Month: July 2015

Sexy Singers and Superheroes, the Wrap-Up

Though we are still in San Diego, we are done with our events and will be on our way home in the next few hours. The Lycon is fast asleep while I type this, watching tennis and drinking coffee, naturally. She deserves to sleep for the next year, having had to do all the heavy lifting this week. Navigating the dangers of the con floor, the not-so handicapped friendly streets, buildings, people. We have called this our Comic-Con practice run. We have learned many lessons we hope not to repeat next year. But all-in-all we’ve had a fabulous time. Here’s a recap.

This dinosaur is in tents.

Day 1, Monday – As predicted we headed straight from LAX to a mall to eat food and then go shopping for food. With our week’s provisions purchased we headed home and watched Jurassic Park and The Lost World. Having remedied the situation (me having not seen a single Jurassic movie) she passed out on her uncomfortable pull-out bed, which she would actually miss by the end of this journey. When I climbed into my bed I wish I had the foresight to revel in its comfort and warmth, because I seriously have missed it in a big bad way. Highlight of the day: Dinosaur puns.

IMG_0838

Rob Thomas is a rock star.

Day 2, Tuesday – Riverside. We were lucky enough to make it to our first destination with very little traffic. First order of business was lunch, followed by our 2nd visit to a mall in as many days. We checked into our first hotel by the evening. As Expedia ignored my request for an accessible room, the hotel was kind enough to upgrade us to a 2-room suite which was great.  We got ready to head up the street to see Rob Thomas in concert. He was amazing, despite being sick. I always feel lucky when I am in the audience for his shows. He is one of the only musicians I will make an effort to see whenever they are in the area, even if the area is an hour and a half away, but this one will be special. I had a really hard time seeing the show. The handicapped seats were in an area where the moment anyone stood up, my view was of the backs of people’s, backs. As this week unfolded Rob shared the news that his wife has a cyst on the base of her brain. So while I was annoyed with the situation of my inability to see, I am thankful I was able to be there, that he was able to continue the show, and that the news on his end is mostly positive. Despite having to have surgery her prognosis is good. Highlight of the day: Any day you get to see Rob Thomas sing and shake his skinny white butt is a good day. Addendum: Totally forgot to shout out to Plain White T’s who opened for Rob, and put on an amazing show. Also, selfies have taken over the nation and it’s terrifying. The three girls in front of us missed the entire show because they kept posing for selfies.

Our room for the week.

Our room for the week.

Day 3, Wednesday – San Diego bound. Because we’ve been able to get out of my house and our hotel(s) before noon, which is a rarity with us most of the time, we had a lot of time-wasting to do, so naturally we went straight to another mall and another eating establishment as soon as we were in the city. We checked into our second and final hotel in the evening and geared up for our first Con day. In this hotel we also had a 2-room suite, with a full kitchen. I mean full, kitchen. Refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, pots, pans, dishes, you get it. This was the night I had to make peace with the fact that I would never be warm again. And that my bed is the best bed ever. Highlight of the day: Ordering in Italian food and playing Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit.

The convention center is large.

The convention center is large.

Day 4, Thursday – Comic-Con! Day 1! We got up butt early and headed to Downtown San Diego. Despite having not been to the con in 5 years, and not having had to park anywhere even then, I knew this would be challenging. We ended up choosing to park in the mall a few blocks away from the convention center. A decision we would later learn would cost a lot of money. Badges in hand we headed in to the convention center with the other excited people and tried not to be overwhelmed by the epic-ness of it all. I wish that I was better at documenting my experiences, both in words and in pictures, but most of the time the excitement of it all makes me forget that I can. We decided on skipping all the Hall H panels this day, but did end up going to the Teen Wolf one, which was a good decision. The fans were more courteous than we’re used to, allowing the people to speak, keeping the screaming to a minimum and appropriate level. Highlight of this panel for sure was Dylan O’Brien smiling giddily at the fact that Tyler Hoechlin and Tyler Posey were having a phone conversation on speaker for all of us to hear, from different sides of the world. (Hoechlin left the show last season and the fans asked when/if he’d be back, Posey said ‘let’s call and find out’ and this happened). Having made our way around the whole floor and seen a panel, we headed back to our hotel. Highlights of the day: We got into Comic-Con. I bought a cool Harley Quinn statue. Teen Wolf. Lord Mesa art. God pushing heckler to us: “Are you good people?” Us: “NO.”

Chris Hardwick entertaining the crowd. He is funny.

Chris Hardwick entertaining the crowd. He is funny.

Day 5, Friday – Comic-Con Day 2. As they say, hindsight is 20/20. What we should have done was park in the ridiculously expensive mall parking (which we did) and head straight to the Hall H line (which we did not do). Instead we walked the aisles of the con floor, with the thousands of other geeks. But first, we had a seriously surreal moment with a random Nathan Fillion who was out greeting fans by the crosswalks near the convention center. He was handing out fake tattoos for his new Web series “Con Man” and was impressed by my Deadpool tattoo, and Lorraine’s. As I mentioned before, terrible about documenting these things, so despite the fact that I was carrying 3 cameras on me, and Lorraine had her own, we have no pictures of this. When it came time to go see what we could do about getting into Hall H for the panels we did want to see (Game of Thrones, Star Wars) we were pretty much out of luck. What we wanted to do was go back to our hotel and cry, but we had Chris Hardwick tickets so we went to see Minions and laughed instead. Then we laughed more at the comedy show and our day 2 came to a conclusion. Highlight of the day: Nathan Fillion touched my tattoo. We gave Lord Mesa one of our free bags with The Flash on it and he was very excited. Chris Hardwick is very funny. “I’m a 43-year-old man and I can walk down a hill by myself, mom!”

Chris Harwick. Tom Hiddleston. Guillermo del Toro. Charming x3.

Chris Harwick. Tom Hiddleston. Guillermo del Toro. Charming x3.

Day 6, Saturday – We did not have con tickets so we stayed away from the area for the morning. By the afternoon we were hungry and antsy so we headed in to downtown San Diego, and parked in the damn expensive lot again. We had lunch at the Hard Rock again and passed time at the mall before taking in 2 Nerdist Podcast Live shows. I have been listening to the podcast for a couple years now and as I’ve mentioned (in my previous entry) I am stalking Chris Hardwick this year. The first show had Sir Ben Kingsley, who was very insightful and fun, and Peter Capaldi who was equally insightful and fun. The second show had Tom Hiddleston and Guillermo del Toro followed by Maisie Williams. Hiddleston and del Toro were very entertaining. Maisie Williams is wise beyond her years and extremely funny. Highlights of the day: Boston Batman, “awww,” Hiddleston imitating del Toro’s heavy Columbian accent, Hiddleston just being there, Maisie Williams being nothing like Arya Stark.

Traffic is dumb.

Traffic is dumb.

Day 7, Sunday – So here we are back at the now. Today will most likely consist of driving home, possibly hitting another mall (Lorraine needs hand luggage to take home the stuff she bought) and maybe probably Jurassic World. Addendum: It took us 4 hours to get home. Traffic is stupid. Our plan to see Jurassic World turned in to playing The Lego Movie Lego game and watching Teen Wolf.

Lessons learned this week. I will begin with the bad, just to get it out of the way. There are real reasons I tend to stay at home most days. People, streets, buildings, all not made for people like me. Starting with the set-up at the Rob Thomas concert, where I was unable to see the show I paid for. They have disabled seating, and that’s enough for them. There is no thought about whether or not it is equally good for people sitting in the section to see, but that’s not their problem. Parking is always a thorn in my side. Anyone can get a handicapped parking sticker and everyone has one, leaving the people who actually need it to be fucked over by the laziness that has overcome this country (parking and elevators were a major indicator of this. Your feet work, take the damn stairs, or, the escalator). The streets were filled with bumps and holes and places we could not go, the buildings were not set up to accommodate my needs, the people were less than courteous about paying attention and staying out of the way. The mall we spent a lot of time in was confusing. The elevators worked sporadically, the floors were numbered weird. The convention center tried to be friendly, but the Hall H situation is bullshit, and that’s putting it mildly. There were people in the ADA line that had no business being there. If you can sit in a seat without struggle you do not need to be in a line for wheelchair folks. I have no choice but to sit here. We will definitely be paying the money to stay in a downtown area hotel rather than outside the city, to get around at least the parking and walking the streets aspect, and we’ll for sure plan ahead for Hall H in future.

The good. There are some people who pay attention better than others. We got in to Comic-Con and met cool people and saw good shows. The really good. I have people in my life who help me navigate these things, who fly thousands of miles just to push my ass around and help me deal with this life, and a family that helps me pay for it. I understand the bad paragraph is much longer than the good, but that’s just sort of how my life is. I had a great time this week and am thankful for the experience and the fact that I have people in my life who helped make it happen.

Sexy Singers and Superheroes, Oh My

As I mentioned in my last entry, this week’s updates should be a lot more fun. Starting tomorrow my partner in crime The Lyconthrope (Lorraine) and I will embark on a journey that involves a concert, a convention, a comedy show, and a podcast. Dang that last one does not fit well in my fun with words attempt. Anyway. The following is an account of what is possibly going to be happening this week.

Day 1, Monday (that’s today!) – The Lycon arrives mid-afternoon. If she is not overly tired we will head straight for a mall for food and to pick up essential snacks and such. The evening’s plan is to consume said snacks and watch Jurassic Park. The original. Because I have not seen it and she has said that in order to maintain our friendship we must remedy that immediately.

Day 2, Tuesday – We head out on our journey. First stop – Riverside. Exciting right? For those who are unfamiliar with the area, there is very little to do there. Except. Rob Thomas. He will be in concert in the evening. During the day we’ll likely hit another mall, eat stuff, and maybe go see Jurassic World if we have the time and energy. We’ll stay overnight here and then…

Day 3, Wednesday – It is on to San Diego. Yep. After years of being denied, we got tickets for Comic-Con. Wednesday is all about checking in and gearing up.

Day 4, Thursday – Comic-Con! Day 1! We’ll have to wake up at the butt crack of dawn to stand in line for our badges, but once they are in hand we will be inside. We’re hoping to be in the famed Hall H for a good portion of the day, watching panels.

Day 5, Friday – Comic-Con Day 2. More panels and more convention hall wandering today, followed by a comedy show. My life-long dream (OK, that’s an exaggeration) of stalking Chris Hardwick is coming true. Not only will he be moderating many of the panels we’ll be watching, we’re going to see his stand-up show! And if that’s not enough…

Day 6, Saturday – We do not have badges for this day. Sad face. We may try to be those people and sneak in under the radar, but we’ll see how that all goes. The good news is…we’re seeing Chris Hardwick again! In the evening we’ll be attending his Nerdist Podcast show with Peter Capaldi and Sir Ben Kingsley, and I am hoping we’ll get tickets for the 2nd show which they have just announced has Tom Hiddleston. Fucking Loki. Come on!

Day 7, Sunday – Back to Los Angeles we go. No tickets for this day either and truthfully, despite the fact that we will miss some great people, it’s best that we head home because…

Day 8, Monday – The Lycon gets on a plane back to London.

Just writing this out I feel tired. But I cannot and will not complain. Mostly because it’s going to be epic, and also because The Lycon will bite me and snarl at me for even suggesting it. After all, she’s the one flying 10 hours after working the overnight shift and being dragged right off into the fray by M&M (that’s me, Mischief & Mayhem).

Stay tuned for updates!

Selective Memory Syndrome

Don’t worry. This will be my last rant-y entry for a while. Stay tuned next week for lots of gushing about nerdy things and swooning over comics, concerts and comedy. Today though. Let’s talk about Donald Trump.

In his speech announcing his candidacy, Trump made racist comments about immigrants, specifically those coming over from Mexico. He called them drug dealers and rapists. Because Americans don’t do that, we have to import the criminals. Right?

In the fall out from these absolutely ridiculous insensitive comments nearly all companies that have ever done business with the Donald ran away screaming “we’re not with him!” Which is admirable. But.

You knew there was going to be a but.

See, Donald Trump has always had that point of view. It is not new. That did not seem to matter to NBC, Macy’s, Univision and the countless other companies that pulled funding for various events, not to mention the people who pulled out of the Miss Universe pageant. It was alright when he was making inane comments about building invisible walls to keep these criminals out of our country, but now that he’s made it into a big “I’m going fix this country” presidential hopeful speech, they’re up in arms about being in business with him.

NBC had other reasons to sever ties. As part of the fair and equal time rule (I don’t know if that’s really what it’s called, it just sounded good), they would have to put every candidate on their channel for the amount of time they are airing Trump’s show “The Apprentice.” But instead they cited his immigration stance as their reasoning.

We have this habit of being outraged only at convenient times and things that either benefit us, or are at the forefront of news and current events. We rail against, shun, refuse to acknowledge. And then that news item gets replaced by a new one and we rail against, shun…and forget to continue to be mad about that other thing.

I heard or read recently that we have a right to freedom of speech but not freedom of consequences. I wish that more people understood that. We need to remember that the consequences do not go away because the media coverage moves on or the person goes quiet.

Donald Trump has always been racist and he will always be racist. Despite the fall out of his speech he has not made any effort to learn from his mistakes. His pseudo apology news tour only made matters worse. He has no idea what was wrong about his statement. As a matter of fact he recently said he had no idea it would have such a negative response.

Never forget it.

‘Merica Eff Yeah!

I hate this holiday. The noise. The uselessness of it. It’s just ridiculous.

I get it. And I say it every year. We have a weird fetish with blowing stuff up. But aside from Marriage Equality what do we have to be celebrating the independence of? Certainly not gun deaths or racism. Homophobia didn’t die out because of gay weddings. But I forget, those are hella ‘Mercian. They’re our God given rights. Something about the Constitution. Fuck yeah! /rant

Meanwhile my nerves are shot and my mom’s dog is fast asleep at my feet like it’s all going fine. Our next door neighbors are having a party and someone brought a very upset dog that they do not seem to be paying attention to. I wish there was a 911 to report asshat people. But aside from calling actual 911 I am pretty sure “the dog is scared of fireworks” is not a good reason to call animal control over.

I did the only American thing I know and watched NASCAR and baseball. I made no noise while doing so and I feel no need to blow any shit up. I must not be from ’round here.

Sportsball!

As a LA Kings fan it has been a rough year. At the beginning of the season Slava Voynov was arrested for domestic violence. He was immediately suspended by the NHL, and then suspended by the team months later. Which meant the Kings had to pay his salary, and when they needed players they couldn’t afford them, like, at all. More on Voynov in a bit. Next up for the up and down Kings, they do not make the playoffs. They just completely botch the whole damn season and don’t make it into the post season. Bad news all around because two weeks later Jarrett Stoll is arrested with Molly and cocaine in his possession. Enough to sell. He pleads out to a lesser charge and does community service. Bully for him, he’s a restricted free agent so he is gone from the team before he even sees one court date. Right as he is being arraigned the news breaks that Slava Voynov has finally been suspended by the team. For sustaining an injury outside of hockey activities. Which is natural because he wasn’t allowed to play hockey. But way to set the moral high ground Kings organization! You suspend him not for beating the shit out of his wife (which he has now plead guilty for, and will be serving a 90-day sentence among other things) but for getting hurt. Thumbs. Up.

As if all that wasn’t enough to make the team more like the Oakland Raiders every day, they trade away team and fan favorite backup goalie Martin Jones for highly disregarded Boston Bruin thug Milan Lucic. Way. To. Go. I’m not done either. As the ink is drying on the Lucic trade the Kings terminate the contract of highly respected Mike Richards who had a hell of an up and down year, literally (he was sent to the minors for a short time and brought back up for the playoff push. Nice try, Kings). For two days there were all sorts of weird speculations, until they confirm that he was trying to cross the border into Canada with OxyContin on him. What. The. Fuck.

And. And. Yesterday, on free agent day, we lose Justin Williams. The fucking chillest player in the league. The man was born to be a beach bum. And he’s gone to play in our nation’s capital. Just as the dust has settled more shit hits the fan. Martin Jones, who had been a part of the Milan Lucic deal, gets dealt from Boston to San Jose. So now, not only are we meant to forget he was a beloved King, and epic bro to the dynamic duo of Toffoli and Pearson, but we have to root against him for being on the enemy team! Dude.

In my other team’s news, the Penguins did no better in adding to their team dynamics by trading away a crop of young guys for volatile and often cranky Phil Kessel and our beloved Justin Williams gets joined on the enemy of Pittsburgh’s team, the Capitals, by Olympic hero TJ Oshie, who you just cannot help but adore.

Man. Being a hockey fan is tough!

Is it October yet?

Want Any Cheese With Your Whine?

It is 5:40pm on the West Coast and I feel like it is the middle of the night. I have spent the day working on streamlining the Anastasia Reeves site and re-designing the eBook cover for “Bandmates.” I also spent some time arguing the semantics of the word bullying on a writing forum, and editing a story I probably shouldn’t be writing. Oh, and I watched the eleventy hundred hours of coverage of NHL Free Agency Day. My team is falling apart before my eyes and it is very disheartening. And although it seems I was fairly productive, I feel like I wasted a whole lot of energy I on things I have no control over.

Writing these days is a lot harder than it used to be. Putting aside the at-your-fingertips scrutiny available to you the moment you have something written and published, the process of getting your stuff seen and read takes a universe of energy all in itself. I constantly feel like I am talking into the wind. I mean, I get it. I write in a genre that straddles the line between “oh my gosh why is she doing that?” and “wow I didn’t even know you knew how to do that.” But even the people not afraid to admit they read my stuff are hiding behind trees. There’s nothing I can do about that. You either find an audience, or you write for yourself. Knowing that does not make it any less disappointing.

But it’s the fact that the universe has chosen this skill to gift me with that has me most tied up in knots. People don’t read books anymore. Shit, people don’t even read blogs anymore. It’s all pictures and gifs and silly videos of guys being punched in the dick followed by a really cute kitten doing something absolutely adorable. Even on Facebook we can’t simply respond with words. We have to post dumb memes and videos and gifs that say our words for us.

So why is it that I write anyway? Your guess is as good as mine.