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Wizard World Portland 2020

Friday, January 31st, 2020 No comments

This past weekend Wizard World Comic Con came to town. I didn’t realize it until the 1st day, but I hadn’t been to a Wizard World Comic Con since 2014. Something’s always coming up. They think they changed the time of year a few times and maybe it was cancelled one year, but I’m glad it’s back in January.

I went Friday late afternoon and the 1st thing I noticed how short the lines to get in were and how few people were there overall compared to Rose City Comic Con and to the last time I attended. They weren’t using up nearly as much of the convention floor and were not using the big rooms for panels. It makes me wonder if Portland just can’t support 2 big conventions like this or if of Portland is just more loyal to the locally founded RCCC. Whatever the case, I hope Wizard World continues to come back.

One thing I liked about this con compared to Rose City is that it felt far more laid back. You didn’t have as many people screaming orders and herding you the whole time. The celebrities seemed more accessible. I saw John Glover go watch the band play on the entertainment stage and he started dancing. The food court area was near the bathrooms everyone was using on the floor. Sometimes I would sit there and relax if I had a long break in my schedule. I saw people like Chandler Riggs, Sam Levine, Michael Rosenbaum, Erica Durance, and Laura Vandervoort go to the bathrooms that everyone else was using. No I didn’t bother them because I didn’t want to be creepy. I’m just used to the celebrities at cons being out of sight unless they were on a panel or doing an autograph signing or photo op and secreted off when they were done. There weren’t people or signs saying to not take photos of people at their tables and I feel like I could’ve gone up to anyone to say hi. I didn’t though.

They had an entertainment stage at the entrance where they would have bands playing, karaoke, trivia, etc. I didn’t realize until after the first day that the person MCing the events and dancing around was Kato Kaelin, who gained notoriety during the OJ trial. I went to see panels featuring Chandler Riggs, Ross Marquand, Holly Marie Combs, Emily Swann, Smallville cast members Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum, John Glover, Erica Durance, and Laura Vandervoort, and Craig Parker. I had my picture taken with Thomas Dekker and the Smallville cast. I ended up missing panels with Thomas Dekker, Sam Levine, and James Marsters so I get my Smallville cast photo done on Saturday so I could skip the last day of the con. There just wasn’t enough going on and I needed a rest.

On Saturday night Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum did their Smallville Nights show that they have been doing in different cities. There’s no recording of any kind allowed at these. That apparently is the reason why Tom was convinced to do it. He’s more of an introvert and I don’t think he really likes conventions, but this allows him to be himself.
There were a couple of times where Michael was goofing off and would get right in my face and yell, but it was all in fun. They told stories, acted out scenes from the show, and then would direct audience members in acting out those same scenes. I got picked to play Lana Lang in the graveyard scene in the pilot while someone else played Clark. I think Tom thought it would be funny for me to wear a wig, not realizing it wasn’t my first time in a wig. They all thought I looked good.

I spent over $500 on Smallville experiences that weekend. I don’t regret it at all. The online communities around Smallville, Heroes, LOST, and other shows helped me get through hard times when I was feeling lonely and different back in Mississippi. I made many friends and continue to be friends with them to this day. I’ve met many in person, traveled with them, and we’ve stayed in each other’s homes. I don’t mind spending money to spend a little time with some of the cast members that helped make it possible.

I had a lot of fun at Wizard World Portland this year. It was low key and I liked that. The first day I didn’t even take my DSLR with me. Once I saw how low key it was, I decided not to bring it the rest of the weekend. All of my pics and videos were made using my Pixel 4. It was nice not having to carry my big camera around and not feeling stressed to get as many good pictures as possible.

ESPN Turned 40

Monday, December 30th, 2019 No comments

In early September, ESPN celebrated its 40th anniversary. I’ve hardly watched over the past 20 or so years, but in the 90s I watched it pretty religiously when I had access to it.

I especially enjoyed SportsCenter. I loved the anchors like Chris Berman, Keith Olberman, and Dan Patrick. I thought it was amazing when they brought on Linda Cohn. There were days when I watched pretty much every airing of SportCenter, even when it was on for hours at a time and they were pretty much just repeating the same stories each episode.

In addition to SportsCenter, I watched Baseball Tonight and a lot of Sunday night baseball games.

I guess it was sometime during or after high school that I stopped watching ESPN. Every once in a while I would come across it and watch it for a few minutes before moving on or if there was a football game I really wanted tosee, I’d watch it on one of their stations. Sometimes I would put a game on just for background noise. I never got around to watching 30 for 30 like I promised myself I would. A few months ago I actually did start watching SportsCenter a few nights a week while I was in bed. That’s how I knew the anniversary was coming up. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Linda Cohn was still doing SportsCenter. My newfound interest in ESPN didn’t last long, however.

Now that Disney+ is out, I have the bundle that also gives you ESPN+ and Hulu. I think I have access to the entire 30 for 30 catalog. I’ll be giving that a try starting in the new year and possibly slipping back into some regular SportsCenter viewing.

Happy belated anniversary to ESPN. You were a big part of my childhood and will hopefully be a big part of my adulthood.

Rose City Comic Con 2019

Sunday, September 29th, 2019 No comments

Two weekends ago was Rose City Comic Con. It’s one of my favorite events of the year. I was glad that this year it wasn’t the weekend following PAX, so I got a weekend off in between.

I went all three days again, though I didn’t stay long on Friday. I was tired.

I went to panels featuring Wallace Shawn, Cary Elwes, Chris Sarandon, Matthew Lewis, Jason Isaacs, Dan Fogler, Billie Piper, Christopher Eccelston (lots of people are saying this is the panel ever at this convention), Zachary Levi, and Wil Wheaton.

I did photo ops with Jason Isaacs and Wil Wheaton.

I was lucky enough to catch Kelly Sue DeConnick at her table this year. I got a selfie and tried to do the mandatory duck face, but it was hard for me to not smile while I was doing it.

I bought a piece of artwork like I always do and I took pictures of a lot of cosplayers.

There were some differences this year that I wasn’t a fan of. Construction outside meant that entry was different and one day we ended up walking around the entire building before we could get in. It was raining on the third day so thankfully they changed things up a bit. They cleared out the room after every panel, which meant you had to get in line each time if you wanted to see consecutive panels. The queuing procedure for photo ops was weird and sometimes it was hard to hear what was going on.

Overall, I had a great time as always. Next year I hope I remember to pay the little bit extra to get fast pass tickets.

Christmas 2018

Saturday, December 29th, 2018 No comments

Overall, this Christmas has been much better than last year. We actually decorated a tree this year, which we didn’t do last year. There were times when I wasn’t feeling the spirit much, but it always came back. One of the things that helped me get back into it was Overwatch’s Winter Wonderland event. The music, skins, and map decorations are so festive it’s hard not to feel happy, at least until the match starts.

I won’t go into too much detail, but someone close to me is having a hard time and it has put a damper on my mood at times, but we can usually turn things around.

I took a 2-week vacation from work and 1 week is now over. I think I think this is the longest vacation I’ve ever had professionally. So far I’ve done exactly what I planned: played lots of video games, watched a lot of TV, worked on my podcast websites, worked on projects at home, and spent time with friends. I listened to my Christmas mix all the way through this year, but I don’t think I heard “Last Christmas” at all, which is a shame.

I know material things aren’t the most important part of this time of the year, but gifts are still one of my favorite parts of Christmas even though the excitement isn’t the same as it was when I was a kid. I always feel fortunate that people think about me. Here’s my haul this year:

  • Princess Mononoke on blu-ray
  • Marvel trivia box
  • Dancing Groot pop vinyl
  • Lucio and Junkrat pop vinyls
  • Jupiter’s Legacy Vol 1
  • Lunch bag for work
  • Card game and emoji toys (I regifted these)
  • Rainbow socks
  • Tardis fish tank ornament
  • Many Christmas cards (I’ve forgotten to mention these in previous years)
  • Some stuff I treated myself to:
    • Gloomhaven, Founders of Gloomhaven, and Spirit Island board games
    • a new car (post coming soon)
    • an Instant pot

Overall, this has been a fairly good year. There were difficulties, but I think I got through them okay. Professionally, I was thrust into a leadership position around mid-year, and recently I got great feedback about how I’ve been doing. I think I surprised a lot of people. Health-wise, there have been ups and downs, but I’ve done well these past few weeks. I’m eating more home-cooked meals and less junk food. I think I’ll have a workout partner in January, so that should help keep me motivated.

I’m so ready to take on 2019! I think some good changes are coming! I know that January 1 is just another day and it doesn’t mean that anything is going to change, but I think it’s a good opportunity to start over or make a course correction.

As always I hope everyone has a happy holiday season and a great new year! Take care of each other!

Goodbye Portlandia

Saturday, March 31st, 2018 No comments

Portlandia

Last week I had to say goodbye to another long-running show that I really enjoyed watching.  I started watching Portlandia when I found out I was moving to Portland. Their second season was about to air on IFC.  They did a 8 seasons total. It wasn’t the funniest show around, but there was something funny in almost every episode. It didn’t just make fun of Portland. It made fun of modern life in general. As always, it was great seeing my city on TV. I even got to be an extra in one episode.  Check out the first sketch in Episode 7 for Season 3 or google ‘portlandia gay wedding’ if you want to see it.

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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.

 

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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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.

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.

Christmas 2014

Sunday, December 28th, 2014 2 comments

Christmas was good this year.  I was in the spirit pretty early on, but sometime the week before I lost it a little bit.  I got it back though in time for Christmas.  I was alone here in Protland, so at times I did feel a little lonely.  It was hard seeing all the photos on social media of people with their families and good food.  All I had for dinner was a piece of chicken and some veggies. At least I had Reese and he’s good company.  Next year will different hopefully.

What did I get for my birthday and Christmas?

  • Spartacus: The Complete Series on blu-ray
  • Microwave (I bought for myself)
  • King size wine glass
  • Serenity: Leaves on the Wind hardcover
  • Portlandia: Season 4 on DVD
  • Labyrinth on blu-ray
  • The Neverending Story on blu-ray
  • Interstellar soundtrack
  • GIRL by Pharrell Williams
  • Twin Peaks soundtrack
  • Requiem for a Dream (the book)
  • Touch and Go paperback by Lisa Gardner
  • Game of Thrones map poster
  • Game of Thrones blanket