Road2Gold

Hit the road with me as I aim for gold

Seven Must-Do’s for Couple Cosplayers

Hello, Goldies, I’m back with more tales of adventure!

So many of you already know that I like to go to cons and cosplay. Well, I had the incredible and adorable opportunity to do a couple cosplay with someone besides my brother.

I cosplayed Asuna from Sword Art Online, and the bae cosplayed Kirito. Yes, the biggest ship in the anime industry (well maybe not, but I think so.)

Without further ado, here are 7 MUST-DO’s for couple cosplayers. Spoken from experience.

1)Take pictures.

Okay this one is obvious. What’s a cosplay without pictures. You’re going to have people constantly asking you, “Can I take your picture? You guys are sooo cute!!!” And so you have to be all cute for ten seconds and smile… or be epic.

  • Take cute pictures – Because you’re a couple. You have to be adorable.

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  • Take epic pictures – Those in-character pictures that are all dramatic and super cool-looking.
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  • Take selfies… lots of selfies. – What’s a cosplay without selfies?

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2) Hug.

People think it’s cute, apparently. More photo ops.

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3) Help each other out.

I speak from experience – You both are cosplaying, and you both need some help with the cosplay sometimes. If you’re cool with it, help each other out once in awhile. My Kirito had some serious wig problems every time he started headbanging to a song. It made for some very interesting wig-styling pictures.

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4) Look at your merch.

I mean, you’re at a con! You’re bound to find some merchandise related to your cosplay. Maybe grab a souvenir, or just look at it.

5) Find your people.

Look for your fandom. Hetalians and Homestucks are hard to miss. If you find your tribe of weirdness, you might be able to do a group cosplay photoshoot, and those are pretty cool!

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6) Play the Pocky game.

If you’ve heard of the Pocky game, good. If you haven’t, just think Lady and the Tramp pasta scene… with chocolate covered biscuit sticks.

And of course…

7) Just kiss.

If you’re not cosplaying with your brother, just kiss. You’ll be in-character anyways.

Soooo that’s a wrap. Have you ever done a couple cosplay before? Share in the comments below.

See you guys next time! 😀

(Con photo creds go to my friend Emma (@EmmaBird2015), and the bae <3. Special thanks to Conbust and the students at Smith College for the opportunity to experience this con and campus!)
~#1kid  

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Seven Things that Young Swimmers Should Know

Over seven years ago, I tried out for my local swim team. Having been afraid to put my face in the water for so long, I was nervous and intimidated by not being allowed to hold my nose.

Somehow, I held my breath, and made the team.

The lowest, group, the back of the pack, the kids that somehow made it.

I learned that if you simply follow directions, you get promoted into the higher groups. Following directions that coaches give is a simple task, and they actually help you get faster.

So I got promoted into the next group, and the group after that, and the group after that. Until five years went by and I was in the second to highest group.

However, with higher groups comes older swimmers. And with older swimmers comes cliques, and drama. You might remember at the beginning of my blogging career my frustration about cliques. I struggled a lot.

Looking back, I wish I knew some simple tips to help me get through these roller coasters of swimming drama, emotional and physical difficulties, and the want to give up.

1: No matter how much you want to pass the person in front of you, focus on your technique.

I know you reeeeally want to be the leader of the group, and be the person that the coaches and other swimmers see as the Big Cheese, but think about this: The more you focus on your technique, the faster you will be. So don’t speed through those drills, work at them until you’ve mastered the stroke. Speed is for races, and practice is not a race. It’s practice, and practice makes perfect.

2. Stretch before practices and races.

Stretching can save you from an injury. I wish I stretched as much as I do now back when I was younger. I could have prevented a shoulder injury.

3. Just because the big kids are fast, doesn’t mean they are the coolest people on the planet.

Truth is, we’re just like you. Just because we’re above the age of 13 doesn’t mean we have immediate awesomeness. A big mistake that I made was I looked up to the older kids, and followed every single thing that they did. Unfortunately, they weren’t very nice, and mistook “niceness” for athletic talent. It’s okay to take notes of the experienced technique during practice, but please don’t play into the drama. You’ll be a kinder, wiser, and happier swimmer. 🙂 I once heard Olympic Medalist Emily Silver say, “A happy swimmer is a fast swimmer.” 

4. We are all swimmers… No matter where we are from.

Something that baffled me as a kid was the rivalry between my team and another. I grew up competing in dual meets, and most of the time, there was a sudden and random distaste for the swimmers on the other team. Here’s a bit of advice: Go talk to the other team. If you’re at a home meet, make them feel welcome.

You’re all here to swim. You all love this sport. You all have something in common, so finding a topic shouldn’t be that hard. It could be as simple as, “Hey, are you swimming the 100 free too?” or “What’s your favorite Swimfishstroke?” You’d be surprised at how many friends you make during one swim meet. We’re all fish in the sea, so go make some friends.

5. Get up and cheer. 

In my team, we always cheered during the final relays. We didn’t want to, but we had to. It wasn’t until I was a little older that I learned the importance of cheering.

Picture this: You’re stand up to the blocks, and you look to your teammates and they’re all buried in whatever musings they brought to pass the time. (Phone, 3DS, book, patty cake with a friend) Or maybe you’re on your last lap and you feel like crying because you’re trying as hard as you can, and no one is cheering. How does that make you feel? Not very good. Swim meet

So support your teammates by cheering for them. You can even cheer for the new friend you made from the other team (see #4). Coaches and swimmers take note of that, and realize that you have sportsmanship, and as an athlete, sportsmanship is a priority.

6. Love this sport. There is nothing else like it on the planet.

Swimming is a beautiful, dangerous, graceful, and grueling sport. Some people don’t even consider it a sport! Pay no mind to them, and understand this: You must swim. Not because your parents force you to, or because it’s good for your health (which it is), but swim because you love it. Feel the water, smell the chlorine, and love what you do. There is nothing else like it. 😉

7. Whatever you do, don’t give up.

I have known plenty of swimmers that quit swimming because of something like school, friends, or lack of interest. If you don’t want to swim or you don’t like swimming, then I understand. But if you think this sport is too hard, and you’re feeling really discouraged, don’t give up. You’ll be thankful that you didn’t. I’m being totally serious here! If you have an injury, modify your workouts so you can get better. Continue to love to swim. Like I said in #5, you must swim.

So, kiddo, now that I’ve told you these little tips, go have fun and swim.

Your friend,

#1kid

 

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Toughing It Out… OUT of the Water

Good day, friends! Welcome back!

Now, we’ve had plenty of life experiences to tell all about, but now it’s time to get to the real reason of this blog: Road to Gold.

What does it mean? It means this blog is supposedly about my Road to Gold. Of course. Any attempts to get one of those precious medals have failed. I’ve tried once, and it failed due to a head injury.

So now that I’ve gotten back on my feet and am all healed, I can continue on the Road.

This past season has been rather painful. As I mentioned in a previous post, I hurt my shoulder. The sport of archery (FF101, my bro, is well involved in it) has messed up the rotator cuff. It really, really hurt. And it limited my swimming, my skiing, my archery, my tennis, and even my sleep.rotoator cuff

The consequence was my best stroke stripped from me for the whole season. Yes, I could not swim Butterfly Stroke at all. If you’ve seen the Butterfly stroke in action, you’d noticed the shoulders. How the work so hard to get those arms up and around with such force. Since Backstroke is also strenuous on the shoulders, I was stuck with my least favorite stroke of them all: Breastroke.

I surprisingly did alright. I definitely improved, an hour and forty-five minutes of freestyle and Breastroke, three times a week must have paid off!

It was a really interesting season. I couldn’t swim as hard as usual, so I wasn’t placed in the big championships. However, I was fast enough to win the smaller championships. 🙂 I got first in all of my events, and getting first and second in the relays.

Now the season is over. And a new challenge awaits.

Remember last summer? The state championships and the concussion? Well, THIS year, each state gets a chance to qualify for the State Games of America 2015 in Nebraska. How to qualify is simple: Get first, second, or third place in your event.SGA

So that’s my goal for this year: Qualify for the SGA. It’s going to be difficult, but I have friends that know I can do it.

Ever think you’re going to fail? Did you feel encouraged to know that people had your back the whole time?

-#1kid

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The Coolest Winter

Hey, all! Welcome back!

I wanted to remind you that JUST BECAUSE SPRING IS HERE, DOESN’T MEAN THE SNOW’S GONE. What I did with that precious white stuff this winter was probably the coolest ever. Trust me.

So there’s this mountain called Mount Monadnock. Under this popular mountain there is a bible camp called “Monadnock Bible Conference”. The camp had many retreats: Winter Teen, Summer Teen, Summer Kids, Women’s, etc,.  I, of course, went to the Winter Teen retreat (Formally called Encounter).

I mean this place had the coolest stuff to do. There was snow tubing, laser tag, a game room, the snack bar, a talent show, and of course, the coolest sessions ever. Not to mention the rubber chickens hidden throughout the camp.

Monadnock Chicken

Our secret chicken loot!

The food was heavenly. And I mean heavenly. We had pizza at 11pm on Friday night, pancakes for breakfast, tacos for lunch, mashed potatoes for dinner, I forget for breakfast, and CORN for lunch. It was pretty much the best weekend of food in my life.CORN

The activities were probably one of the best parts. I had mentioned above that there was snow tubing. We went night tubing as well! Actually, at snow tubing, I had met a few new friends who are super awesome!!! The laser tag was also very fun, though someone ran into a barrel while they were shooting at us. It looked like it hurt. A lot.

The music, oh the music. It was so good. One of the leaders rapped for us (which was cool), and the Chris Evans Band lead worship at all of the sessions. He was filled with talent and sang wonderfully, accompanied by his other musically gifted band members.PIANO

Dwight Night and his speech series on the 5 Questions

Dwight Night and his speech series on the 5 Questions

Our speaker, Dwight Knight, was so filled with wisdom and he had so much to offer. Dwight taught us about the 5 Questions:

1. Origin: How did I get here?  We need to know how we got here before we start asking anything else.

2. Purpose: Why am I here? Why did God put me on this Earth anyway? The answer is to show everyone that god could love me.

3. Nature: Why do I act the way I do? Because it’s in our nature, of course. We’ve been sinning since Eve ate the apple.

4. Change: How can I be different? You can’t. Sin never really goes away. But filling our minds with prayer, Christian fellowship, and simply God can really make the difference.

And 5. Destiny: What happens after I die? The world keeps on spinning. It was spinning before you were born, and it’ll continue after. However, WE are not just “over” when we die. We accept Jesus while we’re alive, but then we have an eternity with Him when we die.

 

Have you ever been to a camp or retreat? Did you have fun?

Or how about this: Do yourself a favor and think about the questions above. Check out Dwight’s books if you’d like. 🙂

 

#1kid

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Hey!!!

Hey everyone!!! I am #1kid’s brother. I’m commonly known as Ludwig on earlier posts. I like to play tennis, ski, play music, shoot, eat, and play video games. I prefer singles over doubles, prefer black diamond over blue square, prefer to kiss the bead than to turn off safeties, prefer guitar over piano, prefer tacos over chili, and prefer Legend of Zelda over Pokemon.

There’s my life.

So what do I think of my older sister? Well, she’s nice to have around, sometimes a bit annoying, good for computer projects, but ultimately, awesome. Not as awesome as me, but still awesome.

My Road2Gold is to be in the 2020 Olympics with my sister. Only I’d compete in archery events instead of swimming.

So that’s me. I’ll be guest blogging once a month. Thank you for your time.

~FantasyFan101

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Looking Better in Black

Hey, guys! What’s up?

A while ago I mentioned in my post, Book Worm, that I enjoyed reading. Well, with the whole concussion thing, I obviously wasn’t allowed to read.
Now, a few months later, I can proudly read again with hardly any struggles.
So what am I reading now? Well, if I do say so myself, I have been pretty obsessed with the Shadowhunters lately.
Yep! I am reading the Infernal Devices Series by Cassandra Clare. Really, it’s a good story. I read the manga before I read the Clockwork angel Mangabooks and, just so you know, never judge a book by its manga. You don’t know the author’s writing style in it at all. You only get dialogue, which is cool, but there’s no color… of course. 😦
The thing that really perked my interest is the Mortal Instruments movie. That’s probably why I wanted to read the Infernal Devices anyway. I wanted to watch the movies in my local theatre so badly! But, I hadn’t read City of Bones yet.
Taking a deep breath, I broke the rules and bought my ticket to see the movie without reading the book first, something I never do. Ever.

The only other time I have done this was with Howl’s Moving Castle. A great movie, really. A must watch. cityofbonescoverbookBut, I read the book after the movie and, quite frankly, the book was a major disappointment. It was boring, not funny, not as romantic, and just not as good. The only similarity to the movie was the characters names and the title… not cool. I’ve always wondered if I would have enjoyed the book more if I had read it before I watched it. That was the case with City of Bones. I felt bad, guilty even, watching the movie. I didn’t want to ruin the book for myself.

I judge a movie by its story, characters and the cast choice, computer graphics and effects, and the soundtrack. City of Bones had… almost it all.
ClaryThe story, thank Cassandra for writing the story and book. The characters, thank Cassandra and the amazing actors. Jamie Campbell Bower and Lily Collins are some of the coolest actors and actresses I’ve pinned to my Pinterest.
Visual effects… well, they were quite good. I mean, sometimes you jump out of your seat because it looks pretty real. (Which is always good.)
The soundtrack? Major disappointment. The score didn’t even have much to it. Just a few suspenseful riffs for each song! I was at least expecting a beautiful piece for the romantic scene… no, they had to play a quite cheesy Demi Lovato song. In the entire movie, I think my favorite song would have been Bach’s Prelude in C Major. (They claim that Bach is a Shadowhunter… cute.) I have an interesting taste for music, I know.

Something interesting is that everyone had a different opinion on the movie. Like here’s a few:

My friend who went to the theatre with me: “I thought the Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) was really good. I didn’t notice one mistake and Jace is soooo PERFECT!”

Alfred: “Horrringfyingly awesome but a little too dramatic.”

Ludwig: “Probably the best modern day set film I’ve seen in a while.”

littleonionwrites: The movie, overall, was great and I really enjoyed it.  I can’t wait to read the fourth installment of TMI and hope that City of Ashes is taken to the big screen.  🙂 (you can read littleonion’s full review here.)

Rotten Tomatoes: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones borrows ingredients from seemingly every fantasy franchise of the last 30 years — but can’t seem to figure out what to do with them. (Those rotten- gr…)

That night, I pretty much died of feels. My friend and I cried and hugged each other, a pole in the theatre, and the air (AKA Jace Wayland). To get my mind off of it for a while, I went to a pool to train a bit. Bad idea. You can’t swim when salty tears are filling up your swim goggles… it hurts.
My overall rating? Drumroll, please!KIDRIBBONS4

That’s right, 4 ribbons for City of Bones.
But really, if we’re going to give an extra half ribbon to on of the most stunning male protagonist, I think this movie would deserve it.

half-kidribbon


 I mean, come on!Jace, my love

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It Starts in the Water

Hello, there! Welcome to Road2Gold!!!

So if you’ve been following me recently, you’d know that I had been talking about my Life on the Couch and about my concussion. Well, I had also mentioned that I went to

Brain Swim Cap

Brain Swim Cap

State Championships with the head injury. So here’s how it went:

Before I even tell you how I swam, I will tell you how much I was looking forward to this event.

A lot.

I had been counting down the days since 60. I always reminded my coach about how there was “40 more days!” or “30 more! Just thirty!” until I said “Guess how much now! 28!”

Then, on 28 days left, I hit my head.

Anyway, back to present day. I woke up at 6:15ish and the first thing I said before I got out of bed was “1.” The day had finally come and I was not prepared… well, kinda.

We got there in time to warm up, stretch, find out what event numbers we were, get a T-shirt, all that fun stuff.

Then the meet started. It was fun, yes. But unfortunately, I had a major disadvantage: I couldn’t dive. I wasn’t fully recovered and was still wearing earplugs to block the sound of the buzzer. I was starting in the water and I had to swim about 4 strokes to catch up to where they took there 1st.SAMSUNG

No, I didn’t win. But I wasn’t expecting to. I knew this was just for experience and I shouldn’t beat myself up about it. It’s okay!

The coolest part though, was knowing my opponents in the next championships. They were all the same swimmers as last time! It was pretty cool to say “Hey, I remember you from the games! You’re really good!” The reply was usually something like “Oh yeah! Hey, you’re the person who started in the water, right?”

…I only nod… 🙂

Have you ever had a disadvantage?

#1kid

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Lil’ Bit of Culture: Land of the Long White Cloud

Hello, friends! Welcome to Road2Gold!

Maybe you remember the time when I blogged about Japan. Well this is my new-zealand-mapHobbitonblog about New Zealand, Land of the Long White Cloud. I would like to go there someday because of the scenery, Lord of the Rings was filmed there, my favorite bird the Kiwi, and there’s plenty of cool things to do there.

The landscapes and scenery are beautiful. There are huge mountains, rivers and lakes, islands, and grasslands, and even volcanoes. New Zealand is located between the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea so you’ll a lot of beaches and waves.

kiwi-birdThe Kiwi is a flightless bird seen in New Zealand. They’re cute, quite fluffly, and around the size of a domestic chicken. The kiwi is a national symbol of New Zealand, and the New Zealanders actually are also known as kiwis.

The Maori, the tribal group of New Zealand, preserve their way of living as hongimuch as they can. They are talented in wood carving, dancing, and singing in their special way. A greeting they often use still is the Hongi, an act of rubbing noses.

The climate and weather here depends where you are. In the south, it gets colder seeing that Antarctica is getting close. The north is much warmer. There are actually volcanoes and boiling hot springs up north and in the sea.

dart-river-jet-safariThere’s a whole bunch to do in New Zealand. You can ride a jet boat, watch dolphins playing underneath you from a boat, there are plenty of museums, and you can watch sailing races. New Zealand won the world cup twice.

So pack your Baggins and let’s go to New Zealand!

#1kid

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Just Keep Swimming!

Hello, friends! Welcome back to Road2Gold!

I know I said that I’d post a Blogiversary post, but I’ve been SUPER busy and it completely slipped from my mind… sorry.

This past week we went to the Fitter And Faster Swim Tour. We took a three hour drive all the way to Beverly, Massachusetts. It was a really cool experience!

peterVanderkaayThe first thin g we did was we got to meet two Olympic medalists, Peter Vanderkaay and Emily Silver. They helped us do some drills and taught us to do some pretty cool stuff.

Some of the drills we learned were the “Bow and Arrow Drill”, the “Six-Kick-Switch Plus Three”, and “Sculling”. I struggled a lot in Sculling because I had never done it and I couldn’t figure out how to get across the pool when moving my arms in such a strange way. Eventually, Emily showed us howemilysilver-block to do it and I finally got it.

When we got out of the pool, we learned about goal setting from the Olympians. Emily Silver also taught us some yoga stretches. I felt like Jello afterward.

The next thing we did was race the Olympians. Of course, they won. We didn’t even know what we were doing when behind the diving blocks. Basically, it went like this:

Guy with the microphone says, “Swimmers, step up to the block!”

We all get on the blocks and do some quick final stretches or a last second goggle push.

“You are doing the 25 yard Butterfly. Swimmers take your mark… Beep!

Blacktip Reef Shark and FishAnd then we swim like no tomorrow! For we know that Emily Silver is coming up right behind us in lane four. She still won, even though we got the head-start and she went easy on us. 🙂

We then played Sharks and Minnows. It was very difficult with one hundred-fifty kids all trying to swim to the other side. Just when you think you can sneak by the “Shark”, along comes Vanderkaay. And then you’re a Shark.

It was a really fun day! I even met some new friends from my lane.  After I had gone back to the hotel and I had eaten dinner in Salem, I was back in the pool at the hotel! Of course, I couldn’t do as many things in a small pool, but I loved the water!

I have some news! You many have already heard this but… the 2020 Olympics might be hosted in these three cities: Istanbul, Turkey; Madrid, Spain; and Tokyo_2020_OlympicTokyo, Japan. My goal is to compete in the 2020 Olympics and if they’re in Japan, I am going to throw a party.

This past week was the beginning of the Summer 2013 Swim Season. And this season, I’m going for my first gold.

#1kid

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Art of the Goat and the Cat

Hello, welcome to Road2Gold!

Today, I’m going to talk about the arts. My family has always been pretty artistic. My mom writes, my bro and I play instruments, I draw.

Here’s what I do to get an idea for a work of art: Listen to music, let my imagination go free, and boom… art.

There are many forms of artistic talents out there. There’s music, literature, painting/drawing, dance, and a whole lot more!

So, what do I do for art? Let me show you…

Here’s what I wrote in English class the other day:

Billy and Friskies, Chris and Joe

                “Get back here you goat!” Farmer Joe yelled.

Billy Goat was running as fast as he could from Joe. He had a dream to become president of the United States. The day he would become president, he’d lock Joe in jail.

“Stupid goat,” Joe muttered to himself. “I’ll get you!”

Billy ran into the town square in D.C. He saw an orange cat with stripes. “Good day,” He bleated.

The cat cocked her head. “Meow?” She purred. “Meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow.”

Billy gave up speaking to the cat for he didn’t understand meow. “Bleat bleat.” Billy continued running until he felt something on his back, the cat!

“Meow meow!” The cat said. “MEEEOW!

Billy and the cat turned to the post office. They tripped a guy with a bag and almost hit a mailbox.

“Stop him!” Joe cried. He had followed Billy all the way to the post office. “The goat, get him!”

The guy with the bag grabbed Joe’s leg, trying to get up. But Joe just fell down.

“What are you doing, fool?” Joe lectured the guy. “My goat is running away from me!”

“Help me up first and I’ll help you find your goat and my cat!” The guy said. After Joe had helped him up, he introduced himself as Chris Hanbag.

“I’m Joe. I live on a farm in Pennsylvania. How my goat ran to Washington D.C., I don’t know.”

Chris and Joe tried tracking the two animals. They asked the city’s people. All they said was they saw them going towards the White House.

“Oh no!” said Chris. “What are they going to do now? That cat’s curious. She’ll climb Mount Everest!”

“Bleat! (It’s the White House)” Billy exclaimed. “Bl- Bleat! (I’m going to become President!”

“Meow meow! (I’ll be your Vice!)” The cat said. “Meow meow purr Friskies! (My name is Friskies!)”

A week later, Billy and Friskies ruled the United States for eight years. They locked Joe in jail and appointed Chris for U.S. Senator of Virginia.

THE END

There you have it! A work of art!

Another type of arm I enjoy is, as some of you may already know, drawing!

Here is one of my recent drawings:

itachidrawingseal

Another type of “Canvas Art”, as I call it, is using computers. Back in the summer, I wrote a post about using PhotoShop to make my pals from the neighborhood the Superfriends. Well, I’ve gotten a bit better using PhotoShop since then as you can see. (The one in the top left is the original picture.)

Naminepsdseal

The musical part of the arts is another one of my favorites. I play the piano and my little bro plays the electric guitar. We sound quite well together.

In the end, anything you create is art. Whether it’s drawing, composing, choreographing, it’s still art.

What types of art do you enjoy?

#1kid

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