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Posts Tagged ‘movies’

15th Annual Great Pumpkin Beer Festival

Tuesday, December 31st, 2019 No comments

The first weekend in October my friend Matt A. from California came up to visit. I know Matt through podcasting and I met him in person at the Twin Peaks festival a few years ago, but hadn’t seen him since. He had presented the idea a few weeks earlier of him coming up here and traveling to Seattle for the GPB Festival. I was all for it.

Matt flew in from Denver (I think) on that Friday night, where he had attended another festival. From what I understand, Matt works for a chain of stores and helps decide which beers and how much they stock. So this is like work for him. We watched that Stephen King movie In the Tall Grass, which had just debuted on Netflix.

We got up pretty early Saturday and got some donuts from Voodoo Donuts before heading to Seattle. We stopped at a brewery at met someone Matt knows, I think it was the manager. We then went to the festival which was a lot of fun. We drank sample after sample of pumpkin beer for hours. Since Matt knew some of the people there (I think they worked for one of the breweries), we got extra drink tickets. There’s a giant pumpkin beer filled with beer. Later in the day they had a costume contest near this giant pumpkin and later on a parade. After the parade they tap the pumpkin and served beer from the pumpkin. Leading up to them tapping the pumpkin, the excitement is building up. They had music playing. People (including Matt and myself) were holding cornstalks, dancing to the music, and chanting “TAP THAT GOURD!” It was kind of crazy, but fun to be a part of. After we left the festival, we had dinner with Jonathon Pope, a Washington resident who I know from podcasting but had never met before.

Sunday we drove back to Portland. We visited a couple of breweries around here. I took him to Powell’s. At this point Matt was feeling sick, probably from all the traveling, and I was starting to get sniffly too. He tried to get his return flight moved to Monday instead of Tuesday, but it was going to be too expensive. Matt wanted to play board games on this trip. We played one game at one of the breweries earlier and we ended the night playing board games with some of my local friends at the Lucky Lab.

On Monday, we didn’t do much. I remember going to a brewery, playing a game there, and getting a tour of the brewery’s expansion. That night we watch Hereditary and Midsommar.

On Tuesday, I had an interview so I had to take Matt to the airport earlier than I would have liked. We stopped at the library in Hillsboro and played a couple of games before heading to the airport.

I’m so glad Matt got to come visit, see Portland, meet my dogs, and play some board games. I wish more people would come visit -hint-hint-. The only negative is that once the sickness he gave me fully kicked in, I was miserable and out of commission for 2 weeks. Oh well, it happens.

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.

Rose City Comic Con 2018

Sunday, September 30th, 2018 No comments

Three weekends ago (the weekend after PAX). I went to Rose City Comic Con. I went back to work after a week long vacation after then and was swamped, so I didn’t have time to write about it.

I won’t do a blow-by-blow as usual, but I will say that this convention, unlike PAX, was more about panels.  There was some cool stuff on the exhibit floor (such as a Dragonball Z exhibit), but I spent most of my time there taking pictures of cosplayers.  I did some artwork from local artists like I normally do.

I went to panels featuring Kristen Bauer, Michael Biehn and Jennifer Blanc-Biehn, Star Trek: The Next Generation cast members (Marina Sirtis, Gates McFadden, and Michael Dorn), David Tennant, Felicia Day, Overwatch voice actresses Lucy Pohl and Charlet Chung, John Barrowman, Catherine Tate, Karl Urban, Smallville stars Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum, Michael Rooker,  and Evangeline Lilly.

I didn’t get any autographs this year, but I did get photo ops with Tenant and the TNG cast members.

They had a board game section which I didn’t check out because I didn’t see anything being played that I was interested in.  Maybe next year.

I ran into my friend Daniel on the second day, but we didn’t hang out long before we got separated.  Again, I kinda like doing my own thing at cons.

I really enjoyed being at RCCC again this year.  It was a exhausting having cons 2 weekends in a row, but I don’t regret it.  I think RCCC is later in the month next year, so that won’t be a problem. I’m so glad to have an event like this right in my back yard.

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.

Christmas 2013

Thursday, December 26th, 2013 No comments

I had a good Christmas this year.  I decided to remain in Portland this year. It’s nice to spend a holiday resting instead of traveling.  I missed seeing my family, but I didn’t mind missing out on the airports. I worked on Christmas Eve for the first time ever, but I did take a vacation from work beginning on Christmas Day and ending on New Year’s Day. On Christmas Day I saw two movies, two of many movies I plan to see during my break. I’m going to a game night on New Year’s Eve, but that’s the only social activity.  I have planned.

What did I get for my birthday and Christmas? My friends and family took very good care of me this year.

  • Grimm lore book
  • Batman figure
  • The Shining by Stephen King
  • Princess Mononoke on DVD
  • 2(x)ist underwear
  • Pizza pan
  • Beanie
  • Enterprise-D model
  • C.O.P.S. Vol. 1 and 2 on DVD
  • Batman snuggie

I sent my niece a toy Dora the Explorer guitar. I hear that she really liked it and was doing air guitar not long before she got her gift.

A Night at the Drive-In

Sunday, September 15th, 2013 No comments

When I was living in Mississippi, I was often jealous of things that my Twitter friends could do in their cities that I couldn’t do in Starkville. One of those things was going to a drive-in theater. I see tons of movies every year, but drive-ins are a part of cinema history I had yet to experience. That changed last night.
99W Drive-In

I know I searched for a nearby drive-in either before I moved or soon after. The 99W Drive-In is in Newberg, which is a 35-minute drive from where I live. This theater has been around since 1953. My friend Arturo and I went down to watch a double feature of Pacific Rim and The Conjuring for $8 each. I had seen both of them, but he hadn’t seen either of them. I had thought about going a few weeks ago, but they weren’t playing anything I wanted to pay money to see at the time. We got there early and got a space right up front. Each row has a little hill so you can park your car at an upward angle and get a more comfortable view of the screen. There were people there who were obviously more experienced at this than us. They brought chairs, blanket, blow-up mattresses, etc. Most of these people were in SUVs, vans, or trucks, and parked in reverse so they could lay down in the pack. I took some mental notes for next time.
99W Drive-In

It was packed by the time the first movie started. They played the two movies back to back, with an intermission in between. Along with previews for current movies, they played some advertisements from the 50s and 80s. I enjoyed seeing those 2 movies again even though it was weird hearing the sound through my car speakers. I had a great time there and I definitely plan on going back.
99W Drive-In screen

One thing I didn’t know until a few weeks ago is how much danger drive-ins are of going out of business. This is the last year that films will be distributed in 35mm and most theaters can’t afford the $75-$80K digital projector upgrade. Honda had a contest where they allowed you to vote on which drive-ins to save. They would donate a free digital projector to the top vote getters. When I found out about it, I spread the word amongst my local friends. Without this, 99W would probably have to close. As of last night, Honda had announced a few winners, but 99W was still waiting to see if they’d won. Earlier today I got a message from Arturo saying that 99W had won and they were doing free movies and snacks today in celebration. I’m glad that they’re staying in business and that I may have played a small part in it.
99W Drive-In won Honda contest

Star Trek Into Fun

Monday, May 20th, 2013 No comments

Up until a few weeks ago, I wasn’t overly impressed with many of the movies I had seen this year. Other than Warm Bodies, I hadn’t seen anything that I would consider great. Yes, I haven’t gone to the theater as much as I did last year. Word of mouth and laziness has made me skip a few movies I had planned to see.

The first few months of 2012 brought us some movies that I really enjoyed: Chronicle, The Cabin in the Woods, Haywire, and The Hunger Games. Those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

This year hadn’t been as enjoyable. But then Iron Man 3 came along and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It has some flaws, but overall it was a great ride.

And then a couple of weeks later we got Star Trek Into Darkness. I loved this movie to the hundredth power! I’ve been a Star Trek since I was a little boy, so the chances are that I was going to like it at least a little. This movie exceeded my expectations. It had everything I wanted! It’s the most fun I’ve had in the theater since The Avengers about a year ago. I’m already planning to go see it again, and I don’t see many movies in the theater more than once. I think The Avengers and the first Iron Man were the last two I did. Hopefully, the rest of the year can produce movies that are close to as entertaining. Go see it in IMAX 3D if you can.

A Visitor

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013 No comments

John was here in Portland for 10 days.  He arrived on Thursday the 14th and left on Sunday the 24th.  He told me he wanted to come here for his 30th birthday (the 21st) about 5 or 6 months ago and we’ve both been looking forward to it since.  We had a blast!  I wanted to write as much down as I could recall to help remember the trip.

Thursday – John’s flight was scheduled to arrive late Thursday night, shortly before midnight.  I saw online that it would be arriving a little late.  At some point, I stopped my car while I waited.  Some security lady told me that I couldn’t stay there and I had to circle around.  When I tried to start my car, it wouldn’t start.  I waited for John to arrive and then went to get help.  The airport sent someone to jump my car and we were on our way.  It was a great way to start John’s trip.

Friday – John went out and explored the city while I was at work.  My company had a party celebrating the opening of our new office here in Portland.  After John and I went to get my battery replaced, we chilled at my apartment that night.

Saturday – We got up and drove to Vancouver, British Columbia.  It was my first time leaving the country and John’s first time in Canada.  The hotel was pretty cool.  We went out to some clubs that night.

Sunday- We went to Granville Island and had lunch with my married friends Michaela and Dave.  After that John and I drove to Cleveland Damn and went on a short hike before it started to get too dark. We decided to go ziplining the next day in Whistler. We were exhausted after that, so we went to bed early.

Monday – We drove up to the mountains to Whistler.  I believe they had some winter Olympic events there in 2010.  The zipline tour on Cougar Mountain was so much fun. We got quite a bit of snow. We spent the night at Michaela and Dave’s in Richmond.  We had a steak dinner and some great beer.

Cougar Mountain, Whistler

Tuesday – We made our way back to Portland.  We stopped in Steveston Village, which is where they film Once Upon a Time.  It was cool seeing some of places where they film the show.  When we got back to my apartment we watched the latest 2 episodes.

Steveston/Storybrooke

Wednesday – I went to work and John did some more exploring.  Later John went to dinner with Breck and Mickey, two people that we knew back in Mississippi but have recently moved to Portland, unbeknownst to me.  After that John and I went shopping at Powell’s and Buffalo Exchange before heading home.

Thursday – This was John’s 30th birthday.  I got him a cake and an hour-long massage.  That night we went out to dinner at a pub and we went out to a club.

Friday – We had lunch at Little Big Burger.  They have delicious fries.  We drove to Tillamook near the coast for a wine and cheese tasting.  I discovered some great wines we both brought back something with us.  I don’t remember what we did that night.

Blue Heron French Cheese Company

Saturday – We went to the first ever Portland Comic Con.  We had 3-day passes, but I think we did everything we needed to in that one day.  We got to get Morena Baccarin’s autograph and see a bunch of stars.  That night we went to see Skyfall ant Baghdad Theater with Breck and Mikey.

Portland Comic Con 2013 crowd

Portland Comic Con 2013 - Morena Baccarin's autograph

Sunday – That morning it was time for John to go back to Mississippi.  I always hate parting from friends after having a good time. After he left, I cleaned a little, took a long nap, did some grocery shopping, and watched the Oscars.

I was glad that John got to visit.  I was worn out after being on the go for 10 days straight, but it was worth it.  I hope he’ll be here again soon.  I think he liked Portland and the Northwest enough that he wouldn’t mind living here.

Christmas 2012

Saturday, December 29th, 2012 No comments

Leading up to Christmas, there were times when I was really into the season and times when I wanted it to be over. Of course, the traveling was what I was dreading. I hate flying and driving gets old after a while.

I flew to Mississippi on the 23rd. This is the first time I’ve flown United. I had already made plans to fly to Jackson months before I knew everyone would be in Georgia for Christmas. I was going to cost around $1000 to change the flight to Atlanta, so I figured I would drive the rest of the way since I had already planned to rent a car. I spent the night in Jackson and drove to Decatur the next day. I had a blast in Georgia. I hadn’t seen my sister, brother-in-law, and niece in a little over 2 years and my mom since February. My niece is almost 3 now. She is adorable. I never got tired of her calling me “Uncle Will”. She wore me out a few times. I don’t see how parents do it. Seeing her joy at opening her gifts made me happy. It was great seeing everybody again and getting caught up.

The day after Christmas it was time to return to Portland. I drove back to the airport in Jackson. I ran into a high school classmate at the airport. Our plane was late leaving Jackson due to the plane arriving late in Jackson due to bad weather in Houston. I think we made up some time in the air, but it wasn’t enough. Between leaving late and being stuck waiting for a gate to open up after we landed, I missed my connection. I rushed through the airport as fast as I could. When I made it to the gate for my next flight and handed the lady my boarding pass, word came over the walkie that the door had closed. It was too late in the day for another flight. I was put on standby on the first flight out the next day. I didn’t like the fact that the customer service guy made it sound like it was my fault that I missed my connection. United put me up in a room in Houston, but I had to pay for most of it because my missed connection was caused by something beyond their control. This will probably be the last time I fly United, though other airlines would’ve probably done the same thing. I got a seat on that flight the next day and was glad when I finally made it home. Overall, a great Christmas, but I may be trying to convince everyone to come to Portland next year :).

What did I get this year?

  • How to Be Black by Baratunde Thurston
  • Super Fly on DVD
  • Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlen
  • A Best Buy gift card that I’ve already spent
  • A nice shirt that I’ll probably wear on NYE
  • The Bourne Legacy on blu-ray
  • A Tardis cookie jar and Texas cookie cutter
  • One gift that I still haven’t received yet

Cabin Fever

Thursday, January 19th, 2012 1 comment

One benefit of working at home: It’s been about a month since I filled my gas tank and I still have a little under a quarter of a tank left.

One drawback of working at home: I’m going a little stir crazy. Other than trips to the gym and to the grocery store, I haven’t gotten out much lately. I’ve probably said this before, but this town is so boring. I’m glad to be leaving.

I think I’m going to the movies this weekend. Haywire looks really good and it’s getting good reviews. I’m interested in Red Tails as well. Watching the Golden Globes this past weekend made me realize that I slacked off on movies last year. That’s partially because a lot of movies I’m interested in don’t play in Starkville, but it’s also because it’s a lot easier and cheaper to stay home. Maybe I’ll go to Columbus and do some shopping as well.