I am fortunate to have friends who understand (or at least accept) my passion for a) Geeky Things, and especially b) Geeky Things in Cross Stitch Form. It’s been less than two years since I first picked up Julie Jackson’s Subversive Cross Stitch book, but I fell hard and fast in love. The repetitive motion and pattern-following of the craft itself are right up my alley, but what really snagged me (CRAFT PUN) was the realization that this new hobby could speak to me in ways that others cannot.
I’m not a church-y person, but neither was my grandfather who introduced me to this wise proverb. So double the traditional wisdom with nostalgia, then add the awesome juxtaposition* of Jabba the Hut and slave Leia.
This framed cross stitch is available through Steotch’s Etsy store. It’s easy to balk at the $299.00 price tag, but I know how much work goes into a piece like this. If cross-stitchers could charge what auto mechanics charge for hourly labor, this piece would easily be over $1,000. And apparently the artist has been using cross stitch as a distraction from her battle with cancer. So, if you can afford it, I think this would make a lovely addition to your home.
I don’t see that the pattern itself is for sale, which would be a more affordable option for the poor yet ambitious, so maybe I’ll contact the artist about that.
This is my second favorite from Steotch’s selection:
(Thanks to my old high school friend, Mike Fisher, for tipping me off to the Slave to Serenity cross stitch piece.)
*A degree in English provides a person with the lifelong ability to use words like “juxtaposition” in a non-academic setting. Also, a nice piece of paper to display on the window of the old van in which the graduate likely lives.
I do a little knitting from time to time, but I’m not very good. Mostly scarves and/or abandoned projects. (We shall not mention the cowl I made with my own non-pattern for a friend’s baby a few years ago.) I can knit and purl and even There’s just something about interpreting a pattern with 3-letter abbreviations (dpn, ssl, omg, wtf) that makes my eyes spin. I can’t even understand the concept of a “yarnover.” A yarn over what?!? That’s an incomplete sentence, not a noun!
Anyway. I have these fantasies of knitting some fabulous items for fashion, warmth, and expression of geekiness. Of course they only take an hour or so in my fantasies and turn out perfectly and I’m even sipping on margaritas while happily clicking my needles together and there’s nary a knot or dropped stitch.
Also, Matt Damon is doing shirtless sit-ups in my living room while Mike Rowe shovels something and sings to me.
….Um. What were we talking about? OH YEAH. Knitting.
At this point, I’m a little bit of an obsessive pattern saver. I know what I want to knit—I just need to develop the skills and patience and dedicate time to it and stuff. Once I do, though, here’s what I want to tackle first: knitting Star Wars inspired hats! These are my 3 favorite fangirl patterns:
R2D2 knit beanie by CarissaKnits. A very awesome (free!) pattern that is somehow made by the telescoping lens thingy on the front.
A Leia knit wig by ansleybleu. This one’s not free—the downloadable pattern PDF costs $7.95 from her Etsy store. It was apparently originally a commission specifically for Carrie Fisher (through one of her friends). It’s basically honeybun earmuffs with a beanie instead of one of those annoying headbands. Oh, and Princess Leia Buns of Hotness!
Finally, the Yoda knit hat, felted for extra coolness, by Sunshyne. The free pattern is for a baby-size head. But by the time I develop mad knitting skillz with the first two projects, I bet I will have the skillz to resize this pattern for an adult noggin. Now that I think about it, though… it would be very cool to wear the knit Leia buns and carry around a baby* in a knit Yoda hat. That sort of cosplay requires a little more, though… maybe a third character… anyone know of a free Han-Solo-in-Carbonite knitting pattern?
*So I guess in addition to mad knitting skillz, I would also need a baby. Or, if you’re following the Star Wars mythology that is expanded in books and such, I would need two babies since [SPOILER] Han and Leia have twins (a boy and a girl, natch). There can’t be two Yodas, though. I cannot think of a good solution to this problem. Oh. Em. Gee. I just did! One of the babies would wear the R2D2 beanie!!! Now that’s a full circle Star Wars geek craft geek-out. If I had a lightsaber, it would be extended.
Though I never played it much myself, the 1990s computer game Worms always reminds me of college. A few of my guy friends were really into it. I didn’t own a copy—not that it mattered, since my hand-me-down PC probably wouldn’t have supported it. And it’s not like my guy friends were willing to share their explosion-filled game with a girl…
(Around this time I happened to be experiencing Crystal Quest withdrawals since I grew up in a Mac family. Worms would have been fun for me.)
But check out these awesome little polymer clay Worms and accessories by PlanetJune! Soooo cute! I need to get a copy of the game and see how I like Worms in 2010.
I’ve see some fun personalities reveal themselves in people’s cars recently. This is when it comes in handy to have my little camera in my purse! (My cell phone doesn’t take very good photos and I don’t mind carrying around the extra weight of a small camera.) The first is nice and geeky, the second just made me laugh.
The bumper sticker says “Gonk if you <3 Star Wars.” (I had to look up Gonk.)
The little placard says “Please Use Other Door.” The genius still makes me chuckle!
To continue the new (and probably short) string of geeky artwork by moi… here is my graphite rendering of Darth Vader: The Cookie Jar.
I got this 10-inch tall plastic cookie jar a few years ago by collecting UPCs from cereal boxes and sending them in. His helmet comes off to reveal room for about 2 cookies inside… so he’s used as a bust on the mantle instead of a cookie jar.
I have 4 more sketches to complete by Wednesday, plus 1 self-portrait and 1 abstract drawing collage-type thingy that I’ve already started. I’ll take a quick final for that art class on Wednesday morning, then I’ll leave that afternoon for Denver, where I will watch my little sister defend her PhD thesis on Thursday! Holy crap! On many levels!
From there, I went to the Dumbrella booth where Wil Wheaton was supposed to be signing autographs. I got there about 5:40, in plenty of time for his 5:30-6:30 signing, except I didn’t remember his Twitter post correctly because it was really 4:30-5:30. Crap! I got lucky, though, because around the back of the booth I spotted him (squee!) being interviewed. Not knowing how quickly he was going to run off afterwards, I stood back and took a photo.
As I waited like a real geek in my bold black and yellow Star Wars tee, I realized that the woman interviewing him was Leah from Mahalo Daily. Cool! The interview kept going, so I meandered around the adjacent booths pretending to be looking at their stuff when really I was just waiting in the wings to pounce on Wil when the taping stopped. I found an inconspicuous spot behind him so at least I wouldn’t look like a stalker. And then suddenly I realized that I may have been in the line of vision of the freakin’ Mahalo Daily camera… I bolted out of that as quickly as possible when I realized it. I was in no condition to have my disheveled and sweaty geek self recorded for all eternity on the internet, staring intently at the celebrity giving an interview I couldn’t even hear. Gah. Hopefully I didn’t actually make it into the footage.
[Edit: I'm in the shot from minute 6:28 until you see a brief look of terror and my quick departure at 6:49. I'm semi-fuzzy in the background, so thankfully I'm not as horrified after the fact.]
Anyway. The interview finally ended and they chatted off camera for a little while longer. Then, when the Mahalo Daily people turned away, two fanboys pounced on Wil before I could from my slightly more inconspicuous (really this time) spot. One guy invited Wil to his film screening, and the other just wanted to say hi after comfirming that he was the kid from Stand By Me.
“I’m a bigger fan,” I thought to myself, imagining scenarios in which I could shove the guys aside cartoon violence-style. “After all, I’ve read his books and I subscribe to his Twitter feed and his blog and I’m a fan of his writing, and he would appreciate that.” I thumbed my Moleskine notebook while talking to myself and then suddenly realized that the second guy was leaving. I started sweating nervous buckets when he glanced at me, possibly wondering if I was just going to follow him around all night being a creepy fangirl in the shadows.
“Hi,” I blurted in his direction. “I know you were signing autographs earlier, and I missed it…”
He interrupted me and caught me completely off guard by saying “Well, I’m still here, so it looks like you didn’t miss me.”
So I stammered out an autograph request that sounded so completely retarded out loud I thought he might just laugh nervously and run away. What exactly I said, I don’t remember, but he responded warmly and put me more at ease because he was just so approachable, which somehow turned right back around and made me nervous as hell.
I told him that I read his blog and he expressed surprising gratitude that made me just want to hug him. I had wanted to say how much I took from his journey to becoming a writer in Just a Geek, but it came out more generic. “You really inspire me as a writer,” or something. *facepalm* I told him that I was tickled that he was also inspired by David Sedaris (as he wrote about on his blog a few weeks ago).
The whole time that I blabbered on about this or that, he maintained a very engaged, steady eye contact. I was a little too nervous to maintain steady eye contact myself (which normally is no problem for me). He was really listening to me, which speaks volumes. I wish I’d dabbed off my sweaty glow before approaching him!
And then came the part that is still making my face flush. I had been holding my geeky business card while walking, and finally held it out to him. “Well, this is me, and I just want you to know that if I ever become a writer you should know that you inspired me.”
Wil graciously took the card from me and I thanked him again. I wanted to just reach out and hug him, but didn’t want to go that far and completely invade his personal space, so I just held out my hand for him to shake. He shook it with both hands, which surprised and delighted me. He expressed thanks with more sincerity than I think I did. I grinned and we parted ways, though I turned back after a couple steps and watched him walk away, not wanting to lose the moment but at the same time wanting to relax and return to my normal non-fangirl self.
Now I not only want to be a writer like Wil Wheaton. If I ever reach a celebrity position of any level, I also want to be gracious fan-friendly celebrity like Wil Wheaton.
Star Wars Landspeeder (can’t go back and erase the wheel shadow on this one, George)
Jawa Sandcrawler (Um, I don’t think this one’s even close to scale…)
X-Wing car (with R2-D2 in the back)
What I really want to see now is a track race with the Pac-Man car and four Ghost race cars chasing him… until the Pac-Man car catches the power pellet that’s speeding around in front of him (like the bunny in a greyhound coursing).
Then Pac-Man would spin around to chase Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde for a set period of time and when he overtakes one, the Ghost car would have to do a Drive of Shame back to its pit.
Fans would be outfitted with paint guns and instructed to colorize the overtaken Ghost car, which would then be washed off in the pit and resurrected into the race.
There would not be a “first to cross the finish line” goal. Scoring would consist of points for overtakes, drafting, driving style, and zealotry of paint gun-wielding fans. At the racetrack entrance, fans would have to declare whether they want to be Pac-Heads or Ghost-Heads for the day and sit in the appropriate stands.
To round out the racing teams, Pac-Heads would also be entitled to support race cars in the likeness of Ms. Pac-Man and characters from the early 1980s Hanna-Barbera cartoon series: Chomp-Chomp the dog and Sour Puss the cat. Don’t forget about Baby-Pac! He would be the adorable team mascot. On the Ghost side, the mascot would be the evil Mezmeron, leader of the ghosts from the cartoon series.
The only thing that would make this racing scenario cooler is if it were possible to screw with physics in some science-y way so that the race cars could drive off the East end of the track and instantly reappear on the West end (and vice-versa). And then maybe have a grand finale demolition derby. Yeah, I think that would score some serious green and some hardcore fandom.
Any other ideas to make this live-action Geek Race a valid sales pitch?
Mostly I just want to have my picture taken underneath the 8 foot tall, 36 foot wide Krusty head that marks the entrance to the new Simpsons Ride at Universal Studios (Orlando and Hollywood).
I’m not a huge Disney fan, so this is another pull for Universal Studios vs. Disney World/Land. That and the Back to the Future ride. (Except they’re both motion-based simulator rides, which means that Ben can’t ride them with me. Vertigo is an asshole.)
Disney does, however, have The Muppets 3-D show and the "Star Tours" Star Wars thrill ride. Damn. Someday I’m going to have to pay $3,000 to gain entrance into a Disney park just to see those again (and maybe buy the exclusive toys in the gift shop).