Beth’s Dragon Con 2021 Recap Part 3

Well I’m just going to start by saying that my Saturday sucked. It was not only the worst in a very long time, but also my worst convention Saturday ever. I am a woman, and as a woman certain hormones are at work in my body. Those hormones cause things to happen at times of their own choosing. And when they’re feeling particularly vindictive they cause massive amounts of “knock you flat out on your ass” pain. By noon on Saturday I had taken my entire weekend’s supply of ibuprofen and was still unable to get out of bed. So I did the only thing I could do: take a sleeping pill and pray that it would be at least a little better when I woke up. And during all that sleeping I missed four Star Wars panels that I had really wanted to see. Eventually I woke up feeling a bit better, and went to CVS to get more drugs, and to find some food. With all of that done I decided to answer some of the messages coming in asking where I was. There was some more hanging out on the Hilton patio, and a lot of wandering that would not have been possible without the day of rest I’d had. Saturday is usually the toughest night to get around the Marriott. So many people just go Saturday, and they all want to be in the Marriott either in their cosplays or looking at all the cosplayers. It was not bad at all this year. Thanks attendance cap and limited day passes! We knew that the dance parties would be impossible to get in to when they were starting up so we made for the Adult Puppet Improv instead. It was hysterical, and I highly recommend it if you enjoy adult puppet humor. Once that was over and the dance party lines were still way too long we went back to the Hilton patio just to hang out with all the people again. And, aha! This was the night we went to the Metro Diner at 1 or 2 in the morning. I will not get into too many details about who needed the Metro Diner to keep from having a terrible hangover because calling someone out for having one too many opens me up for getting yelled at. Or worse, it opens me up to be publicly shamed for any similar behavior past or future. Once we were fueled up again it was either find a dance party we could actually get in to or go to sleep. So we went to sleep.

Beth’s Dragon Con 2021 Recap Part 2

Someday I might look at getting a hotel room starting Wednesday night instead of waiting until Thursday. Anybody else remember when Dragon Con started on Friday? I’m sure plenty of people do, but it seems like a long time ago. Anyway, my roommates this year were the lovely Nicole and Ryan Cadaver. They had to work Thursday, and I couldn’t check into the room until they got there. Not a problem since that gave me time to drop my bags at the hotel, and grab my badge. Since media badges don’t come from the Sheraton I can’t comment on the line situation I heard so much about the first few days. Most of the people I spoke with personally understood the limitations the convention was under this year, and I know the few volunteers they had did the best they could. With badge secured, and the Cadavers a few hours away I decided to wander for a bit and maybe grab an early dinner. I ended up at the food court several time over the weekend because it wasn’t nearly as crowded as usual. Not much was though overall. I then snagged a delicious seltzer drink from the Hyatt, and let me just say that the canned drinks on offer this year were pretty great. I’ve really been enjoying seltzers when it’s warm outside. So I drank my refreshing seltzer and wandered around while I waited for everyone else to arrive or get situated. The very instant we got into our hotel room to get unpacked and arranged the lovely Oz started blowing us up. He needed a buddy to go with him to badge pickup. Since Dave and I were badged I went to meet him so we could buy around while the others got their badges. A few hours later we were all set, and ready for a dance party. The Variant Ball was going on, and seemed like a good way to pass the time until we had our Troublemaker viewing at eleven. There was a line to get in, but it really wasn’t bed. And in our con excited state we didn’t realize it wasn’t that bad because a whole lot of people weren’t there yet. Fun dancing time had to end so we could get to the American Sci-Fi Classics track room to watch Wilson’s movie about Dave. There were some technical problems beyond our control so we got started pretty late. And I really should start taking notes about the unscheduled stuff we do. The nights kind of start to run together. Was that the night we went to the Metro Diner? No, that was the night Noel led us to this year’s arcade location because he was the only one who knew where Agatha’s used to be off the top of his head. I was so sad not to have the arcade attached to my hotel this year, and the game assortment was definitely a bummer, but you just gotta roll with that stuff until we get through this mess. I really missed all the crazy Japanese games I couldn’t figure out how to play though.

Beth’s Dragon Con 2021 Recap Part 1

Well it feels like a really long time since I’ve written anything. Oh wait, it’s been close to two years. Shortly after Dragon Con 2019 we started working on our plan to start the Execute Chapter 66 podcast, and that took a whole ton of my writing time. Reading a novel every other week is a bit more time consuming than watching a movie and saying something about it. You know what makes me want to start writing again? More Dragon Con! As weird as this year was it was still wonderful, and I am so glad I didn’t chicken out. I’m really happy to be back this year to give you the lowdown on the fun that was had, and how it went. If you didn’t go, you can live vicariously through me. If you did go, you can see what you might have missed (I mean none of us sees everything in any year) so you can plan for next year. All of my fingers and toes are crossed that things will be a little more normal next year. Here’s what I won’t do – get political, give my uneducated opinion on whether or not we should have had an in-person Dragon Con, or criticize what anyone chose to do for their own sense of safety. What I will do – talk about how well the protective measures taken by Dragon Con worked (spoiler alert: pretty darn well from everything I saw), let you know about all of the cool things that I saw, and encourage you to get vaccinated so that we can loosen up these restrictions next year. Masks suck, getting sick sucks, and getting someone else sick simply because you’re selfish really really sucks. So don’t suck, get vaccinated. This will probably be broken up into a few parts because there is an awful lot to talk about.

Star Wars: The Rise of Beth’s Opinions

While those in the 9 to 5 workplace have been off enjoying holidays, and parties, and fun I just got released from two months of retail hell. Consider that the person you’re being rude to is a real human being the next time you’re shopping on Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve. By the time I got New Year’s Eve and Day off I was so tired I thought I was going to keel over before I even got to the party I was going to. I basically slept, worked, and had a drink (or three) alone before going back to sleep from mid-November through this week. I’m pretty proud of myself for getting even two posts up in December honestly. I haven’t gotten to see the last three Star Wars movies of the Skywalker saga on opening weekend. Not because I don’t love Star Wars, but because I am so sick of people by the time I get off work that I want to be as alone as possible for as long as possible. I can’t stand the idea of going to a crowded movie theater surrounded by the same jerks who just made my day hell. So since I couldn’t see The Rise of Skywalker on opening weekend I also couldn’t do the podcast Dave and the guys did the Sunday after Christmas. Even if I had I was working at 5am the next day so it would have been impossible either way.

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The 5 Best Star Wars Video Games

We’ve all got Star Wars fever right now. I kind of have it all the time if I’m honest. Despite the initial bad reviews of The Rise of Skywalker I’m all in. It’s just that my life in retail hell won’t allow me to see the movie this weekend. I hope to see it sometime next week, but who knows. Until after New Year’s Day my schedule sucks. So I won’t be on the podcast Dave, Chad, Arian, and Schweck are recording this weekend. I take comfort in the fact that we will be able to start recording our podcast about Star Wars books shortly after the new year starts though. In the meantime, to help you all get even more hyped for the new movie I’ve complied a list of the best Star Wars games I’ve played. Not the best of all time, but the best I’ve played. Some of these were arcade only, some are from rather old consoles, but don’t let that stop you from picking up any Star Wars game that makes you happy to kill some time.

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The Geeky Gift Guide

Someone at work was trying to talk to me about this year’s Oprah’s Favorite Things list and using it to do their holiday shopping. I could not make her understand how much I don’t care what Oprah does or doesn’t like. I’m a nerd and I don’t need whatever throw blanket or lounge pajamas she likes this year. Or any year for that matter. I checked around for lists of gifts for nerds, but most of those had too much un-fun tech stuff. I kind of want a robot vacuum, but I definitely don’t want one for Christmas. I decided to put my own geeky list together for anyone who needs help picking out a present for their favorite dork. Okay so this is a list of things that I really want for myself, but I think a lot of this stuff is universal. I’m not getting paid to advertise anything here. I just included links in case any of these goodies strike your fancy.

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I’m Not Getting Disney+…Yet

I did not jump on Disney+ the instant it became available. I feel wrong for this, but I don’t know that I’ll be getting it for foreseeable future. I’m not as excited about it as I probably should be, and I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Taking a long hard look at the launch line up did explain a few of my misgivings to me though. The list is way too long for me to copy here so I’ll just throw up a link if you want to check it out. Strangely, the biggest thing to jump out at me was that I never knew the Brave Little Toaster went to Mars. Where the hell was I when this historic space mission went down?
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At first I thought maybe I wasn’t the right demographic. I don’t have kids, and I don’t want to watch Cinderella. I felt like I might be too old for it because I’m not interested in Lizzie McGuire. Then again, maybe I’m too young since I don’t want to watch Darby O’Gill and the Little People either. I am also not a fan of any Pixar movie. I’m a monster, I know. They do certainly have things I like. Marvel, The Simpsons, and Star Wars are all things I include in my fandom. Here’s the thing though. For now FXX shows around 6 episodes of The Simpsons five nights a week. I’m not sure how that will change with Disney+ taking over the territory. So I can see The Simpsons pretty much anytime I want without paying anything extra. If I see that they’ll be taken off FXX then I’ve still got time to get some of my favorites onto my DVR. I own every Marvel movie I’d want to watch again, and if I do get a wild hair up my ass for something I don’t already own my father has every single one of them on his computer hard drive. I can get a copy of Iron Man 2 pretty easily if that desire ever comes up. It probably won’t, but it’s there if that were to happen. Would I like to watch some varying degrees of awesome X-Men cartoons again? You bet, but not so much that I’m getting yet another streaming service for them. As for the newer Marvel cartoons I’m not invested. I’ve watched a few on Disney XD, but none of them really grabbed me.
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The Corman-Poe Cycle

 

No, it’s not some stupid new band. Or even some stupid old band. To be honest it does kind of sound like the name of some 70’s super group. But, no. The Corman-Poe cycle refers to a series of films in the 60’s by Roger Corman and based on works of Edgar Allan Poe. There’s a very good reason that I’m talking about it today though. Other than it being Halloween today, of course.

The other week Dave had me thinking about what got me into horror. Not just the things that I love now, but stuff from when I was a kid. I’ve spoken before about my ultra-permissive parents. I was pretty much allowed to watch whatever I wanted because I wasn’t easy to scare. Thinking back on it this might have come from the fact that by the time I was 10 (or however old I was when I started picking out scary stuff to watch) I had already read a lot of creepy books. My father always had tons of books around. While he wasn’t into horror novels he did have things like Lovecraft, Wells, and Edgar Allan Poe. I read all of them, but the Poe stories stuck with me. So much so that some of the first horror movies I ever saw were the Roger Corman films based on Poe’s stories.

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Now most people think of Roger Corman in relation to schlock B-movies of the 50’s or the SyFy schlock of the 2000’s-the nows. There was this lovely time in the 60’s though where he produced and directed some really good schlock featuring Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Basil Rathbone, and many other notable actors of the time. I was drawn in by the stories, but I stayed for the acting. I’m sure you can understand why. If you haven’t seen them I highly recommend you give at least one of them a shot. Clearly Corman and Price worked well together as they went on to do 7 films based (sometimes VERY loosely)on the works of Poe. They aren’t scary, but they are creepy and fun.
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Crawl – Movie Review

lm4xH0YwFbVvTgdtau1thNK5S6JYou know how sometimes your friends suck? Oh wait, some of my friends might be reading this. In that case: you guys suck sometimes. Like when I want them to go see a stupid movie with me. I couldn’t interest a single person in the movie Crawl. We can get a whole group together to see The Meg, but not one person for Crawl? Maybe I love creature features too much. Maybe I’m just more into seeing crappy b-movies on the big screen than everyone else. Whatever it is I’m glad I finally got to see Crawl, but maybe my friends were right after all.

When it was released I didn’t even know that this movie was produced by Sam Raimi, and directed by Alexandre Aja. If you don’t know him that’s the guy who did The Hills Have Eyes remake, Piranha 3D, and High Tension. So maybe the first two on that list aren’t the greatest, but High Tension was genuinely good. The ending was a little wacky, but if you haven’t seen it you definitely should. Anyway, if I’d known all this when Crawl came out I’d have paid one of my friends to go with me. I don’t have a problem seeing a movie alone, but I like company for horror movies. 
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Horror Movies of 1999

I normally like to talk about 30 year old horror movies every October. This year is going to be different for two very good reasons. First: I’ve been doing the yearly old-nerd podcasts with Dave for several years now, and anything truly outstanding (or abysmal) can be discussed there. Second: there just aren’t any horror movies from 1989 that are worth talking about to me. There’s a lot of crap for sure, but I don’t want to spend 1000 words talking about terrible things. Most of them don’t even fall into the “so bad they’re good” category. The best thing about Pet Sematary was song The Ramones did for it. Well Fred Gwynne was great, but that’s about it. Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Halloween had some pretty bad sequels that year too, but I don’t really have anything besides that to say about them.

So this year I’ll be looking at the much more fun horror year of 1999. And while there are no Oscar winners in here, there are certainly several that are fun even if they aren’t great films. There aren’t even any that came out that year I hated. Maybe some that I’m indifferent to or never got around to seeing, but nothing that I just want to trash. It’s always tough for me to judge if horror movies are well known or not because I have so many friends that are into scary stuff too. To me most of these should be fairly well known, but if you haven’t seen any of these then please do so. Everything here has my spooky seal of approval.
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