How to enjoy a Comic Con!

On Sunday September 16th, I attended my first Comic Con – the first ever Comic Con in Africa!

I have waited YEARS for Comic Con to come to SA, and as soon as I saw the announcements my Glugster and I were determined to go. Hubby doesn’t mind dressing up, but its me who wants to CosPlay, and its so easy with Terry Pratchett’s Nanny Ogg as my alter ego!! So hubby came along in civvies and carried all our stuff, while I hung onto my hat! 😛

As soon as we could we booked our tickets for the Sunday (Saturday was already sold out), and I started checking on my costume. I tried to make my boots more red, made sure I had the right spray to make my hair white, and got my mom to make me a cape (the last one I used was rented).
In the weeks ahead of Comic Con I asked a couple of friends to play Granny Weatherwax and Magrat Garlick to my Nanny Ogg, and we went as Terry Pratchett’s Wyrd Sisters! It was SO much fun, and we were recognised a lot more often than I thought we would be – with people taking pictures with us and of us!

Picture by Starbright Jewellery

Once we got home, I realised I hadn’t taken NEARLY enough pictures of the day, and some of the incredible costumes I saw, and we hadn’t seen everything there was to see! I started thinking about how we can make sure we miss nothing next time, and that is how this blog post came about.
So. What will I do differently next year?

  • First – shoes!
    I will make sure that both my Glugster and I are wearing super-comfy shoes (mine were no problem, his weren’t fabulous) because there’s a LOT of walking and standing at Comic Con!
  • Second – we will start saving money WELL in advance!*
    Food and drink at expos is notoriously pricey (as in R20 for a can of Coke) and you can’t spend the day there and NOT eat, but you need money for all the cool stuff thats on offer! The original artworks and paintings and jewellery were SO “must-have”, and if you are a collector there are comics and games and all kinds of things you may be battling to find in actual shops.
  • Third – we will have a “schedule”!
    Our plan is to first check the list of talks and workshops happening and what time they are taking place so we can be sure to be in the right place at the right time. Then we will do a tour of ALL the stalls and displays and have a good look at everything on offer and on show. Then we’ll break for food, and THEN we will walk around checking out everyone’s costumes and taking pictures of, and with them!

If you went to Comic Con Africa this year, did you get a VIP ticket? Is it worth the expense?

*There is NO way I will ever fork out several hundred rands for a photo with a celebrity, unless I win the lottery!

Being a Proud Geek at #ComicConAfrica2018

Dear Oliver Roberts (if that is your name),

Today I read your article about Comic Con Africa in the Sunday Times Review, and to say I was offended is putting it -ing mildly.
But as you yourself noted, we geeks are a polite bunch, though your article has got our backs up, to say the least.

I went to Comic Con last Sunday, dressed as a fat old witch. My costume wasn’t complicated, or difficult to put together since I am already a fat old lady, but I chose my costume because Nanny Ogg is my favourite character from one of my favourite series of books, written by the inimitable Sir Terry Pratchett.
Had I identified more with Ayla from Jean Auel’s Earth’s Children novels, I could have gone to Comic Con dressed in a fur bikini and a long blonde wig, without a second thought as to whether or not I could pull it off in your eyes.

Comic Con is different things for different geeks, let me see if I can give you a wee bit of insight…
For serious cosplayers, the challenge is in making and competing in their costume, and they spend MONTHS in preparation. And at Comic Con they get to see professional cosplayers and attend workshops about making costumes.
For many of us its just fun to dress up and pretend to be someone else for the day, and not all costumes are handmade, but those who do go in costume LOVE to be recognised and photographed- if you ask first, of course.
For the gaming geeks, its about the games, and the “expensive keyboards and monitors” and new releases and watching professionals compete.
For the collectors, its about the comics and the “absurdly expensive figurines” and the “framed posters signed by the entire cast of Big Bang Theory”.

I’m not sure why you agreed to attend Comic Con Africa at all, Oliver, perhaps you weren’t given a choice, but whatever the reason you went to report on it, you clearly left your journalistic integrity at home.
You wrote that at Comic Con, “everyone is free to be themselves, without any fear of ridicule or scorn”, yet you were incapable of the same attitude.
It makes me sad to think that people who didn’t get to Comic Con this year may be put off attending the next one because of your article.

This world really would be a far better place if more people behaved like geeks do, and like we do at Comic Con, if our acceptance and tolerance and polite optimism were indeed the pervading energy on this planet.

Part of me hopes you will attend next year, and go in costume to try and have fun.
But if you can’t be more like us, then rather stay at home.

Being “Friends” on Facebook

At the beginning of this year, I had a bit of a revelation.
It had been on my mind for ages, I could just never quite put my finger on it. And then one day – the words put themselves together in my brain.

The moment you realise you’re just a FB friend,
when all along you thought you were more.

After that little epiphany, I started thinking about it more and more, and about my life and friends pre-Facebook. A time when I actually SPOKE to my friends on the phone. When I actually SAW my friends in person. When my social circle was small. Before people developed a complete aversion to answering their phones at all (and I LOVE speaking on the phone).
And I know FOMO well. It has plagued me all my life. You know the feeling – when you see your “friends” doing something without you, or getting together somewhere without you. That has bugged me less and less this year, and FOMO has always existed, but I have come to the conclusion that its Facebook’s real bread and butter – its what keeps people logging in and scrolling.
What really got to me though, what REALLY opened my eyes, was when people I thought were actual friends of mine, experienced major life events – and I knew no more about what was happening than anyone else who could see their Facebook feed.
That really hurt, because I was under the illusion I was closer to them.

Its taken me months to actually start doing anything about it, and I have no intention of closing my Facebook account, but I am unfriending* and un-following people regularly now. And I’m not doing it with any of those attention-seeking “I’m culling my friends list, leave a comment if you still love me” posts either.
Whilst I have used the “birthday notification rule” for some time now – the one where you unfriend someone after getting a Facebook birthday notification, but you have had no interaction with that person in over a year, but I am getting stricter with myself.
If someone makes me roll my eyes on a regular basis, for whatever reason, I un-follow them.
If someone makes me wonder how the hell we became Facebook friends in the first place, I unfriend them.

Its given me an odd sense of peace. An “out of sight, out of mind” kind of peace. Its made me determined to properly reconnect with the real people in my life.

*I loathe the word, I know its accepted, but it still sounds grammatically wrong to me.

Being More of an “Old Lady”

If you read THIS POST, you’ve already read about how when my now 27 year old son* was growing up, we had many, MANY conversations about sex, PMS, and babies, and more recently, a chat about menopause, and mood swings.
Because I am peri-menopausal.
Yup.
Officially old.
For about two years already.

Fokkit.

My cycle started going bezonkers in 2010 already, after being a perfect 25-day countdown for years, and its only gotten worse… I highly recommend downloading an app, BTW!

The forgetfulness, peri-menopausal the brain fog, is REAL!

So for about eighteen months I battled crazy night sweats – literally waking up with my pillowcase and my hair drenched with sweat. The sun went down, and I started sweating. I took to sleeping with a frozen 2L bottle of water at my feet, and our aircon was on ALL the time! My poor hubby!
And I was SUPER emotional for a while, but I think that has gotten better… I still cry almost every day over losing my daddy darling, and my precious Riddick – although that is real heartache over my loss, not just menopausal emotions…

The night sweats seem to have stopped, but they were replaced with hot flushes! Think of every cliche you’ve ever heard about hot flushes – they are spot-fucking-on! It feels like I’m blushing, but furiously! Thank goodness its short lived, but it happens several times a day and night! I literally strip my shirt off as fast as I can!

And just for fun, for about a month now, I’ve been battling little bouts of crazy lightheadedness and vertigo. Several times a day I get dizzy, to varying degrees. Sometimes its mild, but sometimes it feels like I am going to fall off my chair!
I think I would happily have the night sweats back if I could get rid of the dizziness!

All of it drives me nuts!

And I have to marvel at how life changes… Currently, “Aunt Flo” is the latest she has ever been – more than two weeks. My poor menstrual app has no idea what to tell me, and the other day my Glugster and I had a little chat about how we’d feel if we discovered we were going to have a baby.
The likelihood is zero – been there, done that, paid the specialists to tell us so – but we realised that its not what we want anymore. I mean, I’m going to be 45, the knucklehead is all grown up, AND we have ZERO medical aid this year! 😀

 

*What the hell!??! My son is heading for thirty!!!

What’s With the Towels?

People talk about the lost teaspoons.
You buy a pack of 12 at the supermarket- none of which match the other cutlery in your drawer- and about a year later, you’re stirring your coffee with a fork.

People talk about the missing socks.
You put two in the washing machine- only one comes out- and every few years you attempt to sort them, yet you’re loathe to throw them out.

And people talk about the magic of evaporating Tupperware lids.
You have tubs and lunch boxes of every shape and size, not one of which has a matching lid!

But nobody mentions…

The mysterious disappearing towels.

My son has a “set” of towels – not one of which we supplied him with. He studied and lived at SV, lived and worked in Mozambique, and then in Madagascar, and now he has several towels I don’t recognise.
Of the towels I had when I moved in with my darling Glugster about nine years ago, and the ones he already owned, we might have five left.
But we have “acquired” several other towels- in various shapes and sizes- none of which match, and I have no idea where they came from!

Is there some kind of bath towel exchange programme I don’t know about?