Monday, July 4, 2011

How to Attend Three Cons a Year

It may surprise you that since the first con I attended in 2009, I've been attending about 3 cons a year.  Nebraskon in the fall, Naka Kon in the winter, and a wild card each summer.  I'm likely to remain a regular at each Nebraskon and Naka Kon, unless one of them really ticks me off.  They are both good, fun, and generally reliable cons.  There is rarely a shortage of things to do, and certainly never a shortage of people.  And the cities they are locale to are generally places where there's other things to do, should the con for some insane reason bore you.  (Although I find that highly unlikely.)

Here's where things get tricky.  I live off of about $100 dollars a month.  During the summer, I am cared for by my parents, so most food and travel expenses are accounted for... and during the fall and winter, I live on the dorms, fed in the dorms, and within walking distance of almost any place I'd ever need to go.  But there are still considerations of personal wants/needs and holiday gifts to buy... and soon, since I'm getting my license... gas. (It will be difficult for me to figure this expense in when planning for cons.)  You may be trollin and rollin your eyes at me saying, "Just get a job."  But for various reasons, that isn't always possible for some con goers. (Myself included.)  So I'm going to share some of my not so secret secrets to attending cons when you're poor.

First: Odd jobs.  I was mowing lawns and trimming weeds before I was twelve. (I don't remember exactly when I started.)  That got me 30 dollars, if I did everything (20 for mowing, 10 for trimming).  Shoveling walks gets you at least 15.  Sometimes, your customers will even provide the tools for you, especially if you're asking such a reasonable price.  That is usually the most profitable.  But even if you're unable or unwilling to do such a muscle-intensive task, there are still ways to make an occasional buck.  Even in a household where chores are split up evenly and expected to be done without payment, most parents will still have something to offer if you ask for something to do for cash.  If not, what talents do you have?  I can draw.  I have a couple of friends who make cosplay weaponry.  And even a few that make costumes for pay.  Your talents can be used to your advantage, and your fellow con-goers are the perfect target.  That's why it pays to...

Make friends in the con-going community!  Trust me, if it weren't for my con-going friends, I would not be able to make more than one con in a year... and only that one because it's near to where I live.  For one thing, going to cons in a group is a L O T less expensive than trying to go on your own.  You split the cost of gas.  You split the cost of hotel.  And if you're really lucky, you can pull some favors, friendship bonuses, and dating privileges to get your registration paid for.  That's really only the minimum of what having friends in the community gets you, but the additional bonuses depend on the friend.  For instance, a friend that's good with making cosplay weaponry, will give you tips, help you make it, and sometimes even make it for you.  Same can be said for people in costume making.  And while they may charge you for the help, I can guarantee that it costs less than buying it professionally made online.

Speaking of costumes, if you don't have the skill, money, or friends to make a costume... try something simple.  You don't have to be cliche` and go as L.  Many anime characters have multiple outfits, and the only thing that makes them recognizable as that character are one or two distinguishing features.  If you can find or make those features for less, you have a simple costume that will still be recognized.  I have an example, I'll talk about in another post.

Speaking also of registration, whenever possible you should register early.  Not only does this save you a ton of time waiting in line to register at the con...

Where, yes, this really does happen...
 But also, it can cost anywhere from 10 to 30 dollars less, depending on the con.

But before you do that, the most important thing of all is budgeting.  Now this is a difficult one, so I'll go through it step by step, using Naka Kon as an example.  The very latest I'd start planning for Naka Kon immediately after Nebraskon.  Naka Kon is in February, and Nebraskon is in November.  Assuming I end November with 0 dollars, and that I won't have any more than 100 dollars at the beginning of each month, the most I could possibly have by Naka is 300.  Now that's pretty unrealistic.  I'd have to spend a bit to get X-mas gifts for people, even if I spent absolutely nothing on myself... And knowing that a con was coming up so soon, I'd likely do some of those odd jobs I mentioned earlier.  This is just an estimate.  Next, I add up all that I would spend at Naka, including my share of the hotel room in a worst case scenario, which is 85, my registration assuming that I don't prereg, which is 50, food for 3 days, which is at least 40, my share of gas money, which is 20, and the minimum amount I'd want for self spending, which is 50.  (That last bit is really flexible. Oftentimes, I'll go with only enough to eat, and no spending money.)  This totals out to 245.  Sticking to previous assumptions, that means that for those three months between, I can spend no more than 18 dollars a month.

There is a lot of flexibility here.  If you preregister, your total for naka drops to 235, and your monthly max is 21.  If another person goes and helps with the hotel room, the naka total drops to 214, and your monthly max is 28... And say you do some of those aforementioned odd jobs and earn 20 dollars a month, that is an extra twenty you can add directly to your monthly max.  You can possibly spend more than your max in case of emergency, but know that it comes out of your next month's max.

The hardest part about all of this is sticking to your budget.  When you know you have 100 dollars, it's hard to pass up a 40 dollar video game to buy Christmas gifts for your family.  When you know you have 180, it's hard to spend your max on gas and not go to the movies with your friends.  When you know you have 260, it's hard to eat boring food at the dorm so you can pay for college supplies.  But you should be starting to learn now, how to do it.  Because you'll be budgeting from the moment you leave the security of college until you're cared for in an old folk's home.  And it won't be any easier to stick to it then, just because you're a motherf*cking adult.

Until next time,
Cap'n Kyrie

Saturday, April 16, 2011

OMG I Can Has Catboy has an UPDATE?!?!?!1?!!/?

Ya, really! We has an update!

First, I would like to introduce 'Yellow' a side comic I started on a whim that I may not actually keep.  The original idea was that I wouldn't have to put as much effort into these comics as I do into Silver Ankh, and thus would give you an update more often... but it turns out it is almost as much effort to do and the results are less satisfactory.  However, the idea I have for the story is one that I don't want to give up on...  So we'll see.

Secondly, my brother has entered a contest!  Neil Gaiman, one of my favorite authors, will choose someone to voice his audio book among the top twenty people voted on the website.  You must register to vote, but you can vote once a day.  Please, support my brother!

I'm sure I had another point of updateyness, but I lost it...

So, until next time,
Cap'n Kyrie

Friday, March 4, 2011

Naka Kon 2011

As always, while I had my camera along, taking pictures seems to be the one thing I always seem to forget.  So here are some of the costumes I found to be impressive...  There were many many more, but I was too caught up in having fun to pause every ten minutes to take a picture.  Please enjoy!

He was particularly good at moving like a nobody, too!

Amazing Portal gun! It even changes color depending on the portal type!  The only thing that disappointed me was, he didn't have time to make the leg braces to add to his costume.

Raptor Jesus!

He said he was getting a lot more attention than he thought he would.

I found this to be a fairly impressive costume from Halo.

Gir!!! And his little piggy friend.

I told him he was missing a tail.  He agreed.

I know a particular person or two from anime club who would appreciate this.

I was told to get pictures of Final Fantasy characters by some of my friends.

He was later seen in the Yaoi panel.  Said while some believed he had a giant sword to 'compensate', what they don't realize is that it is actually a giant yaoi panel.  He flipped the sword over to reveal the word yaoi. ^-^

This David Bowie costume was amazing, I had to get a picture.  She suggested that I take a picture with her, and there was a slightly awkward moment when I thought she was going to kiss me.  I normally wouldn't have minded, but Domi was in the restroom, and I thought he might have had a few choice words with me about waiting for him if I was going to yuri.

Considering the impressive Jack Skelington cosplay I took a picture of last year, I thought it only appropriate to find his match.

As a pirate, meself, how could I resist capturing the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow on camera?

All in all, I'm very happy with Naka Kon.  It had a large turnout and many interesting panels.  The con staff are friendly and there was, most times, something to do.  I always recommend Naka Kon for those interested in going to cons, but that doesn't mean I didn't have any complaints.

Firstly, the Pirates Vs. Ninjas panel was missing!  As a pirate, I find it extremely important to defend my standing in the pirates vs. ninjas debate, especially at a con, where my anime reputation may be at stake, considering ninjas seem to be in high favor round those parts.

Secondly, the cosplay chess got cancelled.  It is not difficult to run a panel where people play chess!  Also, the time that it was originally set for was very early in the morning, making it less likely that people would come.

My final major complaint has nothing to do with the con, but rather with the hotel it was held at.  The website told me there were two bed rooms still available when I ordered tickets, but when we arrived I realized that I had been fooled into buying a king bedroom rather than a double.

Still, compared to how awesome Naka Kon is, these complaints seem very minor.

If you have any questions about Naka, or anything in general, just let me know! I live for me fans. ;-)

Until next time,
Cap'n Kyrie

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sickle and Scythe

In choir, today, we were going through a song that included a phrase something along the lines of "To conquer the fields with sickle and scythe" and we had a very brief moment stating that sickle and scythe were field tools.  It reminded me of actual conversations I've had with people about what a sickle or a scythe was.

"What's a sickle?"

A sickle is a small scythe with a short handle, so it's more precise.

"What's a scythe?"

Sickles and scyhtes are field tools, used for harvesting wheat.

"But I thought a scythe was that thing that one skeleton dude carries."

"Yeah. Like that."
 When the image of Death holding a scythe was created, it was meant to portray to commonfold the idea that Death harvested souls the way farmers harvested grain.  They were trying to make the idea of death LESS scary.  So if you find that hard to imagine, think about a skeleton holding a hoe or a garden spade, instead.

Like this guy.  Totally Death.  Totally not scary.
...Still badass, though.
 "Wow this is neat! I never knew any of this.  How did you know?  Were you raised on a farm?  Are you studying agriculture?"

No.  In fact, I've met a few people who *were* raised on a farm or who *are* studying agriculture who don't know this, or not all of it.

"So how do you know?"

I read fantasy stories a lot and play DnD.

Until next time,
Cap'n Kyrie

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I have a question for all of you out there, and I'd very much like if you didn't judge me too badly.

Should I be proud or ashamed that I have never been on 4chan?

A lot of my friends and much of the online community says proud.  That 4chan is noobish and a plague on the interwebs. (And seeing the 4channess on the internet in several other places, I'd have to agree. Example below.)

WTF, Internet. WTF.
  But I've got this feeling that I've missed out on something.  Kind of like how using Yahoo over Google and Myspace before Facebook are like rites of passage to being a mature interneter.  Everyone was a noob once, and if they are no longer a noob, they have learned from their noobhood and became not a noob.  I too went through my phase of 'tpn liek n idoit n usin nmbers 4 wrds' and posting a lolcat at any excusable opportunity.

No wait, I still do that.  But it's more because the cats are just so cuuute! >.> *ahem* Anyway...

So I feel like while it isn't a good idea for me to get involved in 4chan now, there's still a part of my internet life missing that I may never understand when other people reference it.  In fact, up until about a year ago, I thought that 4chan was a person not a website, which made a noob of me at the time.

I can own up to when I'm a noob in a situation, but that ability is already one step closer to achieving pwnage.  (Which I pronounce pawnage.  Yes, I'm aware it's supposed to be p'ownage. I'll make another post about this later.)

Anway, what is your opinion, readers?  Am I a priveledged individual to never have to suffer through 4chan noobhood?  Or am I a noob, now, for never having experienced this rite of passage to not a noob?

Until next time,
Cap'n Kyrie