Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tracon 2014 summary: unlucky time traveling, ninjas and con flu.

Hiiiii ~

Boom! I attended Tracon 9 on the 13th and 14th of September in Tampere, Finland. What an awesome time I had! Let me tell you all about it! :'D

But first...
Do you remember the ducks from last year?
They died and became zombies... so now have some zombie ducks.

Okay, seriously now.

Before leaving home for Tracon, Shiro Samurai helped me detangle and trim my wig for Hinata. It turned out that my wig was way too long... and very tangled. Not amused. I'm not a patient person to begin with so detangling a wig was a tough trial for me. :< 

Finally detangled! :'D
Before cutting.
And after cutting. I'm braiding it for transport.
Needless to say that Moomin detangler saved my nerves... <3 Big thanks to Shiro Samurai for his help and advice! 

On to the con summary now!
Almost. >8D


... How I wish that Tracon would start on Thursday and last until Sunday. Really. On Thursday started my journey there, in company of Shiro Samurai and Jäätynyt Enkeli - and it started in panic. Their mum had promised us a ride to the train station in Kemi; we had a night train and so on the evening we gathered at Jäätynyt Enkeli's place with a ridiculous amount of ~STUFF~. In total we had three suitcases, four bags, two poles and a fish. Needless to say it was a relief to get a ride...
We reached the point when our train would leave in one hour, and we still weren't anywhere close to the train station, and the guys' mum wasn't here. No one could call her either because the phone network decided to die... of course, this only happens in MOMENTS OF CRISIS! *insert panic here*
We all had time to panic ten times over that we would miss the train and waste the money of our train tickets, and that we wouldn't be able to buy other train tickets because they would cost us all our limbs. And just when all hope was lost and we had about forty minutes before the train left, the phone network came back to life and our savior appeared in her car. She drove us to Kemi full speed and we arrived in time! Thank you so much! ;A; *sends hugs and gratitude*


The train trip was long and without proper sleep, as ever. We got out of the train at around five in the morning, laggy like hell. We had pains everywhere from sleeping in bad positions and all we wished for was food and a bed... 
It was sh*t early in the morning. Not a store was open. 
Our Omena hotel would only open at four in the evening. 
We dragged our mountain of stuff across Tampere, looking for a free bathroom. Who wants to pay to go pee, seriously? :( We ended up camping in a Mc Donald's and drinking horrible coffee (me) and eating some breakfast-ish thing (Shiro Samurai). We had found a small store that was open and I bought a sandwich that I ate while we were camping in Mc Donald's. We molded in there for as long as we could stand it, then rolled back to the train station pain station and waited for mushrooms to grow on our bent backs.
I swear it was one of the longest days of my life. The clock just wouldn't go forward. We kept daydreaming about soft hotel beds and Tracon. At one point I was cursing all I could because I had to run to the toilet (that cost 1€ of course); my body was herpderping and I was feeling sick. It got better eventually but I was raging because of course, this only happens when you have to pay for the toilet. It wasn't even clean and had no soap. Seriously? D8<
Shiro Samurai wasn't feeling the best either and he spent most of our molding time effectively scaring people by lying lifelessly on a bench. At some point, some security guy came and asked if he was okay. :'(

Eventually our friend Joel appeared, yay! We went to eat in town and then had some amazing ice cream. <3 The ice cream bar we went to had all possible flavors (including energy drink, smurf and superman flavors!) and it was really good. Like, the energy ice cream tasted just like energy drink that had turned ice cream.It was awesome. One of the best ice creams in my life. :')

I can't choose. <3
Pear-chocolate, energy, cherry-banana and superman.
I shared with Shiro Samurai. :')
After the ice cream episode it was finally time to go to our hotel. We went and dropped our stuff. I lay on the bed for a moment and it was like the best feeling ever after the night in the train. :'D I love beds so much. It didn't take long before someone knocked at the door - it was our hotel neighbor Anniilaugh, whom I call Kenshin. I can't help it, she is Kenshin. x) And so it was time to put on cosplays. 

Huh, what? Cosplays? On Friday evening?
Yup. Cosplays on Friday evening.

Explanation: Shiro Samurai and Anniilaugh had been longing to have a duo shoot of their Kenshin and Okita cosplays (from the Tsuiokuhen OVA). It's the continuation of the epic Cosvision shoot so I was the photographer again. :') No pressure at all, no no no... We went to the park next to Tampere-talo to shoot and had some Tracon spoilers when we passed by the building and looked through the windows. :') We seemingly weren't the only ones to be on the crime scene... before the crime.
As we walked toward the sacred location (read: Tampere-talo) we saw something sad abandoned on a zebra crossing... It was a lone Marimekko boot. I mean, THE BOOT! Ehem.

Oh, and by the way, both Okita and Kenshin had battle damage everywhere. Thanks to Anniilaugh's impressive make-up skills, their faces were a total mess. :'D Yup, we got quite some stares. I want to learn to do this kind of make up too! On the way there and back, people would turn around to stare, including people who were in bars/restaurants and such.
When night fell and it became too dark to shoot, Shiro Samurai and I headed to the S Market near our hotel to buy some night food and breakfast. Of course, he was still in full cosplay, wearing the Shinsengumi haori and carrying the makoto flag. His face was a mess of scratches, bruises and blood... and he was coughing pretty often. I swear Shiro Samurai's body detects when he puts on Okita cosplay... Before putting on the cosplay, he was perfectly fine but as soon as he had the cosplay and make-up on, he started coughing. Not on purpose, mind you. Anniilaugh is the real Kenshin and Shiro Samurai is the real Okita. Definitely.
On the evening I helped Okita eat his night food because he still had cosplay and make-up on... So I was feeding him curry rice with a spoon. 8D He had some in-character/roleplay moments that made my heart do a triple backflip. Okita please. ;A; <3 And Shiro Samurai enjoyed my brainbugs.

Okita, you need to eat. ;_;
Shsgfgfs. ;A;
Double Okita. ;A; <3
 We crashed in bed way too late and suddenly it was morning. :'D


My alarm rang at 8:00 and I got out of bed within a quarter. Cosplay time! 8D I ate some breakfast, brushed teeth and put on contact lenses. My eyes were like raisins but the contacts went in no problem, without pain or anything. Victory! :'D I spent a while doing my make-up. Joel was done before me; Jäätynyt Enkeli was feeling a bit sick but he still joined me in front of the mirror for the usual make-up rage. Meanwhile, Shiro Samurai had a terrible case of lag and was still in bed. :/

Make-up rage. :C
Suddenly two hours had passed and we weren't done. THE HORROR. The clock was around eleven. I needed help with my ears (they're hard to put on yourself!) and false lashes (I don't know if I'm weird or anything but I really have a hard time gluing them on myself) and so I was waiting for Shiro Samurai to give me a hand... But he was still in pyjama nemaki and panicking because we all were so slow. Jäätynyt Enkeli needed his help as well because he was wearing traditional kimono and well, you guys have probably figured by now that Shiro Samurai is the kimono nerd here.
I had a horrible case of rage with Chizuru's horns. I kinda knew this would happen but I was trying to tell myself it would be all right... except that it wasn't. Both my horns are worn and the closing system is fairly damaged but one had a worse case than the other and it barely closed at all. It was pretty hard to get it to close to begin with, and after this it would still get off with the slightest poke. :'( I tried to improvise another closing system but it didn't work and I just didn't have time for this sh*t! :'O The amount of swearwords in our hotel room went over the ceiling, really.

Eventually we got our cosplays on and headed for the con. It was past twelve and everyone was already hungry. TT^TT As soon as we arrived in front of Tampere talo I felt a big wave of con hype crash onto me and I suddenly felt at home. :') Tracon is my favorite Finnish con and I really feel comfortable there so I was just like a Magikarp fish hopping into water.

Tracon entrance.
Inside Tampere-talo.
 First we went to check the Dealer's Hall with Shiro Samurai and Jäätynyt Enkeli with one sole person in focus - the traveler from a foreign land of wonders, bringer of sweetness and color - the hero of all things sugary in big cons...
The Japanese Candy Guy!
Behold the epicness.

So we quickly looked around but headed for his table soon enough because we wanted to get our hands on his yummy stuff before he sells it out, heheheh. Jäätynyt Enkeli and I bought something from him, but it was hard because there were so many people in front of the table. You almost had to elbow your way there... except that congoers are generally too polite, shy and respectful to stab each other in the sides with their elbows. At least this is true for all my con friends.
I bought some of the delicious Monster Hunter meat candies (they are shaped like the steaks from the game but they taste like orange, not BBQ'ed meat) along with a box of waffle sandwiches with green tea flavor... it just looked mouth-watering okay? ;^; 
I didn't have time to look for anything else because I followed Shiro Samurai when he practically dashed out of the Dealer's Hall. We went and scouted for titans the con's information leaflet thingy... you know, this one booklet that has information on the panels and the con in general. Behold my clever explanation. We grabbed one at the info desk and Shiro Samurai figured out that the panel he wanted to attend was starting in less than ten minutes. Before he went there he met Päivi from KANDI & CYBER and struck a chat. I tagged along because it would have been impolite to just run off without saying anything but I couldn't follow the talk. 
After this Shiro Samurai ran to his panel. I was very interested in it too (Shinsengumi panel goddammit!) but there was no point in attending since I wouldn't understand a flying sh*t. Jäätynyt Enkeli had disappeared somewhere and I was left alone. I had realized too late that the panel I wanted to attend the most was starting at the same time than the Shinsengumi panel... but it was at the other end of the building and I wasn't even sure where. Plus, I was wearing zori and hakama so running up the stairs would have been suicidal of me. Needless to say that I couldn't make it in time and thus missed the most important panel for me. I was mad. 
I walked around alone for a while, until I bumped into CissyDella in the Dealer's Hall. We went outside because it was pretty warm in there and we both needed some air. She was cosplaying as midnight!Ahri from League of Legends and had this thing that her cosplay was so cool that she couldn't walk ten meters without being asked for a picture. :') She had to pose every second minute, it was beautiful. and probably a bit tiring too. I stayed with her and her friends for a while, it was comfy. It took my mind off the frustration of missing my panel. 
After about one hour I went back inside to check if Shiro Samurai was done with his panel by any chance... He wasn't, but when I got there and looked at the screen, I saw a random not so random Okita. There was some info about him in Finnish but I couldn't understand anything so I guessed it was just the usual info. I was asked if I wanted to come inside and attend the panel but I declined after saying that I don't understand Finnish. 
I went back to the Dealer's Hall. I was like: lonelyyyyy, I am so lonelyyyyy... ehem. I looked through merchandise again but my mind wasn't really set on buying anything... which I regretted later on. I didn't get time to buy anything else after this so I kinda missed this chance. Oh well, I still had enough time to buy a T-shirt with a print I had been looking for, so I'm happy about this! The T-shirt reads: I can't brain today, I has the dumb. fitting I got a free badge for buying the T-shirt and gave it to Shiro Samurai when I met him later on. That feeling when an S size T shirt looks so big on me... I really regret that I didn't buy more stuff at this moment but oh well, at least I'm saving some cash. x)
I was about to exit the Dealer's Hall when I bumped into Jäätynyt Enkeli and Sairu-chan, who was cosplaying as geiko!Chizuru. She's so pretty and cute! ;A; We hugged and started walking but it only took a few steps before we ran into FankiKitsune who was cosplaying as Death the Kid from Soul Eater. We exchanged a few words before I was spotted by this one genderbend!Naruto cosplayer whom I met in Tracon last year, and then saw again in Cosvision and Desucon. She's super chill and a huge Hakuouki fangirl so we started chatting like old friends and fangirling on Hakuouki guys. x) I love her cosplay. 
She left after a few minutes to go eat and we hugged each other. :') FankiKitsune disappeared somewhere so Jäätynyt Enkeli, Sairu-chan and I headed out of the Dealer's Hall to go look for our Saitou, aka Shiro Samurai... but we bumped into him before long. :'D 
Everyone was pretty damn hungry so I suggested we go eat something before I activate the titan mode and start eating people or myself for that matter. Shiro Samurai said he needed to go to the first aid before this because he had pretty bad knee pains. It didn't take very long before he came back with his knee wrapped in a bandage. He was limping though. :'( But he could still walk so we went and finally scouted for food. 
We walked down one street and found this kebab place in which we ate during last Tracon, but none of us really felt like kebab so we went into the Chinese restaurant close by. Shiro Samurai and I had a brainbug because the cartoon-style guy on the restaurant's wall looked just like Isami Kondou... given that he had been a Chinese cook, that is. XD This restaurant got nicknamed the Kondou restaurant.

You gotta admit that there is a resemblance... :D
We ordered food and shared it, and we discovered that we could take free salad! Yoohoo! I need my dose of veggies, m'kay? I was happy about this because I usually share food with Shiro Samurai and he's not a big fan of vegetables whereas I try to eat as many as possible, for health reasons and because I like them. So it's not rare that we have problems agreeing on which food to share because I want veggies and he doesn't. x) Eat your greens dammit. 
The food was really good and we could barely finish it, even when sharing it! It was very beautifully arranged on the plate too. All my thumbs up! :)

We then walked back to the con, rolling a bit because of the amount of food. :'D The weather was nice and we walked around outdoors for a while. A lot of congoers were sitting and chilling outside too, so I felt home being surrounded by weirdos like me. <3  There were some food tents outside, as well as a candy bus! I can't even imagine how much money the candy bus people earned during the week-end... everybody knows that congoers are - more often than not - sugar addicts. I usually am as well but lately I've eaten so much sugary stuff that I just can't eat candies anymore and I don't want to either. Blörgh.
We went back inside at one point because I wanted to check the Dealer's Hall again (and I needed to pee) - but we arrived a few minutes too late and it had closed for the day. Meh. We went to troll in the Artists' Alley for a while, it was comfy but I didn't buy anything. I always feel bad about not buying from the artists because they do really cool stuff... but I'm so broke. ;_; I'm so sorryyyyyy...
We quickly summoned Ri-kun and then left the place. :'D

It had become a bit late to shoot so we only took a few quick pictures, only to prove that we were here.

We went to sit outside (it had gotten fairly cold though) and found a table where only two persons were sitting. We went to sit there too while one of them (who was cosplaying Bertholdt from Attack on Titan) finished eating their food. They were hilarious, making faces and pulling jokes! Even though I didn't understand the jokes, the faces were glorious and totally ruined my vision of Bertholdt. x) Sometimes Shiro Samurai would translate a joke to me and it became even funnier. :'D At one point, Bertholdt crammed their hamburger paper into their empty paper cup and said something like "I'll save trash space!" (see Shiro Samurai's post. :'D). A bit later they also took their camera, said "Selfie!" and took a pic without even trying to frame it. It was so pretty. XD
Meanwhile, Shiro Samurai and I were happily nom-nom-ing on the green tea waffles I had bought just earlier. So good! <3  

Nom. :'3
Shiro Samurai was thirsty, so he drank the ochimizu I had been carrying around all day. Nothing happened. :C Cosplay rasetsu!Saitou please!
I was starting to be really cold and I wanted to go back to the hotel before I got sick (and before Sairu-chan and Jäätynyt Enkeli's con flu became worse). Shiro Samurai went to meet one of the winners of his giveaway to give them their prize and then we were off.
Jäätynyt Enkeli headed directly to the hotel but Shiro Samurai and I went to the small food store nearby again to buy some night food and breakfast. I was hungry. We had a pretty funny reaction when we went out of the store; seemingly a man called us (or at least Shiro Samurai) for knights. Knights! Where did he get this from? x) Then again, kimono knights... that sounds cool.
Something less cool happened while we walked back to the hotel though. We were walking through a dark-ish street with bars everywhere, but it didn't feel any more dangerous than yesterday... except for this guy who came to walk next to us. He was walking next to his bike and he kept talking in an unidentifiable language. I guess he was trying to communicate? Whatever the case I felt very uncomfortable because he kept following us, and his presence made me feel in danger. At one point he almost blocked the street with his bike and I was really scared! I just wanted to go hide behind Saitou's back... :'(
Luckily he didn't try to harm us and we escaped him by going into the hotel. Good thing that I remembered the code so I could open the door without having to check my cellphone for said code. It was a real relief to have the door closing behind us! Definitely one of my scariest experiences... :'(
We went into our room, where Jäätynyt Enkeli and Joel already were. It's funny because I usually suck at remembering door codes (or any series of numbers like dates or passwords) but I had no problem with this one... and this because I had heard Jäätynyt Enkeli repeat the code to Joel on the morning - in Finnish. I understand very little Finnish but I know the numbers from one to ten so I could figure out the code. I could only remember it in Finnish and was unable or very slow to translate it to English. Brain, please, what are you doing? O_o I hope someone actually understood what I was trying to explain.
Anyway, Shiro Samurai and I ate our night food and prepared to go sleep. I tried to help him around because he had very bad knee pains, it was sad to watch. :'( You can lean against me, Saitou-san. ;A;
Eventually we got to sleep - but it was way too late again... </3


Wow. Such lag. The alarm rang at 7:00 but it wasn't even possible to get out of bed. I snoozed my alarm and lagged in bed for a while, until the cosplay urge and con need managed to wake me up and drag me out of bed. I also needed to pee.
The morning was pretty chaotic. We had to get Shiro Samurai out of the warm and comfy bed, eat breakfast, change to cosplay, pack and get the -biiiip- out of here before a daunting cleaning lady kicks us out at twelve to, well, clean. :'D
Just like yesterday, Joel was the quickest - but he also took part in our morning chaos... Basically it was impossible to get into the bathroom and stay there for more than two minutes because one of us always had to run in there for whatever reason (mostly taking a rushed sh*t before the next person knocked at the door to say that they also needed to take a crap. Sweet.).
As soon as I was sort-of awake, I opened my computer to search for a Hinata pic so that I would have a reference for my make-up. Yeah, it's pretty stressful when you haven't even had time to do a make-up test and you are doing your first make-up attempt on the con morning... :'D I did what I could for the make-up and I was actually surprised by how well it turned out. Woohoo!
I then put on the rest of the cosplay and raged for a while with this kind of white bandage that Hinata has wrapped around her leg... All Naruto cosplayers will understand my rage, really. I mean, why did the mangaka have to put something that would be such a pain in the *ss for cosplayers? D': People never think about cosplayers. Ehem. I managed to get something okay-ish and then checked that I had all the cosplay parts.
Wig? - Check. It's on my head, still braided. I'll undo the braid at the con to minimize the risks of tangling.
Pants? - Check. Not gonna go to the con without...
T-shirt? - Check. A bit more modest than just a net shirt...
Cheated bra to double boob size? - Check. And yet I still don't have enough boobs for Hinata. :<
Horrible leg bandage? - Check. Like I'd forget this f*cker. D<
Sandals? - Check. Self-made with the help of my mum, for the sake of accuracy.
Kunai bag? - Check. Too big for my leg, by the way.
Kunai? - Check. My beloved prop. <3
Konoha headband? ...

I forgot the goddamn headband FFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!

Okay, so...
The day had been killed.
A ninja without headband is only pretending.

Of course, when I said that I forgot the most important part of my cosplay, Shiro Samurai only laughed. But then I laughed too. Even though it wasn't funny because it meant that I had to run into the Dealer's Hall first thing at the con and hope for a headband. D':
Before going we still had time to pack (all of us), beg a certain Levi for safety pins (me), get really hungry (Shiro Samurai and I) and put on full cosplay in time (Joel). Shiro Samurai still wasn't done putting on his cosplay so I used this time to my advantage and ate half of the sandwich I had bought yesterday. :'D It was surprisingly good!

Activating Sasha mode - nomnomnomnomnom.
We finally left for the con, dragging a mountain of stuff. It was a close call, because we left just half an hour before the daunting cleaning lady bombed in. Phew! In the rush, we forgot to hang the "checked out" sign on the door handle, oops. Oh well the daunting cleaning lady will figure out anyway. 
At the con we, Ibuki (Shiro Samurai) and I went to hide in a corner so that I could put his extra hair on his head. :D Well, basically put on his ponytail clip. He already looked much better with his hair! Just when I was fiddling with stuff in our suitcase, someone suddenly came and gave me a surprise hug. I realized that it was Sairu-chan, who was amazingly cute as SSL!Kosuzu. :'D
She helped us carry/drag our stuff to the narikka (read: check room, where they keep your stuff safe and tidy) and then we happened to bump into Satu from KANDI & CYBER (not like she's hard to miss, so fabulous!) and gave her a big box of chocolate balls feat. coconut. You seemingly can't find these in Finland so we carried them all the way from Sweden, huehuehue. x) 
After this I hurried to the Dealer's Hall to get my hands on a headband. You see, I would meet with the Naruto group really soon and I still didn't have my ninja ID card! [insert horrified face here] Luckily I found a headband and paid it twice the price for my first, forgotten headband fffffffuuuuuuuu. I immediately tied it around my neck and headed out of the Dealer's Hall.

Hello, do you have a headband? Yes? GIEF.
I had time to say hi to Ri-kun, hurry to the bathroom (where I spent way too long because it was the ladies' bathroom and it's always over-populated, especially when you have 2mn to pee), unbraid my wig and then it was time for the Naruto meeting!
I went outside with Shiro Samurai and Jäätynyt Enkeli and we found the Tsunade cosplayer who had arranged the meeting! Hooray! At first we were only Tsunade, Sasuke, Sakura and my modest self, along with three photographers... no pressure taken. ;_; Shikamaru and Deidara came right after. Our Itachi and Naruto would be late, which was rather relieving... You see, I had jumped in-character and I was feeling so shy about meeting Naruto! Cosplay groups do wonders. Tsunade also wanted us to be in-character, so the atmosphere was really nice and friendly. I was kind of forcing everyone to speak English (Sorry!) but it was also funny. :'3
We went to shoot fairly soon, followed by now four photographers. (Nooooo pressure taken...) We choose a nice spot with trees in the background and started posing, following instructions given by Tsunade and our photographers. It was awesome! We took pictures together, then had some fighting pics and also some derps. It was hilarious. XD It was really cool to shoot all together! I had some problems following directions but the photographers also had problems giving them in English so most of the time they just ended up pointing where I should stand and it was fine. x) Sign language is universal. 
After a while our Naruto arrived and I switched on the shy!Hinata mode. :') He was really tall too... I started fiddling with my fingers and we took some more pics. I really had a good time! <3 
When the group scattered, one of the photographers asked if she could take some pics of me alone. It was the first time I was asked for a solo shoot (by someone else than Shiro Samurai) so I was really shy. It was very nice though and it made me feel happy! :'D Posing alone was comfy and uplifting - I also got some cosplay experience thanks to this. <3 Shiro Samurai followed for the solo shoot and also took pics... LIKE A NINJA.

CosplayerHasakitsuki (aka myself) as Hyūga Hinata (Naruto Shippuden version)
Photographer: my dear Shiro Samurai. <3

After the solo shoot, Shiro Samurai, Jäätynyt Enkeli and I walked back to Tampere-talo. I ate up the rest of my sandwich - Shiro Samurai was starving so I gave him a bite off it too. He complained that I only left him the salad. Oops, sorry. x) Eat your greens.
I quickly went to the Japanese Candy Guy again but didn't take time to check anything else, even though I wanted. My company and I were considering to go eat I was still hungry despite the sandwich but we thought it better to go shoot first so that we wouldn't have to re-apply half the make-up after eating. Jäätynyt Enkeli met with Sipsinekku and they had their planned shoot. Sipsinekku was really cute as angel!Petra and I approved of the photoshoot idea. It was sad yet sweet... <3
After their shoot we parted from Sipsinekku and walked a bit further to go shoot Shiro Samurai's cosplay. We found a cool spot with a tree growing over the water and that you could stand on. It was a super pretty location! So we put down our stuff and started shooting. First Jäätynyt Enkeli was the photographer but he quit pretty quickly. By this time, his con flu had evolved into the obligatory snot phase and so suit!Levi became snot!Levi. It was funny because we kept joking about it - and the real Levi would probably go insane because of all the disgusting snot. x)
I took over as Shiro Samurai's photographer but oh damn it was hard. You see, I'm not a good photographer to begin with but I had an additional handicap this time: my beloved white screen contacts. I honestly love them because they are absolutely perfect for Hinata cosplay but they do restrain my vision a little, especially in bright light... And our shoot location was bathing in bright sunlight. I had problems seeing details and color contrasts so guess if it was hard to shoot? :<
It was still really nice to shoot Shiro Samurai as Ibuki - he looked really good! <3 I had some nice angles too. Pictures can be seen here! :)
After this, we exchanged roles and I got some more Hinata pics! Yoohoo!

CosplayerHasakitsuki as Hyūga Hinata (Naruto Shippuden version)
Photographer: Shiro Samurai.

I really enjoyed cosplaying Hinata! dem eyes too. I was bothered by my wig though because it's too long and one shade too light. So I bought another wig for next time. x) There was also this thing with my pants that the hem is tight and non-elastic so when I crouched, I got my blood flow almost stopped and it hurt a lot. :< And my feet turned into dead meat after a while.
Cosplay without pain is only pretending.

After shooting we walked back to Tampere-talo because Shiro Samurai wanted to change cosplays. I didn't know what the clock was but it was probably the right time for him to change into yukata!Okita. We were also thinking about checking what remaining panels/concerts we could attend. I also wanted to go check what stuff Ichi had. 
When we walked into the con building, it took us a few minutes to realize that we had been the victims of an unlucky time travel. You see, people were leaving the con, which can only mean that it was about to end... But we had just got there! We couldn't have been at the con in more than 2 hours maximum - we hadn't even wasted time in going to eat... so there was no way it could be this late already! :'(
And yet it was. Tracon 9 was about to end. The Sunday had disappeared even faster than the Saturday; time had literally flown out of our hands! We had missed all that we wanted to attend - concerts, NCC and the rest - and there was nothing left to do but to go pick up our stuff from the narikka and change out of cosplay...
I was about to cry, really. D': Tracon, where did you go? What happened to the week-end?
I was really sad when I went to pick up our stuff. I dragged everything to a bench where Ri-kun happened to be sitting so Shiro Samurai gave back the swords he had borrowed from them, we had a quick chat and shared green tea waffles. :') But then there was only half an hour before the con closed so Shiro Samurai and I said bye-bye to Ri-kun and then went to kick someone out of the handicapped bathroom so that we could both go in there and change to normal gear. Normally I'd be the last one to knock at the toilet door but we were really in a hurry (and it wasn't me who knocked anyway).
Changing out of cosplay felt unreal. We really had to rush though and we were still in the bathroom when we heard that the con was over. D': As soon as we looked normal-ish we went out of the bathroom and exited the building, leaving a river of tears behind us. As we were standing outside Tampere-talo, it really felt like we had walked into the con just a few hours before and two days had passed like nothing. It was so sad to go... D': We didn't even get to shoot with Sairu-chan; actually we barely saw her at all. :< I'm also really sad that I didn't get to meet my bookaholic friend Moonbeam.

Soon would start our journey back home, but it felt so pointless because Tracon feels like home... </3

We walked to Koskikeskus to hunt for some food. I also wanted to buy medicine for my throat because it had been hurting ever since morning and getting gradually worse. It felt like the beginning of a con flu... By this time it was hurting quite much. :/ But first I really needed some food, and Shiro Samurai and Jäätynyt Enkeli had the same syndrome going on. 
We realized once in the shopping center that it was Sunday evening and almost nothing was open. Food-wise, we pretty much only had Mc Donald's and Subway to choose from... so it was Subway again. :'D Not like it's bad, I mean you get salad in your sandwich so it can't be that unhealthy. We ate quickly and then got out of there because the Subway was closing.
I still had my contacts and make-up on so I went to the bathroom and fixed this. I got someone staring at me when I was taking off my eyes, I wonder why? :'D Jäätynyt Enkeli was the only of us three to keep the make-up on for a little longer, even though it had flaked to hell and back.
We happened to find a small ice cream bar downstairs, yay! <3 Shiro Samurai and I shared an ice cream cup and we took the same flavor that we had back then in Animeseminaari so we got strongly reminded of this con ice cream bar event. I appreciated the ice cream very much because it was tasty and the cold numbed my throat pain. The pain came back as soon as I was done eating though so I would have needed eternal ice cream... :'3 

We then walked to the train station pain station and sat in the underground tunnel to wait for our train. The main part of the train station was pretty crowded (mostly with con people) so there was nowhere to sit. I still wanted medicine for my throat but it was so late that nothing was open... Jäätynyt Enkeli was sure that there was a Siwa somewhere close by that would be open and I found it after some scouting. I went there with Shiro Samurai to buy some travel provisions, along with the closest they had to medicine, namely throat pastilles. They didn't really do anything for the pain but it was better than nothing so I soon started eating them like candy. 
We had also bought some cheap yoghurt and when we came back to our camping place in the tunnel we started drinking it... and it felt like the best thing ever. It was just so good and cool. :'D We wanted some more but just when I was about to go get some, our train arrived. There would still be about half an hour before it left so we went to put our stuff in the train and then I went back to the train station to buy more yoghurt. I ran just to make sure that I would come back in time, and I did!

snot!Levi is pulling up his pants in the background. x)
Being in the train was pretty comfy because half the people in the cart were coming from Tracon. x) It was nice to see friendly violet bands here and there! 
It was less nice that the rest of the people were staring, snoring loudly and scarily (elderly man in the back) or chatting in loud and annoying voices until past one in the morning (obnoxious religious women close to our seats).

The train trip consisted of much lag, failed attempts to sleep and many pains and limbs turning into meat. When we arrived in Kemi in the morning, the lag was horrible. My throat was still hurting and I was feeling worse. It didn't help that it was shit cold (welcome back to northern Finland) so we went to hide in the train station pain station while we waited for Shiro Samurai and Jäätynyt Enkeli's mum to come pick us up. She was very kind to give us a ride this early in the morning!
When Shiro Samurai and I finally came back home, we dumped our stuff here and there and crashed in bed where we stayed until the afternoon. :'D

And this concludes this year's Tracon adventure! I really wish it would have lasted longer because time just flew past, but I had a super awesome time! Thank you everyone for a great con! :'D 
Bye-bye! <3


I know you want them...

B-b-bonus pics! 

Eating night food... LIKE A TITAN.
oni!Chizuru is so superior.
Morning torture, aka lash curling.
Chocolate milkshake is so good!
... dat Levi though.
I'll let you go now, see ya'! ~

Monday, September 15, 2014

Lens review: Vassen Lollipop Red


I just came back from the 9th edition of Tracon - but before I write my summary, I will give you a little piece of candy... a red lollipop. It shows I'm tired, doesn't it? :'D

You know what this is? *cracky smile*
Another lens review! What you mean, I like doing these?
This time it's the Vassen Lollipop Red's turn! They also go under the name I.Fairy Cara Red. I was very drawn to these because of their design, and also because I really wanted red contacts. It's my first pair of red lenses. (Why do I buy my first red ones so late? D< ) I decided to wear them on the 7th of September because I had put them to soak in solution on the previous day. I happened to be trying on my vampire fangs (of the Scarecrow brand) on the same day so I got in the "vampire" mood and did some creepy make-up too! <3
But first, pictures of the bottles. Diameter is 14.5mm and base curve is 8.6mm, pretty usual.

Photographer is Shiro Samurai.

The left lens is on the "right" side; the right lens is on the "wrong" side.
One lens in. ~
Now is the time... warning for creepy make-up! ;)

Taken in normal room light, facing the window. It's cloudy...
Taken indoors, with flash.
The oh so hated bathroom light...
Taken outdoors, with the flash, in the evening. It's still cloudy...
Still outdoors, without flash. The sun doesn't want to come.
Taken under a lamp in the stairs. Yellow light. :<
Taken in the corridor, right under a lamp with white-ish light.

Fake selfie. 8D
From a distance. I have fangs. :'D
So... I like these a lot, but I was a bit disappointed comfort-wise. Don't get me wrong, they are comfortable to wear but lately I've only worn very comfy contacts (like the EOS New Adult Brown and I.Fairy Tofi Gold) so I felt a difference. I felt them slightly in my eyes. Also the pupil hole is fairly small so I was seeing red corners pretty often. At times it was a bit of a hinder for my vision. These contacts move easily in my eyes too - half my vision goes red for a split-second when I blink.
But they are still comfortable to wear for several hours in a row, and I barely felt them in my eyes. 
They are very bright and they look obviously red even in bad light so you'd better have some appropriate make-up. ;) 

In short: 

Color: 10/10
You can see in any light that they are bright red. The pupil hole doesn't let any of your eye color show either!
Opacity: 9/10
Not 100% opaque but they still cover your eye color. I assume they look slightly darker on brown eyes.
Design: 10/10
Woah. It's bright, it's filled with sparkles, it screams FABULOUS at you!
Enlargement: 8/10
Pretty good enlargement. :)
Comfort: 7/10
As I wrote you can wear them for a while but the red corners are slightly annoying and give a small restriction of my vision at times. I feel them in my eyes, but it's very slight so it's not really a problem.
Naturalness: 0/10
The only natural thing about these is that I still have eyes... ._.

This concludes my vampire-ness! I'll turn back into a mortal now, bye! ~

Psst... psst! I've heard that these are cheaper on Lens Village! Is it true?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

How to be a demon (part 2): grow fangs.


Here continues the "demon" series! This time, let's implant ourselves the simplest blood-sucking device, namely vampire fangs. I also need fangs for my oni!Chizuru cosplay. Excuse the absence lack of references to prove this... but I'm pretty sure that while the rasetsu (aka "furies" in the American version) don't have fangs, the oni do. 20% cooler, heh. 
I bought my fangs from Aradani Costumes, based in the USA. It's an excellent store, selling pro items of high quality. They ship fast and pack items safely. The only drawback is that you seemingly have a higher risk to get your package into customs... at least it happened to me. But I really recommend Aradani Costumes if you need any kind of extra fangs, ears, or other horns. :'D

On to the fangs themselves. I bought the Subtle Vampire Fangs of the Scarecrow brand. I didn't want too big fangs because I assumed Chizuru had pretty small ones. Also I think I have rather small teeth so I thought it safer to roll with the smallest option. 

Pictures are taken by Shiro Samurai.

This is what they look like unopened. Rather flashy. :D
There was an instruction booklet too.
When I opened the coffin box, I saw a whole kit of stuff-to-use.

Yup. So... what is what, and what do I do?
I referred to the instruction booklet, which was clear and detailed. I read through it entirely and then I had Shiro Samurai help me with customizing my fangs. He was counting minutes, basically. :'D
So first I needed to practice with the fangs so that I could put them on smoothly on the first try and in one move. It will be important when I do the actual customizing. 

Close-up on one fang. The two fangs are identical.
When I could put them over my canine teeth on the first try, I mixed the paste that would harden and become the perfect mold of my canine teeth. I needed to mix one of the powder capsules with four drops of the liquid and stir the paste in the black box. 

Ready to pour the liquid.
More mixing...
After one minute of mixing, I ended up with some paste that I stuck on the inner "walls" of my left fang and went to put it on my tooth. I had to hold it in place for 5mn, which is quite long... which means I had to wipe off some drool. I know you love my cute details. While I was holding the fang in place, Shiro Samurai came and snapped a pic. I'm not sure I should thank him...

Looking clever here.
Ahum. I'd like to know who can look good while doing this kind of thing. And I'm a cosplayer, not a dentist specialized in vampires.

Left fang on my canine tooth.
I put on the second fang after this, without taking off the first one. It was a bit harder because my right canine tooth didn't want to cooperate... but who has symmetrical teeth anyway? So I dealt with it like I could and struggled the second fang over my tooth. Using my right hand was very clumsy so I used the left. I'm right-handed so it was quite the challenge... Left hand, why do you betray me? 

Once my fangs were in place, I kept them for as long as possible. They were fairly comfortable to wear except for the excess of hardened paste everywhere... but this allows a better fit, so I can't trim it. They were a very slight hinder when I talked, but barely at all. I could talk almost like usual; Shiro Samurai didn't notice any difference when I spoke. I did notice something very slight. I also had more problems pronouncing the "th" sound.
I didn't eat anything with the fangs on cause it's not recommended. I only drank water, nothing else. It's specified in the instructions that some drinks can stain your fangs, so I stayed away from my coffee. I took off the fangs to eat; they went off easily with a push of my lower teeth and some pulling with my fingers. I put them back on after eating and brushing my teeth.
There isn't really much to add about the small fangs; they aren't really a hindrance or anything. They got in the way when I tried to smile though, so my smile looked different than usual. Otherwise, no problems. :)
I must say that Scarecrow is a very good brand. My fangs are high quality and the instructions in the booklet are precise, complete and easy to understand. All green! :'D

First horns, then fangs... Am I still human? 8D Figure out in the next episode of the "demon" series! (Wow, that sounded like an anime cliffhanger...)