san diego

conventions! – D23 & SDCC 2017

D23 and Comic Con were back to back weekends. Why would I subject myself to such a strenuous schedule? I wouldn’t have it any other way, feeding the inner nerd two weekends in a row was definitely tasking on the body but it was so much fun.

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san diego comic con 2016 (photo heavy)

The 2016 San Diego Comic Con International (SDCC) has come and gone. This year is the first time that SDCC is implementing the RFID badges, where you have to scan in and out. It worked very well.
This year I focused on people rather than seeing and buying things. It was great to run into people, really reminded me of how SDCC used to be.

Didn’t spend the bulk of my time hanging out with my usual friends, but I got to meet up with other friends, which is always great.

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san diego comic con 2015 (photo heavy)

Another comic con has come and gone in beautiful San Diego. This year wasn’t the same, I wasn’t able to walk the floor with my usual buddies. I also didn’t spend hours upon hours waiting in line to get a ticket to wait in another line. The only full day I spent at the convention center was Sunday, and that was bargain hunting day, which worked out pretty well this year.

I went to the premiere of Justice League Gods and Monsters, and the Warner Bros. Television and DC Entertainment Screening TV Panel.

This year I made it a point to meet up with people, comic con used to be a time where I’d run into friends that I hadn’t seen in a while, or would only see at comic con, now it’s a mad house. I know other friends were there that I didn’t get to see, sorry I wasn’t able to hang out for a bit but there was too much foot traffic.

Thank goodness there wasn’t an exclusive figure at the Hasbro Toy Shop that I had to get this year.

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comic con 2014 part 3 – friends (photo heavy)

I remember going to comic con to find stuff that I couldn’t get, whether that be comics or old toys, but then with the internet and ebay, everything became more accessible, and if I didn’t get it at the con I would get it on ebay. But I still made the effort to buy one comic at every comic con, because it’s called “comic” con.

Then I started to attend panels, screenings, and meet and greets with autographs, long gone are the days when you could walk in to a room and take a seat. I did this to find a place to sit down in peace, away from the security guards telling me I was blocking a fire exit. Now you have to camp out or spend a whole day waiting in line to catch a barely visible celebrity.

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comic con 2014 part 1 – the breakdown (photo heavy)

The last weekend in July has come and gone, and with it another comic con. It seems that comic con time is spent less and less in the actual convention center and more and more eating at a restaurants.

$12 parking is the best deal, if you can find it… we did.

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san diego comic con 2014

San Diego Comic Con International is here! This week! One day away! … soon.

You can get your tickets here. Actually, no you can’t, cause it’s all sold out, Thursday badges, Friday badges, Saturday badges, Sunday badges, it’s all gone.

Growing up in San Diego Comic Con was just something we all did in the summer. We bought our badges at the door, walked the floor, saw people and friends in passing and that was our once a year interaction, and more importantly… we could walk in to panels. Boy oh boy have things changed.

For me the “con” is now about hanging out with friends, going out to eat, and reminiscing of how things used to be with days gone by.


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sweet pickles (who remembers this?) bus, next stop… memory lane

Who was a child of the eighties and remembers this?

Thanks to Kim for tracking this down, I had the notion of it percolating in my mind but I remembered it being yellow and not green.  I noticed that in my dreams the colors of purple, green and yellow seem to always be coupled together as well as being interchangeable.
Anyway, this pre-school kit was one of my earliest memories, we’re in our old apartment in Imperial Beach and I’m sitting in the living room on the brown shag rug.  The old blacked striped brown couches behind us and I had that school bus with it’s contents strewn about, right next to me is my mom helping me or teaching me.  Not sure how of where I would’ve seen the commercial for this, because I wasn’t aware of Nickelodeon yet, and I don’t think we had cable in the apartment.
At this point in my life I was probably about two or three, so her English probably wasn’t that good (I think) so I don’t remember what games or activities were written on those cards, or if we even executed their intent properly, but what I do know and remember was/is that my mom wanted the best for me, which is probably why she got the Sweet Pickles School Bus.  I’m also remembering that I played with it as a bus more than an activity source, because the plastic slides nicely on that carpet.
It’d be years later, when we moved between Skyline and the Bay Terraces before the nineties hit with their gangs and their drugs and their baggy pantaloons.  But I remember finding that school bus again after we had unpacked from the move, what was maybe two years felt like ten, and the bus was very well preserved.  My mom had taken care of it for me, she knows how to handle things and keep them intact.  She may not be able to immediately recall where they are today, but wherever they are they will be intact and in good condition.
I think it’s excellent!

weekendings update + the big bang theory


A lot’s been going on, fighting some allergies, and too weak to type.  So I will post in picture form.

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plaza bonita – my mall

Come along, pack a bag and take a trip through memory lane, or at least, my memory lane.

I was thinking about Plaza Bonita the other day, boy has that mall changed, and how much time I have spent there. Then I found this entry. Never knew that this mall opened the same year I was born, serendipitous how some coincidences just… are.

Plaza Bonita will be where I remember Christmas, as Christmas was portrayed in movies, and more specifically in the classic A Christmas Story. I remember my parents taking me there one year during the Christmas season and that’s where I saw the place decorated, there was even a Christmas train set running in one of the store windows, might’ve been Kay Bee’s, long gone are the Kay Bee Toy Stores. That memory of me holding my dad’s hand as I watch that train run circles in the little snowed out model village has always remained with me. I don’t remember asking my parents to buy me anything, I just remember being there and it being like how it’s supposed to, how it is on TV and in the movies. Very few moments in real life have ever “felt” the way they were “supposed” to.

Could this feeling or rightness sensation be due to the fact that I was young, impressionable, and conditioned to feel this way? No, because every year I go to San Diego during Christmas time and I end up at Plaza Bonita, it’s never been the same. Now there’s an actual train that kids can ride around in the mall, that’s nice, but it’s not a train set that’s run independent from a conductor or an engineer, or imaginary if non-existent passengers.

So back to the mall itself, the wiki entry is pretty accurate. The mall had an autumn feel to it, I always associated it with browns and earthy colors, but it was never something that I would point out or discuss. As previously mentioned Kay Bee is no longer there, let alone anywhere, following in their example are; Miller’s Outpost/Anchor Blue, Robinson’s May, B Dalton, Walden Books, Rising Sun, Comics N Stuff, Montgomery Ward, Mann Theatres… and then Borders more recently. I’m sure there are other stores that I’m leaving out, but these are the ones that come to mind immediately. We also bought our piano at the mall and had lessons there once a week in the evenings, which we wasted away because my brother and I spent our time at the Nintendo cart, where they had a bunch of consoles set up with different games, not sure if anyone else remembers that cart on the ground floor. I wasted my parents’ time not taking those piano lessons there seriously, instead focusing on video games, but in my defense, the lessons were free and short.

Another fond memory I have of Plaza Bonita that is not there any more was this particular ice cream stand in the food court, which I was not aware of till later on in life, going to the mall was just a foreign concept to me. This ice cream stand introduced me to floats, I found the child-equivalent to heroine, and I would always get a float everytime we went there. The float was called “the Superman,” it had sherbet blue, red and yellow ice cream with Sprite, I loved it and I haven’t had it, nor found it, since then. One particular Sunday that we were at the mall after I had consumed that Superman float, we went to the Tilt arcade, my brother Ellison and I played Golden Axe. As kids we only had so much money, my dad found us and started feeding the machine when we died in the game. That was the last time that he ever did that, from then on he pushed for the home game systems, cause they saved money. Which was true, but it also could be generational, the novelty and attraction of an arcade machine was not something that clicked with him, but I’m forever grateful for that one time gesture, so much so that I still remember it twenty plus years later.

Moving on from child hood memories of Plaza Bonita, I also spent time there as a teenager in high school. Building up to this point, there was a lot of dark clouds that hung over the mall. Plaza Bonita was where the trouble makers and the gang bangers hung out. It was where you went to be shot, someone did get shot there, and you would go there to be around trouble. So naturally that’s where we went after school, a bunch of kids walking in a group just there to kill time. It was the default hang out of choice.

The mall has changed a lot from my first memories of it. Westfield bought it out and expanded to include; AMC Theaters, H&M, Target, Outback. There’s never been a lack of people who frequent the mall at all, if anything I don’t go to Plaza Bonita as much because of the people, how hard it is to find parking and just walking/wading through crowds. But it’s like family, it’s a part of me and I can hate on it as much as I want, but I’ll still go there when I can. I’m glad the mall is still there and not closed down or turned in to something else.