nesting * geeking * critiquing

Posts tagged “harry potter

Super Fan Serendipity

You may have seen the cast of Star Wars: The Last Jedi on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” last Friday night. I saw them, too…in person. From the front row of Kimmel’s show.

Our tale of kismet begins 12 months ago: December 2016. After securing ridiculously inexpensive airfare to Los Angeles, we purchased annual passes for Universal Studios Hollywood (mostly so we could imbibe in all the butterbeer deliciousness we could handle). As our year of wizarding drew to a close, we decided to make one last pilgrimage before our passes expired. That trip, booked several months ago, was scheduled for 30 Nov. – 4 Dec.

Knowing we were headed west again, I started checking 1iota for tickets to tapings of “Talking Dead.” And that’s when I found the Star Wars Super Fan search. Initially there weren’t any details about the event other than that it was on 1 December, perfectly situated during our brief time in Los Angeles. To enter, I just needed to submit a short video about why I’m a so-called Super Fan.

You know that feeling when confidence washes over you and you think, “Well, that’s in the bag!” Yeah, me neither. But this was about as close as I’ve ever come to feeling it.

I wrote an unimpressive script, tidied up my impressive (most impressive) Star Wars haven and stepped in front of the camera, awkward and unflattering as could be. After fighting with some video editing apps on my phone, it was done. I exploited a moment of bravery, posted it to social media and waited.

Wednesday afternoon I received word that I’d been chosen by the 1iota team as a Star Wars Super Fan!

After a day of travel and an evening at Universal Studios—the new holiday decorations and light show at Wizarding World are STUNNING btw—I found it impossible to sleep Thursday night. And so I arrived at the 1iota offices on Friday morning to film a Super Fan video interview with puffy eyes and a stomach full of butterflies… all before heading to the Jimmy Kimmel studio.

Guys, I can’t say enough good things about everybody I met at 1iota. They were every bit as cool as you’d expect from a team of L.A. creatives with the added benefit of being super nice, funny and relatable, too.  I’m told the video will go live sometime next week ahead of the release of The Last Jedi. I’ll update here when it happens (unless I’m even more awkward and terrible than I thought, in which case we’ll just pretend it doesn’t exist).

The Kimmel taping was a really cool experience. We found ourselves seated in the front row, which ended up being somewhat uncomfortably close to the man of the hour when he filmed his monologue. It took every bit of my self control to keep from chasing down surprise guest BB-8 to take home when he rolled our way. And I couldn’t hold back the tears when Rian Johnson, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver and Mark Hamill first took the stage not 20 feet away from us. For better or worse, I managed to maintain some semblance of self-control; otherwise the watery eyes would have inevitably escalated to sobbing, which probably would have drawn unwanted attention and created a scene. I mean, I desperately wanted to meet them all but not like a blubbering idiot.

A few observations from the taping: the entire cast seemed so charming! I didn’t have quite the same visceral reaction when John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Laura Dern, Kelly Marie Tran, Andy Serkis and Gwendoline Christie came on stage—instead of crying, I wanted to fist pump. They were all flawless, of course, but Gwendoline Christie looked especially ethereal in person. I was a little surprised there was virtually no mention of our beloved Carrie; since the actors were unable to talk about plot points, I thought they might have engaged in a more lively discussion about behind-the-scenes interactions, which I assumed would have revolved largely around the late Ms. Fisher. The entire show seemed to go by so much more quickly than I expected, I was so engrossed. I’ve heard from friends and family that we were briefly spotted on TV but we still haven’t watched the episode.

Our 1iota pals caught up with us afterwards for another quick interview on Hollywood Boulevard, then we were on our way to the rest of our vacation adventures (read: more butterbeer and Disneyland). The entire day was absolutely priceless and one that will live in my memory for as long as genetics and brain functions allow.

I need to go stock up on tissues now because The Last Jedi happens in less than a week and I know I’m going to be a hot mess. May the Force be with you!

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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