If I’m being honest, I have to admit that before this last trip we’d never spent more than roughly 24 hours’ time actually in Seattle. We can luxuriate in a relatively bustling city scene here in Kansas City if we really want to (we generally don’t) but have nothing comparable to the ocean and mountains and temperate rainforests, so most of our time in the PNW is spent enjoying those natural splendors. And indulge in the outdoors we did: we walked stunning ocean shores, hiked to waterfalls, ventured to the northwestern most point of the continental U.S., decompressed with beautiful lakeside vistas and paraglided for unrivaled sights and exhilaration.
While searching for a hike near North Bend/Snoqualmie*, we stumbled across a film crew at a local diner. Perhaps you’ve heard about the resurrection of a cult favorite tv show, Twin Peaks… You guys, we were in North Bend while they were filming Twin Peaks! We really didn’t see much, as the flurry of crew members obscured most anything interesting and accessibility near the set was limited. (David Lynch was apparently unhappy with fan presence; this article was published the day before we coincidentally ended up on-site.) We might have been more obnoxious in trying to obtain photos had we binged all 22 episodes prior to going rather than just finishing it this week.
I can tell you that from a couple of blocks away, down a back alley, we saw the classic turquoise waitress dresses—couldn’t discern which actresses were wearing them. One gal had curly hair but looked too short and a bit too round to be the fictional Shelley Johnson.
*We never found the hike I had planned. Crews were working on Middle Fork Road, so that access was cut off and we opted to return to the hotel for an afternoon nap rather than search for work-arounds.
Twin Peaks wasn’t the only geeky indulgence on our vacation. The EMP Museum in downtown Seattle ensured that, as our time in town corresponded with the traveling exhibit “Star Wars and the Power of Costume.”
The exhibit itself was quite nice, if a bit overpriced. Past exhibits “Star Wars in Concert” and “Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination” showcased many of the same costumes, but that didn’t hamper my enthusiasm. This is, after all, the year of Star Wars!
EMP also featured brilliant exhibits for fantasy, horror and sci-fi costumes and artifacts. There was something for virtually every geeky indulgence, from Ghostbusters to the Wizard of Oz, Alien, Harry Potter, Doctor Who and Game of Thrones to The Princess Bride. I definitely recommend visiting if you can stand to pull yourself away from the majestic wilderness.
To see the full complement of photos from our trip, including MANY more geektastic exhibit images, trek on over to my share site (HERE).
It’s not often I can say that I got my jam together and rocked an actual Halloween costume, let alone one that involved crafting and artistry. First the Royals in the World Series now this—2014 is a wild ride, y’all!
There’s another name you might know me by… Star-Lord.
Star-Lord, man! Legendary outlaw?!
So the clothes were easy enough; I used boots, moto pants and a shirt I already had. Picked up the satchel bag for pretty cheap at T.J. Maxx, and the jacket came from Wilson Leather (faux under $60).
Had to scavenge my parents’ house for the portable cassette player. It’s not a genuine Sony Walkman like in the movie, but it was close enough for my purposes and the price was definitely right. Unfortunately, I couldn’t locate any vintage headphones so I decided to paint the black ear pads on a newer pair (and by “newer” I mean from the ’90s). Seemed easy enough and I needed to visit the craft supply store anyway.
Friends, I was wrong about painting the headphone cushions. Very, very wrong. As it turns out, orange spray paint and headphone cushions simply don’t mix. Spraying enough to convey the right color yields a thick, messy layer that will inevitably crack and look awful.
My other craft products were more successful. Using a soldering iron, I carved/melted indentations on a styrofoam ball to resemble the infinity-stone orb. The process smelled all kinds of awful but it was a lot of fun. An all-over coat of black spray paint laid the foundation—and dissolved some of the styrofoam. I followed that with random layers of ‘hammered steel’ pewter spray paint, more black, and some handpainted metallic silver acrylic highlights. Not an exact science by any means, but it ended well.
The black and pewter spray paint also saw a good deal of action on my quad-blaster, which began its life as the standard Nerf model found at Target for about $20. I started by disassembling the top and bottom orange pieces (simply held together by screws). Black base coat, pewter spray, silver acrylic accents applied and layered until it looked sufficiently worn and voila! blaster complete. As I was working with limited time and shortsightedness I failed to consider which ‘underneath’ parts were visible in the final product. Consequently, I’ll eventually need to go back and touch up a bit.
I’m quite happy with the way things turned out, especially since it only took a few hours!
This year was no different than any other—I had a grand plan to dress up for Halloween. Since I paid tribute to Katniss Everdeen last year (see what I did with the wordplay there?), I thought it would be fun to put together an homage to Hermione Granger this year.
Operation Hermione would require very little effort, I reasoned. We already have a Gryffindor tie in the house—you can be jealous if you want—I own a black skirt, white Oxford blouse and I can make my hair wavy. All I needed was to procure a Gryffindor robe.
“We’ve got black graduation robes from college,” I thought. “I could turn this into a DIY project!”
And then I chuckled and remembered that I’m me. While I probably could make it work, the time and money expended would be far more costly than simply buying a costume robe that would inevitably look better anyway.
So search online, I did. There are a number of replicas (quality unknown) that ship from Hong Kong. Sadly, international shipping wasn’t really an option since I decided to start looking on Friday of last week. (A planner, I am not.)
There’s also a really sweet “authentic” robe from the Universal Orlando online store; it can be yours for a Franklin and Hamilton. Tempting, indeed, but still no guarantee that it would arrive on time.
I checked Targets and Wal-Marts aplenty to no avail*, which left me with no choice but to darken the door of one of those stupid Halloween shops. To the Harry Potter section I went.
What’s that? A hat? Crazy, talking, sorting hat? We’ve been there, we’ve done that, we see you’ve got a sorting hat.
Want a clunky pair of HP spectacle frames with a scarf that looks as though it were made of scarlet toilet paper? Oh, they’re all over that, too.
Feel like getting all Slytherin-y with your bad self? Pop-up cash-grab store has that covered…and the cheapo robe was only $60. After seeing the pricetag on that one, I quit feeling sad over the lack of Gryffindor robes. The high-dollar “authentic” version was looking even better.
*All was not lost: I picked up a $9 adult-sized Man of Steel cape at Wal-Mart.
With the prospect of Hermione seeming ever more distant, I decided to change dressing directions. I could sport my new cape with a Star Wars t-shirt and masquerade as a 5-year-old version of myself. All I’d need to do was buy some sweat pants and velcro shoes; the core stuffs of Wally-World.
This seemed a fantastic idea up until the point that I tried on said attire last night. It was atrocious! When a kid dresses that way, it’s a cute expression of their interests. When an adult dresses that way, particularly for work, it’s a disturbing bit of anti-eye-candy that you can’t unsee.
Rather than inflict that on my coworkers, I practiced mercy.
Today I wear my Stormtrooper hoodie…and only zip it all the way when asked.
This year was no different than any other—I had a grand plan to dress up for Halloween. And like most other years, I failed miserably.