nesting * geeking * critiquing

Posts tagged “harry potter

Geeky in Seattle

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).


Happy Halloween!

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. IMG_8255

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.


Goals Update

As you may recall, I’ve been working my way through some goals for the year. Here’s where we stand 4 months into 30. I’ve been making some progress!

30 by Through 30checklist

  • Make at least 20 recipes from Pinterest
  • Successfully ice a cake using homemade fondant
  • Visit a farmer’s market
  • Use my apron patterns to make cute, retro aprons
  • Work down to my goal weight (need to lose about 25 35 pounds)
  • Watch the Lord of the Rings movies (Not gonna lie; they’re not my favorites)
  • Attend a geek convention, preferably as part of a paid work assignment
  • Read all 7 Harry Potter books (barely treading water on book 4)
  • Attend a marathon of the Twilight films before the last one releases (I watched a couple each night at home leading up to it, that counts)
  • Run a 5K (I’ve participated in a 5K now but only ran about half; I’m planning another attempt this fall)
  • Meet a famous person (and please let it be Norman Reedus! Or Henry Cavill!)
  • Go to Disney World
  • Enter a contest (something competitive, not just a prize drawing)
  • Move into a new house
  • Plant a garden (pictures coming soon)
  • Take a flying lesson (my parents bought me one for my 29th birthday)
  • Finish my Star Wars room
  • Grow back my eyebrows completely
  • Hike in a national park
  • Pay off a credit card balance
  • Meet a real-life elephant (close enough to touch it, not just take a picture)
  • Zip line (6.22.13 LOVED it!)
  • Eat at a new restaurant/order something that I wouldn’t ordinarily
  • Volunteer for a charity event
  • Refurbish a piece of furniture
  • Get the Stormtrooper tattoo I really like
  • Make a King’s Cake for next Epiphany (missed it again this year)
  • Take a picture every day for a month and blog it
  • Wear the same article of clothing to work every day for a week
  • Have new family photos taken
  • Play my trumpet in a small ensemble at church
  • Try shooting a gun
  • Blog a day-in-my-life photo tour
  • See more of the Pacific Northwest (I’m thinking Oregon sounds pretty awesome)
  • Make curtains for my kitchen windows
  • Put together a 2,000-piece (or more) puzzle by myself

New Goals

I’m now an official member of the tricenarian club. Since I’ve yet to accomplish many of the goals I had set out in my *30 by 30* I’ll just keep them, swap out the completed items in favor of new ones and hope to finish strong with 30 Through 30.

30 by Through 30checklist

  • Make at least 20 recipes from Pinterest
  • Successfully ice a cake using homemade fondant
  • Visit a farmer’s market
  • Use my apron patterns to make cute, retro aprons
  • Work down to my goal weight (need to lose about 25 35 pounds…I’m going the wrong direction here)
  • Watch the Lord of the Rings movies (I’ve seen The Hobbit, Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers)
  • Attend a geek convention, preferably as part of a work assignment
  • Read all 7 Harry Potter books (barely treading water on book 4)
  • Attend a marathon of the Twilight films before the last one releases (I watched a couple each night at home leading up to it, that counts)
  • Run a 5K (which implies I manage to “run” at all)
  • Meet a famous person
  • Go to Disney World
  • Enter a contest (something competitive, not just a prize drawing)
  • Move into a new house
  • Plant a garden
  • Take a flying lesson (my parents bought me one for my 29th birthday)
  • Finish my Star Wars room
  • Grow back my eyebrows completely (I was really close in November and then went through a stressed-out, destructive time)
  • Hike in a national park
  • Pay off a credit card balance
  • Meet a real-life elephant (close enough to touch it, not just take a picture)
  • Zip line
  • Eat at a new restaurant/order something that I wouldn’t ordinarily
  • Volunteer for a charity event
  • Refurbish a piece of furniture
  • Get the Stormtrooper tattoo I really like
  • Make a King’s Cake for next Epiphany (missed it again this year)
  • Take a picture every day for a month and blog it
  • Wear the same article of clothing to work every day for a week (got a new job, need to settle in a bit before I go there)
  • Have new family photos taken
  • Play my trumpet in a small ensemble at church
  • Try shooting a gun
  • Blog a day-in-my-life photo tour
  • See more of the Pacific Northwest (I’m thinking Oregon sounds pretty awesome)
  • Make curtains for my kitchen windows
  • Put together a 2,000-piece (or more) puzzle by myself

Confessions of a Hobbit Virgin

I like to think I’m pretty hip to the geekier things in life. Something I’ve never explored, though, is the world of J.R.R. Tolkien. Haven’t seen any of the movies (gasp!), haven’t read the books, haven’t taken the time to even learn much about it. And yet, I went to see The Hobbit at the theater yesterday; even ponied up the money for the IMAX 3D experience (which may or may not have had something to do with the fact that I wanted to see the first 9 minutes of Star Trek: Into Darkness).

bilbo_teaser

(downloadable poster at thehobbit.com)

Equipped with a notebook and pen, I was ready to catch some Hobbit cooties and write my way through the movie. For your reading pleasure…

What I Know Going Into This Movie:
• There’s a guy named Gandalf who looks a lot like Dumbledore
• I think it’s set in “middle earth,” which I understand to be New Zealand
• Tolkien was friends with CS Lewis and I like him, so I should like this (theoretically)
• I know from listening to the radio that they sing at some point in this movie; I don’t think it’s supposed to be a funny scene, but the morning show spoof was hilarious
• This is either a prequel or sequel to Lord of the Rings. Prequel, I think.

Jack and the Giant Slayer preview—Maybe worth seeing
Man of Steel preview—I’m so there!
Star Trek: Into Darkness preview—though it goes against everything I traditionally stand for, I’ll probably see it

(At this point, I begin writing in complete darkness, which makes for some pretty scribbly scribble)

Who is Frodo? Is Frodo a Hobbit? Is this guy that’s talking *the* Hobbit?

Ooh, that guy has a fancy beard. His name is Thor? Copyright infringement!

That elfin king looks like a queen.

It’s dark. Harder to write than I’d expected.

DRAGON!

Why do dragons want gold? What’s a dragon going to do with gold? I mean, really, he’s not going to go buy stuff or invest in the stock market. Is it just about absolute power and all that?

Do we ever get to see the dragon?

^^Nope, just feet and tail and shadows, apparently.

Uh oh, the elf king isn’t helping. Selfish elves!

Okay, so the dwarves all lived in a mountain and it belongs to the dragon now. So they’re going to wander in the wilderness, and they’re not forgetting that the elves didn’t help them.

Ah, so this old guy is *the* Hobbit, and he lives in a ‘hobbit hole.’

Hey, that guy looks like Elijah Wood!

Sounds like the old hobbit guy is Elijah Wood(?)’s uncle.

What’s this party they’re preparing for? Why are we having a party?

First mention of Gandalf followed by a smoke ring and 60-year-old flashback.

Is this whole story told in flashback?

Gandalf speaks in riddles, but I gather they’re going on an adventure.

The old hobbit—who’s now a young hobbit due to the flashback—is finally identified as Bilbo Baggins. They called Neal that in an episode of Freaks and Geeks. That’s a funny show.

Gandalf is apparently from the 1990s, because he’s wearing a braided belt.

Is he using a wand to carve on Bilbo’s door? Maybe he really is Dumbledore?

Bilbo eats fish. And he has a really cool looking farm table.

A bunch of random people are showing up now.

Are those guys named Feely and Keely? Am I hearing this right?

Sounds like Gandalf likes his vino.

Oh, good, now the dwarves (who all apparently know each other) are having a burping contest.

Are all hobbits OCD or just this one?

I really feel like I’m missing something here.

Dumbledore Gandalf just said “Let us have more light”—he should’ve just said “LUMOS!”

These fellas are all trying to take back the mountain treasure from the dragon. And Gandalf has a key. I didn’t realize you need a key to get into a mountain.

^^The key goes to an invisible door. Great. Dwarf doors are invisible when closed.

So Bilbo signed a contract to become a burglar? What kind of values is this promoting?

Hobbits can pass by unseen. I think I might be a hobbit, or at least turn into one every time I go out in public.

I didn’t realize that hobbits are Scottish, but it seems they invented golf so they must be.

The dwarves just mentioned that some of them are toymakers. Does this mean that Santa actually employs dwarves and not elves?

Ah, there’s the singing that they made fun of on the radio.

Feely or Keely, one of them, looks like Charlie Swan (aka Billy Burke).

Bilbo is sad that they left without him. Running barefoot seems unwise with all of those farm animals around.

Awwwww, curly-haired horsies!

They just mentioned The Shire. I’ve seen that on Pinterest, so now I finally get where it came from.

Oh gross, that guy is snoring moths in and out. I might not be the target audience here.

What did they just call that giant guy, an ork? Like Mork from Ork? He looks more like the white guy from Prometheus than Mork. (I don’t know what the Prometheus guy’s name is, so I’ll just call him Prometheus.)

Prometheus is giving up just because his hand was cut off? Merle Dixon from The Walking Dead didn’t give up.

“They not dead, they just ugly” (<—no idea why I wrote that in my notes)

Yay, subtitles! Now I might actually understand some of this. I could use subtitles for Gangnam Style, too, btw.

There are only 5 wizards? Isn’t Hogwarts turning them out anymore?

This small brown wizard guy…did a bird poop on his head, or is he growing tree bark?

There is apparently dark magic in this Tolkien world. Dark magic that is accompanied by giant spiders. Why’s it always have to be spiders??

Shoot, that cute little porcupine is going to die 😦

^^all better now. Yay! 🙂

A sleigh that’s pulled by bunnies? Fun!

Wait, are their names Billy and Killy not Feely and Keely?

I’m smart, why don’t I get this?

Is Gandalf really a giant and the dwarves are normal size?

Trolls in the dungeon!

Potty/sneeze humor.

Whoa, I never knew that sunlight turns trolls into boulders! Good move, Gandalf!

I don’t know who that guy is, but it sounds like he’s speaking parseltongue.

Those dog-like creatures look kind of like what I thought the ones would look like in The Hunger Games. Did they just call them “wogs”???

Elves to the rescue! And they live in Naboo!

Elf boys look decidedly like girls.

So the subtitles tell me they’re called “orcs” but I don’t understand why they’re going back and forth between elf-speak and English. Why not just pick one?

I just learned that dwarves are both stubborn and proud. Maybe they’re the Scottish ones, not hobbits.

I’m yawning a lot now. Reading maps by moonlight makes me sleepy.

If this is “middle earth,” where are top and bottom earth?

Ha! The Prometheus guy has a claw now, just like Merle Dixon.

I think “dwarf-scum” must be like “Jedi poodoo”

Is that the White Witch lady from Narnia? Looks like her name is Lady Lorien. Thank you, subtitles.

COUNT DOOKU!

Wait, how can Gandalf and Lady L communicate wordlessly? Are all wizards telepathic? Or maybe they’re actually vampires like Edward and Alice?

She just said they’re facing forces they don’t understand. Welcome to my world, Lady.

Gandalf just said that Bilbo gives him courage. That’s pretty sweet.

Hey, I wonder if anybody else could even see Lady L? I didn’t notice if she was talking to anybody besides Gandalf.

Where the heck did a giant flying rock come from? Is there a rain-wrapped tornado or something?

^^Giant rocky storm guy, of course.

The mountains are made out of rock ’em sock ’em robots, apparently.

Bilbo has a sad. The dwarves said he doesn’t belong.

Prometheus dog monster (wog?) is on their scent. And why again does this Prometheus guy care? I’m getting kind of confused here.

Oh snap! Bilbo’s sneaking out.

Now the dwarves are sad because they don’t belong anywhere either. I wonder if all this talk of ‘belonging’ is what makes this a book for kids to read in middle school.

Sword is glowing blue…orcs are a’comin! Lots and lots of them.

If you’re bitten or scratched by an orc, do you become one? Maybe that’s just zombies.

So the orc city looks like a cross between Geonosis and the Ewok village. The orc king looks like a cross between Ursula and King Triton…and George Lucas.

I recognize that creepy looking little creature. I’m pretty sure he’s in the other movies, and his name is Gollam? Gollum? It sounds like he might have multiple personalities. And what’s this talk of precious? I’ve heard jokes about it, but I still don’t get why he says it.

I spy a ring!

Ugh, more riddles. I’m not smart enough for all of these riddles.

Oh boy, Skinny McCreepy is going nuts over his lost ring. Why doesn’t Bilbo just give it back?

And we’re back to the orcs. Are they actually orcs or goblins? I think I just heard someone say goblins.

And Gandalf can travel in big flashes of white light? Does this include lightning?

13 of them taking on the entire population of orcs(goblins?); those odds don’t seem too good.

Bilbo should probably hide the ring in his underwear for safer keeping. That little vest pocket seems like it’d be shallow.

WAIT A SECOND! The ring makes you invisible????? I absolutely did not know that about the ring. Go, man, go!

And now we’re back with the dwarves who are running on narrow walkways that hang high above the ground. Such is the stuff of my nightmares.

Ha! They pulled a reverse Indiana Jones thing with that boulder. Running behind the boulder makes a heck of a lot more sense than trying to outrun it. Nice!

Orc(goblin?) king just got jabbed in the eye and cut across his fat belly, but there’s no blood. Do they not bleed?

Bilbo hasn’t just run away from Gollam yet? And why is the creepy little guy so attached to that ring?

Again, running barefoot doesn’t seem wise.

Aww, they just said, “Where is our hobbit?”

^^correction, only Gandalf said it, I guess. Because now the dwarves are slandering Bilbo.

BAM! Bilbo put egg on their face by showing up out of nowhere. And Gandalf spots the ring but doesn’t say anything. Sneaky.

Prometheus guy and his “wog” are back again.

I really hope they’re called “wogs” because I’m going to feel stupid publishing this if they’re not. I could take the time to research first, but it’s only fair to let people know what I actually thought during the movie.

Gandalf just said something to a moth. I’m guessing that he’s sending for Lady L since she said she’d be there to help when called upon.

Huh. Thor’s name is actually Thorin. My bad.

Blood-thirsty, tree-climbing wogs.

Smokey the Bear would NOT approve of setting a forest fire as a means of distraction/escape.

Celebrating and forgetting you’re still stuck in a tree=bad. Maybe this will end now and be a true ‘cliffhanger.’

And now Thorin is mad. Prometheus is all “bring it, dwarfy” (I’m just making up my own script at this point).

I wonder what the name of the white guy in Prometheus even is.

It looks like Thorin’s not going to make it. While I’ve not been a big fan of his, this is actually almost kind of sad.

Come on, Bilbo, come help!

Wait, how did they all end up getting out of the tree?

And why doesn’t Bilbo put the ring back on and become invisible to fight the bad guys??

Look, Hippogriffs! Wait, nope, just big rescue birds that I’m guessing were sent by Lady L.

Our heroes are whisked away to safety. But why don’t they just go ahead and fly them on over to the mountain?

Gandalf just used magic to save Thorin the way Palpatine used the Force to save Vader on Mustafar.

Thorin’s about to admit he was mistaken about Bilbo.

^^saw it coming and still heartwarming.

^^Bilbo says, “I would’ve doubted me too” and the audience laughs.

How do they get down from that giant rock? And why don’t they seem to realize how far away the dwarf mountain still is?

There’s a thrush bird. I think I remember them mentioning a thrush bird in part of the prophesy about the hidden door.

And now the bird is beating a shell on the side of the mountain, where I’m guessing the dragon is.

^^Yep, dragon’s awake. Now we get to see his/her eye too. And that’s A LOT of gold.

roll credits.

There you go: I just saved you $13 and 3 hours of your life. But in all honesty, I spent most of the movie horribly confused yet captivated (except for that part with the map where I got sleepy). Maybe you had some of the same thoughts that I did. Let me know!