Date:2011-07-10 12:33
Subject:Otakon 2011
Mood: chipper

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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Date:2010-07-08 16:34
Mood: energetic

(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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Date:2010-06-07 10:31
Subject:Thinking of expanding my large family
Mood: contemplative

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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Date:2010-05-30 12:47
Subject:Cosplay is like giving birth...
Mood: cheerful 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.

more convention photos under the cutCollapse )

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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Date:2009-09-21 11:27
Subject: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?

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Date:2009-07-22 12:43
Subject:Star Trek > Fanime ?
Mood: refreshed

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?

(68 compliments | Tell me I am beautiful)

Date:2009-05-06 14:30
Subject:Oh la la Fanime!
Mood: bouncy

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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Date:2009-04-04 16:42
Subject:Spring says no dead bodies burried under my lawn
Mood: cheerful

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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Date:2009-02-17 11:24
Subject:Hello 2009 ~
Mood: energetic

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.

(66 compliments | Tell me I am beautiful)

Date:2008-11-11 11:12
Subject:Armistice Day 2008
Mood: nostalgic

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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Date:2008-07-28 09:45
Subject:Believe it or not, I am a homeowner!
Mood: ecstatic

As of about 48 hours ago, I am the happy owner of a 5 bedroom house in the Washington metropolitan area (on the Maryland side, I really wanted to stay in Montgomery County and close to a subway station). I'm really excited, but also really tired, as my family converged on the new property already and we are working on remodelling the basement, adding a bathroom, and updating one of the existing bathrooms. Ripping out drywall is a lof of fun, but the result is that I am sore today! I believe it's a sign I need more exercise.

The best part is that there are two lovely cherry trees in front, and a weeping willow, my favorite tree, in the rather sizeable garden in the back. There is even a white picket fence... yes, all the people that I talked to incessantly about my annoyance at white picket fences and my desire for a condo, only a condo, may laugh now. I deserve it.

The main issue with the garden, alas, is that I will have to mow the lawn. Which does not exhilarate me, to tell you the truth, especially since my backyard is sloped and the lawnmower feels heavier than I am. I'm thinking it will count as my weekly massive workout!

I will definitely post some photos as soon as it starts looking more like a work in progress and less like an earthquake hit it.

Oh, and did I mention the house has a fireplace in the living room? And a master shower big enough to have a party in (what did they do in that shower I wonder?)... oh and enough space to have a room dedicated to sewing (and to that Tim Gunn poster I always wanted to purchase). My only issue is that I don't have enough furniture to fill it, but I am sure I'll find a way in time, as I love to buy furniture!

And while I wait, I could always stick the coffin from the Katsucon skit in the middle of the empty basement, to mystify my visitors. What? A coffin downstairs? Oh, you mean my new roommate's bed! I'm sorry you can't see him now, it's still daytime!

Since the house is eating up all my time, I'm pondering rewearing costumes I already have for Dragon*Con in case I can't finish the two I have in progress (I'm thinking one could happen but two is highly unlikely) so I'm wondering what everyone who is going is wearing? Maybe I can shoehorn my way into an existing group? Although the odds seem low, as I don't have costumes from anything new and trendy.

While we're on the topic of costuming, did anyone ever purchase cat/zentai suits from those Chinese sellers on ebay? I really don't have the time or the inclination to fight with lycra at the moment, so the thought of purchasing one is really tempting... maybe I should just pop on the cosplay community on livejournal and ask.

And to finish this entry on a domestic note: what do all of you think of yellow houses?

Right now the house is painted a rather mousy gray, and has a pointy gray roof as well, which makes for a big sad blob of gray, and I was trying to find ideas to make the sideboards more cheerful by changing the color. Light blue? Plain white with little green shutters? So many decisions!

And since I never got around to post it, here is the 'blurvision' of the masquerate skit I wrote for Anime North. I'm the red blob with the gray pants on the right. Take my word for it.

(86 compliments | Tell me I am beautiful)

Date:2008-06-27 10:38
Subject:I'm a fairy tale prince and I don't lie...
Mood: cheerful

A few photos of Ridonculus (Odin Sphere's Cornelius to the people not used to my terrible sense of humour) are trickling in, so I'll share some of them with you, as I wait for the second photoshoot from Anime North to appear online. Oh, the suspense!

(Uncropped version - by Elemental)

- Mr and Mrs Ridonculous looking very bucolic. - by Kevin
- And now, in a more moody setting... - by Elemental

In other costuming news, I really need some motivation to finish a few outfits that have been sitting around at 10-80% completion for months or years... mostly because it would be such a waste to have bought all of those materials for nothing. I know I might eventually be able to reuse them but... no. I need to work of this before I start on new ones.

Which means technically I have four I need to finish before adding new ideas.
We all know that's not going to happen.
Maybe I should set a more humble -and realistic- goal? One? Two?

That being said I already have a few plans for next year, especially one that I am very excited about that I will be doing with my favorite partner in crime (we call ourselves the "fastidious spinsters" for fun... wait no it wasn't fastidious, what was it?), Koumori. It's a pretty complex outfit, but I am definitely looking forward to it, although it irks me that I have the perfect wig at the wrong length for it.

I wish I could come with costumes that have similar hair... because I keep on having to buy more and more wigs and they do end up being a rather expensive addition to each costume (when you figure at least $30 if you find a cheap Hong Kong one, to easily $50 and up for nicer, or longer, ones).

Oh and I don't have four costumes in progress, I have five, I just remembered another one.

Maybe I will end up listing them to see if anyone had something from the same series in the works, as that might motivate me a bit more. Not making a deadline when you're the only one affected isn't too important, but when it has an impact on someone else, I always get things done!

Which reminds me of my infamous "8 stages of cosplay". I'm firmly stuck in stage 5, Denial. Although now I think I should add another stage... Apathy?

Does anyone else think a Tim Gunn poster would be an amazing addition to a sewing room? Even better when paired with a word bubble that says: "Make it work!"

Project Runway season 5 starting the 16th of July. I can't wait!

One last thing! Anyone going to Dragon*Con in need of a room? Koumori and I have space!

(66 compliments | Tell me I am beautiful)

Date:2008-05-30 10:32
Subject:Best of show in Canadia
Mood: chipper

My feet still hurt from all the walking and the uncomfortable shoes, but I am back from the whirlwind that was Anime North. I can't say whether or not I enjoy canadian cons, if only because I really didn't see the convention, but they do get my votes for a very well organised, very clean masquerade where they actually fed the contestants (which was a blessing since I was working on other people's costumes and didn't get to eat). The way to my affections is definitely through my stomach.

Although Ang and Cho got sick, probably from the mayo in the egg sandwich, since it's the only kind I didn't sample heavily and I was fine. But then I also have a stomach of steel, so that might explain it too. (The veggie and the tuna sandwiches were especially good.)

To start with the end, which is also the best part, the Odin Sphere group I was a part of won Best Master Craftsmanship and Best of Show. We were laughing while the awards were announced (that was my only gripe, the awards not being given at the masquerade itself) because it was also a carbon copy of Katsucon, since there were two almost identical groups (one character difference), one in master, one in journeyman. And the master group took best in class craftsmanship, while the journeyman one took best in class presentation!

Well, I do admit you had to be there both times to find this funny so let's move on.

My costume, codename RIDONCULOUS, for the design is so utterly ridiculous and his name is Cornelius and I know it's not funny I don't care, turned out a lot better, and a lot less flaming, than I thought it would. It's still the fruits of an unholy union between Prince Phillip of Sleeping Beauty fame and Princess Peach, but it wasn't as embarassing to wear as I thought it would be.

Here are Mr. and Mrs. Ridonculous. With a pasted on background because the photoshoots aren't out yet and the wrinkled tarp in the back sapped me of my will to live. It gives you an idea... and vibes of a red mage wearing the wrong cape.

The preparations for the group were hellish, as I was done in advance (as I almost always am) and had to scramble on other people's costumes (Thank goodness I'm a speed demon when it comes to making and feathering wings now), but the results were really nice and almost everyone made it onstage, even if Odette missed craftsmanship judging.

I can't wait to see the skit, although I have to admit that in my sleep deprivation I forgot to make people practice their exit and it ended up with a huge unwieldy traffic jam at the end of the skit. Beep! Beep! Queen of the Dead backing up!

The evening after the skit was the best, though, as we got to take photos and finally spend time together as a group. Ingway was a riot, and I hope someone got his impression of a mushroom on film, because it was my favorite thing at the con. That and how he did a perfectly creepy Ingway voice and would sneak up on me and whisper in a really unsettling tone: "My my Cornelius you have such nice bone structure" (and other assorted strange compliments).

We had a whole Odin Sphere Soap Opera going, as Mrs. Ridonculous ditched me frequently for Oswald (her real life boyfriend) who abandoned poor Gwendolyn, which led Ingway to theorize that the reason he ranted so much about Cornelius and his sister was because he had the hots for the prince and that they should elope. We were going to take photos of that momentuous plot twist of Odin Sphere 2, but completely forgot.

That moment took a back seat to Ceri whispering to me (as I was falling asleep on my suitcase in the bus on the way to the convention) in a very skeevy Dist voice: "I love to watch you sleep, Jade." (Well something like that, although it might have been "You're so pretty when you sleep".) The result is that I jumped out of my skin and kept on looking behind me for the rest of the weekend.

What else...

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Date:2008-05-21 09:41
Subject:'Tis may, the month of Anime North
Mood: exhausted

I am taking a few minutes away from the end of semester panic to jot down a quick update. Too many of my posts start with "I'm alive", don't they? I just can't find the time or, more importantly, the mental energy to update. And, to be honest, I'm not sure stories of teaching in University, writing papers for seminars and signing offers on houses with a weeping willlow in the garden are all that thrilling. (If by some incredible stretch of the imagination they are, do tell me and I will make an effort to relate all those minutiae of my life which seem to me quite boring material.)

First off, since I forgot to post it, the incredible (horrible) state of the D'Eon Katsucon room has been recorded for posterity by Yuffiebunny in one of her video logs. It also features lots of silly antics, D'Eon doing a particularily amazing face, boob discussions (yes I had to pad because the corset was a smidgen too low for the bodice) and sleep deprived cosplayers in XVIIIth century clothing, as well as a very confused Lia de Beaumont in glasses (I never got around to putting in my contacts).

(Fast forward to 3 min 10. Kit, you're so loud, we can hear your voice through the whole thing!)

That being said, my next goal (after I hand in this paper that has been plaguing me all week) is to head off to Anime North, where I will room with Kit and her friends and cosplay with my lovely canuck ladies. I had great plans which were foiled by excessive amounts of schoolwork, so I will only bring Lia (I need photos of this costume anyway) which I will wear with Cho's D'Eon in a dress, Kit's Anna, and Ceri in Durand (Do I need to bring Oscar's shirt?), and a new costume for the masquerade.

All I will say on that costume is that I love my friends and that I am waiting impatiently for the time they will make it up to me, because it's an utterly ridonculous outfit (yes it's a neologism not a typo) that I altered as best as I could, basing myself off of early concept sketches, in hopes of not being laughed out of the convention.

That being said, with a lot of imagination and creative license, it almost but not quite looks like a red mage outfit with a tacky cape. That is, if red mages lost all sense of style.

I wish it came with a hat.

So I will see the few of you heading out to Anime North this weekend, and we will have to be crafty to meet up, because my cell phone is Canada-phobic and will stop working the second I flash my passport and pass the border. Thank you, beloved phone company, I feel like I am being tossed back into the dark ages of convention-going!

I should also note, that the Return of the sheep took place a few weeks ago, and that my furry friends led me to more victories in Settlers of Catan (which I always always spell Katan right off the bat, even though I haven't read Angel Sanctuary in years. Old habits die hard). So I think that now that school is over, we need to plan another rematch, especially since Kittsburg didn't do so hot the first time around. I'll cook something yummy.

My break is over, I better run!

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Date:2008-02-19 10:41
Subject:Project cosplay
Mood: exhausted

Katsucon went by in a blur, or perhaps I should instead say that Katsucon weekend went by in a blur, since I barely saw the con as I commuted from my room to the cosplay and back.

Why the title of "Project cosplay" ? One of the people in our skit had an accident 24 hours before the con and unfortunately the skit could not go on with one less cosplayer since we needed 4 people to carry my coffin and me onstage. So, it was time to make a full costume, in this case, le Chevalier d'Eon himself, in 24 hours and $0 since we had no time to go out shopping.

With the help of my magic buttonhole fairy and the leftover fabrics in my closet (the costume is part Moses, part Oscar, part Robespierre, part Nuriko and part Albert), I managed to pull through and get us all onstage ! As Tim Gun says it so well in "Project Runway" (which we watched nonstop while we worked like busy -and cranky- little bees) : "Make it work!" And we did!

I felt like a regular Christian (from Project Runway) minus the flaming personality, tailoring an outfit out of thin air, and was incredibly surprised when it actually fit the person I was making it for beautifully, as I hate making things blind and I had never even seen the person I was making the costume for. Speaking of, thank you so much Mel for stepping in on such short notice and helping us through the madness!

That being said, I hope you're feeling better, Jenny ! And that we can take photos together at some convention, I'm sure your costume was lovely and I was sad to miss it.

This skit was so much work (I made the coffin, Lia, Max, and d'Eon, but also helped out with others, with some hand sewing here and there and some props) but it was definitely worth it when I saw the result. I thought we all looked lovely, and I want to thank everyone who was in on this wild ride.

In short : a dozen metro trips to run back home looking for things, 3 meltdowns (thankfully none of them me), 1 new friend, and a BEST OVERALL CRAFTSMANSHIP (the trophy is almost bigger than our Robin cosplayer, no kidding).

More photos on

Left to right : Luna Hoshino as Kit (costume by Maura), Ali as Durand, Mel as d'Eon (costume by me), myself as Lia, Maura as Mme de Pompadour, Yuffie Bunny as MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE (costume by me, caps an inside joke), Ceri as The King of France, Louis XV, and his silk pantaloons, and, kneeling, Cho as Robin.

See the skit here for a compressed version when the setup time was removed (it was a pain to hoist the "piece de resistance" on the stage). You can also see it in high res and in its original version on ACP, although you do need to log in.

All in all, I was underwhelmed by the masquerade: there weren't as many great costumes as I remember in Katsucon masquerades of the past, and I didn't understand a lot of the skits. Between cultural differences and a lack of knowledge of what I was later told were all 4chan jokes, a lot of what made the audience laugh left me puzzled and confused.

I did love the Death Note skit with the puppets, though, and enjoyed the Tales of the Abyss one, even though I checked out mentally before the end because it dragged on too long.

I thought I would also mention the funniest quote of the con (paraphrased) which was relayed to me by a friend (as I was rushing through the metro with costumes at the time)... context? A male friend of mine (you know who you are) and I independantly (and freakishly-that costume is pretty ridiculous) ended up planning to make the same costume.

And I quote : "You can go over to Rosiel's and she can teach you to wear pants like a man."

I thought it was so funny. But then I haven't had a decent night's sleep in a long time, so my sense of humour might be a bit off!

This is it for now, but I will post more photos soon, I have to go give an exam !

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Date:2008-01-08 10:19
Subject:I am not a pirate
Mood: bouncy

2007 ended with a bang, and a good one at that! I got my grades back from my first semester of graduate school, and scored, not straight As, but straight A+s. All those sleepless nights in December desperately working on my papers and ingesting inhuman amounts of cashew nuts and Krispy Kreme surely paid off. Afterwards I had to dig myself out of my finals' cocoon, a nest I built on my couch around my computer as I sat for days and days writing about Byron and the French Romantics.

It was so hilarious I took a photo from my point of view. You can see Amon the laptop, my phone (necessary to go complain and/or giggle at poor unsuspecting friends late at night), the ubiquitous cashews and Krispy Kreme, as well as water and a lot of poetry books (Musset in the foreground, and there is a glimpse of Vigny's face further back). If there are any French lit nerds (or just people who went to French lycé) you can glimpse part of a 1960s-era "Lagarde et Michard" in the back, a textbook that went through four people in my family. It's fun to see notes left by everyone.

Behold, you can barely see the couch!Collapse )

So for about two weeks I had a lovely organised apartment. Now there is fabric all over my couch. I just can't win!

As for the end of 2007, Koumori and I went to a party that, while it was on the expensive side, ended up being so much fun. I'll mention in passing that while it was touted as a mascarade ball -and featured photos of people in costume on their website- most people showed up fulfilling the lowest requirements of a mascarade: wearing a mask. This didn't deter me at all, as I was happy to be able to party with Koumori dressed in 18th century clothes (PARTY LIKE IT'S 1788!). My only disappointment : The 80s cover band did not play Rock me Amadeus, which would have been hilarious considering our getups (and the fact that I had rather 80s hair, complete with enough hairspray for a metal band). All in all, good bands (the headliner was amazing and we plan on going to see them again), free drinks we almost forgot existed, lots of action at midnight, and thank goodness vodka is clear, because otherwise I might have stains on my costume... I still don't understand why people try to squeeze themselves through a huge crowd while carrying drinks. I mean, really!

I also need to explain the title of this entry... you see, my Oscar costume is doomed to be mistaken for a pirate. At conventions, I was Norrington from Pirates of the Caribbean, and now, all the way to and from the party (in the metro, in the street, at the party), people asked me if I was a pirate. A lot of them were persuaded I was Captain Morgan (I assume it was due to the amount of rum they had consumed), and it got so bad that when I saw people come to me to speak to me my standard response was "I am not a pirate". (Someone also thought we were Belle and the Prince from Beauty and the Beast, at least that was original.) Thus, as of now, the sentence that I uttered the most often in 2008 wasn't even "hello" or "good morning" it is... "I'm not a pirate". Which actually bodes well for a fun-filled 2008!

Oh, and then we watched Dr. Who episodes until, what, 5am? It was a creepy one, too. Where's my mummy? Are you my mummy? Eep!

I also did manage to hit my pre-New Year's resolution and finish a particular costume because I did not want to have to deal with it in 2008 (it had been in progress for about 3 months due to lack of time to work on it). I have now switched to another costume, and I think I'll machine the straight seams on this one as it will make it a lot less frustrating -That and Koumori might kill me if I don't-. I'm a bit worrried because I have so much to do for Katsucon and I'm not even halfway done, but I'm sure I'll make it, I always do! After a very dry 2006 and 2007, I have quite a few cosplay plans this year (if, you know, quite a few equals about three), most due to a certain friend who shall not be named and talks me into the most ridonculus getups, but I love her anyway. Well until I actually put them on and see myself in the mirror that is! On the bright side, she owes me now... he he he.

That's all for now, and since I don't have photos of costumes I can show right now I went and dug through my "archives" (more aptly named "the folder in which I dump all my photos without labelling them") and pulled out a new-old photo of one of my favorite outfits. It's been a while since I wore anything from Angel Sanctuary... 2 1/2 years? 3 years?

I still have a lot of dark red vinyl lying around... who knows, maybe next year? (This fits right in with Garfield's theory that all diets start "tomorrow". Which is why I'll make that costume "next year".)

After all this talking, the important part : HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!
I hope you took good resolutions! I know I came up with a one I was quite proud of, but then I promptly forgot it. Oh well.

(Btw, Koumori, I'm still unbelievably perky today. Beware!)

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Date:2007-11-29 12:40
Subject:Checking in !
Mood: bouncy

First of all, if I had been told when I started Final Fantasy XI years ago that when I would finally reach my nerd goal of having a full set of Red Mage Artifact version 2 (Duelist set, which is very rare) I would forget to post about it for over 4 months, I would not have believed it!

And yet I did. Look! Look! Duelist Chapeau!

Yes, I fell off the wagon after a year of no FFXI. Yes, I still feel like a sad, sad addict, as I had to close a shopping site when an advertisement for the new expansion popped on my screen just yesterday... but I'm proud to say that I quit as soon as I got my hat (After of course taking screenshots!), mostly due to the fact that after a few repeated {Refresh} {Please} from party members while they still had Refresh on, I wanted to toss my laptop through the window. People are stupid. But then so are NPCs, I remember trying out Granado Espada and thinking... this is just like playing with people, just without the dirty jokes and mispellings, I still couldn't get a heal to save my life!

I'll stop here because it's making me want to play again. There are nicotine patches, why no MMO patches?

Quick! A topic change before I go check the price of the "Wings of the Goddess expansion"!

I've been threatening to do this for a while since I crack myself up with saved text messages when I am bored on the bus... top 5 best text messages I ever received!

5. Board up the windows and the doors, don't let the zombies get you! (Nicole, on my being brainless due to lack of sleep)

4. I want hunnies! (Lu, Random outburst due to too much Tales of Symphonia)

3. Panty shot D: (A friend's reaction after trying out Lineage II)

2. Thirty thousand sweaty nerds and you, lucky girl! (John Booty, on the crowd at Otakon)

And the winner is...

1. Is everything you own made of black vinyl? (Koumori, after looking through my closet during Anime USA 2006)

I promise my next entry will have to do with cosplay. I even took photos!

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Date:2007-09-14 10:45
Subject:As the internet turns
Mood: happy

I want to start by apologizing yet again about not keeping tabs on everyone on my friendslist, I am so busy the internet beyond work and instant messaging is a foreign concept to me. I don't imagine it slowing down really noticeably until about mid-December.

So if I missed something important, do tell me! I really want to try to keep in touch with all my friends, even if it is a bit of a struggle right now.

I'll start off my own news with something I hinted at in earlier posts but never got around to writing down: while I'm still working as an engineer part-time (I'm telecommuting now) I am now also attending graduate school on a scolarship! As if I wasn't busy enough, I'm teaching a class in University... which I absolutely adore, but which is a lot more work than I thought it would be. We have a lot of teachers in the family, and they keep on teasing me about it, because I understand them a lot better now.

The commute is deadly (2 hours each way) so I'm looking into purchasing my first car in the US. I haven't driven since I moved here (I used to have a car when I was in college) so I started learning again, and I must say, other than the scourge that is parrellel parking, driving is like riding a bicycle, you never really forget and it's easy to pick it back up. Since my visa isn't back from my friends at the State Department yet, and hence I can't swap my license for an American one yet, I'm thinking of getting a foreign-immatriculated car, then switching it to US immatriculation. I'll see... it seems like paperwork is a hurdle I need to overcome for everything I do lately! My goal is to get a black PT cruiser, I just love those cars, they remind me of the cars I used to see in Tintin when I was a child (1940s cars).

In the meantime, I'm hard at work finding new inventive ways to add more bookcases in my apartment, as books are starting to pile up everywhere... under tables, against walls, hidden behind furniture... I hear sudden rumbling sounds followed by loud crashes sometimes as the cat crashes into a pile. Due to a lack of front claws (his previous owner declawed him) he can't stop on a dime like most cats, which generally ensues in hilarity. (He's next to me protesting as I write this, but since he has a cold and is stuffed up, it's not really impressing me.)

On the cosplay front, no conventions for me in the last few months of 2007 unless they are local (I might still stop by AnimeUSA depending on who is going) as I teach a class on Fridays, and hence have no "long weekend" option. But that doesn't stop me from sewing a bit here and there, in a rather schizophrenic way: a seam on this costume, cutting a bit more of the other, painting a prop here, looking for reference materials there... I'm sure I will eventually be done, although I don't foresee too much progress until I'm finished reading all of the works of Agatha Christie (my current "literary" obsession, I have to occupy myself when I sit on the metro for hours and what better way than to guess whodunit?).

To this I'll add a really funny Dragon*con photo of yore (2005 I think) I discovered while cleaning my hard disk.
Well, I guess it's really funny if you're both a cosplay geek and an art geek, which means it probably isn't funny at all. My wig looked awful, but the expression on Koumori's face is simply priceless.

Cinq Kingdom Gothic

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Date:2007-07-10 09:22
Subject:Impure souls of the living dead yaddiyaddiya
Mood: tired

I realised I never did post the new photos of Integra that my dear friend Lu took of me (she has a knack for making me look better than I do in real life!)... so I'm now fixing this grave oversight!

Sure the photo is a little dark... but think of it as atmosphere.

Two more photos under the cutCollapse )

Since I got my new contract on July 1st, work has been insane, so the pace of my life since May hasn't slowed down, on the contrary, it's faster than ever! I'll be working full time through July and August (as well as part-time on weekends since I'm filling in for the main web editor) so I'll barely have time to breathe until labour day... I do want to make sure to come visit my out-of-state friends at Otakon on Saturday, though, maybe we can all go to dinner like last year?

After Labour day, I want to try to patch together my free time in order to start cosplaying seriously again. Well, seriously, but sparingly, as I won't have that much time and money what with my secret project and saving up for a mortgage on a house... while 2006 was annus horribilis (expression shamelessly borrowed from Queen Elizabeth), and even that is a euphemism, 2007 is turning out to be frantic, but to have so much potencial for being one of the big life-changing (for the better!) year of my life. Go go 2008!

So on the topic of Back to cosplay 2007:
Anyone has groups planned for the end of the year and need an extra body?
I also have some ideas of my own if someone is willing to be my guinea pig. Oh, that makes it sound scary, but I assure you, whatever I plan always ends up looking good.

That being said, I'm also planning another attempt at a picnic, since the other one was a victim of very blonde planning (even though Nia isn't blonde, she was honorary that weekend, as we proved we're both airheads sometimes)... so, guys, what day is good for you? Once I get a vague idea, I'll make sure to harass everyone else. We can play petanque and maybe some more "Settlers of Catan" (if anyone dares to rise up against the Rosiel Lumber Empire -and its warmongering army- and can live through my constant goofy narration of the game). I hope my favorite Sheep Barons (Kyle? Sam?) are up to the challenge once again!

And now I am off to fight the Evil Bureaucracy (those who are on my personal journal can get details there). Wish me luck!

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Date:2007-06-04 10:30
Subject:I'm undead!
Mood: happy

Because "I live" as a post title is quite overrated.

It's been a while since I updated, but I have a very exciting reason for it, which I will disclose in a future post, as I'm waiting to cross all the 't's and dot all the 'i's before I give details. I tend to be a little supersticious, and somehow talking about events before they happen ends up jinxing them, and I definitely don't want to jinx this one!

To make a long story short I've been working on a major life change!
No, I'm not turning into a furry, it's actually something really good.

In the midst of all the work required I completely forgot about cosplay and never posted the photos I got of my new costume at Katsucon which was months and months ago! Shame on me!

I was thinking of putting up my little "instant convention report", but the only truly enjoyable parts of Katsucon were spending time with friends. The con was overcrowded, people were rude (someone even sat on my prop which was hidden behind a friend for safekeeping), and if it wasn't for all the restaurant fun with those close to my heart, I probably would have wished I hadn't attended.

Those of you who talked to me on aim late last year know that I fell in love with a series, Blood+, even though for the life of me I can't say it's well written, or well animated, or outstanding in any way. It just had lovable characters, and I got caught hook, line, and sinker, because connecting with the characters is usually what gets to me make it to the end of a story. (The fact that they were all gorgeous didn't hurt.)

I remember heading over to Florida to spend time with Lu, and sitting her down in front of it because she just had to cosplay this with me. It worked, and I have photos to prove it!

The characters are Moses and Karmin, two genetically engineered "vampires" who rebell from their pre-assigned fate as disposable soldiers and yearn for freedom. It's a cheesy premise, but, somehow, it works, and their friendship was one of the most poignant relationships in the story.

A lot of the photos are really dark, because we were trying to have a vampire movie atmosphere, while also portraying a sense of isolation. I should also note that Lu won awards for a photo from this shoot! Congratulations Lu!

As for cons this year, it looks like they might have to all be cons I can drive to (be driven to?) because I'm having passport issues caused by slow and stupid bureaucrats (aren't they all?)... I am prisoner of the great bureaucracy up north, my application is "somewhere in a pile, don't know which pile, we won't look in the piles there are too many of them" (this is almost a direct quote of the customer service), and I had to send in all my original papers, as well as my visa, so the only proof in my possession that I exist as a legal entity is my driver's license.

It's been two and a half months. I love bureaucracy.

The result is right now the only sure thing in the next few months is the Anime Next roadtrip with Maura and our hideously overpriced room (it better be a palace!). Anyone else is going?

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