Archive for the ‘ How to ’ Category

Space Slug Costume

Everything has its humble beginnings, that is to say that even I used to put my pants on one leg at a time.  It’s true, ever since that sneaky little spider set up shop in my favorite pair of pants between wearing I have been able to jump in or out of a pair of pants in one swift, hopping-while-screaming motion.  Speaking creepy crawlies, do you remember the space slug from Star Wars?  It appeared in a scene of The Empire Strikes back with a lot of awkward tension between Leia and lover boy Han and, oh yeah, a space slug was in it too.  If you don’t remember this scene you need to watch that movie again.

Did I mention the space slug?

Well, upon hearing about Sci-Fi Star Wars party one year I decided against the obvious choice for a rouge like me of being Han Solo  and bonded with the other half of my personality of being  obscure and awkward.  Although I am sure I irritated a lot people by blocking off doorways with my space hulk girth I did enjoy having the best party trick for the night of reaching for hands to shake with all of the sweeping power of the space slug as it chomped after the Millennium Falcon.  You can do this costume for $25 bucks and if you have or know someone with a medicine ball you can do it for the change in your pocket.

Star Wars Space Slug:

-large fitness ball (just make sure it fits through doorways)
-brown or grey spray paint
-an old grey hoodie
-a grey oven glove
-paper mache
-Sharpie (colored)

Making the Asteroid
You will spend 90% of your time making the asteroid, most of it waiting for your paper mache to dry. Pick out a fitness ball, the bigger the better because you will be wearing it like a vest and like Chris Farley’s belly bigger it is the more comical it will be.  Once you have your ball picked out you want to start layering it with paper mache.  For those of you who don’t know how to make paper mache shame on you! Just mix up a big ole bowl of flour and water, too thin to cook with but thick enough be fairly chunky (the thicker it is the harder to work with, but faster it will dry).   I suggest doing this outside as well as it will likely make a mess.

Dip strips of newspaper about 1 1/2 to 2 inches (4-5 cm) into your bowl and cover the ball.  Do not worry about wrinkles in the paper because you are making the asteroid and any wrinkles will add to the effect.  Just make sure you leave a hole around the valve roughly the diameter of your hips, this will be the bottom.  Layer it up as think as you want and finally you will want to build up at least 2 rings for crater impacts, these will be your neck and arm hole but if you want two arm holes or more feel free to add more.  The only location that matters is your neck hole.  If it isn’t in a comfortable position you will have an uncomfortable costume and that is a lot like having your favorite cereal for breakfast and then realizing you have no milk. Once you are happy with how your asteroid looks and it is good and dry. pull the plug out of your fitness ball and let it deflate, you will be able to pull it out of the paper ball and re inflate it for normal use after a good rinse off with the hose.  All that is left is to cut holes inside of your impact craters and spray paint the ball, easy.

now for the finishing touches.

Get that ratty old grey hoodie out you don’t wear any more and cut a sleeve off. Since you have one sleeve off you might as well cut the other off and make yourself a sleeveless hoodie.  Since you have a sleeveless hoodie you might as well put on “Eye of the Tiger” and run around town air boxing.  Or you could just move on to the best part, the mouth of the space slug.  I was lucky, Think Geek used to sell this.
The glove is hard to find now but I dont see why you cant get an oven glove to look like it with a little time with a sharpie or two (the Millenium Falcon in its mouth is a nice touch).  Once you finish that you are all set to start surprising guests by bursting from a crater to snag a beer or to tease the cutest Princess Leia.

I leave you with just one final word of advice.  This costume leaves you in normal clothes from the waist down, anytime you find yourself tempted to fill in the gap with a pair of  jeans or a plain T shirt, remember this:  the whole point of a costume is to suspend reality for a moment, to fabricate a little fiction. Normal clothes will remind people of the real world they are supposed to forget when they look at you, so you don’t want to do that.  I wore all black underneath but if you have a little extra time you might wear some spacey clothes or don a pair of Jedi looking boots, you are only limited by your imagination.

May The Force  Be With You

Rammstein Jacket

I may have only been alive in the 80s for one month, but even I knew that to be cool in the 80s meant to listen to Joy Division.   I’m the proud owner of an Unknown Pleasures t-shirt and I made my girlfriend sit through the depiction of Ian Curtis’s self loathing in Control.  I remember one scene from Control showing an angsty Ian Curtis leaving his pad to apply for a job.  “No Love Lost” ramps up while Ian stops to light up a cigarette as his eyes adjust to the light.   We see him walking towards the camera with contempt written on his face, he is nicely dressed in a shirt and tie under his black jacket.  As he turns a corner the camera slips behind him and shows that on his jacket he has painted “HATE” in deliberate capitals.

The rage of a punk rocker all grown up in a suit and tie, or, post-punk.

Well it just so happens that I got myself a ticket to see Rammstein.  Say what you want, but they a notorious for putting on a show that promises lots of pyrotechnics, thus I find myself putting together something to wear for the show so I don’t look like a frat bro in comparison out there.

I heard that half of succeeding is showing up,  I’ve also heard someone say that half is succeeding is looking the part, so I’ve come to the conclusion that all I need is a suit and a rocket and I can still be an astronaut even if  the manned space program got the plug pulled.

So here I go, much to the detest of female members in my family, I set to work on my black jacket. Stenciling out the letters with scotch tape then filling them in with whiteout.  I chose whiteout for two reasons.  First, so that I could get two tones out of the color, a half saturated white and a full white, the result was…well…pretty metal.

Secondly, and this might be the big take away, whiteout comes out of clothes with an alcohol based cleaning product like acetone (disclaimer, acetone will melt nylon so make sure there is none in the clothes you try this on).  I won’t say it was easy, it wasn’t, but the alternative is permanent so take your pick.  I doused the white out in WD40 to loosen up the white out then scrubbed it with a rag wet with acetone to remove it.  You should see it lift some of the white right off.  After a run through the washing machine my heart sank, instead of having a jacket with white letters across the back I had a jacket with a white cloud between the shoulders.  On the other hand, there was noticeable less white out on the jacket and the washing machine had a significant effect on it.  After another go with the the WD40 and acetone things were starting to look good.  By the third time through my jacket was back to normal and all it cost me was a few bucks in cleaning supplies and the sneaking feeling of cancer seeping in through the cut in my finger from repeated exposure to that nasty acetone stuff,  ‘Clean things and die young’ I always say.

My jacket after two WD40 washes.

Finally my jacket was clean like that spot behind my ears that I always remember to clean.  Bad analogy I know. I’ll work on it.  Maybe you have a better one?

Don’t B Negative

Just got back from donating blood today.  Here is where I would normally post pictures of my shenanigans but alas, I am still in the process of obtaining a quality camera. But I digress, giving blood is easy and something everyone should do for karma’s sake.  For example, I learned that I am B-.  Less than 2% of the world is B-.  So if something happens and I need blood, I am pretty screwed if it weren’t for blood banks like Bonfils.  Also, there is a way to peacefully coexist with vampire we just need to stop fighting and start donating, we could work out a deal like if vampires turn into bats and use their sonar to find termites and other pests we can feed them blood.   We could even drive stakes into them humanly when the lust for immortality gives way to depression.

On the eastern front of Colorado we have Bonfils

But these blood banks exist all over and, ladies, its a perfect place to meet guys.  I’m serious, if hes donating blood he is A into women and B charitable that’s two pros before you’ve even met him.  If you don’t meet Mr. right the first time don’t lose heart, in 8 weeks you can come back and do it again!