Planet Comicon aka. Best Day of My Life

I’m officially back from my blogging hiatus due to my trip to Planet Comicon & lots of work. I have never been to a “bigger” comic convention; most of my cons have been local and no more than 6,000 people attending. Planet Comicon has about 15,000-16,000 on average. Once I got back from Planet Comicon, I had to spend time processing this weekend because guess what? Not only did I meet Jason Momoa, but I also met Matthew Lewis aka. Neville Longbottom. I’m still in shock this happened. I was telling a coworker about meeting Matthew Lewis and I was still red in the face and laughing nervously. Anyway, this post is to gush to you all about how awesome my weekend was and how I’m already planning my next “bigger” convention.

Arriving in Kansas City, me and my friend picked up our passes on Friday for Saturday. I’m glad we did because the line on Saturday to pick up tickets was really long. Immediately entering the convention hall on Saturday I was in awe over all the people. Walking around was difficult as there were huge groups of people walking at different speeds. There were so many creators tabling, artists sketching and multiple props to take pictures with. It was slightly intimidating.

The first place me and my friend stopped at was the celebrity booth to find Jason Momoa. His line was packed with cosplayers, families and other con goers. Me and my friend exchanged nervous glances of whether or not we would actually get our autograph we paid for because that’s how long the line was. While walking around the celebrity booth, we noticed Matthew Lewis doing signings. We both spontaneously decided to wait in his line for an autograph.

To purchase Matthew Lewis’s autograph, we waited for 2 1/2 hours. We were getting antsy because we weren’t moving and I was slightly dehydrated from all the standing. Finally, his line started to move and I was suddenly standing a couple feet from him. I started blushing hard core because Matthew Lewis is hot. Anyway, he said my name in his British accent and asked me how I was and I told him to draw me a Deathly Hallows symbol on my picture of Neville. After receiving my autograph, my hands were shaking and my heart was practically about to explode from my chest. I’m so happy we waited in line for him.

[picture of a wand next to a signed copy of Neville Longbottom from Harry Potter]

AHHHH

After Matthew Lewis we took a break by getting some lunch and walking around the floor. There’s so much shopping you could do! I wish I had purchased a day pass on Sunday so I could have looked at all the comics, books and art creators were selling. Once we got back to the convention, we waited in line for a photo with Matthew Lewis.

Originally, I didn’t want to buy a celebrity photo because I was afraid of the photo looking awkward. I was surprised by the fact that the photo looks really professional. The photo line moved pretty quickly and we were done within 15 minutes. Plus Matthew Lewis put his arms around us and made it look pretty casual. AHHH Matthew Lewis put his arm around me, I won’t forget that. ❤

Matthew Lewis Digital copy.jpg

He put his arms around us! ❤ 

Me and my friend were about to give up on Jason Momoa’s autograph (even though we paid for it, but the line was ridiculously long) when we noticed the line was considerably shorter. We walked up to a lady with a volunteer shirt on who told us to move in the line. We were given mean glances by those waiting in line for an autograph who didn’t pre-purchase it like we did. I wasn’t as nervous with Jason Momoa as I was with Matthew Lewis. I wanted to briefly describe what I said to Jason Momoa while he signed my Aquaman print:

Me: *nervously giggling* I’m so excited for the solo Aquaman movie.

Jason: *pauses* “Hellll yeahhhh. Here take a girl scout cookie.” (He did have thin mints at his table for fans).

Jason gave me his seal of approval for the Aquaman movie with two words. I’m pumped to see it in theaters.

Jason Momoa autograph

Aquaman!

After Jason Momoa, me and my friend were exhausted, so we called an uber and changed out of our Hogwarts Student cosplays and had a beer with food. Overall it was one of the best conventions I attended. Usually, I attend smaller conventions, but this one was a nice change of pace. I’m not sure how I would feel attending NYCC or San Diego because I was overwhelmed at the hordes of people all around me. In general, I’m open to attending larger conventions because Planet Comicon was great. Plus I can now say I met Aquaman and Neville Longbottom in real life.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Why I’m glad I hired a Personal Trainer

I don’t usually talk about fitness on this blog, but I did graduate from Winona State University with a B.S. in Exercise Science. I’m also certified as a Personal Trainer by the ACSM (American College of Sport’s Medicine). In the middle of January I was contacted by a personal trainer at the gym I train at because I had won 3 free personal training sessions. These sessions kicked my ass. Today I used the last session of my 3 free sessions and I decided to hire a virtual coach and unlimited access to group personal training. I wanted to talk about why this was a great decision for me.

This personal trainer taught me how much I wasn’t challenging myself. The workouts he had me do made my body feel more fatigued than I had ever felt on my own. After the workout, I would come home genuinely shaky because my muscles had been pushed to a new level. I realized with my own training, I was stalling out. I did movements I was familiar with which led to my body getting used to my routine. Workouts are meant to challenge the body, that’s how our body adapts and gets stronger.

My biggest challenge with getting to the gym is accountability. Two days a week I work about 12 hours shifts. I get home from work, cook dinner and I’m physically exhausted. I sit on the couch and end up falling asleep early. Instead, I would rather be held accountable to go to the gym and get a workout in. Hiring a trainer allows me to have accountability meaning I’m more likely to go to my gym.

Finally, hiring a trainer helps me be organized in the gym. Some days I walk into the gym and ask myself “what am I going to do today?”. With my trainer, she will write workouts for me and when I walk in the gym, I will know what I will be doing for about 45 minutes. This helps me be more organized and concise during my exercise.

I am more motivated than I have ever been before. I am hoping to tone my muscles (drop my body fat percentage) so my muscles can be visibly seen on my arms, legs etc. I have also been using myfitnesspal again to track calories and I have been considering purchasing some fitness device to start wearing as well. I have been rejuvenated and I’m ready to go kick some serious ass in the gym.

Coffee Street Fitness

Combining Coffee & Fitness together? Dream come true!

Convention Bucket List

Living in Minnesota allows me to have access to a variety of different comic book conventions. The Twin Cities specifically (which is a group of cities near Minneapolis / St. Paul) has a huge geek population. It’s part of the reason why I feel at home in this Midwestern, overlooked state. Although, I would like to attend more conventions out of state, but it’s extremely expensive. I wanted to compile a list of different conventions I want to attend in the next five years. It’s almost impossible to attend all of these in the same year and be able to buy a bunch of stuff. Here is my conventions bucket list:

Convergence 2017 Harley Quinn

Harley Quinn Suicide Squad Cosplay

Planet Comicon Kansas City 

I’m going to cheat and include the convention I’m attending this month. This convention goes on for the whole weekend, but me and my friend only bought a Saturday pass. We also are staying in an Air B&B and that wasn’t too expensive to stay in Kansas City for the weekend. I don’t know what to expect with this convention, but I do plan on taking pictures, buying stuff and blogging about it when I get back.

C2E2

There’s the big three conventions all across the United States: San Diego, NYC and C2E2 in Chicago. This is completely duable for me since I have a college friend living down there. She told me if I ever wanted to come to this, she would let me stay with her. Maybe I can convince her to come with? 🙂 I have been to Chicago twice now and I will more than likely visit again. I have heard this con has grown in the most recent years and I think it would be fun to wander around and possibly meet bloggers that I know.

Dragon Con

My cousin has been to Dragon Con before and I have seen her Facebook pictures, this con looks epic. From my research on this con, it seems like there are less celebrities and more panels, merchandise and parties. As much as it’s cool to meet your favorite celebrities, that’s not why I attend conventions. I attend to buy comics, meet new people and possibly cosplay. Dragon Con would be a dream come true for me to attend such a large event.

 

Of course I want to attend San Diego and NYC as well. So many conventions, so little time. What other conventions should I add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!

February Goals

I decided to take a break from goal setting in the month of January. I don’t really like setting “New Year’s Resolutions” because often whatever goal I set, I abandon within a month anyway. Now that January is over and done with, I wanted to talk about my month of February with a new set of goals waiting to be met.

Set a budget for Planet Comicon

I always spend too much money at conventions because I love to buy new comics, art and more. I haven’t decided how much spending money I will actually bring, but I’m going to set a budget for sure. Usually I bring cash with me so once I spend whatever I have in cash, I’m done. This seems to work for me at most conventions, but I think I’m planning on bringing at least $80. I did look at the exhibitor listing before the convention and Tee Turtle is one of them and I love their t-shirts so honestly, this is going to be tough for me.

Work at Steamship at least once per month.

Kyoto Drip

Making Kyoto Drip Coffee

Steamship Coffee & Tea is the coffee shop I work at in Minneapolis which by the way is the coolest coffee shop in Minneapolis. My goal is to work there at least once per month. I’m their emergency barista in case someone needs time off or is too sick to come to work. I like it because I can set my own hours and choose shifts that work for me. Did I also mention my coffee shop is in the same space as Universe Games ? I can stock up on my board game needs while earning money making lattes.

Play D&D at least once this month.

I’m a part of an all female D&D group on Facebook and I haven’t once gone to a role playing session. I usually justify it because I have to meal prep on Sunday or go to the gym. I need to cut out the excuses and just go for a couple hours because I know I would have fun.

Read one book & one comic book this month.

I still have Paper Girls Volume #3, Saga Volume #2 and Madame Xanadu to read along with a pile of books. I want to set the bar low for this one because I do end up getting busy in between work. I have been better at reading before bed and I bring a book to read on my lunch break. So much to read and so little time to do it.

Happy February everyone! Happy Valentine’s Day and Galentine’s Day and whatever else happens in this month.

Gaming, Virtual Reality & Hacking in Warcross

IMG_E3324

I discover new books mostly from other book bloggers. They give me first hand knowledge about new books to read that peak my interest. I have been reading Super Space Chick’s blog ever since Kristin had appeared on Syfy’s Fangasm TV series. Her blog gives me some serious book inspiration and whenever she posts a review, I always read it. This book sounded good and even though I never read a book by Marie Lu, I knew she had written other successful series. Warcross was everything I wanted it to be and more. It featured a fantastic female heroine, diversity among the characters and a shocking twist I hadn’t seen coming. I will keep this review spoiler-free because I want everyone to know this book exists.

Warcross is a successful virtual reality game almost every gamer plays around the world. Emika Chen is one female gamer who plays Warcross in between her work as a bounty hunter in NYC. During the Warcross Championships, Emika accidentally hacks into the gameplay. Instead of being arrested, she’s flown to Tokyo to meet Hideo Tanaka, the designer and creator of Warcross. He offers Emika a job for a bounty on a mysterious hacker named “Zero” who is interfering with the championships. Emika must use her skills as a hacker and as a gamer to identify Zero and prevent major consequences for the Warcross empire.

Emika Chen is probably one of my favorite female characters in a book. Without giving spoilers, she’s someone who won’t sacrifice her values for the sake of someone else.  A lot of female characters will abandon a part of themselves for someone they care about, and Emika doesn’t do that. She has rainbow colored hair and a sleeve of tattoos which makes her appearance unique.

Most of the characters are pretty diverse. In the subsequent novels I read, I think it’s important to include different characters from a variety of cultures. Emika I believe is Chinese, whereas Hideo is Japanese. Hammie is a beautiful African American woman with her natural afro hair, and she plays a big role in Emika’s struggle with taking down Zero.

The ending though, holy shit. I read the last 20 pages and I thought I knew how this book would end, but I was wrong. I like not being able to predict how a book will end. I ended up tweeting @Marie_Lu jokingly asking her when the sequel would be released.

Marie Lu Tweet.png

One criticism I have been seeing with this book is that it’s too similar to Ready Player One. My counter argument is Ready Player One takes place in a dystopian society? I don’t know for sure, I haven’t read the book. Warcross takes place in a future society still in the U.S. and I wouldn’t put it in the category of being a “dystopian novel”.

Marie Lu can be found on twitter @Marie_Lu which is how I’m keeping up with any news regarding a Warcross sequel. I haven’t read her other books, but now I’m tempted into purchasing them to distract me from my despair of waiting for a Warcross sequel. I cannot recommend this book enough and it quite possibly could be my favorite book I read in 2018. I wanted to end my review with a quote from Marie Lu which can be found in the acknowledgments section of Warcross: To all the Gamer Girls out there, you inspired this.

Juggling Gaming & Adulting

I discovered a new gaming blog I’m reading titled The Dragon’s Tea Party which combines gaming and drinking tea. There was one post I read titled Adulting and Gaming My Struggle to Do Both. This post just stuck with me because this describes my life at this exact moment. This post details their struggle with getting in the time to game when your time is taken up by exercise, cooking dinner, driving home from work and fitting in 8 hours of sleep. In the back of my mind, I thought about how rewarding it would be to finally beat this part in the Last of Us I’m stuck on. I look at my PS4 on the shelf and feel so guilty for not playing it more often.

Another part about playing video games is I feel guilty for spending the time to play video games. I could have been doing laundry or meal prepping for the week instead I chose to play a virtual game. However, every time I sit down and play a level in Lego Marvel Superheroes, I feel less anxious overall. Nothing is better than beating up super villains with a Lego Hulk am I right?

Luckily, I have been able to play more video games recently. I just carve out the time to do so. During the week, I often limit my time to play video games to an hour. If I have too much screen time before going to bed, I won’t be able to sleep. One hour is the perfect amount of time to get past a level or at least earn an achievement or two. The weekends I’m less strict because I have more time, still I will set a timer that goes off every two hours.

I need to stop feeling guilty about not being able to game one day. I also don’t want to be hard on myself by saying “why am I gaming when I could be doing other things”. Gaming is like any other hobby and I don’t get why there’s this stigma about gaming and being lazy. The Last of Us will be completed eventually along with the Uncharted trilogy. Since I just got a PS4, let me know of other video game recommendations in the comments. Also check out The Dragon’s Tea Party, it’s my new favorite gaming blog.

 

 

Gaming Walkthroughs: Yay or Nay

Sexy Brutale

This idea randomly popped into my head after I realized I had been using a walk-through while playing Sexy Brutale on my PS4. I had been trying really hard not to use a walk-through because this is a puzzle game it’s meant to challenge me. I eventually couldn’t figure out where I was stuck which lead me to pulling up a video on youtube to get me through this part of the game. It got me thinking, is this considered cheating? Can I actually take credit in beating the game myself 100%? I did use the controller to play through the part myself, but I didn’t actually figure everything out on my own. I’m curious to know what my readers think about this topic.

Usually I will use a walk-through video or article for multiple reasons:

#1. I hate the game, the walk-through gets me through it.

If I genuinely dislike a game, I can’t leave it unfinished. It bothers me to such an extreme that I can’t play any other game unless I beat this game. I use a walk-through because I don’t want to get stuck, I just want to play through it to end my agony of playing through this game I hate.

#2 Collectibles

I’m sorry, but I don’t have time to look for every single collectible in a game. I use a walk-through to find all the collectibles and unlock the trophy or achievement I have been looking for.

#3 I’m stuck.

The third and final reason I use game walk-throughs is if I’m stuck. Sexy Brutale is a game I’m enjoying, but in one level I was walking around aimlessly trying to figure out what I’m supposed to be doing. After watching a video of where to go, I was able to move onto the next level.

Anyway, I’m interested in hearing your thoughts behind whether a walk-through is considered cheating, or if you use walk-throughs all the time and it’s no big deal.