Monday, September 20, 2010

Procrastination Station

Do that other stuff later. This stuff is fun!

This gallery of nearly 60 vintage ads will have you smirking and cringing by turns with gems like this:

The description starts off with "ultimate fashion climax" and gets worse/better from there. Read at your own gagging risk. Heh.


And I thought the lawn-watering Nazis were bad.

And this:

Actually, the mind-blowing chauvinism in some of these ads has a kind of car-wreck quality to it: I couldn't look away, wondering how much worse it could get. (The answer? Much, much worse.) So if you're easily riled by that kind of thing, you may want to skip this gallery. Me, I take it as a look-how-far-we've-come, hear-us-roar kind of thing.

Darths and Droids is a "RPG screencap comic." Imagine the Star Wars characters as RPG players who've never heard of Jedi or the Force, and the narrator/game master trying to explain it all to them. Or, just look at this:

The link will bring you to the very beginning (ie the above comic) so you can read on and lose all your time and productivity from there. Yeah. You're welcome.

And finally, thanks to Super Punch I got sucked into this fantastic puzzle game:

The object is to collect the red keys and then exit through the red door to the next level. You move the tiles around to form your paths, using your arrow keys and space bar. The beginning levels are quite simple - this is just the one I'm currently stuck on. :) Play it for free here.

So, what's your favorite online time-suck this week? Share your links in the comments!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dragon*Con: The Experience

Now that I've shown you lots (and LOTS) of photos from D*C, I figured I'd share a few fun (and not-so-fun) things from our weekend there.

As anyone who was there knows, the first not-so-fun thing was, of course, simply getting our badges. If you had purchased your tickets ahead of time online, the line to pick up your badge on Thursday night was about 4.5 hours long. FOUR AND A HALF HOURS.

The line wrapped an entire city block, and that was just to get into the hotel. From there? Another two hour wait.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Geek Glee

Check out this brilliant hoodie design over at Threadless:

Brilliant, I say!

Live long and prosper, Threadless. Live long...and prosper.

Of course, segueing from a hoodie to a plushie is only logical, right?

That's it. I'm learning to sew, dangit. (Waaaant!)

Made by Ana Diaz, who also made these "screaming-to-snuggle" Where the Wild Things Are plushies:

Go here to see more of her work, including the entire cast of the Big Bang Theory. (!!)

Flickr user mattcborgelt constructed a huge NES console coffee table. And it. is. EPIC.

Oh, yeeeah. Come to mama.

Plus it gets even better: inside the lid is a *fully functional* large-scale controller!


Or perhaps you'd like a coffee table of just the controller itself. Nooo problem. Kyle Downes has you covered:

Yes, and it works. The lid also lifts for storage.

When he's not playing it, Kyle has a glass top on it:


For lots more pics and information on how he made it, be sure to check out Kyle's blog.

And finally, something you've probably already seen, but that's simply too good *not* to include:

Wookiee the Chew.

[faints from cute overload]

See lots more of little Han & Wookiee - or order prints for only $10! - at James Hance's site.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Turning a Bad Day Into a B.A.D. Day

If you happen to follow me on Twitter, you may know that this has been a rough week for me and John. In a nutshell: we were supposed to be on a cruise this week with my family. Due to an expired passport, we're not - although my family is.

So, Sunday was a day of two long drives (one to the port, one back) and lots of tears.

However, that's not what I want to focus on here. Epbot is my joy, my 'get-away-from-Cake-Wrecks-stress' happy place, and I intend to keep it that way. So here's the not-so-awful part:

While John and I were sitting at the port, waiting for our luggage to be brought back off the ship so we could drive back home, I flipped open my laptop. I needed a distraction to stop me from crying, since the port security seemed to find a loitering weepy girl carrying a big metal box (it's my make-up case, I swear) a wee bit suspicious. So, the laptop came out. Fortunately, the port had free wifi.

I immediately went to Super Punch, my favorite blog. I scrolled and sniffled for a few minutes. Then I got to this post, and followed the link to read the entire "Disguised Weapons" e-mail exchange. (NSFW due to language.)
And here's the crazy thing: I laughed. Out loud.

John was sitting stoically next to me, squinting at the far wall. I turned the laptop around to show him the post, and within a few seconds HE was laughing out loud. We laughed together for several seconds, and suddenly, the crushing awfulness wasn't so crushing anymore. I didn't remember my mom's tears from a few moments before quite so vividly. I didn't think about the months of wasted planning, or the long drive home ahead. I just laughed.

Five hours later, we staggered into our house, dropped our luggage, and greeted the cats morosely. It was late, and we were exhausted, but I knew I had to e-mail John at Super Punch, just to say thanks.

With Cake Wrecks, I'm fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of these kinds of e-mails fairly often. People tell me the most amazing stories - stories that put my own to shame. From bedside vigils to financial hardships to lifelong, debilitating pain, my readers have and do face trials I've never even imagined. The fact that they then want to thank *me* is both humbling and hugely encouraging. Now that I've had my own little taste of a blogger rescuing me from the doldrums - however briefly - I can appreciate even more how these folks felt while writing to me. This is different than just telling someone their blog is great. It's more personal. It's sharing the fact that you were hurting, and they somehow helped the hurt. It takes a little bit of vulnerability, a little bit of guts.

Ok, so, to wrap all this up, I have a little homework assignment for you. Actually, for all of us, myself included. Here 'tis:

The next time we have a bad day, let's turn it into the redundantly named B.A.D. day - or, "Blogger Appreciation Day (day)." In other words, write a note of thanks to a blogger who made you happy when you were sad. Bonus points if you don't personally know the blogger, and/or have never written to him/her before. Don't expect a reply, or feel like you have to write a novel; a simple "You made me laugh when I needed it" is really all it takes.

Funnily enough, I think you'll find that sending an e-mail like that is just as gratifying as getting one. I can say that now with some experience, in fact.

So, who's ready to have a B.A.D. day?

Who rescues you from your bad days, guys? Share your links in the comments!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Steampunk Fashion Show

The Dragon*Con steampunk fashion show was scheduled to last for 2.5 hours. I'm guessing this was a typo, though, because it actually lasted about 15 minutes.

Then again, since it started an hour and a half late, maybe they figured it would all even out in the end. :)

Besides, I can't be too upset; it was a really fabulous 15 minutes.

The dapper master of ceremonies starts us off.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Steampunk Exhibition

Like many things at Dragon*Con, the steampunk fashion show and exhibition were both pretty poorly planned. They were booked both at the same time and the same room, which resulted in one gigantic line snaking down two floors of the hotel, and made up of folks planning to attend one or the other (or in my case, both). After an hour or so, they separated us into two lines: one for each event. Initially we stayed in the fashion show line, figuring we'd be seated fairly quickly. When I realized they wouldn't be letting us in the room until the Exhibition wrapped, though, we went to check that out - about 10 minutes before they shut the whole room down. :(

So, here are the few shots I managed to get of the Exhibition before we had to leave. My biggest regret of the whole weekend was that I didn't get more time in there, because the things we did get to see were simply amaaaazing.

A great shot of steampunk Glinda's costume. In this light I realized that the top of her bodice almost looks like it's been soaked through with blood, and the shreds and tatters look like drips. A bit morbid, sure, but beautifully done.

Here's the Tin Man:

I amended my last post to include this, but again, I believe this is the actual costume used in Heartless, The Story of the Tin Man. Be sure to check it out; it's a great short film.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Dragon*Con Costume Gallery #3

My last batch of D*C costume photos. Enjoy!

He made the gun himself!

Me: [checking picture on camera] "Awesome."
Him: "I know I am, thanks."

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dragon*Con Steampunk Gallery

Rather than mixing these in with my other costume posts, I figured I'd showcase all of the best steampunk costumes I found here. That way, if you're sick of steampunk, you can just skip this one. (And also the steampunk fashion show post, and steampunk exhibition post. Heh.)

I have two sets of steampunked Wizard of Oz cosplay to show you. Here's the first:

Glinda's crown was pretty awesome, and the flying monkey was wearing a rocket pack.

Here they're joined by two more "friends":

Gorgeously done military/stewardess uniform:

She made it herself. Check out the pretty bustle:

This next guy on the right was huge, and his costume had so much going on it was hard to take it all in:

And the guy on the left is a steampunked Hellboy? Maybe?

I'm sure it will shock absolutely none of you to learn that John reeeeally liked this girl's outfit:

(Sorry for the blur.)
We overheard her saying she made the leg covers from a skirt.

This gal had a whole bird on her head, and a birdcage hanging from her belt.

This was taken at the steampunk ball, which unfortunately was so dark and crowded that I got very few useful pictures. (Boo.)

And finally, my favorite of the whole con: the ultimate steampunked/post-apocalyptic Wizard of Oz cast:

I don't have particularly good photos of these guys, so what I lack in quality I'll try to make up for with quantity. Heh.

Here's a shot with the flash on:

"Lion" is the same guy who is usually steampunk Boba Fett. (Turns out his name is John Strangeway. He and several more in this group [if not all] work for Penny Dreadful Productions. Check their site for lots more steampunk goodies!)

The girl on the floor is Dorothy; in her lap is a little stuffed Toto. I love that she's wearing red booties for her "ruby slippers."

The Wicked Witch's metal corset was amaaaazing:

As was Glinda's dress. You'll see better shots of it in my steampunk exhibition post; they had it and the Tin Man costume on display there.

The flying monkey is decked out in an aviator cap n' goggles and a Rocketeer-style jetpack. The scarecrow is a zombie scarecrow, because, as they pointed out, what did Scarecrow want? That's right: Braaaiiins. *giggle*

UPDATE: I believe the Tin Man suit is the same one used in the short movie Heartless: The Story of the Tin Man. (I overheard the suit makers mentioning a movie.) It's a gorgeous film, and only about 20 minutes long, so definitely go see it when you can.

The group later moved downstairs, so I tried again there with the flash:

And there you have it! Between this group and the steampunked X Men who won the costume contest, you could say that steampunk really ruled the con.

I didn't manage to photograph the X Men myself, but here's a photo by Daniel Valdez (who is the guy in the chair):

Oh! Wait; actually, I *do* have a photo of Rogue from last year:

I just didn't know who she was at the time. :)

You may recognize Daniel's wheelchair; it's quite famous here on the internets. If you *haven't* seen it before, though, then definitely watch this:

So. Amazing.

If you're not sick of steampunk yet, then you're going to love my fashion show and exhibition posts, which will go up after my next costume gallery. So, be sure to check back!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dragon*Con Costume Gallery #2

I tell you what, my friends: hunting costumes at Dragon*Con is a full-contact sport, requiring patience, speed, agility, balance, and the ability to squirm through tiny spaces created by large drunken people.

Fortunately for you guys, [smirk], I have all of those things.


John de Lancie would be proud.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Dragon*Con Parade, Pt2

Enter the steampunks!

This is the same steampunk Boba we saw at the Star Wars Celebration. (I really should have gotten his name; nice guy.) He and his group also made what I think were the best costumes at the entire con. Stay tuned for pics of those.

The Dragon*Con Parade, Pt 1

The Dragon*Con parade took nearly an hour to walk/drive/stagger by us Saturday morning, so these photos obviously don't include everything or everyone. Even so, I think there's plenty here to satisfy any geek parade craving.

Classic Batman had a stuffed shark attached to his leg. Heh. Aheh.