Just me talking about costume-y kind of stuff
John K. Strecker was the first curator (1903-1933) of the oldest continuously operating Natural History Museum in Texas. During his tenure he traveled hundreds of dusty miles all over Texas in a horse-drawn buggy collecting specimens for the museum. The Strecker collection is now housed in the Mayborn Museum in Waco. He was a self-educated Librarian and Naturalist, and he knew the importance of wearing a tie.
The reason I'm blogging about ties today is this: My son, Sylvan, is 11 and loves ties; he always has, even as a baby in daycare he would wear his daddy's ties to school every day. I had recently bought him the Gryffindor tie that Hasting's was sold out of at Christmas, but was waiting for an occasion to give it to him. He earned it as a reward for passing his STAAR science test on the condition that he had to guess what his prize was. In a typical game of 20 questions that lasted for two whole days, one of his questions was, "Does it help you?" I answered yes and told him that I would tell him the story behind my answer after he guessed what his prize was.
For the story, I have to go back to grad school at Cal State Long Beach. Our costume shop manager, Michael Pacciorini was always professionally dressed in a collared shirt and tie. One day we asked him why he didn't dress more casually since he often was doing things ill-suited (pardon the pun) for business wear. He told us the story of his days as a business major working in a bank and moonlighting as a stage manager over in the theatre department. One night an actor had a wardrobe malfunction and his pants fell down around his ankles on stage. Michael quickly ripped off his tie (in my imagination a la Superman) and threw it onstage to the embarrassed actor who used it as a belt to keep his pants up the rest of the show. "And that's why I always wear a tie," he told us, "in case someone's pants fall down." It's a funny story but not the whole truth. The whole truth is that you earn respect and trust by being well-dressed, no matter what your profession.
Yesterday my extended family all met up at a funeral. This happens more and more these days as we keep getting older and older. I gave Sylvan his reward, the long-sought after Gryffindor tie only to realize the man of the house was at work and I didn't know how to tie a tie. Being a costume designer, this is really something I should know how to do. Undaunted, I fearlessly drove us to the funeral in Temple and met up with my 5 male cousins all of whom were in ties that they had tied themselves. I knew they would be, because I know their mothers. Stephen promptly took Sylvan in hand, led him to the bathroom mirror, whipped out his phone and showed him a you tube video of how to tie a tie, Meanwhile Will commented, "You know they have an app for that now."
Look how great Matt, John Luke, James, and Will looked in their starched white collared shirts and their ties. Stephen even went so far as to wear a jacket.
So in these days of ultra-casual attire and behavior, I just want my son to continue to believe in the power of the collared shirt and tie. Because what you wear does matter.
Check out Jimmy Fallon cosplaying Jim Morrison. Best Cosplay ever!
We saw a tiny girl in a Buffy cheerleader costume at Comicpalooza and it gave me the idea to do a family Buffy cosplay. Sarah as Buffy, naturally, Rob as Giles, me as Willow, Seth as Xander, and Sylvan as Oz. Rob's Tom Baker costume is easily transformed into Giles, all he needs is a real tie and a sweater vest. Xander and Willow dress like they shop at thrift stores anyway. All we need are stakes and we can hunt down all the zombies that show up at the next con. The only problem is if we go to a con and we don't have Seth and Sarah that weekend. Would anyone know who we are without our Buffy? So then I thought if it were just me and Rob would could be Vampire Willow and Xander. That would be a lot of fun. I think it would be pretty easy to put together in time for Walking Dead con, although it's looking like we'll end up at Wizard World Con in San Antonio first with no kids. Here's some research I put together last night.
We had a really great time and our Doctor Who costumes were fantastic! The only problem was we were in Houston and it was hot. We had to give it up and go back to the hotel to change at lunchtime. Rob and Sylvan were sweating to death. I was doing OK, except my boots had no arch supports and my feet hurt. There were a lot of Tom Bakers there, but also several Peter Davissons and at least one each of Sylvester McCoy and Colin Baker. I didn't see any Paul McGanns. Out of all the Tom Bakers there, I only saw one with an obvious companion, Romana mark II in the school girl outfit.
We got our Eleven Doctors poster signed by Doctors 5, 6, 7, and 8. And I got a Star Trek "Mirror, Mirror" episode photo signed by Nichelle Nichols. She was very nice and still beautiful. I hope I age that gracefully. Rob got his Caprica doll signed by Tricia Helfer. She was also really sweet and talked to us about the show. Sylvan sang his version of the Battlestar Galactica song to her, "Battlestar Galactica! You can't get enough of it!"
We saw lots of great costumes both days. We went to the Buffy retrospective the first day with Xander, Spike, Clem, Adam, and Glory. It was really good. It was nice to see that James Marsters is such a professional and not at all a jerk. He was really kind to the fans and funny. I wish we could have stayed longer to see the Doctor Who retrospective but we had to get back to get our dog out of jail. We boarded her at the vet for two nights and I didn't realize that she was going to be in a 4X6 cage the whole time we were gone except for the 3 times a day they took her for a walk. I felt really guilty about doing it but we didn't have a choice.
My only complaint was the Cosplay contest. It sorely needed a stage manager. It was scheduled to start at 7 but didn't actually start till 8 and the first dozen or so contestants were no shows. The MC did a lot of stalling for time and after an hour of foolishness and his annoying schtick, we just got up and left. The highlight of the 90 minutes was the group who did a mashup skit of Star Trek (TOS) and Dr. Who (Matt Smith). They had a set, props. sound effects and dialogue just like real theatre. It was hilarious. The guy playing Matt Smith was spot on. Kirk accidentally became a Cyberman and the Doctor had to save the Enterprise, because McCoy was A Doctor not The Doctor.
The second day we had our photo made in our Firefly costumes. I wish I had seen that booth the day before when we were still in our Doctor Who costumes. Next time we'll do that first thing. Also next time, VIP passes and four nights in the hotel so we can stay the whole time.
Dallas Comicon was a great success! We didn't spend nearly the amount of money on autographs and photographs that we were planning on simply because there were just too many people there and the lines were too long, especially for the Firefly cast. However, we did get to see the Firefly panel and the Alice Cooper panel. We got autographs from Akira Takarada from the Godzilla movies, Alice Cooper, and Kevin J. Anderson, who wrote Clockwork Angels. I also got a photo with Chloe from Season 6 of Face Off! There were lots of Kaylees there and a few Mals, but mostly everyone wore their Jayne hat. I didn't see any other Simons and only one River. Lots of people asked us to pose for photos, which was fun.
Next time, we come for two days, stay overnight in a hotel, get VIP passes, and leave the kids at Grandma's house.
We also met kid book author, Charles Thurston who writes mashups of Star Wars, Dr. Who, Firefly, etc... with kid books like That's Not my Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton, Good Night Moon, and Teddy Bears Picnic. His books are AWESOME and cute at the same time. If you have a little one that you'd like to introduce to your fav sci fi characters but the movies might be too mature for them, buy them these books! His website link is below. His tagline is "Family Friendly Art, For the G33k@Heart".
The ad campaign is aimed at publicizing its new late night bus pick up/drop off schedule specifically targeting third shift workers: the bar/wait staff, chicken pluckers, steel workers, hospital staff, etc. Also, the LINK buses are able to handle bicycles too for those college students taking night courses who want to ride their bikes all over campus. The new LINK bus routes will pick you up from your job or school and drive you to your front door anytime between 9 pm and 6 am after the regular routes stop running. All you have to do is call them to arrange a pick up two days in advance.
The theme of the ad campaign is "It might surprise you" and that's where the idea for the funny costumes came from. After many meetings and tons of brainstorming, this is what the creative team finally came up with. We did seven shots with costumed characters in the foreground and "regular people" in the background of the bus with a few "industry uniforms" mixed in among the ordinary people. The seven costumed characters were guy in pajamas, The Queen of England, three brides, a pirate, a chicken, a clown, and Santa. The industry costumes were steel worker, scrubs, wait staff, and guy on bike. I took some candid shots of the actors while they were getting ready. It was a really long and humid day, but everyone came to it with a good attitude and we only ran 45 minutes behind our projected schedule.
I have no idea how long it will take our photographers to get the shots ready for publication, but the idea is to release one photo a month with Santa being last when Christmas season hits. The photos will be all over billboards, buses, the Wacoan, Waco Today, the mall, MCC, and on flyers handed out at city-wide events like Brazos Nights and ArtFest. The actors got paid either $25 or $50 for their time, got snacks, swag, and will eventually get their photos as well. I'll post them as soon as possible.
Turning 46 was a mixed blessing. Yesterday we did a ton of yard work so I woke up today hurting...because I'm old. Kelly Parker took me out to Dee's for lunch, I sewed on my Kaylee patches and Mal's stripes, and then my family took me out to Souper Salads and showered me with presents. The best was saved for last: Rob got me (us) Season 2 and 3 of Game of Thrones. Eventually there will have to be a GOT family cosplay. I can see it now: Rob as Ned, Me as Catelyn, Seth as Rob, Sylvan as Jon Snow, and Sarah as Sansa. I realize that 3/5 of us die, but the kids don't know that. Anyway, Seth had another little league game afterwards and they got trounced. The other team's pitcher threw a no-hitter and it ended 10-0. At least Seth went down swinging. The bright side was that when we got home our path was lit by my other presents: solar-powered, light-up, color-changing lawn ornaments. (SHINY!) So the backyard looks like it's inhabited by faeries and all that hard work yesterday really paid off.
Happy Birthday to Me! Our cosplay stuff arrived in the mail today. I'll be sewing these on right after lunch. So excited!
TRF had an unbelievable deal going on yesterday. We bought 5 tickets for $32.00. We'll have all the kids for Thanksgiving this year, so we've decided to forego the usual Christmas costumes that Rob and I don, and instead I'm going to make Pirate costumes for the whole family and we'll go on Black Friday. The kids are pretty excited about it. I want to get another family portrait made. Of course I have to get through the Dallas and Houston comicons first.
Moosebutter is Awesome! This should be your official Star Wars Day Anthem.
Free concert tonight at the Bosque River Stage. Trout Fishing in America is a family friendly duo that I have seen probably 20 times. We have all their CDs and our kids love them. FYI: guitar player, Ezra Idlet is an MCC alum. He was on our basketball team a long time ago, back when Jay Buhner, of the Seattle Mariners, was playing baseball for us. Needless to say we are taking the kiddos and you should take yours too!
Me going completely fan girl over Ezra and Keith. I sat there and told them about the Lake Charles best ever rained out 4th of July college party where I first heard their first album twenty something years ago. The only thing that would have made it better is if Sylvan had been there to hear Teddy Bear's picnic and Lullaby live. But, I am married to the best husband in the world who taped it on his phone so that Sylvan can see it when he gets home .
As I'm sure most of you know, this Saturday is free comic day. In Waco there are three participating book stores: Hastings, Golden, and Bankston's. Bankston's is giving away even more free stuff if you are a kid and you come in costume. So guess what we're doing. Yep, trying out our Firefly costumes early. Our plan is to show up at each store before they open so we can be there first. Our schedule is 9:00 Hastings, 10:00 Golden, and 10:30 Bankston's. Sylvan will be with his daddy who is taking him to see Peter Pan at Casa Manana in Ft. Worth, so I'm going armed with his list of comics. Rob has his last alt. cert. class that morning, so I'll be taking the kids on the whirlwind comic grab solo until he gets out of class. Then we'll probably have to re-hit all three stores so Rob can grab his free comics. I'll be sure to take some photos and post them. Maybe I'll see you there!
Hasting's had about half the titles and almost no line before they opened. Of course it was a free for all once we got in, a polite free for all, but a free for all nonetheless. We went back later on for another Doctor Who poster and everything was GONE. So glad we went there first.
Golden had very few titles and wasn't worth the trip for free comic books. However, it was worth it to find out about their half off sales every first weekend in even numbered months. That adds up to a 75% discount on the cover price. And there were tables that advertised 20 books for $1.00. Rob, not being able to leave a bookstore empty-handed, found three or four paperbacks that he couldn't live without. Funnily enough, the guy they formerly belonged to had just dropped them off and was still in the store in his "Great Captains" Mount Rushmore shirt with Captain Mal on it. Naturally they struck up a conversation. And then who did we run into 3 hours later at Bankston's? Yep, same guy. The geekdom is a very small world in Waco, Texas.
Bankston's had all the titles advertised plus tons of other stuff. We all got 13 titles for free instead of 10 because we came in costume. Their handling of the crowds was excellent: very controlled, no chaos, and very polite and helpful employees. They even ordered the first two Serenity titles for us since they only had #3 and #4 on the shelves. Rob got a Caprica figurine that he's going to take to Comicpalooza to get signed.
This is our test run of our Firefly costumes. Rob has no pistol or holster and he's wearing normal cowboy boots which are killing his feet right now. Kaylee's patches haven't arrived in the mail yet and Shanna is still making the jewelry. It was fantastic being Kaylee for a day. Everyone called me Kaylee and was super nice to me all day. I really had a good time and I wasn't expecting to at all, what with first 2 hours flying solo with the whiny kids while Rob was in class, the hour and a half waiting in line in the hot sun, and the fact that I don't actually read comic books and was only there to shop for Sylvan and be the transportation for the other two. But, you know me, I have a pretty good attitude about stuff like this and I did want to try out our costumes, so the response that I got made it all worth it.
Some guy built this R2D2. It really works. He even opened R2 up and let me peek inside at the electronics. He said it cost him $10,000 and took 5 years to complete. I wish now that I'd gotten a photo of the guy with his R2D2. He even let me touch him even though the sign clearly said " to not to".
Here's all the free comic books I got for Sylvan. And thanks to Jason Sanchez's tip about going to Bankston before Golden, I managed to get all 26 titles that Sylvan wanted plus a bonus 7 titles that I just thought he might like. What the heck, they were free!