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!

Celebrate GeekCraft Expo PDX at Bridge City Comics 6/10

Hey guys! Here’s an update on GeekCraft Expo PDX, which I am helping to coordinate. We’re throwing a party Friday, June 10 with free food and beer and prizes! Come on out and have a fun evening at Bridge City Comics.

GeekCraftPartyWhat: GeekCraft Expo PDX Kick-Off Party
Where: Bridge City Comics, 3725 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR 97227
When: June 10, 2016 from 6 to 9 pm
RSVP on Facebook

GeekCraft Expo founder and comic book writer Daniel Way (Deadpool, Wolverine: Origins) invites you to celebrate the debut of GeekCraft Expo PDX, Portland’s nerdiest craft fair, at a special kick-off party at Bridge City Comics June 10! This epic bash will feature free beer from Hop Valley Brewing Co. (for those 21+ with valid ID) and complimentary snacks, as well as music by sci-fi DJ Kielen King. In addition, every attendee will take a spin on the prize wheel, loaded with goodies from Dark Horse Comics, Hollywood Theatre, Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade, Guardian Games, Bridge City Comics, and Portland Retro Gaming Expo—while supplies last! This is an all-ages event.

“This being my first ‘official’ visit to Portland, I’m really looking forward to getting my nerd on with PDX’s legendary geek community,” said Daniel Way. “I can’t wait to open the doors on the inaugural GeekCraft Expo PDX!”

“I was intrigued when I first heard about GeekCraft Expo,” said Bridge City Comics owner Michael Ring. “Handmade geeky crafts? I love it! And I was especially honored when Bridge City Comics was asked to host the kick-off party. I jumped at the chance to work with this crew!”

GeekCraft Expo is an Etsy-Meets-Comic Con craft show that has traveled to 16 cities across the US and Canada. Its Portland debut, June 11-12 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Portland, is free to the public and will showcase local crafters and artisans who create jewelry, plushes, artwork, and more inspired by comics and pop culture. Interested in exhibiting? Apply by May 17. Interested in attending? RSVP on Facebook.

Who’s coming? I want to see your faces!

Betty Veronica Dan DeCarlo Fashion

Betty & Veronica Fashion Friday

Betty Veronica Dan DeCarlo Fashion

Betty and Veronica as drawn by Dan DeCarlo, circa 1960s.

It’s no secret I love Archie Comics and Betty and Veronica. I especially enjoy the ’60s-era Dan DeCarlo renditions of my favorite frenemies–particularly the clothes. If you look at any of DeCarlo’s comics and pinups, it’s immediately clear that he really researched the clothes of the era, and that he had definitive ideas of how Betty and Veronica should dress (for example, Betty generally wears full skirts, while Veronica–that hussy–opts for pencil skirts).

I’ve always aspired to dress like the ladies–so classic! So graphic! So I decided to have a little fun and create my own interpretation of one of their looks. I even went so far as to select affordable clothing for Betty (Nordstrom Rack!) and designer for dear Ronnie (Dolce & Gabbana!).

So how did I do?

Betty & Veronica Fashion Friday #1

 

Happy Monday! So Much Geek Stuff

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I love this picture of my Mom and Sarah!

Hello everyone! How was your weekend? Did you celebrate Mother’s Day? I had a lovely day–I got to sleep in while Scott dressed and fed Sarah and took her for a walk, and then we met up with family for brunch. You know it was a serious brunch because they had cocktail shrimp and, yes, I ate a lot of them.

Guys, there’s so much geeky stuff going on–both in general and for me personally. I’m actually missing seeing Captain America: Civil War this weekend because I have a geeky craft meetup I’m organizing the same day. The mind boggles! But let’s get to it:

Geeky Stuff

Where to begin? GeekCraft Expo PDX–a curated, handmade geeky craft show–is coming to Portland June 11-12 at the DoubleTree Portland. The Facebook event is here. The website (listing 15 other GeekCraft Expos in the US and Canada) is here. All exhibitors are pre-qualified to exhibit as makers at Rose City Comic Con 2017 (while space allows). The extended deadline to apply is May 17!

To celebrate, we’re hosting another GeekCraftUp at SCRAP PDX, an amazing nonprofit organization that accepts craft materials donations and is committed to be creativity and recycling! We’re meeting from 4-7 pm May 14 (this is why I’m missing Civil War, dear readers), and every attendee will receive a bright yellow Avatar: The Last Airbender reusable bag from Dark Horse Comics with a couple of goodies inside (while supplies last), plus we’ll have some amazing raffle prizes, including a print signed by Hellboy creator (and recent Grand Master Award winner from Spectrum) Mike Mignola!

Mysterious GeekCraft Expo-related event TBA! Could it be a kickoff party (it might be a kickoff party)? Might it be at a super cool location (yes) with awesome music, (uh huh) prizes (of course), and more? Stay tuned for our announcement!

In other news, Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men have finally reached my X-Men comics entry point, Inferno (the Madelyne Pryor stuff)! I cannot wait to listen to this week’s episode. My only complaint is I cannot do anything else (like type) while listening to them–their program is so dense (in the best way) and full of trivia, insights, and sheer passion!

Also, The Doubleclicks, Portland’s geek-flavored folk-rock sister duo, are leaving on a giant summer tour beginning in June, gracing 28 towns and two countries with their sweet-yet-snarky tunes.

Phew! That’s all I’ve got for today. Stay tuned for more fun stuff this week!