Sultryminxzoe's Blog

Road Trip: You Help Pick the Playlist! August 24, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — sultryminxzoe @ 3:50 am

If you follow me on Twitter (@sultryminxzoe), you know I will be making my annual pilgrimage to the geek mecca that is Dragon*Con in Atlanta, Georgia. On Tuesday, August 31st, I will finish my shift at the day job, hop in my car and make the arduous journey from Massachusetts to Georgia. My only companion, Gerry, my Aussie lover (a gal can dream), who resides in my GPS. However, a gal cannot retain her sanity (if there is any left) with Aussie accent alone.

Here is where you come in. Over the last week, I invited you to submit playlist recommedations – upbeat songs that will keep me singing and dancing in my driver’s seat. I’ve posted below most of the songs that make up the final playlist, in no particular order. There is some new music represented; however, the majority of the song selections include a healthy dose of nostalgia. I’m pretty sure there are some selections I should be embarrassed by. Nonetheless, I stand by my playlist. Love it or hate it, I hope you find at least one song to make you dance.

Big hugs to @dawnsister, @aboynamedart & @kelleyclark for contributing to the playlist! I received some excellent suggestions and was very excited to fall in love with some new bands/artists!

Dragon*Con 2010 Playlist

God is Not Great – George Hrab (Thanks to @kelleyclark)

When I Was Your Age – George Hrab (Thanks to @kelleyclark)

Wild Wild West – The Escape Club

Let the Bodies Hit the Floor – Drowning Pool

Smooth Criminal – Alien Ant Farm

Bullet with Butterfly Wings – The Smashing Pumpkins

Voodoo – Godsmack

I Want to do Bad Things With You – Jace Everrett

Pretty Fly (For a White Guy) – Offspring

Dream On – Aerosmith

Why Don’t You Get a Job? – Offspring

Love the Way You Lie – Eminen ft. Rhianna

Not Ready to Make Nice – Dixie Chicks

Son of a Preacher Man – Dusty Springfield

Rollin’ – Limp Bizkit

Money Money Money – ABBA

Heartbreaker – Pat Benetar

Invincible – Pat Benetar

Hold My Hand – Hootie & the Blowfish (Thanks to @dawnsister)

Only Wanna Be With You – Hootie & the Blowfish (Thanks to @dawnsister)

Small Town – John Cougar Mellencamp (Thanks to @dawnsister)

All I Want to do is Make Love to You – Heart

Alone – Heart

Sweet Dreams – The Eurythmics

Black Velvet – Alanna Myles

Come to My Window – Melissa Ethridge

Mary Jane’s Last Dance – Tom Petty

The Garden – Mirah

R.O.C.K in the USA – John Cougar Mellencamp (Thanks to @dawnsister)

Somebody to Love – Queen

Don’t Stop Me Now ¬†– Queen

Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen

The Freshmen – The Verve Pipe

Bound For the Floor – Local H

Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Deep Blue Something

Bawitdaba – Kid Rock

The Beautiful People – Marilyn Manson

On Our Own – Bobby Brown (that’s for you, @Browncoats359 ūüôā )

Shadows (Dave Rubato Mix) – Midnight Juggernaughts (Thanks to @aboynamedart)

Mujer Latina – Thalia

Mas – Kinky (Thanks to @aboynamedart)

The Laws Have Changed – The New Pornographers (Thanks to @aboynamedart)

That’s Not My Name – The Ting Tings

Somebody Told Me – The Killers

Mr. Brightside – The Killers

Watching You – Rogue Traders (Thanks to @aboynamedart)

I Want to be Sedated – The Ramones

Magic Dance – David Bowie (Thanks to @kelleyclark)

Happiness Burns – Two Hours Traffic (Thanks to @dawnsister)

Firefly Theme – Sonny Rhodes ( @kelleyclark, I keep this one on my cell, GPS, MP3 & all my computers ūüôā )

*JoCo Looks Back – Jonathan Coulton (Thanks to @kelleyclark)

*Ready For This? – Tim Minchin (Thanks to @kelleyclark)

I Am a Paleantologist – They Might Be Giants (Thanks to @kelleyclark)

Electric Car – They Might Be Giants (Thanks to @kelleyclark)

*Flood – They Might Be Giants (Thanks to @kelleyclark)

Walk Now – Orbital (Thanks to @aboynamedart)

Are We Here? – Orbital (Thanks to @dawnsister)

Macho Man – Village People

In the Navy – Village People

Steam – Ty Herndon

Wait a Minute – The Pussycat Dolls

Buttons – The Pussycat Dolls

*The Adventures of the O.C. Supertons – The O.C. Supertones

*Supertones Strike Back – The O.C. Supertones

The Impression That I Get – The Mighty Mighty BossTones

All the Things She Said – t.A.T.u.

Roadtrip – Stomach Monkey

Slave to the Habit – Shane Minor

Ordinary Love – Shane Minor

Forgive – Rebecca Lynn Howard

I Write Sins Not Tragedies – Panic! At the Disco

Morris Brown – Outkast

Someday – Nickelback

Figured You Out – Nickelback

Take Me to Your Leader – Newsboys

Cup O’ Tea – Newsboys

Breakfast – Newsboys

*Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog Soundtrack

Move to Bremerton – Mxpx

Chick Magnet – Mxpx

The Devil in Miss Jones – Mike Ness

Crime Don’t Pay – Mike Ness

I Can Only Imagine – MercyMe

How Far – Martina McBride

*Got to Fly – Marian Call

One Step Closer – Linkin Park

Rollin’ – Limp Bizkit

My Way – Limp Bizkit

Cowboy – Kid Rock

Boogie Shoes – K.C. & the Sunshine Band

I’m Your Boogie Man – K.C. & the Sunshine Band

*Greatest Hits – JoDee Messina

*The Insyderz Present Skallelujah – Insyderz

Crawling in the Dark – Hoobastank

Runaway – Hoobastank

Faith Builder – Gimerstick

Stupify – Disturbed

Down With a Sickness – Disturbed

Without Me – Eminem

Mercy – Duffy

Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves – Cher

Half-Breed – Cher

Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) – Cher

Don’t Cha – The Pussycat Dolls

Toxic – Britney Spears

Circus – Britney Spears

If You Seek Amy – Britney Spears

Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy) – Big & Rich

 

When Bad Things Happen to Good People August 11, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — sultryminxzoe @ 11:18 am

If you’ve visited my blog before, you are used to seeing fan convention coverage and movie reviews – stuff that generally allows me to proudly wave my Geek flag. To this point, I have shared little in the way of personal information here. I would like to take a moment to change that and share a bit of myself with you. Many of you have heard me mention here and there about my brother. Please allow me to fill you in.

My brother, at the young and healthy age of 27, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. As one would imagine, my family and I were shocked and astounded.¬† Even the doctors were hesitant to confirm such an unlikely diagnosis. Nonetheless, after countless tests and scans, there it is. The Big C in the corner, casting it’s shadow on an otherwise carefree youngin’.

Kevin "KP" Phillips

He was lucky in a way. He qualified for an international clinical trial. This trial uses a combination chemotherapy treatment, including Abraxane and Gemzar. While Gemzar is routinely used in treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer, Abraxane is approved for the treatment of breast cancer. Together, the success in stabilizing or regression of pancreatic cancer has been promising.

He has more than hope! After 8 weeks of treatment, his latest test results and scans showed the cancerous tumors have reduced in size by 10%. Where he was barely able to eat a fist-size portion of food, he has regained his appetite and gained back 11 of the 20+ pounds he had lost during the initial weeks of treatment. The debilitating pain, which often relagated him to hours sitting in a hot shower, has all but subsided.

His general good health and young age pay a significant part in fighting the disease and bolstering his immune system. Perhaps more important, is his mellow attitude and consistent positive outlook. He has always been the laid-back sort and always up for a good time Рcharacteristic which have always made him popular. With the blow to his health, the many friends he has made over the years have come out in droves to show their support. United, they make up Team KP Рfamily and friends who share a genuine love and friendship for my brother and have vowed to stand with him in his fight. Check out Team KP on Facebook.

Half the Federici clan: (from left to right) Jessa Phillips, Kevin Phillips, Arlene Phillips, Teresa O'Doherty, Candice Phillips, Priscilla Federici, Joseph Federici, Jake O'Doherty & Audrey Federici

To date, there is no cure for pancreatic cancer. Sadly, this means my brother will always need treatment. Recently, Team KP hosted a fundraiser to help my brother with the considerable medical costs. Held at Williker’s in Shrewsbury, MA hundreds of family and friends came out to enjoy great food, listen to some great music and win lots of fantastic prizes, ranging from gift certificates to local establishments to tickets to sporting events and vacation packages. All tolled, the event raised more than $15,000.00! Read the press coverage at Community Advocate and TheDailyWestborough.com

Kevin, his girlfriend Teresa O'Doherty and her son Jake

If you would like to stay up to date on my brother and the progress of his treatment, visit his blog on Caring Bridge. If you are interested in helping financially, a fund has been set up at Sovereign Bank. You can walk in to any Sovereign Bank to donate or you can mail a check directly to his fund.

Kevin J Phillips Fund РAcct #38604896274

Mail donations to:
Sovereign Bank
Attn: Tim Alves
486 Lincoln Street
Worcester MA 01405

There will be more opportunities to contribute. There are Team KP wristbands, tanks, t-shirts and key chains. Check back here to find out how you can get your hands on these products and more in the near future.

While we may not have met, save for a tweet lost in the data stream of the world wide web, I consider you friend. I have had the great pleasure of meeting a number of you and cementing our friendship offline, and still more of you have made it a point to show caring and concern. I cannot express how truly appreciative I am to know each of you. Thank you for your thoughts, prayers and support.

 

At the Con: GraniteCon May 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — sultryminxzoe @ 9:20 pm

Courtesy of Granite State Comicon

If you are a geek living in New England, I hope you made your way to the Radisson in Manchester, NH on Sunday for the Granite State Comicon (also known as GraniteCon). GraniteCon markets itself as one of the premier comic conventions in New England. Find out if a 1 day convention can deliver all the nerdery many have come to expect from a convention experience.

Courtesy of Double Midnight Comics & Collectibles

GraniteCon is sponsored by Double Midnight Comics & Collectibles, a comic and gaming store also located in Manchester, NH. Known as much for their welcoming embrace of gamers as for their massive collection of comics, Double Midnight Comics has made one thing abundantly clear – they listen to their geeks! GraniteCon seems to be a reflection of that.

When you arrive at the convention space and exchange your paltry $7.00 for admission (free if you come in cosplay) to a full day of comic immersion, you are immediately thrust into the Dealer’s Hall/Artist’s Alley/Tournament Space. Let us be honest, this is where you would be spending most of your time. The variety of Dealers is what you would expect – plenty of comics at bargain prices, the signed memorabilia you are all too eager to break into the piggy bank for and making an appearance as the official drink of GraniteCon, Gamer Soda.

One of the wonderful things about this convention is the variety. Double Midnight Comics understands that fans do not limit their interest to the trades, but are just as passionate about indie comics and artists. Among the artists were some names you may know: Cliff Rathburn (The Walking Dead Colorist), Talent Caldwell (Fathom, Wildcats & Supergirl Artist), Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash Creator & Wildcats Artist) and Eric Basaldua (Top Cow – Witchblade & Magdalena Artist). Also represented were artists you may not be aware of, such as Angela Costello-Nieves, Art O’Callaghan, Blair Shedd (oneGemini Studios – IDW’s Doctor Who Artist), Don Higgins (Dark Magic & Donuts) & Silver Circle (Animated Independent Movie) who hosted a Scream Contest for a chance to lend your voice to a scene in their movie.

Courtesy of 501st New England Garrison

Courtesy of Ghostbusters of New Hampshire

Perhaps you attend conventions to critique cosplay. With the lure of free admission, there was plenty of cosplay to admire. Capitalizing on attendee participation, GraniteCon hosted a Cosplay Contest judged by the members of Human Sushi Cosplay. Even if you are too shy to invite the attention cosplay garners, you could have your picture taken with a cosplayer. The 501st New England Garrison was on hand with R2D2 and the Ghostbusters of New Hampshire took Vigo out of his crate for pictures with attendees.

Most fans pride themselves on knowing more than others, so what is a convention without panels? The 501st New England Garrison took over the panel room with a screening of Star Wars Builders. The 501st is well-known for their extreme prop builds. Star Wars Builders is a documentary which chronicles their hard work as they build a self-propelled Dewback and Landspeeder.

If you have ever been to a fan convention, you know you can always count on a zombie presence. Adam Miller and Rich Woodall (Art Directors) of the comic anthology, Zombie Bomb!, along with John Herman (Director & Writer) & Bryan White (Writer & Host) of the webseries How to Survive the Strange shared the spotlight to talk about their projects and our fascination with the walking dead. Zombie Bomb! brings together more than 200 writers and artists to create great zombie stories in a series of comics. You can purchase the first installment from Terminal Press. How to Survive the Strange is a comedic series that provides practical tips on surviving the impending apocalypse. View the first episode now on howtosurvivethestrange.com with new episodes available twice a month.

Making a special appearance, Michael Dougherty, Director of the fan film Browncoats: Redemption, indulged fans with a panel. Browncoats: Redemption is a feature-length film which takes place in the world created by Joss Whedon in his television series Firefly and motion picture Serenity. Browncoats: Redemption picks up the story after the events of Serenity. The completed film will be available on dvd and the proceeds will be donated to charity. Sponsored by the SciFi Saturday Night podcast and accompanied by some New England Browncoats, Michael shared stories about making the film. Due to technical difficulties, the audience was rewarded with 7 minutes of never before seen footage of a fight scene featured in the film. Browncoats: Redemption will be released Labor Day weekend. Visit the website to learn more and view trailers.

According to their official twitter feed (@dmcomics), GraniteCon is not their first forray into events: “We’ve been running shows since 2003 but they’ve been taking off in the past few years. . . ” The event was fun and a great experience. Personally, I would have liked more panels and a bigger gaming presence, but it was definitely promising. I look forward to seeing how GraniteCon will continue to grow and develop. One thing is certain, GraniteCon has earned a place in my convention schedule.

 

At the Con: Anime Boston 2010 April 17, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — sultryminxzoe @ 3:40 am

Courtesy of Anime Boston

For those of you unfamiliar with anime, it is best characterized as japanese animation or comics. Please realize that is only the most broad explanation. There are many different sub-categories that make up the anime genre and it is not strictly created in Japan.

I have seen enough anime to know I enjoy it. I appreciate it as an art form. However, I would hardly consider myself a fan. Many friends have encouraged me to explore the genre over the years. What better way to educate myself than to spend three days immersed at a convention? As luck would have it, Anime Boston was in town.

Taking over the Hynes Convention Center and Sheraton Boston Hotel April 2-4, more than 17,000 people lined up to attended panels, cosplay or watch anime. While Anime Boston organizers claim the majority of attendees tend to fall within the ages of 16-24, walking around the convention hall you will see fans of all ages.  I found myself surprised by the variety of different people in attendance Рage, sex, race, and geek status were irrelevant.

Anime Boston is a fantastic convention! One of the things they do well is providing a wonderful selection of events. Of course this convention is full of panels. Panels such as Modern Mythology: Anime and Video Games or Androgyny/Homosexuality in Japan appeal to the more intellectual fans who enjoy anime for its thematic elements. Perhaps you are an artist or writer. You can attend panels like Web Comics to Publishing or How not to write Fiction, fan and otherwise for ideas on sharpening your skills. Conversations with Tom Wayland and similar panels give you an opportunity to hear firsthand from successful industry guests.

This is an anime convention, so maybe you would like to see some anime. There are viewings aplenty. Attend one of the humorous clip panels such as You DON’T Survive the Anime Apocalypse, where panelists will show a selection of clips from anime television series or movies to drive home the point. For the record, the panelists are right. If you prefer to watch your anime without commentary, visit one of the many video rooms where you can settle into the dark and watch all day . . .¬† all three days. While I did not spend a lot of time in the video rooms, they are one of the aspects of the convention I truly appreciated. At every convention, there is a point when attendees have time to kill – you did not make it into the panel you wanted to attend, or you are waiting for friends. Pop into one of the video rooms and catch up on a series you enjoy or expose yourself to a new franchise.

Let us suppose you attend conventions to participate. The most prevalent expression is cosplay. So don that costume and come on down. Knowing how passionate fans are, Anime Boston rewards cosplayers with events especially for them. Panels such a Cosplay on a Dime and Lolita Fashion: Style for the Frilly Masses serve as a how-to experience. Join other cosplayers for a game of Anime Squares or Cosplay Chess. You may even meet your mate at the Cosplay Dating Game. Dances? Oh yes, there were dances. You can even take center stage in the Karaoke room. The main event was the Masquerade held on Saturday. Cosplayers came with prepared skits or choreography and entertained the crowd. The craftmanship of the costumes was inspiring and the skits were great fun. Here are a couple of the performances from the Masquerade. You can find more performances on my YouTube channel.

Anime Boston is a wonderful convention. Whether you are a die-hard fan or someone just testing the waters, attend this convention. The video rooms alone are worth it. However, I encourage your to attend a few panels, see some performances and generally admire the impressive quality of the costumes.

On a personal note, Anime Boston has definitely sparked my interest in anime and I excited to see more. If there is a particular show, movie or comic you feel I need to check out, be sure to leave me a comment. Tell me a little about the anime you are suggesting and what you enjoy about it.

 

Bringing Gamers Out To Play: TempleCon 2010 February 10, 2010

Courtesy of TempleCon

TempleCon kicked off the 2010 New England gaming convention schedule this past weekend. Taking over the Crowne Plaza in Warwick, Rhode Island, 2010 celebrated the event’s fifth year, bringing players together from all forms of gaming. Billed as an event experience unlike any gaming convention, TempleCon paid particular attention to gamers and what we like – extending beyond gameplay. Here you were likely to see belly dancers, musicians, and filmmakers, mixed among the gaming and panels. Arr, there be pirates too! This is Rhode Island after all.

Board Games, Collectible Card Games, Role-Playing Games and Video Games were all represented. There was something for everyone. Without a doubt, some of the biggest draws at TempleCon were the Miniature War Games. This was clear as soon as you registered for the event. All pre-registered attendees received custom imprinted Dog Tags to commemorate the event. Even if you aren’t into War Gaming, Dog Tags just make you feel bad-ass.

Privateer Press, one of the major sponsors, maintained a dedicated presence in the main ballroom with plenty of space for miniature gaming. Among the games and demos running all weekend were WARMACHINES, HORDES and MONSTERPOCALYPSE, including championship gameplay with prizes to boot. Sharing the space was another sponsor, The Warstore. The Warstore packed lots of product for popular games and ran Malifaux demos throughout the weekend.

So miniature gaming isn’t your thing. Don’t worry, there were lots of other gaming opportunities. From tabletop Role-playing games such as Unhallowed Metropolis to Collectible Card Games like Vampire: the Eternal Struggle, or casual games like Apples to Apples, gamers of all skill levels found themselves at home. PC and Video Gamers like myself, could lose ourselves in the LAN Lounge day or night. Even better, if you brought your Xbox 360 or PC, all you had to do was plug and play. Still not what your into? How about some good old-fashioned Arcade games? Neo-Geo games were on hand with Samarai Shodown & Kings of Fighters tournaments.

TempleCon began as a small regional convention. Over the past few years, it has drawn more attendees from an international audience, growing so much, the event had to change venues for 2010. With all the gameplay, it’s no wonder. Gamers are the target audience, but TempleCon is not just for gamers. Like most conventions, there are attendees that come to show off their costuming skills. With its retro-futurism theme, TempleCon openly embraces cosplay.

We all know it just is not a convention with some Star Wars cosplay.

What better way to show off costuming skills than with a costume contest? Saturday night, that is just what we got. The Penny Dreadfuls scoured the crowd at the Deco, Dance & Design event to find some of the most creative costumes.

Half the reason for attending conventions is all the great performances and after hours fun. Friday night’s Diesel, Deco & Dance event was all about music, featuring The Dirge Carolers, Sasquatch & the Rock-a-billys, Emperor Norton’s Standing Marching Band and DJ Delicti.

The Mad Hatter served as the Master of Ceremonies for Saturday’s Deco, Dance & Design event. The show opened with a Godzilla-inspired interpretive dance performed by Ameena. Following her performance was Neylan with a Firefly inspired belly dance routine and Paloma showing off her skills in a gothic number. Additional dance performances included Happy Hour Burlesque, Samara, Troupe Moirea, Tempest and Ela Rogers. All these lovely ladies certainly know how to put on a show. Rounding out the performances was a bit puppetry from Rick Sardinha with his creations Terrance Redbone & The Great Grimpen Mire.

Happy Hour Burlesque featuring Eddie Paradise, Margarita de Ville & Tommie Gunn

Samara, Tempest & Ela Rogers

Terrance Redbone & The Great Grimpen Mire

Watch out the videos below to see performances from Ameena, Neylan and Paloma.

Being a fan of video games, and being blessed to have friends who game, this event was right up my alley. As soon as I heard about TempleCon, I knew I had to attend and I am glad I had the chance. At the end of the weekend I found myself curious about other types of gaming and intrigued by retro-futurism culture. There may be belly dance lessons in my future and I will definitely be calling on my new found friends to introduce me to some other games.

The best part of the weekend, by far, was the people. I got to spend some time with Nicole Wakelin of Nashua, NH (visit her blog at TotalFanGirl.com), to get her thoughts on Templecon. Attending the convention with her husband for the second year, it was board games that caught her interest. Though she confessed, one of the main reason she attends is also because of the people. As a very social person, TempleCon affords Nicole the chance to meet up with friends throughout New England she does not get to see often. She has been to larger conventions like Atlanta’s Dragon*Con, as well as smaller events such as Carnage Con in Vermont. As Nicole explained, each convention is its own event – large conventions can be somewhat overwhelming, and the smaller events have the benefit of seeing the same people each year. TempleCon seems to be the best of both worlds. The event is full of fun people and events. With its location within New England, it is a convenient event, making it easier for fellow gamers to come together.

So, if you find yourself in New England around this time next year, be sure to make time to hang with the gamers at TempleCon. Better yet, break out your calendar now and plan to see me there!

For more information on TempleCon, visit their website at www.templecon.org. Please be sure to check out the websites for some of the sponsors and performers below.

Sponsors:

Privateer Press

Warstore

Diesel, Deco & Dance Performers:

Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band

The Dirge Carolers

Sasquatch & The Sick-a-billys

DJ Delicti

Deco, Dance & Design Performers:

Ameena

Neylan

Paloma

Happy Hour Burlesque (featuring Eddie Paradise, Margarita de Ville & Tommie Gunn)

Samara

Troupe Moirae

Rick Sardinha (Terrance Redbone & The Great Grimpen Mire)

Tempest

Ela Rogers

The Penny Dreadfuls