AwesomeCon 2017 – Day 1

The year is half over and I can jubilantly check off one of my New Year’s resolutions:

I resolve to cosplay at a fan convention this year.

While I excitedly prepared for my first-ever con, a lot of folks asked me questions like:

What do you mean, you haven’t been to a convention before?
But you’re such an enormous nerd?
How long have you been cosplaying for?
What do you mean, you’ve never cosplayed before?
But you’re such a gigantic and vain nerd??

The truth is, I didn’t have particularly good reasons for not attending a con before. One of the biggest prohibitors was that I didn’t think I belonged at a comics convention, specifically, because I don’t read comic books. But these conventions have evolved past the comics and have become much broader-interest fan gatherings that include nerds —like myself— who are not comic book readers.

Nerds looking for comic books
“It’s just nerds who love comic books. I’m not THAT kind of nerd.”

In fact, as I was walking through the Artist Alley with Ben, I was lamenting how I felt a bit guilty walking through, because some of these artists were highly acclaimed comic artists whose work I was completely unfamiliar with and unappreciative of. As I was telling him how I didn’t know a single artist in the Artist Alley, and how overwhelming i was to be surrounded by so many vendors and artists and fans, I saw a corner table with something familiar on it…

View of Exhibit Hall
The view on the way to the Exhibit Hall

… it was Dinosaur Comics and I was approaching Ryan North‘s table and I immediately started to panic. “Oh, do you know him? There’s no one there, do you want to go say hi?” Ben asked me. “NO we must leave now,” I whispered as I scurried away. Eventually, after walking a big lap around the Artist Alley, I summoned the courage to say hello and Ryan gave me a postcard! I’m a fan of his work on Dinosaur Comics and part of why I felt weird going up to him was that I wasn’t super interested in buying any of the merchandise he had? So I started feeling like I needed to buy something to say hi, but also that it cheapened the whole experience with the exchange of money… so I just said hi and he gave me a cute postcard to prove that I did it!

Ryan North currently writes for Squirrel Girl! He also writes for Adventure Time but I don’t follow that show.
Look at this awesome drawing of him.

But let’s rewind a little bit for Day 1.

Small child shooting Stormtroopers with Nerf gun

The morning started with cosplay prep! Since Friday is the chillest day of the convention, I went with my more casual Blue Dress Ariel look, which was pulled together by the Danielle Nicole bag I borrowed from my friend, Gretchen. I was recognized at a coffeeshop where Ben wanted to caffeinate (not knowing that Compass Coffee was offering free cold brews at the convention center that day – womp!) and the baristas seemed tickled to see the convention-goers in costume.

Free cold brew from Compass Coffee
Thanks Compass!
And I was tickled for my only photo with a celebrity – R2D2!

Day 1 was very low-key for us, and it was the day we were able to spend the most time in the Exhibit Hall, which worked out in our favor as it was the least crowded day. (In subsequent days, walking through the Exhibit Hall rows felt like pushing through molasses.)  It was a bit overwhelming but I loved every single second of it.

Check out these amazing balloon creations?!
The first game I ever played on the first console I ever had at home was Double Dragon on the SEGA Master System, and I have never seen mention of it anywhere until here
This booth had these geeky boxes that had a fun assortment of merchandise inside
Wonder Woman costume from the feature film
This is the actual costume from the Wonder Woman movie!

Aside from meeting Ryan North, I was able to see a lot of really great cosplayers.

Aquaman and Ariel
Classic Aquaman!
Ariel and Eleven
The Eleventh Doctor!
Sailor Uranus, Ariel, and Sailor Neptune
My first scout sighting! Sailor Uranus and Neptune
Who ya gonna call??
Cosplay group
Great group that includes Baby Doll and D.Va I’m sorry I can’t immediately name the other 2 I am distracted by this Minion girl in the back
Ms. Frizzle
Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!
Thor and Avatar Aang
Awesome Thor and a funny Avatar Aang
Wonder Woman
Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman
Merida and Ariel
Another Disney princess! Merida in a bearskin and kilt
Tuxedo Mask, Sailor Moon, and Sailor Chibi Moon
I love a family cosplay!


My dress was very popular at the convention, since it was a one-piece low-cost purchase from Hot Topic that really makes a look work, but I liked my added corset because:

  1. It added more shape to the dress, which was quite a bit big on me and
  2. It set me apart from the other girls wearing literally the same dress as me

That corset has become a great themed outfit investment, lemme tell ya!

Me "in" a TARDIS
Kiss the girl… in a TARDIS

We tried to attend a panel, but it quickly devolved into a big waste of our time. A few audience members in the front were talking more than the panelists, so the folks in the back could hear nothing, and it was a very pedantic and self-indulgent discussion on the part of both those talkative audience members and the panelists, so we dipped pretty quickly. I did enjoy that AwesomeCon had a FutureCon portion of the convention, and we were able to hear NASA scientists talk about how they are using lasers in space!

NASA space laser panel
A panel on space lasers featuring real NASA scientists!

One of the big draws of AwesomeCon this year was the fact that Stan Lee was there! Stan the Man was booked all day for photos and autographs, but while I didn’t take advantage of those sessions, I was able to walk through the Stan Lee Museum. There were so many of his early comic sketches, movie props, memorabilia from other celebrities, and of course, so many Iron Man mech suits.

A few of Stan’s sketches
Just some of the many suits and costumes on display
“Proof that Tony Stark has a heart”
“Awesome Mix no. 1” in its Walkman

When the Exhibit Hall closed, we ambled over to the video game room before calling it a night with some ramen. I was more than thrilled to go back the next day with my higher-level cosplay!

Batman playing video games
Unfortunately, Batman lost to Joker this time

I tried to hold back on photos to share but what would you like to see more of in the coming AwesomeCon recap posts? (And do you want to see more from the Stan Lee Museum because I have a LOT.)

Who are your favorite cosplays depicted? I had a real soft spot for that Ms. Frizzle!

Friday Favorites (6)

Haven’t done a Friday Favorites in a while, so let’s just jump right in:

Hot Noodle Soups

We had a sudden drop in temperatures, from mid-60s to mid-30s, here in the DC area. And really, what satisfies you like a hot noodle soup? Specifically, I start to get very consistent cravings for pho, ramen, and jjampong.

Some of the pho and jjambbong I’ve had this past month

I also love going home to my parents’ house and eating bone soup with some rice noodles in them. (You know those big pork bones that you can just slurp the marrow out of? Yah, those are the ones.) There are so many comforting feelings that come with hot noodle soups: the smell coming up with steam, the first sensation as you take your first slurp of hot soup, the feeling as the hot soup goes down into your belly.

If you eat with me in the colder months and ask me what we should eat, there is a good chance I will suggest some form of hot noodle soup. I haven’t been able to have too many this week, but with another brutal winter up ahead, you can be sure I’ll have plenty.

Cooking Videos

Some of you may remember that I had a brief obsession with makeup tutorials a few years back. I never used any of them, but I felt like I was theoretically armed with the ability to create these stunning makeup looks. (I’m not.)

These days, I spend a lot more time watching cooking videos. Again, I’m not actually applying the stuff I’m watching, really, but I feel like I can apply this theory later on. This has been a lot more productive for me, as I do cook but I don’t wear makeup. Usually, I’ll end up watching Sorted Food or Gordon Ramsay. (I guess I just like watching British guys cook food? The accent makes it more compelling.)

Here’s one of my favorites by Sorted:

Warning: This chocolate cake looks sinfully good. You probably will drool watching.

And here’s the iconic video from Gordon Ramsay:

If you aren’t making eggs like this, apparently we’re wrong. Very wrong.

Big Hero 6 Easter Egg

I won’t spoil it for you, but, this is a Marvel film. And if you know Marvel movies, then you know Stan Lee shows up in [nearly] all of them in some way or another. (Since he didn’t have a hand in the Guardians of the Galaxy, he is not in that movie and likely will not be in any future GotG movies.)

So, with Marvel’s first animated feature, we do have a Stan Lee cameo! You might miss it for just a moment in the middle of the movie, but if you stick around after the credits, it’s a confirmed Generalissimo appearance.

Jasmine Tea

I don’t know why, but I put off buying new jasmine tea for a while. Partially because  I already have tea, partially because I could’ve sworn I had some at my parents’ house, partially because I’m lazy.

Finally got myself one of those yellow tins of looseleaf tea and I am so glad I finally did. Jasmine is maybe my favorite variety of tea because of the fragrance. (I love the smell of jasmine.) Drank maybe too many cups today but that’s all right, I have a bathroom, it’s all good.

National Museum of Natural History

After 8 years of living in Maryland, I haven’t been to a Smithsonian museum since the 3rd grade, when I lived in New Jersey. So, for Veteran’s Day/our anniversary, Ben and I went to the natural history museum. It was SO nice! Even though the dinosaur exhibit was closed for renovations, which really disappointed Ben. BUT BUT BUT the live butterfly room is free entry on Tuesdays and I got to just be enchanted by all these fluttering little butterflies. It’s so great, I love museums and the Smithsonians are cream of the crop. AND THEY’RE FREE.

Spending Time with Ben

This week had both our anniversary and Ben’s birthday, so I got to spend a lot of time with him and give him gifts! I feel like we got to spend some really quality time together and I am just really grateful to have him in my life. Spending time with my better half always makes me happy!

What have you been liking lately?
What do you crave in the cold months?
Any fun weekend plans?