Thursday, November 10, 2011

Adventures with Eyes: Contacts

The following is a self-indulgent log of my attempt to wear contacts.

I never thought I'd wear them, but for the sake of convenience and being able to see when doing things like riding rollercoasters and/or cosplay, I'm giving them a shot.  This is no small feat for me as I A) Have never used eye drops, or put anything in my eye, and B) had a bad experience when I was 4 where I got a cinder stuck in my eye on a train ride, and then C) several years later got gnats stuck in my eye.  Gnats!  And you wonder why I hate bugs so much!

May or may not be a dramatization.

I'm going to try and update this as things do or don't develop.

Friday, October 21st 2:55 pm

-Visit the doctor's office and am given a walkthrough on how to put in the contacts.
-Spend about fifteen minutes trying to get one contact in, and failing.  Secretary/current contact coach tells me to put the contact down and get used to touching my eye with my finger.  Do so after "what the fuck" feeling passes.
-Spend another ten minutes trying to get one contact in, eventually succeeding.  Now my vision is all kinds of screwed up with one eye that can see and another that's still legally blind.
-Try getting the other contact in for about twenty minutes, then discover I was supposed to use my dominant hand (left) to put them in.  Great!
-Secretary leaves the office saying to come out if I get the contact in.  Fifteen minutes later, I still don't have it in.
-Five minutes after she comes back I finally get the other one in.  Now I have to take a contact out and put it back in.  this takes another ten minutes to get it out and five minutes to get it back in.
-Total time in contact training: 1 hour 15 minutes.

Could be worse I guess... 

-Drive home without wearing glasses for the first time.  Put my finger between my eyes to try and adjust the glasses I'm not wearing twice on the way home.
-Make that four times by that evening.
-Need to take out contacts after 5 hours as my eyes aren't used to wearing them yet.  7 the next day, 9 the next, and so on.
-Successfully take out contacts after about eight minutes of trying.  That didn't take as long as I thought it would.

Saturday October 22nd

-Get one contact in after about six tries, but it's folded on my eye and off-center.  Holy shit that hurt.  Eventually get the lens nudged into position and unfolded.
-Attempt to put in other contact and realize it's not on my finger anymore.  Fear for a moment that it dropped down the sink, only to find it sticking to the mirror.  The hell?

No, after you!

-Get the other lens in after a bit.  Total time getting lenses in: about... 15 minutes?  20?  I forgot to check the clock before trying it. Either way I need to keep them in a bit longer than yesterday while my eyes adjust to them.
-Take out both contacts later in the day in under ten minutes.  Only problem is I put both contacts in the same storage thing and don't know which one is the left lens and which is the right.  Considering my eyes are different not just in prescription but in shape and the lenses reflect that, this could end badly.

Sunday October 23

-Call the doctor's office and confirm that putting the lenses in the wrong eyes won't do anything worse than potentially blur long-distance vision a bit.  Hey, I like to be absolutely sure, okay?

Monday October 24

-Don't put the contacts in at all.  Didn't wake up soon enough to put them in and didn't remember to do it after (eventually) getting home.

I'm here to sell you Oops Insurance!

Tuesday October 25

-Forget to time how long it takes to get the contacts in, but get them out in a little over five minutes.  Most of getting them in was me dropping the left contact and trying to find it.  For some reason it takes longer with the left eye than the right.  Cosidering I'm left-handed, that means I'm struggling with what should be the easier eye.

Wednesday October 26

-Decide to wear contacts to classes.  Only takes about five minutes to get them in and, again, the left eye takes longer.  Debating calling mom and asking if it was the left eye I got a cinder stuck in when I was a kid.  The thing is, the contacts don't hurt to put in at all, they just feel a little odd at first.  But when I try to put one in my left eye, it keeps closing almost every time the contact makes... well, contact with it.

Wednesday November 2

Have been wearing contacts on and off lately.  Mostly off.  I can't look at things close up in detail like I can by taking my glasses off.  Considering the amount of cosplay work I've been doing, that discourages wearing contacts.

Thursday November 3

I head to Youmacon today.  Put in my contacts before heading to class/work.  I admit that a big reason I got contacts is so I wouldn't be blind when in cosplay.  I have no shame.

Could be worse, I guess.

It only takes a few minutes to get the contacts in now, and again, the left eye is harder than the right despite my using my left hand to put them in.  How work does?!

Friday November 4 through Sunday November 6

Successfully got contacts in and out the entire time in under five minutes in spite of sleep deprivation.  Now the only bad news is, I have no idea where my regular glasses went.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Youmacon 2011: I Am a Machine (Allegedly)

After getting home and realizing I took a grand total of three videos at Youmacon 2011, I figured a blog post would be the least I could do to preserve the memories of the dumb stuff I do at cons, or at least what I can remember.  Let us begin.


I stopped at home to finish packing the car after work and left some time between three and four in the afternoon.  I went straight to the Renaissance Center, made contact with Russ (the guy I've shared a room with for two years now) as well as TigerUchimaru and Blondeguygamer, and got all my backseat luggage into the room.  Eventually I had to pick up WellUnreal007 from the airport, only to find out that I'd gone to the wrong terminal.  Upon arriving, traffic promptly stopped and/or turned into a massive clusterfuck as everyone tried to pull over to pick up arrivals while the police yelled at everyone and everything to keep moving.  Unreal was in the arrival area, but with my being unable to find anything resembling an opening in that area he ran out to my car while it was a couple lanes out and got in with his luggage.

We fought our way out of airport traffic only to find out that part of the highway leading back was closed, meaning three lanes of traffic were being funneled into a one-lane exit ramp.  Needless to say, we powered through my one-hour long mash-up of Bear Force One fairly easily before getting back to the hotel.

Mixed with Kriss Kross and Benzaie among several others.
No, I'm not kidding.

So we get back to the hotel and, with help, unload everything.  I also give everyone a copy of the Semblance of Order CDs I'd made for NerdPow! that I have left.  Then around 11:00pm I start going through my stuff and realize I forgot part of a costume I'd been trying to do for, no lie, about two years.  This is when I had my moment of crazy.

I used that night to drive all the way back home, pick up what I'd forgotten, and drive back to the hotel.  As I waited for an elevator going down, a Joker cosplayer (who had complimented my goggles earlier) asked if I had any alcohol.  I said no, and he kept going down the hall.  The hall which goes in a goddamn circle.

After about six-and-a-half hours of driving I was back at the Ren Cen, the time now around 6:30 in the morning.  I only got about two to three hours of sleep before...


With my missing the chance to pick up pre-registration the night before, I had to wait in line.  Let's get one thing straight right now.  The registration line was far, far worse.  If the registration line was the final level of Dante's Inferno (the story, not the game) then the pre-reg line was somewhere in space, orbiting several miles away from the Gates of Hell.  Still, the line was several hundred feet long.  It moved fast, though.

After that I went back to the room and, since Linkara was there this year, reprised the role of 90's Kid, this time with the right color of hat and carrying around Blondeguygamer's Genesis as a prop.  The sunglasses (which I can wear and still be able to see now that I have contacts) helped hide the massive rings under my eyes, though I was strangely not as tired as I should have been.  I think that means I've been doing this way too much.

I was stunned by how many people recognized it and/or asked for photos, and even got stopped for an in-character three-minute long conversation by a couple of Dr. McNinja cosplayers.  Then Linkara's live Atop the Fourth Wall happened.  This was taken immediately after:

I am only responsible for 1 of 4 TOTALLY AWESOME things in this photo.

 I went back to the hotel room to finish working on parts of Long's costume that I didn't finish before making the trip.  At the same time, Blondy took my Duke Nukem comic, which was already signed by Jon St. John, and got it signed by Linkara.  The thing I had to fix for Long was the weights on his ankles.  To put it simply, they wouldn't stay together.  I'd said to TigerUchimaru I would do it for the fighting game photoshoot later that day, and I wasn't about to go back on my word despite the problems I was still having.  

When Russ lent me his superglue, I kind of went nuts with it and (sort of) got everything together while they were wrapped around my ankles.  The backs of them looked ghetto as fuck, but that was better than them not holding up at all.

 Goddamn, I have no muscle mass.

When we met up and went downstairs, we discovered the clusterfuck that was doing a photoshoot at Youmacon 2011.  The photoshoot area was the Winter Garden, a food-like area at the bottom floor near a large glass area looking out on the river separating Michigan and Canada.  The sign indicating when these shoots took place, however, was on the third floor overlooking the Winter Garden.  Oh, and the Winter Garden didn't have much space in it, meaning groups frequently would meet there and move somewhere else entirely, or organized online to not meet there at all.  And to add to the confusion, two other photoshoots were scheduled at the same time as the fighting game shoot.

Marble Hornets Photoshoot: 11 AM behind the fake plants 
overlooking the Winter Garden.

When we got there, admittedly late, no one was on the third floor.  Or the second floor.  Or the ground floor.  Not only that, the only photoshoot we COULD see going on was for Homestuck, which I think is like if the Smurfs were all massive dicks to each other.  After wandering around for awhile and not finding anything we spotted an Ermac and a Smoke.  Upon asking them what was going on, they also had no idea what happened to the photoshoot.  After going upstairs to the sign and attempting to call in anyone we could (temporarily gaining a couple other Mortal Kombat characters) we decided to call it off.

Then we moved on to the food court, with me finally learning how to walk so that the ankle weights didn't slam into each other.  Amazingly enough someone stopped me for a photo, though I doubt he knew what the character was.  It was at the food court that, after watching a guy with his arms down his pant legs dance to rave music, I had Subway to cap off the night.  This just in: eating a sub with bigass weights around your wrists is kind of difficult.  I said I'd save the remnants of the other half for later, only to forget I had it and throw it out late Saturday.

 This foot-long is what all true con-goers strive for!


Fun fact: the first thing I agreed to in regard to Youmacon cosplay was that I'd be a part of Youmaslam!, a group of cosplayers doing classic WWF stars.  So, around 9 in the morning, Russ was getting into his Macho Man Randy Savage costume while I slapped on a kilt and went as Rowdy Roddy Piper.  Fitting, seeing as how I'm part Scottish.

We met with his other friends who were in the group, which included guys dressed as Virgil (who was Static Shock part of the previous day), The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase, and Hulk Hogan, as well as a girl who was Elizabeth.  What I didn't realize at first was that not only was this group going to be together for awhile, Russ and the others got in touch with Team Four Star and we would be doing a run-in gag right after the finish to their Patty Cake Championship match at the start of their panel.

... Yay?

All botches were intentional.  No, really.

We met with Takahata101 and Kroze before their panel started and got a basic rundown: Taka and Lanipator would have their match, then when they shook hands Kroze would lead me, Virgil, and DiBiase in to beat them up in badly-choreographed fashion.  Then Hogan's music would hit and he and Macho Man would make the save.  This worked alright, though I think I might have stomped Lanipator in the stomach by accident.  The idea was to make it look really fake anyway.

The save could have gone better, though.  We organized before that Hogan would have a big boot spot on Kroze and Macho Man would do a double-axe handle off the stage on me.  Hogan's boot spot never happened.  When Russ rushed me to start the save, he accidentally caught me below the left eye with a forearm while running at me.  We worked it out and got to the double-axe handle spot, only for him to twist his ankle on the landing.  Then to end the spot, I get up and don't see anyone around me, until I look to my left and see Kroze getting rolled into my legs, knocking me over like a goddamn bowling pin.

How do I keep getting involved in semi-TGWTG-related shit?

All in all it went over okay, and they were appreciative of us helping out with the PCC ending.  However, the wrestling shenanigans didn't stop there.

After the panel we all went out together and got stopped for photos multiple times on the way to Deathcom's photo area.  When we got our photos and ordered a print, one of the guys running the booth stopped us and asked if we'd each do introductory segments for the videos they were shooting.  We were more than happy to oblige, so sooner or later there will be a clip of me attempting (keyword: ATTEMPTING) to be Rowdy Roddy Piper introducing Deathcom Multimedia's coverage of the Youmacon 2011 masquerade.

The best was Ted DiBiase's segment though.  To make the character look better onscreen, the guy running the booth pulled out about three hundred dollars in twenties and gave it to him to pose with as he did his intro.  Good. God.
Screw you guys!  I thought it was amazing.

I hung out with the guys a bit longer, hearing about how Hogan's mustache apparently felt like he had sandpaper taped to his face, and getting a photo or two of me getting elbow-dropped by Macho Man and/or putting him in a sleeper hold.  At one point a pair of cosplayers, one being an admittedly-cute black Chun-Li, challenged Hogan and Macho Man to a tag team match with me as the referee.  I responded with a rant about how they had a deal if I could get Macho Man's Intercontinental title and, mid-rant, black Chun-Li kissed me on the cheek.  

I didn't know what to say then, and I don't know what to say now.  I just kept on talking and then hauled ass to the food court with the others, where I eventually parted ways with them to switch costumes.

Everything will be... fine...

 It was at this point that I went through the pain-staking process of reprising the Connecticon nightmare that was cosplaying <name removed> again.  I had bad razor burn on my face and that bruise from the wrestling spot earlier, but I went through with it anyway.  If anyone asked about the latter, I could just say Billy hits me.

Unreal was dressed as Barry Burton too, so it was appropriate if nothing else.  TigerUchimaru said I was convincing, which I'm still not sure if that was a compliment.

I saw a bunch of Resident Evil cosplayers the previous day, but a lot of them were still around Saturday afternoon.  We met with a group of S.T.A.R.S. members, the main four of Alpha Team to be precise, who seemed surprised to see me as <name removed>.  Apparently there was another <name removed>, but it wasn't as recognizable.  They told us about the panel that night involving Resident Evil and Silent Hill, which I ended up missing because I was so damn tired.

At one point while in line for the dealer's room someone walked up to me, checked the name on my badge (SCXCR), and walked away.  I'm still not sure what exactly that was about.

We checked out a video game voice actor panel in which I found out that Reuben Langdon, who has done motion capture work for numerous videogames, tore his ACL multiple times during work for a game.  Afterward he, as well as Jon St. John (Duke Nukem) and Josh Keaton (Ocelot, MGS3) did autographs for everyone.  Not having anything appropriate for them to work with, I had them sign my one of the powerpoint presentations for my Geography class.  No, seriously.  Jon's message read "I've never lived there."

Gotta go fast!

After much dicking around in the game room, chiefly on Rock Band 3, Gauntlet Legacy, and The Simpsons arcade game (which Blondy had never played until then) we resumed wandering around the con until the panel Everyone In Your Wagon Has Died, an 18+ playing of Oregon Trail.  We noticed that TGWTG contributors 8-But Mickey and PushingUpRoses were in the crowd, but both left before the game actually started.  After everyone died, twice, mostly because the audience kept voting to ford rivers that were a couple dozen feet deep, we'd had enough and went to sleep.


We'd actually started packing the previous night, and had just about finished packing before saying goodbye to TigerUchimaru, who had to catch an early bus, and heading to a Monster Hunter panel.  Unreal, Blondy and I all played an arena match against Great Jaggi, Barroth, and Royal Ludroth respectively with different partners.  We all succeeded in taking the monsters down and, between all of us, only fainted once.

During a final sweep of the dealer's room we pooled some money together to buy Fighter Maker (it's a long story), which Unreal would hold on to.  Meanwhile I got a Monster Hunter figure of Ceadeus and, thanks to Blondy's generosity, a Bomberman coin bank almost as tall as my computer monitor.  We also helped Unreal afford a K-On plushie.  Fuck me if I can remember which one it was.

At an escalator we were stopped by a black guy asking if we ever watched Star Trek.  This eventually turned into a conversation on the existence of intelligent life outside of our planet and how he was selling CDs of his raps about it.  He took what change I and Blondy (his Canadian change, mind you) had left and gave us a CD in the most mind-fucking homemade slip case I'd ever seen.  More on that later.


After eating one last time in the food court with what little money we had left, we all got our things packed well in advance of checkout and started moving shit to my and/or Blondy's car.  The elevators were all packed so we took the stairs down to the third floor, then made for the lobby.

We shared a lobby elevator with a creepy-as-fuck Brony in a Rainbow-whatever-the-fuck-she-is hoodie whose face was stuck in slack-jawed mouth-breathing mode.  To make it worse, the lobby elevators move much slower than the regular ones since they only go between floors 1 and 3.  Not a damn word was spoken the entire ride.

... Nope, not as creepy.

Upon arriving at the parking garage, I realized I'd made a fatal error; my car keys were in the messenger bag I'd left at the hotel room for trip #2.  Unreal stayed by the car to watch our stuff while I raced back to the hotel room, only to get a call saying Unreal was on his way to help finish the last load and Blondy would watch my car.

After saying one last goodbye to Russ I entered the hall with a duffel bag in the wheeling position with two boxes stacked on top of it, something I really didn't want to take down the stairs.  However, a non-full elevator wasn't coming, so I didn't have much of a choice.  While trying to go down the first flight of stairs two girls asked if I needed help because what I had looked like "a disaster waiting to happen."  I said yes and one of them carried the boxes (nothing heavy, mostly some food and sewing gear) down to the third floor, for which I thanked her.

After finally getting to the car and loading everything up, Unreal and I parted ways with Blondy and proceeded to open the mystery CD on the way to the airport.  The slip case was a bunch of folded paper held together on all sides by scotch tape.  Random pencil drawings covered it, though calling them drawings is generous.  There was no rhyme or reason to most of the lines, no pattern to follow, and nothing recognizable save for the occasional crater or one abstractly-drawn face and the word "SHADOW KLAN" in the upper right. On the back we could only make out a few words that we guessed were track names, namely "BUMS."  I had to rip the case in a couple places just to get the CD out.

The CD itself was covered in a plain white label.  By this point I was already concerned about the CD potentially infecting my computer or Unreal's laptop.  Now I was worried it would either open the Gates of Hell or kill me in seven days.  Still, I put the CD in and heard... something.  

Jesus loves me this I know,
for the Shadow Klan tells me so.

The music itself was a bunch of sci-fi inspired backing tracks with what I assume was rapping over them.  I say assume because we couldn't understand a damn word the guy was saying.  I don't know if it was the car noise mixed with the guy's low voice, that he wasn't projecting or enunciating enough, or the voice not being mixed properly in the track, but it all sounded like incoherent mumbling to us.
Still, I'm going to try getting this guy's music to play during the breaks on Adult Swim.  It would fit right in.

Unreal got to his flight, I got to driving home, and switched to Initial D music so I'd get home just a little faster.

Let the countdown to next year begin!