November 30, 2012

Fictional Fancies: Agent Phil Coulson


I'll be totally honest—the first time I met Agent Coulson, I didn't really pay attention to the man. When someone is in the overwhelming presence of one Tony Stark, it's hard to make any sort of effect, unless, say, you're wearing mother's drapes. At the start of his appearances in the Marvel universe (in Iron Man), Coulson is quiet and understated, the kind of man who works behind the scenes while the (not really so) super-secret boy band gets all the credit.


When we met again in Iron Man 2, Coulson had grown some, along with his organization. In Thor, he was even more present, but it wasn't until I watched "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor's Hammer" that Coulson's position as a Fictional Fancy was cemented. (I'll wait while you watch it. Yes, even if you have already.)



I mean, really. The man is often relegated to the background, and yet: He can turn a bag of flour into a weapon.

I'm not a fan of Coulson for his witty quips or his flowing locks; for me it's his wonderfully understated personality that makes him such a great character. He can be completely overlooked by most people (i.e., "Phil? Uh, his first name is Agent.") and yet there's just so much more to him (i.e., his being a total Captain America fanboy).


By the time ... that thing ... happened in The Avengers, Coulson had grown to become my favorite Marvel movie-verse character. With the exception of Loki (which is a really strange other choice, considering), he still is—a large part of me has never bought in to him actually dying.


I, for one, can't wait to see where we'll meet next.

Are you interested in sharing a Fictional Fancy of your own? Email me!

November 29, 2012

Nerd News: Awesome X-Men update, a Curiosity discovery, Doc in a Box and more

Vol. 3, Issue 45

Somewhat of a smallish issue this week, friends. I think the Internet is still full of Tryptophan from Thanksgiving ... or perhaps I am.

In movie news:

Here are a few trailers:

Django Unchained




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Epic


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I am excited about this sequel to Darth Vader and Son:

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In TV news:

Megan Lara has added to her Doctor Nouveau collection—and she says she's going to work on Nine and Captain Jack Harkness versions!

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Presented without comment. (Thanks, TGG!)

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Any video in which Joffrey gets bitchslapped by Tyrion is already funny, but this one has an added laugh track, which, surprisingly, makes it even more amusing.


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In SCIENCE! and tech news, from The Mister:

I found some interesting things as well:

Cee Lo Green and The Muppets will help you get in the Christmas spirit. (Plus, Kermit says "Hot Lanta," and that's totally ridiculous awesome.)


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In gaming news, from TGG:

And then there's this video about Samuel L. Jackson hosting Spike's 10th Annual Video Game Awards (NSFW for language). (Thanks, TGG.)

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...

I sense a group cosplay ...

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There's a darkness in these illustrations, but I like it.

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And finally, Alicia Keys is a huge nerd, y'all, and I love her for it:


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November 28, 2012

#ShareAdvent

A couple of weeks ago, I ran across an awesome project for December while reading Fiona of Life in Brief's Hump Day Treats: Skin & Blister's #ShareAdvent.


I love the idea of celebrating the season in small ways each day leading up to the Main Event. I am going to make a concentrated effort to take part starting Saturday—I can't quite believe December is mere days away!

Let me know if you're taking part as well, I'd love to see what you make of it.

November 27, 2012

obsessed.: Candy Cane Oreos


I know I just posted about cookies yesterday, but when it comes to holiday limited editions, you know I can't resist.*

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I saw someone post a photo of these Candy Cane Oreos on Instagram and immediately knew that I wanted to try to find them. I do love a good shot of peppermint, particularly around this time of year. I found them this past weekend in Target ... and I'm already planning to try and find more.** The combination of the chocolate cookie, the creme filling and the peppermint sprinkles really works. (Especially when dunked in milk, natch.)

I mean, really, guys.


*I am also a total fat kid during this time of year.
**I actually haven't eaten that many. Other people in my household really enjoy these, too.

November 26, 2012

A Life More Pinteresting: Holiday cookies


It's that time of year again: the time of workplace potlucks and family get-togethers. For the past couple of years during the holidays, I've made "my beans"—a.k.a. Real Simple's green beans with bacon vinaigrette—and last year I tried a super simple blackberry cheese danish (yum), the recipe for which I found early in my love affair with Pinterest.

Since starting my "Nom" board, I've added hundreds of ideas that I would someday like to try to make (or, ideally, have someone make for me—I'm a really lazy cook/baker). And during this time of holidays and potlucks, there's no better time to try a decadent recipe (or three). Here are some of my top picks.

Sugar Cookie Bars

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Caramel-filled Apple Cider Cookies

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Salted Caramel Chocolate Shortbread Bars

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Hocus Pocus Buns

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Browned Butter Crinkles

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Andes Mint Cookies

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Eggnog Cookies

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Rolo-stuffed Snickerdoodles

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Do you and yours have a non-traditional (i.e. not green bean casserole) holiday tradition—sweet or otherwise—that makes an appearance year after year?

November 23, 2012

Haiku Revieu: Breaking Dawn, Part 2


The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 (***3/4)

Well done on the twist
CG baby is creepy
End of an era


(I posted this disclaimer on my review of Part 1 and although there was no contention on that post, I'm going to do so again.)

Disclaimer: Yes, I know Twilight is not for everyone. But I have been a fan for quite a while now, and although my initial (ridiculous) obsession has waned, I will continue to be a fan. Is it "quality literature"? No. Are the movies faithful adaptations of the books? No. (But when are they ever, really?) Is it an enjoyable series that has brought me great friends and a whole lot of entertainment? Yes. So if you're only here to hate, please don't.


POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD. I've got bittersweet feelings about writing this review. On the one hand, like I say in the disclaimer above, my Twihardiness has lessened since the book this movie is based on came out, so I'm not totally distraught that the movies have come to an end. On the other, it really is a finale to something that at one point meant a whole lot to me.

And what a fitting finale it was.

I'd been hearing rumors since Part 1 came out that the ending to this movie had been changed. As a reader who felt a little "is that it?" at the end of the book, I was hoping for the change to include more action—and the movie definitely delivered. To avoid total spoilers, I won't go into detail, but there were definitely more than a couple of WTF moments and disbelieving gasps during the "battle" between the Cullens+ and the Volturi. (There were also some cheers and laughs, too—Marcus, you make me grin.)

Surprisingly enough, even Kristen Stewart's Bella and Robert Pattinson's Edward were improved. (I thought they were better in Part 1, but they were even more so in Part 2.) They laughed, they joked, they had facial expressions! There was more life in Bella in this film than nearly all of the others combined. (Ironic, right?) Yay for arm-wrestling and punching boulders.

On a technical level, I'm still super disappointed with Summit's apparent lack of concern about their movies' crappy CG. The way they made Renesmee look for most of the film was super awkward and, in my opinion, could have totally been avoided if they'd just worked with a baby, a toddler, and then Mackenzie Foy (who played the character at her oldest in the film). Perhaps child stars are just more expensive to cast than Ally McBeal's dancing baby. (Even the ETrade babies look better than this one did!)

One of my favorite parts of the book was getting to meet the additional vampires, especially Garrett, and Lee Pace did a wonderful job of bringing him to life on screen. It was fun to see all of the other vampires' various powers, too. Even with all of the additional characters, the movie didn't feel cramped ... maybe less Edward-Bella-Jacob makes for a more entertaining watch?

Overall, I thought this was a great high point on which to end the movies—even the credits were well done!—and the changes that were made a fitting send-off to the series as a whole.

November 22, 2012

Nerd News: City of Bones, Gotham High, Who news and more

Vol. 3, Issue 44

Hey friends! I know I wished y'all this yesterday, but Happy Thanksgiving to those of you who are celebrating! On top of the things I mentioned yesterday, I have to admit—I'm also super thankful for pop culture. Aren't you?

In TV news:

Here are a few promos:

Doctor Who—The first is the Children in Need minisode/prequel, the second is the promo for the Christmas special "The Snowmen."




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Game of Thrones


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This is pretty.

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I kind of need a Picard to go with my Han Solo, don't you think?

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This is an actual IFC promo commercial for their upcoming Star Trek movie series.


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In movie news:

Here are a few trailers:

The Heat


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Jack the Giant Slayer


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The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones


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And, in "reasons why the Internet is awesome" news, here's a video of all of The Hobbit TV ads put together in chronological order.


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Hot Toys has to employ magicians to make toys this amazing looking.

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For for you, Hawkeye. (Thanks, Emily!)

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I really, really want Gotham High to be a real thing.


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In webseries news:

I like these Star Wars business cards (Thanks, Rebecca!), but they really needed some different typefaces in that galaxy far, far away.

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I love the manly chest hair on this cartoon Han. (And Leia's looking good!)

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In gaming news, from TGG:

I found a couple of tidbits as well:

Marvel girls make wonderful Bond girls.

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I particularly appreciate Joker in this great Dragon Age/Mass Effect mash-up series:

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In comics news:

In SCIENCE! and tech news, from The Mister:

I also found this:

Kevin Bolk has some seriously adorable art in his gallery. (Thanks, Rebecca.)


And finally, Andrew Garfield knows his dance. (And is a super good sport!)


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