Lovely Latex Unicorn!

War Journal Entry number 1017 - Ghostbusters (2016)

To the people complaining that Ghostbusters is awful because it is anti-men, please think a moment. Reflect on your reaction. Realize that this is what women have been saying for years about movies' attitudes towards them. You know, those complaints to which your default response is to tell them to relax, that's it's just being funny, they are reading into things, that not everything is theirs and they should go make their own.

At this point your have three options -
1) take the advice you give out and get over yourselves
2) realize that it was done for that effect, to make you realize this and sympathize with women for the first time in your life, so maybe you'll listen the next time they give a grievance
3) continue being a douchebag who thinks he is not getting laid because women are in charge of the world and they've all decided to shun you, when in fact you're not getting laid because you refuse to treat women like actual human beings

And honestly, not every single male character was a joke or asshole. Ed Begley Jr's character is a very normal role for him and average person. The homeland security guys were kinda jerks but that's how homeland security is ALWAYS portrayed. They also weren't incompetent so much as just simply unprepared.

I genuinely think a large part of the reaction is that far too many of you see yourself in the villain, and that should justifiably give you pause. Villains when portrayed correctly are a warning to people to not follow this path, so please take that to heart. Realize that there are other ways to deal with the pain you've been through than give it to others. No matter how much you've been bullied and rejected I guarantee that there are many more women who have had it much much worse, but none of them are murdering people.

Also realize that all those default things you attack women about as if they prove men-hating women are in charge (custody laws, circumcision, etc.) are almost invariably in areas where men predominately have a distinctly unbalanced level of control so these things you hate, these things you attack women with, are actually perpetrated BY MEN. If women were in charge they'd actually listen to you! In most cases feminists actually agree with you and are most assuredly not your enemies. Now, when what you want is that all female characters in movies and games just be eye-candy, and that those women you deem hot (and therefore of value) should shower you with affection for being marginally decent to them while not actually believing they have thoughts, drives, and feelings of their own, well, then, you're still missing your empathy somewhere and feminists, myself included, have a legit different agenda. That agenda, BTW, isn't to ruin your fun so much as it's to allow others to have the fun and self respect that you are actively denying them.
Lovely Latex Unicorn!

War Journal Entry number 1016 - wig and make-up

We tried to do a look to show off my other Purple Plum wig and went for a bit of a punkster vibe with it. All love to my partner who put in all the effort you see here.

It became a slightly harrowing experience when I became light headed and nearly passed out in the middle of having make up applied; we’re thinking it was the combination of the heat and having skipped lunch. Doing fine today but that certainly made the process take a whole lot longer.

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Lovely Latex Unicorn!

War Journal Entry number 1014 - Introduction to latex clothing

Latex is a special material with special properties and care requirements. I personally find it rewarding enough for my mood, confidence, and general emotional well-being to be well worth the work and expense.

A lot of clothing that is referred to as latex by the general populace actually isn't. Pretty much if it's tight and shiny people will call it latex. For example, the costumes in X-Men (with the exception of Psylocke in the newest film) are not latex. Another example is the red catsuit Britney Spears wore in the "Oops I did it again" video, it's often referred to as latex but wasn't. The biggest give-away to these is stitching. Latex cannot be sewn so if you see stitching it is likely PVC, vinyl coated fabric which is often spandex. The inside of any PVC item will have fabric which can make it easier to wear than latex, though personally I prefer how latex feels. A downside to PVC is that eventually the vinyl will start to separate from the fabric; they just aren't long term items no matter how you care for them and that's part of why PVC is typically cheaper.

Latex is literally the same material many condoms are made from, just in a different thickness. Latex and rubber are the same thing, but I've noticed the term rubber isn't as popular as it used to be for fashion clothing and typically refers to heavier thickness and kink specific items.

There are two manufacturing methods for latex clothing: molded and glued.

Molded latex uses a mold, obviously. The mold is filled with or dipped repeatedly into liquid latex. Once the desired thickness has been achieved it's allowed to dry. The molded process is used for simpler items such as gloves, t-shirts, shorts, stockings, tube skirts or tops and simple dress designs. It allows for mass production so is typically cheaper and gives a clean, seamless look. But it has a number of limitations such as being unable to mix colors (except perhaps as a marbled combo) and it's not easy to modify the sizing.

Glued pieces start from sheets of latex cut using patterns like you would with standard clothing materials. The pieces are glued together instead of sewn together, but technology and ingenuity have gotten us to the point where you can almost make anything out of latex that you can out of conventional materials. And latex can do things that are difficult to impossible with other materials. For instance, if you want sheer areas in an outfit made of conventional fabric there will be a different tensile strength for sheer versus solid areas. With latex, whether it's transparent or not, as long as it's the same thickness it will all behave consistently. Also, inflation. Some designers include inflatable portions of outfits such as tails, horns, collars, edges, other details, and even entire skirts as seen in a recent Covergirl ad featuring Katy Perry. I don't have anything that inflates yet, but that's not for a lack of desire.

Whether molded or glued, there are two different finishes: untreated or chlorinated.

Untreated can be a bit sticky, to itself and to skin, so you need either talcum powder or silicone lube (never oil based) to get into it. I've found talc works better for some items and lube better for others. It's worth trying each way, but I recommend always using lube for translucent or transparent latex, for obvious reasons. Silicone lube can also be used to shine up the outside of the latex to get that lovely high gloss look. Shining it will cause translucent latex to become even more transparent. The degree of how much the latex sticks to itself does have to do with the quality of the raw material, higher quality latex is just all around better. I've also found that higher quality latex will also by default look glossier and may not always need to be shined.

Chlorinated latex has been exposed to chlorine gas which gives it a bit of a satiny finish. It's not always necessary to use a dressing agent, though I still do for some things, and it doesn't stick to itself. Man, chlorinated sounds great, right? Well, while you can polish it with silicone lube it may not ever reach the same glossy look as untreated, though again higher quality latex will be better and closer. The other downside with chlorination is that it makes repairs or alterations more difficult, if not impossible. On an untreated piece you may be able to patch it, yes, exactly like you would with an inner tube for a bicycle tire. But once the piece has been chlorinated glue may not adhere to it so patching may not be possible.

Latex comes in a variety of thicknesses, I usually go with whatever the default is that the designer uses. Thicker latex is firmer and offers more support. Thinner latex is stretchier and contours closer to the body instead. The thickness of the latex will affect the transparency with even solid colors being translucent.

As briefly mentioned above, latex is vulnerable to oil including natural body oils. I take a shower before I wear latex and don't wear any moisturizers or colognes to be on the safe side. After wearing I give it a quick wash in water with a small amount of a mild, additive-free dish soap, rinse it, and let it drip dry on a rack or hanger turning it inside out at some point. For untreated pieces I powder the inside once it is completely dry in preparation for storage, chlorinated pieces don't require that. I have some items hanging in my closet (grouped with similar colors together always, light colors can be discolored by darker pieces if stored against each other). I also have some things wrapped in white tissue paper and gently folded up. Either way latex should be stored away from light and heat.

Besides the look of latex, I enjoy the feel of wearing it. The tightness, the all around compression, feels comforting to me. It's difficult to describe that because it's something I feel to my heart. It increases my awareness of my body, I become cognizant of movements and, frankly, the jiggling of my stomach and ass. It changes how heat and cold feel, I enjoy wearing latex in both environments. Oh, the feeling of the sun on latex can be so invigorating it's just glorious. It changes how being touched or struck feel, amplifying some things and dispersing others. This isn't just about kinky fun times, I overall feel content, alive, and, yes, confidently sexy when dressed in latex. While beforehand it can sometimes feel like it will be too much work to deal with due to the prep and clean up involved, and sometimes the need for help getting dressed and undressed, it ALWAYS improves my mood when I wear it.

That all said, you will sweat. Even if you're cold you will sweat. And if the environment is hot then expect to feel it dripping down your legs. It's just a part of the experience that needs accepted. For me it's a clean sweat, in other words it doesn't generate the body odor that would be expected with that much perspiration. And you'll also be messy with lube or talc and sweat when taking it off. Nothing a quick rinse in the shower won't fix. Personally, and I know this sounds weird, I've come to enjoy the feeling left once the silicone lube has soaked into my skin. Hey, it's especially unexpected for ME to say that since I don't like using moisturizers and sunscreens unless they are sorely needed because I don't like feeling greasy. There's just something different with silicone.

Not everyone will enjoy wearing latex as much as I do, but the enjoyment is the main limitation. People don't have to have a model body (I certainly don't) in order to wear it. Quite frankly I think it looks better on fuller figured individuals. It can be surprisingly flattering even while showing off everything when it's tight. I hope that more people will try it, and hope that eventually it will become a more commonplace clothing material.
Lovely Latex Unicorn!

War Journal Entry number 1013 - Orlando

The saddest thing about what happened in Orlando is that while it was horrifying, to those in or close to the LGBTQ community it's not shocking. Every single day, even on the day of such a tragedy, a large swath of this country and, worse, its leaders are actively working against the basic human rights for members of the LGBTQ community. Denied rights, denied dignity, and even denied their lives. It's unfortunately way more common and constant than you'd like to believe.

These people complain that political correctness has run amok or that their religious freedoms are being infringed because they aren't allowed to treat specific classes of people like shit. They spew vile hate to impressionable people, as many followers as they can find, the fewer critical thinking skills the better, simply because all that effort to spread hate and lies is still easier for them than just letting someone live their life. The people espousing hate, encouraging beatings and murders, are the true perverted deviants.

I identify as queer. I live with these fears for my friends and my chosen families. And I have it so much easier than so many others because most people have no idea. I don't like attention, I'm not brave, my world is small, I just want to live my life and bring happiness to those I can. But those people in Orlando had the right to live their lives too, or at least they should have had that right.
Lovely Latex Unicorn!

War Journal Entry number 1010 - Life Update

A few months back I went for another position in the department because where I'd been I was just accumulating responsibilities and needed to break it off. I was burnt out as fuck and all the requests for backups or distribution of work were never high priority. Replacing me entailed training four different people for four different roles to cover what all I was doing. Finally got training done and not only was I getting started into my new position but I even had some time to start cleaning my desk. Seriously, I still had printed call reviews for someone who left the company three years ago.

Then the person whom I'd trained in the most time consuming, most hectic, most grinding and disheartening role was injured playing sports and is out for two months. Guess who has to cover it. I'll give you a hint, it's somebody totally burnt out with the BS of sales people. For the last 15 years or so, way too much of my life, I've had to be constantly working closely with sales people and I fucking hate (most) sales people. It's the BS, you see, I have a very low tolerance for bullshit and that is pretty much a prerequisite for working in sales. I get how important what they do is, and I try to keep professional, but the mindset that they'll treat you like a best friend for only as long as they are dealing directly with you, and then be total shit otherwise wears me down. If they seriously appreciate the work I put in helping them then how about listening when I expressly lay out what I need from them. Like I said, burnt out.

Fucking sports. Fucking injuries. I'm very intentionally trying to keep any and all resentful feelings towards my coworker squelched. She certainly didn't do it on purpose, and is a totally solid worker who I sincerely believe will do a better job at the position than I did. But I'm so exhausted and there's still maybe a month and a half to go before she's back. It'll be rough.


Much sighs.

Trying to keep in mind good things.

My partner is awesome as always, and I have a spectacular anniversary gift in the works for her. Shhhh, it's a secret.

I have a super adorable outfit coming in from Black Sheep Latex; it's currently going through the Chicago mail hub right now. I swear it takes things longer to get through customs in Chicago than it takes to get from Europe to Chicago. Super excited about this and if the quality is as good as it looks online then there's a LOT more from the maker that I'll be getting. Oh my squee, yes!

In other good news that I need to keep in mind, there's been the beginnings of other flirtings, that's always nice. But with the work situation it's a really bad time for such additional mental efforts and I've already let things drop a little long. Keeping up with friends is hard, especially when my only response to how I am will be "exhausted." I really don't like to be constantly complaining which is one reason why I often drop a lot of communication when things are rough.

You can't tell but I paused a moment there to try to come up with another good thing. For many years I felt very alone, even with friends it all felt superficial and I never felt like I fit in. I still rarely feel like I belong anywhere but that's another topic. The point I was moving towards is that for quite a while I felt like my mom was the only one who cared about me. But now not only do I have my partner but I have a number of friends who I feel genuinely like and care about me. That's something worth remembering and appreciating.
Lovely Latex Unicorn!

War Journal Entry number 1009 - lotsa Wonder Woman

From 4/6/16

Lookie, it's a Wonder Woman vs Superman treasury from the mid-seventies with a tale taking place in WWII! I don't know why I'm so much more forgiving of the campy silliness in Marvel comics of the time than I am for DC, but I did still mostly enjoy it. Mostly. It's a cool find no matter what.

The highlight of new things this week is the Amadeus Cho collection, so I guess technically not really new. He's a fantastic character, probably one of the best created in the last decade. He's a hero of intelligence instead of strength, and one that feels no need to play along with the games of others just to prove his superiority. The stories here highlight his brilliance and depth; I forgot just how damn good these were and was fully engaged as I read them again.

In the vein of old is new, the third volume of the old Suicide Squad has me excited. Includes some pre-Vertigo Shade, The Changing Man!

The final issue of Infinity Entity had me surprised. I look forward to re-reading it in place between the Thanos graphic novels once the next one of those comes out to see what I missed.

Black Panther was excellent, my only complaint being I would have appreciated a primer in the back getting those of us who haven't read BP in a while back up to speed. A lot has happened since last I read his adventures.

A new Bee and Puppycat?!?!? For real? I thought for sure it was a dead book by now.

I have to admit to being disappointed with the Harley Quinn April Fool's Special. While the cartoony bit in the middle was fun, Jim Lee's art at the beginning and end of the book looked rough and uneven. Having multiple inkers didn't help. The story itself was just OK, but none of the recent writers have really done anything to make me care about the character of Harley Quinn. She's gone a little too Deadpool but lacking in his depth. (Yes, Deadpool handled by a good writer has depth. He intentionally steers into his insanity because when he's rational he's crippled by depression and self loathing, his madness is a coping mechanism that lends a tragic element to him.)

Lastly there's Wonder Woman: Earth One. I was a little hesitant when I first heard about it because I don't feel that Grant Morrison has always done the best with characterization of late, and a profile project like this needs to have character at the forefront. Morrison often seems to get caught up in the plot he has, or worse yet the creative way he tells the tale, and forgets that he is working with characters not puppets. But a few interviews with him seemed to show an interest in showing Wonder Woman as a character set apart from other heroes by being defined by her compassion, so that had me hopeful. The book is a bit of a mixed bag. Some of the storytelling with flashbacks gets confusing. A good number of characters feel like little more than plot devices. But Steve Trevor actually comes across well, and I really love Beth Candy. She's often been treated as a joke character, the fat comic relief, and while she's funny and causes people to react, sometimes negatively, she's confident and happy with herself, and she doesn't care if people don't approve of her boisterousness or how her body looks. Wonder Woman herself shows growth throughout the story, which is good, but it unevenly moves back and forth owing to the flashback storytelling technique. There's enough good here once it's dissected that I think it's worthwhile, but there's a lot to wade through at times. I haven't even gotten into the problematic portrayal of feminism because that's an essay that I'm sure others while be able to do better than I. I know it was done to create conflict between Wonder Woman, the intersectional feminist, and the rest of the Amazons, a bunch of reactionary feminists, but that doesn't change how much it feels like some of the worst examples of feminism you can make.

Lovely Latex Unicorn!

War Journal Entry number 1008 - Divas of Drag

I met some of my favorite drag queens during the pre-show meet & greet for the Divas of Drag show at House of Blues Cleveland. Here I am with the awesomely bizarre Milk. (I was going for a silly excited expression but delayed timing on the flash left me just looking a little scared.)

Also, I've never felt so petite as I did in a room full of drag queens. Almost all of them were big enough to take me down in a fight. It was kinda hot. By which I mean "totally hot."

I was mostly shy and let my partner do all the talking cuz she was even more excited than I was. Unfortunately that means I didn't get pics with any of my other favorite queens.

The show itself was just delightful with a great variety of acts, from traditional drag to the more avant garde. Seriously hope the tour does well enough to come around again next year because we will SO be there.

Lovely Latex Unicorn!

War Journal Entry number 1007 - Cleveland ConCoction 2016

Earlier in the week -

So there’s a gaming and science fiction convention this weekend, Cleveland ConCoction. This is its third year and every year we’ve gotten weekend passes though we don’t usually spend all that much time there. The con was started by friends of ours so we consider it supporting them.

The first year was the first time I had worn the Dark Phoenix outfit. It was a good time though we didn’t really participate in all that much.

The second year the dog was sick so we again didn’t participate a lot.

This year… I’d originally planned on debuting my Rogue outfit but now I’m not so sure I’ll put in the effort. The parking is going to be more difficult as a lot of it is under reconstruction for the upcoming Republican National Convention (as if I didn’t already have enough reasons to hate it) so that will make leaving and returning (necessary to take care of our dog) more difficult, as well as just getting there in the first place. I don’t know if it’s the anxiety from all of the logistics, but I’m also feeling very stupid for wanting to dress up, feeling pointless. I’m pointless. I’m tired. I don’t know how long we’ll actually end up spending there this year either.

But now I got to work.

A little later in the week -

I’m feeling a bit better now, it’s nice to talk to friends. Also, alcohol. Still don’t know what the schedule for this weekend will be, but I’m working to relax about it.

I guess I’d like to dress up, but I’ll see. I still feel silly.

Saturday evening -

Been having a good time at Cleveland ConCoction this weekend.

There was a pirate themed wedding yesterday at midnight (so technically this morning, eh?).

Today I actually wore the Rogue costume I've been putting together for a couple of years. You may have seen the pictures in which I've been tagged. I still feel silly for dressing up sometimes (most of the time) but it feels like an accomplishment. And was fun. But now I'm so exhausted and skipping out on a couple of different parties in favor of going to bed early. Like after one more episode of Community.

Currently planning to go up again tomorrow for another panel or two. There's so much offered at ConCoction that we actually only ever get to experience a small portion of it. Maybe next year we'll rent a room for at least one of the nights just to make it easier.

Sunday evening -

I'm quite taken by surprise when strangers are super nice. Most people this weekend were very nice, and the experience on whole went very well. Much better than I expected from how I felt earlier in the week.

Towards the end of the convention we attended two presentations that were both cohosted by the same pair of cosplayers, Mogchelle and Alexa Heart. They were helpful and did a great job. Afterwards we chatted with them for a while as well as with Katie Starr, aka Nerd Girl Cosplay. Like I said earlier, super nice, very supportive, great people.

Afterwards I messaged them all through FaceBook thanking them for their time, my disappointment in having missed their other presentations, and the hope that they'll be back next year. They all responded quickly, and it seems we'd left good impressions. So, yay :)

But really what started me down this meandering missive was Katie Starr. One of the presentations she did which we'd missed was about how cosplay can be used to cope with depression and other similar issues. You can imagine how this is pertinent to my experience, especially in the last week. I'd mentioned that to her and she offered to be available if I needed to talk about it. And I'm still sitting here going "me?" Seriously, I just, look, from my history, I don't expect help and have a lot of trouble asking for it, and I'm surprised when someone offers it so freely. I don't really know the exact point I'm trying to make here, I guess that I'm just surprised when people are so nice to me because I so rarely feel like I deserve that much consideration, which bespeaks as much about me as it does them.

Lovely Latex Unicorn!

War Journal Entry number 1005 - Holiday Stuff

Both my partner's and my parents are divorced so we end up with four days of Christmas. Busy holidays.

(Next time I should take pictures of some of the presents we bought for people because we gave some cool things.)

Day one: a wallet made of comic book images, a cool box, and a Hallmark Keepsake ornament of the original Megatron toy. I didn't even know it existed until a week or so ago! It's seriously sweet.

Day two: Ant Man on blu-ray, the complete 90s Flash television series, a book detailing "regrettable" superheroes which looks like lots of fun, and The Complete Allspark Almanac which is perhaps the geekiest, most Easter-egg filled book about Transformers ever created. Heck, half the book is written in-universe. I was also excited to get a bunch of comfy socks, including some Captain America ones just for kicks.

Day three: The Complete All Hail Megatron hardcover collection includes the 12 issue main series, the 4 issue coda, and 5 related Spotlight issues. It's slightly larger than a regular comic and pretty gorgeously reproduced. This story is what they should have done with the live action movies; it's got those huge action set pieces popular to audiences but it also has differentiated characters with a variety of agendas which are what has given the property its longevity. It's far from perfect, but far superior to the films we've gotten.

Day four: a 5 TB external hard drive for out Xbox One. We've only had it a few months and have used up more than 3/4 of the internal drive. It's rather annoying that even games bought on disc have to be downloaded onto the system. Game on!