December 28, 2008
Driving Notes

-Driving in heavy fog at night on the highway is both very creepy and very nerve-wracking, because the visibility is so bad.

-Industrial sprawl in NJ is a very freaky place to get lost.

-I am not cut out for road trips - nine hours with a two and a half hour break in the middle of it = way too long.

However, my brother enjoyed Video Games Live!, and I enjoyed seeing them again, so in the end it was worth it.

December 22, 2008
Morning Laugh

Dear XKCD,

As long as you share that booze with us, sure.

Bio Majors

December 20, 2008
Cosplay Ranting

Because I am kind of drunk right now (brother came home and his girlfriend is over, and we had a few while chatting after dinner), and Jon linked me to this thread, which is bringing out the epic eyerolling and ranting in me. And hey, I haven't bitched a bout cosplay for a while XD

This thread fails on many levels:

1) 'Asians are the most awesome perfect cosplayers ever!' - not actually outright said, but all but one of the 'good' cosplayers they link is Asian (I'm pretty sure that Ivy is Caucasian, but with all the make-up and wig, I can't make a 100% call). This is an attitude I am really sick of seeing in fandom and in the cosplay communities. Yeah, there are some fucking awesome Asian cosplayers. There are also some fucking awesome Western cosplayers too. And related, there are terribad Western cosplayers, and terribad Asian ones as well. Asians do not have a mystical cosplay gene that makes them automatically better at it. I know a lot of it is the weeaboo/Japanophile bullshit that is one of the reasons I've kind of fallen out of anime fandoms - if it comes from Japan, it must be better! (NB: I actually think most of the 'good' cosplayers linked are in fact amazing, it just tripped my pet peeve born of people on actually outright saying 'Japanese cosplayers are the best evar omg')

2) 'Cosplay is only okay if it's done by hot chicks' - 1) up there is a pet peeve of mine, but this makes me want to find the person and give them the finger while shouting 'Go to hell, you sexist pig'. Newsflash, male nerds: this cosplay is not for you. I think it's a fair estimation to say that most cosplayers like it when other people like their costumes. We're human. We like compliments, we like flattery. But a lot of us? Costume for ourselves, for fun. Your like or dislike of our costume does not somehow validate or invalidate the work we put into it. We are not there for the sole purpose of your sexual gratification. You do not get to decide who cosplays and who doesn't. And you know, this goes for the female nerds too - anyone who says shit like 'ugh, he/she is so fat/ugly/pimply/etc, they should be banned from cosplay for life'.

3) 'I think all the cosplayers I see at cons are losers with no social lives' - I'm not sure whether I should laugh and laugh and laugh or just roll my eyes until they come out of their sockets. Please. You bought a con pass, do not judge the nerdiness of others. Besides, at least cosplay requires creativity. And for all the 'but cosplay is so expensive!' - so are video games, and TCGs, and RPG books (oh god yes T.T) and golf, and going to the movies all the time, and cooking (the net worth of my cooking appliances/utensils/supplies is def worth more than all the cosplays I've done), and, well, most hobbies. It's just that nobody rags one someone for spending hundreds of dollars on golf clubs because it's considered socially acceptable, while making your own really cool clothing and fake weapons and shit is super-nerdy and worthy of mocking.

And I will end this by admitting that yeah, I am hypercritical about cosplay - both my own and others. I'm hypercritical about a lot of things in life (riding public transit a lot really makes me hate humanity), and I know full-well that a lot of it is because I have self-esteem problems. I belittle others to feel better about myself. But you know what? At least I keep all my bitchy criticisms to myself - I don't walk up to the person, or their friends and be like 'you are a godawful cosplayers, now GTFO'. Hell, I don't even post it on the internet. Honestly, this is in part the reason I stopped entering competitions - it made me even more of a massive hypercritical bitch, and I hated that part of me. Judging, on the other hand, actually made me remember why I love cosplaying - talking to people, new and old cosplayers alike, who were just so enthusiastic and excited to be there, and be cosplaying, was really uplifting. Even the discussions among the judges afterwards managed to be constructive in their criticisms - a lot of 'this part was really awesome, but I think if they had done this, it would have made the costume a lot better', which for craftsmanship judging (which is what this is) is the right attitude to have.

(Semi-related hint - cosplay on the internet is all about photography. Crappy construction will look great with a a good photographer, and amazing construction will look lousy with a bad one.)

December 18, 2008

Finals are over, and I'm back in the States for the next two weeks for Christmas. Basically spent the last two weeks studying, doing cooking dailies in WoW, and attempting to get my house clean before I left - it's cleaner, anyway, although I'm not sure I'd call it clean.

Flights were a hassle - first one out of Vancouver was two hours late taking off because the tarmac was icy and they had to deice the plane, and snow = impending apocalypse in Vancouver. Then my flight to Boston was delayed an hour and a half because of poor visibility at Logan Airport. Then Air Canada lost my luggage. Again. Seriously, I think next year I may just bus to Seattle so I don't have to take Air Canada.

I will eventually make posts about Avatar and Ubuntu, the two guilty pleasures I have been distracting myself with lately, as they are separate-post worthy, but I am really jetlagged and my mom wants me to help her make cookies tomorrow =.=

December 10, 2008

Dear Money,

Go die in a fire


So, after figuring out how much money I owe people, and then factoring in the lousy exchange rate, I realized I have $150 left to 1) buy food for the next week and 2) finish buying Christmas presents.

I also discovered my credit card won't authorize any more - I'm guessing it's a combo of Vanoc running the full amount of the Olympic tickets I requested for my Dad plus my mom putting a bunch of stuff on one of the linked cards.

I also want to play DDS2 more, but don't really want to spend $50 on a game I already own, and have tossed another $20 and a year and a half trying to get back into my possession (I'm not bitter at all, no). I know I can probably buy it again with Christmas money, but I'd really rather buy something I don't have already.

I'm angry and bitter and can't sleep, and nobody else is on for me to bitch to. Argh.

EDIT: I should note that this is not 'oh noez I am broke and going to starve' - I have money for food and rent for January (and already paid up this month). I was just hoping to have some left over after presents to buy some books or something for myself.

December 7, 2008
Some Cosplay Open Letters

Dear Mom,
I love you, but you are crazy and disorganized (see: matador pattern instructions inside zoot suit pattern envelope), but without your crazy fabric/pattern min-maxing, there is no way I would have fit all of this on the fabric I had.

Dear Blazer Pattern,
You are strange and full of lots of fiddly bits. I knew there was a reason I had never made a suit by hand before, and now I know it.

Dear Fabric,
Ahahaha, bet you didn't think I'd ever do that, did you!

Dear Self,
Remember why you hadn't started on this project already? Yeah, I though so.

(Yeah, I finally got around to chopping up the fabric I bought three years ago for Rufus. It's...a bit crazy, really. Three different patterns, two of which I'm modifying heavily. Still need to buy lining, interfacing, and the contrast fabric for the pocket trim and collar.

Also, anybody have experience buying coloured contacts? While I have prescription lenses, I've always let my mother pick out the brand, as she wears contacts all the time, and I wear them about six times a year. I'd like to get some blue ones, though, and I really have no clue what's good - I've got medium-brown eyes, and will probably need to buy one of the more 'expensive' brands, as the power for my left eye is -8.00, and most of the cheaper ones seem to only go up to -6.00)

December 6, 2008
EZ Mode

Oh Arts, how I love you ♥

I had these two papers I was really worried about the marks on - a paper for a third-year science lab (the one I was wailing about a few weeks ago), and a paper about portrayals of anarchism in The Secret Agent and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man for a fourth year English class. Both were super-bullshitty, and I felt like they were both C/D papers - not strong work at all.

I don't have the science paper back yet, although with 40% and 60% as my two previous paper grades, not looking good. The English paper? 78%. I laugh and laugh and laugh. And then cry a little, because there's no way I got 78% on my stats final this morning.