Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tiny Tea Party on the ceiling

I've always had a small fascination with doll house furniture and various other bits necessary to make a house. How do they make food so tiny? Can you actually open up and read the books? Where's their closet overflowing with plastic skeletons (that would be the model of my house)?

 About the only part I never cared about were the dolls and the house part. (I'm complicated like that).

Putting together my husbands new found clay making skills along with my "I'll paint anything at lest once" we threw our hat into the making tiny fake food ring.

We've made breakfast:
Chicken and a meatball sub
Some tasty desserts in the form of cherry pie, cherry crumble and strawberry shortcake.
A classic hamburger, hotdog and french fry lunch
Spaghetti and meatballs and lasagna for some italian fair
A cupcake, cup of coffee and muffin for the lighter lunches.
Pepperoni pizza
A steak dinner complete with green beans and baked potato
Finally a Taco Salad.
They're all around the size of a pinkie nail to about a quarter for the pizza. And if I am ever smart I'd take picture before I paint them but I am horrible at before pics.

We have a plan that has nothing to do with dollhouses but well we got distracted by shiny riffs and haven't moved much past the making the food step of our three part plan.

I will say one thing, it is incredibly depressing to have cupcakes dancing through your head as you paint one only to realize that you don't have anything in your house.

Monday, June 28, 2010


If you can't tell by now when it comes to craft type projects I have more than just a touch of ADD (okay more than a touch, I'm practically at DaVinci levels).

There's the painting that I'd really only started a year and a half ago, there's the recently discovered soap making, when I'm tired of that there are halloween props that need sanding/painting/gluing/destroying. And now I've added a few new ones to the ol repertoire.

I'm currently trying my hands at making a compilation of myths about the Midwest (since the rest of the country couldn't give a crap about it) and there are other secret activities I've been churning out the past week that I shall share soon.

But the iRiff, the thing that drug you here. Right right. Quick backstory first, you know MST3K a bunch of robots (and the obligatory human) sit around making bad movies fun again. The show ended in 1999 and a few years back some of the original cast embraced the internet technologies with open arms.

First they would offer downloadable tracks to add to the typical blockbuster cheese that hollywood likes to chuck at us during the blistering months.

After a time they had an idea, what if we let the fans put up their own tracks to anything they like that they won't touch with a 10 foot pole (it's like outsourcing but with love).

Anyway long story short thanks to my computer update finally my husband and I can write and record our own Rifftrax. For our first victim we took on a simple short from the 50's about how to have a good party.

Here's a sample.

The entire thing can be viewed by going here. 

We've got another half finished short script waiting in the wings involving Benjamin Franklin and some freezers and more plans for a few obscure movies.

I've been doing written riffs of bad stories since I was in highschool. It's still wild to think I've got a short under my belt as it were.

Tune in tomorrow for that other craft that my husband and I have been working diligently as of late (oh and I have a super early birthday present I'm loving like crazy)

Same Introverted Time. Same Introverted Channel.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Get Yer Ball

We've come under a deluge of biblical proportions. Yesterday we were hit for three different thunderstorms each trying to outdo the previous by employing stronger winds, louder thunder and a few flying cows.

I'm guessing some evil mad scientist thinks controlling the weather in Nebraska will get him world domination (never ask when mad scientists are involved) or we've been ordered to return back to a Precambrian ocean. Either way it means we have to get a bit creative with our high strung puppy as she refuses to go outside when it's wet.

Last night my husband thought he'd try to see if she could get her ball out from under the laundry basket. What ensued was well you just have to watch.

We make her do goofy things and preserve them for posterity because it's the only way of getting back at a 3 AM I have to go out potty and run around in the backyard for 10 minutes eating sticks while you wait. You know the same reason parents dress their toddlers in the strangest outfits to embarrass them once they're teenagers.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Mmm, Fresh Squeezed Tornadoes

Last night we had a fairly typical June night in Nebraska.

It started in the high 80's/low 90's with a mugginess that clings to the bones. With your Nebraska skin freshly covered in scotch guard so the sweat threatening to bud up slides right off you a wind picks up out of the North/South/East/West/Heaven.

Out of the corner of your eye you catch these flowing across the sky like homicidal icebergs.
Holding your breath for a minute in case you accidentally fell into a sci-fi blockbuster and the alien ship is about to burst through the clouds you wait to see what the weather has planned next.

While you stand outside staring up like a turkey that swallowed a lead pipe the birds have a different plan:
Take to the high ground as the sky turns gray green and wait for your secret hidden bird bunker to open.

A few minutes later and the skies finally crack, sending a deluge onto the already over intoxicated land (we're about half way done with the arc but have no idea where we can get a pair of Minotaurs from).

The sky, getting tired of the grey goes for a nerve rattling green/orange/yellow:
The clouds book it across the sky probably late for another weather speed dating session (clouds are notorious daters) not bothering to wait to see if a funnel even bothered to touch down.

But the sun can't wait for the storm to abate and sets leaving behind this:
Finally you go inside to spend the light listening to thunder and lightning bicker over who does the damn dishes again.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

It's the Twitpocalypse!

You may have heard that there was something bad that happened causing the other bad thing leading to twitter crashing more than a 5 year old getting into the halloween candy stash.

This then lead to me whipping up a little something and announcing that I am going to be leading the Twitter apocalypse:
That's right I am apparently the Twitter Anti-Christ. I had no idea but hard to argue with the horns and forehead tattoo:
Which then lead to me calling for my four horsemen so once I figure out exactly how these supposed Anti-Christ powers work and if I shall end the world by unleashing a horse of juggling emus upon it or rivers of flaming chocolate complete with gondolier gummy bears we can ride together.

Except you can't have four horsemen without cool pictures to go with them.

Coming in first, Big Red, the Destroyer of Prior, Himself to end Himself, WAR!
Complete with awesome head shot (pun possibly intended):
The Second horse man, The Pale Thunder, The Equalizer from Ecuador, The only thing that can stop him is a bad game of chess - DEATH:
For that up close skull look:
Our Third Horseman is better known as the White Rider, the Suspicious Lump, The Ooze from your Caboose, forty million fleas can't be wrong - Pestilence:
About the safest way to get up close and personal with her:
And last, but certainly not least, everyone's favorite Red rider, The Tummy Rumbler, Hankering for some Baconring, The Great Emaciator - Famine!
Famine turned out to be my favorite so I made two different head shots for him:
Now that we've got our line up let's ride onto the unending of the Internet.

What do you mean you don't have any transportation? What kind of riders are you?

Oh so you have a pogo stick at home do you War? And you have access to a unicycle Pestilence . . . can you ride it? Yeah I didn't think so.

Fine I'll get you all bus passes.

Fear the Four Dreaded Bus Riders of the Apocalypse.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Dear Essie

You Made It a Year

But You Don't Get a Beer

Despite My Threats to Sell You

And That Garden Frog You Ate

We're Glad You're Here

Now For The Love of God

Don't Misbehave.

It's my puppy's one year birthday. It's hard to believe just a year ago this:
Looked like this:
All seven of the little scallywags have grown into their own personalities, maddening psychoses and varying level's of energy (apparently we were "lucky" enough to get the Tesla coil of the group).

But who wants to hear about how the dogs can drive you crazy with their constant need for ball, someone to snuggle with on the couch or the new pavlovian responses she's picked up where the sound of me closing my laptop equals jump up and run off cause Mom has to play with me now.

Not when you can see cute pictures of teeny tiny puppies.

Here's the litter at just one day old:
And then at five days:
In just a month they changed this much:

We got to see the whole litter one last time when we babysat for a weekend.

Happy Birthday all you adorable scamps who aren't so little or, hopefully, quite so rambunctious anymore.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Discworld in Soap form

When not packing for the trip, cleaning before the trip, mowing the lawn so it doesn't consume a small village before the trip and being on the trip I and my husband were creating.

For me it was nothing too exciting, I had a pretty blue sponging background 11X14 painting staring back at me for a while.

While I was creating a special black tag for someone's towel soap order I decided what the hell and tried to use up the rest of the black paint to make a new tree. It was as unplanned as all the rest but I like the way it took shape over a few days:
It's for sale here under the exceedingly uncreative title of Abstract Tree.

While I was painting my husband was hard at work crafting a series of special molds that could be combined to create the nerdiest soap ever.

I give you the Discworld is soap form:
It's created using three different molds, the turtle, the elephant and the disc itself. I then come back and hand paint to give it more depth and bring out some of the details from the model.

The whole thing is only about 2 ounces so it'd fit well in a soap dish. The elephants are by far the hardest as I have to pipe burning hot glycerin into a mold no bigger than my pinkie. But as my previous elephant army shows they are damn adorable.

The Discworld soap is up for sale for $10 and it can be whatever scent you'd like. I imagine if Great A'Tuin had a choice he'd go with something brisk but oceany or possibly the Banana Bread cause that stuff smells awesome.

That's the latest to roll out of our ol' factory. There are a few soap molds still cooling and a painting needing a few more coats of glow in the dark paint but they shall have to wait for another day.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A New Kind of Chip

There was a trend a while back where mother's (it's always mothers, because father's are given a plaque and retirement watch for spending more than 10 minutes with their spawn) were told to mask and bury vegetables inside foods.

As a person who can pick out that one stray piece of coconut, find pineapple juice in a sea of other juices and don't even bother trying to sneak a stray baked bean past me I was appalled. No one would believe me that no I have not simply never had a good piece of coconut or pot of beans I hate everything about it and if you try to sneak a bit past me and watch to see if I'll like it you're going to get a wad of half eaten goo handed back to you.

I also wonder about these children that have no idea they're eating "magical, make you perfect" vegetables. If you really grow up being lied to by your parents for years about what is and isn't food what happens when you move away and have to cook for yourself. Those "mashed potatoes" made from real potatoes are going to taste a lot better than pureed cauliflower (which is an abomination, make up your mind are you broccoli or some sort of non flavored spirit of a vegetable here to inflict pain upon the world).

Instead of opening them to the world of vegetables at a younger age so they could develop a taste and love of them you hid them away like a dirty secret treating them as something to be feared and ashamed of. As any God fearing housewife knows, you only save that tactic for sex and eating chocolate, duh.

This little diatribe is getting to a point, a point about chips. But not chips made from what pseudo-nutrition has declared nothing better than chewing on Styrofoam the potato, but that sweeter tastier cousin the yam (or sweet potato if you want to get technicalish).

A local BBQ joint that's really only good for one thing makes these delectable homemade sweet potato chips you can't help but gobble up by the boatload (I bet you guessed what their one good thing is, yes their Caesar salad made with a bulb of garlic so you can shoot flaming anti-vampire spray from your mouth after).

For a long time my husband and I kept talking about how we should try to make them at home. Wouldn't it be a great idea, blah blah blah. Then I'd usually forget at the grocery store as I hunted for whatever was on sale to create meals for the week.

But that all changed (obvioulsy or this would be a short and pointless post -- well more pointless) last week when I snagged up two yams/sweet potatoes/alien pods.

We don't have a mandolin so I did the second best (maybe third if you have a home guillotine) and used my vegetable peeler to slice of thin pieces of the two yams, collected those and tossed them into hot oil for about 5 minutes or so.

You don't want to let them turn brown just a more translucent less orangey hue. They'll continue to cook and crisp up a bit on the drying rack. But be careful you'll be so tempted to taste a few as they're cooling there is a high chance to tongue burnage plan accordingly.
Are these better for you than regular old potato chips? I have no idea, I rather doubt it but as we declared war on the potato and the corn cob and labeled them anti-vegetable I guess one must make due with what one is allowed to have by Food Big Brother.

But these are some of the most addictive tasty chips I've ever had. The slight sweetness really rings through so I personally don't feel like they need a bit of salt added. Just a crunch and a lingering hint of sugar on the tongue.

I made up both of the yams thinking we'd have some leftover I could bag up but before we knew it the entire bowl was empty (well not entirely before we knew, the slowly lowering level was a bit of a hint).

What is the moral of this post? That hiding veggies from your kids is lying and could mess them up really bad down the road? That randomly declaring a food worse than Hitler is overkill? Or that making sweet potato chips at home with just a vegetable peeler and a drying rack is incredibly tasty and I heartily recommend it?

Yeah let's go with the last one, I've got yams to peel. *crunch crunch crunch*

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A conclave of Nerdom

Commercials, anti-aging products and fantasy camps all rely upon convincing the world that it was a much simpler and better time when we were children.

You could spend every night outside chasing fireflies with nary a care in the world, conveniently forgetting that there was a stack of homework half your height waiting for you back inside as well as a 9 hour bedtime and a parent who doesn't understand why in the world you'd possibly be needing that ticket to go see those robots that talk over movies live. Now eat your broccoli and shut up.

I'd much rather be an adult. Sure saddled with more responsibilities and the like, but now I can decide if I want to try something a little different for dinner, if I'll go ahead and join that Halloween prop making group and if I'll drive 6 hours to a show to celebrate nerdom known as #w00tstock.

The last one was in there because that's exactly what my husband and I did the past weekish. On Friday we put in the requisite extra 10 hours of work just to leave our house and go on vacation cleaning everything up, mowing the lawn, organizing it all, doing laundry so that once we come back we have to do it all again because apparently little mess making organisims move in to house sit.

We dropped Essie off at my parents so she could spend five days tormenting her brothers.
Apparently she missed us for about an hour and then there were brother ears to chew on.

We packed up and were off to the land of lakes, forests, uffda and lutefisk. We were heading to Minneapolis.

Okay so my husband and I had already been to the Twin Cities about two years prior for our honeymoon but this time was a bit different, for the Saturday-Monday we'd get to hang out with some friends that I'd only met on the scary internet.

I've been doing the web thing for quite a while now, since the wild west days of the late 90's when everyone had a website I made a friend that we would email back and forth (it sounds so quaint now like having a pen pal).

The early 00's brought my foray into a message board world where I once again connected and made new friends but still due to my location and the fact that I was a poor college student I knew I would never get to meet any of those electronic chums.

Then came the announcement of #w00tstock (got to include the hashtag because this is so twitter twined you'd think the little bird was sponsoring it) and a chance to not only see a gathering of nerds so epic outside a comicon the world may implode but also some of those good old twitter friends were gonna be there too.
I saw this sign on the trip and it seemed almost prophetic (well prophetic with a little help from a paint job).

Eight hours, a small stop over in Ames Iowa to kill some time as the puppy got us up at an ungodly hour to start out and we were there. The Twin Cities:
What was to follow was hours of jam packed fun followed by a quick nap at night only to have a continental breakfast catered by Jesse Venture and emceed by Garrison Keillor lead into more jam packed fun.

Saturday night was a comedy show to get us ready for the bigger things to come on Monday. There were 5 various bachelorette parties there. Watching the feathered boas, penis shaped necklaces and constant marriage ribbing made me very glad I was deemed far too old for one of those things of my own.

After some of the life lost while making the trip was gained back sleeping we were off again on Sunday, this time to The Mall. There need be no explanation in the Cities, everyone knows what The Mall means. But if you're say just tuning in The Mall would be the one of America, you know the one they crashed an amusement park into.

We showed up at about 10:30 where as we were heading to the doors I suddenly had an epiphany "Crap, it's Sunday so that can only mean one thing. Nothing will be open!"
And sure enough I was right. It was so dead certain corners had a zombie movie feel. I kept expecting a monster to stumble out of a Sears mumbling about brains.

So my husband and I circled the third floor once and before we knew it an hour was up and everything was opening (seriously, the mall is that big you can spend an hour just walking a floor and not going inside anything).

We met up with our fellow twitter nerdlings and made trips inside weird shops, scored some awesome ice cube trays and geeked out in a FYE where I realized that if you point a camera at someone you can get them to do just about anything:
I swear I will only use my powers for good-ish. I'll only level a couple villages, you won't even notice they're gone.

One of the twitter friends traveling with us, I'll call her Sunrise, kept wanting to visit the thing in the basement. That was about all we knew, there was a thing in the basement and we had to see it. Oh and it involved a guy in a blue shark suit following us around the entire day.
Down into the depths we traveled where we discovered to our horror the thing in the basement.

I should warn you now, if you have any small children in the room send them out now before you gaze upon the Thing in the basement of the Mall of America.
Because they might want one of their own.

Though it wasn't all adorable sea turtles, you can't tell me this Jellyfish exhibit isn't something out of any horror sci fi movie.

I took some video of our trip through the rather large basement aquarium that had probably the most sharks I've ever seen:

By the time we left the Mall it was 8 hours after we'd arrived and I'm pretty sure my legs were about to pick up a sign and go on strike.

So we headed back to our hotel for rest, recuperation and so I could share the picture with the rest of the internets.

Monday brought another awesome day making a trip to the Science Museum where my history nerdness went into hyper overload. We'd already planned to go to the Science museum way back in whenever this trip was planned.

When we got there we discovered the special exhibit wasn't some CSI experience or a traveling section of plasticized bodies. No, it was none other than sections of the Dead Sea Scrolls!

I'll give you a minute to let that sink in.

Go ahead and take your time, I know it's pretty damn monumental.

Okay so I'm probably the only one of the group that was freaking out. But I'm the kind of person that if I find any show about the scrolls or the gnostic bibles on the History channel I have to watch it. I knew so much about those things it's crazy.

We wound up spending 2 hours in the no pictures allowed scroll section viewing various pots the scrolls were found in, hearing theories from scholars about who wrote the scrolls and why they were placed in the caves and finally seeing pieces of them with our own two eyes.

It's one of those things that if you come in and just look at you wouldn't think much of. The pieces were no bigger than your hand, jagged and ripped. The writing was so small it gave your hand a cramp just thinking about it.

But then you stop and realize these are over 2,000 years old. They were written when Rome controlled the world, when Europe was just a vast bastion of "barbarians." And they've survived for that long. What do we have now recording our history would survived 2,000 years of sitting in a cave sealed away inside clay pots?

Sorry forgive the geeking out there, I'm so bad I actually got a replica pot to keep on my mantle. I think I'll make my own scroll to keep inside it.

There was lots to see at the science museum too, like a replica of the Mayan calendar that says we're all gonna die in 2012 (or not really, I bet they just ran out of stone and stopped carving):
And dinosaurs, lots and lots of fun dinosaurs!
And now we get to the real meat, the show, the entire reason we made that trek up north.


It's just indescribable, the meeting of nerds of all types come together to revel and laugh at our shared journey on this big blue ball.

I don't know if I could put it all to words watching the likes of Wil Wheaton, Adam Savage, the MST3K guys - Bill, Kevin and Trace, as well as tons of other internet famous comedians share the stage for what in the end amounted to 5 straight hours of laughing so hard we couldn't talk the next day.

How about I just show you instead.

For any MSTies here's Trace Beaulieu performing his book of poems for belligerent children:

Here Bill Corbett & Kevin Murphy write and perform some silly songs for silly songing:

And now for you Mythbusters nuts here Adam Savage tells some great tales about Jamie and gives heartfelt geek memories as well as a kleenex douche and singing like gollum:

We didn't get to bed til 2 in the morning where we then got up at 9 the next day to travel 3 hours north to do really boring things I'm sure none of you need to know about.

It was awesome, fun, gut bustingly hilarious and wonderful to get to spend the time traveling around doing touristy things with fellow nerds. I hope I get the chance to meet other internet people I've met at least everyone I've made a soap or painting for that's gotten something a little extra for keeps.

So if we've ever interacted in anyway stay sharp, you never know when I could be lurking in the bushes waiting for the opportunity to attack!