Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Wanderlust Librarian | And there shall be Comic-Con

Another ComicCon year has passed and I was able to fulfill a fantastic dream and go to this magical place with my daughter, Scout! This year was a little different than previous years. First off, there was no Doctor Who panel (ludicrous given the fact that the new Doctor, Peter Capaldi, was to make his debut a scant few weeks AFTER the Con). Secondly, we were making the trip by car. 

By. Car. 

Keep in mind that the only way I had traveled to San Diego was in an airplane. Last year, I did this as a bucket list item upon arrival. 

The drive was long and full of traffic. And traffic. And some weird car issues that I'd rather forget (like those stupid hotel nachos). On the bright side, Scout and I had a proper road trip, enjoyed an overnight with friends in Los Angeles and listened to a ton of David Sedaris thanks to OverDrive and the library's audiobook collection! We took some time to stop and have some fun to and from San Diego. 

Drinks are the best reason to stop! 
Someone needed to get their energy out. 
I don't want to cheapen my experience at ComicCon by telling you that it was fun. It was more than fun. It was simply... amazing. 

The picture doesn't really show just how close she is! 

No, Michael Rooker... YOU rock!
We spent a lot of time going to panels at Zachary Levi's Nerd HQ. It's at Petco Park. It's free for anybody to go and enjoy. There are tons of free video games, picture opportunities and lovely views of the Padre's ballpark. I spent many happy hours off my feet in a stadium chair enjoying the breeze. One of Scout's big deals was being able to attend the Walking Dead panel there. For the bargain basement price of $22, she sat withing feet of the cast as fans asked questions about the show. It was worth it to not sleep outdoors for the panel at ComicCon the next day. The questions were asked in an intimate setting as opposed to a 3500+ seat auditorium. During a free panel at Nerd HQ, Scout was able to get Michael Rooker (Merle Dixon-Walking Dead) to pose for her. For $20, you can get a picture with one of the parade of stars coming to do panels at NerdHQ. Scout got her picture taken with Zac Levi !

Yeah. She went crazy before and after
this picture was taken. 
There were a lot of free things to do if you weren't able to snag a ticket to get into the ComicCon proper. Outside of Petco Park, the parking lot was taken over by many booths and MORE free stuff! Out of the many booths behind the stadium, I really enjoyed a couple. Every Simpsons Ever advertised the showing of every Simpsons episode and gave out free blue (Marge hair) cotton candy and donut pillows. There was a Hello Kitty Experience which allowed you to take a picture with the iconic Sanrio character and get free nail art! All of this was free!!!

It wouldn't be ComicCon without the costumes. Cosplay (as defined by the Oxford dictionary) is: the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, book or video game, especially one from the Japanese genres of manga and and anime. Many people also dressed up as their favorite television characters. 

 I love this Up cosplay. Kevin is a girl! 
People get darn creative!
I love this DeadMaus/Nyan Cat mashup!

Stars from the show, "Heroes of Cosplay"

Movies, television and video games are heavily promoted at ComicCon. From booths to bags, posters to pins, there was never a lack of free items for one to snag. I met and discovered a lot of amazing artists at ComicCon. They had booths in an area called Artists Alley. Some of my favorites are: 
Katie CookPatrick Ballesteros, Karen Hallion, and Pascal Campion

I have a friend who is an expert (to me) on comic book art. He took me around to every booth and we looked at every bit of art. My friend talked to a lot of the artists and I appreciated the work they did and how iconic they were in the comic book stratosphere. It was one of the best walking days I've had. I learned a lot about comic book history and appreciated the talent that was at the show. 

Mockingjay had a huge presence at ComicCon.
Scout rebels against the Capitol! 
ComicCon is the perfect place to advertise
new games....and pose with them! 

Selfies in spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace! Our hotel had a free photo booth to advertise
the show Ascension. As  you can tell, we took full advantage of it. 

Security was a large presence in the hotel entrance and lobby. The entrants had to go up to the 4th floor pool entrance (our floor!!) to get to the party so it was easy to loiter around and sneak a peek before the celebrities went into the fete.
Scout and Matt Bennett

Saturday night was a huge night for Scout and the other kids in our room. It was the night of the Entertainment Weekly party. With good eyes and polite asking, Scout got a hug from Norman Reedus from The Walking Dead (Daryl Dixon), a dark (not visible at all) pic with Matt Smith (Doctor Who) and Matt Bennett (Robby Shapiro) from VicTorious. Scout wants to add, "If you want to take a picture with a celebrity, make sure to call them by their REAL name and not the character they portrayed. 

This didn't mean that I didn't see anybody noteworthy! I had my share of elbow rubbing. I had to be quick on my feet and ready to ask at a minute's notice. I was starstruck by the passing by of Orlando Bloom, so my friend took a quick picture. 

Andy Serkus (voice of Golem) and
Orlando Bloom walking around.
This year was made extra special by having Scout with me. It was truly a dream come true for me and an amazing experience for her. Should you do it if it's your dream?


Like I said, even if you don't have a ticket to go into the convention center, there is SO much to do in and around ComicCon. 

Until next time, SCIENCE! (and a picture of me with Grant Inahara).

I ran out of line just to take picture with Grant Inahara from

The ride home made us sad.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Learning | Scree

If you have read any of Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody Mysteries, you have probably encountered the word scree, meaning landslip. (If you have not read them, the word comes up frequently, since the main characters are archaeologists who often excavate in Egypt. There's scree all over the place!)

This comes from an Old English word, related to the Swedish and Danish skred, meaning to slide or glide. 

It also means a mass of detritus, forming a precipitous, stony slope upon a mountain-side; also, the material composing such a slope.

Screefrom Carlos Baquero's photostream on 
Some rights reserved.

I turned to the Oxford English Dictionary for the definition, because I thought I had found another use of the word in the book I'm currently reading. 

It's an historical novel by Nancy E. Turner, titled My Name is Resolute.  

It's the story of a tenacious young girl who is captured from her aristocratic Jamaican home, then sold several times as a slave.  

She carries valuable family treasures, such as coins and jewelry, sewn into pockets on her petticoat. 

(She also settles in colonial Lexington, Massachusetts, in the years leading up to the American Revolution. But I'm getting ahead of myself.) 

Here's the quote from page 197, which employs the word scree:

"How shall I make myself into a woman? As I made an apron, as I made my own thread and turned it into a plaited cloth, hid my scree within, and then was abandoned by my only kin?"

I puzzled over this for a while.  Was this an editing error? Did the author really mean to use the word scree, or a similar word, screed? 

Screed is a word with multiple meanings;  it is probably derived from the word shred. Turner had already described that petticoat as tattered and patched up. I don't think she meant screed in the above passage.  

Scree lobelia in fruit, from John Sullivan's photostream on
Some rights reserved.
The original meaning of scree might be used here as a part of a metaphor, describing the changes in Resolute's circumstances as a series of slides and slips down a mountain.

The above photo of a scree lobelia plant bearing fruit amongst rocks on the side of a mountain reminds me of the main character, Resolute Talbot.  She is a strong-willed child, who grows into a determined, productive woman. I won't spoil the story for you with specific details, but she plays a very important role in the American Revolution.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Just Life| Easy Reader Book Series " Tool School"

I just came across this Easy Reader book series called " Tool School". There is Tia, the tape measure, Sophie the screwdriver and so on.

I like the concept of getting girls to read about these type of things. We don't always need a handy man around the house to fix things for us. 

These books are teaching little girls that they are fully capable of fixing things around the house.

These two books are appropriate for Kindergartners and First Graders. These books are full of colorful illustrations and simple words.

Give these books a try if your kids are just learning to read. You can place a hold on these two books and pick them up from your local library in a few days.

Tia Tape Measure and the move  

Sophie Screwdriver and the classroom

Signing off until next Monday- Panteha