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Rose City Comic Con 2017

Sunday, September 17th, 2017 No comments

The second part of my vacation was Rose City Comic Con.  I think it had been a couple of years since my last RCCC. I’ve been a little burnt out on conventions lately.  They’re fun, but exhausting.  They can also be expensive. In spite of that I decided to make my return this year.

This year the con expanded to 3 days.  On the first day, Friday, I got there a little after noon. The con didn’t start until 1:00.  As soon as I walked into the building, I saw a my friend Joshua, so we hung out that day. I wasn’t expecting to hang out with anyone that day. I kinda like having the freedom to do my own thing at cons.  Josh was cool though, so not much was different than if I had been there alone. After I got my badge, we went to Brent Spiner’s panel. Afterwards, we walked around the exhibit floor  and I got to do one of my favorite con activities – taking pictures of cosplayers. After this we saw a panel on writing LGBT characters. I don’t think either of us found it too interesting, so we left early. We caught the end of a panel featuring 2 cast members from The Munsters and then we saw Kate Sackhoff’s panel.  I left after this because I was tired. I missed the Weird Al panel that was coming up next.

The next day traffic near the convention center was a mess. I didn’t leave as early as I should have and ended up spending an hour inching traffic before I eventually made it to a place I could park.  I got some more pictures of cosplayers.  I got all of my autograph and photo ops taken care of back to back to back.  First was a picture with Rose McIver, then Rose’s autograph, then a picture with Brent Spiner and John de Lancie together.  Originally I had planned on doing them over 2 days, but that changed when I found out Brent Spiner and John de Lancie were doing a photo together.  Rose McIver was so adorable.  I had no idea she was from New Zealand, so I was shocked when she asked me how I was doing with an accent. When I walked up to Spiner and de Lancie, they joked about my RCCC shirt asking what it was and were it is.  After the photo ops, I could just chill the rest of the day and the next day. No more lines.  I saw John de Lancie’s panel and Rose McIver’s panel before going home.

On the last day, traffic was much better. After roaming the floor for a little while, I think I spent the rest of the day in the main panel room. First was Ming Chen. Then Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie. After that was some stars and a producer from Z Nation. And finally William Shatner.  I got a bite to eat after that and went home.

I’m glad that I went back to RCCC this year.  It was a blast. This con has come a long way since first year when it was in that hotel and there wasn’t any air conditioning in the exhibit area.  Right now I have a desire to start going to cons again. We’ll see how long that lasts.

I had a great vacation and it was hard to go back to work Monday.

Lastly, I’m too tired to go through the trouble of posting pics from the con. You can find them on Facebook.

 

Summer Begins

Monday, July 31st, 2017 No comments

Portland Pride 2017
I’ve probably said this before, but here in Portland we say that summer officially begins on July 4. By then we can be pretty sure the rainy season is over. This summer has gotten off to a great start so far.

The gaymer meet up has been fun this month. We’ve had good turnout this month and last and it’s been a lot of fun playing with new and old members. We’ve got some ideas for new events that we want to try soon.

On the 4th, my friend who recently changed his named to Xander (formerly Kysen, formerly Alex) went on a hike/photo taking adventure with his friend David. Xander and I started doing this in April I believe. It’s fun exploring the city on foot and we’ve gotten some pretty great photos.

The following week Xander and I went to see Blondie and Garbage at Edgefield Amphitheater. It’s the first time I’ve been to this venue since I saw Foster the People there in 2012. It was a great show! Both bands sounded great. Shirley Manson is a queen. I’m more of a Garbage fan than a Blondie fan, but I think I had more fun during Blondie’s set.

The next day I went to my first Hillsboro Hops game. I had bought tickets to games before, but ended up not going. I won a ticket to this game from work. Intel had it’s own tent area where we could eat and hang out. I didn’t stay in that area long because I wanted to watch some of the game. The Hops weren’t doing well and I had other things to do that night, so I ended up leaving about halfway through.

The following week I went to my first Portland Timbers game. Once again I won tickets from work. I rode the MAX into town for the game, because I didn’t want to deal with parking at the stadium. There were a lot of Timbers fans on the game. The atmosphere inside the stadium was excellent. I can see myself going to more games in the future. I left at halftime to beat the crowd back home. It was a pretty lopsided loss for the Timbers.

Spider-Man and Girls Trip were good movies. I plan to see Dunkirk and Atomic Blonde soon. It’s been nice having a movie buddy (Xander) so I don’t have to see movies alone and I have someone to talk to the movie about when it’s over.

I’ve starting exercising again on a regular basis. I’m not back up to 6 days a week like I used to do. Most of my workouts are at the gym at work, but sometimes I go to my old gym. I even went on a bike ride with Xander one day. Now I just need to start eating healthy again.

I have so much more stuff that I want to do this summer. I probably won’t get to it all this year. I remembered yesterday how bored and lonely I felt in Mississippi before I left. I’m glad to have so many options for how to spend my free time.

Grimm

Saturday, April 8th, 2017 No comments

Grimm cast

A week ago last night, the series finale of Grimm aired. It was never in the top tier of shows that I watched in terms of quality, but it was a lot of fun and one of my favorites.

I started watching the show at the beginning.  The concept sounded interesting.  I think I made it through the first 3 or 4 episodes before I decided to pass on it. It was good, but I was being picky about which shows I spent time watching.  When I found out I was moving to Portland, which is where the show was filmed and set, I decided to get caught up on it. I’m glad I did because it got better. Grimm was a freak-of-the-week with an overarching story. The mythology of the one the things I liked the most about it.

One reason I enjoyed watching Grimm so much was that I got to see my city on TV every week.  Portland really did set a good mood for the series.  It was cool when they mentioned a place and I could say, “I’ve been there.”  I plan on visiting a restaurant they mentioned during one of the final episodes.

One of my favorite memories of the show is getting a chance to be an extra in season 3 just a few days after I met its star David Guintoli at a convention. Too bad my scene was never used.  I was a great crime scene onlooker.

David Giuntoli

I was pretty much always behind on Grimm, sometimes a season or more.  I follow all of the main cast on Twitter, and they spoiled a lot of plot points.  That didn’t take away from my enjoyment. When I heard Grimm had been renewed for a shortened 6th and final season, I was disappointed but also glad that it would have a chance to wrap up the storyline.  This isn’t the kind of show that could go on forever and not many shows that I watch last 6 seasons.  I got caught up in time for the 6th season premiere, got behind again, and then got caught up for the series finale. Not the best series finale I’ve ever seen, but far from the worst. I’m happy with how things ended.

Well, Grimm is done. I hope another show comes along soon to take its place in Portland and in my heart.

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Christmas 2016

Saturday, December 31st, 2016 2 comments

The Christmas season has been fun this year. Even though the snow was an inconvenience at times, it was nice getting an unusually high amount of it for Portland this year.  I’ve spent a lot of time at home due to the snow and the fact that people work from home a lot during the holidays.

I didn’t have trouble getting into the spirit after the great Friendsgiving I had at my friends Matt and Zach’s place.  I may have dialed things back a bit because I’m living with someone who is not really into Christmas.  I think Kysen was going through some emotional stuff at the Friendsgiving celebration, but he had a good time.  We even went to see a movie that night. During the Christmas season, I still listened to music, sang songs, watched Christmas specials, etc., but I didn’t do it much around him. He was a good sport and tolerated it when I did.

We decided we would have more of a Solstice celebration. We decorated a little potted tree that Kysen normally keeps in his room.  We crafted some ornaments and even hung John Lennon and Yoko Ono sock puppets on it.  We took a photo in front of the tree with Reese, who wouldn’t be still.  We put the tree up the night of my accident. A little later that night, Kysen got a piece of headlight from my old car and put it at the base of the tree.
Family Christmas photo

I gave Kysen his gifts on December 21. He gave me my Solstice gift on my birthday because my birthday present hadn’t arrive in the mail yet. He gave me my birthday present on Christmas eve because it came in the mail that day.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were on a Saturday and Sunday.  We spent Saturday grocery shopping, art supply shopping for a class I’m taking soon [I think I forgot to write about the class I took in the fall], and getting some stuff for a tank Kysen bought (I think he got it the day before). I actually got a nano tank while we were out.  We spend Saturday organizing and cleaning and getting the tanks ready for fish. We had salmon and rice that Kysen cooked for dinner. One Sunday we finished organizing and were really lazy for the rest of the day. Kysen did some painting and I played video games. I used my slow cooker for maybe the second or third time to make Indian food. It turned out well. We watched Sausage Party while we ate.

What did I get for my birthday and for Christmas:

  • a homemade candle
  • a mermaid bathroom hook
  • Cowboy Bebop: The Movie
  • Weird Oregon: Your Travel Guide to Oregon’s Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets
  • 12-month PlayStation Plus membership card
  • a Broadcast tank top
  • Game of Thrones shot glasses
  • Imploding Kittens (the Exploding Kittens expansion)
  • Drawing the Head & Figure
  • a bag of cleaning rags
  • a Super Mario Christmas tree ornament
  • a video game centric drinking cup
  • MacBook Pro (gift to myself)

It wasn’t a traditional Christmas, but it was great to spend it with someone I care about. We spoke the other night about New Year’s Eve. Neither of us have plans, but we’ll figure out something.

This year has been a mixed bag.  Some of it’s been really great, and some of it’s been really difficult.  Life is still good though.  I met all the goals I set for myself last year. I think the last time I met all my goals for the year, I didn’t set any goals for the following year.  I think I’ll just wait a few weeks and see if I want to set any goals for 2017.

I hope everyone has a happy New Year.  Take care of yourself.

PDX Gaymers

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016 No comments

I started getting involved with the PDX Gaymers  meetup group either early last year or the end of 2014.  It’s mostly a tabletop gaming group which holds events at different places around town.  I’ve met a lot of people through this group.  I “met” Kysen at one of my first meetups with them last years.  I have “met” in quotes because we just recently realized that we met each other briefly a few years ago at a going away brunch for someone I knew.

I became an event organizer and hosted a few events in the western suburbs where I live.  Those events didn’t have a high attendance. I think most members live in the city and prefer events there.  I also hosted a an event at a video gaming place in Milwaukie. They were very welcoming and wanted to be inclusive of the entire Portland community. They have since gone out of business. I wish I had hosted more events there, but it was so far out of my way that I had trouble finding the time or motivation to go there. Now it wouldn’t be a problem. I went to that part of town a lot when Kysen lived there, so it doesn’t seem like a big deal now.

A few months ago, the owner of PDX Gaymers sent a message to members explaining that he was too busy to run the group because he had recently become a business owner. I didn’t hear anything update after a while, do I talked to Kysen about it.  Kysen has been hosting a monthly game night at the Q Center since last year.  It’s the only monthly meeting of this group that I attend on a regular basis. Kysen and I decided that we would take over leadership of the group.  We thought the group served a great purpose of maintaining a safe space for gaymers to get together and it would be a shame if it went away.  The previous owner was okay with it, so Kysen and I officially took over on October 1.  Since one person has to be listed as owner/organizer, we decided that would be me. I made Kysen c0-organizer.

Running the group is easy. I don’t think the previous owner really did anything except pay the twice annual fees to Meetup. I hadn’t seen him at an event in a long time.The people who host the events do most of the work, which is still very little.  Kysen and I did have to deal with one conflict before we took over, but since then it has been quiet.

I think the group is pretty good.  We have 2 monthly events that take place in public places.  Occasionally one of our event hosts will host a game night in his home. I do want to find a replacement for one of our monthly events that dropped off because the host was too busy to continue it.  Also, I want some more video game based events since we haven’t had anything like that in over a year and I see that a lot our members like video games as well. We have about 850 members and membership has been slowly increasing since we took over.  Hopefully, things will continue to run smoothly and people continue to have fun gaming together.

[I just had an idea to send out a survey to get an idea of what people want.]

Black-ish

Saturday, February 27th, 2016 No comments

I’ve been hearing a lot of talking about this week’s episode of Black-ish, which from what I hear dealt with police brutality and institutionalized racism. I haven’t watched the show since early in the first season. I wish I had kept up with show. Maybe I’ll get caught up one day.

I luckily haven’t had any major incidents with police. I did get stopped while walking my dog one time because I supposedly looked like somebody they were after. It was embarrassing, but there was no physical harm done. Most of the overt racism I experience is getting called names online.

Over the past few days I’ve seen several black friends on Facebook admit that they had similar feelings to what was expressed in this episode on the night President Obama was elected in 2008. It’s like everyone’s been keeping that inside for over 7 years and now it’s safe to admit it. Personally, I don’t remember being especially afraid for Obama’s safety before election day. I talked to my sister that night after he won. There were fireworks going off where I was in Mississippi. She and her husband were having a celebratory glass of wine in Georgia. She said that she hoped he could be kept safe from the crazies and would be able to carry out his term. Wow! I hadn’t thought of that. I don’t think about that all the time now, but even after 7 years there are still people who hate that he’s president simply because he’s black. I’m friends with some of them on Facebook. I hope he’s able to finish out his term and lives a long, happy life after he leaves office.

Christmas 2015

Thursday, December 31st, 2015 No comments

Another Christmas has passed and another New Year is coming. I was thankful not to spend Christmas alone this year. Thanksgiving was a little tough. Seeing everyone post pictures of food and family while I was sitting at home playing Fallout 4 was a little sad.

Luckily, my friend Joel invited me to a Christmas dinner party that he was going to. He’s in the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus and some of them had a fun party that night. My company and my runner’s group had Christmas parties the week before, so this was my third one this year.  I had a great time and it was fun connecting with new people.

What did I get for Christmas?

  • Blue Snowball microphone
  • Star Trek shirt
  • The Firefly board game
  • A wooden box that I plan on painting and keeping stuff in
  • A pair of briefs
  • Guitar Hero Live
  • Game of Thrones coloring book
  • Game of Thrones season 4 soundtrack

I hope I remembered everything. I’ll be getting something from my sister and family later.

This year I decided to end my tradition of watching The Lord of the Rings trilogy in December. It’s just becoming harder and harder to find the time and this December I was trying to re-watch all of the Star Wars movies (The Force Awakens was awesome, btw). Last year was I believe the 10th consecutive year, so it’s probably a good time to end it. I’m a little sad because my favorite traditions are ones that I’ve started myself. I always said that the year couldn’t really end until I heard that Annie Lennox song at the end of the third movie, which I always watched on New Year’s Eve.

I think I stopped setting goals for the upcoming year after I moved to Portland. In case I’ve never said this before, I hate calling them resolutions. I posted some 2016 goals on Facebook the other day and figured I would post them here to make them easier to find. Some are repeats of things I did this year. #1 will be completed on January 1 and #2 may happen before the end of basketball season.
1) Go on at least 1 real date
2) Attend at least 1 pro sports event
3) Get more sleep
4) Get organized again
5) Keep doing the good things I started this year
6) Take more pictures
7) Not forget about this list

Usually I don’t do out on New Year’s Eve, but I am tonight. It might be the first time I’ve ever done so. I’m going to a private party at my friends Ez and Andrew’s place. I was also invited to hang out with the Chorus people I spent Christmas night with, but I had already committed this one. It should be a great time. I guess this will end my tradition of buying a bottle of wine for myself on New Year’s Eve.

I had such a great 2015. I put myself out there more and made many new friends. I don’t have a lot to complain about, and what I do I hope to change in 2016. I hope everyone has a happy and successful 2016.

Twin Peaks Festival 2015

Monday, November 30th, 2015 No comments

I’m going to catch up on blogging about some of the events I participated in this year.

Back in July I returned to the Twin Peaks Festival. It was my second year. I didn’t think I would go back after last year, but after news broke that Showtime was bringing the series back, I decided I wanted to go back. Matt H and Mel were coming back, but also coming were Caitlin (from The Twin Peaks Podcast and Intro to Brisco) and Matt A (from Hooplecast and a frequent contributor to several podcasts that I listen to). We all rented a cabin together about in Snoqualmie Pass, which is 20 minutes away from where most of the festival activities were.

Since it’s been so long, I can’t remember the day to day that well. I got there the morning the festival started. I intended to get there the night before, but I had to stay to get some work done. They posted a video of the cabin on Facebook the night before, so I at least got to see it. When I got there the trivia contest was about to start. Matt H participated in it and did pretty well.

I remember going on a a hike to see Ronette’s Bridge. We climbed over a fence to get a good view because the way we came was closed. On the way back I hurt my knee a little bit on the landing. It took a day or two for it to feel better. I also poked a hole in the top of one of my shoes. I still haven’t replaced these shoes yet. We met some people on the bridge. One is from Portland. I may be having a transplant dinner with her and her friends on Christmas Eve.

I remember the bus tour, which was fun, but pretty much the same as the year before.

I remember eating at Twede’s and seeing Kimmy Robertson at a nearby table.

I remember the celebrity dinner, where I got to meet and get pictures with a few cast members, including Ian Buchanan and Catherine Coulson. Unfortunately, Catherine Coulson passed away from cancer a couple of months later. She seemed fine that night. The dinner went really late, so we didn’t stay for the costume contest or the dance.

I remember drinking with some new friends: Gary, Stephanie, and Michael. Stephanie and Michael knew each other. Gary went with us as we toured some of the sites and all 3 came back to our cabin to play board games with us one night.

I remember the picnic, where we got rained on a good portion of the time. We got a walking tour of a few more sites afterward.

I remember my car not starting when we were supposed to go the last official event of the festival. It was a long drive and I was bummed out about my car. We got to see more shooting locations.

When we got back my car still wouldn’t start, and I had to have it towed to a nearby city early the next day. It cost a lot to get it fixed. I had to miss out on the rafting trip we had all planned to go on. It took 8 hours for them to finish with my car because they were backed up. I spent time exploring the city I was in. I can’t even remember the name of it now. I arrived back in Portland after dark. That whole ordeal put a damper on the end of the trip and my car hasn’t quite been the same since.

I’m glad I went back to the Twin Peaks festival. It was good seeing friends I made the previous year and making new friends. David had been in North Bend a week or two before the festival and I believe filming started on Season 3 shortly after the festival ended. Maybe I’ll go back in a few years, but I don’t see myself going back next year.

Audiobooks

Monday, March 30th, 2015 No comments

Lately, I’ve really gotten into audiobooks.  I think it was last summer that I re-activated my Audible subscription.  I created an account to get that 1 free book years ago, but I canceled afterward and never even listened to the book.  Until last summer, that is.

I was reluctant to listen to audiobooks because I figured I would miss too many details.  When I listen to podcasts at work, I miss portions because I’m focusing on my work. However, I’ve found that there are tasks that I do during the day that I don’t need to focus on much,  so I’m able to focus on the book enough to catch what’s going on.  An example is that I spend about an hour in my car on an average day, so I can get a lot of listening done in my car.

I doubt that I would choose the audiobook for a book by one of my favorite authors or a book that comes highly recommended.  I have been able to experience books that are off my radar.  It’s allowed me to keep “reading” since though it’s harder for me to find the time to sit down and read a book these days.

It’s taken me a while to jump on the audiobook bandwagon because I love my paper books.  I hope to continue utilizing them for a long time.

I Like to Watch People Play Video Games

Saturday, January 31st, 2015 No comments

I like to watch people play video games.  It’s fun!  It’s becoming more popular because of Twitch.  For me it’s usually something I put on in the background while I’m doing other things, but I will focus on it if I’m watching a competition.  Some criticize those of us that like to do this, so I thought I would quickly explain some of the reasons I like to do it.

For me this started back in grad school when I watched my roommate Jason play some of my games that I had already beaten.  I started to realize that when you’re playing games, your’re often focused on one part of the screen and it’s easy to miss a lot of the details that get put into these games.  When someone else is playing, it’s easy to take in the big picture.  Sometimes you just want to veg out and enjoy the experience like when you’re watching a movie.

I don’t have much time to play games these days.  I can live vicariously through others while I’m getting work done.

I kinda suck at games.  I have my own Twitch channel where I let others watch me play games sometimes.  The title of it is “Watch me play games poorly”.  It’s nice to be able to watch people play skillfully on Twitch.

Watching people play can help me decide if I want to buy a game.  Gameplay on Twitch is probably more representative of a game than the trailers that the company releases.  Many of these trailers don’t show any actual gameplay footage.

Well, those are some of my reasons.  The main reason is that it’s fun.  Some will still wonder why you would watch people play when you could do it yourself?  Why watch any form of entertainment when you can do it yourself?  Because it’s entertaining.  You could race cars or perform on a stage yourself, but most of us are going to watch others do it.

And that’s totally okay.