Spoiler Free Zone

This weekend my son and I were at Calgary Expo: a veritable nerd haven of fandoms and merchandise. Thousands of geeks gathering together… on a weekend when the new Avengers movie hit the theaters. This could not end well…

Many tables had signage saying “Spoiler Free Zone” or “No Spoilers”. Because we had to work the tables/booths all weekend- many of us couldn’t escape in the evenings to view the newest movie. The best part about the weekend and the attendees was the fact that no one spoke about the new movie with those of us who hadn’t seen it yet. Complete and utter respect given to everyone in this regards.

It made me happy that our nerd culture can do such a thing. This weekend I avoided viewing social media. All I did was post a few things, but never scrolled through or read anything that could diminish my movie going experience.

Tonight, I am taking the family to go and see the film. Just a couple of more hours to go in hopes that I can avoid hearing anything about the film. I’ve made it 4 days so far… we can do this.

Weekend Haul

Here’s some of the fun stuff we got this weekend. These Conventions always mean souvenirs and fantastic art to come home with us. We already packed up some of the artwork safely for our drive home.

First off is a T-Shirt from Calgary Expo. A quick freebie for getting a bunch of stamps.

I got this cute pin from Anne Wheaton as she is here promoting her new book. I gave her a set of pink cosplay ears that reminded me of “Piggy” from her book.

My son bought a “Box of Mystery” from one of our artist friends. It contains some fan art stickers, magnets, and pins. Pretty cool for only $5! Sadly, it is our friend’s very last ever convention.

After our recent trip to Japan, we have had a renewed love of Studio Ghibli. I found an artist that makes glass with shadows over prints. So I had to buy one.

Lastly, my son worked hard helping me this weekend, so I picked up a Mudkip Pokémon for him. It’s rare for us to find this Pokémon, and he loves it.

As usual, we also traded some of my wife’s hats and such for other art. People love using the barter system. We all have a value that we put on our time and work. Sharing is a great way to create new friendships and showcase work.

Only one more day to go. Maybe more art is going to grace our home.

The Bad Eats

Traveling around and doing convention shows often means eating poorly. It just goes hand in hand. Like fries and a burger…

It starts on the first leg of the road trip with a stop at Costco for a cheap hotdog. We always get a hotdog on our way from our home. It doesn’t matter if we are driving east or south. We plan Costco as the place to stop for lunch. Cheap and easy so that we can hit the road again quickly.

Yesterday’s Dinner was cheap pizza. After a day of sitting at our table making idle chitchat with strangers, making a food choice is tough. So basic pizzas get ordered. Ham and pineapple, pepperoni, or meat lovers are always easy and quick to choose. Pizza is like the safety net of food.

Throughout the day we end up grazing through candy, chips, granola bars, and sodas for the most part. Sure, a bottle of water or heavily processed vegetables are consumed periodically, but not enough to offset the other junk.

Dinner on day two is usually a side of french fries and some sort of grilled sandwich or burger. Again, just like pizza- ordering is easy, quickly served and digested. Then off to end the evening in the rented room before day 3 of the show is upon us.

That is pretty much every Convention weekend for us vendors. I’m positive our next couple of days will involve bad eats as well. It’s the price you pay to do these shows.

Haha. Ya, I’m Supposed To Be An Adult.

After the show last night, my son and I were going to meet up with some of my Convention friends for dinner. However the place we were intending on going to would not allow minors in after 9pm. So my friend Dominika joined my son and I to go get a pizza from Dominos. We were already laughing and joking before we walked in to get a our dinner.

Turns out that Dominos has a tv screen that tells you the progress of your pizza order. After we placed our order, it seemed that the cashier didn’t hear my friend’s name correctly. We tried to tell him it was Dom. That is not what he heard.

Her Dong was being made.

Then Dong was in the oven.

Dong needed a Quality Check.

Finally Dong was ready.

We acted about as mature as my 11 year old son. He was giggling uncontrollably as well but didn’t know what a “Dong” was. We were the only ones in the store so our laughs were raucous and hearty. We thanked the staff for a great laugh and we walked back to my car and headed to my friend’s place and continued to laugh with more of our friends.

Sometimes after a long day all you need is to laugh at something so ridiculous it makes you happy. Sharing a laugh with friends makes it even more enjoyable. Ya, I’m an adult laughing like pre-pubescent boy at a dick joke. It felt good.

The Shitty Routine

I’ve been coming to Calgary Expo for seven years now. And every year I get the same gift. A gift I don’t want. I thought this time would be different.

I had been awake since 3:30pm the day before, worked all night, then grabbed a quick nap before hitting the road by 09:00am. As much as I wanted to sleep, I had to stay alert. But throughout the drive, my co-pilot was out cold periodically. I began zoning out as I drove. It was the last leg of our journey- only about an hour and a half remained of our ten hour drive. Then it happened…

A speeding ticket.

This year it happened on my wayin to Calgary. The officer was quick to pull me over, issue the ticket and in a few short minutes- turning around his car to give out a ticket to someone else. Seems like it was a regular place to make a buck or two… Usually I get a lovely photo in the mail a few weeks after our trip. Oftentimes an image of my car the day we are leaving!

So now that The Shitty Routine is behind me for this trip, time to enjoy my weekend.

Let the Full Frontal Nerdity begin!

My Favorite Convention

My son and I leave today for my favorite convention- Calgary Expo! We’ve been coming here since 2012 and have enjoyed every year so far.

This year has all of the artists placed in the “Big 4” building. So many of my friends have been designing pictures to showcase their new locations. It’s one of my favorite things to follow along on social media and see how excited they are getting. Countdowns, messages, fun new products… so much to see and talk about when we get together!

It’s also nice that there is so much love shared throughout our groups. Last year I mentioned how I feel that they are all A Fandom Family. I look forward to seeing them every year. These are some of the most artistic and energized people I know.

Oh, and I’ll be having fun as well being a Table Tart at table AA 5211 for Ningen Headwear. If you need to find my son- he’ll be teaching people Table Top games like he does every other year.

So remember to stop by the Artist Alley in Calgary this weekend if you want to see the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse…

Two Decades Old

Over the past couple of days I have decided to listen to some of my older music. It started because of the other day watching Aggretsuko and remembering my love of heavy metal music. So out came some of my favorite cds and the tunes got cranked in my car.

Because of my eclectic tastes in music, I ventured far from my heavy metal albums and re-discovered some other classics from about 20 years ago that I listened to constantly. My drive in to work the past couple of days has been memorable because of these albums:

1995 Faith No More: King For a Day… Fool For a Lifetime.

This album has some great songs on it. I can listen to it from start to finish and then start again. I’m thinking that at my funeral “Just A Man” needs to be played.

1996 White Zombie: Super Sexy Swinging Sounds.

This album is a killer disco style remix version of Astro Creep 2000. Not many diehard Zombie fans appreciated this album. I found it to be a clever crossover of Industrial Metal and Electronic Music.

1996 Pulp: Different Class

This one is a Britpop style of album. The lyrics are gritty and tell a story in almost every song. Something about hearing “Let’s all meet up in the year 2000…” that reminds me of how old this album really is. And how old I am…

1998 Prozzäk: Hot Show

This one is a guilty pleasure. A quirky Canadian pop duo with catch phrases such as “Sucks To Be You” running rampant in a fun upbeat tempo.

I miss listening to an album all the way through. I’m glad I’ve dusted these ones off and given the laser in my car’s stereo something to do.

Joe Cool

“I’m so cool that when I enter a room- everybody freezes.”

I tend to think highly of myself… mostly because I like to maintain a positive outlook of myself- and also to entertain my friends. I have a good sense of humor and don’t mind giving some ammunition for people to poke fun at me. I am pretty amazing after all.

When I was in grade 6/7 I had a couple of Snoopy sweatshirts that said Joe Cool on them. I thought they were the greatest thing ever. Then I hit grade 8- and I was the biggest loser (according to the other kids). I was teased and taunted for years. Hateful people hating me for being me. I began hating myself. Hate filled my world. All I had going for me was to get good grades so that my parents didn’t hate me as well. At least that was the thought I had as a young teenager.

Finally I moved schools. I’d tell you my world got better instantly, but it took me months to make friends. I took an approach that worked for me- I made fun of myself before someone else could. I guess it exuded confidence. Because I have made friends everywhere I go now.

So when I post a proud moment or a self promoting status on social media- know that I took some hardships to get myself there. Somewhere tucked away inside of me is this teenager that was bullied. He was not knowing at the time that life would get better. A lot better.

All because I’ve kept my cool. And what’s cooler than being cool?

I’m Being Lazy Today

I feel like doing as little as possible today. I didn’t even want to write today’s blog. That being said, this is going to be short. I hope you weren’t looking forward to something exciting or informative.

Now here’s a picture of Garfield to motivate you as I return to my lazy day of being unproductive:

Aggretsuko

I have many bonding moments with my kids. Usually over a tv show or movie. I’ve shown them some of my favorites from my childhood and a few others from more recent years.

Last night was different in the fact that my daughter wanted to share with me a new show. She is a Hello Kitty Fan and this new Netflix show is from Sanrio (the people who brought us Hello Kitty). Of course I was expecting cutesy but got something else entirely.

Instead of a cute little kitty with a bow, we are treated to a female red fox in business clothes. She has a daily office job that is sucking the life out of her; so after work she resorts to drinking beer and singing death metal karaoke. The show is cute in many aspects. Such as the animation and the thoughts that go through the fox’s head.

Surprisingly our 14 year old daughter says she relates to the character. Putting on a daily show, but having a built up frustration that she needs to hide from everyone. The content and language aren’t suited for small kids, but teens and adults alike should get some enjoyment from the show.

We have finished watching half of the first season already and plan on finishing the rest before the weekend is over. Maybe now my daughter will appreciate more of my older music…