Cosplay AND Food Festival in one post?! Holy Cow! World’s colliding! and what better way to debut this pairing than in the backlots of Paramount Studios for the LA Times – The Taste ? Entertainment and food goes together like Peanut Butter and Jelly, right?
Over the Labor Day weekend, I along with other foodies made our pilgrimage to the annual event to sample some of LA’s best and kick off the three-day weekend with fun, food and flavor! Held right on the sets used for many movies and shows, this outdoor venue made a perfect backdrop to highlight the chef’s tasty bites. There was a ton of seafood options, which I loved including shrimp sashimi, an uni mousse, and scallops. But carnivores also had a wide selection of steaks and tartars. A number of the restaurants and guests asked me to pose for photos, which greatly reminded me of my geek convention days (See Power Morphin Con post, SDCC post, and LACC posts for photos!)
I had a great time wandering the streets sampling tons of bites, but my favorite part of this event was interacting with the sculpted characters representing Korea and Taiwan. We danced and did a bunch of videos to capture our memories, and of course ate delicious ethnic food at their booth. The boba from Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau and Korean pancakes from The Korean Tourism Board were on point!
If you’re a fan of my Chun Li cosplay I recently launched a new Instagram handle with all things Chun Li. So all future videos and photos and videos can be viewed there- so to see all those content please Follow @chunlistyle
Would you like to see more cosplay/food posts? Comment below
While most of the San Diego Comic Con was up and runnin’ on Wednesday (SDCC Preview Night), I was among the first guests to enter the Laika Live Experience – a FREE exhibit in the Gaslamp District.
Upon waiting in line my friends and I were handed a fan with a character as well as a headband with the characters iconic headdress (I choose the helmet for Kubo) and we were seated to watch a short video regarding the movies. For my readers unfamiliar with the Laika, they’re known for handcrafted stop-motion animation and stunning visual effects. They swap out heads to mimic different expressions, but at the end of the day it takes hours to create a scene that lasts a couple of minutes. Whew!
They also recreated a few life-size versions of certain scenes, but don’t let this comfy lookin’ couch fool you, it’s as hard as a rock. So deceptive! And my hinny was in great pain, but anything for the shot! lol
I can’t say that I know the franchise all that well, but I am confidently impressed by the patience and care to detail these artists put in creating these features. During the exhibit the artist who worked on the movie showed us techniques and told us how they recorded people doing certain tasks and would emulate those actions with the characters. One artist informed us that his running style was used for one of the mother characters.
My friends who attended last year said that this was even bigger and better than last – who will check this exhibit out in 2019?
San Diego Comic Con is MASSIVE and I felt that I didn’t do the mecca nerd gathering justice by spending just a couple days. So, this year I allocated more time to dwell in the summer nerd capitol and tried to do as many of the outside convention stuff. (See Conan Taping LIVE here.)
On Wednesday my friends and I ventured behind the convention to checkout the Dragon Ball Z area and considering it was Preview Night I was surprised at how many people were already waiting in lines! But those lines were no match for the My Hero Academia panel line (check out post here). Nevertheless, the setup was most impressive and there was a ton to do and see for the ultimate Dragon Ball fan! * Note * this area was within the sectioned SDCC Badge area.
The main line was for dedicated to fans who wanted a Dragon Ball Z backpack and lanyard, among other goodies, whereas the side lines were for fans who wanted to try and win freebies such as a t-shirt or hat. There were also photo opportunities as well as figurine replicas re-enacting scenes from the series all to promote the third anniversary mobile game “Dragon Ball Dokkan Battle” – I tried it and it’s super hard, but practice makes perfect right? Lol
Dragon Ball Z will also be premiering a movie later this year. No word on which theaters, but I hope it’s “Over 9000” haha… If you can have a private viewing of an upcoming movie, what movie would you want to see?
It’s surprising to people that this is only my second time attending San Diego Comic Con and while I had a blast last year (Click here to read) there were so many things that I missed out on! This year a group of my friends and I entered the Invincible Conan San Diego 2018 lottery for a chance to see Conan, some VIP guests, and get an exclusive Conan Funko Pop! No luck on my end, but one of my girlfriends was lucky enough to score tickets for herself and friends! Woohoo!
The taping wasn’t until the afternoon; however, we were instructed to line-up bright and early in the morning to secure our tickets. The tickets all had assigned seats, but rumor had it if you got there earlier you could get seats closer to the stage. My friends and I arrived at Spreckels Theater around 6:30 am for the 9:00 am ticket distribution, and found that a huge line already formed. There were some people there as early as 4:30 am!
Once 9:00 am hit we walked through their ticket booth decorated with all types of nerdy artwork, grabbed our tickets and went on our way. Just an FYI, tickets were somewhat random, as two guys in front of us were given Orchestra seats and we were given tickets Mezzanine. So, I really have no idea about seat selection. *shrugs*
We returned around 2:30 pm (doors closed at 3:30 pm), and enjoyed the band play before Conan arrived on stage. Conan told a few jokes and eventually introduced the cast for Aquaman including: Director James Wan, Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Yahya abdul-mateen II and Dolph Lundgren. I think out of the interview Dolph Lundgren’s story about learning to swim for the role then finding out that he didn’t need to was the highlight of the interview. Though I think some would argue that the cast drink a can of Guinness was the best part of the show – to each his own!
After the show we were each handed a Conan HellBoy Funko Pop as a souvenir. I believe if you attended the showing on the other days you had to redeem their pop at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. I think as a Comic Con newbie attending a Conan show should be on everyone’s to-do list. I for one would love to attend again next year!
When I was first thinking about this post I thought to myself – man… I totally bombed the “will write a blog post every-week” goal, I “should” be making more money, I “should” be blah blah blah.. but as I looked through my rolo-dex of photos I realized that I had so many cool moments and while I didn’t meet all the goals I set out – I did achieve quite a bit and “should” remember those! This was definitely the year of “Me, Myself, and Irene” from my “Diary of a Beauty Queen’s Food and Travel Adventures (Instagram)” to opening up to my readers with my alias as @TheGeekyGuide (Instagram) to launching my College Consulting By Yu Youtube channel (website), I’m three people in one!
As @yurockstar I finished my term as Miss Taiwanese World Queen and passed the torch (blog entry), and visited so many cool restaurants – the Exchange Restaurant being my favorite this year! (blog entry) – and festivals as media including the LA Food and Wine Festival (blog entry 1; blog entry 2; blog entry 3) where I got to meet Tyler Florence and Brian Malarky. I also got to be a guest on Gordon Ramsay’s “The F Word” and critiqued the competitors dishes. 2017 was also the year when I got to visit San Diego Comic Con (blog entry) for the first time and hear Disney Legend Alan Menkin perform his classic hits at D23 (blog entry)! I also bought an annual pass to Six Flags Magic Mountain (blog entry) and convinced four of my friends to go on roller coasters with me. On a totally random note – I also won a mattress from an Instagram contest through yelp, woot!
To be honest, I was kind of a closet cosplayer and nervous about cosplaying one of my childhood idols. The live action Wonder Woman movie debuted earlier this year and I felt very conscientious about wearing a corset, let alone portray such an iconic character. I was selected as one of Game Spot’s Best DC Cosplay at SDCC and WonderCon, and featured on the LA Time’s “Why Cosplay as Wonder Woman” video. But more importantly, I loved when kids came up to me to ask for a photo opt – just to see them smile made me feel that that 2 hours it took to do my hair and make-up all the worthwhile.
I also debuted Chun Li this year and was invited to join a Street Fighter group! Everyone does such a great job in portraying their character, and they inspired me to revisit and brush-up on my martial arts and dance techniques. I also upgraded some of my Sailor Mars uniform and had a blast with various photoshoots with the Sailor Scouts and Tuxedo Mask! I’ve made so many awesome friends through cosplay and it’s always awesome to see familiar faces portraying different heros and villians.
Growing up I’ve had the mentality to wait – for the latest gadget to go sale, the hottest trend to cool down etc. and while that’s a great philosophy to abide by I’ve learned over the years that nothing lasts forever and that some things are worth the investment. I’ve always wanted to see Michael Jackson perform live, and since he’s gone I won’t ever be able to change that. As a result, I always make it a priority to watch live performances because I won’t know if I’ll get that opportunity again in the future. Last Friday my friend invited me to watch Coldplay at the Rose Bowl Stadium and while I’ve heard nightmare stories about parking and traffic (there was a Dodgers Game, Lakers Games, plus another concert going on in the area), but I knew that it’d be worth it.
To avoid the $40 parking fee at the Rose Bowl Stadium my friend and I parked at the Parson’s Parking Lot ($15 onsite) and took a shuttle to the stadium. If you pre-order your shuttle tickets online it’s $5 versus $10 round-trip at the venue. The show start time was 7pm and we parked at 6:30 and got to the venue at 6:50, just enough time before Swedish singer Tove Lo performed. She belted out her hits including: Talking Body and Habits. Cold Play came out around 9pm and boy was it a psychedelic performance! Each audience member had a light-up wristband, there was fireworks, and lots and lots of lights. Even after the performance I think I was still seeing stars. haha…
Music feeds the soul, and listening to a performance live has is an experience that in unmatched. Your eyes and ears get this rush from the audios and visuals, and you’ll find yourself dancin’ and fist pumpin’ to the beat. I was definitely up and off my seat when Coldplay performed Yellow, Paradise, and Something just Like This – it just couldn’t be helped. They did an amazing show and I was glad that I got to be a part of it.
Over the Labor Day weekend I came across a ridiculously awesome Flash Sale for a Six Flags Annual Pass. During that promotion I was able to get an upgraded Gold Pass with admission for the rest of 2017 and all of 2018, free parking, plus bonus “Holiday in the Park” ticket for a friend for just $80! Seemed like an amazing deal and since it’s been ages since I lasted visited Six Flags Magic Mountain I thought it’d be a great to revisit a theme park with my favorite DC characters and thrilling roller coasters!
I was completely thrilled at how they marketed their rides and restaurants. They had rides dedicated for Green Lantern, Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, you name it! And if you’re a Flash fan, they have a “Big Belly Burger” – the best burgers across the universe according to Barry Allen.
Recently, they added a new family friendly ride called “Justice League: Battle for Metropolois” – held inside of “The Hall of Justice.” The interactive 4D ride allows guests (known as the “Justice League Reserves”) to shoot for points to rescue members of the Justice League captured by Lex Luther and The Joker. At the end of the ride, guests can view points earned and their shooting accuracy. If you love videos games, you’ll definitely love this ride!
My friend and I went on an incredibly hot day, so we can’t wait to go back during the winter season when it cools down. We stayed mainly in the DC area, but there are many other sections with some really cool coasters. Their season passes are also very reasonably priced and if you go twice it pays for itself.
I’ve a veteran convention goer, but San Diego Comic Con is a completely other animal. The standard logic in making the most the most of a conventions don’t apply SDCC, and giving yourself enough time to secure an activity is of utmost importance.
For me, I absolutely love attending panels and I saw on the Comic Con app the new Marvel TV Show: Marvel’s Inhuman in Ballroom 20 – I definitely wanted to see that! So, after I hopped off the trolley, I headed straight to Ballroom 20 – arguable SDCC’s second most popular Hall. BTW, I highly recommend taking the trolley if you’re not staying in the Gaslamp District. Driving and parking in this area is really tough and expensive.
I was advised by some friends that if there’s a popular panel that you want to watch you should sit in on the panels before it to secure a spot. Not knowing if the new Marvel series would be a hit or miss I decided to sit through all the two panels beforehand. Luckily, the shows at least peaked my interest.
When I first entered Ballroom 20, I was blown away by the sheer size of the room, the room capacity is 4800 and and while it wasn’t overflowing, I’d say about 90% of the seats were taken. There were multiple screens for people to watch the panels so even at the back of the house attendees could still enjoy the panels.
After looking for single seats I was able to secure one about mid-way in the room. The Season 4 actors and actresses from “The Strain” all came out and they even showed us an exclusive clip from an upcoming episode. In a nutshell “The Strain” is an American horror drama television series about vampire zombies, and while it’s not really my type of show, it was cool chat with the cast.
The panel following was “Legion,” a series tied to the X-Men franchise. They showed an amazing silent film style clip of the mutants fighting to “Bolero” an orchestral piece by Maurice Ravel, and while the two ideas seem to clash it was so tastefully done. Prior to coming to this panel I knew very little about this series, but I left wanting to watch the entire series. Thankfully FX renewed Season 2 and the series is expected to air in February 2018.
Finally Marvel’s Inhumans Panel was up. I was beyond hungry at this point (my stomach kept growling at me), but was thrilled to learn all the juicy details on ABC’s newest series. The entire cast came and spoke about their auction experience and gave us some insight to their character. A number of them told us how they had no idea who they were auditioning for and after they were casted understood some of the very strange requests from the directors. It was pretty hilarious.
They then showed us a few teaser clips from the premier episode. One was of the royal family having a discussion on next steps and another was a battle scene between two unexpected characters.
The one thing I thought was silly was that they were going to show a premier of Inhumans THAT night – but it was scheduled to show right after this panel and at a location 15 minutes away. Good thing I’ll get to catch it at home on September 29th (8/7c).
Which show excites you most? “The Strain,” “Legion,” or “Inhumans”
I recently started to go to my local library on a weekly basis and as an educator so I picked up a few books to learn more about students with special needs. It’s always good to sharpen your skills and of course knowledge is power!
But… did you know that in the county libraries you can rent dvds? I somehow knew this, but it only hit me recently that this means that I DON’T HAVE TO PAY FOR MOVIES! WHAT HAVE I BEEN DOING?!
For the Orange County Public Library system, patrons can borrow movies for up to a week and return the item to the same or any of the 30 branches in the system. However, given the nature of the exchange, the movie selection is a bit more sparse and they tend to be older movies – think 80’s, 90’s (which didn’t bother me, but I can see some patrons being disappointed) .
Some other library (such as the El Segundo Library in Los Angeles) has an amazing dvd collection that’s reminiscent of a mini Blockbuster or Hollywood Video, but they charge $1.50 for a 2 day rental – still better than getting one from Redbox or going to the theatre to see a film and the money goes to buy new dvds for the libraries collection.
What’s one of your favorite frugal activities that can help you save money? Comment below!