Wednesday, October 26, 2016

40 before 40 Update #4

40 before 40 update #4

Well, 2016 is almost over and I didn't make as much progress as I'd have liked. Looking at my list, I think some changes are in order. So let's look at how I'm doing on my (updated) 40 before 40 list.

 1)      Become debt free: Getting there, we now have both cars paid off!
2)      Travel to England and France: Working on the plans

 3)      Participate in my first official RunDisney event DONE
 4)      Enter a cosplay competition
 5)      Adopt at least one cat or dog
 6)      Get more tattoos
 7)    Learn to drive a stick shift
 8)      Sail to Alaska: Planned for summer of 2018
 9)      Visit Disneyland and California Adventure DONE (and my trip report is in progress)
 10)   See a show on Broadway
 11)   Run a Walt Disney World/Disneyland half marathon

12)   Go on a river cruise
 13)   Go kayaking/tubing DONE
 14)   Visit the Disney Family Museum DONE
 15)   Table at a convention/geeky event
 16)   Do one of those "wine & canvas" classes
 17)   Get professional massage DONE
 18)   Visit a (non-Disney) castle
 19)   Go horseback riding
 20)   Learn to play chess
 21)   Attend a TED/TED X Talk: the one at IU didn't pan out so I'm back to waiting
 22)   See a Cirque de Soleil show
 23)   Ride a segway
 24)   Attend a music festival
25)   Met Stan Lee DONE

 26)   Sail the Panama Canal
 27)   Go skiing: We might go over Christmas break
 28)   Renew my wedding vows
 29)   Launch a podcast DONE
 30)   Take a road trip around Michigan
 31)   Attend either San Diego or New York Comic Con
 32)   Sail on all the of Disney cruise ships at least once: Halfway there!
 33)   Meet Shaun, Keith and Glenn from Traveling the Vortex
 34)   Earn my first check from Google DONE
 35)   Gain full-time employment in my field: close, I did get a promotion but it's still part-time
36)   Visit Disneyland Paris
 37)   Meet my fellow Five(ish) Fangirls
 38)   Attend Gallifrey One
 39)   Walk a red carpet
40)   Visit a working TV or movie set

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


reading // Nothing, I have a list of books to read, but haven't found the time!

so many books so little time clock

watching // The DC TV Arrowverse (Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow). It's been slow going because it's a LOT of TV.

anticipating  // Doctoberfest at Who North America! This will be my first time having a table at an event, I just hope mother nature cooperates.

Doctoberfest flyer

laughing about // This polar bear

listening to // Lots and lots of podcasts during work, they make for good background noise. 

Traveling the Vortex podcast TED Radio Hour Podcast

eating // I've really been into adding rice to dishes instead of pasta or potatoes. Our pressure cooker makes amazing rice really quickly.

working on // Plans for the podcast and several new cosplays for 2017.

wishing // I was going to either Walt Disney World or Disneyland for our anniversary in December. But we've both used up all of our vacation time with all those trips earlier in the year. #FirstWorldProblems But we did get to go to the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, which still counts in my book!

Monday, October 17, 2016

My journey into cosplay

One of my first cosplays: Clara from Doctor Who "The Bells of St. John"
One of my first cosplays: Clara from Doctor Who "The Bells of St. John"

I've only been attending conventions on a regular basis since mid-2013, and from early on I learned that there is a significant percentage of con-goers who participate in the hobby of cosplay. As most people, I dressed up for Halloween when I was a kid, but gave it up as I got older. I appreciated everyone's efforts and enjoyed other people's cosplays when I went to events like GenCon or Chicago TARDIS, but I never really thought of doing it myself (aside from photo above which was for a viewing of "The Day of the Doctor" and the photo below for Halloween the same year).

Clara from "The Time of the Doctor", Halloween 2013
Clara from "The Time of the Doctor", Halloween 2013

At some point though I got bit by the cosplay bug and decided to attempt cosplaying at a con in 2015. It was thrown together with stuff I already had in my closet and a cheap wig from the party store. I really had no idea what I was doing, but I had fun.

Bad wig and terrible makeup *shudders* Everyone has to start somewhere though
Bad wig and terrible makeup *shudders* Everyone has to start somewhere though

Since then I've learned a bit more about cosplay and how to improve. I've got a nice collection of cosplays that I wear now. But I'm always looking for new cosplay ideas, and my current list of planned/want to do cosplays is constantly growing. But we'll get into that in another post.

Some of my current cosplays in rotation
Some of my current cosplays in rotation

Thursday, October 6, 2016

That one time I was accidentally racist....

Just double-checking that your Obama costume will involve a mask and not shoe polish

With Halloween coming up, the social medias start to ramp up with articles and videos reminding everyone that cultural appropriation during Halloween (and really any time of year) is not cool. Now this is a very controversial topic, because there's the camp that thinks that it isn't a big deal/people are too PC and the camp that finds it offensive. Personally I'm in second group, I think things perpetuate stereotypes are offensive and need to stop, especially blackface which is one of the most offensive of them all.

I think a lot of the people who don't see what the big deal is, aren't racist themselves, but uneducated in the history of cultural appropriation and oppression. I myself was guilty of this once, when one Halloween I did my own version of blackface. Now this was waaaaaayyyyy back in the early/mid-90's, not long after the movie Sister Act has been released.

Sister Act movie poster

I fell in love with the movie, the comedy and the music spoke to my inner thespian. So for Halloween I thought it would be cool to be Sister Mary Clarence. So I got a cheap nun's habit costume, and proceeded to use dark makeup to make me look more like Whoopi. In my mind, I wanted to make sure people knew I was Sister Mary Clarence, not just any old nun. At the time I was 9-10 years old, so really too young to understand I was in the wrong and while out trick-or-treating people knew exactly who I was and approved so to me, I was successful. It wasn't till YEARS later that I realized what I had done was essentially a form of blackface and totally not cool.

Of course these days I wouldn't think of doing blackface or anything else that would perpetuate a negative stereotype of a culture (which is really where the offence comes from). So while as a society we can seem to be uber-sensitive and PC these days, it doesn't hurt to give your Halloween costume choice a second or third thought.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

I Don't Have A Favorite Holiday

Just thought i'd mimic retailers by wishing you a Merry Christmas before Thanksgiving

Something strange happens every year around mid-September on my Facebook feed. I'm suddenly inundated with two very distinct populations of people....the people who are super excited for Halloween and the people who are super excited for Christmas. And I get it, people are totally allowed to get excited over their favorite holiday, but I can't say I understand where they are coming from. My husband LOVES Halloween, I have a friend who LOVES the 4th of July, I have friends who LIVE for Christmas.

Me, I couldn't care less really. I mean, I'm not a party-pooper and I still participate in the festivities of whatever holiday it might be, but I just don't LOVE any of them. I have things I like about all of them, but there isn't one that's my favorite.

It's October you know what that means.....Merry Christmas!

Is that weird? Or are my other friends just fanatics? Does it even matter? In the grand scheme of things, probably not. Really as long as there is food/candy to eat, I'm down.

Give the amount of food I plan to gorge on this year, I'm not confident in the integrity of this chair's construction