Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Adventures of a Nerd - Part Two: Cosplay

You're back!  I'm so happy!  I knew there were more nerds out there in Blogland.

This part of the adventure is going to be covering all the cosplay that we witnessed at SLCC FanX.  What is cosplay, you ask?  Good question!

Cosplay stands for "costume play".  Basically, it's like Halloween, but more... specific.  There were so many different genres represented at the convention, it would be difficult to get into all of them, so I'll just give you the lowdown on the characters pictured.

First up, our video game cosplayers:

Here we have Borderlands... we think.  We know that the one pictured on the left is a "Psycho" from the game.  We found him right out of the gate - right as we walked onto the floor.  We are still unsure of the one pictured on the right, so if you have any clue as to who that represents, I'd be more than happy to hear from you!  We are assuming he's from a video game, but could be way off.

This next duo is our Halo collection.  On the left we have Master Chief - he's the main guy from Halo... I don't know personally, but my boys play it and that's what they said.  (Don't shoot the messenger!)  The guy on the right is also a character from Halo, though what his exact purpose is, I'm unsure.  It's not a game I play, so... sorry!

These guys I know (the characters, not the people)!  They are all from Mortal Kombat.  On the left we have Sub-Zero, Raiden (so cute!), and Scorpion (complete with contacts - 'cause Scorpion is blind), then on the right, another Scorpion, different style.

Now we're kicking it old school.  The blonde with the shield is Link, from the Legend of Zelda series.  There were quite a few of them running around, but this picture is most epic because we caught a two-fer.  On the right with the crazy hair is Sora.  He's the main playable character from Kingdom Hearts.  You can't see it in the picture, but the guy had a Keyblade he was carrying around!  Very cool - if you're a nerd...

Next, the Graphic Novel players:

If you like action movies and aren't afraid of a little graphic violence, then Kick-Ass is a movie you'll want to check out... if you haven't yet, of course!  There were a few Kick-Asses and Hit Girls running around, but we didn't catch any until Day Three.  So, the guy in green is homemade superhero Kick-Ass and his "sidekick" (who does all the hard stuff) Hit Girl!

Oh. My. Gosh.  This next picture took FOREVER to upload!  I have no idea why.  Talk about testing my (non-existent) patience!

So, some - if not all - of these you will recognize.  The large picture is Joker.  By far the best one we saw there.  His makeup was so good!  It totally freaked me out the first time he talked. 

From top to bottom we have Green Lantern and Loki (a woman - it was awesome!), then another picture of Green Lantern and Loki, with a Steampunk version of Green Lantern on the left.
Next we encountered a family all dressed as X-Men: Cyclops, GambitStorm, Jubilee, and Rogue.
Then - Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na - BATMAN!
Last, but certainly not least - Iron Man!

Wow!  I know, it's a lot to take in, but there are just a few more I'd like to share.

Okay, so I have a few more collages left, so I'll try and keep it quick!

Okay, maybe not that quick.  I wanted to tell you about the Slenderman (pictured on the left).  I had heard the name Slenderman before... after all, I have boys and boys tend to watch strange things on YouTube and hear all the creepy details.  Slenderman is a... humanoid figure who seems to be a harbinger of death.  Reports on the matter are varied and there seems to be no definitive answer as to what - or who - Slenderman is, only that he has no discernible face, is extremely tall, and wears a business suit.  I love this picture even more now that I know the myth behind the man... it was taken right as he began to move, giving him that blurred appearance.  Creepy!

Now, onward.  Since it was Easter weekend, it seemed only fitting that I add not one, but two creepy bunnies to the mix.  The white one was acting on behalf of a horror skit booth in the vendors area.  The gray one is Frank, from Donnie Darko.  If you haven't watched Donnie Darko, I recommend it.  It's mind-bending and horribly awesome!

Next set: calling all Whovians!  Dr. Who is in the house!  Actually, the only picture I have of someone dressed as The Doctor is on my Instagram.  You'll just have to head on over there to see it.  I did get these shots, though.  On the floor they had a full-size T.A.R.D.I.S. and a smaller one in the KidCon area.  We obviously chose the full-size.  The the Dalek on the right - a homemade costume representing an act from a comedy troupe called The Laughing Stock in Salt Lake City.  The do spoofs and improv.

Next, we have the beautiful women representing nerd girls everywhere.

Going clockwise we have: Princess Peach from Super Mario Bros., the Voodoo Pearl Mermaids, professional cosplayer as Poison Ivy, another professional cosplayer as Harley Quinn (both characters from Batman), Mystique from X-Men (that's all body paint and latex!), Daenerys Stormborn from Game of Thrones, and Effie Trinket from The Hunger Games series.

Aren't they fantastic?

And what is a nerd convention without Star Wars!?  If you don't know who most of these are, I'm sorry.  You are not nerd enough and I can not help you.  Move along.  Ha!  

Of course TBG had to get a picture with Chewy, his second favorite SW character (I'll bet you'll never guess the first!).  Later we found another Chewy with a Stormtrooper and rebel pilot wearing bunny ears.  Too funny!!  (BTW - I switched to counter-clockwise - oops)  Next was the Mandalorians (aka: Boba Fett and crew).

These are the droids we were looking for!  C3P0 was a cosplayer, but R2D2 was remote controlled.  There were two roaming around, but this one was the most authentic, complete with battle scars and beep-boop noises.  

Lastly, a TIE fighter (pilot) holding a gun to LS's head.  The Dark Side... what are you going to do?

I had these in a collage, but for some reason, it's not uploading, so you get all four.



(B is actually worried here - the finger cuffs were frighteningly realistic)

Salt Lake City Ghostbusters!
(I told them all to look scared - obviously Mr. Handsome on the right doesn't take direction well)

Ah yes.  Success!  Now I'm off to daydream about a wreath I want to make... and do some research.  

Don't forget this last Friday of the month, a new collaborative post is coming: Funny Friday!  I hope to see you all there... or I'll send the Nazgûl after you... my precious. 

I've linked up to the following parties: Wonderful Wednesdays, Wake Up Wednesday

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Adventures of a Nerd - Part One

Oh Em Geez, guys!!  What an amazing 3 days.  I'm still getting over it - physically and mentally - especially physically.  Ouch!

I want to share all the nerdiness with you in a post, but there are just too many pictures, so guess what.  That's right!  More than one post.  (For you non-nerds, I'm sorry I'm not sorry and I hope you'll stay.)

If you like the pictures I share on here, I have more that I won't be posting here on the blog, but are on Instagram instead - link is on my sidebar!

On Day One at the Salt Lake ComicCon FanX (Fan Experience) we didn't stay as long as we planned.  We were... unprepared for all the epic awesomeness.  We didn't bring much money... or water.  Do you know how many vendors are there?  Tons and tons.  I had wanted to sit in on some panels, but we hit the floor to pass some time before an interesting one came about.

We never made it to any panels.

First, the actual Delorean from the Back to the Future franchise. The. Delorean. Nerdgasm!

It cost major moolah to get your picture taken in the Delorean and it was only there for the one day, so... no luck there, but we were able to get those shots from the outskirts.  It was really impressive!

Speaking of cars, another beauty was there as well.  THE 1966 Batmobile.  Talk about an impressive car.  Perfect condition, well-maintained, and absolutely gorgeous!

That's a mannequin, BTW.  It would have been epic if someone had actually been in the Robin suit.  Ha!  I think I figured out my cosplay for the next one!

The kids wanted their face painted, so we let them, of course.  Some very talented ladies in the booth we went to.

He looks so like Clark Kent right there.  It's crazy!  My very own Superman. 

The world's most adorably girly dragon, of course!

I know it's hard to look away from those baby-blues, but the face paint is pretty spectacular.

They loved the face painting so much we did it again on Day Two!

Two-Face paint for a creepy look on Day Two.

And, of course, they loved the dragon eye, so they went for two!!

There were all sorts of fun things to do there, both for us and the kiddos.  On Day One we:

Played Superheroes

Held Back Zombies

Hung Out with the T.A.R.D.I.S.

Played with Snakes
(just me - I love love love snakes)
FF - the snake's name is Keith

Saw the Beginning of Huge Balloon Sculpture 
(more on that later)

and had One Casualty on the Ride Home.

Overall, a spectacular first day, even if we were only there a few hours!  It will be something we and the kids remember for a lifetime, even if we lose all the pictures.

I will be sharing more pictures in the next post... I'll try and collage some of them together - there are a lot - so the post won't be as long.   It will encompass all the incredible people we met and took pictures with - a.k.a. Cosplayers.  Don't worry if you're a newb.  I'll explain everything! Amazingly enough, I never had to change batteries in my camera; not once in all three days! 

See you next time!

I've linked up to the following parties: Wonderful Wednesdays, Wake Up Wednesday

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Friday, April 18, 2014

What's with All the Flies??

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post!  It's all about what it would be like to be a fly on the wall in my house... and the houses of the other participating bloggers.  Do you dare?  I hope so.  Listen in, then buzz on over to the other blogs (links at the bottom)!

I think my posts need a little code definition:

The Big Guy = TBG
Bigfoot (oldest boy)= B
Little Miss Sassy Pants (only daughter)= LMSP
Little Sasquatch (youngest boy) = LS
FF = Fun Fact (courtesy of a Dane Cook show I saw on Comedy Central years ago)

Little Sasquatch got off the phone with The Big Guy:
LS: I told Dad I was the son of the Baconator, so I wanted a Son of Baconator.
Me: So Dad's the Baconator, huh?
LS: Yeah, and you're the Mom...inator. (Gee, thanks!)
Then he called me the best Mom ever. Heart melting!

FF: did you know that Pluto never made a full rotation around the sun between the time of its discovery and when it was declassified as a planet? Yeah. Neither did I.

Here's another FF, if you've ever thought about how companies get their modern slogans. Normally, I don't pay attention, 'cause I don't care, but when the facts up and bite'cha, you take notice. Like Wienerschnitzel – Der Fun since '61! The company was originally called Der Wienerschnitzel. Mystery solved. I can move on. Thanks, Bentley Little!

This conversation:
Me: If your brother wants to come down, we can watch a movie.
LS: I think he's up there, listening to Katy Perry.
Okaaaaay... But it gets better.
LS wore his sister's jeans... out in public... and did NOT know until he came home and I pointed it out - and neither did his dad!
B came down the stairs with his big feet shoved in his sister's high heels... “just because”. I asked him if he still liked girls or if he wanted to be one. There is no judgment in this house.

B: I'm Captain Hash Tag - “Hash Tag!” (#repeated in a “catch phrase singsong voice”)
LMSP: No, you're Captain Bucktooth.
Me: Did you just say Butt Juice? (yes, that's what I heard)
LMSP: No! (laughing) Bucktooth!
Me: Oh. Well, he's not bucktooth anymore...”
B: That's why I'm Captain Hash Tag - “Hash Tag!” (same singsong voice on the #repeat)

Some parents have Bronies (sons who watch My Little Pony) – I have a son obsessed with Pretty Little Liars. I regret nothing.

TBG is playing a game – the goal of which, I guess, is to defend a crystal from creature invaders, like trolls and ogres – with a friend over XBOX Live. The enemies come in waves, for which they must kill a specific number in order to advance. It's kind of dumb, but... like I said, no judgement in this house. As the final wave is coming to a close, I'm counting down, so he knows how many are left – then I get to one. He's running around, trying to find it.
Found it. It was down here, stuck on stupid.”
I gave him that look he always gives me.
*update*apparently this is a work thing, just like they refer to everyone as “guy”. Not “hey guys” but “hey guy”. I know. Men.

Watching Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.
Hermione: … I checked this out weeks ago for a bit of light reading.
Ron: You call that light?
Me: You know that's us, right?
TBG: Yep.

If you ever want to know what the apocalypse will be like after the Zombie Virus ravages the country, go driving in the suburbs. After 11 pm. In Utah. On a Sunday.

I was wearing my pretty dress while TBG and I were out running errands (item #1 on the list being The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, of course – I told you we're nerds, right?). I wore that dress all day. The kids get home from school:
LMSP: Why are you looking so pretty today? (implying...?)
Me (trying not to laugh): Because I had nothing else to wear...
Nice backwards compliment! I'm still laughing – on the inside.

Inline image 1

That's it from this past month.  Now it's time for you to take flight, little flies!                          Baking In A Tornado                               The Rowdy Baker                                Just A Little Nutty                                         The Momisodes                     Spatulas on Parade                               The Sadder But Wiser Girl                         Follow me home . . .                Stacy Sews and Schools                          Impoverished Vegan                           Juicebox Confession                                        Go Mama O

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Monday, April 14, 2014

April Showers Bring Paper Flowers!

Well, Spring is definitely here.  I had my first major allergy attack the other day - I spent most of the morning feeling a sneeze coming on, then once I sneezed, I couldn't stop!  It went on for a couple hours.  Riddikulus.

Luckily, these flowers don't emit pollen spores, so feel free to skip the antihistamines!  I found my inspiration over at Susie Harris.  Her project uses large egg forms and solid colors, but are stunning!  I recommend checking hers out, too.

Here's the list of the supplies:
  • various shades of stock paper
  • various patterns of scrapbook paper
  • a medium flower punch
  • boxes of corsage pins (found in the wedding section) - amount depends on how many balls you plan on making and the number of flowers per ball
  • smooth Styrofoam balls and/or eggs - I ran out of eggs, so I started with the balls I had on hand 

I love trips to the craft store.  I don't take them very often because we can't afford it.  I tend to get carried away.  The Big Guy is... less enthusiastic.  It's like clothes shopping for him - unless it's Victoria's Secret, he's not interested.  Men.

As for my wallet, this craft was kinder than most.  Stock paper and scrapbook paper are cheap in the singular, so that's a bonus.  Plus there is always some fun patterns and colors to work with, with every season creating more to pick from.

I started this craft before I got around to taking the pictures, in case you couldn't tell.  At least there was enough left undone.  And my enough, I mean a lot.  Like I said - carried away!  I also started with some egg forms that I had on hand - you'll see them in the pictures.  Then, when the trips to the craft stores yielded a lack of more egg forms, I moved on to the... round ones I had on hand + I bought another pack of six.

Speaking of "carried away", I was filling my Brita water container and found that my kids decided the fridge needed decoration.  You know the produce stickers on apples, oranges, and the like?  Yeah... stuck on every surface, even under one of the shelves!  (I only know that because our fridge shelves are clear - lucky me.)  I picked off as many as I saw, but next time I'm in there, I'll probably find more.

I recommend punching all the flowers out ahead of time - it's the most time consuming part.  No, really.  It seems like it's never going to end.  I promise it does, though!

Isn't Little Miss Sassy Pants a great hand model?  You know, except the chipped nail polish.  Ha!  She love to paint her nails - spends her allowance on nail polish, changes it often.  The bad part is that she forgets to open a window during the process, so we all get bombarded with the stench.  It doesn't matter how many times I remind her.  The joys of pre-teen girls.

So, after you've punched out all your flowers, it's time to start pinning.  One corsage pin per flower is all that's needed.

The easiest way I found to start is by laying the flower on the Styrofoam form where you want it to be, then stick the pin through the paper, into the form, as close to the center of the flower as possible.  Offsetting the stock paper and scrapbook paper has the best effect.

I used the line separating the two halves to be a great starting point.  It keeps the first row somewhat straight, setting a good foundation for the rest of the... project.  

I'm trying really hard to to say ball here, even though that's what they are.  It turns into the gutter in my brain.  Let's face it, most things do.  I'll admit it.  My brain is the gutter blockage yours needs to get by when you're trying to float by.  Sorry about that!

The first line is done.  Simple.  LMSP says it looks like a head-wrapping braid.  I thought "halo" or "headband" - but I like hers, too.  I really need to talk to her about cleaning under her nails...

She asked me why her brothers never want to help me craft.  I wasn't sure how to answer her.  All those old-school gender affirming roles came to mind, but I don't want to teach my kids that girls do certain things while boys do other things - that they don't co-mingle.  Especially in this "enlightened" age.

So I said it was because they would rather play video games, which is true.  A mother's job and all that...

After the first line, I transected the... form... with a not-so-straight line, creating some not-so-equal quadrants.  These sections being equal is not important, just FYI.  That was the point I was trying to make.  Perfectionists, beware

From that point, it's just a matter of filling in the quadrants.  Use your best judgments and realize that some of your flowers may end up being really close together, in order to cover the naked... form... completely.

I liked to start the quadrants in the area with the smallest angle, then continue until it's full.

The finished project.  Looks fabulous, doesn't it?  There's a small catch →  you remember that game, Kerplunk?  The one where you pull the sticks out one by one, trying not to make the... marbles... fall?

Try doing that backwards, without the... marbles.  Sometimes, sticking the pins in, you may find... well, another pin.  There's an easy fix for that.  Just pull out the pin and re-position it.  No big deal! 

I wanted a wire basket, but was in too much of a rush to look for the perfect one, so I ended up with a clean, white, Easter basket for display purposes.  

Well, that's it!  I imagine I'll be doing these for other holidays.  One of LMSP friends' moms came over and said that she had made ornaments for the Christmas tree that were like these.  Ideas, ideas!

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Only the Best

These are all about our bests!

1. What was your best birthday?

It's a toss up.  I believe it was my 10th birthday - my parents threw a surprise party for me at Godfather's Pizza.  It was awesome!  It was the one and only surprise party I've had, so it's an extra special memory.

The other would be my 21st birthday, but not for the reasons you may think.  All the guests at my party were friends of The Big Guy's, though I knew a few and I was the only one not drunk.  I got my buzz on then spent the evening chilling out and playing video games.  It was bliss, in its own way.

2. What was your best vacation?

Vacation?  What's that?

As a child - well, I was almost 17, but still - my parents took me on a work vacation.  Dad had a conference he needed to attend in San Antonio, so Mom and I tagged along.  We went to Six Flags and Dad rode all the rides with me, which I'm sure was terrifying for him - that's what made it so special.  I also ended up almost dying because of that trip, but that's another story.

Now that I'm all grown up (pfft - right), I haven't taken a true vacation, except last year.  The Big Guy and I rented a suite at the Golden Nugget in Wendover.  It had a Jacuzzi in the room and everything.  It was for our 11th wedding anniversary, so we went all out on the room.  It was fun.  We spent a lot of time in the Jacuzzi and even more time at the Black Jack tables.

3. What is the best date you've ever been on?

I'll be honest.  I've only ever been on one traditional date.  It was with this boy, back when I was in my mid-teens.  We went to Olive Garden, had Tiramisu, then made out in a photo booth (sorry, Mom!).  But it's wasn't the best date or even the most memorable.

Since I don't have a basis on which to determine my best date, I'll share my most memorable, instead.  

It was what The Big Guy and I consider our first official date.  It was July 4, 2001.  We spent the day together, then when night rolled in, we hung out at a friend's place for fireworks.  [The friend's] Dad was drunk and the one operating the fireworks, so you can imagine.  Then there were the tweakers at the end of the complex - one of which happened to be [the friend's] ex-wife - who decided to shoot bottle rockets at us.  It was intense and scary, but The Big Guy was amazing and protective.  There were more fireworks between us than in the sky above - I loved him even then.

4. What is the best movie (quality) you've seen?

Gosh.  These questions aren't easy!  There are so many quality movies out there.

Les Misérables is amazing.  I've seen it on stage, in French, so I understood the basics.  Watching the movie was enlightening and even more heartbreaking with that understanding.

Donnie Darko also comes to mind.  It's twisted, sure, but it also gives insight into mental illness and has the plot twist to end all plot twists.

5. What is the best TV show ending of all time?

Are we talking a - single show within a series - ending or a series ender?

In my experience, with the shows I've watched, the series never end well.  They end with too many questions unanswered, due to the fact that they are cut without notice.  I've only seen one show (so far) that went through all their seasons and closed out the series on purpose: Dexter - that was a terrible ending.

If you want to talk singular show, I wouldn't say it's the best ending ever, but again, it's one that I've remembered years later.  It was a CSI: Las Vegas episode a couple seasons back, when Laurence Fishburne was still on the show.  There was a killer that dressed in custom latex, used vague representations at the crime scene that explained everything and nothing, and even his name was false - an anagram.  Ian Moone - I Am No One.  They never solved it.  Come to think of it, I should write a letter.  I want to know what happens!

If you created this gif, please let me know so I can credit you.
Seriously creepy, right?

Thanks for joining me for another Sunday Social!  

What are your bests?

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