Friday, October 28, 2005

Friday Night...

So... haven't blogged at all since completing the Superman costume, have I?

So, first things first... I spent a few hours last night taking in the pants and shorts, as frankly, they were way too baggy! I took them in about a half-inch on each side, and I think I could've taken them in even more... but I decided I had to stop before I went too far. Besides, it'll give me something to do with it next year, before Halloween!

Krypto got to wear his collar and cape for a bit tonight... wait, I'm getting ahead of myself! KO and Krypto were treated to a day at Doggie Daycare today, so they'd be worn out tonight (and still a bit tired on Saturday, too). This was part of my plan to keep them from acting like maniacs (well, complete maniacs anyway) during Saturday's Bones & Treats (the trick-or-treating for dogs). When I brought them home, I gave them both a bath (not an easy task... neither of them are especially fond of baths), and then I rewarded them with two fairly large rawhide bones to chew on, while they wore their costumes, to start getting used to them. That worked out just fine!

So, now they're both asleep, as is Jessi... and I'm still up! But not for very much longer, I'm sure.

Here's how our weekend's looking... the day begins, as all Saturdays do, with Weight Watchers. After our meeting, we head home, and I'll grab a fresh shower before getting into costume and then getting Krypto in his cape, while Jessi gets dressed herself and dresses up KO. We will likely have a light breakfast first.

Then, we're meeting some of our dog-friends at 10:30 for the start of Bones & Treats: Paul and Bridgit (owners of Claude, another white boxer, who I believe will be dressed as a chicken), Kathy (owner of Jaeger, a fawn boxer, as well as Emily, a weiner dog), and Elyse (a weight watcher friend, with her chocolate lab Roca). We won't all go in the same car, but we will all hit each stop as a group.

We'll likely be involved with that for three or four hours, depending on traffic and how long each stop takes. Once we're done with all that, we'll make a stop at Olympic Cards & Comics so we can show off our costumes to Gabi, and I can buy the latest comics.

From there, it's back home and back into civvies! We'll probably have a late lunch then (assuming we don't eat during all that), and then I'll get started making my special low-calorie pizza for dinner (kind of a warm-up for the birthday party, which will be in another two weeks).

Sunday, believe it or not, we don't seem to have anything planned for... if the weather's decent, I'll mow the front yard, and Jessi and I may go for a bike ride.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

It's.... Superman?

superman costume
Originally uploaded by waffyjon.
OK, so here's the first public look at my Superman costume... and frankly, it came out better than I expected, given I was making it by hand.

Had I more time -- and a sewing machine that would cooperate with me -- I'm sure it would've looked better!

More photos will be coming forth, especially of Krypto and I both in costume!

I tell ya... next year, maybe I'll be able to rework this a bit, and I think instead of boot covers, I'll spend the $35 plus postage and buy some superhero boots!


Wednesday Morning...

...and I'm happy to report that, save for a few possible very minor adjustments... the Superman costume is finished! Of course, I have yet to try on the entire ensemble (which is why there's no photo accompanying this blog entry), but that will come late tonight!

Wow, it has been a lot of work... and especially after sewing up the boot covers last night, the tip of my index finger is still sore from pushing the needle through!

In other news... Tuesday night is one of our "must see TV" nights around here... starting with NBC's "The Biggest Loser" (which was a 90-minute episode) and then going to ABC's "Commander-In-Chief" (which, thanks to "The Biggest Loser" running an extra half-hour, we missed the first half of... sheesh, we've got to get a DVR one of these days). As I've mentioned before, Jessi and I are both big "Law and Order" (and the various spin-offs, SVU and Criminal Intent) fans, but we rarely watch the first-run episodes... namely because most of them air at 10:00, which is when Jessi goes to bed... the exception to that is Sunday's Criminal Intent, which even then, we sometimes miss.

Anyway... I wasn't able to follow the last half of CIC, as I was pretty focused on sewing the boots, but I did pay attention to TBL. In case you don't watch it, "The Biggest Loser" is a reality show of sorts, in which overweight people learn to eat right and get enough exercise in an attempt to be the person who loses the most weight by the end of the show. Given that it is a reality show, of course, at the end of each episode, someone is voted off. Up until last night's episode, the teams were the men vs. the women, which was really unfair... as Jessi and I can attest, men just naturally seem to be able to lose weight faster than women, and as of the beginning of last night's episode, there were three women left and five men in the competition... so they changed things up last night, with the group as a whole being split into four groups of two people each.

A regular part of the show, early in each episode, is the temptation challenge. In this challenge, the contestants are given an opportunity to gain some benefit (usually financial) but risk something to help them lose weight. In a previous episode, for example, they went to Las Vegas, and they had the chance to play a game of high/low to win some money, but if they did that, they couldn't use their personal trainer the rest of that week.

So this week's temptation was a biggie... there were these eight covered trays, and on one of them was the opportunity to choose the teams, while the others were food (Twinkies, hot dog, pizza, carrot sticks, and so on). Two of the contestants didn't do the temptation... the rest did, and one of them, Pete, earned the right to choose the teams.

Now, if you ask me, Pete was almost stupidly noble. In an attempt to be fair, he chose to team up with this doctor (I forget his name, everyone's been calling him "Doc"), while he matched up the others in male-female pairs. As a result, his team lost the weigh-in part of the game this week (where the team with the lowest percentage of weight loss loses, and one of them has to go home). Doc actually went to the other players and asked to be voted off, if you can believe that! But instead of them choosing him, the other teams chose Pete... so much for being fair, eh?

However, Pete didn't exactly fare badly... at the end of the show, they show the person who was voted off, and how they're doing today (these episodes were taped a few months ago), and Pete's looking completely amazing! He's obviously kept up with the plan since leaving the show, and if they repeat from the last series, he's a shoo-in to win the runner-up prize given to the contestant with the highest percentage weight loss who was voted out.

Mark, who the previous week didn't lose any weight (he had been getting up in the middle of the night and cooking himself a fried breakfast) really came out of his slump this week, and more than made up for last week's weigh-in. I still think he has a ways to go emotionally... but he's matured greatly in this episode, and I think a lot of that had to do with him getting the news that his uncle had died of a heart attack.

The ladies are doing well, too... they're not losing as much weight as the men are, but they're all looking very good!

If you've been trying to lose weight, and you don't watch that show, I highly recommend it... it's very inspirational, and even if you don't need the inspiration, it's entertaining.


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Tuesday Update...

So... it's Tuesday! And I have some good news to report on the costume front... all I need to make now are the boots (which could be the hardest part, because of the thickness of the material). Last night, I worked on the cape, gathering it on the top corners and sewing on the Velcro which will attach it to the muscle shirt, and gluing on the insignia... and I also finished the shirt. My secondary insignia plan, sewing the iron-on insignia, just wasn't working at all... the stitching caused the iron-on stuff to split and white was showing through, so I decided to go ahead and use the foam cut-out version for the chest insignia, and glued it on... hopefully when I try on the costume, it'll be properly placed!

I also started on the belt last night, and finished it this morning. Actually, I'd started the belt a few days ago, but had only done the "buckle"... now, it's complete, including the Velcro which will be used to fasten it in the back.

If any of you are considering making a Superman costume of your own... for God's sake, unless you're ridiculously tall like I am (I'm 6' 6"), save the aggravation and go buy one of the licensed costumes... unless you or someone you know is a whiz at the sewing machine... because hand-stitching is a major time consuming task!

Still... I am feeling quite a sense of accomplishment with this. It's been a lot of work, and hopefully, when I wear the entire ensemble, it'll look good (and yes, I will of course be sharing photos here, probably either Saturday night or Sunday).

Over on the DC History List I finally got caught up with my 1-10 postings this morning... and for the uninitiated, 1-10 is my title for posting the first 10 issues of various comics covers. This month, I've been posting spooky/monster covers, and this morning I posted the first 10 covers from Tomb of Dracula, Vampirella, and Swamp Thing! If you're not on the list, you're too late to get those, but you can sign up and receive all future postings!

Monday on DC History (and it's more than just DC Comics covers there, obviously), all the members are invited to post photos of people dressed up in comics-character costumes, and I've collected a bunch of them... and hopefully, this weekend, I'll get around to scanning some photos I took at Mid-Ohio-Con a few years back to add to those!

In other news... don't forget about my column at WF Comics, Cover Stories, which has a new feature every Sunday... and this week is my Halloween column. There'll be a new, non-Halloween column this coming Sunday, although I don't recall what the theme for that is!


Monday, October 24, 2005

Sew and Sow...

That's pretty much what Sunday was like for me... and I mean "sow" as in "as ye reap, so shall ye..." and not as in a female pig.

OK, it's really a poor choice of words, but lemme 'splain...

The morning began with our Sunday dog walk, followed by breakfast. Since there was no way I could get the Superman costume done on a sewing machine, I decided to go ahead and hand-stitch it today. This ate up a lot of time, but I did lots of other stuff, too!

So, here's the costume update: The shirt is done except for adding the insignia (I forgot I needed black thread to attach it with). The pants are done except for adding the belt loops (although I've nearly done two of the four I'm planning to put on it). The good news is that things are fitting, although the waist on the pants ended up being bigger than I originally planned (good thing I bought some elastic). So, the plan is to continue working on the costume after work while Jessi and I watch tv. Tomorrow, I expect to get the belt loops finished and sewn onto the trunks (which the leggings are attached to). I may get the belt done tomorrow (Monday) as well, which would leave the cape and boots, plus attaching insignia.

Other stuff I did today? Well, there was yard work to be done... as a result of a rather dry summer around here, we had a few bare patches in the back yard (well, Krypto's digging habit helped out there, too). I bought some Scott's Patchmaster (which has seeds, mulch and fertilizer in one) on Saturday, and spent my break time from sewing using the rake to loosen up the dirt in the bare spots, following the instructions, and then spreading the stuff around.

After the yard work, Jessi and I visited some friends to show off the ring. We got back home, had a light lunch, and I continued sewing until it was time for me to make dinner. After dinner, more sewing while watching America's Funniest Home Videos and Extreme Makover: Home Edition (which was a rerun from last season!). Then we watched Law & Order: Criminal Intent, although I was focused more on sewing, so I barely even remember what it was about. Before Jessi went to bed, I emptied and refilled the dishwasher, vacuumed the kitchen rugs and the hallway carpet. After Jessi went back to sleep, I did a bit more sewing (although I should've started my latest freelance job, a transcription gig for Charlton Spotlight -- sorry guys!), and then did more cleaning in the kitchen and vacuumed the living room carpets.

And that takes us up to now, when I started writing this blog entry!