Monday, August 26, 2013

Returning to College as an Adult

As some of you probably know, I recently returned to college to get my Masters. I entered an intensive, one-year long program for Microbiology and Immunology.

The problem for me was leaving my home, friends, family, and many of my work hours behind to move up to Fort Collins. Not only that, I am living in the dorms with all of the 18-year-olds. I guess a couple of them are 19. Even my RA is just barely 20.

At 25 going on 26, I felt that 18 wasn't that long ago. And luckily for me, I look young enough to blend in with my floor mates. But 18 has never looked so young before.

Several of my floor mates are directionless, have never been away from home, and have never had to be an adult before now. When I went through all of that for the first time, it was overwhelming and often confusing. While 18 is not so far behind me, I realize just how much I have changed since I first went off to college.

When I went off to college at 18:
  • My parents were still together.
  • My relationship with Isaac was still new--we were only a few months in. I still never thought I could make it in a relationship. (But more than seven years later, here we are.)
  • I wanted to go into forensic science and was forced to choose between a Biology or Chemistry focus and went with Biology. (Now I have a degree in Biology with a Biotech focus and a Chemistry minor).
  • I NEVER wanted to teach. (Now I tutor and am considering going into teaching.)
  • I was still living at home with my parents when I wasn't in the dorms.
  • I thought I could work at Peaberry Coffee all the way though college.
  • I was still in Westernaires. That's weird to think about.
  • I thought I would stay at the University of Northern Colorado for the whole four years to get my degree (I transferred twice and it took me five and a half years to get my undergrad...).
  • I still had a great group of friends. Some have drifted away, but I am proud to say that I still have many, many good friends and have been able to make more during college.
So even thought 18 wasn't far away for me in terms of years, it seems very far away from me in terms of experience and life. Living in the dorms with all these fresh college students has been a very interesting experience so far. And most of them are nice, but not sure what to make of me. I have to say that, overall, I am enjoying the experience in this new light.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

NDK 2013 Costumes Part Seven

Costume update time!

First and foremost, we have decided not to do Rogue and Gambit this year. Isaac wasn't ready to put the time, money, and effort into it and I didn't feel like doing all of the work, so it is out. Perhaps next year. I hope so anyway. It would be totally awesome.


I made the cartridges to put on the front of my dress! Here is how:
Bead tubes! After I removed the lids.

First, I wrapped them in orange felt. Hooray for hot glue guns.

Then I wrapped the felt in strips of the matching blue fabric.

And we have a cartridge!

I sewed them together and sewed them to a solid piece of fabric.

My finished cartridge packs.

And then I sewed them onto the front of my little dress! Nausicaa is nearly finished! I just need to make her little leg warmers.


I finally got some lace for the sleeves. I need to put blue glitter on them.

While I was trying the jacket on, I realized that it wasn't fitting quite right because, like a dolt, I forgot the band and buttons in the back.

See those there? Yeah, I need to add that and that will help the coat fit properly. I am working on that currently.

Along with this, I decided to safety pin the front of the coat so it will stay in place with the vest since the coat doesn't close. I just put one on each side near my waist. It will help with the coat fitting better and keep my costume nice at all times without me having to adjust it every two minutes. I was going to sew in snaps, but I am starting to run short on time.

I also haven't hemmed the bottom of the coat yet because I am having trouble getting it in just the right shape. It just needs some more adjusting, but it is fairly simple so it will be done soon! Then I just get to glitter and bedazzle the crap out of the coat!

I ordered the wig! I got it from Amphigory: Punky Wigs. It should get here *JUST* in time (I hope...) and then I will need to put some blue in it. And spray it with glitter (I'm sensing a pattern here).

I also ordered contacts! One blue and one brown! Non prescription, but that's OK. It's cheaper and who needs to see properly?

New Costume Announcement!

Lady Fourth Doctor!

Yes, you heard correct! A friend of mine is dressing as a female version of the tenth doctor. I decided to join her at the last moment.

I have been watching a lot of Classic Doctor Who lately and I really like them. I may have considered the second Doctor, but the fourth is more distinctive.

So I went to a thrift store and found these:

Everything will need some altering. The fourth Doctor is possibly the frumpiest Doctor ever, which makes me laugh. Though he gets less frumpy later when they change his clothes out as his saga goes on.

And then, of course, his signature scarf which I will be crocheting!

So that's that! Stay tuned! I am getting excited!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

David Bowie and Me

I didn't mean for the title to sound as though I've met him (though I'd give just about anything for that to happen). I decided to write this post after a few weeks of DB nonsense bumping around in my head.

I want to preface this by saying that I am usually a very level-headed person and never really idolize anyone or anything as much as I do David Bowie. 

I first discovered him while watching Labyrinth when I was about 13. I liked it, but this was an odd time in my life so I didn't give it a whole lot of thought.

One of my oldest friends referenced it several months later (which she had been doing for years and years, but I didn't know it) and I caught the reference and remembered that movie. My parents being the collectors that they are, had the movie. I promptly pulled it out and the rest is history! I watched that movie nearly everyday for a good portion of middle and high school. During this time, I became very interested in the Goblin King. This was my first introduction to David Bowie. My mom got a hold of some CDs for me and I listened to them nonstop (the first three were Let's Dance, Aladdin Sane, and Young American). Not long after that, Reality came out. I continued to collect albums, but even now, I don't have all of them.

In high school, the band, orchestra, and choir took a trip to New York. I was in Orlando with my family the week before, so my mom and I flew up separately from the rest of the students to meet them in New York City. Because we missed the bus ride to the hotel, we missed passing by David Bowie's house. I have always regretted that I could not be on that bus.

When I was about 17, I met a guy (my dance teacher's brother-in-law, actually) who met David Bowie. That's right, one degree of separation! I'm just a little proud of that. Anyway, we danced together one evening and he was telling me about DB. He said that DB could be a bit of a jerk in person because he never hears anything but how much people love him and his music. Understandably, he gets tired of that. He told me that the best way to approach DB in conversation was to talk about something else. He gave a few examples and told me what he talked about with DB (which I can't remember all theses years later), but I do remember deciding then and there that I wanted to ask DB if he had pets. As an animal lover, I am curious about such things and I have never come across the answer in my readings. Apparently interviewers aren't interested in whether or not he has pets.

Despite my being such a huge fan, I haven't seen many of DB's movies. I'm not sure why this is. Part of it is that most of the movies that he is in appeal to me very little (his presence aside). I did watch Arthur and the Invisibles, in which DB voices the bad guy. That one gave me dreams about DB for the first time ever. Because of this, I haven't watched the movie again because I'm afraid it won't work a second time! It was a pretty good one, though.

As I got older and read more about DB, I started to feel odd about him. He doesn't seem like the kind of person who would grab and hold me so strongly. Especially as a younger man, I would have hated him if I ever had a chance to meet him. I didn't approve of almost anything that he did or most of the choices he made. He and I are very drastically different people. I don't really understand why he appeals to me so strongly. Except, of course, that I love his music.

People have teased me for having a crush on DB. It may surprise you to know that this is not true. He is an attractive man and I think that he has aged well. But my physical attraction extends no further than that. Part of that is because he is the same age as my dad, and that's just creepy. Also, I am a fan of his wife, Iman, and I like that he has always tried to be such a good father. I wouldn't want to interfere with his personal life. I like his personal life the way it is. That sounds silly, but I like what I have read and seen concerning his family. There is absolutely no place for me there. Which is fine, I promise. I like being the adoring fan.

What brought all of this to the forefront of my mind was a dream that I had maybe a couple of months ago.

I was at a concert, by myself. David Bowie happened to be an audience member at the concert, but towards the end, they called him up and he gave a little performance for us. I stayed around after the concert hall cleared and DB and several fans/friends were hanging out around their seats. Being the fan that I am, I approached with a pen and paper for an autograph. While I waited, I got so nervous and kept thinking about how I was supposed to not just tell him that I loved his music. I got pretty panicky, which made his other fans and friends laugh at me, but I tried to keep my cool. It didn't work at all, and I managed to put my foot in my mouth telling him what a big fan I was. He seemed indifferent. As he signed my paper, I did ask him if he had pets. He seemed a little surprised, but told me that he had two (a dog and a cat, but I can't remember their names, which he also told me). Then I managed to walk away full of excitement and nervous energy while his fans/friends laughed. I flipped them off as I walked away because I felt, at this point, nothing could bring me down.

The thing about this dream? That's what would really happen if I ever met him. All of that information and crap would be running around in my head while I made a bumbling mess of myself. But here is the main thing--I idolize him and I have been such a big fan for so long. His music and Labyrinth have had such a big effect on me and my life. How could I not try to convey that to him? His work has meant so very much to me and touched me on levels that I didn't know existed. And while, to him, I would just be another nameless (and maybe crazed) fan, it would mean the world to me to watch him perform and to meet him. Even if he didn't remember me after, I would be so happy. I honestly think that I could die happy if that happened. Which makes me feel a little silly, but that is how much he has impacted my life.

So there you have it. I love David Bowie. And I love Labyrinth. DB and Labyrinth, even after all these years, still hold a lot of magic for me. I think that's why I am such a fan. Never mind my differences with younger Mr. Bowie (though he has grown so wise and dignified, I think, I find it easier to forgive his past indiscretions), never mind what anyone else thinks. I am a DB fanatic. And proud.

This was a very personal post for me. Most of my friends and family like DB fine, but I have a pretty personal connection to his work which no one that I know personally shares. I promise that I am not so weird about most things in my life (except, perhaps, my pets)... But thank you for reading. I will let you all know if I ever get the chance to stumble my way through meeting my idol.