Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Image Expo 2012

Over the weekend we attended Image Expo, a three day comic book convention hosted by Image Comics.  It was a fun weekend full of friends, art, comics, celebrities, geeks, artists, and a good time!  Here is my top ten list of my favorite comic book convention memories!
10.  Having my Wizard of Oz books signed by Eric Shanower.  Although kinda of an awkward guy to talk too, I love these books.  He did a little sketch in each one too!

9. I picked up a copy of Super Ugly's book, Monsters Are Just Like Us.  This is a really cute all ages book showing that scary monsters are really just like people. 

8. We attended Dave Dwonch and Super Ugly's signing party.  This was a fun get together at a Oakland based comic book store, Dr. Comics and Mr. Games.  A good time with the Geek Savants, as usual.  Unfortunatley, Ethan lost his cell phone on the way to the party, so we had to cut out early to try and track it down. 

7. I met Robert Kirkman.  Although not super friendly or talkative, nice enough to let me take a picture with him.  You may know Mr. Kirkman as the creator of The Walking Dead tv show. 

6. I discovered a cool new comic series, 19XX.  I have not read it yet, but I am excited to find a non-super hero book. 

5. I discovered a new web comic, Boston Metaphysical Society.  Don't know if it is any good, as it doesn't come out until April.  But it looks like some good artwork.

4. I was excited to see that Dave Dwonch published the first season of Space-Time Condominium. Originally published as a web comic, now I have a hard copy of my very own. And a sketch!

Pinned Image

3. Artist Jen Oaks had a print of Amazing Larry.  I don't have a picture of it and it is not on her website yet, but Ethan, Michele, and Josh will know who I am talking about!
2. I had my picture taken with Marc Silvestri.  He is a comic cook super star and happens to be my husband's favorite X-Men artist. Super nice and friendly guy.  I like Marc because he is a fashion icon in the comic book world.  When he walks into a room, people notice.  At least I do. :)

And the #1 most notable memory at the convention:

The Dipstick Swagger booth.  These guys are really funny.  Great entertainment at their booth.  They were taking commissions and each commission included two bonus sketches.  Here are my sketches below.  Good stuff!

Here are some other pictures from the weekend!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Brandi Thorpe- A CF Warrior, March 21 1978 to February 15, 2012

I first met Brandi as "bankgirl" during the launch of my blog.  I found her blog as I was seeking out CF related blogs to follow.  In return, she started following my blog too.  She was one of my first followers.  I learned a lot about life with CF through Brandi.  She posted raw emotion and shared in the difficulties of balancing work with health.  When hospitalized, she would refer to the stay as being at "Club Dread" instead of "Club Med." 

Brandi and I had a lot in common. We were the same age, love animals, and of course CF. She gave me great advice when I needed it the most.

She didn't blog as much this past year, so it was not as easy to keep up with her and her health.  She posted a blog in January to which she recapped an extended hospital stay, which included being there most of December, including Christmas Day.  Even after a four week stay, her lung function continued to be below her baseline.  They started to discuss an evaluation for transplant.  From this point the details are fuzzy, but she landed back in the hospital and suddenly was listed in critical condition, on a ventilator.  Hours later she was taken off life support and her suffering was over. 

There are so many things I loved about Brandi.  She was an animal lover.  She loved her "kittehs" as she always wrote it.  I will never forget back in 2009, her friend Lauren lost her life to CF.  Lauren had three dogs that were now homeless.  Brandi put forth every effort to find those dogs a home.  She also raised funds to support them until they could find a new place to live.  I will never forget the blog Brandi wrote when she found those dogs a home.  Together.  In Colorado.  I think there are so many people that would just take the easy way out and leave the dogs at the shelter to either be adopted separately or simply euthanized.  Not Brandi.  A true friend.  She did the right thing, in honor of her friend.  This is my favorite memory of Brandi.  My hope is someone is able to do the same for Brandi's fur babies. 

Brandi loved Halloween.  I always looked forward to her blogs around Halloween, because she was so excited about the holiday.  She had awesome costumes with a lot of imagination. 

Brandi's life has come to an end way too soon.  She spend a lot of time in the hospital. I hate that she spent her last Christmas there.  Even still, she always displayed a positive attitude.  A spirit we can all learn from.  Blogging will not be the same with out her.  I never met Brandi in person, but when I picture her face, I can't believe she is not with us any longer. Her smile is imbedded in my memory forever.  I'll miss you Brandi. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Paws for Love

February 11, 2012 was the annual Paws for Love fund raiser here in Sonoma County.  I don't remember how I first learned about Paws for Love, but it is now one of my favorite days of the year.  This is a unique event filled with hundreds of auction items, art, wine, food, and pets.  The proceeds go towards supporting the adoption and rescue of homeless and abused animals.  My two dogs were both homeless before coming to live with us.  They are my best friends and are a part of our home and family.  They both have so much to offer in terms of companionship and they really don't ask for much in return. I am always trying to find ways to give back to the animal community in celebration of my own two dogs and remembering that giving a homeless animal a second chance is so important.

Paws for Love is founded by Ellyn Jaques Boone.  The main focus of the event is Ellyn's year round work with homeless, neglected or abused animals.  She helps these animals by painting with them.  Their art goes up on display for the evening at the event and also goes up for sale.  Each year we come home with a new piece of art to decorate our home with, learn the story of the artist, and support this important event.  We also have fun bidding on auction items.  Here are a few picture of what we brought home this year (plus two more wine glasses to add to our collection).