It’s the last week of 2011, and therefore a time to look back at the year and make lists. And who doesn’t love a Top 5 Countdown? This particular list is going to focus on those amazing nerdy moments which transpired in my 2011 world.
NERD MOMENT #5:
Although technically my introduction to this series took place in 2010 at around 6am in a Portland airport, I didn’t really fall in love until the television series came out. And then again when my spouse got hooked into it. And then again when I discovered the bromance of sorts between Brienne of Tarth and Jaime Lannister. And while I’m currently stuck at the mid-point in Book 3, I know I’ll get through all the rest of the material probably before the next book comes out.
Yes – the series is problematic in terms of race and gender. The violence against women in the book and the ridiculous sexploits on the show are a bit off-putting. But I’m hopelessly in love with A Song of Ice and Fire. Hopeless.
NERD MOMENT #4:
The movie and the costume it took me a year to put together. I was very skeptical about the film and remember having arguments with several people because of all the CGI and how much it tried to cram into two hours (don’t they all?) but by the time I finished the costume and re-watched the film, I was pretty much in love. It’s sappy and romantic and hits just the right tone.
Change seems to be the theme this week. Eliminating the coupon entries, starting up a new daily project for the month of September…and today is my last day of employment with an AmeriCorps program as either a member or staff person.
It’s been 7 years.
For someone in my generation – that is an awful long time to devote to one employer, one program, one set of ideals.
If it weren’t for this year…I might be lobbying hard for another AmeriCorps related position. The truth of the matter is – I am burnt out. There is no shame in saying it. I am completely and utterly exhausted.
Ready for a change.
But it’s not going to be easy. This embracing unemployment and letting it ride is absolutely going against the grain of everything I stand for. Over-working myself, being as responsible as humanly possible, trying to control everything.
This process of letting my employment go is also a process of letting go of the illusion that I control my life. While at the same time – totally controlling it. I’m letting this happen, but it was a choice I made. I specifically CHOSE not to find another job. I CHOSE to enroll in a certification program. I CHOSE at least 6 months to a year of the opportunity to write something other than blog entries.
These are conscious decisions. But don’t try and tell that to my stomach in knots or my tension headache or the constant threat of tears this week. I am kind of a wreck over this decision, despite my faith in it being the right one.
Who CHOOSES unemployment? Who does that?
I do. Because it’s not often this opportunity to change my career track will align w/ a period of unemployment. Because I’ve worked since I was 16 with the longest reprieve being 4 months and I’m just fucking tired.
Just worked and worked and moved on to the next thing never really examining my career choices or what I REALLY want to do. And I know what I could do well, and be happy with. And now I’m going to attempt to do that thing.
It’s also the start of doing several things which should scare the bejesus out of me – babysitting my nephew 4 days a week and starting up a certification program in the tech field. I’m afraid. But not afraid at the same time.
This song – The Golden Floor by Snow Patrol has been rolling and rolling around in my head the last few days. Especially the chorus: “I’m not afraid of anything, even time, it’ll eat away at everything, we’ll be fine.”
This decision feels…selfish. It feels…awkward. It feels scary and wonderful and right and wrong. It’s the most conflicted I have ever felt in my life.
But it’s happening. I’m embracing it as calmly and resolutely as my body will let me.
Tomorrow starts a brand new phase in my life. Letting things happen to me. Relaxing my hold on the reins and embracing whatever is out there.
What. The. Hell.
It also starts a new month-long project for September – 30 Day Film Challenge. It smacks of lazy blogging, but I will also attempt some regular entries on top of that. Continuing the weekly “With Mindy” column. Hopefully having time to share my thoughts on the millions of other nerd things I’m thinking about all the time.
Guess what I finished, just in time for the opening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I? The “Other” Gryffindor scarf – which shows up in Prisoner of Azkaban (my personal favorite) and The Goblet of Fire (my least favorite). I modified the pattern a bit – used a heavier weight yarn: Aran/10 ply (8 wpi) instead of what the pattern suggested. Also used size 8 needles, as there were no size 7 at either of the two craft stores I visited. I only cast on 60 stitches per row, instead of the 100 it recommended. 100 would have been HUGE. This is the pattern I worked from – DID NOT alter the number of yellow rows. Ended up using barely one skein of the mustard colored yarn.
Here is the finished product:
We’ve been re-watching the Harry Potter movies leading up to the midnight showing and I’ve already spotted another HP item I’d like to knit up. Maybe as a hat for my mother. I’ll have to check the Charmed Knits book out from the library again…or maybe one of my kind friends or family will purchase one for me.
Anyways – finishing up this project is abnormally satisfying, as I am ready to take a much-needed break from knitting. Yes, after nearly 2.5 months of ALWAYS having a knitting project on the needles (as well as knitting up three birthday presents), I’m taking a week off. Well, maybe just a few days.
I’ll probably start something on Wednesday.
But another pleasurable indulgence has taken hold in the interim: VIDEO GAMES. Most specifically…
It was fantastical to be immersed in the world of Starkiller again, and both the DH and I managed to beat it in one day.
Yeah. That doesn’t seem right. It was a ridiculously short game. Much shorter than the Assassin’s Creed sequel, and also shorter than the original Force Unleashed. The original Force might just be one of my favorite video game experiences in a long, long time.
So – the sequel had a lot to live up to, and didn’t quite make it. It seemed like the storyline was rushed and lacking both the depth and breadth of the original. There was no twist, tangle or really any character arch or growth. Pretty disappointed in the story.
But the game play is excellent. I’d like to get my hands on a copy for the Wii, so I can experience the joy of wielding a light saber again. Otherwise, I’m holding out hope for the third installment. And praying they don’t make a movie out of these video games. I’m quite of the belief that this particular storyline fits so much better on the small screen, with all the intimacy of you, the controller and the TV.
Sure – this would have made a great movie. Theoretically, the prequels would have also made great flicks as well. And we all saw how that played out. No, I much prefer Starkiller, Juno, General Kota and Proxy to exist as playable characters in a video game. I really don’t want Lucas putting his grubby mitts on these folks.
For those doubters – you must answer this question: what would the story gain from being turned into a movie? Video games are already visual and auditory, as well as tactile. Movies just remove one of the sensory experiences. In my opinion, more movies need to be turned into video games. 🙂 But GOOD video games. Not the shite that is already churned out by the direct-to-game industry.
Of course – any obsession or interest is automatically filtered through my youtube lens – so please enjoy a few videos I’ve stumbled across in my searching:
The classic fanvid: music plus video clips
Something altogether different – a lego fight sequence inspired by Force Unleashed.
That’s all you get folks.
We’re picking up a copy of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood tomorrow after work, so you can look forward to some madness on that end. We’ve got Harry Potter on Thursday/Friday and the Portland Comic Book Show on Sunday, so you can pretty much be guaranteed some posts in the near future. Get excited! 😀
Tonight saw the completion of a project that has been in the works for nearly a year now. Last spring my Nephew requested a Harry Potter scarf. Seeing as his birthday is this weekend, and the second to last HP movie is opening this month, it seemed quite fateful that he should receive the hand-knit scarf and a ticket to a midnight showing of the Harry Potter movie on his birthday.
The ultimate goal was to have this scarf completed before his birthday party on 11/07/2010. Considering that I started on 10/16/2010 – I was actually hoping to be done before now. Well, technically, it’s been complete for the last week – just sitting around waiting for me to tackle tassles. Yes, as with all projects that require a new skill…I was nervous about tassles. Once I finally sat down this evening and watched a YouTube tutorial, I realized it was stupidly easy and I’ve been quite a little fool for being afeared of this task up until now.
Originally, I thought I would bump the sizes down a little bit in order to make this fit on an 8 year old – this pattern found at Leaky Cauldron in the Harry Potter Crafts section is more for adults. The knitting went much slower than I anticipated. At one point I considered only doing 15 blocks of color just to be done with the damn thing. Throughout the project, I averaged about a block of color a day. On the best days I could knock out three. I ended up with 19 color blocks total which fits the original pattern. That’s 70 stitches, x22 rows, x19 blocks of color = 29260. Almost 30,000 stitches went into the creation of this scarf. Pretty wild, huh?
The scarf was knit in Cascade 220 Wool Yarn in red and yellow.
Here are some pics of the completed project:
With the Halloween holiday interruption, it took about 20 days total. That doesn’t leave me much time to tackle another two scarves in time for the Midnight release on the 19th. Hmph. I’ve already started another one with a different pattern from the Prisoner of Azkaban (one of my favorite films of the HP series). It’s purple and yellow, so I’m not sure if Dan or myself will be rocking it.
Of course I’ll be posting pics when/if it’s completed in time. This second scarf is with a heavier weight yarn and size 8 needles, which means less stitches, so technically it COULD take less time. I really only started in earnest last night and have already clocked 25 of the first 30 rows. Fingers crossed that I can knock it out in 15 days!
New Skills Gained: making tassles, adding fringe, knitting a scarf in the round
YES: I realize I’ve been a terrible blogger lately. Can I just blame it all on my new job? Basically I’ve gained the much coveted (in my world anyway) mantle of AmeriCorps Program Coordinator but it comes at the cost of tackling two programs. Which used to be staffed and supported by like 5 people. So here’s me…on the raggedy edge for the next 12 months.
So please, bear with me. I promise that I’ll post content very soon, but it’ll probably be sporadic the next month due to hosting multiple day orientations in the next three weeks. And settling into another office. And trying not to go stark raving mad.
BUT: I can promise you more content regarding the Phoenix tattoo (another appointment on the 11th!) AND the aforementioned post comparing the Lizbeths of the World (going to see Eat, Pray, Love this weekend). Probably some True Blood Season 3 wrap-up in there somewhere. Not to mention gurglings about some of my favorite TV shows right now…
October will feature a Wordstock wrap-up and lots of posts regarding the extravaganza known as Halloween (The Walking Dead TV series!).
November is the Portland Comic Book Show, Harry Potter and Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood.
ALSO: I’m applying for a MLIS program this year, which will hopefully start up in August. For those not in the know, an MLIS is a Master’s in Library and Information Science. I’ll probably update snippets here and there on ye old blog regarding that process.
ALSO: Expect to see a few knitting posts cropping up. I promise only appropriately themed nerd projects (Jayne Hats and HP scarves in the future).
RIGHT NOW: Emerald City Comic Con 2011 tix are on-sale today. I’m reserving mine immediately. I’m also clearing out my calendar. No, seriously. And there’s a kick-ass hotel 6 blocks from the convention center with free parking and wireless. It’s $59 a night, which is pretty comparable to what we ended up paying at a crappy Motel 6 two years ago. The hotel looks kinda skeevy, but oh well. I don’t plan on spending much time there!
Stumptown Comics Fest posted their dates already. April 16 and 17. They’ve also decided to wear big boy pants and move to the Convention Center. Read all about it here.
I feel like such a proud nerd right now – seeing my Pacific NW comic book scene pull its shit together so early. It is keeping me from going balls-out-crazy with work stress.
Please, have patience with my slothenly ways. I’ll come back in full force pretty soon. Just need some space to catch my breath!
Day 3 was another early rise – and it was COSTUME DAY! We donned our BSG gear and headed out around 8am fully prepared to snag the Trolley. We lucked into a shuttle ride over and plopped ourselves down in the Hall H line for the Green Lantern, Harry Potter and Sucker Punch panel.
The line was pretty comparable at that point (at least, we thought) to where we were at on Thursday, but we ended up in the last five rows of the auditorium despite our early rising and pre-planning. The WB swag for this panel was incredible – a reasonably sized tote bag, a “Wanted” HP shirt, a limited edition Green Lantern comic book and a Sucker Punch bracelet.
The Green Lantern panel itself was pretty exciting. Ryan Reynolds is a bright and terribly funny dude, and the clips they showed had some pretty wicked cool CGI. They will feature a lot of the Lantern Corps characters (none of which I know, but the audience seemed pretty excited) and even had the scribe Geoff Johns on the panel confirming that the movie will be bad-ass. They skirted the issue of a Justice League film in the future…but clearly this film is a jumping off point for that.
Ryan Reynolds had a delightful exchange with a young questioner who asked him how it felt to recite the Green Lantern oath (which he promptly did to the delight of the audience) and signed a free comic book for the boy, who was wearing a green lantern ring. Then Reynolds handed off his own ring to one lucky con-goer.
The Harry Potter panel was next – and Tom Felton aka Draco Malfoy arrived to show us the clip, which was an extended trailer rather than a chunk of the film itself (which many of us were hoping for). It all looks very stunning, but honestly the 3D didn’t add much to my experience, so I don’t think I’ll be plunking down an extra $3 in November. It was a little under-whelming and half of the Hall bolted out the door (including Smalls, on her way to a Vampire Diaries signing) immediately after.
Which leaves us with Sucker Punch. I’d seen a single image from it – featuring four scantily clad dangerous looking womens and some leering male ringleader, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this one. Clearly there is fighting and action as the title would seem to indicate, and the presence of Jenna Malone brings an element of respectability to the affair…though I am on the fence about Zack Snyder as a director. The premise is intriguing – a woman confined to an insane asylum creates a fantasy world along with three other ladies who can share in these adventures which centered around killing Nazi zombies, slaying dragons and fighting robots. So – count me in. Even if it lacks substance, the visuals alone were quite stunning.
I was annoyed though by our proximity to the entrance doors, the constant stream of chatting and rustling during the panel made it hard to hear and concentrate on the women. Snyder kept referring to them as “the girls” as if they were one unit, and the majority of the audience questions were “did you know you’re a woman?” Ugh. It was frustrating.
We sacrificed our long wait for Hall H seats after that and dashed over to the Hilton for The Guild panel. We happened to arrive there just at the same time as Ryan Reynolds, so Dan was able to shake his hand and compliment his work as an actor. It was definitely a very cool moment.
Just a little over-shadowed by our complete inability to make it into the panel we wanted. We waited for an hour and then gave up once the announcement was made. But we got to hang out by the Bay, stare at a Dole boat and catch a glimpse of some crabs…so it wasn’t entirely wasted time.
Since we didn’t have anything else on the docket aside from potentially seeing Scott Pilgrim vs. The World in the evening, we wandered back towards the Convention Center and noticed that the Hall H line was nearly empty, so we decided to camp out and try to make it back in for the Marvel Panel.
Warner Brothers studios, after releasing two amazing trailers which had the fan-worlds buzzing, was sitting pretty two weeks ago.
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince:
Now, not so much.
Warner Brothers is suffering the results of it’s own hubris.
Firstly – the wild seven month release date time leap for the Half Blood Prince (HBP). In a country where Entertainment is news and news is entertainment and both are DEADLY SERIOUS to the masses, this is the equivalent of Global Warming…meaning that some people (like myself) want to believe that this doesn’t exist.
Hence, the Release Date petitions. I found at least three of them. Kudos to you if you can spot more.
But, they never intended to cause umbrage (heh, Doloris) with HP fans. Surely not. You can read the the WB President’s statement here and read the reaction of hardcore HP lovers.
Secondly is the most recently released news that FOX (those greedy bastards) are taking WB and the Watchmen to task, claiming they own all rights to the franchise. It’s all sticky, legal nastiness you can read about here.