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While driving around today I got to thinking about this year's con schedule. There's barely a month remaining between now and the beginning of the summer con season. And I haven't finished a damn costume. The Dead Space costume is turning into an artisan project. With no deadline and no budget cap, it's taking it's sweet (expensive) time getting finished. It doesn't help that it's a linear costume so I can't work on other parts of it while I'm waiting on things to arrive in the mail. I fully intend to finish the Dead Space costume but I think I'm going to shelve it for now and focus on a costume I can finish for the summer season.
I think I'll go back to working on Sechs. I've made his/her costume before so there will be no learning curve. And with less armor than her AR version, it'll be even faster to make. I just dread having to paint another Titan blade. It's so damned time-consuming to paint all of those differently colored crystals. There's gotta be a faster way.
Yeah, it'll be fun to work on a costume that isn't so tempermental and crippled by delays and complications. Time to get back to my roots!

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Being sub-contractors, the drillers had Sunday (and only Sunday) off. So did I, but with it being a 10-hour roundtrip to Austin, I kinda had to stay put here in west Texas. But not completely. I drove up to Lubbock, which is the nearest decent-sized city. I did quite a bit of shopping. First stop was the bookstore. Imagine how surprised I was to find the newest volume of Last Order on the bookshelf, two days before its scheduled release date. Ooo, naughty B&N! Gunnm rambling )
Then I went clothes-shopping, then to the mall, then I ate a yummy non-fruit meal, then somewhere along the line I figured I needed a haircut. Judging my shagginess, I was about a month past due. But rather than stop at a barber’s, I just stopped at Walgreen’s and bought some electric clippers.
That’s right, this dork!
At first I was being very careful. Reading the directions, blending here, brushing there, changing guards here, herp-a-derp-a-derp, etc. It was looking . . . decent. Not awesome, but good enough for my standards. But then, somewhere along the way, I put on the wrong size guard. Only too late did I realize my mistake. There was no blending this, nope.
. . . I had to commit to it and buzz-cut all the rest.
I’ve only ever had ONE hairstyle my entire life so I'm just cracking up over this new look. I can’t stop running back into the bathroom to look in the mirror and smack my monkey-shaved head. I’m peach-fuzz boy! What a hoot.
Good thing it’s beanie season.
Oh yeah, and the last thing I did before I left Lubbock was to go see Black Swan. Bird observations )
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I was looking at the Otakon photo galleries yesterday, to see what I missed out on this summer. There were some pretty impressive costumes. Seeing all that talent really got me fired up for cosplay. After all these months of not being able to do it, I just want to do something EPIC to make up for all the lost time. I know I've got the tools and experience to do it, the challenge comes in FINDING something with epic potential. Up till now, my instinct has been, "go big or go home" and that's led me to do these super-sized mascots. They're cool and all but they're no longer a challenge; I've used the same construction methods on the last four. Any increased complexity comes in the form of mechanics. With all the levers, switches, handles, and battery packs inside those mascots, it's more like I'm building life-sized puppets instead of costumes. I think I've gone too far in that direction. They're becoming overly complex and almost unwearable. So no more mascots!!! . . . for now.
I'll be coming home for good in a month or so and I expect that attending Dragon*Con will get me super fired-up about cosplay so it'll be the right moment for me to invest my time and enthusiasm into an impressive cosplay. I've never cosplayed a character I didn't know/wasn't interested in (I look down on that behavior), but I may have to do that this time around. I kinda envy people with "Cosplay I'm gonna do" lists that are half a mile long; I guess I'm just too picky. I need help to find this cosplay.

Fandom meme: 23. Character you'd want to party with )
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The last few days in the office have been mind-numbingly dull and slow. Since I'm kinda in limbo till the drilling starts, they've just been giving me the busy work that no one else wants to do, like auditing thousands of records for typos and errors. I actually took it seriously the first couple days and made a huge dent in it, then I realized it was an endless quest so I started sandbagging and just read manga online instead.
rambling about manga )
Rather than continuing with my manga reading, I was sent out into the field to work. Weeee! Finally, after months of being an office slave, I got to see the sun! I was so glad to be out of there. Today I got sent to the Pig Launcher site, which I'd only first heard about a few days ago. I can't show you actual pictures of it, for security reasons, so you'll have to settle for this artist's depiction. And while I was there, I saw an EXTERNAL combustion engine. I didn't even know those things really existed, like platypuses or Santa or G-spots. CAPSLOCK does not begin to describe how LOUD, NOISY, SMOKY, GREASY, and BLACK it was. It shook the earth. It was AWESOME. It baptized me in oil. (For the record, I'm not frowning. I'm squinting, because I'm still not used to the SUN. I even got sun-burnt! Yay!)
So that was the bit of interesting stuff for today. Tomorrow will be even better because one of our senior engineers is leaving the project. What does that mean? Going-away BARBECUE!!!! Sweet! Real food! I'm getting hungry already, just thinking about it! (Or maybe it's 'cause I haven't had dinner yet!) (Fucking parentheses, enough already!)

11. Character you'd be best friends with )
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My brief bout of freedom was very refreshing. Once I got the truck onto the paved highway I stopped worrying about getting caught or having some phenomenal bad luck that would ruin my plans. I got to Fort Mac just in time for the first showing of Inception, though I drove past the theater a few times because it was so small and inconspicuous. Man, I haven’t been to such a rinky-dink theater in a loooong time. But I totally didn’t mind. I was just glad to be there.
mild movie spoilers )
Once I was out of the movie I really wanted to spend the whole day in town, as much time as I possibly could in civilization and away from camp. But by that point I’d been awake for 24 hours and I was fading fast, despite the movie theater BladderBurster of soda I’d had. I went to the town’s sad little Wal-Mart (instead of the CANADIAN TIRE). After that bit of shopping I went straight back to camp and crashed. Well, I tried. As tired as I was, somehow I could not fall asleep. I think I had too much residual caffeine in my system and I only got 3 hours of sleep last night. Three hours of sleep out of 48. I’m a zombie today.
From this point on I have no idea what my schedule’s going to be like. I’ve sailed beyond the edge of the map/calendar; everything here is in limbo. All they can tell me is that I’ll be getting a break some time in August and the new end-date is looking to be October. I can be okay with that, I guess. Two, two and a half months to go. It’s curious, how much lighter the burden of this job becomes, once I have some semblance of a goal in sight. And it’s a good thing I requested my Dragon*Con vacation as early as I did. Now it can be the anchor around which they arrange my schedule.

I'm feeling brain-dead right now so I'm kinda phoning this one in.
9. Character you’d bring home to your parents )
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Tonight's my last night on night shift. I'll be switching back to days soon. I've got tomorrow (both day and night) off so that I can reset my sleeping schedule. That's 30 hours of free time. Rather than remain under house camp arrest, I think I'm going to make a break for it. I'll 'borrow' a truck and drive in to Fort McMurray. I'm gonna eat real food made by humans for humans, I'm gonna watch 'Inception," and I'm gonna go to Canadian Tire (Canada's equivalent of Wal-Mart, don't ask me about the name) and buy some groceries. Hopefully my temporary ATM card works in town or else it'll be a very short one-way trip.
Normally I wouldn't even consider doing something like this, but the other night when I was drinking rum with my neighbor, he was telling me about all the times he and other co-workers had snuck into town to go get wasted and screw some barfly in the back of the company truck (which is why I now refuse to drive certain vehicles). Apparently almost every time anyone takes a sick day out here, it's not because they're sick, it's because they're hung-over. Here I was, a totally oblivious boy scout because I'm on night shift and have no idea what's really going on.
Now that I know how many times certain bosses of mine have gotten busted for drinking, or run their truck off the road, etc, I feel quite entitled to go into town for a few hours.
All these damn rules are a sham; it's just another scoop of B.S. to add to the pile.

30 Days of Gunnm:
8. Character you look like the most )
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Sorry if my post comes out a bit discombobulated; one of my 'associates' waylaid me with copious amounts of rum this evening. (Have I ever mentioned how booze quintuples my vocabulary? Notice the double-point SAT words I'm using?)
It so happens that today, I learned that rather than having a mere three days left before I returned home, my stay up here has now become 'INDEFINITE' (<---My boss's exact words). Yeah. Apparently the contractor that kicked me off their site some months ago is now trying to make up for lost time due to their own incompetence, and now my company is scrambling for guys to cover that work after dismissing the bulk of the hired help. (More pics and explanation when I'm sober.) Anywho, the gist of this is: the job ain't over just yet and Cody-boy ain't going home. Shit sucks but after 5 years with this company I'm used to getting my poo pushed in. You could almost say I'm an old hand at this.

But anyways, back to the point of this post: 30 Days of Gunnm (let's see if I can pull this entry out of my ass)

5. Character you'd like as your child )
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I blame [ profile] azriel_oda for this. I'd been wanting to do this 'meme' for awhile, but I thought I'd have to wait till I was back home and had access to my manga. Then I realized that there were online scans. Derp derp.
So anyways, here's my 30 Days of Gunnm meme. I've changed some questions that are either non-sensical or just plain uninteresting to me. I like to hope that maybe, just maybe, this quiz will elicit enough curiosity for someone to pick up a volume and read what I think is one of the damn finest mangas out there.

1. Your Favorite Character )
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I got Battle Angel Alita: Last Order #10 today! Wooooooo! Yes! I was reading some of it while I was driving back to work from lunch. I know I'm not supposed to do that, but I had to get at least a little nibble to whet my appetite. Man, I can't wait to read it this evening. I F-ing love this series. I've been reading it for 14 years now. That's how awesome it is. Junk like Bleach, FMA, KH, Inuyasha, comes and goes, but awesome shit like this stays! James Cameron's making a movie of Battle Angel! Suck that! (Don't mention the DBZ movie to me; that's an abomination.)
Sorry if I'm talking trash about your favorite series, I'm kinda spazzing out here.

Happy thing #6: See above.

P.S. It sucks that I have to go back to work this afternoon. Maybe I should call in sick . . . Food poisoning or something like that, yeah.
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The first manga that I ever read and the only manga I still read to this day, is Battle Angel Alita. Other animes and mangas have come and gone, but this is the one to which I remain a die-hard fan. I started reading it over a decade ago, back in 1995. BAA is what got me started in manga, anime, fan-fic, fan-art, and cosplay. It is my Alpha and Omega, hands down.
More BAA rambling, only of interest to other Gunnm fans )
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Ah! I just finally realized this!
(NOTE: This entry is of little to no interest for those who are not Gunnm/Battle Angel Alita fans of the hardcore variety.)
Sechs loses her Titan gun-arm thing in her third body! "Duh," you say? Well . . . piss off! I just barely noticed!
At work today, like usual, my thoughts were floating in cosplay fantasy realm. A few people have suggested that I play male Sechs in the future, so I was thinking about that version of the costume. Up till now, I had only thought there were two versions of Sechs, male and female. But then I remembered the Fizziroy body. So I was like, "Okay, what does the armor and arm look like on that version?" My brain replied, "Error. File not found." Because Sechs no longer has the armored arm/gun in the Fizziroy! Dur! He shoots his "normal" arm at Whopon, not the solenoid quench gun. I've read that volume a few times, but only now did it dawn on me that Sechs no longer has his/her bad-ass cannon/armored arm. It may mean nothing to anyone, but after cosplaying Sechs, I was kinda attached to that fiddler crab design. The Fizziroy body seems so dull in comparison. Yeah, all the belts/straps look kinda cool, but . . . eh. Though on the other hand, I think maybe the Fizziroy version might allow for a bit of creative tweaking. Think about it. When female Sechs was destroyed, she was rebuilt as male. With a new arm. The female (pink) Titan blade wasn't damaged, but it got replaced by the male (blue) Titan blade. So I figure, why not come up with a new Titan color scheme to go with Sechs' third body, the Fizziroy version? I dunno, I thought maybe something with red, orange, or black. Some color scheme that's more bold and aggressive. And then I started thinking of how cool it would be to have three cosplayers, each cosplaying the various versions of Sechs. One short, female Sechs with the pink blade and gray armor, a tall male with the blue blade and white armor, and a Fizziroy with a red/black blade. Ah, I think that would be so cool. Impossible though, considering how scarce Gunnm cosplayers are. Oh well. Just thinking about it gave me a smile.
And while still in cosplay fantasy land, I started thinking of making a full-size Titan, which'd be about 21 feet tall. Oh my goodness! And where I'd like to do a photoshoot. Most likely El Paso or White Sands National Monument, both of which are on the way to Anime Expo. Maybe next year?

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