You’ll float too. YOU’LL FLOAT TOO.

When it comes to horror movies, I’ve got a VERY narrow range between what I enjoy and what I can handle. Slasher films? Meh. Dark and twisted narratives with a few scares peppered in? Love it. SUPER twisted shit that’ll make me lose sleep for months? Nope. NOPE. Bottom line is that I’m still a big ol’ chicken shit. I’ve grown to enjoy horror movies more, but all the horror movies I’ve watched have been at home, with friends, and with one light on somewhere. But the trailer for the “It” remake intrigued me enough. I wanted to see it because it looked good. I DIDN’T want to see it because it looked good.

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“I’m every nightmare you’ve ever had.”

I’d never watched the original miniseries in its entirety before, so I thought I’d make up for lost time and fully watch the original before watching the remake. It’s pretty dated now, but one thing that doesn’t change is how FREAKY Tim Curry was as Pennywise the clown.

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It’s not every day where a look of horror is the EXACT reaction that I want out of a critter I make. 😀

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That red nose would be kind of darling if it weren’t for the whole “eating children” thing.

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Pennywise could use some fashion advice, but on the other hand his outfit is nailing that whole “creepy ass sewer-dwelling murder clown” look.

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One thing that was surprisingly difficult for me to find was the balloon. That damn balloon. I was planning on getting a little plastic balloon cake topper and calling it a day, but I couldn’t find one instore ANYWHERE. I tried looking for other alternatives, but in the end nothing beats the real deal. Turns out inflated water balloons did the trick perfectly.

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As for the new movie: it was my first time seeing a horror movie in a theater. And it was FUN. Turns out horror movies are the one exception where it’s permissible to speak in a theater, because goodness knows there were plenty of times where I involuntarily uttered “oh HELL NO” at the screen before something happened. I won’t be stepping into a theater to watch The Conjuring anytime soon, but I’ll definitely be looking forward to It: Chapter 2. Until then this little guy will be around to terrorize me from my shelf!

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“We allll float down here.”

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Posted in Horror | 3 Comments

“Börk börk börk!”

I’m still feeling stunned from Harvey last week, and I wasn’t even directly affected by the storm, but the sooner I can get back to your regular crochet programming, the better! Please continue to donate and help out, and for all you folks in Florida and its neighboring islands, please stay safe in the face of Irma!

You know all those super cool photos in my book Literary Yarns? The clean and stylish page layouts? The formatting of the patterns? The pre-order campaigns that were rolled out? I can’t take credit for ANY of that. When I wrote Literary Yarns, I was fortunate enough to have an amazingly helpful team of folks from Quirk Books to help me through the process and do a lot of the heavy lifting for me. I wrote the patterns, the how-to instructions, and I shot the step-by-step photos in the tutorial sections, but everything else? It was all done by some amazing people. Once the book was out I knew I had to make thank you critters for everyone involved with the book. I’ve already posted some of the thank you critters I’ve made on my social media accounts, but there was one that I still needed to make, and that was for my editor Tiffany. She kept on insisting that working on Literary Yarns with me was good enough, but I kept insisting back that she should pick something. And it just so happened that her pick was also one of my favorite characters:

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“Börk börk börk!”

THE SWEDISH CHEF. I FREAKING LOVE THE SWEDISH CHEF. It always slightly freaked me out that he had these creepy normal human hands, but I still loved him with his nonsense gibberish and his chaotic “cooking.”

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“Heer we håv de choppy chop!”

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“Und heer we håv de chicky! Güd chicky. Tåstee chicky.”

Looks like that chicken’s going to be in some trouble. SAVE YOURSELF, CHICKEN-FRIEND.

And here are the other thank you critters that I’ve made!

Photographer Mike wanted an Alec Guinness Obi-Wan Kenobi:

Editor Blair wanted a fangirl from the cover of the Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy:

Designer Andie wanted a Bill Cipher from Gravity Falls:

Designer Molly wanted a little Glenn Danzig:

And publicist Kelsey wanted an 11th Doctor:

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Literary Yarns couldn’t have happened without all their help, and I can’t think of a better group of people to work with on my first published work!

And just one more plug (with good intentions!)…if you enjoyed seeing my Swedish Chef, maybe help out a food-related cause by donating to the Houston Food Bank! They’re always doing good work around town, but they’ve especially been beefing up their efforts since the storm hit. Feed some folks who need a hot meal, and save some lives. The Swedish Chef thanks you!

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Posted in crochet love, H-town love | 1 Comment

F*ck you, Harvey

I’m safe, my friends and family are safe. My parents are now in a mandatory evacuation area, but otherwise so far so good. Hopefully it stays that way.

I’ve been extremely lucky during this storm. I’ve had some street flooding, but none of it entered my home and I never lost power or running water. I was supposed to go in to work over the weekend, but once the storm started coming down, I couldn’t have made it in if I tried. The Texas Medical Center became entirely inaccessible. Most of the city was entirely inaccessible.

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Many of my co-workers at the hospital I work at ended up stuck and became the ride out team, unable to go home for days. Thankfully they’ve finally been able to go home, and I’ve been called back into work.

The thing that pisses me off more than this storm? The way the news outlets have covered it. I’m not one to grumble too much about the media. I feel like as long as you keep a diligent eye on what you’re reading and do your homework, it’ll be fine. But goddammit, FUCK ALL OF YOU NEWS OUTLETS for the kind of reporting I saw during the storm. While people were trapped in their homes calling for help you were busy focusing on the MINUSCULE amount of negative incidents that happened during this time. You CHOSE to focus on the one asshole who decided to rob someone. You CHOSE to shit on mayor Turner’s decision to tell everyone to stay put. I noticed almost all of the ridiculous articles that focused on his decision not to evacuate (I’m looking at you, CNN) didn’t speak to a single person who was from Houston to give commentary. Guess what? A vast majority of us Houstonians feel like he made the right call. I originally had a long profanity-laced rant about this, but for the sake of time I’ll let this twitter thread speak for me (click to read the whole thing):

Mayor Turner has been calm, collected, and cautiously warning us that just because the sun has finally come out it wasn’t time to be unwise. Long story short, he couldn’t save everyone, but he very damn well saved thousands of us. Don’t you dare talk shit about this until it’s over.

The coverage is starting to look more positive now that the storm has passed, but it was extremely frustrating to see our own local news anchors working nonstop to keep us informed (and in many ways, alive), while the national coverage seemed to be telling a different story. What SHOULD have been the focus was the incredible amount of good that happened during this time. When 911 was overwhelmed, regular citizens who owned boats went out and took it upon themselves to rescue people from their flooded homes. There was no city-wide statement asking anyone to help, people just did it. When some bakers were trapped in their bakery for two days, they passed the time by baking loads of pan dulce to give to flood victims once they got out. A local furniture salesman who is usually known more for his tacky commercials opened up his stores to shelter people who had lost their homes, and sent out his delivery trucks to pick people up from their homes to transport them. (side note: Gallery Furniture stores are also by far the cushiest shelters in town right now, with people sleeping on high-end mattresses instead of cots) Our local Texas grocery store chain HEB sent out emergency convoys as soon as the storm hit the southern coastal parts of Texas and started providing food and supplies for those in need. When the George R. Brown Convention Center opened itself up as a shelter, there was a line DOWN THE STREET of volunteers ready to help out. When I tried shopping for donation items after I had cleared out everything I already had in my house, the store shelves were already sold out of all of the items that were listed as needed items. The George R. Brown Convention Center (which is a HUGE facility) had so many donations that they had to start collecting at ANOTHER large stadium, and even that got filled up overnight. OVERNIGHT.  There’s so much love and willingness to help each other in this city. We may have been under water, but we will not drown.

The rain has stopped, but the recovery is going to be a long process. Please keep Houston in your thoughts, but please don’t forget about the southern coastal towns like Rockport and Port Aransas who were hit so much harder than Houston from the get-go and are also desperately in need of help.

HOW TO HELP:

J.J. Watt, our resident nice-guy Texans player started a fund and it’s become an insane and amazing celebrity bidding war to see who can donate the most. You can contribute your part here.

And here’s (9/5: edited to an updated link from NPR) a good list of charities to donate to, spanning across relief funds, to additional funds for first responders, etc. And remember that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being cautious before donating. When in doubt, check any charities that you plan on donating to on Charity Navigator.

If you’re local, here’s a list of shelters that you can volunteer at or donate supplies. As of the time of writing this (8/31), George R. Brown Convention Center, BBVA Compass Stadium, NRG Park, and Salvation Army are at capacity with donations (within DAYS of opening!), but they still could use volunteers! FYI: if you’re volunteering as a medical professional at George R. Brown or NRG Park you can go to the front of the volunteer line and tell them you’re a medical volunteer (I showed them my work badge) and they’ll let you in.

Houston isn’t an easy city to love. It doesn’t have the immediate glitz or glamour of New York or LA. Even as a local I wouldn’t recommend it as a vacation spot. But it’s a FANTASTIC place to live. Things won’t come to you in Houston, you’ll have to do some work to seek out everything that’s great about this place. But once you find your place in this city, it loves you back tenfold, and a large majority of that is because of all the amazing people we have here. Hang in there, everyone. The bumpy road to recovery has just begun, but we’ve got each other and we’re going to make it. ❤

Posted in H-town love | 4 Comments

WUBBA LUBBA DUB DUB!

FINALLY. After over a year of slowly working on these guys on and off, I’m finally done! BEHOLD! THE DYNAMIC DUO.

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It’s Rick and Morty! And they’re ready to get schwifty:

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The toughest part about making these guys? Rick’s bald spot on the back of his head. I made a bunch of tiny little cones, and arranging them on the back of his head was surprisingly difficult. Too spaced out and he looked TOO bald. Too crowded and then it looked like an awkward blank spot on the back of his head. I’m still not 100% sold on it, but I think it worked out alright in the end.

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And of course I had to sew on a little burp spittle on him. Rick wouldn’t be Rick without a bit of a mess on him.

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WOOO TINY RICK!

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It took me over a year to finally get these guys done, but here they are. With season 3 currently running, I have a feeling I’ll be steadily adding to my mental list of characters to make. Wubba lubba dub dub!

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Posted in adult swim | 7 Comments

It ain’t over ’til the last critter drops

Alright, let’s talk about this year’s critter drops. Forty-nine. Forty. Nine. Drops. The most I’ve EVER brought on my own was fifteen, so this was quite literally over 3 times more than my heaviest haul in seven years. But dammit, I was determined. I didn’t get the 100% response rate that I wanted (I knew it was ambitious, but dammit, I TRIED), but I’d say it went pretty damn well! Here’s the breakdown:

TOTAL NUMBER OF PIECES BROUGHT TO SAN DIEGO: 49

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I flew into San Diego with a duffel bag (a freaking DUFFEL BAG) stuffed with 44 critters, and upon landing I tacked on an extra 5 pieces as a last minute addition. Forty-nine critters in need of good homes!

LOST SOULS

I wanted to put this at the end of the post, but I felt like it would be better to put it up front before people start zoning out and they miss it at the bottom. THESE GUYS ARE UNACCOUNTED FOR! Britt’s Wonder Woman, Marcy’s Skeksis, Pam’s fleeb, and my Deadpool, Penguin, and Dr. Strange were all taken from their hiding spots, but I never received a confirmation message! If you or someone you know has any of these critters, it’s never too late to check in! Remember that if you have a private twitter account I can’t see your tweets, so if that’s the case then please email me at geekyhooker@gmail.com! I’d love to hear from you, and I’d love to let the guest artists know that their work is safe and sound! 🙂 I’m not going to add these to my lost list quite yet, so hopefully I’ll hear back on these little guys!

THE HUNT

You guys, dropping 49 critters was HARD. I had to break some of my own rules and do a few things I don’t normally do. I did drops after dark because I couldn’t get my day’s stash out before sundown, I personally handed off a few critters  when I normally drop ‘n run (which actually turned out awesome, but more on that later!), and I ended up doing Sunday drops for the first time because I just couldn’t get through all of my stash by Saturday! A lot of it also had to do with me staying in Hall H all day Saturday, but it was still a constant drop train the whole way through. I split up the work between friends, family, and the good folks over at the SDCC Unofficial Blog which helped IMMENSELY, but since I was acting as the primary point of contact for all the drops I was still keeping a constant eye on my phone for tweets and/or text messages to let me know a critter had been dropped or that a critter had been found. Many of the drops also felt rushed and I could have hidden some of them better. I had help (thank you thank you THANK YOU to everyone who helped me drop!), and with all of our efforts combined, I’d say we had a pretty successful hunt!

MEETING HUNTERS!

Before heading out to SDCC, I had a few followers ask if I could sign their copies of Literary Yarns while I was there. Since I had a decent number of people ask, I thought I’d do an informal offsite book signing and scouted out Berkeley Pizza as a location. I also still had one Superman critter left to drop for the day, so I thought I’d hand it off to the first person to find me there. I set up shop on Wednesday evening and waited.

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I’ll admit I was a little nervous. What if no one shows up? What if too many people show up and I get overwhelmed? What if it turns out that none of my followers were real people, but all one giant trollbot who’s been TAKING ALL THE CRITTERS ALL ALONG AND NOW IT’S COMING AFTER ME OMG PANIC PANIC PANIC?? Turns out I didn’t get overwhelmed, nor was I stalked by a giant trollbot (that I know of). The first people to show up were a pair from Hawaii and I got to hand off my little Superman to a longtime hunter! And I get to add Hawaii to my critter map! Woohoo!!

We chatted for a while, and then I noticed the following tweet alert on my phone:

WAIT WHAT. I wasn’t about to interrupt my conversation, but HOLY CRAP I WAS BEING STALKED BY A TROLLBOT AFTER ALL. Except not really. Turns out Satoru, a longtime hunter who was doing drops of his own this year, decided to do a drop RIGHT BEHIND ME like a creeper without saying hi first. 😛 Once the kind folks from Hawaii took off I turned around, found my creeper, and invited him to sit with me. 😀 We exchanged stories about our drops for the day, and I got to hear about how he found one of my critters last year! I had a fantastic time meeting hunters and droppers and it was a great way to kick off my first evening of the con. I’ll admit I was a bit nervous about putting myself out in the open like that because I’ve managed to keep myself under the radar for so long, but I had such a great time I might consider doing this again in the future. Thanks to everyone who came out!

TOTAL NUMBER FOUND: 43

Here’s the breakdown of where they went! A large majority ended up in California, and we had a few international adopters! Slightly jealous that none of the international adopters picked up my stuff, but such is the nature of the hunt. 🙂

California got a whopping 31 critters, my home state of Texas got 2 critters, and Arizona, Oregon, New York, Washington, Missouri, and Hawaii each got 1 critter that found a new home. 1 was found with an unknown location – I think it might be Washington, D.C., but I’m still waiting on a double-check first! For international adopters, 2 are going to Seoul and 1 is going to Mexicali, Mexico!

Breakdown by artist:

Amy: Amy contributed the most critters, and all 11 of hers were found!

New homes were found in California, Washington, Missouri, Texas, and Korea!

Gina: All 3 of Gina’s critters were found! They came a long way from the Czech Republic, so I was glad that these guys were all accounted for!

All new homes for Gina’s critters were in California!

Tina: Tina pitched in 4 critters for this year’s hunt, and all 4 were found!

New homes were found in California and Arizona! And LOOK! Her BB-8 was found by a hunter who previously found my Captain America! They’re critter roommates! 😀

Windi: Windi’s pokeballs were a last minute addition to the lineup, and all five of them were found!

All of Windi’s pokeballs found new homes in California!

Britt: Britt pitched in 6 critters, and 5 out of the 6 were found! Wonder Woman still hasn’t been checked in, but I’ve received photographic proof that she was taken!

New homes were found in California, New York, and Korea!

Marcy: Marcy threw 9 critters of her own into the pot, and 8 out of the 9 were found! The Skeksis still hasn’t been checked in, but I received a tweet that it was no longer in its hiding spot.

New homes were found in California, Oregon, and Mexico! I also LOVE that her Poe bunny found a home with other literary monsters!

Pam: Pamela brought in 4 critters and 3 out of her 4 were found! I received photographic proof that the fleeb was taken.

New homes were found in California and I think Washington D.C. Still awaiting firm confirmation of Kuchi Kopi’s new home, please correct me if I’m wrong! 🙂

Me: I brought in 7 critters this year, and 4 were found. I’ll admit I’m a bit bummed that 3 of mine went missing, mostly because it broke my personal 100% response rate streak for the last three years, and also because it’s the most that I’ve had go missing since 2014. But I would’ve been more bummed out if there was a higher concentration of missing critters that belonged to any of the guest artists! Four out of seven still ain’t bad, and there’s still hope that people will check in! 🙂

New homes were found in California and Hawaii!

And if you liked some of the work by the guest artists but couldn’t find one out at Comic-Con, many of them have etsy shops and many of them do custom orders! Check them out!

Marcy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MoonsCreations

Amy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/amyhooper


Britt: https://www.etsy.com/shop/FrazzledEnds


Gina: https://www.etsy.com/shop/marvelousstrings


Windi: https://www.etsy.com/shop/HelloWindi
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LESSONS LEARNED

Whew. There was definitely a lot to be learned from dropping so many this year. If I were to collect guest art again I’d have to set limits, but man, I’m still blown away by how much people were willing to give to this little project of mine. When I put out a call to collect guest art to drop, I was expecting maybe one or two pieces from a handful of people, so it never occurred to me put limits of any sort on the submissions. So when I ended up with a flood of pieces to drop off, I had a double “holy shit” moment. In that I was thinking “holy shit, these people are crazy generous and awesome” and “holy shit, how am I going to get all these out in San Diego?!” Turns out in addition to having plenty of people volunteer to contribute critters to the hunt, I had plenty of people volunteer to help me with the drops as well. I didn’t want to take away from anyone’s time at the convention so I tried to refrain from recruiting any more people than I needed to, but I was just as surprised with how enthusiastic everyone was about helping with the drops! Time is such a precious commodity at Comic-Con, so I felt bad taking that away from anyone, but everyone who helped out seemed to have fun looking for a hiding spot and they seemed to have even more fun watching people find the critters! Other people also decided to drops of their own this year, and I had a blast following along with their hunts as well, hoping that every single one of their works were also accounted for. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned this year from my drops, it’s that there’s a lot of good people in the world, and you don’t have to look very far to find them. The number of people who volunteered to contribute their work to the drops, the number of people who offered to help me with the drops, the number of people who decided to do drops of their own this year, all the fantastic people that I’d met throughout the whirlwind five days that was San Diego Comic-Con: you guys rock. Thanks to everyone who joined the hunt, thanks to everyone who helped with the hunt, and dammit, just thanks to everyone for being kind, generous, and all around awesome. Comic-Con is usually a fun geeky time, but this year was a little different in that it gave me a little boost in my faith in people in general. ❤ Thanks for another great year of critter drops, and here's to hoping that I'll be back to do it all over again next year!

Posted in Adoptions, SDCC | 1 Comment

SDCC 2017: The recap!

If last year was an off year for me at SDCC, then this year more than made up for it. A lot of it was due to luck, some of it was due to experience, but most of it was just down to having good quality programming at this year’s con. Here’s the recap!

THE RAMEN

LOL J/K IMMA TALK ABOUT THE RAMEN FIRST. But seriously though. Every year I fly into San Diego, and every year I capitalize on the fantastic ramen that the west coast has to offer. I met up with a kind follower from twitter for a ramen dinner at Menya Ultra Ramen and HOLY HELL. Y’all. I’ve eaten a lot of ramen around San Diego over the years. A lot. And I just found the best goddamn bowl I’ve ever had in the city.

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Everything about it was perfect. Noodles, broth, chashu slices, the marinated egg. Every. Single. Point. I still have a lot of love for Yakyudori Yakitori, but Menya shot straight to the #1 spot on my San Diego ramen list.

THE EXHIBITION HALL

Okay, NOW I’ll talk about the con. 😀 I’ve come to find that the longer I go to San Diego Comic-Con, the less excited I am with the exhibition hall. Nevertheless, it’s still an impressive display for all the big studios and artists to show off their goods and bring in interest!

 

THE PANELS

Hall H. Oh, you tempting, tempting bastard. I’d camped out for Hall H twice in the past and had a great time, but I also decided that twice was enough. I would’ve loved to sit through a Saturday Marvel panel some day, but most of the time the Marvel panel was the only one I was interested in on Saturday lineups. It didn’t seem worth it for me to camp out in line and then spend my whole day in Hall H just for the last panel of the day. Until I saw this year’s Saturday lineup. Holy shit.

Hall H

For the first time in years I seriously considered going for it. I wavered a bit, and then I got a message from a generous follower on twitter who offered to let me join her line group for Hall H. I’d never done the line shifts before (never got a group big enough), but for spending a couple of hours in line to hold the fort I felt like it was an easy time investment vs. camping out the whole day, and if we didn’t end up with wristbands then no big deal, I’ll just enjoy the rest of my Saturday. But guess what? WRISTBAND ACQUIRED. OMG I’M GETTING INTO HALL H ON A SATURDAY.

And the panels were EPIC. The only letdown was the Westworld panel due to extremely poor moderating, but otherwise it was a day packed with seeing awesome sneak peeks, fun Q&A sessions, and I FINALLY GOT TO SEE A MARVEL PANEL.

Bucket list within a bucket list achievement unlocked! If there was a year for me to do a “one time only” Saturday Hall H, this year was the year to do it, as I got to see the likes of stars ranging from fresh faces like the kids from Stranger Things and the casts of all the latest superhero movies, to the timeless movie giants like Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford. Thank you thank you THANK YOU to Amanda & co., I never would’ve made it in without all your help! I can finally mark off “see the Marvel panel” from my SDCC to-do list. NOW I can say I’m done with Hall H. I think. For now. 🙂

THE OFFSITE EVENTS

I keep saying that the offsite events get better and better each year, and this was no exception.

Westworld Experience:

The highlight of SDCC 2017 for me. The Westworld offsite event was hands down one of the best offsite events I’ve attended in my 7 years of going to SDCC. My friends and I got lucky in that we’d heard about this super exclusive event before SDCC even started (thanks to SDCC unofficial blog!) and decided right away that we were going to sign up for this based on blind faith that it was going to be something great. We got in line at 5:30am on the first day before all the hype started rolling out and had no problems getting a spot.

It was seriously one of the most incredible things I’ve experienced at the con. The setups were beautifully done with amazing attention to detail, and the hired performers were so, SO freaking good. Overly polite and robotic, to the point where it was a bit unsettling. You started out in the “lobby” of Westworld where you could browse through actual props and costumes from the show, and then you were escorted down a hall to wait for your assessment. Everything was in pristine condition, and every sign in the hallway was replaced with Westworld signs. There were also subtle easter eggs scattered around, such as a Samurai World door in the hallway, complete with the sound of clanging swords coming from behind it.

Once they were ready, your host would escort you to a room where they performed an assessment on you to determine what kind of hat you would get for your “stay” in Westworld. You’re seated in a dimly lit room for a one-on-one conversation with a host who asks you several questions about yourself. Normally I’m all about recording and taking photos of things like this, but the performer was so good at making the conversation feel real that I actually felt awkward about pulling my camera out. After they help you select a hat, they ask you to take a look in the mirror to make sure everything looks alright, and in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, the mirror flashes and you’ll see a man in a hazmat suit staring back at you from behind the mirror. Creepy as hell, and the host smiles at you as if nothing is wrong. That’s what made the entire Westworld experience so good…it was so beautifully subtle and (unsettlingly) grounded in reality. It wasn’t an overt “YEEHAW!! COWBOYS ‘N GUNS!” kind of gig, and that’s what made it feel so much more immersive because you honestly felt like a participant and not a spectator. You’re later faced with a terrifying “malfunctioning” host portrayed by an actress who was REALLY good at convulsing and giving a dead-behind-the-eyes stare the whole time, and when she came back “online,” she gave a horrifyingly creepy smile and led us to the Mariposa saloon where you’re met with a courtesan host for drinks.

Again with the attention to detail: for a free event, they could’ve easily given us cheap Koolaid punch served in plastic cups, but instead each drink was a crafted cocktail made to order and all served in quality glassware. The drinks were legitimately delicious, and I actually tried asking for the recipes on twitter afterward!

I tried saying “FREEZE ALL MOTOR FUNCTIONS” to our host, but she gave a coy smile and said “I’m sorry?” and sauntered off. Looks like I didn’t have access to those commands. 😉 And the hat we got? When you google the label on it, it retails for at least $160 a pop. For an almost-lifelong Texan, I’d never owned a cowboy hat until now, let alone a high end one! They seriously spared no expense to replicate this “luxury resort” experience. If you’re a fan of the show and the experience shows up at any other conventions around the country, I’d highly recommend snagging an appointment the first chance you can get.

The Blade Runner Experience:

Also very cool and MOAR FREE BOOZE. Thanks to this one I ended up taking 3 shots of whiskey first thing in the morning. Another really fun immersive experience where you’re taken into a recreation of Los Angeles 2049, with costumed performers interacting with you, whether it’s a prostitute eyeing you up and down or a policeman interrogating you. There was also a VR experience paired with it, and while I usually don’t care for VR sets, the Blade Runner experience had a fantastic setup where you’d be in a car chase scene on your VR set, and when the video was over, you’d take your headset off and OH SNAP LOOK IT’S THE CAR YOU JUST CRASHED. Fantastic way to segue from the VR experience into the real deal. And you got free noodles and whiskey! Another two thumbs up for this offsite experience. I promise the free booze had very little to do with it. 😉

 

THE SWAG

I know I shouldn’t complain about free stuff. It’s FREE. But…BUT…did anyone else feel like this year’s swag grab was underwhelming compared to previous years? I feel like every year there’s usually some piece of swag that will make everyone say “oh wow, where’d you get that?” Whether it’s a cool hat, a nifty keychain, or a spiffy water bottle, there’s usually SOMETHING that’s somewhat of a coveted item when it comes to swag. The only one I could think of this year was the the Stranger Things hats, and even then you had to wait in line for hours to get one of those, if they had any left to begin with. Previous years brought on headphones, portable chargers, collapsible cups, berets, all sorts of fun stuff. This year it seemed like it was all posters and flyers. But hey, free stuff is free stuff, so who am I to complain? 🙂 My swag haul gets smaller every year, but I like to think I got some decent stuff this time around.

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Other fun stuff:

This was a fantastic year for me, thanks to so many other fun things that happened around the convention:

  • Conan O’Brien taping: Conan O’Brien tapings have now reached Hall H levels of hype, but if you’re lucky enough to snag a ticket online, it’s still a super fun thing to do outside of the convention, and you get to walk away with one of the most coveted pieces of swag of the con! I went to Thursday afternoon’s Kingsman cast taping, and I got the one Conan Pop that I really wanted, the Jedi Conan!
  • Celeb sighting: Adam Savage from Mythbusters! I saw Adam Savage from Mythbusters on Wednesday afternoon, but it wasn’t just any celebrity sighting. I was having some beers at Mission Brewing, when I heard a ridiculously loud roaring outside. It’s entirely too loud to be an airplane flying overhead, and everyone looks outside to see what’s happening. You guys, there was a dude zooming down the street on a FUCKING JET PACK. With Adam Savage in tow! I may not have had the “omg I ran into Gal Gadot and got a selfie with her!” story this year, but dammit, I GOT TO SEE A MAN FLY ON A JET PACK. I’d say that’s pretty epic. 🙂 Official tested.com video footage of the jet pack can be seen here!
    Jetpack man
  • Breathalyzer?? Okay, this was just plain fun. On the way back from the Westworld experience there was a table set up on the sidewalk by the San Diego Police Department offering free consequence-free breathalyzers to raise awareness about drunk driving. I just downed 3 drinks at the Westworld experience and I’d never blown a breathalyzer before (and I hope I’ll never have to), so I figured this would be a fun way to see how it’d go. Three drinks down and I was still under the legal limit! W00t! Not sure if I could still say the same later in the night, it was fun seeing how everyone else’s breathalyzers compared too. 🙂 Bottom line: don’t drink and drive. You don’t have to be drunk to be over the legal limit, play it safe, for yourself and for others on the road.

And of course, the drops! I’m currently drafting up a separate post for the drops, but for having the largest undertaking of drops that I’ve ever done, I’d say it went pretty damn well! I flew into San Diego with a duffle bag of 44 critters, which expanded to 49 critters with a last minute addition of 5 more pieces, and out of all that only 6 were missing! Woohoo! More on that to come, but otherwise while I’d say it’s never a bad time at San Diego Comic-Con, SDCC 2017 was one of my best years yet. Here’s to hoping I’ll be back again next year!

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FINAL SDCC CRITTER LINEUP: 2017 Edition

Phew. I’m still slightly bummed that I wasn’t able to make as many critters as I wanted to this year due to a hand injury, but I’ve got seven little buddies of my own to take with me to Comic-Con next week! Here’s the final roundup of adoptees for San Diego Comic-Con 2017!

Classic Batman & Penguin:

With Adam West’s passing, this inadvertently turned into a tribute piece, but otherwise they’ll be wreaking plenty of campy havoc at SDCC!

Deadpool+Unicorn friend

The thing I love about Deadpool is that he can be accessorized with just about ANYTHING. This one is based on a NSFW unicorn gag from the movie!

Doctor Strange

Will he be at San Diego Comic-Con to bargain? For a few exclusives, maybe. 🙂

Superman

Superman Batman Mother's Day-4155 copy

Superman has been a “regular” for my drops since I started in 2011, and this will be his seventh year getting stranded in San Diego!

Yondu Poppins

“I’M MARY POPPINS, Y’ALL!” One of the most popular lines from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, I loved how it also took into account that in the alien universe, Yondu has no clue that Mary is a female name when he asks “is he cool?” The worst nanny ever will be dropping into SDCC next week!

Wonder Woman

The final addition to my lineup this year! After I injured my hand making Yondu Poppins, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to finish this one up before Comic-Con rolled around, but here she is!

Can’t find a critter in the wild? There’s also going to be 3 critters available as raffle prizes if you donate blood at the Comic-Con Blood Drive!

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!!

Since I wasn’t able to make as many critters as I wanted this year, I made an open call for guest art. And guys. Artists from around the country and as far as the Czech Republic sent me THIRTY-SEVEN pieces for me to drop. Check them all out HERE!

DEpKaW5UAAAoFpo

THERE’S SO MANY.

And if you haven’t done so already, read the 2017 critterdrop guidelines. It’ll help.

That brings me to a total of 44 critters to drop. Holy crap. HO-LY CRAP. I’ll admit I’m nervous about dropping so many because I feel a certain responsibility to make sure all the guest critters find new homes. It’s one thing if some of my own work goes missing, but I’d feel terrible if someone else’s hard work went unanswered. I’ve recruited help with the drops, but it’s still a lot. The drops have generally been a one-woman show all these years, so 1) taking in work from others, and 2) recruiting people to help with the drops are both new processes to me this year. Hopefully all will go well, fingers crossed for a 100% response rate on all 44 pieces this year!

If you want to join my hunt for crocheted critters at San Diego Comic-Con this year, follow me on either twitter or facebook to track my drops! I just ask for two things if you find a critter: 1) Send me a photo of your new friend! 2) Let me know where the little buddy’s new home will be! Good luck, and happy hunting!

The Geeky Hooker

Posted in Adoptions, SDCC | 1 Comment

Some kind of wonderful

I DID IT! I managed to squeeze out one more critter to drop at Comic-Con next week! This was a project that was started long ago, but then I injured my hand and had to put this on delay. I drafted up this post over a month ago, so it might seem a bit dated, since the internet moves at the speed of light. But dammit, it’s done! One last critter, ready to go for SDCC!

Wonder Woman. What a HUGE sigh of relief. I was so, SO worried about this movie. DC hasn’t had a good track record lately with their films, and the stakes for Wonder Woman were incredibly high. It’s the first major female-led comic book movie in a long time, and it’s the first major Wonder Woman production since the 70’s. It’s literally been DECADES since Wonder Woman has been at the forefront, and if this movie failed, it was going to be a huge letdown at the box office and an even bigger letdown socially speaking. This movie HAD to do well because of everything it stood for in terms of doing the character justice, and for representation of women in a genre that is so severely lacking in substantial female representation.

Wonder Woman-4437

And it was wonderful. It was so incredibly good, and director Patty Jenkins got so many things right with this one. There was no stupid invisible plane. But there was plenty of strength, charm, and lots of heart.

I had doubts about Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman when I first heard about her appearing in Dawn of Justice. I thought she seemed too…delicate? Strikingly beautiful, but I felt like Wonder Woman should’ve been played by someone who had more of a commanding presence. I was so wrong. So, SO wrong. Holy shit she knocked it out of the park. Gal Gadot made Wonder Woman the well-rounded character she deserved to be. She was compassionate, inquisitive, intelligent, strong-willed, and powerful all at once. Everything you’d want in a major female protagonist. She’s the kind of heroine I wish I had as a kid. Young girls should absolutely see this one, because Wonder Woman was portrayed as exactly the kind of heroine that they could all look up to.

WW detail-4447

As for my thoughts on the movie: (SPOILERS INCOMING!!) – ok, so I wrote this over a month ago, most people have seen the movie by now, but still, SPOILERS AHEAD.
 
 
 
 
AHOY, THERE BE SPOILERS!
 
 
 
 

  • Holy crap Ares was real! I was convinced that Diana was going to go through battle and then find out that the story of Ares was more of a metaphor for the dark side of the hearts of mankind, and that she would only be able to bring peace if she could subdue that darkness, blah blah blah. Nope. Turns out he was an actual dude.
  • I expected a FUS RO DAH! out of Ares. I played too much Skyrim.
  • Having a random supernatural being show up on planet Earth out of nowhere would normally peeve me to no end, but in this case it worked. If Diana was able to take on an entire battlefront almost single-handedly then it wouldn’t make sense for the big baddie in the end to be just a juiced up dude in a uniform. It had to be something far beyond human limits, and Ares was the perfect way to bring in a final villain that would actually be a threat to her.
  • Robin Wright as Anthiope. She. Looks. INCREDIBLE. That’s some serious gym inspiration right there. This is such a superficial thing, but I felt like Gal Gadot was too skinny to be Wonder Woman when she was first announced for the role, and I still think she looked too skinny. Robin Wright’s physique seemed much better suited for the role of Wonder Woman. Then I found out that Gal Gadot packed on SEVENTEEN POUNDS of muscle over the course of 6 months. I mean, at that point homegirl is just genetically blessed. Damn.
  • They never once called Diana “Wonder Woman.” And I loved it. Kind of like how Selina Kyle was never referred to as “Catwoman” in The Dark Knight Rises.

 
 
 
 
END SPOILERS.

So that’s one last critter for me to take with me to Comic-Con! That brings my count to a total of seven critters this year. Far less than previous years, but I’ve got more than enough guest art to make up for it this year! THIRTY-SEVEN pieces to be exact, bringing it to a total of 44 pieces for me to drop this year. THERE’S SO MUCH. It’s overwhelming and awesome at the same time. If you haven’t done so already, read this year’s drop guidelines. Otherwise to everyone who’ll be joining the hunt next week: have fun, and happy hunting!

Wonder Woman-4452 copy

If you want to join my hunt for crocheted critters at San Diego Comic-Con this year, follow me on either twitter or facebook to track my drops! I just ask for two things if you find a critter: 1) Send me a photo of your new friend! 2) Let me know where the little buddy’s new home will be! Good luck, and happy hunting!

The Geeky Hooker

Posted in Adoptions, SDCC | 3 Comments

Plan on looking for a critter? Here’s what you need to know: 2017 edition

COMIC-CON APPROACHES!! Which means the hunt will be starting soon! I’m a stubborn hooker and even though I’m still recovering from my hand injury, I’m hoping to crank out one more critter before I leave for San Diego (taking it VERY slowly so I don’t hurt myself again), but in the meantime I’ve been getting questions about how the drops will work from newcomers. The general guidelines for my drops will be the same as previous years, so here’s a recap:

  1. Follow me either on facebook or twitter, but I highly suggest twitter for drop-tracking. Facebook does a weird thing where it doesn’t show my posts in real-time based on whatever magical algorithm they use to control people’s newsfeeds.

    The Geeky Hooker

  2. Search for the hashtag #CRITTERDROP to filter for critterdrop-related updates. I’m sure a lot of you will be following lots of other people/organizations on various social media venues during Comic-Con, so hopefully the tag will help sort things out.
  3. Set up a twitter mobile alert on your phone! This isn’t required, but it’ll help! This way your phone will buzz every time I make a post on twitter, so you won’t miss a single drop! You might end up with your phone buzzing like crazy if I’m geeking out over something, but otherwise I’ll try to keep it tame. Instructions on how to set this up can be found here.
  4. If a clue involves you giving a password/passphrase to an individual, you need to say it directly to the person in question. Finding the general location and shouting the password/passphrase into a crowd will not work.
  5. If you find a critter, let me know that you found it! Please, please, PLEASE check in if you find a critter. Each one is tagged with a card with my contact info. I just ask for two things if you find one: 1) Send me a photo of your new friend, and 2) Let me know where the critter’s new home will be so I can add it to my map! I do this knowing that there’s a potential that anyone could swipe the critter and never get back to me on it, but it doesn’t make it any less disheartening when one goes missing.
  6. Critters will be dropped one at a time. No “bulk drops” in one location.
  7. I’m not the only one doing drops this year! Check out @shozumi, @carmenscorner, and @dsgnjenn for other kind folks who are dropping works of art around for people to find! And see point #5: PLEASE check in with them if you’ve found their work!
  8. Couldn’t find a critter? This year I’m doing drops for guest artists, and many of them have etsy shops! Full list of guest artists here.

As for WHERE the critters might be:

  1. I never drop critters out on the main exhibition floor. WAY too crowded, and I feel like the critters would get lost in the shuffle. So no worries about trying to fish for one in the mad sea of geekiness. EDIT: This year I’ll be getting some help with the drops and there’s been some talks from one of the volunteers of possibly working with booths for critters. Otherwise tradition still stands that no critters will be dropped “freestanding” on the main exhibition floor!
  2. However, I HAVE dropped critters in the hallways outside of the main exhibition floor, both upstairs and downstairs.
  3. No badge? No problem! A majority of my critters are actually dropped outside of the convention center in the Gaslamp Quarter! I’ve left little dudes in trees, in random flowerbeds outside of restaurants, etc. etc. I only do Gaslamp drops when there’s still daylight outside though. No drops at night…I feel like there’s a higher likelihood that it’ll end up lost when it’s dark out.
  4. If I’m in line somewhere (like for the infamous Hall H), I might step out now and then to drop a few critters. If we’re all going to be in line for hours, I may as well try to make things fun.

I don’t have any insight in terms of specifically what times I’ll drop the critters, but drops will happen from Wednesday-Saturday (7/19-7/22). No drops on Sunday. Otherwise I try to evenly distribute how many are dropped per day throughout the course of the con, and I just drop them whenever it’s convenient and if I happen to spot a good drop location! That being said, I’ve got a LOT more critters to drop this year since I made an open call for guest art (like a ridiculous amount), so I’ll be splitting up the load between friends and family. Because of this drop locations and trickiness of clues will wildly vary depending on who’s dropping, but I like to think it’ll make things more fun for everyone. 🙂 Hopefully this means more chances for everyone to find something to take home!

Final roundup of critters: 44 critters for dropping, plus 3 for blood drive donation prizes

7 critters of my own:

A whopping THIRTY-SEVEN guest critters:

And 3 blood drive prize critters! More information on the blood drive here.

And most of all, HAVE FUN. It’s Comic-Con, for pete’s sake. There’s always something awesome going on, so enjoy yourself. And while sleeping is optional, don’t forget to bathe. Comic-Con stank is a very real thing. Happy hunting!

Posted in Adoptions, SDCC | 3 Comments

SO. MANY. GUEST CRITTERS.

Holy crap you guys. I put out an open call to anyone who wanted me to drop art for them at Comic-Con since I wasn’t going to be able to make as many critters as I wanted to this year, but I didn’t expect SO many people to show interest! Interestingly enough even though I said that it could be ANY kind of art, everything so far has been crocheted work…I guess hookers are a generous bunch. 🙂 The crazy part is that I don’t even have everything yet, this is just what I’ve got SO FAR. There’s still a few other folks who have shown interest but haven’t sent me pics of their work yet, and some of these artists listed below told me they’re not even done yet. It’s insane and I love it. I’ll keep updating this as more work starts rolling in. Here’s the roundup so far of the guest art that you can expect me to drop at San Diego Comic-Con!

PEOPLE TO FOLLOW FOR DROPS

Satoru:
This guy found one of my drops last year, took up crocheting, and he’ll be doing some drops of his own this time around! And his stuff is TINY. I’d imagine these would be perfect little lucky charms to keep in your pocket for exams, interviews, etc. Follow him on twitter @shozumi to track his drops!

 
Carmen:
Carmen also found a critter last year (it was a guest critter by Gina!), and this year she’ll be doing drops of her own! Follow her on twitter at @carmenscorner!

 
Jennifer:
Jennifer will also being doing drops of her own at Comic-Con, and she’ll have a booth set up at the convention itself!  Artist Alley booth BB22.

PEOPLE THAT I’M DROPPING FOR

Marcy:
Marcy has contributed NINE little buddies for this year’s critter hunt! Check out the teeny tiny skulls she made for her Predator bunny!

Instagram: @moons_creations

  

Gina:

I’d dropped critters for Gina last year at Comic-Con, and she’ll be contributing more little buddies this year! I’m particularly interested in finding homes for her little guys because they’ll be flying in all the way from the Czech Republic! God speed, little buddies, hopefully the international postal service will be kind to you!

Twitter: @moon_catcher

  

Tina:

If you ever find yourself at Disneyland, it’d do you some good to follow Tina! She regularly does drops of her own at Disneyland, making the happiest place that much happier, and this time she wants to add to the fun at Comic-Con!

Twitter: @lydoshygirl
Instagram: @amiofyarnia

 

Britt:

Britt and I found each other on Reddit, and she decided to get in on the fun with the drops too!

 
Amy:
Amy is a follower on Facebook, and she sent me a whopping box of ELEVEN items to drop off!

 
Pamela:
Pamela’s been following my work and now she wants to get in on the fun! She doesn’t sell her stuff, but she’s generously written up patterns for anyone who wants to make their own!


Twitter: @UnknownOrchard
Blog: http://theunknownorchard.blogspot.com
Instagram: @theunknownorchard
Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/people/UnknownOrchard
 
I can’t wait to see where everything ends up!
 
If you want to join my hunt for crocheted critters at San Diego Comic-Con this year, follow me on either twitter or facebook to track my drops! I just ask for two things if you find a critter: 1) Send me a photo of your new friend! 2) Let me know where the little buddy’s new home will be! Good luck, and happy hunting!

The Geeky Hooker

Posted in Adoptions, SDCC | 9 Comments