Wednesday, August 13, 2014

SDCC 2014 (Part 2)

Catch up by reading part 1 of my recap here!

Picked up my #SDCC-exclusive Seconds

Friday

After the whirlwind that was Thursday, Friday was considerably more relaxed. We spent the morning in line for the Game of Thrones Survive the Realm experience. Inside, there were lots of costumes on display (so much detail!), and you could make a gif of you with Drogon, sit on the Iron Throne, and climb The Wall via Oculus Rift. It was pretty cool, but I'd already seen all of that (except the Drogon gif) at SXSW, so I was a little disappointed that I waited so long.

SDCC 2014
20140725_143029
SDCC 2014

We were hot from waiting outside and tired, so we changed out of our costumes and into normal clothing for the Nerdist cosplay panel and @midnight live. The cosplay panel was rad - there were so many cosplayers I really admire, like Commander Holly and Chloe Dykestra - and I learned so much.
@midnight is one of my favorite TV shows currently - it's a game show with different comedians as the contestants, and it draws from the internet! I was so excited when I saw they were doing a live show at SDCC - we got seats in the 3rd or 4th row, so we had a great view! It started off with stand-up, then a live version of the show itself. The featured comedians were Matt Mira, Brian Posehn, Steve Agee, and Grace Helbig. It was awesome and I hope they do a live show again next year.

Saturday

Bryan Lee O'Malley, creator of Scott Pilgrim, just released a new book, Seconds, and hosted a panel at SDCC for the first time in 5 years! I knew I had to wear Ramona for the occasion. Lots of people dressed up in Scott Pilgrim costumes, which was awesome!

Do you know a girl with hair like this?  #sdcc #sdcc2014 @radiomaru

A lot of people at the panel hadn't read Seconds yet, but I was happy to learn more about what inspired the story and the artistic process. I also picked up my SDCC-exclusive copy of Seconds and got it signed by Bryan!

At the panel, I got to man the mic during the Q&A session! It was pretty easy since almost everyone was respectful and asked appropriate/good questions, but I was pretty nervous to stand up in front of a room full of Scott Pilgrim fans! Afterwards, me and another Ramona cosplayer took a photo with Bryan - she made her jacket, can you believe it?!

Another #SDCC highlight - I got to man the mic for Q&A during @radiomaru's panel!    Almost everyone was respectful/good at asking questions, but one dude tried to ask two questions, then didn't have q second one ready. C'mon dude!
Double Ramonas and Scott Pilgrim Guy™ @radiomaru #SDCC2014 #sdcc

For the third day in a row, we went and changed into Game of Thrones cosplay for the Courtyard Mariott cosplay contest! Normally, I'm not much of a contest person. I have a lot of fun cosplaying, but my craftsmanship isn't that great. Megan (The Nerdy Girlie) personally invited us to this contest by giving us keys, and when she told me that Norman Reedus and Greg Nicotero were judging, I couldn't say no! 

SDCC 2014
Photo by Megan

It wound up being a really awesome experience, even with a few bumps along the way. All the other cosplayers there were super sweet and we bonded backstage. Norman Reedus loved my contacts/eye makeup - he said "Whoa!" - and all the other cosplayers had some seriously impressive costumes.

SDCC 2014
Photo by Megan
SDCC 2014
Photo by Megan - isn't her dress awesome?

Sunday

Matching Westeros outfits and winged backpacks - (t)winning! #sdcc2014 #sdcc

We were supposed to wear our South Park: The Stick of Truth cosplays on Sunday, but honestly, Liz and I were exhausted! We were only expecting to wear one costume each day, but it quickly turned into two whenever the beer tasting and cosplay contest popped up. I wouldn't trade it for anything, but I think next year, I will be a little smarter about choosing my costumes. SDCC is simply too huge to cosplay comfortably, and multiple costumes a day was not a great idea! 

So instead, we took Sunday easy and wore our Westeros map shirts we got from the HBO pop-up shop. We didn't plan to pack almost identical outfits, but we both have similar tastes, I guess!

Well, the con is officially over. Until next year, San Diego! I'm happy that I got to meet up with as many people as I did, and if I missed you, there's always next year!   If you missed out on the @superheroesque buttons we got for SDCC, don't worry - we

Sunday was mostly wandering around, tying up loose ends, and watching Colby do the Assassin's Creed Parkour Course. Assassin's Creed partnered up with a parkour training facility to make its game more fluid and realistic, and hires them to do videos and performances. They set up a giant obstacle course for SDCC with the official parkour team performing throughout the day. It was really cool! It made me want to learn parkour.

Liz made a video that captures the scale and immensity of SDCC really well!

This was, by far, my most packed SDCC yet. I wore more costumes, did more things, and saw more people this year than any year prior. It was such a great experience and I look forward to next year! 

What celebrity would you most want to meet at SDCC?


Monday, August 11, 2014

August Activities

Mermaid
Mermaid Print by Scrawny Girl
Start doing a monthly self-review. I learned about this idea from Belle of Exist, who wrote a nice, comprehensive guide to conducting a monthly review. I started mine this month - I'm excited to see if I accomplish my monthly goal.

Try analog instead of digital. It's so easy to get caught up in the convenience of digital. Streaming music and TV shows, sending texts, emails, and IMs, and shopping online are all awesome developments, but sometimes it's impossible to resist the temptation to multi-task. Switch to analog for a moment - shop in person for comic books and clothing, listen to a CD, or write a letter to a friend for a change in pace. You may find you prefer the old-school version!

Set aside 10 minutes a day for pet cuddling time. Like access to sunshine or exercising regularly, petting an animal is something that can help keep depression and other mental illnesses at bay. Why not use this discovery as an excuse to spend quality time with your furry friend?

Notice your complaints. One method I recently learned to keep track of when you complain is to wear a rubber band or bracelet, and switch it to your other wrist every time you complain. It really gets you conscious of this habit! Thinking positively is one of the easiest ways to improve your mood, so if you're having issues with negativity, try this trick out.

What's your must-do for August?


Friday, August 8, 2014

SDCC 2014 (Part 1)

San Diego Comic Con is always a beast. It's one of the largest conventions in the country, with something for every kind of geek. SDCC results in totally different experiences for each person who goes - someone might camp out all weekend to see the coolest panels first-hand, someone else might cosplay all weekend, and someone else might find the coolest stuff in the expo hall, and that's only a small fraction of what's out there. This was my third year going (2012, 2013), but I still feel like I have so much to learn every year to get an even better experience next year.

Just a warning - I'm splitting the event up into a few posts. So much happened this year, but I want to share every detail with you guys (also, my memory is a sieve, so this helps me remember it, too!).

SDCC 2014

My main companions this year were Liz and my partner, Colby. We were lucky enough to all secure 4-day passes (no preview night - I've never been) and a room right across the street at the Omni hotel. One reason this year was so different was because we were so close to the convention center. In previous years, we were a 25 minute shuttle ride from the convention center, which meant if you were in cosplay, you were staying in that costume all day. Plus, once we got home, we rarely went out again because we were so exhausted and it simply took a long time to get back.

This year, we were able to change costumes mid-day, change into regular clothes, and take a break somewhere private, and it made a world of difference. I absolutely prefer staying so close to the convention center - it's so much less stressful.

Wednesday

Before we even flew out of Austin, Liz met George RR Martin at the airport! She had a layover in Albuquerque, and who should she see at the ticketing counter for her flight to San Diego than GRRM himself? I felt like this was a great sign for how our con would be this year.

It's already the best #SDCC ever and I haven't even left Austin yet.

Liz got to our hotel first and send a photo - we could see the entire convention center and part of the Gaslamp district from our room! I was so sure we wouldn't be facing the convention center. It was awesome to be able to see the crowds.

Thursday

Our first plan on Thursday was the Aisha Tyler meet-and-greet. (If you're an Aisha Tyler fan, pay attention to her podcast a few weeks before SDCC - we've gotten to meet her two years in a row, and all you have to do is send an email with a certain phrase at a certain time.)

We met @aishatyler earlier in our #Archer costumes! She liked them and she liked my tattoo  #sdcc #SDCC2014In line to meet @aishatyler  #sdcc #sdcc2014

We made our Archer costumes specifically to meet Aisha! Costumes from Archer are sort of a challenge because of the animation style - if you don't look like any of the characters, it can be hard to be recognizable - but I really like how ours turned out.

Aisha was super pleasant, as always, and sent us home with lots of signed swag and tattoo compliments.

We rushed back to the hotel to change for the Game of Thrones beer tasting. Before the con, the official Twitter account ran a contest to go to the tasting (you just had to tweet with a certain hashtag) and I won! I didn't think it would be an exclusive event - in fact, it seemed like it would be a really small event.

We're going to the Game of Thrones #SurviveTheRealm!  #SDCC #SDCC2014

For SDCC, Liz made a Jorah costume, so I made a different Daenerys costume to match. Liz helps me out so much when I'm in costume anyway that it seemed appropriate for her to be Jorah!

Right when we arrived, some random guy stepped on the cape of my dress, tearing it from the shoulder pieces and leaving me clutching the dress to my body. It fell apart! I was trying hard not to panic, even though I assumed my dress was totally ruined. Luckily, Liz and one of the workers of the event helped, bringing me to a private room to safety pin me back together. It was a really scary moment, but my dress still looked alright, even with the damage. 

SDCC 2014
SDCC 2014
SDCC 2014


I was still feeling really shaky emotionally when we finally got to the beer tasting event. We were the first fans to arrive, and to my surprise, everyone else was press. Press?! Who was coming that would necessitate this many people? We guessed Kit Harrington, the actor who plays Jon Snow, since the bar was themed like the North.

During this time, the official Game of Thrones Twitter account took a photo of us and it was posted later. I was freaking out inside, it feels awesome to be recognized by an official venue of your favorite show!

SDCC 2014

We were totally wrong - it was Pedro Pascal, who plays one of my FAVORITE characters, Oberyn Martell. I was totally unprepared to see him, then be served beer by him, especially after the distress about my dress. It was a completely weird moment emotionally, but one of the best moments of the convention. He was super nice, liked my contacts/eye makeup, and chatted with us one-on-one. It was a fantastic moment, and I feel really lucky that I had the opportunity to experience it.

Being served beer by @pascalispunk was probably my highlight of #SDCC2014At the Game of Thrones beer tasting, I got to meet Pedro Pascal! Awesome experience and totally unexpected. He was so super nice and liked our costumes! #SDCC2014 #SDCC

Since there were so few fans there (maybe 15-20), I also got to meet some awesome Game of Thrones fans. And, to my surprise, the Valar Morghulis beer didn't taste bad to me (and I hate the taste of beer and alcohol, I rarely drink). It was really a perfect event and I'm so happy that we got to go.

After the event, we rushed back to our hotel room to change for the Female Geek Blogger meetup! I don't have any photos from this event, but it was awesome. I got to meet so many great geek bloggers that I've been friends with online forever! Some but not all: Megan and Tillie from The Nerdy Girlie, Joie from Confessions of a Book Pimp, Usagi from Usagi in Wonderland, Elle from Your Friend Elle, and so many more! We complimented each other's work, talked blogs and comics and cosplay, and there may have been a few tears shed. It was the perfect ending to a great day!

I can't wait to share the rest of the convention with you. I have so many photos and stories!

Who would you most want to meet at SDCC?


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