Fandom Black Friday

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Even though most of us have been picking up holiday gifts whenever we see anything appropriate and affordable, today is the official begin to the holiday shopping season, at least as far as capitalist society is concerned.

I’ve done the 5am shopping thing once or twice, and we treated it like a day out: we did our shopping, finished by 9 or so, and went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast, then home for some hot chocolate and naps. It was fun. Kind of.

I tend to look online for some items that are unique and hard to find locally even though I do like to shop at my local businesses.

There are many great shops and now there is access to those small shops through online shopping. I love fandom gifts, from clothes to Pops! to jewelry to journals, pins of course, and other unique things in my various fandoms.

Apart from Amazon, here are a few places, both online and brick and mortar stores that I like to check out for my friends and family that are looking for the perfect fandom gift.

Hot Topic – great store for a variety of fandoms, and they get it. They’re knowledgable about the fandoms, know their merchandise, can and will direct you to other places if they don’t carry something, etc. It’s a good store to visit. If you’re looking for Plus Sizes, they generally don’t carry them in the stores, but you can find them online.

DC Universe – this is a new app that offers original programming and other DC programs. It is a subscription service, so that in itself might be a nice gift for the DC fan in your life.

Target – They have a fandom section (although they don’t call it that) on the back wall between books/DVDs and electronics. They rotate pop culture shows and books and often have Harry Potter, Stranger Things, Marvel and DC Comics & Movies, Star Wars, The Walking Dead, and more.

Stands – Partial proceeds go to charity. There is a limited shopping time for each campaign and each sponsor actor chooses their own charity to support. Previous (and some current) charitable causes have included: Random ActsJacmel Children’s CenterACLURaicesChicago Foundation for Women, Lydia’s Place, My Hope ChestNew Leash on LifeNational Stroke AssociationCanadian Women’s FoundationFeeding AmericaRainbow HouseTrapKing HumanePasadena Humane Society & SPCA, and others.

It’s Been a Long Time…

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It’s been a long time,

Since I’ve seen your smiling face.

It’s been a long time,…

Long Time by Cake

Nearly every day for the last two weeks, I’ve come here, opened a post, and stared into the oblivion of a blank page. It isn’t that I have nothing to write about; I have plenty, and I have written a few things, but nothing ready for prime time, so to speak.

I have been trying to work on other things, but I feel your absence deeply.

Of course, every time I go back to see what I “owe” like my last few prompts and my New 52 Reflections, I seize up and I think that I will never get out from under.

I have also been spending most of my time planning my family’s trip to Ireland and meditating on a prayer for my confirmaton saint for whom I am making a prayer card. (Where nothing exists, create it.)

We’ve also been to the movies quite a bit in the last few weeks as well as renting from Redbox: Wonder Woman, of course in June, but more recently, Moana, Spiderman: Homecoming, War for the Planet of the Apes, The Lego Batman Movie, Logan.

I thought I would share some of the more visual things I’ve done since last we were together. I’m working on another one that was inspired by the (second) homily at yesterday’s mass.

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Fandom Merchandise and Where to Find It

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​As I look at my Christmas gifts, and my recent birthday gifts before that, I am struck, but not terribly surprised by how much relates to the variety of fandoms and pop culture things I am involved in. Many of these things have stayed with me since my teen years, to the point that I no longer participate, but they still hold an important place in my heart. The one example that comes to mind was my getting a new messenger bag: ThinkGeek’s Bag of Holding. It’s so glorious that I’ll be writing a separate review of it. My son was a little annoyed that I would be getting it – it was a little expensive, but with the thirty percent discount that was offered, it was well worth it. He was still a little annoyed and exclaimed, “You don’t even like Dungeons & Dragons!” I think I may have snorted. I was momentarily speechless.

I don’t like Dungeons & Dragons?! Do you even know me?! I had been playing Dungeons & Dragons since high school. In our school cafeteria, we would use the half-pint milk container as a six-sided die. Every weekend in college, we’d get together in the blue room to play. Dave, our DM (dungeon master) would not let us have any alcohol. We got stupid. We were probably the only group on a Saturday night not drunk. We would play all weekend, talking time only to sleep before the next night’s game.

I met my college roommate in a study hall through a conversation about character sheets.

My oldest son used my original books when he and his friends played Dungeons & Dragons.

Not a fan?! Harumph!

Glancing at The Walking Dead trivia box, the Hufflepuff necklace, the Supernatural zipper bag, the Star Trek 50th anniversary gold ornament with sound, I saw just how many fandom things there are, and I also realized how difficult it was to get some of them.

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Recs – Organization Helpers

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Some of my favorite organization helpers, both on and offline:

Unfuck Your Habitat – obvious language warning. Great hints, tips, and motivation

The January issues of pretty much any and every women’s magazine on the newsstand, especially Real Simple, Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle, and Martha Stewart Living. Those for will probably have a special organizing issue for the first two months of the year.

Day Planners/Schedule Keepers: I prefer Mead, which can be found at Target and Franklin Covey. Check online (Pinterest) for specialty downloadable ones.

List Apps: 2Do is what I’m currently using and I am very happy with it.

Note Apps: Notes and Sticky Notes are both very good.

Save/Read Later: Pocket(Read it Later)

Organizing your Notes/Note-taking: Evernote is the best there is, and can be synched between mobile devices, tablets, computers, and anyone’s computer through an internet browser. Don’t forget to sign out when you’re finished. Evernote also does what Pocket does and can be used for checklists.