The Baby Blanket Saga

In my weekly wrap-up post on Sunday, I posted a picture of the garter stitch baby blanket I’m knitting.  I also mentioned that its “saga” was kind of ridiculous and deserved its own post.  Well here we go.

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I am aware that the name is stupid.

First, the backstory.

Two Christmases ago, my dad and stepmom gave me a bunch of yarn.  By “a bunch” I mean something like fifteen big skeins.  They don’t know much about yarn, though, and gave me cheap acrylic stuff that they found in a big box craft store.  Now, I can appreciate pretty much any type of yarn that I don’t have to pay for.  Even the scratchy and exceedingly cheap stuff – you know, the yarn that practically squeaks as you work with it? – has its uses.  And boy, howdy!  I will use the hell out of that yarn when I find the right pattern for it.  And, when it comes right down to it, they were really sweet to get me all that yarn.

However.

Six skeins of the yarn was Bernat Pipsqueak.  It’s cute enough, I guess, but I don’t really like it.  For one, the colors are pastel and I am not a fan of most pastels.  For two, the yarn and I do not play nicely together.  It feels flimsy and I’m constantly scared that I’m going to break it.

The biggest problem, though, is that it is so fuzzy that I can barely see what I’m doing with it.  The fuzz does hide mistakes, which is nice, but also makes it harder to correct booboos.  I actually tried crocheting with Pipsqueak at first.  That was a disaster.  I couldn’t see where to stick my crochet hook in order to make more stitches.  There are published crochet patterns for this stuff, though.  I don’t understand!  How can ANYONE crochet with it?

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SO FUZZY. This colorway is called “candy girl.” Notice the baby on the label? That means it’s for babies. Pastel yarn is always for babies. Because, um, babies just love pastels?

Fortunately, the beauty of knitting’s culture of gift giving means that I’m not required to put up with this yarn forever.  I can always knit something for an actual baby instead of for myself.  One could make a strong argument that I’m more of an overgrown child than an actual adult, but I digress.  As fate would have it, this is exactly why my dad bought the Pipsqueak yarn that Christmas.

My niece was born earlier that year, and Daddy insisted that I knit a blanket for her.  He bought the yarn, after all, so I suppose the request is reasonable enough.  (Thank goodness my sister-in-law likes the “candy girl” colorway.)  However, Daddy started to get on my nerves because he kept asking me “When are you going to make a blanket for Clara?”  Every single time I saw him, he’d ask me again.

Before I go any further, I want to state that my father is usually a pretty nice guy.  He buys me beer and gives me blueberries that he grows and picks himself.  He hates gossip and is the best secret keeper I have ever met.

But, bless his heart, he is a little clueless.

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No, Dad. NOT winning.

After hearing “When are you going to make a blanket for Clara?” one too many times, I got what my mom calls “snippy.”  I told him that I was working on another blanket that I had been planning for weeks before he gave me yarn for Clara’s blanket.  I also told him that it takes a LONG time to knit or crochet something as big as a blanket.  I appreciated the yarn, but bugging me about when I’m going to make something with it is not very nice.

I could tell that I kinda hurt his feelings and I felt like a heel.  However, he was a teensy bit presumptuous about the blanket.  Non-knitters like my father are often oblivious to the amount of time and effort required for knit projects.  Even if they mean well, they can be frustrating.  He did not ask about it anymore, though, so something resembling peace returned to the family.

Alrighty.  Let’s fast-forward approximately fifteen months.  I have FINALLY started Clara’s blanket.  I figured I’d bite the bullet and get it over with before the kid goes to prom in sixteen years and tells her friends all about her loser aunt who wouldn’t even knit her a baby blanket.

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“I’d do it, too!”

But, Clara obviously is no longer a newborn.  This means that I should probably make a blanket that is larger than what six skeins will make.  So, I went ahead and got a skein of white Pipsqueak a few weeks ago just to see how it looks with “candy girl.”  As you can see in the photo at the top of this post, it works.  So now I need to get more white.  Unfortunately, our local Wal-Mart no longer carries ANY Bernat Pipsqueak yarn.  Those bitches.  Now I’ll have to hit up expensive internet retailers or drive for miles just to get a few more skeins of that dinky, fuzzy yarn before I can finish the blanket.  Sigh.

This situation got so much more complicated than I ever anticipated.  First, my well meaning father and stepmother give me some yarn that I don’t really like.  Then, I hurt my dad’s feelings and took FOREVER to start the blanket.  Now Wal-Mart is punishing me by drying up the local supply of Bernat Pipsqueak.

This has gotten just plain silly.  I should write an epic poem about it and set the saga to sad music.  I’m as tragic as Oedipus Rex.  Uh, minus the you-know-what with relatives.

Apparently I’m Playing “The Hunger Games Adventures” Again

I’m not sure why, but this is happening.  I haven’t exactly tried to hide my contempt for The Hunger Games Adventures.  I’m so confused.  Why is this happening?

Okay, honestly, what had happened was.  I got lost on the Hunger Games wiki and saw that a map of Panem from The Hunger Games Adventures (HGA) included District 3.  I don’t remember what article on the site included this map, but it got my brain wheels a-turning.  See, HGA only labels a district on its map if the player can actually travel to that district.  This meant that the player could go to District 3.  And if the player could go to District 3… Could I meet Beetee!?

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Beetee is the main reason that Catching Fire is my favorite book in the Hunger Games trilogy. The other reasons are “It’s exciting” and “Finnick” and “Johanna.” (Why do I look like I’m trying to EAT the book, though?)

And that’s how I started playing this stupid timesuck of a facebook “game” after a nearly two year hiatus.  I say “game” because it’s really just another cleverly disguised storefront for nudging players into microtransactions.  Don’t believe me?  You poor, naive creature.  The game is obviously geared to take advantage of those with little patience and even less financial self control.

In the game, the player has a certain amount of energy.  Almost everything players do uses up a little bit of energy (the amount depends on what they’re doing).  The energy will regenerate very slowly over time.  There are also in-game items that players can make and use to regain a little energy.  Occasionally, small amounts will “drop” when the player completes a task, but that’s rare.  When you run out of energy, you can’t do much of anything until it regenerates.

Or, you can purchase an energy refill with credits instead of waiting around for it to regenerate.  How does one get credits?  The game occasionally – very occasionally – gives the player credits for certain actions.  I have 285 right now, but I’ve never purchased anything with them.  I’m pretty sure I got most of them just for starting my game.  The rest were probably promotional things from Home Depot or Taco Bell or some similarly stupid attempt at advertising.

But, if I wanted to take matters into my own hands, I could always purchase HGA credits with facebook credits.

hunger games adventures, facebook credits, stupid
Those facebook credits?  Yeeeah.  They cost real money.  Real money that could pay for real video games that are a million times better than artfully disguised, timesucking, wallet invasions.

hunger games adventures, facebook credits, stupid

God help the idiots willing to shell out hundreds of dollars for the world’s stupidest point and click adventure game.

I would be willing to put up with this mess for Beetee, though.

Beetee has become my favorite Hunger Games character – although I love Haymitch, Johanna, and Finnick almost as much – and I got excited at the prospect of meeting him.  He might ask me to do some stupid fetch quests!  Maybe I could help him with an invention, too.  This is too much.

Enter:  sad trombone.  There is no Beetee.  There is no Beetee.  THERE IS NO BEETEE.

All that pointless, dumbass clicking for nothing.

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“That’s the saddest, stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.”  -  Speck

And Beetee’s not the only Victor who has failed to appear.  The player goes to District 4, but there is no Finnick.  You even go to Finnick’s house and help his assistant clean the yard and pool area.  Ugh.  This is some bullshit, y’all.

Logically, I know it makes sense that you don’t meet Beetee or Finnick at this point in HGA.  When you go to Districts 3 and 4, the seventy-fourth Hunger Games is still going on.  This means that Victors are at the Capitol, mentoring their tributes, instead of doing their normal routines in the districts.

I still hope that Beetee will make an appearance, though.  What other reason is there for playing this dumb game?

No, seriously.  Please give me some justification for the fact that I’m still playing this game.

2011-01-27-Traps, traps, buttersafeHEY! THAT’S JUST MEAN!
Even if it does explain a lot…

Can you think of a nicer reason for why I’m still playing The Hunger Games Adventures?  Am I stupid for sitting through overly aggressive advertisements just to see if I’ll eventually run into my favorite characters?

Comic taken from Buttersafe. Used with permission. Click image for link to original post on buttersafe.com.

My Week – August 17, 2014

I figured I would steal Jenny Lawson’s weekly wrap-up post idea, because why not?  Isn’t that how the internet works?

Okay, the real reason I wanted to do a weekly wrap-up post is that I don’t actually post about all the video games I’ve played, books I’ve read, or projects I’ve crafted (or started and never finished) during any particular week.  I guess it’s less of a “wrap-up” and more like “hey look at all this stupid shit I did.”  I’m gonna use Jenny’s idea, but I’m not gonna gank her format.  I do have some standards, after all.

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“Standards!? Since when?”

Video Games

Hubbles and I beat my favorite Borderlands 2 DLC, Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep.  Actually, we beat it Monday night just a few hours after finding out about Robin Williams’ death.  I was already heartbroken because I’ve always loved Robin Williams, and the tearjerker moments of Dragon Keep’s final story mission were almost too much.  I straight up cried, y’all.  The campaign has its funny moments – obvious because Tiny Tina! – but it’s also really sad in some ways.  I loved Dragon Keep, though, and I’ll try to write a proper post that’s chock full of my thoughts on it.  I know how everyone loves my thoughts.

In handheld news, I’m still farming berries in Pokémon X.  One of these days I’ll actually do something productive with those extra side quests and the hundreds of unevolved Pokémon I have.  I also returned to Yoshi’s New Island.  I’m not in love with it, but it’ll do.  Predictably, I have some thoughts on it that I will try to write about soon.  (Yes, these thoughts are a little less uptight than those I previously spewed out in “Yoshi Is Weird.”)

Besides that, I still play Clash of Heroes on Xbox 360 way too much.  It’s an RPG and puzzle game all in one.  If there is a video game that yells “Katy!” louder than that, then I must be deaf because I haven’t heard it yet.

I’m also playing The Hunger Games Adventures again.  I don’t understand it, either.

Knitting

I’m working on a blanket for my niece.  The whole saga is kind of ridiculous, though, and deserves its own post.  In the meantime, here’s what I’ve knit so far.

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The whole thing is plain old garter stitch. This flimsy, fuzzy yarn doesn’t really allow me to get fancier than that without feeling like I’ll break it or drop a stitch. I actually tried to crochet with it at first, but no. Just no.

Crochet

Can’t.  My elbow is bothering me again.  This is getting really old.

Other internet stuff I did

As usual, my sister Taylor and I posted our daily creepy faces on the tumblr we share.  My favorite from last week is this one that Taylor took of herself.

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Taylor titled this one “Gross.” It makes me laugh so hard that it hurts. (Click picture for a link to the original post on creepyfaceaday.tumblr.com.)

Highlights (both good and weird)

These I shall present to you in bullets so that I don’t feel like I need to make them coherent or connected in any way.  They are unrelated to my usual topics, but I feel the need to inform the world of them for some reason.

    • At dinner the other night, I asked Hubbles if he wanted the last slice of tomato.  He then asked if *I* wanted it, and I told him to just answer the damn question already.  He responded by yelling “Solomon’s baby!” and then slicing the tomato in half so we could share it.
    • Ibsen had his yearly vet checkup and booster shots.  He was so pissed and bitey that the vet tried to muzzle him before giving him his shots.  I didn’t know you could muzzle a cat, but apparently you can.  The muzzle totally covered Ibsen’s face, but he shook it off.  He shook it off.  After much fighting, one injury (to a human), and my unsuccessful attempts to calm Ibsen, the vet and vet assistant had to wrap his front half in a towel and scruff him through the towel in order to give him the shots.  That cat is an evil little shit.  He loves me, though, so that little shit ain’t going nowhere.

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      This cat loves me above every other member of our household, which is weird because Hubbles is the acclaimed cat whisperer.

    • Speck actually had a checkup, too.  She is much older and much wiser than Ibsen.  Thus, she has had time to realize that the “grin and bear it” approach is the way to go with the vet.  She has issues with constipation, so they took x-rays of her abdomen to check for a condition called megacolon.  It is not nearly as awesome as it sounds.  Thankfully she does not have megacolon, but she did have some trapped gas in her gut.  So, the vet used a catheter to help her get it out.  Translation:  The vet stuck a catheter in my cat’s butt to help her poot.
    • I cleaned our bathroom yesterday after MONTHS of neglect.  Scrubbing the grout in the shower completely ruined a toothbrush, yet I still have more cleaning to do.  What has been seen cannot be unseen.  Fun fact:  At first, I accidentally typed “shat” instead of “what” in that last sentence. Sometimes typos are way too appropriate.

And that is how my week went.  I’m obviously leaving out most of the social, political, and entertainment world upsets that have happened in the last week.  This just felt more pleasant.  Anyway, here’s hoping I actually write about all the things I said I’d elaborate on.  Feel free to harass me about my empty promises.

Like my goofy blatherings?  Be sure to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.  You can also subscribe by email.  Just go to my homepage and find the “Subscribe to WildBlueYoshi via Email” field a little ways down on the right.

When Yarn Tails Attack

I hate yarn tails so much.  This is not a well kept secret.  Sewing them into my projects after I’m done is the absolute worst.  When I crochet, I like to crochet right over tails so that I don’t have to fiddle with them later.  But when I knit?  Sigh.  Weaving in yarn tails is pretty much the one thing I hate about knitting and I literally put it off until the last possible second.

I know that I should weave them in as I go along.  At the very least, I should sew them in as soon as I’m done knitting my project instead of letting the whole thing sit around, gathering dust with a bunch of tails flapping in the breeze.  That way, I wouldn’t have a bunch of potholders – each of which is made with two strands of yarn held together, meaning twice the number of tails – and dishrags to finish one day before I try to sell them in an art festival.

You’ve probably already guessed that what I just described was not a hypothetical situation.

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As if Speck has any room to mock someone for being lazy.

A few months ago, I had yarn tails in three pairs of potholders and one pair of dishrags to weave in before blocking.  All this on the day before an art festival where I planned to offer all of these for sale.

Let’s review.

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Sixteen tails. (Two pairs of potholders with four tails per potholder.)

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Eight tails. (One pair of potholders. Four tails per potholder.)

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Four tails. (One pair of dishrags. Two tails per dishrag.)

It was misery.

Twenty-eight freaking yarn tails.  So awful.  Very boring.  Much pain.

I got it done, though.  All it took was hours of Youtube videos – thank you, Green brothers, for entertaining me through my ordeal – and a little bit of discipline.  By “little bit of discipline” I mean “fidgeting a lot, wishing I were doing something else, hating life and everything in it, and sewing in one yarn tail every thirty minutes.”  It was grueling, but by God I got it done!

I left myself so little time to block everything that, in order to get the projects dry in time for the festival, I had to set a fan on them all night.  (I use wet blocking for my cotton projects.)  I felt pretty lame.  The art festival totally sucked, too, and no one bought any of my knitted items.  But, hey!  I got the potholders and dishrags finished, so it’s not a total loss.  They make great gifts, after all.  It’ll be nice to have some nice, already completed potential gifts sitting around when I’m struggling to finish a bunch of stuff before Christmas morning.

Anyway, I think I learned my lesson.  I probably didn’t, but I’ve figured out some tricks to work around my laziness.  Here’s hoping I don’t do this to myself ever again.

Yoshi Is Weird

As an early anniversary present, Hubbles got me a copy of Yoshi’s New Island for the 3DS.  This man knows the way to my heart!  He downloaded the game directly to the 3DS, too, so I don’t even have to take Pokemon X out of the system in order to get some of that sweet Yoshi action.  I probably shouldn’t call it “sweet Yoshi action” though, should I?

Hey look at Speck!  She’s so cute!

cat, kitty, tortoiseshell, tortie, yoshi, speck, dinosaur, blue

This isn’t the best picture to make people forget about that borderline dino-erotica thing you just said about getting “some of that sweet Yoshi action.”  Just so you know.

Anyway, after playing a few levels, I have some thoughts about Yoshi.  Mainly:  Yoshis are freaking weird.

For one, are the Yoshis in Mario games exclusively female?  My knowledge of the animal kingdom says that males do not produce eggs, yet every single Yoshi in Yoshi’s New Island – and the original Yoshi’s Island – can produce eggs.

Some species of frogs can change their sex in certain situations, though.  I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if there were exceptions to the “only female animals can produce eggs” rule.  However, as far as I know, only female animals produce eggs.  Unless Yoshi is an exception, Mario might require that only female (or male-to-female) Yoshis are eligible to carry his chubby little body.  While I think it would be cool if the Super Mario series had more female characters in it, a “no boy Yoshis allowed” rule seems needlessly exclusionary.

cat, kitty, yoshi, maine coon, ginger, fuzzy, furry, longhair, ibsen, wildblueyoshi, inappropriate

Ibsen? Why are you touching Yoshi’s no-no place?  I’m pretty sure that its sex will not affect its ability to take you from point A to point B.

Secondly, why do the Yoshis produce eggs directly from what they eat?  Maybe I’m mistaken, but I’m fairly certain that reproduction doesn’t work that way.  With humans, and maybe all mammals, females are born with every egg they’ll ever have already formed and stored in their ovaries.

Besides that, eggs and ovaries are a part of the reproductive system.  They’re completely separate from the digestive system.  You can’t eat something and make it turn into an egg by sheer force of will.  Now, Yoshi is obviously not a mammal.  It’s a dinosaur, and dinosaurs are reptiles.  But, even if a reptile’s egg forming capability doesn’t work exactly like a mammal’s does, I doubt that its caloric intake magically forms itself into eggs.

dog, poodle, miniature, fluffy, white, chicken costume, little bear

“I’ll bet I could poop an egg.” It doesn’t work that way, Little Bear, even if you’re dressed like a chicken. Also, you’re a male.  Also also, you’re a mammal.   Also also also, you have no reproductive organs anymore.

Thirdly, Yoshis lay eggs instantly and on command.  That is messed up.  Human reproduction doesn’t happen instantly, contrary to popular belief.  And, as many couples who are trying to conceive could tell you, it certainly doesn’t happen on command.  Reproduction isn’t usually that difficult – hell, most of the time it’s probably accidental – but it does require a decent amount of luck.  (Or bad luck, depending on the situation.)

I’m sure that, again, it’s unwise to make assumptions about reptile reproduction based solely on my knowledge of human biology, but come on!  What animal can produce offspring at any time just for the hell of it?  That makes no sense to me!

Before I go any further, I want to stop and acknowledge what some of you are thinking:  This is just a video game.  Nothing else on Yoshi’s Island follows the laws of science.  Why quibble over Yoshi’s eggs?

BECAUSE IT BOTHERS ME.  Also because my website is named after Yoshi.  I feel like that alone is enough reason to ask questions about this weird, egg throwing dinosaur.

Oh, yeah.  Egg throwing.

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“Ugh! Just stop! You’re embarrassing me!” NEVER! I HAVE LOGIC AND REASON TO ATTEND TO!

My last question about Yoshis is this:  why would they throw their eggs?  I can understand why monkeys, hippos, rabbits, and other animals fling their poop or pee at others as a defense mechanism or to exert dominance.  It’s nasty – most creatures don’t like being covered in another creature’s waste – and spreads the flinger’s scent.  That makes sense.  But eggs?  I don’t know of any animals that throw their eggs in self-defense.  I’m no zoologist and I could definitely be wrong, but that seems really off to me.

Let’s think about this.  Other than the need to survive, the greatest instinct that most creatures possess is the need to produce offspring and to pass their genes to the next generation.  Males will fight to the death for the chance to mate with a willing female.  Mothers will sacrifice their lives for their offspring.  So, considering all that, how does it make sense that an animal would throw its unborn young like Yoshis do?

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“WHAT!? MADNESS!” Thank you, Crybaby! Finally, someone who gets me. (Crybaby here is our current foster kitty. He will eventually be adopted into another deserving home, but we’re keeping him around in the meantime because he knows what’s what.)

Okay.  Okay.  Maybe those eggs aren’t fertilized.  Maybe Yoshi isn’t throwing its unborn young.  Maybe Yoshi is just acting like teenage pranksters who use store bought (and, therefore, unfertilized) chicken eggs to egg someone’s house.  If Yoshi’s eggs are unfertilized, they aren’t actually offspring.

It’s still weird that Yoshi throws its own eggs instead of those of a lesser species.  Since dinosaurs are so awesome, there are a lot of lesser species out there!  But, if Yoshi’s eggs are magically formed through its digestive system, I suppose throwing them isn’t that big of a deal.  Yoshis can produce eggs whenever they want, so they don’t exactly have the strictly limited supply that mammals have.  Still, though.  The whole thing is…  Weird.  It’s just really damn weird.

I don’t really know what else to say.  I’ve already written 1000 words about how weird Yoshis are, so I guess there isn’t much more to say.  I would just like to know what’s going on with my favorite dinosaur.

I was going to ask “Am I overthinking this?” but then I realized that, yes, I am definitely overthinking this.  So, I’ll ask this instead:  Am I the only one who is overthinking this?  I have a strong feeling that I’m not.

Summer Camp and Adorable Woopers

Earlier this summer, I worked as the pianist for an arts camp.  It was so much fun!  I loved working with the campers and with the camp’s vocal director.  Some of the campers were so smart and talented that it almost scared me.

On the first day of camp, I wore my Pokeball necklace and earrings that I made.  Several campers, including a girl named Maddie, were totally enamored with my jewelry.  After class, Maddie and another camper named Rebecca started talking with me about my jewelry, and our conversation quickly became a discussion of our favorite Pokemon.  I, of course, mentioned that Pikachu and Wooper are my favorites.

The next day, Maddie gave me this.

wooper, pokemon, wildblueyoshi, wildblueyoshi.com, maddie lowry, madeline lowry, art, hand drawnHow sweet!  She drew a Wooper for me!

After that, I found out that Maddie has weird a interest in serial killers and true crime just like I do.  We share some less weird interests, too, like classic rock and Pokemon.  Besides all that, she’s a great artist.  She’s pretty good with pencil and paper, obviously.  One day she pulled out her phone and showed me pictures of stuffed animals and AMAZING pottery she’s made, and all I could do was stare in awe.  She’s one rad kid!

That was only one highlight from my camp experience.  Working with campers like Maddie was great.  I hope the camp invites me back as the pianist next summer!  In the meantime I need to figure out where to display Maddie’s Wooper.  It’s so adorable that I just have to frame it.

What I Learned At InvaderCON III: Final Doom

Last time, I talked about getting autographs at InvaderCON.  That was definitely fun, but the panels at InvaderCON were even better.  I love the way the celebrity guests interacted with fans, especially the little kids, and how they were so willing to share their personal stories.  Their weirdness was also quite inspirational.

Basking in the presence of such accomplished, nice, and downright hilarious artists was awesome.  I left the con feeling really inspired and motivated.  I learned a lot of interesting things, too.  Some tidbits of information are more useful than others, certainly, but I figured I’d list them all for posterity.  This is another long post with a lot of videos, so I’m presenting everything in sweetly organized little groups and overusing bold text.

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GIR! Do I need to program spellcheck into you?

THE INVADER ZIM FANDOM

The first thing I noticed is that the Zim fandom is much larger, more diverse, and much more dedicated than I anticipated.  One woman drove twenty-one hours to bring her family to InvaderCON.  Others came all the way from Australia!  And here I thought we were dedicated, what with our little ten hour trip.  In all fairness, ten hours ain’t nothing. The last few hours of our drive got… interesting.

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MAKE THIS TRIP BE OVER PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY

Truthfully, the median age of the convention was lower than I anticipated. How do all these little kids know about Invader Zim? The show was cancelled before they were even conceived! I guess they either have awesome parents or scary internet skills.

Speaking of kids, their presence (and their parents’ presence) contributed to a very nice, safe feeling convention. There was a dance party on Saturday, and I never once felt like I might be assaulted by some clueless stranger who thinks vigorously humping my ass is an appropriate dance move.  The party was mostly kids standing around and swinging glow sticks while the “big kids” – like Hubbs and me – stood at a respectable distance and did the same.  I also loved that, in lieu of hilariously filthy hip-hop, the DJ mainly played remixes from Dance Dance Revolution.  I can dig it!

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DDR? I approve! Hubbles and I actually played it the night that we met. To commemorate our mutual love, we mounted this DDR dance pad on the “wall of art” in our living room.

Speaking of fandom, there seem to be two major fan “ships” in Zim culture: Zim and Gaz romance (ZAGR) and Zim and Dib romance (ZADR). I don’t understand it, but they are apparently a big deal.  Like, bigger than Dib’s head.  Haha!  Praise me for my relevant comparison! At this InvaderCON, a few people asked Richard Horvitz what he thinks about the pairings. He hates them. Andy Berman on the other hand, who voices Dib, finds it funny. In fact, at a previous InvaderCON, he humored ZADR fans by yelling “I love you, Zim!”

I prefer a platonic rivalry between Zim and Dib, but what do I know?  I hate loud music and go to bed early.  Clearly I’m just an old fuddy duddy.

HUBBLES AND PUBLIC SINGING

My husband is willing to sing in public if a very specific set of circumstances is met:

  1. The song must be about diarrhea.
  2. Richard Horvitz must sing with him.

YES THIS REALLY HAPPENED AND THERE IS A VIDEO OF IT.

I have never been more proud of my husband. (Even if I am insanely jealous.)

RIKKI AND TAVISHA

I have to mention the question that I asked Rikki Simons. He and his wife, Tavisha, create comics together. I couldn’t help wondering how a married couple is able to work together on all those projects without killing each other, so I asked. Rikki’s quick answer was “We don’t have children!”

Everyone got a good laugh out of that, but then Tavi elaborated further. I found a video of it on Youtube, because of course I did. I’ll just embed it below. My question is around 22:10. Hit play and hopefully the video should begin right before I start talking. (It might not, though, because it’s being a turd even though I put the right start time in the embed code.)  Please excuse my stammering and all the times I said “um” and “uh.” I was nervous.

Tavi said it helps that the two of them like the same music. Hubbles and I are at a bit of a disadvantage from that perspective.

By the way, Tavisha Wolfgarth-Simons is the world’s most adorable person over the age of 10 who is not related to me. By extension, she and Rikki are the world’s most adorable couple. Actually, they were basically childhood sweethearts and have been married almost twenty years.  I don’t care how cheesy it is to admit that I, along with every single audience member, went “Awww!” and applauded for them.

Another cool thing is that neither of them went to college, but for really good reasons. Instead of digging themselves and possibly their parents into a massive hole of debt or struggling against instructors who wouldn’t have approved of their manga/anime influenced styles, they honed their skills in other ways.  Impressive!

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Ibsen, that’s rude. Although I do regret getting a degree in music instead of, say, something I would put to good use.

P.S. – Rikki doesn’t like bacon.  HE DOESN’T LIKE BACON.  My worldview is shattered.

MELISSA FAHN

Melissa Fahn (voice of Gaz) is a freaking BROADWAY singer. Melissa was actually in the original Broadway cast of Wicked. I know most of the songs from Wicked and was totally blown away to find that out.  As if that’s not enough, she was also Edward in the English dub of Cowboy Bebop. I’m usually a snobby purist when it comes to anime – subs or no dice! – but Melissa was so great as Gaz that I need to check this out.

RICHARD HORVITZ

That man is a spectacle unto himself. He is so damn goofy and energetic that, even without his unique voice, I can’t imagine him doing anything other than performing.  His first love was musical theater, which explains why he sings so much.  He also plays guitar and ukelele, sounds like Cher when he imitates Elvis, and serenades little kids who cry in panels.  I, like, I just can’t.  It’s too cute.  If you can’t take my word for it, go to Youtube and search for his name.  You will see what I’m talking about.

ERIC TRUEHEART

This guy?  Yeah.  He’s awesome.  He obviously retains a healthy amount of cynicsm – he’s a writer in show business, after all – but he was gracious and nice to fans, even though he did have a good laugh at some silly things people said.  When a girl presented him with a card game she made called “Zim Against Humanity” he seemed genuinely touched by the gesture.  Personally, I think the girl’s Cards Against Humanity spoof may be the most appropriate gift that any Zim fan could’ve given Eric.

Eric seems like quite the smartass, too.  I bought a script for him to autograph, and when he was asking how to spell my name, I told him “I’m Katy with a Y.”  He asked if people misspell it a lot.  I said “Yes,” and then told him about some of the dumb things people have done with my name.  The most annoying thing is when people see my name, assume there’s an “H” in there, and call me “Kathy.”  Kathy is a fine name, but it’s not my name.  So, this is how he autographed the script for me.

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Dear world, I am not Kathy. If you didn’t believe me before, you’d better believe me now! Eric Trueheart said it, therefore it must be true.

RODGER BUMPASS

Rodger Bumpass (voice of Professor Membrane) used to be a weatherman!  If he had not succeeded as an actor, he said he would’ve returned to weatherman-ing. I’m happy he became Professor Membrane, but I gotta be honest when I say that he has the perfect weatherman voice.

Also, Rodger’s death has been misreported twice because two other dudes with the same name have died in the past few years.  Rodger mostly seems to be amused by it, but the rumors are persistent.  In fact, I typed his name into my search bar last night, and look what the first search suggestion was.

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That’s just rude.

That nearly sums it up, but since misreported deaths would be a weird note to end on, I have one last thing to say about Rodger. During Rodger’s Q&A, someone asked him for advice about getting into voice acting, and I found his answer to be particularly inspiring.  I can’t find a video of it and I don’t remember exactly what he said, but the gist of his answer was this:

Whatever you want to do, whatever you have a desire to do with your life, just do it.  If you don’t succeed, then at least you’ll have the satisfaction of trying.  Otherwise, for the rest of your life, you’ll wonder “What would have happened if I had tried doing what I really wanted to do?”

There’s really nothing I can add to that.  Great advice, Mr. Bumpass.

Meeting the people who helped create an incredible show that I love reminded me that I need to get off my sad, lazy ass and really commit to my silly dreams.  Rodger Bumpass is right.  Trying and failing is better than wondering “What if?” my entire life.

Truthfully, I was experiencing an absolutely horrendous bout of depression, self hate, and existential dread before InvaderCON, but I think this was just what I needed to bounce back.  I’ve written almost nothing this year and I’ve had little interest in trying new video games or craft projects.  But, in the past week, I’ve already outlined a bunch of blog posts and discussed some collaborative projects with Hubbles.  I even wrote a little bit of music!

I have ideas for a lot of projects that I want to do, and I finally feel like I have the confidence to try them out.  I think I’m back, y’all!

This post was really long, but it’s still about four hundred words shorter than Eric Trueheart’s blog post about the memories and magic of the first InvaderCON.  Yes, I counted.