Category Archives: General

C2E2 Way Aftershocks

C2E2 2013 will be for me perhaps best remembered for passing a certain personal milestone in my cosplay experiences. But first about the con itself!

This is my 4th C2E2 and all I can say is that it just gets better and better, bigger and bigger. Chicago’s McCormick Place is a great place to have a convention, and C2E2 is doing it quite well despite the ever growing number of people attending the 3 day event.

For me the main focus was getting to the J. Michael Straczynski panels which were great. And I got the bonus of a Joe’s Comics t-shirt and an autographed copy of the premiere Ten Grand comic! Further bonus points were racked up getting to see Bruce Boxleitner and Mira Furlan. So my C2E2 nerdgasm was in full effect.

The Mach 5, GO! GO! GO!

Friday got off to a good start, finally meeting in the flesh @ButterflySamurai and gushing a bit about how the Black Cosplayers discussion thread on Cosplay.com was an early inspiration for my forays into cosplay. A bit later I ran into Hentai Girl who I met a while back at Otakon. I pretty much ran into most of the people I know from attending cons over the years, so I felt pretty lucky!

Saturday started busy. I knew I was going to get to McCormick late because I was attending my son’s Project Syncere presentation earlier in the day. This also meant that there was a good chance that the close lot would fill up, which would mean quite a hike in Uhura’s go-go boots. To avoid this, I got a ride to the con from my wife. Stepping out of the van at the center, I felt like a kid being dropped off by his mom. LOL

On the way in, it turned out that I was right behind a representative from the Anovos booth who asked me to stop by. Anovos makes some beautiful, high quality, Star Trek uniforms, including the classic mini-dress like the one I was wearing. So I stopped by the booth to talk a while and ogle some of their work close up. A bit pricey, but oh so beautiful!

Saturday was a lot more crowded than Friday. And more crowded than I remembered for the same day last year. So I was sure that the huge line I was in to get an autographed copy of Ten Grand would outlast the number of copies. While this was going on, the streams between work and cosplay finally crossed.

I knew a group of my coworkers were coming to C2E2 and I was planning to meet up with them. Of course I did not tell them ahead of time that I was cosplaying Uhura, only that I’d be in Starfleet uniform. LOL So when they finally found me in that line after a few minutes of phone tag, they were suitably surprised and impressed by my handiwork! (“Oh hell no!” He exclaimed.)

This proved to be a major milestone for me, as I’d never revealed anything about my crossplays to anyone I worked with in the past. It’s not the sort of thing you can just tell people about because, and here’s my vanity, whatever image they make up in their minds will not be anywhere near as good as the real thing. I feel like this is something I have to show people in person. Now I think I know a little bit how it feels for LGBTQ people to come out. In any case, there’s no going back now!

I spent the rest of Saturday hanging out with them taking pictures of cosplayers and watching the cosplay contest on the main stage. A little boy cosplaying Optimus Prime brought the house down when he transformed into a semi right on stage. Other notable cosplays included a Bane with kids in a stroller, a woman as the Up house, and a huge Mechazord from Power Rangers. BTW, one of the panels I stumbled into of Friday featured Jason David Frank, the Green Ranger. He was totally awesome!

Sunday, Kids Day at C2E2, brought some more surprises. I had planned to bring my two youngest children who I thought would enjoy the cosplays, and artists panels. My youngest daughter wasn’t interested, but to my surprise and joy, my wife accepted an invite in her place. I had really wanted to show her how a well run professional media con looked, but she’s not really a fan of anything at C2E2, so I never thought she’d come. It would turn out to be a great day.

First, I’d never seen Sunday at C2E2 so crowded. I’d expected lots of kids, but not a crowd rivaling the opening Friday. But there it was, the next generation of fans crowded all around us!

And once more, providence was smiling upon us. While we couldn’t get into the Geek Girl panel, we did get into a comics writing panel which just happened to be in the same room as the R. L. Stine panel that followed it. R.L. Stine is the coolest old dude you’d ever imagine. I’m no kid, but I will be reading Goose Bumps now!

Our day ended with the Lion Forge panel. On Friday I had met a friend of a friend who was working at Lion Forge, so I thought it would be fun to learn some more about this new publisher. The titles and creative talent were all very interesting and I’m planning to follow them and see what develops. But the day could not have ended any better than when my son won the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet they were giving away in the raffle!

So it was a great C2E2. I took tons of cosplay pics and had the pleasure of showing off one of my favorite costumes to my coworkers (and my friend next door, lol). Will I be going next year? Oh hell yes!

Thrust

saturn_v_launchAs a parent, I like to imagine that I’m the first stage of a Saturn V rocket. Now I’m at max thrust, fuel more than half gone, pushing my payload ever upward. Any minute now, that 2nd stage will light up and I’ll fall to the ocean, a job well done. I only hope, as I fall away, to see that 3rd stage light up the sky.

Time Is Passing

This has been some week. Full of stress and at least two close calls. Just don’t know when the show here could be all over. Time is passing, no time to waste on regrets or being too timid. I’ve had a great time here on Earth and I’m very thankful to the God who made me and has shown me so much grace and mercy.

Goodbye AT&T, Ta Ta iPhone, Hello Nexus 4!

Reminded of a certain phone company...
Reminded of a certain phone company…

One of my greatest annoyances dealing with AT&T has been their wonky web site. Well goodbye to all of that. This last week I’ve been looking for replacement options for my ancient iPhone 3GS. BTW Apple, it was a terrible idea to put iOS 6 on this phone. Because of that, my iPhone has been a slow daily annoyance.

I strongly considered getting a Samsung Galaxy S3 under contract because unlocked it’s just too freakin expensive. But just couldn’t pull the trigger on another 2 years with AT&T without looking at more options, or even waiting for the Galaxy S4 or rumored iPhone 5S/6.

But the sudden availability of the Nexus 4, yes Google is taking orders again, and the last straw with AT&T’s web site, pulled the trigger for me. I’ve placed an order for a 16GB Nexus 4 and plan to go with a T-Mobile prepaid plan. Not only that, I’m taking my wife’s 3GS over to T-Mobile as well. Both of our phones are well out of contract, so goodbye AT&T.

Join Me Luke And Together We Will Fix This Computer As Father And Son!

With the proliferation of Darth Vader memes across the web, I think the Dark Lord of the Sith is becoming something of an icon of fatherhood. I mean really, who hasn’t thought of their dad as the evil Darth Vader at one point or another. And I say that now that such a role has come upon my shoulders from time to time as a parent myself. But Darth was not always evil of course, and the guy was a very smart and capable Jedi back in the day. Naturally this is usually forgotten, not at all helped by a series of not so great prequels.

darth_vader_fatherhood_icon
Darth Vader, Icon of Fatherhood

It’s not all bad though. Tonight I had the pleasure of displaying my prowess as Lord of the Sith by helping my son extract a stripped screw from his laptop. He was in the process of upgrading the memory and somehow stripped the head of the screw to the access panel. All hope seemed lost as I tried various tools to get the stubbornly tight screw to turn.

In the end I called upon the Dark Side of the Force, abandoning finesse for some well placed torsional mayhem. I found a sharp pointed Philips head screw driver tip that I was able to fit into my power screw driver. I then pressed the sharp tip into the damaged screw and let her rip! I hoped that the pressure and vibration would loosen the screw and turn it.

It took a couple of attempts, but in the end that screw was no match for the power of the Dark Side. Luke, I AM YOUR FATHER!

Another Thank You To Martin Luther King Jr.

It isn’t very often that you get a chance to say “Thank you” to the historical figures who’ve touched your life. But this past weekend I had just such an opportunity. One of my wife’s closest friends is a relative of Juanita Abernathy, widow of Civil Rights leader Rev. Dr. Ralph Abernathy who with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. started the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. with the Montgomery Bus Boycott. We had the opportunity of joining Mrs. Abernathy for a dinner in her honor ahead of her speaking at the MLK Day celebration at the Union League Club in Chicago.

The dinner was great, and Mrs. Abernathy remains an active and vibrant person. And the stories she told, particularly of the time they spent in Chicago, really drove home just how much of a struggle she and the others went through to secure the equality promised by the U.S. Constitution. She really reminded me of my mom a great deal. And that made me think even more about how much I owe her and the other leaders of the movement for the life I have today. My educational opportunities simply would not have been available in pre-Civll Rights America. And my marriage to the Chinese woman I fell in love with, would be illegal. So I owe a great debt to those who struggled before me.

Juanita Abernathy is the last living member of the core leadership of the Civil Rights movement. So it was an honor to speak with her and thank her personally for all that she did. And the closest I’ll ever get to thanking King personally on this side of eternity. Now it’s time to carry on the fight.

She Won’t Be Home For Christmas

Every parent knows it’s going to happen someday. But that doesn’t make it hurt any less of course. When I heard that my eldest daughter had decided to spend Christmas away from home, all of the air just went out of my balloons. I’m still feeling deflated, but I guess it’s just an unavoidable part of letting go. We’ve spent nearly two decades preparing her for this, so I guess we should be proud in a way. Still, the Christmas lights will be a little dimmer this year.

Turkey Week: And So It Begins

It sucks being sick over the weekend, but I’m back up and looking forward to the coming week. The big highlight will be the return of my daughter from college for the Thanksgiving holiday. She and my longest son had a spirited conversation over Skype last night. I wish I could have been more a part of that, but it’s never been easy communicating with her and patience is essential. I’m wondering how college has changed her. I know it changed me, mostly for the better where living with other people was concerned.

On the work front, a lot of people are taking this week off, so it should be pretty quiet. And by quiet, I mean boring…

Sex is Boring

Now that sex has become boring, I guess I am officially old. *sigh* I’ve never liked doing anything the same ol’ way over and over again. But right now it seems that I am doomed to the same bedroom mechanic for the foreseeable future (if there is such a thing). So I’ve come here to vent a little bit. Even that has taken some effort as I’ve felt so much palpable pressure to conform and behave over the last couple of months.

Well conformity has never been my thing. And I’ve “behaved” all my life. I’m tired of behaving. I just want to be myself and say the things I need to say. I’m supposed to be writing a prayer for Sunday, but right now I’m at a loss. My faith has not left me though, only the words.

A Pearl Is Just A Pearl

Funny thing happened to me today in the elevator. It was just myself and a woman at the time when she asked me what my earrings meant. I was wearing pearl studs today, one of my favorite pair. I told her it only meant that I liked them which is the truth.

I suppose it’s rather unusual for men to wear pearl earrings. But I just wear what I like. Oddly enough, being able to wear earrings is one of the few advantages of being a black man in the US. Still, I suppose one has to conform to expectations even then. Needless to say, conforming is not one of my strong suits!

LOL, Sick Days Sux!

After seeing Avengers on Saturday, I was on top of the world. The next two days I paid for my hubris, LOL. Sick days are terrible, but not just for the pain and fatigue. In addition to that, there’s the humiliation and accusations of weakness heaped upon me by my sometimes Amazonian spouse! The other thing is being totally unable to play any games on this unexpected day off. I’m not really sure which one hurts more. LOL

Chow Down On Intolerance!

When Willam Belli was disqualified from RuPaul’s Drag Race last week, I can’t say I was all that upset. While very pretty and talented, I just wasn’t a Willam fan. But, since that time my opinion of her has risen considerably. While hunting about for information on just why she was DQ’d in the first place, I happened upon a music video she stars in with drag queens Detox, and Vicky Vox, that spoofs the anti-gay stance of the Chick-fil A restaurant chain.

There’s only one Chick-fil A in downtown Chicago that I know about, referred to here with a call to boycott it, and I’ve never eaten there. But I certainly won’t be going there now. As a Christian myself, I’m really tired of these so-called Far Right Christian groups and organizations doing hateful things and then claiming it’s all in the name of Jesus. The Jesus I know would be the last person to hate gay people. Heck, he’d probably be hanging out with drag queens today, just as he kept company with the outcasts of the world the last time he walked the Earth.

A Thinking Man’s Guide To Marriage

It’s quiet right now. I’m typing up this post while my wife is in the living room tapping away on her Mac. This is actually a pretty typical morning. No torrid romance or unbridled passion. It’s just living. Living our lives to together as we’ve done for quite some time now.

It might be fun to write a practical guide to marriage based on our experiences, but I don’t really think there’d be much to say that isn’t already obvious. I guess the main thing to take to heart is that most of the time, the quiet joy of being with the most significant other of your life is what you’ll experience. It’s not stagnation, nor is it boring. It just is, and it can be the greatest thing you’ll ever experience this side of eternity.

In all of the uproar over same sex marriage, I think the meaning of what marriage actually is, has been ignored. Making the vows before God and man to join your lives together. Taking on the world back to back every day. And sharing those quiet times of joy that words don’t adequately express. Wanting this is one of the most human things we can do.

Somebody (Google)’s Watchin Me

I always feel that somebody’s watchin me. Now I’m sure the somebody is Google. Google has updated their privacy policy saying they will follow you across all of their services, whether you like it or not. LOL, nice to see that Google’s got my back. Yeah…

No big surprises there really. There’s no such thing as anonymity or privacy on the internet. If someone wants to stalk you, really stalk you, they can find out who you are with a little digging. So welcome to the big time everyone, with some help from Google, we can all live the life of movie stars! Well, mostly without all of the money…