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
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 Stude nt 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?
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?
Who among you has the balls to wear this bad boy to the office Christmas party?
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?
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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 LOTOFFEELINGS 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.
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.
The Conners’ House at Halloween. I sort of already covered that here .
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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
“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.
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.
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.
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:
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*
Now that’s more like it.
Stop #1 — American Classic Arcade Museum
Where is it? Laconia, New Hampshire
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
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, FREEICECREAM! Touring this place would literally be a treat.
Stop #3 — Toy & Plastic Brick Museum
Where is it? Bellaire, Ohio
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, 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
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
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 OFALLTIME.
Stop #7 — Claude Bell’s Dinosaurs & Wheel Inn
Where is it? 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
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
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 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.
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!
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 .
Remember these trading cards from the original TMNT cartoon? Here are some of my favorites.
Some of my TMNT comics. I tried to pick out the ones where the Turtles’ green coloring was the most vivid.
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.
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:
For 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
Today I’d like to introduce you to Mandy Anne Curtis, a fellow blogger, geek, designer, and all-around nice girl.
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.
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.
Every single day, I have the same exact discussion with my co-worker:
One of us: “What do you wanna do for lunch today?”
The other: “I dunno. What do you wanna do for lunch today?”
And so it goes, back and forth a few times until we eventually settle on one of the three or four places we always order from anyway.
Today, however, my world was changed she she casually suggested, “We need dice.”
Lunch dice?! Brilliant!
Why waste time quibbling over what to order for lunch if you could just roll the dice and let fate decide? Naturally I wasted no time Googling to see if such a thing already existed; surely this can’t be an original idea. The closest thing I could find, however, are these ultra-lame “dinner dice” that are meant to help you decide what to cook but overwhelm and confuse you with choices (Really? There’s an “omnivore” set?). This wouldn’t do.
Blank dice. That’s what we needed.
Blank dice that you can write on with dry erase markers and wipe off? Even better. Who knew I’d go shopping at an educational product store today? I ordered a set of these little beauties post-haste so that we’ll never have to agonize over Season’s Pizzeria or Pat’s Pizzeria again.
But why stop there?
Just think of all the life problems you could potentially solve with blank dice. My mind is already a whirlwind of possibilities.
Which Karate Kid movie should I watch again for the hundredth time?
What video game, of the ten I just bought, should I play first?
So, apparently some Toys’R’Us stores are already selling the new Nickelodeon series of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures, even though we weren’t supposed to get them until August. (The new TMNT show premieres Saturday, September 29.)
Michele Ivy, unquestionably one of the biggest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fans I know, was was lucky enough to get her hands on them early from a store in Mesa, Arizona. She posted a great in-depth review over at Cowabunga Corner and this hands-on video review:
I still have a couple of the original TMNT action figures, even some in boxes, but I don’t consider myself a collector by any means. However, ever since pictures of the new Nickelodeon toy series debuted earlier this year, I’ve been drooling over them on a daily basis. I mean, just look at them!
A lot of TMNT fans don’t seem to like the character designs for the new show, and I admit they took a little while to grow on me. But you have to admit the Turtles look pretty badass here.
For shiggles, I checked my local Toys’R’Us store today, and not only did they NOT have these toys yet, they had no frickin’ idea what I was talking about when I asked about them. (But thanks for making me waste ten minutes while you dicked around on the Toys’R’Us website, “Debbie” the “Customer Service Associate” as if I hadn’t already done that myself.) So that my trip into that area of town wasn’t a complete waste, I swung by Jiffy Lube to get my oil changed, which is something I’ve been meaning to do anyway.
I ordered it Monday night and it arrived today (thanks Amazon Prime!) in the simple but imposing black box you see above. My curiosity got the better of me, so I took out a random sampling of cards. Here’s what I pulled:
I’ll be on vacation next week with my boyfriend who has an even sicker sense of humor than I do, and a bunch of people who like to drink heavily. I have a feeling that with this purchase I just preemptively made our week together more awesome.