Archived entries for General Geekdom

I don’t do yard sales.

This week’s League assignment is to write about our most epic yard sale or flea market find ever, and so far there’s been a lot of great posts as everyone shows off their treasures. I, on the other hand, almost never go to yard sales or flea markets, so I had to get creative.

tl;dr

The tagline for this site, before I decided to embrace my immaturity with “30-something going on 12″, used to be “A girl who doesn’t get out much.”

Though the new tagline is more indicative of my personality (I like poop jokes!), the old tagline is just as true now as it ever was. In fact, these days I get out even less than I used to, what with my long commute, freelancing evenings and weekends, and being in a long-distance relationship. I’m so drained most of the time all I want to do is ride the couch and watch Netflix or dumb crap highly educational programming on YouTube (What does the fox say?). Sometimes even gaming requires too much mental energy. I don’t have a very active social life, is what I’m saying.

So you see,  it’s not that I don’t enjoy rooting through boxes of someone else’s old crap or staring down at old floral comforters piled with grimy, broken toys, it’s that I just can’t find the time or motivation when I already live in front of the computer and Ebay and Craigslist, are like, right there. I’m also not a fan of the awkward interactions that tend to accompany such situations, like not making eye contact with the dumb neighborhood kids who are over there by the mailbox selling gross, piss-warm lemonade, or having to politely turn down grandpa’s enthusiastic offer for 3-for-$1 Jane Fonda workout VHS tapes.

And then there are the serious shoppers–the hardcore yardsalers–with their fanny packs and bottled water, who’ve already picked through everything and made off with the few worthwhile items at every yard sale in the neighborhood because they were already beating the garage doors down before they opened.

So yeah… Yard sales? Not for me.

But if I DID go to yard sales…

Lately I’ve gotten really nostalgic about some of the toys I grew up with–of the electronic variety, in particular. The 80s were such a weird time when all of this cool technology was coming into the market and being used by toy companies in innovative–often creepy–ways.

Here’s some stuff I’d definitely be on the hunt for:

#1 – Pink Casio SK-1

I’ve writ­ten about my love of syn­the­siz­ers before, and I’ve owned a bunch of dif­fer­ent mod­els over the years, like the Yamaha PSR-420 I had in high school:

Yahama PSR-420

But the Casio SK-1 has a spe­cial place in my heart because it was my first (and yes, mine was pink too!) Well, technically it belonged to my older sister, too–we used to fight over this thing like you would not believe. To this day the  demo song fre­quently gets stuck in my head.

Pink Casio SK-1

 

#2 – Worlds of Wonder Talking Mother Goose

Though Teddy Ruxpin and Talking Mother Goose were both made by now-defunct toy company Worlds of Wonder, I’ve always thought Teddy Ruxpin was CREEPY AS FUCK, and so while Teddy Ruxpin was the big-ticket item on a lot of other kids’ Christmas lists, I was content with the less-popular but way less creepy Talking Mother Goose who sang songs and told fairy tales with a pleasant, Angela Lansbury-like accent.

Listening to Mother Goose was quiet, comforting, and soothed away all the anxiety I felt at the time over my mom forcing me to get this terrible bowl cut:

Jaime and Mother GooseWhen I got too old to play with her, my mom thought she was doing me a wonderful service by carefully wrapping her in plastic and packing her away in the attic, only to forget to remove her batteries, so that one day a few years later I was devastated to learn Mother Goose’s entire right side had corroded into a fuzzy, gangrenous-looking mess of acid-green goo. It was traumatizing, ya’ll.

#3 – Questron

I’ve blogged about Questron before–mainly because I was THRILLED when my years-long search for it on the internet finally came to an end thanks to this post over at Copywrong–which instantly brought back memories of laying on the living room floor with one of Questron’s learning books spread before me, eagerly roaming the “answer wand” over the pages, hoping I didn’t get buzzed. That was Questron’s way of warning parents that you might belong in the “special” class at school.

Questron

 

#4 – Pocket Rockers

You have NO IDEA how much I loved these things. Pocket Rockers were kind of a high-concept but low-functionality portable music toy for kids. They were about the size of small cameras that could fit in your pocket (no shit!) and played tiny, two-song cassette tapes by 80′s musical groups du jour. I had Tiffany, Belinda Carlisle, Debbie Gibson, and The Jets, because I clearly had amazing taste at 8 years old, and I felt like I RULED THE FUCKING NEIGHBORHOOD when I rode my bike through the streets with one of these bad boys strapped to my handlebars.

Pocket Rockers

#5 – Fisher Price Tape Recorder

The original, classic brown Fisher Price Tape Recorder used to accompany me everywhere, and was durable enough that you could literally throw this thing out the window of a moving car and it would still play your Read-Along Adventure tapes!

Here’s some photographic evidence:

In the sandbox with my Fisher Price Tape Recorder

Not even a full day of hardcore sandboxing can ruin this thing. I like to imagine that somewhere out there are entire landfills of Fisher Price Tape Recorders that are still perfectly functional that people would have kept around if only they weren’t so fugly. Brown on brown went out of style in the 70s. Get with the times, Fisher Price!

Now let’s check in with some people who actually enjoy going to yard sales.

Wondering what this is all about? This week’s assignment from The League of Extraordinary Bloggers was to write about our most epic yard sale or flea market finds. Here’s some of the cool stuff my fellow Leaguers scored:

  • Branded in the 80s recalls the time a complete set of Garbage Pail Kids came into his life
  • Erik Johnson, Illustrator scored a totally sweet Excalibur original movie poster
  • Toyriffic scored a massive box of Masters of the Universe toys!
  • Nerd Out With Me found some vintage Pac-Man air fresheners still in the package!
  • Nerd Cantina’s wife found some Cabbage Patch Kid sunglasses I’d totally wear if they fit my adult-sized head
  • The Goodwill Geek bought a ghetto pool party tub plastic bin packed full of random toy goodness

 

 

 

21 Boringly Blue Things About Me

On one hand, I think I should be given a pat on the back for making such a glorious return to form after being absent from these weekly League assignments for at least a couple of months now. On the other hand, this was such an easy post to do because I basically just recycled my 21 Red-iculous, Random Things About Me post, so I should lose a couple of points for laziness. On the other other hand (because some people have three), it’s also lazy that this week’s assignment is just the word “blue”. Just sayin.’

In the spirt of this week’s photo challenge, I tried to come up with some really clever word-play around the word “blue”, like blue-tiful, blue-some, etc. before finally coming up with “blue-kakke” only to reject it because I’m filing it away in case I ever need the perfect name for a Smurf porn parody. So instead I give you…

21 Boringly Blue Things
(You Might Not Know) About Me

Blue Things About Me

 

My one regret while putting this together is that I no longer have my cassingle of Debbie Gibson’s “Out of the Blue.” It would have been the piece de resistance of this entire collage.

Check out these other “blue-tiful” blogs.

Yeah, I know that was cheesy. Embrace it. Wondering what this is all about? This week The League of Extraordinary Bloggers issued a photo challenge: “I’m feeling blue.” Here’s some of the blue stuff and things my fellow Leaguers posted:

*more links coming soon*

AEIOU & Sometimes Awesome Stuff in the Mail

Awesome Mail!

Well, I guess that’s one way to get me back in the swing of blogging… Send me cool surprise gifts in the mail and I’ll have no choice but to write a thank-you post! That’s what Dex of AEIOU and Sometimes Why did, anyway. Well played, Dex.

It turned out to be an awesome mail day all around, as I came home to Dex’s package, my Ouya (more on that in a future post), and a TMNT blanket I totally don’t need but ordered anyway because, well, I’m me. Such a perfect alignment of shipping logistics was totally worth driving home through an almost-tornado for.

Awesome Mail Day

Here’s what was inside:

TMNT Animated Adventures Comic

I’ve been so busy lately I totally missed this on Free Comic Book Day a few weeks ago, so Dex sent me his extra copy. I love how the new Turtles look in 2D. I keep saying I kinda wish there was a whole show done in this style.

IDW TMNT Free Comic Book Day Comic

ActionTime Buddies Comic

Another Free Comic Book Day title, ActionTime Buddies #1. I’m not super-familiar with this one, but the fact that its cover features a character named Bro the Kung-Fu Pegasus is a good indication that I should give it my full attention. Anyone out there an ActionTime Buddies fan? Feel free to tell me how uncool I am for not knowing much about it.

ActionTime Buddies Comic

Dark Horse TMNT Miniatures

The pièce de résistance of this package. These miniatures of Dontallo and a Foot Solider were produced around the time of the RPG, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness and were hand painted by Dex. I didn’t have any of the figurines from this line, and it’s so much cooler to get ones that someone I know customized.

Dark Horse TMNT Miniatures

Dex also threw in a gift card for a free one-year subscription to Pure Nintendo Magazine, cuz he’s just super thoughtful like that. I’m already all over it.

Seriously, I have THE BEST blogging buddies! Most of you probably already know Dex, but if not, do check out his blog for toys, games, comics, thrift shop finds, and all sorts of other neat stuff. He’ll always be “Halloween Guy” to me, though.

21 Red-iculous, Random Things About Me

The color of the day is red, like Honey Boo Boo’s neck. Or cats dressed like lobsters. Or the ex-Power Ranger who does gay porn now, and other awful red things you would have probably never thought of on your own. You’re welcome.

This week The League threw down a red photo challenge. I accepted. I even came up with the word “red-iculous” just for you guys.

I went all through my house to find as many red things as I could, excluding decorations because that shit’s boring and nobody wants to see photos of that. So that left me with a bunch of random red crap I had no idea how to tie together in a blog post, until I got the brilliant (or totally lame–I haven’t decided which yet) idea to do this:

21 Red-iculous, Random Things
(You Might Not Know) About Me

21 Things About Me

Kiss a little longer with Big Red.

Shit. Why didn’t I think of that commercial before I started this post? Oh well.

Wondering what this is all about? This week’s assignment from The League of Extraordinary Bloggers was a photo challenge: I’m seeing red! Here’s how my fellow Leaguers interpreted the topic:

I like SuperUndeadDragonGalaxy9. You should too.

By way of the Cult Film Club, I made a new friend on Facebook. His name is Michael. Hey there, Michael. I meet lots of cool people every day through social media, but not all of them love 80′s hair bands and Garbage Pail Kids: The Movie….and other awesomely bad cult films like Student Bodies and Swamp Thing. In other words, he’s my kind of people.

Michael is the curator of SuperUndeadDragonGalaxy9, a Facebook page which he describes as “a scatter-brained circus sideshow” that is filled with all kinds of awesome, underground stuff. Just casually passing through I saw lots of Doctor Who, amazing science videos, cult film trailers, and (holy crap!) My Little Pony Dubstep (which I chose to list mostly for my benefit).

When Michael’s not posting all kinds of awesome and/or weird randomness on his Facebook page, he’s most likely listening to kickass music and has given me some great recommendations, which I will totally be posting about soon.

Like it, why don’t you?

SuperUndeadDragonGalaxy9 is a relatively new page and needs more Likes–so I’m demanding (yes, demanding!) you help him out. Um, please?

Like SuperUndeadDragonGalaxy9 on Facebook

Pop Art Pop Tart: Moving LEGO Nyan Cat

Well this is certainly the most internet-y of internet-iest things I’ve seen today. An animated, moving LEGO sculpture of perennial favorite internet meme, Nyan Cat…in a Flickr video. The only thing more internet bait-worthy would be a Gangnam Style Christmas lights display. No, wait, that already happened. (Multiple times, apparently.)

This “pop art pop tart” (Do you like that? It took me five whole minutes to think of it!) was created by artist H. Y. Leung, who made a bunch of other cool LEGO creations you can check out here.

On a related note…did you know Nyan Cat has lyrics?

Nyan Cat Lyrics

 

The Most Powerful Christmas Sweater in the Universe!

Who among you has the balls to wear this bad boy to the office Christmas party?

The Most Powerful Christmas Sweater in the Universe

He-Man & She-Ra Christmas Sweater

In a feat of ironic fashion design strength I didn’t think was humanly possible, 80s Tees has created a Christmas sweater even more glorious than their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sweater that I may or may not admit to owning. With the bar for ugly Christmas sweaters having been set so high now, where does 80s Tees go from here?

67% of you are okay with this whole Disney/Star Wars thing.

Disney / Star Wars

The poll results from November are in!

I wasn’t at all surprised to see the majority of you guys are on the Disney Star Wars bandwagon, the general consensus being that Disney cannot possibly screw things up more than George Lucas already has. You see that look on his face above? That is not the look of man who’s confident about this creative decisions.

Here’s the highly scientific breakdown of my poll results:

Disney Star Wars Poll Results

Hell, I’m on board just for the  explosion of glorious Disney/Star Wars mashups and terrible (and by that I mean terribly hilarious) Photoshop’d predictions of what Episode VII will be like.

TMNT: my only reason for watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this year.

Nickelodeon's TMNT Float

My yearly tradition of getting wasted the night before Thanksgiving means I’m never up early enough to catch the entirety of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and if I do I’m usually too busy in the kitchen to pay it much attention, but it’s one of those things I put on TV anyway because the annual routine of it is strangely comforting. Something about the mindless commentary over the din of cheering crowds and those fleeting moments of marching band music in between terrible lip-synched pop songs instills within me a real sense of purpose and tradition as I stuff things up a turkey’s ass. But in general you could say Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade festivities are not something I’m wildly enthusiastic about (although that one time Rick Astley RickRoll’d my living room was pretty sweet.)

This year, however, I’m making an effort to get up early and DVR-ing the parade because the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be a part of it. Not only that, but they’ll have their own float (check it out above) which I think is a first. The last time I can remember the TMNT being in the parade it was an ultra-lame affair that involved bad costumes and santa hats:

 (Actually I don’t even really know if I truly remember this or if I want very strongly to believe that I do, but either way, thanks to Matt of X-Entertainment.com for preserving this historical moment.)

For the many hundreds of pop culture icons who have been paid tribute with their very own float in Macy’s annual parade, it’s almost weird to realize the TMNT have never been one.  So good on ‘ya, Nickelodeon, for remedying such an egregious oversight.

ShezCrafti Joins The Dork Horde

After a rigorous application process that involved creating a mask out of an old black t-shirt and posing for a geeky photo, I’m proud to announce ShezCrafti is now an official member of The Dork Horde! (Incidentally I’m also the first female to join the ranks.)  As the supreme Lord of Dorkness and founder of The Dork Horde, Reis O’Brien heads up a great community that brings together bloggers who have been recognized as ambassadors of geek culture.

ShezCrafti Joins The Dork Horde

ShezCrafti
Member:
#00021
Rank: Hordyte
Guardian of: Gaming & Movies
Specialization: Head Professor of Ninja Turtle Lore
and Hater of Candy Corn

Since a bunch of Dork Horde members are also in The League of Extraordinary Bloggers, I’m already pretty familiar with my dorky brethren and visit many of their blogs quite frequently. Really, I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to join their ranks, other than epic procrastination. Or maybe deep down I was afraid Reis wouldn’t let in any candy corn haters; the fear of rejection and all that. Whatever the case, I’m honored to have been accepted and I’m looking forward to getting to know my fellow Dorks better and reading all the awesome stuff they post.

FOR THE HORDE!

Poll: How do you feel about Disney owning Star Wars now?

Imperial Flying Dumbos

If you’re still not on board with this whole Disney Star Wars thing, you haters better start getting used to the idea.  At this point a Star Wars-themed Disney park is probably inevitable–at least we can all agree that would be amazing, right? Tell me how you feel about it in this month’s poll:

Do also check out a few more of these reactions from around The League:

So is a Disney Star Wars theme park inevitable now, or what?

Disney Star Wars

Okay, you got me. This was all just an elaborate excuse to (poorly) Photoshop Mickey hats on Luke and Yoda.

I’m sure you’ve heard The Big Nerd News by now, so I won’t bother wasting your time with my own musings about Disney’s acquisition of Star Wars and what it will mean for the future of the franchise, how existing properties will be handled, and other nerdy things Star Wars nerds have been nerding on about for the past 3 days. As you might imagine, The League has A LOT OF FEELINGS about it. You can read some of their reactions here, here, here, here, and I also strongly recommend listening to this podcast for an appropriate gut-check of how you should feel about it. Bottom line is that Disney can’t possibly fuck up Star Wars any more than George Lucas already has. So I say bring it on, and I’m ready to crown Leia as the next Disney Princess.

My question is this: does this mean we will get a Star Wars-themed Disney attraction in the vein of Universal’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter or even its own park? Will there be R2D2 spinning teacups? I can’t be the only one who thinks Spaceship Earth is only a circular dent away from being the Death Star. The very idea of a Star Wars theme park prints money.

A Fictional Trip to the Paris Opera House in the 1880′s

I really struggled with this week’s assignment from The League, which was to take a trip into any fictional place, time or world in pop culturedom.

First, let’s run through the list of ideas that didn’t make the cut (and why):

  1. The Ninja Turtles’ Sewer Lair–specifically the one from the 1980′s cartoon. Too obvious and expected from me.
  2. Hogwarts. Because Q the Adult already beat me to it.
  3. Jurassic Park. Because Cool and Collected already beat me to it. Ugh.
  4. Azeroth. As much as I’d love to stand atop Mount Hyjal, get drunk in Booty Bay or swim the depths of Vashj’ir, I stopped playing WoW more than a year ago and I feel too out-of-touch to write about it now.
  5. The Conners’ House at Halloween. I sort of already covered that here.
  6. Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches. Because only like three of you would have the faintest idea WTF I’m talking about.

Even eliminating the above places, I still had a hard time narrowing down the rest to just one. And it’s now after 8:00 PM on Sunday night, the last day of this week’s assignment. Desperate times call for desperate measures. They also sometimes call for a notepad, scissors, some Scotch tape, and a Sharpie.

Fictional Pop Culture Locations

Paper Die

Looks legit, right? Now it’s time to roll the shoddily-made die and let fate or a mildly strong gust of wind from my open window decide my fictional pop culture destination:

Dice Roll

Well, shit. I was kinda hoping for The Labyrinth to fit in with the Halloween Countdown theme I’ve got going here. But oh well. That’s what I get for letting shitty paper dice do all my decision-making. Opera Populaire it is!

The Opera Populaire, in case you’re wondering what that is, is the fictional Paris opera house where Andrew Lloyd Weber’s The Phantom of the Opera takes place. (Oh, hey, I guess now might be a good time to mention I’m really into The Phantom of the Opera–the original novel by Gaston Leroux, its many film adaptations, the made-for-TV movie starring Charles Dance, spin-offs, the ALW musical, the sequel–I love it all.) It is based on the real Paris Opera House, Palais Garnier, which is still in operation and definitely a place that’s on my travel bucket list. I’m fascinated by its history, its construction and the fact it was built over a subterranean lake which Leroux incorporated into his novel to serve as the setting for the Phantom’s lair.

In ALW’s version, the Phantom story takes place in 1881. The Paris Opera was lit by gas lamps and candlelight, an elaborate system of ropes and pulleys manned by dozens of workers controlled the backdrops, narrow catwalks crisscrossed each other high above the stage, opera guests arrived by horse and carriage wearing their finest bustled dresses and waistcoats. The Opera Populaire housed hundreds of employees, from the lowly chorus girls to the stage managers, all living in relative ignorance of The Phantom who dwelt in the labyrinthine tunnels below. It’s a setting that makes for a fascinating story, one in which the Paris Opera House feels alive, bustling with activity, and seem practically a character itself.

The overture from Joel Schumacher’s 2004 film version of The Phantom of the Opera gives us the best glimpse into this world:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbfz7xjuAMA

And in case you’re one of those people who don’t bother to watch videos, here’re a couple of screenshots that really show off the place:

Phantom of the Opera - Opera Populaire

Phantom of the Opera - Opera Populaire

Phantom of the Opera - Opera Populaire

Phantom of the Opera - Opera Populaire

Phantom of the Opera - Opera Populaire

Phantom of the Opera - Opera Populaire

Phantom of the Opera - Opera Populaire

Phantom of the Opera - Opera Populaire

Phantom of the Opera - Opera Populaire

Phantom of the Opera - Opera Populaire

Phantom of the Opera - Opera Populaire

Phantom of the Opera - Opera Populaire

Phantom of the Opera - Opera Populaire

Phantom of the Opera - Opera Populaire

Phantom of the Opera - Opera Populaire

Phantom of the Opera - Opera Populaire

Phantom of the Opera - Opera Populaire

Phantom of the Opera - Opera Populaire

Phantom of the Opera - Opera Populaire

Phantom of the Opera - Opera Populaire

Yes, Mom, I remembered to pack clean underwear.

Wondering what this is all about? This week The League of Extraordinary Bloggers was tasked with taking a trip to anywhere in pop culturedom–a fictional town, time, or world. Here’s where (or in some cases, when) some of my fellow Leaguers went:

 

Happy Birthday, Jim Henson

Happy Birthday, Jim Henson

If I could still talk to you in person or better yet Dreamfast with you, I would tell you thanks:

For teaching me the value of true friendship…

The Muppets Take Manhattan

…for teaching me, period.

Sesame Street

For the scary bedtime stories…

Jim Henson Storyteller

…and awesome Saturday mornings.

Muppet Babies

For taking me to fantastic other worlds beyond my imagination…

The Dark Crystal

…through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered…

Labyrinth

…to a place where I could dance my cares away.

Fraggle Rock

And finally, for bringing my heroes to life.

Jim Henson with the Ninja Turtles

In short, thank you for making my childhood amazing.

Most of you would rather be killed by zombies.

Zombies vs. Robots

In last moth’s poll, I asked you guys which doomsday scenario you’d rather have happen: a zombie apocalypse or a robot apocalypse. Here’s how you responded:

  • 63% of you would welcome the Zombiepocalypse like the Second Coming
  • 37% of you would rather take your chances with the robots (big mistake!)

Winner: Zombies!

I can’t say I’m surprised by these results, having thrown my baseball bat in for the zombies as well. However, most of the comments on my original post were leaning heavily toward robots–really guys? I’m with The Man Who Stares at Toys on this one:

“Zombies all the way…I don’t want to be pitted against something that likely has the ability to work in total unison of communication, have mastery over strategy, efficient combat skills and use logic and tactics against me.”

With killer robots, we’d pretty much be fucked. If we’re not killed instantly by their death rays or tricked into our own demise because they can shapeshift to look just like us, we’ll be harvested like batteries for energy.

Terminator 2

While any “-ocalypse” scenario is  simultaneously awesome and sucks for mankind, most of you who took the poll agree that zombies are our best bet for survival. I mean, haven’t we consumed enough zombie movies, TV shows and video games to know how to handle ourselves? We got this.

Zombieland

Would you rather be killed by zombies or robots?

Zombie vs. Robot

Personally, I think I would prefer death by robot; to be eliminated in a swift, efficient manner with the cold, unfeeling precision that only a machine could deliver.  You know, as opposed to having entrails ripped from my body like handfuls of spaghetti while I’m still alive.

But on the other hand I’d be lying if I said the idea of a Zombiepacalypse didn’t excite me. I really just want to get Shaun of the Dead on some undead ass, experimenting with a variety of household objects as weapons. And that’s why I’d have to go  zombies in this poll.

What’s your ideal end-of-days scenario?

My Dream Pop Culture Road Trip

Road Trip Map

This week The League of Extraordinary Bloggers is going on a road trip! But not just any road trip–the ultimate pop culture road trip. Though I could easily rattle off dozens if not hundreds of pop culture landmarks I’d love to visit someday before I die, I had to cut the list down significantly when I realized that most places I’d want to visit (A) don’t actually exist (Shermer, Illinois; The Double R Diner), or (B) aren’t reachable by roads from where I live (The Beatles Story; Highclere Castle).

So, after much Googling and fantasizing about places I could realistically visit in America, like on an actual road trip, I think I’ve pinned it down to these ten pop culture destinations:

But first…

I’m going to need a fun road trip car that’s cooler than my Honda Civic. Preferably something with a red rope licorice dispenser. *VROOOOOM*

Mirthmobile

Now that’s more like it.

Stop #1 – American Classic Arcade Museum

Where is it? Laconia, New Hampshire

American Classic Arcade Museum

The American Classic Arcade Museum is part of Funspot Family Entertainment Center, a huge arcade in Laconia, New Hampshire that is officially recognized by Guiness World Records as the “Largest Arcade in the World.” The museum is dedicated to preserving arcade games throughout history from its pre-electricity inception. I would be in retro gaming heaven in this place.

Stop #2 – Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory

Where is it? Waterbury, Vermont

Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory

Since I’d already be up in New England, I figure why not swing by Ben & Jerry’s ice cream factory in Waterbury, Vermont? I am a huge fan of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream as well as the company itself for its social values and interesting history. I’m fascinated by the production process and love shows like “Unwrapped” that show you how your favorite foods are made. I’d also love to visit the real life “Flavor Graveyard” so I can pay my respects to Bovinity Divinity. Plus, FREE ICE CREAM! Touring this place would literally be a treat.

Stop #3 – Toy & Plastic Brick Museum

Where is it? Bellaire, Ohio

Toy and Plastic Brick Museum

At the Toy and Plastic Brick Museum in Bellaire, Ohio you’ll find the world’s largest private collection of LEGO. In case you’re wondering why it’s not called the LEGO Museum, according to Roadside America, the owner, Dan Brown (not THAT Dan Brown) was forced by the LEGO corporation to change its name. Commonly known as “The Unofficial LEGO Museum,” this place is 36,000 square feet of amazing super-sized LEGO creations, artwork, and animatronic displays. Check out this gallery to see what’s inside.

Stop #4 – Michele Ivey’s TMNT Collection

Where is it? Somewhere in Ferndale, Michigan

Michele Ivey's TMNT Collection

Michele Ivey, the superfan behind Cowabunga Corner & TMNT-L is one of the biggest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fans in the world and has a massive collection of TMNT merchandise and memorabilia, including extremely rare and valuable pieces like props from the live-action films. Her house, or wherever she keeps all this stuff (the East warehouse on Lairdman island??) is probably the closest thing to a museum that exists for TMNT fans. If I ever had the chance, I would totally pay money to gaze upon her collection. Michele, if you’re reading this, (I’m not stalking you I swear!) have you ever thought about opening up a TMNT museum?

Stop #5 – The Goonies House & Filming Locations

Where is it? Astoria, Oregon

Astoria, Oregon

Am I crazy for wanting to go on a cross-country pilgrimage just to visit some locations from one of my favorite movies of all time? Yeah, probably. I suppose I could also make a trip to Astoria about Kindergarten Cop, but let’s be real here. I’d be doing it so that I can finally say I’ve done the truffle shuffle outside of Mikey’s house  and cross it off my list of life goals. As a general rule, I only set life goals that are stupid and that I’m 100% certain I can achieve.

Stop #6 – Golf N’ Stuff

Where is it? Norwalk, CA

Golf N' Stuff

Continuing my tour of iconic landmarks from my favorite childhood movies, I couldn’t go to the west coast without a trip to Golf N’ Stuff, the arcade and minigolf center where Daniel and Ali spend their first date in Karate Kid, immortalized in the best “first date” movie montage OF ALL TIME.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWfIO20LMIA

Stop #7 – Claude Bell’s Dinosaurs & Wheel Inn

Where is it? Cabazon, California

Cabazon, California

I’m already in California, so may as well swing by Claude Bell’s famous Cabazon Dinosaurs, which feature prominently in two more of my favorite 80s movies, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure and The Wizard. After I take some cool photos, I’ll go for grub and pie at the adjacent Wheel Inn Restaurant. I will skip the Creationist Museum, however.

Stop #8 – The Stanley Hotel

Where is it? Estes Park, Colorado

Stanley Hotel

I can’t think of many more places that would be as big of an attraction for horror fans than this one. The Shining is my favorite horror book and movie of all time. The Stanley Hotel is the place where Stephen King was inspired to write The Shining. The hotel embraces its pop culture status by showing an uncut, R-rated version of The Shining on continuous loop   on all guest room TVs; so awesome. Oh, did I mention the place is supposed to be really haunted too?

(Trivia: Film buffs know that the infamous Overlook Hotel as seen in the Stanley Kubrick movie was actually filmed completely on elaborate sets, with establishing shots of Timberline Lodge serving as the hotel’s exterior. However it was used as the hotel in the 1997 made-for-TV version of The Shining…which I don’t recommend, by the way.) 

Stop #9 – Jim Henson Exhibit at The Center for Puppetry Arts

Where is it? Atlanta, Georgia

Jim Henson Center for Puppetry Arts

I want to thank Shawn over at Branded in the 80s for introducing me to The Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, which is home to the Jim Henson exhibit of over 700 retired Muppets. After reading about his recent trip there, I just had to include it as a stop on my road trip, especially after seeing that this place has creatures from Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal, two more of my favorite 80s films (are you noticing a pattern here??).

Stop #10 – The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Where is it? Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

The final stop on my ultimate pop culture road trip is Universal Studios, Orlando Florida to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I’ve only been to Universal Studios once in my life–thankfully before they shut the Jaws ride down forever–and as a huge fan of Harry Potter I would love to tour Hogwarts Castle and knock back a few Butterbeers. I love theme parks anyway, so I can only imagine how much fun a Harry Potter theme park would be, minus the inevitable swarms of sweaty people.

I already have the perfect road trip song picked out. Now I just need a musical travel montage to make going to all these awesome places possible in a matter of seconds!

Other Cool Pop Culture Destinations from The League

Won­der­ing what this is all about? This week’s assign­ment from  The League of Extra­or­di­nary Blog­gers  was to plan out the ultimate pop culture road trip. Here’s where my fellow Leaguers went:

They’re Heroes in a Half Shell and They’re GREEN

For this week’s assignment from The League, I didn’t have to look very hard for inspiration. When I think “green” I automatically think Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

They’re the world’s most fearsome fighting team
They’re heroes in a half shell and they’re GREEN 

So today I thought I’d share some of my TMNT collection with you.

I just recently got my hands on these figures from Nickelodeon’s new line of TMNT toys. I love how each Turtle is a different shade of green, like the original Playmates TMNT figures from the 80s. This is the first time I’ve ever posed action figures for a photos. I had so much fun I even went the extra mile and Photoshop’d together a decent backdrop and used some dramatic lighting. I’m kind of proud of it!

Nick TMNT Toys

Random TMNT movie stuff: The Secret of the Ooze poster and trading cards, DVDs of the first two films (my VHS copies are too battered to be presentable), and a VHS of Behind the Shells: The Making of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

TMNT Movie Stuff

Remember these trading cards from the original TMNT cartoon? Here are some of my favorites.

TMNT Cartoon Trading Cards

Some of my TMNT comics. I tried to pick out the ones where the Turtles’ green coloring was the most vivid.

TMNT Comics

Some old school TMNT games for NES and Super Nintendo. Why the sai? No reason, really. I just thought it would make for a more interesting photo. And it’s also kind of funny because I never use Raph in TMNT games.

TMNT Nintendo Games

I’d love to show you more, but I’d need about a  week to photograph everything! Perhaps I’ll save it for some future blog posts. ;)

The League Goes Green

Won­der­ing what this is all about? This week’s assign­ment from The League of Extra­or­di­nary Blog­gers was our first photo challenge! The subject was simply “things that are green.” Here’re some other cool green things my fellow Leaguers took pictures of:

ShezCrafti on UnderScoopFire! Podcast #42

UnderScoopFireFor some reason, the guys over at UnderScoopFire! asked me to be a guest on their podcast this week. Like I’m actually cool or something.

Hilariously, and without realizing it, I misspoke when discussing the year the original Mirage TMNT comics came out and said “1994″ instead of 1984. I further go on to emphasize that I was “only three years old at the time.” So the rest of the podcast proceeds with Howie and Corey under the impression that I’m only 20 years old, and many “you’re too young to remember [insert something from the 80s]” age jokes were made at my expense. Good times.

Head on over to UnderScoopFire! to listen to this episode and hear me ramble on about TMNT, Batman, ParaNorman, and other geekery.

Podcast #42 – Most Anticipated Geek Things Q3 & The Dark Knight Rises Preview

Lots of great stuff for us geeks and children of the 80s to look forward to in the 3rd quarter of 2012! We preview what’s to come in movies, comics, games, TV, toys and more – with a special segment dedicated to the grand daddy of them all, The Dark Knight Rises!

Once again, all five lions were not available to form our typical “Roundtable Voltron”, but a very capable guest joined in, and truly classed up the place.

We welcome Jaime of ShezCrafti.com, one of the blogs firmly entrenched in our favorites. You’ve seen links to her site via our Scoop of the Day, and she is a member of the aforementioned League of Extraordinary Bloggers.

In this episode:

  • Fun with age confusion!
  • Why The Dark Knight Rises could be the cure for cancer
  • Defining a “spoiler”
  • We finally reveal who you decided was the Best Pop Culture #2 of All Time
  • Corey Feldman is very available

 

Meet Mandy and have some delicious Chocolate & Cream Cake

Chocolate & Cream Cake

Today I’d like to introduce you to Mandy Anne Curtis, a fellow blogger, geek, designer, and all-around nice girl.

Mandy Ann Curtis

On her blog Chocolate & Cream Cake, Mandy describes herself as just “a small-town girl living in a nerdy world.” And every time I read that tagline, you better believe I sing it inside my head like Steve Perry.

I was introduced to Mandy via a mutual friend & TMNT fan on Twitter earlier this year who rightly guessed that we’d have a lot in common. I’ve been following Mandy’s blog ever since.

Here’s a sampling of some of the cool and geeky things you’ll find over there:

  • Nerd News— Gigantic round-ups of movie, comics, gaming & related news, fan art, and links from around the web.
  • Obsessed — One-shot reviews of the things Mandy’s currently obsessing over.
  • Fictional Fancies — A place to gush over the fictional characters we’re crushing on.
  • Lusting After— Like virtual window shopping for fashions, decor, collectibles and trendy stuff.
  • Geek of the Week— Introductions to other cool geeks.
  • Haiku Revieu— Movie reviews plus a haiku summary.
  • Renter’s Delight— Decorating ideas, projects and inspiration.
  • A Life More Pinteresting— Nifty Pinterest finds.

I enjoy Mandy’s blog because it’s like a cheerful, geeky, girly sanctuary away from the seedy, dark corners of the interwebz I usually frequent and the sausage party fest of man-children that is The League (not that that’s a bad thing; I love you guys!).

Mandy humored me today by posting my own contribution to her Fictional Fancies feature, in which I shamelessly reveal my lust for a character from Veronica Mars. I don’t usually do such outrageously girly things, but every now and then it’s been known to happen. Maybe someone spiked my Fruity Pebbles with estrogen this week.

Anyway, Mandy totally gets an internet high-five from me. Do check out Chocolate & Cream Cake and follow Mandy on Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest.