Coming up

Sep. 26th, 2011 08:11 pm
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I've just five days left here in Canada. Looking back, my time up here wasn't as bad as I'd feared but I'm still chomping at the bit to get out of here.
When I get back I'll use my accumulated vacation time to stretch my time-off to last until the Texas Renaissance Festival in two weeks. I hadn't planned on spending my vacation time this way but if I report back into the office I'm certain that I'll get plugged into another out-of-town that will conflict with TRF. So I'll just fly under the radar until I'm ready to go back to work.
The career counseling is going well. We're just about done with the self-analysis phase. Next time I go we'll be able to start narrowing the already short list of prime career choices for me. Whatever I choose I'll most likely have to go back to school for a bit since I'm leaving the engineering field entirely. That wouldn't be happening till the spring semester at the ABSOLUTE earliest so I'll finish up the year with my company. It's kinda inconvenient that my lease renews in October, which is too soon for me to know where I'm going or what my money situation will be. I'll have to see if my landlord would offer an abbreviated lease. Of all the places I've lived in Austin, this is the first place I'd like to stay put in. Only now that I'm changing my career plan I don't want to be anchored to a specific place for an entire year. Ha ha. Great timing.
Serious stuff aside, I'm undecided on how I want to fill my ten-day break between my return and TRF. The responsible hobbyist in me says I should focus on the half-finished cosplays I've neglected all year, to finally get them DONE so I can be proud and satisfied and still retain my status as an 'active' cosplayer, not just in past tense.
But my strongest urge currently is to ignore cosplay and work on TRF projects. I want to make a new costume since I've worn Skittles for the past two years already. When I drink at the Renn Fest, I always seem to want to do pratfalls and tumbles and other physical nonsense. Don't ask me why. I just get an urge to do a barrel roll and then . . . Yeah. In addition to the costume, I really want to upgrade the Man Cave. It's been fun and popular the last four times I've done it but I always see how it can be improved. It looks so much better in my imagination. (Think of King Xerxes' tent of a thousand delights from '300'.) I don't just want a Man Cave made of tarps like some Hobo Hut, I want a MAN VOLCANO. I want a legit tent worthy of our drunken shenanigans. Other 'party' tents cost around a grand, from what I've found on the internet. I know I could make one myself for much less. I like this idea alot since it would benefit the most people, but it might put a strain on ole Iron Horse. Hmm.
So I've got three competing options, each of which I could easily spend my block of free time on. Dunno what I'm gonna do yet.
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Camping at TRF was a blast, definitely more fun than your average con.
camp report )

Pics and vids.

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Lesson 1: Breaking 3 needles in 3 minutes means you're doing something wrong. STOP!
Lesson 1a: Breaking needles CAN launch at your face, so it's okay to flinch.
Lesson 2: A seam ripper works better than an X-acto knife. Make the investment already.
Lesson 3: Leather looks so much better (authentic) than vinyl. But it's expensive! OMG!
Lesson 4: Cats and costumes do not mix.

On the upside, my costume is actually pretty close to done. I might actually finish it with time to spare. I know, I'm surprised (and a little scared) too! I still don't know what to do about the hat, but I'm hoping last-minute panic will be a good inspiration. I made my first of many "mods" to Iron Horse tonight; just added a magnetic strip to catch pins that I pull. The next thing I want to do is install some ultra-bright LEDs under the arm. That one measly bulb ain't cutting it.
Tomorrow I'll be getting some camping odds and ends, finishing my costume, and packing up my truck. I'm so excited!
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Last night's party was lots of fun. I was expecting more costumes, but for those who did wear one, bravo! Matt & Mitch's costumes were by far the funniest. My costume was funnier in my head than it was in reality. *shrug* I think there should be more eye patch cosplays in my future; wearing one is like an instant +10 coolness bonus. Even though Stephanie said she was po', she still managed to offer up quite a spread at the table. If I hadn't been so busying downing the suds, I would've really dug into the food. Oh! And Amelie brought along this cool ass jack-o-lantern with a really elaborate carving of an Alien (from the movie Aliens) on it. In hindsight I should've gotten a picture of it. I'll never see an equally cool jack-o-lantern for the rest of my life.
I guess technically, we didn't _DO_ anything at the party other than drink and hang out, unlike last year's party with all it's zombie events. This party was still tons of fun, regardless. I would upload pics if it weren't for the fact that my camera cable is in my Dallas hotel room.
I've been dragging ass today. It's okay, I knew the price of this ride. The hang-over's been chiefly in my stomach, which won't settle down regardless of how much food I put on top of it. I spent the afternoon packing and getting ready to head back to Dallas until I got a phone call saying I wouldn't need to go back till Wednesday, due to all the rain.

sewing machine rambling )
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Mmm boy, I'm having fun today. Woke up and got to working on vest, figuring out boot-covers, etc. Then headed to Jo-Ann's to buy one (and ONLY one) yard of fabric. For some reason that place was like an Artist's Alley today; there were a whole bunch of people with little folding tables set up for random craft-y stuff. If I had had my camera I would've taken a picture of this one lady's table that had a sign that said, "Need help with a costume? $1.50 per hour of help" Ha ha ha. I could just imagine some cosplayer coming in with armfuls of fabric and reference pictures: "I'm making a Trinity Blood costume. Help!" I don't think cosplayers are her target group, but it would be funny. While I was waiting my turn in the cutting line, I was standing next to the sewing machines when the voices in my head started talking. "Hey Cody, check out that machine. It's got those features you want. And all steel parts, OOooo. You're gonna be sewing leather for your TRF costume; no one's gonna want to lend you their sewing machine to sew leather with. You NEED your own sewing machine. And you've got that new credit card with no interest for 6 months. Now's the time. Pick up that box and put it in your cart. It's that easy. You need it in your life. Do it." I almost gave in. Buying a sewing machine with less than 5 minutes of thought put into it. But I resisted. Soon though, very soon.
After that I went next door to Spec's to get booze for tonight's costume gala. That got me excited too, all that happiness in those little cans, just waiting to be born. Then I went to Backstage Bazaar to get other costume-y stuff. The gay guy there showed me a simple technique for the make-up I want to do. Hopefully I can do it as well as he did; I'm gonna spend the rest of the afternoon practicing.
So yeah, I'm having a ball today. TRF costume, party costume, booze, learning new cosplay skills. I haven't been able to do this stuff for so long now. It's fun!

I'm a toad

Oct. 9th, 2009 10:12 am
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Because I only come out when it rains, I guess?
Yeah, our grand poo-ba bosses finally gave us the weekend off, in the face of this rain. (That was 18 work-days in a row for those of you counting.) Boy, I need this weekend because I was getting pretty grumpy at work. I had been keeping my spirits up by daydreaming/looking forward to my TRF camping trip, but that's still weeks away so it's silly to get too excited about it just yet.
Fortunately there's some fun stuff going on this weekend. I've been out-of-town/out-of-the-loop for so long that I'm elated that I can finally hang out with people. A costume-themed birthday party on Saturday = cool. I had trouble coming up with an idea for my costume; I'm still not too sure it'll be considered funny, but whatever. After a few beers everything'll be hilarious. So I'll be spending today going to Goodwills to get the stuff, and putting the costume together. Tomorrow during the day I may continue working on my TRF costume. It's nothing too fancy, but considering how slow I am when it comes to soft cosplay, it's going to take me a while.
Sunday I'll be heading back to Dallas. Some people have suggested going to the Texas State Fair, which I haven't been to since I was an 8-year old munchkin. I'm quite curious to see it again, as a grown-up. Is Big Tex still creepy as hell? I dunno.
So yeah, hooray for stuff to do, finally! Woo!
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Halloween portion (Press X to skip) )

Saturday we went to go look at apartments. We’ve got it narrowed down to two, I think we’ll make our decision pretty soon. Saturday evening Liz’s old friend, Becky, showed up with her new boyfriend. We jawed for a while and then took them to dinner where we were two disgustingly cute couples. Afterwards we stopped by Spec’s on the way home. The sheer size of that booze warehouse amazed them so we spent some time messing around in there before heading home for movie and drinks.
Sunday morning we all went out to Waffle House for breakfast and then took a short trip to the Austin Celtic Festival. I’m kinda sorta tempted to join the Roman re-enactment group there. More importantly, I came to the conclusion that I need to start putting together a costume that I can wear to these historic festivals. Something I can wear year after year and keep adding to. I think a ranger sort of outfit would be comfortable enough to wear all day, but still offer options for personalization and accessorizing. I don’t have time to put anything together for this year’s Texas Renaissance Festival, which we’re attending this weekend, but I’ve decided I’m going to do it. By the way, Liz and I have reserved a room with double beds for this weekend. I know a lot of our Austinite pals already went to TRF, but would anyone like to go this weekend and share the room? It would be great to have some company.
So yeah, by our standards we had a busy weekend. That makes me all the more grateful that I’m just working 4 days this week. Three-day weekend! Booze and corsets! Stabby things! Meat-on-a-stick! Woo, TRF, yeah!
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It looks like I’ll be going out to 6th Street for a little Halloweeny fun this evening. The only hiccup is that I don’t have a costume to wear. I’ve got last year’s Halloween costume, my Spartan cheerleader. And Cat mentioned I could do something crazy easy like a bedsheet ghost (not the Cartman version). I wouldn’t mind slapping together a shake-n-bake costume, so long as it doesn’t require a trip to Goodwill.
So what do you guys think?

[Poll #1288734]

P.S. On a slightly related Halloween note, I watched some South Park the other night. I used to think guinea pigs were ugly furry footballs, but then I saw the Guinea-saurus Rex. OMG. I wasn't expecting cuteness from South Park.

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