5 FANDOM FRIDAY: GUILTY PLEASURES

Five Fandom Friday

This week’s 5 Fandom Friday theme is guilty pleasures. My picks aren’t exactly fandom related, but just an expression of my personality I guess. I’m a bit weird, but most of these things are surprisingly normal.

Attack of the Puppet People

1. Really terrible B-Movie Horror Films

I used to rent these with my friends at the local Blockbuster. The more ridiculous the movie title the better. Attack of the Puppet People, Thankskilling, Santa’s Slay…There are so many bad ones that I can’t remember all the names. Sometimes the cover alone was enough to make us rent the film. This is partially why I miss being able to rent movies from a local video store. Luckily, Netflix has some pretty so-bad-it’s-good choices to binge on.

Tenacious D

2. Tenacious D

I am a bit obsessed with the D. In high school, I was in a band and all my bandmates were into them. I thought comedy music was lame and so didn’t really bother listening to them on my own. Well my friends made sure I did listen because they knew me well and I loved every second of their first album. I know all the words to this day. I have both of their DVDs and the Pick of Destiny movie as well. I still haven’t seen JB and KG play together, but I have met Jack Black twice since I’ve lived in LA.

Metal Pizza

3. Pizza

Ok, I know pizza is not very healthy and whatever and I live in LA or whatever, but I am a PIZZA FIEND! I must have pizza once a week. If I don’t, I have horrible cravings that drive me insane. Yes, seriously. It’s especially bad when I’m on my period. If I don’t get my pizza, I get super hangry and go all She-Hulk. My favorite pizza is supreme or Hawaiian, but I will eat pizza with pretty much anything on top. Mmmmm…melty cheese deliciousness…

ANTM_Cycle10

4.  America’s Next Top Model

TYRA MAIL! Girl, you don’t even know. If Top Model is on, bye! I will watch ALL the reruns. I love this show so much it’s not even funny. I haven’t seen the later cycles, but mainly because I had to stop myself from watching; I had a problem. I will say though that ANTM was a great comfort to me when I was in the hospital a few years ago. It made things a lot less scary.

funk you flea market

5. Rummaging Through Other People’s Things

Thrift shops, flea markets, yard sales; I have a thing for rummaging through other people’s things. It’s always like Christmas because you never know what you’re going to find. Last month I got a pair of Saks 5th Avenue heels for $9 at Salvation Army that were originally $195. This is what I’m talking about. I love the challenge of finding something awesome amongst all the junk and unwanted items. Plus it’s a great way to save money or make a little extra if you resell any of the things you find too. Personally, I love shopping for clothes, records, cameras, and random shit in this way. I’ve always been told I have the coolest stuff, but it’s because it’s all other people’s stuff that I’ve just curated.

Have any guilty pleasures you’re willing to share?

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SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON TIPS FROM A NEWBIE: SCHEDULE PLANNING (TIP #3)

So, it was exactly two weeks from Comic-Con yesterday! While that simple fact is exciting in and of itself, it also means they’ve released the daily schedules! If you’ve already gone through the list, you might be pretty overwhelmed by the sheer number of panels offered, even within the same time blocks. However, I’m here to offer my suggestions and let you all know which panels I’ll most likely be checking out in addition to other potential activities during any down time.

THURSDAY JULY 9

10:00 am – Wrath of Con Bloggers, Room 14A

This panel is a must for any fellow geek bloggers. It boasts Tony B Kim (Crazy 4 Comic Con), Megan Gotch (The Nerdy Girlie), Leonard Sultana (An Englishman In San Diego), and Alyssa Franks (Friends Of CCI), who will all discuss their blogs and how to succeed as a geek blogger. All of these lovely people are on my Comic-Con Twitter list, which I mentioned in my previous Comic-Con tip post last week. I expect it to be super informative and fun and a welcome beginning to my second Comic-Con.

10:45 am – The Autobiography of James T. Kirk, Ballroom 20

A definite  must see for all of you Trekkies out there. Personally, I am more a fan of The Next Generation because I grew up with it, but I still enjoy the original series too. This panel is a pretty ridiculous concept since Kirk is a fictional character, but William Shatner will be there reading from the actual book that’s debuting at Comic-Con. Since Family Guy’s former EP is going to moderate, I have to wonder if fans are going to be treated to another Rocketman-esque performance. Get in line at least 2-3 hours ahead for this one.

12:00 pm – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, Hall H

Ok, so this is a Hall H panel, which means count your lucky stars if you really want to get into this one. As you may know, people will camp out the night before just to ensure their seat in Hall H all day since they don’t clear the room. If you’re a die-hard Hunger Games or J-Law fan, be sure to pre-plan hardcore. You might get lucky if you get in line 3-4 hours ahead, but it will all depend on how many fanboys and girls are already in line when you get there. The hall holds approximately 6,500 people. I may actually get in line for Hall H around 11 am mainly because of the later panels I want to see in there.

12:30 pm – Return to Gravity Falls, 6A

If I give up on my Hall H idea for Thursday, I will end up at this panel for sure. Gravity Falls is one of the best cartoons on TV right now. I went to this panel last year and it was one of the highlights of my con experience. Alex Hirsch is so damn entertaining. He had a puppet of Old Man McGucket that he acted out a scene with and a few of the other main voice actors were there as well. They even had a few small swag items for everyone. If I do go, I’ll have to make sure I’m done with Season 2 since they’ll be talking about the ending.

1:00 pm – Science Channel: Raiders, Raptors, and Rebels: Behind the Magic of ILM, 25ABC

This panel sounds pretty amazing. You’ll get to see Behind the Scenes stuff for Industrial Light and Magic’s work on some of George Lucas’ biggest blockbusters. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, just think about the visual effects in Star Wars or Jurassic Park. Now you’re interested right?! They’re promising surprise guests and a huge giveaway, so this is definitely something you should consider attending.

2:15 pm – Doctor Who: BBC America’s Official Panel, Hall H

My boyfriend and I are huge Doctor Who fans so I was super excited to see this panel was happening. He was super stoked to see the Master as Missy this past season and Michelle Gomez, the actress who plays her, will be there along with Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman. While Capaldi isn’t my favorite doctor (I’d much rather see David Tennant), this is still one of my top choices for Thursday’s schedule. This is probably going to be the most popular panel of the day, however, so like I said before, I’d get in line by 11 am or earlier.

3:45 – Sherlock, Ballroom 20

I’m a fan of Sherlock, but this panel is a maybe for me. I’d be completely on board if Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman were going to be there, but they haven’t been announced as of right now. It might be worth it just to hear Steven Moffat speak about his work, but I have a feeling this panel is going to be largely overshadowed by the Doctor Who one. It might make it easier to get in though, who knows?

5:00 – Spotlight on Jhonen Vasquez, 32AB

Squee! Johnny! Invader Zim! OMG I am so excited for this panel! My high school years were filled with Jhonen Vasquez comics and cartoons and I’ve always wanted to meet him in person. I’m hoping there will be a subsequent signing as well. The focus of the panel will mainly be Johnny the Homicidal Maniac so I’m hoping that means there is some news like maybe a Johnny movie??

6:00 – Her Universe Fashion Show

I only caught the very end of this last year and regretted it sorely. Upcoming fashion designers submit designs, and upon acceptance get to actually build their outfits, which are based off a cosplay or an existing franchise. The winner gets to design a collection with Her Universe and Hot Topic! Personally, I am rooting for Leetal Platt to win. She’s an amazing designer and just won both The Jury Prize and Best in Show at her FIDM debut this year. Check out her amazing collection.

7:00 – E-textiles and Cosplay: Learn to Sew a Working Light Circuit, 30CDE

I’ve actually seen this workshop listed before at other conventions and around Los Angeles and have always wanted to do it. I’m not big on cosplay, but I’m down for anything related to lighting and learning a new skill. You even get to hand sew and take home a working light circuit. Pretty sweet!

8:00 – Son of Name That Movie – Room 9

This panel is actually kind of a game show format where you can get randomly picked to play. They choose a bunch of movie clips for you and you have to name as many as possible. I feel like I would be pretty good at this, but it’s hard to think that quickly under pressure. Nevertheless, it seems like it would be entertaining to at least watch, but there will be prizes for 1st-4th place winners.

9:00 – Spirited Away Screening – Horton Grand Theatre

This sounds like the perfect way to unwind on your first night of Comic-Con. One of Studio Ghibli’s biggest films will be screening along with the lure of trivia and prizes. It’s hosted by Her Universe and Hot Topic, so be sure to dress your best.

FRIDAY JULY 10

10:00 am – The 16th Annual Animation Show of Shows – Hall H

A panel solely dedicated to short animated films who are all award winners. The best way to find your new favorite animators or animated character. ‘Nuff said.

11:30 am – Space Command: A Hopeful Future – Central Library

This panel has some amazing people on it including Bob Picardo(!) and focuses on the new sci-fi series with footage and a Q&A with the actors.

12:00 – AMC’s The Walking Dead – Hall H

I’m a bit biased here because I watch the series, but I have a feeling this will be one of the more badass panels for Friday. There’s so much drama and terror happening from episode to episode and the writers always throw in amazing twists.

1:00 – Archie Forever – Room 4

Archie is one of the first comics I ever read. I remember when grocery stores used to carry the Archie and Veronica digests that were on the magazine racks in the checkout lines. This should be a fun panel and attendees get a free gift bag!

2:30 – Game of Thrones – Hall H

One of my favorite shows at the moment. I didn’t get to go to the panel last year but might attempt it this time. They always give great swag bags at this panel. I know last year it was a backpack filled with stuff branded with the “All Men Must Die” graphic with the 3-eyed raven. Worth a shot especially if you’re willing to wait in line overnight.

3:15 – [adult swim]: Robot Chicken – Indigo Ballroom, Hilton Bayfront

I love pretty much everything that Seth Green does so this is sure to be a fun panel. Definitely get there a few hours ahead to get into this one.

4:15 – Bob’s Burgers – Indigo Ballroom, Hilton Bayfront

If you get into the Indigo Ballroom for Robot Chicken, just stay in there til 6 pm. I just started watching Bob’s Burgers, but am already in love with the Belchers. I love Louise, especially because she’s voiced by Kristen Schaal, but Tina is so fantastically weird and awkward. Probably will have a giveaway too.

5:00 – Archer – Indigo Ballroom, Hilton Bayfront

Archer is a fantastically crazy and witty show that is worth your time and a little of your sanity. The line will most likely be long for this one, so like I said before just go to the Indigo Ballroom earlier and stay through this panel. The banter between the cast will be worth it.

6:00 – Starz: Ash v. Evil Dead, 6A

Really quite excited for this show. I loved the Evil Dead movies as a teenager and Bruce Campbell is such a cheeseball. Be forewarned though, it will be pretty gory so don’t bring any kids under 13.

7:00 – World Premiere of Justice League: Gods & Monsters, Ballroom 20

I am a fan of the animated DC shows, especially anything that has Batman in it. This is supposed to be a unique take on some of our favorite Justice League characters, which may prove interesting. Paget Brewster, formerly of Criminal Minds, is voicing Lois Lane so she will be there on the panel to make me squee like a fan girl.

8:00 – Be a Financial Superhero Even if You Aren’t Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark, Room 4

I am always interested in improving my financial situation so this nerdy take on it will surely be useful if you’re like me.

8:30 – Klingon Lifestyles, 6A

A  klingon stage play with Bat’leth battles? Sign me up!

SATURDAY JULY 11

10:00 – Are You Ready Kids?: Nickelodeon’s Spongebob Squarepants, 6A

America’s favorite sponge has his own panel and will surely be entertaining! All the voice actors will be there and there will be a Q&A in addition to trivia and prizes. Take your kiddos if you have some.

10:30 – Temple of Art, 24ABC

I’ve been supporters of these guys since the beginnings of Temple of Art and donated to their Kickstarter campaign. There are some truly great artists involved including the great David Mack.

12:00 – The Simpsons, Ballroom 20

I reeeeaaaallly want to go to this panel, but it will most likely require getting in line pretty early. Nancy Cartwright (my fave Simpson voice actor) will be there and they’ll be talking about the next Treehouse of Horror, which are always some of my favorite episodes!

1:00 – Seth McFarlane’s Animation Block, Ballroom 20

If you’re a fan of animation, stick around Ballroom 20 for this one and check out Seth McFarlane’s shows (American Dad, Family Guy, etc) including a new one called Bordertown!

1:45 – Spotlight on Stan Lee, 6A

The man, the myth, the legend; Stan Lee! Go listen to the wittiest, sharpest 90-something year old comic creator you will ever meet! He is seriously the best.

3:00 – The Muppet Show Coming to ABC, 6A

If you don’t want to see the Muppets, you have no soul.

4:00 – Starz: Outlander, Ballroom 20

I’ve read the first book and seen the first episode and I have to say, I am pretty impressed with the TV show’s adaption. I have a feeling it’s going to be even better than the books. Go for sexy scottish accents and beautiful period drama scenery/costumes.

4:45 – Dark Horse: An Afternoon With Joss Whedon, Hall H

Another no-brainer. Joss Whedon has churned out some of the best cult-favorites i.e. Buffy and Firefly. You’ll get to hear what he’s working on next from the man himself!

6:00 – The Geek Shall Inherit: A Look at the Evolution of Geek Culture, 14A

I might be biased because my friend Dr. Janina Scarlet is on this panel, but you should definitely go to this one. A panel of smart people will be analyzing geek culture and most likely making you feel a lot better about being a geek.

7:00 – Fight Club 2, 5AB

I think everyone needs to be in the same room as Chuck Palahnuik at least once. I’ve seen him twice in person and it’s always a little different or I learn something new about him or his books. Fight Club 2 has been greatly anticipated so here’s your chance to ask all those burning questions you had after you saw the end of the film in 1999. (now you feel old don’t you.)

8:30 – The Character of Music: Classic Horror Special Edition, Room 8

Memorable music pretty much makes or breaks a great horror film. This should be a pretty cool panel with the composers from films like Friday the 13th and Dawn of the Dead.

SUNDAY JULY 12

10:15 – Fantastic Fans and Where to Find Them, 6A

I might also be incredibly biased with this one, but you should definitely get to the convention center on Sunday morning for this panel. My boyfriend, Justin, will be speaking about Harry Potter fandom along with a bunch of other lovely people from The HP Alliance, International Quidditch Association, and others.

11:00 am – Sixty Years of Gumby, 29AB

Gumby is one of the only claymation style animation that I liked growing up. I have a soft spot for the little guy and this panel will have pretty much everyone involved in Gumby ever.

12:30 – American Horror Story and Scream Queens, Hall H

This sounds like a pretty fun panel especially if you’re a fan of horror and American Horror Story in particular. It will probably be a lot easier to get into since Sunday usually has a lot less people.

1:00 – Official Sailor Moon Panel, 6A

If Sailor Moon was as much of a childhood favorite for you as it was for me, you need to go to this panel. They’ll be sharing news about the new Sailor Moon Crystal series and probably have a giveaway or two.

2:15 – Starship Smackdown XV: Battle of the Intergalactic Stars Edition, 6A

My boyfriend is pretty stoked about this one, so if you’re a dude I’d say check it out. Panelists get drunk and talk about which starship would win in a fight. Sounds pretty hilarious to me.

4:00 – Full-time Creative Work on a Part-time Schedule, 24ABC

This is going to be a great panel for all you fellow creatives out there. I dunno about you, but I have a hard time balancing my regular work with my creative projects and making money. Should be useful and they’re giving away a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud.

Even if you can’t make it to all the panels you want, you should definitely check out all the stuff going on in the exhibit hall as well as all the events outside. This site has a bunch of the outside events listed to make your life easier.

Anyway, good luck and happy Comic-Con!

5 Fandom Friday: Fictional Fashion Inspiration

Five Fandom Friday

I love clothes just as much as any woman, but I’ve never considered myself to be particularly fashion conscious. I don’t tend to follow the trends, but I wear what I like and compliments my body type. This week’s 5 Fandom Friday topic focuses on fictional fashion that inspires.

clara oswald impossible girl

1. Clara Oswald (Doctor Who)

I’ve loved the Impossible Girl’s style since we were introduced to her during the 11th doctor’s seasons. The red ensemble pictured above is so simple, but yet so flattering. Most of her looks are preppy, schoolgirl/school teacher, with a bit of a hip flare to them. Clara has had a lot of really great outfits even in the current season with Peter Capaldi. One of my favorites was the 1920s dress from “The Mummy on the Orient Express.” This article from Bustle shows a bunch of her outfits and this one from Radio Times even shows you where to find a similar 1920s dress.

jessica day

2. Jessica Day (New Girl)

Jess actually has a similar style to Clara’s, but is more 1950s teenager meets modern hipster. It’s kinda funny, because they’re both teachers too. I guess I just like that slightly nerdy, preppy look. Jess takes it a step further because of her glasses and quirky personality. Some of my favorite outfits have actually been her pajamas though and luckily there is actually a website called WWZDW that identifies what exactly she is wearing so you can purchase it for yourself. I feel like Zooey Deschanel should just have her own fashion blog already. She is such a style icon in real life. She does have her Hello Giggles site, however, and she did release a line of amazing dresses through Ralph Lauren last year too.

wanda cry baby

3. Wanda Woodward (Cry Baby)

Wanda is a badass bitch and part of an all girl crew called The Drapes in the 1990 John Water’s film Cry Baby. She knows how to work what she has and always looks hot. Again, this is 1950’s style since the movie is a period piece, but Wanda is more pinup than prep. She pairs leather jackets with skin tight dresses for even sexier appeal. Plus her hair is freaking amazing.

dany targaryen

4. Daenerys Targaryen (Game of Thrones)

I think Dany is probably on most female geek girls’ lists. She always looks like a queen and is draped in some kind of long flowing dress. I especially loved the evolution of her dragon dress as she gradually came into her role as Mother of Dragons. Dany looks beautiful in whatever they put her in, but the costume design on Game of Thrones is pretty flawless all the way around.

tonks outfit

5. Nymphadora Tonks (Harry Potter)

Ok, Tonks had to be on my list seeing as I cosplayed as her last year during Comikaze and on Halloween. She is one of my favorite Harry Potter characters and I love the goth-punk style they gave her in the movies. It’s pretty much an exaggerated version of how I used to dress in high school and even now sometimes. Seeing as she is a metamorphmagus too, she can also change her hair and eyes and all that, which gives her a real advantage when choosing outfits.

What fictional style icons inspire you?

San Diego Comic-Con Tips From a Newbie: Who to Follow on Twitter (Tip #2)

In my last post, I focused on What to Bring With You Everyday to Comic-Con, which included your phone charger or extra battery. It’s very likely that you will be constantly on your phone, checking social media and posting to it in addition to the dozens of other activities smartphones can do nowadays. One of the best uses of your phone checking time during Comic-Con is to follow Comic-Con activity on Twitter through the hashtags #SDCC, #SDCC15, and #ComicCon2015. All of the companies who have booths or tables have a Twitter account and will be posting throughout the convention about giveaways, signings, special surprises, sales, and other announcements. This is your way to gain an advantage over other people who may not realize how to find out about these things. Aside from companies posting from their booths, however, you will also find information on the activities going on outside of Comic-Con in the surrounding areas. There are hundreds of simultaneous events happening during Comic-Con and there is always something to do. Additionally, many die-hard fans and convention veterans will also post their own tips or leads on things they’ve found out about, which can be infinitely useful. There are sometimes secret parties that pop-up last minute or random giveaways outside too. Last year I got a sweet Transformers fanny-pack when I was walking towards the Gaslamp District.

But, you may ask, how am I to know who to follow on Twitter to be in the know? Well my dear geeks, I have done most of the work for you already. I created a Twitter list under my account @LianaRosePhoto, with 80+ accounts you should check out during the con to stay in the know. I will be adding to it in the days and weeks to come as we get closer and closer to the week of Comic-Con. Please feel free to subscribe to it, share it with your friends, and tweet me with suggestions. Here’s the list in all it’s glory: https://twitter.com/LianaRosePhoto/lists/comic-con. I’d also love to know who will be there in July so please add me and I will add you back!

Check back next week for another useful tip for navigating Comic-Con as a newbie.

21 Days til Comic-Con!

5 Fandom Friday: Favorite Fictional Fathers

Five Fandom Friday

First of all, can we talk about how the alliteration for this week’s 5 Fandom Friday is ridiculously off the charts?!  So many F words!! Five Fandom Friday: Favorite Fictional Fathers. Say that five times fast!

Anyway, this week’s prompt really made me think, specifically about what makes a good father. It’s Father’s Day next weekend of course and I think it’s important to let your Dad know he’s appreciated if he’s still alive or in your life. Dad’s tend to get a bad rap because of so many cases of neglect or abandonment or even worse stuff, so consider yourself lucky if you’ve got a great Dad who loves you. I’m one of those lucky few and also credit my Dad for my excellent taste in music, TV, film, and books. The fictional dads I chose below are specifically adoring of their daughters and also do everything they can for them, often at great risk to themselves.

Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell

1. Lord Eddard Stark (Game of Thrones)

The Starks in general are loyal and honorable which has made them my favorite house in Game of Thrones. As Lord of Winterfell, Eddard is the pinnacle of morality and wants what’s best for his family and his house. He is a strong and noble leader and a great role model for his children. When Arya and Sansa are at odds with each other, he does whatever he can to help them make peace. He seems particularly fond of Arya, probably because she’s scrappy and tough and is not afraid to completely be herself. Eddard continuously encourages her and even hires a dancing teacher to teach her how to fence properly. He is a loving and supportive father, even to his bastard son, Jon Snow.

Ted Arroway in Contact

2. Ted Arroway (Contact)

Contact was one of my favorite movies as a child. I’ve always been fascinated by aliens and the possibility of life on other planets. I really liked the dynamic between Ted Arroway and his daughter Ellie in Contact. Ted shared his love of astronomy with her, which in turn fostered her own obsession with the stars. Though he died, her love for her father and desire to contact him again drove her ambition. The love of her father inspired Ellie’s whole life’s work.

beauty-and-beast-belle-father-dungeon

3. Maurice (Beauty & the Beast)

Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney movie and is one of the few where the main character’s father is actually around still. Belle and her father Maurice share a loving relationship where they both accept each other for who they are. Belle believes in her father and his inventions despite what everyone else thinks. She loves him so much she even sacrifices herself in order to save him so he can be free. Maurice in turn does everything he can to try and convince the townspeople that a beast really does live in the castle and is holding Belle. He becomes quite literally sick with worry over the thought of what the beast might be doing to her. Maurice is such a lovely character, we’re not only rooting for Belle and the beast to fall in love, but for Belle to be reunited with her father again.

danny tanner

4. Danny Tanner (Full House)

Danny Tanner is a widower who is left with three young girls to take care of. With the help of his brother-in-law Jesse, and best friend Joey, he manages to take care of and provide for his children. Danny was a good dad because he always tried to instill good habits and morals for his girls. He disciplined them sure, but always with love and in a manner that taught them a valuable lesson. Even without a mom for the girls, he always made sure they felt like one big happy family.

Jean Valjean - Hugh Jackman

5. Jean Valjean (Les Miserables)

Les Mis is truly one of the saddest and most beautiful musicals in existence. It also has one of the most powerfully moving father-daughter relationships I’ve ever come across. Jean Val Jean becomes a changed man when he adopts Cosette, and the most important thing in the world to him is her happiness. She is everything to him and he would do anything for her and to protect her. Even though he is wary of Marius, because he’s afraid Marius will take her away from him, he still does everything he can to ensure his safety because Cosette loves him. Just one listen to “Bring Him Home,” and you’ll understand how much this guy loves his daughter.

So what do you think? Yay or nay on these Dads? Who would you choose?

The Artist’s Way: First Artist Date of the Year

The Artist's Way bookI

When I first moved to Los Angeles, I had a hard time finding work and getting out on my own. I was depressed a lot of the time and often complained to my parents about how I felt blocked creatively. My Dad then sent me his copy of The Artist’s Way in order to nudge me along in gradually becoming unblocked. I began to do the weekly assignments, morning pages, and artist dates and finally found a semi-full time job that allowed me to move out of my aunt’s house and into an apartment with my boyfriend. However, I stopped doing the work and never completed all 12 chapters/steps of the program. Now I find myself in a similar situation and am once again turning to The Artist’s Way for support.

After committing to doing the morning pages about two weeks ago, I finally went on my first artist date yesterday. Btw, an artist date is a date you take yourself on in order to inspire and stimulate your creativity. So, I had a few books and DVDs I wanted to trade-in for some cash and decided to take myself on over to Amoeba Records in Hollywood. It’s one of my favorite places to spend time just browsing and I always have a great experience when I go. They ended up taking all six items I had, and gave me $1 for each so I came out with $6. It was certainly better than getting nothing at all for them. I had also decided that I would use all the money that I got from selling my boyfriend and I’s things for our trip to Comic-Con next month so we could have spending money for merch and food.

I also had a $4 credit from a previous trade-in so I decided to browse around for a while and see if I could find something good to take home with me. I don’t really use CDs anymore so I headed over to the used rock record section. I must have spent two whole hours going through the endless racks of old records looking for something that caught my eye and was under $4. While I was browsing I discovered that a band was sound checking at the stage they have in the middle of the store. I found out that the electronic band, Miami Horror was going to be playing a free show. I’ve heard of them, but wasn’t really familiar with their music so I was stoked to be able to watch them perform.

Miami Horror at Amoeba Records

 

While I watched Miami Horror I munched on the dark chocolate covered pretzels I bought at the Godiva store earlier when I was at the mall. Chocolate covered pretzels are one of my favorite snacks and Godiva’s are especially good. There’s nothing better than chocolate and good music.

Godiva Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzels - Yum!

 

After going back and forth between a few records and even some cassette tapes. I finally settled on an Armenian dance LP for $1 and Crystal Antlers – Nothing is Real LP for $2.99. I was pretty shocked to find that Crystal Antlers record for so cheap. It was in one of the bins under the main stacks and was double wrapped. When I unwrapped it at home, I saw the original price sticker was still on there: $14.99! So score one for me, yay!

Records from Amoeba Artist Date

 

I really enjoyed this artist date because I felt like things just came together for me to make it a special and memorable experience. It definitely made me excited to make my artist dates spontaneous and free-spirited. Tune in next week to see where I go next!

 

San Diego Comic-Con Tips From a Newbie – What to Bring With You Everyday (Tip #1)

I cannot believe it, but we’re already only 29 days out from San Diego Comic-Con! This will be my 2nd year attending and I am beyond excited! Last year was pretty intense for me as a newbie and I admit being a little overwhelmed by everything, especially because I was there by myself for the first two days. This year I am taking a more relaxed approach, but will still prepare as much as I can. I am putting together a series of tips that will help if you’re a newbie or a seasoned vet who is open to ways you can improve your experience! Here’s tip #1:

What To Bring With You Everyday

  • A backpack – This should be a pretty good size, but not too bulky especially if your car isn’t nearby or you’re not staying within walking distance from the convention center. Make sure it’s comfortable on your back and has adjustable straps. I made the mistake of using the bag they give you on the floor, and my back was in pain by the second day.
  • Earplugs – Ok, you may not realize it, but the convention floor is noisy! There are thousands of people walking around talking to each other, music blaring, booths playing video clips or doing some sort of demo, announcements, etc. It can be really overwhelming especially if you’re an anxious person already. Earplugs can cancel out most of that noise and allow you to focus on yourself and your breathing so you don’t freak out like I did, lol. Earplugs are also great at night in the hotels when you’re trying to sleep!
  • A plastic water bottle – Ok believe me, I am all for reducing water bottle waste in landfills, but this is one time when I refuse to use a refillable water bottle from the store. Last year I brought my metal water bottle with me and it added so much weight to my backpack. You’ll be much better off just buying a normal sized water from the store and refilling it at a water fountain throughout the day because it hardly weighs anything even with 16 oz of water in it.
  • A good camera – Unless you’re a cosplay photographer or photojournalist, I don’t really recommend carrying around a heavy DSLR with multiple lenses everywhere. However, whatever comes to mind when I say “good camera,” bring it. It can be your iPhone or a consumer grade DSLR or a small point and shoot. There is just so much happening that you are going to want a good camera, especially if you plan to blog about your experience. A good camera is great too for those random celebrity sitings (I saw Kyle Gass from Tenacious D last year!). Don’t forget your charger, extra batteries, and memory cards too!
  • Business cards – Comic-Con is great for networking if you’re in the biz or want to be. You never know who you might meet! Last year I met a cameraman for IGN at a bar in the Gaslamp District, many bloggers and cosplayers, and a wide variety of people from all over the world. Don’t be afraid to talk to people and promote yourself a bit!
  • Snacks – OK this one may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how little time you have to gather snacks together during a con. Buy all your snacks the day of preview night so you’re all stocked up for the week. Be sure to bring stuff high in protein and complex carbs. The best snacks are fruit, cut up veggies (with dip if you have a container to keep it in), protein or granola bars, nuts, sandwiches, hard boiled eggs, cheese sticks, and beef jerky. These will keep you feeling full and give you the energy you need to walk multiple miles every day during the convention.
  • Your badge – Duh! But seriously don’t forget it! You’ll need it to get into special outside events as well as the actual convention center.
  • Phone charger or extra battery – Chances are you’ll be checking your phone a lot at Comic-Con. Using the official Comic-Con app, following the #SDCC tag on Twitter, posting photos to Instagram and status updates to Facebook, texting your friends, listening to music while you wait in 2+ hour lines. Your phone will most likely die before the end of the day so make sure you have a way to charge it.
  • Sharpie  or pen – To jot down notes, doodle while you’re bored, or for spur of the moment celebrity encounters or sightings.
  • Sunglasses – Cause July in San Diego is hot and sunny (for the most part) and some of the panel lines start outdoors.
  • Poster Tube – This is something I was lacking last year and really wish I had. There are so many free posters during conventions and the best way to keep them looking good is in a poster tube. The Nerdy Girlie mentioned she made one out of a wrapping paper tube. The FOX booth also usually gives them away at the start of each day.
  • Handheld mirror – Especially useful if you’re cosplaying. For checking your hair and makeup before a photo is taken, and there will be lots of photos taken!
  • Light sweater or hoodie – The convention center can get cold and the weather does get cooler at night in San Diego because it’s right on the water. Layering is a good idea so you can take off and put on as needed.
  • Comfy shoes – Cannot stress this one enough. You’ll be doing so much walking. The convention center has 2.6 million sq. ft. of facilities and outside events extend a couple miles from that in every direction.

What else am I missing? What are your must haves for Comic-Con this year?

5 Fandom Friday – Comic Book Characters Who Should Have Their Own TV Show/Movie

Five Fandom Friday

I love love love this week’s writing prompt for 5 Fandom Friday! There are a few comic book characters I have always wanted to see on the big screen (or small screen for that matter).

Anarky by DC Comics

1. Anarky (DC Comics)

Update: Check out my essay on Why Batman’s Anarky is More Relevant Than Ever.

Number one on my list has always been Anarky. I highly recommend checking him out via the graphic novel Batman: Anarky. He is one of the few comic book villains I actually feel has a just cause for doing what he does. He fights for the oppressed and wants to liberate the masses. The only thing that prevents him from being classified as a hero rather than a villain, is that he takes an extremist point of view that ultimately makes him no better than those he is trying to take down. He is quite similar to V from V for Vendetta except that he has extremely high intelligence and is just a child when he starts his vigilantism. I would love to see a film featuring Anarky especially considering the political climate as of late! Take note DC!!

Storm from Marvel's X-Men

2. Storm (Marvel)

One of my favorite female comic book heroes, Storm, is a badass and deserves her own spinoff film from the X-men movies. Of all the mutant’s powers, hers would be the ones I’d want to have. I like to think of Storm as a kind of mutant witch because she can control the weather and the energy of living things. I also love the fact that she’s a leader and has lead both the X-Men in Cyclops absence in addition to the underground Morlocks group. There’s actually a whole graphic novel about Storm’s involvement with the Morlocks called X-Men: Storm. I actually really hope to see the Morlocks in the next X-Men film. It is possible since the next film has Apocalypse and the Morlocks didn’t want to join Apocalypse and so were experimented on.

Johnny the Homicidal Maniac

3. Johnny the Homicidal Maniac (Slave Labor Graphics)

Oh my dear, dear Nny. How I love thee. Johnny the Homicidal Maniac helped me get through some tough times in high school. His murderous rampages were an outlet for many a teenage angst that sometimes ventured into theoretical homicidal territory. True Johnny was pretty messed up, but his insights into people and life in general were actually quite poignant, albeit sad too. He was depressed a lot of the time, but his depression made me feel not as alone in mine. I also loved his delusions like the Psycho Doughboys and Nail Bunny. Johnen Vasquez who is the writer/illustrator of JTHM is also the creator of Invader Zim, so it’s not so far-fetched to hope for a Johnny cartoon sometime in the future. The Director’s Cut graphic novel was out of print for a while, but it’s available again on Amazon! I highly recommend it. I have the paperback version, but often consider getting the pretty hardcover version too.

Transmetropolitan Lust for Life

4. Spider Jerusalem (Vertigo)

I’m actually hoping for a series of Transmetropolitan movies or a TV show, so Spider Jerusalem would obviously be featured. If you haven’t read the Transmetropolitan series yet, I suggest you get your bum over to Amazon right now and pre-order the new collection, called Absolute Transmetropolitan, that’s coming out in a few weeks. Spider is actually based on writer Hunter S. Thompson. He lives in a cyber-punk universe complete with genetically modified humans who take traits from animals and other creatures, to tyrannical presidents, and crazed religious cults. Spider is just as doped up as the real Thompson, but also has two female sidekicks named Yelena and Channon. They all have a sort of love-hate relationship, but I think that’s pretty reasonable considering the times they live in. I’m always a fan of 1984-esque stories and this is by far one of the best ones out there.

Harley Quinn

5. Harley Quinn (DC Comics)

I feel like this is a no brainer considering how many Harley Quinns I see at conventions every year. Perhaps she’ll get her own film after The Suicide Squad is released, but that’s pending its’ questionable success. There really hasn’t been a whole lot of back story  on Harley Quinn, although I hear The New 52 does cover some of it in her feature issues. It’s quite surprising to me considering she’s sometimes referred to as the female Deadpool or even the Deadpool of the DC Universe. My only qualm is that a lot of people still consider her to just be the Joker’s girlfriend, when she is so much more than that. I think that says a lot about her co-dependency on Joker, which a lot of people can relate to. Personally I would love to delve more into her psyche and how humor became such a large part of her persona.

*Please note some of the links included in this post are Amazon affiliate links. If you do make a purchase via these links I  receive a small amount of compensation. A girl’s gotta eat, but I assure you these are all hand-picked products that I personally recommend!

My blog was nominated for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award!

I was very pleased to find out yesterday that my blog was nominated for The Dragon’s Loyalty Award by Travelling In My Bookcase, a fellow tabletop gamer and avid book reading blogger! Thank you my dear!

Dragon's Loyalty Award

The Dragon’s Loyalty Award is an award for the loyal fan/commenter, whether the recipient is a fellow blogger or just someone who follows and comments regularly. 

The rules for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award are:

1. Visit and thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Acknowledge that blogger on your blog and a link back.
3. You must share  7  things other bloggers may not know about you.
4. Nominate up to  15  bloggers for Dragon’s Loyalty Award, provide a link to their blogs in your post, and notify them on their blogs.
5. Copy and paste the award somewhere on your blog.

So my dear readers, here are seven juicy things you may not know about me:

1. I have absolutely no tattoos, but have 9 ear piercings and my nose is pierced. I usually only wear earrings in about 4 of the 9 ear piercings and have a tiny silver star in my nose at all times.

2. I don’t remember my first kiss or who it was with. I’m not sure what that says about me, but I guess it wasn’t very memorable. Oh well!

3. I named my first cat Sherlock after Sherlock Holmes…when I was six. My Dad was an English teacher and I loved the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. I’m still very much into mystery and am definitely a fan of the BBC series with Benedict Cumberbatch.

4. I really, really dislike and am kind of afraid of kangaroos. I get that it’s pretty much an irrational fear, but not if I came across one in the Australian outback! I think it’s their giant legs and tiny arms. It’s like a miniature T-Rex without the giant teeth and aggression. Plus what’s with their pouchy thing and their 3 VAGINAS?! Come on now…I can barely handle having one.

5. My first nerdy love was probably reading, followed by Star Trek: TNG. I am lucky and have highly educated parents with good taste.

6. I had a phase in high school where I was obsessed with Tinkerbell. I started a band with some friends and we called ourselves Tink & The Lost Boys.

7. If there were no health repercussions from it, I would eat pizza every single day. The more toppings the better.

Ok, so I have to nominate a bunch of people now. You’re all so awesome though!

1. The Nerds of Color
2. Metal and the Geek
3. Schtick & Substance
4. Giirl Gone Geek
5. Rebekka Lien
6. The Belle Jar
7. You Fancy Me Mad
8. De Pepi
9. How to Fan Girl
10. Geek and Prosper

Now be off and spread the love with more of your fellow bloggers! ❤

Countdown to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Hollywood

If you know me at all or have been following along with this blog, you probably know how much I love Harry Potter. You can imagine my excitement then when I received an email entitled “The Countdown to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has begun!” Although Universal didn’t give an exact date, they’ve stated the WWoHP will open in Spring of 2016. So for those of us who really will be counting down, that’s potentially 9-10 months away!!! Or 303 days. Or 7,272 hours…You know. If we’re really counting…

While I have already been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando (before they built the add-ons with Diagon Alley and all that), I am still beyond excited to have Hogwarts practically in my backyard! Universal Hollywood is only 5 miles from me and I can see the construction driving down one of the main streets in Burbank!! I’m going to start saving up for a season pass because lord knows they’re going to jack up their prices once the WWoHP opens.

Here’s the official video released by Universal today at the IPW tradeshow in Orlando.

Btw, Quidditch inspired 3D goggle glasses?! I know I won’t be the only one who tries to pocket those…

Are you as excited as I am for more Harry Potter theme parks??