So, I've had a busy last couple of months. I'm going through the pictures now but I just got back from a month long trip to England and Scotland. I had a Rhino Keeper Conference and then took my own holiday. It was incredibly amazing. Let me show you...
Preface: Jurassic Park was MY MOVIE. And by that I mean it was 1993, I was 12, I'd just read the book, and loved it, and I had just visited Universal Studios which had a painted jeep and other theming and then I sat in the movie theater in Key Largo FL and the MOVIE KNOCKED MY SOCKS OFF. I went on to see it 7 more times in the movie theater and the Jurassic Park soundtrack was the first CD I ever purchased. Listening to that later that week was literally euphoric. (I don't mean figuratively there- I was incapable of movement, lying on a couch, headphones on and practically in tears, thank you John Williams. This also started my love of soundtracks in general.) SO, cut to 2015, I've been eagerly watching the trailers and I AM STOKED. CHRIS PRATT RAPTOR TRAINING??? WHAT THE WHAT, AND ALL OF THE YES.
Also, this is an underlying fan theory, to which I say - HEADCANNON ACCEPTED!
Anyway, sorry, got distracted there... this brings us to today-
The Mary Sue had a post about some of the cool goings on in the realms of geekdom. And listed in the post was this video for InGen. It is simply brilliant, both the video and the larger marketing campaign. But, before I gush about it, just watch it. I'll catch you on the flip side.
So, I had an awesome roommate move in in November and she has the wonderful talent of interior design and redecoration. Her room looked like a damn IKEA floor model bedroom and she kept it super neat. It was a bit inspirational. After a giant re-shuffle of couches, TVs, computers and dog crates in the living room, I decided it was time to tackle my bedroom. I painted it when I first bought my house in May of 2010 and it hadn't really changed much since then.
Going from no roommates to two in the last few years had slowly pushed my stuff back into my room until it was so full of everything I only had small walk paths to get to what I needed and the closet was a jumble of clothes and shoes and crap. Here, I have pics.
Just as preamble, there be spoilers ahead.
So, I just watched the series premiere of the SyFy's show Dominion. And it was, decent. Full disclosure I have not seen the 2010 movie Legion this show is based off of, but I felt I knew everything I need to know with the beginning exposition.
And my immediate thought, oh great, the savior is a white boy, I have never seen this before. Now, maybe in the movie they don't give an indication of gender, but in the exposition at the beginning their choice of pronoun use pretty much implies they assume it's a boy or it's the writers telling us it's a boy. So, later on, when the nice lady is giving the history lesson to the kids, and we're shown a couple of girls sitting there being told the savior is unknown and could be anyone, my thought was, but not you, sorry.
Ugg...I really do think that is what bugged me the most, another Vastly white cast with a white hetero dude as our savior. (To be fair, I guess there's a chance he could be bi, but...based on some of the other tropes seen in the show, I wouldn't put money on it.)
And if we're talking tropes, how's about that pile o' unconscious women as sexual objects in Michaels bed? I mean, if there is a character to make bi, the angel is the easy/safe choice since he's already otherwordly. (Not that that's OK reasoning, but bisexuality often gets put in that mystical category.) Next time, throw an unconscious man or two in that sexy puppy pile. And really, if he's worried about producing offspring, probably safer to make love to a guy, s'all I'm sayin'. And, on that pregnancy worry, I will bet money that the woman in gold (Becca Thorn) is already pregnant and we'll get that reveal by episode 4. Maybe the show won't try and throw in everything and the kitchen sink in the first half of the season, but...
I will give props to the soldier communal shower scene because 1 - thank you for male BUTTS!! 2- women showering next to men and their friendly banter never even steps near sexual innuendo territory or anything other than soldiers giving each other crap. Kudos, Dominion, on that well done moment!
Oh, Giles (Anthony Head), what are you trying to do with that accent? I don't not like it, I just can't place it.
I loved the women from Helena. I really hope they get more of a role in the plot.
Cool tattoo transfer thing. "Can you read it?" And here I was hoping for some dusty archival work, or ritual or at least a visit to a library or something for the savior to actively do to decipher it but nope, magical Lite-Brite that he just has to stare at to get it to work. Such things need to be earned! He didn't even have much faith in himself yet. AND THAT MESSAGE ABOUT NOT TRUSTING THOSE CLOSEST TO HIM BETTER BE ABOUT HIS LOVE INTEREST AND NOT MICHAEL BECAUSE IF IT IS THAT OBVIOUS THEN THOSE TATTOOS ARE LITERALLY THE WRITERS POINTING OUT THE DIRECTION OF PLOT WITH A GIANT SPOTLIGHT.
I'll take attractive angels in long coats wielding half swords for 200, Alex. What is?...get in my pants right now. OK, not gonna lie, tall, lanky, pale and dark hair, I could watch Michael (Tom Wisdom) do his thing all show long, it's a good character. I do think his coat is similar to Thranduil's from The Hobbit. And his accent and speech patterns are similar to Lee Pace's as the elf king. He's like Thranduil's more worldly older brother. I'm not minding the similarities, just wondering if anyone else sees them.
OK, Supernatural should be acknowledged, they've put in a lot of time with angel/human interaction, and hopefully Dominion has learned that queerbaiting is bad and if you are going to give us sexually charged situations and long looks between characters (like that last scene with Michael and Alex), you at least need to acknowledge that attraction, even if it is unrequited or star-crossed. (Though, actually giving us some non-hetero relationships would be even better.) UPDATE: in looking into one line from the show there is a character, Arika, who is described on SyFy's website as the "The beautiful and wily wife of Queen Evelyn of Helena". Yes, please, let us let learn more about this!
And there is room for improvements in their female agency and representation, and massive room for more main character diversity. I kind of doubt we'll get it, but it's more than worth asking for better representation. GIVE ME SOME FULLY-WINGED, WARRIOR LADY ANGELS; GIVE THEM TO ME NOW.
In summary, I will watch it again next week, I'll give it another try. I'm curious where it will go and am a little heartened by the traitorous reveal at the end not being someone I expected, good job on that, Dominion. Also, PLEASE, give the little girl some worthwhile role to play and not just emotional angst for the main character. Give us her story too.
The show has potential, I see it - good actors, interesting premise, decent special effects - just recognize the tropes, see the obvious plot direction and either use our expectations to misdirect or just take us in other, far more interesting directions, on paths we haven't walked just yet.
Show me something new.
On May 31st I attended the Spooky Empire May-Hem Con in Orlando and it was quite a bit of fun. It's not the largest con, but there were some nice costumes and I got to meet some awesome Once Upon a Time actors. The Dealer's room had some very neat artists and was worth the walk through. It was nice to go to a convention that was only an hour away and could be experienced in a day.
This lovely gent is Sean Maguire, he played Robin Hood on Once Upon a Time. Not only is he handsome, he is also very kind. It was a pleasure to meet him.
Also, our photo totally got photo-bombed by Jason Burkart -"Little John". I didn't even realize it was happening and so just stood there wondering why my friend was taking so many pictures. It was pretty awesome.
So, I am on Tumblr and have found there to be a wonderful artists community who are drawing and creating and making such wonderful art. Every so often I kept seeing artist commission posts crossing my dashboard announcing them open for commissions and their art levels and pricing structures. I was curious, though my shyness kept me from contacting any for a while. Finally, when I saw art that I really liked I buckled down and shot off a query email.
After some discussion, some pleasant conversation, and after payment, I received my first piece, and was delighted. The character is Thorin from The Hobbit. Piece by InjuredDreams.
Recently I reached out again and was completely amazed at the art sent to me. I asked for "a woman riding a rhino, but just kind of lazily laying across its back while it grazes, a summer afternoon kind of vibe." These are the two sketches I received:
I KNOW RIGHT!!!! It just... they just make me smile so much. They were perfect. So I gave the go ahead to finish both of them, because I couldn't decide between the two and needed both in my life. I paid via PayPal and a few days later she emailed me the final pieces...
HOLY CARP Y'ALL, THIS I HAPPINESS IN COLORS AND LINES. They are not only my desktop backgrounds for my computer but also my wallpaper for my phone and tablet. I am just so pleased with these. I want to shout praises from the rooftops and invite others to contact her if they too want epic art. These are created digitally, but there is no reason I couldn't have them printed and framed. She's very reasonably priced and worth every damn penny. Here is her Tumblr - JuliaLost - Check her out!!! Oh, here is her Commission info.
p.s. I needs that blue hair, I needs it bad.
Whenever I log onto my website to edit a page or add a blog post I always take a look at the analytics on how many people have visited my site and what pages they are looking at. (I just use the Weebly provided interface, not Google analytics, though I have heard good things about it if you want a more in-depth understanding of how traffic comes to and moves around your site.) Well, normally I average somewhere between 100-200 total page visits a day for artandrhinos.com.
However, when I logged on yesterday I saw a huge spike in pageviews on May 21st, and by huge I mean 2212! (that was over 900 "unique users"!). This is a very rare occurrence and to make it even weirder in the section where it shows what sites people used to "click though" to mine, there was no matching bump in numbers from any one site. Here's the screen cap for my analytics:
I finished my Winter Soldier cosplay!
This was one of my simpler cosplays. The top was the only self created part of the costume. I purchased the pants from an Army/Navy store and I found the boots at Goodwill. Make-up is a mix of Kat Von D and Clinique.
For the top, I wanted to take the basic design from the movie (and in the Comics) and make it more casual than a true recreation of what is seen on film. I made it from a cotton sateen rather than leather, because I live in Florida and I want to be able to wear this and not sweat profusely.
Two days ago I worked my first paid photoshoot. A friend needed some headshots and contacted me for the photos. It was my first time doing headshots and I am both relieved and pleased at how they came out. Once I edited, cropped and added borders, I sent them back and received my first payment. I am officially a professional photographer!
I spent the last two days getting my Professional Photography page ready to debut and now it's ready and my schedule is open. Check out my Photography page for more details and set up a shoot today. Like my Art and Rhinos Facebook page and get 50% off your first photo shoot!
I have been busy preparing for my Durin's Day Party and some people have mentioned concerns that, in my encouraging everyone to have a costume, they aren't sure how to dress or put together an outfit. Some people don't sew and so I wanted to offer low-cost alternatives to get the look.
This is the first (of what will hopefully become a series) of Found Cosplay ideas. You may already have some of this in your closet or you can visit a local consignment shop or thrift store to piece it together.
Today we are starting with - HOBBITS
"Hobbits really are amazing creatures, as I have said before. You can learn all that there is to know about their ways in a month, and yet after a hundred years they can still surprise you at a pinch." --The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book I, Chapter 2: "The Shadow of the Past"
The Bay Area Renaissance Festival is now in full swing here in Tampa, FL. I really do enjoy going to Ren Faires - the clothing, the jewelry, the leather work, the Human Combat Chess match - it is a unique and different atmosphere. It is also a place full of color and variety in terms of photography. I take more pictures between late February and the beginning of April than I do any other time of year. I average 2,000-3,000 photos per day I visit the fair, and I try and go once a weekend. I have to plan an extra afternoon each week just to go through and edit the photos (I mostly just crop and adjust lighting and contrast.)
Here's some of my best so far. If you're in the Central Florida area I highly recommend visiting the Faire ...just make sure to wear close-toed shoes. You'll thank me.
...it's really dusty...
I'm steadily gathering supplies for my numerous Cosplays I have planned for this year.
Rings and belt acquired. I've ordered the fur and the geometric ribbon accent for the coat from Etsy today. You can get more of the ribbon here, it is almost exactly the same pattern as the screen costume.
I also may have purchased Fabric from IKEA again (because I didn't get enough last time, lesson learned) and I'm planning a riding coat.
Today was a simply marvelous day! It was also a rainy, dreary, cold day, but that just set the mood perfectly. Here in Florida we've had a few chilly days (relatively, I mean, the rest of the country has been frozen, so I'm not complaining), but this cold, rainy day, felt like a little kiss from London.
So, with this winter rain drumming on the roof, I got my happy ass up at 8am, readied myself, gassed the car, and drove across the state, voyaging east. Central Florida is where I grew up and it still feels like home to see the open pastures, the palmettos, the occasional pine and oak trees. I drove through the city where my granny used to live. I hadn't passed that way since her funeral and still felt a sadness at seeing the turn-off to her condo.
But I continued on, long, mostly empty roads, rain spattering the windshield at just the perfect irregular rate that no setting on the windshield wipers seemed to match. I listened to some wonderful music and let my mind daydream (to no one's surprise, my inner landscapes were Hobbit themed.)
Songs of the day - Seven Devils - Florence + the Machine,
Dead in the Water - Ellie Goulding, Sleep Alone - Bat for Lashes,
Heavy Cross - Gossip, The Noble Art of Letting Go - Rebekka Karijord,
To Build a Home, Pt. II - Skylar Grey.
Two hours, 120 miles and one stop to pee later, I arrived in Vero Beach and, more specifically, at the Majestic 11 Theatre. This theatre happens to be the only theatre in the state that was receiving the National Theatre LIVE broadcast of Coriolanus from the Donmar Warehouse. I arrived about 2 hours early, grabbed my ticket, then treated myself to some sushi for lunch. It was tasty, I highly recommend sushi for any meal.
Then it was time. I had to wait for the theatre to clear from the movie that played before the broadcast (it was August: Osage County). The slightly older crowd that sees movies at noon on Thursdays filed out and the slightly younger, 98% female crowd made their way in. I made friends (all centered around Tom Hiddleston; not even gonna pretend on this one, I very much enjoy Shakespeare, but he is the catalyzing agent for the gathering around this particular production.) One of them had been to London and seen the play, TWICE! And even met the lovely gent himself. She's lovely and here's her twitter, follow for some Hiddleston celebration, plus other geeky and awesome stuff!
Seated behind me were fellow geeks, where I overhead such discussions as Blackadder, Benedict Cumberbatch and Doctor Who. THESE WERE MY PEOPLE.
THEN, AND THEN, a fellow geek who had also overheard their discussions leaned over and said to them "I like your shoelaces." They looked at her a little askew and confused. I, however, almost shot out of my chair and (in not at all the casual air with which you are supposed to reply) excitedly said "Thanks, I stole them from the President!"
THIS, THIS EXCHANGE, YOU GUYS HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH THIS PLEASED ME!!!! Here's the Urban Dictionary explanation. Basically, it's like a Tumblr secret handshake. It's a way to find fellow tumblerites out in the real world, and IT FRICKEN MADE MY DAY! While there are dark recesses of Tumblr, it is also full of very cool people gathering to celebrate fandoms, add to (head)canon, draw awesome art, bring down the patriarchy, honor Tom Hiddleston as our Crown Prince and just generally be awesome together.
But, back to the matter at hand. We were all settled in, excited to see the show and it was finally time.
What an excellent performance. I must now see a show at the Donmar at some point in my life (I'm looking at you, 2015.) Coriolanus is an interesting play. I had read some of it, and knowing it was a tragedy I kind of knew how it was going to end. Though, for being a tragedy, there were far fewer deaths than I expected. The acting was superb - Volumnia (Caius Martius' (Corolianus) mother), played by Deborah Findlay, stole every scene she was in. Mark Gatiss as Menenius was absolutely brilliant, probably my favorite character in the play. Of course Mr. Hiddleston himself was masterful in form and emotion. His was the thru-line, his was the journey. It is always amazing and wondrous to watch someone fall away to become their character so that the person they portray is the only one standing upon the stage. Even with all of the media hubbub and general excitement surrounding him, there were times that I looked and saw only Coriolanus trying honestly to navigate his turmoil.
The managing of the material in such an intimate space was masterful. I laughed, I hated a few characters, I teared up - I felt (the feels!) and it was good. I walked out jazzed and ready to create something of my own.
However, I had a 2+ hour drive back in the dark, in the rain, so I just grabbed some Sonny's BBQ for dinner (always tasty), enjoyed my music, and let my imagination soar enough to keep me smiling all the way home.
I hope you had an awesome day as well. Thank you for reading along on my little adventure. Time to step away and be more.
"Would you have me
False to my nature? Rather say I play
The man I am." (3.2.14)
sometimes I send out little notes, just to see if anyone else is there.
I mean, I know they are, the world is full.
but that doesn't keep my voice from echoing.
I don't have anything new to say. the words are all already free to roam.
so I just try and find my story, hunting paragraphs like wolves, hands slippery, red, gripping a weapon far too insufficient.
the full moon in me does not match the quiet sky outside. starlight cannot touch my skin. the fireflies do not know my name, but the trees do. they dance in the wind, with me.
can't you see?
and if you can, will you send the roar of the waves to me?
Just finished watching the first three seasons of Being Human (UK). It is just as engaging at the US version, the characters just as strong, if not a little stronger, a little more visceral. The end of season three hit me harder than I expected. I knew what was going to happen, but that didn't keep it from both hurting and being celebratory. The show does not shy away from darkness, almost to an uncomfortable degree. Yes, it's the supernatural, but it is still relatable, still hits like a blow to the gut. And now I'm just kind of drifting in the aftereffects, struggling a little bit for footing, fighting my way back out of the show. It'll pass, and it says something of the power of art. Thank you Being Human cast and crew for affecting me.
Song of the Day - "Dead in the Water" by Ellie Goulding.
Before this year gets too far ahead of me, I'm taking a moment to look at what I have planned and maybe do a little prioritizing. I'm both excited and a little daunted. Here is my handy white board I bought from Staples, because you always feel more put together when you buy organizing supplies like a Franklin Covey binder or dry erase markers and stick pins.
So, here's the breakdown -
So, my friend and I have cosplayed Thor and Loki and occasionally we get into conversations where our inner Asgardian comes out to play.
DID FB NOT SEND YOU MY MESSAGE?!
HMM, NO, FACEBOOK HAS FAILED US. BAD FACEBOOK.
BROTHER I AM SORRY.
I MESSAGED YOU SAYING-
"TOMORROW LET'S DO THISSSS!"
NOW I SHALL HOLD THIS SLIGHT AGAINST YOU, BROTHER, FOREVER; TAKING UP THE DARKER PATH AND FOCUSING MY MAGIC TOWARDS YOUR DOWNFALL.
HEY IF IM GOING TO BE FRIGGA THEN IM YOU'RE MOTHER AND YOU'VE BOTH FAILED ME. ALWAYS INVITE YOUR MOTHER
*points at THOR* IT'S CLEARLY HIS FAULT.
WE KNOW LOKI IS MY FAVORITE
*evil grin at THOR, then sweet smile at Frigga.* NOW, WE ARE FAMILY AND ALL ARE LOVED. JOIN US MOTHER, ON THE MORROW, AND I SHALL CAPTURE IN FRAME STILLED ILLUSIONS OF BOTH OF YOUR BEAUTY.
YOU'RE ARE JUST MAD BROTHER BECAUSE I AM THE BEST. I ALSO INVITED HER VIA MESSAGE EARLIER AND SHE SAID NO
*Aside to audience-* a shining light is often blinded by its own illumination. Truth lies in the shadow. *Smiles at mother.* THE DAY WILL BE LESS BRIGHT BY YOUR ABSENCE.
SEE THAT'S WHY YOU'RE MY FAVORITE, YOU SAY SUCH SWEET THINGS TO YOUR MOTHER IN HER OLD AGE
GIRLS YOU'RE BOTH PRETTY
So, if you are unaware, Tom Hiddleston is playing the title role in Shakespeare's Coriolanus at the Donmar Warehouse in London. And while I was somewhat aware of this for a while I must say Tumblr brought it truly to my focused attention. What first grabbed my enthusiasm is that the play is going to be broadcast live all over the world on January 30th, 2014 by National Theatre Live. Yeah, I already have tickets, I just have to drive 2 hours to get to the closest theatre that offers the live broadcast of the 7:30pm showing (which will be at 2:30pm for me here on the east coast of the U.S.) I adore this idea and will look to see what else NTLive broadcasts out.
Then, as I was looking through pictures released from the show, I asked myself - why can't I just go see it live? I've traveled out of the country before, my passport is up to date, I have two roommates and a good job. I started to get excited and then a few more minutes of research led to my discovery that it had long since sold out.
Though, a small chance remains in that the Donmar releases tickets every Monday at 10 am (5 am for me) for the showings two weeks from then. So, the last two weeks I have attempted to get tickets...with no success. I only have one more week to try for in terms of time I have available to go to London. Flight prices are holding steady so I'm hopeful for my last chance. If not, I can still see the live broadcast in a theatre here in the states. If anyone is seeing the showing in Vero, FL let me know, we can meet up and celebrate Shakespeare!
And, in the spirit of things, here was my reaction to failing to get tickets this past Monday:
“Let it be virtuous to be obstinate.”
― William Shakespeare, Coriolanus
And I would have it be marked, chance number 2 for tickets to Coriolanus has passed without success, though not for want of trying, nor for lack of friends' assistance, for which I am exceedingly thankful. Having checked the cost of those swift wings needed to bear me hence and seeing the smiling openness of my coming days, it is discovered that I have 1 week more for which I can endeavor, and thus I must. The idea, and desire, sits in my brain like an itch and I will have it assuaged, either upon the rocks of failure thrice thrown or in glorious, and cold, footsteps upon a distant shore.
So...um...*clears throat*...there's this. Sometimes you find something that just makes you smile.
So, my friend and I have cosplayed Thor and Loki and occasionally we get into conversations where our inner Asgardian comes out to play.
[mid-conversation about plans to see movies]…Alas, I cannot. I have other plans on Saturday night.
I HAS A SAD NOW HOW AM I SUPPOSE TO SEE THOR WITHOUT MY BROTHER? I feel like I need to see it again with ArtandRhinos then because she is the Loki to my Thor
Maybe I could meet you after for dessert and to discuss?
We could discuss it because...um...I have already seen it...twice. I could see it again, though...because Loki.
HOW COULD YOU; GO AND SEE A MOVIE
I DO WHAT I WANT!!!!!!!!
THAT'S CAUSE YOU'RE LOKI
AND AS THOR
I SHOULD BE SAD YOU SAW MY MOVIE WITHOUT ME
You mean I saw MY movie whenever I wanted?
IT IS CALLED
THOR: THE DARKWORLD
NOT LOKI: IN JAIL
I'm far more interesting in that Jail than you with that tiny, fragile Midgardian.
LISTEN HERE YOU
I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR YOUR SASS
Besides, how long do you think this Jail cell will hold me...really?
I'M STILL CLEANING UP YOUR MESS ON MIDGARD
WHAT DID I SAY?
Oh, that'll make a great movie. Mighty Thor and his Broom of cleansing!
BROTHER YOU KILLED PEOPLE
YOU'RE ADOPTED OKAY
BUT I LOVE YOU ANYWAYS
EVEN THOUGH YOU KILLED PEOPLE
SO STOP IT
Right, because you and Odin's hands are clean and you've never taken a life?
(you have NO idea how hard it is to not quote the movie here)
(you better not or I will cry hot tears of betrayal)
LISTEN HERE YOU NO TIME
OR YOUR SASS
(That's why I am not! And that's one of the reasons I kind of had to see it. With Tumblr out there, it's not safe to wait too long to see anything in a fandom.)
You know, while you're in here yelling at me, you're not cleaning up, which is it going to be? Though, by all means stay, I so love these little talks.
(I've somehow managed to steer clear of most major spoilers! I have no idea how that happened at all... )
*Continues on in grand style.* Might Thor and his Hoover of Destiny!
*Quirks a smile.*
I ship it.
I ship it
I ship it so hard
I'm a zoo keeper. I currently work with Rhinos and it is awesome.