Craft Meetup in Portland

GeekCraft Expo Presents GeekCraftUp at Ground Kontrol!

Craft Meetup in PortlandCalling all geeky crafters: GeekCraft PDX is hosting a GeekCraftUp at Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade April 11 from 7 to 10 pm!

Bring your projects for a fun night of crafting with other nerdy folks, and the chance to win prizes from Rose City Comic Con, Portland’s largest comics and pop culture convention! This is a casual event open to anyone 21+—whether you’re planning to exhibit at GeekCraft Expo PDX, or just want to meet other crafty people in Portland.

Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade is Portland’s premier video game and pinball paradise, with food and beverages available for purchase. Plus, they’ll have an ‘80s DJ starting at 8:00 pm. We’ll meet up at the lighted tables near the bar!

GeekCraft Expo PDX is a curated geeky craft market featuring handmade items by Portland’s local artisans. Make sure to go check it out June 11-12 at the DoubleTree. It’s free to the public, so mark your calendar now!

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(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!

Happy Monday! Easy Dinners & What Do You Do With an Elf on the Shelf

IMG_7791

Glitter houses!

Happy Monday! Sarah is napping and I’m toasting panko in the oven, so I have a few minutes to chat. Yay! Hope your holiday season is going well. I’m less stressed compared to last week: my folks are coming to help with the back yard, I was able to put our community garden to bed yesterday, and we got our Christmas tree! Sid wants to help put the lights on, so I will try my best not to swear.

Links!

Easy Dinners

These last couple weeks leading up to Christmas are jam-packed: shopping, meetups with friends, some new work responsibilities (I’ll announce that shortly), getting ready for a holiday party–the works!

I thought you guys might be busy, too, so I thought I’d share my secret weapon: Martha Stewart’s Breaded Chicken Cutlets. These are delicious: crispy, quick to bake, and good either by themselves or tossed into chicken parm. I actually call these “Sid’s Chicken” in our house because they’re my son’s favorite. It takes about an hour to put four pounds of cutlets together–freeze them uncooked, and it takes about 15 minutes to get them ready. They’re coated in toasted panko (so you can guess what I’m doing between keystrokes), which gives them a great crunch.

Here’s my other go-to, a one-pan meal which is more of a rule of thumb than anything: Kielbasa with Roasted Vegetables. One 12-ounce package of kielbasa and an equal amount of red potatoes feeds three:

Preheat your oven to 425. Cut your potatoes into quarters or sixths, depending on size and personal taste. Spread on a cookie sheet, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast for 15 minutes. While the potatoes roast, cut your kielbasa into six pieces and chop or slice vegetables of your choice into strips or chunks. Popular at our house: peppers and onions, zucchini, or broccoli. When 15 minutes are up, spread the kielbasa and vegetables on top of the potatoes; stir, and add a little more salt and pepper, as well as any fresh or dried herbs you may desire (rosemary, basil, oregano). Roast another 15 minutes, then remove and serve!

Crafting

I giveth, and then I taketh away: I gave you a time saver, above, and now I’m introducing you to a time waster. Ha! I finally glittered some paper houses I made ten-plus years ago (from a Martha by Mail kit–sigh, remember Martha by Mail?) and now I’m obsessed. The kits are no more, but she has a Winter Village template and instructions online.

Do you love making geeky crafts? Or buying geeky crafts? I’d like to introduce you to GeekCraft Expo, a curated craft market created by comics writer Daniel Way (Deadpool, Gun Theory) specializing in handmade, “geek”-themed crafts like clothing, accessories, toys, home decoration, furniture, art, and more! There are sixteen Expos taking place across the US and Canada, including (drum roll please) a new Portland show June 11-12! This might be connected to my upcoming announcement. Ahem.

Finally, not exactly crafty, but . . . my lovely, thoughtful mother-in-law sent us an Elf on the Shelf. I’m not sure what to do with it, but I did enjoy The Best Time I Got That Goddamn Elf Off My Goddamn Shelf over on Jezebel. Ha!

That’s what I’ve got, and now I need advice: after several months of sleeping through the night, 14-month-old Sarah has started waking up to nurse once a night. I thought it was a temporary phase, but it’s been a few months now, and I’m worried it’s a habit. How do I put a stop to this?!? Wahhh.

Happy Monday! Links to Make Your Day Brighter

Oh, you guys. I am recovering from a massive sugar hangover this morning. If you saw my Twitter feed this weekend, you saw that I made a gigantic Minecraft grass cube cake for Sid’s 10th birthday. Three batches of cake batter. Seven-plus pounds of cake. Nineteen cups of powdered sugar for all the frosting. 397 square inches of cake. We will have cake until next year. But! A wonderful time was had by all, and Sid is officially in the double digits. Sob!

Minecraft Grass Cube Cake

More than seven . . . pounds . . . of cake.

We also took a trip to Great Wolf Lodge in nearby Washington. It was a lot more fun than I thought it would be (in large part due to the margaritas Sid’s mom Myndi and I had at the waterpark).

Here are some links to help ease you into the week/dull the pain of your children growing up and leaving the nest:

Erik Larsen (creator of Savage Dragon) bemoaned “practical” female superhero costumes this weekend on Twitter, and everyone had a civilized debate. Just kidding! Everyone sharpened their knives and went to town. ComicBooked.com had a great take on this.

I know I keep linking to Zero Waste Chef every week, but she keeps hitting it out of the park! Go read 7 Big Food Marketing Gimmicks and have your eyes opened!

Speaking of zero waste, my Mom made this Buddha Bowl from Pamela Salzman with quinoa this week and it was sooooooo good. Definitely going to use my overstock of tahini to make this.

Pattern Behavior has been making the rounds, a Tumblr of vintage clothing patterns with hilarious captions. If you haven’t checked it out yet, trust me–it’s super funny.

Pattern Behavior

Have you checked out Kitchenette, an offshoot of Jezebel? Every Monday they post horrible/hilarious restaurant stories, and as a former server, I cannot resist. This week’s post: Terrible Restaurant Customers and the Revenge They So Justly Deserved. How can you resist this title?

This week: we’re getting ready to go to Massachusetts for a week (yes, it is still snowing . . . we may not ever come back) and then we hit Emerald City Comicon! Traveling for 10 days in two states with two kids is inspiring me to come up with a 10-Item Wardrobe, which I may be lame enough to photograph. Can we get away with just carryon? Will Sarah freak out on the plane? At least we have direct flights . . .

I’ll also be posting that Circle of Chicken recipe I meant to do last week!

Have anything to share? Post it below!