Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015 – The Grown Up Fangirl’s Year in Review

Goodbye 2014 Hello 2015 HD Wallpaper Images PicturesGoodbye, good riddance 2014!!! 2014 was the year I really could have used a clone, because I did not get to do nearly as much as I wanted to do, fandomwise. Not enough cons, not enough podcasting, not enough TV/movie watching, and not enough blogging. Even so, there were a few highlights to my fangirlish year, and it’s enough to motivate me to make more effort in the coming year. So…let’s cover a few things, shall we?

BOOKS – Trying to work full-time and go to school has gotten harder for me to juggle in the past two years, so I haven’t gotten to read quite as much as I wanted to this year (my reading goal on Goodreads was 25 books – I fell waaaaayyyy short of that goal). In anticipation of the reboot (which I still have yet to see), I re-read V.C. Andrews’ Flowers in the Attic for the millionth time (and am still adequately fascinated/disturbed at the story). I finally sat down and read/listened to the first novel in the A Song of Ice and Fire series (or, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the books, the series that HBO’s Game of Thrones is based on). I found some sense of closure with The Mortal Instruments: A City of Heavenly Fire, but was reluctant to give up on the Shadowhunter world, so I picked up The Bane Chronicles in an effort to get into the head of one of the more mysterious and interesting characters in the series, warlock Magnus Bane. As of right now, the jury is still out on this one; whereas most of the books I’ve read lately have been of the can’t-put-it-down variety, sadly this book doesn’t fall into that category, and I am finding it harder and harder to remember why I liked Magnus Bane in the first place. But the book series that has really had a grab-me-and-don’t-let-me-go effect is the Divergent Series by Veronica Roth.

divergent1Until June 2014, I had worked the past two years in the public library system, and the Divergent books were always in the hard-to-find category, especially with to the March release of the first film in the series, Divergent. For awhile I had given up on trying to read the books, deciding that I would just wait until I bought them to read them. However, once I sat down to finally watch the film, I was drawn in by the chemistry of the lead characters Tris and Four (portrayed onscreen by Shailene Woodley and Theo James, respectively). So, Halloween weekend consisted of me reading Divergent (Friday), Insurgent (Saturday), and Allegiant (Sunday). I followed up with Four a couple of weeks later. Even though I’m late to the faction party, I’ll probably end up doing a re-read and then blogging about the books at some point, because those books were a doozy to read. But I haven’t fangirled about books/movies as much in the past few years as I have in the past few months with these characters, so that’s a good thing. (BTW, I will totally spaz out if I ever get to meet Theo James in person. Just warning y’all in advance). Oh, and if someone could find a way to convince Veronica Roth to write more books about Four, I’d appreciate it.

TV – Television was kind of huge for me in 2014. I enjoyed some of my newer favorites (Game of Thrones, Sleepy Hollow, Walking Dead, The Originals, Orphan Black), fell back in love with an older one (now that’s the Supernatural I know and love), said goodbye to an old friend (rest in peace, True Blood) and got sucked in to a couple of others (How to Get Away with Murder, Teen Wolf).  Scandal consistently kept my jaw on the floor, and The Vampire Diaries is getting interesting again now that Delena isn’t so much the focus of the show. I am currently catching up on Season 4 of Lost Girl, but am apprehensive because I already know one of my favorite characters dies. Oh yeah, speaking of beloved characters dying…

WTF, Walking Dead and Sleepy Hollow? (Spoilers be ahead, for those of you not caught up).

I know that in the reality of the zombie apocalypse, it’s unrealistic to think that all of our favorite characters will escape unscathed. Episode 1 of Season 5 nearly gave us a heart attack thinking that Glenn was going to be head-bashed with a bat not once, but twice, Carl was almost raped by a rather ogre-ish looking biker dude, and even little baby Judith was threatened with a knife to the throat (RIP Martin…not). But we knew someone from the group was gonna have to die, and unfortunately the first casualty was Bob Stuckey. After what happened to him (being bitten by a walker, and then taken hostage and partially turned into Bob-B-Q by some survivors of Terminus), I expected him to not make it. No, the death that got me was Beth. Beth’s death for me equaled the WTF? incredulity I had when Hedwig was killed by Death Eaters in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It was just one of those deaths I really feel was unnecessary to the whole of the story; it really serves no purpose except to solidify the fact that the group needs to pay attention to Rick when he tells them that being nice isn’t getting them anywhere. And poor Maggie’s face…

Moving along to Sleepy Hollow – I will admit that I am still pissed about the killing off of Captain Frank Irving. That was another WTF? for me. Orlando Jones is a talented actor and his character brought a sense of balance to the group of Ichabod, Abbie, Katrina and Jenny. It was bad enough that the character was grossly underused in the first part of season 2 (bring him back and send that damn Sheriff Reyes away, okay? She irks the hell out of me and serves no purpose), but then to kill him? (Although the manner of death was heroically glorious). However, I do realize that dead does not always mean dead in Sleepy Hollow and hope that there’s some great way the writers will bring back Irving’s character.

In the meantime, check out this HILARIOUS video from the Captain himself, giving us a recap of his character’s journey through Sleepy Hollow:

MOVIES – I totally suck in the movie department for 2014 – aside from Divergent, I saw Guardians of the Galaxy (last week), X-Men: Days of Future Past (two weeks ago), and Maleficent (opening weekend). Pathetic, I know, and I will hopefully get a chance to change that in 2015.

PODCASTS – Due to scheduling conflicts and other real-life BS, I only recorded a few episodes on Sci-Fi Party Line this year. They are as follows:

20140830_215700CONVENTIONS – I only got to attend one convention this year: Dragon Con. The experience wasn’t as great as previous years, mainly because I spent most of the week prior sick as a dog and literally had no energy, but it wasn’t a total flop. After podcasting together for 5 years, I got to meet Cat (@fancyfembot) in person!

I also got to meet Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood, Harry Potter) and Osric Chau (Kevin Tran, Supernatural – he was there as an attendee but was nice enough to pose for a photo when I recognized him outside of Starbucks). I got to ask Karl Urban (The Chronicles of Riddick, Almost Human) a question during his panel, and I was a panelist on the “Growing Up to Save the World” panel on the Whedonverse track.

All in all, not such a bad year, but I plan to do so much more in 2015. To those of you who follow and have stuck with me, thanks again for another great year! Happy New Year 2015!!

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Felicia Day coming to Dragon Con 2015

Photo credit: Felicia Day Facebook

Photo credit: Felicia Day Facebook

Well my weekend just got off to a great start! Dragon Con began making guest announcements on their page today, and one of the first to pop up is highly popular actress (and fellow geek) Felicia Day. An actress, producer and writer, she is best known for fan faves such as “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog”, “Eureka” and “Supernatural”.

Dragon Con is the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film. Every Labor Day weekend, about 40,000 people crowd the streets and take over the hotels of downtown Atlanta to meet friends, celebrities, cosplay and totally geek out. Next year’s event will take place September 4-7. Ticket information can be found on the official website.

You can read more about my experiences at Dragon Cons past at this link.

So yeah, I’m just a little bit late on my Dragon Con recap…

dragoncon2014…I mean, it’s only been two weeks since it ended. I’m still suffering from PCD (post-con depression), combined with the hustle and bustle of real life, but I at least want to talk about some highlights.

My Dragon Con was a bit different this year because I didn’t actually get to do much. I spent a whole week prior to Dragon Con SICK, and so by the time it was here, I was physically exhausted. But here are a few highlights from the weekend:

Friday: I got to attend only one panel on Friday and it was one of the main ones I wanted – Karl Urban. Let me tell you, I’ve been attending Dragon Con since 2007, and have attended other cons as well, and this was one of the best panels I’ve been to. From the time he hit the stage to the time he walked off, there was nothing but nonstop laughter, jokes, memorable anecdotes and wisdom. He told about the pranks he likes to pull on set with the cast and crew, and spoke very highly of some of his co-stars, especially Vin Diesel. I even got to ask him a question – his answer can be seen in the clip below:

All in all, it was worth the three-side-of-the-hotel-wall wait in line. 🙂

Saturday: Was a pretty cut and dry day. I worked at Froggy’s Photos, manning the tables where people could stash their stuff while they waited for photo ops. Was able to get my photo taken with Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter movies), so that pretty much made my day. However, due to some miscommunication issues regarding my badge, I couldn’t stay for the evening and went home early. Again, it was probably a good thing because after working all day I was exhausted. Having con crud before the actual con sucks, in case you didn’t know.

But my picture with Evanna was pretty damn awesome! 🙂

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with Evanna Lynch at Dragon Con 2014. Photo by Froggy’s Photos

And as an unexpected bonus, I went to Starbucks to do a coffee run for the staff, and bumped into Osric Chau, who plays the prophet Kevin Tran on Supernatural. He was there not as an official guest, but as a con attendee, but was still nice enough to take a photo with me. Such a sweet guy!

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with Osric Chau at Dragon Con 2014. Photo credit: Hanako M. Ricks

 

Sunday: Sunday turned out to be the best day for me. I participated in a panel for the Whedonverse track, called “Growing Up to Save the World”, where we discussed teenage antagonists in shows/books such as Teen Wolf, Harry Potter, Buffy, and others (the discussion got taken over by Teen Wolf discussion, which was totally okay with me since my daughter got me addicted to the show over the summer).

After that, I FINALLY got to do something I had been waiting the whole weekend for: meeting Cat, the founder of the podcast I get to occasionally co-host, Sci-Fi Party Line. Cat and I have now known each other for about 5 years, and this was the first time we had been able to meet in person. And then (even though I’m so ridiculously out of touch with anything Whedon-related on TV), I went with her to the “Agents of Whedon” panel, where I got a chance to see Carl (another co-host from SFPL), whom I hadn’t seen since 2011(?) Anyway, that was also a fun panel to go to, and it made me want to sit my tail down and get around to knocking off Buffy and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. from my “need to watch” list.

Next year, I will definitely make it a point to do more during the con, as there was so much I missed this year. I will be sure to take my Vitamin C, pack my Zicam, and whatever else I’ll need to be energized and ready!

Hanako (@hmrpotter) and Cat (@fancyfembot) from the Sci-Fi Party Line Podcast meet for the first time :)

Hanako (@hmrpotter) and Cat (@fancyfembot) from the Sci-Fi Party Line Podcast meet for the first time 🙂

Cat (@fancyfembot), Carl (@robominister) and Hanako (@hmrpotter) at Dragon Con 2014

Cat (@fancyfembot), Carl (@robominister) and Hanako (@hmrpotter) at Dragon Con 2014

Problems of a Grown-Up Fangirl, forced to live a regular life

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Credit: Wizard World Atlanta Comic Con

I just took a look at the guest list for Atlanta Comic Con, which is on a weekend where I have to work. I seriously need to find a job where my weekends are free.

From The Walking Dead: Norman Reedus (Daryl), Lauren Cohan (Maggie), Michael Rooker (Meryl), and Jon Bernthal (Shane)

Nathan Fillion
Darryl “DMC” McDaniels (yes, THAT one!!!)

I know that some of these names will probably be at Dragon Con in August, but still, I hate my life right now LOL

For those of you lucky beasts who will be free the weekend of May 30 – June 1, you can find ticket and VIP package information here.

Happy New Year, and let’s try this thing again…

So, about that whole “I’m going to be better about updating my blog in 2012” thing that never happened…well, let’s just say that I overestimated my ability to not let real-life issues get in the way of my blogging, podcasting, etc…in other words, all of the fun stuff in my life got put on hold! 😦  To those of you who have continued to encourage me while patiently waiting for me to come back to my blog, thank you so much for your support, it means so much!!! I am determined to make 2013 a better year for me by doing ALL of the things that I love, and that includes the re-birth of the Grown-Up Fangirl.

So, just a few updates on what I’ve been catching up on, and then we’ll see where things go from here.

BOOKS: I ended 2012 with a resolve to do a lot more reading this year, and I literally began immediately after making that decision. Since New Year’s weekend, I’ve immersed myself in the young adult genre – completing all five books (so far) in The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, and I’ve finished Book 1 in The Caster Chronicles, “Beautiful Creatures”; I’ll begin reading Book 2, “Beautiful Darkness”, sometime tonight and will probably finish Book 3, “Beautiful Chaos” by the weekend. Both sets of reads were prompted by movies trailers for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, and Beautiful Creatures, which I saw during the previews for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2. I’m not going to post any reviews yet, but I will eventually get around to adding them both here and on my Goodreads page. However, I will say that aside from a few minor irritations, I am enjoying both series immensely.

TV: Aside from episodes that have aired this month, I am completely caught up on Once Upon a Time, Supernatural, and The Vampire Diaries. I still think someone should start a petition to HBO and let them know that these months-long hiatuses for “Game of Thrones” and “True Blood” are agonizing!! Season 3 of SyFy’s “Being Human” has started, and I plan to watch that this weekend. Other than that, there aren’t any other shows I’m actively watching, although I have quite a few (Scandal, Deception) that have been recommended and are on my “To Watch” list.

MOVIES: Sad to say, the aforementioned mentioned “real life” issues kept me from the theaters and without cable TV for 2012. I only saw a few movies: The Woman in Black (loved it), The Avengers (my birthday weekend, and LOVED IT!!!!), and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 (I DID see that one three times, and loved it as well). BUT, there are so many highly anticipated movies coming out this year (Iron Man 3, A Good Day to Die Hard, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, etc.), that I am going to make it a priority to get to the theaters!! Entertainment Weekly has a pretty good starter list for upcoming films, and I’m excited about quite a few of the films listed, but I’ll make a more detailed post next week.

CONVENTIONS: 2012 marked a first for me in terms of conventions: for the first time since I began attending in 2007, I missed Dragon*Con. Anyone who has been following my blogs for years knows that Dragon*Con is a MUST for me every year, and it really hurt to miss it. However, I am determined NOT to let that happen again, so I will bring you updates as usual. (SIDE NOTE: Writing this entry prompted me to go and check the guest list, and I’m glad I did! Kelly Hu – one of my MAJOR girl crushes – is listed as a guest! Woot woot!!!)

One of my other favorite local conventions is returning this spring as well. EyeCon will invade Atlanta once again with their fan convention for the CW-hit show, “The Vampire Diaries”, March 2-4. The convention will take place at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel in Downtown Atlanta, and will feature games, panels, Celebrity Q&As and Photo Op Sessions, Celebrity Autograph Sessions, a “Casino Royale” Party, a Banquet with the Stars, and a Haunted Masquerade Celebrity Party! As of this writing, featured guests will include Ian Somerhalder (Damon Salvatore), Steven R. McQueen (Jeremy Gilbert), Nathaniel Buzolic (original vampire Kol), and Trent Ford (Trevor the vampire). For more information, visit the EyeCon website.

I guess that’s enough catching up…for now. Feel free to add this blog to your subscriptions, and if you like this blog, be sure to check out some of my friends at the Sci-Fi Party Line website and podcast.

Dragon*Con brings Sci-Fi TV presence to Atlanta

That rustle of excitedness you hear is the sound of thousands of geeks, nerds, gamers, fanboys/fangirls and other fandom enthusiasts preparing for what is probably the largest geek party in the United States, and Dragon*Con looms closer.

Taking place in the downtown streets of Atlanta, Dragon*Con is the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film. Every Labor Day weekend, about 40,000 people crowd the streets and take over the hotels of downtown Atlanta to meet friends, celebrities, cosplay and totally geek out. Spanning the lobbies, convention spaces and streets of five hotels, there is literally something for everyone at Dragon*Con.

As always, Sci-Fi/Fantasy television will have a strong presence at Dragon*Con. One of the fan tracks that should be very popular this year at Dragon*Con includes the Dark Fantasy track, which will have panels and celebrity guests from shows such as the SyFy Channel’s Being Human (stars Sam WitwerSam Huntington and Meaghan Rath), the CW Network’s Vampire Diaries (stars Michael TrevinoSara Canning and David Anders) and is filmed locally in Atlanta, and HBO’s immensely popular series True Blood (stars Kristen Bauer van StratenJim ParrackDenis O’HareJoe Manganiello and author Charlaine Harris, who wrote the “Southern Vampire” novels that the show is based on).

For the first time, stars from the popular CW series Supernatural will also appear during Dragon*Con: series regular Jim Beaver will be joined by stars Misha CollinsMark A. SheppardJulie McNivenChristopher Heyerdahl andSamantha Ferris for fan Q&A panels, photo op and autograph sessions.

Fans of Joss Whedon and/or the Stargate culture (SG-1, Atlantis and Universe) will find whole tracks dedicated to those two sub-genres (Whedonverse and Stargate: Multiverse, respectively), while those who mourn the loss of shows such as LOST, V: The Series, and Battlestar Galactica can do so alongside other fans of those now defunct, but still loved shows during panels such as “BSG Universe: Evolution”, “V: Find Your Bliss”, or “Lost: One Year Later”.

Dragon*Con will take place Friday – Monday Labor Day weekend; most programming will begin around 10 am with the exception of Saturday, when the annual Dragon*Con Parade will take place. Host hotels include the Hyatt Regency AtlantaAtlanta Marriott MarquisHilton AtlantaSheraton Atlanta Hotel, and the Westin Peachtree Plaza. Full details on fan tracks, celebrity guests, and membership (admission) costs can be found at the official website.

More “Supernatural” Guests Added to Dragon*Con Guest List

Wow! Looks like Atlanta will be a city of angels, demons, and hunters this September, as four more stars from the television show “Supernatural” has been added to the guest list for Dragon*Con 2011.

In addition to earlier announcements of guests Misha Collins (Castiel the Angel) and Mark A. Sheppard (Crowley the Demon), the updated Dragon*Con lineup now includes Jim Beaver, Samantha Ferris, Julie McNiven and Christopher Heyerdahl.

Beaver has become one of the favorites in a fandom well known for an almost obsessive fixation with the two main stars/characters, Jared Padalecki (Sam Winchester) and Jensen Ackles (Dean Winchester). As fellow hunter Bobby Singer, he has become the father figure, reluctant hero, and pain-in-the-ass needed to keep the Winchesters on their toes and constantly thinking in a profession where a stray thought can easily get you killed.

Credit: The CW

Bobby and Ellen in “My Heart Will Go On”

As the tough-as-nails-with-a-heart-of-gold hunter Ellen Harvelle, Samantha Ferris has become one of the very few females on the show that the fans actually like. The Supernatural fandom is known for their extreme dislike of female characters that “take away” from the storyline involving the brothers; Ellen and her daughter Jo are exceptions. Both Harvelle’s were killed in action during the latter part of season 5, although we have seen Ellen return (in the season 6 episode “My Heart Will Go On”).

Julie McNiven’s Anna was the fallen angel; one of the first that Dean and Sam would encounter who’d convince the brothers that angels do indeed exist. Once an ally (and lover to Dean), she quickly changed sides once she regained her wings, going back in time to try to kill the brothers’ parents in a misguided attempt to prevent the Apocolypse. Needless to say, her character did not last much longer after that; no one survives for very long once the Winchesters have you on their hit-list.

Christopher Heyerdahl only appeared in three episodes in season 5, but made his mark known as the demon Alistair, who was responsible for Dean’s punishment/torture during his time trapped in Hell. Heyerdahl is also well-known for appearing on “Stargate Atlantis”, and he is one of the feared Volturi members in The Twilight Saga films, playing Volturi leader Marcus.

Dragon*Con is the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film. Every Labor Day weekend, about 40,000 people crowd the streets and take over the hotels of downtown Atlanta to meet friends, celebrities, cosplay and totally geek out. Ticket information can be found on the official website.

You can read more about my experiences at Dragon*Cons past at this link.