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Obsession Part Nine



Ten years ago I made a series of videos talking about some of the things I've been obsessed with over the years. I didn't continue with the series as I got older and now I have a back catalogue. I thought it would be fun to catch up and I'm doing it in a weird order. I've actually made a video on my current obsession.

Oh, it's been a while since I've been so passionate about anything, but I found something. Or...sorta returned to something.

Once upon a time I was obsessed with WWE, during it's (what's become known as) The Attitude Era. It was extreme and weird and anything could happen. Well, instead of getting into any of the modern stuff I've gone old school and gone all the way back to the 80's, to the days of Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage and (my personal favourite) Rowdy Roddy Piper.

I've spent a lot of time recently watching old PPV's, including Wrestlemanias and A LOT of old promos. I find I enjoy them more than the wrestling. They're just so...over the top, but hilarious. When you have the right guy on the mic.

In the video above I talk about how I got into in (thanks to my boyfriend really) and I go on a little about my favourite wrestler. Roddy Piper was, for me, the most entertaining on the mic. He was off the walls crazy, but so creative in what he said. His matches could be fun too and...he came to the ring in a kilt and bagpipe music. How could I not love him. It still amazes me how he went from a hated and despised heel to a much loved and populate babyface without really meaning to (from what I can tell). It' pretty impressive. I guess because no matter what he did, he was entertaining.

The Asylum - Steampunk Festival

I've been meaning to write up about this for a while, but I've had other things on my mind.

So, for my birthday my boyfriend bought me tickets to The Asylum, a Steampunk Festival they hold every year in Lincoln. I've wanted to go for years and I'm so glad I finally got the chance. It was amazing. Lincoln is a city and the festival takes over the whole city centre, including the Castle, where they held a lot of events at. Lincoln itself is a really lovely city, which reminds me a lot of York. I wish I lived closer to either.

So, let's take this day by day.

Friday

Friday morning was spent mostly queuing up to register, which was happening at the Uni Campus. We didn't realise how far this was from where we were staying and there were some hills involved. It was tiring and the queuing took nearly 2 hours. There also wasn't a lot on the first day, so we spent a fair bit of time just familiarising ourselves with the Campus. There was a lovely little cafe called the Curiositea Room and a market we spent a fair bit of time wondering around.

There weren't many panels, but we did go to one on where to find materials and inspiration.

We walked back through the city centre, but nothing was set up yet, though there were still people milling around in costumes and there were some AMAZING costumes, including this one:



There was a lovely atmosphere to the whole day. Steampunks are the loveliest and friendliest people.

We had food at Wangamamas at the marina where there were many food outlets and then spent the evening watching old school Wrestling...I may have a new obsession.

Saturday

Saturday was the first proper day, with many things to see and attend. These included Parasol Dueling (non contact sport), Wacky Races, Nerf Gun Duelling and Jet Pack racing. Most of which were happening at the Castle.



It was SO hard to move around though, the place was jam packed. It was like being at a convention, you had to squeeze around the people who had been stopped to have their photo taken. Matt and I were dressed up, but neither of us were wearing anything elaborate, so we didn't get stopped, but I did take a few pictures myself of the amazing costumes.



In the evening we went along to a viewing of a movie, which we thought was going to be Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which appeared to be advertised, but was actually Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, a movie I hadn't seen since I was a kid and was quite excited to see. It was a jolly good, fun film. Everyone was singing along to the theme and they had a display of Aviation.

Sunday

While the weather had been lovely to start with, Sunday brought the rain. It didn't stop events from happening, but it did put a bit of a downer on the day. Especially when I got pretty cold in what I was wearing and we had to go back to get changed. We still tried to make the most of it, but watching a parade at the castle and tea pot racing, which was fun, if pretty weird.

However, the highlight of Sunday was the gig in the evening. We had tickets to see Steam Powered Giraffe! This was one of the reason I really wanted to come to the Asylum, this was their third year attending. (And their last apparently)



I wasn't aware that they had any support acts and was surprised when they had two, both with 45 mins slots, so SPG didn't come on until pretty late and their set was only and an hour and a half. The other two acts were pretty good, but I came for SPG. To be fair though, they were a lot of fun and did some fun skits in between songs. And singing along to their songs was brilliant. So, it was worth it overall.

There were events on Monday, but we had to drive back so we didn't stick around all day. We still got to check out the costume competition and one last look around the markets. The only things I bought were a pin to go with my rough pirate outfit, a potion necklace and a little present for my nephew, which he's getting at Christmas. There were other things I wanted, but they were pretty pricey.

All in all it was a really fun weekend which gave me so many ideas for things to do which at some point I intend to do. It would be awesome to go back next week, but that will be decided the start of next year.

Amecon 2018

It was only Monday I came back from Amecon and already it seems like so long ago.

This was my second Amecon, but all the summer anime cons are held at Warwick Uni now so they do blend together.

So, I'm going to post this in bullet points as it's always easier.

* Stayed on Campus in Bluebell, which was my first time and what they call a single is what I'd call a double. The bed was so comfy and spacious.

* Panels on Friday included Hell in a Cel (anime fight scenes) and Tokusatsu: More than just Power Rangers. Lots of stuff very much like Power Rangers including Ultraman fighting Starfish Hitler.

* The Pub Quiz was, as always, a lot of fun. I think I did pretty well on the sci-fi round, but it did include a question that was a spoiler for the 7th season of Game Of Thrones which is the only season I haven't seen! Also, we didn't mark them there and instead had to wait for the closing ceremony to see who won. This was annoying as we never found out which questions we got right.



* Saturday started with a robot FIGHT! Hebocon, which is shitty robot fighting. The idea is to take some crappy robot, such as a remote control car or wind up toy, modify it and make them fight.



I entered with a wind up elephant I stuck pipe cleaners too. It didn't make it past the first round, but Sel's Dirty Duck Truck was amazing and made it to the final! DC'S hamster wheel with a car in lost to a brick. So unfair. I recorded a fair bit of it and you can find it below. It was so much fun!

https://youtu.be/qtv0rV_vRgA

* The other highlight for me was for the first time I entered the masquerade. I've watched a fair few, but never thought to enter one as I didn't think I had a costume worth showing off on a catwalk, but I am pretty proud of my Death costume, so I decided to enter with that. I was pretty nervous while waiting to go on, but just before I did my scythe split and I had to get some tape to repair it. I knew it would stand out, but I had no choice. Once it was fixed I was ushered straight on stage and it all went by in a bit of a blur.

It was filmed and you can watch it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHIFeoTN724

I entered around 20:20. I'm still glad I did it and would do another.

* In the evening we mostly just hung out, but we did go to one panel where you get given a number and if you're picked you're given a challenge on a Megadrive game...I was picked first. I had to complete a bobsled course on Winter Olympics. I failed. Horribly. But it was pretty fun.

* On Sunday it rained. I'd been wanting some rain for ages and when it finally came it was while at a con. Typical, but it didn't spoil the day as I spent it mostly in panels. Including the Charity Auction. Anime Dog Poker, where four guys went head to head to see who's pick of Anime Dogs was the best. And Adventure Bastards, an RP, where four girls were tasked with stealing The Great Gatsby's pocked watch. It didn't go well...they ended up starting a potential apocalypse.

* All that was left after the closing ceremony was the Amecon Cosplay Formal Ball. While I wore a pretty dress, it wasn't cosplay and I felt rather odd as pretty much everyone else was, but still it was all right. Lighting was a little bright and the music was meh.



* And then came the after party! Partying to semi cheesy music until 1am!. Which is pretty tame compared to Kitacon, but then again they are the party con. Also it had a weak ending. No big sing along to finish, just a song I didn't know and it was over. I was in bed before 2am. I hadn't expected that.



Overall Amecon was still a lot of fun. There was also pokemon hunting, raids, gaming, and just general hanging out with my favourite people and people I usually only see at these cons

Sadly, there will be no Kitacon next year, which means no proper summer con which is a real bummer. These anime cons are so much fun and have become a staple of the calendar year. Just hope they'll put on something.

What's your name, man? Alexander Hamilton!

July has been an eventful month and we're barely half way through it. I was thinking of just putting it all in one post, but that wouldn't give each event much detail so I'll start the beginning and post again tomorrow.

On the 7th July I met up with a group of my friend in London to celebrate Sel's birthday which involved a trip to the theatre to see Hamilton. Sel and I had already seen it before last year, but the other members of our group hadn't and I was more than happy to see it again, it's one of my favourite musicals. )The pretty much neck and neck with Les Miserables)

The performance was just as awesome, though the guy playing Hamilton was an understudy and he wasn't as good as the last guy. However, they had an amazing Washington and a really good Jefferson and it was equally as funny and emotional as last time and I'm so glad I got to see it again. Our seats were pretty good too, looking down over the stage. Though there wasn't much leg room the for the taller members of our group.

Last time I bought a shot glass, a pin and a oyster card holder (which I keep my work pass in) but this time I struggled for something I wanted and settled on a King George t-shirt I liked the look of.



After getting food at Sel's favourite Chinese restaurant we made our way through the Pride Parade and the crowd of celebrating football fans to a Karaoke bar where we had a private booth to sing a number of fun and random songs including 3 Lions, Birdhouse in Your Soul and of course Bohemian Rhapsody.

All in all a fun day out in London, even if on the way back we were pretty much walking on discarded plastic cups and kicking barely empty bottles.

MCM London Comic Con

Another Expo has come and gone and this one was...short.

Well, that was my doing, I wanted to save some money and Expo just seems to get more expensive and it's twice a year, so I thought I'd go for just the day. In retrospect I regret it. Attending Expo isn't about just the convention, but the chance to hang out with people I don't see as much as I'd like. It really is a social event really.

However, it was still a good weekend.

Matt and I drove down on the Friday, which took 4 hours thanks to traffic and by the time we checked in and met up with my friends they were finishing dinner and close to leaving. We got a quick drink and then headed back to their place. Unfortunately by the time we took the tube to their place it was late and we were tired so Matt and I just want back to our apartment. We used Air bnb, so we were staying in the spare room of someone's flat. I didn't know this before hand and it caused some tension between Matt and I. The owner even came back in the night, but we were in bed. Freaked me out a bit and the place was boiling hot with a window that barely opened. Still, it was only for one night and I slept better than expected.



The convention itself was as big as always and with many things to see. They had a Jurassic World section which had a VR experience with Blue. A Jack Ryan Netflix series promotion where you train to be an agent including an aptitude test and shooting practice. I did well on the test, Matt did well on the shooting.

We went to two panels, one with two actresses from Orange is the New Black, which was interesting and made me eager to see the new series this summer.



And the other was with Rosario Dawson, best known for Sin City and Daredevil. She was fun, really relaxed and very talkative. She also knew her comic books, which was really cool.



I didn't buy much. I had hoped to buy Spyfall, a fun card game I wanted to introduce to my game group at work. Couldn't find it anywhere, annoyingly. I had also hoped to get something Game of Thrones related, but found nothing I wanted. Instead I bought a cuddly Thor and Hawkeye. They were so cute! I also got a really nice print of Jefferson from Hamilton.

After the con I met up with my friends and we went back to their place for a BBQ on their balcony. It was really good fun and afterwards made me wish I could have been there the previous night and the following.

However, we had to drive home...during a lightning storm. No thunder, just lots of lightning and rain. While I don't like lightning, I don't mind driving it in Actually the worse part was the rain. It came down so hard I thought it was hail. Fortunately it eased off after London, but still. It was mad. And we got home at 2am.

Overall, I still had a good time, but I think from now on I'll go for the whole weekend. I already have accommodation booked for all four nights in Oct and I have some ideas for how to make it awesome. Live and learn.

Secret Cinema Presents: Blade Runner

I love Secret Cinema, I look forwards to whatever they put on every year and this year was my third. 28 Days Later was amazing, Moulin Rouge was beautiful and when I heard this years event was going to be Blade Runner I thought...okay. Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of the movie, I think it's rather dull, but what convinced me to go along was how well I knew SC would recreate the cyberpunk world. They've very good at that, and that's pretty much the only reason I went.

And I was right they did an awesome job and the whole thing was amazing, but the journey there wasn't.

So, my car had been having some clutch issues right up until the day before and I wasn't confident I could drive to London and back...or even halfway, which was a pain as coming back the trains stopped at Reading and a replacement bus service took over. However, I really didn't trust my car to get me out of town, so I only drove it to the train station and took the train to London and from there the underground to venue. It was in the same place as Moulin Rouge so it was easy to find.

Like I said, the event was amazing, they recreated the world perfectly inside the warehouse, you could easily believe you'd been transported into the future. They even made it rain, which is why it was advised to bring an umbrella. Neon light up umbrellas at that. I really wish you could take photos, but it was to remain 'secret' so you lock them up in a bag, but you can take photos outside.



Part of the fun of SC is the dressing up and taking on a character aspect which the people working there are amazing at, they never break character and you find yourself fitting into the role you've been assigned very easily. Moose and I were Industrialists, Luke was a Technician and Sel was a Companion. We had to seek out a guy at a bar (The Snake Pit) called Taffy and do business with him which involved getting eyeballs from a scientist (Chew) and trying to poison Taddy in return...which sadly Sel was unable to pull off.

We also walked in the rain, designed some unusual toys and learned how to dance with mathematics. It was all so amazing and time went by way too fast, it would have been fun to explore more and see what else there were. But at 8pm the actors rallied up the crowed and led us to where we were to watch the movie. During the movie the actors perform sections from the movie which makes it a little more interesting. Like I said though I'm not a fan of the movie and found it just as dull as the last time. I knew I'd have to leave a little bit early to catch the last train/bus, but just to be on the safe side I left an hour early to catch the second to last...at least that was the plan.

I got back to Paddington Station fine, but there were so many trains that would take me to Reading, but I wasn't sure which one would get me there in time to catch the bus. I figured it didn't matter as I had a fair amount of time and just jumped on one...which was a mistake. It had too many stops and I got into Reading a few minutes late and missed the bus. The next one was about twenty mins passed midnight which was over an hour away. So I had to wait around the station with a dying phone and nothing to read. It was boring and pretty cold. I could have watched more of the movie and caught the last train, but never mind, I caught the last bus which got me into Chippenham at 2am. I drove home and collapsed into bed only to have to be up at 7 the next day. JOY!

But it was all worth it, I had a great time. SC really knows how to put on a fun, totally immersive and creative event. I can't wait for next years. Though I might get my car checked out first.

In the summer they're doing Romeo and Juliet, but I'm not interested in that.

It's been a long long while

I've completely neglected my journal this year, which is kind of odd. I mean, I've been bad at keeping it updated before but never with this long a gap. It's strange because it's not like nothing's happened this year. To write it all down would take ages so I'm just going to post the highlights.

* On the 16th Jan I became an Aunt. My brother's girlfriend gave birth to a beautiful baby boy called Phoenix Edward Alan Spearey. And yes is initials are adorable.

* For my boyfriend's birthday we went to a VR place in Bristol where I got to experience a variety of VR equipment. It was all very strange, but really awesome.
And we took a day trip to Cheddar Gorge. Lots of walking around caves.

* In March I went to my first convention of the year which was Birmingham MCM. I didn't cosplay, but I sat in on some really good panels including Michael Rooker and Mark Shepard. Both were really good. Also did badly at tea duelling and played some fun games on the Switch.

* The following weekend I attended a new convention in Reading called CosExpo which was a Cosplay con. I took my Hogfather Cosplay alone and got some tips on how to put together future cosplays.

* We also had SNOW!


I also attended a Secret Cinema event. Which I would like to dedicate a whole post about, so I'll write that up later. Right now I'm going to look forwards to my birthday tomorrow!

Thanks 2017, you were cool

A little later than intended, but I wanted to do a quick run down on how 2017 was for me. Personally, this year was pretty good. It saw some sad endings, but there were enough happy beginnings to balance it out. Here are the highlights:

Jan-March

* Took a trip to the London Dungeons, which were creepy but fun.
* For Matt's birthday we went to the Science Museum in London and a viking rooftop bar.
* Attended MCM Birmingham for the first time and got my photo taken with Starsky and Hutch!

April-June

* Attended Secret Cinema presents Moulin Rouge! Which was amazing.
* Started my new job as a Data Engineer!
* Won the pub quiz at Bristol Anime and Gaming con.
* Went to Disneyland with Matt and had a great time!
* My choir celebrated it's 10 year anniversary with a concert.
* My car broke the day before MCM London, but because of that Sel took me and I got to hear Hamilton for the first time.
* Ben's Birthday BBQ in Southampton.

July-Sept

* For Sel's birthday we went to the London Anime and Gaming Con.
* Said a sad farewell to the Hobgoblin, my favourite pub in Bath.
* Went to the Doctor Who Experience for the last time.
* Attended MCM Manchester for the first time. Lovely city.
* Went to Kitacon and cosplayed for the first time at an anime con.
* Took Matt to the Dorset Steam Fair. He loved it.
* Joined Sarah at the Gloucester Comic Con.
* Went to the Harry Potter Studios with Matt (his first visit, my third) and spent a day in London taking a cruise up the themes.

Oct-Dec

* Phoebe celebrated her first birthday. Growing up too fast!
* Helped out at Sel's table at Ponycon. (And bought three care bears)
* Attended MCM London dressed as the Hogfather.
* Went to the Royal Albert Hall to hear Final Fantasy music played by an orchestra.
* Attended MCM Birmingham dressed as the Hogfather and saw the german market.
* Won tickets to see Hamilton live in London during the previews.
* And having Christmas free to see friends and family.
* Spending the last day of the year playing games with my favourite people.

While I don't have a lot planned for 2018 there are a few things I'm looking forwards to including being an Auntie for the first time. Any day now!

Also just having new adventures and saving a little money for other adventures in the future.

I also want to read more, blog more and take better photos, which will happen once I buy a new camera.

Merry Christmas



I hope everyone's had a very Happy and enjoyable Christmas.

This is the first Christmas since 2011 where I haven't had to work over it including no early start on Boxing Day and I'm loving this season just for that. On Christmas Eve I had Matt round and we spent the whole day watching Christmas movies and specials. It's a tradition I started years ago and don't always get to uphold because of work, but luckily Christmas eve was a Sunday.

We watched Home Alone, Muppet's Christmas Carol, Christmas Vacation, Father Ted's Christmas Special, Blackadder Christmas Carol and The Night Before (which I didn't enjoy much). I also baked shortbread for my nan.

Christmas day itself was pretty standard. I went over my mum's place for Dinner where it was just Tony, Mum and I, which was the same last year. I headed over to my nan's after 3pm to see her and my dad, which was nice. It's a little weird not having my brother around at all, but he's got his own little family and I'll be seeing him today which will be nice.
I then went back to my mum's to watch Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge. I still enjoy it over all though I found a few bits a little more boring than the first time.

Present wise I got a few things:
Mum: A handmade bobble hat and a boxset of Game of Thrones books. I have a lot of reading to do next year.
Dad: Money that will go towards buying a new camera.
Matt: A steampunk book, a lovely top that's a bit big, a book on Hamilton's love affairs and a cuddly Porg which is so cute.

Because I don't go back to work until Jan 2nd I have a few other things planned, including a trip to London to see my friends and a trip to Bath to see The Greatest Showman with Sarah.

All in all it's been a good Christmas and it's nice that it's not over yet so plenty more fun to come.

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I was in the room where it happens

Something happened last week which was amazing and probably the best early Christmas present.

So, one of my new favourite musicals is Hamilton. I've listened to the original cast recording so many times and it's now up there with Les Miserable. Also, it's just opened in the West End last week, but it's been sold out for a long time and even when they released more dates, they still sold out too quickly. Tickets now are like £200+. However, there is a way to win tickets by entering a lottery. You download an app, enter for the following days performance and if you win you can buy up to two tickets for that performance for only £10 each. Well, I downloaded the app, entered and...

...I WON!!!!!

No kidding, it was a total surprise, I rarely win anything. It was all a whirlwind from there. I bought the two tickets, for me and Selena because she was the one who introduced me to it and loves it just as much as me. The performance was the following day, thankfully a Friday so I didn't have to worry about work the next day. However, I did have to get out of work at 4 so I could get to London in time for the 7:30 start. By coming in early and working through lunch I was able to get out on time and I pelted it down the motorway. I parked at Slough because I didn't want to venture into London, but the direct train from there takes 20 mins.

Thanks to very little traffic and no delays on the trains I managed to get to the theatre with plenty of time to spare. When Sel arrived I picked up the tickets and suddenly it was all real. It had felt too good to be true up until that point, but once I had the tickets in my hand I was finally able to relax. And we were both bouncing around, super excited.



Our tickets were at the very back of the stalls and we were sat together thankfully. We got a really good view of the stage except I did have a tall guy blocking some of my view.

The show was amazing though! I was either grinning or in tears throughout the whole things I just couldn't believe I was there, opening week. The cast were really good, I was a little unsure about seeing different actors playing the characters I loved, but they cast it really well. The guy they got to play Lafayette wasn't great, but when he played Jefferson he was prefect. Hamilton was good too, but Sel joked that all he was missing was a ponytail. I had to restrain myself from singing along to the songs.

Afterwards Sel and I queued up to buy merchandise. I bought a pin, a oyster card holder, a shot glass and Sel bought me a brochure to pay me back for the ticket.

I headed off straight home which was not as smooth as the journey up. The train back to Slough was PACKED. I think it was the last train so everyone was on it and I've never been so squashed on a train before. Once back at Slough my car took it's time starting up, possibly because of the cold weather and since it was midnight by this point I did not want any problems.

While I was prepared for a long car journey home it was made longer by a section of the M4 closed off so I had to take a diversion off the motorway and then back again. I also had to stop for petrol. I got home at 2am and I was so so happy to not have to get up early the next day.

All in all though, I'd go through it all again and worse in a heartbeat if it means seeing the musical again. I still can't believe it actually happened, it went by so fast. It was one of the best things to happen this year and I so hope I get the chance to see it again.

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