Top 10 List: How to Know You’re An Old Pro at San Diego Comic-Con Fandom

An SDCC 2017 attendee friend and I were chatting on the back channels of Facebook today. He shared this photo with me of the SyFy Channel’s sign, boldly listing “true SDCC fandom” characteristics. We were having a good laugh about how we would write this list. Can you pass our sniff test? I’ll bet those of you reading this will have some great additions to our list–feel free to chime in and share!

And speaking of SDCC 2017, I hope you got a chance to check out Dave Dorman’s new creator-owned WASTED LANDS novella and his AMAZING TALES OF THE WASTED LANDS pulp fiction magazine Kickstarter campaign! Here’s your handy link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mikebawden/amazing-tales-of-the-wasted-lands-inaugural-issue?ref=thanks_tweet

Are YOU a Pro at the Con? But can you meet MY criteria?

You Pass the SDCC Old Pro Fandom Sniff Test If…

  1. You can pronounce Bill Sienkiewicz’s last name correctly.
  2. You can correctly identify the actual creator–and for bonus points, the publisher–of the character you’re cosplaying.
  3. You attended SDCC back when the signage all over San Diego still said “Celebrating the Comic Arts.”
  4. You know why Ralph McQuarrie matters to the Star Wars universe.
  5. Creators know your name without even looking at your badge.
  6. You don’t drink a drop of liquid for 12 hours before you see a panel in Hall H. Also, you bring gum and a snack.
  7. You know 501st isn’t a style of Levis, but the world’s largest cosplay organization.
  8. You carry extra Sharpies in black and silver, in case the artists’ Sharpies go dry.
  9. You know where to find your favorite booths without relying on the guide book.
  10. You attended Preview Night when it was still exclusive to pros.

 

LennyMud: The New Jersey Ceramics and Pottery Maker Who Shares My Sense of Humor

My friend Lisa’s birthday is today. Lisa is a delightful 2017 addition to what Marovich calls my “collection” of people. Together, we’re the mash-up, “D’Nisa.” While Lisa has many stellar qualities, I especially treasure her word play skills–par excellence. Her comment about the Christopher Walken Closet the other day had me dying. Lisa is one of the few friends who loves the Bob’s Burger intros and Burger of the Day titles as much as I do. Some make me hyperventilate in giggles. Just as with my bff since kindergarten, Darlene, or my bff since 7th grade, Marovich, Lisa is a joy to shop for–I just buy what I love, and I know they’ll love it, too (the exception being that with Marovich, lipstick shopping is officially OFF the table. Don’t ask.) So I was browsing online for Lisa’s birthday gifts and discovered this hilarious ceramics and pottery maker called Lennymud in New Jersey. If I made ceramics, this is exactly the stuff I would create. And then I read the owner’s bio. Now I want to be president of her fan club. (Weird coincidence — I may have called Jack “The Spawn” before.)

ABOUT LENNYMUD

Lenny is the name of my studio cat. I make the pots and Lenny breaks them: this way I never run out of shelf space.

Lenny is not for sale. Probably not.

I know my shop name makes me sound like a 50 year old man who smokes cigars, but I am a female who is sometimes told that she looks ten years younger than her real age. (My husband says the nicest things in the dark. When he’s drunk.) I am the mother to two, adorable children that I like to call The Spawn.

I like to make stuff. Sometimes I like to work with clay and other days I like to draw or paint. I work a busy day job– my Etsy shop lennymud.etsy.com is a hobby or perhaps a midlife crisis. You are invited to stalk me on my facebook fan page here http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lennymud/179831098733257
or follow me at Twitter: LennyMud.

And yes, it’s ok if you call me Lenny.

Based solely on @LennyMud’s artisan output, she is just the sort of person D’Nisa would hang with, if she only lived closer. Here’s what I mean:

The Lionel Cheese Platter! Perfect for your next AA meeting!

For me, tea is just a beverage masquerading as lame coffee, but this mug could make me like it…

I mean, seriously. Who DOESN’T need this teapot?

 

That Poop Scene in Last Night’s Game of Thrones

If ever there was an occasion to bleach my eyeballs, it was last night.

Michael Ende created The Never-Ending Story. George R.R. Martin created The Never-Ending Poop Scene. My God, could last night’s premiere episode of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” been any more painful to watch?* After the first 15 comparisons between the bedpans filled with runny poop and the slop food, I felt that the viewer more than “got the message.” Beyond that, it felt like I had sprained an ankle and someone was pressing their boot down as hard as they could, for as long as they could, into my injury. Only the never-ending puke scene from Monty Python’s Meaning of Life approached that level of ad nauseam.

*I thought the rest of last night’s episode was really solid (unlike what was in those bedpans), especially the exchange between the redheaded wilding, who is my Groundskeeper Willie fantasy in human form, and Breanne.

I think it would be brilliant for the actor who plays Sam–who will surely be on the convention circuit signing autographs any moment–to wear this shirt commemorating last evening’s shit show:

A t-shirt for Sam’s autograph signings…

Observations of a 12-Year-Old

Jack, and his school chum, whose name is also Jack (he’s 2 months older, so I call him “Jack Senior” to minimize confusion) were chatting in the back seat of my car as I was–don’t judge–ordering their lunches at the McDonald’s drive-thru’ the other day. I learned three valuable data points:

Nice “Kicks,” you Olive Garden-eating King of Disinformation, you!

#1. You will get a lifetime of food from Olive Garden if you name your child after a dish on the Olive Garden menu. I estimate it might cost about $1k to legally change your name, so this made solid economic sense to me. Jack now answers to “Veal Piccata.”

#2. The secret formula to the crabby patty is…crabs! The boys have concluded that Mr. Krabs is cannibalizing his own kind to form his crabby patties, since he seems to be the ONLY crab in Bikini Bottom. Even Mr. Krabs’ daughter Pearl is, oddly enough, a whale. I’m sure it was an adoption. Perhaps this was Sponge Bob creator Stephen Hillenburg’s homage to soylent green.

#3. Ross’s Dress for Less has HEAT. Jack is addicted to watching some YouTuber whose sole claim to fame is shopping at discount clothing outlet stores for close-outs on hard-to-find “Kicks” (when I want to make Jack, that is, Veal Piccata, die a thousand deaths, I call them “sneakers.”) In case you missed the memo, YouTubers are this generation’s celebrities. Hollywood celebs are soooo yesterday, losing juice and getting replaced by one pimply faced, semi-talented YouTuber teen at a time.

I can’t keep track of which LeBron shoe is hot at the moment, but Jack knows. He discusses the pros, cons, values and stats of various athletic shoe styles with the encyclopedic knowledge and fervor some might reserve for betting on prize fighters. If Imelda Marcos died before 2004 (I’m too lazy to Google it right now) she may have reincarnated as Jack.

So…if any of those fake news outlets out there are using my Jack or Jack Senior as their “anonymous sources,” run for the hills — these dealers of disinformation are not to be trusted. Flip your channel, pronto!

Today in Weirdness: #SignsOfOurExtinction

This morning I had a breakfast-turned-lunch business meeting (not our typical monkey business meeting) with a Sister Wife and sometimes client who shall remain nameless. I needed to powder my nose (pee, people, not a coke joke) and as I sat down in the stall, I was faced with this. There was only one thing I could do. Whip out the iPhone and snap a pic. I can just imagine what the person in the next stall thought I was up to…

                                                                         The sign that humankind is on the verge of extinction…

Now you might ask yourself, “What cataclysmic event would prompt someone to make this sign?” You are not alone. I asked myself the very same. In my theater of the mind, the manager walked in to find someone with a puzzled facial expression slithering on their belly out from under the stall door, which remained locked. It’s the only feasible explanation…am I right? Anybody?

I hope that is yellow highlighter on that sign…and…raspberries?

 

Happy Fourth of July, Everybody! Here’s Why I Hate Glamping…And Staycations Are the Cat’s Ass!

That’s the Bloody Mary I’ve Been Looking For…Driftless Glenn Distillery, Baraboo, WI

For the past seven years, the Sister Wives and I have done a “glamping” trip. I think I’ve missed two of the seven years due to San Diego Comic-Con. The very term “Sister Wives” came from one of these trips. This random guy had been circling my friends and me like a turkey vulture, assuming we were some divorcees’ group camping with our kids, trying hard to listen in on our double entendre-filled conversations. He approached Heather, asking how we knew each other. Heather, who like my bff Marovich can keep a straight face while crafting the most outlandish statements off the top of her head (a skill I SO envy), informed him that…

(a) We were sister wives

(b) Our husband–Heather was really working it, conjuring up this Warren Jeffries-type character–only allowed us one yearly trip off the rural Utah compound, and

(c) Our husband did have a confederate there keeping an eye on us. We just never knew where or what he looked like.

The turkey vulture exited stage left, never to return.

Somewhere along the way, this weird hybrid of “glamping” rose up and became a thing. It’s not quite staying in a cozy cabin on the lake where plates and utensils are provided, and yet, it’s not quite camping. It’s somewhere uncomfortably in between. First world problems, I know. It needn’t be said. Either way, glamping is a constant level of discomfort and irritation that makes me question every year why my Sister Wives and I don’t just pitch tents in my back yard (and at about midnight, I’d be slipping back into my own cozy memory foam bed…) and enjoy the uninterrupted comforts of home.

Our “Glamping” Accommodations…

Here are the benefits, as I see them, to my new plan of action:

  1. Solid internet and cell phone coverage. The campground where we stayed allowed me 2 bars of cell phone signal from about 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. daily. The rest of the time I got a “No service” message. To get online, I had to go into the noisy general store and even there, it wasn’t consistent, so working was not an option.
  2. Clean eating. The last four days have been a whirlwind of non-stop stoner food. It’s so much easier to eat clean when we’re not shopping and cooking in shorthand for 20 people. As the kids have gotten older and hungrier, we’ve been forced to increase our trips to Super Wal-Mart (the local grocer to our campground). Every meal felt like a swarm of locusts had attacked our fridge and pantry. Every trip to the Super Wal-Mart tasted like FREEDOM.
  3. Two-ply toilet paper. I grew up in the country where the septic tank was de rigueur, forced to endure Scott’s single-ply toilet paper for the first half of my life. I really would prefer not to return to that time. I’ll bet men’s skid-marked underwear is the result of avoiding single-ply paper.
  4. Easy access to a washer and dryer. I can’t erase that muscle memory sensation of wet towels.  A staycation would mean easy access to MORE towels that doesn’t require another run to Wal-Mart.
  5. Random items you never remember. I really thought I covered it all this year when I brought all of my silverware, plates, spatulas, can opener, scissors and tongs. Boy was I wrong. I forgot the pot holders, drinking cups, coffee mugs, etc. No matter how much crap I pack to take on this trip, we always end up driving to Wal-Mart.

8 New Things I Learned While On This Year’s Glamping Trip:

  1. Solo cups have indented markings for a reason. Of course, I learned this from Heather! The bottom one is for shots, the middle marking is for wine and mixed drinks and the top marking is for beer.
  2. Teen-aged girls are no longer shy about flinging tampons-as-weapons at teen-aged boys. Add some spikes on those puppies and they’re Game of Thrones-worthy.  (Unused ones, I should add. After that last season of FARGO, one feels compelled to clarify.)
  3. Impractical Jokers is the greatest! I’ve heard this show mentioned, but never actually watched it before. Heather, Carolyn, and our 4 boys binge-watched it until 1 a.m. Saturday. Recommendation: Check out the episode where they’re in Miami and making their friend ride around on a Rascal while they direct it via remote control. Comedy gold! Especially when they forced him to hold up this sign in public: “Buy Me Lunch. I Have Half a Ball.” I forewarned Jack he may have to hold a similar sign at a restaurant in the near future. He was nonplussed. I think he thinks I was kidding?
  4. KY-Gel runs wildly inappropriate ads during the after-midnight airings of Impractical Jokers. One ad in particular was for a spray to help a man to maintain his erection because, as the poor actor in the ad confessed, “I git done sooner than I should.” And the best part was, in the background behind this couple in bed, they showed a silhouette of a bear and a wolf together, and the wolf was howling. Heather, Carolyn and I held a heated debate as to whether this coupling would ever really happen in nature, as our boys looked straight ahead in embarrassed horror, averting their gazes from making eye contact with any of us adults.
  5. S’mores do bake really well in those copper pans. Just like advertised.
  6. H, my all-too-frequent partner in crime…pre-Moonshine tasting.

    6. Chicagoland Chevrolet car dealership owner Brian Bemis owns a bourbon/vodka/brandy/moonshine distillery in Baraboo, Wisconsin called the Driftless Glenn Distillery. Heather and I were making yet another Wal-Mart run and we nearly drove past it, when I made an impromptu sharp left turn into the parking lot–at full speed–thinking I would merely investigate if there was a gift shop. One distillery tour and a 5 shot-glasses tasting later, we went to Wal-Mart, in a shopping excursion that was way more palatable than usual. I found I didn’t even want to bleach my eyeballs after seeing yet another weird guy with his butt crack hanging out in the junk food aisle. I find the most fun adventures in life are those that are unplanned. The Sister Wives who remained behind watching the kids didn’t quite see it my way, but I think I’m finally forgiven. I did make killer meatloaf, after all.

  7. The local Circus Museum in Baraboo had an escaped elephant right while we were staying nearby. Now that would be been so fun to discover in our back yard! Almost as fun as the random dog that ran through every room of our house unexpectedly, before we corralled him.
  8. And speaking of unexpected visitors, the owners of the campground decided to hold a LuLaRoe party (which I always confuse with the Lululemon brand–sort of like my David Lynch/David Byrne confusion) in the garage of the raised ranch home we rented. Sister Wife Carolyn outran Jesse Owens as she raced across the street upon witnessing three total strangers breaking into our house, accidentally, as I was napping on the couch just a few feet away.
  9. I’m pretty skilled at unclogging icky boys’ toilets, but don’t let that get around.

Happy Fourth, Everyone!