So those are the geeky gifts I'm hoping to find under my tree this year!
With the holidays right around the corner, this geeky mom stays busy decorating, baking cookies, shopping, and organizing holiday meals and family travel plans. But while I'm shopping online for gifts (because really, who wants to go to the mall this month if you don't have to?!), I will admit to indulging myself by making a wishlist of my own favorite geeky things!
I am frequently late to the party when it comes to tv shows, and the Outlander series is no exception - so at the top of my list this year is the DVD collections of Season One. I loved the books, and everyone I know raves about the show - so hopefully Santa will pop this into my stocking this year! It certainly can't hurt that Amazon has them on sale right now for almost 50% off!
Next on my list is the fabulous new illustrated version of J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - currently on sale at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I could lie and say I want this for my children, but we all know the truth - the only reason they are little Potterheads is because I've encouraged them in that direction!
This past Mother's Day, my family got me a marvelous charm bracelet from ThinkGeek. So far I have the Firefly, Storm Trooper, Star Trek insignia, TARDIS, and Super Mom charms, but this Christmas I'm lusting after three more - Dobby the house elf (in honor of the aforementioned Harry Potter obsession), a d20 (as a once and hopefully future RPG enthusiast), and Captain America (because, superheroes!).
I'm also in love with these Star Trek TNG A-line dresses, also from ThinkGeek. Any color would do, though I have a personal preference for blue - someday I should write about that one night when we had a TNG murder mystery dinner party where I played Dr. Crusher and I drunk-tweeted Wil Wheaton until he actually replied...or maybe not.
So those are the geeky gifts I'm hoping to find under my tree this year!
Since we don't publish on weekends, today is actually 12 workdays from the big day (eve)! So, if you are behind on your shopping (like we are) here are some of the things that top each of our holiday wishlists this year.
My Geeky Holiday Wish list 2015
Thanksgiving is over, and my thoughts are turning to the holiday season. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, or Winter Solstice, ‘tis the season for geek gifts!
The folks at Think Geek know just how to get you in the spirit - with this Weeping Angel tree topper. Santa needs to be sure not to blink when he comes down the chimney.
While we’re on the subject of trees, there’s no shortage of geeky holiday ornaments in stores right now. And nothing symbolizes the spirit of giving like this iron throne ornament, spotted at the local Target.
Who doesn’t like a geeky t-shirt as a gift? This The Martian-themed tee captures the humor of everyone’s favorite fictional astronaut. I found this one at Represent, a custom merchandise shop.
I’m not even attempting to hide my Star Wars fever any more.
While others are counting the days until Christmas, December 17 is the date circled in red on my calendar. That’s the night my family is going to see The Force Awakens. Having bought a Jedi sports bottle, an R2D2 tote bag and a Darth Vader coffee creamer, I’ve shown great restraint and have only two SW items on my wish list.
The Han Solo and Princess Leia action figures come in a package together, as they were meant to be. This set is being sold in several retail outlets, including Amazon. The Funko Pop! Rey bobble-head has been spotted at several stores, including Barnes and Noble. I like to think of these two collectibles as “something old” and “something new” for this next generation of Star Wars fans.
Happy geeky holidays and happy shopping!
Flashback Friday - Oh, the Horror Pt.4
The summer before I started the sixth grade, my parents spent a week visiting my aunt in Florida. They had cable! My parents thought cable had a lot of racy TV, which wasn’t a good thing to have in a household with young kids. Turns out they were right.
Whenever the grownups left us unsupervised, we snuck over to turn on HBO. Although several years had passed since it had been in theaters, The Exorcist was on rotation on HBO that summer. Probably the greatest shock of the film, for anyone unfamiliar, is the use of repeated blasphemous obscenities - and at a couple of priests, no less.
When this movie first came to theaters in 1973, showings were sold out all over the country. Audiences could barely stomach the film, with some having to step out into the lobby or leaving the cinema entirely because it was considered too graphic. No one had ever seen horror so realistic and so violent.
Many of the famous scenes are also the same ones that left an imprint on a young girl who didn’t know what sex was, much less that crucifixes could be used like that.
In one famous scene, the head-spinning done by the child is disturbing because it’s done slowly, so that the audience doesn't perhaps note it for a few seconds.
Now that I’m a mom, I’m familiar with real-life projectile vomit, but as a ten-year-old kid watching a movie character who’s about my own age, this was the most disgusting thing I’d ever witnessed.
Whenever I see this movie on cable, I’ll always stop and watch for at least a few minutes. It doesn't scare me the way it did the first time, but the story of a child being possessed by evil, the idea that a mother and other adults might not have the power to help that child, is still deeply unsettling.
Arachnophobia VS. Trainspotting
Or: “Forget Spiders, You Should Really Be Worried about Heroin Addiction.”
For my 13th birthday I invited few friends to my house for a sleepover and movie night. We chose what we expected to be two very adult movies: classic horror flick Arachnophobia and the new and oh so Euro trendy Trainspotting. God, we were so edgy.
As it turned out, Arachnophobia, the movie that was supposed to give us the late-night heebie-jeebies in my dark old farmhouse living room, ended up being our palette cleanser.
The real scary movie that night was Trainspotting. Drugs, dirty toilets and dead babies? Now THAT was the stuff of nightmares. We were cowering behind pillows, eyes wide, our impressionable minds forever tainted by the horrors of urban poverty and heroin addiction in 1980s Edinburgh. Clearly we were not so edgy.
Sick to our stomachs, we turned to Jeff Daniels, spiders and small-town America to reassure us that all would be well in the world. These were problems you could just kill with fire. It was positively life affirming.
Good thing I waited until the following year to watch Kids, huh?
Arachnophobia is the perfect campy movie for a family-friendly throwback Halloween night. Check out the theatrical trailer:
Thanks to Stephen King, I know that I never want to live in New England. Also, if a clown asks you if you'd like a balloon, the answer is always NO.
Let me back up and give you some history: I grew up in a pretty conservative home, and wasn't allowed to see much in the way of horror movies (or, really, anything that wasn't rated PG). So there was no way my parents were going to let me watch the 1990 miniseries based on Stephen King's It, despite my penchant for scary tales. (I may not have been allowed to watch scary movies, but I loved horror novels - I think I read everything Christopher Pike ever wrote!)
But then I grew up and went away to college, and one night the miniseries was on TV again - and there was no one to make me change the channel, so I settled in for a good scare.
I think it's safe to say I was scarred for life. The tale of a group of childhood friends reuniting in a small New England town after thirty years to fight an evil they thought they'd defeated as children was haunting and suspenseful.
Tim Curry is the stuff of dreams and nightmares - I had seen him in the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and as the red devil in Legend, but nothing is quite as scary as Pennywise the Dancing Clown.
And if the clown wasn't scary enough, there were the sewers. And the blood. Blood in the photo album, blood in the bathroom sink - all that blood that the adults couldn't see, because they apparently didn't believe in the evil. It was like a horrible reverse Polar Express.
Quite some time passed before I was able to walk past a sewer without giving it an extraordinarily wide berth, or go into a bathroom without flinching if the sink so much as gurgled.
It's been at least twenty years since I saw It on TV, and I decided to bravely rent the miniseries to watch as research for this article. It wasn't quite as traumatizing as I recall it being the first time, but then again it was daylight and I was watching it on my computer screen. (Also, the late 80's/early 90's special effects don't really hold up.)
Maybe someday I'll be brave enough to read the novel...
It's October - Halloween season - our favorite time of year*. Last year, we reminisced about our favorite Halloween movies and TV- most of which were family friendly - but this year, it's time to get scared! Each week in October we will share our favorite or scariest horror movie memories...
For me, Poltergiest (1982), was the 'thing-that-scarred-me-for-life.'
In 1983, I was 10 years old. A sheltered little Long Island girl with straight A's and pigtails that had never seen a truly scary movie in her life**. And we had HBO...
I ran from the couch in fear of the clown - and fled to the nearby staircase where I could still peak around the corner and see the TV.
I will never know WHY I stayed and watched the whole thing.
I had nightmares for days. I threw out all of the clown dolls and figurines I had in my room. I refused to go anywhere near a TV that had static on it. We had an old TV downstairs that would randomly turn itself on and off - I was convinced our rental house was haunted and I would die any minute.
It wan't until college that I watched another 'horror movie.' By then I could laugh at most of the schlocky scary film classics of the 80's and 90's - but I have only ever sat through Poltergeist once more as an adult - and I didn't laugh. It still scares the heck out of me.
* Except DragonCon
**Except that time my 3rd grade teacher let us watch Disney's Watcher in the Woods - IN CLASS - which is still scary as shit.
Our recent fangirl casting call to buy/sell comic and collectables got us thinking - what do we collect? Action figures, games, posters, tchotchkes? Turns out - all of the above!
It has changed over time. When I was young, I collected action figures and lunch boxes - Star Wars, GI Joe, Smurfs, etc. In my 20s, I collected mostly sci-fi movie posters (I practically lived at Suncoast in the mall). My 30s was DVDs and McFarland collectible figures (oh how I miss Media Play!) In my 40s, I must actively stop myself from collecting ALL THE FUNKO POPS.
But the one thing that has never changed - BOOKS. Real. Paper. Books. I have a huge sci-fi/fantasy library (going back to kindergarten) that will never, ever stop growing!
I collect everything Star Trek, of course - but I specifically collect Star Trek Christmas ornaments, which I proudly display every holiday season.
I have a collection of clothing and accessories from the 50s and early 60s. I adore that era and even used elements of the 1950s in my wedding. Movies, books, hats--- I love it all!
When I was a kid I had a huge collection of all things Garfield. I eventually sold it all but now as an adult I have started collect Garfield things again.
I also collected Garfield stuff when I was a kid!
When I was young, I collected international and vintage stamps, coins, geodes, rocks, solar system posters, miniature animals, porcelain dolls, pens, Baby Sitter's Club and Goosebumps books, and anything green. Then as grew up I realized I'd have to cart that shit around (and dust it)... So, I don't collect much any more.
(I also collected jokes and bad puns. I memorized tons of bad jokes and annoyed my family with them at every opportunity.)
I was a huge pencil and paper RPG player in college, and I have a pretty impressive dice collection - but I haven't been able to find it since we moved :( Every time I got really into a new character I'd go buy them their own set of dice :)
What do you all collect?
Monday Morning Music Mix
Lindsey put together a playlist of some geeky music tracks to start your week off right!
(Some tracks my not be safe for work!)
Geeky Guilty Pleasures
We all have secrets, some of them geekier than others, but what if your secret would ruin some of your nerd cred?!?! We put together a list of things we geek out over, but don’t tell people about. Are you guilty of any of these guilty pleasures:
You also probably learned "a second language" by watching too much KPop.
Geek Merch Merger! UPDATE
UPDATE: GameStop buys ThinkGeek out from under Hot Topic!
This is some interesting and surprising news!
"Geeknet (parent company of ThinkGeek.com) announced that it has terminated its previously announced merger agreement with Hot Topic, Inc. (“Hot Topic”). Following discussion with both GameStop and Hot Topic, the Board of Directors of Geeknet determined that the GameStop transaction represented a superior proposal. Geeknet will pay Hot Topic a termination fee pursuant to the Hot Topic agreement, for which GameStop has agreed to reimburse Geeknet."
Do you think GameStop and ThinkGeek make a good pairing?
Have you heard? Hot Topic - everyone's favorite mall goth teen time kill - is buying Thinkgeek.com! I know Hot topic has been shifting its brand to nerd items over the last year or so, but this is a giant leap in that direction!
According to RTTNews:
If this means more quality nerd merch in a nearby retail location, I may have brave going to 'the Mall' for the first time in a decade to shop!