The epitome of “not mad, just disappointed”

Long story short: The Atlanta Braves break ground on their new ballpark, slated to open in 2017.  It’s new name?  SunTrust Park.

I love the Braves.  I hate SunTrust.

What I’m dealing with here is a perfect conflict of interests.  A catch-22, if you will.

A little backstory: I used to work for SunTrust corporate.  Making signage, assets, collateral materials; all sorts of marketing materials that the company used at their over 3,000 branches across the eastern seaboard.  It wasn’t a glamorous job, but it was for a reputable brand, paid decently, and I worked with some decent people.  After about three years, the company decided that in-house designers were unnecessary, and is so often the case, felt that they would rather pay external companies way more money for the same services, but minus the obligation to pay for benefits.  So they outsourced myself, eight other designers, two copywriters, an editor, among 1,100 other employees throughout the entire company in 2007.

On principle, I moved my money out of my SunTrust account, closed it, and have made a conscious effort to not support them or any of their endeavors since then.  I turned the other cheek when they got the naming rights to the luxury home plate section at Turner Field, even if it meant being subjected to their big ugly fucking logo during home games.

SunTrust Park, however, now that hurts.  It actually makes me feel genuinely conflicted and feeling trapped.

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D*C 2014: In conclusion

Before I pull the plug on all of the Dragon*Con-related subject matter for the next eleven months or so, I just wanted to write a little something as a finishing touch to all of the content I’ve tried to squeeze out of the annual occurrence.  How about my ability to take the topic of D*C, and turning it into nearly two full weeks worth of content?

As I said in my first post about the convention, this year’s D*C wasn’t the best ever, but it was far from the worst.  I can’t say that I go into any D*C with any grandiose expectations, because that’s really just not my nature; building up too large of expectations, or any at all, seems kind of like a recipe for disappointment, and I’d rather not have any of those, if it could be helped.

That being said, this year wasn’t much different than any of the past few years in the sense of it’s primarily me walking around in circles, looking for people to take pictures of, and taking pictures when I see things I want to take pictures of.  Along the way, there are occasional friendly faces, and we stop and chat, hang out, or spend some time together, before the cycle repeats itself until the sun goes down, and then I drink a lot of beer, and sometimes drink too much.

It sounds a little formulaic sure, and the modus operandi might not change that much, but it’s the people that are the variable in this seeming routine.  And that’s just it, it’s about the people, and has always been.  People are the reason I go to D*C, and drop a grand on a hotel room that’s in the city I live in, just so I can be near and close to where everyone is, where the action is going on.  No guests, no giveaways or anything superfluous has been the reason that I’ve ever gone to a D*C in the first place, and probably never will be.

The post prior to this conclusion was what I said were my favorite pictures that I took.  It wasn’t false, but at the same time, it wasn’t entirely true.  If I weren’t too lazy to go back and change things, and negate the need for this sentence, I’d go back and say it was “favorite costume pictures,” because the reality is that they’re not my favorite pictures outright.

No, my favorite pictures from D*C this year, are all the selfies and the pictures people took of me with the people who were present in my encapsulated little journey through the weekend.  Those are all my favorite pictures.

As I stated in my mission objective of the weekend, it’s like every year there are people I see and hang out with, but afterward, there’s little evidence or proof that I was there.  Sure, I know I was there, and sometimes the people I was with remember that we were there, but in the end, I just wanted a little bit of photographic evidence, and a visual memento of these gatherings.

Admittedly, sometimes it feels awkward to ask people to stop what they’re doing and come and take a selfie with me, but in the end, I’m really glad people are so willing to do it.  It’s even more awkward when my own camera refuses to behave and frankly quits at trying to focus and refuses to shutter, which probably made me more reluctant selfie more than I wanted to, but perhaps as I get a better understanding of my own equipment, this will rectify itself in the future.

Anyway, I just want to give thanks to everyone who made the weekend what it was.  Whether it was five minutes or five hours worth of hanging out, eating together, drinking together, simply saying hello and chatting for a brief spell, or simply being the subject of a picture I took.  There’s no point in Dragon*Con without any of you.

D*C 2014: Playing photo favoritism

Despite the fact that I’m overall less-than satisfied with the quality of the pictures I took throughout the Dragon*Con weekend, this doesn’t change the fact that all over the convention throughout the entire weekend, there was a lot of great costumes out there.  That being said, of all the pictures I took throughout the entire event, I’d like to shed a little bit of light on some of my favorites.

Kayle, from League of Legends.  Yeah, no surprise that I go with a LoL one off the bat.  Unmasked Kayle, to be specific.

I’ve actually run into this particular costumer a few times now, like at the previous D*C, and once in MegaCon in Florida, but it doesn’t change the fact that whenever I see this costume, I’m kind of a little awestruck.

I play a ton of LoL, and there was a point where I actually really didn’t like Kayle.  Before it was a regular mode in the game, ARAMs were concocted in custom games, where it was way too easy for people to dodge when they didn’t draw something they didn’t like, defeating the purpose of “All Random.”  Needless to say, whenever I could actually manage to get into a game, I drew Kayle an inordinate amount of times.  This may or may not have to do with the fact that I allegedly “own just four champions” while sitting on an alleged “120,000 IP,” but for whatever reason, I got Kayle a lot.  And out of a lack of understanding of how to build her or use her, I had an irrational resentment for her.

I’m not saying the sight of this Kayle costumer changed all of that, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me look at Kayle with gentler eyes.  Eventually, something clicked (I actually practiced Kayle), and I’m not so clueless with Kayle anymore.  Subsequently, I don’t mind drawing her in ARAM anymore, because I know what to do with her now.  And the funny thing is that I still do get Kayle precariously often (on account of my alleged four champs), but the difference is now I’m competent with her.

At this point, I don’t have to really say that I find her rather beautiful, and that I’m in great admiration of the construction of her armor, because this is probably like the third time if anyone were keeping count.  And hopefully this isn’t the last time I see this wonderful costume.

More faves, post-jump.   Read more »

Photos: Dragon*Con 2014 – Sunday

In spite of all of the mad rushing and hard work put into the weeks and days prior to the coming of this year’s D*C, there was a surreal moment on Sunday morning when I woke up, and thought to myself, “is it really Sunday already?”  Needless to say, the weekend quite literally felt like it flew by way too fast, and there was that melancholy feeling of wanting to see as many people as I could during the day, and to empty out my cooler as expediently as possible before the end of the convention.

And after feeling like I had too tiny a number of photos taken on Saturday, I really wanted to spend a good chunk of Sunday doing what I really enjoy doing the most; simply walking around and taking pictures.  Eventually the daylight hours gave away to night, and as has been something of a thing I’ve enjoyed doing, felt the compulsion to dress nicely.

Really, I just wanted to wear my wingtip shoes, that there is probably zero photo evidence of anywhere out there, but if I was going to wear wingtips, I needed to dress accordingly to match it.  Which brings us to the suit vest and tie.  I LIKE TO DRESS NICE, OKAY?

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Photos: Dragon*Con 2014 – Fifth Age Taric summary

More than a few times, I ran into a few League of Legends costumers the following day, and picked up conversations with them, before I came to the realization that they had no idea who I was, and that I was probably some weirdo.  Well, they’re correct in the weirdo assessment, but more than once I pretty much realized that they didn’t recognize me, and I had to remind them that I was the “Pink Taric from earlier.”

Overall, I was very pleased at how well received Armor of the Fifth Age Taric was from people, especially League fans, and it was admittedly nice to be in a costume that could legitimately rival the vastly more aesthetically pleasing looking women that I was privileged to be grouped up with in terms of popularity and cult following.  It’s like for every rando dude who just wanted a picture of hot chicks in tight costumes, there would be like two legit Taric fans to sing my praises about how truly truly outrageous my costume was.  No disrespect to the ladies, but this is somewhat of a new sensation for me.

Originally, I wasn’t even planning on being Fifth Age Taric, as I had already started on, and began gathering components for what was going to be a Xin Zhao costume, since I could easily use my Asian-ness to my advantage and not have to worry about being called the “yakuza” or “Triad” version of any Anglo-looking League character, but during the summer, the idea of being Taric; specifically Fifth Age Taric was planted into my head, and the snowball began rolling and gaining momentum faster than I could put Xin onto the shelf.

Needless to say, I was pleased with the costume as a whole, but naturally, as anyone with a perfectionist complex would say, there are lots that I probably would’ve done over again, if I had the chance.  And because I have a tendency to be a slacker with low drive, such improvements probably won’t happen, or happen way too close to when they need to be done by, getting to the perpetual scenario where they’ll be omitted again.

Whatever though, what this post is about is a basic quick nitty gritty summary of what the costume is, and how it came to fruition, because as I’ve done in the past with my Graves guns, and the LeBlanc staff I never finished, I have a tendency to think that there are people out there that might actually be interested in reading write-ups like these.

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