Weekend Update – Halloween 2018!

Good evening everyone, I’m your host, Mr. Clever.

What can I say about the week of Halloween 2018?  It was one of the best Halloweens I have ever had, and that is not an exaggeration.

When you live in Salem, MA, the Witch City, Halloween is a month long celebration.  Starting with the annual Haunted Happenings Kick off Parade in the beginning of the month, and ending around the first weekend of November. During the entire month of October there are festivals, events, street fairs, costume parties and just thousands and thousands of people in the streets celebrating.

Every year we walk into town with friends and explore the city, seeing the sights, taking in the energy.  My zombie Mr. Clever costume was a lot of fun to wear and was a huge hit. I think people just like zombies!

zombie clever creative salem
Photo by Creative Collective

One of the fun things we did was visit some artist friends at their art show.  Bought some beautiful prints, too. I love the work these two brothers do. Such talent!

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Paul and Nick Demakes

This year we were even able to enjoy taking our friend’s daughter trick-or-treating! Which sounds like it would be, well, dull. But when you have my crew of friends – it is anything but.

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Some of the Best Friends ever!

So, TL:DR, see that drag queen in the corner? That’s our friend, Richard, aka Tequilla Mockingbird.  See that young man near him in the grey hoodie? That’s his bf, Donnie. Richard’s feet were hurting halfway through trick or treat. Donnie carried the giant drag Queen boots all the way, and ended up going up to houses with them in his hands and got candy. In the boots. BOOT CANDY. No lie.

“Oh, hello young man, would you like some candy for your boots?”

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Trick or treat, smell my feet. For real.

Candy. Friends. Great memories. The energy of the city. I can not wait for next October and may already be counting the days!

This has been your weekend update for the week ending November 4th, 2018. Cyberplanner signing off…

 

 

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National Cat Day

It is National Cat Day, and in my household that really is like every other day.  Especially when you are a foster cat parent.  I grew up always having at least one cat, but it wasn’t until I became an adult and became a foster home for various shelters that I fully grasped how many lives needed saving.

When my spouse and I first moved to Los Angeles we had a one bedroom apartment, with very little furniture and somehow managed to foster every single cat we could.  Many times we did this at our own expense, because the shelter system in L.A., like most major cities, leaves much to be desired. Most of the rescue groups there were running on fumes and many of the cats’ lives were at stake if someone didn’t jump in asap to swoop them up. And even then, sometimes that didn’t always work. More times than I care to count, I would call and say I could take an entire family, and a wonderful rescuer would drive two hours to pick them up and they would already be put down.  This is the life of a rescuer in most major cities.  Bless the souls that do this every day.

moo moo

This is Moo Moo.  He was supposed to be a cat sitting situation.  Friendly, lovable, giant ball of fluff.  Family never came back for him.  Turns out he had a tumor over his left eye that exploded while we had him.  It was operated on, and he did find his forever home with a new loving family.  Poor guy, at least he had a happy ending.

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Most photogenic kitten ever. This is Kerouac. He was part of a litter that all got adopted except for him.  We ended up with a momma cat whose babies died. She ended up loving this kitten and we somehow managed to get the two of them adopted together.

cj and jedi

What can I even say about this little guy, Jedi. We got Jedi from a rescue group, and had him as a foster for over a year and a half. We had a really bad skin condition that made it so he basically lived with a cone on 24/7. But he was the single most sweetest cat we have ever had. And he was the welcome committee whenever we had new cats come in.  A wonderful family with the money to care for his skin condition came forward and wanted to adopt him. This was one of the hardest decisions to make. This is always hard when you foster. But we did the right thing and gave him to a good home that could afford to give him the meds that he needed daily.

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This was our Fred Weasley. He and his sister, Foo Foo Cuddly Poops were two foster failures.  After about a year, we woke up to Fred dragging his lower part of his body across the floor, after a blood clot permanently paralyzed his legs. We had to make the hard decision to put him down. His sister cried for days.  And was never fully ok until we got another litter of kittens and sort of adopted one, which of course meant we had to keep her.

the doctor

This is the Doctor. We recently lost him to old age. His story is the epitome of why we foster.

We met the Doctor while we still lived in L.A. They gave him to us because he had been on the streets, snatched up and living in a cage for almost a year because they said he didn’t get along with other cats. We took him in, and had him for the entire time we lived in L.A. No one wanted him. He was sort of friendly to people, but cranky, typical old tom-cat syndrome. Hissed at other cats. But our Jedi wouldn’t stop until he felt at home.  Took years, but the Doctor finally settled.

Finally we get a message from the shelter that someone wanted him. This woman came in, got to know him, loved him, took him.  Next week we left to visit Salem, and get a message from the rescue group saying this same woman had taken the Doctor to the vet, found out he had asthma and arthritis and proceeded to dump him off there.  And left.  Just left him.  No one had room for him in their house so they put him back in a cage. When we got back to CA, he had lost so much weight from being depressed. We swore we would never leave him in a cage again.

Fast forward to us moving back home to Salem. And still no forever home for the Doctor in CA. Well, guess he is going to have to come home with us. Except we already had two cats coming with us. We took a huge chance but he stayed in CA with a nice woman that was friends with the rescue group, and then he flew home on a flight with another kind soul. So right around Christmas we drove to Logan and picked up our cat and he never changed families again.

We lost the Doctor last week to old age, but he was purring up until the end. He was the poster cat for why we foster, why we rescue, and why we continue to do this. His spot in our family of six cats will always be for an older, special cat that no one else wants.

There are so many more cat stories I could tell. Like Adam and his sister Gaige. Captain Peanut and Bellatrix Cabal. Baba who was blind most of the time he was with us until he got surgery. Lorraine our real first foster who had cat leukemia. Hundreds.

So many of them need help, even a little. We do what we can. And to all the other fosters and cat parents and anyone that rescues…

Happy National Cat Day

 

 

 

 

Jenna cancelled RICC

I am so humbled by the amount of people sending me messages and checking in on me after finding out that Jenna cancelled RICC. She must have gotten word that Mr. Clever was coming to see her.  😜😜 I love that so many of my friends knew how much it meant to me to meet her.

I’m sad, but that is the risk you take when going to a con for a guest. I’ve never done that in the four years of Conlife. It’s a gamble. But the way I see it, it’s like anything else. When you buy a con ticket you don’t know if you will get sick, have to work, get a flat, have a miserable time, etc.

Eventually I will get my Clever/Clara pic. For now, I am happy with the array of lovely Clara’s that I have met over the years!

At the Pandorica
Clever and Clara at the Pandorica Restaurant.
Regen 2018
Clever and Clara at Regen.
SMF
All the Claras at Super Megafest
Pandorica road trip
“Jenna Cancelled” “Whaaaaat?”
Mad Hatter Ball
Night out on the town for Clever and Clara at the Wonderland Ball

 

 

RICC and Jenna Coleman 2018

 

Ricc tardis

Me: Nah, I will never go back to RICC.

RICC: Jenna Coleman

Me: Well, damn.

So, it looks like RICC 2018 will be happening after all. Now, don’t get me wrong, I somehow manage to have a great time every year at this con, despite the long lines that can rival Disneyland’s, the massive crowds and the infamous unorganized spaces. Because for whatever reason, RICC manages to get great guests year after year.

My spouse and I have what we call our “Short list.” The people that we would brave the craziness for. At the very top is Sean and Gus from Psych.  Followed by a Burn Notice cast reunion for him and Jenna Coleman for me. Well, damn.

Jenna signing chessboard

My wonderful friends Jenne and Cass brought my chessboard for her to sign at Boston Comic Con one year. She was super funny and sweet about it. She even loved my cosplay and showed her mom. So you would think that I would NOT be a nervous wreck to meet her, but NOPE.

Luckily, I will have a bunch of great friends with me to support me.  As always.

 

clever and river ricc

 

Wish me luck  – getting through this con, AND meeting Jenna.

Weekend Update with Mr. Clever: Friday, October 19th 2018

Good evening everyone. Welcome to Weekend Update. I’m your host, Mr. Clever.

Well, this weekend was pretty crazy. I celebrated my five year anniversary of being me. Who was I before? No one really knows. *cue mysterious music and shadow puppets*

It all started with a trip down memory lane. A trip to a place we like to call Super MegaFest. Back in 2013, this is the place that I debuted ME, the cyberplanner, Mr. Clever, for the first time. So it seemed fitting to go back to the scene of the cri…er…party. I managed to get the band back together and round up some of the original sinners and off we went to Framingham.

This time with a Halloween version of myself – Zombie Clever. I must admit, it was quite enjoyable to scare people. Especially that poor muggle at the gas station. What? Zombies need to get places too.

One of the greatest things about SMF is the sense of camaraderie atmosphere. There is such a great sense of acceptance and belonging at this con, that you rarely get at others. Doesn’t matter what you cosplay, what you look like, who you are – there is always someone to hang with!

New friends were made, old friends reconnected, and in true SMF fashion craziness, mischief and mayhem ensued.

Day Two of my Clever-versary. Me-versary? Hmmmm.

Anyway, day two of the weekend took us to Rock and Shock in Worcester. Having never been before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Yes, yes, yes, I will say it. It was a “shockingly” good time.
*insert Kristen Ritter-level eye roll*

My interest in this con was peaked, as it were, by two actors from Twin Peaks. Well, ok, more so that Dana Ashbrook was in Dual Spires, the Psych episode that was a Twin Peaks spoof. And I MAY have said “OMG I loved you in Psych”.

But the real reason I wanted a photo was to get Zombie Clever in the Black Lodge. I mean, who wouldn’t want to try to upgrade the Black Lodge?

The con itself was a ton of fun as well. Tiny, but the vendors were amazing. So many fantastic independent artists all in one space. I was blown away with the amount of stuff that I wanted!

Day two continued with a Costumed Walk About in Salem. Now, normally, you think to yourself, how will I find a few friends in massive October crowds? Then, you see a BLINDING bright blue stick figure person that turns out to be one of your friends – of course she is MY friend!

And all hell breaks loose as you and few more crazies try to walk the crowded streets of Salem in the dark, with nothing to guide you but a LED stick figure person, who doesn’t actually know where they are going. Have no fear! ROPE is here! Yes at one point I tied her up and made a leash. Because, why not.

After the walk about, many of us ventured back to House Cyberiad, i.e my house, for some tricks and treats, and kitten snuggles.

Day three of the weekend – yes, I CAN count, actually, but this was an extended weekend, as my friend Kelly was visiting – brings us to a day of apple picking at Brooksby Farm.
Apple picking was fun, but seeing an emu amongst sheep and pigs was even better. Gorgeous place. And great apple cider doughnuts! Yummy!

I am not sure what I was expecting for my five year anniversary, but this weekend was one of the best I have had in many years.

This has been your weekend update for the week of October 19th, 2018! Cyberplanner, signing off…

 

Upgrade in Progress Wednesday

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Upgrade in Progress. Or should I say UNDEAD in Progress? Cyberplanner part all ready for Zombie Clever!

I wanted to make it look broken, beat up, falling apart, wires falling out, only one light working – and with minimal blood and more motor oil looking colors. I am very happy with how it turned out, especially given my allergies to latex and silicones.

Five year Anniversary as Clever

Five years.

This weekend at Super Megafest marks FIVE years that I have been cosplaying as Mr. Clever. I have been cosplaying as Clever longer than Matt Smith had been the Doctor.

It also marks five years of meeting some of my best friends. Not just con friends. But, friends that are a huge part of my life – beyond fandom, beyond conlife. I wouldn’t have met them if not for my cosplay, if not for Clever, if not for Matt, or not for Doctor Who.

And as Doctor Who enters a brand new chapter in its long run, I hope many fans, young, old, newcomers, and returning ones, like myself, find their own piece of magic in the TARDIS. It is a wonderful thing, and I truly believe the Doctor herself, would enjoy every second of it.

 

Who will I see for this anniversary at SMF? I have so many crazy, fun memories. Who wants to make more?

 

Hayley and ron jeremy

The photo that started it all.  The “legend of Ron Jeremy.”