Enchanted Forest

Happy Monday! April 25th Is the Perfect Date

Enchanted Forest

This witch straight-up terrified me as a child. The Enchanted Forest! Photo from PDXFamilyAdventures.com.

Happy Monday! Sarah took an early nap and I’m caught up/between freelance tasks, so I can actually blog today. I know, it’s so exciting! It’s frustrating, because I have so many things I’d like to be writing about, but my free time is shrinking more and more. But enough whining. Did you know that April 25th is the perfect date?

Links!

Prince

Prince gets his own section, because Prince. The legendary musician died last Thursday at age 57, and the world lost a truly talented, amazing individual. Again. There are a lot of lovely tributes online, but I prefer to post the video of Prince kicking Kim Kardashian off the stage. Not because I have anything in particular against her, but come on–if Prince asks you to dance? You dance.

But seriously–check out the video of Prince covering Radiohead’s “Creep” at Coachella eight years ago for a good ugly cry. It’s beautiful. Also, I went to karaoke with friends at the Ambassador this weekend and the songs were 85% Prince, and we have some very enthusiastic–and talented–local singers.

Whoa. Did you click the Ambassador link above? I had no idea their website was so . . . something. Wow.

Comics, Entertainment, General Nerdery

The official full cast list of the new Twin Peaks is here! Quick thoughts: I’m intrigued by Alicia Witt returning (as Donna Hayward’s little sister, a bit part in the original), and thrilled that David Duchovny’s Denise will appear! Also . . . Eddie Vedder? Uh, okay.

Also, the shortlist for the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Kids’ Comics is up on The Beat.

In local Portland nerdery, now’s your chance to suggest a panel for the 2016 Rose City Comic ConYou have the power!

Also, my crafty geeks: make sure turn in your application for GeekCraft Expo PDX by 4/30: this Saturday! Dooooo it.

In “How did I not already know this?” news, J. Rachel Edidin opened my eyes to the fact that Oregon’s weird/cool/creepy/amazeballs theme park, the Enchanted Forest, is open on weekends this month. I will be writing more on this subject soon!

While speaking of J. Rachel Edidin, I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you that the latest episode of Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men is live, and it covers the debut of Inferno and the X-Terminators, and I must listen right now.

But first, one more video! If I had enough hair, I would try this braided chignon tutorial by Jennifer L. Scott:

So I bid you a fond farewell–for now! How did you honor Prince this past weekend, dear readers? Do you have any comics to recommend? Post below!

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Jessica Jones Michael Gaydos

Happy Tuesday! Comics, Comics, Comics

Betty and Veronica Adam Hughes

Betty and Veronica, by Adam Hughes. Image from Bleeding Cool.

Hey all! How was your weekend? I took a crazy one-day trip to Emerald City Comicon to chat with people about GeekCraft Expo PDX and to see some friends. It was awesome–more so because two friends hitched a ride with me. It is infinitely preferable to spend two to three hours talking about movies, TV, and childhood experiences while driving to Seattle. Woo!

So as you can imagine, I’ve got lots of comics news:

Comics

The proofs of the Fight Club 2 hardcover are here, and it is gorgeous (I got a peek because my husband, Scott Allie, edited the book). Chuck Palahniuk wrote a beautiful little tribute to the creative team, and hinted about what’s coming next. Gosh, what could it be . . . ?

Jessica Jones Michael Gaydos

Jessica Jones by Michael Gaydos. Image courtesy Michael Perlman.

It’s like my favorite comic book publishers are trying to make all my dreams come true! One example: there’s going to be a new Jessica Jones series by the original creative team, Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Gaydos, and David Mack. Brian Michael Bendis is, of course, the choice for the writer, but I’m so please that Gaydos is returning. His take on Jessica is so distinctive and definitive–I love it. And David Mack is perfection. If you haven’t already, check out the original series, Alias, and the followup, The Pulse.

But wait! There’s more! Archie Comics’ new Adam Hughes Betty and Veronica series, which was announced last May, will hit comic shops in July. Adam Hughes’ “good girl” art is legendary, and the prospect of him doing interior art in addition to covers? This is a can’t-miss series. I’m also looking forward to the variant covers by Stephanie Buscema, Cliff Chiang, Veronica Fish, Francesco Francavilla, and Chip Zdarsky.

“But enough of these johnny-come lately artists,” you say? Fear not: longtime Archie writer/artist Dan Parent is debuting Life With Kevin with J. Bone this June, starring an adult Kevin. This will be a digital-first series, but I’m happy to see the Archie “house” style alive and well in any format!

Picnics

Well that was a change of topic! But relevant to my life. Sid has joined a baseball team and has two games per week–one on the weekend in the morning, one during a weekday evening. During the dinner hour. So I’m taking this as an opportunity to make fun picnics!

Up first: this salami caprese pasta salad, with grilled asparagus and corn muffins (pro tip: these are all leftovers). I have seven more to plan–I’ll take pics and post recipes in case you need ideas this summer.

Books

I am overloaded with books. Seriously. I have like eight library books right now, because I put titles on hold online on a whim, and then they all arrive at the Belmont branch willy nilly. However! I highly recommend reading Sex and Shopping: Confessions of a Nice Jewish Girl, the autobiography of Scruples author Judith Krantz, because it is a delightful look into a certain kind of liberated woman I had no idea existed in the late ’40s-early ’50s. Really. Plus, I discovered how many of her bonkers books came right from her real life. I mean, this is a woman who rubbed shoulders with Richard Avedon and Barbara Walters before (and while) they were stars!

That’s all I have for today. Reader, you have no idea what else I’m up to! But you will. Very soon. (Those last three lines were a tribute to dear Judith.)

Comic convention what to bring

What to Bring to a Comic Convention (for One Day)

Comic convention what to bring

Ready for the convention floor!

I am up far too late, considering that I’m leaving at 6 am for Emerald City Comicon in Seattle–for the day. I’m estimating about eight hours of driving and about four hours of passing out flyers for GeekCraft Expo PDX and schmoozing with friends and cool comics people I would like to be friends with.

But! I wanted to share my outfit and survival kit with you all. Clockwise from center:

  • Striped tank dress – It’s cute and comfy, and it should be in the mid-70s tomorrow. In a pinch, if for some reason I spend the night (highly unlikely, as it is, I’m dreading leaving Sarah for the day), I could sleep in it.
  • Spider-Man sweatshirt – In case I get cold.
  • Sneakers – Essential, of course. At my second SDCC I made the mistake of wearing “comfy” sandals my first day and got quarter-sized blisters. Don’t do it.
  • GeekCraft Expo PDX flyers – With my contact info on the back. Like business cards!
  • Pen – Duh.
  • Sunglasses – For driving, or in case I look super tired/I want to be mysterious/I need to hide from someone.
  • Tote bag – Tons more flyers in here!
  • Phone charger – It slipped down into one of the tote pockets.
  • Coffee/water thermos
  • Hairbrush – Trying to look professional!
  • Medicine kit – Band-Aids, ibuprofen, Tums, and Gas-X: I’m ready for anything, folks.
  • Deodorant – A must.
  • Flattering neutral lipstick – This is Rimmel’s Dusty Rose, which is cheap and looks good on anyone. I was once out to dinner with a group of girlfriends–a brunette with blue eyes, a blond with hazel eyes, and a redhead with green-blue eyes–and made them all try it on. It’s a miracle lipstick.
  • Snacks – Almonds and yogurt raisins.
  • Maps and list of targets/friends (pictured below) – I get disoriented and overwhelmed pretty easily, so I made a plan and printed this out on card stock. Yes, I’m a dork.
Emerald City Comicon map

Emerald City Comicon map with my notes! I get lost a lot.

Not pictured:

  • Life Savers
  • Breast pump – Did I mention I’m leaving my sweet, 18-month-old daughter for at least 12 hours? And that every time she did something cute today (she’s pretty much cute all the time) I gave her an extra hug and worried about leaving her? My baby!

Wish me luck!

Emerald City Comicon

Happy Monday: I Will Be at ECCC for the Length of a Unicorn’s Sigh

Emerald City Comicon

I’m flying in right after that guy!

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? I welcomed our friend, artist Alise Gluškova, who is visiting us for the month from Latvia! She drew Abe Sapien #27 last fall, a stand-alone story about Langdon Caul, the man who eventually became Abe! Or did he?

Links!

Geekery

So I was sad that I was going to miss Emerald City Comicon for the first time since 2009–boo! But then I decided to drive up for the day on Saturday to say hi to folks and talk to people about GeekCraft Expo PDX (and other fun possibilities!). It will involve driving eight hours in a single day . . . which will involve lots of coffee. But I’m excited! Who else is going?

Are you a geeky crafter? Applications for GeekCraftExpo PDX are due April 30, so get yours in! Also, join us for GeekCraftUp, a casual night of crafting, April 11 at Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade. Win prizes from Rose City Comic Con, including weekend passes!

Speaking of ECCC, the hosts and creators of my favorite podcast, Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men (formerly Rachel & Miles X-Plain the X-Men, see here for an X-planation) will host a live podcast, as well as a meetup/birthday party! You should really go.

Whoa! CBR, aka Comic Book Resources, the most prominent and high-traffic comic book news site, has been sold to Valnet Inc. As of now, the editorial team will remain in place, while founder and owner Jonah Weiland will be transitioning to his next adventure. I’ve read CBR regularly off and on for at least eight years, so I’ll be watching what happens next with interest.

Finally, a friend of mine has started a brand-new site devoted to comics, movies, and all things geeky: Talking Nerdy. She’ll be posting comics reviews, news, and opinion pieces, and has plans for DIY articles about geeky crafts and food. I can’t wait! Go ahead and check it out!

Food

I finally got to try the Bacon Bleu Tater Tots at Providence Park (they were gooooood)! My brother is the GM of food and beverage there, so it’s my own fault it’s taken this long. Like me, my brother loves food, and he’s helped revolutionize concessions cuisine–really–bringing Portland’s finest food carts and local ingredients to the field. Read all about where to eat in (and around) the park on Eater!

I hosted an Easter/Friendsgiving the weekend before last (my brother called it “Freaster”), and it was so wonderful! I used the free turkey I picked up (and kept frozen) last Thanksgiving, but included some springier recipes. Here’s the roundup:

  • Alton Brown’s Classic Brined and Roasted Turkey: With a little preparation (I started brining at midnight the night before), this is a super easy and super delicious turkey–juicy and flavorful. Five stars!
  • Cornbread Stuffing with Sausage and Apples: Since Sid wasn’t with us, I went with mushrooms in the stuffing. Yummy!
  • Scalloped Potatoes: This is a Martha Stewart recipe and it is a pain. I mean, all scalloped potatoes are! But they were really good–I’d just add salt while boiling the potatoes, and then season the milk and cream before you pour it over.
  • Pea Salad: So fresh! So springy! It’s vegetables, but with bacon, cheese, and a creamy dressing. My kind of veggies!
  • Rolls: It’s pretty obvious I love the Pioneer Woman’s recipes, huh? These really are the best. But I don’t shape them into Parker House rolls, I just roll two-ounce balls. Yes, I weigh them.
  • Best Ever Lemon Bars with Shortbread Crust: Ohhhhhh these were amazing. And because you freeze them, you can do them ahead of time!

That’s what I’ve got! Whaddya got? Post below!

Hail Caesar the Kurgan

Happy Monday! Hail, Caesar and #10ItemWardrobe

Hail Caesar the Kurgan

Yes, that’s The Kurgan on the left! The Highlander himself (Christopher Lambert) also makes an appearance in Hail, Caesar! Photo via Universal Pictures.

Well hello, folks! How was your weekend? Mine was great–I went to a birthday party for my Dad and saw my second movie of the year in the theaters, Hail, Caesar (the first movie was Deadpool, of course)!

When I first started dating my now-husband, I had pretty much given up going to the movies. I had lived for many years on an island that had two theaters and a total of three screens, which meant Movie A would play Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and Movie B played Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. I worked nights waitressing anyway, but if I happened to have a free night and thought about going to a movie, the one I wanted was never playing.

Cut to dating my husband. He loves going to the movies. Especially horror films, which was never my bag. But I gamely went to movie after movie, and soon realized that I wasn’t just being a good sport–I was enjoying myself (and loved horror movies–turns out they aren’t all gore fests!).

Having a baby changed a lot of things for me, but one thing I didn’t even think about was going to the movies! I kind of went back to my default position. But now that Sarah is almost 18 months old we have a babysitter, and I’m finally swimming back up to the surface and checking things out. Who am I? What do I want to do now? Turns out I wanted to go to the movies. So this is a ridiculous, boring anecdote, but going to the movies was a surprisingly Big Deal last night, and I enjoyed the hell out of Hail, Caesar, and hanging out with my husband, so I’m feeling good.

Links!

Entertainment

Hail, Caesar is a love letter to the movies of the 1950s, but did you know the main character, fixer Eddie Mannix (a highly fictionalized version played by Josh Brolin), who runs around hushing up the potential scandals of actors and directors, was a real person? Den of Geek has the real history of Hail, Caesar and Eddie Mannix.

Speaking of Hollywood scandals (and relating to one of the fictional storylines in Hail, Caesar), did you know that actress Loretta Young adopted her own baby to avoid the scandal of an illegitimate, out-of-wedlock child? The father? Clark Gable.

Mike Mignola has decided to end the amazing Hellboy in Hell series, and did an interview with Entertainment Weekly that reveals the cover of the final issue!

Fashion

We’re leaving for Massachusetts this week to visit my husband’s family! Much like I did last year, I’ll be taking pics every day of me in my 10-item wardrobe and posting them on Twitter with the hashtag #10ItemWardrobe. Follow me here!

Speaking of fashion, I have a problem. I have fallen in love with all of the cute, high-quality, organic cotton baby and toddler clothes at Hanna Andersson. It’s a problem because they’re a lot more expensive than Carter’s–but at the same time, they last much longer, too. I’ve found help, however! Our local Hanna Andersson outlet store has everything at a 20-40% discount (or more). You can find your Hanna Andersson outlet here. We’ll be shopping here until I maneuver Sarah into a gig as a baby model. I’m not a paid endorser or affiliate of Hanna Andersson. But I am willing! Call meeeee!

That’s all I got today. What are you enjoying? Have any tips on transitioning from being a 24-hour milk machine to an actual human woman? Post them below!

 

Happy Tuesday! International Women’s Day

International Women's Day

It’s International Women’s Day! Image from International Women’s Day!

Happy Tuesday everyone! I was unable to blog yesterday because Sarah has been 1) sick and 2) teething, and the combination left her inconsolable unless I was physically holding her. Sigh. I invited a friend over for lunch and she ended up making the sandwiches. But hey! Sarah might have eight whole teeth by the time she turns 18 months (she’s been a real slow teether).

On to links!

International Women’s Day

It’s International Women’s Day, a day celebrating the achievements of women and calling for increased gender equality and an end to discrimination and violence towards women. As a woman and a mother, I approve.

Check out UN Women’s interactive timeline about notable women in history–it’s really interesting, and visually stimulating for kids, too.

Speaking of notable women, Kelly Sue DeConnick is a fantastic comic book writer (Bitch Planet, Ms. Marvel), force of nature, and inspirational kick-ass woman. She used her fame and social media prowess for good yesterday, retweeting the names and portfolio links of hundreds of female comic book creators yesterday using the #VisibleWomen hashtag. Go check ’em out!

Another woman I love is Jennifer L. Scott, author of the Madame Chic books. She posts weekly video blogs over at the Daily Connoisseur, and just posted one that especially speaks to me about dealing with exhaustion. Plus she gave my latest 10-item wardrobe post a shout out, and I want to return the favor!

Of course, my favorite fictional woman is Jessica Fletcher of Murder, She Wrote. One day I will write in length why, but in the meantime, Bitch Media’s Jessica Fletcher of “Murder, She Wrote” Is My Anti-Ageism Heroine is well worth the read!

Cooking

As part of this month’s meal planning, I brought out my Mom’s 1970s copy of Make-A-Mix-Cookery. It’s all about creating your own mixes–for baking, casseroles, soups, etc.–to save time and money. And I’m all about creating my own entertainment by trying out retro recipes. So far I’ve made two of the mixes, so keep an eye out for reviews!

Speaking of Kelly Sue, she posted this recipe for a Buckeye Bundt Cake and I want. To. Make. It. And I will.

Okay, I’ve got to give Sarah a bath now (I will spare you the details why). Post your favorite women below!

Xena Comics Sam Woolley

Happy Monday! Breakfast Corn Dogs & Xena Comics

Xena Comics Sam Woolley

New Xena comics! Art by Sam Woolley. Image from io9.

Happy Monday! Oh wow, when’s the last time I actually did a Happy Monday post on Monday? Never mind, I’m not looking it up. Hope your week was awesome! We had a good week topped by a weekend that included 1) a Terraria party/sleepover with Sid’s friends, 2) dinner at a friend’s house, 3) friends from out of town coming to stay with us, leading us to 4) a dinner party and karaoke tonight.

Plus, for one brief, shining moment yesterday, I had all the laundry done. All of it. Clothes, sheets, towels, dishcloths, diapers . . . it was glorious. And then I cleaned the laundry room because, guests. DUH! Don’t you do that? Just kidding, I’m a maniac.

Links!

Divine Geekery

The second annual Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics were held this weekend at Long Beach Expo, and G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona’s Ms. Marvel won! Ms. Marvel is a fantastic comic–if you haven’t read it yet, TFAW has Ms. Marvel here!

The latest episode of Rachel & Miles XPlain the X-Men is up, and they’re covering early Captain Britain and pre-Psylocke Betsy Braddock! I cannot wait to listen.

Omigosh! So, as I have written before, I am watching Xena: Warrior Princess for the first time and loving it. So I’m excited and worried that there’s going to be a new Xena comic, set toward the end of the series. Fortunately, io9 had Javier Grillo-Marxuach, showrunner of the new Xena TV show, and Genevieve Valentine, the writer of the new Xena comic, interview each other. It’s promising!

Food

Breakfast Corn Dogs

Breakfast corn dogs?!?

Since Sid’s friend Ernie (who’s a champion eater) spent the night, I used him as an excuse to make the Pioneer Woman’s Sausage Pancakes-on-a-Stick. They were glorious, and I used the extra batter to make pancakes. Yum.

If you missed it, my latest Monthly Meal Planning spreadsheets are available. Tonight: Lipton Onion Soup Meatloaf and Shells & Cheese With Bacon & Peas (it’s a real fancy dinner party).

Fashion

Vintage Fisherman's Sweater

Are you The One?!?

Aw yeah fashion! Ha. I posted about beloved articles of clothing that needed to be put out of their misery this weekend. I’m pretty sure I’ll finally be able to post my Winter 10-Item Wardrobe this week! You know, since it’s almost spring.

The missing piece (hopefully) is arriving today: this vintage fisherman’s sweater I found on Etsy. I’m hoping it’s going to be my year-round, goes-with-almost-everything, wearable blanket. No pressure, sweater.

So that’s what I’ve got so far! What do you think of the sweater? Are you looking forward to more Xena? We’re still in Season Two (we only have Sid every other week and average about four episodes a week), so I may have to wait.