Yearly Archives: 2007

Unmasking the Community – What Do You Want To Be?

Garden of Earthly Delights

I grew up on old XTC records. A multilayered experience from every side, the music is about exploration and human creativity more than anything else. To be categorized would be limiting.

The chorus of “Garden of Earthly Delights”, one of my favorite songs:

Welcome to the garden of earthly delights.
Welcome to a billion arabian nights.
This is your life and you do what you want to do,
This is your life and you spend it all.
This is your life and you do what you want to do,
Just dont hurt nobody,
And the big rewards here,
In the garden of earthly delights.

My mind runs wild on those words. It invites you open your mind completely and explore your own interest. Explore your own imagination.

The point of dressing up in a costume is to indulge this idea. To become something out of the ordinary. “Dailyness” is the prime suspect in the suppression of our most creative concepts of who we are and who we could be. Joining in the fun of dressing up is primarily driven by the desire to enter into our own garden. The meaning is different to each of us.

Enter your own garden. Around every corner you see the products of your most vivid imagination. How do you see yourself? What are you wearing? What do you look like?

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Costumes to Look Out For In ’08

Before we do our final review of ’07 and talk about the articles that had us going, we’d like to take a quick look at things to come to pass…

(begin dream sequence)

’08 promises to be exciting in the world of pop culture, and we’ll be right on top of it. Here are the highlights so far as we can tell…

Batman: The Dark Knight – Too long have we waited for a sequel to the new series of Batman movies. Even longer have we waited for a legitimately creepy version of The Joker. I’m sure this will be inspiration for many a costume on the upcoming year. It goes to show that a little makeup done the right way can go quite far…

The Joker

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – Also coming from Hollywood is another movie in the Indiana Jones series. We don’t know much about the characters, what they’ll look like, and what to expect. Do we expect that Indy can bring out cosplayers and fanatics like Harry Potter and Luke Skywalker? Seeing as the pastime has become more commonplace, we’re betting our money on it.

Going Presidential – We’ve all see presidential costumes and masks. Whether hosting a politics themed party or having need to wear that blue donkey costume you’ve got stored from a college democrats gathering, it will be the only time in the next for years as ripe for such a costume. Hey, this year ladies can play as well.

Olympic Beijing Bling and the Chinese Culture – China is a huge economic hot spot, still somewhat of a cultural mystery, and the home of the 2008 Olympics. If this isn’t an excuse to put some money down for a flight and go catch some Chinese culture, I don’t really know what else is. China is rich with traditional wear and smaller villages that keep these traditions on a daily basis.

World Cosplay Summit Contenders – Along the lines of Asian influence, we have the World Cosplay Summit going on this year. Maybe for the more serious costumer, this growing event is fast becoming the standard to look for the best cosplay in the world.

The New Star Trek Film and its Legion of Trekkies – Another movie release that will inspire costumes, parties, and fanatacism. Maybe a revamp to the classic Klingon dress up? Hmm.. it could be time.

World of Warcraft Expansion DevoteesWe only put this one for 2 distinct reasons… 1) more than 2 million people play World of Warcraft and 2) the costume competition from last year’s Blizzcon event was a huge success. I’m sure that once Wrath of the Lich King comes out, we’ll have all kinds of clever outfits at our disposal.

Warcraft Costumes

Comic Con ’08 FansComic book lovers are bringing their families and spreading the love. Expect appearances from celebrities, major comic book icons, and about 8 jillion superhero tights clad nuts to litter the corridors of the San Diego Convention Center.

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Christmas is Gone And We’re Not Looking Back…

The holidays aren’t quite behind us… Now’s as good a time as ever to celebrate. At this point, we should all be setting new goals, planning parties, and puckering up for some New Year’s kisses. It’s without regret that we leave 2007 despite all the great things that have happened.

So then what? With only a few days away, what are the big plans for New Year’s?

As always, we have to admonish the readers to take it a step beyond and get dressed up in something fun. Here are some ideas…

  • Go wild – If you’re attending a large bash, you’ll find all kinds of fun stuff to wear. Hats, glasses, wigs, jewlery and whatever other kitschy junk you can get your hands on. Solicit kisses as payment for hats and pins that you give away… get something in return.
  • Something cultural – Every country celebrates the New Year differently, and surely you can find all kinds of information on the Internet. One of the best parties I ever attended was a Cinco de Mayo bash that was injected with more fake Mexican culture than could fit in a pinata of Donald Trump’s ego.
  • Theme party – If you’re hosting a bash this year, commit the guests to join in the costume fun. Have a themed party and offer themed food, games, and a themed countdown. It will be well worth it.

We get out what we put in. Take some of these suggestions for a test run. Let us know what happens!

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MyDisguises Theater – The Snowman

Sadly, I don’t have too much time to write… our living room is full of family, sweet smells of delicious dinner from the kitchen, and many plans to play Rock Band for the rest of the day. I didn’t have the chance to dress up like Santa. My youngest brother is 15, so I’m not sure he even believes in Santa.

I thought I’d find a good video for everyone to check out. Halo Spartan armor video – done it. Cool cosplay videos – done it. Santa motorbike procession to Vegas – yeah, done it. Well, I can’t think of much else that’s good for the blog today. However, I caught a view of this clip made by a 7th grade girl. Apparrently, she has a serious knack for animation. And well, in the spirit of Christmas this fits nicely.

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Happy Holidays!

Lolcat Christmas

 

Whatever your holiday you like to celebrate, we wish you a happy one! May it be filled with dressing up, acting crazy, and having more fun that normal. I know I’ll be doing the same.

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MyDisguises Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas

Continuing along the theme of the Holidays, we’re going to help you out with a bit of your last minute shopping. Yes, that’s right. If you have a costume lover in your family or circle of friends, it can be hard to find the right gift for them. You don’t want to get them something they’ll never use. Most people really like to think hard about the costumes they’re going to wear. Since we do this all the time, we figure we can help you out.

Gifts for the Cosplayer

Cosplayers like to think out and make their own costumes, so you probably won’t want to get them any costume pieces. Here are some things they will like:

  • Tickets to an upcoming con – Anime, gaming, comic, and cosplay conventions are going on just about all year long. The bigger ones cost more for a spot, but if you really want to impress get them a ticket. You can either find out what cosplay they’re currently working on and see if there’s a con that will be fitting for that particular cosplay. If you know they’ll love the chance to go to any show, check out this list of cosplay cons that happen all year long.
  • Gift Certificate from Cosworx – Cosworx is an online shop specializing in cosplay accessories that may be hard to find elsewhere. You can pick up a gift certificate online and let them do their own shopping.
  • Resupply their materials – True cosplayers are likely to need all the right gear. Maybe their sewing machine is old and rusty. Maybe they just need a restock of gear. Either way, help make sure they have all the tools necessary to execute.

Gifts for the D.I.Y. Costume Builder

These friends aren’t too different from the cosplayer, but there are still some unique ideas you can offer them.

  • Subscription to Make and Craft Magazine – Make and Craft Magazines, as far as we’re concerned, are the premier resources for the Do-It-Yourself junkie. Whether you get them the magazines for fun or for inspiration, they’ll love it. Even some of us who don’t DIY get a kick out of reading these.
  • Tools, tools, tools – A true DIY’er needs tools. I don’t mean just hammers and wrenches, although those could be necessary for some projects. They needs all kinds of art and building tools. Scissors, staplers, clamps, clips, paints, stuffings, etc. The list goes on and on.
  • A space to show off – Like cosplayers go to conventions, DIY’ers use the Internet to show their work. If they’re serious about what they do, help them get a blog up and running. They may need some money for a domain or hosting. See what you can do to help them get their work out there and noticed.

Gifts for the Costume Collector

This is a harder crowd to please. It’s hard to know just what you can do for this enthusiast without breaking bank. Here are a few of our ideas:

  • A trip to a museum of choice – If they’re into historical costumes and fashion, take them to the Met’s Costume Institute. Are they and Elvis fan? Stop by Graceland if you’re in the south or Vegas if you’re in the west. Comic book fan? Try getting tickets to the next Comic Con. If you’re creative, that special costume freak of yours will get one the best gifts they’ve ever had.
  • The Costume Collector’s Companion 1890-1990 – This book is ideal for anyone who likes to collect old outfits and costumes. Rosemary Hawthorne, also known as the “Knicker Lady” even does her own shows tracing the history of underwear. The book is funny and helpful to anyone who loves collecting costumes. Pick it up!

Gifts for the Movie/Comic Book Costume Nut

I threw these three in together for good reason. A lot of the items these collectors want cross boundaries. Here’s what we came up with:

  • Something special from PremierProps – PremierProps.com sells actual movie props from the sets they were used on. These can be a costly spend, but if it’s for a special someone, then you’ll find it worth the money. The items come and go, so be quick if you find something just right!
  • Classic Batman: The Dark Knight Comic Book – The new Batman movie with Heath Ledger as the Joker is still a few months off, but a comic lover already has it in his/her sights. If they’re that big of a fan, they’ll probably cosplay for the opening. Get them pumped up with some authentic gear.

Christmas is almost here so hopefully our suggestions may help you come up with something at the last minute!

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    CARSAUC Tribute To Ugly Christmas Sweaters

    Christmas Sweaters Galore

    Who’s really responsible for these? I mean, isn’t it fairly universally understood that these things are pure ugly?

    (click on the thumbnails for larger versions of the pictures)

    Some of us shriek while other’s don the holiday eyesores in jest. But we can’t be fooled by those who wear these with purpose. Holiday Christmas party is coming up, someone gives you a bit too much eggnog… before you know it your bust will be a canvas for an embroidered mess of holiday puke. It doesn’t matter if you’re a third grade teacher, an office secretary, or a middle manager at a local paper company, it’s just too painful for the rest of us.

    So for our periodic CARSAUC (Coalition for the Appreciation of Random, Strange, Awful, or Ugly Costumes) we  thought we’d pay tribute to the beautifully nasty Christmas sweater… may it pollute our closets again for another year.

     Grandma Christmas Sweaters  Dog Christmas Sweater  Way Ugly Christmas Sweater 

    The Uuugliness!!

    Other Members of The Family Of Christmas Sweater Grossness

    Christmas Socks – Can be cool, if executed properly. Most often executed terribly. Take caution.

    Christmas Socks

    Christmas Hat – Also has coolness potential, but take care to never couple with the sweater. Never mistakenly wear a Santa hat unless… a) you are Santa himself, b) you’re at a party and it you acquired it there, c) your boss at work is making everyone wear one for the festivities.

    Ugly Christmas Hat

     Cousin to the Ugly Christmas Sweater, The Sweater Vest – Unless you are Chandler from Friends, you should proabably be over this. Mate the ugliness of the Sweater Vest with the Sweater, and you have become the mad doctor of ugliness.

    Sweater Vest Ugliness

    If you wear an ugly Christmas Sweater this year, take care to make sure everyone knows you’re joking. Me? I’ll be finding one today and sporting it for the holidays without a doubt!

    Posted in carsauc, holidays, random | 2 Comments

    Want to Keep Santa Alive? Here’s How To Simulate a Great Santa Visit

    Santa's Workshop - Norman Rockwell

     If you’re anything like I was as a child, discovering the true identity of Santa Claus was upsetting. I’ll never forget when my mother asked me to get something from her room and finding wrapped gifts adressed to me from Santa. Right there I knew that either Santa had a new business model and was delivering gifts early, or he simply wasn’t who I thought he was.There is just no reason to let the mystery of Santa Claus fade for the children. Therefore, we’ve worked up a guide on how to pull off the Santa effect so well your children will secretly wonder in their adult years whether the man in red actually came to visit that special Christmas day.

    Pre-Planning: Scapegoats and Stories

    Every family has their own way of portraying Santa Claus. The build up before Christmas is so big for most children, they are easily spellbound by all things related to the 25th. It’s in these critical few days that you can prepare and psyche out the kids for an epic Santa visit. Here are some suggestions:

    • First, have your scapegoats ready – Since you’re going to be Santa, your kids may notice you’re not around when the old man shows up. Tell them you had to go take back a broken gift to the store where you bought it. Maybe you can tell them that you’re off to buy something for your wife and the store is staying open late on Christmas Eve. You could also try a more classic approach. There’s an emergency at the office and you had to go fix something late at night. They’ll believe it.
    • Develop your own story – Later on we’ll talk about how to simulate a sleigh landing. If your Santa visit is going to be different than normal, develop a story around it. Some houses and neighborhoods don’t have the traditional roof and chimney capabilities. Although we’re offering suggestions for a more typical home, make plans to custom tailor your ideas for your environment.

    Step One: Costume

    Your costume is going to be one of your biggest selling points. Take care to go for authenticity. Remember, you can use this year after year, donate the goods for an event, or even resell them when the kids get older. It may cost a few extra bucks, but with pictures and memories, it will be more than worth it.

    • Simulate a real beard – Go for a beard with a slightly natural gray tint. Some cheaper Santa beards are made of cotton and don’t look right. Better beards also come with matching wigs.
    • The suit is key – Color is also pretty important in this option. Try for a suit with a deeper red, not the bright glowy red that you sometimes get. Some Santas go without the big black boots, which could be trouble.
    • To hat or not to hat? – You can go sans hat if you like, but your santa wig has to be on point. You’ll want to accessorize a bit to compensate.

    Step 2: Accessories

    All too often, it’s the details that make the suit work wonders.

    • Santa glasses  – Santa is a wise man. How else would he be able to build that all knowing naughty or nice list? Find some nice wiry glasses that look more like reading glasses. Hang them low on your nose.
    • Rosy cheeks and nose – Yeah, you’re going to have to wear some make up. Bug your wife for some blush that she may have laying around and blend it liberally over your cheeks and nose. You want to look jolly, so you gotta do it.
    • Naughty or Nice list – Get some paper and apply a weathered look to it. If you are good with calligraphy, this could be a benefit. Make up a rolled, scroll-like sheet of paper with names on it. You can have it peeking out of your pocket. You are going to try to get caught by the children, so they’ll have a chance to see it. You can also have the list “accidentally” fall out of your pocket right by where they leave you cookies. Check out this WikiHow on making paper look old.

    Step 3: Effects and Aftermath

    It’s not enough just to look like Santa, you have to be him.  The kids are staying up and waiting to hear something. For these parts, you’ll need some orchestrating so they don’t catch you. Older children who are a bit more “skeptical” can always be a big help in this part.

    • Racket on the Roof – Here’s a great way to simulate a rooftop landing. Get a couple of brooms or mops. Grab your wife and tie some bells around your arms. Once you hit the roof, start walking and tapping the brooms. As your arms shake, it will simulate sleigh bells. With 2 sets of feet and potentially 4 brooms, it could almost sound like reindeer pounding around on the roof.
    • Ho, Ho, Ho… on tape – If you don’t have the deep voicebox for a santa voice, get a recording. Play it loud enough so the kids can hear a faint sound of the old man.
    • Santa treats left behind – A cool trick to simulate Santa on the roof is to throw candy canes, Christmas confetti, gumdrops, etc. off the side of the roof. In the morning you can take the kids outside. Tell them that it must have been treats that fell off of Santa’s sleigh. They’ll be spellbound.

    Whatever you decide to do, do it with style. It will be extra work, but you don’t want your kids to stop believeing too early. This will keep them curious for a long time.

    What are some of your ideas? Let us know in the comments section. With the right amount of creativity, you can have a Christmas experience never to be forgotten.

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