In my many journeys through the internet, I stumbled across something awesome, and thought it deserved to be shared. Catherine Gretschel with Aisha Voya Creations makes these intricately glittered geeky shoes by hand.
Not only are they very expertly done, but she has such a fun geeky collection. Take a look:
All of those pics lead to the actual shoes, and it looks like she has a ton of sizing options. Take a look at her shop for other fun geekness: http://www.etsy.com/shop/aishavoya
Burlesque as we know it now has been around since the mid-1800s but in the past several years has been making a roaring comeback across the board. Over time multiple demographics have flocked to try their hand at adding their own style and flare to the art form. Maybe it’s because we live in Seattle, maybe it’s the rising public face of Nerd culture, but regardless the reason, this city has been the home of multiple nerdy burlesque shows.
NERDZ, aptly named and hosted by the lovely Violet Deville (@VioletDeVille ) at the Rendezvous’ Jewel Box Theatre, was one of these selfsame shows.
The Rendezvous is a familiar place, even if you’ve never been there. It has that glorious divey feel without making you worry about needing to sanitize your hands every time you touch anything. While perhaps not a ‘well-lighted place’, it’s clean and friendly and even Hemmingway would easily make himself comfortable.
Just past the bar and to the right you’ll find the entrance to the Jewel Box Theatre. It’s a cozy space with a stage perfect for small cast performances. From the moment I gave my name at will-call, it was clear this was not your average show as I was asked to produce an appendage and ‘roll for stamp damage’ when my wrist was marked.
Violet Wilde (or @lilyorit as I know her), was not only the reason I found myself at that particular location that night, but was also our fantastic Mistress of Ceremonies. With a bubbly and endearing charm, she along with her two stage assistants, D and D, both provided entertaining introductions and ran a raffle to The performances were all tributes to various fandoms celebrated in nerd culture and spanned across multiple ranges of skill level and styles.
The audience fell into laughter at the delightfully campy rendition of Indiana Jones featuring the talented Scandal from Bohemia.
We were awed into silence at Stella Vaughn’s haunting depiction of Leeloo from the cult classic The Fifth Element when she performed an erotic ballet to the opera featured in the film.
We witnessed Morgue Anne’s slow motion take on Super Girl’s quick change inside the phone booth.
We had our childhood memories both resurface and oddly violated with Violet Deville’s performance set to the Muppet Show theme which ended in a quite the grand finale that showcased a replica of Gonzo’s nose right between… well you get the idea.
Some of my favorite moments included two performances by Tempest who showed a wide range of skill in dance, from a completely improvised piece which featured staccato movement and snake-like undulations to an elegant and articulate belly dance set perfectly to music.
Two other highlights for me included a breathtaking Firefly themed feather fan dance from Sailor St. Claire and a hilarious chipt-tunes rap tribute to 8-bit games by Bolt Action where every detail seemed covered in dedication to his theme–right down to the 8-bit “diamond” pasties glued to his nipples. Hands down the only man I’ve ever seen able to walk off the stage with that much dignity in only his converse, sunglasses and underoos.
However my favorite performance of the night was hands down the last. While they were all lovely and fabulous and worthy of an individual review themselves, Scarlet O’Hairdye’s Dr. Who themed performance won me over completely. From the skit that preceded her burlesque performance where she wandered in dressed remarkably like a female Tom Baker to how closely she kept to this theme not just by costume, but song, routine and props. There was never a moment where you could have not understood what she was parodying and I have to admit, using the 4th Doctor’s obscenely long scarf as a regular burlesque show might use a feather boa was charmingly clever.
All in all, while every live show has its technical difficulties, or the performers nerves show through, I would highly recommend a nerdy burlesque show if you have the chance. Support these Confident nerdy women expressing their love for fandoms through the art of comedy, dance and erotica.
In short: I had a frakkin good time and would highly recommend it.
For more information about upcoming shows run by Violet Deville, visit her website http://violetdeville.com.
MinInterview: Ethan Nicholle
Interviewer: Jenn Zuko Boughn
Recently I had the very great pleasure of using my 5-question “Mininterview” format to ask Ethan Nicholle about upcoming Axe Cop vol. 3, and the future of the series. ~Prof. Jenn
1) How has Axe Cop evolved as Malachai has gotten older? How do you see him evolving as Malachai continues to get older? What’s coming up in Axe Cop’s future that we can get excited about?
Malachai’s tastes and interests are changing pretty rapidly, so Axe Cop’s attention span is at about the same rate. Whatever is going on in Malachai’s life makes it into the story, for instance the family just got a new dog, so he called me to tell me there is a new dog character in the Axe Cop universe. I’m as interested as anyone to see how Axe Cop changes as Malachai grows up. I’m open to whatever works. The most exciting thing in Axe Cop’s future, next to Volume 3 coming out on March 28th, is the new print-exclusive miniseries titled Axe Cop: President of the World which launches in July.
2) Axe Cop’s fan base exploded pretty quickly. How did this fandom affect how you composed Axe Cop? Did it affect how Malachai composed it? How about the feedback you both have been getting at conventions?
It just sort of rocketed us into making more Axe Cop and really fast. When I first made Axe Cop I assumed it would be a fun thing to do with Malachai whenever I visit (which is about 3 times a year). When it blew up, I decided we should strike while the iron is hot and start making more of these things. It became a lot of fun and quite an interesting project. Especially working on the more long form stories with him and spending entire months with him. We get awesome feedback from fans, the support for Axe Cop is huge and people who love it REALLY love it. I think there are people out there who love it more than Malachai and I combined. I think that Axe Cop popped up right when people were getting tired of the more negative, gritty and edgy style that was the “thing” for a while, and Axe Cop is such a breath of fresh air in that world. It is totally sincere and innocent and it inadvertently parodies comics that take themselves too seriously.
3) I noticed in Volume 3, there are many “Ask Axe Cop” episodes as well as a lengthy guest appearance (on the website, there have been several more guest appearances recently as well). What are your thoughts/feelings about the collaboration? Do the guests appeal to Malachai, and does he springboard off of those?
Malachai has gotten ideas from the guest episodes. He really liked the one where Axe Cop has little axes on his arm hairs. He pretty much stole that concept for himself and made Axe Cop have sword arm hair. The guest episodes are a lot of fun, especially the ones where people follow the model and team up with their own kids/nieces/nephews to make an Axe Cop story.
4) How do Axe Cop, Bad Guy Earth, and Bearmageddon inform each other? Do you have a particular favorite issue?
Well Bad Guy Earth is just more Axe Cop, but it is written in a longer format. It’s more of our attempt at “feature length” Axe Cop story telling. Bearomageddon I wouldn’t say is informed by Axe Cop much mainly because I created it before I created Axe Cop, I only finally started to release it after. I think Bad Guy Earth is my favorite thing I have done so far just because it is so out of the box and such a fun/crazy experiment in creativity. A lot went into making it.
5) Who are some of your artistic inspirations? Is there anyone you even now try to emulate in your work? What is one of your artistic dreams? (e.g. have you always wanted to draw a certain superhero/create a world that you haven’t yet?)
My biggest influences growing up were Bill Watterson, Gary Larson and the many artists who drew the Ninja Turtles. Later I got into indie comics and became a big fan of artists like Jhonen Vasquez, Evan Dorkin, Ethan Van Sciver (who was indie back then) and Sam Keith. I have a lot of respect for Doug TenNapel because I like that he emphasizes storytelling and he really pushes creativity and wonder in his work. I think I try to emulate that. I have never really dreamed of drawing other people’s characters, I have always wanted to make my own stuff. So I don’t know what my dream project would be. I think right now Axe and Bearmageddon are dream projects, and I’ll have other ones down the road.
As many of you may know by now (mostly if you have read some of my other posts), I am a metal girl with a soft spot for punk, and throw in a few British pop bands from time to time. I do enjoy a bit of folk music sometimes if my it fits my mood. But on the whole its Prog Rock and Metal for this lady! That’s why I am so surprised that I cannot stop listening to Taylor Swift’s Safe & Sound featuring The Civil Wars from the Hunger Games soundtrack. I most definitely would not have given this song a chance if it weren’t for its association with a movie that I am eagerly awaiting. But now that I have, there is no turning back. I’ve added The Civil Wars to my Spotify rotation and I’ve even been YouTubing (don’t want to mess with my last.fm stats!) some Taylor Swift songs to see if this is a one off thing or if I could possibly add her to my rotation.
Check it out:
Last Halloween, my friend Stephanie revealed an incredible costume she had been working on all year: a dalek. At first, I thought ‘How is that even possible? How will you wear it?” I underestimated the creativity, crafty skills and motivation Stephanie had behind this undertaking. It was unfortunate that New York was slammed by a huge snow storm Halloween weekend which cancelled all local parties, including the big one Stephanie had planned to show the dalek off at, and hopefully win a costume contest at. I couldn’t let this incredible costume go back into the basement without sharing it with all my fellow Doctor Who fans, so I set upon compiling all the information I could from Stephanie on how she pulled this off. Hopefully some of you will feel inspired by this to create your own awesome Halloween costumes this year!
Stephanie: I started in February of 2011. I am not sure what exactly got me into the idea, but when I found out Dalek’s stand about 5 feet tall (and that is my height), I figured it would be an excellent idea. Then when I found the very detailed plans online, I was sold.
S: I don’t think I had an idea, but I definitely did not think it would take the amount of time (and money) that it did. I knew it was good to start early, and I’m glad I did, because I ended up finishing very close to Halloween.
S: It definitely was. I was trying to find components that would work but be cheap and light and would make the final product mobile/portable.
S: I didn’t make many changes, except ones to make it able for me to go inside. Accidentally, it ended up taller than expected, but that turns out to be good because now people who are not petite like me can go inside it as well.
L: What was the biggest challenge in the project and how did you work past it?
S: The biggest challenge was making the dome for the head. I could not find any bowls that were the right size (huge), so I decided I would use paper mache over a large beach ball. However, I also could not find a beach ball that was the right size, despite ordering some online that turned out to be incorrectly described. I finally had to use wire mesh and shape my own dome and then cover it with paper mache.
L: I know thanks to a big snow storm you were unable to show the dalek at Halloween parties. Did you get to actually take it out for display to the public? Have you made any plans to display it since halloween?
S: I have not yet had a chance to bring it out to the public yet. I do plan on attending one or two cons this year, though, to show it off. And hopefully this coming Halloween. Unfortunately I need a large venue to effectively display it, and that can be hard to find. (It does not fit through a conventional doorway, except in pieces, so that also creates a challenge. I have to put it together in one room and stay there the whole time.)
Now for the technical details:
The plans Stephanie used were found here. That site offers plans for several different styles of daleks. Stephanie chose to build the ‘New Series Dalek’, which premiered in 2005. I’m assuming she picked that model because, being fans of David Tennant’s 10th Doctor, her boyfriend Dave would be happy to wear the appropriate Doctor costume.
For technical notes from Stephanie and her bio, read past the break.
This is absolutely glorious.
Have any Whovian trolling ideas of your own?
One thing that I love so much about the geek community is its general acceptance of one another’s obsessions and interests. I love being in a room where I can swoon over that last episode of Caprica, discuss cosplay techniques and have a lively discussion on the relative merits of David Tennant and Matt Smith. As accepting as the community as a whole tends to be, I have noticed a disturbing trend of disdain for certain things, like the Twilight series, that comes across to me as borderline bullying. I get it, you hate the idea of sparkly vampires played by beautiful, mopey actors and the idea of screaming teenage girls fills you with dread. You’re still bitter at the hordes of Twihards that ruined that day in Hall H a few years ago (I totally understand). I am not suggesting that you watch the films (although I think you might be surprised at what you might find if you kept an open mind), but I hold out hope that we can stop mocking certain things so much that I am ashamed to discuss my love of them.
I feel like I have a shameful secret and I try and find subtle ways to determine if my friends might share this love without it be too openly known. I think it’s ridiculous that, as an adult, I feel like I need to hide the fact that I bought tickets for opening night of Breaking Dawn this weekend. I remember walking in Westwood a few years ago and seeing hundreds of teenage girls sleeping on the streets waiting to watch the new movie. In the 5 minutes that I was there, I saw at least 2 cars drive past and yell rude things at them and make fun of them. I have issues with anyone that bullies teenagers and there is no excuse for behavior like this, regardless of how you feel about what they’re into. If a teenage girl is obsessed with a male character who cherishes Edwardian ideals of romance, respect and chastity instead of the latest half-naked pop star, then I say good for them.
I am no Twihard, but I am a true Romantic and if I want to go watch a silly guilty-pleasure movie about teenage love with a sparkly male lead, then I would hope that I wouldn’t be mocked for it. Don’t worry, my interests lie far beyond only this series and I will be there opening weekend to see the Hobbit, The Amazing Spiderman and the other dozen geektastic films coming out next year. As geeks, I’d love to see us all follow the philosophy of Bill and Ted and “be excellent to each other”. I promise, in turn, to not make fun of your Thundercats action figure collection. Okay, well that’s just because I’m jealous, but you know what I mean. We all like things that other people don’t “get” and I think that’s a reason for celebration. You have every right to your opinion, just as I do, I would just hope that we could all treat each other with a little respect and not make others feel ashamed. Geeks unite!
As I sit here waiting for the inevitable power outage thanks to the high winds, (and for another tree to fall like before), I think back to the past year for me. It’s entering November, and I find myself busy, as per usual, and looking for more to do, (I’m a glutton for punishment in the month of November,) so now is the perfect time for reminiscing. I’ve been in and out of the hospital for almost the whole year with my family. My grandpa would go into the hospital, come out, and two days later go back in, and I would be the one that my entire family would turn to for information and a plan of attack. More recently my mother went into the hospital and just got off of a seven week short term disability leave. To give an example of what kind of stress this put me under, I was at my grandparents house more than my house to help them out, then at my house more than the outside world, and then anxiety attacks that drove me to my doctor. Stressful right? How did I cope? The nerdy way. Let me tell you how.
Update: Half way through that paragraph I heard sirens from the police, firefighters, and ambulance going off close to my street. Thank you wind.
In September I went to the wedding of my very first friend, and I took my other friend with me, cause I’m single and I don’t go to weddings alone. During the ceremony they had a planting of the sapling, it was sweet, it really was… to everyone else. All my friend and I heard was sapling, and we both looked at each other and knew we were thinking the same thing. He said it first. “You know if they use a little bonemeal on that, it’ll grow immediately.” Thank you Minecraft. Yes, that’s right, we turned a wedding into Minecraft, started making plans for the server that we play on with our friends. It gets nerdier, all before the reception. My friend, Shua, and I were talking about our own prospective weddings, and his won by far. Scottish wedding, kilts on the men, and at the cutting of the cake have someone run up and cut the cake with a sword whilst yelling; “They can take our wedding, but they’ll never take our cake!” That’s right, he went there.
The reception came, and we wanted our allotted booze. The party favors were adorable, and after 15 seconds of looking at them I took a picture, declaring that some Angry Birds had crashed the party. Another 10 seconds later and I was stealing the party favors from the empty seats next to us to create a Tri-Force. Yes, I went there. We skipped the Chicken Dance, and the Cha Cha Slide, but went up there for the YMCA. And we found out what exactly the Lady In Red is doing. Hint, she’s running away out the bathroom window because no one knows her name. We made a couple more parodies from the songs, one including some nice words for Minecraft, before we left to go watch the new episode of Doctor Who.
That’s just one day, how did I make it day to day otherwise? Well, I’m a creative type, I like making stuff, I like to sell this stuff. November 5th here in the city that I live in, we have an Art market, the Saginaw Art Market to be exact. It’s a free event where only handmade items will be sold, artists working in all different mediums will be there. I like to think that I represent the Fiber arts section, with my knitting and crocheting. I make popular culture themed goods. Like these lovely Sailor Scouts, and Tuxedo Mask. And what’s this? A Mega Man hat that I made? A Hatsune Miku hat? There’s even an Okami Ameterasu hat in the works, and a Jak (& Daxter) hat that I’m making for me. There are plans for some ‘Penny’ wristwarmers, (Dr Horrible anyone?) I’d also like to make some hats out of fleece, you know, anime style hats, cause I’m just that cool. I’m no stranger to making nerdy stuff, but I think that I got nerdier as a coping mechanism to all my stress, allowing me to make more awesome stuff.
My podcast now has a slight buffer of episodes because of my epic new nerdiness. “To Continue Press Start” has been getting a lot of attention, well-deserved attention, and I even participated in a 24 hours gaming event to raise money for the Children’s Miracle network. I made it for 21 hours before I had to crash. I blame my cats who wouldn’t let get me any sleep the night before. Now we just have to get back to playing Sonic the Hedgehog for his 25th birthday.
I had a moment when I walked into one of my favorite gaming stores and found out that I’m a regular to the staff now. I no longer have to show my ID when paying with a credit card, because I am a recognizable face. After pre-ordering my Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, I walked out of the store and proudly stated; “It’s so great being a nerd.” I think that my point is to say that being a nerd gives me unique ways of handling stress, and it’s just recently that I’ve found out how effective that it can actually be, and something that is very well needed. Now if you’ll excuse me I have arms to make for Sailor Scouts, and more Link hats to make.
These clever little capsules from Greg Guillemin will certainly keep us geek-folk amused for probably a little too long:
And while I’d probably make flash cards out of them, they seem to be available in some finely printed forms.
Last night Ground Kontrol Arcade in Portland, Oregon had their inaugural Ladies Night free play event. There were prizes from Things from Another World & Shebop, a craft exchange (I brought a pair of 1-up earrings and took home a technicolor stuffed Dalek). I had a great time and cannot wait until the next one!