Some folks would call this a “first world problem,” but sometimes there’s just way too much STUFF TO DO.

Case in point: This weekend.

Let me explain, because this goes back to last year. In 2022 ToyLanta, a toy convention in Atlanta that Mel and I try to attend every year, decided to split JoeLanta off as a separate toy show. Originally there was JoeLanta, and you can read all about this history in detail HERE, but in short, the show started as a dedicated GI Joe collector’s show, but over time changed its focus (and name) to handle toys of all kinds.  After a few years of that, it was decided to spin off JoeLanta as its own show once again, to appeal to its core fanbase.

The spin-off happened so fast last year that Mel and I were unable to make it to the revived JoeLanta. I decided then that this year, we’d skip ToyLanta and instead go to JoeLanta, whenever they got that show scheduled.

Also last year, I learned that MEGO Meet would return as part of PowerCon in Columbus, and I told my friends that we’d make it there this year.

Then the fates conspired against me. First, PowerCon announced their dates…it happens this weekend, which is also the weekend of my birthday. A side note; I hate to be around large groups of people on my birthday. I hate being the center of attention and find that being sung at is one of the worst things in the world for me. However, I figured we’d go to the first two days of PowerCon/MEGO Meet, and then make it home before my birthday so that I could maybe relax and enjoy myself and possibly even take advantage of the birthday special at Tidewater Grill for the first time in six years.

But no, a few weeks after PowerCon announced their dates, JoeLanta announced that they would also have their show from August 11 through 13.

The least rational course of action would be to try and make it to both shows. And that’s what we’ll be doing. We’ll roll into Atlanta in time for the early admission stuff Friday night and Saturday morning, and then we’ll cut out before Saturday afternoon and make our way from Atlanta to Columbus (with an overnight stop in between), so we can attend the final day of PowerCon and hope that they have a few of the MEGO exclusives left.  I guess the Shanghai Swordfish at Tidewater will have to wait until next year.

We’re going to document the trip on ONE VIDEO, so don’t expect a lot of stand-alone clips, with the possible exception of a short video showing off the custom figures at JoeLanta.  You can expect tons of photos next week here in PopCult. Hell, we might even have some photos left over from Kentuckiana.

While all that is taking up your humble blogger’s weekend we have more than a few suggestions of things worth venturing out in the heat and/or rain to do in and around Charleston and The Mountain State this weekend.

This Saturday it’s the grand opening of Appalachian Books in Saint Albans at 808 B Street Suite 201. Upper level (Elevator). I hate that I’ll have to miss this, but we’ll stop by later.

Live Music is back at Taylor Books. There is no cover charge, and shows start at 7:30 PM.  Friday it’s to be determined (we have an early deadline this week). Khegan McLane entertains the crowd at Charleston’s beloved Bookstore/Coffee Shop/Art Gallery.

The World Famous Empty Glass Cafe has some great stuff this weekend to tell you about. Wednesday at 9 PM Aeon’s Harmonic goes on at 9 PM.  Thursday at 5:30 PM, Swingstein and Robin return with Swing for a good cause.  Friday Tim Courts plays during happy hour.  Later on Friday The Rachel Brooke Band takes the stage at 8 PM.  Saturday at 10 PM, Pottera bring their Pittsburgh-based Pantera tribute to The Empty Glass stage.  Next Monday it’s Open Mic Night at 9 PM and on Tuesday Steve McAlphabet spells it out at The Glass.

In other “we don’t need no stinking graphics” shows, Friday The Settlement, with support from Friendly Fire play at Sam’s Uptown Cafe at 8 PM.  Saturday The Detonators take the stage at The Blue Parrott at 9 PM.

Please remember that the pandemic is not over yet. It’s still a going concern with the ‘rona surging again. And now there are seasonal allergies, the flu, heatstroke, lightning from above, exploding houses in Dunbar and other damned good reasons to be careful. Many people who have very good reasons are still wearing masks, and many of us, understandably, are still nervous about being in crowds, masked or not. Be kind and understanding  while you’re out.

If you’re up for going out, here are a few suggestions for the weekend, roughly in order…