Flashback Friday: Singin’ in the Rain

Yesterday, snow hit my Texas town. My students were entranced by the flurries of fat snowflakes, and while we all waited for the principal to call an early dismissal, the kids danced and ran and jumped in the snow. Pure joy. When I finally made it home, the snow had stopped, but the joy continued when I turned on TCM and saw “Singin’ in the Rain.”

Released in 1952 and starring Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, and Debbie Reynolds, the movie, set in the 1920’s, is about a popular silent movie star whose star may now be fading with the release of “talkies.”

The story is filled with wonderful acting (Jean Hagen as the ditzy, vain movie star Lena Lamont is hilarious) and some great songs (I defy you to hear “Good Morning” and not smile), but the standouts in this musical are the dance numbers. Donald O’Connor’s acrobatics in “Make ‘Em Laugh” defy the laws of physics. And no one danced like Gene Kelly, who was so masculine and graceful at the same time.

When I watched Kelley splash around joyfully in his famous “Singin’ in the Rain,” I was thought three things: 1) I saw that exact same happiness earlier in the day with my kids dancing in the snow, 2) I could watch Kelly dance forever, and 3) I’ve never wanted to be an umbrella so badly in my life.

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Project 365

One of the things I really want to do this year is take more photos. I just downloaded the Project 365 Pro app to help me with this goal. I’ve used it in the past with some success, but a stolen phone kept me from completing the whole year.

I think of this app not only as a visual diary, but also as a push to help me be more creative by looking at things from different perspectives and finding beauty in the ordinary.

Only 364 more days to go!

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Nerdy New Year’s Resolutions

Sure, the old standbys are still true: be more organized, run more, conquer Tree pose without tipping over, actually get to a damned yoga class…
But I have a few nerdy resolutions that are just as important. Let’s do this.

1. Score SDCC Badges:
Back in November, my nerdy luck finally ran out and I didn’t score badges for me or the best friend. As the spinning blue circle continued to taunt me, it was clear that not only was 4 Days + Preview night out of the question, I wouldn’t even get a Sunday badge.
Unthinkable. Unacceptable. Unpossible. Impossible.

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So, at the top of this list is to get those badges, continue my yearly pilgrimage to San Diego, and blissfully stand in line for hours for a panel. I don’t know what it’s going to take, but this is my Hunger Games. And I’m freaking Katniss, albeit without the awesome archery skills.

2. Blog More:
First of all, can this entry count? Between work and life and the thousands of papers that need to be graded, sometimes all I want to do is marathon a few episodes of Parks and Rec and just escape. I suppose I could always write about my Netflix dependency. BOOM. There’s a possible entry right there.
But seriously, blog more, think about blogging more less.

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3. Continue Nerdy Adventures:
Last year was filled with incredibly nerdy travel experiences that I could check off my bucket list: visiting Harry Potter Studios, Platform 9 3/4, and 221 B. Baker Street in London, seeing where J.K. Rowling wrote in Edinburgh, flying the TARDIS with the Eleventh Doctor in Cardiff, sitting in the Iron Throne at San Diego Comic Con. I was so lucky.

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A month ago, I impulsively bought tickets to Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim. I’m going Solo (see what I did there?), but I hope this will lead to more cons and nerdy travel experiences, if nothing else than to help with #2.

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I’m sure I could list more, but I do have that Tree pose to do, so it’s best not to spread myself too thin. How about you guys? Do you have any nerdy resolutions? I’d love to hear them!

Happy New Year’s, friends. 2014 was a fabulous year, but 2015 is going to bring us Jurassic Park, Star Wars, and the Avengers. And that’s just movies! I have a feeling 2015 is going to be an awesome year.

Ce N’est Pas Une Lune!

Yesterday, a couple of friends and I decided to explore our artistic sides at a social art studio called “I Painted That!”. We signed up for the two hour art class, which was to be a picture of a couple strolling through Paris. We were also encouraged to bring wine. Drinking and painting? Yes, please.

A few days before, I jokingly said that I was going to paint a zombie horde coming toward the blissful couple. Then I decided I’d paint Chris Hardwick as the guy in the picture. Then the idea of the TARDIS and the phrase “Allons-y” became a possibility. After the Jurassic World trailer came out, I really wanted to paint a T-Rex. But when the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer was released, I knew it had to be the iconic Death Star hanging in the Parisian sky. I love Star Wars, and more importantly, the Death Star is basically a circle that even I could draw.

Before the evening class, my friend had already hit the Chardonnay in the afternoon, so I knew it was going to be a hilarious class. Exhibit A, and by the way, I’m the blue texts.

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When we arrived to class, we had all our necessary materials: bottles of wine, popcorn, chocolate-covered Lays potato chips, and some salami and Gouda cheese. Oh, and no artist would ever attempt their masterpiece without a wine glass sippy cup.

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The canvas already had the couple and Eiffel Tower roughly sketched in pencil, so anyone could do this. As the night progressed, that blank canvas started to tell a picture.

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But while people worried about creating the perfect color for their dusky skyline, I was wondering about the perfect color for my Death Star. And in the end, I created exactly what I wanted.

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We drank. We laughed. We painted. We spilled wine. And then we drank some more. I’m quite sure the teacher was not impressed with what we did, but at least we put our own twist on it. I was 99.9% sure that she would pixelate us out of the Facebook and website picture, but she didn’t. I’m secretly hoping that when someone takes the “Parisian Stroll” class, they request the Star Wars option.

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A Geeky Christmas

Last year, I wanted to make really cute and geeky personalized Christmas cards for my friends and family. After scouring Etsy and not finding what I wanted, I stumbled upon the Red Stamp app. They also have a website, but I love that I can create cards from my phone.

All you have to do is create an account and start making your cards! The app saves all your drafts and cards you sent. There’s even an option on your sent cards to edit in case you were struck with a really creative idea after you already made it (this happens to me quite a lot).

What I love it that you have so many sending options. You can send it as a postcard or real card. There’s really something quite lovely about receiving cards in the mail. The cards run less than four bucks with postage included.

But there’s also a digital option which allows you to share your cards through email, text, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook…for free. I have so many amazing friends that I only really talk to through social media, but it makes me so joyful that I can create and share a card for them as well.

Here are a few that I created yesterday and some from last year. The card templates already have greetings on them, so it was just a matter of finding an image. In some cases, I added a personal message, but I’m still racking my brain for something about the T-Rex. If you can think of something, I’d love to hear it!

Give it a try–I think you’ll have some fun with it. Happy Holidays!

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San Diego Silver Lining

Today started off with so much hope. I got up, turned on my laptop, and waited for the familiar blue, spinning circle to appear on my screen. That’s right. It was the Pre-Registration sale for San Diego Comic Con, the chance for previous attendees to try their luck before the general sale offers the badges to the whole flipping world.

As I sat at my computer, watching the Doctor Who marathon on BBC America, I felt calm. At peace. Confident.

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At 10:01, I was zen as sales began. At 10:09, I was starting to feel a bit less zen. At the first banner announcing low quantities of Preview night, I still held some hope. Who needs Preview night? At 10:27, the banner read Saturday and Friday were gone. And just like that, I knew. I knew. I was zen less. At 10:36, the banner read all the badges were sold out.

Was this going to be the first time in four years that I wasn’t going to be lining up for panels, seeing sneak previews, and taking pictures of incredible cosplayers? I felt like this was a nerd Christmas special, “A Year without a Comic Con.” I even tweeted that. And then something really amazing happened.

I had friends on Twitter commiserate with me, offer virtual hugs, and, even more amazingly, promise to help me score badges during the general sale. Strange, isn’t it, how people you don’t see in your day to day, “real” life can be true friends in every sense of the definition?

I think this is the reason I love San Diego Comic Con. It’s brought so many people into my life, and that is just extraordinary. It’s the reason that I will gather my up my forces and get my tickets for 2015. I have no doubt that I will be a part of the awesome craziness again this summer. And if the nerd gods just happen to throw a curveball my way and keep me from getting tickets in March, I will still make the trip to San Diego and be a part of all it, in some way or another. It’s just too special to not experience.

Top 5 Fandom: Geeky Accessories I Need Immediately

The awesome ladies behind Super Space Chick and The Nerdy Girlie have come up with an amazing link up project called ” 5 Fandom Fridays.” I missed the first post about the fandoms that made me who I am (um, just FYI: Disney, Star Wars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Harry Potter, and Doctor Who), but here’s the second topic: Geeky Clothing I Need in My Closet Immediately.

As much as I’d like to, I can’t really go to work dressed in my nerdy tees and Comic Con outfits. Sometimes, I feel the need to wear my Her Universe TARDIS cardigan or my favorite skirt ever, but most days I like to share my geekiness through accessories. They may not scream fandom like some of my weekend staples, but I love that they are almost a secret to be shared only with others who recognize them.

So after spending a few, lovely hours on Etsy, here are my five top five geeky accessories that I covet rather desperately.

1. Pride and Prejudice may be my favorite Jane Austen novel, but Captain Wentworth’s letter at the end of Persuasion is particularly swoon worthy. This infinity scarf is what I want to wear the next time it’s cold, and I’m feeling a little resentful that people don’t write love letters anymore.

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2. There are a lot of gorgeous Doctor Who items on Etsy, but I really love the simplicity of this necklace that spells out the Doctor’s name in Gallifreyan. I also love that only a Doctor Who fan would recognize what this is.

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3. You don’t often find Sherlock Holmes jewelry that pays homage to all the key players, but this awesome cuff bracelet does so in such a cool way. Just as a side note, everything in this particular Etsy store Jezebel Charms is gorgeous.

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4. As much as I love Harry Potter, I must admit that I do not know what my Patronus would be (I kind of feel like a die hard Potter fan shouldknow what theirs is). Maybe wearing these earrings would help.

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5. And finally my dream piece, the piece that I would have to save and save for, but it would be so worth it. This amazing cuff bracelet would be a lovely reminder every time I looked at it that Jurassic World is happening. This would definitely help me wait for the movie with (some) patience.

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I can’t wait to read what others have posted about their top 5. How about you, readers? Anything geeky and fashionable that you absolutely need right now?