Friday, August 31, 2012

Roller Derby Friday: 1

It was suggested to me that I start blogging about my Roller Derby experiences. I am completely new to this sport and have been wanting to do it for years. While I have been to bouts over the years I guess, I never really had enough guts till this year. As my mom would say, "Either shit or get off the pot Jess!"

So every Friday, you guessed it! I'll be making a post for Roller Derby Friday. It will be my progress, buying gear, bouts, pain/bruises, teammate experiences, and whatever else that has to do with derby. I don't start official derby practice till the 2nd week of September but I have a few ideas to post about that will cover Roller Derby Fridays up till then. So yes, if you want to read about my blood, sweat, and tears then come back again!

Roller Derby is something I have been wanting to do for years as I've said before. I have had a number of friends tell me I should do it. I have no idea if it's because in the recent years I have become healthier or I'm getting older? Maybe it's the fact I moved up in my job so I have the money to buy equipment/etc? That or maybe it's because I have Pete that's pretty much become my number 1 fan in supporting me through this. He even has gone roller skating with me at a local rink to practice.

The only sports I have ever really done so far in my life is Softball for a number of years. I was very active in it through middle school and high school. Most people think it's not really a contact sport but I made it one. For example, if a unlucky girl was covering the base a bit too much. Yet, I have never done a full on contact sport so Roller Derby will be a bit of a change. I'm still ready to do it and I have a friend that will be starting from the bottom - up like me. I have know her since High School so you will see me mentioning her in my posts as well.

How did I find a team? A few months ago in July, I was randomly in a clothing store and started talking to the sales lady on the floor. I'm not sure if this was fate knocking on my door but Roller Derby came up. She told me about a new local league called Confluence Crush that just started up and was a little over a year old now. Also, that try outs were coming up. Pretty much anyone could join as long as you were willing to work your butt off. I am ready to do that and ready to have my butt handed to me. To me everything was falling in place and just that week I was thinking about Derby again.

So I went home and did a little searching around the internet for the league. I also started looking up equipment and prices which I'll discuss in a later post. I found the league on Facebook and of course they have there own Website. I think this team is for me and the fact they are taking women that could have no experience at all. I have nothing against the leagues that don't do this and have real try outs but Confluence Crush is for me considering they will take a "newbie".

(Take from C.C.R.D.'s website)

More info about C.C.R.D. taken from there website:
"Confluence Roller Derby exists to provide women in St. Louis and the Metro East unique opportunities to play flat track roller derby within a welcoming community that both supports skaters in their development and as well as challenges them to realize their potential as athletes. The league offers competitive team opportunities for skaters who desire greater athletic advancement, and who seek to win, rank, title, or achieve against opponents on a regional or national level. The league also provides recreational team opportunities for new and alumnae skaters to learn and play flat track roller derby in a safe, fun and social environment without the level of commitment or skill required of derby athletes at a regionally or nationally competitive level. Confluence Roller Derby was in founded in 2011 on feminist ideals, a DIY attitude, and a desire to grow the derby community. The league is operated “by the skaters, for the skaters,” and the time, talents, knowledge, and contributions of all league members are valued and respected."

That's it for Roller Derby Friday! Post next week will contain getting ready for official practice with the C.C.R.D, buying gear, and the get together C.C.R.D. had a few weeks ago for new people.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Gen Con: Part 3

The last part of my GenCon updates. GenCon by far is the biggest convention I have ever been too. Some things I learned is preparing better for sickness and people being unsanitary. I loved all the different panels and how a few had nothing to do with gaming. It pretty much has a little of everything. For example, one night Pete and me attended a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic panel. I loved it! 

I spent HOURS in the Exhibit Hall because every time I would walk around, I always found something new I had missed. It is really a overwhelming place to be and I loved it. I always found free goodies I had missed earlier too which was another major plus.

Pete spent a bit of time playing Magic The Gathering and selling cards to vendors. I didn't mind this as I spent a lot of time just wandering around. It was also fun to wander into where they were having magic tournaments and watch him. I started playing less then 6 months ago so I didn't want to try. I'm still questioning things when Pete and me play that I'm sure someone that has had years of playing wouldn't like. Maybe when I branch out more and play against more people I'll consider it next year. Plus, having someone like Pete teach you that has been playing over 13 years is another major plus.  

I also made a trip to the crafting room that they had open the whole time. People would donate supplies so you could easily find something new to try. I also had a random knitting group get together with people I didn't know. It actually was tons of fun to talk to the ladies there. We discussed a lot of nerdy things going on and what we were working on. Knitters are about the friendliest people I know and will never turn you away.

Of course I came home with some awesome dice and games as you can see below: Munchkin, Dice, Four Taverns and X Marks The Spot, The One Ring TTG, and Dragon Age TTG. Another major plus was a few of the creators and artists were able to sign a few of my game purchases! 

I loved being able to meet people that worked on the games/etc and talking to them about it all. It showed me they cared enough and were/are dedicated to it. I also didn't make any game purchases till the last day as I wanted to talk with people and think it over. I loved all the game demos going on and how even if you weren't playing you could stand there and listen/watch. There was no really big "push" to get you to buy a game. Everyone seemed excited about the games they were showing you and I loved that.

That pretty much sums up my first GenCon experience. I really hope to go back again next year and not get sick.... I would highly recommend this Con to anyone and even if they aren't a "gamer" because you can easily find any type of "nerd"or "geek" thing there.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Gen Con: Part 2

More Gencon fun ahead! This post is going to be mainly about what I was wearing and my amazing friend. I am all about dressing up/cosplaying now thanks to Pete. Funny, after so many conventions Pete was the first boyfriend to convince me to actually do it. I have had a blast so far coming up with what to wear and having a hand in making a few of the pieces or asking friends to create them for me. I was so shy about the whole thing but with enough "poking" from Pete, I finally gave in. Pete cosplays as well so it's another plus to do this together. It also makes me talk to people because of random people asking pictures or about what I'm wearing.

I love how easy it is for me to be able to craft. I see something in a store that I find overpriced and I just make it myself. I get images in my head on what would be a cool thing to make and I easily make it myself. That makes my day and I have a craft journal filled with ideas. Cosplaying and figuring out how to do it has been so much fun for me.

For Gencon I had 3 outfits to wear and couldn't figure out what to wear shoe wise. I have been friends with Lindsay at Em & Sprout for a number of years. I have seen her shop grow and her work. It is truly amazing and she is a awesome person to work with. I came up with 3 separate shoe ideas and brought them to her. She was so happy to do them for me and got them in the mail in time for GenCon!
This is my awesome Batman outfit and the shoes that Linds made for me. The story that goes along with this is I wore this outfit on Thursday. After spending over 6 hours in the Exhibit Hall, Pete and me decided to have a early night. While trying to leave the convention center we noticed it was raining. Pete was nice enough to head back to the car and get my umbrella so I wouldn't get soaked. When he got back with the umbrella, he also warned me about the huge puddles around the entrance to the parking garage. I thought nothing of it till I got there and noticed no dry land for me to skip across. I then took my amazing Batman shoes off without thinking and walked through all of this. Getting into the parking garage I did put my shoes back on but sadly I still got dirt on the inside. I ended up telling Linds and my embarrassment which she responded on how to clean them. I was more worried about these amazing shoes then what my feet were stepping in!

My awesome Tardis outfit! I am a HUGE fan of Doctor Who and of course I needed a outfit. It's pretty much based on the episodes, "The Doctor's Wife" from the 6th season. Not exactly what Idris was wearing but I made my own version of "Sexy". Linds did a amazing job making the shoes as well and everyone loved them. I went over to the Doctor Who booth in the exhibit hall and all the workers there talked to me about my awesome outfit. The story I have for this one is about a man working at the Doctor Who booth. He informed me that the Tardis was his very, VERY favorite thing in the show. He loved my skirt and then I pointed out my shoes. He became very excited and asked if he could touch my shoes. I agreed and watched this man get on his knees and rub his finger over the Tardis key on my left shoe. He made really shrill girl sounds of excitement. I reported this all to Linds to inform her, how happy her shoes make people.

My last outfit which I wore on Sunday so few people got to see it. I have been a HUGE Nintendo fan for years and Yoshi is my favorite character. I even have a pink Yoshi tattoo on my left foot. Even though not a lot of people were around I still I had a number of comments on it and people loving my shoes. Linds, was even nice enough to put Yoshi eggs on the back for me too! I don't really have a story for this one. I did pass by the Doctor Who booth again and enjoyed my time talking to the people working there as they loved my outfit. 

That's about it for this post! My last one will be mostly random pictures taken at the convention and what I bought of course. What other things we did and panels/events we went too.

Go and check out Lindsay's Etsy Shop - Em & Sprout to see about getting your own pair of shoes!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Gen Con: Part 1

I have been wanting to write something all week but with this lovely "sickness" I received at GenCon it has completely slowed me down. I actually got excited today as my ears finally popped and I could hear again! It meant I was getting better and I've had this sickness for 7 days now.

This is the first convention I have been too that has caused me to get sick. I'm not sure if it's because of how huge GenCon is or the fact there is more people not washing there hands or really taking steps not to spread germs? I can honestly understand why Wil Wheaton is so big on people not getting to close to him at conventions.

First off, I'm going to do a few different posts about GenCon and hopefully get these done in the next few days. This post is mostly about the dice bag I created for Wil Wheaton and me meeting him for the first time. Few people get to see how much of a fangirl I can be but I am a nerd and love my fandoms. I don't usually express it by jumping around and screaming like we usually see around the internet. I'm more of a silent fangirl. I was pretty nervous about meeting someone I have been a fan of for years. I love the fact how much of a nerd he is and that he loves his fans.
The day before GenCon offically started I went with Pete(my boyfriend) to get his badge and I actually asked a few people working there where exactly Wil would be signing autographs. I didn't want to mess around with figuring this all out on the day of. Yes, I wanted to make sure I got to meet Wil Wheaton.

On Thursday the first day of GenCon I got Pete up really early(7AM) to make sure we would make it to the Exhibit Hall in time. Pete was amazing and humored me this whole time even standing in line for almost a hour to get into the Exhibit Hall first. When they finally were letting people in I grabbed his hand and we made our way through the doors and to the back of the Exhibit Hall. I even started moving quickly a little and Pete picked up the pace to a run. So yes, I was first in line that day to meet Wil Wheaton. 
 I really thought, I wouldn't even have the guts to even say anything to him. I am a very shy person when I first meet someone and to actually meet someone I've been a fan of for so many years....yeah right? It helped immensely that Pete was there the whole time with me. Pete, I hate to say is not really a fan of Wil Wheaton but he knew how important this was for me. He kept encouraging me to speak and give Wil the dice bag. I actually got worried Wil wouldn't accept the gift but a few fans told me in the line that he would. He just didn't like people getting too close to him because of germs/etc.
I'm not even sure what I said to him but I'm sure it was along the lines of, "Here I made this for you..." The look on his face when I first gave it to him was great and I about melted. He loved that I made it and told me he would put all the dice he got that day into it. I was happy to see it would be put to good use and yes, of course I got a autograph too.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Reginald Wayne

I wanted to introduce the new male in my life that has stolen my love. His name is Reginald Wayne AKA Reggie for short. I've been meaning to update my blog about it as he's been mine for over 3 months now. It's funny because I have been just thinking about getting a dog at the time but not really being serious about it. My dad one night was browsing Petfinder and Reggie came up in the search. 
After contacting the lady that was fostering Reggie we planned to come over and meet him. I didn't think he would come home with me but the lady liked my parents and me so well he DID! I made sure to bring my parents to meet Reggie as they would be a big part of his life. They would get to baby-sit him while I was out of town. Plus, I wanted to make sure he would get a long with my parents dogs and he does!
Reggie quickly became a part of the family and fit in with the other two dogs. Reggie came from a Puppy Mill. After the local Puppy Mill was caught, the "owner"gave up all the dogs to a shelter called the Westie Rescue. The owner claimed every one was a Westie and Reggie was in the mix. Reggie was noticed pretty fast because he was bigger/taller than the other Westies there. After shaving all his hair off the people working at the shelter noticed Reggie was not a Westie but a Schnauzer. The shelter decide to keep Reggie and put him in a foster home did they could find a family for him. I am still very amused by all of this.
As I get to know Reggie every day I can honestly say he doesn't have much baggie from that puppy mill. He does have huge paws which I've been told is because of him being in a wire cage all day. That little guy just wants to be loved and I love him ever so much. He loves to be in the same room as you but doesn't need to be right under your feet. He just wants to keep a eye on you and gets upset if he can't. I love that he rolls on his back and is very fond of belly rubs.  

So yes, there will be more pics of Reggie and I can't wait to start knitting him sweaters. I have a few patterns in mind so those will be posted here of course. Reggie has also discovered the guinea pigs. He is VERY interested in them and I'm assuming interested as a "snack".

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Craft Shopping

I wanted to share some of my craft buys so far this year. While on vacation with my boyfriend a few months ago we stayed with his family in Idaho. I did a little search on the wonders of google and found a local knitting shop. My boyfriend without batting a eyelid said, "Yes!" to finding the shop. We always find the local comic/magic card shops where ever we go so it makes me happy he doesn't mind the yarn shops either. He came a long with me while I drooled over the yarn. He did find a chair and entertain himself with games on his phone of course. 
The place we stopped at was called CDA Yarn And Fiber. It was amazing and I had a blast. The owner also has two pugs that we enjoyed petting and playing with. I also talked with the owner a bit and she is very nice and I highly recommend this shop. I love the fact her nails were dyed different colors from hand dyeing the yarn. It made me love the custom yarn spun, dyed, and sold there even more.
My other buys of yarn throughout the year. All are hand spun and dyed which I love. Also, here is a random fact about me and yarn - It's rare I buy darker colors. The two on the left I bought from a lady at the St. Louis Ren Faire. Another amazing summer adventure for my boyfriend and me. The lady selling the yarn told me, that sadly she didn't have a online shop yet.

On to some other craft purchases so far this year! Below are some of the amazing fabric I purchased so far this year in craft stores like Michaels and Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores. I wait for the fabric to go on sale and pounce. I'm hoping this will get me motivated to finally learn how to use the sewing machine?

Finally, I am completely in love with Mollie Makes magazine and even though it's expensive I find the extra buy worth it. I read the magazine from cover to cover and gain tons of new crafty ideas. I find this magazine more aspiring to me than any craft magazine you can find in the United States. It's visually pleasing to me as well and I love the layouts on each page. Usually on my trip to Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores to purchase the monthly magazine I have a look around at the sales. Of course the last time yarn was on sale so when is there not a good time to stock up on yarn?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Cosplay Items

GenCon is getting so much closer and I can't wait! My nerd heart is filled with excitement as I count down the days. I have four cosplay outfits that I am bringing with me (YIKES!). I'm not sure if I will wear them all yet but I will make a attempt. My boyfriend will be with me and he got me into cosplaying so I'll have that support when I become a spaz. Yes...spazzing over the fact if I have enough time to wear each one even though the Con is for 4 days. I even have little lists full of groceries, clothing, cosplay items, and whatever else I need. I love to be prepared, easily to tell huh?

One of my cosplays is my Tardis outfit from Doctor Who. I ended up making a hair piece to go along with it and I'm loving how it turned out. Hopefully I can post pictures later of my full outfit. Here is the Tardis inspired skirt I'll be wearing.

The hair piece I made to go along with my Tardis cosplay outfit. I used some Doctor Who inspired yarn that is named 'Sexy'. The name fits well with my cosplay outfit. I got this amazing yarn from the website Nerd Girl Yarns. I pretty much used a steam punk theme as well with the clock and gears.

I also have a Super Mario themed outfit I'll be wearing. I guess you can say both my Mario and Doctor Who themed cosplays are based on Lolita fashion? I'm not sure because I never sat down and really thought about it. I pretty much did what I thought in my head would look great and went with it. Here is the Super Mario inspired skirt I will be wearing. Both skirts I purchased from CorsetWonderland on Etsy. The seller is amazing to work with and very friendly.

I remembered making this hair piece awhile ago and got it out. It would go perfect with my Super Mario themed cosplay. A cross-stitch piranha plant that I made into a hair piece.

I also commissioned a friend of mine to make Mario and Doctor Who themed shoes to match both of these outfits. I can't wait to see what she creates and show everyone!

My next attempt is to post more because really there is a ton of things I could be posting but I am taking the lazy rode. I will post more soon and hopefully breath some life into my blogger. This year seems so busy and when I get a chance to breath I end up reading a comic or knitting.