Kittens – Month 2.5

IMG_3551

Every day is a new adventure with these little rugrats.

IMG_3415 IMG_3419 They have grown so much in the past couple of months.
IMG_3432 IMG_3547

They are getting stronger and more agile and that means we are kitty-proofing every day.

IMG_3548 IMG_3551

but it’s worth it.  :)

 

Continue Reading

The Adventures of Scout and Buster

oh, hello

About a month ago we became new kitten-moms. After Miss passed away in August, we decided that we wouldn’t adopt any pets until after grad school. That changed when we saw the photos of these tiny little kittens who were rescued by one of Melissa’s classmates.

It was the best decision we could have made. We are in love with these new kittens and it’s hard to concentrate on anything when these two are around. This even means getting ready for your finals this week (ahem).

I took out my camera this morning because I was photographing some of my Blue Dawg Deli artifacts and the kittens were coercing me to come take their picture.  How could I resist?

Paws
PAWS!
Buster lounging
Buster lounging
morepaws
More Paws!
oh, hello
Oh, Hello! (Scout and Buster take a brief pause from Pew Pew Pew each other)
Continue Reading

Notes From Las Vegas: A Break From Reality

Downtown Container Park

I’m in Las Vegas until the end of March to help my parents while my dad recovers from  major surgery. It’s been an intense experience, but I am glad that I am here. I have been reflecting a lot about my life and how I want to live it going forward. That is another blog post for another day, but for now, check out another awesome-sauce find in the downtown area. You can find out more about Downtown Container Park on their website: http://downtowncontainerpark.com/

Downtown Container Park

inside Downtown Container Park
inside Downtown Container Park
Continue Reading

Notes from Las Vegas: The Life Cube Project

Welcome to the Life Cube Project

It’s been quite a tornado for the past few months. I can’t believe that I haven’t written a blog post for three months. I guess I have been a wee busy:

  • 1st semester as a teaching assistant with my own lab
  • My own school work
  • my art work… filming… scheming… designing…
  • oh and. . . a little side diversion to Las Vegas since the end of Feb.

My father became sick about two weeks ago and my parents live out here by themselves. It’s a tough situation out here for them, so my youngest brother and I came out to help my mom out while my dad was in the hospital.   My other brother will be coming at a later date to help maneuver them into a good place.  I won’t go into my dad’s surgery just yet, or their other stuff, because frankly, that is their stuff. I will say however that the systems in place for disabled/not-so-elder people is extremely frustrating. I am trying to make heads and tails about the systems here in Nevada, and I hate to say it, but I feel like Illinois with all of their issues seem to be more straight-forward.   However, that is a WHOLE other conversation that may happen here in the future (once my mind has decompressed from this trip).

What I will say is that I stumbled on something that has been my saving grace this week.  It’s a community art project called “The LifeCube Project“.

from their website:

THE LIFE CUBE PROJECT HAS TWO MISSIONS:
1) Encouraging people to write down what they want to accomplish in their lives; and
2) Connecting art with community, involving as many people as possible!

My first visit was on Saturday night with my one of my closest friends, Kelly. We have been friends since our 20’s and she has always been one of the most supportive people in my life that a girl can ever ask for.  She  flew out from LA to be with my mom and I during my dad’s intense surgery on Saturday.  To say I was grateful is an understatement. My wife couldn’t be here because of the crazy cost to fly here from STL (crazy spring breakers) so to have Kel here with us during the wait was above and beyond one of the best things a friend has ever done for me. :) After the intensity of the day, I needed to decompress and I was so excited to visit the project for the first time with one of my besties.

We drove up to the parking lot, walked towards the cube and it was surrounded by artists adding their own artwork to each side of the cube.  Paints and chalk are provided and visitors are encouraged to add their own flare to the piece.  It was such a freeing moment after a day filled with so much stress.

I returned the next evening with my cousin who came to visit my dad. Again, it was a magical experience, and again artists were continuing to share their vision with the community.

again, from the website:

The Cube will be covered with murals and a tapestry of paintings by local students and artists, write boards for
interactive messaging, slots for dropping in written goals and wishes, and photographs of historic Las Vegas. It will
be filled with music on the weekends, and lit up at night like a rock concert. And after a month on site, we’ll burn it all
in a fiery ceremony on March 21st, 2014.

I plan on visiting every day and will continue to edit this post until the 21st with photos and maybe video from my visits every day.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Continue Reading

2014: The Land of Resolutions

origwormhole

M and I decided to visually represent our resolutions this year. I wish I could show you her board because it’s much neater, but I took to my board with gusto (and the style of a six year old).

2014 Goals

1 – Lose at least 60 pounds.

Well, I have quite a few more of those to lose, but we’ll just start out with this. It’s a realistic goal and one that I’m determined to hit. M got this amazing vegan cookbook from her mom for the holidays and I’m off to the store to get the first bit of ingredients. I’m excited to try some new recipes like Sweet Potato and Curry Soup… Chickpea/FakeTuna Sandwich…  I’m not sure I am going totally vegan, but I am making steps to cutting back on red meat.

2. ToDo List Central 2014

I am going to have lists upon lists upon lists. That isn’t different from years past, but following them is another thing. It’s a typical issue for someone with ADD to try a million different organizational methods, but this year, I am going to try and stick with one.

3.  Mindfulness.

This has been a big topic in our household and one that I hope grows into a legitimate practice in 2014.  I think our time away from the internet was a good start, and I don’t want to fall back into our patterns. I’m going to try my best to not do that and be mindful of my surroundings.

4. Reflect More

I used to journal and write a lot more when I was younger, and I know that practice kept me sane. I need to pick that up again this year. It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind that is life (especially when you are in grad school), but I need to check in with myself.

5.  Skype/Call More with Friends/Family

I have become notoriously horrible for trying to reach on the telephone. If you try to call me after 7pm, I probably won’t answer the phone. I realize that part of that usually revolves around being around people all day. I need time to recharge and it’s hard to verbally speak with people. However, I can write/chat online easily. I don’t totally get it, but I am going to stop beating myself over it.

Therefore, I want to make sure that I am keeping in contact with those that I love by scheduling skype dates/phone calls, etc. If I keep it on a schedule, then I won’t lose touch with those I adore.

6. Read at least one book towards my thesis research a month.

What is my thesis? Good question. :) I’m still exploring and while I have a bit of time, I really need to get my head into the game. I have a few ideas and really need to center and hone in on what I want to do. This is the problem with having too many great ideas! :)

7.  Buh-Bye Soda

I said last year that I was giving up soda. I lied. I kept drinking it. However, I am determined to give up that evil stuff this year. I don’t need it, it’s bad for me (especially someone with one kidney) and I need to fall in love with water.

8.  Date Nights

With both of us in grad school with crazy schedules, we have to schedule nights for just the two of us. It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle and not concentrate on your own relationship, but I’m determined to schedule these nights! (This is more for our joint goals, but I’m adding this to mine to give me an extra kick in the butt to remember how important this is) :)

9. Work out at least 4x a week

This goes back to my first resolution. Without this, I won’t lose those 60+ pounds. Swim, Zumba, whatever… this is going to happen.

So what were your resolutions this year?

 

Continue Reading

The 12 Days of No Social Media

WesternIllinois

A peaceful moment in Western Illinois

A peaceful moment in Western Illinois

Happy New Year everyone! Are you ready for 2014? I am! 2013 was a funky sort of year. It definitely hit some high and sour notes, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger (Yes, I’m quoting Kelly Clarkson). :)

M and I were inspired by this post by my friend Lauren (aka Queerie Bradshaw) about cutting herself off from the online world for a month. ( fyi some of her content may be nsfw :) )While I wasn’t sure I wanted to go for a month, I felt that our holiday travel schedule was a perfect time to test the waters. I logged off Facebook, Instagram and Twitter during our travels.

Over the past few years, socializing via online media has shifted from emails and IM chats to comments on Facebook walls or retweets on Twitter or “hearts” on Instagram. I also didn’t really respond to any emails that were sent (unless it was urgent) If I was going to go offline, I was going offline.

How did it feel? Odd at first. I felt a bit cut off from the world. However, it also felt freeing. I woke up in the morning not worrying about the latest crisis or getting riled up about something some crazy homophobic idiot has said.  Instead, I felt happy and was ready to be in the world. M and I enjoyed our drive up to Chicago and listened to podcasts, music and comedy from one of our more recent fave finds, Miranda Hart.

What I failed to remember at first was while we were off social media, others were not. I started to realize how much my friends and family were attached to their mobile phones. I realized how much I WAS also attached to my mobile devices. How I was not fully engaging in conversations with those around me. Why do we need to check Facebook while having dinner with friends? It really became apparent how much this is affecting those around me and others too. We went out for dinner and I saw a family who brought their entertainment with them. Their table was silent while the father seemed to be responding to texts iPhone, the mother checked out a few blogs on her iPad and the daughter was watching a movie on her iPad mini. They had no interaction with each other or their environment. The only interaction I saw was the husband showing the wife something on his phone, they laughed, and then went back to their respective devices.

F**k. I realized this is what I have been doing with M for many, many moons. This isn’t what I want.

I want to continue to use Social Media. I don’t have a vendetta against it. It has been wonderful in so many ways. I have been able to keep up with friends and family around the world for the past few years. It has connected me to so many amazing new people in my life too. Bloggers, artists, etc.  However, I want to start using it in a more mindful fashion.

What does that look like? I’m not entirely positive. However, I’ll be sure to keep you posted on my progress.

2014: The Year of Kicking Arse and Taking No Prisoners. :)

 

 

Continue Reading

Burning Q’s About Our Marriage

stacyandmelissa

This week, the Illinois Legislature passed the marriage equality bill.  It was an amazing moment and while we are so happy about the fact that we will be legally married in our home state, we have received some very interesting questions from friends and family this week. We thought it might be fun to clarify a few things for y’all:

stacyandmelissa

  1. We are already married!

No, we are not having another ceremony. Been there, done that. We had a small intimate ceremony in Iowa (where it has been legal for a few years), and then had a beautiful, larger ceremony with friends and family in Chicago.  However, if you are interested in purchasing items off of our registry, feel free! :)

2. No, we don’t need to get married again in Illinois.

For our currently married friends. . .did you need to go to every state in the US to get married? :) We are married. Period.

3. However, we are still not recognized in most of the US. 

While we are ecstatic that Illinois is going to be come the 15th state to support marriage equality, this isn’t over.  Every state that currently surrounds us in Southern Illinois doesn’t support us. Heck, you can’t even utter the word “gay” in Tennessee schools.   Until we are fully, federally recognized, this fight is far from over.

4. Marriage is a Class Privilege 

We fully believe in marriage being a right for all who wish to partake in it. However, we feel that it’s vital to acknowledge that marriage is a privilege of those that can afford it. There are many other issues that affect every queer individual.

Honestly, this whole marriage business is another notch to add to that “class privilege belt”. Once we are afforded legal status in our federal government, we will receive a slew of benefits that single people don’t get to partake in. I call bullshit on that. Why should we get tax relief because we are married? There are a ton of other “perks” and don’t even get me started on if you have kids. That’s a whole ‘nother bucket of crazy that I can’t even begin to get into right now.

5. On that note, marriage equality doesn’t make us equal. 

It’s a nice step in the right direction, but honestly, in our opinion, there are some major issues that need to be reconciled. Some queers can be fired for being out on their job. Some members of our community live in fear, ever single flippin’ day because of threats of violence. Oh yeah, and some education systems think we really don’t exist.

The fact that more and more states are legalizing marriage equality does not mean we are suddenly equal and don’t have any more problems in our society. Don’t confuse ‘marriage equality’ with ‘equality’

6. We do exist. Deal with it. 

Finally, we want to say that we really do appreciate those friends and family who have supported us from the get-go. For the most part, we have some amazing people in our lives and we get all smooshy when we think about that. However, for those of you who think our marriage is a farce, or not the reality, well you really need to just get over it. We are here. We do exist. Oh yeah, and we are legally married. We’ve heard some crap recently that kids don’t understand us. I call bullshit. Kids understand love. They understand two people who care about one another. They get it. Still don’t believe me? Check out this video. . . the reactions are fantastic.

Embedly Powered

 

 


 

Continue Reading

TravelGeek: AmtrakRideWithPride.Com

rwpLogo2-1

rwpLogo2-1

I’m so excited to share the news about Amtrak’s new blog, Amtrak Ride With Pride. I’m one of their guest bloggers and so is my good friend, Deb.

Go, don’t collect $200 and check out Deb’s post about riding the California Zephyr, and my post about my tips for incoming LGBT college students.

There are also some pretty awesome travel deals too!

Here’s a quick little video of my beautiful ride down the coast of California from LA to San Diego. #WishingIWasThereNow

Embedly Powered

Continue Reading

Geek Out on the Town: My Recap of Hack SI

Screen Shot 2013-11-10 at 8.17.02 PM

This weekend I attended my very first hackathon, suprisingly in my own backyard! Hack SI was Southern Illinois’s very first all-day hackathon produced by Dav Glass, Darryl Jones , some awesome sponsors and a heck of a lot of volunteers.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was a woman, going alone to a hackathon. Yes, I know, I’m a geekgrrl, but hacking?? I have never claimed to be a hardcore coder, but with my upcoming thesis work, I’m digging my heels back into CSS and gosh darn it, I’m going to learn how to use Javascript. :)   Was I going to be accepted at this all day geek fest? Well, first of all, I was pleasantly surprised to see this kick-arse awesome Code of Conduct on the Hack SI website:

Embedly Powered

Hook, line and sinker. I’m in! What an awesome way to feel welcomed into this event.

The morning was filled with talks by local techies giving us wisdom on Hacking 101 to Life Hacks to case studies on local tech projects.

Afterwards, it was time to play! People split up into groups and went to work. This is one area that I thought might be improved on in the future (and I gave this feedback directly to the organizers too). I felt that if there was more icebreakers then some people (like me) who may be a wee bit introverted at times might have felt a bit more at ease at walking up to groups and checking out what people were up to (or joining in). Regardless, I’m interested in learning more about how to produce documentary work on the web, so I dug further into researching Parallax Scrolling.  Thankfully, I was joined at my table by a couple of people including Bret and a gentleman (who I didn’t get his name – doh) whose son was producing a video game with his high school classmates while he worked on a painting program.

In between the moments of feeling like I didn’t know what the heck I was doing to holy crap, I think I’m starting to understand things, I got up and walked around to see what else was going on – quite a lot actually! Some projects included a drone powered by Wii remotes and a 3d Printer was printing out some cool items!

Embedly Powered

 

Embedly Powered

 

At the end of the day (after being sufficiently caffeinated and fed all day) it was time for everyone to show their stuff. It was so cool to see how many different types of projects were created in a day! I wish I had video of everything, but I’m sure there might be some floating around the interwebs soon.

As for my hack for the day, I showed off my ode to my nephew. It didn’t turn out exactly how I wanted it to, but that’s ok. I felt that yesterday was a great way to get my feet wet again. I feel a bit more confident to find the resources that I need and now I know that there are a few more people I can turn to when I get stuck with this blasted javascript. :)

I can’t wait until the next one!

Continue Reading

It’s Oh So Quiet Here

Miss

It’s been almost three months since our dear, sweet Miss passed on and I’m not sure when I’m going to get used to this. I miss the super purr as we called it. She sounded like an engine revving up when she was relaxed and happy. This was usually when she had her whole body draped across either M or myself. She loved laying in our laps or our arms, with her arms hanging over our arms and slightly pressing her claws into our skin in a rhythmic motion.

While I know that neither of us are ready for another pet quite yet, it is still so hard to come home sometimes to a quiet house.

Continue Reading

Salon LGBTQ – Uh-Mazing People and Conference!

Salon LGBTQ, the first Social Media conference for our community was this weekend in Atlanta. I was playing Staff Photographer / Instagrammer (alongside many of the @VillageQ peeps) and had an ah-mazing time. The conference was a stark difference from some of the bigger conferences I have been to in the past, (SXSW, BlogHer).  I’m kicking myself for forgetting who said this (speak up, speak up), but this person said that this is a conference where you will run into the same people over and over and may actually get to meet everyone involved.  While I didn’t quite get that chance, I not only was able to deepen some bloggerships(friends who blog 😉 ) and meet new interesting awesome people. It felt so good to be in a room of people from the queer community and allies. I felt lots of good vibes in the air the entire weekend. I could go on and on and detail every aspect of the weekend, but here is a visual representation for you :) !   I’m looking forward to seeing other recaps (which I am sure I will see quite a few as everyone decompresses a bit more :) )

 

Continue Reading

FilmGeek: A Million Directions

A Million Directions

I took a class last year that helped me realize the type of work I wanted to produce. In this class, I started off filming a completely different documentary, but the night before my rough cut was due, I had a bit of a breakdown. I actually filmed myself talking to my webcam, and that video became the impetus for a new documentary, one that was closer to where I want to be as a media maker.  I revised this doc this summer and added some extra footage, but in the mix of it all, I felt that it lost some of the initial rawness and urgency that emerged in the first version. I may continue to send this off to festivals, but I also thought it was a good time to share with friends and family considering this week is the transplant-versey of my kidney donation to my dad (11 years!).

This is a very personal documentary and one that is still hard for me to watch. I hope that this work wasn’t as one-time occurrence and that I can continue to make pieces that are as raw and emotional as I feel this one is.  With that being said, let me introduce A Million Directions:

 

A Million Directions from Stacy Jill Calvert on Vimeo.

Continue Reading

AppGeek: Jawbone UP

Jawbone UP

As you all know, I am making those moves to get healthier in my life and I was lucky enough to get to test out a tool that will help me track my goals easily! This is the Jawbone UP. Here’s some quick info about it:

 Live Better. Start Now. Jawbone UP. Track your sleep activity, steps, calorie intake and more with the Jawbone UP wrist sensor and free mobile app. UP gives you meaningful, personalized insights so you can make lasting improvements to your everyday life.

  • UP is a system that takes a holistic approach to a healthy lifestyle.
  • The wristband tracks your movement and sleep in the background.
  • The app displays your data, lets you add things like meals and mood, and delivers insights that keep you moving forward.

What I liked about it:

I don’t wear a lot of jewelry and usually find bracelets cumbersome, however, I enjoyed wearing the UP. It was comfortable and it didn’t distract me as much as I thought it would. To use the system efficiently, there is even an app where you can track your daily progress and also gain support from friends and family who are also using Jawbone UP. You can create a team easily by searching your Facebook and Twitter friends or accessing your address book. I don’t have a lot of friends using the device, but I hope that will change!

I wore it day and night for about ten days (which is how long the amazing battery lasts!) and it tracked as it says above, every movement and also my sleep patterns. That was one of the main things that I love about the Jawbone UP. I know that I don’t sleep very well, and have had questions as to if I may have sleep apnea, and Jawbone UP seems to think I have a sleeping problem as well. I’m hoping to see this change as I continue to work out. Will my deep sleep be increased? Time will tell!

tracking-jawbone up

The meal tracking is extremely easy to use and they start you off with some basic typical food items to make your tracking easier. After you enter each meal, your main screen will be updated with your calorie count. I find this extremely helpful when trying to stay under the recommended calorie count for weight loss.
foodIt also helped you keep track of your moods. I loved this so I can go back and maybe figure out the food/mood relation if I chose to do so further down the line.
Moods

I didn’t get to try this function, partially because I don’t really nap, but the option seems really neat.
IMG_2111

Don’t forget to track those workouts too! The UP is water resistent, but it is not waterproof. Which means, I can’t wear it when I’m swimming, however, I can track my workout easily afterwards.

IMG_2112One more thing that is great about this product too is that if you are already working with other apps to track food/weight, etc, you can combine those results within the app.
IMG_2110

Cons (not really):

Honestly, there isn’t any real con to this at all. The only downfall is my own problem. I need to remember to actually charge the device! :) UP does a great job of reminding you when your battery is getting close to 0%, so this is not fault of theirs! ADD girl needs to write some post it notes to help remember to actually charge it! :)

Final Thoughts:

If you are looking to gain some insight about your habits, track your daily steps, sleep patterns and meals, this is a great option. It comes in different sizes (for different wrists) and different colors too! You can purchase it directly from Best Buy via this link.

Product Specs: 

Tracks motion, distance, location and speed

For efficient monitoring of your workout.

Measures steps taken and calories burned

To help you keep track of your progress.

Watch-style design

Keeps your information within easy reach.

Up to 10-day battery life

Allows long-lasting use.

Syncs with your iPhone

So you can organize your long-term data (requires app download).

Water-resistant up to 3.3′

For use in most weather conditions.

Apple, the Apple logo and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. iPod is a trademark of Apple Computer, Inc.

  • Measures Steps Taken: Yes
  • Measures Distance Traveled: Yes
  • Measure Elapsed Time: Yes

Disclaimer:  The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free 

 

 

Continue Reading

Music Monday: Flashback – way back

stacyinlondon

In 2000, I was working in London for a startup that sold kid’s toys. It was an amazing almost-year that resulted in life-long friends and memories too. Our office was smack-dab in Picadilly Circus and one night (or maybe two…it’s a bit fuzzy :) ), we dashed after work to a bar/sound stage for the Pepsi Chart show. It’s a well, top 40 chart show (similar to what TRL was back in the day on MTV, but the audience was allowed to actually drink).

When I’m down and feeling icky, I usually venture back to that time because the music was sugary pop at it’s best. It’s cheesy and I love it. I have no problem admitting it, and gosh darn it, it makes me feel better. I think we were here the day they filmed this, but again, that year is a smashed up memory meld now. Regardless, this was one of the top pop bands at the time and this song just makes me want to dance in the studio.

Enjoy and Happy Monday!

 

Continue Reading

Photo Geek: Campus Rah Rah

I bought a prime lens this weekend and took it out for a spin. First, at home, taking this oddly focused shot of M and I:stacyandm

I then wanted to check it out on campus. It was the first home football game and it was unfortunately too hot to want to walk around the tailgate, I did take this adorable photo of a couple sitting in front of me under the tent. (This was actually an IG photo)

stacyjill-540056776420856408_3751763 Finally, my fellow MFA peep and I walked over by Campus Lake and chatted for a while. It was nice and relaxing and the geese were nowhere to be found (they sometimes scare the living bejeezus out of me).

campuslake

How was your weekend?

Continue Reading

The Top 5 Musicals for Geeks

top5musicals

GTYD welcomes guest blogger, Adam Riemer today with his Top 5 Musicals for Geeks:

Broadway is the home to many things: Pop-culture icons, cartoons that come to life and some things that the main stream world can’t seem to fall in love with.  Whether if it is on stage or you have to wait for a local theatre company to revive it, there are Broadway shows and musicals for Geeks that only you and your friends could appreciate.  Here are 5 must see musicals for any theatre geek.

The Toxic Avenger
If you think of superheroes on Broadway, you probably think of Spiderman.  A few years back there was a different hero gracing the stage.  Just like the movie and geeky references, this comic and pun filled show swept audiences through a world of slap stick comedy, gags and all-out geekery.  If you love comic books, then check out a revival of The Toxic Avenger.  More like a show that should be a midnight movie like Rocky Horror, The Toxic Avenger failed off the white way but lives in our hearts.  With awesome rock music and serious comedy, it takes a place in history for the Geekiest shows that have been on Broadway. 

Peter and the Star Catcher
Admit it, everyone reading this has at least thought of if not written and submitted fan fiction to their favorite movies or shows.  That’s why Peter and the Star Catcher ranks on this list.  Not only does it tell the stories before Peter went to Neverland, but a small cast of 12 people plays more than 100 characters.  Whether you are a kid or an adult, the show is performed by a story teller so pajamas are the perfect attire if you want to have fun.  Grownups who “don’t want to grow up” can wear their favorite footies while kids can pretend to be adults wearing their favorite kids robes and slippers.  You’ll fall into a trance with the colors, staging and stories that whisk you away to a “land never” dreamed of before.  This incredible show is something that will blow you away and set you flying to a land past the “furthest star”.  If you like classic tales, find out what happened before Neverland and set the stage for Peter, Mary and of course Captain Hook.

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog
I don’t think you can get geekier than having anything starring Neil Patrick Harris or the former Doogie Howser MD.  Not only was he the ultimate geek of his time, but when he left TV he went right to broadway (with a couple of stops in random musical movies like Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long blog).  In this sort of action packed movie musical, Neil plays an evil villain that blogs his adventures and plans to destroy his nemesis.  In an ongoing battle to win the love of his life, who of course falls for the hero, Dr. Horrible plots, plans and more important, blogs.  Perfect for any geek that likes comics, heroes and musicals, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long blog is available on DVD, for download or for purchase on most major sites.

Spamalot
From Monty Python to your own town, this broadway redo of the classic movie “The Holy Grail” will take you “cantering with coconuts” to meet “killer rabbits” and even find a gay Lance-a-Lot.  In pure Monty Python fashion, this touring show makes fun of theatre, the classic film and also adds in unique comments about the city it is in.  One of my favorite comments was when they were at the National Theatre in Washington DC.  The one character made a comment about being excited to see the Air and Space museum.  She was expecting to see a giant empty room…she was definitely wrong.   If you like British humor, and what type of geek doesn’t, then you have to see Monty Python’s Spamalot if it is coming to your city.

The Sing-a-Long Sound of Music
Everyone loves audience participation shows.  Because Evil Dead in 4D never toured and Rocky Horror is kind of overdone like a “bat out of hell”,,,but still loved, The Sing-a-Long Sound of Music is perfect.  I hate admitting to it, because it is like a dirty “habit”, but I love this one and always go.  There’s something about singing and yodeling nuns on hills that becomes as addicting and “edelweiss” flower soda.  You hate it, are happy you finished, and then want another.  The show has props, you throw things and the audience is encouraged to sing-a-long making it a fun show to see with friends, but might be a bit outdated for kids.  The show tours or appears in theaters about once a year so check the nearest major city or for where it will be playing.  It is definitely one that is fun to go to, even if you hate high pitched singing and old classic films. 

Geeks and theatre are hand in hand.  You have shows about superheroes, shows about geeks and everything from aliens to princess, witches to fan fiction and more.  Whether it’s Comic-Con or a Broadway ball, you’ll find tons of reasons to geek out and work your geekish charm dressed as your favorite star.

About the author:

Adam is a broadway theatre queen with multiple sites including broadway shows for kids and his reviews site featuring tons of broadway songs.

Continue Reading

Where Bloggers Blog

StacyJillCalvertFirst off, I will admit, I geek out over seeing people’s workspaces. I think it’s because I love seeing ways that I can improve on my organization and the fact that someone’s space usually tells you something about their personality.

My friend Ruth*posted this link the other day that made me squeel. It was a blog created by Karen of Chookooloonks dedicated to Blogger’s spaces!  I decided to go ahead an submit mine and it’s up today! :) Make sure you check out the other spaces as well!

*Ruth and I actually met online almost eight years ago when she wrote for our group blog Thirty Voices. We finally got to meet face-face at BlogHer12! She’s awesome. You must go check out her blog. :)

 

Continue Reading

Must Watch Music Monday: Mary Lambert

From MaryLambertSings.com
From MaryLambertSings.com

“She keeps me warm. . . she keeps me warm. . . ”

That lyric has been hanging out in my head all summer. If you don’t know already, it was part of the chorus for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s song “Same Love” which was all over the airwaves this summer. Mary Lambert is the amazing voice behind those lyrics and has now expanded the chorus to a full song. It’s gorgeous and lush and the music video gave me chills. She spoke to Buzzfeed recently and as a queer filmmaker, I really appreciated the thought that went into the video.  You should definitely read the article and also check out the live blog that she did for AfterEllen last night at the VMAs.

However, before you go off and check out those articles. Check out these videos first. :)

 

Then. . . . check out the live performance of Same Love from last night’s VMA awards:

marylambertjenniferhudson
Who is that? Oh yeah, Jennifer Hudson. LoveLoveLove

Continue Reading

TravelGeek: The Road “Home”

flower

M and I traveled back to one of the stops on the M history tour in Illinois this weekend. It was a family member’s birthday and we ventured back to where she spent most of high school. It’s a beautiful area, one that reminds me a lot of where my mom grew up in New Jersey. Lush streets filled with flowers and beautiful trees that hang over, blocking the sun  as you drive through the neighborhood.

We met up with some of M’s high school friends on Friday night at this great bar which had seating in the alley. It was across from the theater where M worked as a teenager.  It was a gorgeous night and it was filled with fun, engaging conversation. I wish we had more nights like this in our future, but with school creeping up fast, I will be longing for the long days of summer soon enough!

Saturday was spent with our friend’s family and her daughter who is amazing. At barely two, she speaks a mile a minute and we can’t get over how much she has grown since we last saw her in December. Kids are amazing sponges at this age and it’s adorable to hear her repeat everything we say (and this is the part where everyone learns how to curb their words around her 😉 )

We also found this amazing farmer’s market in the town square and I found the cutest little wallet to replace my fraying kitty wallet that I love so much. I was amazed at how large this market was and how many different types of vendors were there to feed the community.  We were also equally impressed by the fact that people who had a Link Card could also shop at the market. I wish I saw that throughout the state at farmer’s markets. It would give people equal opportunity to consume fresh produce!

It was an amazing weekend and unfortunately we had to say goodbye until the next time. I really wish that person who was coming up with the super slingshot train would hurry up already. Of course, I should also add, hurry up with creating it and making it affordable for everyone. :)

Continue Reading

Throwback Tuesday: I Could Have Been a Bagel Princess

I don’t follow directions. . .I know there is a ThrowbackThursday movement, but what about Throwback Tuesday? I think it stemmed from the fact that I have been starting to gather resources from my archives for research about a new documentary that I want to produce that touches on my experience of growing up Jewish in the Midwest.  I have been working on a series of vignettes that I called initially, “The Rye Bread Princess Diaries”. We’ll see if that title lasts. :)

ryebreadprincessdiaries

This is a scan of an article that my dad and uncle were part of about the “new” bagel explosion in the early 90s. This was I believe a new way for our 80 year old bakery to reinvent itself. My grandfather (who was at the helm of the bakery for my entire life) passed away about eight months earlier.  I actually remember this article because I was working for my dad and my uncle that summer. I love my family, but they are crazy. The men in the Jacobs family had a tendency back then to “loudly argue” about business matters (or anything for that matter) and it made for an interesting office environment.

Unfortunately, the business wasn’t able to keep going and at some point in the next couple of years, I think my dad and uncles sold the business. My dad used to tell me that he wanted to create bagel shops, but he couldn’t find investors at the time. Can you imagine? I could have been a bagel heiress? Or a rye-bread princess!

I have a ton of memories of the bakery as a child and I can’t wait to get further into my research and figure out a way to bring these stories to life. 

 

Continue Reading

Travel Geek: City Museum – St. Louis, MO

outside

As a child, I was extremely lucky to live in an area where we had a lot of different museums to choose from. The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago is still one of my all-time favorites to visit. However, another museum in the midwest snuck up to come very close to that top spot. City Museum in St. Louis, MO is an urban wonderland.

The brainchild of internationally acclaimed artist Bob Cassilly, a classically trained sculptor and serial entrepreneur, the museum opened for visitors in 1997 to the riotous approval of young and old alike.

Cassilly and his longtime crew of 20 artisans have constructed the museum from the very stuff of the city; and, as a result, it has urban roots deeper than any other institutions’. Reaching no farther than municipal borders for its reclaimed building materials, City Museum boasts features such as old chimneys, salvaged bridges, construction cranes, miles of tile, and even two abandoned planes!

(From the history of City Museum)

slide

M and I have been there at least 3 more times since we first discovered it during one of our treks to St. Louis and I feel like we still haven’t explored everything. Of course, there are some areas in which we will never have access to unless someone creates a shrink ray in the near future. Underneath the museum there are a series of tunnels and caves that you can only reach if you are a small human. I often wonder what happens if a child gets stuck down there. Do other children help the younger ones out of the caves, or are there special trap doors so adults can help them out?

Regardless, it is one of the many reasons that St. Louis feels like an undiscovered treasure and worth the weekend trip! You can visit their website for more info at http://citymuseum.org/

 

Continue Reading

VideoGeek: Starships

I feel that the interwebz needs a lift today (this week actually), so I found another fun cover from Mike Tompkins that features the cast of Pitch Perfect and a ton of YouTube users. If you aren’y dancing after this, then well, I can’t help you. :)

Embedly Powered

Continue Reading

Wordless Wed: BlogHer 13 in Photos

I have a ton of photos that aren’t on this page because I left my iPad at my brother’s house in Chicago. YAY ME. Also, you can check out some of the awesome fashion show photos here.

They Call Me Mummy brought some Aussie specialities :)
They Call Me Mummy brought some Aussie specialities :) 
Michelle of TheyCallMeMummy.com, Abbie of AllThatMakesYou.com and me :)
Michelle of TheyCallMeMummy.com, Abbie of AllThatMakesYou.com and me :)
QueerieBradshaw and me
QueerieBradshaw and me
Virginia of Kiss Chronicles, Michelle of The Farmers Wifey and Taylor of My Pleonastic Life
Virginia of Kiss Chronicles, Michelle of The Farmers Wifey and Taylor of My Pleonastic Life

 

I took Michelle (They Call Me Mummy) to a Chicago tradition - Manny's Deli :)
I took Michelle (They Call Me Mummy) to a Chicago tradition – Manny’s Deli :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

The Right Fit: BlogHer 2013

chicago

This isn’t going to be one of the typical, “I went to BlogHer and all I came back with is . . .” posts. I promised myself that I wasn’t going to spend a week recapping BlogHer because, well, that is just silly. However, I want to break this up into two different posts because I feel that these topics each deserve their own spotlight. Today, we are going to focus on the BlogHer community and tomorrow will give you a visual glimpse into my own experience at BlogHer 2013.

Yes, I saw and participated on some great panels, reconnected with some old friends, met new ones and had some fun too during the official evening events. However, something really specific was clear to me this year. I found my people!

We came together because of something that we are passionate about and that is expressing ourselves within this medium.  There are some of us who do it with beautifully written words, others use visual cues to let us peek into their world, and some even use their skills as amazing deal finders to connect with others.

We bloggers come in all shapes and sizes, all types of backgrounds (some may even hold views that I might not agree with 100%), but the bottom line is that we were connected during that whirlwind three days and it felt AMAZING.  There aren’t many communities where I feel like that. I never really felt like I fit in the “corporate” community and there are times where I sometimes even feel awkward counting myself in the academic world. It was inspiring to be around so many creative, smart, and thoughtful individuals.  Thank you to all of the truly amazing people that I met this past weekend. Your energy is just what I needed to kickstart my creative juices before I continue with my studies in the fall. Thank you. J

 

Continue Reading

Amazing, Amazing, Amazing

It’s the end of my two-week whirlwind tour of home and the biggest conference for women, BlogHer. It was a-mazing and I’ll have more of a real “recap” when I return home. For now, enjoy this fun little photo that I took while on a crazy hike through the city with my friend Michelle from They Call Me Mummy.

IMG_1374

Continue Reading

Daytripping in Chicago

I’m back home in Chicago for a couple of weeks, working on some documentary projects, visiting fam and speaking at BlogHer13. Yesterday, my baby brother (well, he is almost 35) and I went downtown to check out the GLAAD Chicago social.

train

It was held at the MillerCoors office downtown with a gorgeous view of the city. It was going to be a fun event with a speech from Wilson Cruz (yes, the My-So Called Life former actor/ now GLAAD spokesperson). It was going to be a fun event until I started feeling my anxiety get the best of me. This doesn’t happen that often, but when it does,it feels like a ton of bricks hit me over the head. We left early and then ventured outside.

sky

I knew that the Art Institute was free on Tuesdays for Illinois residents, so we walked down to Michigan avenue and unfortunately, it was closed at 5:30 (boo!) 

segway

Despite the little hiccups, we had a fun walk around the city and then took the train back up north. I saw this on the train and thought it was a sign from the Crowdfunding gods that I had a lot of work to do the next day for The Ritual.

brides

When we got back home, we went for dinner in Evanston (where Melissa and I used to live). I was jonesing for a burger and we went to Bar Louie.

burgersI fully expected to pay $10 or more for the burger, but we walked in and it was $1 burger night! Score! Well, we thought we scored until we got the bill. The burger was $1 plus veggies, etc. However, the fries were $4! We laughed and realized we probably spent a few dollars less than we would normally, but it still hit the spot.

It was not quite the afternoon that I expected, but it was still fun to hang out with my brother.

Continue Reading