I’m sorry I haven’t been posting lately. In November, I was sick with mono (Ash was sick with Mon-El) and didn’t have the energy to mock my husband. I’m finally starting to feel better.
Since I’ve been sick, I have completely neglected my fair share of the cooking. Last week, Ash came home from work and asked, “What’s for dinner?” I told him that instead of making supper I decided to make him snowflakes. He was less than pleased… until he took a closer look!
As it turned out, I had to make Ash’s jumpsuit for his Ghostbusters costume. The original plan was for him to buy coveralls, but he couldn’t find any that fit. He went to several stores (in 3 states), but he couldn’t find anything that worked. All of the suits were too small, had short sleeves, had the wrong pockets, or they were the wrong color. After giving up on buying a jumpsuit, we had the daunting task of selecting fabric. There’s only one place in town that sells fabric, and they didn’t have the right color, so I had to dye the cloth myself.
I also didn’t have or know of a pattern to use for the Ghostbusters suit, so I had to wing it. I severely modified an Elvis jumpsuit pattern by changing the sleeves, pant legs and collar. I also had to add the pockets, and I didn’t include them all. Adding the patches was the easiest part!
Ash’s suit was easy compared to my costume though! I chose to be the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man (because I hate myself apparently)! I didn’t document my progress on my beastly costume, but I am pleased with the results. I made everything: the hat, mask, cowl, shirt, gloves, pants, and shoes! It truly sucked making my Stay Puft Costume, but I am pleased with the results. I definitely have the “hottest” Ghostbusters costume!
I love Play-Doh. I never grew out of the joy of squeezing a sculpting medium and creating things. When I was in college, I took four semesters of ceramics just because I like squishing and building with clay! When I was a kid, I never got name-brand Play-Doh though. We always had the homemade kind, and I never had any desire to play with kits or molds. When I was in college, I never used any molds either. I like hand building the best.
Ash, on the other hand, would have killed to have owned a Play-Doh The Real Ghostbusters play set. The friend who owned the Ecto-2 also had a Play-Doh play set. It includes an Ecto-1 that has molds for making a pair of Ghostbusters. I think they’re Peter and Egon. The hood has a goblin mold, and there’s a ghost mold too. There’s also and extruder that can make 4 ghosts at a time and proton pack accessories. The plastic mat with a street scene, plastic knife, and directions are still in the box! Heck, even the original Play-Doh is still in the box. Of course, it’s as hard as a rock, which made Ash a little sad. The glow in the dark dough is pretty nasty looking, but what else would one expect from 25 year old Play-Doh?
It’s done! It’s done! It’s finally done! I have finally completed Ash’s proton pack, and I couldn’t be more relieved. This thing took forever to complete, and it was way too much work for a Halloween costume. It even lights up! However, I’m fairly pleased with the results. To try to disguise my papier-mâché medium, I “weathered” the proton pack. I painted silver around the edges, painted black over the top, and then I lightly sanded off the black paint. After that, I re-varnished the scuffed areas.
Here is a list of supplies that I used for this project:
Cardboard (old boxes)
35 mm film containers
Small plastic bottles and lids
Glue (Elmer’s, E6000, hot glue, tacky glue, and super glue)
Paper towel tubes
Little pieces of wood
Papier-mâché (cornstarch and water, newspaper)
Red taillight tape
LED pumpkin light
Here are my tips for anyone else who wants to create a homemade proton pack for his/her Ghostbusters Halloween costume:
Stuff all empty boxes/cavities with newspaper so they don’t slouch when drying.
Don’t use spray gesso; use the regular stuff instead.
Wrap electrical tape around the handles for durability.
Nail polish is great for the little details.
E6000 is the best craft glue ever, and it is wonderful for attaching wires.
Halloween is fast approaching, and I’m still not done with this evil proton pack! I had to order the ribbon wire online. Even though it’s not a perfect match, it was close enough and only a few bucks. The other wires were harvested from an old TV antenna. Even though the wires were originally black, I painted them red. I know I still have a lot to do, and Ash hasn’t even found a jumpsuit yet!
Yesterday was Ash’s birthday, and this was the cake I ordered for him! Yes, that’s supposed to be the Ghostbusters logo (with glasses). Yes, the inscription is “Happy Birthday, You’re Not Special.” Even though the logo is a little sad, and the writing isn’t fantastic, I wouldn’t classify it as a CakeWreck. The cake almost said, “Happy Birthday, Your Not Special,” but I caught that grammatical error in time!
(Bonus points to anyone who can guess the “happy birthday, you’re not special” reference.)
I know Invinciblepresent Atom Even and Rex Splode #2 came out awhile ago, but I’m just now getting around to mocking the cover. In the first issue of Atom Eve the title character was introduced as a little kid, even though the cover showed an adult in a provocative pose. I didn’t even look in the issue, but based on my past experiences I bet that Atom Eve isn’t really pregnant like the cover clearly shows. She looks pretty angry too. Is she upset because of her pregnancy, her mismatched hands, or her dislocated hip?
I thought I should wait to build up my flexibility before attempting the Psylocke Pose. Since I decided I didn’t want to cut off my left arm, I figured it would be okay for me to balance on it. If I had PhotoShop, I could have erased it.
First of all, it’s pretty difficult to turn one’s upper torso the same direction as one’s rear end. I wouldn’t recommend it. Second of all, I could barely hold my right arm up that high when my spine was all twisted, so there was no way I was going to try to hold a sword. I was injuring myself just my twisting and turning and putting a lot of pressure on my kneecaps, and I didn’t want to add something heavy and pointy into the equation. Thirdly, my head is turned a little too far, but I thought my expression was pretty funny.
I’m a little concerned about Superman’s skin. Does he have any?Do any of the men in the Legion have skin, or is it very thin and their costumes are painted on with latex body paint? There must be something wrong with Superman and the other male superheroes because we shouldn’t be able to see all of their muscles with such clarity. The women don’t seem to have this disease or disorder because I can’t see their musculature. Unless of course in the superhero universe male superheroes are so strong their muscles show through their skin and clothes and female superheroes are weak and frail.
Not only is Spider-Man a nerdy photographer who is part spider, but he is also a contortionist. The Spider-Man Pose from Ultimate Spider-Man is for Advanced Superhero Yoga. The best I could do is a modified version, otherwise known as the Half Spider-Man.
This pose requires flying through the air, but balancing on one fist is an acceptable modification. Since this is impossible, I had to balance on another foot. I was also unable to hitch my leg around my right shoulder, and I also failed at hyper extending my left elbow. At least I was able to do the web-slinging mudra!
Because of the Green Lantern movie, there are a lot of Green Lantern toys and merchandise available. Ash wanted this gun, but considering that there are only two people in our family I know that I would be the only person getting shot! I’m very happen that we decided to buy Boggle instead.
A symptom of fanboyitis is owning multiple copies of the same things. In Ash’s case, he sometimes has the same book in hardcover and soft shell. Other times, he might have a CD and a vinyl record. However, I was a little surprised when I saw that he had the exact same Legion comic twice. Did he think Superboy in a hair net was really funny and he needed an extra copy?
There are two times of year when the Renaissance Faires are in season: end of spring and beginning of fall. Since the fall season is getting underway, I made a Renaissance Festival Bingo card. Print it off and mark the squares after you see what’s listed. Unfortunately, I have seen all of the items listed on the card. (I still have nightmares about a certain smiley face codpiece!)
I bought Ash a Ghostbusters logo and Venkmen patch on eBay for his Halloween costume. The shipping was really fast, and Ash likes them. He is responsible for getting the coveralls because there is no way I am sewing after I spent all of this time making the papier-mâché proton pack. I don’t think I’ve spent this much time on making any of Ash’s other Halloween costumes.
I keep thinking I’m done with the final layer of paper, but then I find a little flaw or lump or divot and have to go back and fix it. I especially want the corners to look sharp and geometric. So, I keep sanding and adding more layers. Even though I make costumes for us almost every year, this is one probably has taken the longest! (A couple years ago I made Ash a pretty impressive mummy costume made out individual bandages sewn together complete with hieroglyph inscriptions and amulets. Two years ago, I made him a satin Elvis suit that I decked out with hand-sewn jewels.)
After I got everything built with the paper and paste, I bought some wood putty to fill in the low spots to help make the surfaces smoother. After even more sanding, and a lot of vacuuming, I was able to prep the surface for painting.
I thought I would try spray gesso instead of regular gesso because I knew I would have a look of little spaces to paint around and I wanted a smooth surface. Let me just say my experiment was a waste of time and money. Krylon Gesso Spray is just very expensive and stinky spray paint. I also think it attracts bugs because as soon as I put on the first coat a dozen insects decided to crawl on my project and die.
Since I bought the spray, I didn’t have any regular gesso, so I touched up the surfaces as best as I could with some cheap acrylic paint I had. I didn’t save any time since I had to paint by hand anyway.
I had a lot better luck with the black spray paint. I bought camouflage paint since I wanted a matte finish and I like it! I’m starting to resent this project a little less. I just hope Ash appreciates his homemade paper proton pack.
Not only does Superhero Yoga inspire me to go to a real yoga class with a certified and quailed instructor to fix the damage I’m doing to my spine, but it’s also making me feel fat! Perhaps I shouldn’t attempt to compare myself to contortionist cartoons right after eating tacos?
The Atom Eve Pose is from Invincible Presents Atom Eve. It’s another one legged pose. I did manage to get one photo taken when I was balancing on the ball of my foot, but it was very blurry because I was about to fall over! If only I didn’t a stomach, liver, or any other internal organs, because I think this is my closest match yet with Superhero Yoga!
I know Ash has been reading The Walking Dead, and he enjoys it. He’s usually pretty entertained by flesh eating zombies. Ash was a little disappointed that he couldn’t watch the TV show since we don’t have cable, but he knew that it would be available to buy eventually.
Even though season one of The Walking Dead has been on DVD for awhile, he waited for it to go on sale before buying it. I’m quite pleased that he waited for it to be cheaper, and I hope this frugality will spread to other shopping trips.
Anyway, I was a little wary about watching this show with Ash. Most of the time I get bored and irritated when watching comic-based movies and television shows, such as Green Lantern and Smallville. However, there are some zombies I enjoy, like the deadites in The Evil Dead movies and musical. Sean of the Dead was extremely entertaining. I also liked Night of the Living Dead, but I can’t stand the sequel when they’re in the mall.
So, Ash and I watched it recently, and it wasn’t too bad. I think watching it over a period of time was helpful too. Usually, when Ash watches shows on DVD, he has a non-stop marathon. The makeup artists for the show did a nice job, and the story isn’t entirely predictable. Ash likes telling me the differences between the comics and the show, but I can handle that. Whenever we watch anything doing with ancient cultures, I have to point out everything that is inaccurate.
I did have to break down and buy something to use as the hose on the pack pack. Considering that this is the first thing I’ve had to buy for Ash’s Ghostbuster costume, I’m not too upset. Ash and I went to a home improvement store, and I guessed we’d find something in the electronic wires aisle. Surprisingly, I was right! (My next guess would have been the irrigation section.) I got a pack of flex tubing for a couple bucks. I had to hang it up for a few days to get the major kinks out of it, but it should work pretty well.
I also had to build cups to hold the tubing for the proton pack. My plan is to add the hoses and wire and such after I get the proton pack sanded and painted.
Yoga must be popular 1,000 years in the future because the girls in the Legion certainly are flexible! The Saturn Girl Pose comes from Legion: Dream Crime Part Two. Once again, I couldn’t curve my spine nearly as much as the superhero. I swear I was able to balance on the ball of my foot for a second, but I must have dropped back down right before the picture was taken. Additionally, I didn’t get my hands bent back enough, but I’m amused by my melodramatic facial expression. Unfortunately, I couldn’t shrink my head and waist down to match Saturn Girl’s proportions.
The Ghostbusters ray gun thing with this proton pack is driving me crazy! I can’t believe how much time I’ve spent on this already, and I know that I’ll have more work to do yet. Since I’m doing my best to use things around the house, I bent a few pins and finagled them to work as switches.
Even though I’ve only taken about a dozen yoga lessons, I have decided to invent my own form of yoga. Instead of taking classes with a highly qualified yoga instructor who is certified at the 200 of 500-hour level, I’m going to draw my inspiration from comic books! It’s called Superhero Yoga, which is where I will attempt to twist myself in the same positions as demonstrated by superheroes on the covers of my husband’s comic books. On one hand, I’m doing this to prove that there is no way a person could contort herself in these positions. On the other hand, it’s yet another way for me to mock something my husband loves!
The first pose is inspired by Duplicate Girl from the Adventure Comics #528. Duplicate Girl is in the Legion and can replicate herself via super-mitosis. She also fights evil wearing go-go boots.
Since I never went to yoga class in heeled boots and mod dress, I figured I would attempt the Duplicate Girl Pose in regular workout attire and barefoot. While I couldn’t lean over at a 45˚ angle, hold my bent leg out behind my body, crush my vertebrae while curving my spine backward, or bite my own shoulder, I was impressed that I could balance on one leg long enough for the picture!
Since I’m pretty much done with the newspaper and paste part of Ash’s proton pack, I’ve been working on the little gun thing that catches ghosts. I started off by making the handles. I had some plastic tubes that I took out of a pair of Isis wings, and I chopped them up with a pipe cutter. I wrapped many layers of gooey newspaper around the tubes, and then I built up the grips. I thought I did a fairly nice job with that part.
Building the little box that the tubes and handles stick out of was a pain in the hiney. I found some linear schematics of the proton gun, and that was helpful, but my first attempt was too small. I remedied the problem by doubling the size with a fettuccini noodle box. I glued the handles in place, but I’ll papier-mâché over everything to make it sturdier. Pretty soon it will be at the point when Ash can hold it and see if it’s going to work out of him. After it’s built, I think I’ll cover the handles with electrical tape so they’re more durable. When Ash was a kid, he used to spend hours playing the woods with his plastic proton pack catching imaginary ghosts. I can only imagine how many hours Ash will waste playing with his new Ghostbusters toy!
I’m a little proud of the attachment device for the gun. I bent a metal piece that came with a tall bookshelf (that I was supposed to use to anchor it to the wall) for the hook. The part that will hold the hook is composed of two old curtain rod holders super glued together. So far, I still haven’t had to buy anything for this project! I know that I will need to get a hose pretty soon, but I’m going to wait until the gun is done. We just had a vacuum cleaner die last spring, and I chucked it as soon as we got a new one. Looking back, I should have kept it for the hose! I guess I’m going to have to look at home improvement stores to buy a tube.
Ash asked me if I’m going to make him a Slimer piñata for Halloween. I told him no, but he said that he’ll have his proton pack and he needs a ghost to destroy. I then told him that his proton pack was the piñata, but he got a little upset! At least I know now that he appreciates all the work I’m doing.
I finished covering everything on the decorative side, and I added a little more newspaper to the back to smooth everything out. I left the area around the door clear because I’m going to add lights to the circular part at the end. Ash has already tried out his proton pack and has the strap adjusted for his size.
I know that the characters on The Big Bang Theory are supposed to be nerdy and anti-social, but I’m a little jealous on how much they get to hang out with their friends. Many of my close friends live several hours away, and I wish I could see them more than once or twice a month. Granted, we don’t play laser obstacle chess or rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock, but I wouldn’t mind going to the Cheesecake factory weekly.
The last time Ash and I did laundry Ash got a not-so-pleasant surprise. Every now and then, Ash leaves things in his pockets when he throws his clothes in the laundry basket. Usually, this results in ink stains or pulped napkins, but he’s been lucky lately.
His lucky streak ended when we were pulling clothes out of the dryer and found a small, clear rectangle. We stared at it for a minute wondering what the heck it was. Neither of us knew, so we continued to unload. I then found another big plastic piece that was clearly the remains of a keychain. Ash was not pleased; he knew that it was his Green Lantern key chain. I offered to draw him a new picture to put in the keychain case, but he said, “No. Why make a new picture when I can find the original?” He then found one of the crumpled pieces of paper. I found the other one while I was matching socks.
With Ash’s last shipment of comics, there was a cardstock ad in it. He looked at it for a second, and said, “Here you go! Do you want to read Warlord of Mars?” My answer was of course no. Then, I asked when the “warlord” decided to have a sex-change. I also highly doubt that pasties and metal undies are going to strike the needed fear in the hearts of the warlord’s enemies!
Last year, Ash got a bunch of various colored Lantern rings in conjunction with the Blackest Night event. Each comic Ash brought home came with a plastic ring. During the event, D. C. Comics killed a lot of its characters and brought them back as Black Lantern zombies.
This year, D. C.’s event is called Flash Point, which stirred up the nerdiverse again. Ash has been griping about Flash Point for a while, and basically everything he likes is changing. He is so upset he told me that his order for comics next month will be under $100!
The “prize” this year is pins. Ash already had a lot of pins that he purchased from the local comic book store, but and now his collection is even bigger. He has them displayed on one of his comic shelves, and he gets upset if I move them. So, of course, I had to move them.
I decided all of his Flash Point buttons would look better on a princess sash. I then added all of his other superhero pins. I couldn’t wait for Ash to get home and try on his sash, so I felt like I should take the time declare myself queen of the nerds!
I love papier-mâché and I’ve made some pretty impressive piñatas in the past, but this proton pack is getting very annoying. I added the raised circles over the holes on the “Cyclotron,” which was harder than it appears. I tried to get Ash to help me cut out the little doughnuts, but his was a mess. I think he did a bad job on purpose so I wouldn’t ask him to help again. I used two layers of thin cardboard glued together and covered with thin strips of newspaper, and then I stuck them in place with more paper and paste.
I wanted to add the straps before I get more fragile parts added to the front, and I thought I would cut up an old backpack for the straps. When I couldn’t find the bag I was looking for, I came across the straps that came with a portable DVD player case, which we never used. I used thick metal wire to create loops and long supports. I covered the entire back of the cardboard with ¼” thick papier-mâché to hold everything in place.
After the back dried, I added the big band across the bottom, which was constructed out of a Vanilla Coke box. I had to glue a few more pieces in place that will be covered the next time I mix up a new batch of paste.
I’ve never been able to sit still and watch TV. Usually, I’ll draw, paint, sew, or do something when the TV’s on. This is especially true when Ash is watching something that I could care less about, such as superhero cartoons or anything created by Joss Whedon. Lately, Ash has been watching a lot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and I’ve been spending a lot of time playing with papier-mâché. Ash asked me if I was taking pictures of his proton pack as I made it, and I told him, “Yes, I’m making a dorkumentary.”
After completely covering everything with newspaper, I was able to add a few more parts, which will be covered later. The first layer of paper and paste I put on the circular part caused it to sink when it dried, so I had to fill the cavity up with newspaper to try and make it level when I put the second layer in place. I added the little vertical planks over the tube thing in the top left former, and I added a few more cylinders that represent various thingamabobs that Ash believes are very important.
Today Ash and I are celebrating our 7th anniversary. Seven years ago, Ash only owned a few DVDs, a moderate CD collection, and he didn’t own a single comic book. He had never watched an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and he didn’t own any superhero clothing or jewelry. Things certainly change!
If you are a person who is contemplating marrying another person who is slightly nerdy, beware! When a young man moves out of his dorm room to a tiny apartment, the fanboyitis virus can incubate! Before you know it, your husband can turn into a fanboy.
It’s tough going shopping with Ash because he can always find the nerdiest, most fanboyish items right away. There’s a certain pair of Flash underwear that Ash pines for every time we go to the store. Even though Ash says they’re the “fastest briefs alive,” he’s not fast enough to sneak them into the cart. Thank goodness!
Ash and I love Halloween. We hosted our first Halloween party in my dorm room and made everyone wear costumes while we watched scary movies and ate a lot of candy. Every year since then, our parties have gotten bigger and more elaborate. It’s gotten to the point that we’ll pick our theme for the next Halloween almost a year in advance. Some of our past parties have included “Prom Queen of the Damned,” “Arabian Frights,” and “We’re Dying to Have You Over…”
I knew that sooner or later Ash would want a Ghostbusters party since that was his favorite movie as a child, and he’s been pining for his long lost plastic proton pack. So, this year is The Year. Of course my husband wants to be Bill Murray’s character, which will require coveralls, a Ghostbusters patch, and a proton pack.
I usually make our costumes every year, so that leaves me with the task of making a proton pack. At first I told Ash I’d make him one out of papier-mâché, and he scoffed at my idea. I guess he forgot that I have an art degree and spent many years in sculpture classes. He also saw way too many pictures of proton pack replicas made by übernerds on the internet to want a sculpted one. He thought he might buy one until he discovered they cost $1,500, so he changed his mind and decided a papier-mâché one will be good enough. We also had a discussion that even if I spend a few hundred dollars on supplies and spend the entire summer building one, it’s still not going to catch ghosts.
A friend of Ash’s also wanted a proton pack, so his wife and I got together this week to begin construction. I started by drawing the layout on a piece of cardboard. Next, I cut up cardboard boxes and paper towel rolls and glues and taped them in place. I also added various other pieces, such as film cases, dowels, scraps of wood, and other random bits. My goal is to spend as little money on this project as possible and clear out some junk in my craft bin.
My friend built up hers too, but her attention span waivered and decided that her husband wasn’t as dorky as mine and didn’t need an exact copy. When she called him to ask if it was okay, she said that it will still have the main parts like the cyclotron, the crank generator, and the ectoplasmic reticulum.
After the armatures were complete, we started the first papier-mâché layer. We used cornstarch paste, which I think is the best glue of this type of project. It’s easy to make, it’s smooth, and it keeps for awhile in a plastic container. To make cornstarch paste, just put a little bit of the powder in a small pan and stir in cold water. Heat it up the stove and stir it until it turns thick like gravy sans-flavor.
I think we made pretty good progress after one day, but I can see it’s going to take awhile to get these complete. I’m glad I started early!