Friday, September 19, 2014

Two Years

It's been two years (tomorrow) since I brought Romulus and Remus home.
Itty bitty ratties!
Baby Romulus!
Baby Remus!
Understandably, I still really miss Romulus. I think about him a lot and my heart still aches for him.

I'm still happy to have Remus. And we have gotten closer. We do alright on our own. But I can't help but think that we would both be happier if Romulus were still with us.
One of my very favorite pictures of them.

I'm a lot less angry now, but no less sad to have him gone. It surprises me how often he crosses my mind. The silliest little things will remind me of him. Like buying coffee. Yeah, long story.

I still have my mopey, sad moments where I sit and remember him and cry for a while. But I do try to focus my energy on good things, too. Like spending time with my Remus.

But Remus seems to be adjusted and doing well. I try to spend even more time with him. We have some fun and sometimes he will even play games with me.

I still think about getting him a friend, but I am reluctant. I have looked at a couple of male rats up for adoption, and I haven't found any that make me feel like it would work out. He really would have to be the right rat. And while I don't want Remus to be lonely, he also seems to like being the only child in many ways.

Who knows. Maybe I will find that rat, maybe not. I hope to have more rats in the future (possibly after Remus has passed on) because I love them so much. But right now, Remus and I are doing our best together! And I love the silly little guy to pieces.

Monday, September 15, 2014

NDK 2014


What a crazy weekend.

It started rough because the Marriott hotel where NDK is held seriously overbooked. Like, are you new here? The reservations fill up the day they open, why would they do that? People desperately try to obtain those rooms and I know that the vast majority of them are NOT going to cancel. These are highly coveted spaces. And if this was the first year NDK was this big, we could forgive them. It's not. This hotel is always filled to capacity during NDK. So their egregious error sent many people (my party included) to other hotels. Of course, the three in the immediate area (which are all within walking distance) are already full of all the people who could not get into the Marriott in the first place.

The place they sent us to was NOT within walking distance, which irked all of us. It was also more expensive (not by a ton, but enough). And to top it all off, the Marriott originally wanted to do NOTHING to help us out. We FINALLY got them to fax over the official "walking" papers. Walking is what it is called when one hotel sends you to another hotel and is usually attached to a special rate and arrangement between the hotels. We didn't know that until later. So we got the first night at our original rate and could get our second night at the new hotel rate (we were at the Double Tree, which is a Hilton hotel). They were very nice and helpful, but understandably their hands were tied. They needed the Marriott paper work so they could make sure they got their money and could do little for us until the papers were faxed. Also, they gave us cookies, which certainly helped matters.

Later, they apparently came to an arrangement with the Marriott to offer the second night to us at a cheaper rate, which we liked. And when we checked out, it turned out that the Marriott covered our first night altogether. Nice to know that they came through in some way. Of course, we went back and complained, and then another person in our room went and complained, so maybe they were just tired of hearing from our room...

Anyway, we were off to a rocky start, but we got settled and changed and hung out with our friends. The rest of the evening was casual. Of course I wore my Nausicaa costume. But I don't have a picture from this year because I am lame... But here is one from last year! And yes, I brought my plushie Ohmu.

Saturday we began around 9-10. We had breakfast and mimosas (because that is our tradition). We went to a panel by Cupcake Cosplay about hoop skirts and dresses, and that was pretty neat.

I wore my Lady Fourth Doctor costume. Again, I didn't get any new pictures except this one with the TARDIS and the following selfie I took after my hair had lost most of it's friz.
I feel awkward about taking and posting selfies, but I love my Doctor costume...
And here are some other random pictures I took:
Amie and Cat as characters from Kill la Kill

Pixel style Miyazaki balcony!
Miss Frizzle and Captain Marvel (I believe). And yes, that is Night Vale on Miss Frizzle's skirt. Totally awesome.
I think these characters are from Final Fantasy? We LOVE their light-up staffs!!
Hiccup, Toothless, and Valka (I'm pretty sure). Cute!
Some of our friends joined us down there. We did lots of wandering and went back to Cat and Drew and Ben's room for late lunch, beer, and a couple rounds of Tsuro, which was very entertaining.
Looks like a disaster waiting to happen.

We ended up back at NDK later and wandered/sat around to watch people. People-watching is one of our favorite NDK past-times.

Later a bunch of us went back to the room I shared with Amie and Kai and had some coffee, snacks, and drinks (this makes us sound like crazy party-ers/alcoholics, but I promise we aren't. This is just part of NDK tradition now-a-days...). Then some of our friends left to go to late night panels and karaoke (which I never make it to because it starts at midnight and I am too tired to stay up so late).

The next morning we all had to check out of our hotels. So we all had to get into our Sailor Disney costumes and check out. Of course, there were normal people staying at our hotel, so we got several weird looks. That's OK. I worked hard on this costume and I wore it with pride!

Here are a couple of pictures. We also invested in a professional photo shoot. We will have those pictures in a few weeks or so. I will probably post some of those when we get them back, as well as info about our photographer (who was very cool).
Not the best photo location, but here is our group! So fun!
After the photo shoot, everyone dispersed. It had been a long, full day! Thanks for reading and I will post about the photo shoot when we get the pictures!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

NDK 2014 Costumes Part Six

I finished the handkerchief. It looks a little weird, especially in the front, but it's too late to fix it now!

I did a trial run of the costume. I will need to put band aids on my feet, I bet. The shoes aren't very comfy for a long day walking around.

Otherwise, I think it looks OK.

From the front

The back

Randi and Katie were nice enough to make everyone's tiaras! Which is amazing because everyone was running out of time. Thanks guys! You rock!

I only got one vote on the gloves, but it was Cat and her opinions are worth more. Cause she makes costumes professionally and I trust her judgement. She said they'd be alright gold, so I am painting them. They will need a few coats, so no pictures (because they are going to take a while to dry all the way and then I still need to sew the blue bits on). That's OK. There will be plenty of actual NDK pictures.

The wig is... A process. It's SO LONG! But the wig I bought online is much nicer than the one I was originally going to use. If I finish it in a reasonable amount of time, I will post pictures.

Otherwise, I ironed my costume and am generally ready to go.

NDK is so soon! I'm excited and nervous!

Here is my line-up:
Friday- Nausicaa (I know, I'm cheating)
Saturday- Lady 4th Doctor (And again...)
Sunday- Sailor Jasmine (plus a photo shoot! Exciting!)

There may have been talk of Katamari? But Amie was the only one who asked me. We will see if more people decide to do it. We worked so hard on those heads, it would be a shame not to bring it back at least once. Maybe next year.

Friday, September 5, 2014

NDK 2014 Costumes Part Five

Things are starting to wrap up here.

I made this little choker:
The fabric glue is still a little wet in this picture, as you can plainly see.

I made and sewed sleeves onto my leotard in true Jasmine fashion:
And I ended up having to redo the ribbon under the bust a little. Despite my best efforts, sewing the whole thing down made it too tight to fit over my thighs...

So I undid the back stitches and put a snap on the end so it will snap closed once my leotard is on.

I have mixed feelings about my gloves. I want gloves so I can cover my wrist tattoo and because all of the sailor scouts wear gloves. However, I am afraid that the white is too weird with the rest of my costume. I might be able to dye them gold or blue? Only if I can find the right shade, and that makes me feel nervous. Or I can paint them the same sparkly gold I used for my shoes:

I kind of like the idea, but sparkly gold? Is that too much? Any one have any thoughts on the matter? Otherwise, the little blue pieces that will attach to the ends of the gloves are finished, but I am waiting to attach them.

I sewed on my front bow. I also finally sewed the back bow on so my skirt is officially finished (for better or for worse).

I am finishing the handkerchief so that I can figure out how to attach it to the rest. I am thinking snaps. I can't sew it on because I'm not sure that I will be able to get the costume on if I do.

I FINALLY got my wig (I was starting to panic) and I need to style it (heaven help me, I am really no good at dealing with wigs). Then I will do a trial run of my costume and make-up. I also need to remember to dig out some gold earrings to wear in my ears.

Oh! And I need to make my tiara! I am worried about this piece because we will be using a lot of stuff that I am not familiar with. I guess there is a first time for everything.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Belated Welcome for Raina!

I know I posted while we were still waiting for Raina to be born. I think in all of the hub-bub I lost track and realized recently that I never got around to posting about my new niece! What on earth is wrong with me?

So without further ado, meet baby Raina!
Pamela took this picture, and it is my favorite so far!

She was born very early (a little before 1am) on August 10th! About 6 and a half pounds and 19 inches long (for those of you who are interested in knowing such things).

Thus far she has been healthy, if occasionally fussy. She's already stubborn (Pamela is so sweet, so I have to assume that she got this stubbornness from her dad...).

I'm sure that I am biased, but I think she is so cute! And it's funny to have her be so new, but to love her so much. Arik and Pamela are doing well, too. I know it is sometimes tough, but they are both taking it all in stride. It's fun to see them be parents.

Right now, I love her "fussy faces," as I call them. When she's not crying, but she frowns and pouts. I think that is the cutest thing ever. Sadly, I have no good pictures of her fussy face. I will have to work on that.

I'm sure you guys will be seeing more of Raina in the future.

Welcome, little Raina! Auntie Mara loves you so much already!