I mentioned a post or two ago that I attended the Albany Comic Con a week and a half ago.  What I love about small conventions like these is that you get a chance to mix and mingle with the guests who are appearing.  The crowds are much smaller than the big shows like San Diego or New York.

I got to the show pretty early and was shocked by the size of the line waiting to get in.  It was out the door and maybe fifty people deep outside waiting to get into the hotel lobby.  And once you were in, the entrance to the show was maybe another fifty people away.  I was very happy to see such a great turnout.  This keeps  meaning the show will continue and that makes me happy.

I brought my sketchbook and was ready to get some commissions done.  Here's what I got this time around.

The first sketch I had done was this fantastic Wonder Girl by Bill Walko.  I've known Bill for many years through comics fandom.  We were in an amateur press association dedicated to all things Titans for many years.  So it was only natural I'd ask him to do a Titan.

My second commission of the day was this Mera by Fred Hembeck.  Fred and I have also known each other for years.  He was a regular at the comic shop I worked at back in Kingston, NY in the 80s.  I usually only see Fred at shows like this and we get to talk and catch up.

Next was this sketch of Gates from the Legion Of Super-Heroes by Lee Moder.  I actually wanted him to draw me a Monstress, but he said he doesn't even remember who that is.  Sadsies.

Matt Smith is a regular at the Albany show and this time around I got him to draw the 11th Doctor, coincidentally portrayed on television by an actor named Matt Smith.

My final sketch of the day is by someone else who was a regular at the comic shop I worked at.  Unfortunately, Joe Staton doesn't remember me anymore, but that's fine.  Here's his take on Power Girl, a character he was known for drawing back in the 70s.  She nicely compliments the Huntress sketch I had him do last year.

I also picked up a pile of trade paperbacks.  I love conventions because there are bargains to be found everywhere.


On Tuesday I posted here that I thought I was getting sick.  I wasn't feeling all that great then and I was feeling even worse on Wednesday.  I really hate getting sick, but if I have to be sick, I'm glad it's now and not a couple weeks ago when I had all sorts of stuff going on.  Thursday I was feeling a lot better, though not 100%.  I figured I was feeling well enough to get back to the gym.  As much as I don't really care for going, I need to go, both physically and psychologically.  I always feel a million times better afterwards and am always glad I went.  So I went.  And a little while after getting home I was feeling even more run down than I'd felt the day before.  So that was a dumbass move on my part.  Today I woke up not feeling as good as I did yesterday.  One thing I hate about myself is I push myself too hard sometimes.  I really could have used at least one more day to rest up.  But I didn't let myself, because sometimes I think I'm Superman.  So today I'm feeling a little worse, so it's a good idea to just go home from work and rest.  Except by the time I left work I was feeling pretty good.  So I went again.  And right now I feel like I want to sleep for a month.  I don't always take my best interests into account when I make decisions.  Tomorrow I'm without a car while it's in the shop, so I'll be forced to lounge around the house and rest.  We'll see what dumbass move I do instead.

I was off work all week last week.  I had my Texas family here until Wednesday and I contemplated going back to work on Thursday, but I had a dentist appointment for Thursday and I didn't really want to go in for a couple of hours only to have to leave again.  So I took the whole week off.  After the dentist on Thursday I had a few errands I needed to run.  Last on the list was Target for a few items I needed to pick up.  I wandered the store grabbing what I needed.  The last item was fabric softener (this is riveting, isn't it?) and I started to make my way to that aisle.  Half way there, I realized I forgot paper towels, so I backtracked to that aisle, grabbed what I needed and then made my way to the fabric softener aisle.  As I turned into the aisle, I saw a woman and her two kids walking up from the opposite end.  I paid them only a second of attention until my brain screamed at me that the woman might actually be someone I used to know.  I debated very quickly whether or not to say her name and decided to.  "Jen?" I asked.  She stopped and then there was that second of "who the hell are you" from her before it hit her.  Now you need to know, I have not seen Jen since 1989.  We were both living in the Kingston area (about an hour south of here).  I moved out of there in January of 1990 and fell out of touch with a lot of people.  We reconnected maybe a year ago on Facebook.  She is living up here now, though probably 40 minutes north of me.  It was such a bizarre thing to happen.  I'm not usually in a Target on a Thursday afternoon and she's not usually this far south, but just happened to be.  We chatted for a little bit, but the tiny bladder on one of her young sons prevented a lengthier conversation.  I love when crazy shit like that happens.


I think I'm getting sick.  Woke up with a sore throat today and I'm none too pleased about it.  Tonight is one of my regularly scheduled gym nights and there's no way I feel up to sweating my balls off.  I better feel more myself tomorrow so I can get back to my regular schedule again.


I didn't know until today that Albany Gay Pride was this past weekend.  I don't generally go to any of the Pride events.  I mostly don't really give a crap about them.  I guess the reason is Albany is a small town and whenever there's an event, it's always the same old sad faces mixing and mingling (to be polite) in a drunken and inappropriate stupor.  Albany is a small town and it seems everyone knows everyone else.

But it got me to thinking about being a gay man in this day and age.  I don't define myself as being a gay man.  I'm so much more than that.  But I know plenty of people who do define themselves as gay men and nothing more than that.  To me, that's sad.  To pigeonhole yourself as one small aspect of yourself seems ridiculous to me.  Why would anyone want to ghettoize (is that a word?) themselves?  It's like me saying I'm going to self-identify only as a blue eyed man.  I'm only going to associate with others with blue eyes.  I'm only going to talk about being blue eyed.  I'm going to go blue-eyed shopping and I'm going to go blue-eyed hiking and I'm going to throw blue-eyed dinner parties and go blue-eyed kayaking.  I'm going to paint my entire house blue and I'm going to wear more blue than I know what to do with.  When it's put that way, doesn't it seem very sad?

Being gay is such a small part of who I am.  I'm that, but I'm so many other things.  

So nothing against Gay Pride events.  I've been to them.  I've had a good time at them.  I especially loved going to the NYC event.  But I really don't need the crap that quickly gets associated with Pride.  It seems like getting drunk (again, nothing wrong with that) is the number one focus of just about any gay pride event in this area.  I'm 46 years old.  I outgrew my drunken college days a lifetime ago.


I Hate Pears

I love the behind the scenes kind of things like this.  Watch the first half.  It's as it aired on tv.  Then watch the second half.  You get to see what actually happened during the fast forward portion in the first half.


I've spent the last two days decompressing for what was probably the craziest, happiest week of my life.  Actually, I'm decompressing from the last few panic filled, stressful yet hopeful weeks of my life.  But the last week was the best part.  

I started my vacation from work on Thursday.  Not to say that this meant it was time to kick back and do nothing.  No.  Thursday was pretty busy.  We put the last few finishing touches on getting the house ready for house guests.  We went to town hall to get our marriage license.  I went to the airport to pick up my non-biological family from Texas.  The countdown to getting married was officially on.

This blog post is probably going to be very light on details because everything is a giant blur by now.  Sorry.

Anyway, the wedding was full steam ahead this time.  The last attempt is best left in the past.  Freddy, Jed and their boys were here and I feel kind of bad because they really got put to work for the first couple days they were here.  Freddy was an enormous help.  He helped take a lot of stress off of Ken's shoulders so that Ken could stress out over other things.  I'm forever grateful for that.

Saturday was the big day.  We invited a handful of friends to join us for lunch and to witness the ceremony.  Everyone was to arrive at the house by noon.  We arranged for transportation to get us to the restaurant where everything was to take place.  So everyone got to meet and we had drinks before departing.  Once we got to the restaurant, there were cocktails and hor's d'oeuvres.  We were a little concerned that the photographer wasn't there yet, but we found out he was all set up upstairs where the ceremony was going to take place.  The weather held out so we could do the ceremony on the restaurant's rooftop overlooking the city skyline.  Our other option would have been the banquet room overlooking the same view.

I'm shocked I didn't bawl more than I did.  I think it helped for me to just concentrate on Ken and Lori, our officiant.  Lori both performed the ceremony, but also spoke on our behalf.  It was really beautiful and touching what she said.  Ken elected to have me read my vows to him first.  My intention was to just stand up there and speak from my heart with nothing prepared.  The night before, however, I was panic stricken when I realized there was a chance I could get up there and freeze.  So I typed in what I wanted to say on my phone and used it as backup, which I needed to refer to once or twice.  I didn't really get out what I had written.  Some got left out, other stuff popped up.  But one thing I included that absolutely made it was a song lyric.  I heard this song a few weeks ago randomly on my iPod and the lyrics struck me as saying what I wanted to say.  So at the end of my vows, I recited them.  And it was pure me, because it was the chorus of "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley.  Ken yelled that he was being Rick Rolled at his own wedding!

Ken surprised the hell out of me by including lyrics in his vows as well.  I played him a song 18 years ago when I realized I was falling head over heels for him called "Simply" by Sara Hickman.  Not only did he still remember that, but he made me cry when he read the lyrics.  And I could hear similar sounds from the witnesses.

After the ceremony we had more cocktails and hor's d'oeuvres before lunch was served.  We created the menu together mixing in lunch type dishes with proper dinner dishes.  I opted for the wedding staple of a turkey club and fries.

Oh, as for wardrobe, it was very non-traditional.  We told everyone to go casual.  I had on a green button up shirt with a Star Sapphire t-shirt underneath (can any comic book nerd tell me why I chose that one in particular?), khakis and my Batman Converse.  Ken was in a button up shirt and slacks.  We really wanted things to be casual.  Because seriously, does anyone really enjoy getting all dressed up for a wedding?  

I forgot to mention, we had official ring bearers.  Adrian and Nathan, Freddy & Jed's two sons, were our ring bearers.  We found t-shirts that said "Ring Security" on the back and "Official Ring Bearer" on the front. We housed our rings in little Batman and Superman lunch boxes.  When the time came, the boys brought us our rings and then we exchanged them.

The whole shindig couldn't have been more perfect.  

After the lunch, we threw a party at our house.  We got to invite more people than we could have done for the actual wedding.  Not everyone was able to make it, but we did have four states represented.  And I'm told that I may have had a cocktail (or eighty-seven).  I felt it the next day, but who cares.  I had the time of my life.

It's hard for me to accept the love and friendship of my friends at face value sometimes.  It's one of my hugest character flaws and I'm working on it.  That day, however, it had never been easier.  I'm truly blessed to have the people in my life that I do.  They're there for a reason and I'm so grateful.