Comics

Midnite Wind

Yesterday evening I got to spend some time with an old friend, T. It’s been a while since we’ve had a chance to sit more than an hour and talk … which typically would be during the annual Chicago Comicon when both of us would be “in town.”

T was always a gracious host. Charming.

I say “in town” because before last year, T would fly in from the west coast (or even overseas!) while Hubby & I would drive from Detroit. Yes, we’re that much of comic-geeks (well, rather Hubby & T are) to go yearly to Chicago for the past 5-plus years now.

Now, as of two months ago … we’re all in the same state and within one hour of each other. And because Hubby’s been helping him (as well as me) set up his own website (still under construction, BTW) to promote his own comic, the two of them have been “chatty” lately.

And seeing that *I* knew T before Hubby ever did … well, yeah. I was feeling a little left out. So yesterday, when I knew the two of them were meeting up in Evanston, I made sure that they’d stick around long enough for me to meet them after I got off work.

Seeing T again after a couple years (he never made it out to last year’s comicon, and we opted for San Diego the year before) was nice. It had me reflecting over the first day as a university student, moving into my dorm. I happened to first meet him in line while waiting to get my school ID taken.

Even though he claims we met back in high school my freshman year  after Track practice when I asked a mutual friend of ours if they had seen my brother. T even insists that I told him to look out for Dr. Bro’s “sh*tty brown car.”

Future-SIL, T and me (from right to left) ... Look how skinny I was!! Sigh ...

Which of course, makes me chuckle because that would totally be something I would have said.  Unfortunately I only have a very vague recollection of that memory. Which is why *I* still claim that we first met that first day I started in college.

“Hey,” T said to me. “Aren’t you [Dr. Bro’s real name] little sister?”

“Yeah,” I answered, as I crinkled my nose.

And every time we see each other, T has to bring up that story. Just to  remind me on how “offended” I looked when he asked me that question. And then I have to remind him how in high school I was always known as Dr. Bro’s “younger sister.” And here, on the first day at a new school, I immediately get recognized as being related to Dr. Bro. Again.

After those awkward first words, we found out that he’d eventually be moving into the same dorm that I’d be in and that we should “hang out” sometime. So afterwards, I ran up to my room and told future-SIL** that I just met my first new college friend.

Once T moved into our dorm (probably about a week after that first meeting), the three of us became quick friends. Future-SIL and I would pester him mercilessly and, for some strange reason, he would put up with us. Then there would be the countless times we’d end up in his room late at night playing poker for pennies and  … uhm, yeah … other college-related “experiences. (Oh come on now … I wasn’t that bad, but it was my first year in college after spending 12 years in Catholic school!)

T showing off his Chinese yoyo skills

Like, for instance, the time he called us on our dorm phone and whispered oh-so-quietly, “Does the wind blow at midnite?” In which he later came up at midnight with one of those industrial-sized roles of toilet paper from the communal bathroom on his floor. And brought it up to Future-SIL and my dorm room. Which was the corner room. Of the top floor of our building. And we proceeded to … uhm … let the wind carry the whole roll of toilet paper outside of our dorm room. Which then proceeded to wrap around our entire dorm building. TWICE. !!!

Anyway, my point being is that T is one of those long time friends that, regardless where we are (both in location and in whatever stage) in life, we pick up wherever we left off.

And that’s a comforting thought in the midst of chaos or tranquility.

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Eesh. Why does the last few days of Lent seem like forever? Here’s my daily Lenten bit.

Look closely at the yoyo above me ... Hmmph!

Good Deed of the Day: Does going into work for an extra day count as a good deed? If it means that I was able to give some extra feedback and encouragement and to my staff, then methinks it does!

Grateful Thought of the Day: I think this one’s obvious today. I’m grateful for friends where it’s as if we’ve never skipped a beat. It could be as simple as not having seen each other in a long time. Or it could be as unique as meeting in person for the very first time, but feeling as if we’ve known each other forever.  Those are true friendships.

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** What? You didn’t know?! I may have, in a previous post mention that my SIL and I were college roomates the first two years at university.

Oh *Happy* Day …

Ha. Yes, I realize it’s the end of that fine May Day where every person living celebrates the woman who gave birth to them. And believe me … I am most grateful for all that Hubby’s Mom and my Mom have done for us for our entire lifetime. We are truly lucky to have been given these beautiful women as our mothers.

And then there’s the other aspect of today. The day that emphasizes how much I am not part of that group of women who (rightly) receive such lavish attention today. The aspect that makes me feel like a wallflower at a high school dance … er, maybe more like some “Spring Mother/Daughter Event.” Basically, the one that feels a bit left out.

Truth be told, I *am* getting a little bit used to it … the feeling that I’m different from the rest of the world. Or maybe it’s because this year … well, it wasn’t exactly spent planning on how we would celebrate with our Mom’s. (Because, truthfully … that “chore” ironically ends up with the infertile couple every year. Pshaw!) And that’s because this year Hubby & I stayed in Chicago for the weekend.

Found this on a tshirt at Shedd Aquarium and just *had* to snap a photo. I thought it was hilarious!

Found this on a tshirt at Shedd Aquarium and just HAD to snap a photo. I thought it was SO hilarious!*

Okay, so we actually did plan on going home to Detroit this past weekend. But well, work has been kickin’ a$$ (and taking names, too!) lately. And some of my “duties” just happen to overflow into Saturday. So yeah, there was no way I was going to have us drive back for one day and one day only.

Now next week … different story. Double duty. But that’s okay. Because the rest of the world won’t be celebrating it with us!

So instead … today I labored and gave “birth” to something else. Yep … another blog. Which truly has absolutely nothing to do with infertility, daily work or life woes, or even just plain old thoughts or observations. Nope. This new blog has everything to do with Superheros. And comics.

“Wha?!,” I can hear you saying. Yes; you read it right. Superheroes and comics. Oh, and I should add that it’s a “collective” blog … with me (that’s right, *ME*) as the administrator and commissioner. But rather than writing about it here … go over and check out the “About” section.

Hey … if I had to spend Mother’s Day without either of our Moms and without children of my own … better to do something that will keep me from “thinking” too much.

And we all know what happens when those awful thoughts start creeping up from the back of my mind …

Anyhoo … for all of my female friends (in real life or in bloggie world) that are blessed with children … Happy Mother’s Day to y’all!

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* The other reason I love this picture so much is because May in Detroit typically means “Open Octopus” season during Red Wings Playoff!

My Hubby, My Hiro

Not to be completely cheesy here, but I’ve always believed that my Hubby is my own personal, honest-to-G*d hero. I’m sure part of it is because I met my Hubby during my sophomore year in high school and were friends first before starting to date the summer before starting college. And I’m not saying these things to put him high up on a pedestal. Simply put … he is my best friend and because of that, I place all my trust in him.

One of Hubby & My Favorite Telly Shows

One of Hubby & My Favorite Telly Shows

That song … the one by Enrique Iglesias … came out just before my laparotomy. This was the big surgery where I’d get my bikini c-section scar without the baby to show for it. The surgery to do some major clearing out of the endometriosis that was thought to be the reason I couldn’t get pregnant. (Little did I know then that it was also a combination of my “tricked out” hormones thanks to PCOS. Oh, how hindsight is always 20/20 … grrr.) And even though I had two previous laparascopies beforehand, the thought of this surgery somehow scared the living daylights out of me.

But it was that song, “Hero” that seemed to pacify my nerves. Perhaps it was because that particular song came on during one of the many tearful moments spent prior to the surgery. When Hubby held my hand while wiping my tears off my cheek with his other hand. All while Enrique would sing about kissing away my pain. And standing by me forever. So yes, to this day every time I hear that chorus, I think of that particular moment.

Okay … so really, this wasn’t supposed to be all serious here. What I was actually getting at was how Hubby & I have loved watching the TV show “Heroes.” When we first saw previews of the series two years prior, we both knew this was a show we wanted to watch. I mean, really … we’re talking about two people that have traveled as far as San Diego for Hubby’s love of comics! So to have a TV show based on poeple with “special powers”? Yeah, totally up our alley.

"Heroes" character, Hiro Nakamura

“Heroes” character, Hiro Nakamura

For those of you that have never seen the series, one of the major characters is an Asian with the power to “bend” time. Of all things, his name is “Hiro,” which is pronounces just like the word “hero.”

While Hiro’s power is cool, the thing that has made him our favorite character is who he is as a person. In the beginning, Hiro is this typical Japanese character who works in a boring office setting feeling as if he’s destined for greater things. When he learns about his power, he immediately relates it to his best friend, Ando as having special abilities just like in one of his favorite comic book series, X-Men. Among a series of events, Hiro and Ando find out that their “lives” are being depicted in a comic book written by another person with special powers. By reading this comic , he comes to the conclusion that it is destiny to use his powers for good. And throughout the past two seasons, Hiro and Ando have managed to get into difficult situations but have always managed to come out of the scrapes together.

My Hubby, My Hiro

My Hubby, My Hiro … Like the Spidey tee he’s wearing?

So, I’m sure you’ve probably figured out why I’m giving you this whole schpiel. First, the “Hero” song. Then the TV show “Heroes.” And finally the Asian character on the same show, “Hiro.”

Obviously, this all relates back to Hubby and how he is literally my Hiro. Let’s just say that not only are there character similarities between Hiro and Hubby. Well … see for yourself. Don’t you think Hubby could kinda pass for Hiro too?

Seriously though. Seeing Hiro’s character reminds me of some of the reasons I love Hubby. The Asian thing. The sense of responsibility to do what’s right. Even the whole comic book lover thing. (Yes, I’m serious!) But what gets me the most is the like Hiro, Hubby has this incredible loyalty to those he cares for the most. And that despite everything that we’ve been through together , he has managed to stand by me forever. And every day, he continues to take my breath away.

Blue Steel*

My day started of with Hubby not feeling so well. We’re still in San Diego and, as of the end of today, we have two more days left to enjoy sunny California. I feel bad that he’s got the scratchy throat and the hacking cough (which has progressively gotten worse), because I’m pretty darn sure I was the one who gave it to him.

I tried to convince him to stay in the hotel room today and sleep, but Hubby insisted he wanted to return back for the second day of the San Diego Comicon. Apparently his love for all things Comics (which, by the way, is the main reason we’re here in SD) superceded his need to get some well-needed rest.

The next silly thing I did after dropping Hubby and our friend J was drive down a one-way street. But I swear to G*d … the street was two way five feet ago! And then, in a blink of an eye, I’m suddenly dashing cars headed straight towards me. Probably not a wise thing to do, especially in the midst of morning rush hour traffic (and not to mention Comicon traffic as well).

Last night, however, I vowed that nothing … including almost getting into a head-on car crash … would spoil my day today. That’s because today, I had plans to meet up with Kara.

As I approached the strawberry blonde gal studying in the cafe at the La Jolla mall we agreed to meet at, I was suddenly struck with such an almost indescribable feeling. It was like seeing someone I hadn’t seen in a very very long time. And, at the same time, meeting someone for the very first time. Which, in essence, is the truth.

I’ve never met Kara in real life before, but by reading and commenting on each other’s blogs, we both agreed that we felt we knew each other … really got each other. And that was what made it seem like we’ve been the oldest and bestest of friends. Or,as we joked around, that we have been really good friends for like twenty or so “internet years.” You know … kind of like dog years in comparison to human years.

So getting to really know one another, that is without the barrier of cyberspace, felt like a total piece of cake. I mean seriously … the minute we started talking, we talked about everything. Even the things we couldn’t really talk about on our blogs or comments.

And we especially talked about all the emotions we had about our inability to have children of our own flesh and blood. And it was raw … and sometimes tearful (okay, Kara … I’ll admit it! I was the tearful one! 🙂 ), but yet it was like a breath of fresh air. Because you know what? For once in my life, I was eager to talk about what a number IF has done to me. And how it’s wreaked havoc on my otherwise normal existence. Or how it’s changed me from a normally upbeat and happy person to such a jaded and sadly disappointed mess. And I could cry about it and not feel ashamed for who I am and what I’ve become. Because Kara understood. Without hugging me or saying a word … I just knew she knew the shoes I was walking in. And I hope I did the same for her.

So after like, more than an hour of gabbing at this cafe … Kara insisted that we head out towards the beach. Because really … I was perfectly content in sitting at this place and talking. But since I had already confessed to her (and the rest of the blog world) that I love the ocean and the beach, she was intent in bring me to the coast. And after a beautiful drive up the coast, we ended up at Il Fornaio, a wonderful Italian restaurant in Del Mar that has this amazing view of the ocean. We then proceded to devour the excellent breads and thin-crust pizzas we ordered. And we continued to talk non-stop. We talked about our parents and family. We talked about our love of 80’s music. And, oh … we talked about how our cute waiter with dark hair and gorgeous eyes reminded us of B.en Sti.ller with his trademark “Blue Steel” look in the movie, Zoolan.der. Lucky for us, he was a nice guy who, not only provided us with more of their excellent bread to take home, but also was more than willing to take a picture for us. (It’s just too bad that I still can’t download any of my pics until I get home … grrr!)

After lunch, Kara and I had to part ways. And yes, I was incredibly sad to say goodbye. And even though my Hubby’s love of comics got us to visit San Diego, being able to meet Kara in person totally made my day and … I’m being totally honest here now … made my entire vacation!

So Kara … whenever you make it out to Michigan, you and Duane are more than welcome to visit us. And then we’ll plan a Michigan IF blogger round up. Or better yet … when should we start planning our trip to Las Vegas with the other bloggie friends?!

Ack … I miss you already!

* Again, pictures to follow once I get back home. 🙂

International FanGeeks

After the Chicago Comicon adventure, Hubby & I decided to make the trip across the border to check out another Comic Convention. This time, it was the 2007 FanExpo at the Metro Convention Center in Toronto, Canada. Yep. You can officially call us international FanGeeks.

I initially agreed to go to this convention so that I could check out Hayden Christensen from Star Wars fame, but alas … he cancelled his engagement. But that’s okay, I was able to check out some other interesting people (not to mention costumes!) while we were there. For instance … there was the guy with the incredible “Dark Tower” tattoo on his arm. Hubby wanted me to take a picture of the tattoo instead of him (otherwise, I do admit … it would’ve sound weird if he asked another guy to take his picture). The nice guy complied by flexing his arm as I shot the picture.

Unlike the Chicago Comicon which focused a lot on the “comic realm” of pop culture, the FanExpo combined multiple elements which included the science fiction, anime, and horror genres. Also included was a ginormous gaming section, which hosted the 2007 World Series of Video Games (typically seen on ESPN “the Ocho” – just kidding, but you get my point). The nice thing about the set-up of the Toronto convention (as opposed to Chicago) was that each genre had its own separate section in which to explore. That made it much easier to explore.

Afterwards, we decided to head down to Queen Street West just to walk around. Unfortunately, most of the stores were closing for the evening but we managed to get a little shopping done. Lucky for Hubby, we knew that his favorite store would be open late. The Silver Snail was having their “End of Summer Sale” to coincide with the FanExpo. Luckily for me, I was able to get some Emily Strange tees that I haven’t seen anywhere else. And yes, Hubby did get some comics and graphic novels as well. Let’s just say that we ended up spending a lot of time in line at that store.

The next day, after checking out of the Strathcona Hotel, we headed to Yonge and Dundas Streets. It had been a few years since we were in Toronto, so we were surprised to see how different the area looked. Apparently, the area across from Eaton Centre is now known as Yonge-Dundas Square. For lack of better description, it reminds me of a Canadian version of NYC’s Time Square. I guess it makes sense, as I’ve always thought of Toronto as Canada’s New York City. Anyway, after snapping a few pictures of the area, it was time to head back home.

If you’d like to check out some pics of our mini-trip to Toronto (and of more interesting Comicon costumes), click on the album below:

Toronto FanExpo 2007

Comic Relief

So this past weekend, hubby and a good friend of ours made a trip to Chicago. The reason we went to Chi-town is to attend the 2007 Wizard World Comic Convention (a.k.a. The Chicago Comicon). We’ve made this (insert “Star”) trek every year for the past five years so that my favorite “fanboys” can get their fill of all things comic-related.

I usually go to the “Con” for at least one of the three days to check out what’s going on. Mostly it’s to check out all the latest toys, games, and movies coming out in the next year from major companies like Sony and Marvel. For hubby and our friend, it’s about the hunt to find those comics or graphic novels, statues or busts or any pop-culture related toy for a decent price. For hubby, it’s also about being able to participate in Heroclix tournaments.

For me … it’s all about the costumes. Where else can you see grown men in spandex bodysuits made to look like Superman or Spiderman? Some can pull it off, but the majority … well, I give them an “A” for having the guts (literally) to dress up. The cute ones definitely are the kids; who can resist an adorable Supergirl or cool-looking Cyclops? I just wish I could have seen a dog dressed up as Yoda or a cat dressed up like Puss-in-Boots.

As luck would have it … this year’s trip wasn’t strictly about Comics. While trying to find directions to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, I found out that the Midwest Stitches knitting convention was happening at the same time as the Comicon. Yes, definitely more up my alley. Aisle after aisle of beautiful luscious yarn, knitting “tools”, and embellishments. If they could only schedule their conventions EVERY year at the same time as the Comicon …

Well, we couldn’t very well be in Chicago without heading downtown or meeting up with some friends. The goal was to head to the Virgin Megastore off of Michigan Ave and then over to Lincoln Park to meet up with our friends for dinner. So we boarded the Blue Line at Rosemont only to find out that, since service was being done on the line, we couldn’t head directly downtown. Instead, we were ushered onto busses that would eventually take us to “The Loop“. After finally making it to the Magnificent Mile, we were disappointed to learn that the Virgin Megastore permanently closed … Oh, the humanity!

So then it was off to find the Red Line to take us to the Lincoln Park area. After a quick rest stop at the corner Starbucks for some intense “fanboy discussion,” we met up with friends to enjoy some great sushi. And because I had to get my fix of dessert somewhere, we made a stop for some home made ice cream. Eventually, we had to find our way back to the Blue Line in order to get back to Rosemont. Unfortunately, the only way we could get back to the Blue Line from the Lincoln Park area was to take another bus. And well, after being out and about all day long in quite warm weather (it was about 94 degrees outside during the day) … let’s just say being in a pretty crowded bus was not a quite comfortable experience. Once we got back onto the Blue Line, it was smooth sailing back to our hotel.

Overall, the trip to Chi-town was so much fun. Trips around town became major adventures. Conversations about every day life became interesting discussions about philosophy. While the main reason that we make the yearly trip is to head to the Comicon, it really was more about spending time with those friends who make life interesting.

To view more pics of our Chicago Adventure, click on the album below:

Chicago Comicon 2007

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