Saturday, July 24, 2010

More Comic Con Highlights

I know, I know. I should stop.

But c'mon, Tony Stark is in the hoooouse!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thank You, Twitter! Comic Con Goodies

Hey, just 'cuz I'm not at Comic Con this weekend doesn't mean I can't bring you some Comic Con goodies! That's right: thanks to the miracle of Twitter and grainy cell phone pictures, we, too, can now get our geek on - at least vicariously.

And, for those of you who have jobs and responsibilities and lives and whatnot, I've spent more time than I'm willing to admit today wading through all the tweeted madness to gather up some of the best shots for you.


What's cookin,' Darth?

Star Wars Sweeties

Tell me this isn't the cutest freakin' thing you've seen all week:

It's not easy to squeal while laughing hysterically, but somehow this painting gifted me with that unique ability. Seriously, I can't look at this without grinning like an idiot. I love it.

And why is it that Star Wars gets the best fan art, anyway? Not that I'm complaining TOO much, but just once, I'd like to see a chibi Andorian baby with a Tribble in one hand and a tricorder in the other. Right? C'mon, artists, that would be EPIC.

In the mean time, though, I'll just soak up goodies like this:

By Greg Peltz, who has more Victorian-styled Star Wars characters on his blog.

Awesomeness. I'm hoping, with all my might, that Peltz does a matching R2 portrait.

And speaking of Star Wars art, I can't wait to peruse the artist alley at Star Wars Celebration V, which will be here in Orlando next month. Katie Cook will be there, and she draws adorableness like this:


I'm also looking forward to seeing Jon Stewart interview George Lucas; that should be...entertaining. Mostly, though, I look forward to the costume photo safari. [rubbing hands together] Oooh, I LOVE taking convention photos! Here's hoping I just don't make too much of an idiot of myself by asking, "And who are *you* supposed to be?" Heh. Yeah, I'm not as good with Star Wars as I am with Trek; I've never seen any of the animated stuff. [ducks to avoid hurled tomatoes] I'm sorry! I'm sorry!

So, are any of you going to be there? Holla back if so! And if not, don't worry; I'll be posting updates and pics here when the time comes. Then the rest of you can help me ID who all the characters are. :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Rabbit Trail of Geekery

I will now demonstrate how to seamlessly segue from Neatorama to Star Trek to M*A*S*H to puppeteering to Cake Wrecks. BECAUSE I CAN.

Ready? Here goes.

First, some cool Trek trivia I found on Neatorama today:

James Doohan (aka Scotty on Star Trek) was shot by a German machine gunner six times during the Allied invasion of Normandy. (!!) A shot to his chest was stopped by a metal cigarette case. (!!!) Another shot to his right hand caused him to lose his middle finger, which meant that stand-ins (hand-ins?) were used during the filming of both the show and the movies.

[Read more at 5 Sci-Fi Actors Who Were War Heroes)]

Do a Google image search to see all the other creative ways Scotty kept his hand hidden.

Not only is this fascinating, but my respect for Doohan just went up a thousand-fold. (Sadly, he passed away in 2005.) It also reminds me of M.A.S.H. (another favorite), because Gary Burghoff (aka Radar) also has a deformed hand - although his is a birth defect. They tried to conceal Burghoff's hand on camera as well - ever notice he's always carrying a clipboard?- but you can still spot it from time to time if you look closely.

[In case you missed it, that was my first segue. See how I'm all smooth and natural-like? Eh? And the segue wasn't bad, either. HEYO!]

I first learned about Burghoff's hand back in middle school, when I was part of a puppet troupe called Kids on the Block. Each of our puppet characters had a certain disability or disease, and we toured elementary schools teaching kids about diversity and tolerance and such. My puppet was named Valerie, and she had spina bifida:

She had metal crutches and leg braces, which made her sooo heavy - plus I was/am so short that I had to stand on an egg crate to perform. Even so, I loved it. I even earned a pin - which I still have to this day - for memorizing and performing in the most sketches of anyone in our troupe. And did I really just brag about that? YES I DID.

ANYWAY, [Segue imminent. Repeat: segue imminent.] as part of our training we watched a video of Burghoff talking about his hand and M.A.S.H. and what it was like growing up with a disability. So now he and KOTB are both permanently linked in my mind.

[Ok, believe it or not, I'm about to wrap this all up with one final, brilliant segue into Cake Wrecks. Prepare to be amazed. Or, better yet, don't; I really don't need that kind of pressure.]

So, on the last stop of our book tour a few weeks ago, John and I were wandering the La Jolla Art Festival before the show. It was a pretty small festival, so we were slow-motion strolling, trying to kill time. As we moseyed down the row, guess who I saw at one of the booths?

No, not Gary Burghoff. C'mon, keep up.

It was Valerie, my old puppet! There she was, leg braces and all, sipping a beer and talking smack with the macrame seller.

Hah, ok, now I'm just messing with you.

The puppet *was* there, though, in a Kids on the Block booth, because - get this - the organization is still going today! (Just to be clear, it's a nation-wide thing; this wasn't the exact same puppet I used.) I spent about five minutes amusing John and frightening the booth attendant with my squees of amazement and gibbered tales of standing on egg crates.

And so, in conclusion, this is pretty cool:

Sorry, I used up all my segue juice.

But hey, cool phone, right? You plug your iPhone into it, and then use the handset to talk on. It's silly as all get-out, I suppose, but it's also cool and artsy and steampunked, so that makes it alright.

(John also pointed out that if I let him get the new iPhone then he could give me his old iPhone and then I could use this. To which I responded, "This costs $450," and the conversation abruptly ended. Still nifty, though.)

You can see more phone styles (including a nice sleek black one) at Freeland Studio's Etsy store.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Forget Everything I Just Said

As you insiders already know, our attempted move to a server over the weekend didn't go quite as well as we'd hoped.

Ok, scratch that.

It was a big, flaming disaster. Children ran screaming through the streets, poets composed tragic death sonnets, and the sky bled the tears of a thousand angels.

Also, stress makes me a little melodramatic.

So, we're back on Blogger. And yes, a part of me is kind of happy about that. The other part - the part that spent weeks and months and lots of moolah and sleepless nights preparing for the move - is all, "C'mon!! Really?!?"

And, since I know you tech geniuses out there are probably thinking we're incompetent buffoons because a move like this isn't THAT hard, allow me to say that the actual blog moved fine. The comments, however, did not. And that's a deal-breaker.

We've talked to some of the highest higher-ups at both Blogger and WordPress, plus plenty of scary-smart gurus, but apparently all the things that are *supposed* to work just plain *don't* when you're dealing with 80,000+ comments. To give you an idea: It took 4 hours just to transfer the 6,000 comments that did come over. So I guess any program that sees 80 THOUSAND decides that now is an excellent time for a break.

Granted, we have had offers by programmers to whip up a custom doo-dad to scrape and gather and match up and progmaticize...ate... and such, but at the end of the day, when we saw how WP had messed up the formatting on all of our nearly 900 posts, plus was giving me grief to write in, plus costs a lot of money to host on a private server, plus would cost that much more to have someone write that program to retrieve the comments...well, we did the math, and then tucked tail and went crying back to Blogger.

Blogger, for its part, has welcomed us back with open arms, a loving smile, and broken comment moderation. (Well played, Blogger. Well played.) Even so, I think we can all agree it's never looked more beautiful.