Fanboy Expo 2017

Fanboy Expo – Day Three – The Best Ending

If you haven’t read my previous posts about this weekend, go check them out first!

Sunday was the last day of the Fanboy Expo and it was probably the least sad I’ve ever been for the end of a convention.

Usually post con depression hits me and my friends pretty hard, but this time it didn’t. None of us really felt sad for the con to be over. For Bryana and Hannah, it was mostly because this was their first con as vendors and they were pretty tired. For everyone else though, I think it was because the con was rather crowded this time around and it didn’t feel very organized at all.

For me, it was different. I didn’t feel sad at all. And by all means, I should have! This past weekend was when I finally got to meet my favorite actor! I should’ve been sad that that part was over! Here’s why I think post con depression didn’t hit me much at all:

At one point on Sunday, I got pretty bored and just sat behind Bryana and Hannah’s booth just staring into space. I kept thinking about two days before when I met Ralph Macchio. I didn’t like the way I left that moment. There was so much I wanted to say to him that I didn’t say. I so badly wanted to thank him for being such an inspiration to me. Eventually, Bryana needed to get up so I asked her if she would come with me to talk to him again.

It took me a while to actually get to talk to him because there were others who were getting autographs and pictures. And they let one person get a picture with him for free while I had to pay $40 for two cell phone pictures on Friday!!! I’m still really upset about that! But I did finally get up to talk to him and I told him all I’ve ever wanted to say to him. I told him that The Karate Kid has been my favorite movie for years, how I watch it whenever I’m sad, happy, anything. I watch it all the time. I told him how much he’s inspired me over the years and how he’s the only actor I have ever wanted to meet.

And then the best thing happened.

He told me how much he appreciated me coming back to tell him those things. He said that he hears people say that to him like online and such, but it meant a lot to him that I came back just to tell him that. “This is a weekend you’ll remember for the rest of your life.”

I know he’s right.

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Fanboy Expo 2017

Fanboy Expo – Day Two – Con Family & Disappointments

If you haven’t read my first post about this convention, go check it out now! It informs this post!

I absolutely love how conventions can bring people together! It’s just so awesome how two very different people can start a conversation with each other through one common interest! And at conventions, the quietest people become the loudest! It really brings people out of their shells!

Back in February, Bryana, Hannah, and I went to another con and met the sweetest couple ever selling some Walking Dead stuff and a few other things. We got into a long conversation with the woman about all kinds of things and we kept finding ourselves going back to their booth just to talk to them. She was so sweet and gave all three of us bracelets she had made! We even ended up becoming friends with her on Facebook!

And you’ll never guess who we saw at the con today! Of course she was there! We saw her in the crowd and tried to run after her to say hi, but we lost her. So then we split up to go find her and when we did find her, she hugged us and treated us like family! She asked how we were doing, how school was, everything. She just wanted to catch up like family does!

I even got to see some guys that I haven’t seen since graduation two years ago!

Most of today, though, I hung out with Reagan (a friend I’ve had since middle school) and Isaac, a guy I only really met a few weeks ago. I had known this guy, but we were never really friends. Just someone I passed by every now and then. But now, I’d consider us pretty good friends. Because of this convention! It was so fun to get to know someone new and actually become friends! Hopefully I’ll get to hang out with him more. Even though he decided to give me a physics lecture, but I’ll ignore that for now…

And now let’s talk about the disappointments today…

I was very upset with the Fanboy Expo in general earlier today. If you’ve ever been to a con before, you know that Saturday is always the busiest day. It was just so hard for me to really have fun today because of how many people there were. Now, I know that’s not the staff’s fault, but this is just the beginning of why today was one of my least favorite convention days.

In my last post, I mentioned going to see Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, and C. Thomas Howell in the Karate Kid and The Outsiders panel. That is what I was really looking forward to today. But when I got to the convention, I found out that they had moved the time for the panel. I had to go around and ask 4 different staff members before I could find out when and where the panel would happen! Four! None of them could answer me!

So then the time for the panel actually came around and the line was soooooo loooong and we got there 10 or 15 minutes early! (Again, not the staff’s fault, but still annoying.) The panel was supposed to start at 5 but they didn’t let us in until 5:15 and they had so few chairs that there was only standing room! And then it gets more annoying… The actors didn’t come out to talk until 5:30! The panel was supposed to start at 5!!

And guess what… It gets even more annoying… The dealer’s room closed at 6! On Saturday!! And I needed to go down there to grab things before they closed! So the one panel I wanted to go to today, I only got to stay for 15 minutes!!IMG_55361

In short: I’m very upset with Fanboy this time around…….

Stay tuned for another post about the next day!IMG_55411

Fanboy Expo 2017

Fanboy Expo – Day One – I met The Karate Kid!!

Do you ever have those days where you get to meet your favorite actor? Me neither. Until today!

Today I went to the Fanboy Convention in Knoxville, Tennessee. It was so much fun! I absolutely love going to cons! Bryana, Hannah, and I try to go to all of the ones we can. And all three of us love to cosplay! This time around, we went as Markiplier’s different personas: Darkiplier, Googleplier, and Wilford Warfstache. In case you don’t know who Markiplier is, he is a gamer on youtube and you should check out his channel! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7_YxT-KID8kRbqZo7MyscQ He is so wonderful and all three of us love him! Here’s a pic of us in our cosplays, about to shoot a video!IMG_54421

It’s so wonderful to walk around cons and talk to all kinds of people! Today, I went up to someone’s booth who draws different characters as cats! It was so awesome! I’m hopefully going to get their picture of Freddy Krueger Cat! I also ran into people who made their own charms for bracelets and started a looooong conversation with them about so many things that I can’t even remember.

My favorite person I met today: Ralph Macchio! A.k.a. The Karate Kid!

The Karate Kid has been my favorite movie for years! I’ve wanted to meet Ralph Macchio since the day I first saw the movie! And today it finally happened.

I was so nervous when I first got in line to get his autograph and get a picture with him, I was crying before I even got to the front of the line! The guy who took my money and handed Ralph the things I wanted him to sign told him “This is Natasha and she’s very nervous.” As soon as Ralph looked at me and said “Hi Natasha!”, the tears started flowing! Then he looked over at Bryana and Bryan and said “Oh no! Now she’s gonna bail!” Then he gave me a hug! When he saw that I was still crying, he gave me another hug! He was such a great guy!! When I told him that he was my favorite actor, he seemed so surprised!20170623_212948

I wasn’t ready for my experience to end! I kept crying after I left. He told me to “come by and wave” these next two days. Tomorrow there’s a Karate Kid and The Outsiders panel with Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, and C. Thomas Howell which I will definitely be going to!! So I know I will get to see and talk to him again!

Right after I met Ralph Macchio, I went over to see William Zabka. I met him about 3 years ago at the same convention and so I just wanted to go see if he remembered me. And he did! He is so nice as well! He got up and gave me a big hug and kissed me on the head! “Don’t tell anyone about that because I’m supposed to charge a lot of money for that.” Sshhh…. Don’t tell him that I told you…

Here’s the picture from years ago when I first met him:FB_IMG_1496857008788

I plan to make this a three post series so stay tuned!!IMG_54441

pets

My Emotional Support Animal

For the past year and a half, I have been looking into getting a service dog for my anxiety and depression. Sometimes I go into these panic attacks that I never remember. It’s like these big blocks of time in my life that are missing. I would remember beginning to feel anxious and the next thing I remember is being in a different place (usually curled into a ball on the floor) with a stinging, puffy, dry feeling on my face and a migraine. It killed me that I couldn’t remember any of it and the people around me looked at me, terrified.

These attacks aren’t only hard on me. I know that in the beginning they were extremely hard on my mom. It always happened when she wasn’t around because I never feel anxious with her around. She would get calls in the middle of these attacks, sometimes after, and there wasn’t anything she could do through the phone. And it’s always very hard on my boyfriend, Bryan. At the beginning of our relationship, he didn’t have a clue what to do to help me through it. Now he has found many ways of helping me in our two years together and he even knows my triggers and helps me avoid them.

I started looking into getting a service dog that could warn me when a panic attack was coming on and could help me through it. I read for months all that needed to happen before getting one and the process of getting one. I looked at specific companies that focused on helping people with more emotional disabilities. I found one company that I did really like and the fee wasn’t too horrible. I filled out the very extensive application and got a signature from my doctor, but the money to send the application was hard to find. Money has always been hard for me and my family and at the time, I had just started college so I also had to worry about those fees. After months of battling with myself and money, I started looking for other options.

Not long after that, I found something better suited for my needs: an Emotional Support Animal (ESA). So I started looking at places to supply me with a cat or dog. With the research I did, I found that most, if not all ESAs are not trained. They are chosen for specific qualities they have. Then I thought to myself, “Why don’t I adopt a dog or cat that has the qualities that are good for me?” And I found a site that could supply me with certification for whatever animal I chose for only $35! (Much better than the $100 I was going to pay just to turn in an application!)

Bryan and I had recently moved in together when I was looking into all of this, so I talked to him and asked if he would be ok with a dog or cat. We talked about it for several weeks before coming to the conclusion of finding a cat. That’s when we started going to our local animal shelter. I found one cat in particular, his name was D.O.G. (we never found out what it stood for). He had recently had to have his tail amputated because of an infection. It felt like everyone was just passing by him because of this (he also looked super grumpy all the time), but he was the sweetest thing. I felt like we needed each other. But then financial struggles kicked me in the butt once more. Of course I didn’t have enough money at the time to adopt him. The saddest part was that I was right there when someone decided to adopt him and take him away from me. Yes, I was happy that he wasn’t behind those bars anymore and that he would have constant cuddles, but he was supposed to be mine. So after that, I was really depressed and told Bryan that I couldn’t handle going to the shelter anymore. Little did I know, God had major plans for me.

Not even a week later, I got a message from a friend asking me if I was still looking for a cat. She started telling me all about this cat that her mom had rescued and was fostering. She said she was completely free and they would even give us everything she needed, like food and a litter box and even a cat tree! She told me that the cat was very sweet, got along with the two dogs and another cat in the house, loved to lay in people’s laps, and never used her claws while playing. I was beyond happy and knew things were looking up for me. We decided to name her Felicity.

I had to wait for two weeks after that text to get her. This past Thursday, I went online and paid the $35 to get her certified. I knew she was going to be the perfect ESA. From what my friend had told me, she had all of the qualities I was looking for in an ESA.

The following day, they brought her to our apartment. She was very nervous at first and hid under the bed, soon after they left her with us and things calmed down, she came out from under the bed and wanted to be pet. It’s now Wednesday and she follows me around the apartment and lays in my lap all day. When she sees that I’ve left the room without her noticing, she runs around to find me. She is the sweetest thing and I’m so so so happy to have her by my side.

I wanted to share my story for those who need help finding a companion and are struggling to get one financially. It was so fast and easy for me to get the certificate. I printed it out immediately after I got it and I could even print out several copies to keep in different places (I plan to frame one). If you are looking for a great place to certify your animal, here’s the link: https://www.esaregistration.org/