stillsostrange: (Riff & Magenta)
Will she trick or treat? I bet she will.

Tonight we took Agent J trick-or-treating, and afterward I did not ditch Steven to go dancing at Elysium. But, oh, dear reader, how tempted I was. Instead I'm at home drinking cocktails and wondering if we can squeeze a bad movie in before bedtime.

Tomorrow I'll make every effort toward MaybeWriMo. We'll see how that goes.

In other zombie related news, I can now run jog two miles without a break. I am totally a match for zombies in uneven footwear, or small, three-legged zombies.

Two or three years ago it was just another snake cult...
stillsostrange: (Bleak)
I am contributing to the decline of LJ with my lack of posts. Not that I ever posted much of substance to begin with.

Friday: Rest day? I can't remember now, but that seems likely.
Saturday: ~ 3 hours gothercize
Sunday: rest day
Monday: 1/2 hour core class, climbing
Tuesday: 2 miles elliptical, 1 hour session with trainer
Wednesday: 4 hours dayjob
Thursday: 4.5 hours dayjob

(24 miles out of Hobbiton, as the treadmill treads.)


It's mid September and I've just noticed that the Krewe DCM (which has organized Austin's Halloween parade for the last five years) hasn't updated all year. This fills me with dread. I also have no idea what I'll be wearing. If Agent J opts for a Disney-themed costume, at least I can reuse the Gothtopus.


I figured out what I was sticking on with regards to D2. It is, of course, that characters. It took me nine years to drag one book out of these recalcitrant bastards--we'd best not see a repeat of that.


I've also been working on the oh-so-rare art project this week. I may post pictures of that for you amusement soon.
stillsostrange: (Baby bats)
Yesterday was nearly a disaster. I was working on costume stuff from the moment I enpanted to the time we left the house, and through a series of design failures and last minute fixes, we left very late. We didn't get into the car until the time we were supposed to be at the staging ground for the parade, and there was no way we'd make it there before launch time, let alone find parking. My wings were underfeathered, I forgot my tail, and I didn't have time to put in my contacts before we left the house. I was in a truly vile mood at this time.

We decided to park in our usual downtown spot, which happens to be at the end of the parade route. My plan was to walk the route backwards and hook up with the parade midway, trying to salvage something. Luckily, I managed to get my contacts in when we parked, so my plan to see the parade came to fruition.*

We walked down 6th Street and over to the river. At this point I began to wonder where the parade was. It was half an hour after launch time, and the route isn't that long. And you can't exactly miss a drumline, a brass band, and a large spider-eyed elephant puppet. We passed another couple of people also wondering where the parade was. Then we heard drums across the water. Eventually we walked all the way to the staging ground, and lo and behold--the whole thing was running late. I felt a lot better at this point.

So I got to march in the whole parade and got double the exercise. My wings were nowhere as cool as they should have been--less a griffin** and more a molting metallic chicken--but they were still shiny. (And I managed to dance in them.) I have to try this costume again another year, because I have a lot of leftover feathers and copper, and I still want to be an actual griffin, dammit.

Some grainy iPhone pics.

* I got contacts for the first time ever last week. They're the size of hubcaps and getting them in and out is an ordeal far too reminiscent of Un Chien Andalou. But I have peripheral vision with them, and that is pretty damn amazing.

** If a griffin wears leggings*** from Old Navy, does that make them a hipstergriff?

*** The true Halloween miracle was that I looked okay in the leggings. Climbing: it works.
stillsostrange: (Default)
Wings: Stage 1 by Amanda Downum
Wings: Stage 1, a photo by Amanda Downum on Flickr.

Can a collection of PVC, joints, garden wire, and electrical tape become something resembling wings? We'll find out soon.

I'd originally planned to have furry boot covers, but it's too late to eBay them and the fake fur at Jo-Ann was more than I feel like paying. So I won't be a cyber/rivethead griffin.



Tonight I plan to measure and cut the PVC and wrap the wing-bones in electrical tape. Because that is how we roll here. Then I'll test the weight and stability and see what I need to do to stabilize them.

Besides buying pipe joints, I've also been to the optometrist and the bank today. At the former I made an appointment to be fitted for contacts for the first time in my life (because griffins don't wear spectacles, and I'd like to see while marching in the parade). At the latter I closed my Chase account, because a) I don't feel like paying $12 a month because I don't have direct deposit, and b) I have a credit union account already. The banker looked very sad, but really--charging me more because I don't have money is not the way to win my undying customer loyalty.
stillsostrange: (Default)
Midnight Madness is now behind me. The race lasted from around 7 PM Saturday to 5:30 AM Sunday, followed by pancakes. Four out of seven teams finished. and everyone seemed to have a good if hectic time. I was awake for twenty-four hours without the aid of coffee, for which I would like some sort of medal. I got home at 7 AM on Sunday, slept for five hours, dragged myself up, and went back to sleep at 10. I feel much better now.

This means that now I have to start working on my Halloween costume immediately. A pair of attractive mechanical wings in a week? I can do that, right?

My first idea was a wire and PVC skeleton. We'll see how this survives contact with reality. I was originally hoping that running wire down the inside of my corset would be sufficiently stable, but now I'm not sure. I may go on a quest for for a bondage harness for better attachment. The next step is figuring out how to make metal or metallic feathers that don't weigh more than my harness or my spine can support.

ETA: I just bought 10 square feet of copper foil. I pray the shipping gods are quick and merciful.
stillsostrange: (Default)
I have three chapters of That Book Thing finished, but need at least one more to have a proposal-sized chunk. My current trouble is controlling the flow of information--usually I'm told to clarify things, but this time I'm trying not to let the first chapter turned into a bolus of exposition that would choke a horse.

Austin's Midnight Madness scavenger hunt--which I'm helping run this year--is on Saturday. I've started making my clues, and need to put together prop packages for the teams. And buy a wig. And make sure all my cohorts have fedoras.

I've bought the first round of supplies for my Halloween costume, but haven't begun assembling it yet. Next week will be a frantic wing-making rush. And I need to find--Cod help us all--a pair of leggings.

The pile of gravel in my driveway is much smaller (we can park one car in it), but not yet vanquished.
stillsostrange: (Default)
I'm loath to ask for money when I'm not giving something in exchange for it, but what the hell.

The Krewe de Coeur Maudit has started Kickstarter campaign to fund this year's Halloween parade. This is the Krewe's fifth parade year, and will be the third I've marched in. They have giant puppets and a drum line and all sorts of fabulous costumes, are definitely the coolest thing moving on 6th Street on Halloween night. Sadly, giant puppets and parade permits aren't cheap. Hence the fundraising.

The campaign has nine days left, and is nowhere near its goal. If you're in the Austin area, you should totally join and march with us. If you're not, but have a few extra dollars, please consider funding an amazing Halloween spectacle. I can't offer much in return but gratitude, and pictures of my Circus Tresaulti-inspired costume, once I start building the wings.
stillsostrange: (Default)
Thing 1: Next Saturday, October 1st, at 3:00 I will be at the Hearthstone Bakery Cafe in San Antonio (8096 Agora Pkwy, in the Forum). I'll be signing and answering questions for a local book club, and gatecrashers are welcome.

Thing 2: Holy crap you guys, look at this mask that [livejournal.com profile] merimask made for me. It is so gorgeous! Now I have to make the wings that go with it for Halloween.

Thing 3: I must now detach from the internet and Clean All Thing Things. No really, all of them, as strangers are coming into the house on Thursday. Eek.
stillsostrange: (Baroness)
The theme for this year's Halloween parade is a circus. It would be easy to make a fortune-teller or lion-tamer costume, but I find myself tempted to make the wings from Mechanique (even though I'm not a hollow-boned sort of creature). Heck, if I found a good mask I could be a griffin. I even have enough time left for this to be nearly a reasonable plan.
stillsostrange: (Brigitte)
I am home.

World Fantasy was awesome, as it tends to be. I've hit the point where I know more awesome people than I have hours in the day to hang out with. Next year I won't cut and run at 6 AM Sunday morning, so maybe I can squeeze in more drinks and conversation.

Having run for the airport at 6 AM, I'm now pretty much a zombie. Which is no good, because I'm supposed to be a ghost for the parade tonight. I'll see if napping has any effect. In an hour or so I must get up, clean the bathroom, and begin the ghost nurse transformation process. Crappy iPhone photos to follow.
stillsostrange: (Elsa Bloodstone)
Today is The Running of the Errands. So far I have: bought travel accoutrements and laundry stuff; bought a dress and cap for my Halloween costume; cleaned the cat boxes; taken out the trash; bought cat food. Next I need to: do laundry; pack; sweep & vacuum the living room so I can yoga, which I must do because I'm skipping the gym tonight; eat something; clean the kitchen; other things I can't think of.

I looked through last year's makeup, and it looks like the mermaid leftovers will be enough to manage a sufficiently dead nurse. Now I just need to figure out what shoes I'm going to wear, and get a surgical mask and gloves. I wish I had time or opportunity to get some good fake blood, but I'll have to get by with food coloring.

And now, a fashion poll:

[Poll #1637134]

Now to start the laundrypocalypse.
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
Today began with a 7.5 mile hike along the Greenbelt, in lovely weather. I must take a moment to sing the praises of my Keens (mine are the Newports). Seven and a half miles, wet and dry, no blisters, pinching, aching, or any other discomfort. Wonderful shoes.

If the gods of Ebay continue to smile on me, I've found my nurse's cape. Now I just need the white dress and cap, which are much less a hassle to find, and some shoes I can parade in. I'm a little sad not to reuse the Gothtopus, but I'm happy not to be marching in pounds of bulky gear, not to mention the wig and corset.

I had been stuck on Kingdoms for a couple of weeks, until Thursday, when I attended Steven's cello instructor's going-away recital. Somewhere in the middle of Chaminade's Trio No. 1 in G minor, several things clicked into place. I may have enough ducks in a row now to get me through the rest of the 30ks, if not the rest of the middle.
stillsostrange: (Pinhead)
I need a military uniform for this year's Halloween parade, preferably WWII era (though older is good too). A Red Cross nurse's uniform would also be great. (This is what I really want.) My initial googling has yielded a whole lot of skimpy cheesecake costumes, and rentals from places that don't help me, like Seattle and the UK. Does anyone know a place that sells decent historical costumes for decent prices, and will ship to Texas?

I have army surplus stores in town I can hit up, but they are far and the internet is near.

A plant?

Oct. 20th, 2009 11:31 pm
stillsostrange: (Agony)
I survived a writerly rite of passage tonight: the signing where nobody came.* Poor little books doomed to be returned. The good news is that the Borders had several copies of Lovecraft Unbound in stock, so I got to read something besides TDC. I think I'm getting better at reading out loud.


The Bone Palace



80000 / 100000 words. 80% done!

The last thousand words was pretty much all unconnected bits of description, because I've hit another point where I have to stop and regroup and figure out what happens next.


I still don't know what my Halloween costume will be. Steven thinks I should be either Miss Scarlet or Mrs. White from Clue, which I admit has a certain appeal--all I need is a dishy dress of an appropriate style and color and a candlestick or lead pipe shoved in my purse. What do you think?

*Steven was there, and three other friends, so it wasn't terrible. I read them "The Tenderness of Jackals" and then we went for gelato.
stillsostrange: (Bored)
Through the kind intervention of [livejournal.com profile] mr_earbrass, I have secured a WFC membership. Hurrah. I shall most likely continue to blow off programming and hang out in the bar, but now I will do it with authority.

The Halloween question continues to plague me. Sadly, I don't think I'm going to be squeezing into my leather pants in an attractive way in a week and a half, so Typhoid Mary is right out. (Yes, I know Mary doesn't usually wear pants--I will only take costuming so far.)
stillsostrange: (Baby bats)
I forgot, there was a fifth thing yesterday. "The Tenderness of Jackals" finally got name-checked in a review of Lovecraft Unbound; Martin Andersson of Dead Reckonings calls it "poignant yet horrific". It is, after all, the touching story of a ghoul, his boy, and the ghosts of Fritz Haarman's murders.

And now one for the crowd: What should I be for Halloween? It needs to be doable for not more than $200, easily transported in checked luggage, and not so elaborate that it's a pain in the ass to wear around a con. Any ideas? (For those of you who've never met me, Velma from Scooby Doo is the sort of thing I can do with minimal effort, but I want something a little fancier this year.)
stillsostrange: (Tentacle pr0n)

The gothtopus!
Originally uploaded by Amanda Downum
I spend hours on the makeup, and then the camera flash washes it out. :P The wig turned out shockingly well, though. Click over to flickr to see more, including a better shot of my Stellan Skarsgard-homage starfish. I upgraded my makeup at the staging area, so I hope some good pictures of me in the parade turn up. The parade itself was a blast, but next time I need to wear more comfortable boots.

Now it's time to make coffee and clean the house.

stillsostrange: (Tentacle pr0n)
The gothtopus continues. I've done all I'm going to do to the wig, and have given up on affixing shells to my net overskirt. Now I just need to glitter the undersides of the tentacles, glitter anything else that needs glittering (by which I mean EVERYTHING), and then start my makeup.

And of course, figure out the order in which to put all this crap on. This would be less annoying without the wig, but I spent $30 on the damn thing, so by Squid I'm going to wear it.
stillsostrange: (Default)
The tentacles are complete. (They really should be longer, but oh well--the thing's heavy enough as is.) I still want to glitter the undersides, but Target had no glitter, so I'll go on a quest later tonight. I have all the makeup I need except for lipstick, but I might just fake that with something else.

The wig currently has its crown and a lot of seaweed. If I find the gumption, I'll string some pearls and add those too. I dyed the netting, and next I'll start stringing that with the shells that are too heavy to spirit gum to my skin.

And in non-gothtopus news, I heard back about the tinydog formerly known as Mop (whose name is now apparently McGee). He is doing very well, and his new person is very happy with him. He is on his way to becoming a spoiled lapdog, as is every tinydog's dream.
stillsostrange: (Default)

The gothtopus grows
Originally uploaded by Amanda Downum
The gothtopus evolves. Tomorrow the skirt will be finished, and I can start seriously working on my hair. (Clicky on the picture and scroll for pics of the wig, including the wig wearing an [livejournal.com profile] elisem necklace crown.)

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