Monday, August 25, 2014

Dragon Con Schedule and Cosplay!

I've been lucky enough to be a panelist for several Kaleidoscope Track panels over the last few years. I love being on panels and talking about things I'm passionate about - which has been often been Disney related.

This year, I'm on four panels and I'm very excited about it! Here's my schedule if any of you want to attend!
The Young Nerd Life - Fri, August 29, 7pm – 8pm
A708 Atlanta Marriott Marquis
There are many shows families watch together! Let's discuss those shows & how kids fit into the world of fandom.
Disney Princesses & Heroes Panel - Sat, August 30, 11:30am – 12:30pm
A708 Atlanta Marriott Marquis
Fan led discussion about all of your favorite Disney Princesses and Heroes. 

Theme Park Travel - Sat, August 30, 8:30pm – 9:30pm
A708 Atlanta Marriott Marquis
Share ideas and discuss how to make theme park visits fun for the entire family.

Phineas & Ferb Fan Panel - Sun, August 31, 4pm – 5pm
A601/A602 Atlanta Marriott Marquis
What are you doing today? Discussing what you love about Disney Channels hit show 

I'm also planning on bringing several costumes as well as marching in the parade.

Friday - Kaylee from Firefly

Saturday - Haunted Mansion Tightrope Girl

Sunday - I'm hoping to wear the Tightrope Girl again - but if it's too sweaty and icky, I'll be wearing American McGee's Alice

I'm looking forward to Dragon Con! Hope to see some of you there! I'll be live tweeting through the con as well!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Why I Love The Quest

I was vaguely interested in watching The Quest when I first heard about it. My interest in reality shows has waned over the years. I used to love Survivor but it got to be less entertaining as the seasons progressed.

I didn't get a a chance to watch any of The Quest until last week. Our DirectTV was on the fritz which ended up with us canceling it entirely. To fill our entertainment gap, we got Hulu Plus and a new Roku player. I found The Quest on Hulu and watched all of the episodes available in one sitting.

Like many other geeks, I love the idea of normal folks going to a magical kingdom to become heroes. This was why I got hooked quickly to The Quest.

It works a little like Survivor because only one Paladin will make it to the end and a Paladin is cut each episode. They also have to do challenges to determine who will be banished.

But there is a storyline! All the NPC's move through the story and get the Paladins to come along. One challenge involved having to save the Queen from poisoning as an example. The Paladins aren't playing against each other - they want to help everyone to be able to figure out who is the one true hero.

And there is no money prize like so many other reality shows. The 'prize' is you get to fight the big bad at the end. It's the geekiest reality show ever - even geekier than Heroes of Cosplay in my opinion.

The story line, the Paladins (my favorite is Bonnie) and the setting of Everealm has made me fall in love with this show. I can't wait to see what happens next!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Kindergarten Bible

I spent the weekend feeling pretty sick - I had a cold that gave me a migraine. But I made myself go to church on Sunday.

Once a year, our church has a service at Lutheridge which is a camp close to the church. There is a beautiful open air chapel where we all gather. I honestly have only been to this service once, because I was singing in the choir. I always, always get lost in Lutheridge so I don't like going there.

I actually pointed us the wrong way on Sunday and we got a little lost. But we made it before the service started. Every year, our church has the blessing of the backpacks and the last couple of years have been at the Lutheridge service. This usually is not enough to convince me to go into the woods where I get lost, but this year I got an email that kids going into Kindergarten would be getting their Bibles.

So we went so Emily could get her Bible. The service was lovely - I do like the woods. And Emily was very excited to get her story Bible. She flipped through it the rest of the service. She also got her backpack blessed and all the kids got a rubber bracelet that said 'stop bullying' on it.

Since Sunday, every night I've been reading Emily a story out of her Bible. She'll be learning how to read better in school and hopefully she'll be able to read it herself soon.

It's a really great thing that our church does. I feel very blessed to have a great church that is very invested in the youth of the congregation!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Dragon Con Cospitality Lounge

Dragon Con is only a couple of weeks away. Lots of excitement on social media as the con gets closer, but there was an announcement yesterday that has gotten a mixed reaction.

The 10th floor of the Marriott is a large open space that has traditionally not been used by the con. It has over the years become one of the most popular places to do meetups and have photoshoots. The only time I've ever been up there was for a BPAL meet & sniff my first Dragon Con ever.

But this year it's being turned into a cosplay rest area where no photography is allowed. The Cospitality Lounge, as they are calling it, is being hosted by Riot Games. I like this idea as a place were cosplayers can go and rest or do repairs. But I never really used the 10th floor before so I'm not losing anything.

I can understand why people who use that area are upset though. It's two weeks before the con and a lot of the cosplay photoshoots have already made arrangements. Now they have to scramble to try and find another area that won't be too crowded and big enough to contain a cosplay group. I've actually never done a photoshoot - but I've seen pictures and they can be large gatherings.

Hopefully those groups will find places to go and hopefully the cosplay area is pretty cool!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Stuffed Animals & Adults

The above tweet was one of many that I tweeted and retweeted last night in the wake of Robin William' passing. I had just put Emily to bed when I found out and Todd was at work. I snuggled into bed with my stuffed puppy though for something to hug.

I'm sure many people think stuffed animals are just for kids. I loved them when I was young and my Pooh was so loved that he is flat now. Even though college and beyond, I always liked sleeping with a stuffed animal. I liked hugging something that didn't wiggle like a person did.

Several years ago, Emily gave me one of her bears and he was dubbed Chronic Pain Bear. When Todd went into the hospital and was diagnosed with MS earlier this year, we gave Chronic Pain Bear to him. Emily gave me a new stuffed animal who was renamed Chronic Pain Puppy.

We all sleep with our respective stuffed animals. Emily's favorites change. Right now her favorite is a tiger that she named White Ninja. But it was a comfort to me to have Chronic Pain Puppy to snuggle while I was grieving

Monday, August 11, 2014

Depression and Suicide

I've been reading Emily a chapter of Coraline most nights, which has been making our bedtime routine a little longer than it previously has been. I was offline for about a half hour doing bedtime things with her - potty, teeth, story, song, prayers and finally tuckering her in.

I did what I do most nights and I opened up Facebook on my phone to find that Robin Williams had been found dead of an apparent suicide. I had no idea that he had been suffering from depression.

He made up a lot of bits of my childhood. I remember watching him in Mork and Mindy as a very small child. I loved him as the genie in Aladdin and as Peter Pan in Hook. He was just a great, great entertainer.

Depression is a serious disease and it breaks my heart that it has claimed another life. I never really understood depression until I started having issues with it myself. I've talked about my struggles with depression before.

Depression drains you of hope, but like The Bloggess says, depression lies. Depression tells you that you are worthless, that life isn't worth it. But there is hope out there.

There can be such a stigma with taking antidepressants but I don't understand why. When I finally got help when I had postpartum depression, it was like a veil had been lifted. I had been in darkness for eight months and didn't realize something was wrong because depression wants you to think that it's the norm.

I'm not ashamed to admit that I still am on antidepressants. I suffer from depression and anxiety - those little pills that I take help me lead a happier life.

My thoughts and prayers are with Robin Williams and his loved ones tonight. It makes my heart ache that he felt he had to take that final step. But I truly hope that he is at peace now.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy & The Kindergartner

In my house, we have a love of the new Marvel movies. Both Todd and I have collected comics in our past but not so much anymore. But we love the superhero movies and have found the Marvel ones to be highly entertaining.

We have just about all of them on DVD and I like watching them especially when I'm not feeling bad. Even though she's just five, Emily's seen pretty much all of them. She loves the Hulk and tends to cry out, "HULK SMASH," when we watch The Avengers even when Hulk or Bruce Banner aren't on the screen.

When we saw the trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy, she instantly loved Rocket and wanted to see it. Even though she's only 5, we decided to take her to the theater when we saw it.

She was extremely excited - bouncing around as we waited in the long line to get tickets and then snacks. As the movie went on, she laughed a lot. She wasn't scared and honestly there wasn't of content that I thought was objectionable.

We saw it in a 2D show because while Emily will wear the 3D glasses she tends to want to take them off after a while. There were a lot of kids there - the theater was nearly full!

Marvel movies are really great family films - especially for a super hero lover like my daughter.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Haunted Mansion Tightrope Girl

I love the Haunted Mansion. I have since I was a kid. Our first trip to Disney World was when I was nine. I was fascinated by the ride and also a little scared. But once I was done, I wanted to go again. On Main Street there was a shop where I got a book and record of the Haunted Mansion - I loved it and listened to it a lot when we got home.

Even now as an adult the Haunted Mansion is my favorite ride. I also collect Haunted Mansion merchandise - mostly pins. One of the highlights of our last Disney trip was me going to the Halloween party by myself - and riding the Haunted Mansion in the dead of night is a trip.

We had planned on going to a horror con in March and I had been racking my brain for a horror-ish costume to wear when I thought of the Tightrope Girl. If you have never been in the Haunted Mansion, when you first walk in, you are in a large room with pictures. As the pre-show continues, the room stretches revealing horrifying situations that the people in the pictures are in. The Tightrope Girl is balancing over an alligator who wants to eat her.

Because of Todd being laid off in March, we didn't actually get to go to that convention. But I had already started working on the costume. I didn't work on it for a while, but started back up with gusto a while ago to get it finished for Dragon Con.

Yesterday I finished it and I'm pretty pleased with the finished product. I wish I could have made the sleeves poofier, but they are as good as I could get. My mother in law was kind enough to make the cowl for me as well!

If you are going to be at Dragon Con, look for me on Saturday as the Tightrope Girl! I'll be marching in the parade in the Disney section.