lydamorehouse: (Default)
 I volunteered to be part of a pop-up library at Anime Detour this weekend, though MELSA, the over-arching library organization to which Ramsey County Libraries belong. The gig was short two-hour shifts, and I thought why not? If nothing else, it's essentially a free past to the con.  They encouraged cosplay, so I dug out my old Aizen cosplay. The picture is blurry because the only full length mirror we have in our house is behind a door that we almost never close and even though I washed centuries of dust off the surface, the glass is still wavy with age. But, I wanted to show a full length picture because frankly, the footwear is my best part. The tabi (the two toed socks are PERFECT). The rest is borrowed or thrift store finds.

blurry picture of a dumpy lesbian in a soul reaper cosplay

Finding the convention was kind of trip. I had not gone last year when they moved venues, so finding the Hyatt on Nicollet Avenue was a lot of me cursing while making u-turns in downtown Minneapolis. I have long joked that since moving to St. Paul the directional faeries of Minneapolis have rejected me, because things I used to find with ease now completely baffle me.  So, I'm glad I left a half hour earlier than I normally would have given myself to get into downtown, because... yeah.

The pop-up library was fun. They had a tables set up with a bunch of different activities. There were, of course, manga to look through and read (but we weren't checking any out,) comfy spots to read, etc., but we were also hosting a raffle drawing and a button for a fact table. I ended up staffing the button table. The idea is, that if you write down a fact (any fact, doesn't have to be manga or anime related, it can be like, "I am attending Anime Detour") and in exchange you can pick up a fannish related button for FREE.

somehow I look fatter and dumpier in same outfit but now I am in front of a table with buttons on it

Somehow I look ten times fatter in this picture. Ah, well, such is life. You can at least see the table with the buttons on it.

I had to pick up Shawn right after my shift, so I didn't get much of a chance to wander around the con. I went into artist's alley, and glanced at stuff but decided I'd better get going, because rush hour. 

And then I couldn't remember where I parked my car.

Like, I was standing around in downtown Minneapolis thinking, "Oh my god, which one of these bazillion parking ramps is the one I went into???" I have a pretty good directional memory, so I knew approximately what street (turns out I had the right parking lot on the first guess, but I went in the wrong door so the interior looked different.) At one point I was thinking, what do I even do if I can never figure it out? Do I take the bus home and wait for them to impound it?? We only have the one car!  But, after much panicked searching, I did find it. I even SOMEHOW made it across town in time to pick up Shawn at the usual time.

So that was my day. I do it again tomorrow night.

Meanwhile, Mason is still roboting. He's got tomorrow, as well. I heard from Shawn that their team won a few rounds and seemed to generally have a good day. I won't probably head out to pick him up until after 6:30 pm. Long days for that kid. I'll have to post more of the pictures that they shared on their twitter feed.

lydamorehouse: (Renji talking smack)
 I'll be doing light cosplay today at my Loft Class.

We made some off-hand comment about cosplay. When the students found out that I've cosplayed in the past, they were like "Do it! Bring it!" and we all know that if you agree to such a challenge, you really need to follow through to the best of your ability.

Particularly when dealing with teens.  

But, now I have arrived at class and realized that I have forgotten a critical part of my shinigmai uniform at home! The kosode!  I have a captain's haori, but gah! I'm wearing it anyway.

The other challenge of today is that it's a wrap-up day. As in, "let's talk about anything we didn't previously cover."  So, it's going to be the least prepared, by its nature.  But, I will be teaching it dressed as Aizen, so I will have all the narcissistic confidence of a GOD.
lydamorehouse: (ticked off Ichigo)
 Actually, I think we have things under control, but in a fashion that is very typical of my family, today, only about four days before CONvergence starts, Mason says, "Oh, yeah, there's some cosplay stuff I should probably get together."  Only the stuff?

Is all of it.

However, this year he's decided on someone fairly do-able, IMHO. This year, Mason wants to go as the medic from TF2 (Team Fortress 2) a video game:

medic's outfit from TF2

The biggest hold up is, of course, the coat.  I have suspenders, we found a wide, black belt. The gloves can be faked with dish washing gloves painted the appropriate color. He's got any number of pants and we can find not-perfect/but close-enough boots.  We drove all over creation today attempting to find a trench coat we could modify.  No luck!  However, I had the brilliant flash that we could find a double breasted (or possibly even single-breasted) coat like this at a chef's uniform store (I saw a lab coat on their web site that was very close for $30) at somewhere like Midway Uniform which is literally right up the street (next to Ax-Man).  

Guess what?

It's closed today for the holiday.

Luckily, Mason and his friends probably won't go to CONvergence until Friday at the earliest, so I think we're going to be able to pull this one off. Mason has the round glasses already. He wears them every day.  His blue hair isn't quite right, but it's a similar haircut and he thought he might as well go as the "blue team" version (probably with a white coat, but again, we're all about the "close enough" look).  He and his friends have already made one of the props that this guy carries--a hacksaw gun.   So, that will also be recognizable enough.

Some day we will start this process earlier.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
Seriously, these CONvergence people are good. I really rather adore waking up to have my schedule magically in my in-box. Here's today's:

Plaza 2
Anime Series: Year in Review
A yearly showcase of the past year's best anime series, presented by a group of anime fans who've watched and enjoyed them. Those looking to enter the anime fandom as well as those who've been otaku for years are welcome to attend. Panelists: Lyda Morehouse, Jessi Silver, Boris Smelov, Jo Thrace, Heather Deakman

Atrium 2
SF Writing Groups: The 2014 Scene
This annual (since 1986) get together of the Minnesota Imaginative Fiction Writers' Alliance helps science fiction/fantasy writing groups link with writers who are looking for a critique group. Panelists: Eric M. Heideman (mod), Lyda Morehouse, Tyler Tork

Atrium 6
Loki Can Rule Me Any Day
Loki is very popular, even though he wasn't the main character (or even necessarily a "good guy"). An exploration of side characters who have become fan favorites. Wolverine, Agent Coulson, Jayne, Connie Mk II - What makes us like them so much? Panelists: Lyda Morehouse, Kamuran Paradis, Damarra Atkins, Todd Murray, Anne Lyle

Plaza 2
Which Supers Should Hook Up?
If Thor and Storm got together, they would have cute little thunderbabies. Panelists: Lyda Morehouse, Kenneth Konkol, Lathan Murrell, Samma Johnson (mod), Christopher Jones

So, a busy day, but all starting afternoon, which will be a nice thing.

Yesterday, I brought Mason along. He last minute decided to cosplay kid-Luffy, from One Piece. We spent much of the morning in search of the Straw Hat crew. Instead, we found a lot of really great cross/cosplay Marvel characters:

These ladies were really good (also traveling with a Thor and Tony Stark, though I only saw them later at the Marvel panel.) I was particularly enamored of Nicole Fury, as she had the perfect Wolverine claw mark scars visible under her eyepatch.

Lady Deadpool! Every con needs a Deadpool, why not a Lady Deadpool?

Fourth of July is Steve Rogers's birthday, so I wished this Stephanie Rogers a happy one and complimented her amazing 1940s style hair. (She defied my picture skills, though. Blurry here a little, but much worse when I tried to get her to pose with the two Peggys that were also at the Marvel panel.)

Another Cap (though, tbf, she might have been dressing as one of the traveling dance troupe.) Probably my favorite thing about a lot of the Captain American cosplayers is that they can embrace the 1940s aesthetic and be beautifully buxom and curvy.

There might have been a secret organization that was placing people in key positions at con, but I won't say who they were (*whispers*Hail, Hydra!*whispers*)

And, Old School Gambit, who isn't cross playing*, but come on! Look at this! It's perfect:

*today, according to [ profile] naomikritzer this guy often cross plays "Slave Girl Leia." Rumor has it he's coming as "Slave Boy Leo" today, so I'll be sure to try to catch a shot of him, if I can, because that sounds phenomenal.

Mason and I spent much of con wandering around looking at all the cool costumers and wandering around the dealer's room. He bought a new Munchkin pack (zombies this time) and I found a cell phone charm of Renji/Hihio Zabimaru chibi, and I can never, ever resist chibi Zabimaru. Sadly, my cell phone does not have the technology to accommodate a charm. Seriously. It's not a smart phone, so I have no case to which I can hook such things. But, it was cheap and will fit my keyring just the same.

The Marvel Roundup panel was phenomenal. I had great fellow panelists and despite my voice, I managed to squee and maybe even make a few points of interest here and there. With any luck, you'll be able to judge for yourself. One of the panelists, Shaun Duke, is (among other things) a podcaster and he recorded us for his Hugo Award-nominated Skiffy and Fanty Show. If our panel gets posted there, I'll send along a direct link. It was probably the most high energy panel I've had so far, so I would think it would make a fantastic podcast.

Then there was more wandering, and Mason finally caught up with some of his crew:

Here's Mason with Zoro (green-hair) and Nami (orange-hair):

And in a time paradox, an older Luffy!

My final panel was "Cyberpunk 101," which went fairly well. Admittedly, my energy was starting to flag. Probably the most interesting part of the panel for me was the fact that one of my fellow panelists was a light side hacker. He was an honest-to-goodness Mouse, a phone freak from the 1980s. (And yes, he let us touch his hem.) I could have listened to his stories for the full hour.

Instead, we talked about a lot of different aspects of cyberpunk and, once again, the audience had some really amazing, mind-blowing questions and thoughts about the future of cyberpunk. Because the question kept coming up, "If we're living in a world already predicted, where we're saturated with technology, how do you write beyond that point? Or, maybe more importantly, is it necessary to?"

And I don't know. People often ask me if I'll ever return to the AngeLINK universe and I'm hesitant. I love the characters, but the world is getting harder and harder to reach back for because it's become a kind of AU where Facebook and Tumblr and Google glasses never happened.

The point was also made that one of the things cyberpunk spoke to was the fears of the day, "What if we become so dependent on our technology that we're no longer human?" That's not really the thing we worry about these days. We worry about the environment. We *do* still worry about corporations taking over, but a lot of what we feared has already come to pass. I mean, corporations as people? Pretty sure that was warned about in any number of early cyberpunk novels.

Also, as our resident hacker pointed out, it's actually a bit harder to by-pass The Man. Technology has outpaced some simple phone hacks. It's harder to break-in and it's much, MUCH harder to escape without leaving a trace.

Our fiction has also become a lot darker. No one believes any more that taking out one corporation/Power That Be will solve all the problems... without causing others. The revolution is murky and complicated and deeply underfunded...

It was a good panel, but in comparison to the squee fest of the Marvel Roundup it felt far lower key. But maybe that was because it was "meatier."
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
On an impulse, I decided to dye my hair yesterday.  My normal hair color is probably best described as "mousey" or "dishwater brown."  It's a very non-descript color AT BEST.  Up until some time in high school, I actually had fairly blondish hair.  It was definitely in the color scheme of blond.  But, lately, my hair is just sort of "meh" on its own.

Plus, Anime Detour is coming up and, should it happen that I can go, I've discovered the joys of cosplaying.  My hair is currently cut very boyish so, I thought, "Heh, I can finally join the legions of Ichigo Kurosaki cosplayers (I'll probably the ONLY cross player!)"

So, I got the brightest orange dye kit that was still considered "natural" (because work has one of those "natural color" stipulations in its dress code for hair), hoping to come out looking passably like this:


Instead, I turned out looking more like this:




Yeah, I thought so.  *sighs*  I may have missed the mark a bit.  Also, my hair?  Not terribly orange.  Luckily, for Detour, I have a can of orange hairspray, so I can make it more obvious who I'm trying to be....  Though, you know, I'll pass for Ichigo just about as well as I passed as Renji....


Though the tats were a blast:


Shawn is soooooooo lucky that I'm allergic to metal and piss-ass poor, our I would so have the back and arm tattoos RIGHT NOW.  :-)

So, yeah, my next job?  Building Zangetsu!
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
Since I make SUCH a convincing Renji, I thought I'd try a little SnK/Attack on Titan cosplay, too. I was going for the Erwin Smith look for my new hair cut. Nailed it, right?

Commander Smith:

Me. Separated at birth, am I right?
seperated right
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
This year I brought along Eleanor Arnason to part of Anime Detour. When she left, she looked a lot like I did that first year--like I wondered what strange alternate universe I'd fallen into.

Detour throws us old-timer SF fans because it's held at the Radishtree, our old haunt, and, because, you know, it's a CON--we feel like we OUGHT TO UNDERSTAND IT, but, in fact, it's totally foregin... and not just because it's based on Japanese Anime. It's just a very different kind of con experience.

I think, thanks to my interpreters and the fact that I cosplayed this year, I finally get Detour... or, at least, I get how *I* can appreicate it and enjoy myself. Cosplaying is actually very central to a large part of this con. I posted pictures of this, but the garden courtyard is entirely devoted to professional stage set ups where you can pose for pictures of the amazing work you put into your costume. Because, damn, people put in serious work on some of these costumes. I didn't even try to take pictures of all the things, but I saw people in full Iron Man armor, and stuff I didn't even know WTF it was, but it looked like a whole LOT of work just to walk around in.

People who aren't in costume actually stand out. That's how many participants are cosplaying. In fact, at one point, I was crowd-watching and I saw a guy in a tee-shirt and jeans and I was like, "Huh, I wonder what show that's from...?" for a good three minutes until I realized HE WAS JUST A GUY IN A TEE-SHIRT.

Panels exist, but not like they do at other cons. The program guide has participants listed by who they're cosplaying so you know, you go to a panel on BBC's Sherlock and the panelists include Sherlock, Watson and Maycroft and they tend to talk about the show as though it was their real lives. At least, that was true on the panel I was supposed to be on last year about Full Metal Alchemist. There are other panels, like the two I participated in this year (fandom on the internet and what you need to know about writing), which were much more like a typical convention panel, but those are pretty rare. I will say that once again (like I did last year) I attended a panel about Bleach and wanted to rip my hair out or possibly pull Zabimaru out of my soul and MURDER THE PANELISTS.


Because the panel was supposed to be about the big three: Bleach, Naruto, and One Piece and about how they were ending soon and what Jump might replace them with. Last year, like this year, it became clear they were all One Piece and Naruto fans and their idea of talking about Bleach was to put up an annoying Manga panel where Renji is being particularly stupid and then making some dissing remarks about how dumb the filler arcs and then go back to talking about Naruto. They used a panel still last year. The big difference this year is that they let us watch the Anime clip of the same GODDAMN MOMENT. And you know what? None of that was EVEN new this year! It was from the middle of the Arrancar arc. There was only cursory talk about some of the events happening right now, and then on to One Piece or back to Naruto. Me and Ichigo (the other obvious Bleach fan there) were really ticked. Even the guy next to me who loved Naruto and was ticked at how dismissive the panelist were about his Manga as well as ours. The panelists seemed to be the type of young men/boys who thought that to be "intellectual" about an Anime or Manga, meant being rude about it.

And they didn't even seem to be reading JUMP. I actually *subscribe* and could have talked moderately well about the things JUMP seems to be testing out to replace Bleach. A LaCrosse themed Manga? Barrage. And the new one with the Neighbor aliens whose name escapes me. (Truthfully, I'm unhappy with a lot of it and so I skim the stories, but I at least know the sorts of things they've been running recently.) Ironically, the panelists were saying they'd need some new blood to do this panel next year, and I had to wonder how a person got that gig. I may actually have to volunteer.


I wasn't intending to go on about that as long as I did. Especially since the point really was that Detour isn't about the panels anyway. It's about costuming and previewing new Anime and the dealer's room and all the fan created stuff.

I also lucked out because I happened to know Anton, which means that at Gaylaxicon I got to know J. Michael Tatum there where he's just this guy, you know, and a F*CKING ROCKSTAR at Detour. Thus, as it happens I got to rub shoulders with a GoH, have dinner with him and late night fun at the bar (and, oddly, the furry party, and now I have an inappropriate picture of Michael at the furry party doing rude things with a tanuki that I'm not sure what to do with... I'd use it for blackmail, but since his boyfriend took a picture too, I'm not sure it's worth much.)

So, I mean, I had a blast because OMG Michael is awesome and every time I hang out with him I fall in love just a little bit more.

But, yeah, no. Eleanor bounced right off Detour.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
I'd planned to post the last couple photos from Detour tomorrow, but I think I'll put them up today with the thought that tomorrow, I will attempt to deconstruct my con experience. Probably the funniest thing that happened today was when I was blearily standing in line for coffee in full Renji/shinigami regalia, I got a: "Finally, a Renji cosplayer!" and a high-five.

Here's me an a Ichigo (in bankai, obviously):
last of con 005

last of con 006

A very perfect little Toshiro (with a grumpy expression even, whom I ran after yelling, "Taicho! Taicho!")"
last of con 001

I also had a person stop and ask for a picture of ME, which FLOORED me. I think the lesson here is, the costume makes the man (not the tattoos.) My only other final thought is that I think I may start recommending to my fellow fic writers that they consider cosplaying in their universe at least one time. I learned a lot about walking in tabi and sandals as well as the excitement that is stairs and hakama (and mine were fake!) and ZOMG WTF escelators and hakama....

Interestingly, as I was telling [ profile] empty_mirrors on email, I'd seen a guy at the Obon festival who was demonstrating an Aikido sword form who did this THING with his hakama, where he'd take a fist full of the material near his thigh and jerk it aside before going into seiza or shifting into stance, and I thought, that's odd. Is that part of the form? Now I think it must be. I found I natrually did a very similar thing when faced with shifting in hakama. This gave me a wierd sort of insight into daily life/walking around. Also, wearing my hair up with the headband/bandana, which is very much a Renji THING was interesting, physically, too. When I was feeling kind of wiped (not hungover because I very, very rarely drink at cons), it felt really comforting. Like a brain hug. I wonder if that (and concealing the balding/tattoos) is another reason why the character might consider wearing it, you know?

Interesting stuff all around. Will talk about panels and people interactions tomorrow.

Now... a nap.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
Perhaps some of you may remember that last year, I found the experience of interacting with cosplayers really... baffling. I didn't know if people wanted me to talk to them in character or...? I didn't even know how to really appreciate what they were doing without just being aggressively dorky (at least in my own mind.) I complained that I needed "interpreters." This year, I had two: Teri and Lisa. I started whining about how to interact again, and they patiently explained to this old lady two things: 1) you can always ASK to take a picture and 2) you're simply ALLOWED to talk to anyone in your fandom (if you are also attempting/doing cosplay.)

So, I decided to make this fun for myself and I gave myself a mission: collect ALL the Bleach cosplayers. I have a zillion picutres and I know I missed a Ukitake cosplayer (for a sick guy, he sure disappeared into the crowd fast. Shunpou?)

Okay, I'm not sure how many LJ (or my computer of Little Brain) will let me post, and I will attempt to say something to organize the jumble of awesome that is Detour.

First, given who I was cosplaying, I set out to collect all the Byakuyas (and the one other Renji-grrl):

con and more 003

con and more 006

con2 005

Then, there were the people whose costumes were just AMAZING. I found the Espada guys particularly frightening because they traveled in a pack :-) :

A fantastic Hollow Ichigo:
con2 004

Ulquiorra and Yammy:
con and more 025

Yammy and Zommari:
con and more 022

There were also people who not only did their costumes well, but also physically resembled the characters to the point I was like, dang, that's ISSHIN (from across the room) and then, I was like, "Why is he talking to Soi Fon???":
con and more 018

con2 014

In fact, he needs another pic:
con2 013

A Urahara who was selling stuff in the dealer's room and very cagily would NOT tell me if there was any Soul Candy:
con2 002

And, then, a couple of shots just to give you a sense of the scale of this thing:
con2 008

Also, cosplay is so much a part of this con that there's a place in the garden plaza/atrium JUST FOR GETTING YOUR PICTURE TAKEN (I did not do this for obvious reasons):
con and more 015

con and more 016
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
I woke up this morning to discover that, DESPITE ADVERTISEMENT TO THE CONTRARY, the tattoos had almost completely rubbed off in places! The irony? I HAVEN'T BEEN TO DETOUR YET! I know, right? The good news? I wasn't planning on heading over there until after noon (when we drop Mason off for a sleepover), and the dojon (where I left the paints last night, of course,) opens by 11:00 am for classes. So, I'm going scoot over there and pick up the paints in a little bit. Shawn agreed to touch them up for me. All should be well.

BUT, this got me to thinking that I probably need an alternative plan for what to wear on Sunday. Luckily, my friend and fellow writer Anna Waltz loaned me her shihakushĂ´, which she sewed herself. The only thing I didn't have were sandals, but this morning, when I rushed off to Walgreen's to get some coffee and cat food they had flip-flops on sale.

The funny part? I think that the tattoos, even faded, are in fact MAGIC. Because the lady who checked me out, whom I'd been talking to, called me "sir." I haven't been called sir for about twenty years. I thought to myself, "Ha! She sees my inner Renji" (or, more likely? She was _so_ not going to look at anyone who had painted weird crap on their face. I had a a hat on, but she could probably sense I was not someone you wanted to actually engage because I was clearly insane. *snort*)

Anyway, here's what I'd look like if I went in costume (though I'd probably put more effort into the hair since I'd want it to stick straight out more in back.)

costume 005


Apr. 19th, 2013 09:09 pm
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
Thanks to the tireless efforts of Nicki KSN, I now have tattoos!

First the front, in which I am clearly saying, "I don't think Renji has quite so many boobs."
tattoos and more 009

Because, yeah, he'd wear Hello Kitty, you know he would:
tattoos and more 013

A sultry look over my shoulder to show off the back:
tattoos and more 014

I tell you, I'd feel a lot sexier if I was a lot more ripped. Getting these done at the dojon made me very aware that I should spend a lot more time jumping around....
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
I was given a single question interview by Kenneth W. Cain:

My answer? Chickens.

My internet was down this morning or I would have posted copious number of pictures of SNOW. What I love/hate about Minnesota? School was not closed or even delayed. We got at least four inches, if not more. The plows have plowed most of the major streets, but the residental and side streets are a sloppy, dangerous mess. The sun is trying to shine today, but the National Weather Service tells us to expect more of the same: rain, rain turning to snow, snow.... I think for the forseeable future, I'm not sure.

Pictures may come, though likely the next ones will be of the grand tattooing paint project that my friend Nicki will be helping me with tonight.

Shit. I still have to decide what I'm wearing. I do have sunglasses at least. And some sexy jeans.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
Perhaps you've heard that I'm planning on cospalying at Anime Detour? I might have mentioned it once or twice. Detour is finally upon us. I have a date tomorrow to paint on my tattoos. Today, I dyed my hair.

bleached hair 017

I bought this lovely kit at Walgreen's. They didn't have a lot of choices for red. The guy I'm trying to cross-play has fire-engine red hair. Crimson. Scarlet. Ruby red. This package says, "raspberry." I thought the color looked vibrant enough, at least. Regardless, it was the best I could do.

Yes, it includes bleach. I kind of like the irony/appropriateness of having to bleach my hair to cosplay a Bleach character.

Here's me with bleach in my hair and a plastic bag on my head. I think I look startlingly like my grandmother Mouse in this picture.

bleached hair 018

Because Mason wanted to see how "white" my hair would be bleached, I took this picture of the top of my head:

bleached hair 019

And, then I applied the red. Below is a series of pictures for you get a sense of the color. I think it looks... fuschia or possibly a hot magenta. Not exactly the color I was going for. Though, at one point during the process, I was pretty sure it was going to end up hot pink, so, as you'll see, it's not quite THAT.

The whole process took me a couple of hours. I spent much of the day reading the proofs for Fallen Host, which arrived some time ago, but which I finally had a large chunk of time to read. What a great book! Apparently, I needed to wait a decade to appreciate my own writing. What's startling to me is that a lot of the story takes place in Japan, in Tokyo, and it still reads pretty well considering how much MORE I know about Japanese culture now.

Okay, the final product looked like (drum roll, please)....

renji red 003

bleached hair 020

On Saturday, I'll attempt to use product to get it to stick out of my top knot in stiff spikes. Between that and the painted on tattoos, it'll be clear who I'm TRYING to be, even if I don't pull it off... which is likely, given how little I look like this:

all the hair
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
Saturday, April 20
Fandom on the Internets (Panelists: Lyda)
Hey guys, I hear there are fandoms on the internet. Come find out if someone on the internet is wrong.

Sunday, April 21
What You Need to Know About Writing (Panelists: Lyda)
So you think you want to be a writer? Writers from many backgrounds will give you some tips and reality checks.

And, of course, I'll be in full cosplay as Renji. I have a date for painting on tattoos and "rocket red" hair dye ready to roll. Oddly, what I don't have is a costume per se. A friend of mine loaned me an approximation of a shihakushĂ´. But, given that I don't really have a decent katana or Zabimaru stand-in, I'm not sure how much it matters. I have a Hello Kitty muscle tee which I could wear if I feel like pushing the gender queerness of it all (since it is HOT pink, not really Renji's color, I don't think), while showing off the tattoos.

It should be... IN-teresting. I'm probably insane. But I've decided that cosplay is like karoke. I'm going to go up there and BELT IT OUT and my friends will probably cringe, but I'll have a good time.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art) THIS is why I'm not bothering with real hakama for my cosplay at Detour this year. My favorite part of the first entry? The several steps that are simply: "cry."

Also, my car is a moron... or, as the nice guy at Dave's Auto Repairs in Roseville explained: "A Ford." Apparently, all the coolant I've lost in the last several days can be explained by this fact. Ford, in their ultimate wisdom decided that plastic would make an excellent coolent overflow container. Why? Because of course it will split its seam at several points during the lifespan of the car, which I think they intentionally intended to be no more than HOWEVER OLD MY CAR IS RIGHT NOW.


On the flipside, I'm quite contentedly sitting in the Dunn Brother's attached to the Roseville Library directly across the street from Dave's, sipping a Very Large mocha and surfing the internet. In a few minutes, I'm going to settle in to write and hang out here however long it takes to get everything done on the car (and possibly the novel, depending on how long the previous thing takes.)

Also, Minnesota, what's with the freezing rain? Did you not look at the calendar? It's April now. You know, the one with the showers that bring the flowers? Just so you know: SNOW ISN'T ON THE AGENDA!!!

I have to say that I've been very proud of myself. I have resisted complaining about the weather until this week, but the other day when I was shivering inside my house, I broke, okay? I can't take it any more. I was actually happier when it was 30 degrees and sunny, because at least the sun was warm on my face. Now it's wet and miserable and COLD.

In fact, I'd been hoping to take advantage of the neighborhood Dave's is in and walk up to HarMar Mall and hang out at the Barnes & Noble and maybe stroll over to Michael's craft store to see if they have the body paint I need for my cosplay tattoos. But considering how I nearly froze my a$$ off walking across the street, I think I'm going to hunker down here for a while... at least until I can feel my toes again.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
Today was meant to be a writing day with the ladies, but instead I blew them off to get together with my friend and play with body markers. Anime Detour is the weekend of April 19, so it's coming up fast. I figured I needed a dry run on figuring out the best way to do Renji's tattoos. For cheap and easy my first attempt was with body art markers from JoAnn Fabrics. Probably these would work best if you were doing the kind of art that involved a lot of color. Renji (the character I'm trying to cross-play) has black tribal tattoos. So, the inital results are mixed:

weirdness and other stuff 027

Our plan is to make the outlines with the markers I've bought and then use a body paint (which I also saw at JoAnn's but didn't pick up yet) to fill in the darker lines so they'll loose that 'marker-y' thing they have here in places. To be fair to my tattoo artist, the pen was running out of ink already by the time we got down my arm, so that isn't her fault at all.

I really ought to update you all on the rest of my life. A lot has happened, but I wanted to post this pic fast so people can see my progress on this crazy cosplay thing I've decided to do.

I'm going to look like such a dope, but it should be fun as all hell. Especially since my friend [ profile] seanmmurphy has agreed to loan me an actual katana, so if I decide to go full soul reaper outfit, I'll have a Zabimaru stand-in. I'm probably actually going to go with Renji in Human World gigai, because... uh, otherwise no one will be able to see me, right? :-)
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
I tell myself this is one of my many charms, but, the truth is, I simply have no shame. None what-so-ever. When the goddess handed out shame, I thought she said 'lame," so I said, "Nah, I'm good, thanks!"

Because, I KNOW I'm a forty-something, pudgy woman, but in my mind, I'm THIS:

RENJI with goggles 002

(Sorry for the blurriness, I was photographing my own Manga, and I didn't want the whole page and my camera kept saying "Too CLOSE! Too CLOSE!")

Even though I'm REALLY this:

zabi and kitty 009

(Also, I would have framed this a little better to match, but I asked my nine-year old to take the photo, so, you know, this is close enough, considering.)

For the amazingly dorky full effect:

zabi and kitty 007

Okay, so even though we can't afford ANYTHING this year, I am, as it happens, still signed up for Anime Detour. My plan has been to spend at least one day attempting to cosplay (cross-play) Renji. To that end, I've spent over a year growing out my hair. Yes, I'm that big of an otaku. Let me just repeat, for cosplay, I've been GROWING MY HAIR OUT FOR OVER A YEAR.

And, look, it really hasn't made me look more like him AT ALL.

Do I care? See above.

Also, because I'm so wicked poor this year my plans to actually make/purchase a full shinigami shihakushĂ´ have kind of gone by the wayside. So, instead, I've decided to do Renji in the Human World (clever, no?) hence the 'wrong" color bandana I'm wearing above. I'm going to try to do his 'wait, you're telling me this went out in the 70s? Who cares? I LOOK AWESOME' vibe, with a few trips to GoodWill. I actually already have jeans that are kind of groovy and way far too low-cut for someone my age, and I figure I'll improvise the rest.

I plan to make a more accurate 'Red Pineapple' tee-shirt than the one I'm wearing above. I made this one so I could wear it under my gi for kuk sool, and get my ass handed to me Renji-style in the dojo. (Weirdly, this really DOES seem to happen whenever I wear this tee.)

Also, if anyone has the balls to tell me I make the world's suckiest Renji, I intend to look them in the eye and say, "What? Don't blame me! Blame that cheat of a shoten owner, Urahara! Look at the crap-ass gigai he gave me!"

Because why? Because I have no shame, and I'm just that ballsy.

Did I mention that 1) I have too much time on my hands, and 2) I think that the -10 F degree temp outside causes the people of Minnesota to become the world's biggest nerds....?
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Last night I went to a costume party. Ostensibly, it was for our children, but almost every adult came in costume, as well. There was at least one family that was entirely on theme: dad came as Han Solo, mom as Leia, and eldest son as a Clone Trooper (one of the Wolf Pack, I believe,) and the baby as an incredibly adorable Yoda. Another family was mostly on theme, with a mom in a complete Disney evil queen, youngest daughter as Snow White (with apple), and then their eldest daughter veered off into some kind of furry cosplay (a wolf? a cat? something with ears and a tail and a cute furry vest!) and dad out of it and utterly mundane. I told dad that, since he had a beard, he could have come as the huntsman. All he would have needed was a box with a heart in it. Everyone looked at me like I was insane. Apparently, it's been a while since they all saw Snow White, because I'm pretty sure that's in the movie... where the huntsman collects a deer's heart instead of Snow White's? Anyone? Bueller?

Since my hair is long, dark and stringy, I went as a young (female) Professor Snape. I guess this was my first foray into crossplay. But, I think I pulled it off pretty well; I attempted brief moments of Alan Rickman like gravitas, at any rate, and drawled out one, "Obviously."

Mason went as a skeleton. I guess we could be on theme if you imagine I was dasterdly enough to have used an unforgivable curse on my own son, and somehow his Avada Kedavra'ed corpse was up and wandering around.

I have to say, however, there's something innately amusing about standing around in someone's living room with a bunch of adults in costume. The kids, of course, were having a grand time, running around and screaming at each other. But, all the adults managed to look embarrassed and miserable, except for the few of us who have no shame. Stuck forever in my mind will be the guy dressed as Han Solo, sitting on a folding chair with a beer in one hand, looking absolutely shellshocked and dazed as kids ran past him one by one shreiking at high decible levels.


Probably the best adult costume was the woman who came dressed in a giant binder. She was a binder full of woman. Awesome.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
I just spent a lovely half hour playing with lightsabers and nerf swords outside with Mason and an entire cadre of neighborhood boys. Mason and I played shinigami/samurai while the other kids were all Jedi. Strangely, this combination goes together very well. Shinigami have powers that are not unlike the Force, including healing, so I switched back and forth from being in the 11th Division (fighting) and 4th (healing.) Mostly, we all just jumped around and shouted.

I was four times the age of the oldest kid, but, you know, we were easily the same mental age. It worked out.
lydamorehouse: (urahura)
I've been talking to another friend on e-mail about cosplay, and I think my problem is that I care much less for the costume and a lot more for the play. If I went in costume, (which, btw, I am considering for at least one day of CONvergence, depending on my schedule,) I would TOTALLY spend the day in character.

But, as I've determined, I'm a lot more playful than a lot of people. I was also always that RPGer who would demand to be called by my made-up name (and nearly always opposite gender pronoun) and jump up to act out various scenes during the course of the game/campaign. I also almost NEVER broke character out loud. I might pass notes to the GM about plans or plots or such, but most everything I said (outside of those moments when you HAVE to roll the dice) was in character. I came of age in a time before LARPs so I missed out on that trend, which is probably just as well, because I might never have put down the "dice," as it were, to write. I'd probably still be out in the woods somewhere in costume pretending to be someone else all day long (and well into the night.)

Now that I understand that's my own weirdness, I'll be able to cope much better at the next Detour, I think. If I decide *I* want to cosplay at Detour, I'll just be sure to bring along a posse of friends who are in on it with me.

Speaking of Anime, I feel so incredibly stupid. I only just yesterday discovered that I can stream ALL THE BLEACH at the Viz Media Anime site. See what happened was, I bought Shawn a new iPad for her birthday (technically it's a refurbished iPad, not the new, new iPad,) anyway, we were setting it up and I realized I'd forgotten my Shonen Jump password. I had to go through all the rigamaroll to reset my password and, in the course of all that, got shunted at one point to the main Anime page (as opposed to the Manga page.) Imagine my suprise (and Shawn's groan) when I discovered that EVERY TUESDAY there's a new translated Bleach direct from Japan!! Whoot. Okay, so I'm only about 200 episdoes behind where they currently are, but, what this means is, after NetFlix runs out of discs we can keep watching. Hooray. (Yes, I know Bleach is ending this year. But Mason and I aren't fast watchers, actually. We can burn through a disc in a weekend, but that's only four or five episodes usually. So basically I'm set for LIFE.)

If I may go on about this for a moment, I have to say that I think that one of the reasons this series has inspired so much energy from me is because, ultimately, it's both DEEPLY rich and UTTERLY broken. A lot like Star Wars, actually, which was very likely the last bit of fantasy/SF that stirred this kind of crazy devotion in me. The world of Bleach (particuarly the spirit world, the Soul Society,) is dense. There's a lot of cool stuff: magical swords, magical combat techniques, spectacular fight scenes, in-fighting, weird and unexplained characters who clearly come pre-loaded with a lot of issues that you never quite get all of, etc. Then, after this amazing explosion of awesome, it's like Tite Kubo couldn't quite cope with the pressure to remain super. Not unlike George Lucas. Because then he seems to fumble the pass (and I don't just mean in the Anime, which I totally get has a lot of "filler.") This sort of combination (awesome/awful) inspires a lot of fan energy, becuase a lot of fan fic (at least my own) comes out of a passion to "fix" what is broken in a show. For instance, my fav guy is clearly the Han Solo in a way. He stars out incredibly fascinating and then gets used as the punchline in all the jokes. It makes me crazy.

Okay, enough about that. In my real life (tm,) I am still a bit driftless. I sent in a couple of proposals to my agent, but today I should probably try to work on the one she wants--which is more fluffy Tate stuff. I'm having a really hard time coming up with this because I'm kind of tired of it... though I'd pretty much write to spec right now if it meant having a contract.

My Loft class is just about over. I was just asked if I'd be willing to teach on-line again, and I said yes. Despite the weirdness of teaching on-line, I think that there are some real advantages to getting to do this sort of thing from home. So, I'm going to give it another try. We'll see if this next experience gets any easier/better. I suspect it's a matter of getting the hang of things (not unlike my first experience with Detour.)

Mason is home from school today with an upset stomach. I think he just had too many weird foods last night as he got a pair of chopsticks from a tutor who'd traveled to China (she gave a pair to everyone in class, not just the kids she tutors) and so he talked us into Vietnamese food. He got pretty good at the chopsticks, but I'm not sure all the spice and whatnot agreed with him. Plus, afterwards, he had a bunch of desserts including both icecream and watermelon.

At any rate, I'm going drag him along to my Women of Wyrdsmiths meeting because I think he's actually already over it-- thanks to a bathroom trip this morning (TMI)-- and I really hate to cancel that get-together because it's one of my favorite weekly traditions.

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