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Cosplay Extravaganza update

Finished painting the test piece. We did a base coat of plasti dip so the spray paint would have something to adhere to, added some scrollwork, then spray painted with antique pewter color spray paint.

I used gray plasti dip, so if anything comes through, it's not the worst thing that every happened.

I used gray plasti dip, so if anything comes through, it’s not the worst thing that ever happened.

The finished armor piece

The finished armor piece


Cosplay Extravanganza

I made a deal with myself. If I could get a pro pass to San Diego Comic Con, I would cosplay one out of four days. Well, here I am, with my comic con pro pass, and I need to either put up or shut up.

I already have my costume for this year. I will have a post on that during comic con (so I can gauge people’s reactions; also, I don’t want to ruin the surprise). While working on the details of my costume, I found it quite relaxing and soothing, a great hobby that helps me wind down.

That’s right. I’ve just gone up to the next level of nerd. I’m a cosplay nerd.

So, next year, will be much more detailed and much more work.

I recruited my dad to help and we came up with a plan. The plan is basically EVA foam is magic.

template1We cut out our foam and used wires to secure it. I’m not a fan of using the wires in the future. It leaves divots. We heated the foam with a heat gun. Times vary. The foam is really flimsy and we’re still trying to think of ways to reenforce it.

firstroundAfter it was shaped, I measured for the slits and cut with an X-acto. It really doesn’t take much pressure at all.

detail

I used more of the foam to add some detailing. I used a hot glue gun to adhere the pieces. There’s a little spillage because hot glue’s not the most precise of glue, but you can use the heated tip of the gun to remelt what’s spilled over and smooth it out. The glue does not melt the foam.

This is our test piece. Next, we’re going to try paint methods.

Ultimately, the goal is this.

JAIMIE ALEXANDER

It’s a start.

 

 


Just say “no” to snow cones

Snow cones are a southern thing. Should that be a capital? A Southern thing? Yes. That looks more Paula Deen-ee.

When I first moved to Texas, the kids in class with me talked about snow cone stands. Which one was the best, which one was adequate, and which ones to avoid all together.

My Yankee brain didn’t understand this. What’s the big whup with snow cones? Any Northerner who has left a can of pop in the garage in January…homemade snow cone.

Now, ice cream. Ice cream I get and ice cream is something the North does right. I don’t care what your personal Southern ice creamery is, but I put it up against Sherman’s in South Haven, MI any day of the year.

Well, that’s my rant about snow cones. And that’s why I drew this picture (which is mostly traced from the Internet) for ice cream, not snow cones.

20140425-215449.jpg

Bobby is Bobby Drake AKA Iceman from the X-men. I wish this was a t-shirt.


On Fangirling or Every One Just Shut Up for a Second

I saw Captain America on Thursday. It was amazing. I loved it.

Afterwards, I was walking home with my friend, Joe, munching on my popcorn refill as we went over what everything in The Winter Soldier meant for our heroes on ABC’s Agents of SHIELD because shit was going to go down. There is no SHIELD, only Hydra.

Every five steps, I’d say, “Sooooo good,” to the point where everyone on Hollywood Blvd. thinks I have some sort of weird popcorn fetish.

Anyway, I could not wait until Tuesday. I wanted to know. I had to know. What was going to happen to Coulson? What was going to happen to a show centered on an organization that has just been destroyed internally? I’m so excited.

And, then I read a bad review for Tuesday’s episode.

Mind, I don’t make it a habit to read bad reviews just as I don’t make it a habit to write them. Unfortunately, this bad review was deceivingly titled. I honestly thought I was going to find some viewership numbers, because I wanted to know if there was a Captain America bump for the show. Instead, I was treated to a rant about how the show isn’t doing what it’s supposed to do and is merely surviving on thin thread tie-ins to blockbuster films.

Okay.

Stop.

Seriously, stop. This is my serious face.

I am not going to say that Agents of SHIELD started out as strong as it could have. It started to lose me. Then, I saw episode 6, which I still will argue is one of the best episodes of the season. It finally pulled in the non-Clark Gregg/Ming-Na characters to give them a stronger arc and finally show what they are made of. I want to see more of the team dynamic. I want to see more of the relationships. This episode did that beautifully while illustrating what being a member of SHIELD means to Coulson’s team.

But, even with my own questions and flagging confidence, Jeph Loeb put out one last call to the fans at PaleyFest.

Trust us.

And, I do.

Agents of SHIELD is not about the Avengers. It’s not about Nick Fury. It’s not about Maria Hill (though if they can pull her in, I would be ecstatic.)

Agents of SHIELD is about the non-superpowered in a world of people and organizations that are. It’s about the grunts. It’s about the people that don’t get to know everything. It’s about people with limitations in a world full of impossibilities.

At this moment in time, I think people are too focused on trying to make Agents of SHIELD what it isn’t. It’s not about pulling in all the superheroes not big enough to have their own movie. It’s not about answering all the questions that were raised in the movies. No one is defined by what they aren’t, they’re defined by what they are.

Science fiction is an iceberg medium. You only get to see a little bit without being privy to the immensity of the whole. The Avenger-universe movies are a piece of that iceberg. The TV show is giving us a glimpse of a different side and every once in awhile gives us the wink-nudge reminder that it’s still part of the same iceberg.

You can’t be upset that you aren’t seeing the whole iceberg.

If you want to choose to just watch the movies, go for it. But, for me, having the show is giving me a richer experience of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

I love seeing glimpses of this iceberg. I love knowing that there’s so much more out there. I have never been this much of a fangirl, getting so excited to see the rest of the season, conjecturing as to who is which Marvel character, squeeing over Easter eggs, and laughing out loud when Coulson says, “Booyah.”

Maybe this is how all those Firefly fans felt…


TMI Minute Episode 12 – Sochi, Olympic Injuries, and Free J.Lo

The TMI Minute heads to the Winter Olympics in Sochi while Briana takes a stand against VHS tapes.

The TMI Minute Episode 12 | Week of February 10
Follow us on Twitter @TMItheshow

Featuring:
Jesse James – https://twitter.com/JesseJamesActor
Briana Hansen – https://twitter.com/thebrianahansen

Writers:
Joe Neuburger – https://twitter.com/bentoboxx
Kate Cornell – https://twitter.com/katecornell


TMI Minute Episode 11| Southwest Airlines, Oscar Nominations, and Self-Actualization


TMI Minute Episode 10 | Bigfoot, Rick Dyer, and Resolution Tips

The TMI Minute takes Rick Dyer, Bigfoot, and Madylin Sweeten gives you her tips on keeping your New Year’s Resolutions.

The TMI Minute Episode 10 | Week of January 6
Follow us on Twitter @TMItheshow

Featuring:
Matthew Marcy – https://twitter.com/Matthew_marcy
Julian Clark – https://twitter.com/julianis4lovers
Madylin Sweeten - https://twitter.com/REALAllyBarone

Writers:
Joe Neuburger – https://twitter.com/bentoboxx
Kate Cornell – https://twitter.com/katecornell


Frozen: On Villains, True Love, and the Friendzone [Spoilers]

Before you think I’m fast and loose about handing out movie recommendations, I only write about movies that I like. I subscribe to the “if you don’t have anything nice to say” doctrine because why waste time on things I don’t like?

That being said, the obvious direction of this post is this: go see Frozen.

If it’s humanly possible, drop what you’re doing and go see it right now.

Honestly, I’m not kidding. Get up. Buy a ticket. Get to the theater. See this movie.

The rest of this post is spoilers.

(more…)


TMI Minute Episode 9 | Christmas, Surveillance, and a Special Holiday Greeting from Dylan Brody


Save Parks and Rec!

I tried to throw a flash mob for Parks and Rec after they went on hiatus.

Nobody showed up.

We filmed it anyway!

 

Watch it two ways! Funny or Die


Hunger Games Subway on Funny or Die

Oh, hey. The Hunger Games Subway Commercial parody is now on Funny or Die. So, vote funny if you laugh!


Christmas Movie Flowchart

It’s Thanksgiving, which means you’re going to start watching the Christmas movies.

Here’s the flowchart to help you decide.

Christmas Movie Flowchart


TMI Minute Episode 8 | NASA Auction, turkey shortage, and a special Thanksgiving message

It’s the TMI Minute with Cristal Bubblin’, Steven Matthews, and Emily Button!

Find out what NASA is auctioning off, how to deal with that impending turkey shortage, and what Steven has to say about Thanksgiving.


Hunger Games Sponsor

What if Subway really did sponsor the Hunger Games?


Hunger Games: Catching Fire Review – From the 3rd Largest IMAX Screen in North America

Hunger Games: Catching Fire Review - From the 3rd Largest IMAX Screen in North America

When I saw the first Hunger Games movie, I said I liked it better than the book. I like Catching Fire better than the book,too.

Saw Hunger Games: Catching Fire. You should, too. Here’s my review.

Spoilers ahead.

(more…)


TMI Minute Episode 7 | Hunger Games Theme Park

It’s Tuesday and time for a new episode of the TMI Minute.

Written by Joe Neuburger and I.
Performed by Afton Quast, Anthony Fanelli, and Rachel Butera


Thor: The Dark World – My Perspective

Thor: The Dark World - My PerspectiveIt’s been 72 hours. You’ve all seen Thor: The Dark World, right?

Good. Because I’m talking about it. With spoilers, so turn back now.

But, first, it was a good movie. I enjoyed it a lot. You should definitely see it and not just for the hunk with the hammer. (more…)


Remembering NaNoWriMo and Trying to Inspire Others

A friend of mine, Briana Hansen, is vlogging her National Novel Writing Month journey. I’m being supportive, as you should be ifRemembering NaNoWriMo and Trying to Inspire Others someone you know is doing it. It’s tough. It’s hard. You need a support structure.

I have the added benefit of having done it myself.

My journey is atypical. The way I write is different from others (everyone’s writing is different). I write novels by hand and I don’t set pen to paper unless I know what the story is, who the characters are, and where it’s going. I spend most of my waking moments planning.

So, when someone says, write a novel in a month, it’s easy. If I have one ready.

My NaNoWriMo experience was a class assignment in college. I finished in 8 days. The whole class hated me. Everyone finished by the end of the month. So, from someone who wrote 55,000 words in 8 days, let me tell you how I did it.

1. Stop worrying

55,000 words is not a novel. These days, a novel is between 75,000 and 100,000. So, writing the NaNoWriMo’s requisite 50,000 is not a whole novel: it’s the bones and muscles without the flesh and clothing. Don’t worry so much about what it looks like. When you reach your goal, set it aside. You can always come back to it later, flesh it out, and dress it up. This is not a polished product. That’s what revision is for.

2. Just go.

Don’t check your word count every ten minutes. Don’t look at the clock every hour. This is a marathon. It’s going to take time. If you’re on a roll, but you’ve already written for your two hours, keep going. Why stop? When you do stop, stop in the middle so you can pick up where you left off and get right back into your flow.

3. There’s no such thing as writer’s block. Unless there is.

There will be a time (maybe more than once) when you sit down with your hands over the keys and you have no idea what comes next. The truth behind writer’s block is that it’s self-doubt rearing it’s ugly head. If you want to do it in 8 days, you turn off your inner editor and squash self-doubt with the power of will (not really; you squash it with the power of blind, speeding momentum). When self-doubt threatens your word count, sit it down and give it a talking to.

Trust your characters. Trust your plot. Trust everything.

Trust that you can always change it later.

4. Ride the wave

Coming from someone who’s written five of them and knowing people who have written more, writing a novel is an emotional roller coaster. Briana is still in the honeymoon period. She’s in love with the idea, she’s in love with the process, she’s in love with everything around it.

There will come a time when you hate it with such utter contempt you can remember why you decided to do it in the first place.

This is natural. Ride the wave. It WILL drag you down, but don’t worry. You’ll get through it. The process of writing a book looks a lot like the hero’s journey. You have a time when the walls are closing in, you have your own dark night of the soul about your project. Remember, at the end, you get to bring your holy grail back to the villagers. And, you’re never the same after you finish.

5. Support

Don’t do this alone. Seriously. Even if it’s just one friend, get a support structure in place. Writing a book is like being in a relationship: sometimes, you need someone you can vent to.

That’s what I got for all you NaNoWriMo kids. I wish I could have joined you this round, but time does not allow me to.

What are your tips for NaNoWriMo? Tell me about your journey in the comments! And, if you are going through it alone, check out Briana’s vlog and comment.


TMI Minute Episode 6 | Somali Pirates vs. Britney Spears

Why do I keep posting these? Because I write it! Don’t miss the TMI Minute every Tuesday!


TMI Minute Episode 5 | No-Killing Spree


The TMI Minute | Episode 4 – Dogs in the Machine

Here’s a new episode of the show I write and produce with Joe Neuburger and Julian Clark.


Agents of SHIELD Pilot Review? Analysis? Post about me watching it?

I unapologetically have no time to watch TV when it airs. So, it’s rather surprising that I was able to watch Agents of SHIELD last Agents of SHIELD Phil Coulsonnight.

But, if you know me, perhaps not that surprising. Because I love Agent Coulson. I had a small twinge of jealousy during Avengers when he said there was a cellist in Portland. I nearly ripped my theatre seat out of the ground when Loki stabbed him in the back. I hung on through the movie, thinking, “No body, no death,” the reality of action movies, but the movie ended.

And, seemingly, Coulson ended with it.

Now, as anyone knows, Coulson is back and as quippy as ever. And he comes bearing conspiracy.

The pilot episode explains Coulson’s reappearance as Nick Fury faking our favorite agent’s death to get the Avengers to work as a team. This hypothesis is icky. If Coulson’s death was a fake, it’s ultimately meaningless, considering everything that Coulson stands for. However, Maria Hill and Doc Shepard (Firefly guy) hang on Coulson’s resurrection a little too long. So long, in fact, that we know there’s something rotten in the state of Strategic Homeland Initiative, Enforcement and Logistics Division.

The general agreement is that Agent Phil Coulson of Agents of SHIELD is a life model decoy. I’m not placing my bets on that, but it’s certainly possible.

Any way, the thing that I really wanted to talk about was the definition of heroism. io9.com posed this in their biggest unanswered questions about Agents of SHIELD:

Are all superheroes essentially psychotic?

This seems to be one major theme of the episode — Michael gets superpowers and uses them to help people, just like the Avengers. But he resists doing the whole “costumed hero” thing when Skye suggests it… until he starts to go insane due to the tech in his arm. Then he suddenly starts talking about being a hero, and his mean factory foreman being “the bad guy.” And he tells the nice doctor lady that this is his origin story. So… is the whole idea of being called to heroism just a form of psychosis? Is it essentially sociopathic? At the end of the episode, though, Michael says “it matters who I am,” and Agent Coulson turns that around into a thing where Michael’s real chance for heroism is self-sacrifice — saving the people in the train station from his own spontaneous combustion. (And then luckily, it doesn’t come to that, thanks to Fitzsimmons.)

This is an interesting idea and, while I won’t bet on the true nature of the current Phil Coulson, I would wager that Agents of SHIELD will be addressing a lot of the stigma around heroism. The tagline, after all, is “Not all heroes are super.”

Part of my love of Phil Coulson is this weird grey area he exists in. He’s definitely a hero. In Avengers, he’s the hero that the super-powered aspires to be. He faces a “god” because it’s the right thing to do. At the same time, Coulson absolutely loves his job. Is he just following orders?

It’s sort of a Yoda moment. Coulson is a person who DOES. He doesn’t try. He’s gets shit done. And that, above most else, is why I love him so.House Cornell

Anyway, I would purpose some major unanswered questions of my own:

Will Phil Coulson be in the next Avengers movie?

You can’t just ignore the fact that Coulson is back. While the Marvel cinematic universe just got a little bigger, it’s still very insular. Coulson was the go-to guy on ALL the heroes. He was Thor’s contact, the first man on the job when Tony Stark started suiting up, and even saved Pepper a few times in the first Iron Man film. Not to mention JARVIS could have out with the big secret within 20 seconds of half-assed hacking.

How will the heroes react to it? 

They don’t need Coulson anymore. But, if they stick with the cover story that Nick Fury is a liar, well, that’s not real great for team cohesiveness.

Where are the super-powered?

A lot of people wanted the Michael character to be Luke Cage. And, that’s not a bad tactic, introducing Marvel characters less likely to get their own movies into the television universe. However, my thought is that we won’t see any super powers. We’ll be seeing how people in a world with the superpowered deal with not having them. And, that’s pretty much how the series has been billed. Maybe we’ll get these characters later, but I doubt we’ll see supers in the first season outside of artificial ones.

What does this mean for the cinematic universe?

In the comics, all of the Marvel heroes exist in the same universe. X-men, Avengers, Spider-man, they’re all kicking it around in the same world. With 20th Century Fox holding on to X-men and Sony with the iron grip on Spider-man, who knows when these properties will be back together on-screen. Stop celebrating the Batman/Superman movie, give me Spider-man/Human Torch or Wolverine vs. Hulk. One can only hope that competing companies will play nice for the sake of Marvel’s success. But realistically, Coulson might have to die again to make that happen.


The TMI Minute Week of September 9th

I wrote some of this!


IMDB Credits

In a little over a year of living in Los Angeles, I now have two official IMDB credits to my name. Check it out.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm5806970/


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