Great Balls of Cheese

Happy Monday: Gilmore Girls, MSW & Cheese Balls

Great Balls of Cheese

Photo via Gluten Free Girl!

Happy Monday! It’s been a long time since I’ve done one of these updates, but I’m delaying my Winter 2017 10-item wardrobe post until later this week. I decided I needed one more item, and I found something for $10 on ThredUp. Fingers crossed. To the links!

Current Events

The Women’s March took place this past Saturday, and estimates place attendance at 2.9 million. Even more amazingly–no arrests! I stayed home with Sarah here in Portland, but my husband went with our son and his former wife, and said it was an inspiring show of unity.

What got me a little choked up was seeing all of the Princess Leia-related Women’s March signs, especially so close to Carrie Fisher’s death. Carrie Fisher was an outspoken broad of the first order, and I feel like she would have approved.

What’s next? I thought The Atlantic had an interesting take, comparing the demonstration to previous protests in Russia and their aftereffects.

Cool Stuff

My amazing husband, Scott Allie, and our son Sid put together an epic Gilmore Girls/Murder, She Wrote crossover comic for me for my birthday, bringing Brian Michael Bendis, Mike Norton, Dave Stewart, and Nate Piekos together to help make it. It is one of the very best things I have ever received in my life. Sid wrote most of Jessica Fletcher’s dialogue himself! More details at Nerdist.

Gilmore Girls Murder She Wrote Comic

Amazing, right?

Every year for Christmas, my parents buy me a set of Soma pajamas and I love them so much. They are cute and comfortable and have pockets. This year I got some that are gray-and-white striped with a little silver, and I just noticed they are way on sale.

My friend Liza got me Great Balls of Cheese, a cookbook dedicated to cheese balls, and I am obsessed. I will make every single one of these!

Geekery

I’m expanding my role with GeekCraft Expo to include all of their upcoming shows (including some that haven’t been announced yet–yay!). I love being able to work with so many awesome crafters and see their nerdy goods! Exhibitor applications for GeekCraft Expo PDX 2017 are open until January 31, so make sure to fill yours out now!

I’ve also been really enjoying working with The Doubleclicks! You can check out their free online show 1/26 (with special guests the Library Bards), or catch their #NerdNightOut shows 2/11 in Seattle and 2/12 in Portland!

As regular readers know, I’m a huge fan of podcast Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men. I’ve just been invited to guest-host again next month, I’ll keep you posted! In the meantime, listen to their latest episode, which covers Excalibur’s Cross-Time Caper and the aftermath.

Phew! I hope you all are enjoying January. I must admit, I’m relieved to have the holidays over with. Portland got about 10 inches of snow and then some ice, which prolonged Sid’s Christmas vacation (which was actually pretty nice), but kept me housebound a little too long.

What have you been up to? Post below and say hi!

Happy Wednesday! GeekCraft Expo Seattle and Food Porn

Snickers Cake

Oooh . . . Snickers!

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Hope you’re having a good week. Those with kids probably sent them off for the first day of school (*sniff*), but in any case, the last day of August always feels like the end of summer to me, even if it isn’t technically (that would be September 21).

But no worries. There’s tons of fun stuff happening this fall, in addition to Halloween! And Thanksgiving! Here we go:

Geekery

The Doubleclicks, Portland’s beloved folk-geek sister band, is everywhere this September: Dragon*Con in Atlanta 9/4, as a guest of nerd podcast supreme Geek in the City 9/7, in Portland for Rose City Comic Con and at Dante’s 9/10, then at the Portland Mercury‘s “The Undisputable Geniuses of Comedy” show at Revolution Hall 9/16–plus “Snakes on the Radio” tour dates in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Get the Doubleclicks’ tour schedule!

For many of these shows they’ll be pairing up with actor/comedian/musician Lucia Fasano, who Kickstarted her debut album, “Radio Silence,” through Doubleclicks Records, the band’s new record label! Not only did it fund in one day, but with seven days to go, it’s 187% funded!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/luciafasano/lucia-fasanos-debut-album-radio-silence/widget/video.html

The Doubleclicks are no slouches: they recently posted an amazing cover of Hamilton‘s “History Has Its Eyes on You.”

Remember GeekCraft Expo PDX, the amazing craft fair featuring handmade geeky goods by local artisans? Come on, I posted about it constantly. Well, we’re proud to announce that we’ll be debuting GeekCraft Expo Seattle December 10 and 11 at the Seattle Center! Right now we’re looking for amazing exhibitors to submit their applications by November 18.

The Portland show was incredible–as someone who has worked a lot of comic book conventions, I was blown away by the quality and originality of the crafts. Plus, the show is free to the public and family friendly. What’s not to like?

Speaking of comic book conventions, Portland’s Rose City Comic Con is next week! It’s been so exciting to see this show grow . . . and grow over the past few years. It’s an excellent show with some pretty high-profile guests this week–John Cusack, Stan Lee, Denise Crosby–and it showcases the best of the comics scene, so go!

I’m especially excited because with the influx of awesome comic book creators to Portland, we’re hosting back-to-back dinner parties, and going to some fun events as well. A multiple Eisner-winning creator actually contacted my husband to “reserve” a dinner at our table, so I was very flattered.

Finally, a shoutout to my husband, Scott Allie: the final issue of his series with creator Mike Mignola, Abe Sapien, is out today. I got a chance to read Abe Sapien #36 early, and all I can say is it’s a fitting end–and beginning?–for one of Hellboy’s most interesting characters. If you don’t have a local comic shop, order Abe Sapien #36 from TFAW!

Food Porn

But Elisabeth, where’s the food porn? Oh my goodness, readers. I made the best cake yesterday. It was my brother’s birthday, and every year, he gives me a birthday cake challenge. I’ve done a peanut butter cookie dough cake, a chocolate malt cake, and a 100 Grand cake, but the Snickers cake by Brown Eyed Baker he chose this year was the best. So fun to make: salted caramel sauce! Nougat filling! But damn, it was delicious. Here’s another pic:

Snickers2

So what are you up to? Post below!

Happy Monday! Shameless Self Promotion Edition

New Mutants Forever #1 Bill Sienkiewicz

New Mutants Forever #1, cover by Bill Sienkiewicz.

Happy Monday, you guys! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. I had a very full weekend. On Saturday, Sarah went to Sid’s mom’s house for the day, so Scott and I could celebrate our anniversary by walking at least eight miles, visiting the Portland Art Museum, and seeing Star Trek Beyond (we accidentally saw it in 3-D, but really enjoyed it–it’s like a giant-sized Trek episode on steroids). On Sunday, we went to the Washington County Fair and I broke my cardinal rule: I bought unlimited ride bracelets before checking the lines for the rides. I lived to regret this purchase, because it was super crowded.

But enough about me, what about . . . me? Yes, the first link is something I helped make. Love me! Listen to me talk about comics!

Geekery

I was so fortunate to be asked back to my favorite podcast, Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men, for the third time! In episode #119, Red Night of the Soul, Miles and I discuss the 2010 limited series New Mutants Forever, by Chris Claremont, Bob McLeod, and Al Rio.

The Doubleclicks, Portland’s beloved geek-folk sister band, will be playing Gen Con in Indianapolis August 6!

Plus, September 2-5, the Doubleclicks will have 10 (10!) performances in Atlanta for Dragon*Con!

Live in Portland? Don’t worry–you can catch the The Doubleclicks Variety Show August 25 and September 29 at Kickstand Comedy Space.

Wow. You will have a whole new appreciation for Scooby Doo after you check out these 50 background paintings over at the Secret Fun Blog.

Cooking

Oh my god, this Secret Buckeye Bundt Cake was soooo good. And soooo filling. Eat a salad for dinner and eat the cake with a large glass of milk.

Actually, make this Thai Chicken and Noodle Salad from Martha Stewart. It was easy, tasty, and perfect for hot weather.

How’s your life going? I can’t believe summer is almost over! Post your doings below.

Happy Tuesday! So Much Nerd Stuff

Hey folks, happy Tuesday! With both kids out of the house yesterday (Sid to Oregon Humane Society camp, Sarah to Grandparents Camp), I spent yesterday cleaning the house and catching up on some freelance work. It felt great, but I missed blogging.

Let’s get down to business. San Diego Comic-Con was last week/weekend, and while your faithful blogger sat it out (my third year in a row, after years of manning the Things From Another World booth, miss you boo) and testily read updates, there were a few that caught my eye. First up: so many trailers.

Luke Cage looked (and sounded) amazing:

Iron Fist looked promising:

Now, while I have enjoyed both of these characters in comics (and Luke Cage in Netflix’s Jessica Jones series, I’m not super emotionally invested in them. This makes it easy for me to get excited about these shows.

Similarly, the Defenders teaser was intriguing. I loved the inclusion of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are”:

And then there’s Legion. I have actually always been actively annoyed by this character, both his very existence (Charles Xavier has an unknown son? Really.) and by his portrayal as the most powerful, annoying spoiled brat in the universe (multiverse?). Also, his hair is stupid. There, I said it. But. I love Dan Stevens (reminder: watch The Guest again), I loved Noah Hawley’s previous series, Fargo, I trust FX–so this could be really cool. Plus: dancing!

And so we come to the one I have the most complicated feelings about. Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman was, literally, my first love. My earliest memories as a toddler are of watching Lynda Carter on TV and dressing up as her (or so I thought–in retrospect, my costume consisted of a frog bathing suit and Big Bird slippers) for Halloween. Even though I’ve moved away from that character and the bulk of my comics history is Marvel, this trailer still touched a nerve.

I never saw the new Superman or Batman vs. Superman movies because they seemed too dark–both literally and figuratively–especially for a beacon-of-hope character like Superman. So I’ve been ambiguous about WW. Here’s the trailer:

On the one hand, I love the visual of the ocean and Paradise Island, the actors seem capable, and Wonder Woman’s costume is amazing (if a little clunky–jointed armored boots?). But it echoes the previous “dark and moody” DC look, and the trailer is a little battle heavy for me. My favorite moments are those with Steve Trevor and definitely Etta Candy (yay!). I’m hoping there’s a lot more of this in the actual movie. So restrained joy. Yeah, that’s pretty much where I am.

Other stuff! As you may already know, I’ve become the go-to guest host for my favorite podcast, Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men, and I couldn’t be prouder or more grateful. You mean I get to read a bunch of X-books and then discuss them on air? Yay! If Jay and Miles are the Cyclops and Jean Grey of the podcast, I’m like 1980 Polaris: just living a normal life, but ready to go on a superheroing adventure when needed. Yeah!

Anyway, I’ll be hosting episode #119, which will be live July 31, talking about New Mutants Forever, the 2010 throwback to Chris Claremont’s original run, with Miles Stokes. I read 61 issues to get ready for this folks, I hope you enjoy it!

Stay tuned this week: I am determined to get a food and a cheapskate post up. And fill me in on your summer doings!

Happy Monday! Doubleclicks, Betty & Veronica

BettyVeronicaAHSDCCHappy Monday, folks. I know it must sound a little incongruous to be chirping that with so many awful things happening in the world. I’m just trying to keep this corner cheery for now.

So how was your weekend? I had that beautiful unicorn of an experience (since we’ve had Sarah): a spontaneous brunch at a nice place with friends. And they have a toddler less than a year older than Sarah! We went to Screen Door, a very very popular Portland restaurant that’s always packed to the gills. Fortunately, as parents, we were already up by 7:00 am–plenty of time to get dressed and stand in line for the first seating. Sarah and I had shrimp and grits, delicious!

Links!

Geekery

As you’ve probably already heard, a little move called Ghostbusters opened this weekend to a gross of $45 million (not too shabby). My favorite geeky girl band, the Doubleclicks, released a new video last week with their version of the theme song:

Do you live in the Portland area? You have three (three!) opportunities to see the Doubleclicks live and in person:

July 19: Doubleclicks at the Doug Fir Lounge at 8:00 PM with Danielle Ate the Sandwich, Barbara Holm & Lucia Fasano. 21+ show, $10/12.

July 24: Doubleclicks at the Tualatin Public Library at 2:00 PM. Free, all-ages.

July 25: Doubleclicks at Kickstand Comedy for a live Gosh Darn Fiasco podcast recording with special guest Kelly Sue DeConnick! $5 at the door. 7:00 PM.

The Adam Hughes reboot of Betty & Veronica debuts this week. Check out a preview at Entertainment Weekly!

San Diego Comic-Con kicks off this week! Looking for cool stuff to do? How about signings with Joss Whedon, Margaret Atwood, Gerard Way, and Nathan Fillion? Check out Dark Horse Comics’ full SDCC schedule.

Fashion

Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale is nigh! However, if you’re a Nordstrom cardholder, you can shop the sale early through July 21. I personally shop early every year to stock up on my favorite Hanky Panky underwear, which are $14.90 or four for $54 during the sale. That’s just $13.50 each–more than 30% off the regular price of $20 each.

That’s all I’ve got today! Stay tuned for more . . .

Happy Wednesday! Vacation Wrap-Up, New Iron Man & More

yellowstone_2Well hello: happy Wednesday! I’m nearly recovered from our trip to Jackson, Wyoming, and happy to get back to my blog. Got lots of travel-related links and some nice nerdy news as well.

Our trip was quite an adventure–me, Scott, Sid, and Sarah were joined by Sid’s mom Myndi (my husband’s first wife), her partner, and his two sons on a 10-day trek from Oregon to Wyoming! We caravanned in a car and van, taking two days to reach Wilson, Wyoming (right near gorgeous Jackson), where we had a free week at a comfy condo, thanks to Myndi’s uncle, who owns a timeshare.

Did I mention that the condo had one bedroom? And that there were eight of us, including a 21-month old, two tweens, and a 16-year-old boy? Thanks to bunk beds and a pull-out couch, we were snug as bugs in a rug–plus, we had extra incentive to get out and explore the pool, nearby Jackson, and Yellowstone National Park (which I’d never been to before).

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Scott and Sarah in Jackson, Wyoming’s gorgeous park.

We took two days back as well, staying the night in historic Wallace, Idaho–a tiny, charming, former silver boom town–in the Stardust Motel. Most of the town is for sale at very reasonable prices, so we all dreamed of selling our homes in Portland and moving east (seriously, you can buy two hotels and a cafe for less than $500,000). Plus there was an excellent restaurant, the Blackboard Cafe, which served us delicious Italian food! But we ultimately decided that most of the town being for sale was probably a bad sign, and headed home.

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The Stardust Motel in Wallace, Idaho. Rides in the spaceship are extra.

But Elisabeth, you’re probably wondering. What the heck? What was it like traveling and living with your husband’s ex-wife for more than a week? I guess I haven’t written much on this subject, but while I am lucky in my choice of husbands, I’m even luckier when it comes to ex-wives. All of Sid’s parents have always been close–we live within blocks of each other and do Thanksgiving, Christmas, and birthdays together. On the trip, Myndi and I alternated planning meals and buying groceries. When one cooked, the other cleaned. Plus, each branch spent some time doing their own thing, which gave us a sense of independence and freedom. All in all, it was a great trip, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat!

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Dinner at the Lotus Cafe! Sid, his mom Myndi, Brett, and Sarah, cracking up.

Whew!

Vacation-Related Links

Yellowstone was quite the drive. And smelly (we visited Old Faithful and trekked around checking out countless sulfuric geysers). I admit, the thing that caught my eye was a beautiful hand-embroidered Yellowstone Park pillow by Catstudio in one of the general stores. Unfortunately, the price tag precluded my purchasing it, but you should definitely check them out. They’ve got tons of gorgeous National Park-themed pillows and more.

As you could probably guess, my interests while on vacation (and everywhere else) largely revolve around food. If you happen to find yourself in Jackson, Wyoming (a fantastic, albeit expensive, resort town), the Lotus Cafe is delicious and inventive. Their organic menu includes everything from raw and vegan dishes to elk and bison. I had their Lotus Pad Thai, which was remarkably delicious, even though it was vegan and gluten free (except I added chicken). They are a peanut-free restaurant, so the sauce was made with almonds. I’ve been thinking about it ever since, so I may try to replicate it!

After my experience with GeekCraft Expo PDX, I had to stop by MADE, a shop in Jackson that is dedicated to unique handmade goods from more than 250 local artisans. This shop was amazing. If I had been interested in buying souvenirs, I would have blown my budget there! As it was, I was conscious of the fact that we could barely fit all the luggage we had in the car. Next year we hopefully won’t be lugging a Pack N’ Play with us!

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MADE, a handcrafted-goodies shop in Jackson. I didn’t want to take too many pictures of the items, since they were all original designs.

Besides eating, my other favorite vacation pastime in reading–and boy, did I pick a doozy! All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation by Rebecca Traister inflamed, enraged, and inspired me. Tracing the results of first and second wave feminism, the advantages they’ve given us, the backlash they’ve inspired, and glimpses into our possible future, this book is a must-read by every literate woman, whether you identify as a feminist or not. As a women who married (for keeps) at 37 (much older than the 1950s median marriage age of 20) and who gave birth for the first time at 39, Traister was telling my story–with a richness of context that made my head spin. Read this book.

Geekery

Announced today: the next Iron Man is Riri Williams, a 15-year-old black female science genius. Created by Brian Michael Bendis (creator of Miles Morales, the half-black, half-hispanic, all-awesome Spider-Man) and drawn by Stefano Caselli, Riri debuts in the role at the close of Civil War II.

The Doubleclicks are returning from their 30-city nationwide tour and playing in Portland this July! Catch them at the Doug Fir July 19 with Danielle Ate the Sandwich, Lucia Fasano, and Barbara Holm. This is a 21+ show, but families can also catch them at the Tualatin Public Library (aka my childhood hangout) July 24. There’s also a live podcast recording July 25 at Kickstand Comedy Club!

Want a taste of seeing them live? Here’s a video of one of my favorite songs, “The Guy Who Yelled Freebird”:

So that’s what I’ve got! How are your summers going? Any vacation plans or dreams to share? Post them below!

Happy Wednesday! I Missed You All So Much

good-and-cheap.jpgYay! It’s not Monday, and it’s after lunchtime, but I finally have a scrap of time to blog and I’m taking it. How are you? What have you been up to? Is summer treating you well?

Summer has kicked my . . . hindquarters thus far, with GeekCraft Expo PDX debuting June 11-12 and the Doubleclicks heading out on their #MassiveTour (prompting me to launch about a million press releases). Plus, now that Sid is out of school, I have him full time, except when I’m ferrying him to his summer camps.

But it’s been worth it! GeekCraft Expo PDX, that Etsy-Meets-Comic Con curated geeky craft show, attracted 4,500+ attendees in its first year, completely obliterating my stress dream of being stuck in an empty hotel exhibit hall staring at the other GCE organizers (who I met in person for the first time at the show) and exhibitors while they glare at me and wonder where I went wrong. Instead, we surpassed my personal goals, the items for sale were incredibly awesome, and everyone went home happy! Whew.

The Doubleclicks’ tour is going strong: make sure to follow them on Twitter for pics and check out their YouTube channel for videos!

More links:

Food

I picked up Good and Cheap at the library, and I am in love with this cookbook. It was originally the capstone project of Leanne Brown, who wanted to create a cookbook of delicious, healthy recipes accessible to those on a SNAP/food stamp budget of $4 per day. As regular readers know, I’m obsessed with reducing our grocery budget (FYI: I totally sucked at that this month), but also, I love that this book encourages people to use what they have on hand, rather than sticking to strict recipes–the essence of good cooking.

Cooking for yourself is one of the easiest ways you can save money (I calculated that a ham and cheese sandwich–even without sale items–is about $2, compared to at least $8 for a non-fast food lunch out), and it’s a way to control the quality of the nutrients you put in your body. Healthy food can be cheap! There’s a free, downloadable PDF on Brown’s site, but if you buy the book, she donates a book to someone who needs it.

Speaking of food, it’s getting hot in Portland. I’m going to compile a full list of good hot weather food, but for now, check out AllRecipes’ super-easy kalua pig in a slow cooker. This is delectable, savory pulled pork that is dead easy to make and doesn’t heat up the kitchen (although your house will smell awesome).

Fashion

Remember that J Crew Factory dress I blogged about that was an alternative to the $500 dress I was drooling over? I bought it! And it fits like a dream! I’ll try to do a 10-item summer wardrobe post tomorrow.

Geek Stuff

Like I would forget. First, you’ve probably seen this everywhere since the PR was so good, but Chuck Palahniuk announced that he’ll come out with Bait, an adult coloring book, in October from Dark Horse! Let me just say I have some insider knowledge on this, and it is good. Also, I probably can’t read some of the stories.

Portland’s geek-folk sister duo the Doubleclicks might be on their #MassiveTour now, but they’ll be back in Portland July 19 at the Doug Fir! This is a 21+ event, but they’ll also be playing an all-ages show at the Tualatin Public Library (my childhood book haven!) July 24.

Tomorrow! I’m going to write that 10-item wardrobe post, by hook or by crook. Then, I’ll be prepping for a family vacation to Wyoming. Part of my (improbable) prep: giving myself the gift of a clean house to return to. Pray for me!