Sunday, April 5, 2015

ECCC Adventure 2015: Day One

It took me forever to get to, but finally I'm doing it! My write-up of ECCC day one! It turns out I pretty much only took photos of BioWare cosplay (look at Dorian and Shepard, aaahhh!), and nobody is surprised. I spent the first hour or so at the con by myself, because poor Sam had to work and because I needed to go and meet Troy Baker immediately before doing anything else. And I needed to be alone when I did it so that nobody could judge me for behaving like an idiot. Which I did, of course. But now I can't even look at the photo of us together without becoming bitter and angry because he canceled his Sunday panel!! Why! Why, Troy. I'm holding a grudge, Troy.

During my solo wanderings I overheard a couple of fake geek guys misidentifying Gamora as She-Hulk, which was neat. I hate these fake geek guys! They only come to cons to pick up girls! They don't even know anything about comics! Way to ruin it for everyone, dudes!

But I didn't let the fake geek guys get to me. I am not the gatekeeper of geekery, guys. The sheer size of the con was pretty overwhelming, though, so when Sam showed up at the convention center, I had to meet her outside. We would never have found each other inside -- that's how cray it was. ECCC is the biggest con I've ever been to, outside of maybe PAX 2010, which I'm pretty sure was not this big! I may be an introvert, but I love crowds. Especially when surrounded by my people, so the sheer number of nerds everywhere made my heart sing.

Pretty much the first thing Sam and I saw when we entered the con was this group of bb cosplayers. So adorbs! Parenting done right!

After wandering around being overwhelmed and picking up Sam's badge, we made our way upstairs to the exhibition hall. Or rather, halls -- plural. (It was a big con you guys.) We discovered that we have the same super methodical method of wandering convention floors, so we spent the next few hours combing the floor systematically and buying tons of shit we totally, most definitely needed! Our goal was to get most of our shopping done that day, so we could focus on panels on Saturday and Sunday. We were pretty damn successful tbh.

Here is all the crap I bought on Friday, minus Lumberjanes volume 1, which I forgot to include like an idiot:

I bought even more Garrus art the next day, because I have an actual problem. But seriously, Garrus art with Bon Jovi lyrics??? Did they make this for me and Stacey?? I'm pretty sure they did. So I bought it, obvs, and it is going straight to Stacey as soon as I get off my ass and hit up the post office. Also pictured: Troy's stupidly handsome face (I hate you Troy), Dragon Age tea (Alistair, Fenris, and Hawke!), and Iron Bull and Blackwall wearing shirts that say "do you even rift bro" because OBVS.

We did manage to attend a couple of panels on Friday. I went to Leila's Image panel, which was great. I love hearing from other creative people about how they go about their work, their processes, etc. It's always so inspiring to me. We also went to the Being Non-Compliant panel, which was so amaze, and which you should read about on The Mary Sue where Sam wrote about it! I laughed, I cried (no I literally cried), and I felt really badass and inspired at the end of it. I felt inspired pretty much all weekend, to be honest. Being around so many wonderful creative people together in one place always lights a fire under my ass and makes me want to write, draw, whatever. I love it.

Speaking of creative, look at these ridiculously amazing Dragon Age cosplays, dudes! So many incredible Morrigan cosplayers, man. It makes me super glad that I decided not to cosplay as Morrigan because mine would have been 100% the worst one there. How did this girl on the right get her sleeve/pauldron to stay on her arm? Mine kept slipping down? I should have asked and taken notes, what was I THINKING??

And okay but come on you guys. Come on. Look at this Cullen cosplay. Look at this guy! Who the hell does this hot Cullen think he is?? I mean yeah, okay, amazing other cosplayers, neat Inquisitor pajamas, but WHAT THE HELL HOT CULLEN. Sam and I obviously needed to get our photos taken with him, and then spent the next 10 minutes coming down from the adrenaline rush the encounter gave us. We then spent the rest of the con wondering who this dude was and trying to find him on social media, to no avail. It was the worst, you guys; who doesn't have a twitter?? Who does an amazing Cullen cosplay and doesn't have a twitter? This guy. And apparently the rest of twitter was freaking out with us. The hashtag #HotCullen became a thing, with everyone losing their minds wondering who the hell this dude was. Hilariously, he got wind of the whole thing and joined twitter as @realhotcullen, so. I guess there is a God??

After we were finished throwing our money at Garrus art and taking pics of Dragon Age cosplayers, we left the convention center and hit up a nearby pharmacy for some pain killers, since we still had open wounds on our bodies in the shape of Stargate mandalas. I got to watch Sam get super excited about American drug store products, which was hilarious and amazing! She bought like $60 worth of candy, which is impressive and wonderful and she is my actual hero.

Then we took a much-needed break in our hotel room before braving the windy, rainy streets of Seattle again. This time, our mission was sushi! We ended up going to Nijo Sushi, which was a short walk away and near the waterfront. We got there right before a crowd showed up, and got a table immediately, aw yiss! (We had great luck like this all weekend because it was the Best Weekend.) The sushi though, you guys. Here's the thing. I don't eat sushi. Well, I used to eat crab sushi, but then it gave me terrible food poisoning on the day of my best friend's wedding, so I don't do crab anymore. And every other kind of sushi has always tasted too fishy for me, so I just tend to eat veggie sushi because I'm lame. My logic this time, though, was that if anywhere is gonna have fresh fish, it's Seattle. And fresh fish doesn't taste fishy. So I got an eel roll and a salmon roll, and oh my god they were so good. Like, hands down the best sushi ever. It wasn't fishy at all, dudes. I feel like all other sushi is ruined for me now, though? I'm heading up to Seattle again to finish my tattoo later this month, and I'm kinda thinking I might have to hit up Nijo again.

So after dinner we hit up the BOOM! Studios party for a bit, where we talked to a bunch of super great people. I loved meeting so many new people throughout the weekend; everyone was incredibly welcoming and lovely, and to everyone I met, even if we only spoke for a moment: you are all wonderful, beautiful people!! Thank you for existing!

Here is a pic of Sam, Melissa, and me! I had only "met" Melissa through twitter before that night, and she was as delightful as expected. I totally stole this pic from her twitter I HOPE THAT'S OKAY.

After the party we were pretty much ready to watch some crap TV and go to sleep. When we got back to the hotel room, Rose and Georgia had arrived and were cuddled up in bed in their pajamas, so we hung out for a bit and then, agreeing that ECCC day one had been a total 100% success, we passed the fuck out.

Next Time: DAY TWO! In probably like a week because that's how lazy I am.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

ECCC Adventure 2015: Prologue

Oh god where do I even begin with this, you guys? I haven't blogged in basically forever and now all of a sudden I need to tell you everything about ECCC because it was the BEST and I still can't stop thinking about it. ...Mostly I'm stuck on #HotCullen though. Mostly that.

Okay, but let me start last Wednesday, at the beginning. I took half the day off of work so I'd have time to drive home, load up my car and pack last minute things, and drive up to Seattle with plenty of daylight to spare. Except that when I was almost halfway to Seattle, I realized I had forgotten my damn ECCC badge. Which meant I had to drive all the way back to Portland, get stuck in rush hour traffic for another hour, and then take an alternate route up to I-5 because the bridge to Vancouver was at a bloody standstill. Neat, retrospective traffic news! I didn't let it get me down, though, because 1) I was on my way to goddamn comic con, and 2) I had Bon Jovi on my driving playlist!! You can't be fully sad when Bon Jovi!

So after a few extra hours of driving, I made it to the W Hotel (which was so hip it made me feel like a hobo wandering in from the streets tbh) with just enough time to hit up the bar for a beer and a bowl of edamame before taking off again for the airport to pick up Sam.

Okay let me talk about Sam. Sam and I met through our Mass Effect tattoos on instagram, I'm almost 99% sure? So obviously we immediately became besties. And somehow over the course of our online courtship we decided that we needed to get matching Stargate tattoos, and that we needed to get them while in Seattle together for ECCC. And because we're either super amazing or super crazy or both, we actually made it happen?? And I'm still kind of in awe? Sam decided to stay with Rose, Georgia, and me at the hotel on a whim, and I'm super glad she did because I LOVE HER and I wanted to spend as much time as possible with her before she went back to Toronto, which is pretty much on the other side of the world from Portland. Sad trombone. Thank goodness for SDCC in a few months though, for real!

Anyway, the next day Sam had to work, so I went to Piroshky Piroshky and Starbucks and brought our breakfast back to the hotel room. And let me just take a second to say, you guys. You guys. If you're in Seattle for any length of time, if it is humanly possible, go to Piroshky Piroshky. Their pastries are the absolute best and I'm super depressed that I can't eat them forever and ever, please stuff your faces with them!

Also let me take this opportunity to direct you to the rugs in the W's elevators, which change depending on what time of day it is?? It was morning when I took this! Too fancy! Too fancy!

Later that day, after Sam was finished working, we took the party to Artcore Tattoo Studios. 'Twas time for our Stargate bro tats!! And oh boy you guys did we not plan for how long they were going to take. To be fair, Ryan is a stickler for detail and made these bad boys look incredible, but I was only able to sit through the lines for my tattoo and will be going back later this month for color. I feel terrible posting pictures of our gross swollen new tattoos, so I'll definitely do an update when they're all healed and I can properly show off Ryan's art! He was super patient and such a good sport about sitting around with a pair of Stargate fangirls for like seven hours straight. Thanks Ryan!!

By the time we were finished with the tattoos, it was around 11:30 and we were in this sketchy industrial area, so we hurried to my car and immediately set out to find 1) a 24-hour pharmacy, and 2) sustenance. We figured we would hit up the pharmacy first, so Sam found a Walgreen's downtown that was open until midnight and directed us there. As we drove around looking for parking, we started getting super creeped out by all these dudes wandering the streets, but finally parked in an only slightly sketchy parking lot around the corner from Walgreen's. But as we approached the pharmacy, we had to sort of wind our way through this crowd of people that had gathered around what looked like furniture delivery trucks? I guess? There was some kind of ruckus whatever they were, and when we finally got to the entrance to Walgreen's, this guy inside wearing a gas mask just turned to look at us through the glass, and slowly shook his head. So we turned on our heels and went right back in the direction from which we'd come. It was like some sort of post-apocalyptic hellscape, and while Sam tried to calm us both while explaining why Target had failed in Canada, we rushed back to my car and got the hell outta there.

By that point all we wanted was some damn food. We found a 24-hour McDonald's nearby, so we drove there and shuffled inside, all cold and achey and freaked out and starving. And when we walked inside, it was like the clouds opened up and the heavens shone down... on a dude wearing a Mass Effect N7 hoodie. And we knew in that moment that we had found our people, and were safe at last.

We spent the rest of the night watching trash TV and eating our crispy chicken sandwiches, which was probably the very best way to end a traumatic night of pain and gritty late-night Seattle experiences.

Next time: Actual ECCC Day One! I swear! I have the photos all edited and everything. STAY TUNED I guess.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Love Letters to Shaun and Stacey

I feel dreadful.

It's not just that I'm home after a long, amazing vacation with Shaun and Stacey, two of my best friends in the world. It's not just that I had to go back to work after days of lazy drives through the LA golden hour, hair whipping across my face, the windows rolled down. It's not just the 5:00 a.m. alarm.

I'm happy to be home with Lyall again, of course. And happy beyond words to be back with my games! (Thedas, I'm home again.) But I'm overwhelmed by the crushing reality of coming down from so many highs, the return to reality from a world where it was just me, my friends, a city, and lots and lots of good food.

Now every damn song I listen to reminds me of them.

I miss them so much.

And like... Stacey is pretty much my long-distance boyfriend, as I've gone over. You know that feeling you get when there's one person you want to be around all the time, talk to all the time, think about all the time? A person who you can't stop talking about to the point that you're clearly annoying everyone around you? Yeah. That's Stacey. It's this weird obsessive friendship where I want to learn every little thing about her and I couldn't imagine sharing my affection with anyone else. I have zero interest in dating anyone because I have her. I like her so much that she makes me nervous when I'm around her?? And she lives almost 1,000 miles away. A THOUSAND MILES. I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more... to internet stalk voice actors with Stacey. I don't... know where I'm going with this, except that it fucking sucks how far apart we are and I would legitimately 100% be even more of a mess right now and/or planning my next trip to visit her if she weren't already coming to see me in a matter of weeks.

And Shaun. SHAUB. She's one of those people I will always always love so intensely because of the year we shared together in London. Before that we'd never been close friends, but I loved her immediately when we reunited at Speedy's Cafe that September. Nobody else can possibly understand that part of my life like she can. We've only lived in the same city for that year in London, but it was one of the most important and formative years of my life, and I'll always make a point of seeing Shaun as much as I can whenever I can. She's one of those people who makes everything more fun and hilarious just by being there. I hate that she's so far away. I miss my London boyfriend!

So... this post was going to be super brief but it became a love letter to Shaun and Stacey I guess. Oops? Except not because I could write love letters to them every day.

There's just something about my girl friends. They mean more to me than any boyfriend could. They're emotionally supportive and encouraging. They understand me. They accept me exactly the way I am, and never ask me to be anything different. I love them so much and I miss them when they're not here.

I'm so sad. I had an amazing time in LA, but I'm so sad.

My only consolation is that I can be reunited with my Portland besties for the Hollywood Theater Oscars party this weekend, which is gonna be amazing.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Fucking Monday

God, life has been overwhelming/busy as hell lately, and simultaneously more of the same. Work is good, friends are good, Lyall is good. Video games? Good.

I haven't been out and about much because I'm trying to save money for what feels like a billion upcoming trips this year. On Thursday I leave for LA, where I get to spend five days with two of my favorite people, Shaun and Stacey. I can't actually express how excited I am to see Shaun again (I haven't seen her since Denver Comic Con last year!) and finally meet Stacey, my platonic life partner. Like... I'm supernova fly-me-into-the-sun levels of excited. Do not get me started.

So then next month I'm going to Emerald City Comicon, which will be my second time going and my first time attending for the full three days. The whole girl crew is going, and we're rooming with Sam and then hopefully seeing Jess on Sunday and it's going to be a ridiculous weekend of geeky party girl times! Yeah! Plus Sam and I are getting Stargate tattoos, so basically best weekend!

Okay and I tried to blog about this last week but I was TOO EXCITED, so since I'm feeling more chill now I feel like I can write about it without spontaneously combusting: I'm going to San Diego Comic Con 2015!!! The Comic Con. And yeah, okay it's called Line Con now and is probably just a giant insane shit show but y'know what I don't even care because this has been on my bucket list for years. I'm actually going to be volunteering instead of outright attending for ~fun~, but passes are pretty much 99.9999% impossible to get now anyway. Megan's family has volunteered for the past couple of years, so they passed on the info, and we had to jump through a few hoops but we got on the list! I had talked to Stacey last year about trying our best to get SDCC passes for 2015 so we could do some sort of Mass Effect cosplay or just wear matching Mass Effect shirts together, idk, so when I signed up for the volunteer list I made her do it with me. No Stacey left behind! I can't really even start to talk about how excited I am about this, or how we found affordable housing somehow (we had a really good week last week), or how much fun it's gonna fucking be at the center of the geek universe with two of my favorite people on the planet, so I won't. I'm just. Really really. Excited.

If I had an unlimited amount of money and time, I would 100% be going to Denver Comic Con again this year and Phoenix Comic Con to see my dad, but I don't. Which is super disappointing, because I wanted to do both of these things and I just don't think it'll work out. I don't know how many times they will give me time off work for a comic con, like seriously Meg. Chill out with the cons. (Plus I wanna go to PAX in September. Help me I have a problem.)

In closing, I've been playing Dragon Age 2 again (for the 6th time; I know). And. I really really love Hawke. A lot. Like. I'm starting to severely regret my life and my choices. Is it too late to retroactively make Alistair king without feeling deeply wrong about it? ...No? Okay.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Letting Go

I'm trying to teach myself to let go.

I'm the kind of person who needs to control things. I would never think to describe myself as a control freak if asked to describe five traits about myself or something, but I totally am. I hate it when people do things differently than I would when I can easily just tell them to do it my way. I hate being responsible for things that aren't 100% directly under my control. It stresses me out so much and it's so annoying, but I have a super hard time turning off that compulsion.

Well, I'm trying to let go. I realized that I've gotten to the point where I'm driving myself crazy stressing over things that I can't fully control. I agonize over things I can't fix, things that aren't my responsibility. It's to the point where my whole life is affected by stuff that I frankly do not need to be stressing over. And I finally realized that I don't need to let the anxiety overwhelm me. What I need is to let go.

It's hard, but I've been trying to remind myself that there is only so much I can do sometimes. There are only so many things within my power. When shit goes wrong and I've done everything I could have done with my knowledge and skill set, I can't beat myself up. I did all I could to the best of my ability. The weight of the world doesn't need to rest on my shoulders, even if I feel like it should.

Meanwhile I'm getting anxiety because my friends aren't playing BioWare games right.

Ugh. Letting go is hard.

In other news, I went to a cat show yesterday! It was just as ridiculous as it sounds, yet super fun? I'm not a cat person but I loved seeing all the cool breeds! I never knew there was such variation in cat breeds, it was like a magical cat zoo. And afterwards I took an amazing nap, so it was a winner of a Sunday.

Life update: complete!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Holy Shit XBOX ONE

I did it. I broke down and bought an Xbox One. I made that last post on Thursday and the VERY NEXT DAY the One went back on sale to $350, which I obviously took as a sign! So right after work I drove to Target and picked up the Xbox and another copy of DA:I, and holy fuck you guys.

Holy fuck.

It's, not even exaggerating, like playing a completely new game. I mean, I knew it was going to look better, and maybe have a few more trees at Skyhold, but oh my god did I not know the full extent to which DA:I on the 360 fucking sucks.

I just. There are so many more trees. Trees everywhere! In the Hinterlands, I barely even recognized where I was and I've spent hours questing in that godforsaken zone. There were trees and vines and flowers and grass where there were none before. Light filtering through trees. Motes of dust drifting through that light! Tents flapping in the breeze, actual NPCs in towns and camps (not just the one requisitions officer and like, one other person). My coat blowing in the wind. My companions' coats blowing in the wind. EVERYTHING blowing in the wind!!

I've only been to one zone and I'm completely blown away. This is 100% worth the money. I cried the first time I saw Cassandra. I cried in the Hinterlands and Val Royeaux. I can't believe how beautiful this fucking game is! How are games this incredibly detailed? How are they this gorgeous? I feel like I've been playing this game blind and now I can finally see!! It's incredible!

So, conclusion: buying the Xbox One? Best investment of my entire life. Y'know, after that whole grad school in London thing.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

First World Problems

My feels.
Okay but... why am I so tired this week?

Seriously. It's out of control how tired I am this week. Usually I can easily make it to bedtime at 10:00, but this week I've been draaagging. Work has gotten a little more stressful than it used to be, which is probably draining me a bit. I don't know?? Am I dying maybe? Or just getting old?

I really don't have anything interesting to say but I felt bad not blogging so here I am. The only real happenings in my life are all video game related, which... nobody cares about! And if you do care, please go to my twitter because it's all I ever talk about there.

Speaking of video games, payday is today and I've been good about not spending much money lately, so I have a bit extra to spare... plus we got little Christmas bonuses at work and Shaun just sent me some money for our plane tickets to LA (!!!!!), and I just made a big ol' payment on my credit card bill so I could pretty comfortably afford an Xbox One right now? Only... I'm super torn about whether I should do it? I mean, I know I am going to be needing one eventually, as all the new games coming out will be too graphics-heavy for poor ol' 360. The only reason I'd buy it now is to play DA:I. But I'm already like 70+ hours into my second playthrough of DA:I. Will it hold my interest enough to play the whole game again? And yeah I'd have to buy the game again so I'd have two bloody copies of it (although I'd likely trade in the 360 copy or something). The more I write about this the more ridiculous it seems!! But... but my Skyhold doesn't even have trees or grass because the 360 can't handle rendering all that detail! It's a goddamn tragedy, I tell you.

Maybe I'll finish my current playthrough and see how I feel at the end of it. It's possible I'll be so bored of the game by then that I'll want nothing to do with it (HAHAHAHAAAhahaaa). Plus I need a new iPhone as well. Life is hard, let me complain about the most first world of first world problems, please.

Wow, I really did have something to write about! Something completely stupid! What do you guys think, though? Xbox One now, or later? Or should I just save my money like a good little adult?