Dragon Con 2014!

Ell, Vynni, Lissan, and Thian

Well, another Dragon Con has come and gone. This year was one for the books, and it was a little different indeed. As refugees of the Great Hyatt Fiasco of 2014, we ended up at the Loew’s in Midtown Atlanta. Commuting back and forth from the con was a bit of a drag–but hey, it was free. We also had several friends absent this year, but still made our own fun. Anyway, the con!

Thursday seemed kind of surreal: we were expecting to pay baggage fees; there were none, because our flight was serviced by Southwest. Vynni ordered an adult beverage on the plane and they, um, forgot to charge us. We get to the hotel and find out our stay is being comped, and we have priority booking at the Hyatt for next year. (As you may know, getting a room at a host hotel is a pain.) So we went out to celebrate and finally try Mellow Mushroom’s newly vegan gluten-free pizza crust. It was so good! I was glad I wasn’t tempted to go to the dark side this year. My face was so puffy in the pizza scene at the end of adorpheus’ True Life episode :(

Ell and Vynni as Alak and Amanda

Ell and Vynni as Alak and Amanda

On Friday, Vynni and I brought back our Amanda and Alak costumes from last year, though we had just missed the first Defiance panel. We did get to see Gates McFadden and Jeri Ryan’s panels though! One fan asked about her relationship with Kate Mulgrew, seemingly unaware of the discord between the two, and things got real. Garrett Wang talked about how he wanted to have them appear together so he could broker peace between them–from the way it sounded, things had been pretty tense on the Voyager set.

Gates McFadden and Garrett Wang

Gates McFadden and Garrett Wang

Meanwhile, adorpheus was wearing the awesome Jubilee costume she made:

adorpheus as Jubilee

That night–after getting pizza again–we met up with the Defiance Costume Group for a photoshoot in the Hyatt. (There are some good shots of everyone in the group.) It was a lot of fun. The rest of the night was kind of a blur, but we did go to this really good sushi place back near our hotel.

RA Sushi

RA Sushi

Saturday morning was the Dragon Con parade. It was a bit of a hassle to get there on time; I painted myself blue, hopped on the train, and we all met up there. The parade itself was fun as always, but we found ourselves literally melting in the heat. I had planned on going to the Star Trek photoshoot afterwards, but our makeup was dripping off–it was disgusting. A few photos were taken of us but I cringed every time. After this year, I’m definitely going to invest in a good airbrush compressor to use with alcohol-based ink. I know, I say that every year…

Dragon Con 2014 Parade

We didn’t do much else Saturday but visit the Dealers’ Room and, er, get pizza again.

Sunday morning was spent helping adorpheus prepare to enter the Miss Star Trek Universe pageant again as Lissan. The pageant was a pleasure to watch this year, aside from the fact that the sound was messed up for adorpheus’ talent portion and we could barely hear her performance. The contestants were all entertaining, and the crown went to Mother Horta–a well-deserved win.

LissanLissan and Garrett WangCheck out our other photos from Miss Star Trek Universe on our Facebook page!

I usually skip the Walk of Fame–it’s always made me weirdly nervous, partially because we rarely have the spare cash to get autographs or photos. But with the hotel situation, and this being the first year in a while I’ve had a Real Job™, I felt comfortable splurging. I was especially excited to meet Jesse Rath, because as far as I know I’m one of the few people who has cosplayed his character. I told him and showed him a photo, and he recognized me! I was planning on doing my Alak costume again on Monday, and said I’d be back to get a photo with him.

Julie BenzJesse Rath signatureI was so nervous after meeting Jesse! I’m glad I did though. I thought I’d missed Tony Curran (Datak Tarr), but was so happy to find out he was now staying until Monday:

On Sunday night, we watched Bella Morte (my third time seeing them!) and The Crüxshadows perform. I was exhausted and didn’t feel much like partying but Vynni and I ended up playing (and winning!) a round of Are You a Death Eater with some rad folks in the Hyatt.

Monday morning, I donned Alak again and we made our way back to the Hyatt to stay there for our final night. We were able to check in right away and they still had DCon room keys left over for each of us, which was nice. I rushed to the Walk of Fame to meet Tony Curran and he was just the best. He talked a bit about a role he prepared for where he had to learn a Boston accent.

Tony Curran

Afterward, we went to the Westin to catch Grant Bowler and Jesse Rath on the final Defiance panel. I’d read on Twitter that their panels had all been crude and hilarious so far, and they did not disappoint. At the end, I ended up with smallpox, courtesy of Grant Bowler:

Grabbing life by the jondura - Photo by Kimberly Nicole/Midorikai

Grabbing life by the jondura – Photo by Kimberly Nicole/Midorikai

Then I ran back and met Jesse for a photo. He took a selfie with me!

with Jesse RathThe rest of the day was spent exploring the Dealer’s Room, visiting Mellow Mushroom again, and chilling in our room. I was happy to have chance to grab a drink in the Marriott and finally chat with my friend Gaile from Twitter.

I’d brought some Backup Ribbons with me to the con but didn’t get a chance to hand any out. So I’ll have some on hand if you see us at any events! Our next adventure is New York Comic Con (Sunday only) in October.

Ell and Backup RibbonThanks for reading! And thank you to everyone who helped us get there by donating to our fundraiser.

One last thing: Syfy still hasn’t announced whether Defiance will come back for another season. It’s such an amazing show, with a fantastic, welcoming fandom and kind, personable talent. Please let The Powers That Be know you want Defiance back by using the hashtag #RenewDefiance on Twitter.

Ell

#TrekNJ 2014

This past weekend, we attended the Official Star Trek Convention in Cherry Hill, NJ. This was our second year going and, once again, we met up with our amazing friends. It went by far too quickly.

We arrived in Cherry Hill on Thursday evening and spent the majority of the weekend hanging out in our suite. (At a different hotel then the con was at–we need a full kitchen, damnit!) Mostly we talked, made food, ate said food, played video games, and put stupid labels on everything. The Label Mader has become a cornerstone of our con experience.

Philly with Ian

On Friday, adorpheus, Ian (Vynni’s brother), and I trekked to Philadelphia to pick up some Wink. We grabbed seven pints once we found it and headed to the con, where we saw Terry Farrell speak.

She was a hot shit, but we were put off when she made a gross rape joke. When we saw her at Dragon Con, she was a lot more candid about her experience leaving DS9. At any rate, I’m glad she stood up for herself and is telling her story. She is proud to be a stay at home mom now and seems like a great one at that.

We briefly met up with Elijah and Jayce from Priority One Podcast. We only met Elijah last year at TrekNJ; now we’re guest bloggers there, and I’ve assumed the role of Static Content Manager. If you haven’t listened to Priority One yet, do it now!

Priority One Crew

Elijah, Ell, Vynni, adorpheus, and Jayce. Photo courtesy of Priority One Podcast.

We did the Andorian thing on Saturday, and arrived in time to see Kate Mulgrew. I missed the first part of her panel, but apparently the first thing she said was that she would not field any questions about The Principle, the documentary about geocentrism (lol) she did some voice work for. Fair enough. I loved seeing her again–she was great with kids’ questions. She was a bit judgmental about relationships though, geez.

adorpheus and Pogo entered the Costume Contest, which they weren’t chosen for–I would use the term “win” loosely when the judging process seemed completely arbitrary–but they did get some sweet shot glasses for entering.

TONS of people wanted pictures with/of us, which was awesome. Another Andorian was there, too! She had a really neat TOS-style outfit. (Hey if you’re out there, you should totally join our Andorian group.)

Vynni, adorpheus as Lissan, and Ell. Photo by Pix|elation Photography.

Vynni, adorpheus as Lissan, and Ell. Photo by Pix|elation Photography.

We also met Lauren of Auberg Designs; we’re big fans of her work. She was wearing Trill makeup and was wearing a rad DS9 necklace she made. Check out her store!

We took some photos in the park behind the Crowne Plaza once again this year:

Andorian Album Cover

Ell, Vynni, adorpheus as Lissan, and Pogo in the park.

There was a big Klingon presence at the con thanks to the warriors of the Imperial Klingon Forces. They performed on stage before Robert O’Reilly and JG Hertzler (in character as Gowron and Martok!) on Sunday. They were hilarious. As far as the guests we saw at TrekNJ, I thought they were by far the funniest and most engaging.

We also saw Robert Beltran for the first time. I’m neutral on Chakotay–weird cultural appropriation on the writers’ parts aside–but I wasn’t really impressed with him, particularly the way he talked about the women he worked with on Voyager. It sounds like I keep trashing the guests, but yeah… not cool.

We had a long drive ahead of us, but wanted to stay to see Nichelle Nichols. I think it was our third time seeing her? She shared the stage with Richard Arnold and talked about working with Gene, meeting Dr. Martin Luther King, and answered questions about her historic role as Uhura. Always wonderful to see her.

Vegan Philly Cheesesteak at Blackbird Pizzeria

Vegan Philly Cheese Steak at Blackbird Pizzeria

After Nichelle, we said our goodbyes to our New York friends and headed to Philadelphia in search of vegan cheese steak. We went to Blackbird Pizzeria, a totally vegan pizza place. Unfortunately they didn’t have a gluten-free option for pizza or sandwich rolls, but I got the “Picnic” sandwich on greens and it was so good I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything. I went back and got a side of potato salad. Vynni and adorpheus got pizza slices and the cheese steak. It looked REALLY good, but as far as I’m concerned, the road to hell is paved with delicious gluten sandwiches. Afterwards we walked around a bit, and said goodbye to Cecil.

Our Con Family: Ian, Ell, Cecil, Vynni, adorpheus, Pogo, Kim, and Cyndi

Our Con Family: Ian, Ell, Cecil, Vynni, adorpheus, Pogo, Kim, and Cindy.

All in all, it was a great weekend and while I’m a bit disappointed there won’t be a Star Trek con in Cherry Hill next year, we are planning on getting together regardless and taking more time to explore Philadelphia. Meanwhile, our next adventure is at the Boston convention in June.

Were you at TrekNJ? Share your stories and pictures in the comments!

Winter Adventures

It’s been a busy winter for us! And a really cold, weird one here in New England. We’ve had a lot of fun with our excellent friends, and finally some time to settle into our new place–and, for me, a great new job I started in November.

In February, we saw one of our all-time favorite bands, Cibo Matto, at the Sinclair in Cambridge. It was a really neat venue we hadn’t been to before. Salt Cathedral opened for them:

Salt Cathedral

We were up on the balcony, with a great view. Miho sounded amazing:

Miho Hatori

Cibo Matto

Cibo Matto took a long-ass hiatus, but they are back and better than ever. I recommend getting a hold of Hotel Valentine as soon as possible.

On the first of the Month, our good friend Lou, their rad little brother Pete, and I trekked to Northampton to see Welcome to Night Vale live. It was a super cold night, but we all had a lot of fun.

Academy of Music

We waited outside the Academy of Music for a sold-out show.

WTNV Live in Northampton

And, as you know, adorpheus‘ episode of True Life aired on the 15th. I think it turned out really well! We got in a couple of shots:

True Life - Defiance cosplay

Amanda, Alak, and Tirra leave Defiance for the big city.

True Life - Andorians

Ell, Thian, and Vynni eagerly await the judges’ decision.

The episode got a lot of attention on Twitter–even Gawker had something to say about it. Everyone’s a critic, I guess. Props to Mad Fusion Media for crafting a narrative out of our hectic trip. You can see some behind-the-scenes photos on adorpheus’ Facebook!

If you haven’t seen the episode yet, keep an eye on True Life’s site–it will eventually be available for streaming.

Anime Boston BadgesYesterday, we attended Anime Boston. Honestly, it hasn’t held the same appeal for us since it moved out of the Park Plaza. I know, that was 10 years ago. Whatever. The dealers’ room and artists’ alley were huge and fun to peruse even though we didn’t end up buying anything. We took pictures of a couple cosplays we thought were great:

Cid Highwind cosplay

Cid from FFVII was my favorite character in the universe once upon a time.

SPN Impala cosplay

Baby the Impala’s human form.

What else?

I’m pretty sure these DS9 ACTION MARBLES I picked up at a flea market are worth mentioning:

DS9 Action Marbles

Oh! I’m finally fulfilling my dream of having an epic vest. It’s a work in progress and it obviously needs a bunch of spikes. The back patch is from Fennec Design:

See My Vest

Tonight we’re going with adorpheus to Hospitality in Cambridge. What have you been up to, our dear loyal readers?

True Life: I Want to be an Obscure Pageant Queen

Hello friends!

If you haven’t heard by now, here it is: adorpheus is going to be on MTV True Life. We’ll be in the episode too, because our fates are inextricably tied. So, prepare yourself mentally and tune into M FUCKING TV at 11:00 AM EST/PST tomorrow, March 15.

Use the hashtags #TeamAdrienne and #TeamPauline when you post about the episode EVERYWHERE.

adorpheus on MTV True Life

We need your help!

Hello, friends. Remember us?

If you don’t keep up with us on social media, you might’ve missed this: our friend adorpheus is running a Kickstarter to fund her first album. Maybe I should have posted this before, since there are only three days left, but yeah. There are three days left to help a great independent artist and DJ produce a mind-blowing EP. So please contribute if you can–if not, please share the link. Everywhere.

adorpheus DJ'ing

Arisia 2014

Vynni and Ell at Arisia 2014.

Vynni and Ell. Photo by John Perrault.

Last weekend we finally attended Arisia, a local fan-run con, with adorpheus and Jenny (aka Rufus, who you may remember from a certain post involving Kraken milkshakes). This was its 25th year! We’d heard about it for awhile, but weren’t in a position to go until now.

We stayed at the Renaissance Waterfront Boston Hotel, which was the overflow hotel. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but when we went to get our badges, I confirmed my suspicions that this was going to be a more laid-back con than we were used to. One of the reasons I was really excited to go to Arisia was its inclusivity; among the panel titles were “Fixing Problems of Sexism & Misogyny in Comics”, “Queering Up Canon”, “Transgender Fen”, and “Race and Identity in Fandom”. (I actually ended up missing all of these, but still… they were there, and that rules.)

Someone had pronoun ribbons made that were free for the taking. They even included ze/hir and e/eir. This made me really happy since, as you may know, I’m agender and go by singular “they”.

Since we now run a KAG ship, we signed up for a fan table in hopes of recruiting new members. On Saturday, we donned our Andorian makeup and costumes to man the table.

Arisia 2014 Fan Table

Lissan (adorpheus) and Vynni enthusiastically recruiting new members.

It was a long day, but we also had a chance to walk around a bit, take some photos, spend too much money in the dealers’ room, and view the art show.

That night, we went back to our hotel room and made quinoa and broccoli in our rice cooker (we are really into bringing appliances to cons) and spent the night in. We added some Cosmic Rainbow Organic Garam Masala we picked up at Auntie Arwen’s Spices in the dealers’ room, which was really good.

On Sunday, we decided to take the T to Cambridge to get lunch and pick up some more groceries. We discovered that Cambridge Naturals had Coconut Bacon, which is unbelievable stuff we hadn’t tried before. I’m determined to make some on my own now.

We initially tried to get ramen (they have rice noodles too!) at Sapporo Ramen, also in Porter Square, but there was a big line and we were ravenous. We ended up going to another of our favorite places, Le’s in Harvard Square. After that, we stopped by Lush, then headed to Central Square to go to Life Alive and Whole Foods. We really like food, OK?

Waffles with chocolate peanut butter, coconut bacon, and maple syrup!

Waffles with chocolate peanut butter, coconut bacon, and maple syrup!

When we returned to our room, adorpheus made waffles with our new Belgian waffle maker and Vynni and I took advantage of the massive bathtub and used our bath bombs from Lush. We had received invitations to an Andorian/Orion Mixer Party back at the con, but we were all pretty comfortable in our room–and not being in costume–at that point, not to mention it was freezing out.

On Monday, we had waffles for breakfast, packed up our mountains of stuff, and left. But not before knocking off the rest of the rum at noon because we couldn’t fit it in our bags:

Photo by adorpheus.

Photo by adorpheus. No shame.

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend with the Gooby squad, but I’m hoping to catch more of the con next time.

Our next adventure is Star Trek Cherry Hill at the end of April! We’re planning something exciting, so make sure you’re following us on Facebook and Twitter!

Ell

Looking Back at 2013

Hey, remember us?

If you haven’t been following us on Facebook and Twitter, I’ll post it here: our DS9 book club is on hiatus for now. It WILL be coming back, so please feel free to catch up, post on past discussions, and jump in with us when we start again!

Lots has been happening, and while we’re gearing up for next year, we’re still reeling from this one.

I realized I’d neglected to put up these great pictures from this past Dragon Con parade from Raul at ilivetotravel:

Vynni - Dragon Con 2013

Ell - Dragon Con 2013

Check out his post about the parade here.

So much happened at DCon this year that I don’t know where to begin. One of the best moments for me though was when I ran into Jaime Murray on the street after a Defiance panel and she wanted a picture with me in my Alak Tarr costume:

Jaime and Alak

In May, we started our own chapter of Klingon Assault Group, the XLV Korelath. I’m happy to say that later this month, we’re participating in our first charity event. If you are in New England, please come to the Galaxy Blood Drive if you can! It’s a Star Wars vs. Star Trek-themed blood drive, so come represent your favorite franchise. Which better be Star Trek, since we’re probably going to be outnumbered.

Galaxy Blood Drive - Saturday, December 28, 2013 - 9:00AM - 2:00PM at the Rhode Island Blood Center in Providence, Ri

In food-related news, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving on Nantucket with adorpheus. She made a post about it here, so please go check that out.

Finally, I’ve put together a list of some DIY and store-bought holiday gift ideas for the Star Trek fan in your life (probably you, if you’re reading this) over on inDevelopment at Priority One.

Happy holidays to you and yours!

TrekmasEll and Vynni

Book Club: Discussing Avatar, Book Two

An ereader and cup of Earl Grey tea.Weclome our second Book Club discussion! We took an extra month between books one and two to catch our breaths after Dragon Con and our subsequent relocating.

Click to read discussion prompts and add your comments (spoilers ahead) for Avatar, Book Two by S.D. Perry.

Seeing this later? It’s OK to join our discussion at any time!

On November 6, we’ll post a topic covering Section 31: Abyss by Jeffrey Lang and David Weddle.

VeganMoFo – Whoops!

BoxesWe are currently in the middle of moving and settling into our new place–we will post more about food when we can! Even though we may be removed from the official list, we will still try to get a few more posts up this month.

To both our old fans who might not have been expecting so many food posts, and our new ones who came for the food: thanks for bearing with us!