I'm a bachelor again this weekend.
Hotness took off this morning to spend time with her mother one more time.
I used to call her mom every week or so (more often when the cancer started taking over) to just talk and make her laugh and to catch up on things that she wasn't sure she should tell her daughter. I'd filter the information and relay it to Hotness. (Her mom could be a bit dramatic, so it was always best to 'temper' what she had to say)
I haven't been able to do that in a while. In fact, the last time I got to talk to her was the weekend that Hotness and I got engaged (over a couple of months ago now). After that, her health got worse and she moved out of her house and into a nursing home for 24-hour care.
I'd been meaning to send her a card to cheer her up and let her know I was still thinking about her, but things would side-track me and I'd never take time to do it.
So last night, before Hotness was going to leave for her trip, I went to the local Hallmark shop to get a couple of cards for her to deliver for me when she got there.
I looked and looked until I found what I thought expressed the feelings I wanted to convey.
One was a humorous card about surrounding yourself with friends. The other was a sympathy card, which is kind of weird to buy BEFORE someone is dead let alone give it to the person who is the subject of the sympathy... but whatever.
I went up to the counter to pay and the cashier asked if I'd found everything I was looking for.
Instead of just saying "Yes I did. Thank you", I said "Well actually not quite, but these will do".
"Oh. Well can I help you find something more appropriate?" she asked.
"I don't know. It's kind of complicated. I was trying to find a card for my future mother-in-law who has terminal cancer. I don't think you have a card for anything like that" I replied.
She said, "As a matter fact, we do have a few cards that deal with sensitive subjects, including a few that relate to cancer. They're over here", and she directed me to an end cap with a few topical cards of diverse subjects.
I didn't find quite what I was hoping to, so I stuck with the original two I had picked out.
But I'll be dipped in cheese fondue. They really DO have a card for every situation.
I think I'm going to have to make it a personal goal to come up with topics that Hallmark hasn't got a card for now.
In the meantime, I've got stuff to do while Hotness is away.
I have some planting to do at the old homestead, so that'll get me outside in the sunshine during the day.
On Saturday late morning I'm going to watch my niece perform in her first ballet dance recital. And that evening I have plans to go to the ballet in Seattle (our last one for this season) with a couple of friends since Hotness won't be here to make it this time.
I'm also expecting a couple of DVD's to arrive in the mail: Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus and Fanboys. If I'm lucky, they'll be waiting in my mailbox for me when I get home this afternoon.
Some tacos, mojitos and two huge sea-beasties beating the crap outta each other. It's gonna be a good evening.....
May 29, 2009
I'm a bachelor again this weekend.
May 23, 2009
Some of my favorite lines from this clip:
Girl: "... and if the fad ever dies out..."
Boy: "Which we all know will NEVER happen!"
Woman: "... and I found him. And he's uncut...."
Here's a funny article about them as well.
Ha ha ha!!!
Good thing I'm investing in comic books. I'll never have to worry about losing money on them. They're a sure bet to my financial future!
May 22, 2009
It was only a joke, but a very well-received one. So much so that some folks were going to to even try and make their own 'cause they thought it was so cool.
May 21, 2009
May 20, 2009
How ya'll been?
I've been away from blogging 'cause there hasn't been anything to really talk about other than my "deck garden" than I'm slowing getting together.
This cool Spring weather is really making things difficult for my 'warm-weather' plants.
Ah well, I'll just keep plugging along and hope for the best.
Hotness and I have one more ballet to attend for this season and then we're finished for this year. (Well, the 2008-2009 season anyway)
We're looking into getting tix for next season, but it's still kind of up in the air right now.
However, I did get tickets for the 2009-2010 season of the Seattle Opera.
They have a big year planned, what with the "Ring" cycle taking place as well this season.
Unfortunately I couldn't afford to include those performances with our subscription, but we are going to see three classics of Italian opera: La Traviata, Il Trovatore, and Falstaff.
I'm looking forward to all three, but especially Il Trovatore.
This one has most of the music that even the non-opera goers are familiar with, including the "Anvil Chorus". Plus our tickets for the weekend of my birthday!
So you can look forward to reading my opera reviews as well as my ones from the ballet.
I know you all will be excited about that.
In other news......
This trailer has been making the rounds on the interwebs:
It looks cheesy as all get-out but you know I'm going to be picking that badboy up.
It came out just yesterday on DVD and had already sold out when I looked on Amazon.com for it.
I'm already hoping there will be a sequel.
Where the octopus is a ninja and wields eight swords while fighting a shark with frickin' lasers on it's head.
That'd be so cool!
May 13, 2009
May 12, 2009
One thing I've always enjoyed doing, but never got to do enough of, was have a garden.
I had one when I was a teenager, but never really had much luck with it.
It's not that I don't have a green thumb, I just didn't have a great location (very shaded) and the soil was pretty poor.
The plants never really did well, but it didn't stop me from trying anyway.
I've been wanting to put in a garden at "Casa de Ferretnick" ever since we moved out there a few years ago.
This year, I'm finally starting to make that dream a reality.
On Saturday, I planted a bunch of seeds in a starter tray.
I realize I'm kind starting it pretty late in the season, but they aren't going to grow by themselves. Uh... wait a minute. I guess they do.
Well, anyway you know what I mean.
Instead of digging up the yard, though. I'm going to container garden everything and keep them up on my deck. They'll be safe from the deer and I can control pesky slugs a lot easier.
Plus, if I want something all I have to do is walk out on the deck and pick it. I don't have to go "out to the garden".
I mostly planted a bunch of mixed salad greens but I also planted spinach, brussels sprouts, snap peas, green beans, radishes and tonight I'm planting some broccoli , green onions, and carrots.
I also planted some corn and mammoth sunflowers, although I'm planning on putting them in the ground at the south end of the house. I don't have any containers big enough for them.
Also, if I'm really lucky, I might even get some tomatoes this year as well.
So with any luck my deck will be a festival of food as the summer gets closer.
In the meantime, the flowers I have planted around the place are doing nicely.
My Columbines along the walkway are really big this year.
And my Bachelor Buttons are starting to break out in bloom finally.
It's nice to come home after work and see all the color as I walk to the door.
And I'm especially looking forward to being able to make a salad from food I've grown on my deck.
In other "garden" related news:
I didn't plant any of these
But then, I didn't know you could get them from a greenhouse.
May 9, 2009
I went to see "Star Trek" this morning. It is teh awesome!
No need to give a review. If you haven't seen it yet, you must. It's the law.
To start the day, I had breakfast with some good friends and then we all headed to the theater to watch it.
Afterwards, I stopped at the hardware store before coming home.
It was a BEAUTIFUL day today, and the lawn is in much need of taming.
I picked up some motor oil for the mower and a few plants to put in my flower bed right in front of the entry door.
Then Hotness took off and mowed like crazy while I mixed up some Miracle-Gro and watered the outdoor plants. It's been such a late spring that I figured a little extra boost of "food" would probably help 'em out.
Things are coming up good... slowly, but good. The dang slugs have been munching on all the tender shoots that are poking up out of the ground, so I sprinkled slug bait around everything.
I expect to fine lots of dead, slimy carcasses in the morning. Bwa-ha-ha!
But at least the plants will have a fighting chance to grow now.
I planted some tomato seeds. I'm kind late actually getting to it in May, but we'll see. If I get some, great. If not, no harm done.
I'm planning on planting some salad greens in pots on my deck, as well. My hope is that I can pick what I need for a salad anytime I want without buying a whole head of lettuce or a bag of it and then have what I didn't need go bad in my fridge.
I FINALLY got the front tires on my car changed last night after I got home from work.
I still had my snow tires on. Every time I wanted to switch them, something would come up and I wouldn't have time or it was pouring rain when I'd get home.
Last night nothing was preventing me, so I jacked up the front end and did the ol' switcheroo on them.
Then I made a margarita and played some Guitar Hero until Hotness got home.
Hmmm.. let's see....
Oh! I bought an electric weed trimmer today. (On my second trip to the hardware store in town)
I have a big, heavy-duty, gas-powered Stihl trimmer but it's a little too powerful to use right next to the house.
On more than one occasion I've whacked the siding and made a mess. Now I have something that won't cause as much damage and Hotness can even use it if she wants.
Other than that, my week hasn't been that eventful.
I did come across a link I'll share with you though.
Do you like to see people looking ridiculous? Do you like to make fun of them?
Then check out: Look at this F#&*^%G Hipster
That's all for now.
Nothing terribly exciting, I'm afraid.
But aren't you glad I didn't have another boring post about the convention?
May 8, 2009
Alright, I'll try to wrap this up 'cause it's really gone on longer than I had planned on.
Besides, I'm going to see "Star Trek" this Saturday and I want to be able to talk about that after I watch it.
Not much sleep on Saturday night so on Sunday I was running on fumes.
Thankfully the day was less crowded and therefore less busy.
I grabbed a few people who were volunteering and they were absolutely the best help I could've asked for!
They helped get the lunches out and on time without any problems. YAY!
Palindrome hooked me up and got me a chance to have my picture taken with Jewel Staite.
Thanks man! You're awesome!
I know I look like a dork... but hey, I got my picture with her. I'm a happy camper now.
I also got a few new self-portrait sketches at the show. You can check 'em out here, but here are the artists that drew them:
Bryan Lee O'Malley
Heck! You can go check out all the new sketches I got here.
I went to the auction for the pieces that were in this year's Calgary Expo Artbook to bid on a couple of pieces I had my eyes on. One of them being the Terry Moore piece.
I lost the bid on the second picture I wanted, but after a brief and heated bidding war I won the piece that I really wanted by Terry!
here he is holding it after I won it
It's currently being framed at the moment and will be hanging on my wall soon!
The show wrapped up and everybody went out to a post-show dinner before making the trek out to Banff.
On the way to the lodge, I rode with the Seattle crew (minus Technogreek) and we told some of the most awful, tasteless jokes we could think of. It was good times.
After we got to the lobby to check into our rooms, the kid behind the counter noticed that Josh Ortega was wearing a "Gears of War" T-shirt and commented about it.
When Josh told him, "I'm the guy who wrote the story for that game", that kid practically lost control of all bodily functions.
Then Josh told him who everybody was and the kid geeked out hardcore.
He came up after his shift and hung out with the group that evening and was amazed that he was surrounded by a bunch of comic book professionals. He just kept saying "WOW!".
We went to Canmore on Monday and visited an Ammolite jewelry factory.
Then we had lunch at an incredible beer brewery, the Grizzly Paw. I didn't have any beer, but I did have their hand-crafted root beer which was super-duper!
Above the door of the pub was a warning sign to watch out for bears in town.
It wasn't a joke. The bears have started to get used to seeing people so they aren't afraid to wander around downtown looking for food. In fact ALL of the garbage cans were even bear-proofed to help deter them.
We didn't see any bears on our trip, though.
That evening I watched "Machine Girl" with a few of the guests and laughed our heads off with all the ultra-violent nonsense!
On Tuesday, we went into the town of Banff (for reals, this time).
Technogreek is badass!
It comes in cans?!?
I got dropped off to do some gift buying while others went on to ride the famous gondola.
It was snowing practically the whole time we were in Canmore / Banff and on Tuesday it was not safe to run the gondolas so nobody got to experience it that day.
Instead, they texted me and we met up at another pub for a bite to eat.
Then on to the candy store for... what else? CANDY!!!!
We walked around town some more and I bought a few things for Hotness, my mom, and my niece & nephew that day and then we all headed back to the lodge for a rest.
That evening EVERYBODY headed back into Canmore for dinner at the Grizzly Paw Brewery one more time.
I had an Alberta beef dip with a side of poutine. YUM YUM!
Don't be hatin' the cheesy, gravy goodness!
I also picked up some tasty BBQ sauce that they make there.
Back at the lodge afterwards, everybody was having a good time.
It was the last evening together, and nobody wanted to go to bed.
I played "Rock Band" and "Street Fighter" on the PS3 with a few of the guests.
At one point during a game, Frank Cho walked in wearing a bathrobe (from the room) and watched everybody play for a bit.
Then suddenly, and very non-descriptly, he pulled out a package from his robe pocket and asked "Smoked salmon, anyone?".
Everybody erupted in laughter at the weirdness of it, but Frank just stood there and said, "It's really good. Try some".
After that I went back to my room where a few of the guests were drawing in each other's sketchbooks. Also, Josh Ortega and Liana K. we debating just about ANYTHING that could be debated.
They talked (and drank and talked.....) ALL through the night and into the next day.
It was fun listening to them, but man was I pooped. And I had to catch a plane home that afternoon.
We stayed at the lodge for a while that day packing up.
Some of the folks who hadn't gotten to ride the gondola the day before went back into Banff one more time since it stopped snowing.
Finally we all headed back to Calgary to go to the airport and catch our flights back home.
I remembered to take Dramamine this time, so my airplane ride was just peachy.
We got into Seattle around 6:30 p.m. (local time).
Hotness picked me and couple of other guys up and then dropped me off at my car while she continued on to drop them off where they needed.
I got home. Unpacked most of my bags. Sat down to eat with Hotness.
During dinner, I started slumping over and could barely keep my eyes open.
I finished dinner and went right to bed. I was asleep before my head hit the pillow and I slept for 12 hours straight!
I took the remaining couple of days of the week off from work to so that I didn't have to "jump into the fray" as soon as I got back.
I paid some bills, ran errands and stuff like that.
It was an awesome time but I'm glad to be back home.
I'm already looking forward to going again next year (hopefully), though.
Well, I hope I didn't bore you to death and I'm sorry it took so long to post about the trip (and that it took so MANY posts to do it).
May 7, 2009
After a late night, I got up and got ready to hang out downstairs in the lobby yet again.
I was helping to get the guests onto shuttle to the Expo before heading over there myself.
The shuttles took a while to get everyone there, as the traffic to the Stampede Grounds was already pretty busy with attendees showing up early. (read: parents dropping off their geek spawn at the doors)
Eventually they all got there okay though.
I ended up showing up after the show had opened, which sort of put me at a disadvantage right away.
I was in charge of guests services (getting water, food, etc.. the same thing I normally do at the conventions) but by showing up late I didn't know who or where my helpers were at.
I immediately set out checking with the guests and letting them know that we'd be taking their lunch orders shortly.
When I came back around a few minutes later, I discovered that somebody had come by and started bringing drinks to them.
I then found the two guys who were working in the same area and we set out to take care of lunch.
Saturday was extremely busy. (Good for the show... not so good for me)
Food orders were taken but because there were so many people, they vendor started running out of food and was making substitutions.
This was okay with most of the guests, but of course you have those few who think more highly of themselves than they should. I smoothed over the problems as best I could and continued to carry on.
The day went by quickly, though.
I managed to get a picture with Liana K. again this year:
And talked to a few of the guests.
I wanted to get pictures of costumes (there were A LOT of them) but I just didn't have time.
No Slave Leia's this year that I saw, but quite a few female heroes (i.e. Wonder Woman, Huntress, Supergirl, etc...).
There was even a guy wearing a "Black Spider-man" costume. I didn't get any pictures and really... you should thank me for that. The costume was form-fitting and didn't leave a lot to the imagination. It took a lot of self-confidence to walk around all day wearing that.
Everybody seemed to be having a good time despite it being so crowded.
Near the end of the day, I was invited to dinner by Kandrix and Laurie, along with Mike Kunkle, Robyn & Terry, and Technogreek.
We went to dinner at The Keg and had.... steak. (I ate a lot of steak during this trip!)
It was actually much better than the one I had a couple nights earlier.
The conversation was lively.
Technogreek regaled us with a yarn that involved sleep-deprived trips, getting lost in Los Angeles, bullet-proof designer vests and parties on yachts.
Mike talked like a pirate throughout the meal and did an impersonation of Robyn which was quite hilarious.
Near our table was a couple who were celebrating their 23rd wedding anniversary.
Mike thought it would be a nice idea to sketch something for them, but since nobody had any paper he used a salad plate from the restaurant:
Robyn Moore (r) Mike Kunkle (l)
We also gave the couple an art book from the previous year and two tickets to the Expo for Sunday.
They seemed to appreciate it and had a good evening.
We stayed out until about 10:30 p.m. Terry had to get back to the hotel to try and finish some sketches, so we all paid our bill and left.
I was still wound up and couldn't sleep, but got into bed anyway.
I put in earplugs and covered my head with a pillow (as I typically do... don't ask. It's just a habit).
Around 1:00 a.m. I heard what sounded like an alarm.
I took out an earplug and listened. Sure enough it was an alarm. The fire alarm for the hotel.
I listened a little longer and thought to myself, "I don't hear any screaming or doors slamming. I'm not going to rush outside until I do" and laid back down.
I slept for about 2 hours and woke up.
I just couldn't sleep.
So I got dressed and went for a walk around the block at O'dark thirty in the morning and took a few pictures:
Proof that Canadians are nicer people
They said "please" even on their sign
This could've proven to be fun
or horribly, horribly wrong.
It was closed, so I guess I'll never know
I thought it might help me get tired, but the temperature was just about freezing and it only served to wake me up even more.
Sometime around 5:00 a.m. I walked to a 24-diner and had breakfast.
Then I sat in the lobby and read a book until I started getting sleepy again.
I went up to my room, laid down on the bed (fully clothed) and started to doze off... just as the alarm started going off. Oh well. No rest for the wicked, eh?
I stayed there for a bit as Kyle (my hotel roommate) got ready. Then we both went down to the lobby to head over to the convention.
I really didn't mean to drag this out in so many posts but I keep running out of time.
I'll get back to this soon.
Rest assured, though. Nothing else exciting is happening my my life right now so you aren't missing anything.
May 5, 2009
So now we're at Friday.
Everyone from the Seattle had arrived and was busy doing something to get the show ready.
I got to spend the day in a hotel lobby greeting the guests as they arrived and handing out their badges.
It's a tough life, I know. But somebody had to do it.
The hotel was nice and there was lots of artwork on the walls.
That's probably whay it was called the Hotel Arts. Duh!
This piece was about 15 feet long and 5 feet high. I wanted to bring it home for Hotness, but it just wouldn't fit into my suitcases.
They also had cute signs on the doors for the restrooms and the stairway:
I'd been in Canada for about 2-1/2 days and I needed to exchange the rest of my American cash into the local currency. Also, I really wanted to go to Tim Horton's and get a coffee from Canada's version of Dunkin' Donuts.
As luck would have it, I had about an hour to kill before guests started to arrive, so I walked about 8 blocks from the hotel and found both a bank AND a Timmie's right next to each other.
I proceeded to swap my money for Canadian loot and then got myself a regular w/ two sugars and one cream. It was every bit as good as they say.
I walked back to the hotel with... well, let's just say I was carrying a LOT of money.
I had also exchanged Technogreek's and his brother's money as well. So I was holding on to some serious bankroll* in my pockets.
Luckily I wasn't mugged on my way back. When I got to the hotel, I stashed the cash away and went back to the lobby to perform my duties.
I told the desk clerks who I was and what I'd be doing so they wouldn't freak out about a strange guy hanging out in the lobby accosting their guests all day.
When I told them that some of the BSG actors would be showing up, I became a celebrity. Two or three times during the day hotel employees would come up to ask me about meeting the actors.
Guests trickled in a few at a time. Other volunteers were picking them up at the airport and shuttling them to the hotel where I'd greet them.
I got a text message from one volunteer who said "I'm bringing Terry and Robyn right now".
Oh snap! It was my day. Terry Moore and his wife Robyn were going to arrive shortly and I got to see them when they arrived. *swoon*
They walked into the hotel and as I was greeting them (thinking they may not remember me from ECCC back in '07) Robyn reached out and gave me a big hug and Terry said "It's great to see you again Tom!". *double-swoon*
I gave them their badges for the show and told Terry that I had some Dr. Pepper chilling in a fridge in my room upstairs. I'd bring it for him to the show and whenever he needed it, it'd be ready.
He was really happy about that and then he handed me his art piece for the Expo Art Book which was to be auctioned later at the show.
I took it up to my room for safe-keeping as they went to their room to get settled.
Shortly after that, Steve Rolston showed up.
I met him and told him that I had some Red Bulls that would be nice and cold and ready for him in the morning on Saturday.
The other guest next to him looked at him and said, "Chilled Red Bulls? How do you rate getting that?!"
Steve said, "He takes care of me at the conventions" and then smiled.
I like making the guests feel comfortable and it's fun knowing some of their personal tastes.
It was getting well past noon and it dawned on me that I hadn't had anything to eat so far today.
Just the Tim Horton coffee.
Thankfully Wade Schin walked by me in the lobby and said, "I know of a great place here in town that makes these terrific cupcakes. You want me to pick one up for you?"
FOOD AT LAST! "Yes, that would be wonderful. Thanks," I said.
He came back a few minutes later and I scarfed down a chocolate cupcake in practically no time at all.
Then he got out his laptop and hung out in the lobby with me keeping me company which was really nice.
Pretty much the rest of the day was just sitting and waiting until guests would show up. I'd give them their stuff and then it was more sitting.
I got a chance to talk to Terry for a while later in the afternoon, which was nice. He told me that the art I commissioned from him was one of his favorite pieces to work on.
Later that afternoon, I went to the convention center at the Stampede Park and helped out a little while also familiarizing myself with the show floor.
Not much else happened after that.
There was an impromptu get-together at the bar in the hotel.
The Seattle group got together and went out to dinner, but nothing very remarkable about that.
The food was palatable but that was about it. It was mostly just fun hanging out together.
We got back to the hotel and I went to the bar to chat with the few people still hanging around.
It was me, Wade Schin, Matt Stewart, and Dale Berry. We shared stories for a bit then decided it was getting late and we'd all better get some sleep before the show the next day.
Okay, this is getting kind of long-winded so I'll wrap it up here for now.
I'll be back with exploits from the Expo.
* Also now known as "nagiri". Ask me when you see me and I'll explain it to you.
May 4, 2009
May 2, 2009
The trip up to Calgary was great fun.
Got a few new sketches, some books, met a lot of cool people, and ate a lot of good food.
I'm still trying to get in the 'swing of things', and I haven't been able to sit and type up my adventurous 8 days in the Great White North just yet.
I promise that I will (complete with pictures) soon. So please bear with me if you've been waiting patiently to hear about it.
In the meantime, please notice that I added a new link over to your right.
It's the one called "Literary works of art".
A friend from Calgary has a collection of artwork that he has been accumulating over the years from different artists of their interpretations of famous literary authors, characters, or books.
It's quite a big collection and very much worth taking a look at if you have a moment.
In the meantime, I'll try to catch up on sleep and get my pictures uploaded so they'll be ready to post on here.
Be back soon.....