Happy Wednesday! Thor Podcasts, Sexy Party Fashion & GeekCraft Expo

Thor350covercrop.jpgHappy Wednesday! I hope you’re all enjoying your spring–the hot weather finally arrived in Portland this week, and . . . we put up all the AC units in our bedrooms. I was not cut out for 90-degree weather.

I’ve been super busy with geeky projects and the kids–here’s what I’ve been up to!

Geekery

As I mentioned the last time I wrote, I’ve started up a new Thor podcast, THOR: The Lightning and the Storm, with my friend Miles Stokes from Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men! We’re doing 13 episodes exploring Walter Simonson’s epic 1980s run on The Mighty Thor, and it’s been a lot of fun–and a lot of work! We’re covering three or four comics each episode, and our outlines are about 10 pages long. Plus we drive to Beaverton to record. This is serious stuff!

If you’re geeky–or you want to brush up on your classic Thor history before Thor: Ragnarok hits theaters, subscribe! We also have a special “zero issue” episode available for everyone who donates $5 or more to our IndieGogo campaign!

GeekCraft Expo PDX Nerd Wood

Wooden art by Nerd Wood Designs!

In other geeky news, GeekCraft Expo PDX returns to the DoubleTree Portland June 10 and 11 and ohmygosh that’s soon. We’re also throwing an epic kickoff party June 9 at Bridge City Comics with free beer (for those 21+) from Hop Valley Brewing, and prizes from Bridge City, Centerplate, Guardian Games, Ground Kontrol, Espionage Cosmetics, SCRAP PDX, and our exhibitors!

Fashion

I’m still going through my spring/summer wardrobe and need to pick up a few things for this season’s 10-Item Wardrobe, but in the meantime . . . I needed a party outfit. And I realized I was having kind of an identity crisis, now that I am post-40 and post-baby.

In my 20s and 30s, my party style was tight. Literally. And short. Let’s say there were a lot of American Apparel dresses and not a lot of underwear.

But! American Apparel is no more, and I’ve shifted into classic, preppy wardrobe mode in recent years. And while this works really well for my everyday life, it made me feel like I was dressed for church when I went out for karaoke. If I have a babysitter and I’m out having fun and drinking adult beverages, I want to be sexy, dammit! But maybe not in a miniskirt.

Fortunately, inspiration arrived for me at the library, when Ines de la Fressange’s new book, Parisian Chic Look Book, finally came in. This was a fun one–first, the cover is metallic gold, and it’s filled with fun, classic looks with names like, “Date Night,” “Meeting Your Boyfriend’s Parents,” “Going to Court for Your Divorce,” etc. The “My Ex Has Invited Me to Dinner” look was exactly what I was looking for: a pencil skirt, a camisole, and a cozy jacket. Cute, sexy, comfy–I was sold.

My budget isn’t immense, however, so I promptly took myself to H&M. This is what I found: a sequined mesh camisole top, a black jersey pencil skirt, and a burgundy sweatshirt. Paired with some sandals, fancy makeup, and my garnet necklace, I felt I looked glamorous but not like I was trying too hard–or trying to look 25!

Twin Peaks

Finally: Twin Peaks is back! This created a lot of excitement in my house, especially for my husband (he loves David Lynch more than anyone I’ve ever known). We binged the first four episodes Sunday night, and I’m . . . intrigued. And frustrated. And wondering when we’ll see Audrey. But I knew from the beginning that this wouldn’t be a “reunion show”–this isn’t a Northern Exposure revival (although really, I would enjoy that as well).

Twin Peaks The Return

Here’s an article about the parallels between Twin Peaks and Gilmore Girls.

We did a Twin Peaks brunch (it happened again)! I’ll do a post later, but in the meantime, here’s a link to our Twin Peaks dinner party, in case you want themed eats and drinks when Episode 5 arrives June 4.

That’s it for now! I’m looking forward to blogging more after GeekCraft Expo is over–I still need to watch the new Netflix Anne of Green Gables show, and I am certain I will have many things to say. Plus, updates on my darling children (sorry Sid) and my Spring/Summer 10-Item Wardrobe. See you soon!

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!

I Am Alive–Just Barely

GeekCraftLogoGahh, I’ve missed blogging! I have so many posts in my head (A Gentleman’s Cocktail Party! Donut Brunch! Free Summer Activities!), but I’ve been swept up in promoting GeekCraft Expo PDX and various other projects, which has put my personal writing on the back burner.

But! GeekCraft Expo PDX is this weekend (free to the public!) June 11 and 12 from 11 am to 7 pm at the DoubleTree at Lloyd Center, which means I’ll be able to resume my strange musings next week. Until then, a peek at what I’ve been up to:

GeekCraft Expo PDX. RSVP and come see some amazing handmade geeky crafts by local artisans! We were on Fox 12 Oregon’s Good Day Oregon this morning, check out the videos here.

GeekCraft Expo Kickoff Party. Tonight from 6 to 9 pm at Bridge City Comics! Free beer (for those 21+) from Hop Valley Brewing, music by Kielen King, and prizes from Dark Horse Comics, Bridge City, Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade, Guardian Games, the Hollywood Theatre, and Portland Retro Gaming Expo!

I’ve also been helping Portland’s fantastic geek-folk sister duo, the Doubleclicks, spread the word about their upcoming 30-city tour! See the full schedule here. Check out their tour video below!

So if you’re in the Portland area, come out tonight and next weekend to see some awesome stuff, and tune in next week–I should have more ridiculous things to write about.

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!

Happy Monday! So Much Geek Stuff

GrandmaSarah

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!

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!

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!

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!

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!