Here Is Tim Fealy’s Review of My Review of Comic Con!

“My Review of Sara’s Review of Comic Con
by Tim Fealy on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 7:31am

Tim Fealy and Batgirl

Meet Tim Fealy on the left with a very another attendee wearing an authentic Batgril costume on the right!

You can check out my friend Sara’s blog here:

https://sarathlete.wordpress.com/2012/08/17/did-the-cool-girl-have-fun-at-comic-con/

Even before she posted her review, I was preparing my own review of her review just in case she decided to trash my beloved event. It turns out she liked it. I think Comic Con won her over this year.

Sara went last year with her boyfriend Pete and had a miserable experience. You can read about that in her blog. She shared with me her misery over a vegan lunch one Saturday and I was surprised she could have so little fun at Comic Con. My advice to her was that she should try it again but really try to appreciate the talent and creativity of those who come to Comic Con.

I told her she was the “cool girl” being plunged into a world of nerds. She keeps saying I am teasing her but I am not. It’s true. If you watch “The Big Bang Theory”, she would be the Penny in a room full of Sheldons and Leonards. She would be the normal, well-adjusted girl at Comic Con. If Sara hasn’t seen that show, oohhhh is she in for a treat! So, rebuttal #1 is she actually IS the “cool girl”.

Rebuttal #2 is that I didn’t ditch her at Comic Con. Early on, Pete wanted to attend a panel discussion with James Marsters while I still wanted to be available to meet Stan Lee. We just had different agendas. Our agendas would bring us back together again in the afternoon when we both Pate and I wanted to check out the light sabre workshop! But, I don’t think you can say you were ditched when you are hanging out with your husband for the day to celebrate his birthday.

Now, this next one is not a rebuttal but just an observation. Bruce Campbell “roasts” his audience during his panel discussions. I get it. And that’s ok to do with adults. But, he was saying some pretty mean things to young kids. I thought that crossed the line. Not all panel discussions are like that. Pete and I also saw a panel discussion with the guys from “Star Wars”. That movie had such an impact on our lives. And right there in front of us are TWO guys who were intimately involved with the making of it. That’s cool.

Ok, this would be rebuttal #3. As Sara says, “Stan Lee, an artist for …was signing autographs”.

See! This is why I adore Sara and why she IS the cool girl. Even after going to Comic Con, she is still not quite sure who Stan Lee is. Stan Lee created my favorite superhero, Spider-Man. He thought it up. And not just Spider-Man. He created the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, the Amazing X-Men, & Thor. But, getting back to Spider-Man, the character I most adored while growing up was created by this VERY guy who I was now standing in line to see. Stan Lee was personally responsible for a LOT of really good childhood memories! Thank You! The value isn’t so much in the signature but in having that moment when the 9 or 10 year old boy that still resides somewhere inside you gets to MEET the guy who made those childhood memories possible!

Ok, this is my final rebuttal. I DID promise Sara a vegan meetup! I told her the coolest vegan EVER regularly attends Comic Con. That’s TRUE!!! At least it was until this year. However, the fault squarely rests with the promoters of “Flashback Weekend”. They lured Linda Blair, one of my very favorite celebrities, away to attend their event on the same weekend.

Now, Linda and I have not always had the best relationship. Like most of us, she terrified me as a child! I told her this the first time I met her – as I am sure everyone does – and she suggested that we “hug it out”. I thought that was pretty clever of her. Also, that first time my friend Kristina and I met her, we waited an extra 30 minutes in line while Linda left to do a panel discussion. When she returned to the line, she apologized to us and then started filling us in on what she had talked about since we hadn’t been able to see her. She talked to us like we were the only two people in line. And we weren’t. It was still a huge line, but she wouldn’t be rushed. She wanted to give everyone personal attention and a really good experience.

The next time I met her was a few years ago as part of my “garden brick” project. I have friends, celebrities, sometimes just anyone… write the words they live their life by on a brick and sign it for me. This way, I not only have their autograph, but I have their life philosophy as well. The idea is to be able to walk through the garden and be surrounded by the way people (for the most part, those who are close to me) have decided to live their lives.

Anyways, I wanted a brick from Linda. Now, most celebrities just sign the brick and move on. No, to her this would be a work of art for the garden. She filled it with decorations and really got into it. And when her handler said she had to wrap things up, she ssshh’d him and kept going until she was finished.

She is among the most kind-hearted and warmest people I have ever met and this kindness spills over into her love of animals and is the reason for her being a vegan. Had she been there, Sara would have LOVED her. And it would not have only been a vegan meetup, but the best vegan meet EVER because Linda would have been a part of it.

I’m glad you came back to Comic Con Sara. I had the best time and I’m glad you were a part of it!”

Tim Fealy

P.S. Thank you Tim for letting me post your review to my blog!

Sara Sawochka

Can You Go to Church, Pray and Not Believe in a god?

My answer: Yes. I go to church and don’t believe in a god. I enjoy the pastor’s sermon and always acquire a non-religious message from the religious message presented to me.

I’ve posted before about my religious non-beliefs before. Recently I had a conversation with someone close to me regarding my non-religious beliefs. I’ll call her Gina for privacy purposes.

After telling Gina my beliefs she said that she would pray for me. Gina said I should tell my pastor my beliefs. I responded that he already knew about them. Gina felt that the pastor was tolerated my beliefs so I would keep coming to church but he was praying for me as well.

Gina and the pastor were praying for the same thing but what were they praying for?

When I asked Gina specifically what she and my pastor were praying for me I never got a response. She said I’d have to ask my pastor. I feel like Gina couldn’t tell me what they were praying for me because she wanted to avoid a conflict with me.

I’ve heard people tell each other all of the time, “I will pray for your” or “I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers when the person being prayed for is sick or dying, or has just lost their job, etc. How is my situation different? Why can’t Gina tell me what her prayer is?

Why would Gina deflect me to my pastor? How do I know he would be anymore honest with me than she was? If she wouldn’t tell me as someone close to me then what obligation did my pastor have to tell me that information?

In my frustration I did what I always do: I went to Pete. Pete said that Gina probably meant that she and the pastor were praying for me to find a god (specifically their God) and the eternal light so I wouldn’t go to hell at my time of death.

While I respect the kindness of praying for me and I cannot reject the prayers, I do not feel that prayer for something someone doesn’t want or seek is warranted. Would you want someone praying for you to make the U.S. Olympic Beach Volleyball team if you wanted to be a basketball champion instead

I did some more research on prayer and looked up a definition of prayer. I took this excerpt from wikipida.org regarding prayer:

Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with a deity or object of worship through deliberate communication. Prayer can be a form of religious practice, may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private.

There are different forms of prayer such as petitionary prayer, prayers of supplication, thanksgiving, and worship/praise. Prayer may be directed towards a deity, spirit, deceased person, or lofty idea, for the purpose of worshipping, requesting guidance, requesting assistance, confessing sins or to express one’s thoughts and emotions. Thus, people pray for many reasons such as personal benefit or for the sake of others.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayer

I find it interesting that the definition never says which god is the right god to believe in. Which poses two interesting questions to me: What is god or what is a god? In other words, a god has many definitions and one of those definitions could be does a god even exist.

Wikipedia.org defines deity which is used in the prayer description above as “a being, natural, supernatural or preternatural, with superhuman powers or qualities, and who may be thought of as holy, divine, or sacred.If Gina is praying to a deity then her deity maybe different than my deity. The beautiful idea is that we can all pray or meditate to something/someone or look inside ourselves to find out what’s really going on.

If someone wants to pray for us then I can’t stop them, however I do not believe it is right to pray for something that someone else may not want. Would you want me to pray for you to get cancer? Perhaps I find Gina praying for me to find her god similar to getting cancer: it’s just something I really don’t want right now.

I do not believe that we have to pray to the same god to find inner peace and happiness. If it makes you feel better to pray for me though please just keep doing it and don’t tell me about it. Whether you pray to a deity or don’t pray at all it’s okay. No one is judging you except you. Don’t put pressure on yourself. If you believe a god is judging you then that’s what you believe. Just be careful with pushing your beliefs off on someone else. And if you have plans on doing that, then at least tell the person why. Gina, I wish you would tell me why you were praying for me because I would really love to know.

 

Sara Sawochka

Pete Sawochka: A Person to be Proud Of!

This is a man who has put up with a lot. And even though it’s not his birthday anymore why not celebrate him one more time?

Pete Sawochka is my husband. There should be reason to celebrate right there with having to put up with me and my….well let’s say feisty ways.

When I went vegan in February 2012 Pete wasn’t for it at all. He was hoping I would finish my project and go back to my old ways of eating animals and animal byproducts. Pete told me things wouldn’t be fun anymore if I was a vegan. He said it wouldn’t be fun to cook or prepare any kind of food for me, it would be hard to find places we could eat at together and he just went on and on.

After 6 months of being a vegan, I’m happy to report that my frustrated man has actually become supportive of my decision to become a vegan. It’s become very important to him that when we go out to eat that we go somewhere that has vegan options. We’ve also started cooking together. I knew Pete liked stir fries and they have a lot of vegan options/alternatives you can do on their main dishes (like substituting tofu for chicken and eliminating egg altogether) so we’ve been cooking and eating the same dinners. He’s even come to love (hopefully) the avocado, tomato, hummus and sprout sandwich on vegan bread for lunch.

Did I mention breakfast? Poor Pete has a fit if he doesn’t get his “morning shake” as he calls it: almond (or coconut milk), chia seeds, 10 ice cubes, 3 bananas, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and cocoa powder is Pete’s breakfast (and mine too). It’s very good and I highly recommend it.

If it wasn’t for his snacking, there are some weeks where Pete would eat 100% vegan. Pete snacks a lot on cheese. He always says that giving up meat wouldn’t be as hard as giving up dairy milk and dairy cheese would be. He’s obsessed with the cheese station at the Whole Foods we go to every week at Lincoln Park.

Pete has lost weight. If you see a svelte, slim figure pass by you, it might be Pete! He’s lost a lot of weight by cutting down on a lot of the meat and dairy in his diet. He eats way more vegetables and fruits than he ever did before. He even likes fun vegan recipes like the spiced banana pancakes we make.

Pete is a good husband by showing his support of his vegan wife. However he reaps some of the benefits of not eating a strong meat and dairy based diet he’s lost some weight, his clothes fit better and he has that vegan glow (even though men don’t really glow—he still has the glow)!

I’m sending out a big thank you to Pete for adapting to my lifestyle and not condemning me for staying vegan. You have no idea how much your acceptance means to me. It means even more to me that you participate with me and try to understand why I do what I do. If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be where I am today with my veganism.

And this was all from a man that said, “Well I hope you don’t stay vegan at the end of your Very Vegan Valentine’s Day blog project.”

Support is always important when you are trying to do something. I hope you have someone by your side supporting you through whatever endeavors you may be going through.

Sara Sawochka

Yet Another Reason to Go Vegan: Government Bails Out Pork Industry to the Tune of $100 Million

This is a re-post from the Mercy For Animals blog. Your tax dollars don’t just go to bail out banks. They go to bail out the animal agriculture industry. I hate that my tax dollars go to support something that I don’t believe in. Can you watch this video and still continue to support the meat industry? Or will you just turn away, not watch it, deny the situation exists and continue eating meat?

“Earlier this week, the Obama administration announced that it would buy up to $170 million-worth of meat products to bail out the animal agriculture industry from drought-induced profit losses. Associated Press reports, “The USDA plans to buy up to $100 million of additional pork products, $50 million of chicken, $10 million of lamb and $10 million of catfish.”

While the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) is more than willing to rake in a federal giveaway of a hundred million dollars, it strongly opposes federal laws, such as the egg industry reform bill, that aim to improve the lives of animals on factory farms. The NPPC seems to support federal involvement only when it benefits its bottom line.

Further, the pork industry continues to use, and defend, inhumane practices that are simply out of step with the values of the majority of America’s tax payers, such as confining pregnant pigs in gestation stalls so narrow the animals can’t turn around, lie down comfortably, walk, or engage in basic natural behaviors.

The governmental program is choosing to bail out cruel factory farmers instead of looking out for the best interests of animals, the environment, or consumers.

A recent Mercy For Animals undercover investigation at a Walmart pork supplier revealed some of these cruel practices that the USDA-protected animal agriculture industry tries so hard to keep hidden from the American public.

At this Walmart pork supplier, pregnant pigs are confined to filthy, metal gestation crates barely larger than their bodies, and sick and injured pigs with severe, bleeding wounds or infections are left to suffer without veterinary care.

While MFA continues to expose the cruelties inherent in pork production, ultimately consumers hold the greatest power to end the needless suffering of animals by switching to a compassionate vegan diet. Visit ChooseVeg.com to learn more.”

Please let me know your thoughts on this.

Sara Sawochka

Did the Cool Girl Have Fun at Comic Con?

Here is part two of two that I promised you in my Comic Con saga.

I was called the “cool girl at the party” by my friend Tim. At first I thought he was serious but when we got to Comic Con and he kept ripping on me for trying to talk to the nerds, I realized he was going to give me a hard time all day. He lived up to his potential.

Seriously though, it’s because of Tim that I was willing to give Comic Con a second try.

Pete and I went to Comic Con last year. Pete had a blast. I had a miserable experience. I spent part of my day in a hotel lobby with magazines and a cup of coffee that I bought from a coffee shop and paid way too much money. The second part of the day showed some promise by getting to see Christopher Lloyd’s panel discussion. After that, the day’s flame of fun dwindled down to candle wax on the holder as I was left in a large warehouse-type room while Pete went walking around the comic distributor room looking for comics. That room was so crowded that it gave my anxiety a serious run for its money. And since I was marathon training at the time, I had no interest in running so I found a spot on the floor in this huge cement room, laid down and text messaged my friend Shawn who was nice enough to respond back because she knew how bored I was. Would you want to go back to anything if you’d had an experience like I had? I think not!

Tim encouraged me to give it another try and told me how cool it could be even though I’m not a nerdy girl. Tim said I’d be the cool at the party amongst a group of nerds. He was right! I was the cool girl at the party that had absolutely no clue what she was talking about so in some respects I was the dork amongst everyone around me.

Going to Comic Con last year gave me a chance to get over the shock of people wearing strange and revealing and interesting outfits of characters that I didn’t recognize. This year, they were just part of the crowd. I never felt the need to stop and stare. Instead I appreciated how much time and creativity people put into their costumes because this is what they’re really in to and it’s neat to see them support such an amazing event.

Tim told me that I would not get ditched this year either. This was partially true. Tim ditched us. However I was with Pete all day so I was never alone.

After seeing the panel last year it gave me a clue as to what I would really like to see this year. Pete and I saw a lot of panels. The panels were the most interesting part of my day. James Marsters was very intelligent and had a very quick wit about him. Bruce Campbell turned out to be quite the sarcastic a$$hole, in my opinion, however I later learned that is how his panels tend to go and his audience expects a roasting. Tom Felton was very gracious (and cute with a British accent too)! Tom Sorbo from “Hercules” was also interesting. I was fascinated with how much time he had to spend training in the gym for his role as Hercules.

Stan Lee, an artist for …was signing autographs. There was a fee of $500.00 per person for a meet-and-greet with Stan Lee during Comic Con. There was also a chance to have him sign something for $55.00. At those prices, we decided to pass. Tim made an interesting post on his Facebook page: “Fun math problem… If it takes Stan Lee 10 seconds to sign each item and he makes $55 a signature, how much will he make in one hour? I figure he is making $19,800 an hour!! Wow!”. To me that seemed like a lot of money and not worth it at the time. I do understand that it will add some value to whatever comic you have signed (assuming that’s what you have signed) and will make it even more valuable especially if it’s a rare or collectible item.

Tim said to get there early so we left our house at 7:00am to get there at 7:30am. We were even on time because I told a white lie to Pete that we had to be there at 7:15am. When Pete was getting out of the shower at 6:50am I’m really glad that I told Pete a little white lie! Sorry Pete but it had to be done. I despise being late. Tim was right. We left early and stayed until the end and it didn’t take us an hour to get from the expressway to the convention center.

The only thing Tim didn’t deliver on was a vegan meetup. Tim said that it would be a Vegan Comic Con trip and the only thing vegan about it was the Chicago-style vegan dog and vegan chocolate shake I had at Whole Foods afterwards which Tim was NOT present for! And no, I don’t consider a baked potato and salad in the cafeteria much of a vegan meal. Meet a vegan that doesn’t really enjoy a good salad. The lesson I learned is next year I will pack my own food in a cooler and go back to my car an eat it in the parking lot.

A note to Rosemont parking garage: you need alternative fuel car parking spots in your lot. That’ll be something to work on for next year. What fun is it to drive your Prius up to Illinois and not have a fun place to park it. I guesss I can’t have it all!

Thank you Tim Fealy for forcing my stubborn self to look at Comic Con in a different way and for getting me to go again even though there was nothing vegan about it and we probably spent a total of an hour with you the entire time we were there!

Pete Sawochka I hope you had a fabulous birthday.

As for me, I’m very much looking forward to going back to Comic Con next year. With two years under my belt, I feel I have a lot of the kinks worked out and will have an even smoother ride Back to the Future next year! Haha bad geek joke!

Sara Sawochka

Happy Birthday Pete Sawochka!

For Pete’s 42nd birthday gift this year, I got him a ticket to Comic Con. Comic Con is a giant comic book convention that has panels with movie and television stars and also gaming and artists. You name it and they have it. It’s a giant gathering of nerds held in our area at the Rosemont Convention Center in Illinois.

This blog post is part of a two-part series. Tonight’s post will have pictures and details. Tomorrow you can look forward to my review of Comic Con! I know my friend Tim is looking forward to that!

Here is a picture of me waiting in line with Pete to see James Marsters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Smallville to name a few:

Here is my favorite picture of the day! It’s Pete with Batgirl with a dressed in a very authentic-looking 1960s costume. Behind us there is a Star Wars Combat class going on which I was watching while Pete and Tim got their pictures with Batgirl:

Here is a picture of Pete holding the “last in line” sign very excited to see Kevin Sorbo who played Hercules on the television show “Hercules” from the 1990s.

Here’s a great picture of Pete looking really annoyed with me for taking his picture and bugging him to look mad. I think he did a great job looking irritated in picture. Hopefully he was just acting:

We also saw Bruce Campbell (no comment on that tonight). Pete got to see the characters from the original Star Wars movies that played Chewbacca (played by Peter Mayhew) and Boba Fett (played by Jeremy Bulloch). I got to see Tom Felton who played Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies.

Pete got two comics in the comic book distributor room.

And we ended the day at my favorite place: Whole Foods. We had Chicago-style hot dogs (mine was vegan) and milkshakes (and yes they do make vegan milkshakes) at the Grill! Try and guess if the picture below is the vegan dog or the meat version of a hot dog. I bet you don’t know for sure which it is!

Pete I hope you enjoyed your birthday gift! I also hope you have a wonderful day off tomorrow sitting around reading comic books all day!

Check out tomorrow’s blog post for an actual review of Comic Con!

Sara Sawochka

A Foodie Pen Pal Experience

What is a foodie pen pal?

Well it’s a pen pal that you send food and a written letter too! Oh yeah…and you receive a letter and food from somebody else too. It’s cool!

About a month ago I stumbled upon a blog which was promoting foodie pen pals run by Lindsey a/k/a The Lean Green Bean.

Here’s the link: http://www.theleangreenbean.com/foodie-penpals/

On the site is a sign up form for newbies if you want to try it after reading my experience with it. This is seriously fun!

Here’s how it works:

Lindsey sent out a spreadsheet in a mass email to everyone that had signed up for the month. The spreadsheet listed my foodie pen pal for this month. This month I had Amanda. I sent Amanda an email asking her what kinds of food she likes and if she asked if she had any dietary restrictions and also if there were any foods she didn’t like. I got lucky because Amanda was not picky at all!

Once I had Amanda’s preferences I had until 8/15/2012 to purchase her snacks and mail them to her. In the box I was allowed to include homemade and store-bought snacks and could spend $15.00 on my pen pal. I bought a box to mail the food in, bubble wrap, packing tape and got some really yummy treats. My husband was kind enough to help me pack up Amanda’s box and my grandmother was kind enough to take the box to post office today to mail it. The only other thing that needed to be included in the box was something written like a recipe or letter. The art form of actually writing a letter to someone was quite fun and something I haven’t done in a long time since everything is sent in a text format.

In return, Danielle had me as her foodie pen pal. After Danielle received the email she contacted me about my food preferences. I told her I was a vegan that didn’t like peanut butter. Danielle was not a vegan but eager to learn about it. Danielle emailed me yesterday to let me know that my box was in the mail and on its way to me. I’m really looking forward to receiving Danielle’s box!

The commitment is only monthly so if you don’t want to continue doing it the following month you don’t have to. It was so fun and a great way to connect with someone you’ve never met. It’s also a great way to do something nice for a stranger and brighten someone’s day. It has been such a positive experience and a neat way to get creative and personal through writing!

The last part of this is it’s a great way to promote other people’s blogs. Since Amanda was paired with a person that has a blog, she will be making a guest post on my blog about her box that I sent her. Danielle doesn’t have a blog so I will not be posting anything for her. But this will give you something to look forward to reading in the future! I know I’m excited to find out if Amanda liked my box of goodies.

I’m definitely going to do this next month. Next month I will get a brand new pen pal and someone new will be sending me a box. You get someone new every month which is pretty cool too!

Sara Sawochka