Thursday, July 30, 2009

Well, I havn't posted in quite some time.

The combined stressors of moving (twice), joblessness and the general malaise of unease have fallen upon me and sapped my will to write, draw or otherwise emote, something I'm working really hard to push past. Hopefully this will help.

I've been working on handicrafts recently, pushing various forums of expression. My initial project is a recreation of the Hazardous Environment Suit (HEV) from Half-Life 2, that our daring hero, Gordon Freeman wears to battle the extra-dimensional aliens and the establishment. The armor is being created from #110 Cardstock, with the assistance of a rather novel piece of software called Pepakura, which translates 3d models such as .obj files into a useable format. Simplistically, with the aid of the user, Pepakura unfolds the model into flat shapes suitable for printing on paper. Thus unfolded, the now-flat shapes are ennumerated and lined, then printed. The inked sheets may now be cut apart and glued together to recreated the original 3d model in physical format.
That's all well and good, but cardstock isn't very suitable for costuming, so the next step is to line the interior of the piece with fibreglass and resin as well as resining the outside, which once dry, creates a quite solid, if still rough-looking creation. Thirdly, auto body filler (or Bondo) is spread along the outer faces of the model, to smooth and give definition to the piece. An alternate method is nicknamed "rondo" where the liquid resin and the paste bondo are combined, and the resulting compound is painted to the outside, giving a smoother finish that requires less sanding. The final step is painting and sealing, and I'll be using enamel-based spray paints for this step, from the wonderful people @ Rust-o-leum. Since Mssr. Freeman's armor is supposed to be metallic or at least ferro-ceramic in origin, I'll be sealing the armor with a Clear Gloss, possibly even automotive clearcoat if I can acquire access to a spray system.

My other project is a nice pair of goggles. They began as generic green plastic brazing goggles with an elastic strap. So far, I've repainted the eye cups with a nice metallic charcoal color, replaced the far-too-shiny connection chain with a nicely tarnished bit of brass ceiling fan pull chain and fashioned a pair of wire lens retainers from silver solder and brass wire, which will attach around the lenses. Still on the to-do list is: Paint the lens covers with a novel paint that replicates a hammered metal finish, procure a strap of black leather rawhide to function as a strap and possibly retint the lenses to give a reflective finish and recolor a neat little jeweler's loupe attachment, although that last I may leave as is for a bit of color contrast and to make it look a bit more hodgepodge.
Having not soldered for quite some time, I am actually rather impressed at how well the lens retainers turned out. Not horribly trashy, but not too professional-looking either. Just the sort of thing a busy and absent-minded inventor would have thrown together to help himself out. Now I need to pull together the rest of the outfit. For that matter, I need to finalize my mental image of my character. Chris, my roommate and writer of A Blog-worthy Life! has already finished his Steam Engineer Outfit, so I don't want to impinge on his purview.
The ideas I have floating around my cavernously empty skull are thus:
  • Steampunk Inventor, replete with threadbare vest over a shirt stained with mysterious chemicals, pinstriped pants dropping to scuffed leather shoes and some kind of lab/over-coat, then add plenty of weird gadgetry and clockwork mechanisms for flair.
  • Gaslamp Western Vigilante, think Deadlands. Dark, Wyatt Earp-ian Frock Coat, Decorative Vest, crisp shirt with gartered sleeves, tailored pants tucking into knee-high boots, Leather duster hat with goggles strapped around the crown, ray-pistol in a thigh holster, possibly at a bit of a Steampunk Knight flair to the outfit with an expanding shield and Tesla-sword.
So, there they are, ephemeral and vapid, but I'll pin one down soon enough. Suggestions or comments certainly appreciated.

Still searching for a job, the local economy is rather difficult, as everyone is searching for experienced help, degreed help or other requirements that equal not me. 10-20 resumes emailed daily is my usual number. So far, 80% get no response, 15% are some kind of pyramid scheme or scam, and the final 5% turn into an interview. Recently, that final 5% has been NCSoft, to Beta-Test for Aion and Half-Price Books, to be a Book Buyer. Both turned into nothing, but I was "assured that [I was] one of the highest-ranked candidates for the position." Empty words, since if I was really that qualified, why didn't I get the job? Oh well. So this is my major stressor, the sheer effort of beating the digital pavement searching for a company looking to hire someone with virtually no experience at more than minimum wage. (I have a black towel over my head as I type this, and apparently I look like a Shadow Thief, from the novelette "Peter and the Shadow-Theives," according to Cassidy anyway.) I really hate to do this, but I've started applying at restaurants as a server, waiter, bartender, bitch, you name it. Oddly enough, a lot of these places are requiring 1-3 years of waiting experience...It's strange, I know, waiting jobs are supposed to be entry-level. Yes that means you should be able to get it with zero experience. Anyway, it just makes it harder to get work, because while I waited and bartended for Mangia Pizza, it was only for 5 months.

Anyway, sorry to take up so much of your time, here's a picture of a member of the feline species, who possesses a poor grasp of grammar, the accepted currency of the interwebs.