The Enrichment Center reminds you that the Companion Cube cannot speak. In the event that the Companion Cube does speak, the Enrichment Center urges you to disregard its advice.
Here are a few shots from my nearly-completed Companion Cubedress! I need to add a few more details to the dress, figure out the wig a bit more, finalize my makeup (wasn’t wearing much tonight, and you can tell!) and better affix the cube to the headband…Oh, and put on some damn Spanx. This is why I rarely leave the house without wearing Spanx–they make you look 10 pounds thinner!!!
Anyways, enough about Spanx, I’ll be wearing them at Dragon*Con! MORE PHOTOS.
So that’s the dress! I think it is pretty cute–if not too complicated, which was sort of what I was going for with this costume, since my other costumes are so complicated! I plan on pairing it with gray tights and silver ballet flats. SUPER CUTE RIGHT?
I invited your best friend, the Companion Cube. Of course, he couldn’t come, because you murdered him.
Nancy’s doing the dress–I’m headed to Raleigh for final alterations today, it should be ready just in time to pop into my suitcase for Dragon*Con! I might save the final reveal until the convention so don’t expect any photos, I really think that this costume is going to be special so I’m trying to keep the whole thing a surprise. This dress has been quite difficult–it took Nancy a long time to find an appropriate pattern, and she likens the top layer of fabric to cobwebs, but it looks like it will come together gorgeously. I’m a big fan of Nancy because she shares my general costuming viewpoint: try to capture as much of the general look and feel of the costume as possible without forgetting that this is a garment that needs to be worn in the real world. She’s great at offering suggestions on how to make a piece more wearable, and she also doesn’t look at me like I’m nuts when I ask for changes. This is my third Dragon*Con with a costume that has been made or altered by Nancy. I’m so glad I found someone local who I like and who I know will be able to help me with my costuming needs! Everyone in the Raleigh-Durham area should go get costumes from Nancy, she’s the best!
Valerie I found on the Game of Thrones costuming group on Facebook (yes it exists). I was publicly bemoaning the difficulty of Melisandre’s giant neckpiece, and she quickly offered to make it for me and I happily accepted. A few months later I received, in the mail, a handmade full neckpiece complete with the shoulder parts, and a belt, and they are great! The pieces are very truthful to the screen version but they are light weight and fairly easy to wear. Again, no close-up pictures from me yet, but Valerie took some good pictures that you can see in this album. She really did an incredible job with a complex, highly-detailed commission.
Thank you so so much Valerie and Nancy!!! I’m so excited to put all the Melisandre pieces together! This is going to be such a baller costume, I can feel it. For the night is dark and full of awesome!
I’ve been into sci-fi and fantasy series since middle school, when I read all the Pern books and lots of the Ender books and all those other series, but I started hitting the heavy fantasy (Tolkien withstanding) in the later 2000s, when I picked up A Song of Ice and Fire one summer. After finishing that series I realized that I had a Wheel of Time sized hole in my fantasy cannon, so I spent about a year reading through that and learning about how Nynaeve likes to tug her braid and how Elayne likes to smooth her skirts and, really, is that series going to be done anytime soon?
I picked up these long, epic fantasy series because I was pretty unhappy with my job situation at the time, and if I don’t do something useful I go into a huge, existential funk. These series enabled me to escape into a fantasy world that I could live comfortably in for months at a time–I hated finishing the series, and saying goodbye to the books, their worlds, and the characters within them was fairly distressing. So, I was always on the look out for the next unbelievably long epic fantasy series in which to invest.
And then several friends of mine told me to pick up the Malazan books, and I’ve been living in them ever since. Since November of 2010 I have been working my way through Steven Erikson and Ian Esslemont‘s Malazan series, starting with Erikson’s incredible Malazan Book of the Fallen and branching off into Esslemont’s parallel stories from the Malazan world (Yes I have taken breaks to read other things, such as The Hunger Games Trilogy, Tina Fey‘s memoir, and a few autobiographies of women who were raised in and then escaped the scary Satmar Orthodox Jewish enclave in Brooklyn, but mostly it has been all Malazan all the time!).
The main core of the Malazan books is Erikson’s ten volume Malazan Book of the Fallen. I can’t really summarize it for you–telling you too much information would give the incredible scope and breadth of the series away. It is nominally about soldiers and their brotherhood, it is about trust and friendship, it is about gods who walk around as men and it is about alien beings from other planets who may or may not be gods. It is about how one can become a god, if mere mortals believe strongly enough. It is about magic, nominally, but also how that magic can be corrupted, or how that magic corrupts. It is about broken things. It is some of the most devastating, beautiful fiction I have ever read.
Erikson, like George R.R. Martin, isn’t afraid to kill his darlings. People die, good people die, and that is no fun. Erikson also trusts his readers, which I love. Mid-series, I think it is book four or five, Erikson jumps us to an entirely new continent with an entirely new race of people and just trusts us to pick up his thread and go along with what he is doing. And, because we trust him, we do, and it is great, and we are rewarded for our patience.
The Malazan books are a dense read–there is a reason why it took me forever to get through the core ten. Erikson’s prose is quite good, and you can see that he has fun with language. I’m also a fan of Erikson because of his discipline–he produced one book a year for ten years until the series was done. None of this playing with our hearts (like certain authors we know and love).
Ian Esslemont’s writing isn’t as good as Erikson’s, but his stories are solid, and they expand upon the world. It isn’t necessary to read his books to understand the core story of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, but they do supplement some character backstory and general world history, and it is nice to be able to fall into Esslemont’s books when you are done reading the Erikson novels. I’m currently on Esslemont’s most recently published book–I’m happy to report that his writing has gotten much better and I am thoroughly enjoying the book (one of Esslemont’s books, The Return of the Crimson Guard, was so torturous to get through, oi). However, this is the last published Malazan book, eeee!!! When I finish this I’m going to have to wait awhile until Erikson or Esslemont produce something new–lucky for me, those plans are in the works!
In the meantime, I plan on starting The Kingkiller Chroncle. And you should totally get a start on the Malazan books!
I live in a locavore foodie area and I love great food and restaurant experiences, but this is not what Dragon*Con is about. While I am not normally of the “food is just fuel” mentality, I go into that mode during Dragon*Con. The weekend is an endurance test, and I want not-too-unhealthy things that will keep me up and running from panel to panel and into the night. Additionally, if I don’t eat breakfast and if I don’t eat every few hours I turn into a raging hosebeast, so I need to make sure I have these things on hand. Here are some of my tips and tricks for eating to feel like a human being at Dragon*Con.
1) EAT BREAKFAST. Preferably, eat it in your hotel room if you can–it saves time and money. It doesn’t have to be fancy and shouldn’t need to be refrigerated. I bring a loaf of whole wheat or multi-grain bread with me along with a jar of low-fat peanut butter, and I throw together a peanut butter sandwich in the morning when I wake up (just don’t forget to bring some disposable knives with you). Easy, cheap, healthy, and protein-packed–just what I need to start the day. If I need an extra pick-me-up I grab an orange juice from one of the hotel convenience stores.
2) BRING SNACKS. We usually have a little cooler that we can fill with ice, so I throw some greek yogurt in there that I can grab as a snack when I’m in the hotel room to fix my makeup. I also never go anywhere without a granola bar on me–you never know when hunger could strike, it might be in line at a panel or while you are at a party, and you don’t want to have to drop everything and shuffle off to the food court to get some food. Trail mix and beef jerky are also great options.
3) Speaking of the food court, it is your friend, and there are ways to eat healthily at the food court. And also I generally love walking through the food court and seeing people in costumes. I am a big fan of Moe’s, that sushi place (Yami Yami I think it is called?), and that prepared food place across from the evil Chick Fil-A (I think it is called Cafe Momo). At Moe’s I usually get a rice bowl or a salad, fill it up with chicken, veggies, and black beans, top it with lots of salsa and dig in. Yami Yami I typically only hit up once or twice, because it is a little pricey and the line can be long, but they have pretty decent sushi and lots of vegetable options to ensure that you get some green things in you. And I love Cafe Momo–affordable, lots of healthy protein and vegetable options, and it is usually pretty quick and easy to load up at the prepared foods bar and to be on your way. There is also a Middle Eastern-ish place somewhere in the food court that offers pita sandwiches and hummus platters, and that’s a solid bet as well, if a bit messy. All of these places make it very easy to carry your food back to your hotel room so you can eat while watching Dragon*Con TV. Multi-tasking!
4) That being said, you are on vacation, and it is okay to treat yourself. I always get at least one Dairy Queen Blizzard, because it is the perfect food, and I sometimes let myself get one fried-food meal although I usually feel pretty gross after, ha, so maybe not this year. And definitely no evil Chick Fil-A this year. I love their chicken nuggets, but I prefer my fried chicken to come without a side of hate and intolerance, thank you. Avoid the pizza place with all your might because it is terrible (unless it has changed ownership). I’ve also been wanting to try that little noodle place tucked in the corner because it looks yummy, but it always has long lines oi vey.
5) There is no need to go to a sit down meal, unless this is a thing you like to do at Con? I have plenty of sit-down meals in my normal life, I’d rather eat and run at Con–there is so much to do, and there is no need to wait for a table at the Hard Rock Cafe, or Fires of Brazil, or Durango. I know lots of people who have annual dinners with their Con friends, which is cool, but I’d much rather be in the thick of things than going and having dinner elsewhere. We had lunch at a sit-down restaurant my first year at Con, and my whole experience consisted of me thinking about all the time we were wasting, and how badly I wanted to get back to Con stuff.
6) Um, I know this is blasphemous, but I don’t really drink much at Con. Actually, I don’t really drink much period, and I am such a lightweight that one or two drinks do me in, and I get sleepy so quickly when I drink, and I don’t really have fun or like the way alcohol makes me feel, and I’d rather be aware of my surroundings so I can process all the awesome costumes and remember every detail, so in general I don’t have more than one or two drinks a day. I KNOW THIS MAKES ME WEIRD, sorry. Don’t listen to my drinking tips–except for this one. Buy booze before you go to Atlanta and make your own drinks in the room, and maybe also make a “party bottle” to carry around with you, because the alcohol in the hotels is EXPENSIVE. Additionally re: booze, do whatever works for you, be safe, and remember to…
7) HYDRATE. OMG guys hydrate so much. I drink a lot of water in my daily life and I probably double that at Con. All the meeting rooms in all the hotels have water dispensers so make sure to bring a refillable bottle and STOCK UP SERIOUSLY. Water is your friend.
I have lived by these eating rules and I have yet to get sick at Con (this is likely because I use a lot of hand sanitizer, wash my hands a lot, and generally have a very strong immune system). Supposedly there are some other secret tips I might be missing, like another food court hidden in the Marriott (although that is only open on Friday), and maybe there are some tucked-away convenience stores I might be missing? Did I forget anything? Do you disagree with my tips? Do you have some tips of your own? Let me know in the comments! We’re all in this together!
ONE WEEK I CAN HARDLY STAAAAAND IT. But onto today’s post!
As usual, Dragon*Con has a pretty fun guest list. Here are some guests about whom I am pretty excited:
—Jamie Bamber: Hot Lee Adama goodness so say we all.
—John Barrowman: I’m watching Torchwood as we speak but I’ve been into John Barrowman for awhile because he is uber gay-rights, does musical theatre, and is incredibly handsome.
—Amber Benson: OMG remember when Tara gets shot and is all “Willow, your shirt…” and then she dies and it is terrible? It wouldn’t have been as terrible if Amber Benson hadn’t portrayed Tara so heartbreakingly well.
—Ian Somerhalder: They don’t call him Smolder-halder for no reason.
—Robin Thorsen: Duh, The Guild. Clara has some of the best lines, and she also locks her babies in a kennel. Amazing.
—Michael Trevino: Vampyr Diareeeessss.
—Paul Wesley: See above.
I’m also pretty thrilled about Adam West and Burt Ward because, hello, Batman, and also that scene where Batman runs around the docks with the bomb and he has to decide whether to throw it at nuns or at ducks. I’d throw it at the nuns myself. J/K.
Obviously I won’t get to see panels with all these lovely people, because Dragon*Con has somanythings going on at once, so one has to pick and choose. Luckily, this is a pretty good and large list, so I don’t think I can go wrong, y’know?
So which guests on the list made you go “eeeee!!!!” when they popped up on the Dragon*Con site? Let me know in the comments!