Saturday, October 21, 2017

Wakko Loves Awkward Mormon Girl

I said I probably wasn't going to go back to Comic Con. Yet I still went back to Comic Con.

Why did I?

I had a whole speech prepared for you about why, but then I reread my post about last year's Comic Con and realized that I had already shared literally everything I was going to say to justify my return:
In August, I told Porch that I might go to Comic Con if certain voice actors or Muppeteers ever came but that I couldn't think of any live-action actors I cared enough about to spend the money on. I've just never been that into movie stars. I would consider going to Comic Con to see Elijah Wood, but only because he did such a fantastic job voicing Wirt in Over the Garden Wall, not because he played one of the leading characters in a critically acclaimed and financially successful film adaptation of one of my favorite book series.
You might see where this is going. Because yes indeed, Wirt himself aka Elijah Wood decided to hie himself to Salt Lake Comic Con this very year. I waffled. I wavered. Finally, when Favorite Cousin declared his intention to go, I decided that, despite how much I'd disliked Comic Con's atmosphere the year before, I would join him.

I also decided, after some agony, to take Friday from work and do two whole days of Comic Con instead of just one. For one thing, I thought that if I were less rushed, I'd have a more enjoyable experience. For another thing, the price of a Saturday pass was barely less than the price of a multi-day one. Might as well upgrade.

Last time, I pretty much saw only Evanna Lynch. I didn't attend any panels featuring big names. This time, I intended to catch as many celebrities as I could. I wouldn't just ogle the likes of Billy Boyd and Jeremy Shada from afar. I would meet or see as many people whom I admired as possible! Dick van Dyke panel? Yes please! Stalk Jodi Benson? Wouldn't miss it! Jess Harnell autograph? Faboo!

So on Friday, September 22nd (also Frodo and Bilbo's birthdays), Favorite Cousin and I went to Comic Con bright and early. Parking was a nightmare, so we had to walk approximately 10,000 blocks to get from the car to the convention center. The good news was that meant exercise. The bad news was it also meant freezing because Utah decided it would be fun to skip over fall and start in on winter.

Eventually, though, we got where we were going. The idea had been to attend Dick van Dyke's panel first thing. Except the night before, Dick van Dyke had canceled his panel, so we weren't sure what we were actually going to do. Except as we entered the convention center, it was announced that Dick van Dyke's panel was un-canceled! Wonderful! We hurried to the ballroom to get good seats.

By the way, there's this guy at Comic Con who apparently is always stationed in the ballroom. We saw him there last year whilst waiting for an Ian Somerhalder panel that Favorite Cousin wanted to see (we had to leave before Ian showed up, though). I remembered Ballroom Guy from last year because of his terrible puns and showing off his socks and trying to encourage everybody to dance randomly. I liked his socks, but we didn't want to dance randomly, so we sat there in uncomfortable silence while the cameras captured the people around us dancing.

And then guess what?

Dick van Dyke, that's what!

I got a bit of a video of the panel, but now that the Blogger app is finally defunct, I haven't been able to figure out a way to get videos off my phone and into the blog. However, here are some things that happened at the panel:
  • The interviewer asked Dick van Dyke if there was anyone he wanted to work with. He replied, quite flippantly, "Oh, I don't know. Most of them, I did."
  • He spoke of the upcoming Mary Poppins. In the original movie, he was made up to play the ancient bank owner. He's playing the new bank owner in the upcoming movie, but he doesn't understand why he has to wear makeup this time: "They're making a 91-year-old man look like a 91-year-old man." He said that this time, he's also being chained to an accent coach. "After 60 years of bad jokes, maybe I'm off the hook for my Cockney accent."
  • He was quite excitable and adorable. At some point, he got up on his feet with excitement to talk about a Bert animatronic he'd gotten from Disney World. He laughs with an open-mouthed Muppet laugh, just like in his movies.
  • He talked at length about Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He said that "Me Ol' Bamboo" was a very difficult number to film and that it needed about thirty takes. He said that "You Two" was his favorite song in the film, and he rhapsodized about how much he loved driving Chitty Chitty.
  • He commented on the animated penguin portion of the original Mary Poppins and how much it blew him away. "Penguins are good dancers, too."
  • He said that he never worked on anything he wouldn't want his kids to watch.
  • The interviewer asked Mr. van Dyke how he felt when he realized that he's brought so much happiness to so many people. He responded warmly, saying, "I've just had the best time I can imagine."
Later in the day, we also went to a Back to the Future panel featuring Christopher Lloyd and Tom Wilson. I mostly wanted to hear Christopher Lloyd (another Over the Garden Wall star), but as it turned out Tom Wilson was quite funny.

So that was fun!

But that's not all! I also had oodles of fun stalking some great people!

First I stalked Heather Dixon. Heather Dixon is an awesome artist who writes this blog. She said on Instagram that she would be at Comic Con and that anyone who stopped by and mentioned the post got a free 5x7 print. Which I guess means that it wasn't stalking since I was sort of invited to come find her.

But either way, I was like, "Yes, Heather Dixon! I will come to your Comic Con booth! But because I want to meet you, not necessarily because I want your art!" Because honestly guys, Heather Dixon seems like the coolest.

Following the Dick van Dyke panel, I dragged Favorite Cousin over to Artist's Alley. After some confusion, I found Heather Dixon's booth!

And then we talked! I told her that I'd seen her post on Instagram, and she asked if she was following me on Instagram!

And I was like, "What the what, Heather Dixon?! Why would you ever want to follow little old me on Instagram?!"

But she totally did! Right there!

Then she asked me what print I wanted, and I chose one of her beautiful Cinderella prints! (Cinderella was my favorite princess when I was two, so sometimes when I have to pick a more classic Disney character, I go for her.)

It quickly became clear that I'd lied to myself about wanting to meet Heather Dixon more than I wanted Heather Dixon's art, because I kept looking and looking at that pretty thing and squealing a little bit inside.

Then I stalked Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel and Thumbelina aka my entire childhood. That one was definitely stalkingsee how creepy this photo is?

I also stalked Corbin Bernsen of Psych fame a little bit. Favorite Cousin took a stalker photo of some actress whose name I can't remember (I just remembered... it's Eliza Dushku). I pretended to be reading a sign to give him an excuse to stand near her booth and covertly snap an image.

After that, I decided to get an autograph from the one and only Jess Harnell! I used to like Animaniacs as a kid, and I rewatched it last year. My brothers and I were Yakko, Wakko, and Dot for Halloween 2016. I also heard that Jess Harnell is the nicest and that he loves Salt Lake Comic Con beyond reason (he came last year as well, and he keeps bringing his band, Rock Sugar, with him). So, I figured, not a bad celebrity to meet!

I wasn't sure whether I wanted a picture or an autograph, but I finally settled on an autograph because they had a super cute print of the Warner brothers (and the Warner sister) for Jess to sign. Favorite Cousin, bless his soul, agreed to wait in line with me even though he had no idea who Jess Harnell was and had no intention of getting his autograph.

As I listened to Jess talk to all the people ahead of us, I grew very excited. He had something kind and special to say to everyone. I heard him talk to a little boy in a Wakko voice, even using the word "faboo."

Then it was my (our) turn!!!

Jess Harnell looked at me and said, "Hello, pretty girl. What's your name?"

I told him, and he said something like, "What a beautiful name. I don't hear that name very often, but when I do, I think it's so pretty."

He asked who Favorite Cousin was. He asked us if we were going to any of his panels or to the after party where Rock Sugar was playing. "Come on, Awkward Mormon Girl. Come on, Favorite Cousin!"

Then he leaned over to sign the print of Yakko, Wakko, and Dot, saying something along the lines of, "Well, let's say..." And then he started using Wakko's very own voice, and said, "Wakko loves Awkward Mormon Girl, and not just because she's adorable!"

I died. Died. DIED. So dead! I was flustered with delight as he wrote "Wakko loves Awkward Mormon Girl!" and signed the print.

Then he asked if I was an Animaniacs fan, and I said that I was. He asked if I'd heard that they were making more episodes, and I said I had, and then I mentioned that my brothers and I had dressed as the Warners for Halloween. Jess seemed to like that and said he wanted to see a photo of that sometime.

Now here's where I messed up a bit. It seemed like Jess was about to either ask me to tweet a photo of the costumers at him or come back next year to Comic Con and show him a photo then, but I cut him off by blurting, "I can show it to you right now!"

Swiftly I brought up the photo, but as I did, I realized that I was probably being disrespectful of Jess's time and of the people waiting in line behind me. So I felt flushed and embarrassed when I handed my phone to him. He looked at the photo for a minute, laughed, and said, "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh" though he didn't say "gosh""I love the mini-me!" (Baby Brother.) Then we said our goodbyes and thanked him and hustled away.

Here's the thing about me: I don't care what everybody thinks of me, but when I do care about what someone thinks of me, I really care. And I did care what Jess Harnell thought of me, because I admire his talent, so I felt pretty dumb thinking of how I basically forced him to look at that Halloween photo.

However, I did tweet about meeting Jess Harnell, and he liked the tweet shortly thereafter. So I felt better and like maybe I hadn't been as cringey as I'd thought.

Also, the Seamstress pointed out that since Rob Paulsen (Yakko) had retweeted my photo of my brothers and I dressed as Yakko, Wakko, and Dot, our costumes had the official approval of two out of three Warner siblings. Neat!

Friday, October 20, 2017

The Not-So-Cute Meet Cute

Just so you know, I met a Canadian today.

Not what I want to talk about, though.

As you may have inferred, I'm working on a writing project related to Verona. Thus today I was sitting at a poolside, meeting a Canadian, and reading the scene in Romeo and Juliet where the teenage lovers meet. As a bit of research, that is.

That's how I discovered something shocking: the meeting of arguably the most famous couple in literature is not cute.

See, Romeo sees Juliet from across the room. He asks a servant who she is, comments on her super hot appearance, and then walks up to her and starts talking about kissing. And then they kiss. And then they discover that their parents hate each other forever.

Contrast that to how I met a Canadian today. This middle-aged Canadian woman and I met at the pool. She offered me a place at her table. I asked her where she was from. She said Canada. She asked me where I was from. I said Utah. I said I was attending a family event, and she said she was visiting friends. Then we didn't talk anymore.

That meeting is probably cuter than Romeo and Juliet's meeting. Just saying.

P. S. I'm in Arizona.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Six-Month Ailment

I am woefully behind for the month. This is the fifth blog post I have worked on this month but only the third that I have published. I am also woefully behind in my personal life, but that's neither here nor there.

Back in April, the Seamstress passed out in the foyer of the local temple. This happened the same week that I saw my doctor for my migraines. The doctor had asked if either of my roommates suffered from dizziness or migraines. After this incident, I began to wonder if there really was an environmental factor. But as it turned out, the Seamstress hadn't eaten as much that day as she should have, which was probably why she fainted. When she woke up, lots of people dressed entirely in white were hanging around her. That's how we do in the temple, but I imagine after taking a fall it could have been quite startling. I probably would have assumed that I was dead. (The Seamstress probably didn't assume that she was dead because she is often much more sensible than I am in drastic situations.)

The temple foyer has a marble floor, and while the Seamstress mercifully did not hit her head on the marble, she did hit her arm. She got emergency care, and the conclusion that was reached was that the elbow was probably bruised. She wore her arm in a sling for a few days, iced her aching elbow, and continued on her merry way.

For six months, the Seamstress did such things as rock climbing, dancing, swimming, and boating. Her elbow hurt on and off, but she didn't think much of it. Finally, she decided to see another doctor.

As it turns out, the Seamstress has had a broken elbow for literally six months.

Apparently in this house none of us responds in a timely, appropriate fashion to medical problems involving the joints.

Monday, October 9, 2017

My Review of the All the Phase One Marvel Movies

After I decided that I was more into Marvel movies last year, my brothers also got into Marvel movies. When Baby Sister moved out, Little Brother moved into her old room (which was previously my old room), and Baby Brother got his own room. My parents let him decorate it, so now it's an Avengers-themed room.

His favorites are Captain America and Spider-man. Those are also my favorites. (Our mom's favorite is Falcon because she thinks Anthony Mackie is attractive.)

We also decided to watch all relevant Marvel movies in order before Infinity Wars comes out. We just barely started Phase Two, so I thought I'd give my thoughts about Phase One.

Iron Man: An all right intro to the franchise, but it didn't blow me away. The entire movie kind of dragged. Tony Stark is a fun character, but he's better with friends.

Iron Man 2: Black Widow is a welcome addition here. (Like I said, Tony Stark is better with friends.) The movie dragged a lot less than its predecessor. Justin Hammer might be my favorite Marvel villain.

Thor: Lots of fun moments. I don't find either Thor or Loki to be very compelling characters, though. Best part of the movie was Hawkeye's introduction IMO. Also, this one is much harder to follow if you're not familiar with the comics, advanced physics, or Norse mythology.

Captain America: The First Avenger: Utterly heartwarming, though the subtitle of the movie should more accurately be "Sneaking Patriotically into Buildings." As I said previously, the big issue is that it doesn't feel like an entire real movie. It's more like an appetizer for The Avengers, and although lots of fun characters are introduced, most of them don't get to do anything.

The Avengers: This movie is the superhero movie that made me care about superhero movies. Each hero has an actual personality and character traits. The movie does a nice job of handling the ensemble cast of heroes. Some cool shots, great dialogue, good scenes.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

In Which I Am Deformed

The day following Little Sister's wedding, I got out of bed and almost fell over. It hurt to stand. It hurt to walk. My ankles throbbed no matter what I did. The Achilles’ tendons seemed to be swollen and sore.

I figured, "Hey, I spent most of yesterday walking around in high heels. It's only natural that my feet would hurt." Never mind that that was hardly the longest period of time I'd spent on my feet and in heels. It seemed like a good explanation.

Only the pain didn't go away. It would recede for a while, but then it came back, no matter how many times I iced my feet or how much I stayed off them.

And then after that, summer began. Baby Sister left on her mission. Her presence in our family became a series of weekly emails, typed in her trademark frenetic style. Occasionally, something physical would come in the mailbox. Such as:

Seeing Baby Sister off was a good (but sad) part of the summer. It was one of just a handful of tolerable memories.

Things I want to remember about summer 2017: Starting Zombies, Run! with Baby Brother. Watching fireworks in Dr. Godfather's backyard. Conversing with the ward activities co-chair, Flower Child, on our way to and from activities. Dancing with Best Friend Boy to "Can't Stop the Feeling" at stake dances. The smell of the mountains. Marvel movies with my brothers. The multicultural fair at the end of the summer.

Things I want to forget about summer 2017: everything else.

There was the panic of almost having to move, the loss of Steve Whitmire as a Muppeteer, and a host of personal problems. Although I received a priesthood blessing on Mother's Day that helped eliminate most of my migraines, my right eye continued to swell up on and off. And through it all, my ankles were hurting madly.

Shortly before summer's end, I finally went to see a sports med doctor. The doc asked me to stand. He asked me to walk. He asked me to squat.

I did all of those things. I overthought them because under observation, but I did them. Except I couldn't really squat. When asked to squat, I became distressed to realize that I didn't really know how.

The doc then took an ultrasound of my ankles. He then informed me that it was quite concerning for a casual runner in her mid-twenties to have this kind of pain. He then informed me that I was deformed.

He didn't say it like that, but that was the gist. Apparently, my hips and legs are misaligned, which causes me to walk on my feet funny. It also causes the muscles in my hips and upper parts of my legs to be weaker than they should be. When I run, most of the pressure goes to my Achilles' tendons. So my Achilles’ tendons are super swole, but they shouldn't be. They shouldn't be working that hard.

The doc told me to go to physical therapy to strengthen my legs and hips and to stop running for a while.

That did not sit well with me. Do I have time for physical therapy? No. And, with all the other issues I'd gone through in the preceding weeks, I didn't feel like my emotional health could handle not having the release of running.

It was one more trouble in a long line of troubles. I tried to trust in God that everyone would work out, but honestly, I was feeling pretty low.

When I told Baby Sister, here's what she said:

Cutie. I couldn't decide if that made me feel better or worse.

Friday, September 29, 2017

How to Not Be Awkward Around Girls

A blogger I've been reading does "search string" posts. On Blogger, there's a report that shows the search terms that lead readers to the blog. This blogger writes posts about those search terms so that everyone who comes to her blog can find value.

Interestingly, the search term that most often leader people to my blog is "recycling jokes". So there's that. But a recent term that someone used to find my blog is "how not to be awkward around girls".

How to not be awkward around girls? Hmm. Well, if that's what bringing people to my blog, then I suppose I should try to provide an answer.

(It seems fair to assume that the searcher was most likely a teenage boy, so I shall hereafter refer to the searcher as "dude".)

Dude, here's my advice to you (cliché though it may sound): If you're awkward, just be awkward. You're probably not as awkward as you think you are. Even if you are as awkward as you think you are, most girls are not going to be as judgmental of your awkwardness as you are. The right girl might even think it's cute.

Hope that helps!