Look Around List!

“Look around! Look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now!”

It’s been a while, to put it mildly, but I’ve been so busy with school. But that doesn’t mean I forgot to look around!

Comic books. I am having so much fun going on comic runs again. I probably could just do them once a month, but right now the two X-Men series – X-Men: Gold and X-Men: Blue – are alternating weekly releases. Aka, there’s a new one every Wednesday. But I’m really looking forward to tomorrow. At least 3 new comics tomorrow!

Bitch Planet. If you like good writing and some serious commentary on patriarchy, read it! The first trade paperback has been out, the second is coming, and next week’s issue is #10. I can’t wait!

Native deodorant. I’ve been using it for over a month now and I have no intention of stopping. I do have sensitive skin under my arms, so I have to be careful how much I use so I don’t dry out the skin, just absorb the sweat. It’s awesome! I highly recommend it to anyone. If you click here, both you and I get a free travel deodorant if you order!

New Playlists! Since the last time I posted, Lin has created 8 new playlists! His awesome wife has created two of her own inspired by his! Both of them are exposing me to music I would probably not have found on my own. I love it!

Moana. Every time I watch it, I need tissues. Sometimes due to the plot. Sometimes due to the accuracy and reverence for the culture. This is Disney’s best movie yet! Hopefully this is just the start.

Finishing my thesis. Yes. It’s done! I had to make some formatting changes, but it’s done! I’ll probably post about it sometime soon. I’m so glad to have finished it. I just hope that I can use it as a starting point for a more in-depth book on the topic later.

My church. This year there were 15 individuals who joined the Catholic church through the RCIA program at my church. 15! When I mention that, most people are surprised at the high number. I like to think that is because of the openness and welcoming nature of the St. Thomas More Newman Center at The Ohio State University. There’s a reason I’m going to miss going there every week when I start working on my Ph.D. at BGSU.

My hubby. There is a lot that has been going on, which is mostly why there have been no posts, and he has been my rock through all of it. I don’t think I’d be sane at this point if it weren’t for him.

Just remember, no matter how crazy the world may seem, look around and remember how lucky we are to be alive right now!

Comic Books!!!!!

It wasn’t until I was in college that I got the courage up to go down to the comic book store by campus. I initially went to check out the manga section, since this was before bookstore chains actually had manga sections. I am of the generation that would come home from school and watch the Spider-Man and Batman cartoons. I’d only watch Superman if I didn’t have a choice. I’ve never been a big Superman fan.

But anyway, eventually I decided that it didn’t matter what anyone thought, I was going to buy myself comic books! I had been raised with the “comics are for boys” mentality. But I wanted to read these stories. Of course I picked up The Amazing Spider-Man. I was already a fan of the character and it is the main title for the character. Eventually I started reading Uncanny X-Men, inspired by the first movie, and, like Spider-Man, it was the title. Then, because Marvel loves to have stories run across titles, I added The New Avengers and Excalibur (Vol. 3) to my monthly runs. Of course there were the limited stories like House of M and Civil War which would inflate my monthly runs.

After college, partially due to living at home with no comic book store in town or a car or enough money to keep buying comics, I stopped buying them. But I would save up for trade paperbacks and tried to keep up that way. The titles I buy and the frequency have gone up and down over the years. Right now I’m getting back into it.

At the beginning of the month I went in search of America #1, both due to interest in the story and for the Hamilton variant cover. My local shop, Laughing Ogre, didn’t have the variant because of the requirements the distributor put on ordering it (and I can’t blame them at all!), so I picked up the regular cover…along with the first four issues of Buffy Season 11 and an Alexander Hamilton comic.

Today I went on another run up to my new other local shop, Seann’s Anime & Comics. I had to argue with myself over what to get. Well, after I picked this beauty up:

They had the Hamilton variant cover!!! Honestly this is more for having it to reference when I get working on my dissertation later. Seriously, if you haven’t picked this book up yet, you should! This has the potential to be an awesome storyline!

Anyway, after looking around and falling in love with the store, I decided to pick up a few other comics. First, they had $1 comics that are #1 in their series. I saw three I had to grab:

I’ve been interested in Wolverine and the X-Men since I found out about it in researching for my thesis. We just had Laurenn McCubbin at The Ray Browne Conference on Cultural and Critical Studies as the PCSA keynote speaker. She worked on Bitch Planet, and reading this issue has me wanting to hunt down the rest in issue form. I know I can get them in trade paperbacks, but there’s something awesome about having the issues. I’ve also been wanting to read Sex Criminals and the chance to get the first issue for $1 was something I couldn’t pass up! So much so that…

I picked up almost every back issue of Sex Criminals they had. I had to leave two and the most recent due to running out of funds. Also there are a few issues missing here that I need to find, but I am loving it so far! I had a feeling I would since Matt Fraction is one of the authors and his run on Uncanny X-Men is part of my thesis and I’m writing about Hawkeye and his run is a vital piece of that.

So I guess all of this is to say there’s going to be more comic talk coming! Marvel is launching ResurrXtion later this month and I’ll be getting probably three of those titles every month. And who knows, I may get back into Spider-Man again. I got spoiled. J. Michael Straczynski was the writer when I started and it hasn’t been the same since. Anyway….comics!!!

New Semester High!

This is going to be a great semester! It started on Monday, but the two classes I’m taking meet on Wednesdays, so today was really the first day of class for me. I am feeling so good for so many reasons.

First, my students. I’m in an interesting classroom that has four tables for my students to sit at. It’s great because they’re already grouped up, which facilitates discussion so much easier. They don’t have to move their seats into groups and then back once they’re done discussing. They also have really great answers to my questions. Granted, today was the first day we discussed anything, but it was a great first day. I have a feeling this semester is going to be fun.

Second, my classes. I’m taking International Popular Culture and Superhero Comics & Critical Theory. I have been looking forward to taking these classes. International Popular Culture is a required class for the degree, so I’ve known it was coming. Superhero Comics is a class I have been vibrating with excitement over as soon as it was hinted at being taught! It’s a Comic Studies class! My thesis is Deaf Studies meets Comic Studies! I finally get a class that directly speaks to my thesis. It helps that the professor is on my thesis committee…for that reason, actually. He is the Comic Studies person of the department. We have a long list of graphic novels we are going to be reading in addition to almost as many articles. Tonight, he told us to just relax and enjoy reading the comics. He also said we should feel free to reference other comics as we see appropriate. We were basically going over the syllabus, but it felt like we were at a convention panel, not graduate class! It is going to be so much fun!!!!

But, before that I had International PopC. I knew I would enjoy this class. I’ve known what I’m going to write about for the final paper for a while now. But I honestly did not expect that we would be talking about so many theories that I can use in my thesis! It is going to be a good semester for my thesis. Which is great because I’m going to need all the help I can get to finish it on time!

Anyway, the last reason I am feeling so good…I’m not broke anymore! I have been lining up bill payments, getting books ordered for classes, ordering a ton of tea, and generally relaxing about money. It’s so nice to not panic about it. And I am really looking forward to that tea getting here. I have a bunch of blends that I put together but I haven’t had the money to order and test out yet. So many of those got ordered. I am looking forward to tasting them all and knowing that they’re good. I could go on about tea forever, so I’ll save it for another post.

But at least I’m off to a great start! Bring on the semester!

Unblocked!

Yesterday, my wallet decided to hide out on the backseat of my car. That was part of my problem. Knowing that I had a stack of books waiting for me at the library that I couldn’t get out because my ID was in my wallet was the other. But since I found it just chilling back there after tearing my room apart, things have significantly improved.

Cover of 'X-Men and the Mutant Metaphor: Race and Gender in the Comic Books' by Joseph P. DarowskiOne of the books in that stack is X-Men and the Mutant Metaphor by Joseph P. Darowski. This is the book I have been trying to find. I’ve been wishing I could find a book that would give me some guidance as to overall stories in the over 50 years of stories in the comics. This is it.

I highly recommend this for anyone who enjoys the comics of The X-Men universe. He focuses on the original title, known today as Uncanny X-Men, through issue #500. This book has not only given me guidance as to what comics I want to look at, it has given me focus in general.

It feels so good to have my focus back. It feels so good to know what comics I am going to look at in more detail. It feels so good to have a game plan as to what I am including and what I am excluding. It feels so good to know someone else has looked at these comics closely to examine what they say about things we deal with every day.

I have focus!!!! Now to get my hands on the other comics!

More Ohayocon

In my excitement about the Kimono panel, I totally forgot about the other great panel I went to on Friday: the History of Japanese Food. The panelist was well prepared and knew what she was talking about. She had a great set of slides, unfortunately we couldn’t really read what was on them. But it was what she was saying anyway, so we were happy to look at the great pictures of the wonderful food. It made me want to go out and find a good Japanese restaurant for dinner.

I also did a little bit of shopping Friday. I broke down and finally bought a Geek Cane from Aradani Studios. It is awesome! It is brown with a green d20 and a set of assorted color mini-dice inside the handle. I love it.

After that I went up to Artist Alley and got to meet the Pirate. I bought a couple of things, was tempted by many others, and got to chat with him for a while. Which reminds me, I need to bug Jennie about where the next Con Artists is.

Saturday was…interesting. My plan Friday night was to get up early and get going so I’d get a spot in the garage. When the alarm went off, I decided it wasn’t worth getting there that early to end up hanging around for a few panels later in the day. So I slept in later, which would allow me to stay up later to see the late panels for once, or so I planned. That is also the day a ton of snow was dumped on Columbus. By the time I got to the convention, both the parking lot and the garage were full. I didn’t feel like trudging through snow to get to the convention center, so I just wrote off the day.

But that is not the end! I decided to go up High Street and stopped at The Laughing Ogre. I was still in the mood to be in a geeky environment, and that was the perfect place to go. I picked up a couple of manga, a couple of graphic novels, and a couple of comics. It felt good. After that I stopped by Half-Price Books and picked up some anime, among other things. It rounded things out nicely.

I’ll go ahead and leave Sunday for tomorrow. And before I leave things, I’ve made more progress on the scarf!

I’m planning to work on it a lot this weekend. Hopefully it’ll be done soon.

Dragon*Con here we come!

I have been waiting months to say that! We’ve been waiting to make sure everything’s set before saying anything and then moving sorta took up time. So we’re finally announcing to the world that we’re going to have a wonderful Labor Day weekend in Atlanta!

I’ve already got 4 costumes in mind for the 4 days. Kaylee Frye is a costume I made a couple of years ago for Halloween. I love it and I’ve improved it since, so she’s definitely coming. The Doctor’s Tux was last Halloween’s costume. And I’ve got an even better Sonic Screwdriver, so he’s coming. I’m going to add Velcro to one of my BDU jackets so I can put my Stargate Command patches on and be a Stargate Command Staffer. I’ve got the jacket, pants, and boots, so it’s a simple, cheap costume. The final costume depends on what I can find at the thrift stores. It’ll be either Daria or Jane.

Then there’s the growing list of guests. I can’t believe the amount of people that are going to be there. The entire list is on the Dragon*Con website. But this my personal OMG! list:
Pirates of the Carribbean
Lee Arenberg (“Ello’ Poppet!”)
Martin Klebba

Star Trek
David Gerrold (wrote The Trouble with Tribbles)
LeVar Burton (Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge)
Denise Crosby (Lt. Tasha Yar)
John de Lancie (Q)
Michelle Forbes (Ensign Rho)
Jonathan Frakes (Cmdr. Riker)
Robert O’Reilly (Chancellor Gowron)
Marina Sirtis (Councelor Troy)
Brent Spiner (Data)
Rene Auberjonois (Odo)
Avery Brooks (Capt. Sisko)
J.G. Hertzler (Gen. Martok)
Armin Shimerman (Quark)
Robert Beltran (Chakotay)
Robert Duncan McNeill (Tom Paris)
Garrett Wang (Ensign Kim)

Firefly
Morena Baccarin (Inara)
Sean Maher (Simon Tam)
Jewel Staite (Kayle Frye)
Mark Sheppard (Badger)

Babylon 5
Jason Carter (Marcus Cole)
Claudia Christian (Susan Ivanova)

EUREKA
Erica Cerra (Deputy Jo Lupo)
Neil Grayston (Fargo)

MST3K
Trace Beaulieu (Dr. Forrester and Crow)
Frank Conniff (“TV’s Frank”)
Bill Corbett (“Brain Guy”)
Joel Hodgson
Kevin Murphy (Tom Servo)
Mary Jo Pehl (“Magic Voice”, Pearl Forrester)
J. Elvis Weinstein (Tom Servo)

Futurama
John DiMaggio (Bender)
Maurice LaMarche (The Brain of Pinky and the Brain and Kif)
Phil LaMar (Hermes)
Bill West (Fry, Farnsworth, Zoidberg)

Farscape
Ben Browder (John Crichton)
Virginia Hey (Zahn)

Stargate
Michael Shanks (Daniel Jackson)
Christopher Judge (Teal’c)
David Hewlett (Rodney McKay)
Paul McGillion (Dr. Carson Beckett)
Jason Momoa (Ronon)

Battlestar Galactica
Aaron Douglas (Galen Tyrol)
Richard Hatch (Tom Zarek)
Edward James Olmos (William Adama)

Comic Books
Mark Bagley (AS-M)
Mark Brooks (AS-M)
J. Scott Campbell (AS-M)
Paul Jenkins (Origin, Front Line)
Stan Lee
Joseph Michael Linsner (Dawn)
Mike Mignola (Hellboy)
Jimmy Palmiotti (Guardian Devil)

Doctor Who
Frazer Hines (Jamie from Doctor Who)
Kai Owen (Rhys Williams from Torchwood)

Heroes
Adrian Pasdar (Nathan Petrelli)
Sndhil Ramamurthy (Dr. Mohinder Suresh)
Elisabeth Rohm

Authors
Jim Butcher
Shannon K. Butcher

Filk Singers
Leslie Fish
Tom Smith

James Marsters
Sean Astin
Scott Bakula
Bill Fawcett (Founder of Mayfair Games {Settlers!})
James and Oliver Phelps (George and Fred Weasley)
Ken Plume (mixes SModcast)
Patricia Quinn
Brandon Routh (Superman)
Adam Savage

SMod ‘Em Steve-Dave!

I had an amazing start to my birthday weekend. When I saw that not only SModcast, but Tell ‘Em Steve-Dave! would be in Columbus 2 days before my birthday, I decided to get myself a little birthday present. Like before, it was all general admission seating. I was worried that since it was a Saturday that I’d have to get there really early to beat the line or get up near the front. I was wrong. First person in line! So you can probably guess where I was sitting this time. Front row center!!! 🙂
They had decided since Kevin’s birthday is also Monday, to make it a little early birthday party for him. Also we just love them here in Columbus. So we all were offered party hats, they had balloons up front with 40 on them, and there was a cake. It looked like this:

And yes, that is Clerks. on the screen. They had it on while we waited. Just another awesome part of the night.

Thanks to my new wonderful camera, I was able to take lots of non-blury pictures. I’ll just try to hit the highlights of the 4.5 hours of fun. 🙂

The joys of being front row center, everyone's behind me!
The joys of being front row center, everyone
Kevin's birthday present, a "Mr. Sexy" t-shirt
Kevin's birthday present, a "Mr. Sexy" t-shirt
Let the SModding begin!
Let the SModding begin!
We get a surprise.  It's going to be SMod 'Em Steve Dave instead of the two separate shows!  After that we'll get to watch Highlands: A Peephole History.  Walt Flanagan and Brian Quinn have joined Kevin and Scott.
We get a surprise. It's going to be SMod 'Em Steve Dave instead of the two separate shows! After that we'll get to watch Highlands: A Peephole History.
Bryan Johnson has joined everyone and SMod 'Em Steve-Dave begins.
And so it begins!

Quinn leans over to see what Kevin and Scott are reading from.
What's going on over here?

At one point Scott found a little comic book whose name I can’t remember and so he and Kevin decide to read it out loud. It was really weird. In the end it was all about turning to Jesus and away from the Devil.

Walt sitting and laughing at who knows what.
Having fun.
Kevin wanted to make sure everyone got time in the spotlight.  Quinn was recounting a story from years ago.
Kevin wanted to make sure everyone got time in the spotlight. Quinn was recounting a story from years ago.

Bryan and Walt laughing at something Kevin said.
Kevin was the one to play One, True, Three this time.

For those of you who don’t listen to Tell ‘Em Steve-Dave (which shouldn’t be many of you!), One, True, Three is a game they came up with. One person tells of three things that they’ve done. The catch is only one of them is true, and the others have to figure out which one it is.

Scott asking questions during One, True, Three.
Scott asking questions during One, True, Three.
SMod 'Em Steve-Dave! is done.  The guys are getting up to head outside for a break.
SMod 'Em Steve-Dave! is done. We all took a little break in between shows.
Kevin was kind enough to do a mini-Q&A before they started Peephole.
Kevin was kind enough to do a mini-Q&A before they started Peephole.

Now we got to watch Kevin, Bry, and Walt do an episode of Highlands: A Peephole History.
Now we got to watch Kevin, Bry, and Walt do an episode of Highlands: A Peephole History.

Highlands: A Peephole History is Kev, Walt, and Bry sitting around, going through their memories of growing up in Highlands in chronological order. This time we got to listen to the time around Clerks. and Mallrats, including the story around “Walt Flanagan’s Dog”.
Also at this point I had to switch over to the camera on my phone because my camera’s batteries had died. But it did a really good job.

After they were done and left, it was announced that Kevin left signed comics for everyone and we each got one on the way out. It is issue one of Batman: The Widening Gyre signed by Kevin Smith.
After they were done and left, it was announced that Kevin left signed comics for everyone and we each got one on the way out. I love that man!

All of the pictures are here in case you want to check them out. It was a lot of fun!

You’re only as old…

Act Your Age by Kevin Spear
(c) Kevin Spear

Everyone knows that saying, “You’re only as old as you feel”, right? I totally agree with it. This weekend we spent some time with my husband’s cousins and their kids. At one point we went swimming and I was called a grown-up and an adult in the same breath. My response was “I am not!”

I am almost 27. It boggles my mind every time I think about it. I don’t feel that old. I couldn’t put an exact number on how old I do feel, but it’s younger than 27. I only believe in acting your age to an extent. I will grant as a grown person, especially one that has been through college, I need to be responsible for my actions and I should be polite and such. But there are certain things that I still enjoy that most people think I shouldn’t because I’m an adult.

For example, I love to stay up late playing games, watching movies, and just hanging out with friends. Granted, because I have to be up so early during the week for work, I don’t stay up like I used to in college. But I’ll stay up until at least 2am on the weekends. One of my favorite things is reading graphic novels and comic books and manga. That usually suprises people, well that and the fact that I’m female.

The Amazing Spider-Man issue 500
The Amazing Spider-Man issue 500 ( (c) Marvel Characters, Inc.)

It seems that if a female likes comic books, it’s strange. I’d like to know why. I understand that when comics started out they were aimed toward boys. But it’s been a long time since then. Why do we still have set things in our society that dictate that because you this gender and/or this age you aren’t allowed to do/like this?

Many people would respond with, “It isn’t normal”. Well, I hate the word “normal”, and I don’t use hate very often. I learned in college while working on a paper for a Disability Studies class that the word “normal” came from carpentry terms for something that is square and solid. I think that “normal” is a horrible word. I prefer to use average instead, because that’s what people usually mean.

So in regards to age and gender I tend to go against the average person. There are plenty of times that I find men’s clothes more comfortable than women’s. Women’s clothes can be way too close fitting and short at times, while men’s are a bit roomier and longer. And length is really important when you’re tall like myself. I learned in college from a roommate to forget about what others think about how you look or what you do and be yourself. I find myself lucky enough to have found someone to spend the rest of my life with who loves that I am like that and friends that agree with that as well.

This has gone in a very different direction than where I thought it was going. But I feel good putting this out there. Physically I am an almost 27-year-old female, but in reality I am me. ::steps off the soapbox::