Monday, July 27, 2015

...a busy weekend with pumpkins, vampire-actors, and a musical with lots of blood...

a little spider

This morning, I am exhausted… partly because I’m physically at work today instead of working from home so I was up by 4:30am to make the trek to work. I also had an extremely full weekend… and a sick fella.

new yard art mask
We were supposed to have a friend over for a little cookout on Friday but my fella caught one of those awful summer colds and slept all Friday. On Friday night, I headed to Williamsburg, VA for Scares that Care Weekend, “a horror convention that unites horror fans to help those in need!” One of my favorite things about conventions like this is the vendors who basically come from near and far. I bought a piece from the talented Abigail Larson and I also bought a vampire hunter kit (with three stakes, a giant wooden gross, Holy water viles all in a black leather pouch), an original art piece called Mr. Bub which is a little devil head, a Day of the Dead wind chime, and two Halloweeny brooches!!! The next day I bought some cool upcycled yard art.  

The only thing that could possibly top all the loot is that I got to meet Robert Maillet who plays The Master from The Strain… and by meet, I mean that I actually paid to take this dorky picture with him. This will be a complicated discussion and I think that after I write it out I may even delete it. I may lose some of you but I’m still processing what it all means.

To start, for the most part I’m pretty anti-celebrity actors. In some ways I’m the perfect audience member because I rarely recognize actors from film to film, and I’m certainly not star struck. I’ve also never been to any type of convention like this. My fella, a Science Fiction nerd, tells me that this was perfectly normal. Celebrities/ actors come and sell pictures of themselves and if you want a picture with them you pay. I had no idea! I noticed the tiny sign after the fact and that’s no big deal… $15 for the guy who plays a vampire on a newish television series that I enjoy. But because I’m an academic, I can’t leave it at that… and because I’m a pretty sensitive person, I started thinking about what I was actually paying for.

When I was in high school in a small rural location, a traveling circus came to town. With it, in the late 1980s, included a “freak show”. Who doesn’t love a good freak show, my friends and I thought so we went through. We paid money to see *the smallest woman in the world*. What we saw was a Little Person sitting in a chair knitting. Beside her there was a sign which read, “$1 to stand in teacup”. The teacup was the side of a small kitchen table but that was their advertising gimmick. I was embarrassed that I had paid for an admission ticket to a place that was exploiting

this woman… but then, didn’t she have a choice. That’s more complicated. Working with the Deaf and those with disabilities, I have learned that I have many able-bodied privileges that my peers have not/ do not have. I have never forgotten that circus and how I felt.

Now this weekend is a bit more complicated because here is an actor who is quite tall, 7 feet to be exact. While I believe that our society privileges those of a certain height, when does it become me paying the extra $1 for the man to stand up? Was I gawking at his size? Maybe a little bit. He probably wouldn’t have gotten the role without his height considering that the storyline includes a back-story of the Master’s body coming from a man named Jusef Sardu who “suffered” from gigantism.

So while I super love all things “vampires”, it bothers me when people are typecast (e.g. Bela Lugosi being a bit stuck playing Dracula roles) based on some sort of physical difference. So my excitement in this picture quickly changed to concern.

I was supposed to be at the conference for the entire weekend but I clearly piled too much into my plans and with my fella being sick our schedule changed a bit. Saturday I left mid-day to head home so that my fella and I could go to see Carrie the Musical. Basically, it was like Glee with blood... and I’m just getting some of the songs out of my head. I sang to my husband all Sunday, “That’s not my name”. He’s never going to go to another musical with me again for sure!

Imagine if my yard were any bigger! A new skeleton on a bike spinner and zombie whirligig!

A sling from old hose!

Yikes Pumpkin Patch!
Sunday was a gettin’-it-done kind of day. It started with me working in my garden (and adding a little sling to support the vertical pumpkin patch! That’s right, we have pumpkins coming!) After that, I was DIY-helper girl at my fella’s house. Hopefully by next week it will be on the market. Yesterday, I sanded and painted old patio furniture in order to spruce up his yard. And today, well, I need a weekend from my weekend!


  1. I liked this post very much, and now I really miss you. :) You are such awesome company and that convention sounds great! I can totally understand the things you wrote about that paying for photos and what you thought about it.

    And I am laughing my head off because of Carrie the musical. What is going to be their next book/movie to turn into musical? The Shining? Saw VI? :D

    1. Jade, awww thanks! I was just thinking about you yesterday and laughing about our little adventures. I do wish we were closer or teleportation existed.

      You *need* to do a Google search for Carrie the Musical! It is so bad that it's good!

  2. I understand your doubts about modern freak shows, but you have to keep in mind that today the freaks market themselves and earn quite a bit of money with it! I wouldn't sell myself off like that, but in the end, don't we all watch movies were starlets are paid for being seen? Or see ads with models who are paid for being looked at?

    1. It's not about individuals making choices although you make a good point: The money may be good but you still wouldn't want to do it. I wonder if they might not want to either but feel job prospects are limited.

      I'm looking more at my role and how I become a voyeur who adds to the commodification.

  3. Despite your feelings, I really like that photo of you. You look so cute!

  4. Your garden looks so cheerful! I love it! I agree with your sentiments on the exploitation thing... I would have felt exactly the same.

    1. Thanks! My garden makes me quite emotional sometimes. It was a labor of love.

      Thanks. It's nice to be understood and know that others feel similarly.

  5. So jealous of you getting to see Abigail again! I would probably terrify her with my fangirling anyway!

    When I saw your garden mask I couldn't help thinking of that episode of Buffy, sure hope your mask doesn't bring back the dead!

    1. I've mentioned that we live in the same city, right? She's so incredibly gracious and kind. You would just love her!

      It's funny you mention that because when I bought the mask, it looked pretty creepy. Once I got it into my car, it looked like it was smiling. My immediate thought was "great, I've bought a possessed mask!" :p