26 May 2008

Animazement 08

I had fun, despite the seething mass of unwashed bodies and overenthusiastic teenagers.

I tried selling some rectangles of quilted fabric for folks to pin their nerd paraphernalia to, but they weren't moving. I sold enough to cover materials and make 15 bucks, though, so it's not a total loss.

I finished my costume in time, except for the cravat. So I borrowed Ben's, though it isn't exactly accurate. I'll have time to finish everything up later, as well as fix my wig. I need to move the top vest button as well as the eye and button on the pants. Won't take long.

Here are some photos I took. The first few are costumes I liked, and the rest are of me with other characters from the Phoenix Wright games.

I didn't buy much, since I'm going to Japan in a few weeks, though I did pick up a Gundam model kit, because those come in huuuuuuge boxes, which are inconvenient to stuff in your suitcase. I paid a bit more than $22 for it, however. Convenience fee, I suppose. And no shipping. I guess I'll add it to the stack of Gundam kits that I still need to paint and build. -__- Drat costuming. It takes time from my other hobbies!

Conventions - what & why

A convention, in fandom terms, is a gathering of fans. Why they gather is variable, but generally boils down to meeting new people, seeing old friends, and spending time with people who like what you like.

For non-fans, this may be hard to understand. Why travel 200, 500, 1000+ miles for that? Another wide variety of reasons. I'll use analogy.

Say, for example, you're an avid gardener. You watch HGTV, subscribe to BH&G, have a library of gardening books, and a pretty decent garden. You find out that there's this gardening club in your area, and they have meetings and presentations about, for example, how to build a better compost pile. You go, you meet some new folks, maybe make some friends, *and* you get some new tricks to try in your garden. Pretty cool. Then you find out there's a big regional gardening festival, where expert gardeners will be on hand to give workshops on how to turn clay into good soil, among other things. You think that would be great, so you decide to go.

That's not even close to a fandom con. Fans gather to meet people, as I said above, but also to see their favorite celebrities, from actors to authors to comic book artists and what have you. You can spend 3-4 days surrounded by People Like You -- which is something fans don't often get to do, because fandom is odd, and geeks are shunned.

Costuming is a huge part of fandom. There's something fun about walking around dressed as, say, Jack Sparrow or Gandalf or Harry Potter. It's a great conversation starter, too. There's a joke among costumers about the costumer's handshake: "Oh, hi, nice to meet you ... ooh, how did you *do* that?" I love the elaborate costumes, but I can't make them. Like these reference pictures and this costume. I'm not *that* good.

Cons are great fun for nerds. I love them so.

21 May 2008

Costuming and stuff. Mostly costuming.

I have a jacket and pants. I've mostly got the vest done. Sort of. I need to cut the lining out, but I've got the outside part together. I have to get rid of the chalk lines, though. The interfacing is impossible to mark on, so I had to mark the front. Bleh.

I only have about an hour tonight plus tomorrow evening to get this finished before the con. I should be able to at least get the lining cut out, and possibly get the darts stitched, tonight, then put the lining in and buttons on tomorrow. There's still a bit of handstitching I need to do (the sleeve buttons on the jacket, the bar and hook on the pants waistband, basting down the jacket collar), but it's fairly trivial, and I can finish it Friday morning if I have to. I'm glad I saw that I can machine stitch flat buttons. It's so much easier.

Stuff: OMG, we're going to Japan in 3.5 weeks! I'm not working on planning at the moment - too busy - but after this weekend, it's back to poring over travel books and finding vegetarian restaurants. My friend Phil told me how he got tickets for Takarazuka. I need to figure out how to go to Cafe Swallowtail. The Zeon Bar has an address in Akiba, but my Japanese is too crap to decipher the page and locate the characters that denote an address. There's reportedly a Feddies bar, and the pictures at the bottom look like they're in the same building on different floors. But screw the Feddies, anyway. Zeon has cooler uniforms.

I should print out the map of nerd things to do in Aki(ha)ba(ra). And get David to mark my guide book. 6 days to nerd around in Tokyo, with 1 spent going to the Ghibli Museum. We've already got our ticket vouchers - you have to buy 3 months in advance! - and we're going on our 8th anniversary.

I definitely want to see if Japanese McDonalds have melon-flavored milkshakes. Ben reports that they did when he was there 10 years ago. I must try one.

14 May 2008

Costume update

I spent the whole weekend, Friday - Sunday, working on the jacket of the 3-piece suit I'm making. I didn't get it finished. It's mostly done, but I still need to sew down the lining and do button holes. And buttons. Then tomorrow, Friday evening, and this weekend, I work on pants, then the vest. I like a challenge, really, and I seem to prefer working under pressure. I'm just more productive that way.

Note to future self, however: when deciding to do a last-minute sewing project, try to avoid buying the pattern marked "advanced."

So that's what I've been up to. Hard at work. Yay.

06 May 2008


Yesterday I went to the annual HIV care conference at UNC. I was reminded how bored I am in my current job, and that I miss science. But I don't know how to translate my skills and my interests into a job, without going back to school. Bleah.

My costume hasn't progressed any. This is not a very good thing. I have buttons, now, though, and a zipper.

Isis needs a dental cleaning. I need a nap.

01 May 2008

Another work rant

No, you standing there tapping, sighing, and grumbling about how you have to make it to the bus does NOT make me work any faster. I still need to enter the information on your prescription into the computer, print out labels, and put the pills into little bottles.

You're lucky we don't bill insurance like retail pharmacies.