Highlander

Happy–Oh Golly–THURSDAY?!?

Highlander

There can be only one! Christopher Lambert. Waa waa waa! (Say it like Chachi.)

Hey guys! I’m so sorry for the radio silence on my end. I’ve been getting busier and busier and it’s cutting into the limited time I have to write undisturbed (a.k.a. Sarah’s nap). But at least I have plenty of stuff to share!

Links:

Geek Tomfoolery

Aaron Duran of the excellent Geek in the City podcast had me on his show to talk about GeekCraft Expo PDX! We chatted about the curated nature of the show, which naturally turned into a lengthy discussion about Highlander (there can be only one!), and then he, Beanerita, and Kaebel Hashitani continued their Women in Horror Month by talking about The Descent. Good stuff. Aaron is my former co-worker at Things From Another World and the writer of La Brujeria, a hilarious supernatural comic, so he showed me a good time.

Good news for Portland! The amazing, one-of-a-kind Ground Kontrol Retro Arcade is expanding into the former Backspace Cafe, doubling its square footage and adding a custom bar. Ground Kontrol is a fantastic arcade with all kinds of awesome vintage and new video games, including a great pinball collection, and they serve food, and alcohol.

Even more geeky news for Portland! The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is moving here and opening their office June 1. This is a fantastic organization that protects free speech for everyone in the comic book industry and beyond, and I’m excited to see what the CBLDF will get up to here in the Pacific Northwest.

Back to Highlander! Man, I really need to watch this again:

Food & Such

I’ve started month two of my Monthly Meal Planning 2-16. I’ll be doing an actual post on this tomorrow! I saved 25% last month, and I’m gunning for at least 30% this time around.

I’ve been trying to use up all of the excess dry bulk goods I’ve had on hand after making Mason jar gifts this Christmas. I cooked up Martha Stewart’s Black Beans with Rice and Avocado (subbing in couscous for rice) last night and it was tasty!

Baby

I realize I haven’t posted about Sarah lately. At 16 months, she is a happy little dream, but she doesn’t pose for pictures that often–she is on the move, running running everywhere! She’s our little comedienne, always delighting in getting a laugh out of us, and she’s finally cutting another tooth. That brings her to seven. Seven! She still eats a lot.

That’s what I’ve got so far–what’s new with you? Post below!

Zero Waste Gift

Happy Wednesday! Zero Waste Valentine’s Gifts & Nerdy Fun

Zero Waste Gift

Zero waste Valentine’s gifts!

Happy Monday I mean Wednesday, folks! It’s been an insanely busy week, but I’m back to share some fun ideas for a Zero Waste Valentine’s Day and some cool, nerdy stuff that’s coming to Portland!

Links!

Valentine’s Day

Last year I made some Zero Waste Valentine’s gifts by filling half-pint mason jars with bulk candy (either unpackaged or in foil) and topped it with fabric I had on hand. They were super cute and I’ll be doing it again this year, with one change: I’m going to get my candy from Enchante’, an excellent chocolatier in Milwaukie. They’ve got lots of gorgeous, delicious candy in large glass jars–I’m going to ask them to use my cloth bags instead of their paper ones.

VdayPlatter

Except for the beets, it took me five minutes to put this Valentine’s Day platter together!

Need an easy, elegant, Valentine’s Day dinner idea that can be–well–cheap, too? Take a peek at the antipasto platter I made last year in I Made a Romantic Meal for My Husband, and What He Did Next SHOCKED Me! (my favorite article title ever). Platter dinners are the best–they’re portable, you don’t have to cook, you can personalize them to your exact tastes, and they can be if not zero, at least low waste. Plus even inexpensive cheese (bulk store brands can be tasty, too) can look indulgent and beautiful when it’s sliced and arranged nicely.

Geeky Stuff

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but the official announcement for GeekCraft Expo PDX went live yesterday! This is going to be an amazing show showcasing the best of Portland’s geeky crafters June 11 and 12. Plus, it’s free to the public!

I’m seeing Deadpool this Friday with a friend and I cannot wait, mostly because Ryan Reynolds was born to play this role–he’s hilarious in the trailers and TV spots. I’ve included the red band trailer below (SWEARING! VIOLENCE! NUDITY! CHIMICHANGAS!). Plus, ComicsAlliance reports that Reynolds is open to Deadpool (pansexual in the comics) having a boyfriend in the sequel!

That’s what I’ve got! I’ll be posting an overview of my first Monthly Meal Planning experiment either today or tomorrow–catch you later!

Happy Monday! I Am a Podcast Star & Super Bowl Food

Frito Pie

Frito Pie!!!! (Note: I will not be making these in individual bags, single tear. Image from Steamy Kitchen.

Oh man, this is laaaate. Happy Monday, everyone! Hope you had a great weekend. I went to a friend’s birthday at a casino (great buffet, I did not gamble), and then went to an incredible comics mixer put on by Steve Lieber (Whiteout, Superior Foes of Spider-Man) last night. I’ve been a bit of a homebody since Sarah was born, so I had a fantastic time socializing with the local comic book scene.

Links!

Geekery

My second episode guest-hosting my favorite podcast, Rachel & Miles X-Plain the X-Men, is live! Miles and I watched the failed ’89 X-Men cartoon pilot, “Pryde of the X-Men,” and then played the notorious quarter-eating X-Men game at Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade–and then we talked about it. For you! I had so much fun with Miles–I feel grateful and terribly lucky that I’ve been able to take part in the show.

I’ve been enjoying the X-Files return thus far (it helps that I wasn’t a super-fan of the show, I think). Here’s a behind-the-scenes video of tonight’s episode, “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster,” written by Darin Morgan, one of the original series’ best writers:

Super Bowl

I am not a sports fan. I started out not caring for sports: spending five years waitressing in a Massachusetts sports bar sealed the deal. But: I do love Super Bowl food and parties, so I am throwing a bit of a shindig this Sunday. Here are the essential elements of a successful Super Bowl party menu:

Chili (yes I’m linking to my own recipe)–both to eat on its own and as a component of Frito Pie.

Velveeta-Rotel dip. You don’t like Velveeta? You are a communist. Shut up and eat your Velveeta and watch Super Bowl commercials because Amurrica!

Buffalo chicken dip. My friend Melissa (she of the Special K cookies of glory) made this once and it is addictive–any way less messy than wings. I use blue cheese dressing instead of ranch, and Fritos instead of chicken-flavored crackers (whaa?).

French Silk Pie. This isn’t really Super Bowl food, but I had a slice at the casino and I really want to make my own. I have a crust in the freezer to roll out, yay!

Hope you all have a great week!

 

Geek Mentor

Profiles in Geek Mentors: Cousin Danny

Geek Mentor

Cousin Danny: Portrait of the Geek Mentor as a Young Man.

I grew up geeky: comic books, sci-fi movies and television, the works. It led me to a career marketing comics and enjoying conventions of all stripes. However! While it is good to be a geek these days–with mighty Marvel movies making mucho moolah at the multiplexes and darker DC dramas dominating the (television) dial–back in my day (the halcyon ’80s) we had it tougher. I mean, I had to walk five feet across shag carpeting both ways to turn the channel to catch reruns of The Incredible Hulk!

But in all seriousness, geek culture was not as prevalent or accessible when I was growing up, so as a mature adult, I feel the need to thank and recognize the geek mentors who nurtured my nascent nerdiness along the way, and I’m starting with one who is significant to both my brother and me: Cousin Danny.

Uncle Bruce is my mother’s older brother, and six years after we relocated from California to Oregon (stow it, haters), he moved himself and Aunt Judy to nearby Gladstone with sons Danny and Bryan. At the time, I was six and Danny was nine–impressively older, but not terrifying like 13-year-old Bryan (I’ll be writing a separate tribute to Bryan in a future installment). So when we got together for holidays and whatnot, Danny was leader and playmate to me and my little brother BJ–young enough to enjoy a game that included spinning around his dad’s pool table while listening to “Beep Beep” by the Playmates on the record player, but old enough to transfix us with his genius.

Mild mannered and round cheeked, Danny was perhaps an improbable genius. I have to admit that he played the accordion. But! In his room (where we loved to hang out), he had all of the books to solve all of the different Rubix cubes–extremely cool to us–and even more impressive, he had a Commodore 64, a futuristic device that allowed him to type to other people across the country, in real time! It was like having a pen pal–without having to wait for the mailman!

It was Danny who showed us movies like Gremlins, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and War Games, all on VHS tapes copied by Aunt Judy super-long-play style from cable (they had HBO!). But even better: Cousin Danny was the person who showed us Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back for the first time.

Now, would I have watched Star Wars and Empire without Cousin Danny? Of course. Would I have watched them repeatedly until I actually paid attention? Perhaps not. You see, as a young girl (around seven or eight), I initially dismissed them as “boy movies.” It wasn’t until the fourth or fifth time that I suddenly realized, “Hey! I like these movies. These aren’t boy movies at all!” And I was ready to see Return of the Jedi in the theaters. When I saw The Force Awakens this year (with my brother), I thought of Danny and smiled.

Danny also gave us our first taste of freedom: I vividly remember my brother and I being allowed to go see a double feature of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and The NeverEnding Story with just Danny–no grownups. I was nine, with money in my pocket to go buy a second round of refreshments during intermission. Truly a heady experience.

Unfortunately, Bruce and Judy moved to upstate New York in 1988, with both cousins eventually joining them, before the whole clan settled near Atlanta, Georgia. However! I was reunited with Dan (Danny no more) a few years ago at–where else–Dragon Con, one of the biggest, craziest geek conventions on the planet.

DanFrame

Cousin Dan today: geek mentor and Dragon Con master!

While Dan has grown up to work in software development (of course), he still books a room at the Dragon Con host hotel every year, and he’s an integral part of The Outworlders, Atlanta, a “science fiction, fantasy and horror fan group that supports and promotes gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender themes within these genres.”

So I salute and thank you, Cousin Dan: hero, genius, geek mentor, and master of my old Speak N’ Spell. I hope you know you’ve made our lives much more interesting and entertaining, and may the Force be with you!

Happy Monday! X-Plain the X-Men & More

GeekCraft Expo

Wait–are GMOs the mutants of food?!? Geeky lunch boxes, photo via GeekCraft Expo.

Happy Monday, everyone! Did you have a great weekend? Mine was packed full of White Elephant and birthday parties (I celebrated my 41st) and talking about the X-Men. You know the usual.

Let’s get on to links!

Nerdy Entertainments

As Jay Rachel Edidin is out of town, I was asked to guest host my favorite podcast, Rachel & Miles X-Plain the X-Men, again with Miles Stokes! As you may remember, I subbed in last year for Rachel & Miles X-Plain the X-Men #47, where Miles and I talked about the Alpha Flight/X-Men crossover! In our upcoming episode, airing January 31, we chat about Pryde of the X-Men, Marvel’s failed 1989 X-Men cartoon pilot, as well as the spinoff arcade game, which we played in its entirety over at Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade.

You can watch Pryde of the X-Men (which is surprisingly solid, although Wolverine inexplicably has an Australian accent) on YouTube:

I was going to wait until an official announcement was made, but I figured I’ll let you guys in on a gig I’ve taken: I’m the Event Coordinator for GeekCraft Expo PDX, working with Daniel Way (Deadpool, Gun Theory) and his fabulous team to bring a handmade, curated, geeky craft fair to Portland! It will be at the Lloyd Center Doubletree June 11-12, it is free to the public, and I’m very excited about it.

Lest you think this is a strictly Portland event, rest assured that GeekCraft Expo is in 15 other cities in the US and Canada, including Austin, Honolulu, Toronto, and more. Make sure to check out their website to find nerdy, cool, unique stuff near you!

I am obsessed with Fargo Season Two and Tom and Lorenzo’s fashion analyses of the episodes. Their interpretations of the colors and fashions that characters are wearing–and what it says about them, and what will happen in the story–are incredibly engrossing. Their Mad Style posts for Mad Men were epic, too.

This week, I’ll be updating you on my Monthly Meal Planning efforts (spoiler: I planned too many meals so far) and my winter 10-item wardrobe! Also: I will be paying tribute to my Geek Mentors, starting with my cousin Danny. Get ready!

 

(Not So) Happy Monday! David Bowie & Geeky Stuff

David Bowie Rolling Stone

Photo courtesy of Rolling Stone.

Hey guys. I woke up to the sad news that David Bowie passed away. It doesn’t seem fair that such a prolific, talented, and unique musician died of cancer at 69.

He was an artist to the end, releasing his final album, Blackstar, just a few days ago. His final–haunting–video, “Lazarus,”is a goodbye letter to his fans. Watch it:

He knew he was dying when he made this. Chills.

Phew! So, any other links will probably seem trivial now, but let’s dig in:

Geeky Stuff

I’ve been invited to guest host my favorite podcast, Rachel & Miles X-Plain the X-Men, for a second time! I am so thrilled to team up with Miles again (particularly the stuff we get to cover this time out) and so psyched to nerd out! Make sure to catch up on episodes with Jay (formerly Rachel) and Miles in the meantime; my episode will air January 31st.

What’s your favorite comic of 2015? Fight Club 2? Ladykiller? Bitch Planet? Silver Surfer? Vote for the best comic of 2015 over at the Things From Another World Facebook page and let your voice be heard! Voting ends January 14.

Other Year-End Stuff

Despair in the Afternoon just posted their annual Year of Suck in Review for General Hospital and it is hilarious. A must-read for anyone who’s ever enjoyed (or hate-watched) a soap.

I spent this weekend revamping my monthly meal-planning spreadsheets and did the vast majority of my grocery shopping yesterday. I’ll be posting my method for anyone’s who’s interested tomorrow. Feedback is more than welcome!

Yikes! I’m way behind the curve, but I finally got The Girl on the Train from the library last week, and I read it in 24 hours–and it kind of messed me up for a bit! It’s a murder mystery told through three very unreliable, flawed narrators. Rachel, the main character, is a complete train wreck, and not in a sexy way. She’s a divorced, pathetic alcoholic who has been fired from her job, but who’s still fixated on her ex-husband (who’s remarried with a child) and a married couple she’s never met, but whose lives she’s imagines as she passes their house on the train every day. When the wife disappears, Rachel–half out of an impulse to help, half just to be important to someone–involves herself in the case.

There will–of course–be a movie, and a glamorous movie actress–of course (Emily Blunt)–will be playing Rachel, who in the book is constantly described as fat, unattractive, and clumsy. Sigh.

That’s what I’ve got this week–anyone have any book recommendations? I need to build up my library queue!

Top 5 (Okay 6) Posts for 2015

2015FebSLiving

My top-clicked image of 2015! Okay, weird.

In my previous life at TFAW, I was a sucker for analytics. I could get sucked down the rabbit hole of Google Analytics and make all kinds of pretty charts! So when I realized I’ve been blogging long enough to see a whole year of data, I thought I’d dig into my top five posts for 2015.

But Elisabeth, you say, there are six posts here! That’s because one of my top posts was an anomaly (you’ll see why), so I’m kind of not counting it. But it was interesting to see what people actually read and found on my blog–and I was surprised by what popped up!

#6: Fire Walk With Us: Twin Peaks Dinner Party

This was a fun one–and it reminds me, I never wrote a post for our follow-up, our Twin Peaks Brunch! Putting it on the editorial calendar now, especially with the new Showtime series coming up in 2017.

ClassicXMen33_3

My second-most clicked image of 2015! Classic X-Men #33, page by Ann Nocenti and John Bolton.

#5: Why Jessica Jones Is the Hero We Need

This post was really close to my heart–I love the Alias comics, and I was really excited to watch Jessica Jones (I’ve seen it all now!). I really wanted to articulate something I needed to hear when I was younger–that it’s okay to fail–and I’m glad it resonated with a lot of you as well.

Real Lilly Pulitzer

My third-most clicked image of 2015! Image from Lilly Pulitzer.

#4: The Myth of the Desperate Woman: Go Get What You Want, Ladies

Another soul-searching, gut-wrenching post! Thanks for not leaving me hanging, guys. It was triggered by my favorite ex-boyfriend getting married. I was super happy for him and his wife, but I admit, it brought me back to the end of our relationship, when we split up . . . in part because he didn’t want to get married.

#3: Thanksgiving Pre-Prep: Your Secret Weapon to Less-Stressful Entertaining

Ha ha ha ha! Listen. This is a really good post–if you’re into entertaining. But the reason so many people read this article is because Gerard Way, a friend who’s a musician and comic book writer, retweeted this on Twitter and he has many, many thousands of followers who probably thought he was doing his grandmother a solid.

#2: Make Your Own Lilly Pulitzer Dress

I wrote this post on a lark after the Lilly Pulitzer for Target collection sold out so quickly. I became obsessed with the idea of finding a sewing pattern and fabric so I could (hypothetically) make my own. This post gets a lot of organic traffic, so there must be a lot of would-be sewers out there. I think this is just the excuse I needed to make one this spring–I’ll document it here, dear readers.

ClassicXMen33_1

My fourth-most clicked image of 2015. Page from Classic X-Men #33 (aka Uncanny X-Men #127) by Chris Claremont, John Byrne, Terry Austin, and Glynis Oliver.

Target Lilly Pulitzer

My fifth-most clicked image of 2015. Image by Target. You all like dresses!

#1: 10 Days, 10-Item Wardrobe: The First Five Days

Wow! So my top two posts this year were . . . fashion? This got a lot of play because it was featured on Jennifer L. Scott’s Daily Connoisseur blog. I got the 10-item wardrobe concept from her books, so I’ll take the plug! This reminds me that I need to write a winter 10-item wardrobe post–I’ve been waiting until after Christmas and my birthday (next week) to collect a few final pieces. Most of my clothes hit the two-to-three-year mark this winter and needed to be replaced, but I’m almost there. Maybe next week?

So enough about me . . . what do you think about me? Heh. Seriously, if there’s more types of things you’d like to read about, give me a holler!