Sunday, March 9, 2014
On Saturday John and I made our yearly pilgrimage to Tampa for Florida's largest Ren Fest. Thanks to about five separate accidents and a big county fair we spent more time in the car than at the festival (roughly 3 hours each way), but I kept the panic monster in line by tracking our progress on my phone. Then on the way home John plugged my phone into the car stereo and had me watch Ghostbusters on Netflix. (See, I knew that man was a keeper.)
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'm not really a Ren Fair person. I'm a classic introvert, and all the boisterous performers, vendors, and barkers are my own personal boogeymen. I live in fear of one of them noticing me, pulling me from the audience to be forced up on stage, or singling me out in the crowd for an embarrassing Q&A about my pickle-buying-habits. (Don't laugh: it happens.)
But despite these fears I keep coming back year after year, because dangit, THESE ARE MY PEOPLE.
Plus when you get down to it, most of the Ren Fair crowd is really just a boozier and more interactive convention crowd. They're ridiculously nice, open to everyone, and frankly have way better age-diversity than most other geek events.
Both knights were unhorsed, and the girl in the foreground was off and running before they even hit the ground. (She was in charge of fetching the horse.)
After a tense moment or two, both knights were up and throwing comical punches at each other:
Thursday, March 6, 2014
On Monday I finally posted the finished photos of a big project - the AT-AT rocker. I floated through the day in a haze of blissful accomplishment, relieved, happy, and yep, even a wee bit proud.
By Wednesday I was ready to rage quit the week.
You guys know Rage Quitting, right? Usually it's in a video game context, when you get your virtual behind handed to you so badly that you log-off in a fit of childish pique. It's the modern day equivalent of "taking my ball and going home," and I think we've all been there at some time or another.
For some of us, though, rage quitting isn't just a video game thing. For some of us - the ones who tend to bottle things up, who judge ourselves too harshly, and who want so very badly to just get it all done - and NOW, if you please - for us, resisting the urge to rage quit can be a daily battle.
I'm not talking about suicide or self-harm or pulling a Thelma & Louise, though I know those temptations can be very real. No, I'm talking about the subtler surrenders. The days we just give up. The weeks we spend drifting through work and watching too much Netflix, because it's just easier that way. The projects abandoned on the dining room table, the e-mails left unanswered, the dinner dates canceled, the box of Oreos inhaled for breakfast. (WHAT.)
Some days it's Ok if all you do is breathe.
But some other days, it's not Ok.
Some other days, we have to remember just what it is we're fighting for. What we keep trying for. And most importantly, what we're living for.
I have a mercurial temperament, and failure - no matter how trivial, or even imagined! - hits me hard. Too hard. I let setbacks get the better of me, and much to John's frustration, more often than not I respond by Rage Quitting. This I follow up with a truly epic Rage-Sulking and Rage-Getting-Depressed. Usually it takes a good 5 or 6 hours of Rage-Watching-Netflix to regain some perspective.
This week John and I've put a lot of time and effort into a new project, and just when I thought we were at the finish line, we hit a bunch of setbacks. Suddenly nothing was working, and something I thought would be oh-so-easy became complicated and frustrating and - obviously - this was all happening because the universe wanted to personally spite me.
Now here I am, five hours of Sherlock later, realizing that I waste so much time regretting wasting time. I let myself be overwhelmed by the mountain instead of focusing on my feet, and I worry more about everyone's expectations than the experience I'm gaining from my "failures" right here, right now.
I also worry too much about telling you guys this sort of thing, even though every time I've taken a chance and opened up - every single time - this community has shown me nothing but support and inclusion.
There's a quote from C.S. Lewis that goes something like this:
How 'bout you?
Monday, March 3, 2014
As I said in my last update, painting the AT-AT rocker was the hardest part for me - just figuring out how much detail to include, and how to simplify the lines to make it a little cuter.
I quickly figured out that free-handing the lines was never going to work, so John stepped in and taped off all the boxes on the body for me. (I just winged it on the legs - can't you tell? ;))
We added a seat back and extra sturdy T-bar handle for safety, plus some extra-long bumpers on the bottom rails to prevent the rocker from rocking too far. (You can just see the bumpers in my first photo.)
The only non-paint detail is a thin red holographic strip I added for the "eye." It looks pretty sweet when it catches the light:
As I said, little Isaiah (son of my Wrecky minion Julianne - and resident of the Ninja Nursery, if you remember that!) was afraid of rocking on the AT-AT, even though he loved it and kept standing next to it and patting it. So to help him feel brave, I got him a Vader mask and cape. And, hey, never underestimate the power... of a Vader mask and cape:
Isaiah is rocked all the way forward here, so as you can see the bumpers really prevent it from going very far. (He didn't want to rock backward at all. Heheh.)
And finally, here's the funny part: I have no idea what to do with this now. I'm sure I'll have plenty of folks volunteering to take it off my hands, but the thing weighs a ton and would be a huge pain to ship. I'm thinking I might ask the local 501st if they'd like to auction it off at MegaCon later this month, so the proceeds can go to charity. So, if any of you have a contact at the Orlando 501st I can ask - or a better idea of where this might do the most good - just lemme know in the comments, k?
[UPDATE: Thanks to you lovely commenters, I'm now working with the Florida Garrison of the 501st to organize a silent charity auction for the AT-AT at MegaCon! I'll post more details when I have them. Thanks, guys!]
This month's Art Give-Away winners are: Scrivvet, Seungmina, and Hello Haha Narf! (And thank you all for having such easily distinguishable names! Ha!)
Congrats, winners, and please e-mail me your choice of art from my Pinterest give-away board (along with a 2nd choice, just in case) and your mailing address!
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