Freak Out Moments











Hey!

Wow it’s been FOREVER! Well not literally forever but figuratively it does seem that way doesn’t it?

I’ve been busy, very busy, and I’ve been lapse in keeping up with a few things. One of the reasons it down to a bout of depression. I think I have allowed that to have it’s way too long, now shush brain and get back on track.

Today I write not about cosplay, not about my random outings… but about something that’s irking me greatly. The fact that many social media outlets appear to be letting idiots run the ship.

I do the occasional let’s play or video of a game, they are usually World of Warcraft, because Blizzard seem too like their customers to enjoy their games and want you to shout out about it. This is a business model I can really understand, my friends and random passersby are in a position to see what fun they might be missing out on; also on fun they are currently engaged in or to reminisce. This means people might buy the game, buy the merch and generally enjoy. It’s digital word of mouth.

I do NOT understand the following:

Random idiot/troll makes a dispute to Facebook/Youtube and said companies react with a bot/department/software that instantly believes this report and removes it.

Have you ever tried to contact these places to get a human being involved ANYTHING? It’s ridiculous. You can’t. You can’t talk to someone, you can’t appeal to rational human beings. You rely on this absolutely awful policy of up to 30 days of dead water.

In no other functioning, and sensible, business model is the policy down there to ruin the clients experience and then sh*t on them from afar. So why do we put up with it? The digital online technology is amazing, people can do amazing things and yet thanks to a troll or even down to large corporations with these badly programmed bots, the average Joe and small businesses are crushed!

Capitalism is crushing creativity, inventive outlets and above all is using things like ‘Copyright’ on a ten second clip to basically crush the little guy.

Case in point? Leon Chiro! Leon Chiro Cosplay Art has been hammered to death by 20 idiotic, and vitriolic little turds falsely reporting his account to FB. The gentleman in question has provided documented legal proof of who he is, and many of us have tried to report to them just what is going on and to get this reinstated… the fact is, this is not the first time, and yet this outdated and easily abused system is costing a man’s career…

We will enter a digital dark age, not because of technology, but because erring on the side of paranoid caution will cause it’s decline.

FIX IT PEOPLE! Come on 😦

 

 

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Hey tis me!

Part of the thing I tend to consider on my cosplay essential list is my trusty Nikon camera. I take it because I like to snap pictures for Cosplay Without Bias, our page on Facebook. We just hit 1000+ likes and whilst to some this may not seem a lot to me it’s wonderful. 1000 and more people who truly believe it’s okay to just do it for fun, to not let other people’s judgement bring you down and to celebrate creativity.

So what’s this got to do with the title of this entry? The Nikon camera… my trusty baby has even been to the USA and come back. It’s not the most amazing one, it’s definitely however attached to my side when I got out taking pictures at old places, cemeteries, and cosplay gatherings. So when it stopped working the last week or so I was understandably unhappy.

Me and my friend Kyle took the camera, dressed up for a meet, off we go and BLAM the camera decides nope… nope you can’t have that! If you turned it on and then pressed the button to take a picture it would just shut down. Change of batteries to Panasonic, no changes…

So off we go to the camera repair experts, you know the shop that’s meant to know all you need? Ha! BS I shall cry, and cry it loudly. I was told they no longer repair in store (so it’s not a repair store is it?) and to send it off to be looked at was £35 plus the repair. Then I said so… at this cost surely I get it back in a fair time? Up to six weeks? Colour me stupid but if you wanted one for your job that’s up to 6 weeks to repair? Oh and about £80 if it was something minor…

I went to the shop next door, £25 and the same issues as they send it off. I walked out annoyed, not only was I convinced this was all terribly over complicated I was quite sure unless I was Harry Dresden’s lost sister or I was somehow missing the point there must be a cheaper way to restore my technical sidekick…

Thirty minutes of digging around the manufacturers forums and a little Google searching and here is what I find… Nikon camera takes a lot of power so cheap batteries drain like much needed pee after waiting for a rest-stop 15 miles down the Interstate… what you actually need to do is check you have really good ones loaded all the time. Duracell purchased from the local store, camera is now fully functional again.

Lesson for me? Check the internet for sensible suggestions before being ripped off at the high street. Well played Google! Well played.

GearsGirl

 

Picture Courtesy of Nerdfest 2013.

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{July 14, 2014}   London Film and Comicon 2014

Hi all!

Wow what a weekend, mostly good thanks to friends but this was a story of all that could go wrong probably did!

LFCC was on 12th July 2014, we set off that morning and turned back twice due to things being missed or hiccups but off we set! Queue the usual comedy of the damned lorries on the motorway hogging lanes trying to overtake each other doing the same speed and off we went into London. The underground had some closures and so the area around Earls Court was terrible for traffic, buses all over for replacement services and then a 45 minute trek around that mess to get a car park we could use. Of course the one I picked happened to be closed that day, I am sure you can see where this is all going right!

We finally got parked up and walked down, and then my gosh the queues!  If I hadn’t got a ticket for the day there is no way I would have waited around in line. We walked around and finally found one poor harried assistant outside who managed to get us directed to where we could get in without facing the lines…

We walked along and the queues were not moving as we did, inside it was stifling hot and I was later informed that the air-con wasn’t put on as no one fancied paying the extra costs. If the posts on social media are to be believed then the police had to go in and order it turned on because of the implications of health and safety and that some people did in fact need emergency treatment, I can believe this as we saw paramedics with an ambulance arriving around midday. This is pretty shameful given that it was at Earl’s Court 2 and people are expecting the basics in the middle of London… not a good deal guys really!

Inside the lights are tungsten yellow things, they make everyone look a bit pallid and ill if you ask me and other than butt loads of signings areas there wasn’t really what I would call a great deal to do. Most conventions I go to you can listen into panel talks etc but you had to pay extra for that on top of your ticket, yeah you heard me PAY for panel talks. Hell no! I gave up my money for a ticket, paid £13.70 to park in a hobo-riddled car park, was overheating and had to pay for anything to do? Screw you Showmaster’s, one step too greedy.

Stan Lee – Poor man he’s 91 and it’s his last showing in England. Be reasonable, but no Showmaster’s allowed a virtual signing queue for 2000. Work that out, he has to sign two a minute at a solid 16 hours to get through that. Plus the photography… what an insult to one of the greatest comic legends… no wonder his team had to step in and stop the madness for him and then people are complaining because he cannot do that much. Expectations are ridiculously set and people are absolutely unreasonable to have complained about him, not all English people are this damned rude I say!

Right, the good bits – friends, cosplayers and the crowds who refused to let the actual convention organisers ruin it. I saw some fantastic people and caught up with friends. I was happy because I made some new friends and saw people I had only spoken too via my facebook. THAT is the bit that made the convention, everyone smiling and getting involved with helping one another, cheering each other up and chatting about costumes and planning their evening in the pub as a reward.

Cosplayuk made the costume for me for Anya Stroud and I was super happy to finally be able to show it off in person to them. I met a fellow gearhead that hopefully will be cosplaying in future with us and I saw people that I really do miss throughout the year, so all in all that aspect of it made it worth the trip.

Heading home? Oh my you think it stopped there? Hell no! We pulled up at Northampton Services for a quick break and to get something to eat. We set off again back towards Nottingham and experienced “that guy”. The driver was in the middle of the three lanes and kept roaming between the other two narrowly missing cars. We opted to attempt to drive past him as he was also slower than he should have been in that lane and as we did we spotted the idiot was asleep at the wheel! So we called the police, we had passed services a few miles back which also meant he had, which meant he was either already asleep on the road or had been so arrogant that he cared little for the safety of himself or others. I hope they found him and I hope they sort that behaviour out, it’s not impressive or clever.

When we got home and dropped off our Cyclops, me and my friend got out the car to collect our well earned bottle of wine and some beers. Sadly the Cyclops additional parts that had been painted appeared to have melted all down my car and into the seats. Sunday was then spent cleaning up what could be removed. Phewie!

So Sunday afternoon we went over to Games Workshop HQ and had dinner before I said goodbye to a good friend for a short while. Conclusion? Love the people, didn’t love the convention sadly. I doubt I will be going back to an LFCC any-time soon as I think they have been utterly greedy and not even played safe for people who were doing some seriously lengthy travelling to celebrate their fandoms.

I hope if you had a better experience than me this blog isn’t just a pool of whine. I really did love to see everyone and I swear I know not every volunteer, person involved or attendee had a rotten time, so please please don’t take this as me hating on you or your efforts.

Peace Out.

 

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{April 17, 2014}   Mass Media and Cosplay

WOW! I am so proud to say that I know people that have been on the TV or in Magazines etc with their talents. It’s amazing to see those wonderful talents getting a spot light but I also know it comes with reservations.

I’d like to explain why I don’t think it’s a media issue as such, but more about how you take it as a person when you see it. So I am going to pick the Fur And Loathing episode of CSI, Season 4 saw the “murder of a furry” with it came a lot of jokes about the weird things people do, they covered as much of the culture in the 40 ish minutes they had and rightly, or wrongly, most likely missed what those in the community saw as the “real deal”.

If I am honest I had never even heard of the community before that show aired, and it didn’t make me shy away going OMG bunch of Freaks! What it actually had me do was look at the culture, I thought wow, well it’s like any fetish isn’t it? Good and bad sides for all. You get a good and a bad egg in anything you do, anywhere you go. It’s not unusual either for the media to try and cover something and abysmally muck it up but at least I thought about looking more into that culture and now I have furry friends, and I have a better understanding by asking them about it.

To me that is the same for Cosplay, gaming or anything that other people don’t get. If someone says “you’re into all that weird stuff” ask them what is weird about it? Didn’t they go to their friends stag do in a dress with a comedy wig? Haven’t they played cops/robbers or cowboys./indians as a kid and got delight out of that few pounds costume? It’s the same thing only at the cosplayer level you get everything from the off the shelf fun, the few quid ones you made, and the massively pricey ones. Either way that person is having a good time right?

Well here’s where I think it’s dangerous and it’s not about you, me or the media. It’s when you listen to that media and take it’s ONE slant as gospel. You take that comment one guy makes from a ten second clip saying “oh I think all cosplayers are a bit mental” but I bet you they could easily have shaved off that bit after where the guy could be laughing saying “and i am utterly mental, this sounds brilliant. Sign me up”… it’s not necessarily the view they gave it’s how the media cut and portray it when they want to take their slant one way or another.

This is the bit that I also find dangerous, when I was 15/18 I was a singer and I travelled around, I sang in pubs, clubs and all over. I loved the performing aspect I hated the industry with a passion that I cannot explain in words. Why?

Let me summarise where many of my own problems about my appearance. confidence and troubles stopped me from going on with that career…

I was physically assaulted at school for being short, tall, thin, fat, spotty, glasses, no glasses, having horses, not having the same blazer, using a biro not the same pen as was in fashion. Name your theme, they did it, they hurt and I was not backed up by the school despite my mother’s sincerest attempts. In the end we moved but the school had been less than useful.

When applying for any part/spot in a performance: too fat, too thin, eyes wrong colour, height, need to shave her hips on one side, her knee isn’t quite the right shape for a ballet career. What her skill? Oh yeah brush that side, boobs? No boobs? Either way they have faults they want to project on to you yet seldom praise your talent.

What does all of this do? I went from barely eating and dancing most hours of a day to crying, depression and binge eating. You can tell me I should smarten up, and that these people shouldn’t affect you but the second you become passionate you open yourselves up to both sides. Positive and negative.

I am 34 as I write this, it’s taken all those years to get back to a place where it is okay to have my picture taken, to dance without a care, to sing in the shower and have a laugh. And I can’t say that the media or anyone helped that, it was the network of support, friends and being able to hear that others had come out the other side.

So to all those that worry about these things, yes you will worry, but don’t fall into the trap of letting it destroy that smile, crooked or otherwise that is the essence of beauty isn’t it? Loving yourself and loving those who see you for who you are.

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{April 4, 2014}   Birmingham and Opinions

No not the city of Birmingham, I mean MCM Birmingham the cosplay weekend event. I am a little behind on blogging with this one but I’m going to do a quick review of the best bits and then follow it up with a little thing about opinions and delivering them.

MCM Birmingham was a great event, sadly a little shadowed by ill-health but I sincerely have to thank my friends who not only supported me but looked after me as well. I went as a rather shabby looking Ezio due to barely getting myself out of bed on the Saturday but I had a great time!  On the Sunday I was a flung together KH wearing mess but that’s okay I was happy in it. I sadly didn’t pick up anything Gears of War, but that could be because I already own most of the things I am likely to see around conventions, wait! Does that mean I might even be able to save a few pennies? NAH I will just end up spending them on something else right?

There were brilliant people and costumes to be seen, my friends daughter came with us as a splicer from Bioshock, which meant we found a Little Sister and another Splicer who had graciously allowed me to take their pictures together. I got to see some great costumes from all sorts of fandom’s and got chatting to some wonderful folks. To everyone I did speak to, thank you very much for contributing to a great weekend.

Birmingham NEC is a great place for the events, their car park system is well organised and most of the staff I’ve interacted with have been very friendly and courteous. Of course there’s bound to be exceptions to this from other people for me it was a good place and had plenty of space around the convention if you needed to take a break from the main crowds.

And now on to Opinions – I have never shied away from giving mine when I feel it’s appropriate (and possibly not so haha!) but I really don’t think that some people understand how they present themselves when they do so, irrationally or with a frame of mind that’s very closed to their own views. I’m going to go with an example but don’t take this as my view necessarily.

Person A: “Gears of War Judgement is just like playing Call of Duty, so I stopped playing. Epic and People Can Fly are idiots, they can’t make games they suck. Judgement’s so bad I stopped playing all the Gears games.”

Person B: “I liked it, I don’t think it’s anything like COD. What a newb, you’re so stupid you can’t even play it that’s why you don’t like it.”

Person C: “WTF you’re both idiots. I work in gaming… x x x y and z examples later…”

Right – so I don’t care if person A is saying something I agree with or not, I might leave a comment saying I liked it, but it’s not for everyone. I appreciate it as an opinion but I am sure as hell not falling out with someone over it. Why is B and C wrong in MY opinion? It assumes that having a difference of opinion automatically makes that person inferior or somehow stupid. I find the people that leave derogatory comments to be bullish in their approach. B could have stopped at the one sentence but extends it into a personal attack on A. C is assuming both are idiots because they profess to know more purely but being in the industry and therefore assume no one can be right but them.

It’s not likely to ever change, but I wouldn’t give credence to that attitude purely because it’s not fair to belittle an opinion. If I don’t like it I move on, if I feel strongly I will leave my view but I wouldn’t assume that it is better than the opposing one. Who knows I might even be swayed to a new way of approaching something?

Racist, bigoted, evil and downright nasty comments on anything I see will always resort in me taking the same action. Removal of that social outlet, removal of the person within it if I have that control. If I loose “friends on facebook” I haven’t lost them, they were never friends to begin with if they had no respect for me or my friends. Same with Twitter followers, Deviantart etc. It’s OKAY to have a difference of opinion and to express it,  I walk away with an approach that I don’t feel comfortable with it I don’t have to be involved. So… if I loose facebook friends, that’s okay. I just hope that when they do go it’s with a fairly decent opinion of me rather than walking away angry.

Thank you.

 

Deadpool and RedHulk’s attempts at a thumb war?

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{December 28, 2013}   2013 What’s happened to me?

Wow what a year! And I really do thank my family and friends for it all.

1. Partner.

He’s suffered my obsessive cosplay outings, holiday and trips all over the place. We’ve both been very busy this year, he even ventured out to a convention with me despite hating them. He’s a rock when I am depressed, and I in turn hope I do that for him when he is low or wants comfort. We’ve been together for over a decade now, seems pretty impressive to me.

2. I changed jobs.

I went from a full time position dealing with complaints for the energy industry and it was a bit of a harrowing time. The place I was in took up a lot of my energy and I found it hard to deal with by the end, more so when I realised how many people I would leave behind. I have now got a new job, it’s part time and the money adjustments will really set in during 2014.

3. Venice.

This was amazing. I went with what I consider to be one of my best set of friends here in Nottingham. It’s a shame more friends couldn’t be mustered up but it’s really a place you can fall in love with. I am desperately hoping to return there, as much as I would like to go back to the USA and even Germany too. It was so hot and I even got a tan!

4. Other outings?

I was lucky to get to see the Mansion for Zed Events, I met a lot of amazing people there from both Zed Events and REUK (Resident Evil UK). It was so much fun! It was a great road trip with my friends and it was another great way of proving I can get past the years of sitting home, in semi-forced reclusion.

Sheffield and Birmingham Cemetery trips – again I went with friends or met friends there. I love to look around and see the beautiful gravestones, the plants and environment; I don’t mind if people consider it morbid. It makes me happy and I feel at peace in them.

I also took a couple of other trips, one to Haverhill to see friends I don’t get to see enough and also a random trip out to go and buy a Gears of War Lancer off a friend there. I fell lucky enough to catch up with another friend in Scarborough and so both trips were a great deal of fun.

5. Cosplay.

WOW where do I begin? How about the list of the ones I ventu

I have really enjoyed making so many friends, and I have absolutely learnt a lot about costumes. I have seen the good and bad side of the hobby. I love the costumes, the friends and I love looking around. I hate the blatant elitism and the downright rude way people can be, not everyone there wants to be an air-brushed model on a page, and I am definitely happy with just staying in the circles I do. If you want to say hi or get a picture do so, but I don’t approach photographers because I don’t need them to make me feel good. Especially when this year I lost seven stone, made friends by the bucket-loads and didn’t even need an agent to do it! (Yeah that was a cheap dig at the “I want to make friends, book my pictures” type of people). red too? So MCM Telford, both Birmingham events, both London events, LFCC in the summer, Insomnia47 (thanks to the awesome Tigerlily Cosplay and her competition), J-Con and Nerdfest. What a year?

6. Gaming.

Oh lords well – it’s really been the year for Gears of War and Resident Evil, mixed with a bit of Devil May Cry (original 4). I did also get my mitts on Metal Gear Rising. It’s been a great year for social gaming, I’ve spent plenty of hours on my Xbox and PC, and I also got a fair amount of time on the MMO I have played for quite a few years (yes the dreaded WOW player is here).

Gaming has been a good outlet for me, when I am not able to write, draw or muster up the energy to fight low points of depression it’s a way to escape the troubles. When I am in a good mood it’s a great way to clock up some kill counts too!

So how has your year been? I hope it’s been good and that come 2014 it will only get better.

Special thanks to Jon Fisher Photography for my Dante picture.

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{November 3, 2013}   MCM Review Oct 2013

So it’s been a bit manic but finally I have time to get some writing about the event up and running, other than the previous comedy post about the situation with the weird man on the Sunday.

So here goes –

Friday: we had a few blips to get there, we were stuck in a two hour tail-back around the Birmingham area, I really needed to pee! But it’s okay once we got on the road it was a fun trip down and despite the cheesy music in the car my friend fared well and came in alive haha!

Getting our wristbands for the weekend on early entry wasn’t at all painful compared to the May queue. It was simple in and out, bands on *which by the way are a better quality so thanks MCM!* and then into the event.

Friday’s is for me the better day to try and shop, Saturday I barely ever go into the complex and hall. It is just toooo busy! So we had a wander and I brought some rather sexy Gears of War additions for my collection.

Saturday – Oh lords just TOO busy to be inside. And it’s not even just the staff that can be rude, most of them were okay this time. I’ve had the door staff and people being quite rude before but for the most part I escaped that. I will however say some members of the public should probably be glad there are not real weapons they are that damned rude! Pushing people, moaning about the fact there’s too many folks. It’s a convention expect people to be there, but if you can’t be polite or at least move out of the damned flow to have a twenty minute food break I’d rather you let your oxygen go to another person with a brain…

I went to the Fox the Saturday night, a little bold for me as I am terrible at these social things. Cosplay is the way I have picked to battle this social issue, so I went and I had a lovely time. I came back, passed out for about three hours and then woke up with an anxiety attack, however could have been worse because I at least got a little sleep. Did also have a lot of bacon for breakfast – mmmm bacon!

Sunday was a lot calmer indoors, it meant we got a little chance to do some last minute shopping. My friend James had found me a Robbie Rabbit from Silent Hill, I never did find the Konami Store! I was dressed in BSAA outfit, whilst I wasn’t stopped as much as others I really did have a wonderful time in that costume. REUK are just wonderful as a group, I feel like part of a family there.

So the organisation? I would say considering the volume not bad. Again I would say some of the staff/volunteers sincerely need to work on their damned attitude. It’s a nerdfest/geekfest of people that probably aren’t all as brave as they think and sometimes we need a little human touch even if we don’t look one. However when it came to a problem on the Sunday the security on site were on hand and dealt with the issue quickly.

Props/Con Goers treatment – whilst I had no problems myself I was really angry to hear that sensible con-goers with props were turned away whilst others in there I could see were more dangerous with their behaviour than any guy with a fake gun could ever have been! It’s not the Props it’s the bloody people that need chucking out. I would say there should be a check point where you can get your weaponry/props checked out by ONE central point. If the weapon is deemed safe and the cosplayer sensible then give that prop a tag to tie on or something that makes it clear it’s been deemed con-safe. It takes the personal issues away from the door security and means less trouble for those of us that can go in and out ten times a day, then suddenly stopped by the one guy/gal that suddenly takes a dislike. It’s far too based on someone’s personal opinion which means too much error with bias.

Stalls/stands – FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHAT COMICS! Seriously it’s called Comiccon and there was like one, maybe two stalls of comics? Very disappointed that the gaming side is lacking, the comics were hit and miss on about two stalls. If I wanted to buy a lucky cat or a bazillion takes on Japanese sweets that we already could buy on the ENTIRE area of Japan food then wow great day. Didn’t see a damned thing outside of the Gears tucked away in some boxes and the Robbie that someone else found for me. I wasn’t impressed with the range this time, a shame as people go with all that money to spend on an event and can end up coming back with very little.

The Steam Punk stands seemed non-existent and even if you are not a major fan it’s part of the conventions generally. The Table Tennis area was a terrible idea, whilst standing by my friends waiting for his cosplay judging we were constantly bombarded by the damned things and watching some kid destroy a table and having to keep repairing it. Not a good idea MCM really, really not!

So overall? Negatives =Biggest lets downs? Not a single guest of interest for me as a gamer, I don’t give a shit about Young Dracula and I don’t care for half of the crap put on inside. Sadly it was just not exciting for the line up and I was sad to hear so many negative bits about it.  Gaming was not really that varied, a shame but the ones on there looked popular enough for the mainstream.

Highlights – I did chat to a developer for a bit who was making his own xbox game and that was pretty cool. Costumes – plenty of good ones and I got to see a lot of my friends finished products from their blogs and facebook make it into real life. New friends I made along the way, absolutely the highlight! A couple of people stopping me for my pictures, I’m not bothered by popularity but it’s a massive compliment when someone does stop me.

Go again? Yes I will be, I will be going to May to see if some of the points addressed by people are picked up on and resolved.  I don’t want people to think I don’t ever have a good time there, I really do or I wouldn’t go back but I’d hope for more variety on the menu by May. Please MCM PLEASE go back to the pre-mainstream crap, I’m a geek and I don’t want it to feel like a trip into the city centre over a weekend of celebrating that fact.

And LOVE to everyone I met there!

So some shoutouts and links for anyone that got to the bottom of this haha!

AJL Armours and Cosplay

Big Red Ape Cosplay

Capcom UK

Buster Boy Cosplay

Cosmic Workshop

Cosplay Without Bias

Cosplayuk

Jon Fisher Photography

Zed Events 

 



Or at least that should be my motto because honestly you read some stories and think, well yeah right, that shit happens to other people. So here’s the story (I will do a much better review on MCM London October once I get caught up around the home).

Friday and Saturday the only things I could say were the in regards to the “crack down” on weaponry this was a curious thing to me. If you are let in with a wrist band and already passed security three times I don’t see why it was necessary for them to THEN check it again, and again, and… and then decide to remove you? If something is banned it needs to be across the board not selectively based on the muppet guards who pick and changed their mind, probably based more on whether they liked the look of you as a person!

By Sunday I admit I was tired, VERY tired, but I was trying to stay in good spirits. Overall I think I did but I was not a happy bunny when I got some guy harassing me.

I was outside, minding my own business and looking around. I was dressed in a tactical vest and sporting a plastic AK47… so he comes over and says “Are there real bullets in that?”. I was like um.. no it’s illegal why would you ask that? And he says well what are you doing here? I said to him waiting for friends, please leave me alone.

So he stands there swaying in front of me, staring at me and I walked off. He then follows me and starts asking me why I won’t go with him, “you have great boobs under that” and similar comments. Totally freaking me out, I had to tell him to leave me alone numerous times and I have to thank NO ONE around me for the help I got as a distressed person. Seriously ignorant people all around me not one was willing to ask a girl why she was upset. So basically the idea is unless it happens to you don’t worry about it, the stupid cow over there got the weirdo not me hurrah! Shame on you people that were there and said nothing.

I have to thank the Security however who came out pretty quick, who also got the police involved because they moved him off site.  I don’t believe I was the only person that had trouble with him but I will probably be the one that speaks out about it.

And this is why from now on unless I have a companion who will give a toss I am not going to think about going to a convention again. I found it incredible that our friend on crutches was shoved around by the crowds, I found it disgusting that people in wheelchairs were being physically sat on.

So how about before moaning about the staff at these things people take a long hard look at their behaviour. There are some real dicks out there and just cos they are the con-goers they don’t get abused about their attitude.  I don’t think some people go in with a community spirit and they ruin it for the rest.

So that’s my bad story about it all, but I am going to post all the good bits soon! I also wanted to clear the story up in case someone starts raving I was being harassed by staff. I really wasn’t.

 



{October 11, 2013}   The Fat Factor and photography

I am realistic, I am a big girl. I know this, to be honest we are ALL aware of our own bodies and size.  Don’t be fooled into thinking I am unaware of my own shape and size, and why? I was for many years a dancer and singer and very slender. I was toned, I did ballet, jazz and tap, I danced for two to three hours a day and I would ride horses around when I wasn’t in school/college/work.

I didn’t have a full time office job, I wasn’t subject to injuries and at the time I wasn’t even aware of the horrifically cruel things human’s would do to one another just to make themselves feel better. And that’s the crux of this post…

I shied away from my picture being taken for years after I exited the entertainment business. At size 8-10 with fairly decent figure, fit, healthy, brown hair and brown eyed I was told more often than I would care to mention – you are too fat, need to loose a couple pounds. Basically in order to satisfy a man’s ideals instead of being happy that I was healthy they wanted me to starve. Ballet Dancers aren’t allowed to eat, shit or drink like a human they are expected to be some form of bone with a fleshy cling-film overlay.

My impression of the cosplay world for those that want to take it seriously is that it is just as brutal and rude. CRUDE would be a good word. I am not thin, I am not going to slim down for THEM I do it for me!

I have downsized from a UK 24 to an 18 in the last year, I have done it with a healthier eating pattern and by taking walks. I have done this for me not for a media photographer and yet I still see girls who are perfectly healthy and normal being told they are too fat, their breasts are too small.

It actually makes you feel disappointed that in a day and age where we are so willing to fight for the rights of a murder, or rapist that nothing is said about the media portrayal of people.  It’s easier to poke fun at the “fat bitch” than to think, hey she’s really fighting to get up in the morning, to do the right thing, I should ask her how she’s feeling… I should keep my damned abusive mouth shut.

It is true I feel that you can avoid internet bullying, but I also think it’s important to understand people that feel bullied won’t know how to deal with it. Sometimes we aren’t equipped with the mindset to walk away, you sit in front of the PC and see those comments, “fat” “ugly” “worthless” and buried in the myriad of beautiful praises they stand out, they are negative and they are hurtful. Internet trolls aren’t even clever people, they just think they are. Personally they are the ones I feel more sorry for when I sit down to analyse it, after all they are that needy for attention they have to try to destroy other people’s creativity and happiness.

So I guess really what I am saying is, I don’t think it’s important to you as a person if you cosplay and they ignore your costume for the thing girl. I’ve been physically pushed aside by men for a picture of a prettier girl by the way…

It is more important to evaluate your self-worth. I find this hard but here’s my example!

I love what I do, I have a balance of life and work, I love my friends and family equally. I won’t judge you as a man or woman, I will judge you as a person. I am not blind to my follies and faults, I will adapt and try to move forwards. I WILL love you no matter your size and I DO care if you are upset.

And, if anyone ever wants to talk to me outside of my blogs you can find me on facebook.

Take care all,

GearsGirl



{August 12, 2013}   The Flaws of Park Mobile

Back in June I went out with my friend for the day, we had a great time wandering around the cemetery in Birmingham and taking pictures. We paid the parking in cash, got a ticket and then came back and thought it was still early enough to go into the city centre.

 

Following the course of sat nav we got ourselves to the parking meter, got our change together and then inserted the pennies as necessary. The machine came up with an error; I cursed and then got out my trusty iphone. AH problem! There’s no number for the fault to be reported on, but! There is a lovely number to call to pay it by card. So called them up, registered all the things it asked. Got told when the payment ended so I knew when to be back and off we went!

 

Dinner, relaxing walk around and then back to the car, supposedly a great end to the day before heading back to my home town. WRONG! SO SO wrong!

 

I got slapped with a parking ticket. I have raised a dispute and this is where I truly feel it turned from a “oh bloody hell” into an absolute sham.

 

So here is what I got back initially:

 

Good afternoon,

 

We are sorry to hear you have received a aprking fine on 22.6.13

 

There is no evidence that a session was booked and paid for on that day, hence the fine from Birmingham Council.

 

I have checked the call log for that day and can confirm that you did call to make payment at 12.56

 

The vehicle registration was ********** and location code 7666 was selected for a stay of 2 hours.

Unfortunately either the security code on the back of the payment card wasn’t entered or it was entered incorrectly as the call ended at this point before the session started.

 

You can try to appeal the fine with Birmingham Council using this evidence but we cannot guarantee the outcome.

 

Sadly there is no other evidence we can provide to assist your appeal.

 

Rregards

Parkmobile helpdesk

 

Ignoring the spelling errors it’s got … you can see they have acknowledged I called. So yes it appears that there was something there and I tried. But apparently the system didn’t take my number. Well it never told me. I raised the objection June 24th.

 

I then had to wait, and it was the 4th July when I got a response. I was angry, very angry because of the sheer number of problems with it.

 

In addition, l have noted your comments regarding the payment you had made Into the machine. In order that I may give this matter further consideration, I shall need the machine number of the pay and display machine that you had used or a sketch of its location.”

 

My original e-mail contained the details that they were asking for of the location. And sketch? So I had to go back to Birmingham to get a sketch? I won’t go into the rest of the e-mail but it was a joke, spelling errors and as I had pointed out there was no way to call them, no way to contact anyone and even to raise the dispute it’s all by e-mail or post. I replied the 4th July, I wouldn’t want to be seen to be sitting on this, after all they told me I had 14 days.

22nd July, still nothing. Sent a chase.

 

12th August – I got a response. Which actually made me so angry it was probably good I don’t live in the area!

 

They have no record of a fault, well no one was gonna call with there being no number were they? And of course I am clearly lying if that’s the case, despite the witness and the call. And hang on wasn’t the problem the park mobile and NOT the cash machine? I already pretty much indicated I gave up on that thing in the first e-mail.

 

“I have also noted that you had been unable to locate a contact telephone number on the pay and display machine. However, I would advise you that the contact telephone number is located on the front of the pay and display machine.”

 

I am also blind as well it appears. And so was my friend who was also there looking. So we’re both blind and both liars. Going well so far.

 

“I have also noted that you had attempted to use the Parkmobile application. However, upon checking our records, I can confirm that the CVV security number was not confirmed. Therefore upon checking your vehicle, the Civil Enforcement Officer was unable to determine a valid parking session, thus the Penalty Charge Notice was correctly issued.”


Attempted? I did use it, that’s my point! If the automated system cannot tell me that the information was invalid was I supposed to stand there until the time was up waiting?

 

“I regret, however, as I cannot find any evidence to support your claim that the ticket machine was faulty, I am unable to withdraw the Penalty Charge Notice and must request that payment is forwarded in settlement.”

 

Again! At no point was I complaining about the MACHINE I was complaining about the Park Mobile fault.

 

I have now copied in my MP – And I copy a summary of the major points here.

 

“I have a witness there, who tried to help me.

You have material evidence that I tried to call and pay by your own admission!

Your system failed to inform me on the call that the details were incorrect, which was completely misleading me into believing I had paid.

You seem to think this is about the fault of the machine, I was happy to ignore that fact as the bulk of this complaint is about the phone service being inept NOT the fault of the machine. As I had previously put I paid it, assumed it lost and then rang.”

 

Disgruntled? Yes YES I am!

 

Frag out.

 

 



et cetera