Cosplay – Candy – Creepy Crawlies

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Yesterday was Halloween, and for those of us with children this is second in planning and importance only to Christmas. I’ve always loved Halloween. I like getting dressed up, I like decorating, I like theme desserts and meals, and the specialness of the different time of the year.

I have been somewhat lazy in the last couple of years, and my daughter discovered my holiday boxes. She has taken it upon herself to drag them up from the basement, and make the house, inside and out, look magical and perfectly balanced for the holidays, especially Halloween and Christmas. And I hate to admit, because I was really good at it, but she is better. She’s faster, she’s creative, she thinks outside the box, and it’s just a beautiful display.

Outside lights and pumpkins, decorated for Halloween. (c)2018


This year, her costume was the the 13th Doctor as portrayed by Jodie Whittaker. There were some things that she wanted, and needed to buy, but there were others that I just refused – no to $20 yellow suspenders (“but I’ll wear them more than once,” and she probably would) and I said no to the $30 new sonic screwdriver, and she borrowed my boots that coincidentally are almost exactly the same at the Doctor’s. For the sonic screwdriver, she spent $2 on orange sparkly lights from Target and used aluminum foil and built herself a sonic screwdriver, pictured below.

Handmade/homemade Sonic Screwdriver (belonging to the 13th Doctor). (c)2018


The Doctor. (c)2018


My son grabbed his Flash t-shirt and ring, and went to school as Barry Allen, the Flash’s alter-ego. He has his own wonderful way of being creative and creating costumes and decorations from what he already has. I’m glad that they’re both so independent minded and creative.

Barry Allen (The Flash). (c)2018


(c)2018


My cosplay was a riff on the one I did in 2016. In 2016, I saw an everwidening chasm towards the vilification of journalists, and it concerned me. I’m a strong proponent of free speech and a free press. They are so important to our country, to our ideals, to our democracy. This Halloween I had intended to be a professor from the Harry Potter world, a Hufflepuff, of course. And then the President continued with the enemy of the people rhetoric, Gianforte is running for re-election (google Ben Jacobs, journalist), Bob Woodward published a very frightening look at the Trump White House (and he and Carl Bernstein are personal heroes of mine), and then The Washington Post’s Jamal Khashoggi walked into a Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey, and never walkied out. He was murdered, assassinated, but not just that, the level of response from the White House and from the Republican side of Congress appalled me, so I thought it was important to take a stand, especially this week before Election Day.

Fandom Friday – San Diego Comic Con

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​Comic Con is upon us.

For those of us who can’t attend for a variety of reasons, up to and including financial, especially financial, we rely on the Internet to get us through this weekend with only a modicum of spoilers. For the most part, there are no real surprises, and all spoilers are the ones TPTB want to get out their to foment interest in the coming season, which seems to start later and later.

Many of my favorite shows are an important commodity to SDCC as well as various specialty conventions throughout the year – Creation ConsWalker StalkerHeroes/Villains Fan FestToronto Comic ConFan ExpoNY Comic ConEmerald CityJIBCon, etc.

The fandom world makes it so that when you lose a character, they don’t disappear from your world like in the old days. We have entertainment magazines, podcasts, apps, teasers, fan sites, and much, much more to get us through the hiatus.

In at least two of my shows, “everyone” died at the end, and for one show, they either died or were trapped in another dimension. How will they resolve it? To be honest, we won’t know until the end of next season, and then they’ll give us another cliffhanger to speculate on for that next hiatus.

Today, the expectations to come out of Comic Con are the Season 8 trailer for The Walking Dead, Season 12 Gag Reel for Supernatural, panels for both as well as panels for Marvel’s Avengers Infinity War and Black Panther, DC’s Justice League, related Lego, videogames, and lots and lots of cosplayers showing off their talents.

Conan O’Brien is even hosting his show from San Diego with guests from the convention.

The best place to get information on the weekend’s events is the Comic Con Front Page

What are you most looking forward to hearing about and seeing?

50-32 – Happy Halloween

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Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I tried so hard to find a picure of when I was a kid in the plastic Princess costume – it may have been Sleeping Beauty – but I could not find it. It’ll probably turn up around Christmas.

That is the first costume that I remember wearing as a kid. I have no real memories of other costumes until high school when I went as Oscar Madison one year and wore my Dad’s Army uniform another. Someone shaving creamed my back while I was wearing that and I was so pissed off because I wasn’t supposed to get it dirty.

Over the years, I’ve gone to several Halloween parties, some with themes like science-fiction [I was a Bajoran civilian from DS9] or superheroes and villains [as Poison Ivy].

For a decade I was in a medieval re-enactment group so every weekend was Halloween, only historically accurate.

I remember going through the drive-through at Burger King or Dunkin’ Donuts in full medieval regalia where I would get some odd looks. I went into a 7-11 once to buy soda.

Our friends have a summer family reunion that is a costumed event. Last year, we were pirates and cowboys the year before.

Gishwhes has also afforded me opportunities to dress up, most memorably as Batgirl, an homage to Yvonne Craig who had recently died.

Any excuse to dress up and have fun.

This year’s costume, as journalist/press person, is my first, perrhaps only politically charged costume.

This year, my middle son is a pink dinosaur person with a spear, and he is the happiest little kid in the world. He can’t wait until after Halloween because the pink dinosaur costume is also pajamas, and he will probably wear them every night this winter.

My daughter is Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad, and she is using all of her own clothes. Resourceful, and…a little scary. She decorated an old wiffle-ball bat and I put the makeup on her, and it is perfect.

This is what Halloween is. Kids and fun and candy, of course. This year, we’re also giving out toys and Halloween pencils that we had around the house, leftovers from a school party or McDonald’s happy meal. We did this last year, and the kids were so thrilled to get something like that.

The school parade is in an hour – my daughter’s last one in elementary school; then no more school Halloween parties. It is the end of an era.

Halloween and Political Statement

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​As Walter Cronkite said, “Freedom of the press is not just important to democracy, it is democracy.”

My Halloween costume this year is a political statement. I’ve been shocked and appalled by the number of attacks, both verbally and physically on journalists in the past year and throughout this election cycle, mainly from one side in particular.

There is a reason that freedom of the press is in the first amendment; it is that important.

We can’t let serious presidential candidates mock journalists for their disabilities.

We can’t let candidates refuse press credentials to mainstream, reliable, longstanding investigative journalistic newspapers like The Washington Post, the paper that broke the Watergate scandal.

At the same time, we can’t let them issue credentials to their friends.

We can’t let campaign employees (Lewandowski) assault journalists (from Breitbart no less).

We can’t let journalists (like Amy Goodman) be arrested for inciting and disorderly conduct when she is working as a journalist (and has been for more than 20 years) and covering an important news story that you just don’t like (ND pipeline).

I’m certain that I’ve left out at least half a dozen incidents that I can’t recall at this moment.

This is for every journalist kidnapped while doing their job. At the most recent White House Correspondents’ Dinner, President Obama honored Jason Rezaian, journalist released from an Iranian prison. He stated, in part, “This year, we see that courage [Jason Rezaian] in the flesh and it’s a living testament to the very idea of a free press, and a reminder of the rising level of danger, and political intimidation, and physical threats faced by reporters overseas.” [And I would add, here at home as well.]

This is for David Bloom who died doing his job.

This is for Daniel Pearl who was murdered for his religion.

This is for Bob Woodruff who got a traumatic brain injury doing his job.
This is for Spotlight, the Academy Award’s Best Picture for 2016.

This is for every journalist who went to jail for protecting a source.

This is for the First Amendment and the freedom of the press.