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I’m a Geek and Damn Proud of it, or What I saw at my 1st Fan Expo

Published August 29, 2012 by S

So as the title says,  I’m a Geek and damn proud of it!

This week I had the chance to go to my first ever Fan Expo.  For those that aren’t sure what that means,  think Star Trek convention but not just Star Trek.  Comic Books, Anime, Sci-Fi, Horror, etc…Its a bit of everything.

A couple of days before hand 2 of our close friends, B and A decided to come with us to Fan Ex, so we met at their place before heading downtown on the Subway.  Mike was already there since he was judging and MTG even in the city the day before, so stayed at their place rather then drive home at 1am, just to turn around and head back at 7.

While waiting for him to get out of the shower and have some breakfast I took this pic…just because.

A’s classroom frogs that she is watching for the summer.

Not to long after we left to catch the subway downtown.

B and A on the Train

Mike and I on the train

When we finally got downtown, and walked the short distance from the subway to the convention centre, it was off to wait in the long, long line to get our tickets.  They had us heading down a very long spiral ramp down under the building.  Along the way we caught our first glimpses of the dedicated costumed fans, and a few random messages written on the walls.

Treasure eh?

No treasure?

Finally after an undetermined amount of time we made it through the line, paid for our tickets and we were in!

After a bit of walking around trying to acclimate to the floorplan, we found the autograph area.  Mike split away for a bit to do some trading that he had planned to do.  While B and A went off to meet with Chris Sarandan (the voice of Jack Skellington in Nightmare Before Christmas as well as Prince Humperdink in The Princess Bride) as well as Nana Visitor (from DS9), I hopped into the line to meet Levar Burton!!

After waiting about 20 minutes, it was finally my turn!  I know it sounds silly, but I was as giddy as a 6 year old at Disneyworld.

Me and Mr Levar Burton

Next B and A went to meet with Christopher Lloyd (Doc Brown fro Back to the Future) and have their DVD’s signed, while I took the opportunity to meet Nelson Ellis (Lafayette from True Blood).  I love that show!!

Me and Nelson Ellis

B and A with Christopher Lloyd

After that we joined back up with Mike and had another look around.  Bathroom break, quick visit to the ATM and picked up tickets for the John Rhys-Davis line.

B and A met with another actor that I didn’t really know (from Battlestar Galactica I think) and then we grabbed a quick bite to eat at the food court area.

After lunch we made our way back to the John Rhys-Davies line which was a crazy odyssey of a line to pay, then another very long curvy line to actual meet him.

I took A’s phone to get picture for them, while they chatted and had their picture signed, but he saw Mike and I hovering and taking pics, and offered us a handshake and a few quick words.  He was a very nice man, who had a kind word for everyone through his line.  I didn’t get his autograph, but grabbed this backwards shot with A’s iPhone.

Me and John Rhys-Davies

After that we walked through all the vendors and saw a lot of really interesting looking things, and people.  For example…

Really dedicated fan

Guy in a “Gingy” costume from Shrek

Big green Head

Costume girls sitting in the middle of a hallway

Random man with Cabbages doing Photo Ops

Slash Wannabe

Really not sure why one Storm Trooper has a flaming skull

Found you! That really wasn’t to hard after all!

Apparently you can even get a tattoo at Fan Ex

 

There must have been at least 100 of these girls standing in one big group. It was almost scary.

There were a few more, but I think that those pictures give you the basic idea of the wonderful wackiness that is Fan Expo.

It was a really great day!

One of my new treasures, autographed by Levar Burton

Nellis Ellis autographed photo of his character “Lafayette Reynolds” on True Blood

Me and the Delorean from “Back to the Future”

Backwards shot taken on the escalator on the way out. Bye bye Fan Expo!

After that we walked back to the subway to drop off our stuff and B and A’s apartment before heading to  “Earth“, the awesome Indian restaurant a couple of blocks away.  It was delicious as always.

Indian appetizers. Spicy paneer, Pankora, and Veggie Samosa served with 2 kinds of chutney.

Little bit of everything. Lamb Vindaloo, Butter Chicken, Beef Jhalfrezy, Mushroom Peas and Paneer, Paneer Tikka Marsala, served with Rice and Naan

It was all so delicious that a single helping was not an option. B and Mike also enjoyed their “Cheetah” beer, and A her Lechee martini.

After that it was time to head home.

We all had a great time, and I can’t wait until my next Fan event experience!! I have a jar all ready to start saving up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy Halloween!

Published October 31, 2011 by S

Happy Halloween my friends!  I don’t have much to say, but wanted to share a few pictures.  But first…

My musical holiday tribute!

Now for my family pictures!

On Saturday my Mom came to spend the day with us.  I thought that she would enjoy helping us carve our pumpkin since she hasn’t done that in at least 15 years, or at least since I stopped needing supervision with knives.)  She also made a valuable assistant when creating my 7ft tall prop (which you will see in the pictures!

No matter how old she gets...its still ALL about the plastic bowl hat with her!

Even Grandma got in on it =)

"Gutting" the guest of honour!

Happy Jack!

Jack decided to play with Grandmas camera...Hi Daddy!

I traced and Mike Carved

Finished product...The design was Haylee's choice out of the stencil book.

Light effects

"My Spoon is to big!" ... "I am a Banana!"

Now for the actual Halloween night Costume pics!

I vant to suck your Blood!!!

Family shot as we head out for Trick or Treating

Fun times were had by all, and lots of sugary treats were obtained!

I hope the rest of you have a safe and happy Halloween!

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PS – If anyone is curious about the spoon and banana thing check out the link below:

~Rejected by the Amazing Don Hertzfeld~

A movie is like an old friend

Published July 30, 2011 by S

Many of us have a favourite movie.  Even more of us have more than one favourite.

Some movies make us happy, others make us sad, and for some of us it’s not just the content of those movies that evokes an emotion, but often the time and events surrounding the first time we saw that particular film. Like a smell or a picture, it will forever be a reminder of times gone by.

When I was a child it was Disney movies with their happy endings. I dreamed of being a real life princess.  Dancing with my prince, or flying on a magic carpet…anything was possible and that is an important thing to know and feel at that age.  When I watch those movies with my kids now I remember that feeling of wonder and amazement.  I honestly feel again that anything is possible.

A I got to my teens, I fell for musicals, again with happy endings, and full of what is meant to be spontaneous song and dance.  Grease, Dirty Dancing, and Footloose were among my favourites. When I see these movies now, I remember how they gave me a sense of “romance” and dreaming that real life heroes existed for us “normal” girls.  Someone would always come along, no matter what you wore, or what group you belonged to, and ask you to dance.  Someone would always come and rescue you from being the outcast or the last one left without a partner.

In my later teen years I was drawn to movies with no real substance.  I have always been a fan of classic movies, starring classic actors like Cary Grant, and Katherine Hepburn, but in my late teens I turned aside from those cinema pioneers, and embraced movies starring Adam Sandler, or Brendan Fraser.  Movies like Billy Madison or American Pie (with its sequels of course) that had no real point other then to give comedic relief and sexual hilarity.

Even in these movies I can find a useful purpose.  They were popular at a time when we were supposed to be becoming responsible adults.  I think they help you to remember to have fun in a world that can sometimes be to serious.

Even as I entered my 20’s, I still clung to these old favourites and their happy memories, but found new favourites.  Movies based on history, hardship and still the theme of love.  People growing up and having families seemed more prominent in these movies.  Romantic comedies, and more serious dramas.

I came to appreciate movies like “The Painted Veil” and “The Man who Cried”.  Both rather dramatic movies taking place in the early 1900’s. Bits of history thrown in around romantic story lines showing hardship, but love still conquering all.  Showing the reality of war, but still that people continue to love and live even with all that horror around them.

Not all of my favourites have a point though.  I love Hellraiser, and can’t get enough of Lord of the Rings. I cried watching “Reign over Me” and I still enjoy the ridiculous cowboy antics of Indiana Jones.

But even those movies still evoke a memory or two of my feelings the first time I watched. I remember watching Indiana Jones with my dad (who passed away almost 10 years ago now) and I remember Mike taking me for our first date to the drive-in and seeing “A Knights Tale”.

And let me tell you…watching movies with zombie babies in them when you are 5 months pregnant with your first child will forever turn you off Zombie thrillers.

So as the title of this post says…a movie can be like an old friend.  It was there for you when you needed it, it never changes, and will always be there for you again when you need or want it there.

And who doesn’t love just channel surfing on a boring afternoon and finding that amazing old friend unexpectedly again.

 

Houses, Karate and other Random news

Published June 5, 2011 by S

Well this week we managed to find tenants to rent our house while we’re in London, as well as find a good house for us in London as well.  Things are slowly starting to come together.

In my surrogacy news, The dad’s that I’m working with finally have an Egg Donor lined up, and if all goes to plan we are looking at doing a transfer around the second week of July. I’m so happy for them that things are coming to together at long last.  And if all goes well by this time next year they will enjoying all the lovely spring weather with their new little one (or ones!).

Yesterday Haylee had her first Karate tournament.  I was so proud of my little girl!  She had amazing concentration and gave a strong effort, bringing home 2 Trophies!  A Gold for her Basic Skills, and a Bronze for Sparring.  I’ll post some pictures below, and I’m sorry they are a little blurry.

My little Karate Kid

Awesome kicks!

Gold for Basic Skills

Getting ready to Spar (aka: Fight)

Not afraid to give (or take) a punch.

Gold for Basics and Bronze for Sparring. Great job Haylee!

Life Marching On

Published May 27, 2011 by S

Well, it has been a few weeks since I updated.  Sometimes it feels like a lot has happened and other times not so much.

We are on week 3 of Mike being away from us.  He has been coming home on all his days off, but that means that 5 days of every week he is still gone.  He is quite happy with his new job, and I’ve been trying to keep things normal for the kids, while packing and looking at so many houses to live in that they are all starting to blur together.

We still don’t have a definitely place to live, but I think this week we have narrowed it down to 2 houses, so should have a decision made in the next day or so. The plan is to move as soon as possible after the end of the school year so that means anytime after June 29th.

Mike was home for Victoria day, so we took the kids bowling and then to a Fun House on Clifton Hill. It was a great family day together.

Haylee taking her first shot of the day.

Jack getting a quick lesson in granny shot bowling

Notice how I got my butt kicked?

Kids in the hall of mirrors.

Look in the mirror for Oompa Loompa Sara! lol

Jack was fascinated by his Mini-self. My adorable Munchkin!

In other news:  On Wednesday May 25th, Mike and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary.  10 years ago on that day we had our first date, and have been together ever since. We couldn’t be together on the anniversary though because he had to work that day, but as an amazing surprise Mike had an Edible Arrangement delivered to me.  It was delicious, and the perfect gift for someone that doesn’t like receiving flowers due to guilt issues when they die. (yes, I feel guilt when they die!)

My delicious Edible Arrangment

Sometime I look back at the last 10 years and am amazed at how many things have changed in my life.  I found love, started a family, moved to several homes, lost my father and grandfather and did a lot of growing up, and all of it with Mike by my side.

~I love you Mikey!~


My Easter Song (sort of)

Published April 23, 2011 by S

So as a continuation of my holiday song posting that I started on Valentines Day this year, I decided to post another holiday song.

Problem is that I’m not religious and other than the “Coming down the Bunny Trail” song, I can’t think of very many Easter songs that aren’t about Jesus.

So I’m going to be a little loose with my rules on this holiday and post my favourite song “Accidentally in Love” by the Counting Crows.  How is this an Easter song you ask?  Well, the video which I have posted below features a rabbit, so I’m making it an Easter song!

Team Player (aka: the Band Geek)

Published April 2, 2011 by S

Tonight is one of those times that makes me miss being a Band Geek.

Yes, I was that person.  I wore the ugly uniform sweater and I performed my heart out as part of my Highschool Concert Band. And last night, as I have many times over the last 10 years, I missed being part of that.

There is no feeling in the world like being part of a group of people and producing such an amazing spectacle as music.  Ok, for some people they get that feeling making the perfect play on the ice in Hockey, or on a Football field, and yes I played Baseball  as a teenager, but my passion was always music.

When I was 7 I started taking piano lessons.  I was never a prodigy, but I enjoyed making music, and playing something beautiful and sometimes recognizable. I went to Band Camp for 2 summers (and no, it’s not like in American Pie, because we are all under 13 yrs old).  I worked on piano there, and also had the option of a second workshop, and learned to play the Harp.  Yes, the Harp.

The funny thing about the Harp is that the strings are all set up like a piano’s keys.  They are in the same order and instead of the black keys for sharp and flats, there are little switches at the top of each string that you change depending on your key signature. (music people will know what I mean by that).  The ‘C’ strings are Blue or Black and the F strings are red to help identify them at a quick glance as you are playing. The rest are easy to figure out with those 2 focal points to work with.  I was by no means a prodigy in that either, but it was fun and beautiful.

As I said, at 7 I started Piano lessons that I carried on until I was 16. I studied the Violin for 2 yrs during elementary school (Grade 5 and 6) and then for Grade 7 and 8 I started training in percussion instruments. Because I had studied Piano for so long at that point it was more a matter of learning technique since I could already read music and understood the “theory” while reading that same music.  I knew the difference between a quarter note and half note.  I knew how to count the time, when to pause, what crescendo and allegro and dozens of other musical terms meant, so I could just focus on learning coordination while playing a full drum set, or how to play timani drums and change their tuning mid-song without the audience noticing.  And because of my ability to read sheet music already, I was able to skip the 1st year band, and join the second year band right away.  Most of the time the director had me playing the Xylophone or the Orchestra bells, but I loved it!

So when I got to highschool, I stuck with percussion.  It is a fun section to play in.  All of the members tend to switch instruments with each song depending on their individual skill.  I still remember the year our teacher had us learn “Hang on Sloopy”.  He didn’t hand out music to the percussion section, and told us to just improvise and have fun with it.  I wasn’t really the best with the drum set, so Blair naturally took that on, Carol took a copy of Flute music and played along on the Xylophone, but I chose the tambourine. 

Now you are probably thinking this is lame, but it was fun!  I could dance with the music and my teacher/conductor told me to have fun with it.  During concerts he even had me moving on the stage, and coming up to the front to get the audience to participate with clapping or to stand up and dance with us.  It was so much fun!

Being in the band became my team sport.  It’s not easy coordinating all those people into making beautiful music, but when you did the feeling was like nothing else!  Being in the middle of all of that music is such an amazing feeling.  I felt like I really belonged, which is hard for teenagers to do.

In the movies and on TV you always see the “band geek” as the lower class citizens of Highschools.  With us that was not the case.  Sure the Football team had more funding and was more recognized during the season, but us Band Geeks were given the same respect all year round.  We didn’t get beat up or shoved in lockers.  I wouldn’t say we were popular, or at least I wasn’t popular, but we weren’t second class citizens.  We were just like any other kid, but we played instruments too.

There have been many times over the last few years that I have missed being part of something big like that. I hope that my kids get to be part of a group like that as they grow.  To add their own talent to others and make something amazing happen.

What brought on this trip down memory lane?  Well, I was home tonight without much to do after the kids went to bed, except to fight off my weather induced headache. So I decided to watch some Youtube videos.  I hadn’t seen the video of the Seaway Mall Flash Mob yet.

For those of you that don’t know what that is, it is a flashmob performance that took place a few months ago at one of the malls local to where I live.  In the food court during lunch, the music for the Hallelujah Chorus just starts to play out of nowhere, and all of a sudden seemingly normal mall shoppers break out into a beautiful (unannounced) performance all over the food court from their seats.  They all look like normal shoppers until they all of a sudden start joining in the song. 

It was all planned ahead of time, and is one of many Flashmobs occuring over the last few years around the world.  Watching that video and seeing several faces that I know among the singers made me miss being part of that.  Not a flashmob since NOONE wants to hear me sing, but part of a strong performance like that.

I don’t have the talent to be a soloist, but I have the ability to join my talents with others and make something great, and one day I hope to be able to perform in that way again…one day.

Here is another video of a Flashmob performance that I liked.  I can’t dance worth a darn, but I’ve always been a sucker for movies with singing and dancing in them.  Think Grease, Dirty Dancing, Hairspray to name a few….and I’ll admit, I am now a fan of the TV show “Glee”.  Yup, that’s right people I’m a Gleek!  So here is a video of a Flashmob dancing to a medley from Glee.  Enjoy!

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