atolnon: (Default)
( Sep. 30th, 2011 11:15 am)
This is going to be really short, since I'm already late.

Archon is the holiest weekend on the St Louis geeks calender, I think, since we don't have any of the nationally known conventions. Still, it's a big city, even if it's overshadowed by the likes of Chicago, New York, or whatever. And I've got my costume all ready - we all do - and we're goin'.

It's time consuming and expensive, and I'm being let go several weeks early which means my income's going to be a little stunted. However, I'm already signed up and I've already got the costume. There's no reason not to go, have fun, and get into it. I'll take some pictures and post them - somewhere, anyway - and I'll let you know all about it.

There's a lot of stuff I do want to talk about. The Occupy Wall Street protests, role playing, essays and games. I'm pretty stressed these days, but life, at least, is rich. I have things to say about that, too! But it's going to have to way, friends. Just for a few days, maybe.

I've had a few cups of well brewed, tasty coffee, so that's put me in a very nice mood. I'll talk to you soon.
atolnon: (Default)
( Oct. 3rd, 2010 01:34 pm)
When you read this you're tagged! Take a picture of you in your current state, no changing your clothes or quickly putting on makeup. NO PHOTOSHOP. Show your flist the Real You!

Photos are under cuts for space.

I saw that and chuckled a little to myself. I'm post-convention, so while I'm shaved and showered, I'm still pretty rough and bearing the remnants of last night's eyeliner application."Fine," I thought, "I can still make this happen." The camera on my phone's not that great, and the pictures come through best when they're a little duller. My hair remains quite orange.

I do have some pictures from the convention, but it's pretty important to note that it's basically impossible to do anything but the most basic hand gestures with the gauntlets in their finished form. They're constructed to allow the grasping of a glass or mug, which they succeeded at. Anything else risked ripping them from their base glove. That includes using a camera. Here's the shot done by the photographers. I'm on the farthest left, if you're interested.

Nazgul Action! )

We look quite a bit friendlier here, don't we?

Other then that, pre-Archon, I had the MineCraft monkey on my back. When I felt ill on Wednesday and called in sick, I installed it and decided I'd give it a spin since I wasn't going anywhere that day. I'm not kidding you when I tell you I played it for about 8 hours straight before I managed to tear myself away from it and cook dinner. At work all the next day, my mind was on MineCraft. When I got back from the convention today, I decided to start it up and see how I felt, but I really wasn't having any. I really don't care to build the tower I'm working on and I don't really care about the mine I've dug then spulunked. Right now, I'm just thinking about how my legs are sore from dancing like an idiot until late last night, which was great fun with some terrific people, and now I just want to take it easy, maybe clean house a bit, and cook something tasty.
atolnon: (Default)
( Sep. 27th, 2010 09:52 pm)
Archon's coming up this weekend, which is usually the big local convention on the east side of the Mississippi but it's been moved over to St Louis this year for a few different reasons. I always miss the more prestigious cons, but this one is more of a tradition and like I said, we've been gearing up for it.

It's been a trial to work on constructing 9 identical costumes with a varying work force. We've had a long time to prepare but schedules were hectic enough and enough people were involved that we didn't become motivated until the very end. Like usual. Still, the workload was fairly prodigious. Here are some shots.

Roll a' burlap. Hundreds of feet, actually.
Hundreds of feet of burlap.

Roster of gloves, plus the future of our evening.
Some of the gloves, plus the future of our evening.

Each glove is constructed from 13 individual 3-prong foam scales, 5 cross-shaped knuckle scales, 5 talon-shaped finger tip scales, and one base. Each pair of scales is affixed with its own nickle/brass bolt, and all of them had to be cut individually. With 18 gloves, I can tell you that we spend a lot of time on them. Even if they're not the pinnacle of amazing, they still represent an awful lot of effort. They're fitted over black leather gloves.

Each robe is dyed burlap on top, with a mantle we had to cut, and the arms which we had to sew on. They're underlayed with dyed cheesecloth for layers, weights, and extra 'flutter'. The hoods are stiffened so they can hang, and we're all wearing black veils for the pictures. That's the plan for the convention. 9 identical costume designs.

Mage is canceled due to a combination of Archon prep and the fact that our established group all has work that night. Kind of a bummer, but Sidereals is back on again, so I finally get to make that happen. Hello, introduction story!

I made vegetable curry and lemon curd today, so I feel pretty pumped about that. I feel like the lemon curd could have thickened a lot more though.
I took off early from work yesterday to go to the DMV and take care of some driver's license issues, those being that I still have a Washington state license and until I remedy this, I can't file taxes or get new plate tags. I had been a citizen of the state of Illinois most of my life, but the process for getting a new ID is extremely tedious. I ask you, what would it benefit someone to fraudulently have a legitimate Washington license replaced with a legitimate Illinois license?

Despite my failure during the first half of the day, I was determined to make some headway in other endeavors. I'd picked up some recipes a little while ago, and decided to try to make the squash soup I'd been thinking of, so it was off to the grocery store for ingredients. Three squash, two large onions, one bulb of garlic, and two liters of chicken stock later, I was ready to give this a shot. And here's a hint - peeling butternut squash sucks. Actually, the whole thing sucked except for the taste of the baked squash. I'd never had it before, and it was terrific, but I somehow made a dog's dinner of the soup itself and now I've wasted all that delicious squash on a pretty wretched meal.

And there's so much of it. ;_;

It took until 6:30 to make it, and I needed to go over to work on costumes again with the group (since there's 9 of 'em), so I ended up getting a Whopper at about 8, then working on gauntlets and watching movies at The J-Man's until about 10. I've got some homework, cutting out foam rubber to be exposed to treatment in the next phase of work on Thursday. So far this, at least, is going according to plan.

I'll try to work out a good squash soup.
In the meantime, this is probably what I'll be eating tonight, and I know for sure it's good.

1 half tofu block.
just a bit of sesame oil
toasted sesame seeds
sriracha (Rooster sauce)
soy sauce
scallion (green onion)

I learned from my past mistakes with delicious but not perfect fried tofu. I'm told that squashing the water out of it will make it fry better, so I guess that's step one! Wrap in napkins or paper towels before squishing, I guess.
Then, um, heat the sesame oil until hot and add tofu, then flavor with rooster sauce, diced onion, and soy to taste. Flip when kind of crisp. After flipping, I add mushrooms and serve it over rice when done, but mushrooms are not required. I just happen to love them. Cabbage or bok choy are also really good ideas.

When on the rice, flavor with sesame seeds. If you don't have toasted seeds, add to tofu with the soy.

If you like, you can simplify it down to sesame oil, tofu, soy and seeds over rice. The heart of a simple meal.
Our World War X game* is on temporary hiatus because of two things - one is that our ST is a bartender at Frank's bistro, so he occasionally works on Thursdays. The other is that we are using those days to prepare our group costumes.

I don't usually do costuming. I'm really, pretty picky about what I wear, and I don't tend to go in for costumes because I'm not really good at making them. But, you know, there's going to be 9 of us and when it comes down to it, quantity is a quality all of its own. Yeah, we're going to be Ringwraiths. Some of the names of the wraiths can be derived from the Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion, while others were created for use in the CCG when it was released years ago. I'm slated to be Hoarmurath of Dir.

We also lost at least one person, who had been slated to be the Witch King of Angmar, so, who knows.

Most of us are pretty broke, and I'm really the only one who'd be willing to spend a lot of money on something that looks like a tattered black robe. It's more important for us to look identical in terms of cut and cloth then it is for me to stand out, so we bought our fabric in bulk. That means hundreds of square yards of cheesecloth and hessian. I took some pictures, which I'll upload later. We started up Fellowship of the Ring and took a look at the costumes as presented, and they appeared to be made out of black wool. Careful observation seemed to indicate that they're not one piece robes, but actually black robes with hooded mantles. After sketching out some of how we expected the sleeves to fall and how we wanted mantles and hoods to drape, we cut out the 39" x 30" sleeves, which we'll probably re-size per person.

I had to go around 9:45 PM, the other three prep peeps began dying the sleeves. Tests with cheesecloth find the fabric dying purple regardless of how long it's left to set, but the hessian dyes excellently. A little research indicates that the purple is the result of the fabric being bleached, so we're looking for a solution to that. We'd like to avoid the emergency 'spray paint solution'.

Look, the first costume tag!

* WoD-based X-Men game set during WW2, pre-US involvement.
atolnon: (Default)
( Oct. 6th, 2008 06:09 pm)
Well, I flew down to St. Louis to, among other things, make Archon. Of course, if you consider the time I had at the convention and the cost of the things I brought back with me by themselves, I doubt it'd really be worth it. Besides being able to say that I did it, though, I really had my own reasons for returning. Not that I didn't have a good time, because I really did. It was a pretty great weekend, but when I left, I really can't say that I was completely stable yet. Coming back, even for a little while, gave me a much clearer idea of the place that I actually left, rather then my perception of things as I was flying away from it.

I'm not really missing the geography, in particular and I am still pretty enthusiastic about the Seattle area, (I'll probably be more enthusiastic once I've got a sounder ride. It's really pretty inconvenient to rely on other people for rides, not to mention trying for others.) but I was glad to be back for a while. I really wished that I had been able to pre-register, maybe get a room or something, and stay a little longer. It's really a product of circumstances then anything else. Considering the circumstances, I still think I did pretty well. ^_^

I'm kind of thinking that Archon gets tamer every year. On one hand, there's a little less rampant destruction (and I don't recall seeing the ambulance there this year) but on the other, I've always kind of enjoyed the spectacle. And, I dunno, if I was a little more pro-rampant destruction this year, who's to say? I was pretty enthusiastic about Wormtongues costumes this year, and if I could have gotten the vulcan costume, I think I would of, even if it's not really my thing. Bringing a liquor type for every alien race was pretty much the best part of that getup, though. As for me, there's always next year. If I can manage a good cosplay or costume, I really think I might. It's kind of a drag that I've never been able to manage much along those lines until right about now, but that's the way it is.

So, coming back has kind of me thinking about how I feel about moving in the first place. I'm still pretty positive about being here in the first place, but I'm still considering how I feel about what I'll do in the future. As it stands, though, I had a really good time. I'd kind of like to come back more often, but I'm not really gonna be able to afford that. Really, where I'm at now is waiting to see what my budget looks like and seeing what I want to do. It's pretty hard to say at the moment.
atolnon: (Default)
( Sep. 22nd, 2008 10:16 pm)
I've been feeling tired and a little under the weather for the last few days, and I mostly have it shrugged off by now with the exception that I got pretty queasy around noon from too much espresso sitting on too little anything else and that was from literally drifting off to sleep in the middle of class. Brent was busy back in Hillsborough, and while he was gone, I got to use his van. There are three reasons why I did not do that except to go to work.

One, awful gas milage. Two, a minivan is still friggin' huge for me, and I have issues navigating it in traffic. Three, I didn't want to do anything, anyhow. Really. I had a friend ask if I wanted to go see Filter live, and I was like, "Thanks, but I really do not want to." I love, like, three-and-a-half Filter songs, so the amount of effort and gas I would have had to expend would have probably put me into a coma. "I think I am just going to sit and look at a wall until Monday." which is mostly what I did, and loved it.

Seriously, my plan involved hanging out and not feeling bad about being unproductive, which was awesome. On Saturday I got my bank account opened up so I can buy plane tickets and took myself out to dinner. On Sunday, I bought a new Murakami book I'd had my eye on for months, went and got coffee at Starbucks, where I just sat around, and around 6 PM, I grabbed a bottle of wine and spent the rest of the evening drinking it. I had a nice, warm glow all night, and around 10 PM, there's 1/4 of a bottle left, and I was just like..." I'm not putting that back in the fridge." and just polished it off. At which point, I immediately got drunk, which was super-weird. Hypothesis? Walking the line the whole night.

While I officially got Friday, the 3rd off, Southwest wasn't offering any flights after 3:45 PM on the 2nd, which put the kibosh on a late Thursday flight. I'm going to have to opt for an early Friday, which is probably going to put me in the area by, well, 3:30 or so, because of the goddamn time zone difference. Just like in conventions past, I am going to go through this epic effort to arrive, only to show up for the tale end of the show. The upsides is, Archon is nearly a 24 hour affair, and I can sleep on a plane flight ok, so I'm looking at driving Friday and Saturday really hard, meeting with family on Sunday, bringing more stuff up then I left with and coming in late evening on Sunday and probably crashing for work Monday. When I was initially trying to figure out my schedule, I was super bummed, but then realized I completely ignored Friday. So, it's not too bad. Not optimal, but I literally wouldn't be able to afford the tickets for another flight line, which makes me wonder why some airlines have double the prices on their tickets. If it wasn't for Southwest, I might not be in Seattle in the first place.

Because of the delay between ticket purchase and flight, I'll have a hard time getting the income up for my plane flights but I'll have a ton of money by the time I get into the area. I'm putting off most of my purchases re: game books just for that reason, but I'll probably end up in the dealer's room and be like, "Man. I want all of these books, and that's clearly excessive. I can have a few of these books, but I don't know which, so I must not really want them enough." and I'll buy, like, one book so I don't leave empty handed. That's almost how I buy everything I've ever bought for myself, with the exception of the rare times when I think, "I want X. I can't think of any other purchases I would like to make." And that's how I got my Murakami book! =D

I'll probably be moved outta Brent and Val's by tomorrow. They're back in town now, and so my tenure here is about up. There's this weird thing where I know they don't really intend to imply that I've been awful to have, but they'd really like me out and I don't want to imply I didn't appreciate it, but I'm tired of being kind of wedged into a closet for a few months, which is what the living environment is like. It's been pretty comfortable, surprisingly so, even. But we're all on the same page on this. Now I need to figure out what I'm going to do for bedding between now and the flight, but I'll come up with something ok.



atolnon: (Default)


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