League of S.T.E.A.M. Targets Hannah & Dr. Lucy: How Rude!

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Category : E-vents, Entertain Me, Featured, Geek Out, Geek Rants, Holiday, San Diego Comic Con, Travel

Kids,  I don’t get too much mail here at The Del. Being dead and all, who’s going to send Moi anything? With the exception of occasional postcards you good pips send me here at the Hotel del Coronado -keep ‘em coming, babies!- mail call is pretty quiet around The Del for yours truly.

Still, along with the odd postcard, and some of them are quite odd, especially those from Texas, I do get unexpected packages once in a blue moon. Today, I received a small, padded envelope with a CD in it. There was no note with it, no greeting, merely a crude marking on the CD itself which read, “Consider yourself warned”.

Jeepers creepers! The return address read only “League of S.T.E.A.M.“!

“Supernatural & Troublesome Ectoplasmic Apparition Management, indeed! How rude! I have a right mind to send them a very sternly written letter. However, I am even more of the mind that my online blathering has finally called too much attention to not only myself, but my dear friend Dr. Lucy. It seems to me, we’ve got some ghost hunting types here in the hotel and, what with Hallowe’en fast-approaching, my guess is these steampunk monster hunters are gearing up for Samhain Scandals! Well, they’ll never catch me! Ha ha!

This, btw, is what those real monsters sent me. Pay close attention after the 3:00-mark.
 

 
Damn it, Lucy! I know how much you enjoyed playing with that new EOS Canon Rebel. Still, didn’t I tell you that if we were going to go play at Comic-Con, that we had to lie low? Especially in the SyFy Press Room? As dear old dad, Dr. Harvey, would say, “Oi vey, Lucy!”.

Fortunately, I shall be out of town for the Holidays: home to good ol’ Beantown and spooky Salem, Mass for some Hallowe’en haunting about the Hawthorne Hotel; and, Lucy shall visit her dear Dr. Devorkian up in Napa this All Hallows’ Eve. Let’s see the League of S.T.E.A.M. find us now! (Oh. Wait. Damn it, Hannah!) Well, at least now the League shall have to dispatch their tiresome, hyper-weaponed gnats to New England and Northern California, as well as wherever else their ne’er-do-well activities take them here in Southern California. Shame on them, nettling and tweaking the likes of Lucy and Moi! Funny enough, now those half-portions in Ghost Adventurers and Ghost Hunters International don’t seem so bad.

I think I can take the mook in the visor, but what's with the giant wrenches? Jebus!

Monster hunters take note! Perchance, you are not aware of she with whom you dare to dance! I swing a mean cocktail bag, kittens!

 

Hannah’s fave places to haunt online? @JennyPopNet  amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore and jennypop.net

Adrianne Curry & RDJ Sightings, Johnny Depp & Seth Green MIA: SDCC 2012

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Category : Conventions, E-vents, Featured, Geek Out, Geek Rants, San Diego Comic Con, Television, Travel, Uncategorized

“There’s an awful lot of weird, pasty people in here, myself included.” So went my recurring, silent observance throughout this year’s Comic-Con, striking oft as I flitted hither and thither through the San Diego Convention Center, like a frantic mosquito seeking an open window on a muggy, Malibu, summer’s day. The pastiness was not truly what struck me, nor was the definitive weirdness. The real oddity was, like in so many gatherings where we geeks gather en masse -Renaissance Faire, Disneyland-  the convergence of and shoulder-to-shoulder conditions pressed upon so many individuals not generally prone to mainstream socializing. Moi? I haven’t left my Hotel del Coronado much since 1934. Dr. Lucy, my ghostie cohort? 1904. Judging by the bevy of pale and malleable bodies endeavouring some severely awkward social interactivity, they’ve not left their abodes since 1904 either. (Need more than just one fat Slave Leia? Dr. Lucy’s Comic-Con 2012 Gallery of Oddities!)

No caption necessary. Photo: Twisted Pair Photography SDCC 2012

On the flip side, after the initial shock of being face-to-face with strangers on a trolley and crushed side boob-to-side boob with fat Batman at Starbucks, a comforting calm washes over one and the irony of being surrounded by two-hundred thousand other Earthlings hits.

San Diego Old Town Trolley ... all aboooard! Photo: JSDevore

Suddenly the looks, stares and comments are friendly and complimentary. Instead of thinking the standard, snarky, “Hey, mook. Take a picture, it’ll last longer.”, I’m posing and flashing my Colgate smile and jack booted-gams left and right for anyone with a smartphone or a news camera. “Make sure you spell my name right!” becomes my de rigueur response, as opposed to my usual, “Grody”. (Yes, by the way, occasionally the more telekinetic of you live wires can actually see Lucy and me: Ghost Hunters types are quite adept. The stares and the infrared cameras do get to be a little boring after a while though. Costumed and fancy dress affairs tend to bring out more believers. Ergo, SDCC and Faire are perfect places for us to play without too much unwanted attention.)

Of course, once I hit the train each evening, my snark and sneers revived nicely, especially to a particularly forward sleazebag whose interest in my ruffled bloomers was creepy. Lowering my aluminum goggles down off my pith helmet and onto my face, now resembling Johnny Depp’s Willy Wonka, I gave the letch a hard stare à la Paddington Bear and, pulling my skirt tightly over my Victorian bloomers, I replied, “These are for the convention only.” and turned to watch the bay the rest of the way home. Thank goodness for Lucy; she handled him deftly and politely for both of us. Her Victorian manners are far more genteel than my Flapper Girl gums.

Disco vader, Boba Fett and Starbucks? Feels like a party! Photo: Twisted Pair Photography SDCC 2012

Back at the Con though, and all those other wackadoo jelly beans in your personal space, a thumbs-up from a dapper Mad Hatter and a 360-spin from a vixen Catwoman to tell you how amazing your costume is, combined with all the other praise throughout the day, tells you you’re not quite the freak you so oft feel. When a chap from the L.A. Times chases you down for a snap, a fellow from the Houston Press says he’s been stalking you for thirty yards and wants to know more about whom designed your gear and a gorgeous Ruby Red Riding Hood compliments your corsetry, well, it makes for some strong self-esteem boosts. (Stalking though, sans costume, generally bad.)

Dude. Both your faces are looking in the wrong direction. Zowie! Photo: Twisted Pair Photography SDCC 2012

Sure, it sounds needy, feeding on compliments greedily like a truffle pig zeroing in on the hunt. Still, when a trip to Trader Joe’s or even Nordstrom can be fraught with elbow nudges and snickers due to something as simple as a parasol or an oversized hat (No, I am not going to a wedding, the races or a funeral, thank you very much.) it’s nice to be in a venue, even if crushed like a pack of nematodes, and feel like part of the gang. Even if we usually don’t want to be part of any gang.

The only downside to the Con, if one can call it a downside, Dr. Lucy and I did have to field the query, “Now, who exactly are you supposed to be?” and then followed by, “Ah. Interesting. Now, what is steampunk?” Dr. Lucy had a great, if not lengthy description. Most tended to glaze over mid-description, but I liked it.

Think Jules Verne and Victorians and what their concepts of future technology would have been, utilizing the machinery and technology at their hands, in the 19th Century.

Blink, blink, the inquisitor would respond. I would then add succinctly:

Have you seen Sherlock Holmes, the newer versions with Robert Downey, Jr.?

Ahh! Yes, yes! Iron Man! Cool! they would exclaim, pleased with themselves. See, Lucy, people are obtuse, mostly. KISS, as the politicians say: Keep It Simple, Silly. Still not sure about this damn steampunk business? Keep a keen eye for steampunk stylings in BBCAmerica’s newest crime drama by Barry Levinson, Copper, set in 1864 NYC. Can’t wait ’til it airs August 19th? Find a bit more steampunk here.

Hannah & Lucy, Steampunk Chicks, Day 3 SDCC 2012 Photo: Eugene Powers, Whedonopolis.com

 

Steampunk. However you slice it. Photo: Twisted Pair Photography SDCC 2012

 

Hannah and Dr. Lucy, Steampunk Chicks, Day 1. Photo: Maria Stefanopoulos, IngeniousTravel.com

 

Why, Dr. Lucy! You'll give the boys heart flutters! Photo: Twisted Pair Photography SDCC 2012

Admittedly, speaking for both Lucy and myself, we did feel a tad out of place at one point. The old pangs of being the only kid dressed up at school for Hallowe’en flooded back in waves. Fortunate enough to garner admittance into the SyFy Press Room, Lucy and I attended a Being Human roundtable interview.  With the exception of one chick in a hot pink anime wig, Lucy and I were the only ones dressed up in costume. Poor Sam Huntington, a.k.a. Being Human‘s Josh the werewolf, as he sat at our table, nearly had a cardiac event upon sight of Lucy’s corseted bosom, crushing a small, plastic water bottle to subdue his carnal desires. Good for you, Lucy. At 108 years young, you’ve still got it!

The rest of the press room was filled to the brim with black-bedecked, serious journalists. A few were freindly, but the odd looks were there. (Why they were surprised, I have no idea. It IS Comic-Con.) As is oft the case IRL, nervous attempts at jokes and small talk were met with long blinks. 

Bueller? Bueller? Anyone? Anyone?

In the waning hours of Day 3 of the Con, as Lucy and I sat against a wall in the Meeting Halls catching our breath, a crowd piled up in front of us as they were held off by guest control, waiting for cross-traffic to pass: a ridiculous line for a Mythbusters panel. As I watched Hobbit feet and blistering stilletos shuffle by, I caught a good portion of a conversation as a lovely and petite blue-haired fairy and a somewhat beefy Harry Potter came to stand nearby us.

 

Pretty, pretty pixie. Photo: Twisted Pair Photography SDCC 2012

So, is it what you expected? Harry asked of his pretty pixie.

Ohmygod! So much more! I’m already planning next year’s costume! she clapped.

What’s your favourite part so far? Harry asked further.

She thought for a moment, then replied, Remember when we went to your Mom’s that time? ‘Member we stopped by before that Halloween party? We did the Alice in Wonderland thing?

Yeah. Your White Queen costume?

Yeah. Well, nobody here has looked at me even once the way your mom and sister did that night. It feels natural, just being here. It’s amazing.

Exactly. What she said. How was your Comic-Con experience?

 

 

Dr. Lucy winds up the Belle of the Con: Miss Kelli Mae, my personal fave! Photo: JSDevore

 

A rare moment of downtime. Photo: Twisted Pair Photography SDCC 2012

Note: Whilst we did see Mark Hamill, Adrianne Curry (beyond hot), Parasol Protectorate author Gail Carriger and Robert Downey, Jr. (Very, very hot. Sherlock, indeed.), we did not see Seth Green or Johnny Depp. Be assured, this was not from a lack of effort. Seth Green was indeed there, visiting the Peanuts booth, participating in a Robot Chicken panel and making general happy mayhem of the grounds. My final effort, a lone Tweet, is recorded for Comic-Con history:

Jennifer S. Devore@JennyPopNet

Might as well seek w effort :D Is @sethgreen anywhere near aisle 1400 @Comic_Con ? Would love to say Ciao! #sdcc

 

No words. Too hot. Dig you, Mizz Curry! Photo: Twisted Pair Photography SDCC 2012

The honour is all mine, Miss Carriger: Parasol Protectorate Purveyor. Photo: Twisted Pair Photography SDCC 2012

 

Klingons. Not so tough IRL. Photo: Twisted Pair Photography SDCC 2012

Go ahead, try not to sing it. Photo: Twisted Pair Photography SDCC 2012

 

What did you get up to during Comic-Con 2012? Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Hannah fave places to haunt online? @JennyPopNet   jennypop.net   amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore 

San Diego Comic-Con 2012: Tarzan, Peanuts and Cocktails with Boba and Darth

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Category : Comics, Conventions, E-vents, Entertain Me, Featured, Geek Out, Geek Rants, San Diego Comic Con, Travel

Cheers, babies! It’s me, Miss Hannah Hart, ghostdame of the Hotel del Coronado and it’s June! You know what that means? Summer is mere days away and San Diego Comic-Con is a mere month away!

If you think comic dorks can't party, you'd be wrong. Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

If you think comic dorks can’t party, you’d be wrong. Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

No one is more excited than yours truly … well, okay. I imagine there are some nibbling their fingernails a tad more than I. After all, part of the appeal of our Comic-Con is that it’s in glorious San Diego. I get to live here year round, kids, haunting my dilly of a Hotel Del. If you’re zinging your way here for the Con and it’s your first time in San Diego, we welcome you, one and all! Need some priceless, insider tips on all the SDCC how-tos? Check the SDCC Expert for Baby’s First Comic-Con.

Yep, ’tis no place in Cali quite like San Diego. Even the dearly departed Godfather of Comic Books, Richard Alf, knew that! Sunnier than San Francisco, cheaper than Santa Barbara, friendlier than L.A. and cleaner than Anaheim, why wouldn’t we welcome the world? Whilst you’re in town, may I heartily suggest Nerdcore Night at famed The Ruby Room in Hillcrest?

If you’re still looking for a hotel, I feel true pity, ya mooks. Whilst an average $560.00-$730.00/night seems lofty at my Hotel del Coronado, it’s a regal steal compared to some of the fleabag dumps near the airport: real slimy, 1-star m-m-m-motels charging upwards of $569.00/night during the week of SDCC!!! That should be criminal. It’s easily extortion and trust me, I lived in Beantown during Prohibition. I know all about mob behavior. If you have a room at all, huzzah for you!

Costume update, by the by: Dr. Lucy and I are pretty much all set. We’ve decided on a steampunk theme; she twisted my fragile ghost arms. She shall be the lovely and vivacious Lucy Westenra of Coppola’s Dracula. Moi? Lady Euphemia Greystoke of Stonington: traveller and archaeologist extraordinaire. I’ve found my 1920s, Cleopatra, chainmail headpiece and Lucy has been mending and modernizing some of her fine Victorian skirts. We are both in grave need of goggles, though. A very serious issue.

In celebration of the upcoming convention, I thought it would be fun to share an article from the 2010 Comic-Con Souvenir Book. Written by my pally Jennifer Susannah Devore, it’s a contemplative and philosophical look at Charles Schulz and the then-60th anniversary of Peanuts. (As a side note, Jenny’s just learned she’s being published once again in this year’s 2012 Souvenir Book with an retrospective of 100 years of Tarzan, Edgar Rice Burroughs and a nod to Dr. Jane Goodall … zowie, does that gorilla girl hold a grudge!

SDCC Souvenir Book, 2010

SDCC Souvenir Book, 2010

The First Beagle on the Moon

by Jennifer Susannah Devore

(Reprinted from the 2010 official Comic-Con Souvenir Book)

 

I think I could learn to love you, Judy, if your batting average was a little higher.

-”Just Keep Laughing”, pre-Peanuts Charles M. Schulz

Charles M. Schulz did not create a mere comic strip, a cast of characters to be listed on high school drama department playbills for eons to come; like all sustainable strips, the Writer-Artist-Creator gave us a neighborhood: a safe place where loyalty, security, friendship and a comfortable sense of continuity and familiarity are still unfailingly there for us. The Peanuts gang has been that other group of our friends, always ready to hang with us at a moment’s notice and at regularly scheduled mornings, especially Sundays. Similar to Shakespearean figures, the Peanuts gang has also been, as any psychologist with an ounce of humor and levity will tell you, a microcosm of humanity. A bevy of neuroses, borderline personalities, leaders and followers, Schulz, like the good Bard, nailed it all straight on the round-headed noggin. The psychology of Peanuts, not to drain the comic pool only to replace it with academia, pervades each and every “illustrated laughing square”.

No doubt, the young Schulz did not set out to create a controlled study of freckled subjects and lab beagles with sunglasses and tennis rackets; nevertheless, he did and you’d be hard-pressed to find a Psych 101 textbook without some reference to Charlie Brown’s martyrdom syndrome or Lucy’s narcissism. Blah, blah, blah, the kind reader may mock, but it is real humanity that is inherent in these characters. It is the nucleus of its success. The psychological endgame matters because in the beginning, and eventually that end, all creators start from the premises of what is known and, more importantly, what is felt.

If writer-artists give us some clue as to their failings, fears and fantasies within their oeuvres, then sports (baseball in particular) girls (darned, elusive redheads), loyalty and honor (Snoopy always comes through despite his egotism) were clearly on Sparky’s short-list. Charlie Brown’s undying dedication to his ball team, his tenacity and faith amidst rained-out games, Lucy’s “The sun was in my eyes”-excuses and dozing beagles-at-bat is a fortitude so many desire, yet oft do not posses.

The stomach-churning inner diatribes and teeth-grinding insecurity is thankfully, cathartically played out on-stage, as it were, in Charlie Brown’s (and Charlie Schulz’) quest for the affection of a little red-haired girl, even going so far as addressing the very adult, very 3-D distrust and heartache of jealousy, that love has been taken by a best friend: Linus, to wit, in It’s Valentine’s Day, Charlie Brown. Charles Schulz’ real-life and nonreciprocal marriage proposal marks the launching pad of Charlie Brown’s everlasting expedition of unrequited and, despondently, un-returned love.

The fear of not being accepted, of not belonging is universally shared, regardless of what the aesthetics and sartorial effects may try to loudly declare. Searching the mailbox for that proverbial Halloween party invitation, learning it was a mistake, then going anyway is a Trick-or-Treat bag fraught with snakes and evil clowns: What if I’m not on The List? What if I am on The List? Who will talk to me? What if I’m left all alone? What if they make fun of my costume?

The fear of not receiving a single Valentine in class, and in front of everybody no less, the dread of an empty mailbox and heart at Christmastime, the cold, autumnal loneliness of being the only one whom truly believes in the Great Pumpkin; these comic worries are so real that the chest-pounding is audible, the butterflies are so visceral we can only cringe and endure, waiting nervously for the certain, happy ending. Sadly, it is not always so certain, though. The ending of Snoopy, Come Home is so gut-wrenchingly awful that it is suffered through only because of our own, Charlie Browniest belief that everything will be okay. It is not, in the case of said film. There is no good outcome, there cannot be; everybody loses, big time. To that end, everybody has heart and soul that trudges forth no matter what. This is why we continue to love, adore and cherish our Peanuts gang.

Be it Snoopy’s devotion to Lila, the dying girl, in Snoopy, Come Home, Snoopy’s devotion to his supper dish, Linus’ unrelenting conviction for the Great Pumpkin and, deeper still, Sally’s dedication to Linus and his mission, it is all so human, so carbon-based. Family or friends, it matters not with Peanuts. As is often the case in real-time, digital worlds or the land of ink-and-watercolor, friends are often family, and family, good friends. The Browns and the Van Pelts are core, bound by blood; but that is not pivotal, being bound by blood. Snoopy and Woodstock, Charlie Brown and Linus, Peppermint Patty and Marcie, Lucy and herself, Schroeder and his Piano, Sally and her Easter shoes and her Sweet Baboo: these are the real bonds, the vital relationships that keep Peanuts going year after sixty years.

In the vein of a youthful William Shakespeare, Matt Groening or Seth MacFarlane whom all wrote of the communities they knew, the people and their foibles they shouldered through life, good and bad, lovely and horrid, Charles M. Schulz presented us with pencil and ink versions of ourselves: our ids, egos, superegos and alter egos. He gave us characters and friends upon whom we knew we could count through any rained out game, school exam or major holiday, even when It’s Presidents’ Day, Charlie Brown.

Above all, there is honor. Consider that, akin to so much great “children’s” literature, young-adult fiction, superhero tales, classic fairy tales, adapted fairy tales, graphic novels, comic strips and animated series there exists no ethical enforcement, save one’s own internal gauge and moral compass. It is universal, from Cinderella and Snow White to Snoopy and Spongebob Squarepants, that parents are either handily out-of-frame or conveniently ineffective; adults of any walk and educators of every sort are primarily a concept and rarely given a name, a face or, in Peanuts’ case, even a voice. Law enforcement is a rare impression lest it appears in an almost supernatural state of purity and perfection, like Scully and Mulder or Police Commissioner Gordon. The heroes cannot get away from themselves and must answer to their own merit of principle. There are no citations, no court dates, no weekend restrictions or media groundings. There is no law, no order, only the inner voice and scruples of the very good and, where it relates to our Peanuts, the very, very admirable and steadfast fraternity of fast and eternal friendship. The lasting appeal of Charlie Brown and Charles Schulz is that they are us. As Lucy states so wisely, “Charlie Brown, of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you’re the Charlie Browniest!”

The Charlies and we are in the vital and primitive hunt for love, camaraderie and faithfulness. They and we are scared to death that nothing will happen and equally so that everything will. The round-headed kid, the barber’s son and we are all optimistic to a fault, likened to Spongebob in our unending and Bikini Bottom-deep belief that everything and everyone will be just fine. They and we are all flawed superheroes, or at the very least, we strive to be.

(A special thanks to Gary Sassaman, Director of Print and Publications Comic-Con International: San Diego)

 

Abyssinia on the Con floor, cats!

Hannah’s fave place to haunt online? JennyPop.net jenniferdevore.blogspot.com & @JennyPopNet

Huzzah! Gamer Girls’ Watering Hole: Nerdcore Night at The Ruby Room

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Category : Conventions, E-vents, Entertain Me, Featured, Game On, Geek Out, Geek Rants, Good To Be A Gamer, San Diego Comic Con, Television, Travel, Uncategorized

 ”This is a war they started and, by God, we’ll finish it.” -former Britsh P.M., Margaret Thatcher

NorCal Gamer Grrls: Touch Chicas. Photo: Gary Dev

Vulcan ears, steampunk corsets, film-accurate weaponry, hot gamer girls and hard-boiled hooch. Slosh it all into a legendary, San Diego fun zone and you’ve blended up a tangy, spicy, smoking hot extravaganza.  No, not Comic-Com, but that is coming soon, kittens. (BTW, yours truly will be on the floor and covering it live for the good folks here at GoodToBeAGeek! Costume? Still up in the air. Any ideas? I’ve narrowed it to Bellatrix Lestrange, Morticia Addams, Snow White or Ruby Red Riding Hood: the latter both of ABC’s Once Upon a Time. Drop a line here or @JennyPopNet and let me know which character you’d prefer!)

Speaking of Ruby Red, there’s a bonkers-wild nightclub right here in my own backyard, just moments from my haunt at the Hotel del Coronado. Welcome to The Ruby Room. Mis en scène amidst the ever active, far-too-hip-for-thou, Hillcrest crawl of downtown San Diego, The Ruby Room offers not only a hardcore, real drinking atmos, but also a nerdcore, real gaming atmos. Hang up your cloak and check your blasters; it’s The Ruby Room’s very own Nerdcore Night. It’s not Comic-Con, but it’s a damn fine tease.

As with many a social movement, Nerdcore Night was born out of a frustration of  social-marginalizing and a need for unity amongst a growing, yet still underestimated subculture of a subculture. The case in study? Gamer girls, oft maligned by the gamer boys they’ve so frequently pwned. Nerdcore Night was divined by Miss Aubree Miller, a partner in the eclectic  TheGamerGirls.com, a geek girl-oriented, lifestyle website encompassing more than the domain implies: music, entertainment, conventions, cosplay, art and design, fashion and so much more nerdy, girly goodness. The hook? These Gamer Girls are bonkers-hot!

Now, all you Modern Millies, riddle me this. Why call attention to such optics? Why feed today’s insensitive, insulting, brutal, throw-away, aesthetics machine? I’ve been fighting sexism since long before I died in 1934, and in Hollywood, to boot. Murder! That’s some serious skirt-chasing around the desk! From what I can tell, you contemporary chickadees carry a lot of huevos in your Louis bags. You know you’re red hot, no matter what mold you do or do not fit. You’ve got a confidence not seen since the Roaring Twenties ditched those Edwardian stuffed-shirts. You’ve got it in spades, and then some, and don’t seem to care a whit who likes it. So, why waste time proving something to that microband of worthless, useless, infantile, misogynist, insecure, fink gamers?

Lauded and gender neutrally-revered dorkettes like Katrina Hill, Adrienne Curry and Jill Pantozzi know they’re aces-beauteous. While mathematical, symmetrical beauty might be the first visual cue you get on these three, it’s definitely not the last thing you’ll remember about them. Amongst this geek girl triad exists an amalgam of journalists, writers, authors, models, TV personalities, comic book aficionados, film theorists, personal band-strategists, wicked WOW gamers, whip-smart businesswomen, fragile hearts, irreverent, humourous, kind, protective and loyal Earthlings. These  broads might understand and shrewdly calculate the value of their charms to bring in unique fans, readers and viewers; but similar to a Harvard or William & Mary legacy, just getting beyond the hallowed brick walls doesn’t cut it. Once they’re being scrutinized, these ladies have to deliver, from the brain as well as the hip.

Left to right: Katrina Hill, Action Chick; Jill Pantozzi, The Nerdy Bird & Adrienne Curry, Mistress of the Dorks Photo courtesy of Katrina Hill

 

Still, all you other dames, isn’t that quiet beauty of yours, the fact that you know you’re pretty, plus so much more, enough to carry yourself like royalty, no matter where you trod? Haven’t all you Millenium muffins come far enough by 2012 that proving you’re a looker to a bunch of greaseballs and strangers online doesn’t matter a hill of beans? Apparently not in the gaming world. Miller says this facet of technology and entertainment is still flush with “female gamers who feel animosity from male gamers.”

According to Miss Miller, in a May 2012 interview with Chad Deal for San Diego Reader, “Whenever a girl beats a guy over, say, Xbox live or whatever, a ton of messages immediately start piling in about how you must be a fat stoner loser chick to have beat them at a game. Boys are petty. We use actual female gamers on [TheGamerGirls.com] who are hot to prove these kinds of boys wrong. Honestly, girls just want gaming equality.” (Please, feel free to read the whole interview, Nerdcore Night – A Safe Place to Geek … but, come back, okay?!)

I don't think this is sanitary. Photo by Jason Anfinsen

 

 

 

 

Jessa Phillips, keen pally, hard-line gamer girl and editor-in-chief of GoodToBeAGeek.com follows and covers gaming passionately: most notably, her Good To Be A Gamer weekly podcast with fellow geek David Lucier. Miss Jessa has had wild experiences with sexism in the gaming world and is cuckoo for Nerdcore puffs. She digs the concept of a night where chicas can get together, talk shop, listen to some tuneage, drink and not worry about some rude boy in Singapore, Bangalore, Seattle or Sack-of-tomatoes slinging personal insults and misogynist hate like cream pies in a Laurel & Hardy flick. Jessa knows her stuff, so when some dude calls her a hack, he’d best step off unless he’s complementing her Hack n’ Slash gaming style.

Playing since Nintendo hit the shelves, Jessa is bonkers for first-person shooting (FPS) and not frightened off by the violence amidst her fave games which, according to her, “also incorporate some amazing world building and storytelling”: God of War, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Gears of War, Mass Effect, BioShock and Assassin’s Creed. Just because she’s a gamer patootie, she’d rather not be identified as such.

“I do not believe that women who play games need to be singled out as a specific market segment. Developers should not be making games aimed to draw in female gamers. We are, regardless of gender, gamers. The difference between me and another gamer is the games we play. That is all,” Jessa states.

Even so, she’s suffered from unwarranted sexism. Seemingly innocuous, when pre-ordering the original God of War, she was questioned and quizzed by the store clerk, certain she was buying for a man in her life, certain “a woman would shy away from the graphic violence and sexual mini-game this title promised.”  That was simple ignorance and most likely lacking any malice. Her first experience with down home, good old-fashioned, blatant sexism? Enter Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

“I was not so naïve as to use a gamer tag that would immediately give away my gender. However, as soon as I spoke my gender was known and it was all over. I will admit, I am not the most skilled gamer, particularly when it comes to shooters. That being said, gameplay has never been my problem. The constant debasing verbal vomit some players spew at the idea that a woman is in their game. A woman can only bear so much trash talk and when she attempts to defend herself, is instantly label a b*tch which only furthers the issue. It is the targeted mean-spirited attitude towards female gamers in online multiplayer gaming that turned me away from the online space and into a single-player gamer.”

Jessa’s feeling a little better about online gaming as days go by; more women are entering the field of play and more men are even coming to the defense of women getting a verbal bullying. She also has a final bit of advice for the loser whom deigns to dis her during her next round, “So I get pwned by a better player, maybe even targeted due to my gender. I’m a big girl, I can take it. Being the man trashing a women who just pwned you with your friends standing by? Just makes you come off as weak.”

Again, don't mess with NorCal grrls. Photo: Gary Dev

Surprisingly, our very own Dr. Lucy is a rabid gamer girl and a dish, to boot. TGG, still looking for gamer models? Sure, she’s a Victorian gal at heart (died at The Del in 1904, in case you’re new here), but she shows up very nicely on camera, best with full-spectrum, infrared, HD cams. Full disclosure: sometimes she only appears as bright orbs … but, what a set of orbs!

Ever since D&D was gifted to RPGs in the 1970s, and then a later introduction to Mech Warriors she’s been a gaming, ghostie girl. Although she can’t always be seen, she can make a presence when she really wants to. Eventually, she moved on to Renaissance Faire; the men can be just as annoying, but her Old School ways fit in better there.

“I’m not into Resident Evil or the highly competitive shoot-em-up games like Halo or intensive online reality games like WOW,” Dr. Lucy confided to me by the hotel pool one night. “I do however still have my Super Nintendo and tons of ‘old school’ games like Mario Bros and every Zelda game ever made. That has to be my favorite platform game of all time. I have gotten a new platform like Wii just because the new Zelda game came out.” (Where does a Victorian ghost find such games, plus a Wii, my skeptical friends might wonder? Craigslist and BestBuy, of course.)”The games I play now are Zelda Skyward Sword, Heroes VI, and Civilization. The game I am saving up for now is Diablo III, and was just released this week!”

Whether it’s Faire, Zelda, Civilization or her long-ago, Victorian parlour games of Whist, Cribbage, Crambo or Hot Cockles, Lucy maintains boys will be boys.

“Heaven help anyone who ‘lets me win’ or gets all condescending!” she went on after yet another poolside-absinthe. “As for sexism, men ALWAYS think they know best and it does leak over into gaming. I find it entertaining when people who don’t know me try to categorize me. They usually get it wrong and reveal more about themselves in the process than they perceive about me. I know people need to stereotype others to a degree to feel comfortable so it makes me value those people who are capable of recognizing and appreciating people for who they are and those with the ability to recognize that all people evolve and are multifaceted.” Well, not all people, Lucy. Have you watched The Jersey Shore on your Kindle lately? Ick.

In the end, after all the womens’ studies, political hashing and academic posturing, Nerdcore Night is just damn good fun. Similar to Disneyland, Renaissance Faire, Comic-Con and FOX’s Animation Domination, it’s a few carefree hours to congregate with fellow goobs and let off some steampunk. Nerdcore Night is a girls’ night out and even though that seems a little dated in and of itself, it’s become a nice, universally nerdy haven. For, even though it started as an IRL meet-up for San Diego-close gamer chicks, it’s happily become an all-inclusive, guys and dolls, hipster doofus et al function: geeks, nerds, dweebs, gleeks, word nerds, orch dorks and so on. Hail dorks, well met! If you recall, I covered this pandemonium of geek culture previously, White & Nerdy checklist and all. Into which category do you fit?

Whatever you do call yourself, however or with whomever you identify, you’re welcome at The Ruby Room, any night of the week. Bring your hip game, though; Hillcrest ain’t Kansas and it ain’t Dr. Lucy’s weekly Hot Cockles … although, I imagine there’s a bit of that, not to mention some Squeak, Piggy, Squeak going on somewhere in the club.

By the by, for the rest of you cats whom tend to booze ‘n cavort sans cape and sword and just want a good Irish whiskey, Kentucky bourbon, I.P.A. or BOGO penny wells, The Ruby Room serves up a wide swath of divertissements: vintage burlesque –sadly, no Dita Von Teese, yet-, live bands, righteous DJs, art shows, charity functions, fashion soirées and themed karaoke nights. Whether you wield a French corset dagger or sport a slick set of Zildjian drumsticks in your back pocket, chances are excellent you’ll find a Ruby Room bash that suits you and your motley crew nicely. As the good folks at The Ruby Room humbly claim, “Not trying to be everything to everyone, but everything that is us.” Awww.

“Ladies don’t start fights, but we can finish ‘em.”  -Mlle. Marie Bonfamillle, The Aristocats

Destination: San Diego. Warp speed, Captain! Photo: Rabbot

 

Abyssinia, cats!

Hannah’s fave place to haunt online? JennyPop.net , jenniferdevore.blogspot.com and @JennyPop

 

The Proper Deets:

@theRubyRoomSD

The Ruby Room

1271 University Ave.

Hillcrest, San Diego, CA 92103

619.299.7372

Another Babka? It’s a Same-Name Bing Bash!

1

Category : Entertain Me, Featured, Geek Out, Geek Rants, Literature, Movies, Television, Travel, Uncategorized

Ciao, cats. Summer’s a-comin’ fast and the Hotel del Coronado is prepping for San Diego’s best season of sun, surf and soirées. Springtime’s sweet, but summer’s sizzling. You know we ghosties are cold all the time; even the tiniest rise in surrounding temperature is a beautiful thing. Plus, folks are up to here with their winter blues and springtime antsy pants. Ergo, it’s the best time to throw a swanky hotel riot. The only issue with a summer splurge, besides whether to host it at the pool or on the beach, is what theme? Real party hounds know you need a kicking theme and Dr. Lucy and I are tossing around a few ideas in our noodles. Regardless of theme, the very merry month of May is the perfect time for a Ghost Host Rag!

Swanks a lot for the booze, Micky!

 

Natch, Lucy wants to go steampunk; natch, I said cool it already with the Victorian adventurer gig for a bit. I mean, really. How many aviator helmets and goggles can a girl have? (Although, I do hear around the whiskey cooler there’s a pretty steamy -steamypunky- sex scene in The Darlings of Orange County by my pally Jennifer S. Devore. Who knew there were so many useful toys in Johnny Depp’s official Ichabod Crane Detective Kit from Sleepy Hollow. My, oh, my!)

Now, as far as planning this affair, I’ve been throwing shindigs since I was a wee thing. Dr. Harvey & Hildy love a good time, even if it does include way too much foxtrotting, so I can thank Mum & Dad for weaning me on teas and socials and letting big bro Hugh and me throw as many parties as the old Beantown bungalow could handle. So, it goes without saying that after nearly a hundred years of throwing fetes, my beachside blow-out is sure to be a blast. First off, it’s to be all ghosts, mostly. Plenty of folks to invite. You’d be shocked at how many ghosts there are floating about San Diego and beyond. Boy-zo! If you could actually see us all. You know that feeling you get on the back of your neck, when it feels like someone’s watching you? Someone is. Always.

Nobody parties like us ghosties: no hangovers or obnoxious twits (we can’t get drunk), loads of amazing, authentic costumes (when it’s a fancy dress gala) and usually just mild property damage consisting of a broken window or two, a crack’d mirror hither and thither or some ecto-gooed silver and china. Even all that, we simply blame the guests or staff here at the hotel. If you think the Haunted Mansion looks wild, you ain’t seen nothing until you’ve been to one of my parties: dead or alive. This one will be Dr. Lucy’s first since the turn of the 20thC. Good thing she can’t get drunk on absinthe anymore, because I’m willing to bet she ends up loosening that Victorian cravat of hers.

My first party: Hallowe'en 1912. Bet you can't guess which one I am!

 

Theme-wise, Lucy and I have discussed a few: steampunk, Old Hollywood, literary figures, medieval, Renaissance Faire, goth, pirates, superheroes (kind of saving that for Comic-Con), Disney, Star Wars, pin-up, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Lady Gaga/Madonna. You name it, we thought of it. Problem is, I’ve done ‘em all and I am loathe to redux a party or a costume. Then, whilst searching Netflix for ideas (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Party Monster might be leading us in a dangerous direction.), we had a bonkers idea: a Bing Party!

Bing, Google, whatever you want to call it, it’s a search engine social. I have issues with Google and some of its privacy practices and cahoots in cooperation with the Chinese government, so I do the Bing thing … until I learn they’re toads, too.  A Bing party, in case you are unaware, is also known as a Same Name party. Ever Binged yourself? Sure you have. It’s great fun when the booze runs out and you couldn’t possibly watch anymore of My Drunk Kitchen. Once you Bing yourself, you find there are dozens of folks with your name and it’s bonkers to see what they’re up to. It’s also frightening when you learn there’s some greaseball or half-portion daring to call themselves by the same sweet name your Parental Units bequeathed upon you, and you hope against hope that folks you knew way back when, won’t Bing you, see that mook and think it’s you. Still, if you weed out the wet smacks and felons, you might have yourself quite a wing ding at hand. You might want to have it at a club or a Spongebob Fancypants hotel though, just in case one of those felons shows up looking for free hooch. You don’t want ‘em knowing where you live.

Hannah Hart. Clearly, it’s a fab name and whilst I was pretty sure I was the only one on the planet, there are in fact a number of us: none as fab as I, of course. Most notably there’s a bonkers chick who, apparently, loves to get toasted while she toddles about her cucina. Yea for her! My Drunk Kitchen is her web series and on her site, she’s currently running a very apropos video called Adultolescence: House Party, a how-to. I think if she were a dead girl, we’d gel brilliantly. Maybe I’ll check in on her anyway and proffer a personal invitation. Sometimes those with exceptional brain usage, beyond the ten percent most of you pills use, can sense me. She seems like she uses a tad, just a tad, more than ten percent.

Other Hannah Harts include a student at the University of Southern Maine, an actress, a photographer, another writer at another geek site called The Mary Sue: A Guide to Geek Girl Culture (Quite a coinkidink, I think!) and even a couple of cons: one Hannah Hart recently incarcerated at Sarasota, FL central booking, and one Hannah Hart, old time criminal, shipped off from Middlesex, England in 1836 aboard the Elizabeth and dumped on the good folks and natives of New South Wales, Australia. Nice work, England. See, I told you there’d be a mook or two. Have your Bing party in a public location, kids. While I’m at it, let’s have a look-see at some other Lucy Devereaux and my authoress pally, Jennifer Devore.

Other Lucy Devereaux include: a photographer (Why is every modern girl a photographer? B&W? Please.), an architecture student from the U.K., a grocery pricer for a national supermarket chain, and some muffin in Madison, Wisconsin.

Other Jennifer Devores include: a cellist, a math teacher, a boudoir photographer (geez), a makeup artist, a marketing exec and, lo and behold, another guest of the state, this one arrested in Clark County, OH.

Please, no mug shots for this Hannah Hart! This is my house!

 

Not listed, because I do have some respect for the dead, are a number of Lucy Devereaux, Hannah Harts and Jennifer Devores in  obituaries and ancestry reports the world over. Wait, I guess I just listed them. Anyhoo, I assume they’ll all be at my Bing ball. Why wouldn’t they? Beaded gowns, notable figures from throughout history, absinthe with the wormwood, yet without the psychosis and plenty of surf, salt air and sloshing shrub glasses. The cocktail of choice? We’ve decided upon the Pink Palace, in honour of the Beverly Hills Hotel 100th birthday. Ooh! I think I just changed the theme of the party! 100 Years of Beverly Hills! Come dressed as any B.H. era you dig: 1930s Marlene Dietrich trousers in the Polo Lounge, 1950s Marilyn Monroe sex kitten heyday, 1970s bungalow-trashing rocker, 1980s neon Nagel beauty or even 1990s 90210 Dylan McKay. Don’t forget your stylin’ Porsche 356 speedster.

Dylan v. Brandon? Please. Was there ever a question? Photo: Cloudzilla

 

Yes, an excellent plan! Lucy will love it, despite the lack of a Beverly Hills steampunk era. Sorry, babe. Maybe you can do the Marilyn Monroe thing. Come on, do the voice for us. You know you love doing it. Besides, I don’t want to meet  all those other dames with the same name … would you?

Photo: Alden Jewell

 

Abyssinia, cats!

This Hannah Hart’s fave place online? JennyPop.Net and @JennyPopNet

 

Once Upon a Time … There Was Scripted Television

2

Category : Entertain Me, Featured, Geek Out, Geek Rants, Literature, Movies, Reviews, Television, Travel, Uncategorized

Hey, kids! Ring-a-ding-ding it’s like Springtime for Hitler around here! The set-design faeries must have had a March 1st deadline and, boyzo did they ever make it! 85 degrees, postcard blue skies, a sparkling ocean view that just won’t quit and a rainbow of pastels and brights everywhere you look! Dames are in their sugar-pink dresses, guys are sportin’ their Peeps-yellow polos and the air smells like strawberry salt water taffy and lemonheads. San Diego’s ready for spring and so am I!

Being a ghostie girl, I’m kippy enough to get to haunt the Hotel Del forever and ever, as so many of you already know. (Those who don’t quite get my gig, check out my back story.) Now that I’m all moved into my new digs in the Resort Suites, I’ve packed away my velvet opera coat, my tweed jackets and my fur-topped pirate boots and moved my warm weather gear front-and-center stage. Hello, Betsey Johnson floral tea dresses, JLo floppy hats and 1970s wooden platforms! Unless you’re allergic to fun, smiles, hibiscus cocktails and feeling good, get yourself out here and enjoy our warming, welcoming, California sunshine.

Springtime Candy Goodness photo: J.S.Devore

 

What else fills my noodle in the spring, besides fouffy dresses and perfume that smells like caramel corn and cotton candy -Miss Dior Chérie by Christian Dior is just such a scent- ? Flowers! Springtime means flowers and when I think of flowers, I think of forests; when I think of forests, I think of der Schwarzwald; wenn ich denke an dem Schwarzwald, I think of fairy tales. When ich denke of fairy tales I think of Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, The Pied Piper of Hamlin, Three Little Pigs and Little Snow White. When I think of them, I think of … American network television? One thing I have been enjoying, when not out sunning my chilly gams by the pool, is watching loads of Grimm and Once Upon a Time on Hulu. Scripted television, fantasy-themed at that, is back, babies!

Der Schwarzwald: The Black Forest photo: Reisen aus Leidenschaft

 

No! It can’t be true, Miss Hannah! Surely you jest! Scripted television? You and your ghost tales of the good old days! No, little children, ’tis true. Yes, I’ve been dead and holed up in The Del for nearly a century, but I consume far more media than the living and wow, have your modern viewing habits gone to dust over recent years! Some of you are probably too young to remember, but if you sit back and sip your champagne coolies I’ll tell you a story, a fairy tale of wonder and woe.

Once upon a time there was a magical place called The Writers’ Room where smart and witty folk thought about fresh ideas and interesting characters and how to best interpret and present them to entertain the good people of TV Land. Then, the gruesome and greedy producers emerged from the fjords and hollers and swathed the land in the blackness of Reality TeeVee … 

Television, unlike film, has gone the way of Wal-Mart: cheap and easy to produce, cheap and easy to market to the lowest common denominator. It’s a sure fire return on investment: no actors, no scripts, just a flat-fee to participants, some base expenses like housing and booze and maybe a prize for the last one standing. It’s good enough … in the absence of anything else. So is Grapeade, but ick. Don’t get me wrong, kids, film can be total schlock, too. Ever seen the Fred franchise? Heavens to Murgatroid! Yet, we’re talking television here and this medium still reigns supreme where garbage stacks up like London’s Daily Mail in a shut-in’s Yorkshire cottage.

Certainly, one can always turn to the likes of the BBC for trips into the fantastic: Being Human, Whitechapel; Masterpiece Classics for, well, classics: Downton Abbey, Sherlock; and HBO & Showtime for something freaky and fab: Game of Thrones, True Blood. Further, as many a Hannah reader knows, American television rules where comedy is concerned, when producers care to take a leap of yuks. Yet the broadcast airways of the big four generally run scared when presented with concepts outside reality and talent show programming. Happily though, it seems as of late the powers that be of network teevee have begun their commendable trek back into the dark and misty forests of fantasy. We may ne’er see the likes of The Twilight Zone, Star Trek or The X-Files again, but ABC, NBC and Fox are making remarkable efforts to reward us for sitting through years of The Bachelor, The Biggest Loser and American Idol.

Those who oft read me, know my love for FX’s American Horror Story. Thrillingly, I now have a few more options for fantasy via Grimm and Once Upon a Time. ABC and NBC have both brought the medieval fairy tales to the small screen; though, I think ABC has an edge. Once has the benefit of two Lost writers, which explains the bouncing around, parallel-universe storylines: Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis. It also has the benefit of, as Rolling Stone reviewed, “the first hot Snow White ever.” Ginnifer Goodwin’s Snowy is certainly a more grown up version than the Jessie Wilcox Smith or Walt Disney reiterations we’re used to, but if you ask me, Snowy’s always been a bit of a hot patootie, especially the truly Teutonic version with long, blue-black, curly hair and sky-blue eyes. Bonkers hot! That’s the reason she was left behind in the forest, then later hunted by her mother’s goon, in the first place. Original tale by the Brothers Grimm lends a far more sinister version than the colourful Disney tale we all know, and which I love equally. (No implied cannibalism with Disney! No, Sir! Don’t know the cannibal-angle? Read the original.)

A bit stormier than The Happiest Place on Earth’s Fantasyland, and taking itself very tongue-in-cheek, the sylvan hamlet of Storybrooke, Maine is where the world’s fairy tale characters have been sent to live in exile by the Wicked Queen, a hateful gift thrust upon fairyland at the wedding of Snow White and Prince Charming. Storybrooke? Seriously? asks Emma Swan, played by golden girl Jennifer Morrison, the unwitting offspring of Snow White and Prince Charming, and soon-to-be the sweet-and-spicy sheriff of Storybrooke. Natch, not only Grimm characters reside in Storybrooke.

Perrault’s Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood make their lovely but forced homes there and Collodi’s Geppetto, Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket are trapped as well. A perfect example of that tongue-in-cheek? Jiminy, looking like a poor, literature professor, is Dr. Hopper, Ph.D., psychologist. Continuing the Grimm thread, Robert Carlyle plays a captivating, slimy, slithering Rumpelstiltskin, spinning gold and profiting from desperation and the Evil Queen herself, Ruby, serves as mayor of this Stephen Kingesque burg.

It’s a darker setting than The Magic Kingdom, but it’s done remarkably well and beautifully shot: cinematography by Stephen Jackson. Similar to American Horror Story and The X-Files, this is a tale best watched at night and with a glass of red. Also similar to The X-Files, it’s shot on location in Vancouver. Not to put too fine a point on it, but just like AHS, X-Files and Grimm, Once uses very cool, spooky and blue-hazed opening titles to keep us from trolling for other programming during the first commercial break. Finally, apropos and pivotal to fantasy television, another Northwest metropolis serves as backdrop for yet another reiteration of the grim, children’s tales.

If Law and Order SVU relocated from Manhattan to the Black Forest, you’d have Grimm. It takes the NBC model of cop shows they just can’t seem to chuck and turns an affable, modern-day Grimm (traditional hunters of the supernatural in this version) into a detective working homicide cases in the eerie outskirts of Portland, Oregon. Amidst his work, he sees the supernatural beasties and, lo and behold, they seem to be at the heart of every crime scene. Hitler himself, according to the latest episode (S1E13) Three Coins in a Fuchsbau, it seems was a Blutbad, a werewolf. In Grimm, the Mausehertz, Lausenschlange, Fuchsbau, Eisbiber and a host of other creatures replace the antagonists in your standard cop show; these guys just happen to morph in and out of their animal forms.

Die Bruder Grimm

Supposing the audience knows more about Grimm’s Fairy Stories than they probably do, each episode is fitted with an opening quote from the originating tale. Pleasingly so, there is also a nice smattering of German in each episode, thanks to he whom carries the show: a Big Bad Wolf, or Blutbad, named Monroe and portrayed brilliantly by Silas Weir Mitchell. Funny enough, Mitchell’s first role ever was Hansel, in a grade-school production of Grimm’s Hansel und Gretel. Mitchell plays a reformed Blutbad whom has assimilated nicely, has a quiet business fixing antique cuckoo clocks and sustains his bloodlust with handy-dandy, blood ice cubes in his soup.  He’s the conduit to the supernatural and has all the answers for Detective Nick Burkhardt, a newbie to the supernatural whom had no clue he was a Grimm until his auntie, his nearest living kin, passed away and passed down the family business … and a trailer full of what looks like props left over from the attic set of Charmed.

 

Although the characters and mythical figures are well represented, Grimm‘s plots are certainly stretched and reshaped, like a shrunken cashmere sweater on a drying rack, to embrace modern issues and appeal more to the CSI viewer whom likes his steak rare, and less to the Snow White of us whom like a deep cabernet with our pink rose cupcakes.

Overall, it’s just peaches to see the fairy tale genre taking hold once again. Fairy tales have been around, be it oral tradition or written, for centuries. They are the stuff of human interaction and, moreover, offer up the most primal of emotions: fear. Fairy tales are the tales of mankind: good vs. evil, right over wrong, romance and terror. Steampunk Dr. Lucy, my fellow ghost pal at the hotel, loves fairy tales as much as I; she finds the rebirth sehr interressant, in her words, “because too much of magic has left the world”. She certainly has a point. Star Wars is even fairy tale fodder, as much as is Sleeping Beauty: good vs. evil, larger-than-life villain and a steamy romance, to boot! Han Solo in those breeches and jack boots?! Sweet biscuits!

I’m just happy to see that some bravehearts in the decision-making, turreted towers of TVLand have the strength and courage to wield their broadswords and fight the dragons and trolls whom have led us headlong into harm, feeding the masses incrementally more and more poisonous, shiny, shiny candied apples.

Carthay Circle Theater photo:Evan Wohrman

As a side note, yours truly was at the original premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs … looking smashing in Chanel, if I I might say. Yeah, I was dead by then; but it made for no less of an event. (I did have to get my Chanel dress on a dead girl before I could actually wear it, but that all worked out just fine.) Sure, with a packed house, too, I had to sit on Clark Gable’s lap, but zowie! He never knew what he missed!

It was Christmastime in L.A., 1937, and the history-making film was introduced to the world at the Carthay Circle Theater in L.A. What a lineup of stars and lookers who showed up to see 90 minutes of animation! Shirley Temple was there (total doll) and Charlie Chaplin (what a smooth talker). Marlene Dietrich graced the place (What a face, but what a piece of work! Honey, you ain’t the only one in H-town with a million-dollar caboose!) and funny men Milton Berle and George Burns helped fill the celeb seats. Cary Grant showed up (What a man!) as did the luscious Ginger Rogers. What a set of getaway sticks on that broad! The place sold out and at five bucks a ticket, that was a lot of chicken feed back then, cats! Left 30,000 un-ticketed fans pouting outside the theater. (Sounds like this year’s Comic Con.)  Good for Mr. Disney!

The naysayers called it Disney’s Folly, but they were a bunch of mooks and flat tires. Little did they know the markers Walt and Snowy would set: first feature-length cel animation, first full-colour animation, first American feature-length animation, first Walt Disney Productions production. Whilst the theater is long gone, with the exception of a replica facade at the Walt Disney Studios, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and die Bruder Grimm continue to bring us generations of dreamy fairy tales, lingering nightmares and the brilliant juxtapositions of  mayhem, cannibalism and really, really pretty dresses.

Bis später, alligator!

 

Looking for more Hannah Hart rants, kids? Here I am! Find me @JennyPopNet, too.

Hannah’s fave places to haunt online? https://www.amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore and jenniferdevore.blogspot.com

 

Mr. Dickens, Meet Mr. Twain. Miss Hannah, Meet Mr. Spock. Agt. Scully, Meet Mr. Dickens.

2

Category : Entertain Me, Geek Out, Geek Rants, Holiday, Movies, Television, Travel

Greetings and salutations, cats! Gorgeous winter days still on the San Diego coast. So lovely, in fact, Dr. Lucy, Little Lindy and I have been whizzing around Coronado Isle in a juicy little breezer some wheat left running outside The Del. Fellow ghosties, want to cause some trouble? If you can get out of your haunt -I can for short bursts- snag a convertible, throw on a scarf and buzz the burg. Coppers won’t know from nothing when they see an empty flivver with nothing but fluttering silk flying down the flug! If you can get to a casino in that breezer for a little hot chocolate and peppermint schnapps (a separate, sipping glass for the schnapps) over a hand or two of invisible poker, even better!

Note to all wheats: don't leave it running! Photo: J.S. Devore

Speaking of winter and wagers, I’ll bet more than a few of you reading this are winter babies. The birthday season is as bonkers as the Hollywood awards season right now! I’m guessing Spring Fever manifests itself in more than just a good dusting and cleaning. A little May Day barney-mugging, anyone? Zowie!

Walt Disney, Woody Allen, Edgar Allen Poe,  James Joyce, John Steinbeck, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and funny enough, apropos to my situation, both Charles Lindbergh and one Miss Ida Lupino -that hoofer being the reason I’m here at The Del forever- share a February 4th birthday. As monumental, literary birthdays go though, today marks a doozy: the bicentenary of the midnight birth of one Charles John Huffman Dickens. All the world has its knickers in a bunch over this one, Dr. Lucy and Moi included. We’ve been up since the midnight hour celebrating and let me tell you, Lucy’s knickers are in more than a bunch; she’s plum in love with Mr. Dickens! She’s just bonkers for anything Victorian, has read The Old Curiosity Shop nearly a hundred times and has decided to head back home, up San Francisco way, this Christmas to partake in the Great Dickens Christmas Fair & Victorian Holiday Party, in full costume of course. She’s also trying to revive the practice of mutton chops. Few have the personality and the face to pull off the fluffy, Victorian sideburn; but those who can, should!

Sorry, Lucy. He’s taken. Photo: J.S.Devore
As it happens, Dr. Lucy’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Highmore & Hazel Devereaux of San Francisco, were quite the lucky ducks and actually attended a public reading by Charles Dickens himself in 1868, during his second U.S. reading tour, at Steinway Hall in New York! What’s the topper to that? They were seated right next to one Mr. Samuel Langhorne Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain at the theater! According to Lucy, to this day Highmore & Hazel still regale the tale of the Big Apple Happenin’s to anyone whom will listen. Wouldn’t you? Mark Twain and Charles Dickens in one go? Wild stuff! Twain found Dickens’ oration remarkable enough to write about and the San Francisco Alta California found that account interesting enough to publish. Lucy’s dapper pop has saved his copy ever since and still reads dramatically from it at all social gatherings.

 

Quoth Twain of Dickens:

 

He strode — in the most English way and exhibiting the most English general style and appearance — straight across the broad stage, heedless of everything, unconscious of everybody, turning neither to the right nor the left — but striding eagerly straight ahead, as if he had seen a girl he knew turn the next corner. He brought up handsomely in the centre and faced the opera glasses. His pictures are hardly handsome, and he, like everybody else, is less handsome than his pictures. That fashion he has of brushing his hair and goatee so resolutely forward gives him a comical Scotch-terrier look about the face, which is rather heightened than otherwise by his portentous dignity and gravity. But that queer old head took on a sort of beauty, bye and bye, and a fascinating interest, as I thought of the wonderful mechanism within it, the complex but exquisitely adjusted machinery that could create men and women, and put the breath of life into them and alter all their ways and actions, elevate them, degrade them, murder them, marry them, conduct them through good and evil, through joy and sorrow, on their long march from the cradle to the grave, and never lose its godship over them, never make a mistake! I almost imagined I could see the wheels and pulleys work. This was Dickens — Dickens.

"That fashion he has of brushing his hair and goatee so resolutely forward gives him a comical Scotch-terrier look about the face." -Mark Twain Charles Dickens Photo: U.S. Nat'l Archives

If you read Twain’s entire account, you’ll note he wasn’t nearly as taken with Dickens’ delivery as he was with his attaboy writing: Mr. Dickens’ reading is rather monotonous, as a general thing; his voice is husky; his pathos is only the beautiful pathos of his language — there is no heart, no feeling in it — it is glittering frostwork.

Orating the written word is, in my experience, a difficult act to undertake, and endure. Ever listen to NPR’s The Writer’s Almanac? That’s some tough gum to chew! No matter how jazzy the wordsmithing, it’s meant to be read silently or performed, not taken as a dry recitation, like a spoonful of cinnamon, and especially not by the writers themselves. Very few can do justice to their own bon mots. Funny story, in fact, if not loosely related.

I floated myself up to the City of Angels one evening back in the early-Naughties for a celebrity, short-story reading at The Getty Center.  A week-long event, I chose to attend the night that the cat’s pajamas of cerebral celebs was reading: Leonard Nimoy! Well, wouldn’t you know it? I got there, looking smashing in a chiffon, beaded Nikki tea dress, feathered headband and hot pink ankle booties, and that darned management had changed the line-up: John Lithgow would now be reading selections. Selections from what, I can’t recall. Now, I do love me some John Lithgow, but I was there for Spock and anyone who tends to sign off their texts, tweets and jaw-flapping with an LLAP knows Lithgow just won’t do when Nimoy is in one’s sights. (Sorry, Dr. Solomon.)

Already in Brentwood and not about to turn down free museum booze, I settled contentedly into an empty seat in the Harold M. Williams Auditorium … until a plump Betty with a nasty, Rachel Maddow, barber cut came and sat on me. (Ghost tip: never arrive too early for public functions. Wait until curtain for a truly empty seat.) Once I was finally nestled in my own plush, velvet cushion and Lithgow commenced to orate, I became raw-ther bored, raw-ther quickly. Scanning the hall for this n’ that, I saw what a sartorial mess L.A. can be. Sure, there were a few snazzy twists out there, dolled up in their glad rags; but there were also a lot of slugburgers. Gentlemen, jeans and tees, no matter how expensive or in vogue, are not appropriate evening wear … even just to listen to someone read.

Nimoy at the Sheraton Yankee Clipper Ft. Lauderdale. Even in the '70s, decidedly not a slugburger! Photo: FL State Archives

Anyhoo, as I was marveling at some woman’s long overdue, salt-and-pepper roots, another noggin caught my peripheral vision: a closely buzzed, peach fuzzy head of sharp and intelligent proportions. Lo and behold, in the row below me and three seats to my left sat Mr. Leonard Nimoy! Applesauce! I was done for! I spent the rest of the night sitting on the lap of some boorish, old, art history wanker from U.S.C. (Lucky him and he didn’t even know it!) and rubbing Spock’s skull with my flat hand and breathing lightly into his ears: not pointed in real life. He never even twitched, by the way. That is one cool butter n’ egg man!

Gillian Anderson as Lady Dedlock Photo: BBC

So, long way around … Happy 200th Birthday, Mr. Dickens! Dr. Lucy, Little Lindy and I have been celebrating the birth of your brain since the stroke of midnight this February 7th, starting with a Netflix marathon of the BBC production of Bleak House with Gillian Anderson, a.k.a. Agent Scully. Talk about a snazzy twist! We followed that up with a version of Nicholas Nickleby featuring the resplendent and beauteous Anne Hathaway and the modernized iteration of Great Expectations with the ever-regal Gwenyth Paltrow. Tonight, we shall wrap up your filmic fete with an Old Hollywood viewing event: A Tale of Two Cities and Mystery of Edwin Drood, both 1935 productions. We shall end the night honouring you, the man whom once took the pseudonym of Boz (Who uses pseudonyms, anyhoo?) with what Lucy and I equally believe to be the single greatest testament and flattery to your remarkable chef d’oeuvres: A Muppet Christmas Carol!

Thank you for letting me be a part of this!  -Rizzo, A Muppet Christmas Carol

Abyssinia, cats!

 

Love Leonard Nimoy, too? Send Hannah a happy LLAP @JennyPopNet!

Hannah’s fave places to haunt online? https://www.amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore and jenniferdevore.blogspot.com

Zowie! Up in the Sky! It’s a Dork, it’s a Nerd, it’s a Geek … it’s Superwonk!

3

Category : Entertain Me, Geek Out, Geek Rants, Movies, Travel

Ciao, dolls! Still waiting to scram Antarctic way with Dr. Lucy and Onslow to see the yeti crabs and the ghost octopi. We’ve got some gum in the works; however, getting my Little Lindy into her astral plane carrier.

Little Lindy, ghostdog of the Hotel del Coronado

 

Sure, she’s a docile cottonball, but that little nutter needs to be confined to a conveyance when travelling. Making it all the more difficult, she’s a ghost like Moi, and is all the more flighty for it. Think Jack Skellington’s faithful Zero of Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas, but black. Dr. Harvey & Hildy (Mum and Dad) babysat her once; took her with them to Prince Edward Island, they did. The minute they hit the Charlottetown Harbour, Lindy was off like a new bride’s nightie. To allay the issue of a possible runaway, Dr. Lucy is currently devising a GPS for her: Ghost Pinpoint System. It’s a tricky bit and involves crystals. So, until we can lure Lindy into her carrier and Lucy can develop a viable crystal-enhanced tracking device, I’m just waiting in my turret room here at my beautiful Hotel Del and Lindy’s chasing sea gulls around the property.

 

Meanwhile, cats, I’m taking this extra time to research those early, frosty, ice-or-bust explorers, including watching any films I can on the snowbound set: 1934 Klondike Annie with Mae West and Robert Flaherty’s 1922 documentary Nanook of the North. Zowie! The Eskimo life is not for this vegetarian! Not to mention the lion’s share of the flicker was funded by a French furrier company. Yikes! I’ve also been reading loads of books on Adm. Richard E. Byrd and his 1930s, modern, mechanical migration southward: aerial cameras, airplanes, communications resources. Murder! This was no shot in the dark expedition! Thankfully, my travelling companions and I don’t need all that and furthermore, thankfully we’re all already dead; I’d hate to perish, stranded and starving on the ice. Of course, if I can look as wham-o, hubba-hubba as Vivien Leigh, all dolled up in faux furs and Max Factor,  in the 1935 Anna Karenina when they find my corps, aces!

 

As I’ve been researching our trip, I’ve also come across loads of totally unrelated, kooky info as I’ve been led astray via so many tentacles online, as one is wont to do. I’ve noted a phenomenon that wasn’t around at all in my day: geek culture. In the 1930s, nerds and geeks were of a certain intellectual class and not at all common. They were like Samoans; you might know someone who knows one and that was pretty cool. Nerds were easily identifiable by sector, industry and eye wear. The thick glasses and pocket protectors were a necessity, not a fashion statement akin to white earbuds, pork pie hats and skinny jeans on men. Ick, btw. (Gents, if you can wear skinny jeans … don’t. You look like junior high school girls and, anthropologically speaking, grown up tomatoes are not looking for gentlemen whom look like boys whom look like little girls. Just a note.)

 

Nerds and geeks were strictly born out of science, math, computer, space and there was also the occasional G-man.  They were the burdened heroes and pioneers of modern medicine, communications, burgeoning space programs and Cold War warriors in sensible shoes and $4 crew cuts. The most pedestrian of them were math majors and chemistry professors. Part of their appeal, guys or dolls, was that they were remarkable, unorthodox and weirdly marvelous. Geeks and nerds were like nobody else and you knew if you stood next to them at a cocktail party, you’d hear some bonkers stories, usually involving Bunsen burners, photons and nematodes. Ha! By the by, I know some will say there’s a vast difference amongst the labels geek, dork and nerd. Etymologically-speaking there is (see definitions below); culturally, not really.

 

Hint: front row/French Club holds a dork with published historical-literature and a geek whom develops serious intelligence technology. I've said too much.

 

Today, everyone is a geekoid. To be one is to voluntarily join a pithy club, complete with tech-themed clubs with names like Djørk, overpriced consumer-grade accessories available from your local Mapple “genius” (Seriously? Genius is now discounted?) and a monstrously lucrative industry growing around the need for all said-geeks to gather in a convention hall multiple times a year. Of course, if you’re a Goodluck Gander, the club also comes with a small but swell selection hot mamas with a hankering for quants and policy wonks. Here’s the kibosh, though. If everyone is a dork, nerd, geek or dweeb of some sort … is it really as unconventional and novel as one thinks? Further, if everyone is on the guest list, who’s left outside? The real ones, the true intellectuals and experts are like Superwonks; so deep into and dedicated to their fields, like Bill Gates and Dr. Michio Kaku, they could care less what they’re labeled and probably don’t care what color their earbuds are.

From what I can tell, geek is now partnered with just about any hobby, career or obsession known to mankind: orchestra geeks (known as orch dorks), pep club geeks, comic geeks, science geeks, math geeks, music geeks, fashion geeks, retro geeks, car geeks, goth geeks (just goth, please), ghost geeks, film geeks, TV geeks, gamer geeks, history geeks, book geeks, grammar geeks, sci-fi geeks, fantasy geeks, role-playing geeks, Faire geeks, cosplay geeks, Disney geeks, chess geeks and so many more. Who’s left? Jocks, professional fishermen, Wall Streeters, Prince William and 10thC. vikings may be the only folks left whom don’t categorize themselves as geeks.

 

Now, Webster’s will describe a geek as:

1. a computer expert or enthusiast;
2. a peculiar or otherwise dislikable person, especially one who is perceived to be overly intellectual;
3. a carnival performer who performs sensationally morbid or disgusting acts, as biting off the head of a live chicken. (The real definition in my day … not a proud claim!)

 

Nerd as:
1. a stupid, irritating, ineffectual, or unattractive person;

2. an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a nonsocial hobby or pursuit: a computer nerd.

 

Dork as:
1. a silly, out-of-touch person who tends to look odd or behave ridiculously around others; a social misfit;
2. Vulgar/penis (Zowie!).

 

Good Noah also lists all interchangeably as synonyms: incl. such derisive terms as  jerk, schmo, grind and swot.

 

Guilty! Devore: what a dork

Happily, the flip-side to the fad is said-terms have become less hateful and derogatory. To wit, my dear pally Jennifer Susannah Devore, a self-professed history/film & TV/Disney geek, might be part of the problem. How much blame she shoulders, I shall not say. She has, however, taken the very geeky effort to compose a list of things White & Nerdy people like. Her original post on the matter is an homage to Christian Lander, the original Stuff White People Like creator, and can be read in full at her highly-popular-in-Russia-Germany-and-Finland site: Of Course, What Do I Know?

 

Check the list below, wheats. Are you White & Nerdy? Ask yourself before you toss around terms like geek, dork and nerd so willy-nilly … Am I really White & Nerdy? If so, own it. If not, you’re just embarrassing yourself.

 

White & Nerdy? I give you their King and Queen.

Stuff White & Nerdy People Like (In no particular order)

  • Comic Con (What kind of W&N would my pally Jen be if she hadn’t been published in the official Comic Con book?)
  • The Big Bang Theory (incl. memorizing the Barenaked Ladies’ theme song)
  • CNNGeekOut blog
  • Geology
  • Robots
  • Bill Nye the Science Guy
  • Steve Martin
  • Sci-fi and fantasy novels with anthropomorphic animals
  • Weezer
  • NASA
  • SyFy Channel
  • Star Wars
  • Star Trek
  • Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock (no Googling the rules – either you know it or you don’t)
  • Periodic Table of the Elements (Fun idea: claim a corr. birthday element, if you find numerals offensive)
  • Crafting historical and theatrical alter egos (incl. learning Elizabethan English, Klingon, swordplay, spells, etc.)
  • Wired magazine
  • Swedish Fish
  • Michael Cera
  • Dr. Michio Kaku
  • Action figures
  • Weird Al Yankovic
  • Notating in journals (yes, ye olde quill to parchment) and memorizing things like Pi, Drake Equation, hierarchy of performance art, accurate recall of the British monarchy since 1066, etc. 
  • Making and wearing costumes
  • Using “one” as opposed to “you” or “I”
  • Lunchboxes
  • George Noory
  • Grant Morrison, Supergods (You doth rock, Sir … dig the accent, too!)
  • UFOs
  • Ghost Hunters (not Ghost Adventurers … there is a difference)
  • Bigfoot
  • George Lucas
  • Skywalker Ranch
  • Mystery Science Theater 3K
  • Disneyland
  • The X-Files
  • Renaissance Faire
  • Semi-audible snorts of derision
  • Jokes involving German, Austrian or Swiss scientists
  • Bill Gates
  • Reminding people Bill Gates saved Steve Jobs and Apple from oblivion with 150 million cabbages
  • Jokes involving Windows Vista, DOS, neutrons or nematodes
  • The IT Crowd
  • Microsoft
  • Microsoft-blue button downs
  • Any and all digital media
  • Fry’s Electronics
  • Roku
  • Hello Kitty
  • T-shirts with math or code humour (skeletal humour works, too, as in “I find this humerus”)
  • Goths (Yet, we also like the originals: roaming Visigoths & Ostrogoths of the Roman Empire)
  • Voyager Golden Record
  • The Simpsons
  • Comics
  • Comic books (yes, they are different)
  • Animation
  • Saying Linux
  • American Dad!
  • Historical- and/or technical-inaccuracies of any kind (so we can first laugh, then correct them)
  • Bad grammar (ditto)
  • George Will
  • Dictionaries
  • Peppering conversation with foreign language-bon mots
  • Shot-for-shot remakes (exclnt ex: Opening sequence to Indiana Jones I, stop-motion w/Hasbro figures)
  • Memorizing, then sporadically reciting, TV and movie quotes (incl. full dialogues with multiple characters)
  • Role-playing
  • Acquiring movie props (incl. the front-end of a film reel, cut and tossed, from an X-Files episode)
  • Complaining about tech support
  • Making lists

Did my pally omit anything? Let her know @JennyPopNet because I’m off to Antarctica!

 

Abyssinia at the South Pole, cats!

 

Hannah’s fave places to haunt online? https://www.amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore and jenniferdevore.blogspot.com

How Betty & Veronica, Uncle Scrooge and a Lonely Octopus Save Christmas

4

Category : Comics, Entertain Me, Featured, Geek Out, Holiday

Horsefeathers! Hildy just e-mailed me and I say, Ba-loney! I’m absolutely zozzled with disbelief!

I don’t want to make a beef about this, but here’s the dish. If you recall my previous post, I told you cats I was off to Boston for a Beacon Hill Christmas. I also mentioned it’s no simple jaunt, spending up loads of my energy to get there. Sure, ghost travel ain’t the big brodie yours is, but it’s still no basket of blackberries in July. Well, guess what, kids? Dr. Harvey & Hildy, good ol’ Mum and Daddy, won’t be having a Beantown Christmas this year because they’re headed for Hawaii! Well, I told them that’s all wet! How could they? I’ve been saving up since summer for the Road to New England and they go all Santa-in-a-grass-skirt on me!

 

Hannah Hart? We found these in an old Next Day Air igloo at Lindbergh Field

 

To make matters worse, they’re taking big bro Hugh with them. It looks like I’m all alone, Santa Baby. Just my little dog Lindy and Moi. Home for the holidays suddenly doesn’t seem quite the raspberry I thought it was. Plus, how am I supposed to get all my presents? Try to receive a package as a ghost, or deliver one for that matter. The current residents inevitably either keep the goods or send them back marked No longer at this address. Duh, Dumb Dora. Even brown can’t do that. Murder!

 

 

Well, I’m nothing if not a Pink Gin is half-full kind of kitten. I suppose the upside is not only do I get a respite from Harvey & Hildy’s foxtrot flaunts, but I also get to remain in San Diego, in my gorgeous Hotel del Coronado. Boyzo! Is it ever bonkers with Christmas spirit! Better than that? I think I spied an old chum lurking over a Gibson in the Babcock & Story – and I do mean old . . . she’s been here longer than I. Dr. Lucia Devereaux, oceanographer, was the first hot scientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She also had a knack for tinkering and a fascination with the new electricity fads of the day: a deadly avocation when combined with her vocation.

Pauvre Onslow: as commemorative holiday decor

Dr. Lucy’s been haunting the hotel since 1904 when – The Del being the world’s first resort to use electrical lighting – she naively tried to teach Onslow, her pet octopus, whom she housed in the hotel pool, how to run the nighttime deck lights. One sad splash! and that was it: she would reside where she died. Legend has it Onslow scuttled back out to sea before he died and today he still tarries about the shoreline, only able to see his Lucy from afar. Sometimes at night, you can see them waving to each other: Onslow’s tentacles from the sea, she her handkerchief from her attic laboratory. Each Christmas Eve since then, if one listens carefully over the crashing waves of midnight, one hears Dr. Lucy singing his favorite poem, Lord Octopus Went to the Christmas Fair by Stella Mead (1934). It’s haunting, really. Lord Octopus went to the Christmas Fair; an hour and a half he was traveling there …

 

She’s been adventurous lately, leaving her lab, now that steampunk is all the rage. Lucy’s a sucker for anything Victorian and mechanical. Lucky for her, the hotel gift shops have a plethora of steampunk décor and accoutrement: Onslow Christmas ornaments, clockwork art, vintage styled jewelry and sartorial finery galore for gentlemen and ladies in the posh hotel boutiques. If I can keep her out of the lab, I think it could be a nobby Christmas! Maybe Harvey & Hildy going to Hawaii is the best pressie after all. These hotel holidaymakers won’t know what hit when we jazzy kittens jolly up the joint!

 

Until the Christmas wingdings begin, I’ve got more than enough seasonal cheer and swell weather to keep me chipper. Best of all, I’ve got a stack of Mickey Mouse Magazines, Carl Barks’ Uncle Scrooge Adventures and even a few modern copies of Betty and Veronica. Oh, I do like that sassy and shiny Veronica! You wouldn’t find Miss Veronica Lodge at The Del in flip-flops and elastic-waist shorts … like some of you. (Cats, try to remember it’s an upscale resort when you visit. U.S. presidents, dignitaries and film stars holiday here. At least, please don’t wear your jim-jams out of your hotel room.)

Comic books for a chickadee like me? And how! You think all you alligators with your Superman, Spiderman and Star Wars tales cornered the market on comic book furor? Think again, dolls! Disney ink first hit the pulp in 1930 and I’ve been hooked like an old lady on a favorite Atlantic City slot machine ever since. I’ve even still got my very first comic book ever, a stocking stuffer in either ’31 or ’32: Mickey Mouse in Death Valley. Uncle Scrooge, Huey, Dewey, Louie and those brazen Beagle Boys have been taking this muffin on adventure after adventure for over eighty years. Topping the stack currently is my 1949 Walt Disney’s Christmas Parade.  My faves though? The Egyptian escapades; nothing’s funnier than a mummy chasing Donald Duck! Throw in Mickey and Goofy afoot of a mystery in the Scottish Highlands and you’ve got some rip-roaring good yarns! Don’t forget to check your Junior Woodchuck Guidebook for tips on overseas mysteries, just in case you’re headed to exotic lands for the holidays. (I hope Harvey & Hildy packed their copy!)

 

Now, I’ve got to go change. The Travel Channel is on the premises shooting Skating by the Sea: The Del’s beachside ice skating. First, I have to dig up my fur-trimmed, Sonja Henie skating dress, my white, velvet muff and then it takes forever to do my finger curls. (Listen up, broads. Ghost locks are paper-thin and refuse to hold a curl; whatever you died with, you pretty much keep forever. So, if you have some idea of when you’re going out, make sure your hair is looking spiffy.) As soon as I’m cute n’ camera-ready, I’ll dash over and make a few spins around the ice rink. See, when they get around to editing next year’s Travel Channel Hallowe’en specials, they’ll remember they think they saw yours truly in some of the Christmas footage. Hey, it’s good B-roll for them and I get to keep my footy in the flickers.

 

Dr. Lucy, wait!

 

Okay, dolls. Tootles and Happy Holid … wait, is that Dr. Lucy? Ahhh, it is! Sure enough, she’s headed for the bar! I think I have time for a quick G&T à la B&S. Damn, I’m never going to get to my comic books. Whilst she and I catch up, perhaps some of you can suggest other great comics (any new steampunk series?) and holiday cocktails for Lucy, Lindy and Moi this Christmas @JennyPopNet.

 

 

 

Abyssinia, babies!
@JennyPopNet
Hannah’s fave place to haunt online? https://www.amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore

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