PROJECT NO FEAR: My Inner Demons

It took me this long to figure out what to say in Phase Two of this project because, although I did know exactly what my loudest inner demons were, I had no idea how to properly express why they were the loudest or how they truly made me feel. I think I know how to describe it now.

My inner demons are Depression and Anxiety. They have been with me for a long time now and have become somewhat akin to annoying aunts and uncles who have overstayed their welcome. Depression would be the aunt. always giving backhanded compliments and always showing up unannounced while you’re in the shower or something. Anxiety is the uncle, loud and obnoxious. You can feel uncle anxiety from a mile away but know that you cannot escape him. He is coming with cigar smoke to blow in your face. He is coming to take over your couch and watch loud football in you living room. He is coming to eat all of your food and then complain when you run out of cheesy puffs. He is coming, you know he is, but stubbornly you try to stand your ground because its your damn house, your damn couch and your damn food… but in the end he gets it all for a little while. When Uncle Anxiety and Aunt Depression finally leave, they do it with no pomp or circumstance because they have already done enough damage. No reward for giving your time and mental fortitude, no money to recoup the costs of damages. They leave and you are sitting on your kitchen floor drained of all energy in a pool of melted ice cream and tears. You are extremely humiliated and embarrassed by them and by your reactions to them. You are upset that you cannot just make them leave and be gone forever. You are upset that they’ll come back you do not know when. It’s a mess.

There is a bit of humor in there obviously, without humor I would not be here today to write this., but that is the best way for me to describe how it feels to have these sneaky little demons in my head and with me all the time.

I used to think that Depression and Anxiety would make me unlovable and unlikable. In fact, I have been told by actual human beings that my depression and anxiety make me unlikable and unlovable. Nevertheless, I try. The truth is, I’m genuinely happy most days. The other truth is that sometimes I force myself to be happy. However, though there are days when I win and win hard… there are still days that I lose. I take the L and move on most times.

I’ve been told that I need to seek treatment and be cured. I’m not ever going to be cured because it’s not that kind of disease. I’m okay with that. I have learned to live with that. I have definite safe guards in place and make sure to always tell my support system what’s going on. My family and my boyfriend have never once shunned me for who I am or what these two demons do to me and that is a WIN!

I’m open about this because I know what it feels like to be so close to ending everything and want others living with this to feel safe if they come to me with their concerns. It’s so easy to think that no one will care, but I do! I really, really do.

A classmate from my first semester of college.

A friend from high school.

An old student from when I was a martial arts instructor. 

Three people gone because they just didn’t think anyone would care. Three people gone because they simply thought they weren’t worth someones time.

If me talking to someone for a few minutes or even a few hours talks them away from the edge then you bet your ass I’ll make it happen.

If you’re reading this, you’re loved!

XOXO ❤ Neeks

Featured Photos by Beauty by Photography! Love her.Trapped

The Furious Housewife Geisha?

Don’t let the title fool you, this set is fire!

My dear friend, burlesque dancer and creative spirit came to do a shoot with me a while ago and I just completely forgot to write about it. I posted the full set on my FACEBOOK PAGE and some on my PHOTOGRAPHY INSTAGRAM PAGE. They were are so enchanting.

Let me start out by saying that Curly Bright (real name omitted for safety reasons) and I met in pole class. That’s right, we are pole sisters! That could have been phrased differently, I’m sure, however the sentiment remains the same. I’m so thankful that she transferred into the class because she is such a breath of fresh air. Her energy is always high, she is a positive force of nature, a complete and total nerd and did I mention she is smart as a whip? I could go on and on about this girl but lets get into why you’re really here, boobs.

As stated, Curly Bright is a burlesque dancer and not at all shy about her body. For me, that’s awesome. The female form is lovely and she had great ideas on how to use her relatively naked body to her advantage in this shoot. She is a master at styling as well and just wait until you see the geisha inspired face pain she put on.

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Isn’t she lovely?

When she originally approached me about the idea the first thing she said was, “Wouldn’t it be funny to see a geisha with rollers in her hair doing house work?” It’s quirky statements that make for the best photo-shoot ideas.

Look at the colors! It is so rare that I stare in awe of photos that I take myself but I was so proud of the final colors in this shoot. She set everything up in such a way that the end result could only be fantastic. Wait, is that a katana?

It is, indeed! There was also a vacuum involved. The scorned housewife geisha who is honestly sick of everyone’s shit. I think she nailed the concept, don’t you?

Want to see more Curly Bright? That’s great! Check out her FACEBOOK PAGE and her INSTAGRAM PAGE! Tell her Neeks sent you and throw her some mad love!

Until next shoot!

❤ XOXO Neeks

Rosie and Sequan <3

I recently had the honor of shooting not only my first engagement shoot, but also Rosie and Sequan’s first engagement shoot! I guess the latter was a given, huh.

Let me start out by saying, this was very nerve-racking. This was a supremely important shoot to  nail and I felt the pressure. I must have checked my camera bag ten times before leaving the house and another five after I parked at the Harbor. Keep in mind I parked in an illegal area at first and had to move my car about two times. Boo limited parking.

As you can see from the photos, Rosie and Sequan were an absolute dream to work with. They were adorable, connected and, simply, in love with each other. Every picture shows just how much they adore one another. They won’t be getting married for a little while so, it is fantastic that they got these photos done now so that they can send them off on announcements and such. I’m so excited for them and their big day! It will be the most lovey-dovey event of the year, I am sure of it.

Just look at how stunning they are as a couple!

This is a short blog entry to commemorate a milestone in my photographic journey. This is also to commemorate a milestone that most relationships don’t make it to! Thank you all for sharing in this moment with me and for sharing in Rosie and Sequan’s joy! Join me in wishing them nothing but a super happy future!

❤ XOXO Neeks

Comic Chat: Rat Queens #1 – #2

Let’s chat about the NEW Rat Queens!

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If you haven’t watched my Whatchya Reading video that I released earlier this month and/or haven’t been paying attention, Rat Queens is back! That’s right, the fearsome foursome has returned to crassly save your ass…ly.

If anyone remembers, because it was a big deal and the reason Rat Queens ultimately went down in a ball of flames, a ton of drama happened regarding Upchurch (a FORMER artist on the comic), Tess Fowler (also former but she was great) and Kurtis Wiebe (the writer of the comic). To summarize, Upchurch is a wife-beater, questionable choices were made by Wiebe and Tess got the hell out. You can read more on it HERE because I don’t want to focus on it too much as it enrages me. Moving on. It’s back and the third issue with be dropping in July it seems.

What to know about Rat Queens:

1. The comic originally focused on a group of four extremely strong, diverse and magical ladies who have formed a badass bounty hunting group for hire. They are looked down upon by other groups/guilds and often find themselves in the thick of a bad situation.

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MAIN CHARACTER ROLL CALL:

  • Hannah, a super powerful half-demon mage with a fowl mouth.
  • Dee, the atheist cleric cult leader of a clan that worships something akin to Cthulhu.
  • Betty, a “smidgen” who gets high on candy and other such sugary treats.
  • Violet, the rebellious dwarf who very well might be the strongest physical fighter in the series so far.

There are of course other characters but, those are your main girls. They recently added another Rat Queen to the group, a transfer technically, and it’s great.

2. There are a ton of sex jokes, unladylike conversations, tender moments and everything is fantastic. As someone who is more unladylike than my mother would like me to be, this comic speaks to me. The Rat Queens feel like friends… is that weird?

3. The cosplay potential is TOO DAMN HIGH! I’m already planning to debut Dee (I know so many have done her already, whateves) at BlerdCon this June! I love Dee for her shy demeanor, big hair and even bigger books! Additionally this will be my first [completed and for me] cosplay!

4. It’s something different. It’s not filled with ultra moral characters who always know what the right thing to do is. It’s not filled with a ton of power creep (see any anime series of you do not understand what power creep is). It’s not the same body type over and over just drawn with a different hair style either, everyone looks unique. This comic is just so impressive and it’s a fun read.

I could go on and on about how happy having this comic back and running as made me but, in the interest of getting you guys to go get it faster, I’ll stop here. Seems sufficient!

If you have already been reading this lovely roller coaster of a comic, let me know! Let’s talk about it for hours over sweets and tea. If you haven’t and want to know more, then feel free to hit me up on any of my social medias. I’m lonely and work from home, trust me, I’ll respond.

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UPDATE: after my post, @Shanjams84 responded with valuable information on the situation involving the drama previously mentioned. She makes it clear that Tess was never meant to be a placeholder while seemingly shady things went on. 

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Big thanks to @shanjams84 for the information. It’s comepletely understandable that she couldn’t  provide more information as this is still on-going it seems. 

Hugs and Kisses XO – Neeks

What is an Event Planner or a Wedding Planner? Let this dummy explain.

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For the LONGEST time I assumed that there was absolutely no reason for a person to outsource the details and duties of their wedding, social or corporate event to someone paid to be there. It made absolutely no sense to me why someone could not plan their own wedding or their own child’s birthday party– then I got older.

While I may get an extreme type-A personality boner from planning things out, most people do not. Planning can be very stressful on a person when they have five million other things to worry about besides where Aunt Josephine is going to sit. A ton of people get anxiety when you ask them if they want eggshell or ivory tablecloths. I have seen people go into a fit of rage over why gravity chooses to make their banner specifically slouch an inch too far in the middle. Yes, their banner and yes, it’s them against gravity. When I finally started to realize that people hated planning and I loved planning to an almost unhealthy degree, it started to make sense as to how the wedding planning and event planning industries have been thriving for forever. I almost feel dumb for not realizing it sooner. Almost.

When it came to weddings, I was especially put off. It’s MY big day, why would I have someone else making decisions for me. Again, that’s the type-A coming out. When I was younger, if my mother did not get everything 100% for my birthday, I would silently pout and think of all the ways my five year old self could have done better with my measly piggy bank savings and my young wits. Now, I am not married, but if you’re reading this and think I don’t already have a road map for that day then, you have not been reading very closely. Here is why, I’m 90% certain I will be hiring a wedding planner when my time comes. The unaccounted 10% is for if I go into a random fit of rage or something. Anything can happen.

  1. A Wedding Planner provides fresh eyes and a level head. This will be totally necessary for me because my affinity for planning does not ever factor in my tendency to dream big. If I say I want 12 white stallions to pull me from my house to the church steps while Childish Gambino sings to me, the wedding planner will point out every reason why that is just not going to happen. This is important.
  2. A Wedding Planner’s job is to help you stay in the realm of reality (based on your budget and the laws of physics) and to get you the best deals with wedding vendors. Wedding Vendors meaning: bridal hair, makeup and nail salons, wedding dress sellers, tux sellers, flower sellers, table rentals, venues, decor, so on and so forth. They often have people in their roster who will offer exclusive deals when you book through that planner. Remember, they want to get paid so, they are going to help you save the most you can elsewhere.
  3. A Wedding Planner’s reputation is everything to them. This is not a job where they show up, give you advice and go on their merry way. They will spend hours and days behind the scenes getting things ready for you. They will research the absolute best vendors for what you want, they will be there when you have a mental breakdown three weeks before the big event and they will be doing all of this with a smile on their face. There are way too many professions out there where if someone does a terribad job, they still get paid and they will still get business because people just do not care. This is not one of them. A wedding planner can be made or broken by one B.B.F (bride bitch fit) and, in understanding that as a very real danger, they do their best every single time.
  4. When you look crazy, they have your back. This one is pretty self-explanatory but, once you start grilling the florist on why they don’t have a flower in this specific shade of purple, your wedding planner is going to be the reason you get the shade or at least a close approximation.
  5. On the day of, you can enjoy being a bride/groom instead of worrying if everything is setup. This is so important. I cannot imagine seeing anything worse than a bride, half primped, running around setting up tables and ushering people to their seats when she should be getting ready for her grand moment. Having your planner there to coordinate the day of is so necessary! Honestly it’s amazing to me that more people do not think of this.
  6. They will take care of clean up most of the time. Let’s be real, some planner packages may not include cleanup. The one’s that do, however, are invaluable! Think about it, you’ve said “I do,” had the reception, your groom carries you to the limo and… you guys get back out because you need to clean up and/or supervise cleanup. Nah. That is not happening to me.

In short, I have seen the errors of my past thoughts. A wedding or an event planner is completely necessary and entirely legitimate and I want to say sorry for all the times I doubted you all. I was extremely naive!

 

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Disclaimer: I do work for a super excellent wedding and event planner now. This is not an attempt at butt-kissery, but merely a way to show people that I too knew nothing like Jon Snow. 

Hugs and Kisses XO – Neeks

STEAMPUNK and Steamy Babes

Over the weekend I had the chance to dawn an entire outfit created and accessorize by Austin Vestal owner and operator of Corsets and Cogs in Salisbury, Maryland. I had seen his designs on some of my favorite models in the DMV area and never once thought I would have a chance to wear them myself. Honestly, I thought I’d never have the chance because of my skin color. 
I know what you’re thinking, “don’t make it about race, Neeks!” I wish I didn’t have to but, I just haven’t seen a large amount of POC model’s in the steampunk or alternative fashion scenes. I have seen some in alternative spaces, sure, but the steampunk scene, maybe three total. I LOVE Steampunk fashions, I love steampunk stories but, I just have not seen women who look like me in those fashions or stories. This was such an actualizing and fulfilling experience. 

How did this all come to be? 

It all started when talking to a friend of mine (Amelia Renee). I love steampunk, I’ve said this before, and she really likes the style of Sucker Punched the movie so, we decided it’d be a good idea to do a shoot in those styles. She pulled in Lolita, who pulled in Jessica (The Gothic Anachronist), who pulled in Austin! It was the perfect storm of knowing the right people.

Now with four girls and super sweet product, it was definitely a worry of mine that something would go wrong. Something did early on, I won’t get into it right now as it’s not conducive to the post but, it did make me worry that this beautiful opportunity to model designs I really love was going to poof and go away. I definitely felt like suddenly my chance was gone. However, things somewhat resolved and I was comfortable continuing forward with plans. 

The outfits were all specially made for each model! Everything sans a few pairs of tights and few amazon orders (glasses, wigs, etc). The themes were explorer, industrialist, lady of the court and regal. You can imagine which one I went for. REGAL! I wanted to get my queenie on.

The day itself was absolute magic. Despite the two hour drive, accidental toll road hit and the fact that I didn’t take nearly as much behind the scenes as I wanted, it was AWESOME! Everyone came together to make it work. When I say that the positive energy was thick, I mean it.

As you know all know, I’ve had poor experiences with mostly female creative endeavors (see my post about Senior Year Slasher). This was such a welcome relief! On top of working well, I believe I’ve made some long-lasting friends. 

In any case, please watch and enjoy the behind the scenes video I made of all the cheeky girls. If it pleases, please like and subscribe to my channel as well. 

Until next time! 

Neeks 💋

Riverdale: Hot Mess or Trash You Can Get Behind

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As a rule of thumb, I give all new series a three episode buy in. This means that I will commit to watching at least three episodes of the premier season before I write it off or watch it religiously. If I like the show, I will keep watching, if not, I will wait until it’s on Netflix and use it as background noise while I sew or blog. There is no in between!

So, is this show a hot mess or something that is about to become my new obsession? I still have one more episode to go before I make that decision but, so far, it’s trash TV I can get behind.

Let me be clear, it’s trash not because it is terrible, it’s trash because of it’s style, trashy. It has very noticeable notes of Gossip Girl, Vampire Diaries, Dawson’s Creek and so many other trash TV shows that we like because of it’s grossly exaggerated teen angst and [what is meant to be] taboo sex scenes. I know what you’re thinking, how could the CW turn wholesome Archie comics into a stew of hormones and sin? Well, it is the CW and I love them for it. Plus, the reason it has hints of all of those previously mentioned shows is because there are people on the Riverdale team from some of those shows. It was inevitable.

So, two episodes have premiered so far, let me catch you up if you haven’t been watching.

Episode 1 Review GO:

The good:

  • The great part about this episode is that it establishes Jughead as the voice of reason and narrator. Well, really he is just writing his novel about the events that transpired over the summer.
  • You get a clear look into the various dynamics of everyone’s friendships and relationships. Kevin and Betty are besties and they do not shy away from his sexual orietation (not that they would). Veronica is the new girl, but shunned in this incarnation instead of welcomed and adored right away. She wants to be friends with Betty and has a heart after fooling around in a closet with Archie. Old Ronnie would not have cared. Archie and Jughead aren’t “friends” persay which sucks but you know that immediately. You can clearly tell that more people hate the Blossom family than like them. The list goes on but, the point is that they did a very good job of explaining that this Riverdale is not the same as the comics we grew up with, it is a bit different.
  • Josie and the Pussycats. Enough said.
  • Betty is probably the closest to her original characterization than anyone honestly and, personally, I love that.
  • Not to shoe-horn this in but this cast is diverse! Just take a gander as some of the faces here:

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Check out the new Pussycats! This is from episode two, but they are so fierce!

The list goes on and on with how diverse this cast is. I love it.

  • This series right off the bat has elements of both the old Archie Mysteries series (am I old yet?) and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s flakey, yet compelling, Afterlife with Archie series. This icould be because he write for both the comic and for Riverdale. Cheater or genius?
  • “You want fire, well, my specialty is ice.” Veronica to Cheryl.
  • All of Kevin’s lines are pure gold in this episode.

The Bad:

  • In the current comic reincarnation Betty is more of a tomboy type character and they made her rather girly in Riverdale. Personally, I don’t care, she is still a golden sunbeam and too sweet for this world, but I know others may hate that.
  • Betty’s mom is a terri-bad, hateful shrew. Perhaps prejudice against anyone not blonde? Not enough information. She definitely hate redheads.
  • The story revolving around the relationship between TILF Grundy and Archie is just so unappealing.
  • Why did Josie have to be a complete and total witch when Archie asked for help? Josie is supposed to be super nice. Maybe it was just for this episode but still. Poor Archie.
  • Archie is a horrible human being who chose the cop out of “it’s not you, it’s me.” The thing that gets to me about the whole Betty/Archie situation is that he KNEW she had feelings, deep feelings, for him and he couldn’t find a better time to let her down other than AFTER making out with Veronica and sending poor, sweet Betty into an emotional tailspin. I’ve been there, girl.
  • Moose and Kevin. Before you try and pitchfork me, I’d like to say that I don’t care if Moose is gay or not, I care that he is in a relationship with Midge and cheating on her with Kevin. Don’t worry, Kevin will address this next episode.Plus it’s not like anything happened with them because they found Jason’s dead body, gun shot wound and all.
  • I just don’t like TILF Grundy and hope she stops being a weird succubus cougar…. or becomes a better one. That could be interesting.

By the end of Episode one I was convinced that Cheryl had done it. She killed her brother in the Afterlife with Archie series so why wouldn’t she do it in this series, right? I have since changed my theory completely. Then again, there are only two episodes so, my guess is as good as yours on what happened.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this review of episode one of Riverdale. You can find a review for episode two later once I rewatch it. If you have no knowledge whatsoever of Archie or the Archie comics franchise, do not worry, you’ll probably enjoy this show. If you enjoy silly “teen” dramas you’ll definitely like this show. This is some trash you can definitely sink your teeth into… I could have phrased that better.

Thank you for reading! Come back for more!

<3Neeks