Rosiel: Lord of Heaven

Otakon 2011

It's been one nearly one year since I've been to a convention, and while last year's Otakon had highs (I had so much fun cosplaying with Rosa, gossiping with Lionel and meeting new people) it also had lows (my huge engineered boobs created the mythical "boob sweat" that I had, until then, only heard of), and, in true Otakon fashion, abyssal pits of doom (almost passing out, and becoming a photo-op while it happened... compassion? what's compassion when you can snag a photo of Rosiel falling over on Katan?)

It would probably require a difficult equation to arrive to a conclusion to the age-old question: Was it worth it? But it also brought up a more common question: Didn't you learn your lesson after wearing your Dragonslayer in the scorching Baltimore heat and having Dryden drag you back to your hotel room? Vinyl + Baltimore = death!

I never learn.
If I hadn't been born in the 20th century, I probably would have been the poster child for natural selection.

And the proof is the fact that I'm gunning for my very own Darwin Award by returning to Otakon!
It's been so long since I've cosplayed, and it's the only local summer con.
My hands are tied! (with embroidery floss)

So, the question that remains is whether I go for the full con or just for a day... and it all depends on... who is going to Otakon this year?

And, because I am curious... What are you wearing?
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(Now that's not a title anyone would expect to see here.)

I now have a new respect for those of you who sew female character costumes... I had no idea it was so difficult to tailor around a female figure, probably because I spent most of my time making men's clothes, using lovely lovely straight lines. Sewing curves was an undiscovered country, and one I wish I had not accidentally stumbled upon because it caused me untold hours of frustration.

After all, I never had D-cup breasts before, so I was in uncharted waters.
First, I had to engineer them, then I had to sew around them.

So, for the past few weeks, I have lived the life of a hormonal teenage boy.
Everything became about boobs.

Kham: I have this horrid urge to contact everyone about a REUNION DINNER ....
Me: I would go to a reunion dinner
Me: especially if we add in booze
Kham: XD~
Kham: hell yes
Me: if we reminisce we'll need boobs
Me: ..........
Me: ..................
Me: .........................
Kham: ::Dying::

Luckily, I'm mostly done with the shirt from hell (the skirt has been finished for a while), and have moved on the coat which, luckily enough, is only required to go around the brothers Figaro (yes I named them Sabin and Edgar) not over them.

I decided to add a progress photo (no makeup/my own, unstyled hair), mostly for rosa_bella because as my roommate she will probably be fated to walk around with me for a little while at least... the only issue is that I do not have the Myspace gene and can't figure out how to take a photo in the mirror while being at the same time in focus and in the frame. It seems to be a physical impossibility, unless I use the flash and then I have a star going nova in the middle of the photo.

That being said, it reminds me of another bosom-related story.

Back at Nekocon 2003, I dressed up as Miang from Xenogears (which I prefer to forget, it was terribly unflattering) and came up to Jez to talk to him. He was polite, but cool, not his usual self. I wondered what was wrong, but left it at that, and saw him the next day in my Zoisite costume... which was when he admitted to me that he had not recognized me with boobs...

After all this, I'm slightly disappointed that Sabin and Edgar don't show in the photo... they will only perform for the camera if a flash is being used! Maybe I'll take a photo later to prove their existence.
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Ramirez: white

Thinking of expanding my large family

But while children are assigned their own caracteristics via genetic lottery I actually need to choose a costume to work on...

Last year, a friend sent me a collage that juxtaposed my facebook photo and a character from FFXIII.

Should I? Shouldn't I? (I'm open to other suggestions as well.)

The main reason I'm waffling is that I haven't played the game and never will (I don't own a PS3, I've become more of a computer gamer) which means I don't know the character or the plot ; but since I'm utterly out of the loop when it comes to games and animes, unless I go old school it's bound to happen.

What can I say, I'm feeling the itch to sew something other than sofa cushions (don't ask), and can't come up with anything specific...

In related news, I'm pondering going to Otakon and breaking the Big Ban of '04 because it seems a few people I haven't seen in a long time will be there. Who is going? Does anyone have a spot in their room for myself (I don't take much space) and an enormous bible (that takes a lot of space)?
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Schiff happens

Cosplay is like giving birth... analogy that will go much further than it should have.

First off, I haven't posted photos of my latest baby boy, who was born of a two month-long stretch of intense suffering and frustration. And yes, it is a convention photo, with me not wearing any makeup and not having had any sleep, but it turned out surprisingly well... the pale "I'm about to die please put me out of my misery" look does work with the source material.

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Best of show, way too many soul eater keycovers (who needs to cover keys, really?), a prop that got thrown out by staff and had to be replaced with a jerry-rigged cardboard box, yaddiyaddiya.

I was exhausted, post-cosplay-partum for a while (and trying to catch up on all the work I put off on behalf of Mr. Nightroad) and all I could think of was the horrible long excrutiatingly painful birthing of this big, fat, baby boy and his giant bible.

So why IS cosplay like giving birth do you ask? You hurt, you scream, you feel like you don't remember the last time you slept comfortably -the last time you slept at all- you want someone to put you out of your misery... and when it's finally done, when the ordeal is over, you say NEVER AGAIN shall I pass a watermelon through a straw!

Then, some time later, after the post-partum, the hard work to regain your figure, the monetary wreck, you start TO FORGET... you romanticise the experience. Oh, it didn't hurt that much. Was it really twelve hours? It felt like a few minutes. Look at this lovely child, it was so worth it!

Or, in my case, looking through boxes of fabric and... planning.

In the immortal words of Cho, who was discussing this analogy with me (we avoided all of the fluid comparisons, although a lot of gesso and glue was spilled while making Abel and I did have to scrub red paint off the floor): Sometimes [the next kid is] by an illegitimate father, which could be someone going: "HEY THIS GUY LOOKS LIKE YOU". [Then you go]..oh shit I'm pregnant D: DAMMIT CHO. THIS IS THE THIRD TIME. Wear a verbal condom, idk.
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Ramirez: white

I broke baby Jesus...

But I managed to glue him back together, so no harm done. It's all in a day's work for a cosplayer. But then I noticed a suspiciously familiar set of legs (great gams, really), peeking out from a partially hidden spot and realized the Jesus count had gone up to three. Three Jesuses, one virgin mary, four crucifixes...

I keep on trying to tell myself this is for a good cause, but I think I'm done with blasphemy for a while.
Alas, I still have a lot of work to do!

The Gospel according to this character designer (who obviously never knew Coco Chanel, or she'd have realized she needs to take off accessories, not add more) seems to be: if you think it looks perfect, it's obviously missing bling. And a crucifix or two. Why not three while we're at it?

Nevermind I've made and detailed 30 feet of belts and not a single of them is on the character's pants.
Belts? Functional? Not when they can dangle with no apparent purposes, no!

Die and I have been blaming each other constantly since this ordeal began, trying to figure out who is the original sinner. Taking into account the fact that I do not know the series, I assume she is the culprit even though she refuses to take responsibility for this fiasco. I remember Ayaka had something to do with it, too! Just you wait, Ayaka, I'll find you and thump you with my bible!

In other news, I am typing this to the sweet sound of a completely different thumping: that of hammers on my roof. House renovations are in full swing and I am without shingles at the moment, as they repair the roof and prepare themselves to add the new colonial slate shingles. Next week, it's a new "dress" for the house, a nice silvery gray carolina beaded siding. Then I have to paint the door, attach the shutters and the planters... my ugly little house is really shaping up!

I also did renovations in the upstairs bathroom (new granite countertop, new fixtures, and a nice classy candelabra... as soon as I can settle on the model I want!). Pretty soon this house will be completely finished, and when it is, I'm going to have to invite everyone for Settlers of Catan frenzy a late housewarming party. I'd also need to clear out all this mess, I swear I took over my office, the dining room, and parts of the kitchen with this crazy project!

I just hope that I'll be done in time! Wish me luck!

And, well, I took a photo of a random costume detail. Enjoy.
(The photo could be better, I know, but I'm in a rush!)

PS. School is killing me. I had half of my semester work to do in the first three weeks (You're French! You can be the first to go!) and they swapped my classes from MWF to TuTh so I had to miss D*C. Speaking of, I have an essay due next Tuesday and I didn't start yet... PANIC.

PPS. Anyone else in the throws of last minute costume craziness?
Ramirez: white

Star Trek > Fanime ?

I'm finally on vacation and taking the time to relax. It's wonderful to spend a few days doing absolutely nothing, after a crazy couple of weeks juggling three contracts and forgetting what sleep feels like. Absolutely nothing other than making up for lost time on the internet, that is, sitting on my deck so that the dog may run around the garden (you see, I am dog-sitting at the moment and since that dog is not overly burdened by intelligence, the cat and I have to keep an eye on it at all times).

Between my master's thesis and work, I managed to squeeze in a few days in Los Angeles where I saw again some dear friends that I had missed terribly. I had so much fun, but my vacation was definitely too short, I hope I can stay and plague Die for at least a week, next time. Although, the one who should be called a plague isn't me, but Justin, for he gave both of us the most horrible of colds. The result is that we spent a large part of our vacation chugging vitamin C drinks and cold medicine.

Since Die had to work, I toured her workplace, and went with her to the Hot Topic headquarters in LA. They really went all out with the gothic decorating! I thought I had walked in a B movie. After a few nights in LA, where I managed to catch up with Sarah and Jenny and even Kyle who was there from Las Vegas, Die, Dante, Melody Gore and I headed out to Fanime in an overly filled car. Mommy and daddy drove while Melody and I were a pain entertainment in the back... when we weren't passed out, that is. Oh, and we shared our space with a huge rappig named Cute Jade.

Behold cute Jade. But be careful, he likes to hump legs.

I will post the trip pictures as friends-only, if only to protect the stupid... I don't think there is a photo that doesn't entail someone doing a weird face at the camera!

On to Fanime... I managed to finish my Tales of the Abyss cosplay that had been lingering in my closet for close to a year, and I'm glad that I did because I had a funny experience. As I was standing in the shade with His Highness Emperor Peony Die and prepared to leave the con and return to my room, I got run down by a woman who told me that she was the interpreter of Anise's voice actress (I wasn't aware there was anyone from Tales at the convention). Now I still don't know the name of the voice actress, but she was Japanese, and tiny, and looked like Anise. The latter was helped by the fact that she was wearing an Anise outfit. It seemed that she had seen me through a window and wanted a photo. I barely had the time to agree that she came barelling down Anise-style, screeching to a halt in front of me, and starting jumping up and down calling out for "Jade-san" in.... of course... Anise's voice! She was incredibly cute.

After the photos were taken and Anise was about to leave, Die went to tell the translator that she was from Abyss too. The bane of being a minor character, even the voice actress doesn't remember you! So we took more photos as a group... don't ask me why my hand was up in the air, I assume I was either mid-movement, or her bow was falling off.

The best part of Fanime was going to see STAR TREK, though... Die and I ditched the convention and while everyone was at the cosplay, we were boldly going where no one has gone before! I wasn't happy with the Spock/Uhura bits, was the screenwriter dropped on his head as a child? But overall, I loved the movie, and it's a welcome rejuvenation of a beloved franchise. I'm sure Die will kill me for saying this, but she cried when Jim Kirk's father died at the start of the movie!

On another convention note, is anyone going to Dragon*Con? I said I wouldn't go, but Koumori has a spot in her room and I am so tempted... the problem is that I'd be going Friday to Tuesday if I do (Labour day is late, this year, and school will have already started) and her room is only from Thursday to Monday... anyone staying later?

And of those who are going, any plans? I want to go to the Aquarium! I saw a feature on it on television last week and I've been thinking about nothing else since! Anyone wants to check it out with me? Maybe on Monday afternoon?
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Rosiel: Lord of Heaven

Oh la la Fanime!

I lived through a few intense weeks, but my diploma is now in the bag, and with stellar scores! I've gotten so many congratulations from the professors, it's really amazing. But it's only one step in my journey, as I am continuing my studies in September to get my PHD.

At least I'll get some time off this summer to relax and continue to work on house renovations... and hopefully costumes! I'm feeling the sewing bug again, so if anyone has plans, do pass them along, I'm itching to make something BIG!

I don't think I've told my tale of woe to everyone here yet, but it turns out I lost my file with my passports, and am now stuck in the US until I can fix this problem, impersonating a ping-pong ball that France and Canada keep on whacking back and forth because no one wants responsibility for getting me new paperwork. All of my american friends looked at me with a total lack of understanding, as they can get emergency passports in hours, but they don't realize that in the Banana Republic of Canadia, or the Bureaucratic Monarchy of France, nothing is that simple. Canada initially quoted me 15 months. Yes. FIFTEEN. The woman at the French embassy laughed at me. I hung up on her. I'm fighting my way through this, of course, but all in all I am in the 10th circle of hell: bureaucracy.

The result is that Diechan talked me into visiting her and going to Fanime so I would have some sort of vacation after all. She's even going to stuff me into costumes, so I'm looking forward to this.

So the big question is, who is going to Fanime? What are you wearing? And shall we meet up? I haven't been on the west coast in so long!

When life hands you lemon, it's lemonade time!
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Rosiel: Lord of Heaven

Spring says no dead bodies burried under my lawn

So today I took some time off from work to have a little cosplay fun. I wrestled with a wig for a new costume, pinned to a wighead, then did what I usually do: put it on and take a lot of photos. Why? Because I can't see the flaws as well in the mirror.

The mirror always says everything looks perfect. He's a born courtier.
The photograph, on the other hand, is the inanimate version of some of those websites who will highlight every little flaw you have and make you wish you never left the house.
Which is why my camera and I have a very love-hate relationship: I love the honesty, but I also hate the honesty. (Sometimes I wonder if part of the issue is due to the fact that we're used to seeing a mirror image of ourselves, with everything inverted, and not, well, our real selves as others, and the camera, see us.)

Back on topic, I was taking photos of the wig in true myspace style (point, click click click hope you will see the angle you need) when I decided I should post one to see if anyone can guess what I am working on. Some people thought I would do it years ago and I said I wouldn't.
I am eating my words.
They taste like chicken.

This is a no-retouching no-makeup (not even chapstick and it shows) point-click-and-hope photograph, so yes, I know I look splotchy and my nose is red... lol I also totally didn't bother with the contacts or the identification would have been easier. It look pretty generic right now. And the photo tells me the bangs on the right side still need work.

Does anyone else do the photograph trick? It works really well to find the most flattering angle for costumes as well, although that normally requires a helper, or a timer and talent I don't have. (I'm always amazed by people who take lovely self-portraits with timers!)

I'm also torn on the topic of contacts. I have perfectly serviceable contacts for this costume, but they are plano and I require vision correction (more or less 1.75)... which means that I can either buy a new pair, which will require my going to get a new prescription since mine is old, or go around the convention as if it was a Monet painting, with my seeing-eye-cosplay-partner.

Normally I'd balk at this, although I've done it at Katsucon due to not having time to even put in contacts, especially since it's the best way to get angry "omg you walked right past me you *expletive*" emails after the convention... but I probably won't know anyone and if worse comes to worst I could always wear my glasses since they are very close to a pair worn on this one artbook image...

How I wish I had 20/20 vision!
Although removing one's glasses makes one looks 500% better when you're having one of those bad-everything days.

In other news, the cherry trees outside my house, which have been the topic of much speculation (and bets) are officially white! No dead bodies lurking underneath! The buds were pink, though, which confused a lot of us and put me on the loser's side.

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Rosiel: Lord of Heaven

Hello 2009 ~

So I forgot to mention photos of Ridonculus went up on my site eons ago. (Except my host keeps on migrating my site and my site keeps on going down so mentioning it would have been pointless anyway!) I look so thrilled to be a foppish prince in a twirly little cape. Don't my eyes shine with happiness? Look at the enthusiasm! (I love the piece of hair sticking up, though, it adds a certain stylish je-ne-sais-quoi...)

I also took a New year's cosplay resolution:

I decided that, this year, before I start anything new (unless it's for a masquerade those are exempt), I need to finish all of my in-progress costumes that are more than halfway made because it's such a waste of time and materials... I'll just attempt to repurpose the fabric for the ones that are barely started. These costumes all fell by the wayside after groups fizzled out and I was the only one who got anything done...

If anyone has something that would match, do tell me!
(Especially if anyone knows a Sialeeds, or someone interested in making a Sialeeds costume, it would make my 2009. I might just post on to see if I can wrangle someone.)

- Phantasy Star IV, Rune Walsh (90% done)
- Suikoden V, Gizel Godwin (50% done)
- Tales of the Abyss, Jade Curtiss (80% done)

I also have a big masquerade costume, but it's barely 10% done so I'm not listing it, although I'd still like to finish it because the design is so lovely and I've been wanting to make it forever. The source is obscure, so I doubt I could talk anyone else into it, though.

In other news, I'm only have one class this term, and I am writing my thesis. All this extra time isn't working out for me, because I realised that I am the kind of person who works better under pressure, and hence does more when I have less time, the result being I've been wasting time with no end in sight. I did get to finish most of my basement, though, so I will soon have a guest bedroom and people won't have to sleep on the couch anymore (the bathroom and laundry room is still as of now unfinished). I need to finally make roman shades for the downstairs bathroom (that's the bathroom that got completely ripped out and remodelled) and then I'll be able to post photos of that room, at least.

I'm also halfway done on the restauration of a lovely vintage chair, but I've outsmarted myself and can only work on it in bright daylight, because I used white primer and a beige topcoat... the beige is so light I can barely tell where the paint ends and the primer begins!

The next step is replacing the roof, and those who are on my personal journal got to read a rant about contractors! I'm so tired of contractors! I wish they'd just shut up and hand over an estimate and leave. Why are we both sitting at a table for an hour pretending that the only thing I'll make my decision on isn't the price tag? It's a big waste of time for everyone.

I'll end this with my awesome New Year's Eve.

I rang in the New Year with Catherine at the Washington DC James Bond Gala, which was as we later learned, ranked as one of the top 5 parties in the US by Playboy magazine. To think we were accidentally extremely hip!

To make a long story short, it was set up as "themed" rooms around a casino, each room representing a movie and a country, with its own food specialties, music, and big screens showing the New Year (for example, there was footage of New Year in the Red Square in the Russia room, with a caviar buffet, vodka-based mixed drinks, and eurodance). England had a great live band who played big band music (it was one of our favorite rooms because it had cosmos and tarte bourdalou for me, and Frank Sinatra covers for her, notice how she is about music and I am about food -I ate so much I'm amazed I stayed on my feet all morning).

All in all it was a magical way to say hello to 2009. We both dressed as Bond girls, she was California blonde in a slinky red dress and called herself Kitty Ferrari, I decided to go full blown 60s with bouffant hair and renamed myself Gigi Coquette. We danced the night away, met some handsome and funny James Bond wannabes (mine was a black-haired blue-eyed Argentinian who danced like a god, and she scored his Brittish friend) and lamented the fact that our dresses made it impossible for us to do the Thriller dance correctly when we visited the 80s room (my favorite, hands-down, we all know I love the 80s).

There were also Pierce Brosnan and Sean Connery lookalikes (the Sean Connery really liked us), and a lot of girls painted in gold. All in all, A+. Would do it again.

Note: It turns out my email has been down for the past week and I didn't notice... if you didn't get an answer from me on anything, that's why.
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Armistice Day 2008

Ninety years after the end of the first Great War, did you do your minute of silence?

I wish I was in Montreal, so that I could have listened to the Black Watch and their bagpipes on the steps of McGill university like I used to do every year. Standing in your living room with a recording and a poppy on your lapel isn't the same.

But what saddens me most, is that people forget.
I talked about the significance of this day with students and most didn't care.
We should never forget the sacrifices of those who came before us.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

(Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army )
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