Posted by: brookenado | September 12, 2014

All Geek Things Must Come to an End – An SDCC Photo Recap

Dear readers,

We’ve arrived at the final installment of blog posts covering 2014 Comic-Con (at last).  Without further adieu…

SDCC Day 3 (.5 ish)?  Outside Comic-Con As Told Through Photos

Rather than go on and on about the radness of the scene outside of the convention center, I thought, this time, why not mostly show you? I dragged my brother downtown with me on Saturday, and here is a snapshot (or two, or twenty) of the resulting adventure:

As with walking around inside the convention center, one of my favorite parts of just strolling along downtown during the con is seeing all of the incredible cosplayers!

From the giant Homer Simpson head to ziplines, obstacle courses, Terminus, Vikings, and everything in between, there were some pretty neat setups around the con this year.  (And of course there was NerdHQ!)

And alright, yeah, I simply took far more pictures during the weekend of Comic-Con than could be put into one sane post or was probably necessary, but they still begged to be shared!  Finally, fast forward to Sunday evening where I topped off the weekend with one final, happy gathering before the crushing post-SDCC blues came crashing down – the annual SDDClocked meetup with the San Diego Sherlockians!

SDCClocked 2014 fan meetup

One last SDCC 2014 hurrah…

Having gotten to know a few of my fellow SD Sherlockians over the past year it was fun catching up with them and swapping stories of our exhausting but wonderfully geek-filled weekends.  Of course there were awesome newcomers and out of towners, and the more Sherlockians in one place the merrier, right?  Invariably.

And so 2014 San Diego Comic-Con came to a bittersweet, but inevitable end.  Where you lucky enough attend?  What were some of your favorite outside sightings and events?  I’m sure I’m not alone in already looking forward to next year’s con.  Thanks for reading, cheers!  Until then…

Mischief managed

Posted by: brookenado | September 1, 2014

An SDCC Sunday Miracle?

Dear readers,

Another unintentional hiatus which may or may not have had anything to do with laziness in uploading pictures aside, you know how I said I was one of the many who didn’t get an actual badge for Comic-Con this year? Well, as luck would have it, I did get the chance to infiltrate the con itself…

Wait what?  Could it be she went in all ‘Mission Impossible style’ through the ventilation shafts?  DID SHE APPARATE?  If only, readers, if only.  Let’s just say I have an awesome friend, who has a boyfriend, who had a four-day badge, who wasn’t going to be able to attend on Sunday, whose badge was so kindly offered so as not to go to waste.  Shhh!

Potter Puppet Pals apparate

Like Hogwarts, SDCC is impenetrable by apparition

Day 4 (yes, time is wobbly)? Making it into the Con!

And so with many a thanks to said friend, I was able to spend the day actually at Comic-Con.  The floor of the convention center is huge, crowded, crazy, and amazing - you never know who you might run into!  And sure, ok, it’s a bunch of people trying to sell you stuff – but it’s awesome stuff, awesomely set up with giant replica dragon heads, incredibly accurate model set props, and fun swag!  Shiny.  What more can a geek ask for?

Of course, there are also the indy artists and writers scattered around, offering a great opportunity to discover something new or chat face to face with someone whose work you follow.  And come on, you’re surrounded by fellow fans of all kinds!  Creativity abounds inside the convention center, everywhere you look there are fantastic cosplayers, and clever shirts, creative accessories, you name it.

As the final day of the con, things are winding down as the big panels are mostly done and merch quickly dwindling.  However, that’s not to say there’s nothing fun going on that day!  If you’ve never been to San Diego Comic-Con before, as the most low-key day  it might be the perfect way to test out the waters so to speak.  Sunday is family day, so you can expect family-friendly panels happening inside (plus lots of cute kids dressed as their favorite characters, wide-eyed with excitement).

After a necessary muffin break I caught up with Megan and the The Nerdy Girlie crew (loved meeting @tillieelvrum & @The_Gamer_Geek face to face over the weekend!).  We continued to peruse the floor, getting some last minute nerd gear, geeking out over all things British, attempting to win a carbonite Han Solo – you know, the usual.

As the day winded down, we parked ourselves at one of the very last panels going on.  Once you’ve been to a con, you know how amazing it is to simply sit down at the end of the day.  Hosted by Crazy4ComicCon, the panel was centered around diversity in comics and was an interesting conversation between the panelists and the audience.

 

The end came too soon, as we were ushered out of the convention center for clean-up and take-down to begin, but at least had one more meetup to attend before the post-SDCC blues could truly kick in!  More photos are below, and more to come from outside the con soon – with no excuses for lagging as they’ve all been uploaded and prepped (take that, laziness).

Thanks for reading, cheers!  Until then…

Mischief managed

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Dear readers,

Picking up where I left off, SDCC (San Diego Comic-Con) had begun and Thursday evening was a fun start to my geek-filled weekend with a meetup and a party.  A good night sleep was in order as Friday night would bring another outside Comic-Con event, one I had been looking forward to for months!

The game (or party), dear readers, was finally on…

SDCC Day 2?  SherlockeDCC Party!

Last year I was lucky enough to go to the first ever SherlockeDCC party which was a blast.  This year the Sherlockian bash promised to be even bigger and better with a new location and a whole lot of swag! (Thus it was completely necessary to take off work on Friday and prepare myself.  Absolutely, completely.)  And indeed, hosted once again by the Baker Street Babes, The Nerdy Girlie, Sherlock DC, Cara McGee, Being Geek Chic, and a wonderful group of volunteers and sponsors to pitch in, SherlockeDCC 2014 was incredible.

Admittedly I fully intended on arriving downtown earlier on Friday to check out the geeky goings-on.  Naturally, I did almost nothing until it was time to get myself ready for the party.  I had been debating all week whether or not to casual cosplay, but I finally decided that I would because hey, when else does the opportunity roll around to do so in a room full of people who will appreciate it?

That’s right, one (closet cosplay – hooray, existing wardrobe -) femWatson at your service!

Army doctor, jumper, and hedgehog-ed up, it was off to the top floor of the new San Diego Public Library (and that’s not doing justice to how VIP it felt, swanky elevator and all).  I arrived about an hour early to help with any last-minute setting up, but let’s be honest, the place had already been pretty Sherlocked by the awesome team of hosts/volunteers by the time I arrived.  Still, with only a few minor tasks left to complete I jumped in to fill swag bags and shift a few things here or there.

The library was the perfect venue; there was a patio with a bar (serving Sherlock themed drinks, obviously) and live music from the brilliant duo, Gemini, and inside there were various booths and activities, not to mention a projector screen showing the episodes of Series 3 throughout the night.  As the 500 (yes, 500!) attendees got their badge and made their way up, the space quickly filled with lots of excitement and smiling faces.

Ok sure, I’m about to assume a lot here, but I’m fairly confident I speak for all 500 (but seriously, 500?!) when I say that the party was a huge success, and truly a highlight of Comic-Con weekend.

I had the pleasure of catching up with friends, making some new ones, and the always exciting feeling of meeting fellow Sherlockians.  That’s the perk of a fandom party after all – instant friendship with anyone and everyone you talk to.  (It’s like a cheat code, but better.)  Ok, Hedgehog Watson may have helped, too…a little.  I loved seeing all of the other Sherlock cosplays and fan gear, and of course some cosplay photos were taken and the photo booth taken advantage of.

My only regret?  I wished I had found more time to mingle and catch up with everyone.  BIG thanks to our wonderful organizers and shout out to everyone who came and made it such a fun evening.  If you’re looking for more info on these awesome ladies, sponsors, or amazing artists and swag contributors, check out the BSB SherlockeDCC event page.  I can’t wait for next year’s SherlockeDCC party!

Were you there, basking in the Sherlockian glory as well?  Come say hi!  Weren’t there but wish you could have been?  We wished you were too!  Come say hi anyway and I’ll keep my fingers crossed that we’ll see you next year.  Thanks for reading, cheers – yet more SDCC recaps and photos coming soon!  Until then…

Mischief managed

SherlockeDCC 2014 view San Diego sunset

Did I mention the view? 

Job truly well and done SherlockeDCC team, ear-hats off to you guys.

Posted by: brookenado | July 31, 2014

SDCC Shindigs – Let the Geek Times Roll

Dear readers,

We interrupt this travel post procrastination to bring you highlights from SDCC 2014!  To non-con goers, that’s the glorious pop-culture bash that happens every July…San Diego Comic-Con!  While technically the event begins Wednesday afternoon with ‘Preview Night’, my Comic-Con officially began on Thursday with a meetup and a Nerd HQ shindig.

Now just as last year, I was one of the many poor, unfortunate souls who watched the blue circle spin as badges for this year sold out.

However, also like last year (The Con is Afoot series), living nearby meant I had ample opportunity to jump into the festivities downtown – events commonly dubbed as ‘outside Comic-Con’.

SDCC Day 1?  Female Geek Bloggers & Nerd HQ!

You’ve probably seen me mention a blogging group I’m a part of once or twice called Female Geek Bloggers (guess what we blog about?).  Naturally, SDCC was the perfect chance to throw together a meetup and finally chat in person with those that could make it out here this weekend.

Megan of The Nerdy Girlie took the reigns and found us a place to mingle downtown for a little while before the true craziness of the weekend began (you know…Hall H , lines/panels, new friends, total and utter exhaustion, deciding which art print, merchandise, and totally unexpected but awesome thing you found to buy, gaming, cosplays, parties, celebrities…the standard specs).

Female Geek Bloggers Google Plus Group Meetup Event

Interested in joining the group? Great!  Follow the pic’s link to our Google+ community & get started!

Coming straight from work was both good and bad.  I had something to look forward to all day, but then parking downtown was a little, tiny bit of a problem.  What it boils down to is don’t park downtown unless you were lucky and snagged a parking pass, or you have nothing to do with SDCC and thus can park much farther from the convention center and not pay higher rates.  Thank goodness for mall parking lots I suppose.  With a few hours of free parking, that worked out fine for the night.

It was such a pleasure meeting up with the fantastic ladies of this group.  From cosplayers to gamers, writers, crafters, collectors, and so much more, I am constantly inspired by them and the collective enthusiasm and support of our group!

[Awesome group photo pending, please wait.]

As we exchanged cards and twitter handles and many were off to get in one final good night of sleep until Sunday, this geek was ready to get her groove on.  A small group of us made our way to Petco Park where Zachary Levi (of Chuck and Tangled fame) and The Nerd Machine team had once again set up the amazingness that is Nerd HQ.  The perfect place to hang during down time at the con, Nerd HQ has food, chairs, couches, and best of all opportunities for anyone – SDCC badge or not – to contribute to a great cause through panels and photo shoots featuring many popular SDCC guests in attendance!

Oh wait, and did I mention an awesome nerd dance party?  That’s right, we were off to dance the night away and celebrate the arrival of Comic-Con.  Zachary Levi made an appearance, per usual, and danced for a while with everyone on the dance floor.  I hear you never know who else might show up throughout the night to join in, but I left in high spirits just having seen Zach and enjoying the atmosphere.

Some fans were in costumes and nerdtastic t-shirts were out in full force (high-fives definitely exchanged with fellow fans repping your fandom).  Oh, and speak of the Force, a few lightsabers were waved in the air like they just didn’t care (but thankfully no arms were lost).  Honestly, the best part was that there was zero pretense; everyone there was just out to have a good time, which I certainly did!

Hang tight readers, more 2014 Comic-Con goodness heading your way, perhaps with a Sherlockian twist or two.  Thanks for reading, cheers, and if you went to SDCC this year I’d love to hear from you about your experience!  Until then…

Mischief managed

Dear readers,

Sorry for that mini hiatus there!  What can I say?  Life’s been a bit crazy and of course, now there’s the World Cup to suck up all of my attention and then some.  But now we’re back on track, and I’m bringing you a way, way, way overdo post (in more ways than one).

When I started this blog I was studying abroad, and I never got around to posting the last trip from my travels in 2012.  Yes, when I said way overdo I mean seriously, deplorably late.

Cork, Ireland Euro Cup 2012

Better late than never, right?

If you’ll recall, I was studying in England, and made some wonderful friends who I traveled with (all detailed in the Travel Tales).  Two of us were able to make one final trip – a week’s worth of adventures in Ireland and Scotland!  As it was nearing the last two weeks before heading home, we were also getting to the last of our traveling budget.  So, in true broke student fashion, we put hard work into cutting corners and saving a few pounds were we could.  And part one of our last journey took us to Cork, Ireland for a few days…

Cork is one of Ireland’s larger cities, but it’s certainly not what you’d picture as a ‘city’.  There’s a quiet bustle about it, and life seems to flow like the river that runs through the city.   The wide St Patrick’s Street is colorful and features plenty of modern and specialty shops, restaurants, and a neat little market.  The city itself is scenic and easy to navigate.  We spent three days there, but two is probably perfect to explore the main street and surrounding attractions.

If you’re visiting Cork, be sure to check out the English Market and Fitzgerald Park.  The University College of Cork is on the on the way to the park, and insanely enough, Amanda actually knew one of the students who went there but was studying abroad at her school!  So although we wouldn’t be running into her we decided to walk through the campus, which was lovely as well.

We stayed at the Bru Hostel, which was decently priced, not too far from St Patrick’s Street, and had a good atmosphere.  They hosted live music in the bar one of the evenings we were there, and after chatting with our two roommates we ended up going to dinner with one of them – a traveler about our age from Canada!  (Had my first taste of banoffee pie that night, too.  Delicious!)  It’s one of the amazing parts of traveling, I think; you can meet someone on the fly, automatically have a conversation starter, and you get to share an instant connection with someone and someplace new!

The next morning we decided to fit in a trip before catching our flight to Edinburgh to visit Blarney Castle as it was only a 15 minute bus ride away.  Up until this point Ireland had been sunny, and beautiful, and so good to us!  But that day it rained.  A lot.

Rainy day

Bring it on, rain.

But we didn’t let the weather stop us, please!  We trekked on, I kissed the stone – didn’t think I was going to because blegh, germs – but when we got to the top of the stairs where the famous stone lies I decided, ‘what the hell?  If it kills me, I die knowing I’ve been blessed by the Irish, with the ability to speak the most eloquent final words.‘  Alright, so it was actually more like, ‘eh, why not?

Blarney was worth the stop, the ticket to get in, and getting drenched.  At the top of the castle are stunning views of the green countryside and the town, and the grounds are beautiful.  Stroll around the grounds, check out the gardens – I particularly enjoyed the Poison Garden -, the streams, and even the cave you can walk through.  The town is also home to the Blarney Woolen Mills, a fantastic place for some gift shopping so we spared some time for a quick shopping trip before catching the bus back to Cork.

While our few days in Ireland made for a nice, mellow adventure on our final trip, getting to our next destination wouldn’t prove to be quite as easy as planned.  Final UK study abroad trip to be continued…

Thanks for reading, cheers!  And best of luck to whatever nation(s) may be carrying your hopes and dreams in the World Cup this month.  Until then…

Mischief managed

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Posted by: brookenado | May 17, 2014

The Adventure is Afoot as: A Mix Tape!

Dear readers,

I’m jumping on board with the “my blog as a mix tape” post, thanks to a fantastic idea over at Confessions of a Book Pimp.  The challenge?  What would your blog sound like if it was a Mix Tape? Five songs on side A, and Five on B?  Well, challenge accepted!  So prepare yourself, The Adventure is Afoot is about to get it’s groove on…

My Blog as a Mix Tape image

 

Side A

1. Circle of Life, Carmen TwillieNaaaaaaants ingonyama…!  I challenge you to find a better opening than that.  (Impossible.)  Seeing as the first thing you see when you get to my blog is the header with Simba, Timon, and Pumba (that’s been there since I started this blog two and half years ago  and yeah, I should probably personalize that more at this point), I figured this would be the best song to start out with.  Welcome to the blog!

2. Giving Up the Gun, Vampire Weekend – I see you shine in your way; go on, go on, go on.  Nothing more really needs to be said than that.  Plus, if there was a music video that went to this blog, it would probably be something like this one.

3. Superman, Goldfinger – Just taking things one blog post at a time, right?  (And if this song sounds vaguely familiar - ever play Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater?)

4. Upside Down, Jack Johnson – Curiosity drives me; it inspires me to share my experiences and connect with/learn from others.  I want to get to know the world, I get excited to try new things, to travel, to explore my interests (nerdy and otherwise), meet new people, etc etc and I’m sure this blog reflects that in some way, shape, or form.  And you know what Jack Johnson says: there’s no stopping curiosity.

5. Anywhere Is, Enya – It’s all about the journey, right?  To me, this is a great travel song.  I listen to Enya to remind me of home when I’m away, and the excitement of life wherever I am.

Side B

1. Discombobulate, Hans ZimmerThe game is afoot, Watson!  I know, I couldn’t not include a Sherlock Holmes reference, and Hans Zimmer scored this perfectly for the films.  *Note: Micheal Price/David Arnold’s collaborative work on the BBC show is equally as brilliant and interchangeable here.

2. One Thing, One Direction – Am I a die hard 1Der?  No.  But do I think they’ve got some damn catchy, great to sing at the top of your lungs, pick-me-up-when-I’m-down songs?  Yes, yes I do.  This is one of my jams when I get up to some serious baking shenanigans, twisting and turning haphazardly in the kitchen armed with flour and eggs, and that is why it belongs on this blog mix.  So come on, come in to my life!

3. Troublemaker, Weezer – Mischief managed, ’nuff said.

4. The Adventure, Angels & Airwaves – Here we go, life’s waiting to begin.  The Adventure is Afoot probably gives off at least a bit of the idealistic tones the voice in my head tends toward (except maybe on weekday mornings where things are a bit more doom & gloom up there), and those first two verses say it all.

5. Blue (Da Ba Dee), Eiffel 65Awww yeah, 1999.  I’m not going to lie to you, I thought of this one because my blog is literally the color blue.  Hey, we all have some superficial sides, things we need in life to simply dance to for no reason at all.  (And yes, Iron Man 3 is completely responsible for reminding me of the amazingness of this song –  good quality sound-wise.)

There you have it, from my blog to you (with love).  All right then, so…

Jake the dog listening to music gif

Accurate?

Toy Story 3 Buzz and Jessie awkward dance gif

Err, what was that…?/No comment.

Best mix tape using YouTube videos ever?

You tell me!

Thanks to Joie for the blog post idea, this was a ton of fun to put together (but difficult to narrow down!).  Hope you all enjoyed the variety and if you’re inspired to do your own blog mix tape, be sure to share a link below!  As ever, thanks for reading listening, cheers!  Until then…

Mischief managed

Posted by: brookenado | May 3, 2014

WonderCon

Dear readers,

Two weeks ago saw WonderCon 2014 (the little sis of Comic-Con) come and go in Anaheim, and I had the opportunity to attend for the day on Friday.  It would be my first WonderCon ever (look at me, branching out into the con world!), and I would be donning my Eleventh Doctor cosplay for the occasion.

Photos taken by TheNerdyGirlie

I drove up with Megan of TheNerdyGirlie and Lauren of Fancastic Podcast and Blog where we immediately fit right in with our Doctor Who group cosplay.  Carpooling worked out great – it was a nice opportunity getting to spend some time with them just chatting about life!

TheNerdyGirlie, Lauren_Gallaway, Brookenado WonderCon Doctor Who group cosplay

Megan as Nine, Lauren as Rose, and me as Eleven! (pic by Megan – click to read her WonderCon post!)

Approaching the convention center was like letting go of a breath I’d been holding for a while, as we stepped into the colorful throng of our fellow geeks.  I’m not sure I stopped smiling the entire time we were there.

We got in line for our passes and then headed to the floor where we knew a couple people with booths.  Comic-Con is amazing, obviously, but I have to say that it was nice experiencing a smaller scale con where the whole atmosphere was pretty relaxed.  ‘Lines‘ moved quickly and there were no huge crowds waiting for panels, or at least the panels I went to on Friday.

House of Darkly’s amazing stuff and Rebecca’s Little Vampires web comic series are both worth checking out!

Disney/ABC hosted a panel ‘The Art of the Pitch: The Writer.  The Director.  The Story’.  The panelists included writers who had been accepted into the company’s development program, so it was perfect for Lauren and I as we’re both interested in pursuing a career in the area.  They even had a few people from the audience stand up for the chance give a one minute pitch of themselves, and I came away with tips not only valuable for story pitches, but interviewing in general.  Just remember, confidence is key!  And be yourself – if you’ve pitched yourself honestly and they like you, well you’re already half way to a job you will excel in because you won’t have to struggle through pretending to be someone else every day.

pbcbstudios:Nicole Mitchell storyboard and Final Frame. "Some people are worth melting for….. just maybe not right this second"

‘Some people are worth melting for.’ Storyboard frame by Nicole Mitchell

Directly after that panel was another Disney panel, this one by some of the storyboard artists who worked on Frozen!  I’m so glad I stayed to catch this one because storytelling through animation fascinates me, and I had the chance to get some fun insight into the Disney Animation process of bringing a story to life.  The panelists had such a great sense of humor, showing us pictures of the team, the process, and side by side views of the storyboard images vs the final animation.

After those two panels I was off to catch up with Megan and some new twitter friends for lunch – shout out to @gb_reviews, @yourfriendelle, and seelingcat on tumblr!  And yes – meeting twitter/tumblr friends in person is the best.  You instantly have something in common to bond over!

Wondercon 2014 cosplay Doctor Who Sherlock seelingcat tumblr & brookenado

Oh you know, just the Doctor and Sherlock grabbing lunch at Denny’s (as you do)

Following pancakes it was back to the convention center to hit the floor for a bit before heading off to another panel – this one on breaking into the business as a writer.  Again, I took some valuable notes; everyone in that room was appreciative of the host’s honesty and inspiration about working as screenwriters and looking ahead at how the digital age is shifting the industry.

As the day was drawing to an end and Megan and I were being shooed out of the convention center, we headed over to a hotel across the street where the unofficial SDCC blog meetup was happening – but first, a few photos!

The meetup at the end of the day was so much fun!  It was a pleasure chatting more with one of our lunch buddies, Michelle of You’re Friend Elle, and of course getting to meet more fellow nerds.  Now I just can’t wait to see them all again at Comic-Con!

It was around 10 pm when we left (after a quick scare that we might have been locked out from the parking lot…but you know, we were two Doctors and Rose Tyler – there was no way we weren’t going to figure something out!), saying our goodbyes to new friends and to Anaheim.  And even though I was exhausted when I got home just after midnight, I was still smiling (at least on the inside, my face may have been more zombie-like at that point…).

The verdict?  WonderCon 2014 was a success!  As always, thanks for reading, cheers!  Until then…

Mischief managed

Wondercon 2014 Anaheim convention center

Until next time, WonderCon…

Dear readers,

I’m going to backtrack a couple of weeks to the beginning of the month.  Now let me ask you this: have you ever gone to work in your slippers?

By accident?  Spent all 8 hours in the office all too aware of your comfy feet?  I’ve never been much of a recipient or plotter of April Fool’s Day jokes, but I may just have played one on myself.  Yes, it was one of those days.  What began as a rainy morning (just after washing the car, of course) turned into an hour and a half of traffic.  I was forty minutes into my drive when I got the call from my mom.

‘You weren’t planning on wearing your black boots to work today, were you?’  …Sith spit.  Further choice words and maybe a few tears of piled up commuting frustration ensued.  Maybe.  It really wasn’t my morning.

Benedict Cumberbatch Star Trek Khan Sleep animated GIF

So I rushed from the parking lot to my desk, thinking of my shoes sitting oh-so-innocently on the couch at home, forgotten in my haste to get out the door.  Headdesk.  It wasn’t until after reading a few April Fool’s Day articles that had popped up in my emails that I began to feel better, and by lunch I had decided on a course of action – if anyone asked, I was simply going to give a straight-faced reply of, ‘It’s a longstanding tradition of my people to wear slippers on the first of April.

Turns out that no one even noticed – or everyone was too polite to say anything.  So take note: a sudden aversion to leaving your desk all day coupled with using lunch to retreat and regroup with a book in your car because you just can’t today does wonders for discreetly managing a fashion faux pas.  And, ok, it didn’t hurt that my slippers are moccasins – so no fuzzy pink bunnies to try and explain!

Now all of this might not have been quite so bad if I hadn’t been worried about the possibility that the traffic from my drive which caused me to be late would affect my plans later that evening.  The Nerdy Girlie, an awesome fellow Female Geek Blogger, had brought to my attention a free monthly event put on by our local Shakespeare Society, and I was excited to check it out (and not be late)!

San Diego Shakespeare Society Seaport Village Open Reading

Every first Tuesday of the month they host an interactive open reading at a book store in Seaport Village.  Appropriately, that night’s reading would be from A Comedy of Errors (me, errors?).  We gathered at The Upstart Crow where everyone was welcome to participate. It was a fun change of pace!

As my brother and I drove home, I was also reminded of how two years ago I was celebrating Shakespeare’s birthday in Stratford-upon-Avon while studying abroad.  Such a treat and hard to stay gloomy knowing where I’ve been.

Of course, just as much of a long day cure is a new recipe so I thought I’d share my most recent baking adventure with you!  While in Hawaii I received a wonderful belated graduation gift from my cousin, who is exceptionally thoughtful.

The Afternoon Tea Collection - British Recipes Baking Cookbook

Melting Moments (Lemon Butter Cream Cookie Sandwich)

Ingredients:

- For biscuits, 2 sticks (8 oz) butter, softened; For butter cream, 3 oz butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- For biscuits, 1/2 cup powdered sugar; For butter cream, 3/4  cup powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
- 1 tsp lemon juice

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 325º F and spray cookie trays or line with parchment paper.

2. Beat butter, vanilla, and sifted powdered sugar together until light and fluffy.  Stir in sifted flour and cornstarch, half of each at a time.

3. With floured hands, roll a teaspoon of the dough into a ball and flatten slightly on cookie sheet.  Repeat until dough is gone, keeping the size of each ball of dough consistent.

4. Bake the biscuits (cookies) for 10-15 minutes (keep an eye on them to ensure they don’t brown) and let cool.

5. To make the butter cream, beat together remaining butter (3 oz), powdered sugar (3/4 cup), and lemon rind until pale and fluffy.  Beat in the lemon juice and sandwich the biscuits with the butter cream.

Melting Moments lemon butter cream biscuits/cookie sandwiches

Of course, they didn’t turn out quite as pretty as the picture this first time – but they were delicious!

My mom should get most of the credit for this one, I helped with the cookie (biscuit, I should say!) bit, but she did the butter cream and sandwiched the biscuits together.  These were a big hit at her book club where the book she was hosting for was set in Britain, so afternoon tea type foods were on the menu!

Hopefully you haven’t been experiencing any weekday blues, but if you have, I can wholly recommend giving Shakespeare and these Lemon Butter Cream Cookies a try.  Thanks for reading, cheers!  Until then…

Mischief managed

Posted by: brookenado | April 11, 2014

Siblings of Three

Dear readers,

Like me, Twitter may have told you today that it is National Siblings Day.  Thank you Twitter.  And maybe you have siblings and spared a thought for them.  For me, blogging inspiration struck!  The thing is, in my totally biased opinion my siblings are the best in the world.  Why?  We share a similar sense of humor, they’re both great people, and I can always count on them.  Basically, our relationship boils to down this:

  1. When we were kids, our parents would occasionally have to come up with a ‘no talking rule’ at the dinner table because an hour+ into dinner we’d still be chatting and giggling at stories with each other (but it was a school night and there were things to be done).
  2. To this day, when we play Mario Party, we play with a collective goal – make sure none of us comes in last and the computer player loses.  Everybody wins.

Of course, that’s not to say we don’t have our disagreements.  It’s not all dinner chats and playing nicely, we certainly hit snags now and then.  But really, what compelling sibling relationship doesn’t?

But that’s the beautiful part…it doesn’t matter.  Whatever happens, at the end of the day we’ve got each other’s backs.

Avatar The Last Airbender - Katara, Sokka Water Tribe gif

But then National Sibling Day got me thinking about siblings in pop culture.  After thinking a back to shows I grew up with, books I love, movies, etc., I’ve come the realization that the world of storytelling is sadly lacking in siblings of three (seriously, a gold mine of narrative opportunity).  Characters tend to jump from only child, to one brother or sister, to Weasleys.

"He got off, he got off!" Ginny, Fred, George Weasley - The weasleys by SivJE on deviantART

“He got off!” The little details JK added to imply the strong bond between Ginny and the twins as the books progressed? Brilliant.

And there’s nothing wrong with that; there are fantastic stories featuring those dynamics!  I mean, you’ve got everything from Sherlock Holmes and Thor listed above to Rocket Power (weren’t 90’s cartoons the best?),  to the Boxcar Children, Pride and Prejudice, The Chronicles of Narnia, and so on and so forth.  All 0, 1, or 4+ siblings.  Sure, it tends to work out fairly well as the protagonist forms a trio or group with best friends (two of which will inevitably enter a romantic relationship).  But there are a few exceptions I’ve managed to pinpoint.

Bob's Burgers siblings - Louise, Tina,and Gene

In the cartoon world, there’s the Simpsons, the Belchers, and the Incredibles (huh, there really aren’t many siblings at all in Disney movies).  Sitcoms seem to be the most common place to find the family with three kids; Modern Family, Boy Meets World, Full House, The Middle, Even Stevens, and probably a few more.  Now in books, the only trio that jumps out at me are the ever unfortunate Baudelaire children.  There must be others, though…

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning - Violet, Klaus, and Sunny

“Sometimes, just saying that you hate something, and having someone agree with you, can make you feel better about a terrible situation.”

It’s interesting to me that I’ve never come across any sibling group of characters that exactly mirrors our gender and order (boy, girl, girl) – who knows?  Maybe I’ll write that some day.  If you have a sibling, you know what a huge influence brothers and sisters have on your life.  Mine make me laugh and inspire me all the time with their antics and the way they see the world.  I can’t imagine a life without them!

Anyway the real point here is: Middle children, we’ve got to do something about this woeful under representation.

Have siblings of your own that you connect with certain stories?  Have a favorite sibling duo, trio, clan team that I’ve forgotten?  Leave a comment!  Thanks for reading, cheers!  Until then…

Mischief managed

Costa Rica trip - bro, sis, and me

An old favorite :)

Posted by: brookenado | March 26, 2014

‘Slightly Obscure’ Group Cosplays, You Say?

Dear readers,

By slightly obscure, I mean ‘might not be immediately recognizable but wouldn’t they be fun to pull off all the same for fans who did?‘  I know I’ve said it before, but I am fairly new to the cosplay scene.  But that certainly hasn’t stopped the cosplay versions of a writer’s plot bunnies from running around my brain!

Cat and Dog Loki and Thor Cosplay

“Lokitty of Catard.” Cosplay sucess.

I haven’t been part of a group cosplay yet, but I’d love to do so in the future.  I always have the biggest grin when I see a great group cosplay doing a kickass, appropriately themed pose.  Seriously, people are awesome.  And while I have larger fandom group/individual cosplays I’d like to do, I thought I’d share some less obvious ones I think would be a blast to take on…

Inception

It wasn’t long after I saw Inception that the thought of cosplaying as a ‘dream team’ starting bouncing around my head.  What makes this one difficult is that unless each member of the group wears a sign or name tag saying ‘architect’, ‘point man’, ‘Mr. Charles’, etc., it’s likely the group won’t be immediately recognized for what it is (but noted for being very snappily dressed).  So then it’s all about the ‘play’ part of ‘cosplay’ to really pull this one off – and here’s where I imagine it would get really fun!

Inception Dream Within a Dream Team

I mean…Right?

So you’d have your sleeper device, everyone should have a totem (and have someone who’s really decent at spinning a top), and most importantly – you get to act like your environment is the dream world.  Pretend to sleep (minus the chemist and/or point man, of course), continually pick a ‘target’ and hop to extracting their secrets or planting an idea as a team, attempt your own gravity fight, maybe play some of the ‘oh no, here comes the kick’ music – you can really get creative!

All I know is that it would be awesome.  And maybe it’s just me, but I would love to do the dream team thang.

Bob’s Burgers

If you haven’t seen Bob’s Burgers, you need to.  I was introduced to it last summer and it has become one of my favorite new shows.  It is becoming more widely known, but it remains on the ‘slightly obscure’ list because unless you’re Louise (or Gene in the burger suit, now that I think about it) you’re probably not going to be immediately recognizable on your own.  So boom, another group cosplay that would be a blast.

Bob's Burgers The Belcher Family

The basis for a downright hilarious group cosplay

The Belchers are your average family taking life one mishap at a time.  There’s the nonchalantly hilarious and boy crazy Tina, house music lover and go with the flow Gene, and not afraid to shake things up/maybe a tad prone to violent thoughts Louise.  So yeah, shenanigans abound.  Bob and Linda certainly have their crazy moments as well, but they roll with the punches like any seasoned parent and human being knows how to do.  Plus, if you have a bigger group you can bring in the equally quirky larger cast of characters.  The more the merrier, right?

Cabin Pressure

Ah, Cabin Pressure.  If you are at all a fan of British humor or Benedict Cumberbatch (or really any of the equally talented actors), you need to give Cabin Pressure a listen.  (What’s Cabin Pressure?  Familiarize yourself a bit more with the premise and the radio drama’s hilarity in a previous post from my 15 Days of Sherlock series.)  Pilots, steward with handmade hat, CEO of My Jet Now, (air dots, polar bears, lemons, yellow cars…) what’s not to love?

Cabin Pressure by the-improbable-ive on deviantART

Best. Crew. Ever.

As a British radio comedy, a Cabin Pressure group cosplay might be the most ‘slightly obscure’ one on my list – at least here in the States where it’s less likely to be recognized.  Regardless, get three friends, make some MJN Air uniforms, and basically be either cool and always ready with a quip, generally nervous but proud pilot captain, a big lovable goofball, or the boss all day.  Oh, and toss apples.  And play ridiculous yet clever games.  And, please, try your best not to go bust.  I can only imagine that this group cosplay would make for an undoubtedly brilliant time!

So there you have it.  My top three slightly obscure group cosplays on my nerdy to-do list someday.  I’ve stumbled across photos of only one group cosplay of all three, each amazing (and obviously needing to be cosplayed more!).  What do you think: Agree?  Disagree?  Crazy but might just work?    Do you have any slightly obscure cosplays – group or otherwise – you’re dying to do?

As always, thanks for reading, cheers!  Until then…

Mischief managed

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