Becoming She-Hulk

The Journey to Prove that 40 is Worth Celebrating with a Bang!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Basking In The Glow of Victory!

Guess who I got to meet at Dragon Con? Meeting THE Hulk at the Con before I got dressed up as She-Hulk on Sunday night really helped. Lou Ferrigno was SO sweet and helpful with advice about getting even more lean over time. Just look at his arms... and that's not even in contest shape!
Another fun memory of the weekend was being taken out to dinner with Teresa by a warm, witty bunch of stitchers who not only wore “She-Hulk Fan Club” stickers... they even loaned me the sword I wore in this photo for Saturday!

We started painting me up about 4:30 and by 6:20, I was a bit impatient about reaching the Masquerade check-in for 6:30! Stepping out into the hotel hallway was fun because I sauntered/ strutted off in front of my friends. She-Hulk walks with ATTITUDE, don't you know! I reached up to touch the ceiling because it is SO easy for me to reach... and one of my friends caught this great shot with the camera.

Here's a great close-up of me as She-Hulk while my arm was leaning out against the wall waiting for the touch ups to dry. The wig we went with was just perfect! It was a more hip-hop style than the basic curly black one I got in case, was far more comfortable to wear and we just streaked it with the temporary green dye that kids use for Halloween to give it a bit of a whispy green highlight look. Apparently under the bright stage lights it looked fantastic!

Finally, here is a look at the full effect right before stepping into the elevator to head to the Masquerade. The minute I stepped out of the hotel and started walking up the 2 blocks to the con, the fun started. Lots of people wanted me to stop and pose, but I was so worried that I wouldn't get there by the 6:30 deadline, that I just invited them to the Masquerade instead. One determined fellow jogged further ahead of me and got a few shots and I walked towards him!

I checked in just a few minutes late and needn't have worried. Lots of people continued to straggle in after that. I asked to be fairly close to the front because parts of the green paint were rubbing off just a tiny bit, especially if someone pushed past me hard. I was given number #14 (of 49 entries) and assigned a "Den Mother", who was a really helpful guy, then we waited for our turn to pose for the basic entry photos, taken of each contestant. After that we had to wait until the Masquerade started at 8:00 pm with the Children's portion of the event (numbered before us separately). I was too afraid to sit down on the upholstered chairs in case I lost some of my rump green, so I just stood in place, leaned against a wall or did deep knee bends. I did have to touch up my armpits and elbow creases a bit just before 9pm when they started the grown-ups category.

I was SO nervous and yet exhilarated as I waited on the ramp before my turn. Then, the moment came, I heard the Bonnie Tyler "Holding Out For A Hero" music start, they started to read the bio introduction and the stage manager hissed "Get out there!" so I strutted out on stage. The minute I walked behind the judges and the crowd realized that I towered over Robin Curtis and her fellow announcers, the cheers erupted and screaming started. It was SO cool! I growled, I flexed and I stepped forward a bit into the shadowed area of the front stage to do the double bicep pose... just in case any pink was visible under my arms. I then sauntered over to the muscular host and leaned on his shoulder to stare down at him, pat him on the head and then kiss down onto his bald spot before leaving the stage with a strut and a kiss over the shoulder.

Suddenly, it was all over and I could breathe again. Part of me was SO disappointed not to be able to live longer in that high, but I was also starting to feel a little spinny and thirsty. My Den Mother got clearance for She-Hulk to have a potty break too, but warned me that there would be more photos at the end of the masquerade. My hands were plain under the gloves, but I still got some strange looks washing them at the sink.

We watched the rest of the contest on the big screen TV backstage with all the highs, lows and surprises. Then it came time for the judges to deliberate while they played a cartoon of Duck Dodgers. When the judges and hosts went back out to start the awards portion, my Den Mother suddenly appeared at my elbow and asked me to follow him quietly. He walked towards the end of the room near the entrance to the stage and then grinned at me when he said. "You'll need to be close by!" Suddenly, the announcers were calling out the winner of the Best Comic Book Category and saying my name! What a THRILL!!! I don't remember most of that presentation on stage... it was a blurr of disbelief and rejoicing in what it feels like to not only chase a dream but win!

There was another photo shoot of the winners with their certificates afterwards, some footage shot by some Cable TV guys (which I hope to snag a copy of!) then we waited in line to "run the gauntlet"... a short posing session of each character for fans at the masquerade to take themselves. After that, hunted for Teresa and when we finally found each other and headed back to the hotel, it was almost midnight. We ordered some food and champagne from room service and talked for 2 hours, then grabbed a quick nap before heading to the airport for 4:30 am.

So there is the SAGA of She-Hulk. Thank you to everyone who followed this blog and lived my dream along with me as I counted it down. I won't be doing daily entries here anymore, but will still leave it up, just in case. With all those photos of me floating around from the Con, you never know if Marvel might see one. I'd LOVE to do character appearances for them or something similar. Besides... If I decide to take in Comic Con some year, I may have a new countdown. I can turn 40 next weekend with a big grin on my face. Chasing this dream was AWESOME!

Monday, September 05, 2005

I WON Best Comic Book Character Category!!

I've had less than 4 hours sleep in the last 48 hours, and for some strange reason, I can't FTP into my website ISP tonight, so the fabulous pictures from DragonCon are going to have to wait until I hear back from their tech support tomorrow. I really wanted to show off how I looked green and the super photo of me meeting Lou Ferrigno when I was in my warrior garb! Hulk meets She-Hulk to be!!

I am sure that after a bit more sleep, I'll be able to write a coherent entry about what a blast it was to walk out of the hotel to the Masquerade in full She-Hulk costume and just watch everyone's jaws drop. Being on stage was fun and a great relief after waiting without being able to sit down for over 3 hours in my white 3 inch heeled go-go boots (I was afraid the make-up would rub off). That alone would have been worth it, but then to win for that category at my very first Con, may just have been the beginning of something!

I'm off to bed... more tomorrow!

Friday, September 02, 2005

2 Days... I'm HERE!!!

I slept a bit but was wide awake at 3:45 when the alarm went off briefly. I caught a cab to the airport which wasn't too bad since the hadn't completely closed off access to the highway. I got to the airport at 4:30 am, cleared security and took the 6 am flight to Toronto.

Hopefully Nick got back to sleep and neither of the girls woke him too early. I really am lucky to have a husband that has been so supportive of my crazy dream, even if he can't understand why on earth I would want to do this!

Customs was SO busy this morning that I was really glad I had almost 3 hours between flights. The customs officer raised his eyebrows a bit when I explained that I was going to DragonCon for fun... but just wished me a "pleasant trip". Once I got on the plane, I discovered that the woman next to me and the 2 ladies across the aisle were also going to DragonCon! What a hoot!

Atlanta was warm and steamy as we got off the plane and took the long walk/eventually jump on the train ride to the baggage claim area, then 3 of us shared a taxi ride downtown since that was faster and cheaper than the shuttle.

The Hilton is beautiful. We actually pulled into the Marriott and I walked across the street already filling with costumed con goers. The downtown streets of Atlanta are now crawling with Storm Troopers, Goth gypsies, ninja, Jedi and fairies of all kinds. I even passed a crowd of hobbits who did a double take at my height!

I picked up my membership badge and banquet ticket, then found out where they'd moved the Masquerade registration to. I have now officially signed up for Sunday night as She-Hulk, so there's no turning back now. Judging from some of the incredible costumes I've seen in just the past hour, painting myself green is going to be rather on the tame side!

Time to find my partner in crime for the weekend and see if Teresa has arrived yet!

3 days... or is that 2?

It was right down to the wire! I drove across town tonight, after a tearful bedtime with my youngest, to pick up my finished costume and try the full thing on (minus wig and green paint obviously!). It was AWESOME!!! I cannot wait to wear it on stage Sunday night for the masquerade! If I trusted the green body make-up a bit more, I might actually wear the costume in the hallways too, but I don't want to be leaving an "impression" behind everywhere.

I have my warrior garb to wear in the hallways on Saturday and something fun for the banquet, so that will be enough.

I can't believe that the time has come at last to head for DragonCon! Where did this summer go? The digital camera is packed, so I will take LOTS of pictures, but they won't get posted until I get home. Hopefully the hotel will have computer access so that I can count down right to the end.

Thank you ahead of time to all those who have been reading this adventure and following it along with me. It has been a blast chronicling the countdown, but now it's time to fly!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

4 days... The costume is almost ready!

I had the van today to run errands with the girls while Nick was at a special meeting for all teachers in the District down in Sackville. He was able to car pool and with the price of gas soaring by almost 17 cents a liter today, that was a good thing!

I managed to find a salon that could squeeze me in for a wax & rip. Tonight, I tried on the costume again after all the alterations that she made to get it to fit just right and things looked AWESOME! I get to pick up the whole kit and caboodle tomorrow night, just in time to throw it in my suitcase and be ready for my early Friday morning flight. The end of our subdivision, where we'd normally cut out to the highway and take the fast route to the airport, will already be cordoned off for security reasons for the Rolling Stones concert! Guess my cab fare to the airport will be a bit higher...

We even got groceries tonight so that I know Nick won't have to go out and about much during the weekend. We had an awesome workout again at the gym tonight and I guess I am about as ready as I will be for Sunday night after our leg workout tomorrow.

I am sure that tomorrow will be full of last minute things, packing and reassuring the kids - Bethany still minds it when I go away.

5 days... who would have thought?

I can still remember my first con... in Halifax, Nova Scotia during my years at Mount Allison University. A bunch of us who played D&D on the weekends piled into a car and drove 3 hours to be there. As a Fine Arts student, the fact that I could go to a Con and make more than a month's worth of groceries by selling artwork, was thrilling!

I met Marv Wolfman in the hallway of that Con when he stopped me to comment on the fact that he now knew what She-Hulk or Starfire looked like walking down the mall. That comment stuck with me... and in a strange twist of fate, I noticed that he is going to be at Dragon*Con this weekend. Talk about full circle!

I had another costume fitting tonight and we discovered that I've lost another inch through the waist... so even though the scale isn't changing that much, my shape still is. She's still tweaking the fit through the bust, but we practiced a few moves in the costume and the white collar of the Fantastic Four costume doesn't bounce around as much as we worried it might! The muscles looked good in the suit! Tonight I was leaning an arm on the counter and Nick suddenly noticed how defined my tricep was. He even dragged me to the mirror so that I could see! What fun!

I really feel for all the struggles that my costumer has had over the past week and a half. Her son has had more surgery on his hands and luckily it looks as if the leg tendons will repair on their own. I know that somehow the costume will be ready to go with me... we are SO close now.

Gosh... I am getting SO excited about this!! When I first picked this crazy goal over 3 years ago, it was as a way to be sure that I'd keep the weight off for a long haul. How could it suddenly be this weekend? Where has the time gone?

Monday, August 29, 2005

6 days...Will Blond Be More Fun?

A funny thing happened today at the hairdresser's...I decided that I was tired of the red colour I usually put in my hair before a show to jazz things up a bit and have some fun. I was born blond and got progressively darker as I got into my 20s. After I had kids, my hair lost most of its blond and just went plain brown. For 3 or 4 years, I've toyed with various shades of temporary red rinses... but maybe this approaching 40th birthday is making me bolder than ever.

So here is a look at the blond short hair that I'll be sporting for the next little while. I waited until AFTER the family wedding because I didn't want to show up with any funny dye jobs. Come to think of it, it would have actually worked if my hair had gone a funny green colour!

Erin and Bethany are fascinated, but still mystified. Bethany keeps looking at me and then hugging me to see if I feel the same. By bedtime tonight, she announced that she liked the blond "until it grew back out to normal", so I guess that's about as much approval as I am going to get from my 6 year old.

I also picked up my tickets from the travel agent. They were the only set of e-tickets,receipts and insurance info that I couldn't find in the file from all our travels this summer, but it turns out that I'd booked that trip so long ago, to take advantage of a great price I found, I'd asked them to keep the ticket in the safe so I wouldn't misplace it here in the house!
One more reason to love my new lateral file system. Finding things is MUCH easier.

Am I starting to get excited? You bet! Today's workout was just AWESOME! Now I just need to wrap up a few loose ends before I leave for Atlanta on Friday morning. Hopefully the hotel will have a computer so that I can blog right down to the end!!!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

7 days... One week from tonight!

We arrived home safely and the girls are in bed after a whirlwind weekend in Montebello (between Montreal and Ottawa) for a family wedding. I haven't even unpacked most of our stuff yet and can't believe that one week from tonight I'll be up on stage painted green. Do I remember where I put this set of plane tickets? Will my family survive the Rolling Stones invading Moncton while I am gone? Will the hurricane mess up travel up and down the coast this week?

I had SO much fun meeting new people this weekend who'd never met a woman my height... There were also some friends of the bride who were rather tall yet quite surprised to discover that they were average or short in OUR clan!! We laughed about the different challenges that height, or lack thereof, can pose. We basked in the glowing happiness of the bride and groom. I stocked up on hugs from my brother and sister who both live overseas (London and Lausanne), snuggled my new nephew, tickled my niece and danced past midnight.

It was fun to try the awesome gym equipment and even more satisfying to have people comment on the killer wedding outfit I'd found! The 3 inch heels were a hit too... I can see why She-Hulk refuses to wear flat shoes!

I'm off to bed and hopefully tomorrow's entry will be more coherent!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

10 Days... Count Your Blessings!

I went for my second costume fitting tonight. I was feeling rushed because there was still so much to do before the girls and I get on the plane tomorrow morning for a family wedding in Ottawa. They are so excited, I think their feet barely touch the ground in between leaps and skips.

The minute I walked into my costumer's house, I knew that something was wrong. She looked so pale... As she showed me the costume and explained that she wasn't as far along as she'd hoped, she almost burst into tears. Tuesday night while I'd been there, she was making seafood chowder with her son and his girlfriend when he decided to zip up to Blockbuster to rent a movie. On the way home, someone backed out into the road suddenly, just moments from home, blocking both lanes of traffic. Her son was unable to avoid crashing into the car and flew off his motorbike, smashing his arms and one leg. His hands were also very badly crushed and his right wrist completely dislocated.

I just hugged her and told her how amazed I was that she'd gotten anything done! She then explained that it was good therapy to keep her mind off things between hospital visits.

Her son has had one round of surgery on his right hand and is scheduled for more on his left hand in the next few days, but he is understandably angry at how his life has suddenly been turned upside down. The artist in me just wanted to tuck my hands in my armpits and hide in a corner somewhere. The costume is going to be AWESOME, but how I ache for her son and what she is going through trying to be strong for him.

Life can throw us curve balls when we least expect them. Sometimes when we hear of tragedies, we help however we can. Other times we can only tuck someone in our prayers and say a quick thank you that it didn't happen to us.

We really do have to count our blessings each day instead of list our complaints!