First thoughts on Joaquin Phoenix in Joker

DC fans are still speculating about Joaquin Phoenix’s teaser trailer/makeup test, photos, and clips of the upcoming film Joker. The makeup test “trailer” that started it all shows Phoenix in a modest yellow coat, with a blank look on his face. As the camera zooms, we see light flash across his face. Almost like the flashes of a train or vehicles passing by. The flashes are of a dancing clown, and the face lines with his. They become more frequent to where the two faces are nearly one, and he smiles. It’s him. The Joker smiling at us. He seems to chuckle, and then the smile sinks into a bitter frown.

Source: IMDB
Ceasar Romero as the Joker in Batman (1966).

The combination of the song “Laughing” by The Guess Who, and the behind-the-scene clips give us a 1970’s vintage feeling. His costume is not the iconic purple, but more of a red. The first thing I thought of when I saw this new Joker was how it sort of reminded me of Caesar Romero as the Joker in the 1960’s Batman show and film with Adam West. However, the long and messy green hair reflected Heath Ledger’s Joker from The Dark Knight. Another similarity is that Ledger’s and Phoenix’s makeup seems to have a sort of “self applied” look.


Heath Ledger as the Joker in The Dark Knight (2008).

It’s obviously an origin story, but production has been tight about the finer details of the story. Many DC Comic fans wonder how much of Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke, which is the most mainstream “origin” story of the Joker.  It’s been stated a time or two in the comics that the Joker seems to reinvent himself every day, so I’m wondering will this film be a solid origin, or something he makes up? We also seem to catch production videos of the Joker spreading a little anarchy in the subways.

Joaquin Phoenix in Joker (2019). Source IMDB

The official clips really got my attention, and I’m willing to give Phoenix a chance as the Joker. He has been praised and awarded for being a very talented actor, which makes me curious to see what he can bring to the table. One thing that every reaction to this clip has expressed is that, because Pheonix is a “seasoned” actor, and seems to emerge himself in every role, people are not as “worried” about this Joker as they have been with previous actors. For example, when Ledger tackled the role, many questioned if he would even be a good choice since he was mostly known for being a teenage heartthrob. Now, it seems no one will be able to fill in his shoes.

According to IMDB, Joker is set to be release October 4, 2019.




Summer Thrift Shop Book Haul

Over the summer I found myself in various thrift stores more than I have in the past. I’ve tried to make it a goal to budget and try to save my money, and thrift shopping for things like furniture, dishes, lamps, and even work clothes has definitely saved me a pretty penny. However, I seem to still get in a bit of trouble if I go to the book section. In one store I found the Tolkien novels, and I found all the others in a local Goodwill. Here’s what I had purchased over the summer.



The 50th Anniversary Edition of The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien – It’s gold and in a fancy case. The cover of the book is also gold, with a green and red border of Elvish. It contains maps, a forward with original Tolkien drawings and notes, and artwork by Tolkien himself. I have to say that when I found this, I was pretty disappointed that someone would let this leave their possession. I’m glad they did though, because now I have it in mine. Around $5.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R Tolkien – It’s not too much of a surprise that right next to The Hobbit was the trilogy. Still a great find because they are in amazing condition, and even still have their dust jackets. I think I got the set for $12.

The Girl Who Played With Fire by Steig Larsson – I have the paperback of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and have been meaning to find the other two novels from the trilogy. I still need The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest. Around $2.

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman – I have been meaning to read this book since college and always forget to add it to my list. I remember seeing this book when I was in high school and wanting to read it. All the reviews I come across praise it’s brilliance. The goal is to read the book before the show is released later this year. Around $2.

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman – Another book I need to read before they release a tv show. I don’t see as much about this book as I do Good Omens or American Gods, but from the reviews I read, it’s definitely worth what I got it for. Around $3.

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman – Someone was apparently getting rid of their Neil Gaiman collection, and I just so happen to have been lucky enough to get it. I’m not complaining, but how could you let these go? Purchased around $3.

The Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice – The day I spotted this was the same day I found the Neil Gaiman novels. By the time I found this, I was pushing my budget for the day. They had a few Anne Rice novels I had never heard of. Since I was already pushing my limit, I decided to skip out on them and maybe find them another time. About $3.

Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice – I found it a book or two down the shelf and added it to my stack. About $3.

IT by Stephen King (not pictured above)– Unfortunately, I have never read a Stephen King book. Everyone in high school that I was friends with read at least ONE King book. I was too busy reading my classics. In college, I had plans on reading him, but never got to it. Now, I have the big bad book that everyone has been telling me to read, especially since the IT reboot has been out. I only got the paperback for .55 cents.

The Tolkien books were not purchased from Goodwill, but from a different thrift store in my area. I don’t know who has such great taste, but if they want to continue donating their collection so I can purchase them that would be great. I’m thinking about hitting up other thrift stores across town. Maybe I’ll come home with a lamp, maybe a crazy cup, maybe 15 more books. Who knows.

First Gym Experience

I’ve finally broken down and signed up for a membership to a local gym. I won’t lie, for the first month of my membership, I didn’t go. The thought of being there and seeing these immensely  muscular people intensely grunting as they lifted 1,000 lbs weights turned me off. Even the thought of just being on the treadmill and seeing others run like they were saving the Hobbits from Isengard was enough to give my anxiety the push it needed to make me not want to go.

An Awkward Start

I buckled down and told myself, “No one cares if you’re running on a treadmill or lifting a few weights, or practicing some yoga. That’s what that place if for.” With that, I forced myself into workout clothes after work and went. The first piece of equipment I touched was the treadmill: my comfort zone. For the first few minutes, I’m sure I looked like the stereotypical henchman in the background of a movie… You know, just pressing buttons that didn’t doing anything. Then the belt slowly began to move.

I went to the gym a few more times, mostly just running 1.5 miles on the treadmill and beaming at the high number of steps on my Fitbit Blaze. One night, a co-worker went with me and asked what I liked to do at the gym. My response was, “Um… Mostly run on the treadmill because that’s all I’ve done.” I had been told by someone else to just “read the instructions on the machines” if I wasn’t sure how to use it. However, I thought about how that would require me to be in the zone with some of those intense people I had mentioned earlier. My co-worker was gracious enough to show me how to operate some of the equipment, which gave me more confidence and motivation.

The Nerve 

This week, I went to the gym with a complete workout in mind. I was going to work up a sweat at the gym, then go home and feel like an accomplished adult. My first stop, the ever favorite treadmill, which was the easy part. I walked/ran my 1.5 miles and could “feel the burn”. To my dismay, there quite a few people lifting weights and working out. I took a deep breath, gripped my water bottle, and made my way into the lion’s den.

I was lifting weights, listening to music, and pushing myself. I am still a bit new to this, and didn’t want to end up on Facebook in one of those “gym fails” videos people send me. I was sure to read the instructions and do things slowly. I was even keeping track of my workout with my Fitbit and thought about how excited I would be when I looked at that night’s results on the app.

Patiently, I waited for this guy to finish on this ab machine I wanted to try out. He walked away, and even came back to wipe it down. As he walked away for the second time, I stopped to check my phone and my Fitbit. Sitting on the seat, I started to read the instructions, when something caught my eye. It was the guy who was just on it. I started to take my headphones off, when he put his finger up and mouthed the words, “Give me one more second.” I nervously got up and mouthed, “Sorry, sorry.” Then he got on and began to work out… Again. When I realized he wanted to do another set, I was a bit frustrated. I had waited for him to leave, he had even wiped the seat clean… Just to push me off? I shook it off and walked to the water fountain to refill my water bottle. When I turned around, another guy was on it.

I’m not sure what did it, but I had become a bit anxious about just standing and walking around looking at the diagrams on the sides. I knew I looked a bit lost, and even avoided eye contact with people walking by. At that point, I had decided it was okay if I went home. At least I DID something, at least I ran over a mile and actually DID something other than sit in my bed at home.

Not a Complete Waste

It’s been a day or two, and I’m still proud I went by myself. I’m proud that I have been mostly cooking at home this week, trying to fit in some sort of breakfast, and making healthier decisions. I’ve even noticed that these past couple of weeks I have reduced the amount of soda I drink, and increased my water intake. I’ve been doing research on workouts that may better suit me, and looking into even more healthier habits.

The point is, I now strangely have more confidence and motivation to go back to the gym. I’m hoping that when the temperature cools down a bit more, I can start riding my bike. Maybe someday I’ll even post a “beginning/results” picture. But for now, I know what to expect and I won’t be letting anyone run me off of the equipment.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets: A Very Late Movie Review

The newest Luc Besson film, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, is set several hundreds of years into the future, after mankind and many alien species have joined alliances to create Alpha in hopes of exchanging knowledge in the far reaches of space. Agents Valerian (Dane Dehaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevinge) are charged with discovering and putting a stop to a growing threat inside the center of the city, which involves traveling through to the actual center of the space city. The adventure involves saving, fighting, and joining forces with many of the inhabitants. In doing so, they not only save Alpha, but all the citizens and then some. valerian2.0

Luc Besson is the legendary film maker of The Fifth Element and Lucy. In the very beginning of this film, you can identify the same style that went into The Fifth Element that is also in this movie. Mostly in the alien designs. This film has turned out to be one of Europe’s most expensive movies ever made at a cost of 117-210 billion. Since the effects were suppose to be so magnificent, I went ahead and saw it in 3D. The effects definitely did not disappoint. The story line is a whole other can of worms though.

As I’ve stated before, you can definitely see similarities between Valerian and The Fifth Element in the way they are shot and the designs of the aliens and environments around them. When it came to characters, story, and everything else… Meh. Dane-DeHaan-Valerian-and-the-City-of-a-Thousand-Planets Valerian brags throughout the whole movie at how he is a good soldiers that gets the job done (top of his class and all that jazz). He isn’t wrong, but most of the time is saved by his partner, Laureline. However, between the two of them, in my mind, there wasn’t much character development or even chemestry. In interviews with Besson, he talked about how Valerian is absolutely in love with his partner, but I didn’t feel it.

When we first see them, they have a discussion about his playlist (aka the list of women he’s slept with), but he doesn’t make a real effort to convince her that she’s who he wants to be with. cara-delevingne-in-valerian-and-the-city-of-a-thousand-planetsWhich, I understand that by the end of the movie, he “deletes” the playlist, but it just felt a bit forced. When Valerian proposes to her, it’s a bit annoying… Mostly because he consistently talks about it throughout the remaining of the film. Like, dude… We got it. Laureline is smart and serious about her job… but that’s it. She’s serious at all times. Though she does save him plenty of times (both physically and morally), there’s just not much character development with her either. I can appreciate some of the sarcasm though.

vdf-24045Other than the effects, it did have good parts. John Goodman makes an appearance (voice-wise) as a black market dealer in a market place that only exist in another dimension. Rihanna plays Bubble, the shape-shifting, burlesque-dancing prostitute who’s being pimped out by Jolly (Ethan Hawke). John Clive plays Commander Arün Filitt, a military man who is obsessed with hiding his sins for the “good of humans” in Alpha. There’s a scene where Delevingne is kidnapped by aliens that results in a pretty humorous exchange between the queen and Laureline.


You can definitely tell that Luc Besson put a lot of heart into the designs and effects of Valerian, but it just seems like he was so focused on the visual part of it that he forgot to tweak the story and all that exists in that world. In interviews, he seems so excited that he finally got to make this movie, but it just a little short. Honestly, it’s not the most awful film I’ve ever seen (cough cough… Batman Forever), but it’s not one that I would watch in hopes that it will give me some sort of life changing epiphany.

review-valerian-and-the-city-of-a-thousand-planetsShould you watch Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets? Yeah, sure. I mean, it is one of Europe’s most expensive films to date. Should you expect to be wowed? The extremely expensive effects will definitely impress you, but just don’t expect to be blown away by the story. I will say that I now am a little interested in reading the French graphic novels this movie was based on in hopes of recovering what may have been lost from paper to screen.

Movie Review: Beauty and The Beast

Warning: I’m going to try and avoid too many spoilers, but there may be some.

This film follows the original very closely. You can hear many of your favorite lines (except the Baroque pun, which I was a little upset about) delivered slightly differently, and at times not in the same order or by the same characters. Which was to be expected because they are taking a master piece in attempts to give the audiences that grew up watching the film something fresh, and making it their own. Even some of the songs have different verses and choruses than what I was used to, but I enjoyed it because it kept me on my toes.

Emma-Watson-Belle-Dress-Beauty-Beast-2016-600x800One of the reasons I was so excited to see this movie was the fact that it was going to stay true to the style and time period of the original, which is set in late 18th century France. When you first see the Prince dancing in his ballroom the night that the Enchantress comes, the guests are in the Rococo/Marie Antoinette fashion. In fact, I was impressed that the makeup that the guests wore is very accurate to the makeup that the aristocrats would have worn during that time: big white powdered wigs, white powdered faces, red lips… It was a bit much, at first, but it is suppose to reflect the time period that this movie takes place.

Attitudes towards women were reflected as well. For example, in the scene where Belle is teaching a girl to read, many disapproving townspeople decide to put a stop to it. In the scene that follows, Gaston tells Belle that spinsters in the town eventually become beggars when their fathers die, but marrying him meant she would have financial security. BEAUTY AND THE BEASTBelle still refuses him. However, not everyone carried that negativity towards Belle (her father and the librarian). Not only did Emma Watson’s Belle like reading, she was inventive and headstrong. Belle knows what tools her father will need, before he knows it. When Gaston bombards her with marriage, she tells him no. When Beast demands that she join him for dinner, she says, “And I told you NO!” I’m not saying Page O’Hara’s version wasn’t brilliant, because she was. However, Watson’s was not sweet about it. She even blatantly tells Gaston she is not interested in ANY of the men in the town, and tells him he will not be joining her for dinner when he invites himself.

gallery-1478513336-belle-and-her-father-beauty-and-the-beastThe only critique I really have of this version of Belle is that I wish she had been more inventive. Maurice was more of an artist, who seemed to build trinkets for money. Which put a more romantic spin on him. I just wish she had done more than know what tools her father would need and built a washing machine.

Beast was more intelligent in this one. In the original, he just comes off as an angry, brooding character whose heart is warmed by Belle’s compassion. In the extended version, Belle finishes reading Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to him. She tells him she wants him to read it to her and he says he can read “a little” and that it had been “so long”. However, in the live-action version, when she mentions Romeo and Juliet, he scoffs. He says he had an “expensive” education (he was a Prince) and that there were better things to read. Later, in the library she asks if he had read all the books and he responds, “Not all of them. Some of them are in Greek.” To me, this makes more sense than Beast being uneducated.

beautyandthebeast_relevant_cMany characters from the original had bigger parts in this version. For example, Maurice and Belle have a much closer father-daughter relationship than in the cartoon. Plumette, the feather duster, is much more involved than just the couple of times she’s seen flirting with Lumiere. The townspeople are also more involved in the film than just singing choruses for Gaston. Overall: if you want to swim in nostalgia, and be enchanted while you do so, then I suggest you see this movie. Of course, nothing will ever replace the original 1992 film for me, but this kept me entertained with the familiar songs, some new numbers, new and old characters, and new attitudes.

Overall: if you want to swim in nostalgia, and be enchanted while you do so, then I suggest you see this movie. Of course, nothing will ever replace the original 1992 film for me, but this kept me entertained with the familiar songs, some new numbers, new and old characters, and new attitudes.

Beauty and the Beast

Women’s March on Oklahoma (Part I)

On the 21st of January, cities around the world held large protests after the inauguration of the new President of the United States. Oklahoma City was among them. According to the report on, roughly 12,000 people (men, women, and children) attended the march last Saturday in front of the Oklahoma State Capitol. Many expressed they marched for equal pay, better and affordable education, healthcare, equal wages, against violence, racism, and against POTUS. According to NBC News, an estimated 3 million people marched globally.

This is the first part of photos from the Women’s March on Oklahoma (OKC). I’ll be sure to post more soon.



Mourning the Starman

The first time I had ever heard of David Bowie was when I was in grade school. I had gotten the soundtrack to A Knight’s Tale, and the track was “Golden Years”. It was probably my favorite scene in the film at the time, and I played that CD to the point it was so scratched none of the songs would play. Around my freshman year, one of my friends made me sit and watch Labyrinth, which I instantly fell in love with. It wasn’t until I read Cheri Currie’s Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway that I had actually stopped and listened to his musicShe wrote beautifully about how Bowie inspired her in her youth and through her adult life that it had compelled me to look him up. Once I clicked on “Space Odyssey” and “Diamond Dogs” I was hooked for life.


Bowie as The Goblin King in Jim Henson’s Labyrinth

A year ago today, I was in mourning in my room, blasting songs such as “Starman” and “Space Odyssey”. The death of the Thin White Duke was quite the ominous start to that dreadful year. Yet, there is a silver lining. Many people had begun to share their favorite David Bowie songs and moments; how Ziggy had touched their lives. My friends and I would drive around blasting Bowie songs; singing and turning up our favorite parts. Neil Gaiman shared his enchanting short story The Return of the Thin White Duke on his Facebook feed. Amanda Palmer collaborated with other artists and covered many of his songs. Fine Brothers Entertainment posted  Elders Reacting to David Bowie, and you could see how their eyes light up seeing him. Bowie’s passing has brought people together to share how his music, art, and fashion  made impacts in their lives and in their own works.

Bowie's Thin White Duke persona, smoking a Gitanes cigarette, 1976.
Photo by Andrew Kent, 1967

There have always been traces of David Bowie have been in my life, other than the soundtrack of A Knight’s Tale. One of the first shirts I bought from Hot Topic (back in the day) said Rebel Rebel on it. One Halloween, I dressed in black slacks, a white button up, and a black vest.My hair was slicked back and sprayed with cheap orange and red hair spray, and I had painted the famous red and blue lightning strike across my face. That’s right, I was a combination of Bowie’s personas. The last paper I wrote in college was entitled The Rhetoric of David Bowie. I had taken the task of trying to explain him in a 5-6 page essay. It was one of those papers where I had too much to say and not enough pages to say it in. I think one of the first songs that I played over and over again was “Lady Grinning Soul”. That was also the song that one of my friends said made her really stop and listen to him.

David Bowie was this artistic force that couldn’t be stopped. He was strange, odd, and beautiful all at once. To me, listening to Bowie is always like a spiritual experience, his music moves through you and stays with you forever. Even after his death, he echoes. Even in his last days, he was an artist. What I have taken from him is that we should always do what we love, and that it’s beautiful to be strange.

Photograph by Jimmy King, 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Review

I finally got a chance to go see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I decided to see it after the mass crowds had swarmed the theaters. Now, I’m going to refrain from putting in too many spoilers in this review, but I think most people have seen the film by now.

jynJyn Erso is a prisoner of the Empire. She is the daughter of Galen Erso, who just so happens to be the scientist behind the creation of the Death Star’s planet-destroying power. Years after her father is taken by the Empire, Jyn joins forces with Cassian Andor and K-2SO, a Rebel spy and a reprogrammed Imperial droid. Along the way, they befriend with Imwe and Malbus; a blind martial artist and his gun-wielding companion, who join them in the rogue mission to obtain the information from the Imperial base of Eadu.


The first thing I noticed about this film is it did not open with the traditional credits intro we normally get. I was expecting it, but later it made more sense not to put it since this is a side story, and not the main plot. We already know what has happened in Episodes I-III, and we know about the events that happen in Episodes IV-VI. This film nestles right in between Revenge of The Sith and A New Hope. In fact, this story actually ends just moments before Princess Leia is captured by Darth Vader. I loved how this gave us more insight into the conflict between the Empire and the Rebellion. When the Rebellion was able to destroy the Death Star, it was a major turning point in the war between the two.


Some fans have complained that Star Wars is about the Skywalkers. This is true, and I do not argue with that. However, how I can justify this story is that the Empire, the Sith, the Rebellion, and the Jedi are all key to the story of the Skywalker lineage. This story just simply expands on those key elements of the larger story. Plus, this film does actually feature two Skywalkers. Even if it is only for a brief time.


Which brings me to another aspect of the film that really helped me connect with it. It helped fill that nearly two decade gap that we get between Episode III and IV. We see the ruined city of Jedha, which was where the Jedi once resided rehost2f20162f122f202f6929688d-1a69-4671-8f33-5b02af51d4fe1before their downfall. The film, in my opinion, did capture the feel of Episode IV. They mention Obi Wan and the fact that he has been “in hiding” for several years.
The other way how it really helps the audience connect with the other Star Wars films is it brings back familiar faces such as Grand Moff Tarkin, Darth Vader, and a brief look at young Princess Leia. We also get the Rebel and Imperial fighter ships, the Deathstar, and both fleets. If you watch, you’ll catch that they actually recycle footage from Episodes IV-VI, which was pretty clever way to connect the two films to tie it into the others of the franchise.

Overall, the film was as I expected it to be. It not only gave you insight into the Star Wars universe, but I feel it was the film we needed for the end of 2016. It introduced new characters, and even revived the more familiar faces that we grew up watching. Rogue One was definitely worth the wait.

“I am one with the Force, and the Force is with me.” 

c82c1bbfb0cfdb1c12bb8dd381090786f06dc67d1Unfortunately, it was announced that Carrie Fisher died due to a heart attack she had on a plane a few days ago. I actually had ordered my tickets minutes before I read the news on Tuesday, and was deeply saddened. Not only was she Leia Organa, but she was a witty comedian and a beautiful writer. Recently she published The Princess Diarist where she revealed after 30 years that she did in fact have an affair with Harrison Ford on the set of the original Star Wars film. But being Leia isn’t the only way I will remember Carrie. I will remember the way she addressed people criticizing her for aging and returning to the screen as the beloved character. I will remember how funny she was in her interviews, and how she seemed to be at peace with who she was. One quote of hers that I found that really stuck out to me was:

“There is no point at which you can say, ‘Well, I’m successful now. I might as well take a nap.’ “

Hopefully for 2017, I will read and review her new memoir and be sure to write a review on it. It saddens me that it took me this long to realize that she was a writer.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Dir. Gareth Edwards. Cast: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Wen Jiang, Mads Mikkelsen. Images from Google Images. 

When I met Rufio in 2014

Alright, so tonight I am writing about an experience I had on Novemeber 1, 2014.

On Halloween night, I had been out to a house party in Oklahoma City with a friend of mine. Unfortunately, I hadn’t had any time or money for the costume that I wanted (a doll). At the time, I was on the only transporting team for a hospital, and we ended up being out until 10 pm (my friend lived over an hour away and I had to run home to get dressed and ready for the drive). I was just having a genuinely upsetting Halloween. I had decided to settle on just wearing a black dress. I didn’t necessarily look witchy, so I couldn’t claim a witch… I didn’t have a chance to put any sort of makeup on. So, I was just myself… but in heels and a black dress.

At the party, I had over heard someone mention they had been to the anime convention in Bricktown earlier that day. It’s called Izumicon. I had been a few years ago with my sister and her friends, and had even convinced a couple of my friends to go with me another year. That first year I went, I met Rikki Simons (voice of Gir from Invader Zim), a few years later, my friend Christine and I met Vic Mignogna (voice of Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist), and many others. However, this year, when I looked at the guests line up, the first one that I noticed was Dante Basco.

Dante Basco was the voice of Zuko in The Last Airbender series and Jake Long in Disney Channel’s American Dragon series. However, where I knew him from was from his role as Rufio in Hook (1991).

When I was a kid, I had that movie on VHS (old school, yo), and I wore it out. I played it several times a day. I could quote the movie from start to finish. I even had a huge pink bunny that normally ended up with his ears tied together and I pretended that was Rufio (yes, a huge pink bunny) while I jumped on the bed and off dressers to pretend I was flying while he and Peter Pan fought Hook. That movie was a huge part of my childhood. So, needless to say, when I saw he was on the guest lineup I knew what I would be doing with my November 1st.

I woke up the next day on my friend’s couch. I cleaned myself up as best as possible in her bathroom, gathered my things, and locked her door. I was already running a little late – because I wanted to be there early for the line. I knew there would be a line.

Parking in Bricktown was maddening. I ended up parking several blocks away and I put enough change in the parking meter to be there for at least 4 hours. When I finally made it to the doors, I was greeted with the familiar site of people in cosplay. I bought my ticket from a girl dressed in a cute white Lolita dress and blonde curls, and went to the restroom to make sure I looked alright. I still felt like I was a hot mess from the night before, but I worked with what I had.

When I got back down to the the doors, a small line had formed. I was the 9th person in line and I was 45 minutes from seeing one of my childhood heroes. Not too shabby. As I sat in the line, I had wished I had a copy of Hook for him to sign, but I figured they’d have something in there. If all else failed, I had my Izumicon pamphlet. While waiting, I was invited to play my first ever game of Cards Against Humanity. When I’m alone, I’m pretty shy about interacting with other people… but this game sounded so fun I couldn’t resist. Now I have my own deck.

Anyways, our game ended and they opened the doors. As I walked through, I kept thinking Man, just keep cool. You’re shy, but how many times do you get to meet Dante Basco? HOW MANY TIMES DO YOU GET TO MEET RUFIO? They started to divide the line as we approached the tables – I stepped to the side and realized that most of the people in front were going to see both guests at the panel… I ended up being the second person in line to meet him.

I watched as he walked in front of the crowd with his phone – taking a video. I couldn’t believe it. I hardly paid attention to the girl in front of me while she got a poster signed and a picture taken. Mostly, I was thinking, When you walk up there, don’t fall on your face because this is exactly one of those moments where you would probably find a way to do that.

Then, my turn.

I walked up while he sat at the table, and shook his hand. I was so nervous, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to talk. He asked my name, and I told him. I purchased a Rufio poster for him to sign. As he signed, I blurted out, “You got me into a lot of trouble as a kid.” He laughed asking how and I told him about being a kid and playing the tape hundreds of times, about jumping on beds and furniture playing and pretending to be fighting along side him and Peter Pan. He was extremely polite and kind. He asked what I did, I told him that I am a writer. I know I wasn’t there for a while, but we talked about writing. I hadn’t realized that he wrote poetry. I even talked about how the whole story of Peter Pan inspired the setting for a story I wrote and placed 3rd in a statewide contest in high school – and that was the beginning of me realizing I loved telling stories. I told him I had been published twice, and had just finished college.

I even worked up some courage and asked for a picture with him. When you’re a kid and you know a person on television is older than you, you normally see that person as being taller… because everyone else is taller than you. When he stood, we was only a few inches taller than me. It made the kid in me realize how much I had actually grown up (even though that same kid was also trying to keep its composer because I was standing next to Rufio). Somehow, I had even discussed how the story of Peter Pan also influenced my decision to adopt when I am ready to start a family.


When he stood he told me he liked my necklace, and in the picture my face is still red from blushing. I shook his hand again, he told me to “keep lookin’ out for those Lost Kids” and smiled.

When I got out, I called my mom and dad. The visit to Izumicon was a spontaneous thing, so when I told them both that I had met Dante Basco, they thought I was joking and talking about someone in costume. My Halloween may have been disappointing, but the next day made up for it.

I still have the Rufio poster he signed for me, I framed it immediately so that it wouldn’t get damaged on the ride home. A full year later, I still tell people I met him and share the experience. I checked into some of his Youtube videos and read some of his poetry. Despite being an English major, I rarely got into poetry (I sure as hell can’t write any), but I definitely am a fan of his.

I wasn’t just meeting a celebrity, I met a fellow writer. It kind of gave me inspiration and motivation to keep on writing. At the time that I met him, I was feeling a little depressed because I wasn’t happy at my job and I hadn’t had a thing to write about since I graduated college in May. It was just a cherry on top of the whole experience to learn he loves writing too. Most people I do meet hate writing and don’t read much at all.

So, anyways. If I could meet him again, I would tell him thank you for the motivation to keep my chin up. It was a highlight in 2014 for me.

Here is the video from Dante Basco’s Youtube Channel.

Halloween Playlist

Even though I’m sure everyone and their dog has created a Halloween Playlist by now (I’m assuming), I am going to post a list of songs that I really like that I’m currently enjoying to get me in the mood for Halloween. By the way, I plan on being Han Solo. I feel like that is pretty fitting for this year since the new Star Wars movie comes out in December. Though I always have a backup idea in case at the last minute I can’t pull it off… and this year… costume number two is Tina Belcher from Bob’s Burgers. I think I could totally pull her off.

Anyways, are some songs from my playlist for Halloween. It’s made up of some classics, and maybe future classics.

“I Put a Spell on You” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

“Season of the Witch” by Donovan

“Ghost N Stuff” by deadmau5 feat. Rob Swire

“Howl” by Florence and the Machine

“Into the Woods/The Witch” by Danny Elfman

“The Wolf” by Fever Ray

“Spellbound” by Siouxsie and The Banshees

“Celestial Crown” by The Sword

“I Want To Tear You Apart” by She Wants Revenge

“Feral Love” by Chelsea Wolfe