Friday, February 8, 2013

How To Make A Cube: Episode IX: Return of the Cube

TL;DR Send $35 ($40 if international) to nekonariko at g mail(put that address back together...) dot com via PayPal for a Companion Cube Plushy Pattern!

I’m back!

So, Reddit has posted my “Nap Time For Chell” picture for the... fourth time.1

I don't know how you could have not seen the picture yet.

And people are asking where to buy one again!2 I don’t really have time to make more cubes,3 so I’ve often talked about making the pattern, and I even promised that I would in my post from....16 months ago...4

Well, confession time, I finished the pattern months ago... but I’ve been too busy to try and sell it.5 I’ve also been debating on if I should sell the CAD file, or the paper pattern. I could just sell the CAD file, but unless you have access to a drafting printer, you are gonna have a hard time printing it.

This image is too big for your printer.

Well, I do have access to a drafting printer, and I can print at pretty reasonable rates.6 So at the risk of spending the rest of my night several nights printing companion cubes, I’m going to sell the paper patterns. It’s not free for me to print them,7 and I put a lot of work into this project, and so after much deliberation, and conference with my cats, I’ve decided to sell the paper pattern for $35 if you are in the USA, and $40 if you are international. (If you want it sent faster than USPS Priority in the USA, or 1st class mail international, please contact me before purchasing).

So, instructions! If you would like to purchase an Aperture Science Weighted Companion Cube Plushy Pattern (1:1 Scale), please PayPal nekonariko at g mail(put that address back together...) dot com the correct sum ($35 or $40, I’m sure you can pick the right one.) Make sure there is an address attached to your PayPal account, as this is where I will be sending the pattern.8

This pattern is untested on Human Subjects, so if you have any questions, feedback, or comments, please either e-mail me, or post a comment here. I promise to try and respond as quickly and as helpfully as GLaDOS would ;).9Good luck everyone! I can't wait to see how they turn out!

1 At least that I know of.
2 It’s like people think a plush, game-accurate cube is awesome or something... ;)
3 And even if I did, they’d be so expensive... Maybe I’ll donate one to the Child’s Play auction. *Maybe.*
4 Gosh I’ve been busy...or at least distracted...
5 I’ll admit that I’m a bit worried about how many of these I’ll sell. I’m guess only 5 or over 9000!
6 FedEx would probably gouge you
7 even with my membership at Tech Shop
8 I need to weed out all those people hacking PayPal for free Companion Cube patterns.
9 I kid... I'd actually love to help you and not send your to a dramatic death in a furance!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Cake is a Pie

I case you couldn’t tell from my post, I kinda love cool dates.1 So it’s no surprise that I love to celebrate Pi Day. Back in Utah, this was a lot easier, because, my friend Kristine would usually take care of organizing an appropriate gathering for this blessed holiday. But then she got all married and pregnant and had a baby and I moved away,2 so if I wanted a Pi Day party, I was gonna have to do something about it myself.

Parties require planning. And Cooking. And Cleaning. I do not make as much time for these things as I should,3 but for Pi Day, I was willing to do it all! I even completely rearranged my living room and put my murphy bed away.4 But the big question was what pies to make? While I had many family pie recipes,5 I wanted a little more "nerd" to my Pi Day than just a selection of pies,6 even if they were really good pies. And then I was struck with a brilliant idea.

The Cake is a Pie

I had to buy Maraschino Cherries for this. I hate Maraschino Cherries.
That’s how much I love Portal.

Do you get it? It’s from Portal.7 And if you remember, I kinda love portal.8 And I love really awesome puns.9 And this is a beyond awesome pun. Mostly because it’s about Portal. And Pi Day. And I came up with it myself. And the internet isn’t saturated with it yet.10

But what kind of pie is the cake? Well, we know from the almighty Cake Core that the cake is a chocolate cake with coconut pecan icing.11 So I googled "chocolate coconut pecan pie" and low and behold, that pie actually exists!12 I didn't have to make something up for once!13

But I was not satisfied with making merely one interpretation of this brilliant joke. No, this joke needed two pies. Or Pies, or Pi’s, or... what is the plural of Pi?14 As you might have noticed before, the phrase could be "The Cake is a Pie" or "The Cake is a Pi". The Pi was made using the directions from the Cake Core, and a bit of quick sculpting with a knife.

The Cake is a Pi

Does the pie tin also make it a pie?

Now I’m not sure which one is funnier, but the pie was tastier than the pi, or at least more appealing. Cause there was very little pie left, but quite a bit of pi left.15

As awesome as all of this was, I invited mostly Mormons16 to the Pi Party, and many of them were not-so nerdy. So whenever I had someone show up that I though might get the joke, I would drag them over to the table, and point expectedly at the pies, and say "Do you get it?!? Huh? Huh? Do you get it?!??" Most of the selected guests did, and I was happy. And I knew that even if not many people at my party got it, that I could share it with the internet, and that you would get it!17

Happy Pi Day. For Science. You Monster.18

1 Ok, I’m obsessed with them.
2 It was actually the last one that really was the problem.
3 Messing things up is always more fun than cleaning.
4 Murphy beds are cool.
5 Mostly taken from the 1970s version of The Joy Of Cooking.
6 Yes, I felt the need to nerd up *Pi* day...are you really surprised?
7 Cause you know, the Cake is a lie, but "lie" rhymes with "pie", and so the Cake could be a "pie" or a "pi", instead of a "lie", but that is a lie, cause the cake is really a cake, not Pie, or a Pi. See, I told you the best jokes were the ones you had to explain!
8 As exhibited by previous posts, costumes, videos and furniture.
9 Definition of an awesome pun: Megan thinks that it is cool. Definition of a stupid pun: All other puns that aren’t awesome.
10 At least according to Google. If you search for "the cake is a pie", not all articles on the first page are even related to Portal. But they are mostly at least about cake, or pie.
11 Garnished with fish shaped ethelbenzene.
12 You should make one, they are good.
13 I make up so much stuff when working on costumes...
14 I don’t care that there is only one Pi in the universe, I should be able to pluralize it! English, don’t fail me now!!
15 My guests did tell me they didn’t want to eat the Pi, because it looked like I spent so much time on it, but honestly, it really doesn’t take a lot of time to cut a cake into a pi.
16 Ok, pretty much all Mormons
17 And hopefully even think it’s funny! You do think it’s funny, right?
18 Did you get it??!

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Nerd Club(bing)

I love to dance. And by dance, I mean go clubbing. And by clubbing I mean, go to a club. By myself. And dance like a crazy person for about an hour. All the while hoping that everyone will just leave me alone.1 It might seem odd, but I believe this behavior stems from me being a Geeky Mormon Woman. Even though it’s not exactly Geeky, and not all Mormon.2

So why do I love something that isn’t exactly native to my demographic? And why would my non-applicable demographic be the source of my non-demographic behavior? Well, see, Mormons have this thing where they throw dances for the Youth3 as a way of getting the boys to interact with the girls in some sort of semi-appropriate manner.4 In High School, I was unfortunately too nerdy for the Mormons, and too Mormon for most of the nerds, so interactions with boys weren’t exactly plentiful. And these dances were no exception. Since I wasn’t getting asked to dance a lot, I would get bored. And when I get bored I look for something to do. And I was at a dance, so I figured I’d dance.5

Dancing rarely looks cool when in freeze frame...

Fortunately for my dancing desires, there were a variety of songs played at these dances. They didn’t just play lame slow songs(the presence of which would sometimes force me to awkwardly ask boys to dance), they also played fast songs. Like YMCA and the Macarena6 as well as plenty of other 90s classics that I don’t know the names of.7 I really liked it when they played these songs, since you could dance by yourself, and thus avoid that whole awkward thing of dealing with boys. I’m never one to be content with mediocrity8, so I started experimenting with how to dance and how I could get my body to move in cool and different ways. And eventually, I got pretty good, and I got pretty confident. To the point that one of my good friends, who was actually a trained dancer, would often comment on how good I was.

So, If I was not a Mormon, there would not have been so many dances for me to go to,9 and if I wasn’t a geek, I wouldn’t be so awkward, and prone to experimentation. Thus the origin of my non-standard behavior.

This trend of going to dances and making up my own moves continued through college. But after college, I didn’t exactly feel like crashing college dances. I was all old and graduated with a real job making video games,10 so I didn’t feel like hanging out on campus anymore. But I still wanted to go dancing. So I decided to try out a *real* club. Cause that’s where adults go dancing, right? And I was an adult, right?11

But these clubs are full of people that are not Mormon, and even though I’m now in Silicon Valley, I don’t think most of them are Geeks either. And honestly, that’s just a real big turn off to me. I went clubbing with a Mormon girlfriend of mine recently, and she made a comment about seeing who could get more numbers,12 and my response was "what’s the point??" I mean, there were no Mormon boys at the club that I didn’t already know,13 and honestly, there aren’t a whole lot of guys that really look like my kind of Geek at these kind of clubs.14 So even if I just went on one random date with these guys that try and pick up on me at the club, I don’t think I’d really enjoy it. I probably shouldn’t admit it, but I’m kinda a nerd elitist...15

Even my examples of Nerd "superiority" are Nerdy.
So Meta.

So when I dance, I try to just be as into it and crazy as possible. Cause people don’t bother that crazy person. They let them do whatever it is that crazy people do. And usually, people leave me alone. And when they don’t, it’s usually either to tell me that they think I’m good, or to try and get me to give them some level of physical contact that I’m really not interested in. I like the former, because complete strangers don’t usually stop you in the middle of what you’re doing to tell you a lie. I could really do with out the latter, though.16

But good dancer or not, all I really want to do at a club is have some fun. And by fun I mean dance. And by dance I mean actually move and do some neat moves. And that’s how this Geeky Mormon Woman hangs at a club.

1 Odd, I know. Normal people go to clubs with others, or in the hopes of meeting others. But I think we’ve established that I am far from normal...
2 The Woman element I guess is applicable... Chicks go to clubs, right? I’m always too busy dancing to notice.
3 What all members from 12 to 18 are called, though you pretty much get treated as a Youth until you are married, no matter how old you are.
4 Cause you sure know they aren’t actually going to ask the girls on dates, even once they turn 16. They might figure out how to do this once they make it to college.
5 Odd, I know. Most people choose to talk or hide in the hallways when they are bored. I’m a rebel like that. And my rebel I mean awkward nerd.
6 The Macarena is cool. Ok, it was cool. Ok, it was stupid, but at least it got people dancing. But bow ties are still cool.
7 I’m not all that great with names and artists. I was singing along to the radio in a store recently, and a girl asked me who the artist was, and I had *no* idea who the artist was, or even what the song was called...
8 Are you really surprised?
9 Like almost one a month during the school year
10 Yes Grandma, that is a real job
11 Sometimes I still have to remind myself of this...
12 Just as a joke.
13 They came with us...
14 Maybe I’m being a bit pre-judgy, but I’ve gotten pretty good at spotting engineers. I think it’s their pasty skin, dark circles under their eyes and the carpel tunnel that gives them away.
15 I’m working on it!
16 Like completely do with out it. How are some men so handsy! And the handsy ones are ruining it for the ones that would be just content with dancing a little...

Monday, February 6, 2012

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Geeky Christmas Tree!

As any true geek, I let my geekyness bleed into as many place in my life as I can. This includes my Christmas decorations. Or rather just my Christmas tree, because as a young-ish single woman, I don’t have a lot of motivation to decorate for Christmas. I mean, most years, I’m not even here. And my cats like to eat and knock over all my stuff, especially items new to their environment, so decorations are just asking for trouble.

But even with the feline danger, I just can’t resist a getting a tree. I just get a small tree, so the cats can’t climb it. They limit their destruction to knocking off the low hanging ornaments and drinking the water out of the stand.1

And as I said, I deck my tree with as many nerdy things as I can find. As long as I can find a way to attach them to my tree. I say things, because we don’t usually buy actual ornaments in my family. We buy other things, like keychains and the like, and then jerry-rig them into ornaments.2 But even so, I don't have a whole ton of ornaments. I should fix that.3

Complete with LED lights!

So here’s my tree, in all it’s glory! But you can’t see the awesomenss of each individual ornament, so we’re gonna do a run down of all the Geekiest ornmants on my tree. In no particular order.4

I don’t care what the Official Nintendo Docs say. It’s a Wiimote.

First up, is a Wiimote keychain that my very first team lead brought back from E3,5 or GDC,6 or something. I won it by rolling a D20 and getting the highest roll. So not only is it a geeky thing, from a geeky place, I got it in a pretty geeky manner as well. It’s like Triply Geeky!

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t put keychains on your tree.

Next up is a soot sprite from the Miyazaki films. I’m going to say it’s from Spirited Away. Mostly cause that’s my favorite film of his. I got it in Akihabara on my trip to Japan. So that’s pretty nerdy. You’d think that traveling to Japan would seem like a bigger deal, but it turns out that you’re not really an Anime fan unless you’ve been to Japan. I’m not really joking. Just to go any anime convention. You’ll never find a larger collection of poor high school and college students who have managed to travel abroad a first world country. I have no idea how most of them afforded it. I only went after I had had a real job for over two years.

Major points if you know what this is, even if you don’t know why I’d put it on a tree.

Now, I don’t always buy my ornaments. Sometimes I make them. This wasn’t really intended to be an ornament, but when we were punching holes in our finished products, I realised that it would make a perfect ornament, so I punched my hole in the middle on top, instead of on a corner. So now that I told you all that, do you know what it is? That’s ok, it’s pretty random, really. It’s my test piece from my Carbon Fiber class that I took at Tech Shop.7

The largest, and realest ornament.

Now, not everything has a location or creation story. Sometimes I just buy geeky things. Like this DS9 ornament. Now, I can’t remember when,where or why I bought it, other than it was before 2001, and I love Star Trek. Maybe it was on sale, maybe a family member got it for me for Christmas. Maybe I got it for a family member for Christmas, cause it was something that I liked.8 Either way, it recently ended back up in my possession.9

The coolest part of the DS9 ornament, is that it came with three ships. Unfortunately, none of them are to scale. Either with each other, or the spacestation, but you can put them on the hooks at the top of the pylons, to simulate docking. I just put them on their own hooks, and placed them on my tree as separate pieces. I don’t have a ton of ornaments, so I need to space them out.

DS9 got so much cooler when they got this ship.

I should probably put Voyager on the back side of the tree or something,
but then no one would see it to get the joke.

I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the Enterprise E...

I do love my Star Trek ornament fleet, but I’ve got plenty of other awesome things to show you.

Anything can be an ornament. You just have to put it on a tree.
This was a mint tin. And it’s not the only one that ended up on my tree.

The Hero of Hyrul! Man, I love Zelda. And by love Zelda, I mean the Zelda games. Because I actually love Link. Cause I’m a girl. And not a lesbian. A friend of mine gave this to me as a part of the wrapping of my Christmas present one year. I immediately decided I needed to turn it into an ornament.

This is supposed to be a pin.

This is from when my parents and I went to the last shuttle launch of the Discovery space shuttle. It was a pretty amazing experience. Obviously, I’d seen the shuttles take off dozens of times on TV and in movies, etc, but when you see it yourself, it all becomes real. We see so many fantastical things on film these days, that I think it’s a bit hard to realise the magnitude of what you’re watching unless you see them in real life. I don’t think space travel was really real in my head until I saw that Shuttle take off. And now they’re all retired... At least I got to have a piece of that history when it was available to have.

And this is a car antenna ball.

Speaking of NASA, I picked this up when I interned at JPL my first summer in College. It sounds a lot cooler than it was. I lived at an observatory, and I wrote a SQL database to interface with a program written in IRAF.10 I think the coolest part of that internship was being able to tell people for the rest of my life that I interned at NASA.

I bet you can’t guess what this is, or what it’s original purpose was.

So, speaking of space travel, do you know what this is? It’s the StarTours Vehicle! Now, I don’t know if Star Tours is still cool, because they changed it in the last year, and I haven’t been back to Disneyland since it’s changed, but it was my favorite ride when we went to Disneyworld in 2000. So when I went to Disneyland with my family last year, I had to pick up something that was star-tours based. Even though we only went on the ride once. If I’d realized that they were closing it, I’d have probably gone more. I’m terrified that they’ve put too much of the new movies in the updated version... And the new movies are terrible... Oh, and that’s a toy car type thing. It’s got wheels and crud.

This is supposed to be an ornament. But I totally made it myself.

And finally, my masterpiece. I made this for an ornament contest at my first game studio job. I worked on it for like three days straight, and I was so proud. And then I was basically the only entry. So I practically won by default. Not that I really won anything. But I still think this is pretty epic. The N64 controller even has the Z button, you just can’t see it, cause it’s glued onto the wreath of controller wire.

So that’s my Geeky Christmas Tree! It's pretty Geeky, but it could be geekier. I should get some more ornaments, or souvenirs from cons or something. You can never have too geeky a tree. I just wish my cats would stop knocking stuff off. I don't like it when my ornaments make unscheduled travel plans...

Oh no! She’s entering Warp! Not so close to the tree! Think of the cats!

1 My cats like to drink water from anywhere other than their water dish, including, but not limited to, my water glass, the shower, watercolor water, and, of course, the Christmas Tree stand.
2 You’ll notice that I have only one purchased ornament set in this whole article.
3 I have nothing from Portal, Doctor Who, or any fan convention that I've attended. If those things are as important as I claim they are, they definitely should be represented on my tree!
4 Seriously, how I’m supposed to rank-compare Star Wars to Star Trek, much less either of those to NASA?
5 Electonics Entertainment Expo
6 Game Develops Conference
7 The most amazing place on Earth. Google it if you don’t believe me.
8 We do this too often in my family. My Mom always gets my Dad things for Christmas that she wants for herself.
9 Because I wanted to write this post, and I asked my parents to bring it with when they came to visit me recently.
10 If you have even heard of this language, without googling it, I’m sorry.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Red Cross, Crossed Out

Now I know this is old news1, but I it takes me forever to write up these articles, so just pretend it’s still the first week of Dec 2011. If you haven’t heard2, the Red Cross is making a stink about the fact that War Video Games are not enforcing the Geneva Convention against the players of these games. POWs can be shot without consequence, civilians can be tortured, personal property destroyed in search of Rupees. Basically, you can do things in these games that would land you in some sort of war tribunal if you tried to do them on a real battle field.

Now, of course the Internet has labeled this as Ridiculous, and the comments sections are ablaze with rebuttals like "pixels aren’t real", and "shouldn’t you be spending your time worrying about actual wars and war crimes?" But these are far too reasonable and rational arguments. I think that a completely ridiculous claim warrants an equally ridiculous response.

And so I say "Red Cross, you don’t even exist in video games, because that is what you wanted! So it’s you fault that there’s no one around to enforce the Geneova Convention! I mean Geneva.3"

Now I think there needs to be a bit of an explanation of how the Red Cross doesn’t exist in video games. I’m not talking about some alternate reality thing, or anything like that, I’m referring the debacle of about 5 years ago when Canadian Red Cross threw a fit and threatened to sue any new video game that used the actual symbol of the Red Cross for any purpose.

Now regardless of the legality of this claim, or the fact that video games had been using it for fifteen or twenty years without a peep from any branch of the red cross, or that the Canadian anything has no power over the rest of the world, video game companies took them seriously.

How do I know? Well, I used to make video games for a living. And when I did, I had the opportunity to work on the best selling classic Petz Vet4 for the GBA. Now, despite having been sold under the prestigious Petz animal games franchise, the GBA version was merely a translated version of a Japanese game called, actually, I have no idea, cause it was in Japanese.

So many memoriez...

Now despite not having some crucial files needed for the completion of this game5, I was able to finish this project.6 At the end, the testers would always have a list of things that I had to put in the game, or take out, that weren’t even there in the first place, and I would proceed to tell them what I thought of them and their ridiculous rules that the original game didn’t have to follow, so why did I have to put this in now, it’s only three years later, so why do I need to put in these extra screens??7

So one day this tester, who name I don’t remember, but I actually kinda liked, came and told me that the other testing house said that the third and final unlockable outfit for the main character had red crosses on it, and we had to take them out. I was a little upset, because this was one of the missing art pieces, and it supposedly showed up in another section of art that I had not tackled yet, and I wasn’t looking to reconstructing and cramming art in yet another part of the game. So before I went into full panic mode, I decided to make sure that there really was a problem. So I used my mad programmer skillz and checked the tile banks8 on that screen, and I was able to prove that they were not, in fact, red crosses, but puppy paws.

Do those look like red crosses to you?

Now I tell this story not to highlight my mad programming prowess9, but to illustrate that Ubisoft would have been unwilling to publish a game in which the third unlockable outfit had red crosses on a pink uniform.10 This was a vet game, for kids, where you treated sick animals and made them feel better by playing innocuous minigames.11 And this was game was shovel-ware at it’s finest. I’m pretty sure the Japanese company sold their original version for $50 and a sandwich on their way out of business.12 And probably paid Sensory Sweep13 enough money to feed me pizza for the two months that I spent smashing English text in it with a hammer.14

Seriously, I think the 37 people that commented on this video are the only people who even bought and played this game. I doubt the red cross in Canada or New Zealand or anywhere would have noticed if this slipped through, or even minded for that matter. It’s a live-saving game! Not those mad-crazy shooters where you blow people’s head off. But Ubisoft wasn’t going to risk it. And if Ubisoft didn’t want to risk angering the red cross with too many cute, cared for pixel puppies, I think we can say that the Red Cross threatened themselves right out of all video games.

And I don’t know how you’re supposed to enforce a real treaty for real people in a virtual world, when you demanded that your life saving influence be removed from these video games. So Red Cross, it’s your fault that all those pixels are being harmed needlessly. If you had just let your symbols remain on those health packs, you could have argued that you exist in those video games, and that thusly your pixel counterpart had just as much obligation to enforce the treaty as you do for real people. But you can’t. Because the Canadian Red Cross whined you all out of existence.

1 i.e. it’s been longer than a week since it was on Kotaku.
2 Or more likely forgot.
3 That joke came from an honest to goodness typo.
4 You know it’s awesome, cause of the ‘z’.
5 Including, but not limited to half of the art, and all the assembly macro definition files.
6 And I will totally tell that story, which is full of awesome, as long as Ubisoft promises not to sue me.
7 I know it’s not their fault, but I’ve gotta get mad at someone for changing the rules. And I can’t yell at Nintendo with impunity. Sorry testers.
8 Mad props if you know what a tile bank is.
9 Although that is a bonus.
10 You’d have to actually play this game for hours to find the unlockable...
11 No, I don’t get it either.
12 No matter how much we asked, we could never get support from the original developers, and as I said, we were missing some very crucial files.
13 May it rest in pieces.
14 That’s exactly what it felt like.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Encounter at Dragon*Con

So we’re picking up the story on Day 1 of Dragon*Con. If you don’t know how we got here, and care about the space-time continuum, go back and read Part 1. In the words of River Song: Spoilers!

For those who are just joining us now, and did not heed my words of warning, I am running on empty after an all-nighter and several preceding days of four hours of sleep a night, but the Acting Ensign Wesley Crusher Cosplay is done, and it’s accurate, down to the details.

The first day of the con, I’m exhausted, but also excited. I’ve never been to Dragon*Con, and I’ve never really met a celebrity, or even been in the same room with one.1 For the last few weeks, I’ve been getting really nervous about the concept of meeting Wil. I’m not used to caring what other people think, much less a famous person. But this is different. I’m about to meet Wil Wheaton, King of the Nerds. The lack of sleep is messing with my head, and I start to worry.

So to ease into this whole new celebrity experience, I decide to go to the Guild panel, but not in costume. Wil is actually more awesome in person, if that’s even possible.2 So I’m feeling better, but still nervous. I find out that Wil’s done a blog post with his schedule. I’m excited to see that he’s got such a large chuck of time today in the Walk of Fame, where you can get autographs, and he’s even doing pictures. But then I read his comment about his Wesley Crusher panel, and my heart sinks. I was really looking forward to that panel. I start to over-think things, and worry that Wil might not be as excited about my costume as I am. Oh, did I mention that sleep deprivation makes me crazy?

So I’m even more terrified now, but I decide to go to Wil’s signings anyways. I finish hemming my cuffs and put on my layers of padding and shaping and attempted my cross-gender makeup.3 After finishing up my transformation, I zip up my spacesuit and walk to the convention with my friend. I’m not getting any recognition as I walk to the convention, and it isn’t making me feel any better about the situation. No one even comments on my costume when I finally make it to the Wil Wheaton autograph line. Which is really long. So long, that we have to go and wait outside as they take in smaller groups.

So after about 45 minutes, we finally move into the main line that is inside the Walk of Fame with Wil. Since I’m so short, Wil has no chance of seeing me early. I can barely see him myself. I don’t know how he’s going to react, and I don’t know what to say to him. Finally, the couple in front of me walks away, and I walk up to the table.

Wil: "hi"
Megan: "hi"

And then I see it hit him. His eyes go really big.

I’m barely able to contain my excitement.

Wil: "OMG YOU'RE WESLEY F###ING CRUSHER!!! OMG, OMG, dude, you’re amazing! this is amazing!!"

As I back up and show it off, Wil is just saying “OMG, OMG this is amazing” over and over again, and I can see him register each detail in turn. If anyone knows what this costume is supposed to look like, it’s him. I’ve done all the weird seaming and stitching. That stupid giant arrow pointing to my crotch, the weird waist flaps, the piping and sweater section on the shoulders, the silver communicator, it’s all there.

Wil: “Wow, this is amazing, this is so amazing!! I have to get a picture of this, my wife will never believe it! You've even got the Mother F###ing bouffant!!”

I didn’t know this was his pose until I saw this picture.

Wil walks around the table, and comes to stand next to me. I put down all my stuff and try and look as Wesley as possible. My friend is snapping photos as fast as he can, and fortunately, Wil's assistant person is having trouble with Wil’s smartphone, leading to us having more time for more pictures. I was just trying to focus on being as professional as possible and not touch Wil.4

Back to me freaking out.

He comes back around and sits down again.

Megan: “I've been staring at pictures of you for the last three months, trying to get all the details right. I even brought an iPad as a prop.”
Wil: “Of course you did!”

I think the whole iPad as a PADD is hilarious, and I’m glad that Wil agrees.

Wil: “Now is this the most uncomfortable thing you’ve ever worn?”

I dance around a bit verbally, cause as I explained in Part 1, it was, and I fixed it, and I know that “yes” is the right answer, and I don’t know how long I’ll have to explain what and why I did. Is there a timer somewhere? Is something going to buzz and I’m going to have overstayed my welcome? So I condense down my explanation to "kinda”.

Wil exclaims "Then it's accurate!"

I hand him my Wesley crusher action figured that I found at the Fanime swap meet for $1, I only bought this because I figured I had to bring something for him to sign. Again, I wasn’t sure how these celebrity things worked. I had to find something as I didn’t exactly have a lot of trek merchandise.5

Who’s the coolest nerd now, Sheldon.

Megan: “So I brought this for you to sign, but just for the lolz."
Wil: "Sure, what's your name?"
Megan: "Megan. And I was also wondering if I could get one of these," I say, pointing to the pictures of him as Wesley in the very uniform I'm wearing. This seemed to be a much more pertinent thing for him to sign.
Wil: "Of course!"

It's offical.
I'm Amazing!

Megan: “I’ve been really nervous about seeing you...”
Wil: "Why? You've done something amazing!"
Megan: “Well, I tend to psych myself out a lot...”
Wil: "Look, I've been doing this for 23 years and I've never seen anything like this. You're the first, and you're the best. You are amazing."6

I just keep saying thank you, cause I don't know what else to say. I settle on confirming the photo op later. I want a nice photo with Wil.

Megan: “Now you’re doing photos later today, correct?”
Wil: “Yeah, I am, are you coming?” He asks, genuinely excited by the thought.
Megan: “Yes”
Wil: “Awesome, I'm making Froggie give me one."7
Megan: “Ok, then I’ll see you later.”

That meeting couldn’t have gone any better. He went completely crazy over me. All the tired-crazy is gone, and replaced with what-in-the-world-just-happened-crazy.

I go over to the Star Trek panel, and my friend takes a few photos of me next to the TARDIS, claiming this would probably fulfill someone's fan fiction desires, and I think it’s kinda funny, so I go with it.

Maybe Wesley is a Time Lord. He did run off with the Traveler.

I’m not in the trek panel for very long, I had to leave early for photos, and I need to play the line game before I’ll actually get to the part where I get my picture with Wil.8 In some of these lines, I’m actually getting recognized. Maybe it’s cause I’m still riding high off my encounter of less than an hour ago, and my happy smugness is making me look more Wesley-ish. After finally ending up in the line for just Wil Wheaton pictures, they start sending us through like a conveyor belt. As I approach, Wil's face lights up again, and pointing excitedly at me, he exclaims to the photographer, "See! I told you!!" I’m so glad he’s so happy to see me again. We both stand and look stoic for the camera.

I love this picture of him. He looks so smug and regal and happy all at the same time. I couldn’t ask for a better picture.

Then the photographer said "Now Wil step out". I was confused, but just stood there, looking as Wesley as I could. The camera man then took a picture of JUST me. As it was happening, my brain was trying to piece together what had just happened. Wil had talked to the photographer before, and told him that when I arrived, he wanted a picture of just me. Wil Wheaton, WIL WHEATON, asked a professional photographer for a picture of me….. of ME!!!!!! Now if that doesn’t make you feel special, I don’t know what wil, I mean will.

I walked around the rest of the day with a few looks of recognition, only one or two picture requests, and few to no comments. One person remarked “Oh, you’re Wesley, well, at least I liked you when you were on TV.” Honestly, I think the assumed hatred of Wesley is so pervasive that it even dampened the reception of my costume. I think I’ve started to really understand why Wil doesn’t like talking about Wesley. It was so long ago, and there’s so much negative energy around the character that it’s just really not fun to deal with. So I may not have had the kind of reactions from fellow con goers that I've grown used to,9 but Wil Wheaton went completely crazy over me, and honestly, that's the best thing that could have ever happened.


It's even better signed.

As you can see, Wil was nice enough to put up with me a second time, and sign my picture of us for me. I tried to take the opportunity to try explain away some of my crazy, saying I’d been nervous because I was unsure of how he would receive me focusing on Wesley, especially since he had that negative encounter when he arrived. To which Wil said, “You know, there’s a difference between people being a d*ck about it, and celebrating Wesley.”, and I agreed. I gave him my costuming business card. He apparently checked out my Deviant Art page that night, and told me so when I asked a question the next day in his Wesley Crusher panel. I know he was even more exhausted than I was, so it really means a lot to me that he took the time to check it out while still at the con.

So Wil, if you are reading this, you totally made my convention. I hope it was as good for you as it was for me. Your panels were awesome and hilarious, and I loved hearing about your process as an actor. Your reaction on Friday was truly more than I could have ever hoped. I won the Wil Wheaton Award of Amazing, and that’s the best award I've ever received.

1 Ok, that’s not quite true. I met Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, the voice of Motoko Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell, and Richard Epcar, the voice of Batou, but they were at this tiny con of like 300 people, and it was just a much more intimate and less intimidating setting. Also, I met Bob Ballard when I was about 14 when we took him to the airport after he’d given at talk at the university my parents work at, but I was too young to really know what to say. What do you mean you don’t know who Bob Ballard is? He discovered the mid-Atlantic vents and dozens of new species of plants and animals that use a method other than photosynthesis to survive. Also, he found the Titanic.
2 Also, Amy is super nice and a bit shy, which is hilarious to me, considering she plays Tink. Robin is like a more reasonable version of Clara, which is also awesome. Amy, Robin, if you are reading this, this is what I wanted to say to you guys in the Guild Autograph Line, but it was the end of the con, and I was exhausted, and I just forgot everything I was going to say once I got to the front of the line. Sorry.
3 I rarely wear makeup, so doing makeup for my costumes is not something I’m very good at yet.
4 Wil doesn’t touch people at cons because he doesn’t want to get sick, which I totally respect, despite my overwhelming desire to hug the living daylights out of him.
5 After the recent episode of The Big Bang Theory, having this action figure seems much more pertinent as a fan of Wil Wheaton.
6 This was the most important thing he said to me. For him to say he’d never seen anything like this before, and that he was totally blown away was more than I could have ever hoped for. I still remember the genuine tone of his voice when he said this.
7 Froggie is the name of the photographer, apparently.
8 If you’ve never been to a con, there are a lot of lines.
9 I've made some pretty impressive costumes, and yes, it can go to your head.