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.