Back in May M’Guphynn media created the super-awesome Cosplay Quarantine Music Video. This time cosplayers have submitted their videos showing how donning a mask is an important way to help curb the spread of Covid 19. My jellyfish friend Clara and I (as Tsukimi) joined in, as you will see. Check out the resulting Heroes Wear Masks Cosplay music video below!
Movie Peek: Come to Daddy
Need a good flick to take your mind off of what a hot mess the world has become? Me too!
As you will know if you are returning reader, we stan Elijah Wood in this house. Recently-ish I was on a plane flying back from a long overdue trip visiting my family in another province (travel during covid isn’t fun, kids, avoid it if you can!) and Elijah’s new film Come to Daddy was available on the in-flight entertainment, so I gave it a go. It looks like it’s also available to stream on Amazon Prime. I had no idea what it was about aside from the movie poster, which features Elijah standing in front of a strange hillside dwelling, sporting what google would refer to as a “hipster haircut”, and gripping a bloody carving fork.
I settled in as the dude seated next to me also seemed to settle in, leaning ever closer to my side, encroaching on the sacred armrest space, with his eyes lingering on my screen more than his own. Elijah has that power.
It was fun seeing our humble and kind-eyed muse playing Norval, a spoiled and self satisfied city kid that prizes his limited-edition gold phone designed by Lorde and makes dubious claims about his music career and impressive industry ties. He heads out to meet his estranged father and soon wishes he’d never left his cushy life behind. The supporting cast were also very well chosen; I particularly enjoyed Wood’s scenes with Stephen McHattie in the beginning of the movie.
After about 15 minutes in I thought I knew where the movie was going and was a slight bit disappointed, thinking it would follow a predictable and somewhat familiar thriller arc, but then the movie took that notion and chewed it up, spitting it back into my face like HAH! YOU THOUGHT! A sudden and revelatory twist makes things very interesting indeed.
While much of the film relies on slow and steady tension building and thoughtful, amusing dialogue, this is a jaw-clenchingly brutal movie at times. There was one violent episode in particular where my mind was racing “oh god, is Mr. Seatmate still looking at my screen, yikes, this is fucking brutal, oh god, it just keeps going, hahahaa, jesus, sorry you had to see that sir, HAHAhaha”.
Overall, this is a movie I would easily recommend to anyone who likes bloody misadventures and dark humour. I got some genuine surprises, a couple of good laughs, and was assured that Elijah’s still got it— he carried this movie along through the quiet and poignant moments as well as the fight-for-your-life ones.
Ant Timpson’s Come to Daddy gets 5 big blue eyes out of 5 from me!
My Favorite Artist: Yamamoto Takato
I am an indecisive person. I don’t generally use neat categories, since things most often fit into gray areas. It’s usually hard for me to say anything is my #1 or “favorite” of something. However, when I discovered Yamamoto Takato’s work there was a click in my brain and I knew that I had found something that appealed to me so deeply and on so many different levels; so much so that I can confidently say Yamamoto Takato is my favorite artist.
Yamamoto is a Japanese painter who experimented with Ukiyo-e Pop style, ultimately creating his own “Heisei Estheticism”. Ukiyo-e influenced compositions meet with gothic scenes, creating gorgeous and brutally captivating paintings (check out his bio here).
In Yamamoto’s work there are themes that come up again and again- youth and decay, innocence and destruction, darkness and light, horror and fascination. He presents the grotesque and the erotic together.
The subjects of Yamamoto’s work are often very confronting, holding you with their arresting gaze. Pain and pleasure, vitality and death, bondage and surrender— these intermingle often.
Vampiric seduction and bloodplay have been a fascination of mine since my early teen years, and this theme is also reoccurring in Yamamoto’s work. My favorites of his pieces involve beautiful vampires feeding on androgynous, glassy-eyed prey.
The images here are just a very small sampling of Yamamoto’s works. I am in awe of his huge life’s work of hundreds of detailed paintings, many of which are not found online but are included in his art book collections.
My collection of Yamamoto’s signed works are some of my most treasured books. They are produced in gorgeous hardcover with attractive slipcases and textured covers that suit the artwork inside.
I purchased my collection of his art books through http://www.yamamototakato.com/index.html
When I was in Tokyo last December, I got my nails done in a salon for the first time ever. I went to Aki Laccio and he created an amazing Yamamoto-inspired nail art look for me!
At the beginning of the pandemic, when the Getty Museum challenged people to recreate their favorite artworks using things around the house, I threw together this ode to Yamamoto using some blankets and costume pieces. I don’t think I captured the expression, but nonetheless I had fun doing it!
Would Elijah Wood read my blog? Elijah would.
Hello reader— if you’ve been reading my blog for a while then
1. you are awesome, and
2. you may remember a couple years ago when I posted A Rather Overdue Love Letter to Elijah Wood From Alberta’s Unfortunate Fangirl. I wrote about how my plans to finally meet one of my favorite actors, Elijah Wood (Frodo in LOTR), at a geek convention were squashed by the simultaneous timing of my own presentation at a library convention. It was like the plot of a Highschool Musical-esque movie (omg, which one will she choose, her first celebrity crush or her first real public speaking gig!? Time to break out into a choreographed musical interlude on the emotional turmoil of it all!) but as much as I would have loved to meet Elijah, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity and adventure of presenting my session at the Alberta Library Conference (despite needing to overcome the terror of being in front of a group of people).
Then, when I heard that the entire hobbit crew, including Elijah, were planning to come back to Calgary for the 2020 Calgary Expo, I knew this is the time I will meet him and fulfill the dream that my 13 year old self held on to so tightly! I was excited to go to Calgary Expo for the first time; I’ve heard it’s bigger and generally more happenin’ than Edmonton Expo, which I have frequented in the past.
But alas, this is 2020, so again, it was not to be. FOILED AGAIN! Of course the conference was cancelled, thanks to Covid19. The event space probably would have been filled with murder hornets anyway, so whatever. It’s cool. No biggie.
So April came and went with no Calgary Expo. My 30th birthday also happened, and although I’ve realized that birthdays are generally underwhelming once you hit adulthood, I was hoping to get some friends together and go out for karaoke or something and have my first real birthday “party” in years (30 is supposed to be one of those big milestones, isn’t it?)… but again, Covid made that party idea impossible. It’s all good- gotta do what you gotta do to kick the virus’s ass!
I did, however, get some birthday moolah, and this coincided with Elijah becoming available on that Cameo site where you can pay celebs to make personalized videos. Requesting Elijah was a bit pricey, and the whole premise of the site gave me some cringey vibes to be honest, but I thought oh, what the hell, he made the decision to be available on there, it’s my birthday money, and this is a cool opportunity.
So, I sent in my request, explaining that I am a huge fan and asking if he wouldn’t mind reading my aforementioned blog post to him from 2018. He sent me back this wonderful video and it really made me happy- such a genuine, positive, and kind response. I think it was birthday money very well spent! Thank you so much, Elijah!
Cosplay Quarantine Music Video
Cosplayers around the world who had been working hard on their costumes have found that the cons they were preparing for were cancelled thanks to Covid19. Cosplayers, however, are nothing if not creative. My friends at M’Guphynn Media, who usually bring their fancy equipment to cons each year and make cosplay music videos with the resulting footage, put together this awesome Cosplay Music Video: Quarantine Edition, made up of submissions from cosplayers (including myself as Rize Kamishiro at 2.36 and my doggos as Harry Potter and Mario at 0.24 and 3:04 respectivelty!)
Check it out! ❤
Tokyo Video: December 2019
A few weeks ago I compiled some of my video clips from our last trip to Japan (December 2019) into a 30 minute video. It’s a chronological mashup of many of the sights and sounds that we experienced on our trip, which took place mainly in Tokyo this time.
I hope that you will enjoy this video, which features dancing, singing, a Pokemon cafe, some cute dogs, amazing food, Sailor Scouts, robots, cram-packed stores, shrines and temples, kawaii monster girls, karaoke, mochi-pounding, snakes, and much more.
And even after my second trip to Japan, I am again dreaming of my return. Someday! ❤
If you’d like to see the videos from our last trip to Japan (2017) in which we traveled more broadly, check out this post.
Or, if you would like to read the detailed day-by-day blogs from our trips, they start here (2017) and here (2019).
Thanks for stopping by!
Healing Routines In A Time of Anxiety: Animal Crossing
It’s been a crazy week in a month that is flying by and a year that nobody was expecting. The world is on edge with the coronavirus threat, people are hoarding toilet paper (?) and while many of us are preparing to spend more time at home than we’re accustomed to, others around the globe are putting their own lives at risk working extended hours to help keep this thing under control.
Some things will change suddenly- it’s unlikely, for example, that the cosplay project I’ve been working on will debut at Calgary Expo in April as planned, as I highly doubt that it will be safe enough by that point to have such a huge gathering of people in one place. My sister’s Worlds Cheerleading competition has been postponed, as have peoples’ trips, weddings, exams, surgeries, and other important events.
In a time when plans are being dashed, trips cancelled, work halted, and unprecedented stressful situations are unfolding daily, it is important to ensure we keep some normalcy in our day-to-day. It’s good for our mental health to have things to rely on, things to look forward to, things to distract us and give us some calming rituals and routines. For me, this will include activities like creating art, playing with my dogs, spending time with my husband, and reading. It will also include, in four days’ time, Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
It’s been a while since I’ve awaited a game so excitedly. In our current goings-on, a new Animal Crossing game is just what I need to give my brain a break from the constant Breaking News.
If you’ve never played an Animal Crossing game before, they are extremely easy to recommend to just about anyone. The family-friendly series is known for being popular with everyone, their mom, and their grandma! The irresistible recipe of customization, decorating, crafting, improving the community, and making cute little animal friends gets better and better with each new installment. New Horizons offers so many cool new features, like landscaping, that I can’t wait to try out.
Sometimes, when the real world feels crazy, it’s nice to have a gentle, encouraging, somewhat predictable little oasis to call your own. I hope that Animal Crossing: New Horizons will be that for myself and many others.
Happy gaming everyone, and stay safe!
Cosplay WIP: Rize from Tokyo Ghoul
I’m working on a new cosplay project that I hope to debut at Calgary Expo in April. I really enjoyed sharing the process of making my Krul Tepes cosplay, so I’ve decided to do the same with this cosplay: Rize Kamishiro from Tokyo Ghoul!
I’ll keep adding to this page as I get further in the building and sewing of this project. I can’t wait to try on the sclera lenses and wig, and get my kagune attached to the costume!
Steins;Gate: Now Is The Time- El Psy Kongruu
If you are reading this, maybe there is a small chance- please hear my plea.
The tides of time are turning.
I’ve come from the future, the year 2036, with a warning of grave importance.
It is imperative that you play Steins;Gate.
It is the only way.
Alright, I know, Steins;Gate is old news- it came out in 2009!- but with a Live Action TV series recently announced to be in the works by Skydance Television, it’s a great time to consider playing or revisiting this twisty, dramatic, hilarious sci-fi visual-novel game.
I will admit that for a while Steins;Gate was a game that I played in intermittent bursts, often while travelling; I have a downloaded version on my PsVita, and the story begins as fun but sort of plodding. However, I recently picked it up again on my way home from Vancouver and got to the part where things really take off– after that I couldn’t put it down.
What begins as a bunch of otaku and their chuunibyou leader dabbling with internet message boards and dubious technological advances rapidly accelerates into full-blown world-altering time-travel with devastating consequences. I’ve finished 3 of the possible 6 main endings, and I’m questioning whether it’s possible to ever “have it all” (You’ll know what I mean if you play the game…).
I myself am very much a geek and already moderately well-versed in anime & manga tropes and lingo, but for someone who doesn’t know much about the vastness of otaku subcultures, this game would be an excellent introduction. Also be prepared for a lot of mind-bending wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey talk: The “tips” accumulated throughout the game point out and explain the references and vocabulary dropped by the characters time and time again.
Steins;Gate is actually the second release in this “Science Adventure” franchise, after Chaos;Head, but the latter has never been released in English- a cryptic tweet from creator Chiyomaru Shikira in 2018 hinted that an English port would “probably” happen!
Regardless, Steins;Gate is a separate story from Chaos;Head, with different characters, and you can absolutely play Steins;Gate without having played Chaos;Head (I haven’t, though I would love to someday!). Steins;Gate is available on Steam, Vita, Ps4, iOS, Android, and more. The remastered version of the game, Steins;Gate Elite is also available on Switch as well, and features animation from the anime adaptation.
I am definitely ready to start playing the sequel, Steins;Gate 0!
SuperM in Vancouver
A couple of days ago I had a whirlwind trip to Vancouver to see SuperM- as a Shawol I wanted to support Taemin on his return to Canada while Key, Minho, and Onew are doing their mandatory military duty.
I was (and still am) fighting off a nasty cold, and my voice was completely gone the whole time I was in Vancouver, but the trip was still worth it!
I also got to debut my WIP jean jacket with SHINee Married To The Music on the back:
Originally I had booked my 2-night stay at the Cambie hostel in Gastown, thinking that an historic hostel might be a fun new experience, but I cancelled that booking the day before leaving when I realized that my cold would make communal living much less fun for everyone involved… so, I booked a hotel room instead. I was so glad to have a quiet sanctuary at the Ramada in which to rest, watch HGTV, and blow my nose with reckless abandon.
Soon after checking in I took a photo out the window of my room, and minutes later Taemin posted a photo where he is standing with the same landmark in the background, so I definitely fangirled.
The morning of the concert, Feb 6, I did a little bit of exploring in downtown Vancouver, stopping at the Paper Hound bookshop as well as a couple of fabric stores.
Finally I headed out toward the venue, Rogers Arena, and met up with some lovely new Shawol friends! A couple of them were women I had been talking to online for a while (Yo, Court and Gabby!), and several more were people that joined up just because they saw we were Shawol- I love our big Shawol family! I met so many lovely, friendly people.
One of the Shawol I hung out with was Kiki from YoursTrulyDance- check out this talented group on YouTube! Here is their Jopping cover:
It was especially special connecting with Shawol at this concert, because SuperM is made of members from several groups, so when I saw another SHINee World fan it was like ONE OF US! ONE OF US! ONE OF USSSS!!!
We chilled for a few hours before the show started, getting cheap eats at Costco and geeking out. When we made our way into the arena we had to separate into our different seats, but I was so happy to find that I was sitting next to another Shawol named Katie! Her ult is Key, too! After a couple of minutes someone approached Katie and said “Wow are you Katie!?” and I was like, Katie are you a YouTuber? Yup, she is! She does lots of cool unboxing videos, kpop hauls, and stuff like that. Glad to meet you Katie!
We sat in anticipation as the arena filled up around us. Our seats were directly in front of one of the catwalks.
And then, it started!
The concert was really awesome, with solo and group performances, lazers, streamers, and cannons. Surprisingly, we were allowed to film with our phones, and I got some great videos of Taemin!
Sadly, I thought I got all of Jopping on camera but in the last 15 seconds of the song I realized that I hadn’t hit the record button T-T .
***EDIT*** NO ACTUALLY I DID GET MOST OF IT, YAY!
There was also a very tense moment when Kai tossed his frisbee directly toward me and it landed on my feet, but I had been looking in Taemin’s direction so I didn’t notice at first and two girls in front of me whirled upon me and began scrabbling at my feet for the frisbee! Katie and I exchanged glances like “holy crap” and the frisbee was snatched from where I’d clamped it between my two shoes. Oh well…
And so quickly, it was over (2 fast, you might say) and some of us met up again in front of the Costco to freak out together and get some food down the street.
Just like when I saw SHINee in Toronto in 2017, the concert was amazing but the experience was especially wonderful because of all of the new friends I met. Thank you for making me feel welcomed in Vancouver!
I hope SuperM enjoyed their time in Canada. Mark is from Vancouver, so it was heartwarming to see how genuinely happy he was to return to Vancouver for a concert.
Thanks Taemin and SuperM for coming to Canada!