ECCC 2014: Another year of slacking off right before finals

Hey all,

It’s the end of March and you know what that means (just kidding, pretty sure if you do know, you’re definitely in the minority)… EMERALD CITY COMICON!

Hurray for 5AMbussing.

Hurray for 5AMbussing.

A group of my friends and I managed to take some time off and bus to Seattle again for the con. We were very tactical with the whole thing. We stayed over at one person’s house so we could taxi off to the Greyhound station early Saturday morning. We had to wake up at 4:30AM in order to get dressed, and get to Pacific Central at 5:30. I think that was possibly the earliest I’ve woken up for something before. Anyway, the plan was for M, Mal, and I to bus down to Seattle first and be at the convention for both Saturday and Sunday, while our other friends with the car would drive down on Sunday and take us home with them.

My friend M was actually sick during the trip, so it was a little worrying for me and Mal. But overall, it was so much fun! It was quite different from last year because although there wasn’t a main celebrity that was on my bucket list of people I wanted to meet (unlike Misha Collins last year), I did meet a few celebrities that I respected  a lot!

Day 1

The first day was a hectic rush to get to the actual convention centre. We got off the bus, ran to the hotel, then took a taxi to the centre. A wave of nostalgia rushed through me when I walked through the front doors and saw the three sets of escalators that took all the guests to the main event floor. A banner read “Welcome to Emerald City Comicon” and I almost wanted to cry. I had such a great experience last year (albeit some issues with the line ups and such) that I didn’t realize how much I missed it.

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I dressed up as Castiel from Supernatural again on the first day, except a different version of the trench coat. I am actually so happy that my mom likes making these things.

The day was spent buying arts, tshirts, and geeked out assorted goodies. We watched Mark Sheppard’s panel (from Supernatural), and Osric Chau (also from the show) showed up to ask Mark a question. We later caught up with him to have a chat and take photos with him. Osric is honestly such a nice guy, and despite being tired, he was very accommodating to the fans! The convention had told him he would have to keep moving or else he’d cause a traffic jam, and he kept his word, but allowed fans to take selfies with him while walking. We spent some time helping him located a vendor who would sell a machete so that he could complete his cosplay (Glenn from The Walking Dead), but upon not being able to find one, he ripped one out of cardboard.

Osric Chau cosplaying as Glenn!

Osric Chau cosplaying as Glenn!

I ran into some old friends that I met from Emerald City last year. I cannot believe the lasting friendships I’ve managed to make just from conventions. (Shoutout to Delaney because we managed to run into each other on both days!!! And her cosplays are awesome.)

Unlike last year, it felt like I had a lot less time to shop around in the artist alleys and vendors. I suppose having more friends with you will slow everyone down a bit, but at the same time, having more people was so much fun! It was a different experience.

At night, we wanted to eat at the Cheesecake Factory across the street from the convention centre. Upon entering the crowded restaurant, we asked how long we’d have to wait for a table for three. The wait was 1 1/2 hours. We left. Instead, we opted for subs at Jimmy John’s. We tried sleeping earlier that night, and Mal did a great job of that. But M and I were not used to sleeping till around 4AM, so it was hard. I ended up sleeping at one, which was pretty good in my books. And that was day one.

Day 2

Our friends, T, F and B, came down on day 2 and we walked with them from our hotel to the convention centre. First order of business was getting photo op tickets for Karen Gillan. Although only F and I were getting tickets, we all lined up together. These guys 🙂

I wore my Tardis cosplay today, mostly because I wanted to wear it for a picture with Karen Gillan! Amy Pond was probably my favourite companion since I had started with her.

A picture of me with a weeping angel I found wandering around

A picture of me with a weeping angel I found wandering around

 

As a group, we did wander the convention floor, but since the day was only till 5PM and we got to the convention at around 11:30AM, the day was short. We had two panels we had to see (Mark Sheppard and Jim Beaver + Karen Gillan) and we had to go to the hall early to get seats. I still had a lot of things I wanted to buy, but didn’t manage to make it because of how tight schedule was. That was one of the biggest things that struck me this year. With six people travelling together for day 2, time evaporated.

However, I still got to take a picture with Karen. Actually, basically right before our turn, she had to take a quick break  so her smile could relax and she could take a sip of water. F and I stared at her for a good five minutes since we had entered an area that we could actually see her, unlike most of the people still in line. Fangirl.

Karen squared!

Karen squared!

The drive home was…interesting. We stopped by a Jack in the Box for dinner (we felt so american with our burgers that had a ridiculous amount of cheese and meat) and proceeded across the border. That’s when things started to get a little messy due to us getting a little lost. But in the end, we made it out okay! In the car, we were already making plans for next year! I can’t wait!

I’ll follow up this personal post with a shorter, snappier review of the convention (maybe to convince everyone to go?)!

– Karen

The Supernatural Wardrobe Sale–What’s a wardrobe sale?!

Hey all!

Last week, one of my friends told me that Supernatural (the TV show) was having a wardrobe sale in Burnaby. So a huge thanks to her for making this blog post possible!

My first question was: What is a wardrobe sale?

My Google searches did not direct me to any useful info, but it did show me a wide variety of dressers, vintage wardrobes and other cabinets. So for those of you who are wondering, here is my description of it.

Orginally, I thought that they were auctioning off items used/worn by the main cast, so I was not sure if I wanted to go because it would probably be very expensive, and if I cannot buy anything, I will leave sad and heartbroken. Why go through the pain?

But in the end, I decided to check it out anyway since I was told that the sale was happening at one of the Supernatural studios where the show is sometimes filmed. It was not the most convenient of locations to get to, but it also was not the worst, so I did manage to drag my mom out to go with me (since I found out about this so late and would not be able to find anyone else to keep my company).

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When I got the the warehouse-like place, I was really excited because I saw huge garbage cans that read the following:

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Anyway, entering the studio place, we were handed huge plastic bags. I think the best way to describe what the experience was like would be to imagine yourself in a HUGE thrift store. They had both unworn clothing items, as well as worn ones. You did not know what you are going to get because there was so many different articles of clothing. Jackets, dresses, shoes, T-shirts, tanks, pyjamas– you name it. It was also CRAZY CHEAP. The T-shirts and tanks were $5, which became 50% off at the end of the day. Same with everything else.

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What I found very interesting was that you could get a jacket from some low end store for the same price as say, a Dolce and Gabbana/G-Star jacket ($15, which became $7.50 at the end of the day). They kept reducing prices towards the end of the sale, because it was a one day sale and everything had to go. Their locations manager Russ Hamilton said that the rest of the unsold clothes were all donated to charity!

I recognized some shirts that were from way back in season 4 of the show, such as some school gear from a high school an episode was set in, and a bunch of T-shirts from a call centre that one of the characters had to work at for another one. There was also some clothes that were ripped and blood stained, which really could have been from any of the Supernatural episodes. Otherwise, the rest of the clothes were pretty regular clothing, which I assume extras wore. Some of them still had tags attached to them that seemed like instructions from the costume department.

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So if there is a wardrobe sale near you, I suggest you check them out! The show’s costume department probably has to get rid of clothes they had in storage, so you may find some awesome deals. My mom and I spent around $100, but got two huge garbage bags full of clothes and other assorted goods.

Oh, and if any of you know of anything else like this around Vancouver, give me a shout! This was definitely fun!

Hope you are all enjoying the sun!

– Karen

Emerald City Comic Convention 2013 – The Clash of Fandoms

At the beginning of this month, I went to the Emerald City Comic Convention! It was my first time at an American Comicon, as the other ones I have been to have all been in Hong Kong. Here is a recount of my trip!

Day 1

I woke up bright and early on the 1st of March (after only four hours of sleep), and took the bus down to Seattle (via Quick Shuttle). A 4-hour long bus ride was not the worst thing in the world, but I do wish that the bus would not make so many stops so that we could speed up the process. I ended up getting to Seattle half an hour late, which meant I was even later to the con than I had originally intended to be.

At 2:00pm, I arrived at my hotel in downtown Seattle– SpringHill Suites by Marriott. My friend and I chose this hotel because it was an 11 minute walk to to the Washington State Convention Centre– where the ECCC was to be held. I left my luggage at the front desk (I must say, the staff at the hotel were amazing. They were super nice and helpful throughout the whole trip!), and tried to make my way to the convention centre. Despite having printed out a million maps to guide me around the small area that is Downtown Seattle, you will not believe how many times I got lost. But soon enough, I got to the convention. What I was not prepared for was the line. I was in line for my badge for 2 hours. What happens is that you take your ticket to this counter to exchange it for a badge. Sound easy enough…except the line to the counter wrapped around the convention centre like a million times. I was forced to miss Felicia Day’s panel (but I guess it was okay, because she was to have another one on the third day with Wil Wheaton).

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After getting into the convention centre, I realized that it was very warm in there. It was my first day at the con, and my friend was skipping today, so I did not cosplay (we were cosplaying together). Instead, I spent my day taking pictures of other people’s amazing costumes. I am very impressed with the amount of work people put into their costumes, and for putting up with how hot it was. I was in short sleeves and I was hot– I can only imagine people walking around in full body armour and how gross it must feel.

DSCN1488 DSCN1489I left the con at around 7PM that day, choosing to take some time to explore Downtown Seattle. It was my second time there and I quickly got bored after entering random shops. I went back to my hotel, and realizing I had gone the whole day without food, I hastily picked up a lunchbox at a Japanese restaurant so I could eat back in my hotel room. My friend Michelle came later on in the night and we ended up watching the latest episode of Supernatural together! We had troubles falling asleep, but soon enough, it was morning.

Day 2

We woke up at 7:30 in the morning, as I warned Michelle about the line ups. We had our breakfast, and learned that there was actually a free shuttle to the convention centre leaving on the hour, every hour, from our hotel. I already had my badge, but she still had to get hers. Luckily, because we woke up early, the line for the badge was very quick (took her about 10 minutes), but we had to wait in line before they could let us into the centre.

Today, both Michelle and I were in costume. We dressed up as the same character from Supernatural, except she went for the more traditional look of the character, and I genderbended mine. I cosplayed as fem!Cas. It was very hot as our costumes required that we wore a trench coat for the whole day.

Castiel’s original outfit

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My spin on Castiel’s outfit

There was not too much on our agenda today. We mainly aimed to get our picture taken with Misha Collins (who plays the character we dressed up as), and to go to the Supernatural Fan Panel later on in the night. Misha Collins was amazing, and although you do not get a much of a window of time to tell him how you want to pose for your picture, he was very quick to understand. I liked how my picture turned out.

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We went to the Fan Panel an hour early, but somehow, they only allocated the fans a room with a seating capacity of 220 people. They grossly underestimated our numbers. So we were turned away. However, after the panel started, I convinced Michelle that we should go back up and check if they had extra space. It turns out they did!

The fan panel consisted of a room full of fans discussing plot lines and raising hilarious questions. It also allowed for a bunch of people cosplaying from the same show to congregate together! I met a lot of wonderful people, quite a few of whom I still keep in touch in on Tumblr.

AND THEN MISHA COLLINS CRASHED THE FAN PANEL. It was against his contract, or something of the sort, but he still broke the rules and nonchalantly and quietly snuck into the room. It took about 3 whole seconds before the room started screaming. I love this man.

Misha Collins crashed the fan panel!

Misha Collins crashed the fan panel!

And that was day 2.

Day 3

Michelle and I had to wake up very early again, because Misha Collins’ panel was the first panel of the day. It starts at 11, but we got to the Convention Centre at 8. This again meant we had to wait in line before they let us into the convention centre, so it was this mad race towards the line for the main hall where the panel was to be held when they finally let us in.

We ended up getting pretty good seats– 3rd row behind the VIP area. Misha came into the hall and seemed surprised at the fact that it was so full. I skipped a lot of details in this post, but I was at quite a few other panels during the course of my visit– and none of them were as full as this one. The whole hall filled up, so there were thousands of people there. The panel moderator asked Misha questions for around 20 minutes, and then opened the floor up for questions. I obviously booked it to the mic, and was one of the first people to ask a question. Unfortunately, the girl in front of me asked the question that I wanted to ask, so here I was, freaking out because I did not have a question. So I improvised. The whole thing was ridiculous, but I guess it made people laugh. Someone recorded a video of my question that I found on Youtube…so here it is if you want to hear me sputter and stuttering.

Emerald City Comic Con: Misha Collins Panel Part 6 (Hunter Salon …

The rest of our last day was spent walking around and doing more shopping. I spent bucketloads of money on graphic T-shirts. No regrets there. Okay, maybe a little because I am extraordinarily broke now. I also took a picture with Felicia Day! Her panel was amazing, and I actually teared up when she addressed how female gamers/’geeks’ (I do not exactly agree with the use of the labels of being ‘geeky’ and ‘nerdy…) should do as they would like without being judged by others. Wil Wheaton also added a line on how he was seriously pissed at people who made Felicia have to clarify this to the females in the audience. I never applauded louder.

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Sadly, it was eventually time to go again, and Michelle and I made our way back to the hotel to pick up our luggage and headed to the bus stop back to Vancouver. Lots of amazing memories were made, and amazing people met. I hope that one day, I will actually be able to get tickets to the San Diego Comic-Con. But for now, the Emerald City Comic Con was an amazing experience!

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-Karen

Who Thought Clowns Were A Good Idea?

Hey guys,

So as I was watching Supernatural (the TV show) the other day, they had a killer clown in one of their episodes. Even without this episode, I have always wondered: Who the hell though clowns were a good idea?!

Doing some digging around, I found out that they try to appeal to people wanting laughter and are meant to make a fool of themselves. A clown’s attributes include playfulness, lacking in respect with a sleeve full of surprises.  This sounds a lot like a medieval time jester to me, which some sites have said that they were the precursors to clowns.

It turns out that there are more than one type of clowns. (x)

1) Classic White-Face Clowns

Ronald fits into the whiteface category

2) Auguste Clowns

With a flesh colored base to their makeup

3) Character Clowns

They adopt a character of some kind

So I can probably explain the differences in these three main types of clowns, but I am not going to. Basically, from what I can tell, they all look kind of scary. Seriously, this is supposed to make people laugh? If I see past the clown makeup and costume, what they do may coax a laugh from me– better yet, they should just do funny stuff in a less scary costume and I am sure I will enjoy their skit/routine a lot more.

What I also cannot understand is how clowns made it to children’s birthdays. I guess some adults could not think of who better to amuse their kids than a man/woman dressed up in baggy, outlandish clothes, with a face full of makeup. See, I get the part about making balloon animals and making funny incidents happen, but again, the way clowns are typically presented do not appeal to me.

I think it is because clowns have their features exaggerated. Huge red smiles, raised eyebrows, the signature red nose– altogether it creates a mask, covering who is really behind all that makeup. It seems to say that with this mask on, they can do whatever they want and the consequences can be forgotten. Plus, their main aim is just to make you laugh, so they will do what they have to.

Maybe it is because I grew up in a time where clowns are used quite frequently in horror movies and stories? We have Stephen King’s It, the Joker from Batman and then there are episodes from TV shows such as Supernatural. To me, clowns are just unsettling. I simply cannot find a picture of a clown that look genuinely nice and ‘funny’ to me. What are your thoughts?

I tried hard to find a picture of a cute clown. But I still think that they could have come up with something that looked less scary.

-Karen

Done Exams — Now For Some Me Time

Hey all!

So it had been a while since my last post, but that is all due to school, commitments and basically me not having anything really interesting to say.

But I must say, having been asked out by a 34 year old was either a high…or a low of my life? He knew how old I was too, I am pretty sure. This made me question what age is my upper limit when it comes to guys. But you know what, 34 would probably be fine, if that guy didn’t ask me in a semi-creepy way.

I am finally done exams and ready to type away! I apologize to everyone who is subscribed to me, as well as the people I am subscribed to! Believe me, I wish I had time to scroll away on my Reader on WordPress and read your lovely posts, but finals just did not allow me to do so!

To celebrate my freedom, I booked an appointment at Hive Hair Spa to do my hair. I used to go to Chura, but they are always booked, so I have to book weeks in advance. Also, Chura would require me to bus all the way downtown, whereas with Hive, I lived blocks away!

First time visitors get 20% off! I really liked the atmosphere of the salon. It was small yet modern, but very cosy. They had leather armchairs that you could melt into while they dealt with your hair. They also offer you complimentary drinks (various teas) and Pocky! I thought that was very cute and definitely a good way to differentiate their business! Pocky and Japanese stuff? You basically instantly make the connection to what they sell.

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After they were almost done with my hair, they also offer you a massage. Overall, it was a great experience and I managed to finish off my novel, Slaughterhouse Five, during my sitting. So great to have time to read something other than a textbook!

Although their hair stylists/barbers do not all speak English, they have one or two staff on hand who does! So at one point, my hair stylist could not understand my question so she went to get me someone who could explain stuff to me. So obviously, I did not really talk to my stylist, but it was totally fine because I am not particularly talkative anyway, and really wanted to read. 😛 But in all, she was still very nice and professional!

Anyway, I am going to put this holiday to good use– catch up on TV shows that I have been meaning to watch! So basically, that would include finishing off the rest of Supernatural, starting Merlin (so sad they cancelled it though!), and I cannot wait for the new Doctor Who episode!!

This was just a short update, just so I get a feel of what blogging is again. I am serious, it is that foreign to me now.

Here’s to hoping that everyone else out there is enjoying the holiday!

 

-Karen