( 2011 in ReviewCollapse )
So I've more or less failed at keeping this blog for about six months. I guess the most pressing developments since the heatwave in my last post are that I have one more semester left at university (if all goes well, which it should), I didn't fail any of my fall semester's classes, I'm on chapter 11 of MOSI, I still haven't finished my Mozart cosplay (or any cosplay for that matter, not even a jabot), I lost ~15 pounds this past semester, and I just turned 23 five days ago (which makes me older than four out of five of my main characters).
The next bit of news deserves its own paragraph. Starting sometime in October I realized my feelings for, pined after, confessed my feelings to, received reciprocation from, and began dating Kim, a girl I met in a steampunk panel at Geek.Kon last year. We officially started going out on October 30th. On New Year's Day I came out to my parents, which was probably the scariest thing I've ever done. But it went better than I expected, and it feels good not to feel like I need to sneak around or lie to them. As in past posts, I'll try not to gush too much about personal matters on the blog, tempting as it may be. Suffice it to say, she is intelligent, mature, funny, literate, sweet, supportive, communicative, poetic, an excellent writer, and damn good-looking.
I have exciting new cosplay plans to span the next few years, which I'll talk more about as they percolate (though I still really need to finish Mozart, preferably before my lease ends). A few hints to what I have brewing: I'm waiting for Arda to get the Wesley wig in grey, there are more frock coats on the horizon, I've developed a thing for characters with pink hair, and I need to learn how to apply scar makeup and do it well.
I should wrap this up and head to bed; my sleep schedule's been terrible the past two weeks and I really need to correct it if I want to get anything done around my costume shop shifts these next couple of weeks.
- Current Location:Ivory Tower
- Current Mood: sleepy
Yesterday I meant to go full-burn on the St. Kleio's mock-ups, now that I have a king-sized bedsheet's worth of cheap fabric to work with, but between the weather finally being nice enough for me to clean my room and Gen being home for the weekend and watching a bunch of recent movies, I didn't get much done at all. In return for my counter-productivity, my dream content last night was 100% anxiety:
( Dream JournalCollapse )
Anyway, I'm making a little headway with cutting out the pattern for the mock-up, and am contemplating wrangling Taylor into doing some of the stitching work on the first mock-up as one of the "sewing lessons" he's been bothering me about. I need to get this thing to the point where I can get all the fabric for both uniforms cut out by Thursday night so I can get any significant remainders of the fabric back to Kim at AI. Which also means that as soon as I've fit myself and made the pattern for that, I need to get Erika in for her fitting, and with any luck I'll just need to take in the waist seams for her and not have to resize much of anything else. But I've never been known for my astounding luck.
Still waiting for the rest of my pay for the house painting job earlier this past month. I would really like to get my hands on it soon so I don't have to freak quite so hard about my budget and finally order my Mozart wig.
Also, this evening I finally get to see The Deathly Hallows part 2 with Laura (I really need to start using ambiguous nicknames to differentiate between all the Lauras, Kims, and Erikas I know), which I'm sure will please Ashlyn immensely because she'll finally be able to fangirl about it without fear of spoiling anything.
Final order of business, I guess, is that Borders is closing here in town. I'm torn between getting in early to make sure I get the books I want before they're all gone, and waiting for the sales to get a little more enticing. Right now 10% off is barely enough to convince me to buy one book, let alone the three or four I know I want. Now, I hate to sound like a jerk, but despite being a total bibliophile I'm really not sad to see Borders go. I guess they've just ticked me off too much in the past, between perpetually re-arranging themselves so it's impossible to find things, having terrible shelf organization, helping to screw over at least one of my favorite authors, having shitty coffee, not stocking books I want and then not calling me to let me know when books I ordered through them arrived. This last point is really the crowning reason why I've stopped frequenting them in years past; if they expect me to purchase things through them, they could at least let me know when my orders come through. Otherwise there's really no reason for me not to rely on Amazon or one of the local bookstores.
In any case, a couple of my friends have turned me on to Better World Books, a new and used book-order website whose proceeds go toward supporting literacy programs around the world. They'll probably be getting the majority of my custom in future, in addition to the two local bookstores in my hometown, which is notorious for not being able to sustain locally-run businesses.
And I just realized I left the iron on, so I guess this is it for now.
- Current Location:Sweatshop
- Current Mood: a bit warm
Mission successful, I am now four pages into chapter eleven. Gosh, that was easy.
On Tuesday I drove down to Waunakee with Erika to hang out with some friends of hers and work on cosplay. Since I had nothing to work on, I wound up cutting out the pattern for the After School Charisma uniform--Kim's copy, to be exact, so now I need to give her mine (which was actually Erika's) at Anime Iowa. Button shopping also happened, and it looks like unless someone makes an undue fuss over things, Mozart is going to have rose buttons on his uniform. We stayed up late watching Mahou Shoujo Madoka Majika or whatever the hell it's called, and the next morning made an attempt to go to Ravenworks and Wigs Too, but both were closed for unexpected reasons. (At this rate I'll never get to Ravenworks.)
So we went to the Asian food store instead for bubble tea, pork buns, and various kinds of mochi. The strawberry ice cream mochi was my favorite, though the pork buns I found a bit bland, and the bubble tea was...fine, in the same way that soy milk or vanilla SlimFast is fine, until I got to the tapioca "bubbles," which really triggered my gag reflex. On the whole my body didn't really know what to do with all the rice-based products, and while mochi is an interesting treat I can't really get over how squishy it is.
I also picked up the fabric for Erika's and my uniforms from Kim, which means I really need to get started drafting the modified pattern, trying to eliminate the waist seam and, believe it or not, the center back seam as well. Of course, for that I need muslin, and unless our stash happens to turn up in the sweatshop or Erika's room in the next week or so, I'll have to buy some more myself. I'm resigned to the fact that Jade will not be done by September, as it'll probably take all my willpower to finish Mozart and Ikkyu in time for Geek.Kon (I say this because right now the job looks easy, which means it will more than likely end with me pulling another all-nighter and once again shedding blood, sweat, and tears).
Funds have been fickle, meaning I've had the honest intention of ordering my Mozart wig for a couple weeks, but haven't been confident enough to do so. I should get on that; I'm pretty sure I'll be able to pay my bills and still afford a $50 wig as long as I behave myself. (As a side note, Kim's Napoleon wig is delightfully soft and fwooshy.)
In recent events, it rained a bunch and then got really hot.
The most notable thing I did today was go grocery shopping (if buying cream, honey, and frozen peas can be called that) and wash all the dishes except whatever Taylor has hidden in his room. I meant to clean up the epic mess of clothing on my floor, too, but that'll have to wait for tomorrow. One of these days I'll even clean off my desk and dresser!
I've also been reading His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik. What's it about, you say? Only Napoleon invading England on dragonback, fool.
Seriously, though. Read it.
* Sew lace jabot (and remember why I bought a spool of cream ribbon)
* Obtain muslin
* Start drafting coat
* Clean room
- Current Location:Ivory Tower
- Current Mood: awake
So as not to leave loose strings on this blog, here it is. My most epic sewing injury to date.
See, there's this odd little sticky-outy bit of plastic on my sewing machine. It doesn't seem to do much other than sit there, being a sticky-outy bit of plastic. Until that one-in-a-million chance just happens to roll around and you somehow manage to jam your thumb against said sticky-outy bit of plastic so that it lodges itself under your thumbnail and causes you to bleed and say a fair share of no-no words.
I don't remember what I was working on when this happened or how I dealt with it.
In fact, in hindsight it's not that epic.
I did step on a hot pudgy pie maker the other day, though.
Then, due to having to sleep on the couch, I had been keeping my laptop downstairs more often than usual because my room smelled like something very large had just dunked itself in the tank of a port-a-john, then crawled into the room and died. I came home from grocery shopping one day to find a party suddenly in full-swing, my brand new laptop on the living room floor and the screen busted. This was the weekend before finals. I managed to get a loaner from the repair guy to get me through final exams, but in the end the bill came to $150 and nearly a month without my precious Lestrade. Again, the culprit was never apprehended. Needless to say, the laptop now stays in my room and my room stays locked.
So, yeah, I had things other than this blog to worry about for several weeks.
That aside, I've just been lazy. I mean, school did get kind of crazy right toward the end of the semester, and I have been working, but I've had a lot of free time, too--free time in which I have done nothing productive, aside from watching the entirety of Black Butler, Hetalia, and the Dresden Files, the first 50 episodes of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (for those of you playing at home, that's nearly half the series), and playing GaiaOnline's glitchy knockoff of Pokemon.
Probably the only thing of merit I've done since May is read Patrick Rothfuss's The Wise Man's Fear, which naturally blew my mind in new and hitherto unimagined ways, aside from leaving me feeling like a pretty pathetic hack of a writer, as I've essentially just spent the past month balking at the idea of describing a piece of jewelry. Goal for this week: Get the hell over it.
I've been working for about a month as a door-to-door salesperson with a fundraising company. Selling coupon books for a good cause and all that. I could probably write an entire entry on all the things that frustrate me about a job where approximately nine out of every ten people (on a good day!) turn you down in various irritating ways, but for the highlights reel I need only say: Doorbells. I hate doorbells. Half the time I can't even tell if they work and wind up knocking anyway. Gonna have a callous on my knuckle the size of a cherry tomato.
When I'm not getting sunburn selling coupon books, I'm getting sunburn working for a handyman service. I haven't done much with them yet (currently painting a house) but I hope the boss will teach me how to do actual roofing before the summer's over. Note: This desire tends to bring either nods of approval or cries of dismay in about equal ratios. People who don't know me very well seem to think I'm too dainty for outdoor work, while I'm pretty sure I stopped being dainty somewhere around ten years old.
I'm also lined up to clean a lady's basement once the painting job is over. She keeps calling me a "nice" girl, apologizes for saying "crap," and can't believe I don't mind bugs and spider webs. Just as long as I don't stumble upon a horrific centipede infestation, she won't have to hear me squeal like a little girl.
I'm actually thankful for all the extra work, because the computer repair bill left me a bit shorter than I had expected, plus I splurged a little in anticipation of starting my summer cosplay projects. From the sound of things, I'll have the fabric and other necessary bits for the St. Kleio's Academy uniforms by next Wednesday. I should really start drafting that pattern using whatever scraps of muslin I can find, now that I have drafting tools and a thread snips shaped like a crane. Also gotta order my Mozart wig since--wonder of miracles!--Arda finally got the Luthien wig in blonde. I'm also coming to the realization that I probably won't have Jade done by September, and unless I get called in to work at Fort McCoy again very very soon I probably won't have money for everything by the end of the summer anyway. Stupid Jade and all his pissy little details.
In other news, I'm retiring Edgeworth for the time being, since I'm not satisfied with the quality of the cosplay anymore. He will return just as soon as I can get a new wig and make myself a suit that fits.
Nathan is staying, though, and will probably be my only cosplay at Anime Iowa (which I am going to for the first time ever thanks to birthday money from my generous and fashionable grandmother). Then again, I might also decide to don my steampunk getup, now that I have the new pants I spent all night before renfest making. Whatever the clothing, any interested parties will most likely be able to find me helping out at NoBrandCon's ambassador table. I'm totally not helping out just because it was the only way to mooch a free bed, honest.
Which reminds me, I still need to make the lace jabot for Nathan, otherwise I'll be stuck in the bib-like Edgeworth prototype from NoBrandCon. D:
Henceforth I will do my utmost to use my time more productively, update this blog more often, and get shit done.
- Current Location:Ivory Tower
- Current Mood: sleepy
I have to apologize for this con report being so late. You see, I had every intention of writing this yesterday, but then the usual household post-con anime binge took hold and Tay and I started watching Black Butler (though he's probably finished it by now while I'm only on episode nine) while Gen brainspiked Darker than Black and God only knows what everyone else in the house has been up to. Despite all claims that I could listen to J. Michael Tatum's voice all day, I actually can't, so when I lost interest in Black Butler (at least for today) I remembered I was going to commission a Steel Samurai phone charm from a friend and went to look for reference pictures. This led me to a tumblr page of Ace Attorney fanart and there I stayed for several hours.
So! On with the con report, starting with Wednesday.
( Pre-Con Preparations: Matthew Taranto, Jabots, and the Gospel According to Larry ButzCollapse )
( No Brand Con X: Highlights ReelCollapse )
It's a messy, slapdash, vague, and disorganized excuse for a con report, but there it is. As a final note, though I doubt anyone addressed in this statement will ever read this, I'd like to thank all of this year's attendees (without you guys, this con would not happen) and all of this year's guests (without you guys, this con would be boring) for making this tenth anniversary of No Brand Con a success.
Next time on Emmy's Blog: A new feature known as Emmy's Case, a segment where I state my case on such issues as the importance of wigs in cosplay and why all the best musicals feature lawyers. Also, a brief update on costume shop work and how I gave myself an epic sewing injury.
Final thought of the day: If I could choose one ridiculous, nearly impossible thing to see before I die, I would want it to be Prince Poppycock cosplaying as Max Galactica.
- Current Location:Ivory Tower
- Current Mood: lazy
- Current Music:August Day - Turnabout Musical
I fully intend to make a stab at giving a con report, but considering how late it is right now and that I've been getting maybe four hours of sleep a night since Thursday and spent the past night under a conference table...this update will have to wait until tomorrow or the next day.
Next time on Emmy's blog: Matthew Taranto, Cosplay Wrangling, and Celebrating a Year of Dressing Like an Idiot. Stay tuned!
PS. For those concerned, the suspicious ramen did not seem to have any unusual side-effects. In completely unrelated news, I appear to be developing compound eyes.
- Current Location:Ivory Tower
- Current Mood: exhausted
Time flies when you're under a tornado watch, I guess.
Don't ask me what this week was like before Wednesday; there's a reason I said "nothing else interesting has happened" in my last post. I honestly can't remember, aside from at some point in the past seven days having dreamed about a wedding reception at Blarney Castle, having a creepy Irish uncle with bad teeth, and the usual cosplay stress dream where I get to the con and either have my cosplay but not my bindings, or my bindings but not my cosplay. All I really know is on Wednesday I finally assembled the cast for my Arsenic and Old Lace scene and had the first read-through. Thursday I played with furniture for fifteen minutes to work out my groundplan, then we had another read-through. Friday was Fun with Blocking time and I spent it trying to get my actors not to trip over each other. Also having to step up to the role of "Directator" and feeling just a little empowered by it, not going to lie. Tomorrow marks our final rehearsal, which I need to remember to bring props for and cross my fingers as hard as I can that my actors are off-book. I still need to draw up the final draft of my groundplan, write my analysis, and make the promptbook. Tomorrow will be a busy day.
After rehearsal on Thursday, I helped Sigma Tau Delta with their final judging on the Young Adult Writing Contest thingie they do every year. It was really fun. And there was pizza. And candy. The only downside was going to Zumba right after with food still in my stomach. "Torture" doesn't even begin to describe it; I thought I was either going to puke, pass out, or both.
Thursday was also t-shirt day at the NoBrand meeting. I can't wait to personalize mine. Not to give anything away, but I just bought a whole spool of white ribbon and can't wait to use it. I just hope it's enough. (And if Wilson Oaks Jr. is reading this, don't worry, it'll still be "business appropriate." I'll wear a tie, sheesh.)
Friday marked the day I finally got in to see my Creative Writing professor about the short story I handed in at mid-term. We had a good talk, she convinced me not to kill the narrator (which sounds a lot more appealing after getting a lecture from Squonk about giving characters a break now and again), though it means taking a hatchet to the story before I can re-submit it at the end of the semester along with my new story, which I have yet to start. The encouraging thing: The professor thinks I should start sending the story out once I've made the intended changes, and will even help me explore where to submit it.
Friday I also swung by the library to pick up the Blackmore's Night and Avenue Q CDs I'd reserved, stumbling upon their latest book sale in the process. They had used copies of Cardcaptor Sakura: Master of the Clow for dirt cheap, so I gave in to guilty pleasure and rounded out my collection with four volumes for $1.50. Now I just hope I bought the right ones, and if there are ripped pages--so help me, I will rage.
Also, last week I apparently went briefly insane and decided I like money enough to make me want to pick up an extra shift on an already busy weekend. Friday was all right; someone even shouted "Thank you!" through the wall as they returned their plates. Saturday was when shit got real. I went in for the morning shift I'd signed up to cover, which went all right, since I'm more of a morning worker anyway. I wound up working with a group of international students, one of whom I sort of hit it off with as we both expressed our dislike for the Ape and started listing all the reasons why it's difficult to work with him. After a while, the girl turned to me, smiled, and said, "I like you. You're like Bosnian woman." That had me smiling the rest of the morning.
After my first shift I decided it was just too far to go home for three hours and then come back, so I sat in the cafeteria reading Slammer by Allan Guthrie until my regularly-scheduled shift. Which was hell, of course. I can't even remember if the Ape showed up or not, only that I kind of lost my will to live during the last hour or so. Between being on my feet for so long and my back aching from constantly having to stand on tip-toe to reach the plates on the return-carousel, and feeling like I was covered in about an inch of sweat and dish grime, I was a very unhappy camper to say the least. This was only made a little better by the realization that another of my co-workers--who looks like an L cosplayer and whom I have lovingly nicknamed Igor--really can talk and is just shy.
Which brings us to today. Woke up at nine or so to get ready for a couple hours of cosplay shopping with Gen and Erika, which may have been fruitful for them, but for me only yielded three yards of half-price lace and a boys' sweater-vest. On Wednesday we mean to hit up all the shops we had to skip over due to time constraints, so hopefully I'll be able to find a gray pants-suit and pink bathrobe at the very least. A red bow-tie and a briefcase would also be nice.
Upon arriving home, we discovered a mysterious cake left on the porch, which one of the local squirrels appeared to have been sampling just before we approached, judging by the cakey smudge left on the railing. After some deliberation and discovering an anonymous "CAKE ON PORCH" note stuck to the door, we decided it must be from Gen's mother and happily partook.
It was sweltering by the time I left for work, as if Mother Nature suddenly realized she'd let winter last until April and decided to switch the temperature to "July" to make up for it, which somehow gave me the power to clear the Hill in a record five minutes. It was a good day to work salad bar, a job that primarily entails frequent trips to the cooler. Over the course of my shift I learned that a couple of my co-workers are going to NoBrandCon (one of whom tried to convince me to cover one of her shifts that weekend despite knowing I'm on staff for said con and already working that weekend, besides), that one of the student managers is a huge geek (discovered by casually quoting Firefly in the face of a tornado and getting him talking about Isaac Asimov), and that nobody really notices my piercing that much. I got called out on not wearing non-slip shoe covers and not having a nametag, but never on forgetting to cover my piercing. In other news, though, I finally have a nametag, and they sent me home twelve minutes early because of the severe weather that never actually hit. According to the weather maps, the storm PARTED DOWN THE MIDDLE just as it neared town.
The girls were babysitting a friend's daughter when I got home, which inevitably means a Studio Ghibli marathon. I stuck around for the ending of Nausicaa and 3/4 or so of Howl's Moving Castle before I decided I was too greasy to go on living and took a shower. I piled into bed at six o'clock to dry and here I am, empty bowl of ramen to my left, computer on my lap, fuzzy ball of death and dander still snoozing on my feet, Creative Writing short stories still waiting to be read and critiqued. Somewhere between then and now I practice-bound, tried on my new sweater-vest, chatted with erikakaiser, and made a highly suspicious bowl of ramen with a flavor packet that was more the consistency of a bullion cube. It tasted a bit off, too, but then again it's off-brand stuff and for all I know it's always tasted like that. So far I feel fine.
But, just so you know, if I don't post again in at least a week it was probably the ramen.
- Current Location:Ivory Tower
- Current Mood: busy
Anyone familiar with my procrastinator's tendencies will probably be shocked to learn that I'm already 1/3 of the way done with the essay due next week, and it's not even the night before it's due yet. This first part (a short analysis of Freudian themes in Anthony O'Neill's The Lamplighter) was fairly easy, because I liked the book and wanted to talk about it. The next two-thirds (discussing Trainspotting and an Inspector Rebus novel) will probably be a little more like pulling hen's teeth--especially considering I still haven't finished the Inspector Rebus novel.
I still haven't started on the jabots yet. Pre-project paralysis or something, I don't know. I should at least go down to the sweatshop and see if I can locate my leftover cravat broadcloth, otherwise I might just wind up unstitching one of my old cravats to see how much I can salvage out of it. I also still need to buy lace for Nathan's jabot.
On the bright side, Gen, Erika, and I are getting up bright and early (I've asked Gen to bully me out of bed at 8 a.m.) on Sunday to go cosplay shopping before work. Top of the list is a pink or white fluffy bathrobe; Sunday at NoBrand is gonna be bathrobe day. :D Further down the list: Pink button-up pajamas and matching pants, fluffy white bedroom slippers, a gray pants-suit, red bowtie, and a button-up blouse with puffed sleeves. Just try to guess what all this is for, I dare you.
Nothing much else interesting has happened since I last posted. I had a dream about running around a mental asylum that had once been an old church, and all the balconies and height-hazards had been walled in with Plexiglas, which I could only detect because people kept touching it and leaving fingerprints. Perhaps the most alarming part of the dream was stumbling down a staircase onto a purely glass floor about ten feet above the old sanctuary. The glass was sort of a smoked-gray color and had a metallic sheen to it that gave it the feel of a two-way mirror, and was extremely unsettling to walk across. I'm starting to suspect that my subconscious mind has a fear of smooth, flat surfaces such as frozen ponds and glass floors, considering how often they feature in my more abstract and disturbing dreams.
I guess the only other fun news is that someone doused a surge-protector at work, rendering the radio useless for a few hours until it dried out. One of my co-workers, a large, burly, gorilla-esque man I refer to as "The Ape" seems to have a pathological fear of silence, as he always turns the volume up to unbearable levels and then bellers over it to communicate--a practice that actually stresses me out a lot. I'm not ashamed to say that I cheered when silence was restored to the dishroom--or as silent as you can get with large machinery running constantly--and felt a certain measure of satisfaction that the Ape spent the rest of my shift running around trying to find someone to fix the radio rather than interfering with our work like he usually does.
That was Saturday. On Sunday, I accidentally spilled several containers of silverware into the dishwasher, which is old and really impractically built, since it's nearly impossible to get silverware out of it. We managed, though, and the manager just sort of hand-waved the incident, even though from the way the Ape kept carrying on you'd have thought I'd murdered his pet rabbit or something.
Currently working on a mock-up of a Victorian coat for one of our actresses in On The Verge. Shop hours are kind of tricky for the next couple of weeks, as the supervisor is out of the shop and once the mock-ups are finished we don't have anything else to do until he gets back.
I guess that's all for now. Hopefully the next time I post I'll have news, good or bad, about my forays into jabot-making.
- Current Location:Ivory Tower
- Current Mood: tired
Now to watch Sherlock. <3