dendritejungle: (dendrite1)
[personal profile] dendritejungle
*taps mic* Testing, testing, 1 2 3...is this thing on? Just trying out my inaugural Dreamwidth post, and hoping it cross-posts back to LiveJournal effectively? I've been meaning to switch over since the April transfail incident - which actually bothered me much more than their various preivous and subsequent privacy-related failings - but I'm not very organized. Sorry it hasn't happened sooner! If you're on DW, please (a) let me know who you are so I can stalk you access your posts there and (b) please add me, since I really don't want to have to switch back and forth between my DW account and OpenID just to read stuff.

And if you're used to reading here in LJ and want to keep it that way, that's totally fine too: I'll be cross-posting and leaving commenting open. LJ just won't be getting more of my money when my current paid account expires.

SO. *dusts off hands* With that bit of housekeeping out of the way, how are y'all doing? I hope the fall has been treating you well? I can't quite believe it's been a month since I last posted, but that's life for ya. Fortunately I've just had a week of vacation (originally supposed to be a road trip to Chicago with [profile] neequdrazil to see [identity profile] eboniorchid.livejournal.com and culminating in WinCon, but as it worked out I have been spending my vacation at home. This turned out to be a good thing as it's enabled me to at least start unpacking All The Things from storage and trying desperately to catch up on several dozen half-completed projects I'm terribly behind on - including posting! And, even while the reno isn't quiiite done (come on, kitchen pantry!!! it's been THREE EFFING MONTHS!!!) as I'd desperately hoped by now, it's close enough that I'm treating this as Screw It, I'm Declaring The Reno "Basically Done And Moving On With My Life", With Bonus "Projects" To Finish Up. I'd hoped to finish touching up the bathroom paint this weekend, but it was that or posting, and frankly, much as I want it done, I'd rather talk with all of you and tackle painting next weekend. *gathers you all up in a giant hug*

Anyway. I also have about a GAZILLION photos I'm dying to share with y'all, not in the least because I had promised shing_ ages ago that I would post about Fan Expo.

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FAN EXPO
As promised to shing_, here are my thoughts and some pics from Fan Expo 2010 back in August. (Yeah, I suck, I know.) All pics are either mine or those of Simon Chambers with whom I went - I'm naming him since it's his Flickr account under his name, so it's not exactly a secret.

Firstly, INSANE LINEUPS WERE INSANE. They actually made the news. And it was generally incredibly crowded - so crowded they stopped letting people in at a couple of points since the building was over capacity. Yeah. NUTS. But the company was excellent, and I thoroughly enjoyed the speakers and browsing the retail and artist alley areas. When I could move. ;P

Some favourites from the main hall (click on thumbnails for larger pictures):
Life-size Lego Darth Vader and Boba Fett
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Amusing stick "fan" for the Alien series. I'd never realized quite how...testicular? the "facehugger" life stage of the aliens were...
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Two T-shirts I enjoyed a great deal
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Surprise Supernatural stand, COMPLETE WITH SURPRISE!IMPALA!!!! You guys, I took over a dozen photos of her. If anyone wants more, just let me know...
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And speaking of cars, the Batmobile was there as well
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Tron Legacy WHICH LOOKS TO BE AWESOME EEEEE!!!
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Now that's an efficient use of space
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Favourite costumes included:
a FANTASTIC Tom Baker Doctor and Leela
The Doctor and Leila
a damn impressive Dalek
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a whole squadron of stormtroopers and sundry characters
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Redshirt with Tribble. Heh.
Star Trek Officer and Tribble
The Monarch and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch from The Venture Bros.
Cosplay
An astounding makeup job on...uh...this character I don't know?
Photobucket Intricate Make-up
Anyone else watch Reboot, a Canadian CGI series in the 90s? If so, check out this AndrAIa
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Then there were the panels. Simon got to more than I did, so he's got some pictures of Peter Mayhew and Summer Glau, but I'm just going to reference the ones I actually attended myself.

Stan Lee Stan Lee
HILARIOUS. Who knew?!? He was very bombastic - I couldn't tell if it was his actual personality or if he was hamming it up:
"Why did you first get into comics? "Greed."
"Why do you do so many collaborations with other people?" "Because I can't draw!"

Adam West, Burt Ward & Julie Newmar
Given that all three are getting on in age, I wanted to see this famous trio from the 60s Batman series while they were all still making the rounds. They were quite strict about no photos, so no pics to share, sorry. West and Ward were kinda cool - did you know that Ward and Bruce Lee used to live in the same condo building and were sparring buddies? - but Newmar was...wow. On something? I hope? Because if that's her actual self these days, she's in trouble. She kept posing and answering questions in ways that were either awkward in that uncomfortable feeling-embarassed-for-her kind of way: she made little or no sense and there was a rather skin-crawling episode where she was flirting with a 15-year-old until he got close enough that she could see he was young enough to ask his age.

James Marsters James Marsters - who [personal profile] missyjack recently and amusingly referred to as "the little black dress of sci-fi/fantasy"
Funny, articulate and more thoughtful than I would have thought. He referenced Lucas inviting his LA high school theatre class to see Star Wars, which would make him 48!!! Dammit, I want to look and be as awesome as him when I'm just shy of fifty. (Which fortunately gives me a bit of time to work on it. ;D)

Photobucket Yoshitaka Amano
Ah, Amano-san. His presence was actually my main motivation for attending the con: I utterly ADORE his artwork and own a book of some of his designs. (Never heard of him? He's best known for his work in art design for the earlier Final Fantasy games, but more recently has collaborated with Western comic producers, including a Sandman project with Neil Gaiman. *flails*) His combination of Japanese, art nouveau, symbolist and Klimt influences - all of which I love individually - melded into a completely unique style...I just...GAH. AWESOME. LOVE. *fangirls incoherently some more* Anyway. Actually not as interesting a talk as I might have hoped, but it was lovely to just BASK IN HIS PRESENCE. *happy sigh*

Photobucket William Shatner
Really, how could we not see Bill? I had no idea what he would be like as a speaker, but he was very engaging, gregarious, actually repeated people's questions (YAY!), and regaled us with a number of anecdotes before moving on to a Q&A. In short he was a pleasure, which I'm a little embarassed to admit I wasn't expecting. (I've eschewed the closeup photo here, because the poor guy was sweating like you wouldn't believe.)

Michael Dorn Michael Dorn
Again, a lot more enjoyable than I thought it might be: Michael was funny and told a number of great anecdotes - who knew he's a pilot and had a thing for military aircraft? - and dealt well with a few awkward questions.


*pant* And that's it! Anyway, I also have several short videos if anyone's curious to see/hear more from the speakers. If so, just let me know and I'll happily YouTube 'em.

Purple Hills 2010 Southern Ontario,Fall,Autumn,Creemore,Purple Hills,Dufferin County Southern Ontario,Fall,Autumn,Creemore,Purple Hills,Dufferin County Southern Ontario,Fall,Autumn,Creemore,Purple Hills,Dufferin County
SEPTEMBER SLIDESHOW
In September I went up north to my parent's place for a weekend, and it was just SO ridiculously scenic I may have gone a little crazy with the camera. I've managed to whittle the 300-odd (!!!) down to two dozen, which you can see quick thumbnails of here, or just enjoy via this slideshow...which, uh, will hopefully display now; if not feel free to follow the link...



PICS FROM A FEW PROJECTS
First I took The Workroom's intro course and made a throw pillow. I'm not a big fan of throw pillows, so I used some fugly fabric I didn't care about so I could get rid of it with no emotional entanglements. Photobucket
Then the big leagues: a full-on box cushion with cording. Photobucket
Again, crappy fabric because I don't want to keep it; I just wanted to learn the techniques for another project I want to do (specifically, creating a custom cover for my new couch/futon). Also, have a sekkrit link because I just couldn't resist sharing this happy pic of me hugging it in the store.

And today was part 1 of an underwear-making course. My eventual hope is to reverse engineer a couple of favourite pairs which are no longer made.

Finally, I signed up for a woodworking course, but since we're only allowed to make their predetermined project and I was getting discouraged at the prospect of spending 10 weeks to learn how to use equipment I have no access to, I asked for a refund. WOE. Which sucks since I really want to make a bench for my front closet, but what are ya gonna do.


THANKSGIVING AND VACATION
Canadian Thanksgiving was spent in what has become the traditional manner, in Ottawa with [personal profile] neeuqdrazil, [identity profile] eboniorchid.livejournal.com for our TRIAD THREE YEAR ANNIVERSARRY, YOU GUYS, YAAAY and various other terrific and too-infrequently-seen folk for a weekend of fun, amazing community, debauchery *shifty eyes* BRO YOU DIDN'T READ THAT and outstanding food - including a wonderful meal at themoderatrix and Wife's freshly renovated house. *happy sigh* I am still on a high from the weekend. Oh, and I am tickled beyond belief that they have not one but TWO nooks which explicitly remind them of me: one a cozy little curl-up-on-the-couch spot in the basement, and the other this awesome little cubby nook halfway up the stairs that OF COURSE I just had to crawl into for a few minutes. I'd say it's scary how well they know me, but I was themoderatrix's roommate for two years and her Wife was my first girlfriend back in the day*, so actually it's not surprising - let alone scary - at all! Mostly it's incredibly touching. :D
*For those not familiar with the story, there were seven years between our breakup and their getting together, so it's all far more amicable and drama-free than it sounds at superficial telling.

The rest of the week has been a whirlwind of procuring foodstuffs, bringing box after endless box of books and doodads up from storage lockers, then sorting, tossing, putting away, shuffling around, cleaning, tidying some more...did I mention it was endless? I was hoping to be done by the end of the week, but that was over-ambitious.

On the one hand it's been like Christmas, opening all these boxes that I already KNOW hold things I want and love - books! art! clothing! It's also been like various games: Tetris, trying to fit boxes and geegaws of various sizes into their approximate location so I can move on to the next thing; and Memory, also known as, "crap, I know I saw that matching slipper somewhere, where the hell was that again..." In conclusion, it's been fun and exciting - but also equal parts daunting and intimidating. The latter are just due to the SHEER VOLUME of stuff, even though I'm getting rid of so much of it. Also, since I've divested myself of a whole room and the entire vertical shelf system where my TV used to be, trying to find new homes for everything is a little challenging. Hence the getting rid of things (along with the very strong desire to NEVER HAVE TO MOVE THIS MUCH CRAP AGAIN, OMG).

It's interesting, actually, how much my attitude to having stuff has changed since the Bugpocalypse. I've always been a horder - uh. I mean collector. *shifty eyes* Not as bad as you'd see on TV, but I have a librarian's blood in my veins and looove books. And art. And photos. And pretty much every piece of paper that's ever crossed my path: class notes, childhood exercise books, playbills and exhibition brochures, freebie giveaways - you name it, I keep it. /o\ I come by it honestly: you should meet my mom, an actual (ex-)librarian who own an INSANE number of books. No, really. NO, REALLY. All nicely shelved and organized, don't get me wrong. But I've watched her keep and keep and keep over the years, and while there's no question I have exactly the same leanings, I really don't want to need a house just to keep all my stuff. That's actually part of my original logic in buying a condo: it seems perfectly reasonable that as ONE PERSON everything I own should be able to fit comfortably into this 600ish square foot space, and I always promised myself that I would get rid of things as needed accordingly. Except I wasn't so good at the getting rid of part...

But NO MORE. I used to think, "Hey, why not? I move so rarely, why not keep all this stuff?" But having had to move everything I own literally at a moment's notice - and the sword-of-Damocles awareness that given the Toronto bedbug epidemic I may have to again - has forever altered the way I look at my stuff. If I don't (a) need it or (b) really want it, out it goes. Which isn't to say that isn't hard, and tears at my heartstrings in a way that is almost laughable to those who don't understand how difficult it can be for some of us to say goodbye to a book or a thingummy you've had since your childhood. But it's necessary, and given that I've been feeling rather suffocated by stuff for the last few years, I think very healthy. It's time.

For one thing, it means I can finally rent out my solarium to get some money for Project Take A Year Off! I was kinda hoping to have everything ready for September, but at this point I'm looking at renting it out for January. That should be doable. I think. *hyperventilates*

But it hasn't all been work this week. I've also watched various movies, including The Great Escape - yay, now I can finally get all the cultural references! - and Plan 9 From Outer Space which was exactly as epically bad/good as I've always heard. And I've been enjoying the hell out of Myst Online which is my penultimate all-time favourite game franchise (now second only to Flower).

I am still several weeks behind on Glee, Merlin and Supernatural - but I'll get caught up eventually. Not on date nights with Zil anymore, though: I finally have movie coupons again (best use of CAA!) and we've got a few lined up we're looking forward to seeing. Whee!

And boy, if you made it through all that, you get a cookie!
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dendritejungle

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