Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Stepping Out: Spooky Cookies, An Epic Thrift Score, & Criminal Cats

Happy Tuesday, 'bots! I bring you the mug shot of an unrepentant criminal:

Last night while I was trying to read in bed this little gremlin yowled at the door until I let her in, then scrambled over my book and rubbed poop on my arm, and finally - while I was scrubbing myself clean in the bathroom - gnawed off the ribbon bookmark attached to my book. I came back just in time to see her slurp it down, looking extremely satisfied with herself.

So now we're on poop patrol for the next 48 hours, and why do we put up with this?

Oh, right, that's why.


(Y'all send good poop vibes our way, yeah?)

Meanwhile I'm writing this post with my keyboard in my lap:

... because Suki has decided I can't work without her RIGHT HERE. She bullies her way up, stepping on the keyboard if I don't snatch it away, kicks it off into my lap, and then closes her eyes like she can't hear me yelling at her, purring loudly enough to rattle the monitor stand.


In happier news, we've had a run of "bonus winter" down here in Florida, with temperatures dropping all the way to the mid-60s.

[I'll pause here for you northerners to sputter indignantly and tell me how cold it is there, ha]

While everyone else was breaking out the boots and sweaters, I was bopping around in my latest and greatest thrift score:

It's so cozy, y'all. And it was only $6!

 I wore it on our community zoom call the next day, and started a trend. One by one, everyone paused to go put on a silly hat or hoodie, and it. was. GLORIOUS.

I'm missing one more person here, but you get the idea. Joy sparking joy.

I found the onesie while thrifting with my mom for the first time in nearly three years. She and my dad are full-time RV'ers and Covid kept us apart, so shopping together was a nice reminder of the before times.

I know y'all love my mom, so here's a photo I took while trying to convince her to buy the cardigan she's wearing. (There weren't any mirrors.) I have no idea what I said to make her laugh like this, but it sure makes me happy:


More silliness: John and I surprised our friend Tim with an early birthday party a few weeks ago.

... and then we got to surprise him on the day of last week at Disney Springs:

Tim is one of my favorite people: endlessly enthusiastic, interested in everyone, and just the right amount of zany. If you ever need a tattoo in Orlando, hit him up.

I'm still getting used to being out in crowds, so it was surprisingly wonderful to have so many smiling people approach us that afternoon to wish Tim a happy birthday. We were such a colorful crowd - trailing enormous balloons - that we were impossible to miss, and people's faces lit up as we passed by. One shop employee burst into song. An older man, beaming, announced it was his 70th birthday, and bought Tim a drink.

Maybe going out in public isn't so terrible after all. Sometimes. If the public place is Disney.

Here's my outfit, btw:

There's a pretty koi fish on my shirt - I was going for a tattoo homage.

Speaking of pretty, we wandered over to the famous Gideon's Bakehouse, want to see?

There's always a long line out front, so plenty of time for photos. See the lil' stone gargoyle on the upper left?

Gideon's is famous for their cookies, which look like doughy softballs rolled in chocolate chips.

I tried a bite of one once, and it tasted like it looks. Which is to say, like a bag of chocolate chips loosely held together with dough. ::shrug::

There's more to Gideon's than their cookies, though; inside is a dark, spooky lair straight out of a Tim Burton film:

Cages and lanterns hang from the chipped wooden ceiling, and the walls are covered in looming, crooked bookcases:

Everything is lit in red:

... and looks more like Halloween Horror Nights than a Disney Springs bakery:


Plus look at the registers!

The only things NOT bathed in hellfire are the bakery displays:

The cakes look amazing, but I didn't want to chance trying one without an ingredient list - or hold people up by asking. Maybe next time.

Gideon's also features artwork by Florida local Michael Reyes of Terribly Odd:

The entry walls are covered in his paintings, and Gideon's also sells t-shirts, prints, and some of the best brand enamel pins I've ever seen:

Super cool.

 I also dig this cat:

So hey, even if you aren't interested in the baked goods, Gideon's Bakehouse may be worth standing in line for, just to gawk.


I'll leave you with a few more Suki pics, since I had a mini photo-shoot of her in a sunbeam:

This is in front of our fake stained glass doors, so the light is a fun purple/pink.



Now, question for you: what's the silliest thing you've ever done in public? I've been dared to wear my Care Bears onesie out for St. Patrick's day this Thursday, and if the temperature isn't too sweltering, I just might, ha. Although I'd probably wear a mask, too, so no one can see me blushing. Tell me your own stories, to make me brave!


If you like the silly stuff I do and feature here and want to help fund the fun, you can support me through Paypal! Whether it's a one time tip or a monthly donation, every little bit helps me and John keep pouring our time and hearts into this little corner of the internet - so THANK YOU.


  1. I have taught college biology classes while dressed as a praying mantis around, but not always on, Halloween. In my experience, if you go about your business, most people are too *something* [I'm not sure exactly what] to ask why you're wearing all-over bright green or a hood with compound eyes on your head. With a giant four-leaf clover on the front of your onesie, I think wearing it on Thursday should be totally self-explanatory.

  2. Be brave. I once dressed up as Eve for Halloween - at work, the store - all day. Nude bodysuit, fig leaves, apple, and giant stuffed snake draped over my shoulders. It was amazing. I will never forget the startled look of one woman at the grocery store who thought I was naked and then burst out into infectious laughter when she realized what was actually going on. So worth it.

  3. The silliest thing I ever did in public was actually for a public speaking course I took in college. The professor was the oddest teacher I've ever had ever, always wearing wacky outfits and giving us weird assignments. We had to give a 'how to do X' speech where we teach the class something. So I figured she'd appreciate someone going way out for this particular speech. My speech was about how to waterski, so naturally I brought my skis and my lifejacket and my tow rope with me to class...in Midtown Manhattan. And naturally I had one of my classmates demonstrate what I was saying with said skis and tow rope. As expected, the professor loved it and I got an A. :D

  4. I once dressed up for a children's party in a leotard, rainbow tutu, furry legwarmers, and a unicorn horn headband. I was adorable! However, I forgot I had to do adult stuff afterwards, didn't have time to change, and so I ended up going to church dressed as a rave unicorn. Luckily, everyone had a good sense of humor about it!

  5. I just got back from Disney Springs… and now I wish that a) I’d waited in line for Gideon’s bakehouse. And b) that we had been there to see the colorful party! What fun!

    I once wore red sock monkey footie PJs to work on a Sunday morning at church. If it’s not too hot, I say go for it! But wear real shoes or sandals with it. My feet hurt by the end of that morning.

  6. Either leaving the middle of a con to go shopping, while dressed as a Slime from Dragon Quest, or going to a baby shower I had to leave the same con (different year) while dressed as Tochiro from Captain Harlock. (Fortunately, it was for my friend who's very goth, and was complaining that they didn't make goth maternity clothes. (At least they didn't almost 20 years ago.))

  7. I worked at a summer day camp one year where all the kids and staff camp shirts were a bright dark orange. It was a lot. So, of course I felt the need to show up one day wearing the shirt with a long skirt that shaded from burgundy down to golden yellow with some silver threads woven through it, a sizeable medium orange pendant necklace, a red and orange crystal bracelet and neon orange socks. Everyone couldn't stop laugh-complaining all day. It was great. There were no mirrors there.🤣

    I hope you have a pooptastic 48hrs!

  8. I have an epic Minion Kevin Halloween costume that I wore into the grocery store on the way home from work one Hallween. I got...looks. Mostly smiles. One little one followed me for two aisles.

  9. A few years ago, a bunch of my friends from high school got together when we were all in town and hit the thrift stores to find bad prom dresses. We were specifically looking for the rejects that really shouldn't be on the rack any more. We added a few fun accessories, aka feather boas/bedazzled hats/gaudy costume jewelry, and had ourselves a leisurely pub crawl! It was so much fun!

  10. I’m a Children’s Librarian so looking zany in public is a normal Wednesday for me. But the wackiest thing might be dressing up every day of the week for Halloween week this past year. Cat in the Hat day with pipe cleaner whiskers on my mask that wiggled as I talked was quite hilarious.

  11. My cosplay group dressed up in our Final Fantasy XV costumes and trekked out to Rehoboth Beach to take a bunch of silly beach pictures. Then we went to eat at a restaurant, and about halfway through one of the staff came over and asked us in a hushed whisper if we were a rock band because we looked so darned cool. XD Really, most of the silly things I've done in public have been for the name of cosplay photos, and I regret none of it!

  12. I cannot count the number of times I have worn a weird costume in public. I dressed up like Jane Austen to launch a Chautauqua unit for my 8th graders, then ran into town and grabbed coffee (with my friend, on her birthday, who was dressed up as Zelda Fitzgerald--we co-taught). Many quick trips into the grocery store while in full Renaissance faire garb. Leaving conventions to eat lunch as a Jedi, as FFVII characters, etc. And, long story short, my friend and I had a tea party in an alley downtown, complete with chairs and folding table, lace tablecloth, vintage tea set, cookies, and pretty dresses. And her husband took photos of us. Good memories!

  13. I already walk around on a normal day with tattoos, blue hair and lots of jewelry. Plus assorted interesting fashion choices. The glory of being over 50! We did show up for a traditionally a bit staid fundraiser auction for our local raptor center a few years ago in a group all wearing assorted fancy fezzes from my husband's collection (shout out to the Fezmonger at Fez-o-rama!). Our group was having such a good time that a number of folks came and stated they wanted to sit at our table the next year! Driving a crazy painted car and/or wearing fun clothes makes people smile, which is one of the best things you can do in life!

  14. Do "bad wardrobe choices" count? Ages ago, I bought a Flintstones-print bra and decided to wear it to work, figuring it was fine since my shirt was black. A coworker and I went antiquing on our lunch hour, and discovered my shirt became see-through in the sunlight.

  15. I need to up my game, as the wackiest I've been was all in purple when a friend had MN Vikings tickets for her birthday. My wig was just purple braids, whereas hers was a big Marge beehive where she had to open the sunroof! But of course, once we arrived, we were just part of the crowd.

    I do have the Grumpy Bear version of this "Lucky Bear Mask"\, but it goes with a tummy t-shirt rather than a onesie. :D

  16. I have a Grumpy Bear onsie I wore for Halloween a couple years ago! People loved it and even took pictures with me, so definitely wear yours this week! You'll be a hit everywhere you go!

  17. I'm a theatre actor. The list of "silliest things I've done in public" is too long to remember.

    That said, we had a burst of spring in New Jersey today, got OVER 60F, and so we opened windows. Weather is weird.

  18. Your homie Tim has got to be the ONLY tattooist I've EVER seen that wasn't completely inked up! Unless they're all hidden?

    Silliest thing... well, I am a pretty silly person and I've always loved to freak people out, so it's hard to choose. But probably when I was on a Las Vegas trip back in '99, did my entire Klingon drag to take pictures at Star Trek: The Experience... and then spent the rest of the night hotel hopping on The Strip. Tourists in Caesar's Forum were tripping balls, bartenders poured heavy, and I yelled at the Pirates that used to do a show out front of Treasure Island that they were mighty warriors that should COME AND DRINK WITH ME NOW! K'Lannagh O'Sullivan was IN FULL EFFECT, YO. YES, QUEEN.

    Your Pal,

    Storm the Klingon

  19. When I lived in NYC an English friend came to visit. We acquired a green balloon somehow (it was St. Pattys Day) and I challenged him to give it away on our subway ride uptown. It was marvelously hilarious watching a confused brit try to give something for free to a bunch of confused new yorkers. None of them trusted the gift until we finally found an art student who joined our group because we looked like fun. Good times.

  20. Those onesies... For the last ice hockey practice of the season, one of my son's teammates wore that same Care Bear onesie on the ice :-D My 14 year old has a Chester Cheetah one that he wears any time there's a slight excuse. Most recently, he wore it to an NHL hockey game. Where we sat in the third row. And then he stood front and center in the crowd behind the between-periods commentators while they were on TV.

    I.....do not have this energy LOL

  21. Gotta love Suki's Full Whisker Salute! And her floofy belly on your keyboard...As for Eva's poop and ribbon eating...you are on your own. Little Miss Maine Coon had a poopy pantaloons last week. You have my sympathy.

  22. When I was invigilating Engineering Physics exams at my local uni, I had one guy show up for his exam in a pink unicorn onesie. Don't know if it was a dare or if he just wanted to feel comfortable.

  23. I went to my brother's pasta making class at a local bookstore in a ratty wig (an epic souvenir from our childhood) and hideous clothing and tried to get him to pick me as a volunteer (he refused). He told me that when I walked into the store (before he knew it was me), he leaned over to our mom (who was also in attendance), laughed, and said, "Hey, look at that lady."

  24. I hope Eva is feeling better. My kitty has been recovering from a UTI which required surgery to remove a crystal so you've got my sympathies in the digestive department.

    I'm a pretty reserved person but I did one outrageously-brave thing last year that I'm still proud of myself for. For the past several years (except during lockdown) I've attended Realm Makers - a speculative fiction writers conference. For their awards banquet, most people dress up as favorite characters so it can feel a bit like comicon and the like. The group also has an inside joke inspired from Monsters Inc - we call it a Code 2319 every time one of us is hassled for writing fantasy/scifi/horror by people who think such content is bad for whatever reason.

    So for *months* I secretly worked on creating a giant white sock costume, made out of cotton quilt batting with huge foam mattress topper inner support. I glued on felt cutouts to make the flower design, and used aquarium tubbing to hold open the space at the bottom for my feet and sewed in a huge zipper along the side so I could get in and out.

    My sister Disney-bounded as George Sanderson and had a smaller version of the sock pinned to her back.

    Most people had no clue what I was until my sister would turn around and they saw the sock on her back. But once they put it together they were always delighted. I ended up winning an honorable mention in the costume contest and had to walk up on stage to show off the costume to anyone who'd missed it. One of these days I really need to share a picture in the F.O.E. group.

  25. For a psychology class in college, we had to something against social norms (but not illegal) in public, and note how people react. I wore my clothes inside out and backwards and wandered around campus looking lost, so people would offer me directions. It was so much fun, a bunch of us kept doing them throughout the year. Like staring at the back wall in the elevator, doing our homework while sitting on top of the desk, and taking the car through the drive-thru backwards. The reactions were fantastic!

  26. I love the onesie! I am reserved and don't normally like people staring or noticing me, but the older I get the less I care! So I may need to do the dress up thing.

    As a much younger person (40 years or so ago) my then boyfriend (now husband) convinced me to dress up as a leprechaun for a St Patrick's party. I had an absolute blast, but I didn't actually go out in public just at the party.

  27. Honestly, as long as you rock whatever you're wearing with confidence, you can make it work. I'm a camp counselor, and have no shame anymore. Inside out clothing? Sure! Spike my hair up like a unicorn? Why not? Stick 100 googly eyes to my face for no good reason? I love it.

    My friends are often horribly embarrassed when I start dancing (horribly) in public, but I know they love it too.

  28. In high school, when we left the lame Homecoming dance and decided to drive around and look for something else to do, we ended up at the local McD's, which was already closed for the night (well, maybe the drive-in was open). But this was before the Playplace was completely walled off, so we went in and jumped in the ball pit. In our formals. Seven or eight of us. We had a ball. I only wish there were pictures.

  29. My friends and I used to wear vintage 1940's hats out in public pretty regularly in the early 80's. You just have to act like you don't care that you're sticking out; a skill I'm pretty surprised that I mastered at 18 or 19.

    As a full grown adult, I definitely don't care. I've worn a BB-8 dress, a disembodied cat's head Christmas dress, a DIY Hogwarts uniform, you name it. Recently I was at Universal Studios for my 60th birthday and I wore a light up ThinkGeek galaxy skirt that I won in the very first Epbot Imagineers giveaway! (I need to download the photo and put it on the FOE Facebook page.) I paired it with a blue shirt with silver glitter, a lanyard and facemask with galaxy prints, and Keds of course because I was at an amusement park!

  30. Just yesterday I walked into the local VFW wearing a top hat and carrying a ceramic pineapple... Some of the people there knew I'm a Girl Scout leader whose troop meets in their upstairs hall, but I'm sure the rest of them found it amusing.

    Girl Scouts has also led to me being in public in a tutu, a poodle skirt, an old-fashioned uniform, and a variety of other costumes, so that's always fun. My general love of Ren Faires also means I've been at gas stations, restaurants, hotel lobbies, and the like in full medieval garb on more than one occasion. In fact, one of the groups I used to go to faires with always made it a point to go out to dinner afterwards - just far enough from the faire that no-one would know that's where we were coming from.

    Neither Scouts nor Ren Faires can explain the time I ended up at a grocery store at 9:30 at night in fencing knickers to buy kiwi fruit, but that's another story.

  31. First, all the commenters rock! Second, I had a sad realization - I can't remember the last time I did something outrageous in public. I think I used to do that all the time but now I'm a public government lawyer and have to wear my lawyer costume all the time. I shall have to give that some contemplation and get back to being myself sometimes - maybe on weekends.

    This is not even the most odd sentence/sentiment I have written this week: I am sending you and Eva good poop vibes, Jen!! Think of the colorful...er...deposit which she will produce! Love the kitty pics! Well, love ALL the pics! Thanks!

  32. I once did a boot camp fitness class while wearing a chili pepper costume. The gym was cleaning out storage in preparation for a renovation and someone discovered the costume. The instructor said he's give a free personal fitness training session to whoever wore it for the entire class. Let me tell you, doing burpees in an ill-fitting chili pepper costume in a poorly climate controlled gym is a whole other level of unfun. But it was fun. And I got some weird looks from the guys who cut through the gym to get to the men's locker room.

  33. On the weather note: my inlaws from Cleveland came down to visit us in Nashville this past weekend, so I'll let you guess which ONE DAY this month dropped from 60's-70's down into the 20's... *eyeroll*

    Also, I hope your mom got that cardigan. It looks so great on her!

  34. All your great comments are encouraging me, emphasis on courage, to follow through on a costume for this coming halloween. I had a mastectomy and keep envisioning my self as an Amazon archer. I'd get a custommade breastplate that definitely shows that I only have one, like the mythical Amazon women were purported to do to enable them to draw their bows more easily. I'm elderly, so I'd further want to look like a battle-scarred veteran. Is this totally insane? I'm I stepping too far out to make my breast loss part of a costume? What do y'all think? TIA

    1. I think that sounds amazing and empowering! <3 <3

    2. I agree with Sparks, that sounds incredible, Carol! Not only for you, but for everyone who sees you and/or knows your story. If you were up for it I'd totally feature your Amazon archer, because I know you've got about 6,000 fans here who'd cheer you on.

    3. Thank you both for your encouragement! With that, I'm now going to research to find someone who can help with my costume. I'll send pics of my progress.

  35. I had to travel on public transit to get to the Zombie Walk downtown here in Vancouver, BC. An elderly lady asked why we looked the way we did, I told her it was a protest march for the Campaign for Undead Rights. Carol, you're AWESOME - go for it! One big regret I have is that my Mum backed out of putting a toy squeaker into her mastectomy bra, so that at the greetings lineup at my wedding, when she hugged people, she could figure out who would notice, who would STUDIOUSLY IGNORE IT and who would know her well enough to burst out laughing ... life is short. Have fun with it!

    1. What a hoot! I'm not that brave, though I did put a small bag of lavender inside the 'bra filler' I knit out of cotton yarn and fill with poly-fill. It didn't weigh enough, so I went to an auto parts store to buy wheel weights (max weight in minimal space). When I confided why I wanted them, he gave them to me for free.

  36. I too, say go for it Carol! Foots, that would have been funny. Also, your group acronym would be CUR. Like a street dog in Shakespeare's times.

    Forgot to say yesterday that, Jen, your mama looks great in that sweater and I hope she bought it!

  37. I would get fun looks if I had to stop to or from my Ren faire. Once I had to stop at Wal-Mart on the way home. I'd taken off my bodice, belt, and hat, but I had black tights, black knee-high button boots, and a half-chemise (so a flowy blouse about to my knees). I got a few side looks, but the only person who said anything was a lady who stopped to compliment my boots.

    A friend who played one of the guardsmen -- so think bright red Beefeater-type costume -- stopped to help at a traffic accident on his way to faire. He actually broke out a window with his ax. :D The firefighters loved him and took a picture with him before they left the call.

  38. Do it! Every year, my sister and I (and now many of our friends!) do Halloweek, where we wear one costume a day of the week leading up to Halloween. Wearing costumes (often quite elaborate ones!) around town and just to do our daily tasks is sometimes daunting, but I've never gotten any reaction other than beaming smiles and exclamations of "wow! That looks amazing!" The joy we bring to other people and the reactions we get is worth any amount of embarrassment. Be loud, be unique, be joyful! It's contagious to everyone around you. And if someone does disapprove, then I hope and pray they learn what truly matters in life and to let the little things bring them happiness.

  39. A few of my coworkers and I dressed up like Ninja Turtles for Halloween one year. We all went to Costco together to get pizza for the potluck lunch. Good heavens that was fun. I also got one of those inflatable T-Rex costumes for my birthday during COVID, and now I'm trying to work up the guts to wear it to the grocery store or something.

  40. Clearly I'm too late to this party, so I hope whatever you wore on Thursday made you happy. I'm sure you looked gorgeous. Anyway, our kitty also likes to disturb hubby's computer time. We solved the issue by placing a kitty bed next to the pc, and then insisted she use it by only petting her *while she's using it* during pc time. Took awhile, but she got the message. Best wishes!

  41. My husband routinely dresses up, dances, or sings to drive home a lesson in math class.... Uhm, he teaches high school geometry. The kids love him!!


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