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      HI MY NAME IS...Brielle

      HI MY NAME IS...Brielle

      Let's all meet this week's HI MY NAME IS...Brielle. She's going to tell us a little bit about herself and there's alot to tell. Any one of her jobs would make for an interesting interview, but she's been a real "Jill of all trades" so to speak. 

      Who have you been quarantined with all of this time?

      Well hey!!  I'm Brielle.  I live in Brooklyn, NY.  Where to start?  I am an educator, loving parent, LGBTQIA advocate, and avid music lover.  I have been happily quarantined with my amazing wife, Ashley, and our two children in our apartment. 
       
      Tell us more about your family?  What is it like being same-gender parents? (Is that the right term?)
      Sure!  My family is doing fine.  I mean, as fine as a family can be after 4 months in the same apartment.  We started out with a ton of activities and crafts, but, recently, it seems to be a lot of Disney+ and Trolls World Tour.  Some of it is actually really good (BLUEY is such a fun kids show), but I can do without watching Trolls 4 times each day.
      I think that is the correct term.  At least, I think it is a much more inclusive term for possible queer partnerships.  Being same-gender parents is great!  Then again, I may be a little biased.  It is very special to have a household with two moms and two daughters.  Also, it is simply amazing to get to process the world through their eyes and experiences.  Our oldest just finished up Pre-K, and she knows so much about the types of families and people that exist in the world.  Her school was so good about promoting diverse portrayals of families. It helps at home too.  We've been able to buy all types of children's books for her that display a family like hers. Seeing that type of family displayed to her in such a normal context, at such a young age, is amazing.  The world she will grow to know is sure to be a much more inclusive one that the world we grew up in. The girls are a riot.  We have so much fun every day.  Then again, they are only 4 and 3 right now.  Ask again when they're teenagers.  I'm sure I'll have a much more "complex" answer to this question.

      You were right there living in Brooklyn when Covid first hit, was it as bad as the news made it out to be? exaggerated? worse? Give us a first hand account.
      It was as scary as you heard that it was.  Seriously though, depending on what part of the city you were in, it was looking like a zombie outbreak movie over here.  Medical tents in the streets, lines for food at the local school for all 3 meals a day, a total shutdown of basically everything.  NYC got hit so hard, and we were so underprepared.  Even after things started closing and tourists stopped coming, it still kept spreading so quickly.  One reason for this, in my opinion, was transportation.  Nobody here has a vehicle.  Everyone, sick or healthy, has been sitting together on the subway every single day.  At the beginning, I'm sure many of the people that were going for Covid tests would have to have taken a ride on the subway to get to a Covid test.  That's why the tents and testing sites had to pop up everywhere, including in neighborhoods. Even now, people are playing it very safe.  My family still isn't leaving the house without a very good reason to, and I've seen very few people, still, who are not wearing a mask everywhere that they go. We are lucky enough to have the entire first floor of a house as our apartment, so forced interactions with others are very limited. We also have our own tiny backyard and small deck. There is a family upstairs, but we have not seen them.  
       
      You worked as a Cast Member for Disney.  What was your role? Were you a princess? 
      I did work as a Disney Cast member.  No...no...I don't think I gave off that "princess" vibe.  I actually worked as a Cast Member right here in NYC!  To celebrate Mickey turning 90 years old, Disney hosted an exhibition in Chelsea called "Mickey: The True Original Exhibition".  It collected and displayed extremely rare video, physical, and audio from the Disney vault.  Some of the earliest ever drawings and storyboards of Mickey were on display, as well as collections of Disney inspired art from all over the world!  It was like a walk through the history of Mickey Mouse.  My role was at the very end of the experience.  I worked as the host for a small game show called "Mickey's Gameshow Live".  It was the only "queued" attraction in the exhibition, and often drew a rather large crowd. We had family guests, but also on special nights, some very VIP guests.  During one particular evening, the Board of Disney and ABC, as well as some major stars, came by for a private walkthrough, and I was given the opportunity to do a 10 minute 1 on 1 conversation and demo of my gameshow for the CEO of Disney (at the time) , Bob Iger.  It was an amazing job!!! Definitely a dream come true.

      You've also said that you've worked as an Anatomy and Physiology Instructor? Was this for a school? If so, at what level did you teach? Does anyone ask you about Coronavirus? Any tips or educated opinions on how we stay safe? 
      Yes ,I most certainly have!  My educational background is actually in Biology Education and Nursing.  Following completion of my Nursing degree, I returned to school to become certified to teach.  That being said, I specialize in teaching Anatomy and Physiology.  My favorite teaching job, which I held previously to my current role, was as a CHS (College in High School) Anatomy and Physiology Instructor.  This is a course that High school seniors could elect to take, if they were pursuing a career in the medical field.  It was very cool.  I even was able to take my students into the "observation deck" of an operating room and we watched a live Open-heart surgery! It was a great opportunity for students to see what we were learning first-hand.  Also, it was a good opportunity for them to see if they could stomach the job. 
       
      In regards to Covid, prevention and teamwork are the keys to success.  I know that there is this whole "mask debate", but honestly, you should be wearing one.  Not only does it help you to not spread the virus (if you have Coronavirus and are either a carrier or asymptomatic), but wearing one in accountability with others will help to keep you and your family safe.  New York learned the hard way, and they learned fast.  We stand as an unfortunate example of what could happen (and is now happening) as the virus makes its way through the US.  Self-isolating and wearing protective equipment (if you need to go out in public) will get your community through this crisis.  I know people would love to go get a haircut during this difficult worldwide event.  But here's the thing, if you're doing it right, no one will know you need one in the first place.

      You are also involved in matters related to the LGBTQIA community. Care to tell us more about that?  Are there any links or groups that others can get involved in or seek out?
      I am very involved in advocacy for the LGBTQIA community in three main areas:  Healthcare, Education, and Religious spaces.  Having been raised, and now employed, in those intersections, it is very important to me that the LGBTQIA community has a distinct voice and presence in each.  As a teacher, I have facilitated my school's GSA, and lead LGBTQIA+ Inclusion workshops for both staff and students.  GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) has a ton of resources for educators or students looking to create a space for LGBTQIA+ in a school setting.  You can find more information here: https://www.glsen.org/

      In regards to healthcare, I have spoken on panels for hospital networks and healthcare staff on the importance of identification and treatment of LGBTQIA+ needs.  Specfically, this past year, I spoke on the increasingly alarming needs that face the Transgender and non-binary community.  Those needs include: access to mental healthcare and counseling, use of preferred name and pronouns,  access to health insurance, and locating a Primary Care Provider (PCP).  New York City is a great place to be for LGBTQIA+ individuals, especially in regards to health, but I feel like this type of advocacy and discussion are still fighting for a moment in the spotlight in other parts of the country.  
      Lastly, as someone who was raised in a very religious home, I am very passionate about the need for affirming ministries.  This may surprise you, but many queer people, who were raised in a religious environment, leave their faith behind.  Just kidding, that's certainly not a surprise.  You may find it surprising, though, that there are many queer people who did not give up their faith and religion after leaving their church.  I am one of those people.  Say what you will, but I could never have made it this far into my life without believing in something greater than myself.  I have never needed my faith more than I have since coming out to my family and pursuing this life in New York.  Luckily my wife and I found a great church in Brooklyn called Forefront.  Through our partnership with the church, I am leading a LGBTQIA+ ministry called Queer Communion.  We host weekly events online (and hopefully in-person soon) for anyone, anywhere, that is interested in joining and entering into that space to deconstruct their experiences and build fellowship with others like them.  It's really wonderful, and I know that type of space doesn't exist in many places.  I'm sure this topic hasn't come up on this site before lol. If you're at all interested in that (there may be a few of you) feel free to email queercommunion@gmail.com for more information.

      Well that's almost all we have for you.  Anything else you're passionate about or care to share?
      Sure!  I am very into music, and I would regret not talking about that in this interview.  Listening to it, playing it, going to concerts.... I can't get enough!  I've dabbled in many instruments, but the only one I really stuck with was the guitar.  When I was in 6th grade, I asked for an electric guitar to learn songs from my all-time favorite band, Blink-182 :) 18 years later, I'm still playing along to all of my favorites, and some new ones too.  Music is just such an amazing escape for me. I can't wait to go to concerts again!
       
      Thanks so much for talking with us today.
      Thanks so much!  Have a great day!

      HI MY NAME IS...AJ

      HI MY NAME IS...AJ

      You can file this one under not all Heroes wear capes. Meet this week's Hi My Name Is...AJ. Who works with Chemical Toilets aka the"Porta Potty". We've all been in one at some point,  at a concert or festival. They can be gross, but next to the music, it's the #2 most important thing.  

      There must be some urban legend about falling in or having a hose brake and getting sprayed. There's got to be some gross stories, if not you? Maybe someone you've worked with? 

      -In this area of work you are bound to get a "shit bath".  I've been told a story of someone who used to work in the yard sometime before I ever started. For background,  when a truck comes back, we need to empty it. Usually into a larger truck(we call it the yard truck), then that truck is emptied at the end of the night. 

      So this guy was emptying into the yard truck and a couple of things happened at once. 1.the yard truck became full. 2. The truck has a way of closing off the vacuum so it can't fill up any more.... this failed. So the contents of the truck started to blow out the top and shower down around the truck. The guy had to run through the shower to the driver dude to shut off the truck.
       
      Anyone lose something in there ( phone, ring...) and ask you or someone to get it out?
      -Happens at events all the time. People get drunk and drop their phones in somehow. We end up with piles of them. 
      There has been a couple times someone would ask us to get one out, tho it's always too late to save it. 

      Anyone get stuck inside? or have it tipped over onto the door? (thinking of a time we had to help a girl out of one where the door broke and we had to tear the roof off to pull her out, this was at a blink concert years ago. 
      -I can't remember a time someone got stuck, most are hard plastic and the door can be forced open. Tho we had a driver go back to a site to re-clean a unit he just did an hour before because someone ended up ODing in it. 

      Is there a crowd or festival that fills them up more than any other? Country vs Metal vs Punk?
      -I can't say, if it's a large crowd at an event they end up filling up all the same. However I will say when it comes to the restroom trailers. The woman's room is always the worst. 

      It seems like in this industry they have a pretty good sense of humor. What's the funniest name? Dr.Pumper, Stool Bus..
      - I think  "Yesterday's Meals on Wheels" is the best I ever heard. 

      Want to be featured on an upcoming HMNI? click HERE

      HI MY NAME IS....Elisa

      HI MY NAME IS....Elisa

      Welcome to our new weekly installment of "Hi My Name is..." where we will be talking to interesting fun people all over the world. Many of you are quarantined at home and this is just a way to meet new people and have a little human contact while we wait for things to go back to some sort of normalcy. 

      Everyone let's say hi to Elisa. 

      How long have you been crocheting?  is that even a word?
      Well, I've been crocheting for 4 years, but not on a regular basis, depending on my other jobs. And yes, that's the right word, though the specific term for the objects I create is "amigurumi", meaning the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed yarn creatures and objects.
      What is your favorite piece you've made? 
      It's really hard to choose, plus I'm super demanding with myself. 
      Being a nature lover, I would say the mini dinosaur in its egg is certainly one of my favorites (pic attached)
      How long does it take to make one of your "people"?
      Making MINI-MEs take from 6 to 12 hours! It really depends on how much detailed and customized you want your character to be.
      Just so you know: the hair making step is the hardest!
      Could you crochet us a little octopus?
      Of course! Choose the color, and all the details you like. It will be a pleasure!
       
      Anything you want others to know about yourself?
      I'm 30 and I'm a huge blink-182/Mark Hoppus fan since I was 13. 
      My three favorite things on Earth are birds, the color blue and french fries. Ok, and chocolate!
      I also love walking in nature and I go crazy for hills and mountains.
      And yes, I love changing hair color every few months!
       
      Where do you live?
      I live in a small city called Pavia, south of Milan (Italy)
      Do you have social media/website where we can see more of your  amigurumi?
      Filo blu (fi.lo.blu) means "blue yarn" in italian

      Want to be featured on an upcoming HMNI? click HERE

      FUN WITH #FUNKOMARK

      FUN WITH #FUNKOMARK

       

      We saw a bunch of posts about not wanting to open your FUNKO Pop! Mark Hoppus doll. Excuse us, figurine, not doll. Well maybe we can help. For those of you computerly inclined, we have posted a GIF of the Funko Mark with a transparent background. Now you no longer have an excuse, pull the image and start slapping Mark into all types of exciting situations. 

      Transparent GIF Funko Mark image:

      COLLECTING GUITAR PINS

      COLLECTING GUITAR PINS

      What have you wanted to ask us about the pin guitars but were afraid to ask? And first off, why are you afraid to ask about enamel guitar pins? Nothing scary about those. 

      WHY ARE THEY LIMITED TO 2 PER CUSTOMER?

      We've heard the complaints about flippers, but we also hear the stories about wanting one to display and one to wear, or the stories from our international friends, wanting to get one for themselves and one for a friend to save on shipping. 

      WILL YOU REISSUE PINKY?

      Probably not, we had no idea when we launched this pin that it would be so sought after. Wouldn't be fair to the collectors to just print more to just sell more. 

      ARE THERE GOING TO BE MORE RELEASES?

      As long as Mark keeps making new bass guitars we'll try and keep up. 

      I WISH YOU WOULD MAKE...

      Now this is a tough one, we've covered almost all of the important ones, now looking back at all the guitars he's had over the years there's plenty we could do, but just because we can doesn't mean we should. 

      SIMPLE CREATURES SO.CAL CONTEST

      SIMPLE CREATURES SO.CAL CONTEST

      The Octopus is not a simple creature, in fact it is one of the most complicated. What isn't complicated is how to enter our Simple Creatures contest*. Just leave us a comment with your favorite Simple Creatures song on our INSTAGRAM post , and tag a friend you'd bring to the show. that's it. We'll pick two winners at random to win 2 VIP tickets to the upcoming So.Cal shows*

      Contest is open to North America residents. Travel Expenses are NOT covered.

      A winner will be picked on Friday for the 11/12 show at the Fonda Theater.

      and the second winner will be picked Monday for the 11/14 show at The Observatory Santa Ana