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Monday, May 27, 2013

The Great Glebe Garage Sale

I've recently developed a crazy devotion to explore as much of Ottawa as possible this summer. So this Saturday I decided to finally check out the annual Great Glebe Garage Sale. Surprisingly, I've never gone before despite loving second-hand shopping. My initial assumption was that it was just a day where everyone in the Glebe sells their old knick-knacks, but I was impressed to find it was a lot more than that.

Not only were households selling their used items, but groups and organizations were coming together to collect donations for charities. Churches, companies and support networks were taking part, as well as local bands playing in the garages of their homes. Many families even sold baked goods in front of their house to raise proceeds.

I was also impressed with the amount of people that showed up for this event. I had heard on the radio that many people show up at 7 am despite the actual sale not beginning until 9, and now I understand why. Bank Street was filled with crowds of people either walking to destinations or shopping the sidewalk sales. Any street that happened to have a church was also packed with crowds of people, since churches tended to have the best selection of second-hand items.

My friend Corey came with me to check out the sales. We were fortunate that I have a friend who lives in the Glebe, so we were able to get easy parking in his driveway. Corey showed up looking well dressed for no reason at all, so of course I teased him relentlessly about it. Even better, countless men selling their items also poked fun at his style and offered him discounts on their hand-me-downs. Corey, being a good humored musician, was unfazed by the teasing.

The weather was unfortunately a little cold and really windy for the Great Glebe Garage Sale. It was definitely coat weather. However, we made the best of it by grabbing some coffee and eating treats regularly. We came by a Beaver Tails stand that was set up in someone's driveway and we couldn't resist the dessert; it was almost like fate that we stumbled across it.

In terms of good finds, I only bought a few items. I went to the event with the intention of finding some really good second hand PS2 video games, as well as some rings or jewelry. Unfortunately, I didn't find any jewelry I liked besides a dorky $1 plastic ring (it's a fish). I think the best find of the day was a DVD of Zombie Strippers that someone was selling. I didn't buy it because I had a feeling it was an awful movie and the owner was asking for a lot more than I was willing to spend.

Finds of the day: Memoirs of a Geisha ($3), Dirge of Cerberus ($5), wooden engraving ($2), goofy ring (not shown - $1).
In the end, I ended up buying a DVD of Memoirs of a Geisha (with the money going to the Women's Integration Network), Dirge of Cerebrus, as well as a wooden engraving of a Kingfisher for my bedroom. All of these items were great deals, but the experience itself was worth it. It was nice to get a sense of community once again, which I find is hard in Ottawa. I'd definitely partake again if I ever have the opportunity!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Ottawa Comiccon 2013

It's been over a week since Ottawa Comiccon 2013 and although I'm a little late with this post... it was a blast! I'm new to cosplaying, but I have to say that going in a costume was a very different experience compared to last year. The atmosphere was a lot more exciting and inviting, and I felt like I was more representative of the nerd community by showing up as a character. My friends and I went as Batman characters, and the whole day we were either giving compliments or receiving compliments from other cosplayers.

It was great to see all of the fantastic costumes that were present at the event. It really showed just how much effort and detail people put into their cosplays, with some people remaining in character the whole time while walking about and posing for pictures. Unfortunately I wasn't as dedicated about remaining in character - to be honest, I was a little overwhelmed with just how much attention we were getting. Just wait, next year I'll be more experienced and ready to go 100%.

I don't know why I was so worried in my earlier post; the costume held up wonderfully! The red wig, makeup and green corset all came together like I imagined it would. I think it could be a costume for much more popular Comic Cons. Speaking of which, pictures of me are now all over the internet! Photos of me as Poison Ivy are popping up on blogs, instagram and photographer's facebook albums.

Here are a few of my favorites. All credits go to the photographers, who I've listed and linked below the photographs.

Julia was cosplaying as one of her favorite character, Harley Quinn. She was always ready to jump into character to cause some trouble and photobomb other pictures. This photo was taken while we were walking; I'm mid-step (Batgirl is still behind me) and yet Julia is ready with a loony smile.
Photo by Eric Lavoie
My favorite moment was posing with this little Poison Ivy. Her mother wanted a picture of us together.
Photo by Rabih Madi (MadiPhotography)
Photo by Richard Dufault
We also made it into pictures by Jim Woolley (Just Push Play) and Happy Robot (J.M. Douville). As well, us Gotham City ladies also made it into the blog The Wild Works Station.

Isn't this crazy? I also found a picture of us on instagram, which was posted by someone with the handle @atlzoid. I actually commented on the picture and we had a bit of a conversation about Comiccon.

And for good measure, here's one last picture straight off my sister's instagram:

What a day! 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day

Celebrated Mother's Day with my father's side of the family. Look at how many pretty ladies we've got!

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Comiccon Preparations

Hey guys!

So the Ottawa 2013 Comiccon is just a few days away, and I'm rushing to get the final touches figured out on my costume. This is the same costume I wore to Halloween last year, but the original intention was to have it for this year's Comiccon.

My main concern was the back of the costume; I had skimped out from buying a real corset with boning and instead went with a cheap Spandex corset. As a result, when I started applying leaves to the corset the elasticity was destroyed by the hot glue. Fortunately, I discovered this before finishing the back of the costume and was able to wear it without all my work going to waste.

However, I needed to figure out what to do with the back of the costume to make it look more presentable. I found a reasonable solution: I sewed some small hoops to the back of the corset and managed to imitate a traditional corset's lacing using a green ribbon. I think it looks great and pulls the whole look together.

Here's some pictures of the costume from different angles. I've got the makeup and red wig all figured out for the big day.

My only concern is that all the overlaying leaves have caused bunching and rippling in the costume. This is just me being nit-picky and vain though. While I might looks like I have the slightest tummy from the side, I'm still going to look like a dorky noodle from all other angles. I've already had to re-glue leaves and sew hoops back onto the costume from just wearing it around the house. Hopefully this thing doesn't fall apart on me and leave me naked at the convention!

Don't mind me, I'm just starting to get nervous! I'm worried about being this exposed in public and I'm even more concerned I might get attacked in a witch hunt against nerd girls.

Wish me luck guys! Here goes 60+ hours of work on this cosplay.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Frog Legs

As part of my trip this weekend I stayed with Alexey in Toronto. It was a good visit since I hadn't seen his new place yet and we managed to get caught up on each other's lives. He was extremely hospitable. He was nice enough to drive me to and from the Greyhound station, and had our evening completely planned with food and entertainment.

For dinner Alexey took me and his girlfriend, Maria, out for some delicious Pho. I was excited to see barbecued frog legs on the menu.

See that goofy face? That's me anticipating my first taste of frog legs. It was actually very good! I've heard people say that it tastes just like chicken. The texture was very similar, but I found it tasted like both chicken and fish at the same time (think mild fish, like tilapia). It was good and I'd definitely eat it again.

This meal was just a stepping stone to all the interesting dishes I anticipate eating when I finally get to travel South-East Asia. Until then, I plan on continuing to test how adventurous I am when it comes to food.