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This post was written two weeks ago, but I've been lousy at updating. Let me get this out of the way so that I can start getting caught up.

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I went to TRF this weekend, which was awesome. I'll need some time to edit photos, write a report, and physically recover. In the meantime, let's continue that musical meme from last week.

Bonus Color: Pink )
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In-between house hunts I’ve been working on cosplay. I switched gears this week and got started on my Renaissance Faire costume, since it’s just 3 weeks away. Like I mentioned before, the costume’s based on a psychedelic hat I found so the colors of fabric I got are loud and bright. It’s a fun change from the green/brown/black costume I made last year. I have to keep telling myself that as ridiculous as it looks now, it’ll fit right in at Renn Faire. (I’m just not used to having these colors in my wardrobe.)
And boy, I take back every time I said or thought that soft cosplay was cheaper than hard cosplay. Oye, all that trim and other notions (yeah, I finally know what ‘notions’ are now) really add up quick. Sure, it would be cheaper to rent a costume at TRF, but that feels like wearing clothes from a Lost & Found. Kinda makes your skin crawl.
I’m actually kinda excited to be wearing a 100% soft costume. For once I’m not worrying about packing armor and props or how much the costume’s gonna hurt or blind me. It’ll all fit in one suitcase and I can wear it comfortably all day, no blindness or nuthin. That means SO much to me, you don’t even know.
As if that weren’t enough of a bonus, I’ve been having fun learning this soft stuff. Deciphering “Simplicity’s” patterns is pretty difficult sometimes (for example, “baste” has nothing to do with turkey, but it still makes me hungry), but that makes it much more rewarding when I triumph over their cryptic instructions. I can sorta fumble my way through it and it’s good to be back behind ole Iron Horse; he hasn’t gotten much use this year. I guess I’m just glad to be making stuff again.
As far as long-term costume plans go, I’m still feeling that out. I’ll keep working on Zant, but how much OOMPH I put behind that depends on when/if Jenny & Beauty decide to wear their costumes again. I’m sure they’re tired of seeing those cosplays after NYCC. In case those costumes get put on ice, I’ll need something else to work on. One niggling idea in my head is that I should finish Catbus and enter him into the Dragon*Con parade next year. I imagine that would be a pretty cool debut, but it seems like it’d be a lot of effort to make a costume to display for just an hour at a con that is cool towards anime-related stuff. Then I think about how many cons I’d have to drag Catbus to before I felt like I got my money’s worth out of it . . . ugh. I have a tough time justifying the investment.
There’s a chance I might glomp onto a normal-sized cosplay soon. I’ve been downloading a bunch of new series recently. Maybe in one of them there will be something that interests me. I’ve still got time to find something.
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Saturday’s big event was Stephanie's birthday party. I bought booze and stopped by Goodwill to throw together a costume for this "rock-star" themed party. While I was there, I saw this hat. Not appropriate for the birthday theme, but the crazy colors kept pulling at my eyes and a pipsqueak of inspiration said, Hey Cody, you should design your Renaissance costume around this. . . . Okay! So I picked it up as well.
Angelyn and Dice were hosting the party at their house. We watched Family Guy while waiting for everybody to arrive. I was kinda disappointed that us costumed folks were in the minority, but whatever. I changed and started drinking that god-awful bourbon I’d unintentionally purchased. Slowly, people began to arrive. Cat brought cute cupcakes. According to some people they were like (and I quote), “There’s an orgy in my mouth and everyone’s coming!” That was a helluva claim to make, so I had to try the cupcakes for myself. Not bad, but not an orgy either. The fashionista Stephanie showed up super-fashionably late (of course) in her bedazzled Beyoncé costume, and that’s when the party finally got started for real.
It was a fun group to hang out with. I don’t play too often with the Dallas people, so I was pleased to discover that I knew most of them from D*C, or Louisianime, or as Austin traitors. I really need to work on my conversation skills, I find. Hoots and hollers and clumsy quips don’t really count as intelligent conversation.
A&D were swell enough to let me spend the night there too. It wasn’t like I was incapacitated or anything, I just hadn’t properly planned to crash at my brother’s place.

Sunday I went over to my brother’s apartment. I was surprised to find my sister there as well. Apparently they’d also had a late night so we were all in a state of low energy. We went out for lunch and did some shopping. I picked up a pattern for my Renn Faire costume, that was about it. I was disappointed to find out that not just Golden D’or, but the ENTIRE FABRIC DISTRICT is closed on Sundays. Ugh, that was half my reason for coming up this weekend. Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to make do with what I can find at Jo-Ann’s.

Normally this is the part where I share the fun photos of the event. I used to think I was fair and considerate about what photos I shared; it’s not like I’m trying to embarrass anyone. But I seem to get more complaints than thanks. A typical response goes like, "Cody, your pictures got me in trouble. I don’t want my parents/boyfriend/girlfriend/church/boss knowing that I drink/smoke/eat junk food/like men/am not British/etc." So the strongly censored, freshly scrubbed album will not include any of the following:

Alcohol consumption,
Use of tobacco products,
Impaired judgment,
Lewd gestures,
Cleavage (boobs OR butt),
Costumes, or
Illegal activity

This was the only photo left. Enjoy living a Mormon lie!
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I've been meaning to do a year-in-review post for a couple weeks now and if I don't do it already, it' ain't gonna get done. So better late than never. I liked the format that [ profile] opheliasavalon used, so that's what I'll be using. I've gotta say, thank goodness for LiveJournal; I would've forgotten 99% of this year without these cliff notes to refer to.

2009, for what it's worth )
It was a tough year.
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Moving has been going rather well. I think part of the reason it’s going so easily is since I didn’t do hardly any cosplay this year, all of my gear and cosplay crap is still packed up from the last move. (And I no longer have the titanic Catbus to lug around; he needed his own damn moving van.) Even though I need to be careful with money this month I scrimped together enough to buy a couple rugs (and a cinnamon bun) from Ikea. The house is mostly tiled and could use a few strategic areas of carpet. I also bought one of those latex mesh . . . under-rug things that you use to keep rugs from sliding around. Anyone who’s worked with latex knows that it reeks of ammonia and as soon as I opened that bag, whoa. It was strong. I decided to let it air out for a while and continued with unpacking stuff. I’d often forget about it and find myself wondering, "It smells like formaldehyde in here, what the hell were those last renters into? High school biology? Cooking meth? Necrophilia? Oh wait, it’s the Ikea stuff. Duh."
Even though the spare bedroom is kinda small I think it’ll make for a good cosplay workshop. With my mad Jenga skillz I was able to tetris most of my cosplay bins into the closet, leaving the floorspace mostly uncluttered. Except for that huge burrito of tarps, catbus fur, and foam that I hadn’t bothered with since TRF. That needed to be put away too so I unrolled it and BAM! I was hit in the face with a smokehouse, ribs and all. The fabric was clean and dry, but smelled strongly of woodsmoke, woodsmoke, woodsmoke. I had a sudden craving for turkey legs. I didn’t actually get around to putting away the fur and foam. Okay, I didn’t get anything done because I stretched out and fell asleep on top of the fur pallet. So soft . . .
My neighbor’s bass guitar woke me up a little while later. Thanks, I didn’t need a nap anyways. I got back to organizing crap into the closet and opened up the fabric bin that I’d taken to TRF. The fabric smelled dirty, but looked clean. I mean, it smelled EARTHY. That was odd, but the material looked clean so I put it away in the closet drawers anyways. As I got deeper into the bin, I realized that there was a 5th grade science project going on in there. MILDEW! It was all damp and furry in there. Blech. That’s what that “earthy” smell had been. I threw away the pieces of material that had already started to evolve and hung up the other pieces to dry. Thankfully, none of the good pieces had turned into a biohazard, but they still stunk. As soon as I move over my washer and dryer, they’re first in line for a wash.
Not counting the plethora of aromas now in the house, I’m making good progress getting settled in. Now that it’s starting to look like someone lives there, it’s getting harder to resist the urge to go shopping for the stuff I need/want for the house. TV, couch, shelves, lawn-mower, microwave, etc. And it wasn’t until last night that I noticed, "There’s no dishwasher. . . Huh." Ha ha ha. I guess that just shows how much importance I place on kitchen-y stuff.
So yeah, that’s about all that’s going on with me right now.

P.S. New Weezer makes me bouncy.
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Just a quick post to touch base with my adoring fans. Got back from Renn Faire today, back to Dallas as well. Despite the weather, it was a fun weekend. I was so glad to have hung out with everyone who came.
Tomorrow I'll deliver pics and report, promise.

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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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First off, more rain has once again shut down work for us. We worked for TWO WHOLE DAYS this week. Pfft. (I need hours!)
That aside, I don't mind having the weekend off. That means more time to work on costume! I think I'll stay here in Dallas over the weekend; I'm just getting tired of constantly driving back and forth and packing and unpacking all the danged time. In costume-y news, I finished the mantle yesterday (in one evening, no less!). I've got an assload of leather left over so I'll have to find ways to incorporate it into my costume. I'm gonna be wearing so much leather, it's gonna be awesome. Today I think I'll go grab some material for my tabard. I'm gonna try and make that garment "dickie-style" because there's already more than enough layers in this outfit. I'm afraid I'm gonna overheat. One part of the costume that's got me stumped is headgear. Yeah, my ranger costume is heavily based off the Lord of the Rings costumes, in which no one wears hats because they all have glorious locks of hair. But I live in Texas and I want something to keep the sun out of my eyes. So it's either sunglasses or a hat. Which one's gonna look better in a Renn Faire costume? Hmm, I wonder. Duh. I'm just having trouble imagining what kind of hat would work with a ranger costume. I'm NOT making one of those dorky Robin Hood hats, so don't even suggest it. But I need something . . .
cosplay rambling )
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According to my camera, I took over 300 pictures of this weekend's party. Upon review, about 290 of them are ridiculously blurry. The moral of this story, Cody? Set your camera settings BEFORE you start drinking. Or just go full Auto, you doofus.

I spent today driving to Dallas and back, in the rain. I was there for all of . . . 40 minutes? Just long enough to clear out my hotel room and GTFO. Actually, no, I was there a while longer after that. I couldn't NOT stop at Golden D'or. Spent about an hour there looking for material for my cloak. Finally I had to go to an upholstery store down the block to find something that would work. Hopefully this will be all of the big stuff I need to buy for the TRF costume; after buying the sewing machine I need to take it easy with the frivolous spending.
I found out today I'll be here in Austin all week, so I finally decided to unpack my bags. Now I'm going to have to start buying groceries and checking the mail and acting like I live here again. Wow, it's gonna be so weird.
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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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