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The Collective gals got into the blogging game because of our burning desire to attend San Diego Comic-Con and coexist IRL with other nerds. If you’ve read the 2-part “Great Comic-Con Disappointment”, you’ll know that we haven’t gotten tickets, well, ever. Still, our adversity created this amazing blog and, as we grumbled much of the summer 2013 (and well into 2014), the fire continued to burn. Over the years, the Collective bloggers spent most of our time at literary conventions (we’re nerds, yes), but the need to connect with fandom is a very real and burning desire. We know finding the perfect, attainable event can become a challenge. Fan conventions are usually sold out a year in advance, which means scoping out the scene well in advance. We attended our first official fan con as a blog team in November 2013, mulling over the $85 single day ticket price for the Burbank Supernatural Convention, for about 15 seconds, before fully committing to cosplay, photo-ops and autograph sessions that turned out to be AMAZING.

My advice? As soon as you hear about a con, Google it. Look it up. Do your research. Find out how much the tickets are, when they usually go on sale and what kind of crowd your particular fan con draws. Then, start buying stuff. A entry ticket here, a photo-op there. Spread out the cost of the items you want to enjoy at the fan con over time, and it won’t hurt as much. Next, check out the list below. It contains my top 5 picks for California fan conventions in 2014. Tell me your favorites in the comments below.

xoxo The Collective Diva

All I Want For Christmas is the Supernatural Hellatus to End

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I’ve experienced a few series hiatuses (yes, I looked it up and that is the plural word) in my time. The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, friggen Sherlock! Still, none as acutely as this ridiculous holiday hellatus that is the Supernatural Christmas break. When did I become so attached to this show? It happened sometime this summer, me thinks, when I put in more hours on Tumblr and AO3 for this fandom than I ever have with any other. In fact, if I’m being honest, I never felt more part of a fandom than with the SPN Family. Sherlockians are scattered, Whovians are pretentious, Walking Dead fans are, well, strange…but the SPN Family is just that, a family. From the cast and crew, to shippers, to the fellow mommy from Texas that is my friend on Twitter (shoutout to Brenda!), these are salt-of-the-earth (and salt all the windows and doors, too) folks who value the SPN mythology as much as I do and are not afraid to show it.

It’s been a while since we met at the crossroads, friend.

Let's make a deal.
Let’s make a deal.

So, the mid-season finale. Yeah. Kevin Tran. Yeesh. And SAM?? Poor moose. Poor MOOSE!! Honestly, though, I feel for Dean, whom, it seems, will never catch a break. His lies have set in motion a fearful end to season 9, including the death of the Collectress’ new crush, Kevin Freaking Solo. Supernatural returns from Hellatus January 14, 2014, and I don’t have much to add to the spoiler list as of now. Looking back at previous spoilers we’ve talked about this season, I was excited to see some of them come to fruition last night. Metatron is still a douche, and he did indeed meet up with Sam/Zeke/Gadreel in a dark alley, amongst other places. The problem still remains, what the hell are we supposed to do during the Hellatus?? For one, I suggest you visit Twitter and Orlando Jones‘ tweets for the past couple of episodes. Apparently, the man is a Destiel shipper who watches SPN each week and finally decided to get in on the action with the fans on Twitter. Between Orlando, Jared, Osric and Stephen Amell from Arrow, the celeb tweeting during “Holy Terror” S09xE09 felt like an epic snark battle of wits.

The fans loved it.

J2 live tweeting "Holy Terror"
J2 live tweeting “Holy Terror”

Holy Terror

Episode 09×09 AKA The Episode When They Did What They Had To

Last week’s SPN episode made me angry, and I spent the better part of the past seven days dreading the midseason finale, because if the show didn’t redeem itself, I was going to cry. And cry I did last night, but not because the show was awful, but rather because the Winchesters once again found a way to kill my feels a little more.

Synopsis

The angels are back, and with a vengeance. The midseason finale lights up on what appears to be a very committed church choir entering a biker bar. The Jesus brigade has a stand off with the bikers–guess what they’re all angels–and then it quickly becomes a slaughterhouse. The angels are at war with each other; one one side we have Bartholomew (or as I like to call him, King of the Assbutts) and on the other we have Malachi, the Heavenly Douchebag (so coined). The Fall has destroyed any sense of angelic hierarchy and humanity seems to be collateral damage as the different sects of angels try to destroy each other. Malachi proposes an alliance to Bartholomew, saying that united they can reclaim heaven from Metatron. That idea crashes and burns as spectacularly as the Hindenberg Disaster.

I purchased a Netflix account a few years back, after I subscribe for the 30-day trial and then forgot to cancel. For a good while, I only rented movies, but then one summer I decided I wanted to get caught up on True Blood. I’d never watched a TV show on Netflix, just because the process seemed a bit overwhelming and I really didn’t know where to begin. True Blood was only available on DVD and I wanted to watch 3 seasons in the month’s time, so that I would be caught up before the 4th season premiered, so I upgraded my account to get 3 DVDs at a time, and I jumped right in. I started off watching 3-4 episodes a day, and after a few weeks, I finished the series. It was an amazing feeling. I understood the story arc, the character development and the themes and premise of the show seemed solid and easy to follow. The writing flowed well and instead of focusing on the little inconsistencies (that a week between programming can magnify), I was looking at THE BIG PICTURE.

And so it began...

Whether your geek is an Anglophile, a Trekkie or a member of Loki’s Army, here is The Collectiva Diva’s Christmas gift giving guide for the the chicest geek you know.

Keep it Real

The important thing to remember when shopping for a nerd is authenticity. Unless “knock off” is a term you want tossed around your Christmas tree, work on making sure the items you pick out are either a) kitschy and cute (ala Esty) or legit merch from the higher-ups. Networks like the BBCA and the WB have their own merchandise shops and pages such as ThinkGeek.com collect great nerd gear all on one website.

Official BBC Doctor Who bathrobes, $37-60
Official BBC Doctor Who bathrobes, $37-60

This week, I’m once again abandoning my weekly recap formula. Sorry, I’m not sorry, but I have some things to say about this week’s episode, and it’s just not going to fit into the layout that I do every week.

So, to begin with, let’s talk about what I like in S09 E08: “Rock and a Hard Place.”

….not much.

What I Liked About “Rock and a Hard Place”

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  1. Sheriff Mills returned, and she kicked some ass.
  2. Jared Padalecki is killing it this season. His portrayal of Sam is my new reason to watch the show every week.
  3. Sam’s hair is glorious. (No, seriously, I saw it in person at BurCon last weekend…it really is the stuff of legend.)
  4. Dean’s monologue (you know which one I mean)
  5. The end scene with Sam & Dean…man, that kicked me in the feels. It was honest, and raw, and we see the guilt in every line of Dean’s face. It was brutal and angsty and if it’s a glimpse of what’s to come…ouch. But really, boys, well done. Actually, that was pretty much par for the episode: the only scenes worth watching were the ones between the Winchesters. Scratch that, that’s how I feel about this entire season. I feel like the writing team has forgotten what the show is really about. Let me make it simple for you: it’s about the Winchesters kicking ass and taking names. Forget the other characters for a minute and focus on the important shit. Yes, I love Castiel and Crowley and Kevin and Charlie, but why do I watch the show? For Sam and Dean. Every scene with just J2 in it is spectacular; even if the writers have forgotten what the show is about, the two lead actors sure haven’t. They’ve been at this so long that becoming the Winchesters is like tying their shoes in the morning–it’s habitual and it shows. Sorry, writer of last night’s episode whose name I refuse to commit to memory–if you want to f**k up the character development, you’re going to have to murder the actors. (But really, nice try at sending Dean back to the character development from season 1).

Since it appears that I’ve already begun my ranting, let’s move on to what I didn’t like about this week’s episode. 

Nov 22-24, the Burbank Marriott hosted a Supernatural Convention that included appearances from cast members, fans in cosplay, and us, the Collective gals.IMAG5409 Armed with an angel at my side, I basked in the electric atmosphere of my first Creation Entertainment Supernatural Convention, taking notes and grinning ear to ear, praising Chuck that The Collectress had the foresight to purchase Sunday passes and cursing end!verse Samifer that we didn’t get to go the entire weekend. I suppose there’s always next year, which is already scheduled with the same venue for November 2014, but for now, let’s look at my top ten moments, shall we?

10) Fellow Fangirls and some boys, too

Oh, the kindred spirit that is an SPN fan. We obsess together on Tumblr, pin on Pinterest and tag on Instagram, but it is the mythical J2 Con that brings us together IRL. And boy, did the fans come out on Sunday. There were at least 2000 people in the auditorium while J2 were on stage, everyone taking pics and squeeing on cue when the boys did something funny and/or adorable. Plus, there were fans of all ages, sizes, ethnicity and not just fangirls, but guys, too. I’d guestimate the ratio was about 20:1 in terms of women versus men, and, while it seemed that many were fathers or boyfriends of said fangirls, it was nice to see dudes showing love to J2 and the cast. After I got home and kicked off my combat boots, I searched #BurCon and easily found some of the friends I made in line on the social media site, making the experience seem all the more familial. I can understand why the cast enjoys doing these cons so much. Supernatural really is a family business.

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9) The Creation Entertainment staff

When The Collectress initially purchased the tickets, instead of getting two seats next to each other, she accidentally bought them one in front of the other. Since it was her mistake, we figured Creation Entertainment wouldn’t help us out, but she emailed them anyway. Wouldn’t you know, the company not only gave us new seats, but they ended up being a few rows closer to the stage than the ones we initially purchased. No hassle, no attitude, just friendly service. This kindness carried over to the gentle way the volunteers dealt with fans at the actual con–kindly pointing me in the right direction more than a couple times. Thank you to kind volunteer in red (I didn’t catch her name) who hadn’t eaten all day and still needed to pack up and travel home to San Francisco that evening. She managed to answer every question I threw at her that day with a patient smile, letting me know that she was still having a great time even if she has worked her butt off all weekend.