a99kitten’s Musings

I blog about a WHOLE LOT of stuff :)

OK, on this Sunday morning the con is not officially over but basically over for me. I’ve been in my hotel room in bed sick since Saturday AM. I don’t think I’ve been sick in like..3 years so naturally I get it while at Comic Con. NOOOOOOOOO!! Seriously sick, like it hurt to get out of bed to get water sick.

BUT…my trip/Con from Tuesday – Friday was AMAZING! And really I mean Friday was AMAZING! Sat in line from noon Thursday till about 10pm to get wristbands for Friday’s Hall H. My con partner, Sonya, and I were in line Thursday for The Last Ship panel around 11:15am. And we looked at each other at the same time and said “I think we should get in line now for Hall H.” We had planned on getting in line right after The Last Ship panel but we both had this feeling. So we got out of line and went down there. The line seemed to be about 500-750 people. Now more people would joining all of those people but we felt secure in not being 6500 people before us.

Sat in the sun all day long and waited. Made new friends in line :) Around 7pm, the line got quite hectic (and the twitter drama following it all!) as there were line cutters and security had to be called and, once again, SDCC was unprepared to handle these issues. So we were starting to get stressed that we wouldn’t actually make it in. But we did – got B wristbands and we were allowed to leave the line and sleep in our rooms and shower (I *really* wish everyone would take advantage of that…)

Got back in line at 6am and waited some more. Got to see some line cutters get removed from the line – that was fun! We all yelled SHAME at them as they were escorted past us. LoL.

Anyway – got in and saw everything I love: The Walking Dead panel (OMG trailer for season 6 is INTENSE!) and Game of Thrones panel (quite obvious they went out of their way to avoid the Is Jon Really Dead question.) Plus a panel for Fear the Walking Dead which looks GREAT! The Entertainment Weekly panel after GoT was full of hero hotties who were hysterical!!! :) And then STAR WARS!

Obviously happy to see everyone but let’s be real – I was out of my mind to see Harrison Ford! :) SQUEEEEEEEEE!!!! I had just seen the rest of the cast at Star Wars Celebration in April but no Mr Ford (who was still recovering from his plane crash.) The place was bonkers when he came out. Bonkers.

And THEN after the panel we got treated to a special Hall H attendee only Star Wars concert with fireworks! We all walked from Hall H to the San Diego Symphony music center down on the water. Mark Hamill drove by us and was talking to fans and waving. Daisy Ridley did the same and was high-fiving as they drove by.

We got light sabers and the music was played to footage (the previous 6 movies, not new footage) and the fireworks display was FANTASTIC. And everyone there loves Star Wars and the energy was just awesome.

My throat had been dry all day but I assumed it was just because I was so exhausted. But when I woke up Saturday AM to try and get ready for the day – I could barely move. Getting out of bed for water hurt. And my throat was on fire. So I’d like to thank whoever came to SDCC fully infected with sickness. I hope you still feel sick for weeks.

As sad as it made me to not get out there on Saturday, I knew I a) felt too horrible and b) didn’t want to be that person who was germy everywhere. I missed out on a lot but 99% of my excitement for this year’s con was for Star Wars. So I got my fill and more. Best Con Day Ever – Friday 7/10/15.

You can see the panel here:

You can see the Behind the Scene footage here:

And then ME in a video down by Verizon (for Facebook). In the same vide as Harrison Ford – ARGH!!!! (I’m about 35 seconds in waving with my Chewie backpack on :) :) :) ) This was Thursday night while we were in line for wristbands to Hall H…for Friday…

Check out what #StarWars brought to #SDCC2015. We’re excited for December 18th!

Posted by Verizon Wireless on Saturday, July 11, 2015

I took a bazillion pics but these are a few of my favorites:

The Legacy trio!

The Legacy trio!

I love you. I know. :)

I love you. I know. :)

Star Wars panel 3

Star Wars panel 4

Interesting article regarding a new book coming (a whole book?!?) out about the beanie baby craze. Pretty interesting. Basically the book is saying the beanie craze was manufactured by some crazy women it seems….I wonder if the book has pics of them. I know how I mentally picture them. But I would add that it really helped propel eBay as well.

http://nypost.com/2015/02/22/how-the-beanie-baby-craze-was-concocted-then-crashed/

And yes…I have some. Big surprise. I can remember hitting up Hallmark stores or small gift shops in search of new cute ones or rare ones. And constantly searching eBay. This is also when I first learned, from an Australian friend who saw TONS of fake beanies being sold on the streets in China, how they were made at a factory (in China) and some of the “rejects” that did not pass QC were then “thrown out” which actually meant employees took them and sold them on eBay as variants and rare for big $$$$. I learned how to look for the errors in the TY tags (the Chinese always seem to mess up the English in everything they steal/copy.)

This is what instilled in me *Caveat Emptor* of ANYTHING bought on eBay (or from China.) But there are people who pay $25 for a Prada purse from a street vendor who actually think they just got a good deal on a designer bag. I am assuming these are also the people who respond to the Nigerian Prince…

I can remember going to McDonald’s to get happy meals for the teenie beanies. I’d go to the one at Stanford Shipping Center in Palo Alto – do NOT get in the way of wealthy soccer moms attempting to get toys for their screaming kids!! And do recall people ordering the Happy Meals and telling the cashiers to keep the food (ummm…give me those fries!) It was definitely nutz.

My beanies are currently all (EXCEPT the 2 husky beanies which are on my bedroom dresser) stored away in 2 containers in my garage. But I can honestly say I never paid more than $50 and that was just for 1 on eBay – the Princess Diana bear. When I moved a couple years back, I considered donating them but I just couldn’t make myself give them up. They are too cute.

So when I start to worry I collect too much Star Wars stuff, or Funko POPs, or anything else…I can re-read this :) I might actually get this book. Cannot argue the guy was a genius. And he owns the Four Season in NYC?!?!? From crazed women (mostly I am sure) buying stuffed toys. That is fantabulous.

Just watched tonight’s episode of Big Bang Theory. Wow. You caught me off guard guys. I’m still sniffling.

I hate to admit that I had kind of forgotten that the actress died. And when Howard mentioned his Mom, I thought to myself right then “oh, that’s how they will deal with it. Have her away, etc. She didn’t appear on the show so maybe even find another voice.” Yes. I thought it during tonight’s episode. It’s Hollywood. They do that.

Then Mrs. Wolowitz died. And I got instantly sad. The actors did a great job of being very sad and remaining in character.

When Sheldon said “When I lost my own father, I didn’t have any friends to help me through it. You do.”, it made me cry and smile at the same time. When my brother died, my friends are the ones who got me through it.

Them. And Big Bang Theory. I watched repeats every single night for several months. It was the only thing I could watch without getting sad. The only thing besides my huskies that could make me smile at all.

That was a great episode tonight.

Now I need to go get all this dust out of my eyes.

RIP Carol Ann Susi AKA Mrs. Wolowitz #fuckcancer

So….”feminists” and the media bloated in political correctness flamed Marvel all over the internet with this VARIANT cover drawn by an artist for this Spider-Woman comic:

EVIL AND BAD!

EVIL AND BAD!

But J Lo just tweeted out this tonight:

PRO WOMEN!

PRO WOMEN!

Ummm?

#stupid and #ridiculous

Finally hung my new Mike Kungl piece today!! I bought this at his show at the Chuck Jones Gallery in San Diego during SDCC. Going in, I told myself I had no wall space so you are just going to meet Mike, say hi to everyone and leave. Yeah…so…#fail

He did a Marvin piece. I love Marvin (also my very first tattoo!) Plus I am huge fan of the color combo of purples and greens. *please see my love of Maleficent. It is a 1 of a kind. He did a few of these but each in a different color scheme. So this purple and green one = all mine :) #mineminemineminemine #saidlikekDaffy

Kungl Marvin

I also got to meet Mike in person. We spoke a couple times on the phone while he was doing my commissioned piece but I missed him at the last SDCC. And I got to meet his wife. Both were so kind and it was great to hear how they loved doing the husky piece (both are big dog lovers which is also great!) It will always be very, very special to me and I’m glad others feel that way too.

Kungl show

Kungl show 2

And seeing everyone at the gallery again was fun! The staff there was excited about the husky piece. Was a fun night for sure and I look forward to the next one!

This makes 3 Kungl pieces I have: the Leia artist proof, Marvin and my Chewie/Angelus/Storm original commission. This is becoming an expensive habit! I am still coveting a TinkTini original…but again #nowallspaceleft http://www.mkungl.com/2/d.php?contentID=195

I finally watched the last 2 episodes of S4 of Game of Thrones last weekend. As usual with GoT, the 2nd to last ep of the season was WAY crazier. Like…amazing crazy. Jon Snow and Ghost continue to be my favorites of all time.

But since this finale was rounding out Book 3, I was hoping to see some things that we did not get :/ And I was very bummed about this. I really felt the story they left was a key one – Catelyn??? KEY. (we’ll ignore the Arya and Hound changes right now.) And would certainly create quite the stir. And I’m left thinking that the storyline is actually not at all important for the books, so all of the future possibilities I imagined with it are non-existent, since I imagine GRRM would have insisted it be kept in if it played a large part going forward. Very Big Bummer. Although I still hope it does. But I must say, I was looking so forward to that :(

Then today I read, for the 2nd time this week and from different sources, the “spoiler” about upcoming story lines. None of it was a surprise and makes perfect sense and I assumed half of it already. BUT…in 1 of the news stories, it said how the upcoming season 5 (which should be following the story lines of Book 4) would have important details from Book 5. Huh?

So now I’m starting to think we will fast forward Book 4, which is actually pretty much fine since it was my least favorite, and head to Book 5? And since we already got things not in the books so far (hints for Book 6?), will the show veer more off the books?

All I know is the end of Book 5 made me want to throw my Kindle across the room. So I really wish GRRM would finish Book 6! And is he delaying on purpose for the show? And if the long unkept secret spoiler of Jon Snow is true (the days before the internet were kind sorta better in a way), I think we need a LOT more story and fast!

Heading to SDCC this week (SQUEEEE!) and will be trying to get into Hall H for the GoT panel. And by trying to get in I mean waiting in line for a wristband on Thursday night and hoping to get a spot in a line on a lawn (if you are on the concrete, you could be in trouble) so we can eat pretzels and energy bars for hours on end and then run but not run for seats…but then once you are in – YOU ARE IN!

HBO is having a pop-up store dedicated to GoT and there is an interactive Survive the Realm at the Omni Hotel. Will definitely try and check out both of those as well. Oh! And don’t forget getting the flocked Ghost Funko POP!! I need 2 of those :) Ned Stark will also be at SDCC…in the form of Sean Bean for a different show starting in August. I just might need to check that panel out as well. I’m still bitter about Ned…

But they never, ever give away spoilers at their panels so not expecting much in that area. Although I am imagining that the In Memoriam they do every year, and which had people almost crying (and not just me!) last year for Robb and Greywind, will cause a break out in applause and cheers for Joffrey. Muahuahuahua!

Plus Jon Snow will be there :) Now if they could just bring Ghost!!!!

OK, I was a bad girl. BUT, in my defense, it’s a super rare collectible that I’ve been wanting for a long time found in near pristine condition….PLUS it’s almost May the Fourth Be With You – my 2nd favorite holiday! :)

Thursday afternoon a friend sent me a link to an auction by an individual collector of Star Wars posters. He had every one – every single one from every movie, every version, every re-release. And they were all in excellent condition. Some of the older posters are hard to find in great condition. It was common practice to fold posters so most have been. Or just damaged through the years.

I scrolled through all of the posters and there was 3 or 4 that I would have loved to bid on but there was 2 that I wanted a LOT. One of them had JUST ended and went for a lot of $$$ but the other had 8 minutes left!

It was being held at a private online auction house. I placed several bids on it using my friends ID (I didn’t have time to try and register) but it was real auction style – so after my last second bid it extended the auction instead of being able to snipe like on eBay. #dammit

I was in a bidding war with another guy and he clearly wanted it. Once we ran up the price 33% over where I started, I did a quick internet check and lo and behold I found another in the same great condition. There were others that were folded or had damage and they were still going for a decent amount due to the rarity of this poster. I have found folded ones every so often but I do not allow any folded posters in my collection. So while I watched the seconds tick down on this private auction debating whether to place another bid (and wonder about my sanity), I submitted an offer on the other I found. I was texting my friend who said let the private auction one go – he collects old movie posters and said this was a reputable shop (where I found the other.) And it was less than the auction house one! I sure hope that seller appreciates me running up the price for him #doh

Some Poster Info I gleaned from various Star Wars and rare poster sites (some of it I knew and some I didn’t!):

One of the very rarest original Star Wars movie posters obtainable. A year after its original May, 1977 release, Star Wars was still playing in many theaters across the U.S. To celebrate this milestone, certain of these theaters were presented with this very special anniversary one sheet. Though technically designated “Style E”, it is known by collectors as the “Happy Birthday” poster. It was photographed by Weldon Anderson and designed by Tony Seiniger using 11 of the 12 original Kenner action figures.

The print run of this poster is believed to have been fewer than 1,500 sheets (according to long time Star Wars poster experts it is rumored that there were only 250-500 printed, although no one can absolutely positively confirm this) making this poster one of the rarest and most sought after items for Star Wars collectors. And actually, according to www.starwarsmovieposter.com “print run was originally 400, but only ended up with 250-280 usable copies. Lastly, most of the copies were not distributed to the theatres. Most went to the employees at Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox. That is why most copies of the posters are still found in rolled condition. (Thanks for the awesome information – Source – Ron Kalter – Gore Graphics employee ’77 – ’82).”

This is a genuine 27″ x 41″ U.S. one sheet issued by the studio when the film was released and meant for theatrical display. Not a reproduction. The reproductions made of this poster were 27″ x 39.5″ and on different paper with different border measurements and different font style on the poster line of “Star Wars Happy Birthday One Sheet”. Allegedly made by the Thai Fan Club…..#nocomment

Rolled, never folded. No pin holes. This one was never used!

Star Wars Happy Birthday One Sheet

Star Wars Happy Birthday One Sheet

The poster shows 11 out of 12 original Kenner action figures. For unknown reasons, the Jawa action figure was omitted. Utinni!!!

My favorite purchases are the ones I do on gut with no hemming and hawing and I find I am always very happy with them. It shipped Friday! Of course the framing will be another small fortune….but it will be a fantastic and well loved addition to my collection. Finding and collecting the old, rare stuff is so satisfying :)

I just watched the last episode of Veronica Mars. Yes…I realize I’m a bit late to that party.

I admit that I never watched when it was first on. And I also admit that when the panel for the new movie coming out was scheduled for Hall H at SDCC, I was pretty annoyed. How could they put that in pre-Walking Dead and Game of Thrones?!?!?! But we had to sit through it so whatever. The cast came out and the place went crazy. Ho-hum. But after listening to the cast, their interactions and watching some brief footage, I was intrigued.

I have watched many shows and movies that I was not previously interested in after attending the panels at SDCC. And it is always because of how the cast interacts. If they are fun and engaged, it makes a HUGE difference.

So I looked for the show on Netflix – no luck. It’s on Amazon but is not part of Prime you you have to pay to watch. It was on Hulu but I already pay for NFLX and AMZN Prime so was not signing up for Hulu. Then I found it on SoapNet (via DTV) – yay! And they were JUST starting Season 1 on Saturdays (they run it a few times a week but the episode sequences are all different.) The downside was that I got 3 episodes a week. So I recorded 6 over two weeks before I started watching any. I watched the pilot episode and was HOOKED!!!!! So I’ve been watching since July. And finally finished tonight as the last episode of season 3 aired today. And I’m sad it’s over. NOW I understand why so many people were bummed when it was cancelled. At least I have the movie coming out soon!

The writing was smart and witty. Yes – it’s about a high school girl (and then college in S3) who works as a “junior” PI for her Dad. But the stories are great. Each season has a season-long story arc. But each episode also has individual story lines.

Kristen Bell’s delivery was perfect. She is so perfect in this role and now thinking of her playing a dingbat in Forgetting Sarah Marshall is very wrong (although the voice of Gossip Girl works as my blog title suggests :) ) She plays a strong female character who is smart as a whip but adorable too but she is not perfect and does make mistakes and has boy trouble (to say the least…but not the Edward/Jacob kind so don’t worry.) Plus she loves her dog! And carries a taser. Perfect. She is the PI equivalent of a vampire slayer.

The entire cast is great. Well..let me take that back. I didn’t like Duncan. At all. He was way too wooden and I cannot see what Veronica would ever see in him. . But everyone else was great. And a bevy of famous guest stars – Paul Rudd, Amanda Seyfried, Harry Hamlin, Steve Guttenberg, Ed Begley Jr, Sam Huntington, Leighton Meester (Blaire!), Kevin Smith, Aaron Paul (for you Breaking Badsters), Jane Lynch, Laura San Giacomo, Armie Hammer, Alyson Hannigan (Willow!), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia!) and even Patty Hearst (oh yeah also Richard Grieco which made me laugh!) But so, so many of the characters, even small ones or minor recurring ones, are so fantastic.

I also love that they portrayed a great relationship between Veronica and her Dad. Keith Mars is pretty much the perfect dad without being a fake perfect TV guy.

I say again that it is sad that shows like this (well written, well acted with fun/interesting story lines) get cancelled so quickly but so much crap gets made/renewed (as I see an ad for another season of The Bachelor.)

If you haven’t watched it, and were thinking about it, I say do it before the movie comes out! And if you weren’t thinking about it – maybe you should. Apparently SoapNet is going off the air as of 12/31 so you can’t watch it there. If you have Hulu – go! If not, there is always Amazon:

Also, Team Logan forever…and ever :)

When I was at San Diego Comic-Con this July, I was on the look out for some new, interesting Chewbacca art. He’s actually not the easiest character to portray correctly. I was never able to find anything that I loved (well…Chewbacca wise I mean.) On the last day I made it over to the Chuck Jones Gallery….as evidenced by this purchase: http://a99kitten.com/?p=10450

While there, I also bought another piece. It caught my eye as soon as I walked in but I had been so involved in my purchase of Bad Girls that it took me a while to get over to it. It was not Chewbacca, and I typically don’t collect Leia art, but this piece definitely caught my eye:

FullLeia

It is a good sized piece – 36″ x 24″ on canvas. It’s an artist proof (#3 of 10) and extremely cool in real life :) I’m typically not into the modern or art deco look honestly, but the colors of this just grabbed me. I love the various silvers and greys with white and black (I think another reason I will always have a husky.) My color scheme at home is all browns. Deep, rich browns in various tones. So she doesn’t really fit in but it’ll work. I have a HUGE bus stop poster of Jango Fett framed from Attack of the Clones (all blues and silvers) so they will work together. As I was discussing this piece with the gallery rep, I asked if the artist had done any Chewbacca art. He said not that he was aware of but he could contact the artist. I had actually JUST missed him that day. Darn! And it turned out he left the gallery and went over to the Acme Archives booth inside SDCC. Doh!

Anyway, turns out that no, he had not any done Chewbacca art but that he always wanted to if it was the right feel. Chewie is hard because a lot of artists portray him too cartoony or goofy. I like the fierce Chewie. So we discussed him doing a commission just for me! He would have to get OK by LucasFilm once he did the piece but I was pretty excited!

On a conference call to discuss ideas for the piece, the artist (Mike) asked why I loved Chewbacca so much. That’s easy – because he was Han’s best friend. And protector. Who was big and strong and scared most people but he was a marshmallow inside…to his people. Just like Angelus and Storm were for me. Angelus even sounded like Chewbacca when he talked. And Chewie’s sounds were inspired by George Lucas’ malamute Indiana (who looks a lot like Angelus) so it was a perfect mix. Plus we live in Tahoe and the snow and I always called it Hoth when I’d take the buds out in the snow.

Mike loved the story and it turns out he and his wife are big dog lovers. So he appreciated my love of my buds. And how it translated to my love of all things Chewbacca. So I sent him a bunch of pics of the buds as well as my favorites of Chewie so he could get a sense of how I liked them. He obviously would be keeping it in his own style (art deco-ey, modern. See his site linked below) but incorporating the Chewie, Angelus and Storm in the snow.

The finished work arrived (yes, LucasFilm signed off on it!) and I just got it back from the framers. I. Love. It. He captured the expressions of Angelus and Storm perfectly. Like….perfectly. Plus having an original piece of art commissioned just for me is pretty darn nifty. The fact that it incorporates my beloved friends who are no longer with me along with one of my favorite fictional characters brings together 2 things that I have spent a lot of time in my life enjoying.

I look at this all the time and smile. The buds brought me smiles every day while they were with me, so it’s only natural they keep doing it.

Pic

Mike Kungl: http://www.mkungl.com/2/index.php There are **easily** a handful that I would love to hang in my house.

At SDCC, I went by the same booth Thursday and Friday to check out a piece of art. It was the canvas original of “Bad Girls” by Mimi Yoon. In person, this piece was amazing. The colors truly pop out and grab you. It was also almost as tall as me framed on the wall – great, great piece. It was also $15,000 and there was no way I was spending that kind of money on something withOUT Chewbacca in it ;)

Bad Girls original

Bad Girls original

Besides my Star Wars and Indy collecting, I have always loved collecting the female characters in DC and Marvel. This is a lot easier now than it was when I was younger. I still have carded action figures safe and sound from when I was a kid but they didn’t make too many of them which was pretty silly if you think about it. Pretty (and usually big boobed) super heroes sold to boys? Seems like an easy sell. Although now it’s hard to find the really awesome pieces because those same boys grew up, made some money and now buy them all up :) I think Slave Leia changed it all honestly.

I loved (well…still love) Wonder Woman, Black Canary, Storm, Scarlet Witch, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Batgirl, etc, etc growing up. Not because I’m some feminist girl who wanted to feel empowered/not need men/blah blah baloney though. I mostly loved that they kicked serious ass while they were pretty and wearing cool outfits with high-heeled boots. I’m such a girl :)

They had an artist proof on canvas (and paper it turned out) at a much more reasonable price plus smaller. Edition size was 100 so still a small run (paper was 250.) But SDCC had just started and I wanted to see if any new Star Wars art caught my eye before spending any money (if I spent any on art at all.) The guy at the booth was nice, and showed me some pieces they had that they weren’t allowed to display (very nice), but he was a bit pushy and kept using salesmen mumbo-jumbo “what can we do to get this done?”, “let’s schedule a sit down and talk about this”, etc. And I hate to be sold to. So I eventually got out of there and said I’d think about it.

I walked by again on Friday and looked at the original again. Still gorgeous. But my proof was gone! Sold. Darn. I guess it was not meant to be. But I was sad. I did really like the piece. Walked by again Saturday and the original was gone! (Turns out it was sold by the Chuck Jones Gallery as I learned on Sunday…)

On Sunday I decided to go to the Chuck Jones Gallery. I always stop by there when in town for SDCC. I walk in the front door and there is my Bad Girls artist proof on canvas all framed and pretty! And there is the artist! And she is signing dedication cards for the canvas if you buy one. Oh man. An employee walks up and asks me if I know this piece and gave him the above story. He smiled and and said I guess this is fate then. Yep. He knew I was sold.

Artist Mimi Yoon (and me!) with my Bad Girls :)

Artist Mimi Yoon (and me!) with my Bad Girls :)

Mimi Yoon writing my dedication card for Bad Girls

Mimi Yoon writing my dedication card for Bad Girls

My dedication card!

My dedication card!

They shipped it up to me and the girls arrived all safe and sound. And I just put them up on the wall. LOVE IT. The colors pop and they catch the light as you walk by. #24 of 100. Absolutely ZERO buyer’s remorse. It was, after all, Fate :)

On the wall!

On the wall!