Apr 29, 2009

Hanging Out And Staying Up Late

So I'm sitting in my room at 4:00 a. m. and there are 7 other people still hanging out in here with me.
It's the last day of "vacation" in Banff and nobody wants it to end so they aren't wanting to go to bed.

I'm looking forward to coming home (sort of) and blogging about my Calgary trip, but right now I'm just killing time listening to Josh Ortega talk (and talk and talk.....) while some of the artists are drawing in each others sketch books.
There's a Latin guitar CD playing in the background with a cover of the "Spider-Man" cartoon theme on one of the tracks.

I'd like to say to I want to go to bed, but really... I don't.
This is fun.
Hanging out in the room, listening to people in the comics business just be themselves without the typical convention type of conversation.

Well, hopefully I can sneak my sketchbook onto the table and get something while they're drawing.
We'll see........

Apr 24, 2009

Greetings From The "Other" West

Just a brief post to fill you all in on what's been happening.

Tuesday: flew out in the late afternoon with Technogreek from Sea-Tac headed for Calgary.
The flight went fine until closer to the Calgary airport. We hit some turbulence and I started getting queasy.
Made it off the plane and after a few hours of feeling nauseous, I started to feel better. Slept well and woke up the next day feeling much better.

Wednesday: A whole lot of nothin', really.
There were incidental things to do, but not a lot. Ate breakfast around noon. Ran some errands.
Looked over the convention schedule and made changes. That kind of stuff.

Thursday: Busier day. The rest of the Seattle crew came into Calgary around 1:30 p.m.
We all started stuffing badges, mounting signs, organizing exhibitor packets, framing art (for the art auction), etc....
That night we all went out to dinner at a steak restaurant. Yummy meat! I also had a pomegranate mojito. Woo!
Got back to the house (not staying at the hotel yet) around 2:00 a.m. Yikes!
Oh! Did I mention we had dinner with James Kyson Lee? Yeah. We did. He's a nice guy. Kind of "struts" as he walks. It's funny to watch.

Today: packed up my stuff as I am actually checking into the hotel today.
I'm also spending the day in the hotel lobby greeting guests (Oh.. like Jewel Staite, Terry Moore, Margot Kidder, Bruce Timm..... expecting to meet about 100 different guests as they check in)
I've got to give them their badges and program guide for the show.
I also have to get to a bank before they show up, as I'm starting to run out of my Canadian money I brought with me. I need to exchange the rest of my American cash.
On a side note; also hoping to hit a Tim Horton's this morning as well.

Anyway, I gotta wrap this up. Heading out to the hotel in a few minutes and I gotta give this laptop back to it's rightful owner.
I'll update again if time permits.

Apr 21, 2009

Leavin' On A Jet Plane

But I do know when I'll be back again.

I'm all packed (early for once, can you believe it?) and just waiting until I have to leave to catch my ride to the airport.
I'm charging up my phone batteries, loading up my iPod, grabbing books and stuff I want to get signed, and just enjoying the extra time off I have from work to do all of it.

This evening Technogreek & I are flying up to Calgary a few days early before the Expo.
We'll be joined by a few other Seattle volunteer alumni in a couple more days.

Last year's trip was hard work but a fun experience.
At least this year I'll be going into it with an idea of what to expect so I don't think it'll be too bad.
Plus I'll have the added bonus of seeing Terry Moore again! (Woo-hoo!)
Hopefully I'll be bringing back some cool new art. (And not just from him)
I'm also hoping to get my picture taken with Jewel Staite, since I wasn't able to at ECCC this year, so if that works out it'll be a nice addition to my wall.

So not really anything to blog about right at the moment.
Just letting you ya'll know that I'll be offline for a few days, but to expect lots of fun pictures and a convention report when I return.
If you read this and want to text me (and have my phone number), feel free.
I won't be answering any phone calls however.

In the meantime, be good to one another and GO OUTSIDE AND ENJOY THIS AWESOME SUNSHINE!!!!

Peace out.

Apr 19, 2009

Swan Lake & Spearmint

Yesterday Hotness and I took my aunt out for her (early) birthday present to see "Swan Lake" at the ballet.
It's something she's always wanted to see live and never had the chance until now.
She lives further north from us so pretty much our entire day was involved with getting ready, picking her up, driving to Seattle, and taking her back home.
We typically go in the evenings, but since this was a special treat for my aunt, we exchanged our tickets for a matinee performance.

We had a good time and she really enjoyed getting to go to the ballet.

For those unfamiliar with the story of Swan Lake, here's a brief synopsis:
Boy turns 21 and on his birthday a bunch of friends gather to celebrate. His mom (the Queen) gives him a cross bow, 'cause he like to hunt, and reminds him that he also is old enough to get married and will have to pick a bride soon. She will be holding a ball that next evening and he can pick one then.
The boy reluctantly agrees and then he sees a flock of swans in the sky, so he and his buddies take off to go hunting for them.

It's evening and as the swans land on the ground they turn into beautiful maidens.
The boy sees this and can't believe his eyes. He sends the other hunters home and dances with the most beautiful maiden, whom he finds out is the Queen of the maidens.
They have been cursed to live as swans by day, and only allowed to be human when night falls.
The boy is falling in love with the maiden and she tells him that the only way to break the curse is to pledge his faithfulness to her. About that time the wizard who cursed the maidens shows up and takes the Queen maiden away.

The next evening everybody is at the palace and the eligible brides-to-be are presented to the boy, but he's not interested.
Suddenly the wizard appears and with him is the Swan Queen.
Both she and the wizard are rather cold and rude the the boy and his mother, but the boy dances with her and can't believe that she has shown up to the ball.
Things don't seem right, as a vision of the Swan Queen appears to the boy, but he just passes it off and keeps dancing with her.

Finally they boy can't believe his good fortune and pledges his undying love and faithfulness to the young girl only to discover that she was a fake made to look like the Swan Queen and he has now doomed his true love to live with the curse forever.

The ball ends and the boy rushes out into the woods to find his love.
They dance and he begs for forgiveness but it's no good.
Although she forgives him, she is still cursed.
Finally the wizard appears and takes her away and the boy is left alone in his grief.

It's a classic in the ballet repertoire and full of beauty and tragedy.



We drove back north to take my aunt home and then headed home ourselves.
It was early evening, so we went to our neighbor's place and watched the last episode of "Dollhouse". I kind of like this show and hear it's been picked up for a second season, so it'll be cool to see how it develops further when it comes back.


After we were finished, we went back home and what should see in our yard....?
A horse!

It belonged to our neighbor behind us and had 'escaped' it's pasture and found that the grass in our yard was just yummy for grazing. Obviously Hotness was happy to have a horse to have to 'care for', after calling the neighbors and letting them know we'd horse-sit for the night, I coaxed it into our fenced pasture and she filled up the water container for it.
I went to bed shortly after that, but she stayed up for a bit peeking out the window at it.

This morning we got up and the horse was still there, just eating grass.
Hotness got her brushes out and mixed up some bran mash and went outside to have some "horsey-time".




(Why can't I ever come home and find Dita in my yard?!? I'd stay up all night peeking out the window and in the morning I'd go out and brush her hair. I don't think it's fair, I tell you.)

After brushing and feeding the horse, we went into town to have breakfast.
Then we walked to the local hardware store where I picked up some plants to bring back home and pot up.

I got some cilantro because I'm constantly buying it to use at the house. I figured it would probably cost less to just plant my own and harvest it as needed.

I also picked up some chocolate mint and spearmint.
The chocolate mint just smells good and will be good to make tea with.
The spearmint....? Well, that's for making mojitos later when it FINALLY warms up around here.

And that catches us up with what's been happening.
As soon as I get done bloggin' here, I'm going to start packing up my suitcases for my Calgary trip next week.

I take off Tuesday evening, so that leaves me with one day of work and I don't want to try and pack after I come home tomorrow night. All day Tuesday will be spent running the last few errands I need to take care of before I leave, so I hope to get the packing done today and then relax.

I hope you all took advantage of the nice weather this weekend. Hopefully it'll stay around for a few more days.


Until next time.....

Apr 17, 2009

Support Your Local Music Store

Did you know that tomorrow (Apr. 18) is Record Store Day?
It is.
The day was started a couple of years ago to drum up support for the small, independent stores that are disappearing.

I used to have a favorite, locally-owned music store that I'd frequent and pick up my new and used CD's from.
Unfortunately they went out of business a few years back when iTunes had reached their gazillionth customer.
He said he just couldn't compete in a dying industry and sold everything.

I miss that place a lot.
They were friendly, knowledgeable and they had lots of cool hard-to-find music. Plus they were just fun to go in and talk to when I was in the area.

I've since gone to chain stores, like Best Buy, but they just don't have the personality and they only carry "what's popular".
I've also ordered from Amazon.com with okay success, but a I really prefer to buy something I can have my hands on as I'm purchasing it.
Lately I've been trying to order direct from the artist, so they they get as much of my money for their work without having to deal with an intermediary getting a cut.

I still haven't gotten anything from iTunes yet. Not that I dislike them, but I still really enjoy owning my music on 3-dimensional media (i.e. a CD), not just as a download on my computer.
(Not that I don't have plenty of those... if you catch my drift. *wink*)

Anyway, if you find yourself out-and-about tomorrow in the sunshine and happen to be near a local, independent music store. Pop in and wish them a "Happy Record Store Day" and maybe buy something they'd recommend. You might be surprised to find something new you hadn't heard before.

That's how I discovered a bunch of new artists. The store I used to go to would tell me, "You know, since you like 'so-and-so, you might also like 'such-and-such. They have similar roots in their style."

And you know what? 90% of the time they were right.

Gamers Unite!

This:

is freaking cool looking.
Word!



Found out about it here.
But you can buy it here.

Apr 16, 2009

For Lack Of Anything Intersting Happening

Seems like a lot of us are on "blog hiatus" recently.

Other than my ECCC convention reports, I really haven't had anything happen worth blogging about.
Stuff is coming up that'll be worth mentioning on here, but nothing just yet.

So until then, I have some random crap I found on the interwebs that I thought I'd share with ya'll.


Some 'circuitry snacks' for all you budding electrical types out there.


These look like a a lot of fun to make! I'll have to find a reason for making them soon.
(By way of the Presfurfer)


----------------

More geeky goodness.
A 'Missile Command' skirt.


Yeah. Awesome.
Too bad I couldn't get Hotness to wear one.


----------------

Intersting news from Russia.
Hairdresser turns robber into 'sex slave'.
Rawr! You go tiger!





Well, that's about it for now.
Stay tuned.....

Apr 12, 2009

Serves Him Right.... The Big Douche

Aw... poor Billiy Bob Thornton got booed off stage and has cancelled the rest of his Canadian tour after insulting his Canadian listeners in that radio interview earlier this week.


Serves that jackass right.

"I'm Shaking My Butt!"

I got to spend some time with my niece and nephew on Friday before their dad and I took off to go watch a movie that evening.

She keeps getting sillier every time I see her and this last visit was no exception.
Here she is showing off her new 'skillz':
video

When asked where she learned this move, she replied; "I learned it from my momma".

Apr 11, 2009

He Was A Baaaah-d Man

"Magic goat" arrested for armed robbery.

He was 'caught' by vigilantes after trying to steal a Mazda 323.


Okay... you know what? I'm going to bed now.
This concludes the amount of weird crap I can handle in one day.

Salty, Smoky Goodness

The world's most perfect food just became even more perfect.


Researchers in England have discovered that bacon actually helps to cure hangovers better than other so-called remedies.


It's been a handed down remedy for years, but people assumed that food was 'soaking up' the alcohol which wasn't the case.
And having worked as a dishwasher for a while, I can attest to the enormous amounts of 'breakfast food' (pancakes, eggs, toast, and even bacon) that would get ordered shortly after the bars closed. Ironically enough... I never saw any leftover bacon on the plates I had to clean.


So in looking around the internet for other bacon-related information to go along with this tidbit of news, I discovered that Daniel Craig (the most recent James Bond) had a huge hankering for "Bacon Butties" while on the set during the filming of the last 007 movie.

Sounds like just the thing to have the morning after drinking all those "Vesper martinis", eh?




I did a search for a recipe and found various versions, including a scientifically proven formula for the "perfect" recipe.
They all sounded good, but there were a few constants amongst them all:
The bread must have a crispy crust
The bacon must also be crispy, so thin-sliced bacon is better than the thick-sliced variety
Sauce is optional, but ketchup seems to be one of the most commonly used



I'm thinking of trying one of these (in the interest of science, of course!) and see what all the fuss is about. It's very popular across the pond apparently.

If any of you have had one before (or try it our after reading this), please let me know what you thought of it in the comments.

Apr 10, 2009

Saber Fight

Another video for you in lieu of actual content.



How come this kind of thing never happens at any of the cons?





* Safe for work... unless people in their underwear is a problem for your boss & co-workers

Apr 9, 2009

Inside All Of Us Is.... Poop

Your "nugget" of joy for the day:

Apr 8, 2009

What A Jackass

Just breifly....

Here's a link to a podcast from a Canadian radio station.
The DJ was interviewing Billy Bob Thorton and his band, the Boxmasters.

The interview turns into a trainwreck and based on Billy Bob's attitude, I'll never buy or endorse any of his music.
What a total dick.


** Update 04/09/09
Now Yahoo.com has picked up the story.
I still think the guy was a jerk.

Emerald City Comic Con - 2009 (Pt. 2)

So where did I leave off?
Oh yeah....

After making the rounds at Dragonfish and then going to our hotel room, I was pretty wiped out.
I figured sleep was only moments away and a good night's rest was about to happen.
That is, until I crawled into bed and started coughing. And coughing. And coughing.

I got up to go to the bathroom and blow my nose and cough, but I just couldn't stop.
I didn't actually get to sleep until after 1:00 a.m. Then I woke up coughing again around 4:30 a.m.
By the time Hotness and Ren woke up, I had been awake (and coughing) for a while.
They told me I didn't have to whisper anymore but my voice was gone. I couldn't talk above a whisper. Oh wonderful.

I didn't go for breakfast that morning, so I just grabbed a banana (potassium!) and headed over to the convention center. My mom was coming to the show early that day and I wanted to greet her and get her in as soon as she arrived.
Also we'd had some 'snags' with lunch delivery to the guests and I wanted to find out what the plan for the day was going to be. Turned out there wasn't one yet when I showed up.

I handed out a few miscellaneous comics to the people waiting in line to get in and then went and met my mom down in the lobby.
I showed her around until it was about 10:00 a.m. then left her to wander the floor while I attended to my duties.

I'm not going to go into great detail about Sunday, but it was not as pleasant a day as the second day usually is.
There were quite a few SNAFUs that prevented me from doing what I do properly, and it made me feel like I wasn't doing a good job.
Overall though, all the guests, attendees and exhibitors I spoke with had a great time and really love coming to Seattle for this show. So ultimately, things worked out well.

I didn't get around to see as many people as I had planned on doing, so I got only a couple of signatures. But I was able to add to my self-portrait sketchbook a little and I got a sweet piece of original art (which I haven't scanned yet, but will shortly). I also picked up a few new books and I got all three of the limited prints I had my heart set on getting. So I guess I can't complain.

Having been on my feet ALL DAY and talking (which further strained my cough-strained vocal chords), I was absolutely wiped out when the show ended.
I met up with Hotness and she was pretty much spent as well. Since she had to work the next day (which entails getting up early), we decided to skip the after-show festivities and go straight home.
From some of the pictures I've seen of the party, it figures that the one time we miss out on the dinner is the one time that the media guests actually went. *sigh!* Oh well.

I'm feeling much better and my feet don't ache as much, but my voice is still gone. It doesn't help that I talk on the phone all day at work, so it's not getting a chance to rest and heal.
I may not be singing any Ozzy tunes at the next Rock Band party any time soon at this rate.

Hotness, on the other hand is teetering on the verge of coming down with Con SARS. So she's taking it easy and hoping that rest will help to ward it off.
I'm still dosing up on echinacea, zinc and vitamin C just to give my system enough boost to get rid of this lingering cold.
I still have 2 weeks until I leave for Calgary and I don't want to sound like Rod Stewart.

So the show is over now and is just a memory.
I've got Calgary coming up, so I'll regale you with another con report soon.
In the meantime, I hope you are all well and if you made it to the show let me know.

Apr 6, 2009

Emerald City Comic Con - 2009

The show is over, I've rested up a bit, and I'm now ready to share.

It's a long post, folks. Better be prepared to read for a while.

Friday I got up early with Hotness and packed the car for the weekend.
She had to work a half-day, so I went into work with her until it was time to head into Seattle.

We got to Seattle and checked into the hotel.
Whoa! It was a sweet room and the service was great. Looking forward to staying here again.
I took surprisingly few pictures this year, but I wish I'd gotten some of the room.
The bathroom was H-U-G-E!

After unpacking, we met up with Steph before going to the convention center. While we were in the lobby I saw Filip Sablik (from Top Cow). He had just gotten in as well, so we decided to grab some lunch together.
We ate at the Daily Grill and had some really yummy food.
Then it was time to meet up with everyone at the convention center.

Quite a few of the volunteers had already gotten there and were busy stuffing a few give-away bags and organizing the registration area.
Hotness and went our separate ways about that point. She stayed to talk and catch up with some of the volunteers while I went in to check out the floor layout and get familiar with where everything was. I also wanted to see who was here and possibly give some of the gifts I had for guests if they were around.

As luck would have it, Brian Pulido was there setting up his booth. When he was here a couple years back, we'd talked about bands we were into and I told him about my collection of concert bootlegs.
So this year I made him copies of Black Sabbath w/ Ozzy from 1978, and w/ Ronnie James Dio from 1980. I also made a copy of a concert right before Van Halen's debut album and one of Aerosmith in 1990. (All of which our some of my favorites). I even found a few mp3s of a band called Beatallica and made up a CD of them for him to check out.
Lastly, I remembered that he and his wife really liked sushi so I printed up a list of restaurants near the convention center for him.
He was pleased as punch to receive all of the gifts and really surprised that I had even remembered talking about it.

That night a group of us wanted to get some drinks and then food (in that order).
We went to Von's for martinis. we were sitting at the table when I noticed Stephen Silver come in. He recognized me from Calgary last year, so I went up to say "hi" before he got a table.
When the waitress arrived it was a round of alcohol for everybody. Not having anything to eat really put the alcohol into my system quickly. When she came back and asked if we wanted anything else I ordered another drink, but I wasn't able to finish it as I was REALLY starting to feel it now. It was an absinthe, and man that stuff is strong!

I could only finish half of it before I knew I'd better quit or else face dire consequences.

We walked up the block and had dinner at the Daily Grill, where more people joined up in our group.

There was about 12 of us just sitting around eating and drinking and having a great time.
By the way, look at the size of this pot pie somebody ordered! It's freaking GINORMOUS!


It was getting late, so we all went back to our hotel rooms and sleep (as best as we could) for the convention the next day.
On our way to the room, four of us popped into Ruth's Chris Steakhouse to see who might be hanging around and we ran into Ted Naifeh and a friend.
He was hilarious and since Hotness was really hoping to meet him at the show, this was a geek moment for her.
--------------------------------------
On Saturday morning I met up and had breakfast with Chris B. at the Dragonfish.
Then went back to the hotel to gather up my stuff.

The show opened at 10:00 a.m. I got the the convention center around 8:30 and there was already a very large line waiting to get in.


We had a brief meeting (the guest service volunteers) and then went about waiting until the show began.
Guests started trickling in and I introduced myself to the new ones and reacquainted myself with the ones who'd been here before.
Some of them I had brought gifts for, so I wanted to make sure and give them to them before I got too busy and forgot.

I saw Colleen Coover and Paul Tobin who were very nice. I gave Paul a copy of an out of print Tom Jones CD, since we're both big fans, and told him how much I was enjoying his books. I hadn't read any of his stuff the prior year, so he was glad to hear that I since we last met.

Rob Liefeld was just getting settled in at his both, when I stopped by to say hello and leave a bag
of mini Snickers for him. I remembered that he was a big candy junky last time he was here, so he was really glad I had brought them for him.

Mike & Miriam were back and I brought them a copy of a U2 concert from Israel in 1997.

Next to them was Jim Mahfood. When I saw him in Calgary last year, I told him I'd get copies of some of the mashups I've collected to him. Taking a cue from this, I made my own version with over 100 different mashups and remixes. He was suitably impressed and I'm looking forward to hearing how he liked the music when he gets the chance.

I also met back up with Gene Ha and Stuart Immonen, who both remembered me from Calgary last year. Dan Brereton and his wife. Steve Rolston (who I remembered to bring Red Bull drinks for). Stephen Sadowski and partner. Jeff Parker. And quite a few others.

When 10:00 a.m. came around, the doors opened and the attendees poured in.
After that it was a blur of activity.
I'd like to tell you a lot of interesting stories while I was on the floor, but to be honest it went by really fast and I was extremely busy.
We had some trouble getting drinks in for the guests, so that was a hurdle that had to be jumped. Not to mention trying to get the lunch orders handed out and picked back up in time to get the guests their lunches. It was a busy, busy day.
When 6:00 p.m. came and the Saturday show was over, the guests headed out to do their own thing while the volunteers and staff went to do theirs.

Hotness was working with the media guests, so I really didn't get to see her much during the day.
She made some loose plans for us to have dinner with friends, and then possibly followed up with having drinks with the BSG guys if they made it out of their rooms for the night.

We had dinner at Daily Grill which was fantastic and followed it up with sushi and drinks at Dragonfish. The BSG guys never showed up, but many of the other volunteers made their way over to Dragonfish later in the evening so there were a few "pockets" of us scattered throughout the restaurant. I made my way among each of them seeing how their day went and so on.

A long day followed by a long evening, so we thought we'd go back to our room and sleep before Sunday rolled around.



And right about now, I realize this is getting extremely long-winded. So I'm going to cut it off here and I'll follow up with the second day of the show in another day or two.




Apr 3, 2009

Convention Time - Seattle Version

Well, this is it.
It's time once again for the Emerald City Comic Convention.

I'll be volunteering at the show, as will Hotness, so I'll be "off-the-grid" for the next few days.

Look for my report of the show, complete with pictures and hopefully a bunch of new art next week after I recover.

If you're coming out to the show, make sure to say "hi"when you're there.

Be back soon!......

Apr 2, 2009

Just In Time

After having a total blast of fun last weekend, I woke up on Monday feeling off-kilter.
I immediately starting taking extra vitamin C and echinacea w/ zinc to ward off any bad "cold germ" mojo.

It seems to have worked for the most part.
I'm not at 100 % yet, but I'm feeling about 75 - 80% right now, which isn't too bad.
I'll be running on adrenaline during the show, so that'll make up for whatever 'health' I'm lacking.
Unfortunately I'll just have to be prepared to CRASH after the show is over when my system realizes I've overworked it.

But wait! That's not all.
On Tuesday I broke out in a rash and couldn't figure out why. It was all over my body in splotches and especially my hands and head.
I suffered through it and it seemed to get a little better by that evening.
Then on Wednesday morning, while I was in the shower it happened again, only this time more severely.

Apparently I was allergic to something in the soap that I was using. Hotness had just put a brand new bar in the shower on... you guessed it, Tuesday.
So by the second time I was using it my body said "Whoa! This isn't cool, so I'm going to turn all red and rash-like now!"
So Wednesday was actually worse than the day before, and it continued to itch and hurt into that evening.

It's getting much better, thanks to an oatmeal bath, some hydrocortisone and lots of moisturizer.
The red spots aren't so red and it doesn't itch as much.
I'm hoping it'll all be gone by Friday so I wont look like a patchwork freak for the show.

This stuff couldn't have happened at a better time, I tell ya!

Apr 1, 2009

Did Somebody Say "BACON"?

After having made bacon explosion and deep-fried bacon I'm willing to try this out.




So is it a real product or just a cruel April Fool's joke?