ACE Comic Con- Phoenix

Last month we had the opportunity of a lifetime at ACE Comic Con in Phoenix.  We got to meet and get a photo op with several Marvel heroes, Chris Evans (aka Cap), Anthony Mackie (aka Falcon), Tom Holland (aka Spidey) and Jacob Batalon (aka Ned aka The Guy in the Chair).

IMG_20180113_191058_838In short, we had an amazing time!  Photo ops are a new thing for us, and it is a very unusual experience.  We learned a couple things this go around that we will put to good use next time.  Here’s a run-down in case you are thinking about doing a photo op:

  • Know that you will not get to have any kind of conversation with the star.  They scurry you in and out so quickly.  A photo op literally is seconds, so plan on saying a quick “hello” and “thank you” and that’s it
  • Practice your pose so you can strike it immediately
  • There will be conflicting info on props from the photographer, the con, etc.  We got no less than four different stories on whether or not I could bring my shield.  It is super frustrating.  My advice is to just bring whatever you want in the picture, and don’t worry, they’ll stop you if it is not allowed
  • There is a gift basket, so bring a gift for the star if you want.  You will have to just drop it in the basket.  You will not get to present it to the star in person
  • They only allow retakes for blinks, so you get only one shot at it, no pressure…

IMG_20180114_134729_209Other than the photo ops, there were autograph ops, which we did not go for this time around.  Maybe next time.  For those, also expect conflicting information on what the star will and will not sign.

20180113_123838.jpgThis con was a little different in that it is held in a stadium.  Half of the floor is the staging area for photo ops and a vendor area and the other half is the main stage for the panels.  I did really like the set-up for the panels.  The panels were a lot of fun and most of the attendees wanted to go to the panels.  So, the ability to see them without sleeping on a sidewalk was a great thing.  It also brought everyone together.  We really enjoyed that shared experience.

20180114_181850.jpgThere were other vendors sprinkled outside the main floor in the concession areas.  There was a pretty big artist alley with some great artists in attendance.  The vendors, on the other hand, were very disappointing.  No fashion to speak of.  Not even a t-shirt tower.  The vendors were predominately from the Phoenix area, which is to be expected.  They were local comic shops, and I have to say, I felt first-hand that unwelcome feeling because I’m female from almost all of them.  I’ve been very fortunate in that every comic shop I’ve gone into until now has been very welcoming to me.  I’ve never encountered this, “Get out of our clubhouse!” feeling before.  Because we were in a setting with literally thousands of other people, I didn’t ever feel unsafe or anything, but I can only imagine what this would feel like if you walked into a small comic shop alone.  It is pretty creepy.

That being said, the staff at the Gila River Arena were the best, the best!  So helpful and so friendly.  The local PD did weapons check and were great!  The staff opened extra gates to get us all out of the sun and into the shade while we waiting for the gates to open.  They had a DJ there to entertain us while we waited.  They opened the gates almost on time (only 10 minutes late, no biggie).  We felt welcome there, unlike other cons where the staff makes you feel like a criminal and barks orders at you (I’m looking at you, SDCC and LA Convention Center!)

I was also surprised to see that there was almost no cosplay at this con.  I chose to not cosplay for my photos, but Scout did and Anthony Mackie was super nice about her Falcon cosplay, which made her year!  I think most people were like me and decided to dress up and not cosplay for their photos.  I saw some great bounding and got some ideas for the future.

20180115_131521.jpg My favorite part of cons, no matter where or when, is running into friends:

20180114_165811.jpg20180114_171146.jpgWould I go back to this con next year?  Maybe, depending on the photo op and autograph opportunities.  I know better how to prep for it and what to expect.

So, now we wait til the next con, WonderCon Anaheim in March!

Love, Kim and Scout

The #metoo and #timesup Movements Have Come to the Nerd Community

*Please note that although we are an all-ages blog, this post will be dealing with some sensitive subject matter that is not kid-appropriate.  However, we felt that this movement and the positive changes it is bringing about were too important to ignore here.  

I have been watching and waiting for the day to come when we would get our first news that a member of the nerd/geek community was guilty of sexual harassment, assault or worse.  Well, that day has arrived.  In a single afternoon, not one, but two cosplayers of some recognition were exposed for their rapes, assaults and other lesser, but still painful, crimes against women.  A week later, another cosplayer was exposed for his public harassment and assault of his fellow cosplayers, including men this time.  What a sad week in our community.

The news spread like wildfire in the community as cosplayers and con-goers alike warned each other to stay away from these men.  Statements of support were given all around.

However, there were rape apologists for both men that did not surprise me, but still sickened me.  Lame non-apology apologies were given from both men.  Whatever.  It has gotten to the point that I don’t even hear that anymore.  You raped.  You assaulted.  You are done.

We have arrived at such an important moment in time for all people, not just women, but for us all.  Decent men are no longer lumped in with those who rape and assault.  Women are believed.  Victims, no matter their gender identity, are provided support and guidance.  We are protecting each other.  This particular part of this very ugly chapter in our lives is a beautiful stand-out.  It is great to see.

What I am so very curious about is what is going to happen at WonderCon next month?  Will these people show?  If so, how is that going to go, I wonder?

Here’s what I do know.  Please allow me a rant.  We are done.  There will not be any more groping and cosplayers nervously dismissing it because we, “Don’t want to make a scene”.  There will not be any more going to security only to have your concerns blown-off.  Our voices will be heard.  They are quite loud and united now.  So, if you are a creeper that likes to insult and grope cosplayers or con-goers, your little reign of terror is at an end.  We are done.  Your actions will have consequences.  Our voices will be so loud that con management and security cannot ignore us.  You are on notice.  You will have to take your troll selves back to your mother’s basement and stick to exclusive online trolling, until we figure out a way to stop you anyway.  Rant over.

OK, so now as a parent what the heck do you do with all this information?  This is some real grown-up awkward as heck stuff!  However, it is stuff that is all over the news now, so your kids have heard something about it.  They most likely have questions.  I had to impose my parental veto rights and have the kiddo unfollow and block all the creeper cosplayers mentioned earlier on her Insta feed.  She asked why, which is a valid question.  Well, she is 11, so I told her the basics.  I told her that these men touched people where they should not without consent from the other person.  Then I reiterated that these areas should not ever be touched on her or any of her friends even with their consent.  I explained to her the concept of consent and how we, and we alone, are in charge of our bodies.  Nobody should ever touch you without your permission.  I also had to go into the discussion of how some people incorrectly feel that they have permission based on the type of cosplay (skimpy or racy) that the cosplayer is wearing.  It is so sad that I had to say any of this, but as is part of your parenting responsibility.  You have to have the awkward and unpleasant discussions with your kids.  At least before someone else gives them a whole lot of inaccurate information.

This is all just my take on things to be sure.  I would never ever tell you how to raise your kid, how to parent them on these issues or anything else.  This is just what worked for me and my kid in my home.  If you have some good tips on how to handle these very adult matters with your kids, I welcome your comments.

Until next time…. #metoo #timesup and I Believe You!

Love, Kim and Scout

Vegas Adventure- So Many Marvel-ous Things!

Last Thanksgiving, the kiddo was with me for that particular holiday, so we decided to take a quick trip and have a Vegas adventure!

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We had a most excellent time seeing the sites!

We stayed at the Excalibur, which is right on the strip.  The newly refurbished rooms are super nice.  I wanted to take the kiddo to a themed hotel for this first trip together, but in the future, we will stay off the strip.  We obviously do not go to Vegas to gamble, so staying off the strip with trips into the specific places we want to go is better with a kid.

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One advantage to staying at the Excalibur were discounted tickets to The Tournament of Kings, a dinner and show experience.  We had our Thanksgiving dinner there.

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We hit up Madame Tussauds, which had a special Marvel exhibit that was fantastic!  They also had a 4D movie experience that was terrific!

We then went to Marvel Avenger’s S.H.I.E.L.D. Station.  This interactive exhibit helps you train for a future as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.  We are totally worthy.

For a change of pace, we found a great metaphysical store off the strip, The Realms Within.  If you are ever in Vegas, please visit this wonderful store!  If not, then you can visit their website here.

Last fun thing we did was go to the show, “Baz” at the Palazzo on the strip.  This show was a mash-up of Baz Luhrmann’s movies.  Absolutely fantastic!

All-in-all, we had a great adventure in Vegas for Thanksgiving.  If you have some fun and helpful Vegas vacationing tips, hit us up in the comments!

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Until next time…

Love, Kim and Scout

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Valentine’s Day approaches, and we found some really fun and funny gifts for that special nerd in your life!  Shopping links are included, so go crazy!

Star Wars Bouquets from ThinkGeek:

Feisty Pets, also from ThinkGeek:

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Cap Watch from Superherostuff.com:

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This gorgeous Black Panther bag from Loungefly.com:

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These are just a couple of marvelous ideas from us for your Valentine.  Happy Shopping!

Love, Kim and Scout

*All photos from their respective websites and lead image from Superherostuff.com

Outfit of the Day: Cap Shield Dress

For our next outfit of the day, we are going with my new Cap Shield Dress from Rainbow Rules.

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This dress is super comfortable and and great length!  I love it when skaters are made at a length where you do not have to wear leggings with it if you do not want to!  Hooray!

Rainbow Rules is also size inclusive, going all the way up to a 5XL, and a true 5XL at that.  I am wearing a 3XL in this dress, and I wear a standard size 18/20 for reference.

 

Rainbow Rules has made-to-order dresses, leggings and other accessories from various fandoms.  The spandex is a nice weight, super stretchy and passes the bend-over test.

Check them out here.  The bolero is available on Amazon.  The boots are from Torrid.  The shield is a Marvel Legends shield, available here.  The inflatables are also available on Amazon here and here.

Happy Shopping!

Love, Kim and Scout

 

2017, Or My Year of Learning Things

Well, I don’t know about you, but I was more than ready to say “Good-Bye” to 2017!

What happened with the election, our healthcare hanging in the balance, our safety hanging in the balance, and well, you know the rest.  That has been covered non-stop.  I spent 2017 taking a big chance, which turned into another big chance and both went bust for me.

Whenever things go upside-down, I look at it and wonder, “What lesson is to be learned here?”  I mean, I might as well.  What else is there to do when surrounded by debris?

So, I did that.

So, what the heck did I learn?  I learned that taking both chances was totally worth it.  Yep, I know, I suffered financially and ended up with nothing, but it was worth it.  The worthiness I found is in seeing how strong I could be.  How hard I could work.  How much I could throw myself into something new and pick up some new skills along the way.

Now, I have not forgotten the months of sleepless nights, working all hours, giving up time with my daughter and my friends.  All of that was awful.  Just awful.  I have not forgotten the tears and the feelings of pure terror every time my phone rang or I got a text message.  I have not forgotten working through a debilitating knee injury that sidelined me for a whole year.  Running about in tremendous pain, but getting it done.  I do look back and marvel at how strong I am.  I did it!  I did it.

I know, this post is so tooting my own horn, but I want to post about the negative as well as the positive in my journey.  To be extra nerdy here for a sec, in “The Last Jedi”, Yoda says, “Failure is our best teacher.”  He ain’t a Jedi Master for nothing, people!

So, yep, to put it mildly, “It did not go well.”  But you know what?  I learned a lot.  A whole lot.

Now is the time to move forward with those lessons tucked away, but never far from my memory so as to not forget.

So, let’s get on with it shall we?

Love, Kim and Scout