358.JPG

The Hoover Dam. It was big. And Dammy. And we drove over it in a Mustang.

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The Grand Canyon! Definitely the best massive fuck-off hole in the ground I've ever seen.

And finally...

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DISNEYLAND! Yes! YESSSSS! So much fun.

Not sure where I'm off to next but stay tuned. I'll definitely show off when I get there.

Holidays!

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming (Charlie picking glue off her tatas) to bring you this festive update from Paradise. Or we will, after I let you know that my Areola Odyssey has plateaued recently with Pro's Aide, a stubborn body glue that is a PAIN to remove but hey, it DOESN'T MAKE MY NIPPLES BLEED. Victory. Besides, an extra 20 minutes in the shower in the morning while I ball it up and pull it off is a small price to pay, especially when there is Serial and a whole Infinite Monkey Cage back catalogue to listen to while I do it.Sorry, where were we? Oh yes. WINTER. The holidays are here! It's all terribly festive so far. We had Halloween, during which I freaked out the first time our doorbell rang because I didn't have candy ready on a plate and I didn't want to be harshly judged by the country that made this stupid festival so much fucking fun, then my Dad came over from the UK and we Staycationed with a Mustang, saw Love by Cirque du Soleil, drove to the Grand Canyon and drank a lot, and then there was Thanksgiving. Which might be my new favourite holiday based on an event that preceded mass slaughter. Hang on... My fantastically weird new imaginary friend who actually really exists (no really) treated me to several Thanksgivings in one day. And it was kind of perfect. Next year, if there is a Gobble Gobble Give Give event anywhere near you then for fuck's sake sign up. All the hippies in Vegas congregated in a parking lot Downtown and boxed up turkey dinners from the pot luck that the volunteers brought along, then we all piled into cars and took them out to homeless folks. It was fun, and sad, and satisfying, and massively worthwhile. And now? Now we're preparing for a month chock full of wicked events, shows and parties. And work. Lots of it. Coming up are both Melody Sweets' XXXMas Burlesque Spectacular (that you MIGHT JUST SEE a little Starling in, although I'm far more excited by the Burlesque Royalty on their way from around the world) and The Penny Pibbets Show. Very. Exciting. Times. Go click on the links below for tickets. Anyway. That's all for now. I'm very busy sticking rhinestones on things.IMG_0265.JPG

The Penny Pibbets Show

Melody Sweets' XXXMas

Not What I Was Going To Write

Well I had a whole post planned about popping a cork to mark the close of an eventful week. I was going to wax philosophical about the joys of charcuterie with your favourite blonde, celebrating getting through ten shows of extremely temperamental balloons (they have brains, and ATTITUDES, I swear it) and new tracks and popped pasties. I was going to gush at you. There is French music. There is fois gras. However, my reverie has just been interrupted by a FUCKING BLACK WIDOW SPIDER. Excuse me while I go and NEVER SLEEP EVER AGAIN.

Shivers. Vegas.

Lost Angels

A little late on this #BalletAdventure post. This picture was taken by Linde, one of our Flying Lesbians trapeze artists, in a dog park in the Hollywood Hills. As you may have deduced by the big fuck-off Hollywood sign.

Anyway. I love LA. It's like New York took a deep heaving sigh and let its stress go for a minute, stretching out on a big old beach towel in front of the Pacific. (Which, in my 3 trips to LA, I've still only paddled in at night.) I think I've found another home from home here. And the drive from Vegas is truly spectacular.

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My most Vegas day in Vegas

Vegas is the kind of town where every second of your day is massively, well, Vegas. Much like New York (but in a VERY different way) this city's personality is all around you. It's thick and loud and ever present. You can't escape it.Yes, sometimes that Vegasness is a bunch of drunken assholes sexually harassing you on the Strip. Yes, lots of them are trying to reenact The Hangover and it does get slightly tedious sometimes.

But.

Sometimes you're in a car with your roommate with the top down and you're both belting out Frank Sinatra at the top of your lungs. And then you go for cocktails and they make them with candy floss. And then you see THE BEST LIMO EVER and kill yourself laughing.

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Yep. That license plate reads '69 Wax'. Brilliant.

So I suppose what I'm saying is, yes, Vegas is a bit gross. But it's committed to what it is in the most impressive way. And I fucking love it here.

Life Hacks for Showgirls #1

I am massively sure that I'm not the only one who holds her hairpins in her mouth while twisting up her chignon. You just do, right?So what, then, when you try and eat a cookie at the same time? At Absinthe, we have Cookie Sundays. There are cookies for the cast between shows. And it's glorious. BUT. I want to have my cookie, eat it, AND DO MY HAIR all at once. How? How can this be possible?!

Folks. Pierce your nose. I've found that the cleverest, life-hackiest and down right PUNKEST way to achieve this is by hooking your hair pins in your nose ring. I am putting up my hair. I am holding my hairpins. I am eating a goddamn oatmeal and raisin. I win.

That's right. You heard it here first. Stay tuned for more fucking wisdom right here my friends.

Also. To digress for just a sec. Thank you Scotland for not leaving us. I love your cairns, your fudge and your whiskey. Let's keep our Kingdom United.

Bubble Girl out.

Enjoying Elbow in the Sun

Sometimes it takes 30 minutes of Forrest yoga in the back garden with the sun kissing your skin. Sometimes it takes finishing a wonderful book with your feet in a rain-cooled swimming pool. Sometimes it's Guy Garvey.

Or sometimes you get all of these things in one morning and you realise the pain has ebbed somewhat, and your feet are falling more naturally forward.

Today is not a day for cynicism. Embrace the lightness, lap up the most romantic parts of yourself. Enjoy the clarity you've found, the room you've made in your noisy brain to finally finish the bloody Luminaries. Eleanor Catton is worth your time.

The truth, even if you had to fight to get it, will indeed set you free. And then your life is yours to build - with enthusiasm, literature and Elbow.

New York Cidee

Here's another #BalletAdventure picture, taken by my wonderful friend Rebecca Birch in Brooklyn Bridge Park. I've changed the pose a bit because I JUST COULD NOT TAKE MY EYES OFF THAT SKYLINE. Also I'm a show off - this is known - and my attitude (ballet term for you lay-men, although the other connotation of this may also be true) is improving with me being back in full time performance mode.Enjoy. I certainly did.

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#BalletAdventure Photo Blog

So as part of this blog, I'm going to be posing like a ballerina show off prat in front of impressive things I travel to. Here's what I've got so far:

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Top left: A TARDIS in Earl's Court, London, on my last night in town. Top right: Merlin's Beard, it's only bloody Hogwarts! Universal Studios, FLA Bottom left: the Vehicle Assembly Building, Kennedy Space Center, FLA And finally, my new home, Caesar's Palace Las Vegas.

There will be lots more. Because I'm a poser and I can't help myself.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to most likely cry my way through the first episode of the brand new series of Doctor Who. May or may not be instagramming pictures of my snot saturated face. Bye.

A Momentous Occasion

So folks, I've been in Vegas for just under six weeks. All in all, I'd say it's going pretty well.Those of you who are cyber-inclined (or were at a certain Pimms-soaked garden party hosted by the High Tea Cast's Miss Lea Rice) will know I've been planning on blogging my adventures out here. Well here I am! Here is my blog! Why have I waited six weeks? Well. I think this evening I finally know. I was waiting for my showgirl cherry to be officially popped. I thought that would have been my first performance. No. I thought it could be the premature bursting of my balloon... Actual popping! Nope, guess again. I thought it may have been the accidental (and illegal) unleashing of my left nipple. But no. No dice.

Today is the day I became a true showgirl. Today is the day I finally succumbed to pasty tape.

Folks. My nipple is bleeding. #showgirlproblems

Stay tuned! And pass me the Vaseline.

PS. This page will be completely self serving. I have no purpose here. You don't like balloons, glitter, plastic garden flamingos or the desert then you should probably shuffle along. Cheers.