Saturday, January 7, 2012

Walk Off The Earth Awesomeness

I'm not much of an online video watcher - I think it's my inherent impatience - but John is, and almost every day he shows me one or two of his new favorites. I like letting him sift through the deluge and just show me the highlights, whether it's the newest cute cat video or some amazing science lecture.

Anyhoo, yesterday he showed me this, and WOWEE you guys gotta see!

Not only is the whole five-people-playing-one-guitar thing amazing to watch, the song is super catchy. I only listened to it twice yesterday, and I've had it stuck in my head all day! (Not necessarily a bad thing.)

And if you like that one, watch this one next. The technique alone will make your jaw drop:


I love how artists are taking advantage of viral videos to market their music now - like OK Go and Pomplamoose. Half the time I start watching just for the visuals, and end up loving the music.

Speaking of which, here's a song I never would have listened to if it weren't for the video, and it's been one of my favorites for months now. It's by a Finnish singer named Lauri Ylönen, but if you like 80s pop you'll probably love it:

The vid's also a bit dark. And confusing. But hey, cute puppet!

I originally saw this on SuperPunch last year, and then spent a while hunting for a place to buy it, since it doesn't appear to be available in the U.S. It's a shame there are more places to download it for free than there are places you can actually purchase it (ie, I haven't found one yet), since I'd gladly pay a few bucks for it. Take my money, iTunes, please.

Hit the Ok Go & Pomplamoose links above to see my favorites of their videos, and then tell me who I'm missing in the comments! Maybe you guys will turn me into a Youtube junkie after all. ;)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Convention Photos From 1980!

Britt sent me a link to a great collection of photos from the 1980 Westercon, and it is fascinating. There's some excellent cosplay in there - stuff I could have believed came from last year's Dragon*Con, if it weren't for the quality of the photos. In fact, it's actually kind of awesome seeing how little conventions have changed. Why, there are plenty of ladies in skimpy outfits...

This Lady of the Lake/mermaid was by far the most photographed, I'm guessing on account of her free-flapping boobages. And the giant live snake she later had wrapped around her.

...guys sporting excessive weaponry:

Anyone else suspect that's Adam Savage in the middle?

And plenty of stunning fan-made creations:

I want her hat.

Check out this fabulous Leia and Yoda:

I thought Yoda was a statue until I found another picture of him walking around. So, yep, there's a person in there!

And probably my favorite:

Not because I'm a big Alien fan, but because this proves fangirls have always rocked the house. I salute you, fellow geek girl!

There are lots and lots more pictures, so click on over to The LA Science Fantasy Society to see them all. (Keep in mind the costume photos are mixed in with the non-costume stuff, so just keep scrolling to see everything.) And thanks again to Britt for the link!

Oh, and speaking of conventions: if you're thinking of visiting Orlando next month, be sure it's on the weekend of the 17th for MegaCon. John and I will probably be there all three days, and I'd love to meet any of you who'll be there!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Desperado Decorating

Since this might get me in trouble, here are a few things you should know:

1. John and I took a photography course together in college.

2. Our maturity level has remained relatively static since then.

3. I never inhaled.

So yesterday I found an old photo from that course that used to hang in our living room - much to the consternation or delight of our friends, depending on their taste - and decided it needed to be reintroduced to our decor.

As luck would have it, I also found one of those sappy printed word frames from Ross tucked away in my stash. I have no idea why I bought it, but I quickly realized this was a match made in heaven.

Assuming heaven is really snarky.

Hey, at least it makes me laugh. ;)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Gettin' My Geeky Groove Back

Hellooooo, beautiful geeklings, geekettes, and fellow geek-meisters!

So my family may have sent me home with a large box of dark chocolate-covered cherries, and I MAY have consumed a few too many. BUT NO MATTER. Because I, my friends, am back. And I've missed you. Well, most of you. You know who you are. [winkwink]

So. How was your break?

Since I can't actually hear you, I'll just go ahead and fill you in on mine.

First, even though my family decided a few years ago to stop doing the gift thing (too much stress, and we're all hard-to-buy-for adults anyway) most of us broke the rules.

From John:

Aww yeeah. Does my man know me, or what? (He also got me some mold-making resin. Woot!!) I'm afraid the stainless steel wallet & Star Trek DVDs I got him pale in comparison.

John and I spent Christmas day at home finishing up a gift for my mom: a framed canvas print of a portrait we took of her during Dragon*Con. I snagged the canvas off Zazzle when they were running a 60% off sale. Since this was a very last minute idea, we didn't have time to order a custom frame - but no matter! We'll just, uh, frame it ourselves? Yeah! Why not?

After searching all over town for a shop that actually stocks frame wood and was open on Christmas Eve, we found a small place an hour away that sold us some discontinued scraps of the ugliest frame wood ever to blight the face of the earth. Seriously, it was hideous. We couldn't paint over it fast enough, so I only have this one comparison shot for you:

That's what we started with on the right, and our completed frame on the left.

And here are some progress shots:

This was after John had built the frame and primed it (he's quick!) and sprayed on a chrome base coat.

Next, I added a metallic gold glaze:

I dabbed it on sparingly and smoothed it out by stippling to give the frame a nice platinum look.

After two coats of the gold glaze, it was time for aging:

Here John's applying a heavy coat of black glaze to the rope detailing, which we then quickly wiped off again:

When that was done, I added gold Rub N' Buff to the peaks of the rope and scrollwork detail, and, voila!

Depending on the light, the frame can look silver or pale gold. Kinda nifty.

Here's the back, in case you're curious how John put it all together:

Which we then tidied up by covering with matte gold craft paper:

The day after Christmas we drove to Williamsburg, where we spent several days with my parents and grandmother. I think Mom loved her portrait - Dad immediately hung it prominently in their stairwell - and Dad spent the week gleefully playing with the new camera and lenses we brought him. We also set them up with my old Mac desktop, which was especially fun since they've been life-long PC users. (We've already had a video chat with them since we've returned home, and the vaguely confused and awed expressions on their faces was ADORABLE.) (Love you, Mom & Dad!)

We drove home New Year's Day, arriving in the wee hours. Yesterday I de-Christmas-fied the house. :( I left the steampunk tree for last, and sighed many dramatic and heartbroken sighs as I packed away all the ornaments.

I wasn't kidding about not taking all those lights off, though, and fortunately John found a solution for me:

He shrink-wrapped our tree, guys.

We'll be storing it this way in the garage, which I'll now be calling Shelob's Lair, for obvious reasons:

This sight is so ridiculous I can't help but laugh every time I see it. But hey, next year we can just cut off the wrap, fluff the branches a bit, and plug it in!

Well, that's a wrap - pun intended - obviously - so I'll leave you with a fun video to watch during your next lunch break. If you're familiar with the music of Jonathan Coulton, you'll love it. If you're not, you'll still love it - but afterward you should definitely go look him up. He makes great fun geeky music, and this mini-musical based on his song Code Monkey is great geeky fun:

Happy new year, everyone! Here's to lots more geeky fun in 2012!