Monday, August 4, 2014

Bernini’s Creepy Angels

You can blink if you want. You can trust me.
Italy is home to so many great works of art, which I was fortunate enough to see when I traveled there for a Renaissance art history class. I got to see Artemisia’s Gentileschi’s Judith Slaying Holofernes, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescoes, and Botticelli’s Birth of Venus for example. I also saw sculptures by Michelangelo including The David.

Go ahead, blink!
I saw many fantastic sculptures, but I also saw many creepy ones. The Venn diagram intersected a few times, and so I observed many fantastic, creepy sculptures! I wasn’t allowed to take photographs in many museums, but I was able to take a few pictures of angel models by Bernini in Rome. The sculptures are clay over wire armatures and were used as models for bronze sculptures, but the white, broken forms are delightfully disturbing. While these angels aren’t weeping, I thought they were worth sharing with my husband and anyone else who wants some Doctor Who nightmare fuel! 

I dare you!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Lego Dudes Rendered in Sidewalk Chalk

Yes, I believe this was a good use of my time.

What does an unsupervised adult do on a Sunday afternoon? Apparently the answer is to break out the sidewalk chalk, select the cleanest section of the driveway, and draw a giant homage to childhood toys. The weather was fairly decent, so I ventured outside and drew a pair of large Lego guys to greet my husband when he comes home from work. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wolverine Torso Shirt

Ash needs to wear black to work, and so I’m often on the lookout for cheap black t-shirts he can wear under his work shirt. I recently happened upon a display of comic book superhero shirts, including one with a Wolverine body. I found one in my size first, and I planned to get it just to make Ash jealous. I did find one for him too, but I still bought one for myself. I kind of like my disturbing comic book muscles. It’s a lot easier than hitting the gym or having a male torso.

"And please give me a million dollars, and a fridge with a padlock, and, oh yeah, huge pectoral muscles."

Friday, July 4, 2014

Doctor Who Belly Dance

Last week, Ash and I went to the convention for the Doctor Who dance show. The convention itself was overcrowded with patrons in nerd t-shirts or unidentifiable costumes and vendors sporting similar attire. The headline panel guy was someone I never heard of before, and there were games in the lobby. I was pleasantly surprised by the overall good hygiene at this event! These good people didn’t smell nearly as bad as the fanboys I’ve encountered at Free Comic Book Day or at Best Buy.

Not all the costumes were unidentifiable though. Amongst the furry headed characters, strange corset costumes, and obscure ninja/wizard getups, I was able to pick out some of the characters. There were many women dressed up as the TARDIS, and a couple little girls wore dalek outfits. The most popular costume for men older than me was Doctor Scarf, and men younger than me dressed up as the Doctor with bug eyes, a pinstriped suit, and tennis shoes.

Bad Wolf Belly Dance group photo by David Barker.

However, the best costumes were worn by the dancers in the Bad Wolf Belly Dance Show. (I’m a little biased because I was in the show and I think the other performers are awesome.) The dance troupe that put on the show is Jewel in the Lotus, and they do fantastic themed performances. The cast included the TARDIS, the Doctor from the movie, Doctor Leather Jacket, Doctor Bug Eyes, Doctor Bow Tie, a weeping angel, a dalek, a pair of ood, the creepy child in the gas mask, and three companions. The show was set up like an episode including the opening and closing theme song, and the parts I got to see were very entertaining and funny!

Behold! I didn't trip on my giant veil! Picture by David Barker.

I was able to finish my giant veil in time for this show, and I think my time and money was worth it. Since it was silk, it looked like a scarf at first, and I unfurled it during the performance to reveal that it was a veil. During my number, Ash sang “Name” by the Goo Goo Dolls because we think we’re clever. He took this opportunity to show off his new hat and scarf as well.

Photo by David Barker.

A pleasant surprise I encountered while at the show was the Timey Wimey Puppet Show. Apparently I am much more entertained by Doctor Who when it is in puppet form as opposed to the real show. The show included a menagerie of puppets, bad puns, “slightly plagiarized” songs, a “who’s on first” bit, and even a regeneration!

If we go again next year, Ash said that all the doctors have to regenerate into new characters. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Doctor Who Hat

My poor husband has been working a lot lately. He sometimes gets one day a week off at work, and he often works over 12 hours in a day. This is really cutting in on his playing-video-games-and-eating-Oreos time.

To show my appreciation of his hard work, I wanted to buy him a Doctor Who hat to go with his scarf. Unfortunately, the official licensed hat only comes in one size, and that size isn’t big enough for his noggin. However, the internet is a glorious wonderland, and I found a suitable substitute available in various sizes.

All that useless knowledge about Doctor Who made his head swell. 
The hat is 100% wool, to which I’m allergic. I feel that is a fitting analogy of my relationship with Doctor Who. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Doctor Veil, My 12 Foot Foe

I really needed to get to work on my Doctor Who veil since the event I need it for is on the 28th of June. After I washed, dried, and ironed my 12 feet of glorious silk, I had to paint on the dye. First, I marked where all the stripes would go. I looked at the Doctor Who Scarf website and measured the stripes compared to the one Ash had. I decided to paint the original stripes. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a silk stretcher. I thought about building one, but it would need to be over 12 feet long. The local lumber yard has boards, but they are too short. Also, I wouldn’t have a way to get them home. I decided to rig a very fancy stretcher out of folding chairs, thread, and a lot of scotch tape.

Very fancy, indeed!

I drew the lines for the stripes with water based resist, and once the lines dried I painted on the dye. The resist prevented the colors from running together. I could only do a yard and half at a time because my kitchen is so small. It took all day.


After I heat set the dye with my iron, washed out the resist, and dried it, I saw how noticeable the resist lines were. I didn’t like the white stripes on the veil, so I decided to paint a second layer without resist. I used very watery dye and overlapped in the white areas. As if that didn’t take enough time, I had to heat set the entire thing again.

Ironing is so much fun!

I hope it was worth all the time and money to create this prop!

Did I mention I had to iron?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Doctor Veil

Despite the sorrow Doctor Who causes me, I know enough about it to relate to people who love it. Unfortunately, my sense of humor gets me in trouble from time to time, and I’m in one of those situations now. I know several wonderful women who love the Doctor, and a long time ago they began plotting a dance show with a Doctor Who theme. I first joked that I would make a Cyberman costume and do the robot. I spouted off a few other terrible thoughts (such as doing a cane dance with that question mark umbrella) until I joked about dancing with a 12 foot long veil with stripes as homage to Dr. Scarf.

So, guess who is going to perform in a Doctor Who themed dance show with a 12 foot long veil…

How can I remain grumpy when I have 4 yards of silk?
I really shouldn’t complain because the other dancers in the show are fantastic. Most of the performers are from Jewel in the Lotus Dance Company, and they’re talented and friendly. I went to a rehearsal last week, and it was a blast. There were snacks, shiny costumes, and of course the dancing. The show is fewer than 2 weeks away, which means I really need to keep working on my veil. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Game Stop in Italy

I had the good fortune of being free from comics, Doctor Who, and old video games for two weeks last month. I mean, I had the good fortune of traveling to Italy for two weeks last month. The trip was for an art history course. My savings account looks pretty meager, but I’m happy I went. It was a great opportunity, and it was a good way to end my first semester in graduate school.

Instead of boring you with details about my gondola ride in Venice, seeing amazing paintings by Caravaggio, Leonardo, Artemisia, Botticelli, and Michelangelo, and visiting ancient Roman ruins, I’ll share the nerdiness I was unable to escape.

First of all, on the trip over, my potato chips made a Doctor Who reference. The packaging claimed that the bag was engineered with “Tardis-like technology.” While the bag was filled with more chips than air like most bags, it was still not quite enough of a snack.

Isn't all this fat and salt bad for the Doctor's hearts?
I also spotted a couple Game Stop stores while in Italy. There were many old buildings that were occupied with modern businesses. There was a gift store in the Colosseum, and more souvenir shops than I could count within the Vatican chapels. I breezed past this Game Stop while on a walking tour, and I saw a few other shops with superhero advertising and products.

Come se dice "nerd" en Italiano?

Surprisingly while I was away, Ash didn’t break the bank buying movies and video games. He only expanded his Doctor Who collection a little and acquired the Veronica Mars movie. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Extra Row of Doctor Who DVDs

This scarf won't warm my cold, bitter heart. 

I know I complain a lot about my husband’s giant Doctor Who stockpile, but it is the only way I can deal with the pain. At first glance, his Doctor Who addiction looks massive, but the truth is he has extra DVD hidden behind the bottom row on the shelf. Whenever I discover new movies and ask Ash when he bought them, he always tells me, “I’ve had that for a long time.” I think he hides the new merchandise for a long time, and then he puts it on the shelf so when I see it he can tell me that he’s had it for a long time. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ash Wednesday

Today is a special day in our home: it’s Ash Wednesday! So, in honor of Bruce Campbell, take a trip to S-Mark, read from the necronomicon, or dust off that old chainsaw! Celebrate the day by watching the Evil Dead trilogy!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Superhero Yoga: Velocity Pose

Maybe if I had a lightning bolt to lean against, this would have been easier.

The poses female superheroes are drawn in are pretty ridiculous. Who knew that bending so one’s breasts and butt are visible at the same time was such a standard super power?

The Velocity Superhero Yoga Pose required a lot of twisting of the spine and balance. I did my best to recreate this pose, but I certainly had difficulty and didn’t get a perfect match. I began by extending my right leg, but I was unable to keep it straight. I also couldn’t put all of my weight on the ball of my foot with my leg extended in front of me. I bent forward and did my best to arch and twist my back, but I just lacked the flexibility and augmentations to get my rear and chest visible simultaneously. The easiest part was bringing my right arm towards the ground, but my arm was too short to touch the floor. Finally, I managed to balance on one foot, which surprised even me!

Furthermore, I was also unable to shrink my head so it looked tiny compared to by body like in the illustration. I suppose the artist had to guess how large the head would look compared to the body in position since there’s no way he used a model for reference! 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Doctor Who CDs

Doctor Hears a Who?

Ash has quite the collection of Doctor Who DVDs. Due to his obsessive nature, he feels compelled to own every single episode of this television show. Unfortunately for him, many of the episodes were erased and no longer exist. Unfortunately for me, there are many audio tracks of Doctor Who available to purchase even though the visuals are lost. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Green Lantern Juice

Soylent Green Lantern is made of people.

For some reason, I bought green Kool Aid. I think it was Soylent Green flavored. It was horrible. It was gross, it was bitter, and it was unappealing on so many levels. Ash drank it, but I think he only liked it because he thought it looked cool in his Green Lantern glass.

Monday, January 20, 2014

PSII: and the Legend Continues

My husband, owner of numerous game consoles, came home with yet another to add to his collection. He bought a Play Station 2 for $15 at a flea market. He was so proud of his newest acquisition, even though he has a perfectly fine PS3 that’s not paid off yet.

As soon as he got home he hooked it up, and it turned on which meant to him that it would work. He deleted the game data of the previous owner, and then put in his only PS2 disc. With much triumph and fanfare, the game didn’t load. He turned it off, back on, and still nothing happened. I told him to blow on the game to get it to work, and he got grumpy fast! Ash was crushed; his new toy was broken.

I told him it was probably full of dust and offered to clean it for him. He thought a better solution would be to take it to a used game store and pay someone to fix it. Diplomatically, I did my best to explain that it would be ridiculous to pay more money to fix it than it is worth, especially since he has many other consoles. He told me that he didn’t want me to fix it because I didn’t know what I was doing and I’d probably break it. This made me more determined to want to fix it. I then reminded him how I got his Super Nintendo controllers back to working condition, so he reluctantly agreed to let me clean the Play Station.

Oh no! I voided the warranty!
I started off just using canned air, but I thought that I needed to open it up to get out the rest of the dust. I told him I’d have to break the warranty seal, which upset him for some reason even though this console was as old as the dirt that filled it. The sticker was printed with a warning label written in cuneiform. Despite Ash’s weeping, I took apart the entire system. The thing was infested with dust bunnies! It was pretty gross. While I was removing the dust, Ash found a video that described how to take apart the thingamabob that reads the disks to clean it. Since the console had to be turned on to open a certain part, the video warned multiple times not to look directly in the laser. Ash had to help me turn on the system so I could get to the oculus of Ra to clean it, and after I thought he turned it off I looked at the system, but that was when he turned it on! I swear, he kept turning on the deadly laser every time he thought I might look at it. After my retinas were thoroughly radiated with evil laser beams of death, I got everything else cleaned out and put back together. I only managed to lose one tiny, little screw. I thought I dropped it somewhere in the console, but when I shook it I couldn’t hear it. It’s either wedged somewhere in the device or it’s lost within the crevasses of my living room carpet.

Avert your eyes! The lasers will melt your eyes!

After all of my toil and Ash’s agony, he hooked the PS2 back up and it work! I fixed his new, old toy. It wasn’t until he started playing it that I realized he used to reverse psychology to get me to fix it by saying I couldn’t do it. So, today’s lesson is that if your significant other brings home a pile of junk and claims that you will be unable to fix it, just sigh and say, “You’re right, we should just throw it away.”

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Superhero Yoga: Flash Ignition Pose

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve had the free time to attend a yoga class. I also haven’t been doing too much exercise since I started graduate school, but I thought I should give Superhero Yoga another shot. This is also provides me with a legitimate excuse to wear my comfy yoga pants.

First of all, I’m going to be upfront and admit that I don’t do a lot of running. Honestly, the last time I ran for real was for the Presidential Fitness test when I was in elementary school. Perhaps my lack of experience as a runner is why I had so much trouble with the Flash Ignition Pose.

Maybe this would be easier if I had yellow boots?

The Flash Ignition Pose requires a wide stride. For advanced athletes who can dislocate their hips, the left leg should cross in front of the right with a big step. The right shoulder should be lower than the left and twist forward. Both hands form fists, and the head looks upward with a smile.

As I stated earlier, I am not an athlete by any stretch of the imagination, so I was unable to balance completely on my right front foot with my legs crossed. This is why my other leg is still visible. I also was unable to get my right thigh to touch my abdomen, pull my left shoulder all the way back, and manage to smile as big as the Flash!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Non-Sonic Screwdriver

Fezzes are cool, but I'm not convinced about this bow tie. 
I began today by being productive and getting things done, however, that didn’t last long. My industriousness ended when I thought wearing a fez and contemplating the non-sonic properties of my screwdriver was a better use of my time than doing the dishes or painting. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Wonder Woman Socks

No one can defeat my feet!

Ash and I were invited for lunch with friends and their family, so I told Ash to wear something nice. After he got dressed, he saw what I was wearing and protested. “I thought you said you were going to dress up,” he exclaimed, “Why are you wearing those socks?” My excuse is that my Wonder Woman socks were the fanciest socks I own. They have capes! What’s fancier than a cape? 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Bruce Campbell Costume and Chainsaw

Hail to the king, baby!

I believe my Bruce Campbell costume turned out well for Halloween. Even though I spent most of my time on the chainsaw, I managed to get my Army of Darkness costume finished in the nick of time. My husband even bought me a plastic boom stick that I painted to look bloody to go with my chainsaw arm.

This if my favorite photo from Halloween featuring my favorite wench! I only wish I had Photoshop so I could splice us onto the Army of Darkness poster.