Freak Out Moments











{November 30, 2014}   Birmingham MCM and Voting

Hey all!

Big beg first of all – Could you vote for me? http://www.yorkshirecosplaycon.co.uk/ Rea Nero Bridge. I was voted in by a friend and I thought it was incredibly sweet.

Time for an update 🙂 I’ve moved house with my partner, now we live with a friend and it’s been such a nice change. The area we were in before was worryingly rough so we’re in a nicer part of the county. I changed jobs too and am so far enjoying the new role.

This weekend we went to Birmingham MCM Comicon so here goes with how it all went and all that jazz!

First day – I had a priority ticket but we took my friend, she’s 12 and she had to get a ticket on the day, there’s a big old price difference there between £16 and the £7 on the day. Like many people in the queue we were stuck there a good while, it can be so frustrating and the only reason we did is because there was no pre-entry on there for that age range. It’s not very family friendly feeling if you are forced to pay for either a full family ticket or for a full adult one… I would like to see a junior pre-ticket option in future…

We got into the hall, it was rammed full but none-the-less good fun. I was dressed in my World of Warcraft costume. I don’t think it was very popular but I had fun. I made the costume out of scrap materials and things already in the house, which equates to basically costing me about £5… aside from the skin paint.

We took some pictures, saw the Marvel photoshoots that were going on and then we wandered around. It was a long day but we left right at the end. One of my friends even won the Masquerade with her group so that was damned awesome!

On the second day we headed in, I was dressed like Meg from Family Guy. The top was hand-made as I needed the longer sleeves thanks to my tattoos… The group of us seem to go down well and people were sayin “Shut up Meg” at me, it was a great idea for the group of us, suggested to me by Buster Boy Cosplay. We had a great time and lots of people stopped us, it was also more comfortable than the day before!

Recently I decided to launch a Facebook page too in matching with the name I use here – That Gears Gal

So pop on over if you are also interested.

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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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1398370_654559424574369_1827787673_o (2)My Gears Collection



{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