Posted by: brookenado | December 16, 2014

Wicked, The Untold Story of One Girl’s Theatre Ticket

Dear readers,

It may not always be as apparent, but theater geek is a part of my geek makeup (see Figure 1) and lately I’ve found myself on a Wicked kick, which seems to have been quite fatefully timed.  Almost like a prophecy, one might even venture.  Before we jump right into that, though, a quick background…

My obsession with Wicked began back in 2004, on plane to London where I happened to hear four songs from the show while tuning in to the in-flight Broadway channel: Popular, I’m Not That Girl, One Short Day, and Defying Gravity.  I proceeded to listen in to that set at least three more times before we landed, and hum the tunes around Heathrow after – already I was hooked!  (And Heathrow, my apologies.)

brookenado's fandom brain pie chart

A general idea of what’s going on in there, at least

Luckily, my best friend at the time happened to be into Wicked as well, and soon my interest in the show was being enabled with a full copy of the CD.  Since then I’ve read the book, got my own copy of The Grimmerie, seen the play, and done a fair amount of shower-singing.  What can I say?  I got carried away…and not just by balloon!

Winston Bishop singing Popular gif, New Girl

Thanks, Winston Bishop gif, for perfectly describing my recent commutes from work

So why the sudden Wicked kick now?  First, as any geek knows, you never stop being a fan of something – things just get placed to simmer on the back burner as you make room for new interests.  As it so happens, the holidays instigated the sudden ‘fandom of the month‘ rotation to Wicked.  Initial thoughts on what to get who for Christmas triggered a nostalgic brainstorming session of some of the favorite gifts I’ve received over the years.

So that night, I opened the book cupboard and grabbed The Grimmerie where a photo with an IOU promise fell out…

Five months after opening that Christmas gift I was seated in the Pantages Theatre in LA, seeing the show live for the first time with my parents.  It was an experience I’ll always cherish, one I’m glad I got to share, and was certainly a gift I will never forget.

Ok, ok, so what about the whole ‘prophetic fateful timing‘ thing?  Well, readers, it just so happened that as Wicked’s overdue takeover of my brain began, the show’s national tour was making it’s way to San Diego!  I tried not to get my hopes up for seeing it – when would I have time?  How could I splurge when I’d just paid for some plane tickets and still had holiday shopping to do?  Listen to Elphaba, Brooke, wishing only wounds the heart.

Still, I looked into student tickets in my, ‘not-going-to-get-my-hopes-up-but-sort-of-going-to-get-my-hopes-up-anyway‘ way, only to discover that a lottery system was in place for Wicked as it was such a popular show.  Now there was the added obstacle of timing.  Lottery hopefuls had to be at the theatre 2 hours before the show to put their name in the lottery, and that wasn’t exactly going to fly with work and my commute.  Sure there was the weekend, but not knowing how this worked and how many seats were typically available, I worried these would be the worse days to try.

Wicked gif - Popular, Elphaba & Galinda

This is never going to work! / You mustn’t think that way anymore!

Then last Friday brought a blessing in disguise.  I had to go in to work extremely early, so I figured this was it – the perfect chance to try and put my name in for a ticket that night!  And although I had almost given up on seeing the show this time around as it was the final weekend for the San Diego leg of the tour, once the idea popped into my head on Thursday I just couldn’t seem to get rid of it.  All day Friday I once more kept trying not to get my hopes up of seeing it that night (I know I’m not always the best at getting over disappointment right away) but I also couldn’t picture my evening being spent any differently.

…So maybe there was a bit of magic involved when my name was the first one pulled out of the cauldron. Who knows?

I couldn’t believe it.  I was half stunned, half elated as I self-consciously walked to the table past my fellow lottery hopefuls with fingers crossed.  They probably drew close to 10 names total (somewhere around 35 other people where there, so that’s better than I had figured!), and all of us got an orchestra section seat for the price of $25.  I was unexpectedly going to see Wicked that night after all – and in a front row seat!

As I paid for my ticket and later went in, the staff who was around during the lottery was so happy for everyone who got a ticket, and the excitement was contagious.  It felt like being welcomed into a big group hug of people just as in love with Wicked as I was.

‘When was the last time you saw her fly?’ one attendant asked as I paid for my ticket.  It gave me pause, 6 or 7 years?  Too long, we agreed.  He then mentioned that this actress brought some a different approach in some ways to Elphaba’s character than he’d previously seen, which I think is one of the best parts of live theater – every performance is a new experience, but still the story you love.

The anticipation for 7:30 to just roll around already mounted.

Finally the doors for seating were opened and I found myself sitting right behind the orchestra on the right side of the stage, chatting with a couple other lottery winners who where just as excited. The lights dimmed, the orchestra did there thang, the Clock of the Time Dragon reared its head, and I proceeded to be totally enthralled for the next two and half hours.

And oh, it was thrillifying.  The cast were superb!  I loved Chandra Lee Schwartz’s Glinda, you could tell she was very comfortable in the role and knew her character.  Emma Hunton was a fantastic Elphaba.  Her delivery, especially with the humorous lines, had such snark – she owned it.  They both owned it!

I only wish I could share clips of this performance  with you.  Even so, I’m still in total geek out mode so you’ll have to bear with me through some of my favorite moments from the show (without giving away anything too specific from the story, of course)…

**Even so, spoilers (ish?) afoot – proceed with caution.

You know, if I had access to a time machine I think one of the small, non-potentially universe threatening things on my to-do list would be to go back and see the original cast perform as they went through the initial evolution of defining these characters.

I mean, look at this scene.  Ok, first off, the choreography is so subtly brilliant, yes.  Then Norbert Leo Butz is basically amazing. has the presence that makes the character’s command and influence in the scene work. The way his movements captivate the other students as they begin to mimic him almost unintentionally, mesmerized by this new guy’s charm, yet still gives us that sense of Fiyero just going through the motions.  Of course, that means the entire ensemble is perfectly in sync as well and together make this so perfect.

And while we’re Dancing Through Life (if you’re in a hurry, the 4:30 mark should about do it), I might as well mention that one of my absolute favorite moments of the show is towards the end of this scene when Galinda and Elphaba understand each other for the first time.  The music, timed just so with the choreography; slow melody coming in and mixing with a bit of Elphaba’s theme and as if to say, ‘whoa, hang on, something magical is happening here’ (Stephen Schwartz, you are a genius).

Coupled with the actresses’ movements, gestures, and expressions, they perfectly convey Galinda accepting Elphaba followed by Elphaba tentatively accepting Galinda, as she looks around at the other students and realizes she’s no longer a total outcast.  It’s a beautiful moment, portrayed in so few words.

Wicked fanart - Elphaba I'm Not That Girl scene by squeegool

I happen to be deeply shallow and genuinely self-absorbed. / No, you’re not.

Now the main focus of the story is not the romance, but I still enjoy the relationship dynamic between Elphaba and Fiyero – especially the beginnings of it, sparked during the lion cub scene.  The writing done by Winnie Holzman is so spot on here (and everywhere) with a great balance of humor, empathy for both characters, and a sense of loneliness.  There’s little time to get into too much detail with them, but again in what could have been an insignificant scene we get a character defining moment for both.

And just…gah!  The ending is so cleverly staged and tied in with the movie we all know and love, and the final meeting between Elphaba and Glinda is so touching and authentic, truly.  It’s bittersweet but satisfying, and as any good story does, Wicked leaves you with ambiguous motifs to ponder, but also a warmth stemming from the strength of friendship.  In their own way, Glinda and Elphaba fulfill a Holmes/Watson, Kirk/Spock-esque, two sides of the same coin, incomplete without the other dynamic, yet they still retain a strong sense of self as individuals and it’s wonderful adding an iconic female duo to that list.

Wicked gif - Glinda & Elphaba For Good hug

Warm and fuzzy feels? Check.  Break my heart into tiny, little pieces feels? You bet.

You walk away feeling as if you’ve known these characters and their story your whole life (and with more than one catchy tune stuck in your head!).  The team that made the musical possible and the people who continue to give the show it’s power have created a timeless story with universal appeal.  Wicked is a production that I will always want to see again and again, and can’t imagine growing tired of.  And after seeing it a second time, I might even venture to officially declare it my favorite musical (though that seems to be the case whenever I see one of my top three…)!

On another note, I think I may have been ruined for theatre.  The last three plays I’ve seen I was lucky enough to end up seated within the first 10 rows, and that is seriously the way to see a show.  Ah well, I guess I can live with that.

What are your favorite theatre memories or shows?  Feel free to share below!  I know this was a long one, so thanks for reading, cheers!  Until then…

Mischief managed

Dear readers,

I’m a little late to the party, but here’s my first Fandom 5 Friday post!  A brilliant idea started by fellow bloggers The Nerdy Girlie & Super Space Chick, 5 Fandom Friday is a weekly post in the form of a top 5 list based on predetermined topics to get the creative juices going and keep the blog flowing (plus the chance to write more about our favorite things!).

5 Fandom Friday

Up this week, it’s  ‘Fictional characters you would invite to your Thanksgiving feast’!

While pondering this, all of these main characters kept popping into my mind but then I thought, that’s a bit too obvious, isn’t it?  So I decided, who needs ‘em?  Too much drama anyway – invite all those protagonists over and you might as well paint a big red “x” on the house.  They’re probably too busy saving the world, and inadvertently but expertly finding trouble, to accept the invitation anyway.  So instead I bring you…

5 Fandom Friday: Thanksgiving with the equally as interesting, important, and awesome side characters of fandom

1. Fred & George Weasley – Lively guests with a great sense of humor are always welcome at my table, and I imagine with them there will never be a dull moment throughout the evening.  Ok, yes, Brooke that’s two people.  But they’re a packaged deal (oh dear, go away feels) and they can share a seat, all right?

Harry Potter - Fred & George Weasley (art by Viria)

2. Molly Hooper – Because you never know when you’re going to need a trusty forensic pathologist at a holiday meal, am I right?  Kidding and her skills/intelligence aside, who wouldn’t want the kindhearted, quirky, quiet strength sort of awesomeness that is Molly Hooper at your Thanksgiving meal?  She’s relatable, observant, and would make an effort to get along with all.

BBC Sherlock - Molly Hooper gif

3. Iroh – Bring that tsungi horn, some jasmine tea, and a pai sho board and we’ve got ourselves a party!  Not to mention a great sense of humor wrapped around words of wisdom, Iroh would not only make everyone feel welcome, but probably have us all experience some sort of major life epiphany before the night ends.  I enjoy a healthy dose catharsis with my holidays, don’t you?

Avatar: The Last Airbender - Uncle Iroh

4. Arthur Shappey (I’d say the whole Cabin crew, but I feel like I used my loophole card already so…) – Charades, a super helper with serving (though perhaps not preparing) the food,  someone to call your meal brilliant even if it was only moderately delicious?  A quite often genuinely happy guy, Arthur Shappey would be welcome to my Thanksgiving feast any time!

Cabin Pressure Arthur Shappey art by TheMightyNarwhal

5. April Ludgate - Because this dinner party could probably use a little more deadpanned one-liners thrown into the mix.  April would either make sure no one gets out of line, or perpetrate an all-out, free-for-all, model UN-style food fight.  Either is fine with me, so long as the pies remain off the civilian casualties list.

Parks and Recreation April Ludgate, Aubrey Plaza

A tough narrowing down of so many agreeable characters (I mean, geez, all five could easily have been Harry Potter characters), but for today at least, my Thanksgiving guest list is all set.  Food coma countdown: 6 days.

So what characters would be dining at your table next week if they could?  Leave a comment below or link to your own 5 Fandom Friday post!  Thanks for reading, cheers!  Until then…

Mischief managed

*Bonus round (because necessary subcategory-  If I were to join the Thanksgiving meal onboard any ‘traditional space crew’ type ship, at the moment it would stand as follows: The Ebon Hawk (original KotOR crew), Serenity, the Bebop, the Millennium Falcon, and the USS Enterprise!  Turns out I’m basically a sucker for the unlikely rag-tag crew on a mission trope.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic character art by aimo

If you’ve never played Knights of the Old Republic, it is by far one of the best video games around with brilliant, fleshed out characters and storyline!

 

Posted by: brookenado | November 9, 2014

Rosemary Lemon Sherlock Silhouette Squares

Dear readers,

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe, or a Sherlock Holmes related post now that I think about it, so why not a little of both?  Back in August the San Diego Sherlockians had their second annual beach day meetup, so of course I wanted to bring a contribution to the food supply!

For the previous beach shindig I tweaked a cookie recipe to create 221B Butterscotch Cookies, and I remember thinking how fun it was to do some geek-themed baking and that I should do it more often.  So, naturally it took a year to actually make good on that thought, and this time around I decided to bake something different to share.  I was low on time (what’s new?), so while browsing Pinterest for inspiration I decided on a twist to one of my favorite summer treats – with an idea for some added Sherlock flair!

Rosemary Lemon Sherlock Silhouette Squares

Idea from Gimme Some Oven

Rosemary lemon bar with bbc sherlock powder sugar silhouette

Rosemary Lemon Sherlock Silhouette Squares!

Ingredients (enough for a 7 x 11 pan)

Crust:
-  3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 8  tbsp butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- Sprig or two of fresh Rosemary, roughly chopped

Topping:
- 6 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tsp grated lemon rind
- 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 6 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- powdered sugar
- silhouette cutouts

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2. To prepare crust, beat 1/4 cup granulated sugar and the butter together at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add flour beating at low until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.  Mix in rosemary.  Spray 7 x 11 in (or close to) pan and gently press mixture into the bottom.  Bake for 15 minutes and let cool.

3. To prepare topping, beat eggs at medium speed until foamy.  Add next six ingredients (through salt) and beat until well-blended.  Pour mixture over crust and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until set.  Let cool.

4. Cut into individual squares or bars and create your silhouettes to fit the size you need.  I used regular printer paper and traced on top of an iPad image for speed & precision, though something like parchment paper would probably work even better.  Place either piece on top of an individual bar and sift powdered sugar over top and gently press sugar into the bar to stick.

I started out using the actual cutout so that everything around the lemon square was covered in sugar and the yellow from the bar created the image in the negative space.  However, I found that this time around (with the white/yellow colors and using paper silhouettes) it was easier to see the image by cutting out a square around where I cut out the silhouette (see image below) big enough to cover an individual lemon square, then filling in the middle with powdered sugar to create the silhouetted image.

*Be generous with the powdered sugar – the more you use and press into the surface of the bar, the better the image looks!

These surprised me and lasted well enough in the cooler at the beach all day, you could still see the silhouettes (the good ones as least, there was some trial and error involved), and I’m happy to say they went over well with everyone.  Leftovers came home with me and the family loved the addition of rosemary to the lemon squares.  In fact, I think I’m going to add the rosemary in every time I make these from here on out!

While Summer has come and gone (though you wouldn’t know it down here in San Diego) these are still a great dessert, and if you decide to try them now in the prime of pumpkin season…well, I won’t tell!

Bonus:  Remember back in August when anytime you did anything online you kept seeing people dumping freezing water on their heads for charity?  Well the San Diego Sherlockians were challenged by the London Sherlockians, and not being fans to flinch from a challenge (especially one so awesome and well-intentioned as the ALS fundraising campaign) we bravely stepped up to be dunked and sent the challenge on to fellow Sherlockian groups and yes, actress Amanda Abbington, because why not?  Call us dreamers.

Thanks for reading, cheers!  Hopefully it won’t take a year for me to get up to some more fun, geek-themed baking this time around.  Until then…

Mischief managed

Dear readers,

Let’s forget that it’s been two and half years now since I studied abroad, and pretend we’re back in the summer of 2012 and that this post is just the most timely thing ever.  Alright, everyone there?  No?

…Well it was worth a shot.  Part two of this Irish-Scottish adventure began a little bumpy, but what’s an adventure without a few bumps along the way?

friends-in-scotland-stirling-castle-edinburgh

I don’t think we’re in Brighton anymore…

Part I left off heading to the Cork airport in Ireland, but because of the storm we were experiencing only got worse, our flight from the tiny airport was cancelled.  (Waiting through the delays to this point, Amanda and I spent our time attempting to dry our completely soaked layers with the hand dryer in the restroom.)  Admittedly I grew somewhat nervous having not been in this situation before, so I was glad not to be traveling on my own!

As luck would have it, we had nothing to worry about.  The airline was extremely helpful in getting everyone on the flight a ride to Dublin, plus a free night at a hotel near the airport, and an early morning flight to Edinburgh in the morning.  I don’t think I’ll forgot listening to an Irish EuroCup match on our shared cab ride with two (quite nice) strangers – it was one of those unexpected experiences that gives a trip character!

When we arrived in Edinburgh early the next morning it was still drizzly, so after checking in at our hostel we decided to grab some breakfast next door.  It was quite easy to get around the city.  There’s a bus that runs from the airport to the train station right near the center of Edinburgh and our hostel was only two blocks away from the station, which was great for our time there.

edinburgh-scotland-cockburn-street

The Edinburgh Backpackers Hostel was the perfect home base

After much needed food and a warm drink, we decided to brave the lingering dampness and head to the Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden – which was beautiful!  Entrance is free and anyone with an inkling of a green thumb will enjoy strolling through and admiring the colorful variety of plants.  It turned out that walking over there (while lovely) was a bit longer than anticipated (whoops) and it had started to drizzle again, so we bused it back to the hostel and we tried to figure out what to do for the evening.

With the rain and being exhausted from our early start that morning, we ended up doing something ‘normal’ – well, normal for being in a state of travel – and saw a movie at the nearby theater after making some dinner.

*Note to American theaters: If you served kettle corn like this theater did, I would splurge way more often on popcorn at the movies

Our second day in Edinburgh we woke up early and made our way to the meeting spot for a Hairy Coo Tour.  A hairy what?  Well it’s this awesome all-day tour of the highlands in a small, bright orange bus made to look like a hairy coo (Scottish hairy cow).  The tour is intimate and independently run, and our guides were fantastic.

edinburgh-scotland-hariy-coo-tour bus

The hairy coo bus is a native of Scotland, often found roaming the highlands

 

We made various stops throughout the day, breaking up the driving nicely and giving us many opportunities to take in the stunning views of the mountains and lakes (or lochs, I should say!).  The tour runs on a ‘pay what you can/think you should’ method (so they understand if you’re a broke student and can’t give as much), and the fact they’ve been running for years now says a lot about its quality.  If you’re visiting Edinburgh, I’d highly recommend looking into a Hairy Coo Tour!

Bonus: Our final stop before returning from the tour was to the castle used in the French kniggit scene of Monty Python and our bus was equipped with coconut halves to run up the path clacking together with.  Yes, it was brilliant.

hairy-coo-tour-doune-castle-monty-python-coconuts-brookenado

Ride up to a castle with low-budget horses and demand to know details of a holy grail? Check.

Day three saw us taking the train to St. Andrews where a friend from home happened to go to school and was about to graduate.  He showed us around the small town, which is a unique place.  It seemed like something straight out of a book with the architecture and history, its location right by the ocean, plus its claim to fame as the birthplace of golf.

After strolling through most of the town (like I said, it’s small), we stopped in a pub for a drink and bite to eat before heading back to Edinburgh.  There’s always something a bit surreal about seeing a familiar face while traveling, but also reassuring and a treat!

The fourth and final day of our trip was spent simply exploring the city, so it was especially lovely that the sun finally decided to make an appearance.  It also happened to be my 21st birthday – but that’s beside the point.  We checked out the Monday markets as well as some local shops here and there in search of souvenirs and gifts, and just generally wandered, which Edinburgh is a perfect city for!  We walked the Royal Mile to Holyrood Palace and explored around the Old Town area before it was time to head back to the hostel to collect our things and take the bus back to the airport.

Despite a delay we were able to catch the last train back to Brighton upon our return before we would be stuck in the airport until morning (never a dull moment, eh?).  I couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate my 21st than traveling and making memories on another adventure, and I would return to Edinburgh in a heartbeat.  It’s a beautiful city which feels more like a large, friendly town.  Besides, I recently learned there’s a Harry Potter themed exploration of Edinburgh (J.K. Rowling wrote the books there, duh – should’ve known!) AND Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born here, so I’ll have to go back.  No two ways around it.

A long post, but at long last I give you the final trip while studying abroad.  I have every intention of getting back to regularly updating, so thanks for sticking around as I work through this wonky schedule of late.  As always thanks for reading, cheers!  Until then…

Mischief managed

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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

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