April 30, 2013

Favorite quotes from Game of Thrones: Kissed By Fire

This episode of Game of Thrones could have been renamed Game of Butts. There were a lot of bare back sides. I mean, more so than normal. Besides that though, there was plenty to flail over and get excited about. As usual, I've rounded up my favorite quotes.

Spoilers after the image.

"It doesn't matter what we want, once we get it, then we want something else." - Littlefinger

"Every time I come back I'm a bit less. Pieces of you get chipped away." - Beric Dondarrion

"You're not Lord Commander here. You're just another exile. And I take my orders from the queen." - Jorah Mormont

"The people are hungry for more than just food. They crave distractions. And if we don't provide them, they'll create their own. And their distractions are likely to end with us being torn to pieces." - Olenna Tyrell

"Kill me and be cursed. You are no king of mine." - Rickard Karstark

"You know nothing, Jon Snow." - Ygritte

"What good is the word 'extravagant' if it can't be used to describe a royal wedding?" - Olenna Tyrell

The winner of the episode?
"Jaime. My name is Jaime." - Jaime Lannister

Quick thoughts:
- I loved seeing the Hound and Beric throw down. That was impressive. It's nice to see more of Melisandre's wacky religion too.

- Seeing Jaime refuse Milk of the Poppy when he gets more of his hand hacked off was a nice character moment. As was his talk with Brienne in the bath! Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is doing an amazing job this season.

- Oh hey, they finally remembered that Shireen is important later.

- Selyse has babies in jars. Somehow this does not surprise me.

- It was a big deal to me when Stannis betrayed his wife with Melisandre last season; in the books, he was so set about his honor. But now we see the follow up - I guess I should start trusting the creators and writers a little more.

- Did you catchYunkai in the opening credits?!

- The look on Cersei's face when Tywin tells her she's going to marry Loras. Best. ever.

April 25, 2013

Build a droid at Disneyland!

How many astromech toys does a girl need? A lot.

Disneyland has offered guests the fun of building their own lightsabers for a while. Kids and adults are constantly crowded around the displays in Star Trader to create elegant weapons that they will hit their siblings and friends with while making the necessary sound effects. It's a fun idea and very appropriate since Jedis have to construct their lightsabers. Now guests can build something else: droids!

Since Star Wars weekends happens at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Orlando, they got the build your own droid stations first - last summer, actually. But one finally snuck into Disneyland and opened quietly. On a fairly busy Sunday afternoon at the park, I figured the stations would be overrun with people and that there would be droid parts scattered everywhere but it's a very organized affair.

The column has four sides and each side has the same parts. One station may have a particular part in a color you don't have though. The area is cordoned off and manned by a cast member. It means people don't just wait in an expanding horde around the display, and the cast member also is there to grab pieces that accidentally hit the floor (which seems to happen frequently).

You pick a dome (there are round tops and cones), a body, right and left legs, a middle leg, and a hat. The hat options include Mickey Mouse ears, Jack Sparrow pirate hats, Indiana Jones style fedoras, Goofy hats, and green caps with Yoda ears. I didn't ask what the possible number of combinations is but with so many different colors and styles, it has to be a lot.

I tried out way more combinations than I probably should have (but there weren't people waiting  in line behind me) until I got my droid just right. I have a feeling I'll be making return visits to build more.

When your droid is all done, they have plastic cases all ready for it. You'll receive a a sheet of letter and number stickers when you check out so you can name your new friends.
Droids are one for $11.95 or two for $18.95.

Check out detailed images of all the parts over at Rebel Scum.

April 23, 2013

Favorite quotes from Game of Thrones: And Now His Watch Is Ended

So, who else thinks And Now His Watch Is Ended was one of the best episodes of the series? I love that you can still be surprised and awed even when you know certain big moments are coming. Every episode of Game of Thrones captures my attention but the last six or so moments with Daenerys left me spellbound. Wow.

And there were plenty of fantastic quotes. Thar be spoilers after the image.

"My real father lost his head at King’s Landing. I made a choice… and I chose wrong. And now I’ve burned everything down." - Theon Greyjoy

“I don’t distrust you because you’re a woman. I distrust you because you’re not as smart as you think you are.” - Tywin Lannister

“What happens when the nonexistent bumps up against the decrepit?” - Olenna Tyrell (I could really just include all of her lines).

"Dracarys." - Daenerys

“People talk about the Night’s Watch, never mention the shoveling. They tell you about honor, pardoning crimes, protecting the realm, but shoveling really is most of it.” - Grenn

“You have a taste, one taste of the real world where people have important things taken from them, and you whine and cry and quit. You sound like a bloody woman.” - Brienne

“Prodigies appear in the oddest of places.” - Varys

Quick thoughts:
- How adorable was Mormont and Ser Barristan trading proud and surprised smiles over Daenerys?

- I think last night's display of Targaryen strength mostly made up for all of the "where are my dragons" Dany did last year.

- Sansa - why are you still so naive?! She could learn a lot from Margaery.

- Speaking of Margaery, how amazing is the unspoken battle between her and Cersei? Watching Joffrey enjoy Margaery's company in his sick little way is entertaining.

- Even though I'm not thrilled with having Theon in this season, the bit where he talked about how much he effed up by betraying the Starks was touching and heartbreaking.

- Tywin telling Cersei how it is was my favorite. I really can't stand her.

- Poor Mormont.

April 21, 2013

Rambling Round Up - Iron Man Tech, Visiting Tatooine, and More!

Links to stuff I've written around the interwebs this week as well as an interview with me!

Become Iron Man At The New Disneyland Innoventions Exhibit [Featured] - Can't get to Disneyland to check out the Iron Man Tech exhibit? I've got you covered with this report and pictures.

Seven Geeks Who Made The Ultimate Commitment With Full Back Tattoos

Five Heartwrenching Moments In Doctor Who

Five Fantastic Boozy Desserts

Six Geeky Wedding Dresses

Fully Operational Fandom: Tatooine Looks Awfully Bright to Me - My latest for the StarWars.com blog about visiting a corner of Tatooine!

Finally, the guys over at the Bearded Trio sent me some quick fire interview questions. You can read them here.

April 17, 2013

Geeky destinations: Kualoa Ranch

I decided to do something different for my high school graduation trip. Most of my classmates were going to Myrtle Beach or Florida, but I didn't really have any close friends in high school. I'm an introvert and the thought of piling into a vehicle with lots of people for a long road trip sounded like the furthest possible thing from appealing. So I took myself to Hawaii instead.

I really wanted to spend my graduation money and saved earnings on a solo Europe trip but despite my 18-year-old, adult status but parents said no. I'm still surprised I sold them on Oahu. I wanted to relax on the beach, hike, explore, and visit a ranch that had served as the filming site for Jurassic Park and Godzilla. The Kualoa Ranch movie sites tour was one of the highlights of my trip and even though almost 15 years have passed (!), it looks like they still have some of the same stuff and have expanded their offerings.

Most of the filming in Hawaii for Jurassic Park happened on Kaua'i but because of a hurricane (actual shots of the storm are used in the film), the Gallimimus flock scene had to be moved to Kualoa Ranch on Oahu. They still had the iconic tree that Grant, Lexi, and Tim crouched under to keep safe from the stampeding herd. Yeah, I was thrilled.

And I had to get a photo with it (now you get an idea of the scale - it wasn't a tiny tree):
I was sure the T. rex was going to pop out of nowhere and try to devour me, but I survived as well as the rest of the tour group.

They also had the tree the T. rex smashed like Hulk in this scene:

It was just a small part of the tour, but it was all I needed.

Besides dinosaurs, Kualoa Ranch has also been home to Godzilla, Lost, 50 First Dates, Karate Kid, and more. The new Hawaii Five-0 currently films there. You can visit Hurley's Golf Course and see a giant Godzilla footprint. You can do more than just visit movie sites, too. The ranch has a private beach, horseback riding, hiking, gardens, and more. And of course it's all set against a stunning, tropical backdrop.

If you're already planning to go to Oahu, add Kualoa Ranch to your must-see list!

Check out more of my geeky destinations.

April 15, 2013

Favorite quotes from Game of Thrones: Walk of Punishment

Last night's Game of Thrones had a brutal ending. We went new places (which barely seems possible) and hit some important character moments. Brienne and Jaime Lannister were my favorites. Check out my favorite quotes from Walk of Punishment below!

As usual, there are spoilers after the image.

"There’s a beast in every man, and it stirs when you put a sword in his hand." - Jorah Mormont

Hot Pie: I ain’t no Stark of Winterhell.

Arya: It’s Winterfell.
Hot Pie: You sure?
Arya: Yes, I’m sure.

"You’re nothing without your daddy, and your daddy ain’t here.  Never forget that.  Here, this’ll help you remember!" - Locke

"All men must die, but we are not men." - Daenerys Targaryen

"A person could almost be forgiven for forgetting we’re at war." - Catelyn Stark

"When your brother Rhaegar led his army into battle at the Trident, men died for him because they believed in him, because they loved him. Not because they'd been bought at a slaver's auction. I fought beside the last dragon on that day, Your Grace. I bled beside him.." - Ser Barristan

"I'm going to light the biggest fire the north has ever seen." - Mance Rayder

Quick thoughts on last night's episode:
- The look on Brienne's face when she realized they were being way too nice to Jaime.
- And Jaime! I knew that was coming, but it was hard to watch.
- I adored the scene between Arya and Hot Pie. I need to make direwolf bread now.
- I could have done with less Theon and Podrick. I felt like those two arcs took up too much valuable time.
- Edmure is such a buffoon; I liked seeing Robb explain strategy to him.
- The Blackfish is awesome.
- The musical chairs in the small council seem were a nice touch.
- Riverrun. Finally!

April 13, 2013

Rambling Round Up - Tony Stark, nerdy beds, and more

Stuff I've written around the interwebs this week:

This Tony Stark Guy Is Kinda Cool - In which I get to know Iron Man through Matt Fraction's Invincible Iron Man.

Five Nerdtastic Beds We’d Like To Own - I don't care that I'm over 30, I want an X-wing bed!

Ten Notable Quotes From Angel - Putting these together makes me want to go back and rewatch the series!

And if you like Disney princess rings, please look at these:

April 12, 2013

All the nerdy, unique, handmade bags you need!

I don't necessarily get into purses - unless they're of the geeky variety. I can always talk myself into a new roomy bag for conventions and Etsy seller Geeky U has tons of adorable designs I haven't seen anywhere else.

They feature characters across comics and Star Wars and have a patchwork feel. The purses are handcrafted from heavy fabrics so you know they can take a beating, and the characters are felt applique. Because of  the way they are put together, it doesn't seem like any two are exactly alike. Even though there may be a few Boba Fett designs, none of them are applied to the same purse style.

The fact that they are not mass produced means the shop inventory is regularly changing and it's a reason to go back to the Etsy shop week after week to check out what's new. Here are just a few examples of the cool items from the store!

The store isn't just limited to bags either! You can peruse screen printed tees, fun dresses, Ewok hats, and creative hoodies like these:

Have fun shopping!

April 10, 2013

Disneyland's new Fantasy Faire

Disneyland recently opened a new area of the park and even though it's small, the new Fantasy Faire oozes charm. The area replaced the Carnation Plaza Gardens stage area - which I've only ever known as the place where swing dancers hung out on Saturday nights. I never spent any time there otherwise. This new corner of the park gives the Princesses a regular hang out spot, has a new snack cart and shop, and also hosts two entertaining shows.
I've always appreciated the attention paid to all the details in the parks, but I feel like the opening of Wizarding World at Universal Orlando really forced Disney to up their game (and their game was already amazing). I noticed that with the opening of Cars Land at California Adventure - it's as themed as it possibly can be. It's like walking through the movie. I've heard similar sentiments about the new Fantasyland areas at Disney World, and Fantasy Faire is on the same track.

The centerpiece of the new space is a lovely statue of Rapunzel's tower. She's leaning out the window and her hair winds down. It's gorgeous, and I'd buy a miniature of it in a second. Then on the right you have the opportunity to meet three princesses. I didn't go in, but I've seen each princess has an alcove and you can easily transition between them. Aurora, Ariel, and I think Cinderella were there, but the line up changes throughout the day. Apparently any princess from the movies could make an appearance. If you want to meet them, I recommend getting in line as early as you can.

To the left of the entrance is Maurice's Treats where you can get bready twists (I loved the savory one) and a berry apple frozen drink. There's also a cozy theater where you can see Tangled and Beauty and the Beast shows. They're essentially abbreviated versions of the films told in a sort of vaudeville style, and you must check them out! Be sure to get in line at least 30 minutes before the show if you want seats on the benches inside. You can also stand on the outer edges just outside the tent and see most of it.

You should stop to see two more things in Fantasy Faire: Clopin's Music Box and Figaro the Cat. It strikes me as an odd choice for characters, but they both add charm to the space so hey, whatever works.

If you like princess gear, be sure to take a second to browse in the shop too. I was happy to see they had mini stuffed bears from Brave! Oh, and actually - you have to go in the store to look at all the Disney movie Easter eggs on the shelf that wraps around the top of the store. If you don't recognize something, ask a cast member!

In sum, I adore the new Fantasy Faire. Don't go in assuming it's giant but don't write it off - it's so worth exploring! You can see more of my photos over at Flickr.

April 9, 2013

The Psychology of Star Trek vs. Star Wars

If you've never attended a convention and you think all panels are either about how to make comics or feature actors talking about the television shows and movies they're currently starring in, you're wrong. You'd probably be surprised at the vast variety of topics panels cover. This one - the psychology of Star Trek vs. Star Wars - is a perfect example of the unique and cool information you can learn about and discuss at conventions.

The panel featured psychologists Dr. Andrea Letamendi and Dr. Ali Mattu as well as writers Hugh Sterbakov and Larry Nemecek discussing the psychology of the two universes. They pitted Trek against Wars in a few different categories to see who handled certain situations better. For example, which franchise showed the classic hero's journey the best, which one portrayed trauma more realistically, and which franchise handled artificial life (droids and androids) better?

It was a fascinating and entertaining discussion, and the panelists brought tons of interesting opinions and perspectives to the table. Readers of this blog know that I live and breath Star Wars, but I have to concede a couple of the rounds to Star Trek because of the points made on this panel.

I was going to write up the panel, but the wonder of the internet means it's available to watch on YouTube. If you enjoy either Star Trek or Star Wars and want to dig a little deeper into both universes, I recommend taking some time to watch or listen to the panel.

April 8, 2013

Favorite quotes from Game of Thrones: Dark Wings, Dark Words

How can an episode of television go so fast?! The end credits of Game of Thrones surprise me every freaking time. They covered a lot of ground in Dark Wings, Dark Words and introduced new characters and creatures. Though we didn't see everyone, plenty of characters did have solid moments and fantastic lines. You can read my favorite quotes from Dark Wings, Dark Words below.

Beware: spoilers lurk after the image.

"Once the cow's been milked, there's no squirting the milk back up her udder so here we are to see things through." - Olenna Tyrell

“You weren’t Renly’s type, I’m afraid. He preferred curly-haired little girls like Loras Tyrell. You’re far too much man for him.” - Jaime Lannister

"I try to know as many people as I can. never know which one you’ll need." - Tyrion Lannister

“It’s a shame the throne wasn’t made out of cocks. They’d have never gotten [Renly] off of it.” - Jaime Lannister

"Some people will always need help. That doesn’t mean they’re not worth helping." - Meera Reed

"He's a monster." - Sansa Stark (stupid, stupid Sansa)

“No flowers! I’m the king!” - Joffrey Lannister

"There’s no story so good a drink won’t make it better." - Thoros of Myr

I can't resist sharing some of my initial reactions to the episode. I don't remember much about A Storm of Swords so I can't pick apart differences from the book but some more general thoughts:

- Brienne and Margaery were my favorite parts of the episode. Brienne and Jaime have excellent chemistry and I loved watching her take him down. And watching Margaery manipulate Joffrey and make Cersei jealous is was so good.

- Olenna Tyrell is just as I pictured she would be.

- I'm glad the Reeds are finally here but their entrance was underwhelming and I bet confusing for people who haven't read the books.

- Bran really grew up between seasons!

- What the hell was up with Catelyn's speech about Jon? It's no secret she has never loved Jon Snow, but the whole blaming herself because she didn't follow through on her promise? I can't see Catelyn Stark ever believing she could give the Stark name to the bastard her husband brought home. Ever. I'm disappointed with the way they've handled her character.
That said, it was wonderfully acted by Michelle Fairley.

What did you guys think of the episode?

April 7, 2013

Rambling Round-Up: Hobbit feast and Arrow interviews

Just a couple things over the last week as I recovered from WonderCon!

A Hobbit Inspired Feast For a Completely Expected Party - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey came to DVD and Blu-ray a few weeks ago and I cooked a feast in honor of the occasion! I pulled inspiration from the book and fixed all kinds of treats. Read the article for tips and a couple of recipes!

Arrow Producer And Cast Tease What's To Come - I spoke with the some of the Arrow cast and producer Marc Guggenheim at WonderCon about what's ahead as season one of the popular series draws to a close!

In case you missed my pictures from WonderCon, go check them out!

April 5, 2013

WonderCon 2013 Wrap Up

I spent last weekend among my people at WonderCon, and it was glorious. It was the show's second year in Anaheim and though there were some hiccups, it seemed like it was more well attended and according to vendors I spoke with, attendees actually spent money as well (I didn't hear good things in that regard last year).

It had all the ingredients for a successful convention for me: friends, good variety of vendors, entertaining and informational panels, some work, and a lot of impressive costumes. Since it's not as insanely crowded as San Diego, I could actually walk around with friends and chat. There was breathing room in the exhibit hall. I did wait in some lines for panels but never for longer than 20 minutes and I had no issue finding seats. There were plenty of benches out front in the shade if you needed a break, and you could also grab snacks from an assortment of food trucks.

I covered a few panels for IGN (Falling Skies, Teen Titans Go!, and Arrow) and did some fun interviews. The convention center has free wifi which made filing stories and live-tweeting panels a breeze. Links for some of my coverage here.

I found amazing art, fun books, clothing, and comics all over the exhibit hall. My favorite purchase of the weekend is this Merida and Toothless piece by the super nice and talented James Silvani:

Seriously, I may have flailed.

I also got Jeremy Bastian's Cursed Pirate Girl from Archaia and fed my nerdy necklace addiction at Unpossible Cuts. They have all the awesome pendants (geeky and otherwise) and adorable earrings. I wanted to buy most of their booth (they even had wall clocks).
Though I didn't buy any pieces, I noticed about three or four vendors offering characters and scenes made from Perler beads. It makes me want to go buy some and look up patterns, hmmm.
And oh, the costumes! Everything from superheroes to ponies to video game characters to Game of Thrones. I had serious cosplay envy.
Jayne hat dress!

Padme and Daenerys!

Captain Marvel

Luna, Discord, and Celestia
That's just a sampling of the talented cosplayers in attendence.

Really, my only issues were with the security and convention staff. The lines to register on Friday as an attendee, pro, or exhibitor were a hot mess. I finally took a seat outside while someone else found out the correct place we should be (after being misdirected twice while carrying heavy things) and watching the staff contradicting each other and trying to manage the huge line of people was the funniest and saddest thing I saw all weekend. Once I was in the convention center, they weren't so helpful either.

Every convention has a vibe and some of them grab you more than others. For example, Baltimore Comic-Con, Phoenix Comicon, and Emerald City all give me warm fuzzies because they really focus on creators. San Diego Comic-Con is an insane circus, but it's also a blast - it's set in a beautiful city, a huge number of fans attend, and it's a four day working party. Wizard conventions I've been to all feel the same to me - kind of lifeless. And this WonderCon? It had more personality in San Francisco. Anaheim doesn't scream charming to me. You can tell the show is finding it's feet though, and I bet it will have its voice in just a couple of years. I think being so close to San Diego in location and time of year works against it though and probably always will.

See all of my pictures from the convention at my Flickr page!

April 2, 2013

Favorite quotes from Game of Thrones: Valar Dohaeris

Though I'm not doing recaps for Game of Thrones this year (my memory is too faulty and I ran out of time to re-read A Storm of Swords), I thought it would be fun to round up my favorite quotes for each episode. You can check out the best lines from Valar Dohaeris after the image. They do spoil plot and who's still alive, so proceed at your own risk.

"My father told me big men fall just as quick as little ones if you put a sword through their heart." Jon Snow

“The truth is always either terrible or boring.” Sansa Stark

"It's not slander if it's true." Tyrion Lannister

“If I wanted to kill you, do you think I’d let a wooden door stop me?” Cersei Lannister

"Even brave men fear death." Jorah Mormont

"Allow me to join your Queen's Guard and I will not fail you again." Barristan Selmy (maybe I cheered when he showed up)

Please share your favorites in the comments!

Rambling Round Up - WonderCon coverage, Star Wars podcasting and more

It's been a busy week between reviews, my regular writing, and then WonderCon coverage! I've written about bacon, Arrow, Teen Titans Go!, costumes, and appeared on a wonderful Star Wars podcast. Links to everything are just below the picture.

Once Upon a Time: Selfless, Brave, and True Review

Five Ridiculous Bacon Creations [Featured] - I like bacon, but whoa.

Ten Memorable Quotes From Buffy The Vampire Slayer - Read and share yours!

Twelve Costumes That Completely Nail It - These costumes are as close to perfect as it gets.

Five Movie Sets Recreated in LEGO - So many bricks!

WonderCon: Teen Titans Go! Isn't Afraid To Go To Weird Places - My impressions on the first episode of the new animated series and notes on what you can expect.

WonderCon: Falling Skies Cast Tease Season 3 - and the Mega Mechs!

WonderCon 2013: Arrow's First Season Is Going To End With a Bang

Full of Sith podcast - I joined the lovely and nice folks at Full of Sith to discuss my Star Wars fandom, writing, geek girls, and The Clone Wars. I had a blast. You can download a link at their site.
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