Pretty Nerdy Party Planning: The Walking Dead

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The Walking Dead is more popular than ever, and it returns next weekend.  We’re going to throw a nice little theme party to celebrate.  Warning to the squeamish: this one’s a little gross.  And to vegetarians and vegans?  Please accept my apologies, and maybe go back to last week’s lovely Disney party.

Appetizers:

  • Hot wings have the right mixture of gooey, messy, and full of carnage.
  • Fruit and vegetables for “Farmer Rick” from Season 4
  • Braised Short ribs.
  • Cocktail weenies labeled “cocktail entrails”

Drinks:

Food:  

  • There’s no getting around it, kids.  You gotta make a roast.  The more it looks like a leg, the better.  I told you this one was going to be gross.

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Dessert:

  • If anyone has an appetite after the tainted meat, I would go for chocolate pudding.  Served in the largest can you can find.
  • Alternately, bowls of gummy brains can double as decorative touches
  • Buy these cookie cutters, and go to town making Zombie cookies.
  • Make conventional cookie people to be your favorite characters.  Bonus points for disfiguring characters who have died

Carl

Decor:

  • To celebrate the start of the season, place cards around your home with directions to “Terminus” (the food table, or the TV)
  • If you’re having a sit-down meal, place cards can say in a crude scrawl, “(Name of guest,) go to Terminus”
  • Use butcher paper to create a train track leading to whatever your desired “Terminus” is

Favors:

  • Tissues, for the next time a character you like dies
  • Little arrow charms for Daryl, or swords for Michonne
  • Badges for Rick

Dress:

  • Zombie makeup can be messy and uncomfortable.  Go casual and distressed for that perfect survivor look.

Royal Rumble: What Went Wrong

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Early in the show, but a good picture of the scene.

Early in the show, but a good picture of the scene.

So far, everyone’s happy.  Great time had by all.  The Royal Rumble Match starts.  The first few entrants come out.  Bubba Ray Dudley returns to an enormous pop.  Bray Wyatt comes out.  He’s scary.   Cue Curtis Axel.  Or not.  Erick Rowan knocks him out and takes his place.  For reasons.  Wyatt Family takes each other out, leaving only Bray.  Wyatt issues an open challenge.  The Boogeyman comes out.  It’s really stupid but incredibly entertaining watching them try to out-scary each other.  Zack Ryder is in at 9.  The audience loves him, because he’s a cool guy who made himself famous without anyone else’s help.  He’s been injured, and everyone was happy to see him back.  He is dispatched much too quickly.

Daniel Bryan at 10.  The fan favorite, the man of the people, the best part of Total Divas.  The crowd is behind him one million percent.  More people enter, no one really leaves.  There were a lot of eliminations early, and then nothing really happens for awhile as more people fill the ring.

Then Daniel Bryan is eliminated.  The audience turns on the show.  Hard.  The entrances of Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler, two other Philadelphia favorites, are heralded as the last hope for the people who don’t want major front-runner Roman Reigns to win.  The final five were Ziggler, Ambrose, Reigns, Kane and the Big Show.  The audience was firmly behind Ambrose and Ziggler, and I suspect would have happily accepted either if it couldn’t have been Bryan.  Naturally, then Kane and the Big Show dispatched Ambrose and Ziggler, laying them carefully beside the ring in a way that caused the audience to curse at the two big men.  Seriously.  Lots of cursing.

Reigns wins the whole thing.  A chorus of boos falls over the arena, violent and furious.  The two big men come back in and start to beat up on Reigns, and the Rock’s music hits.  He gets a momentary pop, and then the audience does something they haven’t in ten years.

Philadelphia booed the Rock.

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Why don’t you love me? (Apologies for poor phone quality. We weren’t on the camera side.)

 

The WWE Universe (as the company loves to call them) saw quickly through the attempt to force the audience to accept a winner they never wanted by pairing him with one of the heroes of the profession.  The fans were insulted and furious with the concept that WWE knew the ending was horrible, did it anyway, and then tried to pull tricks to make the audience like it.  Did.  Not. Work.

The audience left, furious, and some pretty crazy things happened.  I went on a walk around the arena, because there was too much traffic to leave by the time we were out.  Here is what we saw.

  •  Wells Fargo screwed up again and left the walkway that overlooks the buses and talent cars open.  Foolish mistake.  People crowded to wave at the departing superstars, most of whom had a “don’t feed the animals” response that was probably wise.
  • John Cena waved and bowed to the audience, probably pleased they were mad at something that was not him, for once.
  • Randy Orton, who did not appear in the Royal Rumble, was in the building the whole time.
  • Fans outside were going insane.  We watched several people rush Ryback’s car, not letting him leave.  We quickly left that scene, because we were concerned there would be arrests.
  • As we approached our vehicle, we heard a lot of screaming from that area followed by dead silence.  A Google search for “Royal Rumble arrests 2015″ thankfully turned up nothing.

The rest of the fallout has made very mainstream news, with Time reporting on the #CancelWWENetwork movement than resulted from Reigns’s win.  The postshow depicted an infuriated Rock stumbling whilst cutting a promo, something I had never seen him do.

Where does WWE go from here?  Only time will tell, since RAW on Monday night was canceled owing to snow.

 

Last note:  Look at that Muppety young lady over Roman Reigns’s shoulder.  I’m finally on TV.

I'm the Muppet.  The Muppet is me.

I’m the Muppet. The Muppet is me.

 

Royal Rumble: What Went Right

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This article grew to be very long.  So I’m splitting it into everything before the Rumble, and the Rumble and aftermath.  The show splits nicely that way.

 

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If you know anything about wrestling, you’ll know that Sunday night did not go well in the city of Philadelphia.  I was there, and here’s what happened.  First off, we didn’t get in until well after the pre-show started, which was poor planning on someone’s part somewhere.  I don’t know if the blame lies with Wells Fargo Center or WWE, but someone messed up.

The night started off great, with A New Day (I’m not really sure what their gimmick is supposed to be at all) and Team CatFacts.  They’re really called Team UpperCATS, but Tyson Kidd’s “Cats”  and “Fact” kneepads make my name vastly superior.  Philadelphia didn’t like New Day at all, but I don’t really understand why. I’ve always enjoyed watching Kofi Kington and Big E (Langston), and Cesaro and Tyson Kidd are both charismatic and hilarious.  CatFacts won the bout, much to the pleasure of the Philly crowd.

Then, the show actually started.  The opening tag match between the Usos and Miz and Mizdow only really served the latter pair.  The Usos kept the belts, and Miz(dow) kept actually having a storyline.  Philadelphia loves them some Damien Mizdow.

Wait.  The Acension beat the New Age Outlaws before that.  No one cared.  New Age Outlaws enjoyed a nice pop when they ran into the ring wearing Phillie Phanatic hats, but once the match started, no one really cared.

The Divas match was low-stakes, and I didn’t really understand the plot behind it.  Unfortunately, WWE’s booking of the women is generally pretty bad.  When did Brie turn evil again?  Why did Brie turn evil?  No one knows.  That being said, both Bellas are improving in the ring, and Paige and Natalya don’t really need much improvement.  The Bellas won, and I wish the prize had been a rewarding storyline for the female wrestlers.

Next was the match of the night.  Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins.  This was the match of the three-week-old year, and it’s going to be hard to top.  All three men had crowd support in varying factions (Cena with the least and Lesnar with the most.  I’m a Rollins girl.)  Rollins put Lesnar through a table.  Lesnar F5’d everyone.  Paul Heyman yelled a lot.  Cena tried to AA Lesnar five times in a row.  He got to 3.  Womp Womp.  Lesnar retained to the roar of the crowd.

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Seth Rollins, taking a delightful nap.

 

The crowd was ecstatic getting into the Royal Rumble Match…

Pretty Nerdy Party Planning: Disney World!

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Image Courtesy tripsided.com

 

If you’re anything like me, you’re either just getting back from Disney World, getting ready to go to Disney World, or wishing you were in Disney World.  In the coldest part of the Winter, have a delightful shindig to remind you there’s a great big beautiful tomorrow!

As always, take a look at our Pinterest for more ideas!

Food:

For some EPCOT flair, try a little something from around the world.

  • Crepes for France
  • Spring rolls for Japan
  • Make a batch of Orange chicken as hors d’oeuvres.
  • Lazy option: Have Chipotle cater in honor of Mexico
  • If you’re particularly inclined, you can make the famous smoked turkey legs for which Disney is so well known.

Dessert:

Go classic Disney food.   The kind of food you always find yourself blowing your snack credits on.

  • Churros.
  • Waffles and ice cream (though you should use this to make the waffles.)
  • Popcorn
  • Mickey Ice Cream Bars (Here for the recipe)

If you’re feeling ambitious, Allears.net posts recipes to YOUR favorite Disney World dish!

Drinks:

Music:

Youtube has all sorts of great audio from all over the parks- if you’re looking for something specific, it’s probably there.  If you’re not, here are my favorites:

Decor:

  • You know all those souvenirs your parents told you not to buy?  Break them out and display them!
  • Hang leftover maps on the walls, or print them out from various web sites :)
  • Pin any Disney pins you might have everywhere- if it’s Disney, put it out!

 

Dress Code:

  • Encourage guests to Disneybound.  Dress up in the colors and style of your favorite Disney girl, boy, or animal!

Enjoy your Disney party, and we’ll see you real soon!

One Shot Wednesday: Wrestling Society X

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In One-Shot Wednesday, we take some time to talk about a show that ran one 13-episode season or less. In honor of this week’s Royal Rumble, we’re going to take a look at a lesser-known wrestling federation.

The year was 2007.  Over three months, MTV aired ten episodes of an extreme wrestling show- electric weapons, coffins, fireballs,  and an exploding cage.  In a “mysterious underground bunker” wrestlers fought over grudges perceived and personal.  A wrestler from 50 years before awoke from a coma, not having aged a day, and was bent on wrestling just the way he always had.  Musical guests such as Good Charlotte and Pitbull stopped by, making this the professional wrestling equivalent of All That.  This was Wrestling Society X.

The show was moderately successful, but faded away quickly in the wake of- of all things- a flash paper fireball being seen as an imitable act, and therefore unairable.  The season/ series finale was pulled, and we never saw them again.

Or did we?

Do you recognize Tyler Black of Do It For Her, the emo tag team?  Do you love the phrase “emo tag team” as much as I do?  You got it- WWE’s current heel darling, Seth Rollins, before WWE picked him up.  Other notables include Evan Bourne (appearing as jock Matt Sydal)  Colt Cabana (as comatose 40s wrestler Matt Classic) and X-Pac (as, well…6-Pac.)

Wrestling Society X is wild, weird, and silly in all of the right ways.  Wrestling Society X is available here for purchase. 

 

 

 

 

 

My Own Personal Neverland: Opening the Disney Store

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Credit to https://disneyfangirl.wordpress.com/

Credit to https://disneyfangirl.wordpress.com/

On Saturday mornings in the winter, my mom and I go to the mall.  It’s too cold out for our normal walk, and the Farmer’s Market has closed for the winter.  So, to the mall for some good old fashioned walking…and admittedly a lot of shopping.

I’d heard a rumor that every day, a little prince or princess would get to unlock the Disney Store.  I was curious, and sort of wanted to see, because I am a sucker for Disney and cute children.  So around 9:55 on a Saturday, we meandered over in that direction.  A leafy green lock stood in the doorway, with velvet ropes on either side.  Williams-Sonoma across the way had about ten kids waiting outside (youth cooking class) and Disney had…well, me.

At opening time, there were still no children waiting outside.  Apparently malls are not busy places on January Saturdays.  So when the nice Disney cast member came to see who was outside to unlock the store, there was…well, me.

“That’s okay!” she chirped.  “Tall princesses can open the store, so long as they have the power of imagination!  Do you have the power of imagination?”

At this point, a little bit of embarrassment crept in.  Yes, I have the power of imagination, but I am also a woman grown.  Ish.    This only got worse as a cast member danced forward holding what can only be described as a keyblade.  About three feet long.

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She asked me a few questions: what was the key in the shape of?  Which Princess had a castle in which park?  She made a “Royal Declaration” that Princess Laura would be unlocking imagination today.  Then I turned the key in the very large lock, the ropes fell, and the store opened.

After this, the cast member presented me with a miniature version of the key, a few inches long.  It’s an interesting keepsake, and really did make me feel like a princess for a moment.  Then I went shopping and bought some gifts for people with birthdays upcoming.

If you’re ever in a mall when it’s about to open, give this a try.  But please, yield to children!

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Pretty Nerdy Party Planning: WWE’s Royal Rumble

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WWE’s Royal Rumble is next week in Philadelphia, and things are pretty exciting in the Pretty Nerdy Household (who will actually be in attendance that evening.)  If you’re not lucky enough to be seeing it live, you could host a Royal Rumble party.

No apologies for the wrestling puns to follow.  I’m in a mood.  Puns for everyone.

Decor:

  • Keep it simple.  Royal Rumble will be on the tv, so use crepe paper to make ring ropes around your living room.  Cheap, simple, and effective.
  • If you have more money and are lazy, Party City carries some pre-made party supplies with WWE wrestlers in it.  Cry over your CM Punk plates here, folks.
  • Alternately, pick a wrestler you like who’s “hosting” the party and color coordinate with them.  Dolph Ziggler?  Neon Pink and Blue.  Ambrose, Rollins, or Regns?  Black.  AJ Lee?  Black and Pink.  Red and Yellow are classic choices for the Hulkster.
  • Posterboard signs based on your favorite wrestlers.

 

Drinks:

  • Zack Ryder Long Island Iced Tea: Woo Woo Woo Indeed.
  • Steve Austin beers.  Anything cheap and domestic that comes in a can.
  • Kurt Angle milk.
  • RC Cola with pictures of Mick Foley taped to every can, labeled “Cheap Pop!”
  • Vodka STINGers, with black food coloring or black cups

 

Favors:

  • Face paint crayons.  Whether you want to go old school like the Ultimate Warrior, new like the Usos, or just paint a lot of black around your eyes like Adam Rose, the Undertaker, or Paige, this is a sure bet for a lot of fun.
  • Luchador masks can be a little pricey, but feel free to channel your inner Rey Mysterio/ Sin Cara.

 

Food:

  • In honor of Brock Lesnar, order some Jimmy Johns’ subs.
  • Real American Hot dogs and hamburgers for Jack Swagger
  • Grab yourself a copy of this antique gem and get cooking.  Make sure to ask your guests if they smell what the host is cookin’.
  • Ryback Meat on the Table Meatball Sandwiches- So delicious, you’ll be saying Feed Me More.

 

Appetizers:

    • Grab a pint glass and pop some Slim Jims in there, in honor of the Macho Man’s impending Hall of Fame induction later this year.
    • Hummus and vegetables in honor of noted vegan Daniel Bryan
    • El Torito Taquitos- make the recipe but cut the tortillas down to bite-sized pieces in honor of everyone’s favorite little bull.
    • The Devil’s Favorite Hot Wings- inspired by this Kane news item.

 

 

 

Desserts:

  • Make sugar cookies in the shape of bunnies and roses for Adam Rose.
  • Undertaker graveyard Worms and Dirt.  I know this makes more sense for Wrestlemania.  I also don’t care.  If you’re feeling crafty, put the names of his 21 Wrestlemania conquests on Milano cookies for gravestones.
  • John Cena Fruity Pebbles Treats- like a Rice Krispie treat, but with John Cena’s signature cereal.

 

Music:   No music- you should be watching Royal Rumble. Since it’s like four hours long.
Dress: Encourage everyone to dress as their favorite wrestler.  This shouldn’t be too difficult.

 

As always, Pinterest board is here.

Who is the Scarlet Witch?

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Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch

Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch

 

In celebration of the new Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, we’re going to talk a little bit about the Scarlet Witch.  She’s a new heroine to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  She did not appear in X-Men: Days of Future Past, although her brother Quicksilver did.

Real Name: Wanda Maximoff (Alias Wanda Frank)

First Appearance: X-Men #4 (March 1964)

Affiliations: Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, X-Men, Avengers, West Coast Avengers,

Notable Non-Comic Appearances:

  • The Marvel Super Heroes (1966 animated series)
  • Iron Man (1994 animated series)
  • X-Men (1990s animated series)
  • X-Men: Evolution
  • Wolverine and the X-Men
  • Superhero Squad Show

Powers:  The ability to manipulate probability- in other words, she gives her enemies bad luck.  This is occasionally stated as the ability to manipulate Chaos Magic.   Flight and telekenesis are not presented consistently.

Major Series and Plotlines:

  • Avengers vs X-Men (AvX)
  • The Children’s Crusade
  • House of M
  • X-Men
  • The Uncanny X-Men
  • The Avengers

 

Family Ties:  In the comics, she is married to Vision.  Her father is Magneto (obviously this will not hold true in Avengers because of all of the legal issues between Sony and Disney/Marvel) and her mother is Magda Lensherr.  Like her father, Wanda is prone to depression and mental illness, with delusional tendencies in some plotlines.  Wanda’s twin brother is Quicksilver, who also appeared in both Days of Future Past and Avengers: Age of Ultron.  She has maintained relationships other than Vision.  Mother to two sons, Billy and Tommy.

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The Supergirl TV Show: What do we know?

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Marvel may rule the roost when it comes to the cinema, but DC Comics is taking over your living room couch.  Following established hit Arrow, the already-renewed Flash, and breakout hit Gotham is going to be the first female-centered show of the DC Universe class: Supergirl.

In an interesting move, CBS has chosen to move forward with Supergirl on their own, instead of throwing it to sister network the CW (where Flash and Arrow currently draw fairly good ratings for the second-tier network.)  All three shows share producer Greg Berlanti.  Today, CBS entertainment chair Nina Tassler talked a little bit about the show at a Television Critics Association press conference.

So what do we know?

1) Supergirl will be a crime procedural mixed with character arcs.   Tassler compared the new show with CBS’s existing female-driven hits, stating that “The beauty of it is now with shows like Good Wife and Madam Secretary, you can have serialized story elements woven into a case of the week. She’s a crime solver, so she’s going to have to solve a crime. She’s going to get a bad guy.”   Will the show adopt the established Gotham/ Agents of SHIELD/ Buffy the Vampire Slayer format of monster-of-the-week until the story gets enough momentum to hold up on its own?

2) She’s not going to have a Wonder Woman style character derailment.  One of the biggest criticisms of NBC’s failed Wonder Woman pilot was the transition between the strong but kind heroine we know and love to a woman who would savagely beat a man to interrogate him, then go home and eat ice cream.  So relatable, right?   Tassler has us convinced Kara is going to stay Kara, promising that ” We’re big feminists. It’s her intellect, it’s her skill, it’s her smarts. It’s all of those elements. It’s not just her strength, which she does have.”  Kara is not going to suddenly become stupid or weak.  Tassler’s assurance that they are feminists is comforting in a time when people are suddenly afraid of the term.

Tassler also stated that “It’s a wonderful amalgamation of the mythology of the character with a coming of age tale.  She’s a very strong, independent young woman and she’s coming into her own. She’s dealing with family issues. She’s dealing with work issues. And it’s a female-empowerment story, which if you look at the strong female characters we have on the air, it really is resonate to that.”

3) Kara hasn’t been cast yet.

4) Because of the different networks,  Supergirl will probably not cross over with Flash and Arrow right away.  This may not happen initially, but we’re also not ruling it out, ever.  Time and space are nothing compared to the red tape involved with the legal departments.

5)There is a good chance there will be romantic elements.  Tonally, Supergirl has been stated to be more in line with Flash than Arrow, which implies a lighter, funnier take on superheroes than the dark-edgy-gritty phenomenon of too many superhero works currently.

6) The producer totally gets what fans want.  In September, Greg Berlanti told Variety ” I’ve gotten a number of messages from friends and former coworkers who write me about their daughters wearing superhero outfits instead of princess outfits and how they’re grateful that people are working on it. I definitely think there’s a need.  I think people are more interested in quality than they are necessarily just going to watch something because it’s about a man or a woman… There are just as many women who love the action of [Arrow] as there are men who love the romance. I think it’s [about] recognizing that audiences are sophisticated and varied.”

Yes.  Yes.  Yes.