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Aug. 24th, 2010

*PEW PEW PEW*

Let me begin by saying I have pretty much zero interest in guns and firearms, and weapons in general. Although, there was that one Christmas when I asked Santa for a cap gun, which he kindly delivered, and which I'm sure I promptly broke or lost . But, in my more mature and responsible adult years, I've become a bit hippy-dippy and now loathe guns. Although, I don't really have a problem with video game shooters - better on screen than in real life, I say!!

Anyway, I've discovered another medium where I am able to tolerate guns and weapons: reality competition television!!! While randomly trolling the interweb, I came across a History Channel show called Top Shot that seemed like it had everything I look for in a reality show: team competition, elimination challenges, voting, a little bit of the social game, and mad shooting skillz.



Okay, I don't really look for shooting skills when I watch reality television (The Ultimate Fighter would be a VERY different show....), but I can certainly appreciate when a 22-year old kid corrects for over-compensating for wind and hits a target 600 yards (that's 4 CFL fields including endzones!!!) away with a scoped Remington 700 sniper rifle. I THINK that's impressive...only because the other dude couldn't do it, not because I'm pretending to know stuff about guns.

The show is hosted by reality competition television's favourite under-achiever, Colby Donaldson, who has picked up a few hosting tips from über-host, Jeff Probst. But, by far, the best part of the show is the elimination nomination, which is a bit like voting people off the island in Survivor, but on Top Shot, the two people people with the most votes compete head-to-head to see who gets kicked off. What's so great about the nomination process, you ask? Why, it's an open vote where you have to shoot the person's target RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIS FACE!!!! It's deliciously evil and sometimes awkward, especially when people vote for personal or selfish reasons.

The first season just finished and they have already put out a casting call for season 2, which excites me to no end!! In the mean time, I will try to find some way to kill time...perhaps with WCG Ultimate Gamer Season 2? More acceptable shooting!!!!



Psssssssst....I've also started a more topical blog that's loosely about games and gaming....key word: LOOSELY. If you are so inclined, you can check it out here: blinkinghazards.blogspot.com/

May. 10th, 2010

Blog fail!

Heh...I was pretty naive to think that, just because I committed to a weekly blog last post, I would be motivated enough  to update more regularly. Apparently, turning over that leaf KILLS it. So, instead of saying something ridiculous like, "I will blog every week", I will revert to the more realistic, "I'll blog whenever the hell I want." Right now is a 'hell I want" moment because of TCAF! That's the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, for you n00bs....or as I like to call you, "non-nerds".

My TCAF experience this year had a mini-prelude and a pseudo(but-not-really)-related interlude leading up to the main event. First off, TCAF hosted an event on April 26th as part of Keep Toronto Reading called, Graphically Speaking 2010: Jeffrey Brown's Undeleted Scenes, where Brown presented a short lecture on his "process" and then fielded some questions. Myles had to work late that night and was going to miss most of the lecture, so I took some video so he could see what he missed. Here is a short sample: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6z7SzO3Yco4



I have the rest of the lecture, but it's very long...maybe some day I will chop it up and post it...MAYBE. I've learned my lesson and will never commit to anything ever again, EVER. :P
Of course, no comic artist signing is complete without the obligatory sketch request. Lately, I've been giving artists a choice between Mysterio and Spock. Jeffrey went with Spock:



He's pretty much teh awesome.

The following Saturday was Free Comic Book day. HOORAY! More nerdful glee! Although, seeing as I've yet to read about 80% of the free comics I've collected over the years, I made a conscious decision to limit the number of comics I picked up this year. It helped that I was 'delayed' leaving the apartment in the morning (it may or may not have had something to do with WoW, but I'll admit to nothing!) so the only store I hit up was Paradise Comics. They had a three book limit, so I just grabbed some kid-friendly comics to read and then pass on to my niece. Gotta get her started early! The plus side of Paradise Comics was most certainly the guest artists from whom I received these sketches of Spock (Leonard Kirk and Richard Isanove, respectively):





I'm glad I got that Isanove, since I'm going to miss his next appearance at the Hobbystar Fan Appreciation event in June, and then he's moving back to France. He says it will only be for a year or two, but I think it will more likely be for EVER. *tear*

And now, on to TCAF! Hmm...I don't have a lot to add to Myles' report except to say that I *heart* Kagan McLeod. Last year at TCAF was the first time I got a sketch from him (of Spock) so this year I was going to ask him for a Mysterio. But, TCAF eve, Myles saw that Kagan posted some original art on Facebook that he did in advance to sell at TCAF, which included...A MYSTERIO!!! *jaw drop* When we got to TCAF, I lost Myles for a split second, and when I caught up with him, he was already dishing out the dough for the Mysterio original art! YIPPEE!!! Here he is in all his glory:



I love to just wander aimlessly around the floor at TCAF. But, this year I had a hidden agenda that involved some of my favourite returning independent and/or web comic creators: Matt Wiegle, Scott Campbell, Dustin Harbin, and Graham Annable. Wiegle (who is the featured artist review on the latest episode of Digital Kontent) seemed okay with drawing me a Mysterio and went with the test tubey-shaped head (as opposed to the more common fishbowl shape):



I asked Scott Campbell to choose between Spock and Mysterio but, being the super awesome dude that he is, he drew me BOTH! He drew Spock first and was embarrassed by the impossible angles of his fingers...hence, Mysterio's reaction:



Here's a fun little trick: after an artist spoils you with an awesome sketch, just show it to  his friends and say, "Well, this is what HE did...but you can just do whatever." Friendly rivalry can go a long way, so Dustin and Graham both kicked it up a notch:



Spock as Mysterio!!! WHO KNEW???



Umm...yeah. So, this is pretty much my favourite. *heart*

I ran into Jason Truong who suggested that I get a sketch from Roger Langridge (in the interest of full disclosure, I will admit that I had to google his name because I forgot it...in fact, I may have never really known it...). Anyway, his work on The Muppet Show comic is so awesome! ANY fans of The Muppet Show should check out the comic, too. He drew up this Spock that actually looks a lot like my dad:



And FINALLY! We get to Ryan Kelly. If you read Myles' TCAF report, you'll already know that he almost started a public domestic by requesting a Mysterio from Ryan, which turned out to be AMAZING. Sorry, Myles, but "at least ONE of us got a Mysterio sketch" is neither comforting nor validating. :P Well, at least I always have Spock to fall back on. This one has a fancy laser gun! PEW PEW!!!



Here you see that Ryan Kelly is a BAD listener because that is NOT how I spelled out my name to him. I forgive him, though...he meant well. *pew pew pew*

I just did the one day at TCAF. I think I fared pretty well, and my wallet couldn't have handled another day (or even an hour!!) there. I picked up lots of books that I am looking forward to reading, and may some day even review them. MAYBE.

*NOTE: I am not now, nor have I ever been, a Trekkie. I just like the way Spock looks. Bowl cut, FTW!!

Mar. 24th, 2010

New leaf = TURNED

In a feeble attempt to revive this sorry excuse for a blog, I'm going to take my sister's advice and try to write a 'lil something about the random nerdy shit I get up to every week. Well, not ALL of it is nerdy, but they are most certainly random. This week: random British drama.

Married Single Other


I had no idea what this show was, so I looked it up: Dawn from the Office (UK), Tully from Being Human, and Jo from Spooks??!?! Those are three of my favourite British shows!!! Done and done. Married Single Other is about three couples who are, well, married, single or 'other'. Lillie and Eddie are high school sweethearts who have been together for a bazillion years, have two sons, but are not married (not from Eddie's lack of trying, though). Dickie and Babs are married, but not happily. They're plagued with money problems, and Dickie is a bit of  - actually, a lot of - a loser. Clint, an unlikely playboy (well, would YOU think this guy gets all the ladies??) has a one night stand with Abbey, falls in love, but can't win her over...something about him being a bit of a sleazeball.

It's not the most amazing show ever made, but it's very well written, very well acted, and there is something very beautiful about the way it's filmed (I'm thinking of Joe, Lillie and Eddie's youngest son, writing out pi to a whole whack-load of decimal places to keep his mind off of other, more serious and dire things happening around him). I actually think that this is where the show really succeeds - its drama is dramatic, its comedy is comedic, and the reality that it's trying to create actually feels pretty real. I one hundred percent believe that Lillie and Eddie are as much in love now, as they were when they first started dating sixteen (or however many) years ago, and that Clint really does want to change his slimy ways because he's actually in love for the first time. And I believe that Babs wants to find a reason to stay with Dickie, and Dickie can't help but be a pathetic failure.

I dunno...maybe I'm just a closet hopeless romantic. I have no idea if I should be recommending it to people. All I know is that I enjoy it quite a bit, and it's probably only going to be 6 episodes, which I both love and hate about British television.

Oh, there's one other cool thing I like about this show: the theme song. It's called Find My Way Back Home, by Priscilla Ahn (she's a fiddy Korean!!), and it's almost too pretty. Her sugary sweet voice, the uber-folky ukulele, and the eerie singing saw somehow work. I'm inclined to check out more of her stuff (so far, I've listened to her cover of The Beatles' Julia and it's pretty awesome, too).

Jul. 31st, 2009

The SDCC and ME: Part 1 - Sketches

Hmm...I guess I should write a little something about Myles' and my San Diego Comic-con adventure. I'll have to admit that, leading up to the con, I was pretty much just focused on two things: getting a Stay Puft Marshmallow Man Comic-con exclusive vinyl piggy bank, and seeing The Mighty Boosh, even if for a split second. Right up until we were sitting in line for hours (and hours and hours) on preview night, those were the two things that concerned me the most...until Myles read the program. Those many hours in line ended up being a blessing in disguise because Myles went through all of the details with a fine-toothed comb and found some awesome hidden gems that were of particular interest to me. So, this post will just be a run down of my sketches, many by artists from whom I have wanted sketches for a very, very long time, and one that I never dreamed of getting...ever.

First up, OWLY!!! By now, many of you know my slight obsession with Mysterio. He's my go-to guy for sketch requests. I have wanted an Owly sketch for what feels like FOREVER plus a day, and FINALLY that day had arrived! I told Andy Runton that I always ask for Mysterio, but that I thought his costume would work better on Wormy, so he sketched up Owly as Spider-man, with his lesser known nemesis perched atop his head.
From SDCC Sketches


As you may already know from reading Myles' report we lucked into an uncharacteristically short Jim Lee line, which was kept short because of his dinner obligations. Even though he was running behind, he took the time to google Mysterio for me, since he's never really drawn him (at least not in a very long time). While sketching me the only ever Jim Lee Mysterio convention sketch in existence (!!), we had a nice chat about how my dad is BFFs with his uncle and how his family has finally gotten over the fact that he dropped outta med school to become a superstar comic book artist.
From SDCC
From SDCC Sketches

I'd heard (probably from Myles) that Stan Sakai stopped doing free sketches, but that is not the case. He is the cutest lil' Japanese man, and he will churn out a Usagi Yojimbo in the blink of an eye!
From SDCC Sketches

Bright and early the next day, we accosted Jeffrey Brown for some sketches. We talked a lot about UFC 100, and I still get all riled up when I speak of my strong hatred for Brock Lesnar. Jeffrey doesn't like him either, and in response to my query, "Will ANYONE be able to beat him?", he drew me this doozy, which brings a giant smile to my face every time I look at it:
From SDCC Sketches

Jason Truong always comes back from Motor City Comic-con with all kinds of super cute crayon sketches by Art Balthazar. Art is one of the guys that Myles found in the program that we weren't expecting, so I finally got my awesome sketch, as well as one from Franco, his partner on Tiny Titans!
From SDCC Sketches
From SDCC Sketches

Having JUST missed Jhonen Vasquez (another last-minute find), we quickly turned to J.R. Goldberg, who drew up this cute lil bear, even though she was desperate for a pencil because she's not that confident in her sharpie sketching abilities (which is pretty ridiculous if you ask me!!)...
From SDCC Sketches

David Lloyd is a very sweet British man who will draw free sketches of V forever...cuz he's just that kinda guy.
From SDCC Sketches

Oh my. Nate Powell. I mentioned to him that I was the one he sketched for AFTER he was all packed up and ready to leave TCAF. I still haven't read Swallow Me Whole because I'm afraid it will be too sad, but he just won an Eisner award for it, so I really should just suck it up and read it - it looks amazing...as does his new graphic novel for which he's just finished the pencils. He was kind enough to let me flip through the penciled pages (the first sequence looks INCREDIBLE) and then he told me that I was the first person besides his girlfriend and his editor that has seen it. I feel very honoured and I can't wait for it to be finished!
From SDCC Sketches

I <3 Top Shelf so much! Jeff Lemire, Jeffrey Brown, Nate Powell, Andy Runton...and Kevin Cannon! Ok. I'll admit that I didn't know who Kevin was, and when I was at his section of the booth, he wasn't there. But, this dude, Leigh was there pimping all the Top Shelf stuff, and let me just say he is VERY convincing. A few minutes of him explaining the awesomeness surrounding Far Arden was enough to get me to pick up a copy, along with some mini-comics, all by Kevin Cannon. Kevin returned to the booth while I was purchasing his stuff, so I was able to get a sketch from him, too.
From SDCC Sketches

THREE CHEERS FOR TOP SHELF!! *HIP HIP, HOORAY! (repeat from * x2)

OK. Let's keep moving here...next up, FABLES!!! Geez...I'm so behind on my comic book reading - especially since I've gotten caught up in the indie comic scene again (*cough* Top Shelf *cough*). I REALLY need to get back to reading Fables, especially since Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham were two of the friendliest, most welcoming people I met at Comic-con! They even stayed at the signing booth longer than their scheduled time slot to accommodate all the hopeful sketch-collecting nerds attendees.
From SDCC Sketches
From SDCC Sketches

Alright. Now we've made it to the most amazing sketch I've ever received...not necessarily because of the quality of the sketch, but from the sheer magnitude of this person's celebrity. This sketch is so amazing to me because it's one I never thought I would ever get in my lifetime. From the creator of The Simpsons, Futurama, and Life in Hell, here is my prized possession - and the reason why my sketchbook now travels with me within the safe confines of a ziploc bag - Ralph Wiggum, by MATT GROENING!!
From SDCC Sketches

*sigh* So...very...happy....

We pretty much walked around the rest of the afternoon with our jaws dragging along the floor, completely shocked by our amazing good fortune. Bolstered by the newly discovered realization that, yes, ANYTHING is possible at the SDCC, we marched up to Jhonen Vasquez and sweet-talked our way to some sketches (it's true, we used our Canadian citizenship as leverage...which worked!!). I was NOT going to leave San Diego without a sketch from the artist who drew the very first comic that I bought on my own (without any recommendations): SQUEE!!!
From SDCC Sketches

Jill Thompson will talk your ear off, which is AWESOME. Seriously, who couldn't sit and listen to an artist talk about working with Neil Gaiman...and I'm sure she has some fun stories about her husband, Brian Azzarello, too. But, really I was there to get a sketch of a diminutive Dream, from The Little Endless Storybook. Oh, as a 'lil head's up - she's working on the next one!!! YAY!!! She even disclosed the premise: Delirium tries to throw a birthday party for Despair. I CAN'T WAIT!!!!
From SDCC Sketches


I feel kinda bad, cuz I couldn't remember who drew this next sketch for me. I had to ask Myles for help...it's apparently Darick Robertson. He drew Transmetropolitan, which is the first comic that Myles ever bought for me (cuz I won a bet!!!). Darick's Mysterio is one of my favourite versions of the many, many different Mysterio sketches I've collected so far.

From SDCC Sketches


Ok. Here we are - the home stretch!!! On preview night, as we were wandering around, I caught a glimpse of the Cyanide and Happiness booth. From that point forward, I knew I had to stop by to get some sketches. Little did I know that they would have the biggest crowd of teenagers swarming their booth for the duration of the con. Finally, on the last day, I muscled my way to the front (with a lot of help from Myles) so that we could get our super fun sketches. For all you Toronto folk, there is a very good chance that these boys will be coming to Fan Expo in a month. Keep your fingers crossed!
From SDCC Sketches
From SDCC Sketches
From SDCC Sketches



Shortly after we received these sketches, I hit the wall. It was the lowest moment I had at the con - there were only two hours left! I was sooooo close to making it to the end! But, we hadn't eaten since about 8am, and we were closing in on 3pm. I turned to Myles and surrendered. I told him I had to leave, that I was done with the con, and that I needed something to eat and drink (yes...I had a pretzel dog - but, let me assure you, we did NOT eat as many as Myles says we did...or at least I didn't, anyway...). I left the con floor, and after taking a half hour break, I caught a second wind and hit the floor again to wander around for one last walkabout. I'm so glad I did, because I realized that I never got my Jeff Smith! While Squee was the first comic I bought on my own, Bone was the very first comic I ever read (aside from random Casper, Archie and Richie Rich comics when I was very young). My friend, Niall, lent me all of his Bone comics when I was in university, and I burned through them in a day. I think that is the day I officially became a comic book nerd. So, I couldn't think of a better, more meaningful way to end my time at Comic-con. I also like that Bone was Myles' first sketch at Comic-con, and my last. :D
From SDCC Sketches

We had an amazing time at Comic-con. So amazing, in fact, that we don't really feel the need to go back for a few years! I'm sure if we went again next year, we would have just as many fun stories to tell, but for now, I just wanna take some time to reflect upon and remember all the awesome people we met, and the cool things we saw.

[I did get a few more sketches as I followed Myles around the con - my phone didn't work in the US (stupid Virgin Mobile US not playing nice with Virgin Mobile Canada)...Here they are for people who are interested: Yoshinori Natsume; David Hahn; Jon Buran (who sketched his level 80 Blood Elf Paladin, Sanctustelum); Jeph Jacques (from Questionable Content); Freddie E. Williams II; and Sergio Aragones.]

From SDCC Sketches
From SDCC Sketches
From SDCC Sketches


From SDCC Sketches
From SDCC Sketches
From SDCC Sketches


Thanks for sticking with me 'til the end! I will probably write more posts about the SDCC, but for now, the pressure was on me to get my sketches posted.

May. 14th, 2009

TCAF 2009 - aka Awesometown!

I don't think it's necessary for me to give a detailed account of my fun times at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) this past weekend. Instead, I'll just point you to Myles' report since we were at the same places at the same times. I'm just going to take this time to show off my sketches from the weekend. There were so many amazing people and amazing artists that it was tough to see them all. I'm sure I missed tonnes of great artists - I think I need to be more systematic in my wanderings. Usually I just pinball around the venue avoiding the biggest crowds and finding people that have been recommended to me. I need to take on some more recon missions and discover my own hidden gems next time.

Timing was on my side on day one. After we arrived and wandered around to figure out the lay of the land, I decided to go to the info desk to find out when Brian Lee O'Malley would be signing. I was told that he had just arrived and would be signing in a few minutes. Since I had already figured out where he would be sitting, I bee-lined it to his table - grabbing Myles on the way - and we ended up about 3rd in line - a line which turned into a snake within seconds. Here's the best thing about Brian - a dude behind us asked if he would be sketching, and Brian turned around, saw the long line that had formed and said, "Yeah, I think I can do some sketches..." And do some sketches he did...here is my Stephen Stills:



My good timing continued while I wandered some more. This time, I ended up at Tara McPherson's table just as she was setting up. I mentioned that I didn't have my sketchbook the night before when we were at her gallery opening and asked if I could grab a quick sketch from her. She asked for a few minutes to set up, so I lingered until she was ready, and then I got this little piece of awesome:



There are a few artists from whom I try to request sketches of characters they've never done before. Usually it's someone who's style I love, so Jeff Lemire falls right into that category. I first asked for a sketch of Death, to which Jeff responded that he's drawn her a few times. I said I would think of something else and get back to him. A little while later, I decided to ask for a Cthulhu, but he wasn't comfortable drawing one without reference. Back to the drawing board! After some careful consideration, I settled on a Spock, not knowing if he would be into that at all. This is how our conversation went.

Me: "Ummmm....how does Spock sound?"
Jeff: "That sounds...pretty awesome."

Neither of us are real Trekkies, but he whipped up this bad boy pretty quickly, complete with an Enterprise, too!



OMG...this is going to take waaaaaay too long. I'm just going to point you to my web album instead. I'll add some descriptions so you're not left in the dark...

Just to sum up, TCAF is pretty much the awesomest of all awesomes...and it's FREE TO ATTEND. Next time, my niece should be old enough to check out the OWL Kids stuff, which should be fun. I wonder if they'll keep it at Met Ref. Small logistical and ventilation issues aside, it was a pretty neat place to have a festival. I'm already excited for TCAF 2011!!!

HOLY CRAP!!! I forgot to mention the awesome conversation I had with J. Bone about crocheting! On day one I noticed some AMAZING crocheted superheroes at his table, with a sign that said 'Not For Sale". There was a full bodied, crazy amazing Wolverine, and uh...eek! I can't remember who the girl doll is!!! But she has some kick-ass boots! And he made a cute little Spider-man with the eyes, and front and back logos all made from yarn! So, on day two I packed up my Cthulhu, Mysterio and Penguin so I could show him. J. is a crochet purest - he makes his dolls completely from yarn, all the details and accessories - everything!!! It's really amazing. I'm not good enough or patient enough to figure out my own patterns for stuff, so I use felt and baked clay to dress up my characters. Anyway, I had to come back and add this part cuz it was one of my favourite parts of the weekend! I can't wait to see some of J's other creations...I think he mentioned a Dr. Doom, which I can only assume is totally kickass!

May. 11th, 2009

A potentially lifechanging (albeit nerdy) mission...

Although you can't really tell, I am typing this entry using a keyboard setup called Dvorak (as opposed to QWERTY). While it is very slow-going right now, I think that it will someday change my life for the better. I only just found out about Dvorak this past weekend at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) when I purchased a copy of 'The Dvorak Zine' from Alec Longstreth for the low low price of one dollar!! Best loonie I ever spent!

I won't go into too much detail about Dvorak except to say it's a logically designed keyboard layout based on extensive research. Pretty much everything you need to know about it can be found here: http://dvzine.org/. Alec, Frunch and GCB are funny, informative, encouraging and helpful - they even explain how to set  it up in Windows, Mac AND Linux (yay for me!!!). I really hope to be able to adapt quickly and that it will help to ease my repetitive stress pain.

I expect it to be a bit hard to switch since QWERTY touch typist = old dog, and Dvorak = new tricks, but I think it's worth a shot!

First phase of mission: blog using Dvorak
Status: ACCOMPLISHED
Tags: ,

Jan. 7th, 2009

Lis and Craig's Wintry Nuptials

YAY! Lis and Craig are married!!! And no one was eaten by a bear (take THAT, Jeremy!!!!)!!

The ceremony (as odd as this may sound for a January wedding) was held lakeside just south of Algonquin Park on Oxtongue Lake near Dwight, ON. As Office (US) fans, Sandra and I couldn't help but laugh every time we saw a sign that said "Dwight"...I think Myles would have laughed, too, but he was sleeping in the back.

It was a beautiful ceremony - very initmate with only family and some close friends - and the weather even cooperated! Sandra, Myles and I had to pull over in Barrie to let the white-out pass by, which ended up being a great decision because as we got back on the 400, an accident was just clearing up. I was concerned that the crazy storm would last until the next day, and we'd be forced to stand like a bunch of chumps in knee-deep snow freezing our buns off! But, somehow, things worked out: the skies opened up, the sun came out and we were actually pretty warm!

Here's a slideshow of pix to prove it!

And for yoinking purposes, or if you'd like to see the pix without the aid of a magnifying glass, here's a link to the actual album: http://picasaweb.google.com/ksong3000/LisAndCraigSWedding?feat=directlink


Oct. 1st, 2008

My Army of Cute!! MUAHAHAAHAAAAH!!!!

For a while now I've been toying with the idea of learning the art of needle felting, so I finally decided to buy a book that will teach me how. I plan to start with little animals and work my way up to designing my own line of superheros...I'm thinking I'll just ride the Hollywood superhero fad: Batman, Spider-man, Hulk, Iron Man and Superman. I want to try to get them all figured out before the next Fan Expo, though, since my friend, Niall, is planning to buy a table so he can sketch for the masses. I figure I'll just steal a little corner and try to hawk my amateurish crafts.

Anyway, while looking for the needle felting book, I came across this and just couldn't pass it up:



Apparently, there's a name for this type of craft: amigurumi - the Japanese art of cute little crochet dolls! I have to thank Tania for sending me a link to some video tutorials on the basics of amigurumi, because I'm really more of a knitter than a crocheter...although I'm not sure why. Crochet is so much easier and faster! I eased my way into amigurumi by tackling two of the "easy" patterns: the grim reaper and the ninja.

Here are my first two attempts:

    



The ninja is missing a little silver throwing star that I need to crochet and stitch under his sash, but I can't find the right embroidery thread...soon, though. Right now he looks a 'lil bland. I like how the grim reaper looks with his hood down, too, and I opted not to give him a spooky mouth - I'm partial to the cute emoticon-ish smile. I made the eyes and the scythe with sculpting clay.

Sadly, I lost my ball of white yarn (did anyone find it on the subway, by chance???), so I couldn't make the other two "easy" patterns in the book. The only other doll I had the right colours for was an "intermediate" doll: Nosferatu. He's not super difficult in terms of the crocheting (they're pretty much just variations of little stuffed balls), but he has so many little pieces to him (ears, collar, buttons) that it takes just as long to stitch him together as it takes to crochet him! He's also kinda tricky cuz he's hunched over and front-heavy, so you have to stuff him in such a way that he won't fall flat on his face. He's pretty much the best one, though. See for yourself!

    

Well, I probably won't try any other patterns until I get some more yarn. I need lime green so I can try my hand at that Cthulu! I've got his eyes all ready to glue on! I'm pretty sure I can handle the "intermediate" ones, but I'm not so sure about the "epic" dolls, like the monkey. EPIC!!! Yikes! Again, the main difference really seems to be all the extra accessories and the complex assembly. We'll see. I'll keep you posted.

As for the needle felted animals and superheroes, Fan Expo isn't for another year...right?? :P



Sep. 18th, 2008

He bangs, he bangs...oh baby, when he moves, he moves!

Allow me to introduce you to Canada's very own William Hung!

His name is Jason Tam and he calls himself "Jaguar"...(??wtf!?!?)



So, my sister leaves me a message telling me to check out the Toronto auditions for So You Think You Can Dance Canada, cuz apparently there are quite a few talented and unique dancers in this fair city o' mine. Imagine my surprise when I see them introduce "Jaguar", a blast from my poker-playing past! Although, I'd never heard anyone call him "Jaguar", and his poker career was pretty short-lived. I don't know all the dirty details but, to the best of my knowledge, he was banned from playing poker cuzza all the BAR FIGHTING!!??! I'm sure my erstwhile Pirana colleagues can help fill in the gaps, though. (I'm looking to you, Mike and Genesis - I've already heard everything that Myles knows about the "incidents"...)

Anyway, it's pretty clear from his bit on SYTYCDC that he's quite a character (and a terrible singer/dancer). I'm sure he brought his little portable stool with him - the one he brings when he camps out in line at the Fan Expo, or the Toronto International Film Festival (he's a bit of a celebrity autograph whore, it seems). But, if you ever encounter him sitting on that stool, do NOT piss him off cuz, from what I hear, he'd think you were coming on to him, and he'd probably use the stool to smash your f**king face in!

He looks like a flower, but he stings like a bee...

Aug. 19th, 2008

Anyone can play guitar...

...but no one does it quite like Radiohead!

I just saw them again on Friday, for the 5th or 6th time, and I'm happy to report that they are still my most favouritest band ever! There's just something about seeing them live that transcends all other live experiences for me. I think a lot of it has to do with their dedication to producing crystal clear, album-quality sound - at the Molson Amphitheatre! They even made the SKYDOME sound great by putting up velvet curtains to soak up the otherwise unbearable reverb.

The only bad experience I've had seeing them live was at Arrow Hall in Mississauga, which wasn't really their fault...YOU try playing in a giant concrete box, in front of sweaty, teenage suburbanites who were really just looking for an excuse to form a mosh pit. Who the hell moshes at a RADIOHEAD concert??!!!? Thom Yorke gave 'em the whatfor, though, saying they were "at the wrong fucking concert", as far as he was concerned. As a treat, they played Banana Co. which was meant for the nerdy supa-fans that were familiar with their b-sides...*adjusts glasses*. :P

After the concert, Myles and I hung around the CNE to grab some food, since neither of us had time to eat dinner beforehand. While in the washroom, I overheard a conversation about how two girls who paid $160 each for lawn seats (that I got for $50) were turned away at the gate because they were 'too drunk'. SUCKAHZ!!! In an attempt to console the overly distraught puffy-eyed one, another girl told her that she didn't miss much because they didn't play the songs she wanted to hear (which I assume means Creep, and anything from The Bends...*sigh*). It's been FIFTEEN YEARS, LADY! They've been sporting a new sound since 2000, and even though it's very different from their early sound, they still take breaks and perform amazing renditions of No Surprises, Street Spirit, and Airbag, to name a few. My personal fave from the older songs they played was Climbing Up the Walls, which DOES lend itself to their new sound. (Here's their set list, in case you're interested...)

Anyway, I was pretty pleased that I got a chance to see them again. It's been a long, long time, since it's pretty near impossible to get tickets. The first time I saw them was in 1997 and I was EXTREMELY lucky to win tickets for their Opera House gig, which holds about 850 people. I even cut my vacation to Boston short, changing my flight to get back in time to see them, and I'm so glad that I did. The concert was a few months before OK Computer was released, so my sister and I were treated to a sneak preview of almost the entire album. And, as a super-special treat (prompted by the audience's refusal to leave the venue even after they brought up the house lights), Thom Yorke came out for a second encore (before 2 encores became a staple of their concerts) and played an acoustic version of Thinking About You. So very, very pretty...

Wow! I could ramble on for days about Radiohead!! Like, there was that time my best friend drove from Boston to Toronto and back to Boston to take me to see them in 1998. On the drive to the Worcester Centrum, I brought my Japanese EP release, Running From Demons, to listen to, and as coincidence would have it, they started the concert with Meeting in the Aisle as their entrance song, and played Pearly* as part of their set! This doesn't really mean anything to anyone, I'm sure, but the whole point being that these were both songs only available on the Japanese EP at the time...they were giving a little preview of the US EP Airbag/How Am I Driving, which was to be released about a week later.

Okay. I have to stop. I'm sorry. It's just that I love them so very, very much.
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