So You’re Having a House Crisis: Now What?

Much like many nerds, I’ve always put a faith in Hogwarts houses and the personality traits that go along with them. I’ve been a Slytherin for as long as I can remember. I probably thought I was a Gryffindor when I first discovered the books (I was six, okay) but ever since I discovered Hogwarts house tests, I’ve been a Slytherin. Until recently…

When did this begin? Honestly, I’m not quite sure. I remember there was a night I was taking a bunch of tests and freaking out to Andrea because they were all coming back Gryffindor. As a Gryffindor herself—not to mention someone who actually knows who she is—Andrea didn’t get why I was so upset. My entire life was a lie and suddenly I didn’t know who I was anymore! Finally I decided to blame it on the fact that I’m a Slytherin and Slytherin and Gryffindor have a lot of similarities. End of crisis, right?

Wrong. It happened again. While we were at Geek Girl Con a few of us decided to get Hogwarts house sweaters from Elhoffer Designs. Naturally, I grabbed a Slytherin one and Taylor grabbed a Ravenclaw one. Julia had a far tougher time deciding what sweater to get. She’d always claimed to have been a Ravenclaw but last time she took any house tests they told her she was a Hufflepuff. As someone who knows Julia very well, I can tell you that she’s a Ravenclaw, but sometimes when you’re having a house crisis you don’t even want to listen to those closest to you. The Hufflepuff sweater was cuter so finally she decided on that one.

Everything was fine until after we got home and Julia started taking tests to see what house she is. Just as I predicted, they were coming back Ravenclaw. Then for funsies I decided to take one myself. It also came back Ravenclaw. I took test after test and they all came back Ravenclaw! Finally Julia and I decided to take tests for each other. Yup, I’m still a Ravenclaw.

So now what? I don’t actually know. I’m lost and confused and don’t know who I am. So that’s what I’m going to figure out over the course of this post: who am I and how much does your Hogwarts house have to do with your personality?

I’m going to start by taking three tests to see what they have to say before I start my self analyzing. The three tests I have decided to do are Personality Lab, The Almighty Guru, and Pottermore (of course).

So let’s start with Personality Lab. I like this test cause it’s in depth personality questions and not “what’s your favourite animal”. Okay so I’m going to take the test and report back.

So as you can see here this told me I’m a Ravenclaw and Slytherin comes in second place.

Next up is Almighty Guru. I don’t actually know anything about this test but it looked decently in depth so let’s give this one a whirl.

Now I’m more confused than ever… Hufflepuff? Me? And Slytherin is at the bottom?

Well now that I’m majorly having an identity crisis it’s time to create a new Pottermore account and see if that makes things better or just more complicated.

Finally. I get my house. But I’m also even more confused now because I have three different answers. I guess it’s time for some analyzing.

Let’s start by stating what all four of the houses stand for (by definition of the Harry Potter wikia).

Gryffindor: fire element and lion is the animal

  • Bravery
  • Nerve
  • Chivalry
  • Courage
  • Daring
  • Determination
  • Reckless
  • Short-tempered
  • Self-righteous
  • Arrogant
  • No regard for rules

Slytherin: water element and snake is the animal

  • Resourcefulness
  • Cunning
  • Ambitious
  • Determination
  • Self-preservation
  • Fraternity
  • Clever and Shrewd
  • Strong leader
  • Achievement-oriented
  • Hesitate before acting
  • Disregard for the rules

Hufflepuff: earth element and badger is the animal

  • Dedication
  • Hard work
  • Fair play
  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Tolerance
  • Unafraid of toil
  • Loyalty
  • Impartial
  • Modest
  • Inclusive

Ravenclaw: air element and eagle is the animal

  • Intelligence
  • Wit
  • Wisdom
  • Creativity
  • Originality
  • Individuality
  • Acceptance
  • Academically motivated
  • Talented students
  • Quirky
  • Unusual intellectual interests

So I made myself a check list and checked off all the things that apply to me. I also took a test that tells me what element I am (I’ll count that as a point towards the house.

So my element test told me I’m 30% fire, 30% air, 30% water, and 10% earth. So points for Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin.

So in total I have 6 points for Gryffindor, 9 points for Slytherin, 3 points for Hufflepuff, and 9 points for Ravenclaw.

Has this been helpful? Yes? I mean, I still don’t know if I’m a Slytherin or a Ravenclaw but I do know a lot more about myself now. I never really understood why tests kept telling me I’m a Ravenclaw, but now that I’ve researched all the houses I get it. I still see a lot of Slytherin in myself, but I see a lot of Ravenclaw too. Both Slytherin and Ravenclaw overthink things. I’ve always thought Gryffindor and Slytherin were very similar, and they are to a certain degree, but I never realized how similar Slytherin and Ravenclaw are.

So now what? What do I do with this information and what house do I choose next time I want to buy something in house colours?

The Ravenclaw in me immediately started researching what to do in the case of a house crisis. One article I read says that it’s okay to choose one house over another and that you don’t have to have all the traits of the house—after all, there’s more than four types of people in the world. Another article gives the lovely suggestions of combining houses—making me a Slytherclaw.

The Slytherin in me is still determined to prove I’m a Slytherin. Does that mean I’m truly a Slytherin? I mean, Harry got to choose what house he’s in. That means I can too, right? I think it does. After all, we do get to choose who we are in life so that means we can choose this.

I’m choosing to be both. I’ll still say I’m a Slytherin (and wear my house colours proudly) bu I’m not going to reject Ravenclaw. I have a lot of Ravenclaw traits that can’t be ignored. So who knows, maybe I’ll crochet myself a Ravenclaw scarf to go with my Slytherin sweater.

Coffee Shop Cynic and the Curse of the Convention

I know I’ve hinted at my bad luck with conventions a couple times followed by me saying “that’s a story for later”. Well that time has come. Now how exactly can someone be cursed when it comes to conventions? That’s a very good question. Let’s start at the beginning.

In 2013, the year before I moved to Vancouver I found out that James Marsters (who plays Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer) was going to be at FanExpo Vancouver. I had a friend who lived in Vancouver and I knew she was planning on going. I would’ve loved to come as well but things fell through and alas I was stuck in Salmon Arm. Stef did get me his autograph though so I can basically die happy.

That one wasn’t a big deal since I knew I probably wouldn’t be able to go anyways. After that my luck got worse because I already had tickets. This began in 2015 when I decided to try to go to FanExpo again. I lived in Vancouver by this point so travel costs were no longer a factor. I’d bought tickets and Jennifer Morrison (Emma Swan from Once Upon a Time) was going to be there. I was even going to cosplay for the first time! And then I got strep throat and couldn’t go.

Now I’m not going to go through every single convention in depth and talk about whether I had bad luck or not because that would be boring. To sum it up for you after that I didn’t end up being able to go to two more cons even after I’d gotten tickets: Geek Girl Con 2016 (passport issues) and Emerald City Comic Con 2017 (pneumonia). However, I did make it to a couple. I managed to get to the Once Upon a Time convention in Vancouver in both 2016 and 2017. Sure Creation cons may not be great but I did meet some great people through them and they’re also how I started cosplaying. I also did get to FanExpo in 2016–I may have just gotten out of the hospital barely a week before that, but I did make it. So I swear, I don’t always have bad luck.

Now onto the most recent cons. I’ve been busy making cosplays (and crocheting cup cozies) for Geek Girl Con (which already passed), FanExpo (next month), and Emerald City Comic con (March). I’ll start with FanExpo because it’s the potentially bad news. So Julia and I were planning on selling our stuff at FanExpo this year but we ended up not getting a table. That’s what actually made me decide to write this blog post. I was so upset and disappointed when I found out that we didn’t have a table and once I calmed down a bit, I knew I had to write about it, because that’s how I process emotions. I’ll still go to FanExpo because I have a friend coming into town for it and I also really want to wear my Star Wars cosplays I was going to wear at ECCC (until I got pneumonia).

Then there’s Geek Girl Con. I finally made it this year guys! And it was awesome. I had a really good time and it’s a really great con.

Tickets for Emerald City Comic Con go on sale tomorrow (Oct 11) so here’s hoping the good luck continues.

The point is, disappointment is a part of life. It’s how you handle and make the most of good things when they do happen that counts—and I refuse to be cursed anymore.

“I may be dead but nope, I’m not even pretty.”

“I may be dead, but I’m still pretty.” -Buffy Summer (Buffy the Vampire Slayer s01e12 “Prophecy Girl”)

Back when I was in the planning stage for Geek Girl Con (which is this weekend!) I knew that one of the days I wanted to cosplay Buffy.

I initially planned to do Buffy from “Once More with Feeling”. When I planned this I was still on a musical episode kick thanks to my friends Andrea and Amanda of Tiny Fences: a Buffy Podcast. They had just gotten to the musical episode and I thought it would be a great idea to dress in Buffy’s outfit from the Bronze at the end—especially since Andrea and Amanda might be doing a live show of their musical podcast at Geek Girl Con.

Then Tiny Fences didn’t get into Geek Girl Con. I continued to look for the outfit, but I was disheartened. I couldn’t find a jacket I was satisfied with and the shirt I was going to borrow wasn’t as screen accurate as I would’ve hoped for either. It finally donned on me that the girls weren’t doing the musical episode so maybe I should give up on this cosplay and do something else.

Now one thing anyone who knows me knows is that I’m extremely stubborn. Okay, so I wasn’t going to do the OMWF outfit anymore but I still wanted to go as Buffy. Then I was rewatching season 1 because I just wanted something fun and silly to watch and I got to “Prophecy Girl”. The moment Buffy’s white dress for the dance she never went to came on screen I texted both Andrea and Julia saying “Well I think I found my cosplay.”

I started hunting the next day. I found a white dress and a gauzy white skirt. I intended to put them together and there, super easy Buffy dress! Then I remembered I’m a perfectionist. I wouldn’t settle for anything less than screen accurate. So next thing I know I’m making the damn dress from scratch. “How exactly is making a prom dress from scratch easier than finding a red shirt and long black leather jacket for the ‘Once More With Feeling’ outfit?” you ask. That’s a good question–one I’ve been asking myself since I had the brilliant (note the sarcasm) idea.

I am not an advanced sewer. Hell, I barely know some basics. I tend to wing it and hope it works–and amazingly it often does. I remember when Julia and I made my Emma Swan Camelot dress for the Once Upon a Time convention earlier this year, and I was actually amazed the thing turned out. I’m even more amazed that the Buffy dress turned out. Between really sketchy fabric (it was cheap, okay!), an even sketchier zipper (I may have broken the needle on the sewing machine doing it), and even sketchier yet hemming, it’s not my finest work. Yet, somehow, it looks great! I didn’t think it would (hence the blog post title). Just don’t look too closely at the back, or the darts, or the trim I hot glued on… anyways…

The rest of the costume was a bit of an adventure as well. I already had a jacket that would work I just had to fix it. I was going to get a leather repair kit and just patch it up. Easy, right? Wrong! It looked horrible… It was patchy and even after a week it wasn’t completely dry. So I admitted defeat and set out to find a new jacket. Luckily I was able to find a decently screen accurate one at Value Village that I just needed to replace the buttons on. The shoes were less painful to find but still a challenge. With the 90s being back, who knew it would be so hard to find white Mary Janes? Last but not least, the most exciting part: the crossbow! We spent forever trying to find one online that would actually ship to Canada. No luck. Finally we decided to see if we could get it sent to one of our friends who lives in the States but nothing seemed like it was going to work out. Then Julia found one in Canadian Tire. If I’d known it was going to be that easy….

I seem to have the worst luck with conventions (long story) but I can’t help but feel like Geek Girl Con might break that cycle this year. My costumes are more or less ready, I actually have a passport, and I’m not sick as all hell this time (though I’m probably cursing myself just by saying that). Stay tuned for the adventures of Alicen at Geek Girl con and all the pictures to come!

Coffee Shop Cynic and the Quest to Crochet

I remember sitting in a park last summer while a friend of mine attempted to show me how to crochet. The movement of my hands while I wrapped the yarn around my fingers and tried to get the crochet hook into the first chain was unnatural and awkward. I just didn’t get it, no matter what I did. Honestly, it probably didn’t help that my friends sat there and mocked me while making suggestive comments about crocheting. Didn’t think crocheting was dirty? Clearly, you’ve never had your friends explain crocheting by saying, “You just stick it right in there. Don’t worry if it falls out, you can just stick it right back in.”

Anyways, tangent aside, I found crocheting extremely difficult and it didn’t take me long to give up. Fast forward six months or so and I decided to try again. “Why?” you ask. I basically decided to try again because I am a child. I’m a cosplayer and was planning some Star Wars cosplays for Emerald City Comic Con (that’s a story for another time) and I wanted to have some crocheted dolls to go with my cosplays. Julia, the same friend who tried to teach me how to crochet crochets amazing nerdy dolls and I desperately wanted to learn how to make all of them.

With this new mindset and determination, I managed to pick up on crocheting quickly this time. I decided to start with a Slytherin scarf and it only took me a couple of weeks to finish the whole thing. After that I had a new goal in mind: a Han Solo doll. Despite the fact that I wasn’t going to be able to finish him in time for the convention, that’s when I fell in love with crochet.

While on the Internet one day, I saw cute nerdy cup cozies and knew I needed one. I added them to my mental list of things to make one day and carried on with my life. That is, until Julia asked me of I wanted to join her at the table she sells her dolls at, at FanExpo Vancouver in November. Automatically, I said yes, because I can always use the extra funds to feed my cosplay habit. Then the panic set in. What could I sell? I debated cosplay accessories for a while (which I will sell one day) but then it hit me: the cup cozies!

Thrilled with the prospect of having a new project, I started crocheting and here I am. I’ll be selling them at FanExpo in a couple months so be sure to come visit. Welcome to my new business!