Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday Treasures

1. Payless shoes for fall. So cheap, so cute! Also, they are great styles in fake leather, something I'm always looking for.
Payless Fall Shoes

2. These rainbow tips. I probably wouldn't color my own hair this way, but I might buy extensions and DIY these. Here's the tutorial.

3. This book.

I finally read it and I can't wait to move on to the next, beyond the story the TV show has already covered. I almost never watch something adapted from a book before I read it, but the show was so true to the writing, it didn't drive me crazy. Plus, I had to watch it before Comic-Con!

Anyway, I loved the book and now I'm in the enviable position of reading them all in a row for the first time, without having to wait several years for Martin to write the next book, as he is wont to do.

So, what is everyone reading? If we're not already friends on Good Reads please add me.

4. Peppermint Oil.

Saturday, I had the worst migraine I have had in years. Seeing-spots bad. Vomiting bad. Peppermint oil is the only thing that keeps me sane. Apply to the forehead, avoid the eyes. Don't ask me how I know that last part.

5. The League of Movable Type. Free fonts that don't suck.

Cool, right? Here's the link.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Star Wars Cross Stitch

Star Wars Cross Stitch

I made this for Mike's birthday. I stupidly decided to try and get it done in two days, even though I'm really slow at stitching and I have only done one other cross stitch ever. 

It turned out pretty cool, right? I got the pattern from the Wee Little Stitches etsy shop. They have the awesomest selection of geeky cross stitch patterns, which is great because most cross stitch patterns are not really my style. 

Next up, this one:

Pretty sweet, right? 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Please help me to not hate the grocery store

Here's a funny video for you before I launch into my anti-grocery tirade.

Guys, I really really hate grocery shopping. Like, loathe it. When I was working all the time, Mike did all the grocery shopping, because I hated it so much. Now it falls to me, and I need help.

I have tried several things:

1) Sending Mike - this doesn't work, because I do the majority of the cooking, and I feel guilty about sending him because he works and takes classes. Plus, he always comes home with chips or something else I studiously avoid.

2) Shopping for a month at a time - if you ever want to eat fresh veggies, this doesn't work.

3) Listening to my iPod - people tend to give me weird looks like I'm antisocial or I'm about to run them down with my cart, even though I never have. I'm just as social with my earbuds out. Am I going to meet my new BFF at the grocery store? The worst part was when I listened to an audio book on my iPod, and an unexpected sad thing happened and I started crying in the middle of the store. This has also happened at the gym.

4) Online grocery shopping - they mess up my order, leave things off, and they always use plastic bags, even though I always request paper.

5) Making detailed lists - This works, but I end up putting lots of things on the list, and I end up having a cartful every time, and it's totally exhausting. I like the list-making, but not the actual shopping part.

I can't help it, the idea of going to the grocery store always fills me with dread and I just hate that place. Does anyone have suggestions on how to make it better? Is there a specific time I should go? Should I switch stores? Mix it up between Whole Foods and King Soopers (Fry's)? Go more often? I actually enjoy cooking, so that isn't the problem.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tuesday Treasures

I really need to become one of those people who takes pictures of her food. Seriously. Anyway, enjoy!

1. Torchwood: Miracle Day gets... Torchwoody - up until last Friday, I had been watching an interesting new show that happened to have characters I liked in it. After the strange, sexy, dark, Jack-centered, flashback-filled episode from last week, I felt like I was actually watching Torchwood.

Also, Mike and I realized it was time for another re-watch of old TW because we couldn't remember some of the details about Jack's past.

2. Movies! I saw these three movies over the weekend and they were all really entertaining (in very different ways):

The Help - bring tissues! This movie was the right balance of touching, hilarious, and sad.

The Rise of the Planet of the Apes - They need to invent a new Oscar category for what Andy Serkis does. Seriously.

Fright Night - Hilarious and actually a little scary. Plus, it had David Tennant in it, who totally steals the show. This opinion was corroborated by other moviegoers, don't worry, since you know that if DT had a one-line cameo, he would steal the show for me.

I would liken the tone of this movie to Zombieland or maybe even Shaun of the Dead. I hardly ever say this, but I recommend watching it in 3D. You'll know why as soon as the first vamp gets dusted.

3. Extreme Pizza - Mike and I went here for a quick bite before Fright Night on Sunday and the pizza was really yummy. They have small individual pizzas to keep you from totally pigging out, and a ton of vegetarian options. They even do take and bake (which I love) and they will deliver to our house! I was disappointed to hear that it was actually a national chain, but I'm not such a food snob that I won't eat there. It's good! Here's their site.

4. Edelweiss, the awesome authentic German restaurant in Colorado Springs. Mike and I went here after the movie on Sunday for beer and cake (in my case, wine and cake). They don't have many vegetarian meal options, but they do have a dessert menu to die for. I had the Black Forest Cherry Torte and Mike had the Hazelnut Torte. Soooo good.

It doesn't look like this right now, but isn't the snow picturesque? Images from their site.

They also have really interesting summer beer options like a mix of beer and sprite, called a Radler. It sounds so wrong, but I've got to try it. There is also beer and coke, and I've totally forgotten what that is called. It depends on the type of beer. I'm such a bad blogger sometimes. I enjoyed my wine, which was Lemberger Trocken. It smelled very perfumey, but it was dry and flavorful.

The best part is really the restaurant itself, which has a very kitschy German feel. We ate out in the Biergarten. It was really nice out there. As a bonus, they started playing Edelweiss just as we were getting ready to leave. I love that song. I actually walked down the aisle to it.

5. You can stay in a Hobbit House in Montana. Here's the NY Times article. As soon as I told Mike about this, he yelled "Book it!!" Wouldn't this be so cool? Hobbit-feet slippers and Gandalf's hat are provided.

(Thanks, Gretchen, for sharing about the Hobbit House in Reader)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Things I've been into apart from Comic-Con

Hey guys! Enough about this Comic-Con thing! Let's talk about other stuff.

1. Misfits

A British program(me) about 5 juvenile delinquents who get caught in some crazy storm and end up with super powers. Don't be fooled by the first episode, the characters become likeable. It's very gritty, so if you're not into bad language, sex, and some violence, that's too bad, because you're missing out. It's also hilarious, moving, and strangely compelling. It blows Heroes right out of the water. And did I mention that it's British?

The first series and a half are available on hulu plus.

2. Mario Badescu products - the best skincare line I have ever used. I have mentioned their drying mask in the past.
I wish I hadn't just stocked up because they are on sale today on Gilt. Let me know if you need an invite.

3. A giveaway of one of my prints on Campfire Chic

4. The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, which we visited for the first time with Mike's parents. Who knew that such a great zoo was in The Springs. It was beautiful, and they are building a whole new "Africa" enclosure for the elephants and lions. They are also a breeding zoo for giraffes so they have a ton of extremely friendly ones. My only complaint was a distinct lack of turtles and lizards and snakes. I love turtles and lizards and snakes.

5. This "Troll Family" who had fun in their son/brother/grandson's room when he left for camp and forbid them from going in.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Comic-Con Panels - Sunday #SDCC

Ugh, finally, the Sunday recaps! I swear I went into a post-house-guest coma after they all left. Between the house guests and cleaning between them and going to see every tourist destination in The Springs three times, I was wiped out. Don't get me wrong, I love the naturey touristy stuff, but I don't really love tourists. They are everywhere. I had forgotten what it was like to live in a charming town with moderate weather in the summertime. 

Glee Blaine

Everyone probably already knows that Blaine is my favorite thing about Glee. Maybe they could make a Dalton Academy show. I would totally watch that. Anyway, I prefer to call the show "Blaine." I also prefer to call Entourage "The Ari and Lloyd show" and The Big Bang Theory is "Sheldon."


I heard rumblings that people were disappointed that none of the mains were showing up for this panel. I wasn't, because Darren Criss was there and most of the other actors on Glee drive me a little nuts.


They went all out with their clips, showing 2 whole songs from the Glee 3D concert movie, in 3D.

They also talked about the whole fiasco over the seniors, a problem that could have been easily solved by not having each season of the show represent a year of high school. But, apparently, people are going to graduate, but they aren't leaving the show. Also, at the panel, Jenna Ushkowitz found out that Tina is a junior. She didn't know before then. I'm surprised, given the past detail-oriented cohesiveness of the show's storyline*.


They also had the same problem that Torchwood had and that later Doctor Who would have, which was the missing show creator. There were several questions that only these show creators could have answered or refused to answer (in Ryan Murphy's case, probably answer with spoilers and unintentional misleadings that cause chaos on the interwebs). Come to the Comic-Con panels, show creators, it's important! Most of the questions end up being for you!


Jared Padalecki's dimples can been seen from all the way across Hall H, possibly even from space.


This panel really made me want to watch more of Supernatural. I'm on Season 2. It actually made my husband want to start watching.

Jensen Ackles talked about how he likes directing and the cast seem to like him as a director. He obviously knows the show and how it works, really well. He also talks about the difficulty of acting and directing at the same time.


I actually don't have that much to say about the panel since I'm so behind on the show. They talked about a lot of plot devices and characters that I knew nothing about!

Doctor Who

"I break one [sonic screwdriver] a day" - Matt Smith


It was the one we had been waiting for all weekend, and it was our last panel of the conference.

Matt Smith's favorite show is True Blood, as I've mentioned before, and when an audience member asked what show would be the best to crossover Doctor Who with, he said True Blood. That is possibly the awesomest and absolute worst idea I've ever heard, combined. It sounds funny, in my head, and then when I think about the actual execution, I shudder. I don't think Doctor Who really needs to be messed with, or crossed over with anything apart from Torchwood.

"That was me bleating on about wanting to wear a hat... so [Steven] gave me the stupidest hat possible" - Matt Smith on the fez phenomenon 


We found out a few behind-the-scenes details. The script for the mid-series finale actually had a dummy ending, and the actors were told about the "big reveal" right before filming. Basically, they flipped out. Moffat really does like to keep things close to the vest. I guess the best way to get authentic performances and not chance spoilers is to not tell your actors anything.

On his first day as The Doctor, Matt Smith actually received a TARDIS manual, with instructions on how to fly it. So cool, right? It's not just each actor twisting random knobs.

Matt likes to hide in Karen's trailer and jump out at her. They are BFFs in real life, too.


"Bow ties are cool" - Matt Smith

I had heard this before, but Matt talked about choosing the Doctor's outfit and how everyone was anti-bow tie until he put it on and it kind of worked. I know I looked at promo pictures and thought "um, that's what the new doctor is wearing??" 

They showed us a promo for next season, that is probably up on the BBC website, but what I gleaned from it was that there was going to be some sort of alternate reality, which could be fun, lots of nazis (obviously, since the next episode is called "Let's Kill Hitler"), more stetsons (stetsons are cool), dinosaurs, The Silence, and a resolution for the Impossible Astronaut storyline.


They wouldn't say whether or not there will be Daleks in the next season. There is also no current plan to bring the Doctor's daughter back, but the panelists thought it was an interesting idea. As I said before, by this time in the weekend, the idea that John Barrowman could be coming back was now a full-fledged rumor.

"The red setting turns you into an orangutan" - Matt Smith


The fans for this panel were great as well. There was the kid who built his own Dalek (which Matt and Karen signed), a guy in a dalek costume who "exterminated" the panel, and a girl cosplaying as River Song who called Matt "sweetie."

The only thing that would have made this panel better would have been if Steven Moffat and Alex Kingston had been there.

*sarcasm, for those people who don't pick up on that kind of thing.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Comic-Con Panels - Saturday #SDCC

Too many house guests in a row! It makes for infrequent posting and comment-replying. I'm currently in-between guests so I've got to bang out the Saturday re-cap!!

Next year, I've got to try and write these right after Comic-Con! At least you know my memory has distilled the panels down into the most essential components. I still refuse to re-watch panel videos. It taints the experience. I would compare it to being at a live rock concert and then watching the concert that someone taped on their phone camera from the back.


This panel has been the perfect start to Saturday morning two years in a row. Unfortunately, something else will be in its time slot next year. The last year of Chuck. :-(


I was hoping they would talk about new projects post-Chuck, but then I realized that isn't really in the spirit of the last Chuck panel. Maybe they are still holding on to a shred of hope that they will be renewed after all. It's hard to believe that a show that gets this much attention at Comic-Con every year is being cancelled, but if I look at it critically, it definitely has its flaws. They would have to have some major shake-ups up their sleeves to keep going.


It's possible that the show gets so much Comic-Con attention mostly because of Adam Baldwin. I know lots of people who don't watch Burn Notice go to that panel because of Bruce Campbell. Also, it wouldn't be a Chuck panel if no one brought up Firefly.


Adam Baldwin said that Casey would beat Jayne in a fight, but he made it clear that he only said that because it was a Chuck panel.


Vik Sahay made several jokes about his character not showing up much this last season. He is pretty funny. His character, however, kinda bugs me. Sorry, Vik. If Lester showed the tiniest shred of humanity, that might help. I do like Jeffster, though.


Mark Hamhill will be playing a villain this season. Should be interesting! One of the things I like best about this show is its use of classic sci-fi and spy film stars like Bruce Boxleitner, Linda Hamilton, Scott Bakula, and Timothy Dalton.


"Someone might not survive this season ... and it's going to be big" - Chris Fedak


At the end, the cast was asked if they had anything they wanted to say at their last Comic-Con panel. Zach Levi totally teared up and his voice cracked. Thanks, Zach, for making me cry first thing in the morning.


Chuck was the only panel of the weekend (that I attended) which got a standing ovation at the end. We love you, Chuck, let's go out with a bang this year!

Terra Nova 

As part of this panel, we saw the first hour of the 2-hour pilot/premiere of this show. It has several good things going for it:

1) A dystopian future with a catch phrase that geeks (like me) can put on faux propaganda posters: "A Family is Four."

2) Dinosaurs.

3) Dinosaurs eating people.

4) Jason O'Mara.

5) Jason O'Mara not wearing a shirt.

Intrigued? Did I not mention dinosaurs eating people?

They also assured the audience that the special effects budget won't go out the window after the pilot. There will be lots more dinosaurs eating people in the future.


I really like that Matt Groening gives out free stuff to people who ask questions in his panels and special prizes to those people who were wearing Futurama costumes. Also, Futurama > The Simpsons because all of the Futurama voice actors showed up, and none of the actors from The Simpsons did. I know that they have been on the air for an eternity, but what is the point of having a Comic-Con panel if none of the voice actors show up?


The Futurama live table read was amazing last year. This year, the draw-off between Matt Groening and Peter Avanzino was pretty funny, though. Matt Groening took the quantity over quality approach to drawing. Then he signed his name to Avanzino's drawing at the end.


We also got to see a clip from a future episode riffing on all Japanese forms of film-making. There was Anime, Samurai, Godzilla, terrible dubbing, etc. The best parts were the scenes that showed a Japanese temple like Kinkakuji or the Imperial Palace and the caption was "Washington D.C." or "San Francisco." I'm looking forward to that episode.


Katey Sagal is so beautiful. I love that she comes to these things and that she still does the show even with all her success on Sons of Anarchy. A more cynical person would say that it's not a ton of work for some good money, but I think that the familial energy of the cast has a lot to do with it. Oh man, can you imagine someone else doing Leela? Unthinkable.


John DiMaggio randomly talks in Bender's voice. I love it. I've actually heard he does it in social situations as well. That's the way to impress the ladies. The geeky ladies, anyway.

Family Guy

The only thing that really sticks in my mind about this panel (since Seth MacFarlane did not sing in Stewie's voice this year) was the torture of the sign language interpreter, who was a really good sport.


After they realized that the interpreter would sign anything they said, they started saying really inappropriate things and then watching her try to sign them. She was totally cracking up and I'm pretty sure the deaf members of the audience were completely confused.


Then, after they learned the signs, the actors started making them themselves. I bet that will be a long-time running joke with the cast.

And now I know how to sign things like "donkey penis." Totally worth the price of admission.

Joss Whedon

"Who doesn't like cock?" - Joss Whedon


Joss Whedon gives a good panel. There is a reason that he gets his own panel to just talk about whatever. Well, technically, it was sponsored by Dark Horse, and I was amazed that the audience members didn't ask ANY Avengers questions. Talk about staying on topic! He also stands the entire time which not only makes it really easy to take pictures of him, but it is way more engaging, especially because the Indigo ballroom's air conditioner was apparently not made for 3,000 people.


"I don't know why I think I'm a 14-year-old girl with super powers. I don't look like one, but I can't get past it." - Joss Whedon

One of my favorite parts was when he casually mentioned a certain coupling from the Buffy comics. A girl sitting by me, who obviously hadn't read them, let out a shocked exclamation and looked over at me. I nodded and shrugged and she mimed shooting herself in the head. It was great, and my feelings exactly.

"You all know I want you to suffer. It's like a drug." - Joss Whedon


An audience member asked Joss about writing a gay male character and he said he would love to do it (see the first quote, which is so much better out of context). I would love to see it. Hopefully he will get back to T.V. soon so he can do that. And hopefully that show will not get cancelled.

He confirmed, once again, that Dr. Horrible 2 is in the works, but no word on when it will come out.

The Guild

Felicia Day is the tiniest, most non-threatening person in the world. And everyone on this panel was terrified of her. I have a feeling that she gave some kind of anti-spoiler pre-panel talk and then everyone was too afraid that they were going to give something away to actually say anything. But then we got to watch the first episode of The Guild before it was released and it was awesome.


I think the story of The Guild is kind of amazing, going from shooting on borrowed equipment for no money to a Microsoft/Sprint sponsorship. The pairing of The Guild and xbox live is genius. Plus, it means I get to see the episodes two days early. Felicia Day also went from this occasional guest starring actress (who was totally addicted to online gaming) to geek phenom, a Joss Whedon muse, and series regular on Eureka. Impressive.


Jeff Lewis is seriously hilarious. Those of us who had been at w00tstock gave him a special cheer for his stand-up comedy AS VORK. It was so good. He is a comedic genius.


I've already talked about this on twitter and elsewhere, but I met Sandeep Parikh (Zaboo) on Saturday night. He actually tapped my brother on the arm and asked him where he got his TARDIS-shaped burrito (insert many jokes about the size of the burrito on the inside). We talked about the nerdist podcast and I told him I was a big fan. He is so small. I was wondering how he made Felicia Day look tall considering she is so tiny, too. Now I know. He was also really nice and didn't mind my babbling awkwardness.


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