Monday, February 23, 2009


Things I am loving right now:

1) Weird City Theatre. I was Jyan's plus-one for their Sherlock Holmes play, which was fun. The actors playing Holmes and Watson were great, several members of the cast were good, and fortunately the less-great actors didn't have too much stage time. While the decision to play Moriarty as a black-clad mafia boss threw me some, I suppose that an old, bald, maths professor isn't very interesting to watch on stage. Holmes got some great lines, although I'll never understand the need to tack on a love interest. It's wrong and bad and ... okay, okay, I'll admit it: I teared up as he angsted over his love for what's-her-face.

2) AISD. Yay, AISD! They have an easy-to-use application form and will keep my information on file for six months, which is fantastic. The only thing better would be getting hired soon as a teaching assistant at a location nearby. *fingers are crossed*

3) Legend. I'm sure most of my friends are sick of hearing about how much I love this show, but too bad. If I mention it often enough perhaps it will be released on DVD so I can watch it on a screen larger than three inches square. The version I am watching now is a copy of what someone recorded from the TV 13 years ago on to video tape. The picture quality, as a result, is not so wonderful. The episode I watched last night was the (*gag*) obligatory "The Protagonist Has Been Accused of a Horrific Crime!" plot, but still fun to watch. The Monty Python and Star Trek references made up for all the usual cliches, which included The Young Child who expresses Complete Faith in the Protagonist, The Unfair Trial and/or Incompetent Lawyer, and The Escape from Prison with a Homemade Invention. Coffee pot + candy dish + vase for single rose = blowtorch. The tray-as-face-mask was really the crowning touch, there.

4) Having a workout buddy! At least, Heather is my favorite person at the moment. We'll see how I feel after the 9am cycling class tomorrow. *dies*

Things I am not loving right now:

1) Taxes. Or, more specifically, owing them.

2) The job search. Having a new job is much nicer than looking for one.

3) Allergies. I spent most of Sunday and this morning with my head all fuzzy.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Ikkicon 2009: Day Two

Day two of Ikkicon was also lots of fun!

It's been a week since I went, though, so I'm afraid my memory isn't as detailed as it could be.

What I do recall:

Ivy looked great in her outfit.

The lolita meetup. This one of the rare times any of you will ever see me in a petticoat and lace, so enjoy it. Perhaps print a copy for future reference? We all walked from the hotel to Spaghetti Warehouse (who thought to combine frilly outfits and messy foods?) and back. Afterwards there were group photos in the lobby -- I thought it was hilarious that "Luigi" decided to come over and take a few pictures as well.

The Gore FX panel:

"Presented by Sami Inoue-Harte Have you ever wanted to know what the best recipe for fake blood is? Or how to make a flesh eating zombie? This workshop will take the audience through the messy, and tasty, step by step process to make the perfect zombie." The panel was fun to watch, and I never realized how much you could do with a little liquid latex

And some food coloring
The con member in question looked deliciously gory after the panel finished.

My absolute favorite panel was Anime Radio. A group of voice actors ("Join Kyle Hebert (Ryu on 'Street Fighter IV') and a slew of awesome voice actor guests")

got together to read old Flash Gordon radio scripts. It was hilarious and wonderful, with the actors occasionally running into the audience to cast minor parts on the spot. By the second act all the voices had been re-cast (with the woman from the gore FX panel, who has a high voice, acting as Ming), and Flash was clearly trying to escape a relationship with Gale. My only regret is that they only made it through parts one and two -- I guess we have to wait until next year to see how Flash escapes from the ... fighting monkeys.

Finally, here's a shot pulled from the brolita forums. I asked one of the artists (Chelsea M. Smith) at the convention to do a quick sketch of Ivy and me. She worked really quickly, and even gave me a $2 discount for being the first person at the convention to request a sketch.

And so, in conclusion, a good time was had by all.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

We'll Be. . .

. . . back to your regularly-scheduled photos from ikkicon in a few days.

Right now, I'm sharing something I found mentioned on twitter:

Ken Starr, who led the campaign to impeach President Bill Clinton, filed a legal brief last month -- on behalf of the "Yes on 8" campaign -- that would forcibly divorce 18,000 same-sex couples that were married in California last year before the passage of Prop 8.

Watch "Fidelity" and sign our letter to the state Supreme Court. Tell the Supreme Court to invalidate Prop 8, reject Ken Starr's case, and let loving, committed couples marry. DEADLINE: Valentine's Day.

167,003 people have signed this letter (as of Wednesday, February 11). Our Courage Campaign community goal is 200,000 signers. Will you add your name now?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Ikkicon 2009: Day One

Appropriately costumed, Ivy and I (and David, but he was not costumed) headed out for the first day of the anime convention.
Our first stop was the School Rumble panel. It was hosted by directors/voice actors Caitlin Glass, Carrie Savage, Leah Clark, and Trina Nishimura.

This event was enjoyable enough; I'd never seen the show before and everyone on the panel seemed to enjoy their work.

Hilarity did not ensure at the opening ceremony as promised, but I loved visiting the artists' alley outside the main event room. I bought the petticoat to complete my costume from La'De'Da's, and browsed the selection of SereniTeas being sold by the Austin Browncoats.

None of us had a lot to spend, so my only other purchases came from Generations of Art. The woman running the booth was incredibly nice, and this choker

was an excellent accent to my costume, at only $5! She also convinced me to purchase a CD from a local artist: We stopped for a nice chat with Chelsea M. Smith, who had adorable crochet goods and was the first one to call "steampunk!" on our costumes.

Later, we hit the makeup panel, which was informative and laid-back:
Presented by Meredith Placko
Now that the costume is on, what do you do?! Just because the last stitch is in place doesn't mean it is complete; make up can make or break a character. Learn the basics of a good foundation and how to apply the right look to finish off your costume. We'll show you make up techniques for on the stage, roaming the floor, photo shoots and even some special effects make up.

Other events for the day included "Iron Artist." This was supposed to run as follows:

Presented by Amelie Belcher, Tony Salvaggio, Matt Herms, and Michael Terracciano. Armed only with paper and pens, see the guest artists draw it out. Be part of the audience that provides topics for the artists to draw in a limited time frame, and see who wins the title of Iron Artist.

However, only three of the panel members arrived

and the first 45 minutes were spent killing time while the people running the convention scrambled for supplies. You see, the con hadn't informed the artists that they needed to provide their own supplies.

Fortunately, after an interminable period of five-minute jokes involving tapeworms and puns, a laptop was set up: the difficultly level of Iron Artist was raised, as it became clear that the artists would be working in Paint.

The audience gave each competitor a set of three words/ideas, which they then had to turn into a sketch over the course of two minutes.
Some of the results:

And my personal favorite:

Our final stop was the Peelander-Z concert. So. Much. Energy. And bright flashing lights. And fun! And strange call-and-response sections involving ninjas and steak. And roughly half the audience got to go on stage at least once.

None of my pictures came out fantastically, but I think several of them captured the feel of the concert.

Ikkicon Costume: Steampunk Lolita

Friday was the start of ikkicon at one of the Hilton hotels downtown. Ivy wanted to go in costume; I'm not really that into anime or cosplay. So, she roped me in by using the magic words, "what about if we do steampunk lolita?"

I can't resist good steampunk.

So, we've spent the last few weeks putting in some time here and there to get ready on a college graduate's budget.

The pieces:

One pirate-y green belt, courtesy our local Goodwill ($3.99)

A brown underskirt -- I bought the cloth at $1/yard, and Ivy made a skirt on her sewing machine in about 30 minutes the night before.

A suitable white blouse -- again sewn by Ivy.

Brown "100% leather uppers" boots, $6.99 practically new at Goodwill.

One white petticoat, purchased at the convention from La'De'Da's in the artist's alley. I got a great deal on the larger (poofier) petticoat, but the smaller ones are a reasonable $28.

One stripey overskirt, created by Ivy out of a former dress.

Shiny costume accents, created by yours truly from safety pins and old jewelry donated by some of the lovely people over at Wish Upon a Hero.

More shiny pretties, this one made by me from of imitation peal beads and bottle caps painted a brassy color.

A suitably steamy aero-compass. The casing is a painted tin container; crafting odds and ends make up the points of the compass; a brad and a dragon pendant serve as the needle, and more leftover jewelry parts make the chain.

Fuzzy fur collars. Our story is that they're sewn from the pelts of sky-tribbles ... but we actually got some imitation fur from etsy, which Ivy turned into what you see above.

Any good group of ruffians has to have an appropriate symbol! This is the insignia of the Airship Copper Cupcake. As you can tell by the four stars, I'm ship's captain.

An adorable hat! Hand-crafted by someone Ivy knows.

Put everything together, and viola! Steampunk Lolita Aeroship Pirates begin their conquest in the women's rest rooms:

Friday, February 6, 2009

Bloggy Giveaways Winner!

Ivy brought me the prints for the winner, so it's time to pick the lucky commenter!

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2009-02-07 08:23:06 UTC

Looks like the winner is Staci, who wrote: At The Green Yak, I really like the Single Initial Necklace. Very cute!

Congrats, Staci! I will contact you by Sunday morning, and you'll have 48 hours to respond.

Thanks to everyone else who entered!