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.
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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)
mushrooms
rice

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.
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