Saturday, July 23, 2016

San Diego Comic Con - Day 3

Today I am cosplaying as my Jedi Twi'lek, Jedi Master Tal Komad (which means Champion of Chivalry) again. I put a lot of work into this cosplay and wanted to wear it was much as possible. Luckily for me my awesome friend Shannon was willing to do my make up again. Since we did all of this yesterday I figured it would take half the time to get ready.. well I was wrong. Even though we knew exactly what to do it still took us about three hours to get ready. And it looked just as amazing as it did yesterday.

This time around I went with one green lightsaber as walking around and holding two lightsabers was difficult. This time around my friends were cosplaying as Game of Thrones (which I don't watch or cosplay as) I'd hang out with various friends here and there but I spent alot of time on my own taking pictures and just roaming the halls. It's not how I like to do cons but sometimes you just wind up alone. I did hook up with friends for lunch before heading over to the big Game of Thrones meet up and group picture.

Though I wasn't taking part in this shoot (being a Jedi) I had to be there as something big was going to happen. My best bud Chris was going to ask his girlfriend Hayley to marry him. They had met last year during con, both in GOT cosplay so it seemed appropriate for him to propose here. A handful of friends knew he was doing this so we all showed up and toward the end of the photo shoot he got down on my knee and asked for Hayley's hand in marriage. It was pretty fantastic. Of course she said yes and everyone went crazy. This was definitely a highlight of this con.

It was a long day so once the con floor was closed I headed back to the hotel to clean up and crash. This time around it took about an hour to get all the green off of me as I wanted to make sure I got it all. For my first attempt at making my own costume and wearing make up and a head piece I think my little Jedi Twi'lek was a big success. A HUGE thank you to Shannon for not only helping with my make up both days, by getting up at 7am and occupying a large chunk of your morning but also for helping me with the sewing of my jedi robes.

Friday, July 22, 2016

San Diego Comic Con - Day 2.5

Shannon and I finally made it down to the sales floor, she had to go help her husband at his booth (he works in comic books) So I met up with some friends who were also cosplaying Star Wars today. My best bud Chris was cosplaying as Grand Admiral Thrawn, Haley was Mara Jade, Hayden was a Jedi and my buddy Steven was Kylo Ren. It's always fun when you are able to group cosplay. You tend to have more pictures taken of you.

This was my first cosplay where I was in full make up and head piece. I spent most of the day worried that my make up was coming off but at the end of the day I have to say everything still looked pretty good, other then my neck area but overall I was very happy with the durability of this make up.

In the evening we headed over to an open area near the convention center so we could take some awesome lightsaber photos... it was alot of fun. And again with this many awesome cosplayers we drew a crowd. We hung out and took pictures for about an hour.

I debated on sleeping in my make up, because I was going to cosplay this same character again tomorrow but once back in my hotel room I couldn't wait to take it off. And though it took three hours to put it on, it only took about a half hour and lots of rubbing alcohol to take it off. By the end of the night I still had a green tinge to my skin but I didn't care as I knew I'd be doing this all over again tomorrow.

San Diego Comic Con - Day 2.0

Day 2 of San Diego Comic Con started early.. like 6:30am early. While my brother slept I had to get up and start the process of becoming a Jedi Twi-lek. First thing I did was shave hands and lower arm as we found out that the make up doesn't stick to well to hair as it does to skin. After shaving my arms I spent the next half hour trying to get my contacts in. I've only worn them a handful of times and it's still a struggle to get them in. I can usually get one in fairly quickly but the second one can take a half hour or so.

It's now a little after 7am and Shannon arrived at my hotel room to help put on my make up. She unloaded everything and prepped her air brush machine. We started by painting my finger nails green. We then laid down layer after layer of make up on my hands and forearms, it was looking good. We then moved on to the face, she did three main layers and a few touch ups before applying the black tattoo markings over my face. Once that was all done she touched up my Lekku as the paint didn't like sticking to you and required some touching up. We tried a few different things around my eyes but wound up doing eye liner.

As I was putting spirit gum on the inside of my Lekku and my forehead a drop of it fell onto my tunic, I went to grab some mineral oil as that's what takes the stickiness off of your hands but Shannon quickly stopped me as it would have caused an even bigger issue. I managed to clean up the spot and honestly if you didn't know it was there you wouldn't really see it.

I was almost ready to leave when Shannon did some last minute touch up on my face when she accidentally dropped a spot of green paint right on the front of my tunic... my heart dropped. There was no way of cleaning this off quickly. She quickly went to wipe it up, as she did so she grabbed my right arm and quickly realized she had paint on her hand which was now on my right sleeve. There really wasn't much we could do but laugh. Luckily I was wearing a robe so the paint on the sleeve would be an issue.. but what to do about the paint on the front of my tunic. Somehow Shannon worked her magic and managed to layer and rearrange my tunic so the paint was hidden.

That's it.. I wasn't going to play around with anything else. I was ready to hit the floor.. what I thought was going to be a few hours process actually turned into a three hour process but I have to say the end product was pretty fantastic. Shannon did an amazing job on my make up and I'm ready to show it off.

Introducing Jedi Master Tal Komad!! 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

San Diego Comic Con - Day 1

Start Day One of San Diego Comic Con with a nice workout. Just because we were at con didn't mean we couldn't get our NerdStrong on. Fellow Nerdstronger Shannon and I went to the gym in our hotel and came up with a challenging workout. While one person did 12 Squats, 12 Push Ups, 12 Sit Ups, the other rowed (roughly 300 to 350 meters) We did 10 rounds of this. By the end we did 120 Squats, 120 Sit Ups, 120 Push Ups each and rowed a combined 5400 meters. We did this in about 40 minutes.

Today's cosplay is my tried and true Hobbit cosplay. I was going as Frodo today. I've done this now for five or so years so I have the process down pretty good. Start with pants and shirt, then ears (this can take two minutes or a half hour depending on how frustrated I get). Luckily I have the actual "Hobbit" ears from Weta and they are a little easier to put on. I then add make up to them to try and make them look as close to my skin color as possible. I place the wig on and try and hid any ear seams or make up issues. The next thing I do is put on my wig, sometimes I get it on perfectly right away.. other times it can take me a good half hour. The final element are my feet, these feet were made for a single use but I've used them for the past five years and for two to three cons a year. They've held up great. I can usually get one on fairly quickly and then it takes some effect to get the second one on. And that was no difference this time around. I don't know what it is but one slipped right on and the other was a hassle.

I was ready to head to the con at 9am, the doors open at 9:30am. Meet up with several friends throughout the day; Chris, Hayley, Liz, Aaron, Steve but spent the majority for the day with Lauren.

About midday my friend Shannon asked if I would be able to watch Tony (her husbands) table as he had a signing and she was stuck somewhere and was suppose to watch it. So Lauren, Liz and I headed over to his table and got the low down on what everything cost. Luckily we were there for about a half hour before Shannon showed up and took over.

Most of my time was spend wandering the halls, stopping here and there to take pictures, and to also take pictures of fellow cosplayers. I didn't get to take as many as I would like but I got a few good one. 

Over the years I have gotten fewer and fewer picture requests for my Hobbit cosplay. But it's still awesome when you get that one person who's so over the moon that you are dressed as one of their favorite Hobbits from Middle-earth and honest I love being a Hobbit so I still get so much joy dressing up and will continue to do so even if no one wants a picture of me. 

As the hall closed I headed back to my hotel room to de-hobbit myself and prep my cosplay for tomorrow. Went out to dinner with Lauren, my brother and a few other friends. I'm not much of a party person, there were a few parties in the evening but just went back to my hotel room, watched a bit of TV and crashed. It was a good first day at San Diego Comic Con.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

San Diego Comic Con - Day 0 (Preview Night)

Today is the first day of San Diego Comic Con, well it's actually preview night and only runs from 6pm to 9pm but for me it's the first day.

I got up early and did my final NerdStrong workout for the week. When I got home and cleaned up and started to organize all my stuff and packing up. I wanted to leave around 11 and get to San Diego around 2pm. I decided that I would snapchat my adventure to SDCC. I loaded up my car and got on the road. Wazes said I'd be there by 1:45pm but I knew that wasn't going to happen. Traffic was a hit and miss and end the end I wound up getting to my hotel around 3pm.

My brother and I were staying at the same hotel that we stayed at last year, The Manchester Grand Hyatt. We didn't get as nice a room as we did last year and we also only go one King bed (though I requested 2 Queens). But it was only a few blocks from the convention center and it was being paid for by my brother's company so I really complain. It took about four trips back and fourth to bring in all my cosplay and luggage.

Once I was all settled I headed into the Gas Lamp District to find some friends and eat a much needed lunch. We wound up meeting up at Burger Lounge and grabbed some tasty burgers and fries. Afterwards I headed back to my hotel with my buddy Chris and we just hung out for a bit. He then left and headed back to his hotel while I went to the convention center to get in line to get on the convention floor when it opened at 6pm. I got there about a half hour early so they allowed you go to in the convention center and roam around the upper levels but he convention dealer room was closed. I did find out that since I was a professional they allowed me to stand in front of the dealer room doors and wait until everybody else who had to go upstairs and round the top floors to get in.

When the doors opened at 6pm I made my way in, I wasn't looking for any exclusives (well I was but knew I wouldn't be able to get in) so I was in no rush. I roamed around the floor taking pictures of the booths and some of the cool items that were brought. I was surprised to find a few people in cosplay. I don't think I'd cosplay today because you really only have 3 hours of floor time but there were several who did, so of course I took pictures. I met up with a few friends and continued to roam the halls until 9pm when they closed down. I headed back to the hotel, grabbed some dinner downstairs before calling it a night. Tomorrow I'm going to be Hobbiting it up!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

My Twi-Lek Name

Since I'm cosplaying as an original Star War character I wanted to come up with a name for him so I put it out there on my social media. I found a website for Twi-lek lore and names (gotta love the internet). I went through and selected a few for my first name and few my clan name (last name).

First name I selected what I felt were traits of a Jedi,
Last (Clan) name I went with traits I felt that I posses.

First name:
Bril = Wind
Karawn = Strength
Tal = Champion
Zelada = Traveler

Clan name (Last name):
Komad = Chivalrous
Nilim = Heroic
Rackus = Happy
Valla = Legal/of Law

I got lots of replies.. Matt Brown suggested Tal Rackus. "The Champion of Happy.", Adam West agreed with Matt Brown on Tal Rackus. Jennifer Luchsinger liked Karawd and Komad, For you are strong and chivalrous! Christopher Setts seconded Karwan Komad. Liz Lund liked Tal Valla she said it had a nice flow. has a nice flow to it. Erik Nelson voted for either Tal Rackus or Karawn Rackus! Lindsey Ballard said that she liked Karawn Rackus and Nicola Farris agreed with her.  Joe Neuburger added his vote for Karawn Rackus as well did Angela Vescera Kane. Jami Losurdo liked Tal Valla or Tal Rackus! While Gabe Gebhart got a little fancy and combined three names for Tal'bril Valla : Champion Wind of Law. Tom Antonellis didn't care what my first name was but said it's gotta be clan Komad. Hayley Jacqueline chimed in with Tal Komad! Richard Peete liked Tal Valla or Karawn Valla Jennaration Wrecks Carroll liked Tal Rackus while Angela Asaoka liked Karawn Rackus. And my buddy Alexander Rubinow was last to chime in with Tal Valla or Zelada Valla, which he said had a nice ring to it. 

After many days of deliberation I won't going with Jedi Master Tal Komad, which I just noticed as Hayley's choice. Tal Komad translates into the Champion of Chivalry, which kind of sounds like what a Jedi Knight would be. Thanks to everyone you gave me suggestions, there were alot of good choices. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Car Woes

Between working on my cosplay with Shannon I went and visited my family on Sunday. While driving back from lunch with my dad I heard a strange sound coming from my engine so I pulled over and check it out. I saw this piece of rubber sticking out of the engine so I pulled it out and figured I much have picked it up while driving. I started up the car again and heard the same sound. I turned off the car and went to investigate even more into the engine. I noticed another piece of rubber but this time I saw where it was coming from. My serpentine belt was started to come apart. I knew this wasn't good as this is the main belt for your car. Since it was Sunday I knew no mechanics were going to be open. I wanted to take it to a dealer as I have an extended warranty though I wasn't sure if this would be covered under it. So I took a chance and drove back to my dad's place (only a few miles away).

I had two options. I could try and drive home (90+ miles) hoping the belt wouldn't break or I crash at my brothers, call into work and tell them I'm not going to be in and take my car in the morning. I knew I didn't want to chance it and drive home but I wouldn't stay at my brother as my friend Shannon was coming over and we were to finish my Jedi Twi-lek cosplay. So instead I borrowed my sister-in-laws car and drove home. Finished the cosplay, got a few hours sleep and then drove back the next morning. Once there I slowly drove my car the four miles to the dealer.

Once at the dealer they said it would be four to five hours before they could even look at it so I called into work and explained my situation (which of course they were fine with) and I sat and waited. I tweeted that I was hanging out in Riverside waiting for my car and if anyone was around and wanted to hang out. A friend of my brother, well we've hung out enough now that I call him a friend as well, Jason was in the area and asked if I wanted to go to lunch. He came by the dealership and picked me up and we headed to the mall to grab a bit to eat and hang out. It was nice as this was the first time that we actually got some one on one time and I got to learn more about him. We hung out for a few hours before he dropped me back off at the dealership. I sat at the dealership for another hour or so before the guy informed me that my car was ready. As I thought it wasn't covered under my extended warranty. The guy thinks that I must have driven over something and it nicked the belt and started to unravel it. I paid the $300 and headed to work. I got in around 3pm and worked until my usual 7.

It was a hassle to have to drive home and then drive back only hours later but I am happy that this happened today and not while I was on my way to SDCC later this week... always look on the bright side.