When you fall in love with a television show, you cannot predict its longevity in the pop culture consciousness. Its lifespan depends on the next generation. What parts of your pop culture will resonate with them and thus persevere? That matters to nerds like me. But no one can predict what the next generation holds on to.
As I enter my forties, I’m starting to see answers in the teenagers around me. My son’s friend showed up for a party wearing a Nirvana shirt. I made a mental note. Nirvana made the cut. One day last June, I picked up my nephew from high school. He got into my car and realized Biggie’s Juicy was playing.
“Auntie, how are you gonna be playing Biggie on Tupac’s birthday?”
Touché, young man. Touché. But for every Biggie and Tupac, a hundred more artists I love have been relegated to the dustbin of pop culture history. The same is true of TV shows. My love of Star Trek has been richly rewarded. Star Trek is a juggernaut of merchandise, spinoffs, movies, and documentaries. That means the fandom regenerates like a time traveling alien with two hearts. I get to connect with others who understand what that show and those characters mean to me. Other shows I am devoted to haven't endured in the same way. But one incredibly pleasant surprise has been the staying power of the little cult show that could: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I could fill a novel with the reasons I love Buffy.
Buffy was a hero. She had a heart as big as a the Rocky Mountains. Sometimes she suffered. Sometimes she gave up. She even fucked up. It didn’t diminish her or her value. It didn’t change what she was capable of. And she always found a reserve of hope. The humanist values, the family you choose, it all hit me where I lived. And guess what? The people who understood and loved Buffy, understood me. Buffy ended, but has remained an important part of my life.
Twenty years later, I watch Buffy. I read Buffy. I buy Buffy fanart. I make friends because of Buffy. Buffy still determines what new shows I will watch. I follow writers from Buffy-and its spinoff Angel-throughout their careers, because I know they tell stories that resonate with me. That is how I found Supernatural, which is where I continue to connect with people around Buffy. In my Supernatural fan group on Facebook, we maintain photo albums of every Buffy alum that has appeared on Supernatural. We have a files section that lists Buffy/Supernatural crossover fan fiction. Buffy fans created our own subculture within the Supernatural fandom where we connect with people who love the same stories and characters that we do.
Then I discovered Wynonna Earp, and the ante was upped. I watched Wynonna Earp because of an article where the creator of the television show, Emily Andras, talked about her Buffy influences. So I gave the show a try. I immediately saw Buffy’s –and Supernatural's’--fingerprints everywhere. But Wynonna Earp progresses beyond Buffy and Supernatural in a few important aspects. One is LGBT representation. A main character (not a dead side character) is in a same sex relationship. That relationship is complex, three dimensional, and fully recognized. The cast embraces their opportunity to represent LGBT characters in a positive light, and attends LGBT fan conventions. (Raises eyebrows across the room at my SPNFamily) Secondly, Wynonna Earp reflects a more modern and evolved understanding of feminism. Wynonna is not shamed or punished for her sexual choices by anyone. The men in her life fully understand that they do not own her, even when they are attracted to her. (Sit down, Xander) The male characters--such as the love of my life, Deputy Marshall Xavier Dolls--are fully formed, secure badasses in their own rights and are not threatened by her strength and fire. In fact they thrive on it. So hey, add in all the kicking demon ass, rollicking fight scenes, hilarious one liners, and fabulous cast, and I was all in on Wynonna Earp. I followed/joined/signed up for everything Wynonna Earp fan related. I found a creative, inclusive, welcoming community.
But it got even better, and even Buffy-ier. A few Wynonna Earp fans (called Earpers) launched a #BuffyEarpers initiative. I assumed it was just a hashtag with some clever, adorable accompanying fan art. But #BuffyEarpers is an initiative by Buffy fans within the Earper community where they share their love of Buffy with each other, and with the uninitiated. It has art, merchandise, watch parties, social media accounts, live tweets, and a podcast. Throw all of those ingredients into a bowl and pour in a heaping helping of pure fangirl (and boy and nonbinary) love and devotion. I listened to the premiere episode of the BuffyEarper podcast last week. The episode opened with the Buffy theme song and I found myself in tears. It dawned on me that some part of this initiative involved Buffy fans in my generation sharing the show with a younger generation. I find that touching. I have zero time or energy for people who slag off the younger generation. Secondly, that means my show offers something of value to the next generation, who will bring even more creative energy and connection to the community. I don’t ever have to say goodbye to my fandom.
Just to put this in perspective to the younger ones, in the 80’s and early 90’s, when something was over, it was over. Did your family move to a different state? You aren’t ever seeing those friends again. I hope you said goodbye. Did you lose a phone number? A recipe? Google doesn’t exist, bitch, it’s over. That set of encyclopedias isn’t gonna help you. The same with shows. When your shows were over. They were OVER. And you didn’t have a fandom to sustain you because you didn’t have the internet. If your siblings or hometown friends didn’t like a show, tough titties. If they thought drawing blueprints of the Starship Enterprise and learning Klingon was fucking weird, or that wanting to be called Galadriel was childish, well you were up shit creek without a paddle. You got to be the social leper reading dragon books in the back of the bus. (Ahem.) So it wasn’t just that your show that was gone. Your point of connection was gone. Your validation that you were not alone disappeared. Buffy was just on that cusp where the fans and creators were pioneering online communities and fan meetups. But I didn’t have a computer. How was I gonna afford that? I wasn’t Scrooge McDuck.
But of course, things changed. Remember those long lost childhood friends? THEY. ALL. FOUND. YOU. ON. FACEBOOK. Oh, hey Devin from 2nd grade, you still exist. Laptops became common. Starbucks, your local library, and maybe your entire city got Wi-Fi. We used the internet to build entire communities along fandoms instead of along geography. Frankly, the latter leaves much to be desired when you are a kid that doesn't quite fit in the box. New generations of fans were born and found each other. Comic Con became a worldwide sensation. And the best part? Some of the things you loved the most, but thought you had to say goodbye to, just. Kept. Coming back. And in that moment, listening to the #BuffyEarper podcast, I realized that even though Buffy may not be the massive phenomenon of a Star Trek or Star Wars, she isn’t going anywhere. Not only is my generation of fans still devoted to the little show that could, we are sharing it with the next generation of fans, who are falling in love too. And they are breathing new life into the fandom. We are going to be here, regardless of whether there are remakes, reboots, and regardless of whether they turn out to be any good. Given the uncommon resilience of Buffy herself, I suppose it is fitting.
Buffy Lives, indeed.
Humans are weird creatures. Some of us are loud and combative while some of us are soft spoken and passive. We are all different and that is great. It makes the world a more interesting place to live in. Sometimes we don’t know how to deal with the actions of others or situations that our environment have put us in. Instead of making changes and doing big thangs, a lot of us put our heads in the sand and bemoan our fate. I am guilty of this quite often. There is a saying that is attributed to several different people; Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Sometimes it is hard to make that first step to change. This is why I am writing this. A change will do you good, as it sort of did me. Here are the steps I follow and questions I ask myself when I am truly unhappy with something for the examples, I am talking about my former job.
1) What exactly is making me unhappy?
When I first started my old job, I was ecstatic. I had been out of work for two years, and before that, nothing I truly did was IT. This job promised to change that. I learned a lot, and as time went on, things were becoming old hat. By two years in, I had surpassed my current job position. But there was no where for me to go. Remembering the arduous job hunt from two years prior, and how hard it was to get this job, I floundered. I stayed miserable far longer than I should, telling myself that I should be grateful to have a job.
What I didn’t realize was that in two years the game had changed. I was a big fish in a rapidly shrinking pond at my job. I wasn’t learning anything new, and I wasn’t going to be allowed to pursue the career path that I wanted to in IT in this job. Another thing I did not realize was that yes, my job hunt was difficult prior but I had nowhere near the skills or the resume that I did now.
2) Is there anyway I can become happier in my current position (current relationship, etc.)?
The straw that broke the camel’s back as far as my old job went was the very last review I had there. My boss gave me a glowing review. He was happy with all aspects of work that I was doing. During the portion of the review where he asked if I had any questions, I asked “Is there anyway that I could get promoted with job title and pay?” I was straight up told no. My old department ran incredibly lean. There was no place for me to go, and my boss wasn’t even trying to keep me. This was going to continue to be a miserable place for me as long as I stayed there. It was time for me to go.
3) Where to boss?
This is rough. You need to sit down and think what do you want out of your next situation. For me, I wanted a place that once again I would grow with. I learned so much from my old job. It made me more than a tech: I am an IT professional in all aspects of the word. I don’t just look at the problem and figure out how to solve it. I look at all aspects of a situation to prevent the issue from cropping up again. I wanted a place that would help me onto the track that I wanted to be on. I knew my end goal was to become a DBA. I knew I was not at that stage in my career at all. I wanted some place that would put me on the right track.
4) Let’s do this!
I knew what I wanted, I was ready to hunt. Dozens of resumes were sent out, interviews were given. For the first time in my life interviews didn’t phase me. I have all of the soft skills that IT people are always pushing. I have the technical skills as well. Why should I work for you? Tell me about your company. The interviews never felt one sided. We were testing each other out. Are you a good fit for me? I already know I am a great fit for you. Eventually I happened upon a company that is a great fit for me.
So that is where I am at now. The company I am currently at is as enthusiastic about me as I am about them. My department is another story. There is a lot of things going on that make me doubt who I am and what I am trying to become. It is dragging me down quite often. I am not in tears like I was at the end of my last job, but I am slowly losing steam. So I started looking at my list of questions again. I am on question #2. There is a way for me to become happier. and I am working on it. If you have a full time career a lot of your time is going to be spent doing this job. While it should not be the end all be all of your happiness, if you are able to you should at least not want to huddle under your bed crying when it is time to go to work. I recently took a step that should change how I feel about everything and continue me on my path to who and what I want to be.
What do you do when you are unhappy with a current situation? How do you handle it?
This year I thought that I would check out the Second Annual Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con. We went last Sunday for family day. We thought that it would be a good idea, since my eldest nephew would probably love it. Being able to dress up around other people who are also dressed up and celebrate his favorite superheroes, heaven for the kid. It did not disappoint the little guy or his baby brother either. The con is clearly growing and while it may not be as big as some of the others in the country, I truly believe it will be bigger next year. It certainly was busting at the seams on Sunday. My only complaint was that it was too cramped, but honestly, the con probably didn’t know what to expect as far as a turnout. Since that is my only complaint, it really isn’t that terrible. I would have had lots of pictures for you showing the different displays and costumes that I saw, but my camera kind of punked out on me. I apologize for that. Next year, I will be better prepared. There was tons of Cosplayers, which is pretty essential for these kinds of events. What made me even happier was that there were tons of kids that were dressed up as well. This is was my first ever comic con experience, and I had fun. I loved seeing all of the kids dressed up, many making their own costumes. One of the most adorable of these costumes was one nine year-old boy made his own Doctor Octopus costume with an adult dress shirt hemmed at the bottom to look like a lab coat and duct tape and tubing that created the metallic arms coming out of the back. It was a solid little costume. Another kid that sat down at our table as we were getting ready to leave from lunch actually made what looked like a silver Boba Fett costume. If that is not Boba Fett, I apologize to the Star Wars community, I really only know the movies, so anything outside of that I am at a loss. Regardless, the twelve year-old craftsmanship was very impressive. He actually molded pieces of some kind of light metal or plastic sprayed to look like metal. My eldest nephew got really excited when he sat down with us and asked him to take his picture with him. There were plenty of adults with some impressive costumes as well. I saw a really good Elsa that was walking around with none other than Jesus, who I think was supposed to be Buddy Christ from Dogma. That was a fun conversation with some of my friends a couple of days later when we were talking about the costumes we saw. My friend hasn’t seen Frozen yet and she was trying to describe the Elsa costume and confirm if that was the one that I was talking about. My next question came out as “Was she with Jesus?” That made us both pause and crack up, because I really just said that. I saw an Anna as well that was so good, that homegirl would probably get kicked out of Disneyland just like that Tinkerbell cosplayer did. One costume created a spontaneous nerd moment in the middle of the con that made me smile. This man had a self-made Predator costume and was walking around the con when a ten year-old boy freaked out and grabbed him excitedly for a picture because he was carrying around an Alien mask. The predator guy gave him a high five and they took the picture. This brings me to my favorite part about this entire con experience, enjoying it with my nephews. My youngest nephew is about nineteen months old, and doesn’t really know what’s going on around him, but was happy to be there. He had fun, but not to the extent that his five year-old brother did. My eldest nephew is a Captain America and Transformers junkie. He insists that his real name is Optimus Prime and actually has begun to introduce himself as such to people, bless him. This kid had a blast! He of course went as his favorite superhero, Captain America. All he wanted before we went in was to get his picture with Captain America. Knowing that there was probably going to be someone there that was dressed up Captain America, I knew we could make this happen. His mind got blown however by all of the characters he did get to see. He started screaming for joy when he heard over the intercom that Iron Man was there. Now he had to get a picture with Iron Man. He as was just thrilled. If anyone reading this was at the con and dressed up, please let me take the moment to thank you. Everyone at this con was kind and considerate and just as excited as my nephew when it came to him asking for pictures. Everyone was fantastically awesome and dropped into to character at the drop of a hat. They always called my nephew Captain America or Steve when addressing him, which made his day. That is nerd love from the community that just wants to support each other’s passions. I was so floored by this reception all around, and it wasn’t just with my nephew, it was with all of the children there for family day. Thank you all for making such a special memory for this little guy. His little brother even got pulled for pictures, since he was dressed up as Cap’s sidekick, Bucky. This was an absolutely fantastic experience, and I can’t wait for next year. A little side note of nerd humor. My brother took my nephew to the bathroom while we had taken a break to eat. I was still sitting at the table waiting on them and could see the entrance of the bathrooms. After a bit, I see this kid about the same age as my nephew come skipping out of the bathroom dressed as the Winter Soldier. As I was started to think what a fun picture that would be for my nephew to take, here he comes skipping and bouncing right after him. I fell out because it looked like Captain America just chased the Winter Soldier out the bathroom. When my brother and nephew came back over, I told my brother what I saw. Apparently their story started in the bathroom. My nephew approached the other kid and told him that he was my nephew’s enemy. The other kid just growled back at him before turning to skip out, which prompted my nephew to follow. You have to love the babies. They are adorable.
Since moving to Las Vegas, I have really embraced my nerd side where my clothing is concerned. I still consider myself a newbie when it comes to shopping around on the internet. I have found a couple of stores that I truly enjoy and wanted to share with you.
We Love Fine
This is a fantastic store full of T-shirts and other goods with original art work made by fans. I have bought several shirts from here and usually stare in lust at many others as I browse the site. The shirts are exceptional quality. I have been a customer for two years now, and even my very first shirts are still in great condition. The prints still show no sign of wear, and the shirt quality is sturdy and extremely soft. They have a variety of different fandoms from Marvel to Doctor Who. In the last two years they have grown larger and have expanded their rights on many more franchises. The only drawback I have seen with them is that not all of their shirts and art are on permanent contracts with the site. Because some artists are temporary, the shirts are not always guaranteed to be there when you come back for them. I learned this lesson the hard way with some epic Sailor Moon tees they had at one time and were never to be seen again. I still mourn those tees.
Interesting concept for this site. Two shirts, 24 hours. That’s all you get to buy a particular shirt. Every day there are new art concepts. The site allows you to create a profile to select your interests, and then you will receive emails about the featured shirts that fall into those categories. The fandom is vast on the site, so at some point one of your favorites will pop up in your email to attract your attention and your hard earned money. I have found some fantastic Supernatural t-shirts from here.
Same thing as Ript Apparel, but Canadian. In some opinions, that might actually make it better.
This store works muck like We Love Fine and is just as great. It has tons of Doctor Who and Firefly tees. I am personally salivating over a Sleeping Beauty and Doctor Who crossover tee. It is a fabulous thing, when my nerdy worlds collide.
I am clearly a novice when it comes to this stuff. I encourage you to share some of your favorite online stores for nerdy gear. Also if there is some store out there that you would recommend that I stay away from, that information is just as helpful too.
It’s an understatement saying that parenting isn’t easy these days. Sharing the things we loved as a kid with children just isn’t as simple. Sometimes our excitement for sharing these things that we loved when we were younger overshadows our judgment for what the children may and may not be ready for. The littlest kids are always the hardest to share with. While they may not always be able to determine the difference between reality and fiction, they still want to enjoy things like comic book heroes and robots in disguise.
My nephew is creeping closer and closer to the giant age of five and is a big Marvel and Transformers fan. He has been a big fan since he was three. This excited both my brother and I greatly, because we are big fans as well. The problem was that my nephew was not quite ready for the live action motion picture versions then and isn’t quite ready for that now. We did manage to find something for the little guy to enjoy, The Super Hero Squad Show and Transformers: Rescue Bots.
The Super Hero Squad Show
Marvel has several animated television shows and films out, but most of them were and still are a little too mature for my nephew. It is usually due to either too violent content he is not ready to be exposed to or complex story lines that he cannot understand or relate too. Then Marvel came out with Super Hero Squad Show in 2009. The show is a toned down version of the Marvel world focused around Super Hero City which houses all of Marvel’s beloved comic book heroes. The heroes come off as silly and simpler versions of themselves while they battle even sillier versions of Marvel’s villains. My nephew just loves it. He gets to root for his favorite heroes like Captain America, the Hulk, and Iron Man. We don’t mind watching the show with him, because Marvel understood that parents would be watching the show along with the kids. There are several jokes littered throughout the entire show that fans of the comics and movies would find entertaining. I personally love watching it with my nephew, because I think it’s hilarious.
The best part of my nephew having a marvel outlet is that we can go out and buy the costumes and some of the toys from the shows and movies and now he understands what they are. The unfortunate thing is that there were only two seasons made of the show. That being said, the entire series is currently on Netflix, and I think it still runs on The Hub from time to time. The show may be gone, but they still make toys and video games for tots to enjoy as well.
Transformers: Rescue Bots
This Transformers show is extremely toned down compared to the rest of the family. It is has no Decepticons. Before you freak out over that, please understand that this show was made for a specific market, and it needed to be comparable to that market. The market is toddlers and they didn’t want bots tearing and blowing one another up. Instead we have a small group of Transformers that have taken the forms of the main public service vehicles in a small town. They were sent to help out the community and learn about humanity by Optimus Prime himself. The city believes that the Transformers are just experimental robots that also turn into rescue vehicles. The fact that they are alien beings is only know to a family that tends to the rescue and public needs of the town. Yes, it does have Optimus Prime and even Bumblebee in a few episodes, but they are not featured. The bots pretty much help out with whatever mystery or shenanigans is going on with the town at that time. It is a specifically toddler focused show. As an adult watching it with my nephew, it is not any more entertaining than the Nick Jr and Disney Jr shows, but the little guy loves it. He adores the theme song as well and sings it all of the time.
Show has one season under its belt, which can be found on Netflix also. It has just started its second season and has no plans as of yet to finish. It currently airs on The Hub as well. The show has spawned several toy lines that are specifically geared to toddlers with simple and easy transformations that won’t discourage the little ones. Because he now has a point of reference, I always joke with my nephew that I see Bumblebee at my work. He gets really excited about why Bumblebee was there, and it can get really fun thinking of stories to explain it. I joke with his parents that the day he gets old enough to watch the live action movies his poor little mind is just going to overload the first time he sees the very real car turn into a giant robot. It will be a fun day.
I really hope other companies and franchises like DC Comics hone in on this niche and add to this market. There is a lot of potential here since honestly these are the only two shows of its kind that I know of. I believe that not only having these types of shows can be entertaining for these age groups and exciting for parents, but it can be quite the lucrative market for these companies to roll into. I really hope that Marvel comes back with something like The Super Hero Show Squad especially in light of all of the recent film adaptation success. Finally, I hope that these two shows help you share some nerdy love to the sons, daughters, nieces, and nephews in your life.
I had the pleasure of returning to the Salute to Supernatural convention here in Las Vegas again this year. Last year was my virgin run, and well, I guess I came back for more. Cleary I wouldn’t be going if I wasn’t a Supernatural fan, and yes I am a fangirl when it comes to this show. This was the best way to let my fangirl side out for a free run.
I didn’t go for the full four day package this year. I had to at least attempt to be responsible for some priorities in my life, no matter how tempted I was. I opted for the Saturday event, mainly because that was the day that the lead actors Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki would be appearing. Hopefully next year, and I do plan on going again, I can swing all four days and watch and listen to the other panels of actors and crew.
If you have never been to a convention before, it is pretty much a jammed packed all day event of scheduled panels and activities down to the minute. All you are required to do is strap in for the ride. The panels for Saturday started with our host for the four days, Richard Speight Jr, coming out to open up the day, and sadly for that day, he had to fill in for a sick panelist. Mr. Speight Jr. is better known to the Supernatural fan as the trickster or the angel, Gabriel. The man has only been in four episodes over the now nine seasons of the show, but he is as beloved as the boys.
I should also mention that the convention had its very own house band. I can’t speak for the other conventions, but last year we had the honor of the same band. The band is called the Elastic Waste Band, and their alter ego is the real band, Louden Swain, led by Rob Benedict who is another actor from the show who played the beloved character, Chuck. When they represent The Elastic Waste Band, the band gets into crazy character donning 70s leisure suits and tuxes. They don wigs and accents and completely different names as the play covers and time in with jokes and moments made by the panelists. They know how to get the audience pumped up, make them laugh, or entertain them in general. I believe that they are a great asset and hope they return next year.
The next panelist was Chad Lindberg who is known to the fans as Ash. His panel mostly focused on his passion of the paranormal and ghost hunting. Thursday night of the convention, Mr. Lindberg led a group of fans on a ghost hunting venture out to the local haunted hot spot of Bonnie Springs. He is very into the paranormal and has been on the reality series, Ghost Adventures, a few times. Even Aaron Goodwin from Ghost Adventures was hanging out at the convention during Lindberg’s panel. He talked a lot about his personal paranormal experiences and how his fascination with it usually drove what roles he chose as an actor. He brought a few gadgets known to the ghost hunting world up with him just to see if they would go off. They did so maybe we it just wasn’t him and us fans present. It was a very interesting panel hearing about his experiences and advising some fans how to handle their own.
Richard Speight Jr returned for his panel with partner in crime, Matt Cohen, and brought along Rob Benedict. It was a treat for the Saturday only guests, because Benedict didn’t have a panel scheduled for that day. I should also mention that Rob Benedict had been recovering from a stroke since October. This was the first con he’s fully been back for since the incident. He was fully recovered and energetic as always, which was fantastic to see. I even heard there was a special welcome back video made by the fans for his Friday panel. We supernatural fans are nothing but love. The group mostly answered questions from fans and promoted their newest work. Special mention for Richard Speight Jr and his short film that he wrote and directed called, America 101.
The next guest was Misha Collins, who plays the beloved Castiel. Mr. Collins is always a delight and just a fascinating individual all around. His energy and wit is always top notch even though his can be very easily distracted. I don’t mind that so much, because those distractions are always entertaining. He spoke a lot about his creative projects that he has partnered on with his wife whether they be in the entertainment business or not. She seems just as creative as he is, which should make for a very powerful couple. This man is definitely someone I would invite to my fantasy dinner table for the interesting conversation alone. Misha Collins was as big of a joy as last year, and I was glad that I got see him, since his panel for Saturday was a recent addition.
My friends and I decided to take a lunch run after Misha’s panel, and since you have to make a life decision on who to miss in the full packed day, we had to choose to miss out on the Osric Chau panel. I had a time constraint with my upcoming photo op and my phone was in desperate need of a charge. As unlucky as it was to miss out on his panel. I did have a slight run in with him later in the day. Nothing fancy or extreme fangirlish, but I did give a smile and a nod as I stood beside him waiting on my friends while they were making a Starbucks run. I personally have this weird thing about celebrities private vs. public time. I just don’t want to bug them on their own time. Yes, they were here for the fans at a convention, so that is what they are there for. I just have my own issues with that kind of thing. I am not the person that will chase down someone for an autograph. I remember meeting Jane Espenson, writer and producer currently for Once Upon A Time and then Buffy the Vampire Slayer, after a lecture she gave at my university during my freshman year. I got a weird look from my friend when I told him that I didn’t want to go up and get an autograph from her. He had to talk me into it. I still have it, but I feel weird about having it. Everyone has the right to want those things, and there is nothing wrong with it. I am just not that person. A point that is even further made when it came to my photo op with Jensen and Jared.
I was nervous at first. I actually have never been in the presence of a celebrity before in my life. My run in with Osric happened after this, so I was walking blind as far as my reaction. While I love both the actors, Jensen is my current celebrity crush and has been for some time now. I kept going down the check list of 1. He’s a stranger. 2. He’s a person. and 3. He’s married. I believe I am a sensible person and this should have been enough to keep me calm. Then I kept having horrible flashbacks of my awkward teen years and my love for my Backstreet Boys and Devon Sawa, and the wallpaper their posters created in my room. I have convinced myself that I grew out of that crazy, but what if I was wrong and Mr. Ackles will forever remember me as that Las Vegas Con girl? Thankfully as I was ushered into the room with the other patiently waiting fans and saw them for the first time in close proximity, my first thought was, “They’re not that tall.” Both Jared and Jenson are tall, especially Jared, but for some reason I expected bigger than life giants. That right there was the moment that I could relax and knew I could handle it. When I actually got up to them for my picture, which was very assembly line, I told them both thank you for coming to the convention and doing the show. This was happening as they both ushered me in place for the photo. Jensen smiled and said thanks, but it was Jared that would cause me panic until I actually saw my photo printed later that evening.
Jared decided to engage with more than a simple thank you. He leans down with his 6’ 4” self and says, “No, thank you, baby. You’re why we do this.” If you are a Sam fan, you would probably be melting into puddles of fangirl goo after hearing this. I was startled and not in a necessarily good way. My inner feminist roared up at the moment he said “baby,” and the dialogue in my head went “Who the hell is he calling baby?” Thankfully this was not said out loud, which would have come off very badly. I couldn’t help the reaction. It is way too natural for me. I would like to tell the Sam and Jared fans that I am not now nor was then mad at Mr. Padalecki. He was being engaging and friendly by using an endearment. He just didn’t know me personally. He doesn’t know that I am fiercely independent and practically a feminist, especially one that believes “baby” is an intimate term and should have permission before using it with me always. It took probably five seconds for reality to hit and to laugh at my own reaction and throw it aside as my own personal crazy towards someone being nice. Unfortunately, it only took two seconds after his statement to have the actual picture taken which turns out was before I got over myself. For those who know me, I don’t always have to speak what is on my mind, because my face is usually quick to portray said thoughts and gets me into trouble quite a lot. Being that thrown off by Jared’s proclamation could only guarantee that my face expressed what my mouth did not. After leaving, I was terrified that my birthday present to myself would have me looking especially sarcastic and indignant. Only I would end up doing something like that to myself. I am happy to announce, that picture did indeed turn out well, and I saved myself from immortalized embarrassment.
There were two major panels left in that day. One was with Jim Michaels, Co-Executive Producer of the show. This one was the most fascinating to me. I always love to hear about the development of a show an inner workings. He hasn’t exactly been around for the entire series, but he has put in quite some time, going on five years now. Audience members asked about the current conflict between the brothers on the show and whether it was going to get resolved. This has been a source of discontent for fans this season, because this particular fight between the brothers seems out of character and drawn out, not to mention down right annoying. He answered vaguely saying that there has to be conflict otherwise the show would be boring, but the point was to resolve that conflict, which would happen. It was just a question of when. He also discussed the new spinoff series. The title has been changed to Supernatural: Bloodlines. I am hoping that they drop the “Supernatural” part, but that’s me. The boys actually just flew in from finishing up the backdoor pilot for the spinoff series that will air later in the season. For those who do not know what a back door pilot is, it is where an already existing show takes an episode to introduce and focus on the new characters and storyline for this supposed new show. Usually, there are no definite plans of production of that proposed show, because they want to see and test audience reaction to the episode and gage whether it is worth actually making. Since Supernatural never does the norm, they have been confident enough to begin filming the new series before this backdoor pilot even airs. We will all just have to wait and see.
The final panel of the day was of the boys themselves, Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles. They were, as always, entertaining, busting out on stage donned with a cowbell and a tambourine to join in with the band to sing the con theme song, The Boys Are Back In Town. They were very grateful and playful with the audience and the fans that asked questions. They were asked questions that ranged from story and character progression on the show to what their wrestling tag team name would be as well as finishing move. They could only come up with the finishing move, which they naturally felt needed to be named the Impala. The boys enacted such a finishing move on a fan after he asked why the brothers were currently acting like bitches on the show. It probably made that guys day. They performed and came up with an impromptu haiku at the request of a fan. They seemed pretty proud that they could manage it too. They did state after being asked about the future of the show they were on board for whatever the series had to offer whether it be one or another ten years as long as the story was still good. That was pretty nice to hear, because I don’t want such a good show to keep hanging just because it can and not because it should. Their panel ended with Jensen and Jared doing their best Vanilla Ice, prompted by an earlier joke made by Jared after Jensen used the phrase “to the extreme” in one of his answers. It was a hell of a way to end a day, I tell you.
That was the end of just one day. Can you imagine what all four would be like? As we were leaving, I decided to ask a girl who dressed up as a “Busty Asian Beauties” cover for the costume contest for a picture, because it was a really original costume that I loved. I even asked her if it was okay to share her picture here and she obliged. Thank you, again, to the girl that made my day with that costume. It was fantastic! For those that don’t understand the reference, the beloved character, Dean, apparently has a specific preference for his porn voyeurism with the “Busty Asian Beauties” magazine. It has been an ongoing joke throughout the whole show. So, hat’s off to you, my dear. That was well done.
Funny story to end this long account. As I was waiting to take the above picture, someone suddenly came up to me and yelled “Boo” in my ear. Now since facial expressions are my first go to, I was getting ready to throw my best “what the hell” look at the person who did it. When I turned to look, I am greeted by the smirking face of Mr. Mark Sheppard, loved and known to the fans as Crowley, King of Hell. He just turned and continued on down the hall like the boss he is. I couldn’t even get mad at that. The con was a blast and I recommend all Supernatural fans to attempt to go to one at least once. Also special shout outs to Liz and Hilary! Thanks for taking the time to meet with me at the con. It was truly my honor to meet you both!
I recently just switched jobs. With my old job, whenever I wasn’t on the phone, I listened to music. Since I am perpetually stuck in the 90’s that is what most of my music consists of. Eventually I got bored with the same playlists day in and day out, and decided to branch out.
Me: Does anyone know of any good podcasts?
Friends: This American Life! The Read! Welcome to Night Vale!
Me: What is Welcome to Night Vale?
Friends: Think Twilight Zone with absolute randomness thrown in.
I downloaded the most recent episode at that time. I was hooked when Cecil started talking about the Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home. In short order, I downloaded and listened to all of the past episodes.
For those of you that have no clue what the hell I am going on about, here is the description by Wikipedia:
Welcome to Night Vale is a podcast presented as a radio show for the fictional town of Night Vale. It was created by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, is voiced by Cecil Baldwin, and is published by Commonplace Books. The podcast airs on the first and fifteenth of every month, and consists of "news, announcements and advertisements" from the desert town,located "somewhere in the Southwestern United States".In an interview with NPR, Joseph Fink commented on the creation of the series, stating that he "came up with this idea of a town in that desert where all conspiracy theories were real, and we would just go from there with that understood."
Cecil Baldwin is the voice of Night Vale. He is currently dating a scientist by the name of Carlos. Not much is known about Carlos, except it feels like he doesn’t really believe in the conspiracies, he loves Cecil, and he has perfect hair.
Night Vale has recently started a live show tour, and I was truly fortunate (read: when tickets went on sale I ignored all work that needed to be done in that moment and clicked as if my life depended on it) to get tickets to see the show.
I’m going to be honest when I say this: I truly didn’t believe that this would be a sold out show. I only have a few friends that know about Welcome to Night Vale. Imagine my surprise when I pull up to the venue in Irvington an hour early and the line is WRAPPED AROUND the theater.
Irvington is a neighborhood (I hesistate to say suburb) of Indianapolis. It is totally quirky and funky like Broadripple with more parking. It has all these neat shops, and the neighborhood looks like has organically grown over the years and not been manufactured like *cough* Carmel *cough*. The Irvington Theater was super funky. I look on the about page of the theater and it doesn’t tell me the year it opened, only the day as far as I could see.
Once we got inside, there was a set up to buy shirts, and posters. I wanted to hurry up and grab seats, as all the ones in the front row were taken. We ended up with decent seats, right behind the sound equipment people. As I sat down and waited, I people watched. In addition to people in WTNV shirts, we had people dressed up. I think I saw more Carlos’ than anyone else. They all had on lab coats.
I am not going to talk about what the show was about, they came out at the beginning and asked that we don’t do that or record anything because they want each stop on the tour to have the same experience as us, plus they plan on releasing the live shows after they get done. I am one that does not want to ruin the expierence for others. I will however, have a second blog post about some of the audience at a later time. Hopefully this week right after this post.
The show in one word? Amazing. The audience participation was amazing as well. Cecil looked nothing like what he did in my head, nor did Perfect Carlos. Let this be known though, they are both FINE. FIIIIINNNUHHHHHHH. I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. After it was over, I did not see them come out to do autographs, which I was hoping to get a picture with them, but it is okay. If they come to your town to do a live show, don’t miss it. They are amazing storytellers!
In 2005 I was 23. Having spent ages 19-21 out of my mother’s house in a different town, I had come home. I was looking to go to school, and have a better future rather than living paycheck to paycheck as I had been. I wasn’t born with a silver (or mother of pearl) spoon in my mouth, so I knew the only way this was going to happen was if I went to school.
There were a few problems with this. The main one being my lack of transportation: I come from a small city that had no public transportation. If you wanted a cab, you better know to call a day ahead; otherwise you would spend a good portion of your day waiting on one. In order to get a car, I needed a job. I had a job, working for a popular clothing company, whom I love to this day. I was not full time, so I needed a second job.
Because I was depending on my family to get me back and forth to work, I had to be careful about where I found another job. Because the clothing store was in the mall, I applied to other jobs within the mall. I briefly worked at a bookstore. I was so excited. Being a bookworm, I figured that working at a bookstore would be in my top 10 jobs. This job was not for me. Everyone who worked in the store was depressed, and it had a way of dragging my mood down as well. The manager that seemed to be on duty every time I worked did not have a car, yet would have to take a deposit to the bank daily. The final straw was the day she belittled me for not having a car to take her to do the deposit. I asked her if she could hear herself. She sputtered and huffed off. I was done. The general manager thanked me for my honesty as I left.
While I kept the clothing store job, I found another job at a daycare center. It was a 20-minute walk from my house, so it was perfect.
In the midst of working two jobs, and saving up for a car, I was lonely. I had friends, but my friends were off doing their own thing. By that age, most of my friends were engaged, had been engaged, and had popped out a kid or two. I spent a lot of time on my own.
Growing up in a typical black family, your geeky experiences are few and far between unless you seek them out. I was a bit of a black sheep in my family (still am), so I was hesitant to let my geek flag fly. One thing my family did not know is that quite often, I used to Internet to talk to and meet people. If my mother would have known, she would have clutched her pearls and screamed about Internet predators. Plus the Internet let you open up to people that you rarely would have. It’s how I slept with my school mascot 6 years after high school (don’t ask). With the loneliness and boredom, I decided to dip my toe into online dating.
After putting up a profile on OkCupid, I browsed the profiles. And that is how I met Dax*. Dax and I hit it off instantly online and decided to meet up for a date. The problem was I was in the middle of moving the rest of my belongings home, and accidentally stood him up. I felt horrible, and composed a long heartfelt apology. Dax accepted and we were going to try again. As a gesture of good faith, I was going to him. I borrowed my mother’s car and headed that way. It was a decent date, one of the better ones that I had been on at that time. As a result, we fell into a relationship with one another. We spent as much time as we could together. That was primarily weekends as he had a full time job, and lived in Indianapolis, and I had two part time jobs and lived an hour away. I also didn’t have a car, so he was gracious and would pick me up on the weekends.
Things were going really well, until I met his family.
(…To Be Continued)
*Dax is not his real name.
One of my fondest memories was from Christmas when I was around three or four years-old. My family had returned from celebrating the holiday with my grandparents, and this girl was pretty golden at that point. I had just received a Jem and Video doll from Jem and The Holograms. As far as I was concerned, I was good, because the Jem doll alone was pretty fantastic. When we got to open the remaining gifts that were left home, my holiday became epic in my little eyes, because my parents practically bought out the She-Ra toys at local Big Lots. Not only did I get She-Ra, herself, but I got her steed, Swift Wind.
Apart of me believes that my parents decided to get me my own supply of the toys, because they were probably tired of me always wanting to go over to the neighbor’s house. Who could blame me, they literally had every He-Man and She-Ra toy ever made along with accessories. It was heaven, and that Christmas was a super treat because of that.
That holiday was one of my earliest memories of my extreme “geekdom.” Throughout this blog I’ll share more of these little gems from my life and showcase some of the stuff I love and come across. Whether it’s music, television, movies, or books, all is fair game. This post is a little snapshot into my life growing up and how it all started.
Whenever I watched a show, any corresponding toy would be right there next to me. My She-Ra toys would be lined up in battle against my Catra doll and her flying Steed as Adora and the rebels took on Hordak on the screen. Jem would be poised and ready to belt out a “Truly Outrageous” at a moment’s notice. Movies were not saved from this ritual either. I would always lovingly cuddle my Lady toy when curled up on couch watching Lady and The Tramp.
Growing up, I may have picked up a few more fascinations along the way. There was all Disney in general, which isn’t exactly unusual for any kid. I tended to lean towards the princess stories as most girls my age. I have my favorite princess, Aurora from Sleeping Beauty. What’s not to envy about a girl who got to sleep through the hard parts only to wake up with a man and a kingdom. That’s pretty awesome. Granted, it could have gone very south for her if Merryweather hadn’t flipped the death spell, but that’s just being picky. I also fully believe that Maleficent is one of the scariest things that Disney ever created.
I just loved these little stories that played out in front of me on the television. My imagination was voracious as a youngster and these little worlds were to just the trick to feed it. My geeky side was very present and thriving during this time. I did have comic books as well. I snuck away with my brother’s X-Men comics regularly, which lead to quality time with my brother over the animated series in the early 90’s. I had a massive Barbie comic book collection. Yes, she had a comic series. I even had a Muppet Babies comic that am very sad I no longer have. I loved Batman. Saw all of the movies in the theaters, but never read the comics. I would watch the old Adam West series in reruns and loved the animated series. I was even Batman for Halloween in Kindergarten. I remember getting annoyed when people would ask me if I was Batgirl. This girl was true to her hero. I was independent even then.
When junior high hit, I was presented with a show that would ultimately change my life. During this time UPN was a relatively new network trying to build viewership. One of there shows didn’t do so well and was cancelled midseason. The network began to advertise a midseason replacement, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I am not afraid to admit that I loved the movie and still do, so I really looked forward to this show starting. When UPN introduced shows back then, they would do so by airing a two hour movie. It was more like the first two episodes back to back, but no one’s judging. The problem was I had a bedtime of 9:00 PM. The show was premiering from 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM. Dilemma? Not for me, because I was a rebel. I did stay up and watched the whole show, and I did get busted and grounded for it. So worth it, until the following week, when I was forbidden from watching it, part of the grounding terms.
This one little show would turn into a relationship that I am still seeing on the side to this day. I very much read the comic series. More than just entertainment, it guided me into a career choice at just fifteen. At that time I had decided I wanted to be a writer and was leaning towards journalism. A stunt ran by a local news station completely turned me off to that idea. Columbine had just happened, and Indiana was to host a Marilyn Manson concert. Reporters were sent to interview the waiting fans about the recent tragedy. That was all good and well until the reporter made his closing statement to the camera. He proceeded to state that the fans around him were the same type of people as the shooters were, condemning them nonchalantly as sociopathic murderers due to their music choice. I am not a fan of Marilyn Manson personally, but I do enjoy and own a few of his songs. Since I don’t ever feel like killing people or even sometimes based on this logic, this was an extremely unfair and all-around cheap shot to get ratings off the tragedy by the news station. That was the moment that I knew I really didn’t want to be that type of journalist. To be forced to write anything that I didn’t fully back myself and could potentially hurt someone purely for ratings was something I just could not do.
I still wanted to write, so while watching an episode of Buffy, I realized I wanted to create something with my writing, something that would bring someone the same joy and entertainment that Buffy and all of the other shows I have watched growing up made me feel. This dream is still a work in progress, and I have made responsibilities more important for the time being. It is still there, and I will do what I can to make it happen if at least not try. This blog is going to be one of many baby steps to get myself back in the game.
These are the events that have shaped my nerd tendencies and guided me through new doors that I continue to open today. I still read comics, enjoy my television shows, and have a whole new obsession with movies in general. I may like looking stylish, but most know I am not embarrassed to rock my Marvel T-shirts. I still have some of my She-Ra toys from when I was kid. I have large Sleeping Beauty Christmas ornament collection. My Buffy the Vampire Slayer calendars may have been traded for Supernatural ones, one of my current obsessions. All of these make me who I am. Hopefully you too can find this blog as a safe place to let your inner geek out to play and, if nothing else, a little entertainment.
Let me know what you love?
It is the weekend, and since school is not in session quite yet, nor do I have any plans this weekend, I decided to bust out my scrapbooking supplies and do a few pages. I did one for the 4th of July and one for my dogs. I was flipping through some pictures and I decided to do one on my natural hair progress. I believe all these pics are on my computer sooo.... I got some pics to show you! YAY!
People that are really hardcore about their big chop and stuff like that, know the date of their big chop. I don't. All I remember was that it was in November.
Cherilyn (my stylist) was nice enough to style it in cute little coils
Shortly after that, in December the following picture was taken. I was still trying to figure all of this out.... This is how I normally wear my hair.
I'm a dork, I know.. LOL
Anyway, this last pic was taken on the 4th of July in NY.
Can you tell my growth? I can 🙂