Star Wars Celebration IV: Part 1

Hubby and I are fantastically nerdy. At the moment, I’m watching Star Trek: The Next Generation just to see what all the fuss is about. Our trip to Florida was in celebration of our ten years as a couple, five years of marriage, and Star Wars, of course. At day one of Star Wars Celebration IV, we mostly wandered around and took pictures. There were life-sized lego creations, movie-quality sets for photo back drops, and of course tons of people in costume. We also got to meet Temuera Morrison, who played Jango Fett in Star Wars, and Warwick Davis from Willow, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and tons of other movies. He’s currently starring in a show called Life’s Too Short, that looks hilarious. It’s on one of those expensive channels though, so I’ll have to wait until it hits netflix.

Later that evening, we got to see Kevin Smith, director of Dogma and Mallrats, do a Q & A. This is not just any Q & A, though. He is hilarious, and tells all kind of stories about what it’s really like to work in Hollywood. He also has a book out called Tough Sh*t, which is great. Hubby and I listened to the audio version, which he reads himself. The audio version is great because he adds little side stories that cracked me up.

Overall, Celebration was just like other Star Wars conventions, except there were more and bigger celebrities. We had a lot of fun, but I think I’ll stick to my local cons from now on.

October 21, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Nerd Stuff. 2 comments.

Feta and Parsley Pasta

As part of my constant quest to reduce the amount of crap in my house, I was sorting through my recipe box getting rid of old stuff that I will never make, or that I can look up on the internets. While doing this, I stumbled across a recipe for orzo pasta with feta and tomatoes. I happened to have some feta and some tiny pasta in the house, so I decided to try it. You will need:

1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
1 tsp olive oil
1 medium tomato, chopped (I used cherry tomatoes)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tsp finely chopped fresh parsley (I used dried, which was okay, but fresh is probably much better)
1/2 tsp grated lemon peel (what? forget that, what a waste of time)
2 tsp fresh lemon juice (I just used the stuff from a bottle, and I don’t see the difference)
Salt and pepper to taste (I of course used garlic salt)

Cook the pasta, drain it, and throw everything together. Eat it warm, and OH MY GOD SO GOOD!!

This is an insanely easy recipe, and would be great for a pot-luck or family event, if you can make it all the way there without eating the entire thing. I tried the same thing with some blue cheese I had around the house after making egg salad, and it was okay. The feta really kills it in this recipe. It’s not all that cheap for a pasta dish, but it’s worth it every once in awhile, like when feta goes on sale.

October 19, 2012. Tags: , , . Cooking. Leave a comment.

The 2nd Coolest Wedding Ever

What have I been up to lately? Just the same old, same old. You know, laundry, dishes, work, performing a wedding ceremony, laundry…oh yeah I’m a Reverend now! And it’s all because my amazing brain twin, Kornberg, decided to elope! She’s so creative, fun and practical; if my wedding hadn’t been so amazing I would be super jealous. She and her man decided to recreate their first date, so we performed the ceremony at the Alamo Drafthouse Village.

You’ll notice the Holy Book I used is the Pirate Handbook. This is my favorite picture of the whole day:

Alexandra at ixi photography was fantastic, and I’m so impressed she caught this moment when Matt first saw Kornberg in her dress.

They are such an adorable awesome couple!

I want Alexandra to follow me around taking pictures at all times, because I know how amazing looking I am, but she captures it beautifully.

I love all the things going on in this picture, Kornberg looks super excited, Matt just looks happy and handsome, and I look hot and clueless. I think that’s a pretty common expression on my face, but at least I look good doing it.

This one truly captures their essence. Gorgeous and hilarious at all times, and in their own little world of private jokes and fun. So adorable. Congratulations, you crazy kids! To see more pictures of me and the happy couple, head over to the ixi photography blog. There’s also a detailed account of how the Kornwallbergs met, and how amazing and cute they are. Thank you so much for letting me be involved in your special day, and to play such an important role, and for the cupcakes. I love cupcakes.

October 17, 2012. Tags: , , , . My Quest to be more Interesting. Leave a comment.

Egg Salad

I have an odd fascination with egg salad. It seems like it should be good – I mean, I like deviled eggs, and it’s essentially the same – but it’s always so bland. I decided I would learn how to make it, and make it tasty. The recipe calls for: 8 eggs, 1/2 cup mayo (I used less than that), 1 tsp mustard, 1/4 cup green onions, 1/2 tsp paprika (I used more than that), salt and pepper to taste.

First things first: boil those eggs. I think I cooked mine 15 minutes, but I googled it so I don’t remember. When they were done, I drained the hot water and rinsed them in cold.

Boiling eggs
Oh yeah, while they were boiling I chopped my onions.

Chopped green onions

Here’s a picture of ingredients!

ingredients

I read online that an easy way to peel hard boiled eggs is to put the lid on the pan, and shake it around a bunch, and you have magically peeled eggs. Too good to be true? Judge for yourself:

smashed hard boiled eggs

I still managed to peel the eggs, rinse off the extra shell bits, and make eggs salad. I found it was a lot easier to peel them once that had completely cooled, as opposed to once they were cool enough to handle, which was my impatient method. Once they’re actually cool, you can get the membrane under the shell to peel off, which takes a whole bunch of shell with it. I did this yesterday while watching TV, which is my favorite way to be productive.

After the egg-peeling debacle, I rinsed and chopped up the eggs. I recommend rinsing even for people who aren’t as peel-challenged as I am. Nothing kills my appetite faster than rogue bits of egg shell in my mouth. I can never seem to get them out of my teeth once they’re in there. Even talking about it is grossing me out!!

Egg Salad

So chop eggs, mix ingredients, tada, food. BUT STILL BLAND. So I took it upon myself to get creative. I tried 2 variations, both of which are good. Not amazing, but good.

I divided the batch in half and added about 1 tablespoon of blue cheese crumbles to one half. The blue cheese blended in well, and the flavor was really good without being over-powering, unless you don’t like blue cheese. In that case, you’re nuts, and probably shouldn’t be allowed near knives or boiling water anyway.

If you are nuts but still determined to make flavorful egg salad, you can try the second variation: Sriracha. What can that beautiful chili sauce not do? It is spicy, so you should probably taste your egg salad frequently to make sure you don’t make it too strong. I also added a big spoonful of chopped garlic, and a bit more salt. Both of these options are much better than traditional egg salad, and I will continue my quest for mix-ins. I want egg salad so good I can eat it with a fork or just rolled up in lettuce, so I can avoid the carbs from bread. I wonder if green olives would be good?

October 9, 2012. Tags: , , , , , . Cooking. 3 comments.

Disney World: Epcot

After Hubby and I explored Disney’s Hollywood Studios, we spent a day at Epcot.

I had never been to any Disney parks at all, and Hollywood studios was a surprising treat. Epcot, however, seems to be the neglected step child of the parks. Three different rides we went on broke while we were on them or in line. We had fun, in general, but a lot of that is because we’re just so darn entertaining on our own. The first thing we did was go see Captain Eo, the Michael Jackson 3D movie. It was surprisingly cool, and reminded me a lot of Labyrinth or Star Wars, which is appropriate considering George Lucas worked on it.

After that we rode Mission: SPACE. That line had delays because something broke, so a bunch of people left the line to go ride other things. We eventually got to the front, but not after many dire warnings about how you might get motion sick, and there are vomit bags if you need them. It was very unnerving, but I had no problem on the ride. I can get car sick if I’m not the one driving, so that should tell you how not-nauseating it was. While you’re waiting in line they have a giant model of a space station that rotates the entire time:

It was really cool, but we were staring at it for a long time while the ride was delayed. The ride itself is fairly short, but it was fun; worth riding if there’s a short line. While we were in Future World, we also rode Spaceship Earth, the ride that goes inside the giant Epcot ball. While we were on it, it just stopped. We sat there staring at animatronic Egyptians making papyrus, and I texted “So this is how I die. At Epcot, inside the giant silver ball. Of course”, to Kornberg, knowing she would be sad, but entertained by the oddity of my death. It started back up, and everything was fine.


After that, we explored the World Showcase, which has small areas dedicated to different countries. Our favorite was China. There’s a 360 degree movie screen that shows a documentary about China, that was interesting and beautiful.

There were apparently also Chinese acrobats, which we missed. It was raining, so a lot of things got moved around. Several of the world areas were only gift shops, so we avoided those. The Mexico area has a really boring boat ride, especially when compared to the Norway viking boat ride. But the viking one ALSO froze up while we were on it, and while we were in line we were stuck behind a mom, daughter, and grandma who were all slapping each other constantly. It was like the Three Stooges, but sad and disturbing. We ate at the Morocco area, which was good and not ridiculously expensive, and we wandered the rest of the globe. America was really boring, but I’ve been there in real life, so I had seen everything already. Japan was cool, and they had a small exhibit about Japanese demons, or Oni, which was interesting.

The lamest one by far was Canada, and not because I’ve been there. It was one video, on a 180 degree screen (so automatically half as cool as China), and Martin Short is in it, trying his best to be funny. He tried so hard, but it’s just showing cities in Canada. Surely there has to be something more interesting there than sky scrapers.

After that, Hubby and I booked it back to Hollywood Studios. We rode Star Tours about 6 more times until we both wanted to die, in spite of the Dramamine. We stayed for the closing Mickey Mouse on water show, which was kind of cool, but had a lot of clips from Disney movies played on water spraying into the air. They did have a giant dragon which was really cool, and the show was worth watching. Kids seemed to go crazy for it. Thus ended our second, and final day at Disney. My final summary is that as awesome as Hollywood Studios was, Epcot seems like an afterthought. It’s just the same as it was in the 80’s. Very little has been updated or maintained, which is really too bad. It really reminded me of the Venture Compound on Venture Brothers: deteriorating and neglected. If we ever go back to Orlando, I would avoid Epcot and check out some of the other parks.

Next adventure: STAR WARS CELEBRATION IV!!

Update: I went over this post with Hubby, and he reminded me that we actually did Spaceship Earth before Mission Space, but all the names sound the same, so I get them mixed up.

October 7, 2012. Tags: , , , . My Quest to be more Interesting, Nerd Stuff. Leave a comment.

Crocheted Cupcake

As you probably know by now, some girlfriends and I are on a trivia team called the Cupcake Bitches. The name comes from and old inside joke. A couple weeks ago, I was crocheting while hanging out with Kornberg, and since she knows that I am fascinated with anything cupcake related, she told me about someone she knows who crocheted a cupcake. I wondered if I could make one, and her response was “She’s really dumb, so you can probably do it if she can”. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.
pink and brown yarn

I have a ridiculous stash of yarn I’m attempting to work my way through, and there just so happened to be some pink and tan that were perfect for a cupcake. As regular readers know, the other basic craft supplies you’ll need are scissors, a crochet hook, trashy TV, vodka and Diet Coke. But that’s pretty basic; I don’t want to insult your intelligence.

Mushroom decided he was going to help by sitting on top of the ball of yarn, and trying to eat it when I pulled it out from under his bulk.

First things first, I crocheted the base. I made a flat circle first to be the base, then a long skinny strip to be the sides. I turned that piece on its side and sewed it shut, and sewed the side to the base. I did it this way because the crochet texture looks more the the ripples on the side of a cupcake paper. I used tan yarn, but you could use white, or some other color to look like those paper cup things.

Here’s the inside of the base. I left some long yarn ends in there for this:

I sewed a jar lid inside to the bottom to help keep the shape flat. My plan was to stuff this thing, and I knew the stuffing would make the bottom bow out if I didn’t have something rigid in place. I just punched holes in the bottom with a nail and hammer, threaded the yarn through, and tied it in knots.

I crocheted the cupcake top separately until I had a size and shape that I liked. Since I don’t know how to use a pattern, that means I ripped it out several times and started over. This process also requires lots of swearing. If friends and pets leave the room because you’re screaming too many profanities, you’re probably doing it right. At one point the stupid cupcake had what appeared to be a nipple on top, so I put a stop to that. This picture is me testing the cupcake top to make sure it fits properly, which is why there’s a crochet hook sticking out of it.

Once I decided the top was complete, I used some multicolor yarn I had laying around to sew tiny sprinkles on the outside. That multicolor yarn is ubiquitous. I swear it’s the result of the rest of my yarn breeding, because I have no recollection of purchasing it. But I finally found a use for a tiny bit of it! Once the top was sprinkle-fied to my satisfaction, I started sewing it to the base. This also took several attempts before I was happy with the results. And I was almost out of vodka by this point, so things were looking grim.

But you know that I rarely show my mistakes (unless they’re hilarious), so you know already that this post ends well. Here is the finished cupcake! I sewed it about half shut, and then put a bunch of stuffing inside (just basic polyfill). I shaped the polyfill for the top into a little dome so it would fill out the cupcake evenly. I also discovered that if you make the cupcake top a little too long, and then sew it tightly to the base, you get an adorable little ripple along the edge. Hooray for drunken crochet! So now the Cupcake Bitches have a new mascot, and I have proven I am at least the equal of a random dumb girl I don’t even know. Mission accomplished.

October 5, 2012. Tags: , , , , . Arts and Crafts. 2 comments.

Disney World: Hollywood Studios

Hubby and I were fortunate to visit Florida recently, and I experienced Disney World for the first time ever. It was more fun and more expensive than I imagined. Here are our adventures at Hollywood Studios:

Giant Mickey Hat

This is Mickey’s giant hat that sits in the middle of the park

Old Star Tours Droids

Old Star Tours Droids

Hubby and I are huge Star Wars fans, so we rode the Star Tours ride until we were both nauseous. These droids move and talk, but they are “malfunctioning”. They are the droids from the original Star Tours ride, and I think it’s really cool that they reused them for the new ride. My Hubby experienced a wave of nostalgia on seeing them, and I’m sure tons of other people do, too. We didn’t end up waiting in line for long, but there are droids all along the waiting area making jokes, talking, and moving, which gives you something to look at. In fact, we wished we’d gotten to wait in line at least once so we could see everything.

This giant At-At greets you on your way to the Star Tours ride. It has always been there, but it’s now surrounded by a giant Ewok village up in the trees. This is an ingenious arrangement, because it provides shade while you’re in line, and looks bad-ass. All over Disney I noticed details like this that were well thought out, and executed to perfection. The place was almost too perfect.

Riding a speeder

Disney also has employees all over the park waiting to take your picture for you. They have their own cameras, and they upload everything digitally, and you can download it yourself at the end of the day. They do charge for this, but they had no problem taking a picture with my camera for us. This speeder is across from Star Tours, set up just for taking pictures, and it was so cool.

Hubby and I thoroughly explored the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids play area, and it was amazing. It looked just like the movie! There was a giant super soaker, film, a cookie, this giant ant (I think he’s called Anty in the movie) that you could ride on for photos, and this guy:

We also went to the Indiana Jones stunt show, which was amazing. If you get to go, definitely check it out. They’ve apparently expanded it quite a bit over the years. The Muppets in 3D was cool, too. It was 3D like you’d expect, but then they integrate effects in the theater, like Sweetums, Statler and Waldorf, and explosions! Once again, I was surprised by the level of thought and detail applied to what seemed like a basic show. I had a lot of fun.

One of the last things we did was explore the Pixar area. Hubby actually rode the Toy Story ride, which functions like a giant video game (I wussed out since I was still super nauseous from too much Star Tours). He said you each have a gun mounted in front of you, and the ride takes you through different story lines, and you have to shoot things and earn points. It sounded fun, and he enjoyed it.

Disney Pixar area

I love how the whole area was Toy Story themed. These army men are hauling a Scrabble board that says “You’ve got a friend in me” and “Meet the toys”. There are performers dressed as army men wandering around to take pictures with, and the whole inside of the ride was covered with giant barrel-o-monkeys, board games, and Andy’s toys from the movie. There’s also a giant animatronic Mr. Potatohead that makes jokes while you’re in line.

Of course we ended the day at Star Tours again. On the ride, you are taking a transport somewhere else in the galaxy, and the autopilot accidentally starts up before the pilot gets on the ship. C-3PO and R2-D2 take control, and fly you to a few locations in the Star Wars galaxy. There are 6 possible planets you can visit, and they were all fantastic. We just nerded out completed and had a grand old time. You end up in the gift shop (of course), but they do have some cool stuff.

Hubby and I had such a great time, we actually went back for another day, which I didn’t expect. Hollywood Studios was really cool, and everything was planned exceedingly well. It’s like the designers took basic rides and said “What can we add to that?” and then added even more. I was honestly surprised how much fun I had.

October 3, 2012. Tags: , , , , . My Quest to be more Interesting, Nerd Stuff. 3 comments.

More of me being an awesome friend

 

I love crafting things for my buddies, and I have suspected more than a few of my friends of hanging around for just that reason. But most people are just so excited to get something, it totally makes it worth it. Hubby and I had silk screened the t-shirts for my trivia team, The Cupcake Bitches, awhile back, and our Geeks Who Drink quizmaster, Evelyn, was enamored. She had always dreamed of finding a specific t-shirt that didn’t seem to exist. She then asked if it was something we were capable of. Aww yeah, girl, I can make yo’ shirt. This is her design, made from plain old clip art:


And *POOF* it’s a t-shirt!

Look how happy she is! Totally worth it. She’s also lost like half her body weight since this was taken (because she’s awesome and working really hard), and so a new t-shirt might be in the works soon.

My buddy Rosi also had a birthday, and she collects gnomes. I attempted to make one for her birthday last year, but he didn’t survive the firing.

This is gnome 2.0, and I forgot to take pictures of him before handing him off, so she very kindly sent me this badass picture. He’s about 6 inches tall, and I am super proud of him. Good job, me!

October 1, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Arts and Crafts. 2 comments.