Thursday, April 21, 2005

I am at Celebration 3!

Man, 3 years of waiting and I'm finally here! The last several days have been like one big long day all rolled together, but all that hard work has finally paid off and I'm finally in Indy about to go have a leisurely breakfast and start my first day at the convention.
My costumes are all done and every long night spent working on them for the past several weeks is about to become worth it as I wear my first one out there when the convention opens in a few hours.

There are already about 1000 die hards in line out there in the rain, and I would have been one of them if I had not found out last night that several members of the 501st were asked to participate in the opening of the convention by marching into it. I got to sleep in a bit by volunteering to be one of those guys. Not a bad little perk at all.

Still, I woke up an hour before the alarm went off (as tired as I am) because I was too excited for the day to begin. Sort of like Christmas, but with costumes and 30,000 geeks just like me.
I decided to go take a jog in the cold grey morning to see how long the line was and get a nice start to the day. The line wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be, but it's only 6am and the con doesn't open until noon. I'll bet that it's grown to triple the size it was already, and by the time I get out there it'll probably be four times as long.

For anyone interested, I'm going to be keeping a web page filled with pictures from each day at the con here for all my buddies back at home that couldn't (or didn't want to) make it out here.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Velcro just keeps on stickin

Yes, another costuming post.

Here it is 12:41am. I've spent more than half my waking hours today working on my Damn costumes for Celebration 3. That's just not normal.

The second I got off work, I was already on my way to Albertson's to buy some "Goo Gone". This particular product was needed for my Storm Trooper armor, which has got to be shiny and bright white at Celebration 3. After all, there's a chance I might run into George Lucas and I wouldn't want him to say "That armor looks like crap, son!"

That's exactly what's going to happen if I show up there with all of my velcro falling off. See, I bought this cheap velcro the first time around, and it didn't stick very well. When it starts falling off, the exposed glue from it attracts every random hair, piece of dirt or colored fabric that I walk near. It's pretty disgusting.

So I have to take off all the velcro with "Goo Gone" and then put on BETTER velcro that won't fall off. After buying the glue remover, I headed to the craft store to buy some really expensive industrial velcro. This stuff could be used to attach a truck to it's trailer if needed. Ok, maybe not, but it's pretty strong.

Anyway....I got that crap home and started trying to take off some velcro. I quickly realized, it would take about 30 minutes or more per PIECE of armor. My armor comes in about 18 pieces. There was no way I was going to finish this, and I had to go to Badger's to work on the Rebel Pilot costumes we're making for our group.

I got there, and we immediately broke the mold for the Visor we were trying to make. That threw a huge monkey wrench into things, and so we were left trying to do the odds and ends that were left besides that. I left at about 9:30, not feeling very accomplished at all. When I got home, Heather was working hard on taking the velcro off my armor, and I joined her to finish up. I got done about 12:20am and my armor is currently drying on our dish rack. It's a ridiculous site, and I did take pictures.

Tomorrow, I have to put all the armor back together and get it into it's packing crate in order to ship it to Indianapolis tomorrow night. Then, this weekend...somehow, I've got to finish my pilot costume, which now must be checked on the airplane.

I need a vacation.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Birthdays everywhere but none for me

This weekend was pretty darn busy. Friday night we went to Black Angus with Heather's mom for her belated birthday dinner. Not sure why it was a birthday dinner (there were no presents, no cake, and I paid) but was still a good meal.

I got a last minute invite to Jay's bachelor party on Friday, but I had already committed to a few things that completely filled my day up. They were as follows:

First, I trooped at a kid's birthday party as a favor to Jason. He's done a lot for me over the years as far as costuming goes, so when he asked if I could show up at his friend's kid's house for a party, I agreed. As much as I absolutely hate the idea of stooping to being the equivalent of the "Birthday clown", I felt beholdent enough to Jason to go, so I went. 2 hours later, I decided that my previous plan of never doing one of these was a good one, and I should continue to stick with that from now on. While some of the kids were definitely happy to see us, there were plenty of bratty ones that made the whole experience a chore that I will never do again. I'm totally up for all the charity work we do, but if I wanted to be harassed all day by beligerent kids whose parents seem determined to allow them to annoy me....I'd go be a character at Disneyland.

I had a pretty bad headache after that, so I went home and took a nap for a few hours. Heather woke me up about 6:30 to inform me that we were late for Jason's birthday party. I slowly got myself back out of bed and we headed over there. I had intended to leave that party sometime around 10pm to join Jay's bachelor party in progress, but we ended up staying until 1am.

Sunday, I got up and worked on the Star Wars room a little (maybe unpacked another 30 figs or so). While I was doing that, Ryan and Jason came over to shoot the last scene of their movie in my basement, which they promptly transformed into a police station. It was cool looking and when Jason becomes a famous director someday, my house can be on the reality tour. :-)
I was supposed to work on costumes last night, but somehow they got a late start and didn't need too much help, so I ended up watching 24.

Speaking of costumes...

Tonight, I'm going to Badger's to work some more on the Rebel Pilot stuff and we'll keep that up this week until we're done.

I also have to (at some point) fix up my trooper armor and get that all packed and ready to go. I have NO idea when I'll have time to do that, but I need to find time because I'm definitely bringing it. It needs to be ready by this Friday because it seems that a member of the infamous Road Squadron has offered to take my costume trunks along to C3 with her in her Darkside Ride. So, that means I can bring more costumes, which is always a good thing, but they all have to be fixed in 4 days, which is bad.

A week from Wednesday, my plane should be landing in Indianapolis. Wow. Months (if not years) of waiting, and it's finally almost here!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Penfold's Five

The title has nothing to do with this post, other than I had my name set as "Danger Mouse" on messenger all day today.

Anyway, what I should have titled this post is "Costuming can be fun, but that doesn't mean it is". That would have been humorous. You see, today after work at about 6pm I braved rush hour traffic over the bridge to West Seattle so we could work some more on the Rebel Pilot costumes for C3.
I was somehow the first one to Badger's house, so I asked for something to do and ended up cutting out Jason's helmet. About the time I finished that up, Jason, Greg and Julie all got there and Jason and I decided to go to the hardware store to pick up Epoxy and hoses for the Chest Boxes. This ended up taking roughly an hour, but we did stop at Costco for pizza on the way home. Mmmmmm...Costco Pizza.

Anyway, when we got back, we at some pizza and I watched the last 15 minutes or so of Survivor. Then Jason and I glued these black pieces onto the chest boxes (for wonderful screenlike accuracy). About that time we realized there was drilling to be done, but Badger didn't have the right drill bits. There was bondo work to be done, but I guess we needed more of that too. We were at a stand still.

So, at 11pm, with a few more things done than when I got there, I took off. This ended my costuming day. T-7 days until I need to ship my costumes to C3.

It's going to be close.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The old ballgame

Yesterday, one of the companies we work with at my job took us all to the opening day at Safeco field. We all loaded onto a big tour bus and took the long way across 520 at about 12:30pm. Because our driver chose to take the most indirect route possible, we ended up stuck in lots of traffic and not arriving at the game until 1:45 or so.

I missed most of the Presidents opening day act (I guess they played a couple of songs before I got there) but still got to see them play as the players were introduced. This vendor has access to (or owns) their own suite, so we got to spend the entire game in there. Basically, the suite consists of about 12 chairs to watch the game from, plus a sitting area with a big plasma screen TV and lots of free food to eat. Hotdogs, Chinese food, Sushi, Cookies, Drinks, etc, etc. It made the game a lot of fun.

There were fireworks to introduce the starting lineup, and then the Safeco roof was opened to reveal a nice blue sky. About halfway through the game (by the time the Mariners were winning about 5-1) they closed the roof just in case it was about to rain. It never did. When the game ended, they asked us to raid the fridge and take everything we could (because it was all paid for and there was no sense in leaving it there). I tried to take some alcohol home for a future party, but got stopped by security on the way out. Apparently that's bad.

Anyway, on the bus ride home, a couple of my teammates had their brand new Sony PSPs and were playing them together wirelessly. There's a gadget I wish I had, but that probably would have been the only time I really NEEDED it. The rest of the time it would probably collect dust with my gameboy. I gradually fell asleep somewhere along the way back to work and woke up just in time to be dropped off at my car and go home.

Definitely better than your average day at work, unlike today....which sucks.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Star Wars Weekend

As expected, Friday and Saturday were one really long day. On Friday I woke up at about 6:30am and went to work. That night I got home and tried to take a nap (but couldn't). We had the Toys R Us event that night, and there were some pieces on our costumes that needed work, so I had to do a little gluing. My Biker Scout helmet looked a little warped and sure enough when I tried to put it on, it was totally impossible. Instead of that costume, I had to wear my stormtrooper.

At about 10pm Heather and I got our stuff together and headed down to Bellevue Toys R Us. There were already a few troops there (and some collectors waiting in line for the toys to go on sale at midnight). Because we were doing an event in costume at the store, we got our pick of a few toys first, but tried not to take too many. After shuffling through the toys, we got out in front of the store to greet people. It was a lot of fun, and at midnight we went inside and milled around while the 50-100 people there shopped. After we got out of our costumes, we did a little more shopping and made it home by about 2am. It was really hard to get to sleep, and I don't think I did until after 3.

John bailed on the whole "Midnight Madness" thing, so Heather agreed to come out on the morning rounds with me. We got up at 530am to get ready for the morning of store-hopping. We stopped by McDonald's (they got her breakfast wrong) and then drove up to Woodinville Target to wait for the exclusive Lava Vader they had there. I was the 2nd person in line behind my friend Chris. As the clock ticked closer to 8am, more people showed up and by the time they opened, there were about 15 people there. Heather stayed in the car reading bridal magazines for most of that time, but came out and pushed the cart for me when it was time to go in.

I picked up about 10 figures at Target, all of which I used a 1.00 off coupon I had on. Then we went to the Lynnwood Wal Mart to buy the exclusive 4 pack they had there. I also picked up a few more figs there, and suprisingly, they let me use my Target 1.00 off coupon there too. They did keep it though. Next, we went to Fred Myer where they had nothing, Alderwood target (where I got 3 more figures, and they let me have the 1.00 off anyway)....and finally Alderwood Toys R us, where they had nothing I needed. At this point, I split off from Chris, and Heather and I went to the mall. I found one thing I needed at Suncoast, and then we looked at gifts for our wedding registry (so the morning was not a total loss for her).

I got home, read on the internet how others had done (turns out I did prett well!) and then tried to get a nap. By the time Sunday rolled around, I was starting to recover. I finished the wedding website and did a little more shopping. Overall, I spent way too much, but it was probably worth it. Heather said I should go ahead and go for it even though I'm saving for the wedding right now, because I don't see ever doing anything like this again.

It was definitely an awesome weekend.