365 hats in 2010: Cheesehead trucker hat

5 01 2010

This entry announces a fun project that I hope will turn into something cool at the end of the year. I’ll be chronicling the year in hats by uploading one (or two or whatever) photo per day to a special Picasa album set up specifically for this purpose.

When I run out of hats, I’ll have to get creative to find headgear. In my humble opinion, that’s when the fun will truly begin. Not that my hat collection isn’t fun.

For example, the photo at right shows a cheesehead ballcap/trucker hat obtained during a trip to Madison WI a few years back. The benefit of this hat vs. a traditional cheesehead is it’s a little less cumbersome, while at the same time being a little more subversive.

Hat date: January 3, 2010. And that’s me backlit in shadows. Never let your light source be behind you. But, in this case it kind of works.

I can’t claim to have completely invented this concept, but I hope to put my own spin on things. It’s been done by many others and the inspiration here is a few of the projects I’ve seen in the course of my work, as well as a few more on YouTube. It’s been done, but I thought I might as well do it, too.





Dragon*Con redux part I: My Con history

9 09 2009

Star Trek Experience
  

Originally uploaded by N-Sai

The wonderful magical microsociety of Dragon*Con, contained entirely within the mazelike confines of three connected hotels and one satellite a few blocks away, is something I think everyone should experience once. Do it, if only to get in touch with your inner geek and your secret furry. Everyone has one lurking inside, I like to think. There has to be a part of you that yearns to don a cape and prance around as if you were faster than a speeding bullet and able to leap freight trains in a single bound. If you don’t, you’re probably not much fun to be around anyway.

I remember being an outsider who had never been to a Con save for a couple Star Trek conventions when I was a preteen. It was all for research I was doing for a class, mind you. I remember stuffing myself into the circa-1970s orange bleachers inside the Phoenix Veterans Memorial Coliseum so I could listen to Garrett Wang from Star Trek: Voyager, and John DeLancey, who played Q in Star Trek: The Next Generation. I found both actors’ schpiels to be engaging and expected such from all cons afterward.

I also had high expectations from having seen “Star Trek: The Experience” at the Las Vegas Hilton hotel, long before the forces of economy and practicality took away one of these old holdovers from Sin City’s drunken flirtations with family-friendliness, whimsy and imagination.

Having long ago left my preteen years in another galaxy, seeing these geeks (an affectionate term) standing on the train platform took me back to those geeky days of my youth when I used to thumb through an encyclopedia of information about “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” There was a time when I could describe the plot of every episode in great detail and tell you all about the various quirks and life stories of each character. I don’t know what happened to that part of me, but I don’t have it anymore and I kind of want it back. Looking at these current-day con lovers made me wish I was one of them. Not to mention that marveling at powerful superheroes’ ordinary means of transit made me laugh. Hard.

Another thing that’s important to consider is that Labor Day weekend is a busy one in Atlanta, and it’s a time when you might find yourself with a decked-out football fanatic on one side and a storm trooper on the other. One year I passed the time on my 45-minute trip intown by making interesting conversation with a chatty pirate’s wench. She had a lot to say about piracy and about life in general. I wished I’d had the gumption to capture that moment on film.

At some point, I’d seen enough of this fantastic tomfoolery and decided I had to be part of it. I decided to give it a shot. The journey began by standing in line for about an hour to buy tickets onsite. Lucky me, I could by a second year’s membership to Dragon*Con for just $10 more (or some ridiculous sum like that). So I did, and by that point, I was locked in for two years of this wonderful nonsense.

My first year at Dragon*Con, I approached the scene with a lot of trepidation. I went by myself into the wild and wooly crowd, armed with a camera and the excuse that I was just a journalist passing through. I told myself, “This year I’m just documenting a scene.” I opted to remain a detached observer of the absurdity around me.

My second year was the best. I had a plan. I even brought an iReport kit with me and interviewed people. With the help of coworkers and friends, I saw quite a bit of things and had lots of fun. Not to mention, I took way too many pictures. Afterward, I made my television debut talking about the event with a viking hat on.

My third year’s expedition to Dragon*Con was predated by an exhausting run through San Diego Comic-Con, which is a totally different animal and yet much the same. The focus is on comics primarily and it’s about twice as big, but not necessarily as cool or fun. I think at some point I just got a little tired. I realized that the Con experience has its limits. I look forward to it, and at the same time, I know that I will be fatigued and frustrated by it.

I’ll want to kick myself, but I’ll go to another con, and I’ll enjoy it. That’s the way it goes. After all the lines and crowds and odoriffic science fiction costumes around you, the memories are what remain.

It’s a unique thing, something you can’t really get anywhere else, and a surreal exploration of that part of us that still likes to dress up and pretend to be someone else. I hope that we can all dig deep and find it within ourselves, even if we wouldn’t be caught dead in Spandex.





Meetin’ & Greetin’

31 10 2008

Kato and I, originally uploaded by N-Sai.

Having a blast in LA with the JMMF… you never know what and who you might see!





*The* costume

1 09 2008

Last year it was Harry Potter. This year… Jokers, nurse jokers, you name it, this was the costume that everyone was wearing.

IMGP7566, originally uploaded by N-Sai





This cracked me up

23 10 2007

Confidential to the individual coming in search of an “inflatable plumber butt costume”: I don’t have one available for sale, but I’m starting to wish I did. You can make one pretty easily. Simply dress as a plumber would and pull your pants down a little in the back.

SIDE NOTE: This company makes all sorts of *other* wonderful inflatable things, as I’ve discovered through my own Independent Research.





Don’t Tase me, sis!

21 09 2007

Pardon the bad joke. Look, I don’t have an opinion about *that* and I’m trying to remain impartial.

But anyways… according to my alma mater’s newspaper, for which I used to work, Taser International is coming out with a much more stylish, feminine kind of Taser. This is “shocking” news. Heh. Maybe they’ll offer custom skins and stick-on bling too, and BlueTooth compatibility.

Factoid: Taser International is based in Scottsdale, Arizona. It’s interesting. Say what you will, but with GoDaddy and Cold Stone Creamery alone, the ‘Dale is making some attempt to rock the Kokopelli-adorned free world.

As an aside, what is up with leaving your BlueTooth cell phone earpiece cemented to the ear for hours, even when one is not on the phone? I see this a lot and I think it borders a little on the ridiculous.





I scream Sunday

17 09 2007

One of the joys of Sunday for me is working the early-morning shift, which inevitably is slow-going. Well not today. There was actual stuff going on, which was nice, I guess. I felt useful.

Anyway, on the way to work, I was  riding the TRAIN. (Come on ride the train, and ride it! Come on ride the train….) As per usual. But it was going really slow. Like 5 mph or something, it seemed. It took me an hour to get to Five Points (city center), which was absolutely Rick-diculous considering we weren’t even single-tracking. Man, oh man. It should only take 25-27 minutes on average. (Yes, I have it down to a science.)

And… I went to the mall in the evening and sat out on the patio to enjoy the nice weather, and then I went in and looked at clothing with alien motifs. Like, glittering colorful neon/gold-studded aliens that would make 50 Cent pause and sign up to go to a Star Trek convention. Yes, folks, aliens are *in* this fall fashion season.

In light of this, I thought I would write another bizarre poem:

Roswell’s just a few miles away
Roswell, Georgia, not New Mexico
So I don my alien apparel
And try not to go over a barrell
With extraterrestrial lexicon.

You probably saw me at the Dragon*Con,
Keeping one eye on the guy dressed for robotic cosplay
With a Macintosh cardboard-box codpiece on,
He put his geekish manhood on an LCD kind of display
But I was too busy listening to my old-school iPod Nano to stay.

Alas, it were that I had to board the train to nowhere in particular;
And I felt faster pumping through my heart’s ventricles
I was offered a free hug by a man covered in fake blood
And it was then that I understood
That my trips on the train were getting pretty spectacular.

Indeed, many a frustrating trip can inspire colorful vernacular
For while stuck in the train, we encounter an interesting population;
It’s a tough adjustment for those who prefer their interactions to be insular;
For you come into contact with every segment of societal persuasion.
You’ve got to factor the uniqueness of the experience into the overall equation.