My Geeky Tattoos: Part 1

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Ever since I saw my brother-in-law’s Superman tattoo as a kid, I decided that I wanted one one day.  But being that I was scared of needles, I could only admire tattoos from afar. Fast forward to 2017 and I currently have 3 tattoos with 5 more planned. My favorite one is inspired by my favorite anime/TV show/anything, Dragon Ball Z.

(People don’t believe me. Then I show them my socks. This actually happened at work last week.)

My rule for tattoos is that I have to wait at least a year before I actually get it done. During that time, I ponder over my design and tweak it if needed. This is exactly what I did with my DBZ tattoo. I knew that I had to have a Dragon Ball-inspired one but I was having trouble designing it. I had already decided that I didn’t want character face. But what else would I get? A dragon ball? A scouter? Gohan’s glasses? A senzu bean? I had no clue. Then it dawned on me one day after shopping. I had gone to a department store to look for items for my apartment. I found a few cute pictures frames and polka dot sunglasses. I also got a set of plaques that had inspirational words on them. One of those words was “hope” which is my favorite word. As someone who has faced many struggles in life, there were times where I could only hold onto hope; just like Mirai(Future) Trunks.

(I even had purple hair for a couple of years!)

Death is nothing in the present Dragon Ball storyline. A character dies, everyone is sad for an arc, and then they get wished back. Hooray. But in Mirai Trunks’ world, Piccolo is dead which means no Kami and no Dragon Balls. As the Z-fighters are obliterated one by one, the chances of the world surviving the Androids’ massacre is slim to none. His beloved master, Gohan, is no match for Android 17 and Android 18 and dies just like the others. Even in the midst of all of the unspeakable things happening in his world, he still has hope that his world can be saved. Depending on which version of the anime and manga you viewed, Trunks or Bulma wrote “HOPE!!” on the side of Trunks’ time machine before he headed to the past in an effort t0 save the future.

(Hope <3)

In the lower right hand corner of the tattoo it reads “Hebrews 6:19″ which is one of my favorite Bible verses. It reads: ” We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.”

People get tattoos for different reasons. For me, my tattoos tell a part of my story. There are days when I look at this tattoo as a reminder everything will work out in the end.  <3

Do you have any geeky tattoos? Tell me about it below!

An Update: What I’ve Been Doing For the Past Month!

www.pixabay.com/La_Petite_Femme

This post contains links to my products on Teespring. This post also contains affiliate links which means I earn compensation from purchases made through product links to RageOn!

Hello everyone! I haven’t posted anything in a month but I have a good excuse! HelloChica89 has been a busy bee for about 30 days straight. I’ve been busy doing marketing research, working on my business plan, and a bunch of other things. First, I’ve been working nonstop on my upcoming ebook The Comprehensive Guide to Geek Conventions. This has been an idea of mine for a while now and I finally took the initiative to get started! I am currently about 40% done! I am also working on a cosplay ebook that is still in its infancy. It’s called To Be the Very Best: Tips to Enhance Your Cosplay Experience. But I may change that title. I’m not sure yet.

As someone who enjoys cosplay, I also enjoy fashion. After being in the education world for 5 years, it’s been a blessing to be back to my first love.  As a high school student, I wanted to be a fashion designer and open my own boutique one day. I wrote about my desires and dreams in my senior paper and I just knew that it would happen in a few years. More than anything, I wanted to attend The Art Institute of Dallas. I was taking design and art classes in school and watching every fashion show on tv. I devoured issues of  Teen Vogue and Seventeen to get inspiration and to keep up with the latest trends. My amazing school counselor got a welcome packet from the school filled with tons of information AND DVDs of the latest fashion shows featuring the students’ designs. I just knew that I needed to be there. But, I could not afford to go. I was not a resident of Texas and there was no way for me to get a scholarship. I would have to pay out of pocket. So I did the next best thing; I became a business major.(This did not last long because I found out that I had to take calculus. True story. I am horrible at math.) 

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(I changed majors like…)

So, I’ve decided to test out the design waters using Teespring and RageOn!. For the past month I’ve been learning how to use the sites, playing around with designs and just learn how to market my products. I was surprised that I was able to execute my ideas so easily! I’m a fan of pop culture so it’s only natural that my designs would reflect that fact. Here are a few of the designs that I’ve come up with so far! You can see more on the shop page!

“One Wish” tank in coral from Teespring
“Anime Music” from Teespring
“Moonlight gamer” from Teespring
“One Wish” tee from Teespring in black because I live for black shirts. 🙂

Here are a couple of the RageOn! designs. I drew inspiration from anything I could. Including my old cheat codes from Animal Crossing on the Gamecube. 😀

Gamer Code Women’s Tee
Moon Goddess Women’s Tee
Recording Queen Women’s Tee

Lastly, I’ve been brainstorming and planning BRAND NEW BLOG POSTS! Some of my planned posts include my geeky tattoos, my cosplay ideas,the importance of crafting, and even my favorite card game: Solitaire. I am so excited to get these posts out to your soon!

Writing, designing, planning. I’ve been a busy bee. Creating is fun but learning about the business side of blogging is also interesting. I have other things on the way that I can’t talk about just yet but I am so ready to present them on my blog! Working on My Geek Parade and working as a reading specialist is tough but I can’t help but say that I love it. This blog is my baby and I can’t wait to see how far it goes. To my readers, thanks for listening. <3

 

 

 

NO NEED TO FEAR!: How to Budget for Your Geek Convention

This post contains affiliate links which means I earn compensation from purchases made through product links to Amazon.com.

So you’ve finally decided to attend a con! Congratulations! Attending a con is a great experience that you never want to forget.  But to make it memorable, you have to spend money. Let me repeat that: YOU WILL HAVE TO SPEND MONEY AT THE CON. 

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(You right now.)

 But if you plan ahead, you won’t have to survive on hot dogs and cereal the month after the con! Here is a list of things that I learned after attending my first one. Yep, I went in with eyes wide open and left with a very empty bank account. After that fiasco, I made sure that I was better prepared the next time!

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(Happy and Broke 2: Convention Aftermath)

  1. Start planning at least 5 months in advance: This gives you time to research the con, figure out how much money you will need, and save.  Use this time to decide how many days you will attend the con and take off from work. I always ask for days off as SOON as I know that I want to attend a con.
    www.pixabay.com/stevepb
  2. Registration: Why are you attending this con? This is something that you should ask yourself before your register. If you only want to game, get a gaming badge. Concert? Just pay for the concert. But if you are looking to enjoy the entire con experience, buy a pass for the appropriate days. Most cons have single day or weekend badges. Larger cons typically have premium badges that offer extra perks. For example, Tokyo in Tulsa’s Sakura Club offers cool swag such as a bag, t-shirt, first dibs in artist alley and in the vendor room, first row access to all events and so much more! But if you cannot afford a premium pass, PREREGISTER! If badges aren’t mailed, get there early to pick up your badge!
  3. Transportation: How are you getting there? If you live close by, you obviously want to drive each day. However, you still need to pay for gas and a parking pass. This amount will vary but consider these costs when preparing your budget.  Search the website for parking procedures. If you can’t find it there, contact a staff member for help! If you’re going to fly, try to buy your ticket as soon as you get your days off from work approved! This should be done as soon as possible. You also want to schedule the flight so that layovers won’t destroy your con time. So if you are dying to ask Nozawa Masako a question at her panel on Friday at 5pm, do not schedule your arrival for Friday at 3. You’re cutting it close. Nozawa-san will not wait for you.
    www.pixabay.com

    (Kame-hame-nope!)

  4. Hotel/Lodging: Many cons have partnerships with certain hotels and will offer discounts if you book with that particular hotel! Or, you could stay with a friend or relative at their home and drive in each day! There’s no wrong way to do it! I’ve done both! 😊 But be sure you know how many days you need and book ahead! Sometimes you have to book through the link on the con’s website to get the discount. Pay attention and be aware. If you are going with friends, you can easily split up the cost of the room! 😊 Don’t forget about parking! If you’re driving, you’ll have to park so make sure you put back money for parking! Depending on where you are, this may be $10 or more! Check the website! Anime Expo, for example, clearly displays parking information on their site.
  5. Call your bank ahead of time! I learned this the hard way! Prior to attending an out-of-town con, I made sure to pay all of my “first of the month” bills before I left. I had just gotten paid so there was nothing to worry about! Right? Wrong! At the con later that day, my card was declined while trying to purchase Princess Jellyfish on DVD! I freaked out because I immediately thought that my account had been hacked! But when I checked my bank account, my money was there. Then it dawned on me: I forgot to let my bank know that I was going to be out of town. My bank has many security features in place. One is  freezing your account if too much money comes out too quickly or if you leave town. I quickly called to notify them and they were able to increase my spending limit for the weekend. Try and do this the day before you leave so that you do not hold up the line.
  6. FOOD! Eating is important! You are a human. You must have water and food to survive. The last thing you want is to get sick and have to go home! If you are staying at a hotel for 3 days, you will need  to set aside at least $100 for food. MOST CONS DO NOT ALLOW OUTSIDE FOOD AND DRINK!  Some have free water but some do not. Make sure you are prepared.
    www.pixabay.com/MikesPhotos

    (Nom nom)

  7. Merchandise: Budget at least $200-$300 for merchandise. I am so serious. A big part of conventions is purchasing things. Bands have tons of cool merch available.  Artist alley and the vendor rooms are full of manga, Blu-ray/DVDs, t-shirts, wigs, games, and other unique items. You are going to want to buy it. Now should you buy every single thing you want? Absolutely not. Take a moment to walk around and make a list of things that you want to purchase. If you still want it the next day, go ahead and buy it!  Now, if there are only a few copies of something left, get it!  (Note: Avoid mystery bags. You are NOT getting $50 worth of merchandise for $20. Trust me. I’ve messed up like 3 times. T_T) 
    www.pixabay.com/Myriams-Fotos

    (Me each time I open a mystery bag full of trash.)

  8. Autographs: Guests often have autograph policies and prices. To be honest, the most I’ve ever spent was $5 to take a picture with a guest. To me that was reasonable. However, there are some some guest who charge way more than $5. Prices can range from free to hundreds of dollars. Some guests only sign their merchandise. So before you bring that Haruko wall scroll for Kari Wahlgren to sign, make sure she is able to sign it! ( I actually have a wall scroll that I want Kari Wahlgern to sign ^_^) Big cons sometimes have the guest sign one poster/item to keep the line moving. FIND OUT WHO YOU WANT AUTOGRAPHS FROM BEFORE YOU LEAVE SO THAT YOU AREN’T DISAPPOINTED.
  9. www.pixabay.com/piviso
    Cash: As stated in 10 Tips to Survive Your First Con, you need to have cash on you. With so many people attending the con, the ATMs will run out of money. Also, debit readers can malfunction and some vendors only take cash.  A good rule of thumb is to have at least half of your spending money in cash.
  10. Emergency Money: Anything can happen while you are away. Flat tires, torn cosplays, illnesses. Make sure to include a “con emergency fund” in your budget.  You want to make sure that you have at least $60 set aside for this.

For my visual people, here is a chart showing my con budget:

Expense Price Total
Food $10 per meal x 2 meals per day=$20 per day  

 

 

$60 for 3-day con + $20 for extras like water and snacks=$80

 

 

Badge Approx. $180 for a premium badge $180.00
Lodging Hotel= approx. $100 per night

Plus tax

Approx. $325 divided between 2 other friends = $109
Parking Approx. $10 per day Approx.  $30
Transportation Gas money= It depends! About $50 divided between 2 others= ~$17
Merchandise Vendors, Artist Alley, and Extras= $200

Autographs= $20 (I have yet to spend more than $5 for autograph sessions)

$220
Emergency $60
 Total  $696

Obviously, money does not buy happiness. But conventions make me happy and conventions cost money. If you take time to plan and budget accordingly, you can have a great time without killing your bank account.  The price that I pay to attend cons is nothing compared to the experiences that I gain in just 3 short days. I get to hang with my friends, cosplay, and buy cool stuff. Don’t let the cost to hold you back. Make a plan and stick to it! 🙂

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Welcome to The Geek Parade: An Introduction

This post contains affiliate links which means I earn compensation from purchases made through product links to Amazon.com.

I personally want to welcome you to The Geek Parade; a place where I’ll be celebrating my love for all things geeky: cosplay, cartoons, music, films, anime, and etc. I started this blog because I love talking about various forms of entertainment. I rarely see things at face value and I’ve always had a habit of analyzing things. I love to take things apart and see how and why they work. But most of all, I love sharing my thoughts with other people who are just as intrigued as I am.

A shot of me as Mikasa.

The first anime series I ever laid eyes on was Yama Nezumi Rokki Chakku (Rocky Chuck, the Mountain Rat). The series told the story of a woodchuck named Rocky and his animal friends who went on adventures while avoiding predators; namely a weasel, a fox, and a farmer. However, the series was known as The Fables of Green Forest on the English language channel while I was living in Germany circa 1992. Being that I was only 3 years old at the time, I had no idea that I was watching an anime series from 1973. But what I did know is that I was viewing an enjoyable piece of animation. When Sammy the Blue Jay screamed “TROUBLE! TROUBLE!” in the opening sequence, I knew that I was in for an adventure.

FreeImages.com/Lynn Haas

(I reached out to Rocky Chuck at his home for an interview but he wasn’t having it. He threatened to call the police.)

Fast forward to the mid-90s and by this time I had viewed shows like Speed Racer, and G-Force (Gatchaman). However, it was not until I discovered Sailor Moon that I found out that it was from Japan and called anime. The characters, storylines and music demanded my attention and I needed more of it. It was through Toonami that I discovered Dragon Ball ZIt was through the small video rental shop by my house that I was able to watch Ranma ½ . Showtime, Sy-Fy, and HBO introduced me to classics such as Akira, Armitage III, Project A-Ko and Dirty Pair.  I could go on.  But not only did I enjoy watching anime, I loved to talk about it. I would talk to anyone who would listen (or not tell me to shut up).

FreeImages.com/Niel Boegh

(Me: “But Conan and Jimmy look exactly like! How is it that no one has figured out his identity? It’s the Superman effect!” Other human: Not killing me)

This is my 3rd or 4th blog; I lose count. I get an idea, try to start a blog and then I leave it to die in the blog wasteland after a few months. But my old blogs had one thing in common: they focused on things that I wasn’t really passionate about. So I had trouble creating content and lost steam. But the 4th (or 5th) time is a charm. I absolutely cannot contain my excitement as I begin this journey.  Stayed tuned, hold on, and get ready to be a part of The Geek Parade! You’re in for a treat! 🙂