Friday, 29 November 2013

Flashback Friday: The Seventh

doctor who

Still in the Doctor Who spirit I will share yet another Doctor Who related story.

Summer 2011 I was doing a cake decorating internship at a local bakery and there I made two very good friends. Very similar to my Disney internship the following year, I went in with this obsession for Doctor Who that no one understood and I left with many people obsessed with it.

I'm not entirely sure how it really started but my two friends at the bakery were Emily and Marci, both geeks and both lots of fun to work with.

They started watching the show and that was a lot of what we would talk about at work. Eventually we started hanging out on weekends and have mini Doctor Who marathons and it always involved carrots, celery, hummus, and one time we made bacon brownies and another I made us butterbeer.

There are two instances I wish to tell you about.

The first story happened at work. Emily came in around 8 in the morning while Marci and I started work at 4:30 in the morning. We did all the morning prep before the bakery opened along with one or two other people. One morning I think there was just four of us opening and one was out front putting cakes in the display and Marci was in the pantry.

KEEP CALM  AND CARRY  A SONIC SCREWDRIVERMarci had recently gotten a 10th Doctor sonic screwdriver and I always had mine on me (because it was also a pen) and I decided to scare her so while she was in the pantry so I hid to the side. We had this challenge where we liked to 'sonic' each other when the time was appropriate. I thought this was an appropriate time since no one was really around, I just didn't expect the reaction I got.

Marci walked out of the pantry and that was when I jumped out in front of her and 'sonic'ed her. She screamed bloody murder.

I really didn't expect her to scream so loudly and jump out of her skin. It was hilarious but it 'up'ed our sonic screwdriver war, though I am glad to say she never got me back quite as badly as I did her.

The second story still involves Marci and this time it brings in her awesome roommate. When we would watch some episodes at her place her roommate occasionally joined us and he was a big Doctor Who fan as well.

I was bored so I drew two weeping angel drawings: one of a regular weeping angel and the other of a creepy weeping angel. I gave them to Marci and she smirked with an evil idea.

Apparently, her roommate's brother was coming to stay with them for a weekend and he was a fan of the show as well. So when he came, that night after he fell asleep, she and her roommate taped the pictures up in the bathroom and at some point in the night, they heard his brother scream in fright at being scared by drawings. Marci couldn't stop laughing as she told me what happened the next day.

Both amusing stories and I really miss those two. We all moved away from each other and once in a while keep in touch with each other. Whenever I watch Pyramids of Mars I remember them because we watched that together and one scene where the mummies squished a guy between their chests we had to watch again and again because it was too hysterical.

Mummies from Pyramids of Mars


Saturday, 23 November 2013

Creepy Computer Screensaver

Happy 50th Doctor Who!

Here is a creepy way to add more Doctor Who in your life. It will not just freak out Doctor Who fans but in general it is just freaky so others will befall the terror that is the Doctor Who monster.

Step One!
Make a folder in where ever you keep your files and label it something so that you will recognize it (like D.W. Screensaver).

Step Two!
Add the five photos on this page to that photo and make sure they are in order (label them 1-5).

Step Three!
Go to your computer's preferences or system operations or whatever you wish to call it and locate where to personalize your wallpaper/screensaver settings.

Step Four!
Go to the screensaver settings and choose to use your own photos. Add that folder you created as where to get your new screen saver photos from. Then be sure to click settings so that there isn't any moving or zooming on the picture when it is displayed in screen saver mode and make sure they show the pictures in numerical order on full screen.

Step Five!
Save settings and the next time you leave your laptop or desktop for a period of time and it goes to screensaver mode...enjoy! (Just remember, don't blink).


Friday, 22 November 2013

My Guide to Dickens Fair

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair, also known as Dickens Fair, is an event that happens every holiday season at the Cow Palace in Daly City, CA (just south of San Francisco).

This year's run time starts this Saturday, November 23rd and is every weekend (plus Black Friday) till December 22nd. Doors open at 10 AM and close at 6PM.

This will be my second year attending Dickens Fair but I don't just go, I play. I am a performer at Dickens Fair- Miss Charlotte Web part of the Coventry Carolers. And while I might not be an expert, I was there every weekend and found out about many things and experienced them while I was there thanks to other performers and my own curiosities. So here is my list of stuff to do at Dickens Fair. It might not be perfect but these are just merely suggestions, and in no particular order.

1. Well first things first, you must hear the Coventry Carolers perform!

We are the ones responsible for spreading the Christmas cheer all throughout Dickens' London all day long starting before the doors to the event even open! Yes while you lot are lining up outside in the cold waiting for the festivities to begin, we are out there entertaining you with Victorian Chirstmas tunes and preparing you for coming attractions. But if you miss us during opening, then here is a list of our other scheduled times:
9:25 – 10:15   {approximately}  Opening
12:00 – 12:30  Front ??
12:50  Father Christmas Parade 
1:30 – 2:00  V & A
2:45ish – 3:30ish Paddy West Stage 
4:00 High Tea
Small Group 
4:50ish  Boar’s Head Parade
5:25 – 6ish Paddy West Stage

2.The Characters!

Dickens drew his characters in his novels from the people around him and so when re-creating his London, naturally those characters will walk the streets. It is what makes this Christmas Party better than any other because not only are we re-creating Victorian London but you can actually meet and interact with literary characters. You can see the tale of the Christmas Carol being told throughout the day. Wish Scrooge and Merry Christmas and get an actual 'Bah Humbug' in return. We try to represent all characters and novels but the most characters seen come from Nicholas Nickleby. Of course there is Dodger and his gang from Oliver Twist and you can even meet Dickens himself.

Last year, on the last day of fair I got to dance with both Scrooge and Prince Albert! Another great thing I witnessed was Edgar Allen Poe reciting The Tell-Tale Heart and The Raven in all his drunken glory at the Adventurer's Club. You never know who you are going to meet.

3. Food and Beverages!
I believe the total count is 7 pubs/taverns. They have a variety of different drinks, both with or without alcohol, that are very unique and quite delicious. My brother loved their beer selection and my parents keep reminiscing about the drinks they had. And you can tell what food is near based on the smells. Scent of malt vinegar? Probably by the fish and chips. Cinnamon sugar roasting? By one of the two almond stands (which are amazing and addicting). Then there is this whole area with the most food that has pasties and bangers and all the foods you can expect in London. And across from the Victoria and Albert hall is the meat pie shop, but you'll want to get one early because the line gets scary long around mid-day.

4. Dancing at Fezziwig's!
If you are awkward and don't want to dance with someone you don't know, I know the feeling, but you have to get past it because the Fezziwig dancers are really nice and friendly and will make sure you don't feel awkward while you dance. Just dance one dance and you'll understand just how much fun it is. For prime dancing times, the end of the night is where it is at because that is one the few things still going on at this time.

5. Corset Models

Dark Garden Corsets have two display windows where the beautiful citizens of London kindly lend their bodies for an hour to display the beautiful corsets available at the shop. They pick a theme and whether you recognize what or who they are or not, it is still very tasteful and a work of art. I can happily say that I shall be lending my statue talents this year for, hopefully, two windows.

6. Saucy French Post Cards
Might as well follow corsets with this. Saucy French Post Cards is a show at the Victoria and Albert Hall in the evening hours that is for the older visitors because if does contain suggestive language and nudity...lots of nudity. But it is comedic dialogue mixed with living art. It is entertaining and pretty amazing to watch so if you are of age and can get tickets, I highly recommend it.

7. Mad Sal's

 Because I am of the higher class of Victorian Citizen I do not often find myself down in the Southern end of London with the scum, but I hear there is this stage hosted by a lady named Mad Sal where there are can can dancers and lots of other strong women and men who sing and entertain with catchy songs.

8. Shops

So many shops. Most performer's get their Christmas shopping done here because there are many unique arts and crafts type of gifts from leather masks, old books, even Harry Potter wands. One of my favourite things was this key shop where they sold old keys on chains with other charms and there were actual keys. My mum got one that was 150 years old from England that opened a door. My aunt received one that was American and opened a chest, I believe. 

9. Fun time for kids!

Did you just see Alice walking with the White Rabbit down the street? You bet you did. Over at the Father Christmas stage you can see a performance of Alice in Wonderland, classic nursery rhymes, and even meet Father Christmas himself. And it is interactive so your kids will be involved.

10. Time Travel
Let's face it, this will probably be one of the closests way you will ever come to actual time travel. It is a completely emmersive experience and while you and many other might be wearing funny clothes, there are plenty of performers to make you forget about those. Yes there is occasional guest dressed as the Doctor (in fact you will see a multitude of them) and just know those are guests, but it doesn't means we aren't Doctor Who fans. I took this picture of a back stage wall:

So there an even ten but that really can't sum up Dickens Fair quite enough. You really just need to go there for yourself because there is nothing else like this in the world, not even in the original London.

Hope to see you there!


Flashback Friday: The Sixth

In honour of the 50th Doctor Who Anniversary tomorrow I shall post one of my many humorous Doctor Who stories.

ROR-E, a fun WALL-E parody. Rory WIlliams from Doctor Who.
This happened last year, Summer 2012. It is amazing who ends up being a fan of Doctor Who. Did you know that pretty much most of the management and cast members on the Hollywoodland side of Disney California Adventure are massive Who Fans? Because they are. And even if they aren't fans, they know of the show because of everyone else around them being fans.

There was one lead in Bug's Land who would get obsessed with something and urge others to become obsessed and during my working time there that obsession was Doctor Who. There were pictures all over the Bug's Lead office and we would solve Doctor Who secrets on the white board (that was really supposed to be used for important Disney things). There was a cast photo taken for the grand re-opening and those of us that weren't in the picture drew ourselves in- I won because I drew myself standing inside a T.A.R.D.I.S. floating above everyone else. Oh yeah, they were pretty jealous.

My lead got a gift and had to show it off. Now I wasn't the only on with one.

Well this story takes place one afternoon. I had the opening shift and I was on my last break of the day. Usually I spent it in the lead office talking to the lead if they weren't busy, usually about Doctor Who since I knew more about it, and this time was no different only there was a manager visiting. Managers at Disneyland are fun and while they do their job, they are often some of the coolest people ever. Example, this manager, whom I had never met before, had brought a bunch of papers with weeping angels and T.A.R.D.I.S.s on them that you cut out and fold up to make 3D paper Doctor Who things.

I believe this represents fair warning.  HahaThey were sitting there cutting and folding and pasting these and asked if I wanted to help so I joined in, having nothing better to do on my break. The manager explained that in the manager's office there was one manager who was beyond obsessed with Doctor Who and were coming in later that day. So for fun, they were going to put an army of paper weeping angels and T.A.R.D.I.S.s on his desk. I couldn't say 'no' to that.

I never did get to see the final result since I was off the clock and well at home by then, but I heard from my lead that the manager loved it and thought it was brilliant.

Yep just another random day working for the mouse.

These are the two leads that were obsessed. Clearly.

Gosh, I miss those dorks.


Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Butterbeer at Starbucks...?

Butter Beer
The big topic on my Facebook feed today, and two completely different people sent me these articles:


Butterbeer Starbucks Harry Potter by Pop Watch

Forget Pumpkin Spice: Starbucks Now Serves Butterbeer image
Forget Pumpkin Spice Starbucks Now Serves Butterbeer by Cinemablend

There are several more floating out there and I wish to set the record straight to all those wrongly informed Harry Potter fans.

First off, I will start with something a friend of mine, a barista at Starbucks himself, commented on this article by Slash Film, with:

"As a barista, this is the most frustrating thing I've read in a while. There is no such thing as a Starbucks secret menu. If someone comes in and asks for this while I'm working I will pretend to not understand that its from Harry Potter and instead explain to them that we don't serve alcohol. Also this article says toffee nut is a holiday syrup. That is wrong."

*(I'm sure he will still serve the drink if you ask for it, but inside he won't be happy.) am wondering where all this hype is coming from? It is kind of odd and crazy especially if this is something on the 'menu' at Starbucks but you specifically have to ask for the ingredients.
  • A Creme Frappuccino base. Don’t skimp on the fat by asking for skim or 2% milk as whole milk is required for the right consistency.
  • Add 3 pumps of caramel syrup.
  • Add 3 pumps of toffee nut syrup.
  • Top with caramel drizzle

 And going off of these ingredients, this doesn't seem to fit with what the drink was described as in the books. The books described butterbeer tasting as "a little bit like less-sickly butterscotch" and the above listed ingredients seem like they won't make it taste like that. It is a shame that people think that they can just take something similar to butterbeer and call it such because they know they will make money from the many Harry Potter fans.

Several years ago, I created my own butterbeer recipe, it isn't perfect but if you like to make your own at home and not spend $5+ on one from Starbucks here is the recipe.

Butterbeer from Harry Potter

·       ⅓ cup Butterscotch Syrup
1 tablespoon Butter
1 cup Club Soda

View full recipe
1. In a microwaveable bowl, melt butter into butterscotch in the microwave for 30 seconds.
2. Stir and add club soda, be careful, it will fizz because of the sugar. Heat another 30 seconds. Transfer to a cup and enjoy.


#Starbucks   Why are so many pinners obsessed with this cup!? lol!

What's in My Fridge?

Time for another addition of "What's in my fridge?".

In the past I've had:


A fat T.A.R.D.I.S., a rather large hamburger, and a walker head...and some various drinks and food for different things. I like to keep weird things in my fridge.

And the newest addition to this collection is a small RV.

You can tell that we are either having a party or my brother is home by the copious amounts of beer.

I already know what cake I am making next so there will be a new addition to this collection at the end of the year.


Happy 50th Cake

Last Saturday we celebrated my father's 50th Birthday. It was a grand affair with lots of food, lots of people, and of course, I made the cake for this joyous event.

When I first asked my father what type of cake he wanted he only said vanilla cake with strawberries, but the design was left up to me. I was just going to default to a Frontierland themed cake from Disneyland since that is his favourite but then I started brainstorming with my mum and I think I just mentioned a Breaking Bad cake and that led to making the RV. The 1986 Fleetwood Bounder RV used in the show.

My father loves Breaking Bad, as do I and my brother, my mother is kind of indifferent to it as far as I can tell, same with The Walking Dead. I almost made him a Walking Dead cake, but I had already done one and he wasn't as into the show as he was into Breaking Bad. The RV was sort of a natural choice because it can easily be sculpted from cake and it is a classic image from the show.

As I was working on the cake, my father guessed that it was a car of some sort because of the base shape so I joked and told him it was a delorean, and when it didn't turn out to be a delorean he was kind of depressed by that but that had more details to it than this RV and I did not have that much time to work on this cake.

I tried to get as many details in there as possible, I couldn't get the mirrors to stay so the clothes hangers are hanging on the ladder, and the awning was not staying on so I just got rid of it because I ran out of time to try and secure it. Also there are no bumpers or headlights, or a license plate, which people gladly pointed out to me but I honestly ran out of time. Things I did accomplish was the painting, 'blue meth', the wheels, the dirt, the bullet holes in the door (that no one notice till I mentioned that I got that piece).

It isn't as perfect as I would have liked it to be but considering the amount of time I had I think I did a pretty decent job. Also the elements on his name plate are hydrogen, bismuth, and protacinium.


Friday, 8 November 2013

Flashback Friday: The Fifth

Since today is the official domestic release date for Thor: The Dark World, I thought I would share not one but TWO Thor related stories- because, you know, this is the second Thor movie so this day deserves two stories.

Both are short in length, which is another reason why I decided to tell two.

Story One: Mother is Not Amused

My mum and I were walking around in Target and we had made our way to the Halloween section. It was a few weeks before this joyous holiday so we decided to see what treats they had. Of course I had to go and look at the costumes they had out, just to see, and I was hoping to play with some of The Avenger's props since the movie had come out earlier that year and it was the big costume choice for kids this Halloween.

Avengers halloween.. I think...I totally died laughing
The aisles were somewhat messy, which happens a lot and is to be expected but I still found the props. I amused myself with the Hulk fists and the Captain's shield till my mum came over and I was holding Mjolnir. She just sort of looked at me and knew I was going to want one of these things.

Mjolnir by Meguro Bonin *

"No," she said. I still held the hammer and smiled at her.

"Put the hammer down." Oh dear mother what have you done?

"You want me to put the hammer down?" She set it up so perfectly how could I not resist?

Putting Mjolnir down might be a bit hard for him, cause like Tony said, "He loves his hammer."
After that statement she just gave me this look that showed she was not amused and that I was not allowed to get started. So I put the hammer back where I found it and we resumed our shopping.

"It is only $10," I tried.


No, not amused at all.

Story Two:  California Driving

First, this one has music to help the story:

My friend and I were returning from WonderCon 2013 in Anaheim back to our homes in Northern California. This was the second year that WonderCon was held in Anaheim; the first year I was living down there so I just walked to the con after work (people gave me weird looks as I walked through it in my World of Colour costume). The second year I was back up North so I drove us down and back and on the return trip we left during the evening so most of the drive home was at night.

For those that don't know, most of California is farmland and golden hills with lots and lots of cows. you know those happy cow commercials, yeah, those cows, everywhere...and they smell. So for about 4-5 hours of the 6-7 hour drive down there all you see is farmland, hills, and cows which gets really boring.

On this particular drive home it was crazy windy, so I had fun trying to stabilize the car. We were in some flat farmland area and we were listening to the Thor soundtrack (having already gone through Avengers, Danny Elfman, Disney, and my special WonderCon playlist) when it starts to rain. It wasn't heavy rain just light rain.

Then it got significantly better. Out of the corner of our eyes there was a flash of light, we couldn't tell if it was lightening or not. But then there was another flash from behind us that I saw in the mirror and it was lightening! Soon there was lightening flashing from all around that area, just not really close to our area, we were surrounded but not in any danger. The rain would come and go and the lightening eventually stopped since we had driven out of that area, but with the music, that made driving through California seem really, really cool.

It was probably the most epic drive I've ever been on just because of that. It was perfect timing and 100% amazing. We still recall it to this day with fondness, like we did last night after we finished watching the Thor Marathon.