There Is More To Life Than A Good Origin Story 

We are born. We die. What happens in between is a magical, mysterious, and emotional rollercoaster ride. Sadly, many believe their origin story seals their fate, that they have no choice but to be a victim of their circumstances. The decisions our parents and ancestor made shaped our arrival but these choices and their outcomes should not cloud our future and the opportunities presented to us. It is up to us to challenge our environment and ourselves to become better than the sum of their parts in our story. We have to grow, mature and improve regardless of our hard or easy starts in life.

If all there was to Bruce Wayne, Diana Prince or Clark Kent was their origin story, we wouldn’t have Batman, Wonder Woman nor Superman to save the day. Even though their pain, birth and uncertainty about their lives motivated them to seek the truth, justice and inner strength, they refused to be defined by their grief and apprehension. As they evolved so did their understanding of the world, giving them an opportunity to make a difference and become advocates for those who had no one else to rely on. These heroes were blessed to have protectors and guides that helped them become greater than their parents’ legacy and expectations for their well being so they felt the need to return the favor in an extraordinary fashion.

Dwelling on the past can be beneficial as long as we fully comprehend the lessons and experiences that made us who we are. To move forward, we have to cleanse our subconscious mind from the biases, rules and limitations put upon ourselves by either society, our upbringing, religious organizations or those we consider authority figures/worthy of emulation. Our mistakes do not define us, and it is up to us to get back on the proverbial horse and joust once more until we emerge victorious. Without a goal in mind we cannot achieve. Good self-esteem and image depend on our ability to feel and believe that we are worthy of love, success and glory after we sacrifice, work hard and execute on careful and effective planning. Letting go of the past comes with great introspection and responsibility: We will gain the power to become who we must be to make our own fate.

No love story is truly original even though they can be unique. In the same fashion we must understand that our story may not be original but it is unique because it affects us. We are balls of clay, molded for a purpose, once we have to assign ourselves and execute to become genuinely successful. Death may define us, and time will determine if we lived up to our potential. In the meantime, we must continue to stretch our horizons and see beyond our current situation and predicaments to find the hope necessary to leave an everlasting legacy. Children, inventions, new tech or scientific breakthroughs; literature, poetry, art; whatever our impact quantifies and qualifies itself we have to be willing to step up and perform.

Take a chance on yourself and remove your own mental roadblocks from your way. We can be our own worst enemy and a new appreciation of your origin story may help you jettison unnecessary regret, resentment and anxiety. We are all heroes in our own right. Be brave and bold enough to redefine your own story.

Wonder Woman Day: June 3rd

DC is rolling out the red carpet to celebrate the Amazon Princess on June 3rd; to celebrate the Wonder Woman in all of us! 

We are all Wonder Women, from the moms with post partum depression that seek help to the women that fight for equal rights, equal pay and gender neutrality. On and ofd the field, housewives or career driven, the females of the human species ensure there is a future for all of our hopes and dreams. It is they who nurture, inspire and/or lead the way with kindness, vision and resilience. Being a woman is hard, comes with many biological and social expectations that are difficult to escape, and they have to meet these in 4 inch heels and a dress. 

Wonder Woman is a symbol of truth, strength and humanitarianism. She transcends her legend and her legacy. Born in Themiscyra, the daughter of Zeus and Hypolita, God of War trained by Ares himself, she is tasked with getting Steve Trevor off her native island to deliver him safely back to his military comrades. Depending on the age and era, her origin story changes and molds with the times, proving how relevant Diana Prince is to the people of Earth. Protector. Warrior. Courage and grace under fire. The Queen/Princess of the Amazons rises to every occasion bringing love and justice to all. Her creator, Dr William Moulston Marston would be proud of her fantastic 75 year legacy. (Check out the Wonder Woman blog section for more information on the history and significance of the character.)

Watch the eponymous movie in theathers June 2nd. Lynda Carter would be so proud!! 🙂

Enjoy!

The Women of Voltron

Japanese Anime is riddled with stereotypes and tropes, especially when it comes to women. From the way they are designed, clothed and inserted into the story, female characters are prone to bring ditzy, big busted and one-dimensional, and even the ones that are luckier and get a good personality ir quest still fall prey of “damsel in distress” storylines. Things are changing and more and more female characters are getting their dues. Just ask the new Lara Croft aka Tomb Raider and you will appreciate what I mean.

1e919446acbc337c52e2d7db8edf8a12

There was an exception every so often, which is why I love Voltron over other series (like Candi) and continue to support the genre. Ever since I was 4 years old, in the early girl power 80s, I’ve been in awe of the women of the original series due to their audacity and leadership skills. My favorite hero was Princess Allura who piloted the Blue Lion like it was second nature to her. It was her destiny! How cool is that! She was the calming and soothing wave of light that helped the team rally and focus on their mission to defend the galaxy. The challenge of leading and defending those dear to her never phased her. On the flipside, we had Haggar, an extremely evil and even more empowered female character and super villain, who was charged with the seemingly impossible mission to entrap Voltron and steal the princess for her master, Prince Lothor. She has, again and again, to unleash her magical abominations on Voltron in the hopes to win over her adversaries, attempting to prove she was a worthy opponent and valuable asset in the process. These women had everything to lose if they failed and they pulled all the stops to survive.

latest

From what I recall the women of Voltron, past and present, were not the traditional damsels in distress, which makes them even more fabulous and endearing in my perspective. They all have skills that help the team succeed after each encounter, and are culturally relevant in their genre and popular scenes. They were more than background decorative figures. Each one had a soul and a purpose, a reason to fight and live another day. Look at the complete cast for the many iterations of the series and you will find pilots, mages, sages, clan leaders, earthlings and extraterrestrials in positions of empowerment with decent dialog and meaningful roles. I am grateful the translators, writers and dubbers did their best to make the show relevant, rewriting and delivering the North American content with the feminist vibe it deserved and carried. I will always be proud of enjoy the show and of the possibilities it presented for the women of Earth and beyond. 😍😍😍💪💪💪

This is the main reason why I remain impressed with the portrayals of the women of Voltron by the Netflix team behind Legendary Defender. Allura transformed from a very capable Disney Princess to fierce and unstoppable magic wielding Zelda in her latest incarnation. Haggar is still strong, wicked and totally loyal to her King and Prince; the dark conquerors. What struck me as pure genius was making Pidge a young woman on a quest to find her lost family, passing herself as her brother! Plus, Keith’s mother being of extraterrestrial heritage and/or descent gives us an opportunity to add a new and complex female character into the mix. I’m excited for all the possibilities the third season will bring for the Paladins as they resolve how to save/replace Shiro.

With tropes set aside and boundaries enhanced for women in the Legendary Defender series, I highly recommend nerds and geeks to share this show with their children, especially with all the Princesses in your life. Although it is believed that wanting to become a princess or being treated as such is demeaning or dangerous for a girl’s development, I would counter that if she wants to be like Allura, she will be on the path to success and independence. It is not a bad thing to want to wear the crown if you can carry yourself like a benevolent, strong yet kind leader; if you can handle the responsibility to lead with humility and resilience.

Allura, Haggar and Pidge will return to Netflix in late 2017, early 2018. I can’t wait…

Enjoy!

The Geektastic Art of Comic Cons

Many people don’t realize that a Comic Convention or Comic Con is one of the best places to buy, sell or display fan art based on popular movie, TV, novel, anime and comic books. Exhibitors from all over the country, and I even dare sat the world, showcase their best posters, clothing, original watercolors/oils, hand crafted or 3D printed goods, ranging from cosplay items to decorative pieces. Sci-fi and fantasy genres make exquisite features that are dignified and classy, yet fanciful and unique enough to be displayed in the average home. Gone are the days when hanging a Wonder Woman painting or poster on your walls was considered tacky and juvenile. Some of the works are worthy to be displayed on the Louvre. Who knows, someday it may very well become a reality!

The true beauty of these offerings is that many are signed by the author either previously or on site. You get an opportunity to talk to them and witness first hand the passion and excitement in their expressions when explaining the motivation behind their creations. Jewelry, trinkets, costume separates and prints all made to evoke an emotional response to the visual stimuli. One cannot look upon them without remembering a favorite character or line. That is what makes the hallways transform into a magical journey because you get to relive dear childhood and teenage year memories. You can see the childhood joy and sparkle in the eyes of even those who are old and gray.

wp-1488683665092.jpg
Minie by Nidhi Chanami, everydayloveart.com

In case you were wondering, many booths have offerings that range from signed works, printed and mounted, to housewares, plush toys and memorabilia. Customizable items can be purchased and ordered on site and delivered later to your door. Most places have business cards with web page and contact info that you can take for future reference or to order online. Don’t fret if you don’t have the cash now as long as you make the mental note to support the artists later.

20170304_141755.jpg
Crayon MonstersCrayon Monsters

Show that you care and help small and medium size businesses grow and prosper by attending your local cons and allowing yourself to explore the inspiration and whimsy of this faction of popular culture. I can almost guarantee you will find something to take home and enjoy for many more years to come. Keep an open mind and interact with the players. You never know what lies around the corner.


Check out the following sites for more geektastic art:

photogrid_1488776140265.pngphotogrid_1488776080976.pngphotogrid_1488775982162.pngphotogrid_1488775892148.png20170305_205654.jpg

ECCC 2017: Empowering Women, LGBTQIA and Minorities

Emerald City Comic Cons are notorious for celebrating diversity. Aliens, superheroes, anime characters and video game avatars, there is enough variety to please even the pickiest of people. That’s why nerds and geeks love attending these events in full regalia. Zero judgement. Zero pressure. You get to express yourself openly and among peers. Little kids, and most adults, walk the halls oohing and ahhing, falling in love with the colors and whimsy of the artwork and characters surrounding them. For groups it is experience like any other because kids and parents, siblings and spouses, comrades and strangers, get to dream and feed their imagination in a welcoming environment. Keep nerd weird!

FYI: This year the TCC was turned into family central, so the clan of mini mes can have a space to enjoy PG activities, like Lego building and the 501st Legion, while the adults can take a breather.

20170303_140928.jpg

The event has a huge turn out because of the mix and match of opportunities for women, minorities and the LGBTQIA community to participate. It is a trade show that invests in serving the community, expanding nerd/geek culture across nations. The goal? To break through the industry’s glass ceiling and redefine the role of these underrepresented groups in gaming, fantasy/sci-fi, publishing and art design. Exhibitor and vendors organize seminars about tabletop games, cosplay, business strategy and other comic book and story development discussions. It has something for everyone to learn and enjoy. Local businedses attend too! Heather and her crew from Magic Mirror participated too and we ran into them on the last day! ECCC is so big you never now who else may be there unless they tag themselves or check in with you.

Plan ahead if you want to meet up because playing phone tag is hard due to bad cell reception and not having building wide wifi.

I would highly recommend buying at least two day pases to enjoy the Con if you want to get pics and signed items from the celebrity guests without missing out on the panels, competition, exhibitions and special promotions. If you don’t give yourself enough time you will miss half of the fun of being there, people watching. Running between buildings was a pain, in the rain, since the photo ops were off site. The long Sheraton lines in narrow hallways were not fun. ;(

Tip/FYI: Depending on the length of the lines you can end up sorely disappointed since the interactions on the photo op side are minimal, 5s tops! Table selfies with autograph combos are cheaper and more personal than the ready, aim, click, firing squad. Buy Photo Ops as soon as they are announced because they sell out fast.  

For those of you thinking “Why would I queue in line for hours to see a person?” chew on this: On Friday Marvel founder Stan Lee, made appearances and so did Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Michael Rooker (Yondu, Merle) and Sean Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy). The ECCC attracts high caliber performers and pros like Evangeline Lilly (Ant-Man, Lost, The Hobbit) and Jason Momoa (Aquaman and Khal Drogo for the n00bs).  Artist alley featured over a thousand writers, illustrators, performers, fan art and vendors/publishing houses. On Saturday Milli Bobby Brown from Stranger Things was signing autographs and giving photo ops; her character Eleven developed a cult following as the result of the popularity of the Netflix Original hit which prompted adults and children to cosplay as her, Eggo Waffles and all. (She can’t sign your Eggo products though. Sigh.)

Female and transgender cosplayers were out in full force, in all shapes, ages and sizes. Poison Ivys, Harleys and princesses were everywhere, not to mention Wonder Women and Black Widows. Female fandom was felt and appreciated by guests in very heart felt way. Michael Rooker complimented a few Elevens and a female Link with a pointy sword with a goofy happy grin on his face. 😀 Excellent job minions! We felt appreciated and included. 🙂

After blowing our budget on tasteful and whimsical art, comics, graphic novels and t-shirts, we called it a weekend and headed home not before capitalising on the last minute close out deals. Dark Horse had a 40% discount going on at 4pm and many booths followed suit offering at least 10% or more. Most places accept credit cards but cash is a good thing to carry around for the smaller and more specialized collectible stores. I hadn’t noticed during the convention but our loot had many items created or written by female entrepreneurs. Izzy Clarke, for example was pitching her next project Feminist at 15 which is her second book. Truly amazing!

Big shout out to all the dads and their mini Wolverines and super hero leaders. Watching Batman follow Wonder Woman around and carrying her stuffed unicorn made me happy in a way words can’t do it justice. Raising strong, independent, resilient and intelligent human beings is not an easy task, and for a man to recognize his child can dream and aspire to become their own hero is laudable. Dress up and push the stroller up and down those aisles. Feed your inner child too.


For more info on panelists, guests amd exhibitors, check out the following links to our and friends’ blog articles:

Quirks and Comrads ECCC 2017

Girls on Games

The Geektastic Art of Comic Con

Casted by Izzy Clarke

QuirkBooks

Metal Earth DIY: Cinderella’s Carriage

Disney made a deal with the makers of Metal Earth to design DIY model kits based on their most popular characters and films. These are available for purchase on site at the Disney parks or can be found in museums, online and in certain novelty stores. Favorite designs include Star Wars Star Destroyers, R2-D2, X-Wing, The Black Pearl, 3D Castles and Cinderella’s Carriage.

The models can be put together using tweezers and pliers since the manufactuter touts that “no glue is required” to join the pieces. Sadly, the Cinderella’s Carriage model my coworker got me as a gift didn’t live up to that expectation. The undercarriage got fatigued and broke off as I was putting it together and although salvageable, other components buckled and broke off resulting in the loss of many valuable pieces and aesthetics.

20170301_125832.jpg
Metal Earth, Cinderella’s Carriage. 

Ironically, we ended up needing to glue some of it together. To add insult to injury, the instructions were not super easy to follow nor sequenced optimally so some improvisation was required. Read the entire manual before commencing to ensure success. After 6 hrs of hard work the final product was ready for display. Yay! It came out looking good but not great, and I have the scars to prove it. 😦 The part holder edges are extremely sharp!

Many of these Metal Earth kits will have you cursing rather than enjoying your evening without the appropriate tools or approach. Check Amazon for tool kits specially made and marketed for this hobby. Not recommended for the faint of heart or people with kids under 3 due to small parts. Rated 14+.

Enjoy!

Emerald City Comic Con

The ECCC is a Seattle area based event where comic artists and all things geek coincide to give puny humans a chance to experience cosplay, sci-fi and nerd/geek culture. Film and TV stars along comic book legends honor guests with their presence, charging for photo ops and autographs. Woop woop! This is how I met Kyle Reese aka Michael Biehn and Hellboy aka Ron Perlman! Brings lots of cash or prepay for the many meet and greet experiences. Just remember, you will need a badge or ticket to attend if you buy sessions online that don’t include the price of admission.

fb_img_1488386277746.jpg
Main Floor. Copyright MrsEnginerd 

Lines can get brutal but not as bad as the San Diego Comic Con or other major outlets. Panels do become full and have wait times so bring snacks and entertainment. Featured themes include everything; from the role of females in movies and video games to up close and personal Q&A with your favorite movie and TV stars.

fb_img_1488386293595.jpg
Copyright MrsEnginerd – Game of Thrones Panel with Sir Loras

The cool thing is that if you forget to dress up or choose not to you can still people watch and enjoy the conferences! And FYI: The promenade behind the comvention center is a good place to people watch, right across from the main hall, as this is the point of access for attendees. ❤❤❤

fb_img_1488386317996.jpg
Cosplayers at ECCC 2015. Copyright MrsEnginerd

Celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2017, ECCC is full of surprises. They will have Stan Lee, Jamie and Claire from the hit Showtime series Outlander, and Tom Felton from Flash and Harry Potter fame. You can check their webpage for more info on past and present attendees to know more or less what to expect. Some cosplayers will agree to pictures and usually the 501st Legion is available for photos, accepting donations for their favorite charities or selling items made of local Star Wars fans. 😀

fb_img_1488386255951.jpg
Main stage at ECCC, R2 and C3PO. Copyright MrsEnginerd

Usually held in March or April, this event is a good addition to a personal, business or family trip. Tickets go on sale in late January or early February so get yours ahead of schedule to avoid counterfeits or overpaying through resale outlets. Passes are available for one day or the entire weekend. Plan accordingly cause they can get pricey as the cost varies by day.

Enjoy the movie previews, screenings, costume balls and the many booths on the floor. Wednesday to Sunday geek fun is on the horizon for me as I got tickets for Sunday, March 5th 2017. It has grown to be a not to miss event these past years.

Resistance is futile.

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Spiderman’s loving uncle has been quoted and paraphrased many times when addressing the responsibility of being accountable for your actions. The message is very clear: One must be bold and daring, just and strong, when granted the ability to effect and affect change. What good is it that we can fly, regenerate, or even see the future if we are not willing to use our super skills to make the world a better place? Supervillains may beg to differ as they exploit their power for their personal gain. However, isn’t personal gain sometimes beneficial to the greater good? Are their intentions evil just because they don’t match our own expectations of weilding power? Hmmm…

We are so focused as a society on what doesn’t work, on our weak side, that we forget to build upon those strengths we possess. Confident people don’t spend time improving their flaws because they learn to mask or work around them. Tony Stark didnt necessarily quit drinking to learn to be more humble to be effective. He applied his intellect and pursued technology that would assist his team to make the world safer. However, Captain America and others disagreed on the plan’s specifics and we ended up with Civil War. Both were pursuing their perceived best course of action, and they should have realized the ripples this disagreement would cause inside the Marvel Universe. Two people single handedly turned everyone’s lives upside down by not setting and agreeing to fair rules and expectations. Their views on responsibility and accountability differing because of their inherent personalities.

Intrinsic (internak) and extrinsic (external) motivation drive us to seek that which we desire the most. Batman, Iron Man, Green Lantern and even Superman, to name a few, decided to use their skills to fight crime and bring order to chaos out of experiences of personal loss. Dr Doom, Lex Luthor and Zod, to name a few, decided to do the same but through nefarious and Machiavellian means. Each man’s personality dictated how they wanted to proceed and how they weilded their abilities. They were all held accountable for their actions. Their willingness to accept and acknowledge the error of their ways is what distinguishes each character above an beyond sharing is a brilliant intellect or heat vision. It is their moral fiber that dictates what to feel responsible about and how to apply their supernatural aptitude.

Because morality will vary by individual, we will never please everyone when we decide to tak charge of a situation to make the best of it. The only solace is that we chose a course if action that yielded results, hopefully with the best intentions and for the necessary outcome. A problem may seem insurmountable even for someone of great skill and fortitude but in the end taking a leap and attempting to find a positive resolution to the situation is the only thing we can expect from ourselves. Whether our efforts pay off is inconsequential since it was only up to us to accept and complete the mission at hand. Dare to dream, to fail and to grow. Prepare yourself to be a wise and resilient leader. You never know when you will need to heed the call nor what set of super powers awaits to be awoken inside of you. 😉

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑