Tuesday, November 30, 2010

In which it is about time for an update

Greetings all! Please accept my most sincere apologies for my prolonged absence... No I have not given up on my blog, though it has been just short of a month since my last post...

Here is a quick explanation as to why I was absent for such a long while... Not only have I been busy, I have also been sick. For a month, I had been coughing and hacking and truly sounding like someone on the verge of dying from Tuberculosis. Luckily, I suffered of no such illness, but it was more severe than a common cold. After three weeks of non-stop symptoms, I finally decided to consult a doctor. I was diagnosed with "Acute Bronchitis" and prescribed very strong antibiotics for a week. I am now completely cured: only slight seasonal sniffles remain...

However, I think that bronchitis is quite a good excuse for not blogging. I preferred spending my free-time sleeping and recovering, as I spent the rest of the time doing schoolwork and going to rehearsals for Savoy. In other words: zero motivation to do anything for the past few weeks. It is a natural consequence of being ill. I hope you (yes, dear reader, I am actually addressing my blog right now) will find it in your virtual heart to forgive my neglect...

Now, for the updates - as you have surely all spent a month in complete suspense, awaiting what would happen to me next (lol).

First and foremost... I got called back by Air Canada! I cannot tell you how happy this makes me! I will be working at the airport over the Christmas break and I am really excited about it. I do not have my new start date yet, but I do look forward to it. It promises to be a very busy time at the airport and I am always up for a challenge. I am excited to go back - it will certainly be more stimulating than school right now.

Indeed, school has, sadly, reached an ultimate low right now. I am not at all motivated, my classes suck. To be fair, this year, I am taking all the classes I am missing to complete my degree... but that does not make them interesting. I am bored out of my wits in class these days. The only class I enjoy is German Literature. Yes - my last elective happens to be the only class I enjoy this semester, and this because the professor is totally awesome. All my other classes will turn me into a mollusk if the subject matter does not improve. Case in point, Intro to Theatre Studies. I have not learnt a thing all semester. I have merely been bored. Everything the instructor mentionned was something I already knew, and she never explained any topic in depth. Many students have complained about knowing more about the subject before they ever took the class. *sigh* At least it is almost over. This week is the last week of classes and total "crunch time." I have three essays due this week, and after that I have four finals to worry about. Then I will be free to rant about passengers again! ;-)

In other news... I saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; Part 1 in theatres (twice!). Loved it! Some of the added dialogue (i.e. dialogue that is not in the books) is hilarious and well paced. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I also liked how the overall movie was directed. There was a very dark mood throughout the film, and certain choices on the director's part emphasised this brilliantly. The one scene that did bother me was when Harry, Ron and Hermione are running from the Snatchers in the woods... the camera is handheld and "sort of" following the actors running away through the woods... But there were too many trees for this to be quite effective. The only result was that I became extremely nauseous looking at the screen (yup - I got motion sickness looking at a movie!). I think that this scene was supposed to be directed à la Bourne Trilogy, but that effect fell flat. The cut-off of the film was to be expected though - obviously, the battle of Hogwarts would be kept for part 2. They will probably have the second film based heavily on this arch of the story (rather than the three measly chapters dedicated to it in the books - I found the battle far too short...).
But yes, I much enjoyed the film. Daniel Radcliffe still sucks. Rupert Grint is awesome as ever. Emma Watson has improved but still leaves me indifferent. The adult actors, though, are flabbergasting. I loved Jason Isaacs and lamented the little screen time that had been granted to Alan Rickman. Ralf Fiennes was amazingly creepy and Helene Bonham-Carter was terrifyingly crazy. I really enjoyed watching them. ^_^ Before I move on to another subject, I have to let you all know that the Dark Wizards and Death Eaters (for the most part) wear very snazzy outfits in the movie... their "lordly" clothes look really hot!

The second time I went to see the movie, I went with Michael. We made a date out of it. I loved it. It was so much fun! We went to see the movie in a matinee (cheap and early) and then went winter-boot shopping and for a nice dinner. I dressed dapper for my love and truly enjoyed the time I spent with him. We really ought to date more - it is always so enjoyable when we do. *sigh* I love him!! (sorry for the sappiness...)

And... on to another subject...
I went to my very first SCA event on Saturday. The SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) is an awesome group that basically takes mildy insane people like myself, puts them in period garb, and has them pretend they lived back in the Middle-Ages for an evening (or weekend, depending on the event). The SCA does all kinds of workshops about Medieval cooking, crafts, fighting techniques, etc. I am considering going to their archery session - it sound like fun. The evening I went to was the Montreal SCA's harvest feast. It was a potluck of Medieval (or Medieval inspired) food. It. Was. DELICIOUS!!! I really loved the food! Entertainment was provided by all the participants: many got up to tell stories or sing. I was invited to dance on some fiddle music that sounded like a gig, so I made good use of the hornpipe gig that we learned for the upcoming Savoy show and got a great round of applause for my dancing (as well as many gasps when I lifted my skirt a little so my feet would be seen). All the people at the event were really nice and I look forward to meeting them again. One gentleman was a pirate and he sang the most bawdy songs I have ever heard! I had quite the laugh. Remind me to put the lyrics up here someday... Oh, and the same pirate gentleman had some amazingly delicious grog which kind of tasted like liquid Rocket candy! lol And I got many compliments on the gown I was wearing (see picture over my profile). People thought I was an "import" from another SCA kingdom, because my dress was so pretty and well constructed! Yay!!! ^_^
It was a great evening, and I would elaborate more if I did not have more to post about. I do want to thank Victoria, though, for accompanying me. It was really great!

Okay - now for the last (I think) bit of news in this post...
I have been asked by the organizer of Dr. Sketchy Montreal to model for them in January! I am so excited! I have wanted to participate in Dr. Sketchy for AGES and now I finally get to go as a model! I am very happy about this... and soooooo excited! For those who do not know what Dr. Sketchy is, it is a figure drawing workshop that invites lives models to pose for artists on a stage. The models usually work on a theme and wear costumes (it is not nude modeling) and pose for a certain amount of time for the artists, who may then sketch and draw to their heart's content. It is great fun and I look forward to posing for them! I will give you all more details as the date for my Dr. Sketchy appearance draws closer, but I had to mention it now, because I am really happy about it.

And before I forget: Michael and I (and our roommate) encountered a really eerie light last night. It sort of whizzed right in front of Michael, making him stop in his tracks (and me do a double-take, because I thought it would hit his eye), and then slowly trailed to the ground, whizzed accross the sidewalk and vanished. It was a small yellow light. Our roommate thinks it was someone using a laser pointer - but laser light is only visible when it hits a surface. This light was actually floating in the air in front of Michael's nose for a bit. Laser does not do that... it was a little creepy... I do not know what to make of it...

Also... I started working on my cosplays for next summer. I am looking forward to updating you all on my progress...

And now, dear readers, I believe you are all up-to-date. I will now go eat (as I am starving). I promise (really, I do!) more frequent posts in future - I no longer have bronchitis, so I have no excuse!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

In which Eulalia Milburga Antonia Deverell makes her appearance

Halloween! The best (the very best!) night of the year, where ghouls leave their attics, ghosts come down from their tower ruins and the undead creep out of graveyards... Devils and goblins, feys and sprites come out to spook people... Will o' the Wisps mislead poor straying trick-or-treaters and Kelpies drag poor children to their watery deaths... While Barguests scare the lonesome wanderers out of their wits and Wolperdinger come out to eat their gory meal... (look up Wolperdinger, they are awesome!)

I love Halloween. I love myths and legends and stories about eerie creatures (and I actually mean "eerie" this time), and I drink up stories of Samhain, witches, ghosts and frightening encounters... And I love dressing up! This is why Halloween is the best night of the year! (Heck, it even beats my birthday!)

Unfortunately, this Halloween was a little wretched for me... Mostly because I had a horrible chest cold. I seriously considered going as someone dying of consumption for Halloween (i.e. wear nothing but a nightgown, have a hollowed out pale face, red-rimmed eyes, and coughing up my lungs all night... maybe a little blood trickle from the mouth for added effect too...) But I decided that would be too drab and depressing. Though some of my friends suggested that my costumes were the "consumptive" version of my actual outfit. Ha ha. I love them anyways, but the coughing was really annoying and unpleasant. Especially because it meant I had to be quiet during the annual Rocky Horror Picture Show presentation. Due to all my coughing, my voice was seriously starting to fail me and, even when I did try to scream "Slut" or "Asshole" at the screen at the top of my voice, or even when I tried to sing along, all that came out were these pathetic squeaking sounds worthy of a tiny frightened mouse... *pout*

Aaaaaanyways... It was still fun. For Rocky, I dressed as a slutty nun with a considerably short skirt... And it started freakin' SNOWING!! My buttocks were not happy, lol. I was (literally) freezing my butt off (okay, it was my fault, but still! It should NOT snow during Halloween!). Despite all this, I got many compliments on my costume. A performer at the Rocky show told me I was truly the sexiest slutty nun she had ever seen "and I've seen a lot!" she said. Also, whilst waiting in line to get into the theatre, several men called out to me that they "want to confess their sins" which caused me to giggle and feel rather proud, despite the cold and cough. And I think a classmate of mine was rather stunned by the shortness of my skirt, commenting that he "was intimidated" because I am usually not taller than he is (I was wearing 6 inch heels) and usually not that sexy. It was great times... until nighttime came and I started really hacking up a lung... but that does not matter, as I am starting to recover now.

It was a little unfortunate, because Michael had a catering job that night and therefore only arrived at the very end of the Rocky Horror Picture Show (that is to say at 2:30 in the morning!). I felt a little sad to spend most of the evening without him, but, as it was spent with friends, it was still very much enjoyed.

On Friday though (the day before Rocky Horror), I went as my own original character. Let me introduce you to her... Eulalia Milburga Antonia Deverell. She is a character for a steampunk story I have started to develop sometime in June. It is really a fun character and it was perfect for Halloween (as I only needed to piece together pieces from other costumes to bring my character to life). So here is the beginning of Eulalia's story:
The smell of coal and engine oil was lying thickly in the air, creating a heavy and warm atmosphere that was perfect for sleep and sweet dreams. Sleeping on the concrete floor, she felt at peace and relaxed - she was exactly where she wanted to be. Her chest rose and fell slowly, and with every intake of breath, the irony scent of machinery tickled her nostrils. Without realizing it, she smiled in her sleep.

She was so distracted by the wonderful smells that she did not notice the warm breath by her right ear. It therefore came as a complete surprise to her when 'NIIIIAAAAA!' was screamed in her ear by a shrill child's voice.

Screaming with rage, Eulalia Milburga Antonia Deverell, better known as Nia, tore herself from her dreams of machinery and blueprints and looked around for the perpetrator of this foul crime that was waking her up. With her ear painfully ringing with a strident sibilant note, she looked around to find Kurt, the eleven-year-old boy who worked in the hangar as a sort of "messenger".

Her eyes fell upon him quickly. He was sitting cross-legged, about two feet away from her, with a huge impish grin (enhanced by a great hole where his front teeth were missing) on his face, topped by a shock of tousled red hair. An irritated twitch quivered under her left eye. 'Pipsqueak...' she said in a voice trembling with annoyance, 'what was that for?'

Kurt pulled out the tip of
his pink tongue, which led to Nia pursing her lips to avoid an irritated outburst, and said with his customary lisp: 'The engineth are finithed...'

Nia, who had started shaking her head in the hopes of ridding herself of the painful whistling in her ear, thought she had heard wrong. Looking up into the child's eyes, she uttered a faint: 'What?'

'It'th the engineth are failing... Jutht thought you thould know... The gentth wanted me...' Nia did not let him finish. Swearing at the top of her voice, she gathered her skirts and jumped to her feet. Grabbing the hefty tool belt that had lain beside her, she rushed towards the farthest end of the hangar, ready to repair whatever damage those amateurs had done to her beloved engines.

So that's the start of the story I had written. It was basically my mind going haywire on a steampunk scenario... I love steampunk! ^_^

To be more precise though...
Nia is an aristocrat, a countess actually, who has always enjoyed flying things and steam engines. Instead of learning embroidery, like her mother wanted her to, she designed machines deemed worthy of Bedlam by her mother and father. She was placed under many strict governesses and school masters, but the love of engines was never beaten out of her.
When her parents died and her brother (and his wife) succeeded to the title and the estate, he decided to get rid of his crazy sister. He placed Nia on the doorstep, with a handful of jewels and her best clothes so she might make a meagre living for at least some time without bothering him, and then turned his back on her completely.
But Nia did not care. She simply reveled in the fact that she was now free to pursue her love of flying and inventions. Soon, she found herself "taxiing" people accross all of London in one of her own inventions, a flying machine she has lovingly baptized "Astrid" (she believes Astrid to be the epitome of her inventory genius). Basically, she is a very unusual taxi driver... and her taxi flies.
And the clothes her brother gave her? She still wears them! Indeed, Nia would rather make no money at all than wear rags. Therefore, she still wears her best clothes from her days as a countess, despite working with engine oil and steam and having added some wacky goggles to the lot!

There you have it. The history behind my Halloween costume.

And for the moment, dear readers, that must be it. I must go to bed in the hopes of getting over my bloody chest cold.

*cough* Good night to all! *cough, rasp, hack, cough*

Oh... and a picture of me as Nia:

P.S. I met up with a friend from Air Canada today (she is now a flight attendant at Jazz). I was really happy to see her again. It makes me realize how badly I want to go back to Air Canada for the Winter season... it really was a fun (though strenuous) job!! ^_^