When Your Ship Sails

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It must be nice to have a ship sail. For the record none of my ships ever sail: Aragorn/Eowyn, Rollo/Lagertha, Sebastian/Mary, Motoko/Batou, Finn/Poe just to name a few.

Before I proceed, this is regarding a moment from the season finale of Game of Thrones, so if you haven’t seen it SPOILER ALERT, SPOILER ALERT, SPOILER ALERT!!!!!

Consider yourselves warned.

For Dany/Jon shippers, last night had a very satisfying moment. To be honest, it was pretty fun to watch for us nonshippers too. I mean, damn, that was a steamy scene.

While I’m undecided how I feel about Dany/Jon (Sorry Aegon) getting together, I do know what ship I’d like to see sail.

So … while everyone is starting to build a boat for Tormund and Brienne, I’m still hoping my Brienne and Jaime ship will sail.

Last night did give me some hope when Jaime left King’s Landing for the North where Brienne of Tarth just so happens to be.

I know people like the idea of Tormund and Brienne and their giant children, but I’ve been rooting for this ship since season 2, damn it. They just have such good chemistry.

Well, since the next season isn’t going to air until 2019, I guess I”ll have to wait two more years to find out if Jaime and Brienne get together.

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What ships do you want to see sail? Which ones would you like to sink?

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Cosplay progress–progress being a generous word

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Ok, I promised pictures. I still don’t have that much to take pictures of besides stacks of patterns and piles of uncut fabric.

So for starters, I made a lot of progress on my son’s Ash costume. The shirt is done, and I vow never to sew pockets again. I also vow not to be as picky; I literally went to five or more stores looking for yellow buttons that were the right size and the right shade of yellow … this might be why this project is taking so long.

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All we need to do now is order a wig, buy some jeans and shoes, a belt, and finish his gloves.

As far as the Wonder Woman cosplay, it will be a wonder if we get anything done. I did almost finish the Hippolyta cape and skirt. Will share pics next week.

Aside from that, I have designed a crown and gauntlet pattern and I’ve started cutting out the bust pieces.

I’d have more done, but this month we had several acting workshops and an entire weekend dedicated to filming. Not to mention getting ready for Gen Con this weekend.

Gen Con will be a much needed break from sewing. I’ll be sure to share pics from the con, as well as more photo updates of my current project.

Why do I love characters everyone else hates?

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It’s inevitable, if I like a character … everyone else hates them.

Does this ever happen to you? Here’s my list. Like them, love them, hate them. Please let me know.

Game of Thrones

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In light of the new season, let’s start here.

Everyone hates the Lannisters. I love them. I think I tend to like characters who are morally grey. My favs are Cersei, Tywin, and Jamie. Tyrion is actually my least favorite, despite his popularity with the fandom.

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But let’s focus on the characters I like that others don’t. For starters, Jaime Lannister. But many fans like him now, you might say. But did they like him from season one, episode one? I did. Most fans spent three or four seasons wishing Jaime dead. Somewhere around the fifth or sixth season, I started reading articles online where people were defending Jaime. People started to see what I saw: a misunderstood character who has fallen from his path after being shamed for rightfully killing a mad king. He is fiercely loyal to his family, even willing to kill a young boy to hide a secret that could jeopardize his children. Even the incest with his sister is about loyalty and love, not sleaze. I saw a character who is going to have a redemption arc and regain his honor.

Cersei_Lannister-Lena_HeadeySo now for the big one: Cersei Lannister. From the get-go people hated her. As with all morally grey characters, she isn’t without her reasons and her redeeming qualities. She is introduced as a woman who loved a husband who would never love her back because of a fierce and stubborn hangup for an old flame. How frustrating is that. She loved her brother because he was the only one she felt she had a place with. She hated Tyrion because her mother died. She lies, conspires, and manipulates to keep her children’s secrets unknown and their butts on the thrown. Little finger schemes only for himself and people LOVE him? People think she is power hungry, but she only took the thrown after her youngest son fell to his death. She would have never killed him to have the thrown. Even though he was soft, weak, and unfit to rule, she still supported him. It wasn’t until after she’d lost all of her children that she assumed the throne, and even now, her motivation is to use that power to avenge her children’s deaths from the Tyrels, the Martels, and the Starks.

So why is that so bad? Yes, she can be cruel, but she is a sympathetic villain, or at least I think she is.

Lastly, who loves Theon Greyjoy. I love him, or at least I love him in the latter seasons. He starts off as a prick, but I see another redemption story coming. Honestly after he helped Sansa, I’m willing to forgive a lot of his former shit.

Vikings

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It’s hard enough to find someone who likes the show Vikings let alone finding someone who actually likes my favorite characters.

9a286627b386a8eacbbf50e57ac995a6--vikings-tv-series-vikings-tv-showOne of my favorite characters is Rollo. He is the brother of Ragnar. During the show he constantly alternates between fighting with or against his brother. Basically what other fans see is a villain. I see a man who is tired of living in his brother’s shadow who is struggling to find out what his own destiny is. Some of the fan hate is legit and brought on by Rollo’s relationship with women. Relationship being a generous word. He worships his brother’s wife, but treats women badly, especially Sigi who does what she can to support him and his ambitions. He realizes he treated her badly when she dies and tries to drink himself to death. After this eye opening experience, he meets Gisla and we see a reformed Rollo. He changes his clothes, cuts his hair, denounces his faith, and removes his warrior arm  band to gain her acceptance.

Even though he is not a ladies man, he was always a good uncle at least. One of the arcs I wish the show would focus on more was the relationship he had with Bjorn. His relationship with his nephew was always a redeeming quality. Hopefully this something they will focus on in the seasons to come.

Aslaug_4b_2You’d think  the backstabbing, woman-abusing killer would be the most hated character on the show. You’d be wrong. Aslaug, Ragnar’s second wife is the most despised character to date. Why is this? I see Aslaug as the discount Cersei of Vikings. Basically, he met her on his journeys and gets her pregnant. All she wants it for him to take responsibility and help care for her child. His current wife becomes outraged (rightfully so) and leaves. He stays married to Aslaug for some time before they eventually become distant. It is clear he still loves his former wife and blames Aslaug for her leaving. Their marriage really falls apart after the birth of their son Ivar. Ragnar wants to leave him in the wilderness to die, but Aslaug wants to take care of him regardless of his deformity. Feeling unloved and betrayed, she does end up having an affair with another man. She doesn’t start scheming against her husband until he starts proving that he might be an incompetent King. His friendship with a priest makes not only Aslaug question his faith in the Norse gods and his loyalty. She doesn’t actually assume the throne until he dies. She doesn’t try to kill him. She literally waits until he is killed. Ragnar even apologizes to her before the end for the way he treated her. So, if the main character admits he’s wrong, why do fans hate her?

Part of this is because Vikings fans seem to be very loyal to Ragnar or what I call Team Ragnar. They ignore the fact that he is supposed to be de-evolving as a human being as he evolves in status. He goes from being a farmer to an earl, to a king. As he gains power, he loses a part of himself. Fans will defend him to the death no matter what he does, even though he’s supposed to be a character who is losing himself.

e3dbb420230eab8bec694b1b35239ad4--vikings-tv-series-vikings-tv-showLastly, I’d like to talk about Porunn. She was introduced in season two or three as a love interest for Bjorn. I appreciated that she had an arc outside of him. She was a slave who was freed by Aslaug (you know, evil Aslaug) and wanted to become a viking. Fans hated her. They blamed her for Bjorn not being in plot. She’s been gone for two seasons and he’s yet to really rejoin plot. That is the problem of the writers, not a character. I really welcomed Poroun as a character. There wasn’t a lot of women representation at the time, and none from the slave class. I thought she offered an interesting perspective. Also, it was good conflict to have her fighting alongside Bjorn. She was inexperienced and hasty to become a warrior, which resulted in her becoming maimed in battle. Now when I say maimed, they gave her some cool face scars. But the character fell into depression because she viewed them as a mark of shame. She was so depressed she even pushed her husband, Bjorn, away and struggled to love her daughter. That last sentence is why they really hated her. What kind of mother abandons her daughter? Why is she so whiney? Sound familiar? Sounds like she might have had depression and post par-tum. Again, this was great conflict for the character and for Bjorn. I think it was interesting having a character struggle with her relationships, especially with a child. There are many women who struggle with or without depression, and like this character, they are demonized. I thought Porunn offered a lot of refreshing perspective and conflict that they lost when they wrote her off.

 

The Hobbit

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I’m just going to say I loved the movie everyone hated. and I loved the character nobody liked. You know who I’m talking about.

So why did so many people hate Tauriel.

  • She wasn’t cannon
  • She was an oc
  • She wasn’t “supposed to be there.”

I do think there were some flaws to her character, but I think she had more purpose than just being a love interest. She had her own desires and goals. She was a good friend and loyal. On that note, when they say she shouldn’t be there, in the book, Tolkien summarizes, which is the book equivalent of a montage, their time in Mirkwood. If they only used characters named in the book, Thranduil would be alone. So they fleshed out a few to make the world more real.

All in all, the movie was a sausage fest, so it was nice to have some roast beef added to the table.

The Walking Dead

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Where to start. Let’s just start with Andrea.

This was a character I really identify with as a single woman and a sister. I just felt like she was always getting screwed and called out by the other characters for stuff that they let other characters do. They refuse to give her a gun because she wants to kill her sister herself when she tunrs. They treat her as though is is crazy and irrational. Meanwhile, Shane is allowed to have a gun … need I say more.

I thought she was great. She was always with the guys or fishing. You didn’t see her being trapped in a domestic woman’s role like Carol (Thank goodness Carol baddassed up) or Lori. She caught fish for the group, went on supply runs, and learned how to shoot. She eventually teamed up with Badass Michon. At this point, fans already hated her, as fans often hate the blond independent woman with personality. Honestly, I didn’t dislike her until the arc with the Governor. It just got boring until she discoveed Michon’s pointlessly cryptic warnings were true.

Lori-Grimes-1Ok, I put it off. Let’s tackle Lori. Ok, while I don’t love Lori, I don’t hate her for the reasons other fans do. She was created to be the voice of reason for Rick who struggles to maintain his humanity and ideals in a apocalyptic world. Sadly, the fans hated her by episode one, despite the fact that she … hadn’t really done anything despicable. She wasn’t technically having an affair. The set up showed that their marriage was suffering, so it makes since that after she thought he died, she would move on. That’s her right. Women get to have relationships after their husbands die. While audiences had context that he was alive, they forget she does not have this context. She ends the affair with Shane after finding out her husband is alive. It’s Shane that tries to keep it going. The result: a tired love triangle that carries on long past it’s expiration date.

The reason I don’t like her: She seemed very against the women learning to shoot as Andrea suggested they do, believing it was “woman’s” roll to maintain civility and normalcy. Fuck that shit. I commend Andrea for her rebuttal that not everyone has a husband to protect them and that it’s selfish to put themselves in a position where they can’t take care of themselves and make themselves a liability to the group. My main reason I don’t like her: she throws up the abortion pills. It’s stupid and selfish to have a baby during a zombie Apocalypse. Need I say more.

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  • She had a Cesarean: therefore, she can’t have the baby without another cesarean. How did she think she was going to accomplish this?
  • A baby would be vulnerable and most likely be eaten if it didn’t die of all the other ways babies die.
  • A post apocalyptic world is no place for a baby or a child. How can they be happy? How can they have any semblance to a normal childhood?
  • The baby will endanger the entire group. Did she ever watch MASH. Doesn’t she remember that last episode where the woman had to suffocate her baby so the group doesn’t get captured.

Reign

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The show itself gets a lot of hate from critics but it’s a guilty pleasure for its fans. Catherine De Medici is one of my favorite characters. I must have a soft spot for powerful women who use their power to protect their children. I guess you could say she is the Cersei Lannister of the WB network. Basically she hears a prophesy that Mary will cause the death of her son, so she does everything in her power to stop her from wedding him. Fans of the show despise her for coming between the two lovers. She is the spice of the show. She’s witty, she’s powerful, she’s sassy, and even a little sexy. What’s not to love, and eventually she ends up using her abilities to help Mary.

Basically I think what it comes down to is that people just don’t like conflict, but tv shows would be very boring if no one ever opposed each other or if all the characters were perfect and morally white. We need these flawed, conflict causing, morally grey characters to make drama … well … dramatic.

Well, I think that makes my list. Who are some characters you love that everyone else loves to hate?

Wonder Woman: Cosplay Progress

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This may be the most time I’ve ever given myself to complete a cosplay project. I have about three months to complete four costumes for Kokomo Con.

Technically, we are getting ready for two cons. I’m currently fixing pieces for our Vikings cosplay for GenCon. My son’s axe broke and I have to remake the head out of wood or foam.

I made the mistake of not saudering the openings of my chainmail, so now I get to go back and do that or more links will fall off.

Debating keeping the dreads. They kind of look like Lagertha’s hair.

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As far as the Wonder Woman cosplay goes, we don’t have much done. We’ve bought some fabric and patterns that we can alter. It’s a slow process. I feel like the older I get the slower things get done. I used to be able to cut patterns in one evening or one day, and so far I’ve been cutting patterns for three days straight. It doesn’t help that I have Supernatural playing in the background to distract me, but in my defense, I devoured four seasons of that show during the Labyrinth cosplay and got done on time.

Seriously, you just move slower in your 30’s people. So give yourself more time as you get older.

This will be the first time my son doesn’t group cosplay with us. I’m so sad. But he didn’t want to be an Amazonian. lol

 

Ah … good times …

He has decided to be Ash from Pokemon. At least it’s an easy costume. I’ll only be sewing the shirt and tweaking some gloves. Everything else can be ordered. He already has a Pikachu, which, true to character, goes with him everywhere, so he’ll be really dirty by the con.

I am going as Queen Hippolyta. My sister will be Antiope, and my friend Donna will be Menalippe.

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It has taken us weeks just to gather decent source material to reference from. We have the dolls for Antiope and Hippolyta. No doll for Menalippe, but she does have an action figure we are debating getting.

This is the first time we’ve cosplayed something before it came out on dvd. So we can’t play the pause the show game.

A thorough study of the costumes has revealed a lot of similarities and repeating patterns in each costume, which will make it easy to reuse patterns. That should speed things up. They look very different, but the designs are very similar. Stare closely and you’ll see it too.

Sorry no pictures, but I don’t think you guys are interested in a pile of fabric and patterns. Next week should have something to show.

Cosplay/Film Progress

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Hey, guys, just wanted to give you an update on how things have been going.
I’ve been busy … too busy.

While I wait for a filming date on my current project, I auditioned for two more roles, one being a GOT parody. Keeping my fingers crossed.

I also got my dreads put in. I think they look awesome.

As far as cosplay, I’m going to Gen Con in August and Kokomo con in October, so I might have to put my Wonder Woman cosplay on the back burner to sew Rylee a new Bjorn shirt and fix my chainmail for my Lagertha cosplay.

And how is that Wonder Woman costume coming, you might ask. Slow. Very slow. I’ve never worked with EVA foam, so I cut out my shield. That’s it. I’m also attempting to use foam to fix my son’s axe that broke at Kokomo con.

In the meantime, sis and I have been hitting the gym hard to get our warrior bods. The gym doesn’t leave much time for anything else, including sewing.

While I should be working on my foam shield, I decided to teach my son how to make props and costumes. He cut the gloves for his Ash costume and I started teaching him how to make shields. This is going to be a Captain America shield.

This week, I’m going to try to get some real progress done on the Wonder Woman cosplay. Between acting, the gym, my son’s Karate and camp, holidays, and work, it’s hard to make time, but we always seem to get our costumes done last minute.

Getting into Character

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Between firing/hiring a new team member at my work, writing, cosplay, and my son’s surgeries, I haven’t had that much time to go to the gym. I’ve got to make time now so I can turn my body into a warrior bod for the film.

Watching Wonder Woman really inspired me to take my workout to a whole new level. I even do Gal Gadot’s workout on Wednesday (Wonder Woman Wednesday). Feel free to try it yourself. Get on a rowing machine followed by bear crawls, crab walks, burpees (lots of burpees), dead lifts, pull ups, and a bunch of other barbell stuff I don’t remember the proper names.

Getting into character with me is my sister. Since we are both in the same film, we are going for a similar look, which means identical diets, identical workouts. Just like everything else we do, my son isn’t left out. While he goes to the YMCA mainly to play on the computers, he does run and walk a few laps around the track with us as a family.

It’s nice being inspired, but even better to inspire others. Another woman, intrigued by Wonder Woman’s workout, decided to join us. We worked out together and talked. As a woman, one of my greatest joys is to empower other women.

Speaking of woman empowerment. Thursday I started taking a tribal dance class. I’m not very good yet, but I could feel the feminine energy flowing through the room. It was invigorating and inspiring.

Channeling this character will be fun. Figured I’d start on the outside. Won’t be able to channel her internally until I get the full script.

Stay tuned.

 

Don’t Wait: Make it Happen

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We’ve all got a calling: something we feel compelled to do: sing, act, paint, write.

I’m compelled to write, act, dance, sew, draw, play instruments, and save the world.

Of all those things, I’d say my strongest callings have always been to write and act. I started writing before I could read (if that makes sense) and I started acting in High school, taking every theatre class offered at my school and auditioning for every play. Of course, I played elaborate games of pretend with  my sister long before that.

After school I thought I’d become a writer and eventually get back into acting, starting with college/community theatre.

I got busy and hit a major writing wall, so I didn’t do much acting or writing for five years.

That was a bad time. I was depressed and lost … I wasn’t me. I was restless. Restlessness is what you feel when you aren’t answering your calling.

Recently I saw a video where Peter Dinklage offers some great advice to his fans: “Don’t wait.”

I am a true believer in learning from others: their advice and their mistakes and successes. This might be some of the best advice I’ve heard from someone who obtained their dream. There is no right time. You just have to go out there and make it happen.

One of my greatest lessons came from my mom. Sadly, she was not encouraging of big dreams. She didn’t take many risk or chances. My mother’s illness and her death inspired me to go after my dreams before it is too late. While I like to think that my mom was 100% satisfied with her life, I know she had unfulfilled dreams like seeing the ocean. How hard would that have been to make happen?

My goals might be a little more of a challenge: publish and act–not in theatre–on the small or big screen.

At 30, I feared it was too late for either, but in his speech, Peter says that he left a job at 29 to pursue acting. So it’s never too late.

While I can’t just quit my job and take off, my first break is just around the corner. A friend of mine told me about auditions for a film. I auditioned with my sister and we both landed rolls.

I can’t give away too much yet. It’s very early in the works, but I can say we are starting filming very soon. It’s a sci-fi/fantasy film. There are several B listed actors in it–one of which my son is a huge fan. It will be playing in roughly 150 theaters.

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First picture of some of the cast. Sorry no costume pics until we start promoting

Now before I get too excited, I’m not saying this film is going to make me red-carpet famous, but it is helping me answer my inner calling. Community theater just didn’t do it for me. But this is the whole experience: green screen, costume, hair and makeup, the whole thing.

I’m one of those people who can’t watch the behind the scenes special features without getting jealous. I’d love to be a part of the film-making process, and this will give me a chance.

The part I’m most excited about is my character. I’m going to be a General. After watching Star Wars and Wonder Woman and seeing my childhood princesses become Generals, I feel honored that this is my first role. I’ve always wanted to be a woman warrior like Lagertha, Antiope, or Xena. Here’s my chance.

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This film could lead to a lot of important networking opportunities as well as future rolls.

As far as writing, I’m still working on book one, but I feel like it finally has direction.

I really feel like this is the defining year of my life. If you haven’t seen it already, go watch Peter Dinklage’s speech.