Monthly Archives: October 2013

Amuck, Amuck, Amuck.

It is that time of the year where my ringtone gets changed to Dead Man’s Party by Oingo Boing. The Hocus Pocus dvd gets put on while I dig out my Buffy Halloween episodes to watch immediately after. Throw in various horror movies and my month is set. My personal traditions have changed over the years, trading in the lighter, cuter fair for a something a bit more twisted. This is a little sampling of the growth of my traditions throughout the years for one of my favorite holidays. Whether it be enjoying favorite movies, dressing up, or carving pumpkins, this season has always offered fun and great memories for me.

I was fortunate enough to have a mother who made my costumes growing up. I may not have always been appreciative of this when I was younger, begging for one of those horrible plastic trash bags with a mask that not only blinded you for the night but greatly limited your oxygen intake. A girl just wanted to be She-Ra, I guess. She’s made me many things over the years. As I said in my last post I went as Batman when I was five. It started because I had a black Batman t-shirt with just the emblem on it that I loved. My mom went out and bought a basic black mask and some black material and fashioned a Batman mask with a flowing cape connected in the back. It was pretty sweet, but that was how awesome my mom was. One of my favorite costumes she ever made was Pippi Longstocking. She even made the wig. Unfortunately, due to a hit of sickness, I didn’t get to go out that year, but wore it at home snuggled on the couch watching the Halloween specials on television as I recuperated. If I ever have kids someday, I hope I can do as much for them, but I think I may need to go a couple more rounds with a sewing machine first, because the last time we had a challenge the machine won. It’s definitely a goal to learn to sew better. I can mend, but I’ve never taken on the challenge of a full project before.

Trick or treating was an interesting affair growing up, as well. Living next to cornfields, there wasn’t necessarily a lot of traffic coming your way or anywhere for you to really go. That meant we had to make the trek into town, which not only meant legit trick or treating but a parade.  I eagerly joined in the menagerie of monsters and fairy princesses as we proudly marched our bedazzled and ghoulish visages down the street for all of my small hometown to see. When we came to the end, we were released upon the houses to gather our bounty of sugary confectionaries and numerous cheap plastic toys that we didn’t mind getting year after year. This was happiness as a child. Eventually we got too old to trick or treat which meant I hardly saw any, because no one came out to our house, not that I blame them for not wanting to travel to the middle of nowhere

During high school, I would dress up on Halloween for the school festivities. One year, I went as Buffy. Shocking, I am aware. I remember working hard on making a stake from real wood to go with my outfit, also ensuring the end remained blunt to not cause injury. I am a nerd, so there is always a level of perfection taken when entering such endeavors. However, being the good little girl that I was, I immediately marched down to the high school administration office to check on whether my newly made stake would be considered appropriate enough to keep with me while on school grounds. Yeeeeah, it got confiscated as a potential risk. I was patted on the head for using good enough judgment to ask, then sent off to first period. I was pretty bummed, but I got it. Unfortunately, that kind of bummed me out for dressing up for a while. I would rarely do it after that until I graduated from college.

Since I wasn’t really into dressing up anymore when I hit college, my friends and I started a new tradition, and a silly one at that. Usually we would go to whatever preferred horror movie that was out in the theaters. The other thing that we did was look up some haunted place in the area and try to go find it. Unfortunately we never found any of the places that these road trips were intended for, but the drives were usually a blast. I loved hanging out with my friends and catching up, and they loved hanging out with me and doing whatever they felt could possibly annoy or irritate me, like rolling open the side door of my car as we drove sixty miles an hour down the highway. It wasn’t exactly dangerous, because there was a special catch in the track that allowed the door to be opened while driving for extra ventilation. It probably wasn’t recommended when traveling at the speeds we were. Thankfully, we are all still alive, and I did not murder them in the process. We no longer go on our trips anymore, mostly because we are pretty spread out across the country. I personally don’t want to, because I think the potential for getting any citation from the local law enforcement concerning these activities isn’t exactly classy at our age. I do wish we found that haunted cheese factory, though. It’s the one that got away.

Now, I mostly just watch movies and enjoy the youngsters trick or treating coming to the door. I have a tier system when giving out candy. Everybody gets something, but if they come as one of my favorite characters or in something extremely awesome, extra candy will be given. Extra is always given out to those dressed as Sleeping Beauty, Stitch, Star Wars characters, Thor, and various others of my favorite marvel characters. I am still waiting for some precious child with extraordinary parents to come to my door dressed as either She-Ra or Jem. I will just hand them the bowl and call it a night.

I am sure that there are other people out there that enjoy the holiday as much I do. I would love to read about some of your traditions whether it be decorating, baking, or anything else fun like that. This is a safe place to divulge what you love, so feel free. Thanks for reading!

When a geek really, really really loves a product.

 

Yes, I am channeling Bryan Adams, so what?

I am stuck in the 90s. This is a known fact to my family and friends. When I found out the Theme song to Portlandia included the lyrics “The dream of the 90s is alive in Portland,” I started looking for jobs and a house in Portland. They are my peeps!

Sadly though, I never made it to Portland, though I plan on visiting someday. My husband keeps asking me “Why on earth do you want to visit Portland?” I just scream “THE DREAM OF THE 90s IS THERE, DO YOU NEED ANY OTHER REASON!?” He goes back to his computer and rolls his eyes. Hater.

As part of my 90s loving, I tend to listen to a lot of music from my teenagedom/young adulthood. A lot of Nsync, and R&B, back when it was great. All of my music is on my phone, and nowadays, ear buds come standard with phones. Here is a little secret. I can’t stand ear buds. No offence to them, but my ear holes are tiny or something, and they just fall out. My husband, noticing my sad predicament got me some bigger headphones. While I do love these things, I can’t really wear them in the office. Could you imagine me looking like this showing up to fix your computer?

Plus I spend roughly 80% of my day on the phone. So no, headphones would not work.

My husband to the rescue again.

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While this thing may look like a Pokeball (which is what I call it), It is in fact a Bluetooth speaker by DBest of London.

This little thing is great. It fits in the palm of my hand, so it is unobtrusive. I sit it on my desk, hear a little *blorp* noise, and know my phone is connected. I am enjoying tunes and podcasts all day with this thing. It charges by USB, so If I am worried that it is going to die, I charge it the night before I go to work. This thing has a lot of battery power however. The most I used it without charging was two weeks straight for 8 hour days.

It does have it’s drawbacks. If I pause whatever I am listening to, leave the range of the speaker, and then come back, it does not automatically connect. I either have to turn it off and turn it back on or turn off the Bluetooth on my phone and turn it back on. It also have little crevices that are hard to keep clean. I am not the tidiest person in the world (read: Messy Marvin), but I do take a Q-tip around it every once in a while.

It comes with it’s own little velvet pouch (LIKE A MINI CROWN ROYAL BAG Y’ALL!) and a USB/audio plug in adapter, just in case you don’t want to use the Bluetooth. I keep the adapter in the pouch along with the speaker when not in use and stick it in my purse. It takes up hardly any space. I love the fact that I can take it anywhere.

I loved it and raved about it so much that my husband asked for one for Christmas, and ended up getting a non Bluetooth one on accident. Oops. He’s still quite pleased with it.

So, tell me, what little gadget do you rave about to people? Is it something I would like?

 

**This is totally not a paid advertisement. DBest of London has no clue who I am. If they did I may fan girl out, and they would pelt me with speakers to make me go away. This was a gift from my husband. WE share the same bank account, so you know, I paid for it too. There you go FTC.**

A Geek Girl’s Dirty Laundry

One of my fondest memories was from Christmas when I was around three or four years-old. My family had returned from celebrating the holiday with my grandparents, and this girl was pretty golden at that point. I had just received a Jem and Video doll from Jem and The Holograms. As far as I was concerned, I was good, because the Jem doll alone was pretty fantastic. When we got to open the remaining gifts that were left home, my holiday became epic in my little eyes, because my parents practically bought out the She-Ra toys at local Big Lots. Not only did I get She-Ra, herself, but I got her steed, Swift Wind.

Apart of me believes that my parents decided to get me my own supply of the toys, because they were probably tired of me always wanting to go over to the neighbor’s house. Who could blame me, they literally had every He-Man and She-Ra toy ever made along with accessories. It was heaven, and that Christmas was a super treat because of that.

That holiday was one of my earliest memories of my extreme “geekdom.” Throughout this blog I’ll share more of these little gems from my life and showcase some of the stuff I love and come across. Whether it’s music, television, movies, or books, all is fair game. This post is a little snapshot into my life growing up and how it all started.

Whenever I watched a show, any corresponding toy would be right there next to me. My She-Ra toys would be lined up in battle against my Catra doll and her flying Steed as Adora and the rebels took on Hordak on the screen. Jem would be poised and ready to belt out a “Truly Outrageous” at a moment’s notice. Movies were not saved from this ritual either. I would always lovingly cuddle my Lady toy when curled up on couch watching Lady and The Tramp.

Growing up, I may have picked up a few more fascinations along the way. There was all Disney in general, which isn’t exactly unusual for any kid. I tended to lean towards the princess stories as most girls my age. I have my favorite princess, Aurora from Sleeping Beauty. What’s not to envy about a girl who got to sleep through the hard parts only to wake up with a man and a kingdom. That’s pretty awesome. Granted, it could have gone very south for her if Merryweather hadn’t flipped the death spell, but that’s just being picky. I also fully believe that Maleficent is one of the scariest things that Disney ever created.

I just loved these little stories that played out in front of me on the television. My imagination was voracious as a youngster and these little worlds were to just the trick to feed it. My geeky side was very present and thriving during this time. I did have comic books as well. I snuck away with my brother’s X-Men comics regularly, which lead to quality time with my brother over the animated series in the early 90’s. I had a massive Barbie comic book collection. Yes, she had a comic series. I even had a Muppet Babies comic that am very sad I no longer have. I loved Batman. Saw all of the movies in the theaters, but never read the comics. I would watch the old Adam West series in reruns and loved the animated series. I was even Batman for Halloween in Kindergarten. I remember getting annoyed when people would ask me if I was Batgirl. This girl was true to her hero. I was independent even then.

When junior high hit, I was presented with a show that would ultimately change my life. During this time UPN was a relatively new network trying to build viewership. One of there shows didn’t do so well and was cancelled midseason. The network began to advertise a midseason replacement, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I am not afraid to admit that I loved the movie and still do, so I really looked forward to this show starting. When UPN introduced shows back then, they would do so by airing a two hour movie. It was more like the first two episodes back to back, but no one’s judging. The problem was I had a bedtime of 9:00 PM. The show was premiering from 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM. Dilemma? Not for me, because I was a rebel. I did stay up and watched the whole show, and I did get busted and grounded for it. So worth it, until the following week, when I was forbidden from watching it, part of the grounding terms.

This one little show would turn into a relationship that I am still seeing on the side to this day. I very much read the comic series. More than just entertainment, it guided me into a career choice at just fifteen. At that time I had decided I wanted to be a writer and was leaning towards journalism. A stunt ran by a local news station completely turned me off to that idea. Columbine had just happened, and Indiana was to host a Marilyn Manson concert. Reporters were sent to interview the waiting fans about the recent tragedy. That was all good and well until the reporter made his closing statement to the camera. He proceeded to state that the fans around him were the same type of people as the shooters were, condemning them nonchalantly as sociopathic murderers due to their music choice. I am not a fan of Marilyn Manson personally, but I do enjoy and own a few of his songs. Since I don’t ever feel like killing people or even sometimes based on this logic, this was an extremely unfair and all-around cheap shot to get ratings off the tragedy by the news station. That was the moment that I knew I really didn’t want to be that type of journalist. To be forced to write anything that I didn’t fully back myself and could potentially hurt someone purely for ratings was something I just could not do.

I still wanted to write, so while watching an episode of Buffy, I realized I wanted to create something with my writing, something that would bring someone the same joy and entertainment that Buffy and all of the other shows I have watched growing up made me feel. This dream is still a work in progress, and I have made responsibilities more important for the time being. It is still there, and I will do what I can to make it happen if at least not try. This blog is going to be one of many baby steps to get myself back in the game.

These are the events that have shaped my nerd tendencies and guided me through new doors that I continue to open today. I still read comics, enjoy my television shows, and have a whole new obsession with movies in general. I may like looking stylish, but most know I am not embarrassed to rock my Marvel T-shirts. I still have some of my She-Ra toys from when I was kid. I have large Sleeping Beauty Christmas ornament collection. My Buffy the Vampire Slayer calendars may have been traded for Supernatural ones, one of my current obsessions. All of these make me who I am. Hopefully you too can find this blog as a safe place to let your inner geek out to play and, if nothing else, a little entertainment.

Let me know what you love?

Camping…Geeky Style.

 

Those that know me, know that I am.. a bit of a prissy person. That’s a lie. Anyone that knows me, knows that I am a LOT of a prissy person. A year or so ago, my husband broached the subject of camping. Apparently him and his family did it a lot growing up. This was new to me. My family’s idea of a vacation growing up was a theme park close to home. I was interested in this thing he called “camping.”

Imagine my prissy surprise, when I found out about tents, and PUBLIC BATHROOMS! Pretty much anyone will tell you that my worst fear, other than spiders, are public bathrooms. I always end up in one where someone is making weird noises in another stall. I can’t take it.

If we were going to go camping, we had to do it my way. We rented a cabin in a campground (with a private bathroom) and it was great. I had a great time. We made fire, had s’mores, cooked out, and just relaxed.

A year later it was vacation time again. I booked another cabin in a different part of our state.  It was in the middle of nowhere with questionable cell service. We drive two hours to this campsite, to have no one greet us when we get there. No one to check us in, and no one to give us keys to the cabin. To say I was livid was an understatement.

On the way down, my husband noticed a campground he went to as a child, and recommended that we go there for the night, and see if we can get in touch with someone the next day.

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We pull into Starve Hollow State Park, and was able to book a couple of nights in a cabin. I didn’t pay attention to the woman checking us in, until she said “comfort station.” Ladies and gentlemen of the geekies, a comfort station is another word for public restrooms and showers.

*Cue minor freakout*

We had to head back into town, because the cabin has a bed frame, but no mattresses. We needed a blow up mattress, and some other essentials. We also ate in town, because it was getting so late.

We get back to the cabin, and I decide to check out the comfort station. All I could think was nasty filthy public restrooms. Imagine my surprise!

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These restrooms were probably cleaner than mine at home! I had no problems with them at all. The rest of our (brief) vacation was fun. I tried my hand at campfire cooking.

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And made a pretty good (if I do say so myself) chicken and noodles

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We ate this with this gorgeous view

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After this trip, I feel like I could handle pretty much anything camping wise. I even made a little friend! His name is Gloomy.

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We are thinking of taking another quick camping trip soon. I am so looking forward to it. We both are. We both enjoy camping so much that for our 5th wedding anniversary, we are thinking of purchasing an RV, for jaunts like this. I want an Airstream (completely out of our price range), my husband on the other hand, has his heart set on an RV like the one from Breaking Bad. I just arch my eyebrow at him and gave him severe side-eye.

No matter what we do, I am totally excited. Who knew the great outdoors could be so much fun?

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