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Ghostbusters Is For Girls!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

As I'm sure you guys have picked up over the years, I am a HUGE Ghostbusters fan.



So to get my daily dose of 'bustin' I follow a popular GB fan page over on Facebook.

Let me show you the top-rated comments on that page's last 2 posts regarding the all-female cast announced for the new movie:

Let me clarify that the facebook page itself said nothing negative. These are all just the fans' reactions. And count the upvotes on that jaw-droppingly sexist top meme, guys. COUNT 'EM.

This next post was only an hour old when I took the screenshot:


It's not just the top-voted comments that are awful, either; all of them are. I couldn't find a single positive remark about the cast or the movie. NOT ONE.

Over at The Replica Prop Forum, another great geek page I follow, things aren't much better. All they did was link the same Esquire article the GB page did:


And here are their top-rated comments:



Now, I get it: geeks are, by very definition, passionate people. Every new reboot of a beloved franchise is going to cause a firestorm of controversy, no matter what. This one is just especially heated because it brought all the sexist knuckle-draggers out of their caves.

Personally, I am beyond thrilled at the thought of some ass-kicking lady Ghostbusters hitting the big screen. Brainy, everyday women who fight their own battles in outfits NOT painted on with liquid latex? YES, PLEASE.

At the same time, I worry they'll go too heavy on the slap-stick, neglecting the heart and heroics for easy laughs at stereotypically "girl" things. And I'm a little heartbroken that Tina Fey isn't involved.

But hey, that's a writing thing, and I admit I have no real basis for those fears. It's just a worst-case scenario, running through my head.

So really, the only thing *I* see to be upset about here is that they're making the movie a reboot. Blurrrg. Why, Hollywood, why? I SO want to see women 'busting, but why does it have to be at the price of eradicating the original lore? No more Spengler and Stanz? No more Winston and Venkman? Really? Give us that history, so we can have homages and references to the original films, cameos from the surviving cast, and a sense of legacy. Then you're only adding to something great, instead of trying to replace it all together. I mean, COME. ONNNN!

[patting down hair]

Sorry; may have got a little nerd rage on ya there.

Reboot disappointments aside, though, I really want this movie to work. Because if these jerks online have shown us anything, it's that we NEED female Ghostbusters, just to show 'em how it's done.

 (Epbot reader Joanna's daughter Fya, from my post here)

Am I right, ladies?





Posted by Jen at 5:22 PM   |  16 comments  |   Labels: ,

Cool Valentines For Geek Girls!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I was stuck in a CVS for over an hour the other day, waiting on the clinic's nurse practitioner to tell me I probably have an ear infection, because my ear was just jealous of John's ear getting all the attention after his surgery. That, or my new dental filling has gone horribly wrong.

So, antibiotics *AND* a return trip to the dentist? Could this week.... BE any better? (Everyone else is marathoning Friends on Netflix right now, too, right?)

Anyhoo, while prowling the aisles in boredom, I discovered some surprisingly great Valentines' cards, and thought I'd share:

 Spider-Girl!

Classic Wonder Woman! (With a blue paracord bracelet.)

3D Donald!

And perfect for steampunks:

The compass is layered, so it has a nice 3D effect, and the card is flocked velvet. SUPER pretty in person.

For a little gee-whiz factor, check THIS action out: the envelope has a functioning lock on it!
 It comes with a separate card to lock inside the envelope - and the recipient can wear the key as a charm! So cool. (Only about $8, too!)

And finally, some sweet Tinkerbell art, because yes I still like glittery fairies:



I'm always in favor of supporting independent artists when you can, of course, but it's nice to see options like this at a big retailer, too. Especially when you're grumpy and have an earache. So thanks, CVS.


PS: Speaking of Tinkerbell, have you SEEN the new effects in the Peter Pan queue at the Magic Kingdom? WOWIE. First time Disney has really floored me in ages. Definitely take a look!


Posted by Jen at 3:40 PM   |  18 comments  |   Labels: , , ,

DIY Faux Brick Painting Tutorial

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Whether you're looking to re-paint real brick or make over some faux brick paneling, here's how to do it!

First, find a picture of a brick wall that you like, so you'll have a solid color reference. (Pinterest is great for this.) Here's my inspiration photo:

(via)

And here's my finished brick:
 

Mine doesn't match the reference exactly; I wanted it less pink and more grungy. John made three different sample boards to help me nail the colors, which is a great idea if you're like me and have trouble visualizing. Here's our sample board outside in the sunlight:

You can see a lot of dark lines in there, but in the actual room I was able to finesse the technique to avoid most of those, so I think it looks more natural:


So let's get to it!

You Will Need:

4 colors of paint:

    - the grout color (I used a creamy off-white)
    - 2 complementary brick colors, one about 2 shades darker than the other
   - the "dirt" color - a grungy dark brown or gray

Note: Make sure your brick colors are much lighter & brighter than you want the end product to look, since we're going to grunge them up a LOT. If you're unsure, this is where sample boards help!

For tools, you'll need all the usual supplies for painting a room: rollers, brushes, painter's tape, drop cloths, etc., but also, and most importantly:

-  A small, flat-edged foam roller and frame, like this:


Make sure your roller has that sharp, flat edge; the rounded edge rollers won't let you get into the corners and up against the trim, which is verrrry important.

- And a cheap chip brush (pictured above) or any other brush that has extremely stiff bristles.

Now, LET'S PAINT.

 To my knowledge there's only one kind of brick paneling out there, and this is it. Great quality, very convincing texture, and SUPER dark. (We found ours at Lowe's for about $26 per sheet.)

Step 1) Paint your brick or brick paneling the grout color. Yes, all of the brick. But don't worry about doing a second coat; this finish WANTS to look imperfect and grungy. So embrace the grunge, my friends. EMBRACE IT.


Ta-da! Grout colored walls.

Step 2) Use your handy-dandy foam roller to LIGHTLY roll the walls with the lighter of your brick colors. Since you only want the bricks themselves to catch the color, NOT the grout, roll in diagonal lines, not up-and-down or side-to-side. And only load your roller with a little paint at a time.

Your coverage won't be even close to perfect, and again, that's ok. Embraaaace the gruuuunge!

Step 3) Randomly paint individual bricks with your darker brick color. You can do this with your little foam roller, or paint them in with a brush. Either way.

(Sorry for the terrible cellphone pics, btw; I didn't think about writing up a tutorial while we were doing this!)

Now, are you ready... FOR THE MAGIC?!


Step 4) This is the most important step, so here's where you'll want to spend most of your time. That said, it's ridiculously fast and easy; in essence, you're just repeating Step 2, only with the "dirt" paint color. A few tips, though:

- Load your foam roller with the dark paint, and then roll it out on a scrap piece of cardboard or wood several times to get most of it off again. You've heard of dry-brushing? This is "dry-rolling."

- GENTLY start rolling over a patch of bricks in several different directions, to avoid any obvious up-and-down lines. You can always add more, and a little goes a loooong way, so start out light!

- After you've rolled out a bit and your foam roller is pretty dry, go ahead and start pressing harder into those grout lines, so they pick up a little grungy magic, too.

- Get as close to the trim and corners as you can with your roller, but don't worry; you'll be coming back for those later.

- Contrast Is King, so don't be afraid of dark spots, lines, and imperfections. Trust me, that "oops" moment will probably end up your favorite!

Step 5) When all of your walls are done, it's time to go back to those corners and trim areas you couldn't quite reach with the roller. See the white line in my corner here?

Touch those areas up with your stiff brush, pouncing in a tiny bit of color at a time. I actually made my corners darker than the rest of the wall for a kind of vignette, which I think really frames the room nicely:


Step 6) Touch-up time! Step back, and see where your wall needs a bit more dirt. Use your stiff brush to dry-brush any grout lines that look too clean.

This is also the time to address any paneling seams, since those can leave obvious vertical lines. Use a small artist brush and pounce on more "dirt" to help hide those lines.


I also sanded my paneling seams prior to painting, which helped a lot. Just use a little sandpaper and hit each brick that straddles the seam, since this paneling tends to have a slightly raised lip right at that edge. And if there's a gap, of course, fill that up with caulking. (Again, do this before painting. Heh.)

Step 7) Step back and enjoy the view!



I hope this was helpful, guys! Feel free to ask any questions in the comments!

********

And for my fellow pinners, here's the best "before-and-after" shot I could come up with:


Posted by Jen at 9:00 AM   |  19 comments  |   Labels: , ,

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