Underoos–For Grownups!

Drawers. Skivvies. Underpants.

We all wear them. They might as well be fun, right?

Growing up as a girl that loved superheroes, finding superhero underwear was a challenge. I can only recall running across Batgirl undies once as a kid, and you best believe those got snatched up quick.

As an adult, life isn’t always fun and games, so you best have some fun while you’re working, running errands, doing chores, etc. The fine folks at Underoos (yes, your favorite superhero themed undies are back!) contacted me a few weeks ago and graced my husband and me with complimentary sets of their product. I’ve got to tell you, Underoos are among some of the most comfortable undies I’ve ever owned. Seriously. Also, you get to feel fun all day, secretly dressed as your favorite hero. I want to share the love with you, too. If you’d like to pick up your own set, go to Underoos.com, and at check out enter the code THENERDYBLOGGER for $5 off any order through August 31, 2015. They’ve got Marvel, DC, Star Wars, The Masters of the Universe, in sizes for adults S-XXL, and even some for the kids too. Have some fun and feel super with Underoos!

UnderoosThanks for stopping by and special thanks to Underoos for supporting The Nerdy Blogger!

This post contains sponsored links. Please see my disclosure policy for more details. 

Posted in Comic Books, Just For Fun, Movie, Nerd News, TV | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ruminations on My 30th Trip Around the Sun

Summer is in full swing and my life has been full. I turned 30 yesterday. I am getting a niece at the end of this month. I’ve spent my days working, gaming, listening to podcasts and audio books, and preparing for a move at the end of next month.

I celebrated my 30th birthday by eating lunch at a favorite Irish pub with a good friend, a relaxing afternoon at home, dinner out, and a trip to the game store with my husband. We then spent the evening chatting with a dear friend in Scotland. Nothing crazy, but I enjoyed every bit of it.

Growing up, I expected my life to look a lot different at 30. I’d say everyone does. I’d not trade it for anything though. Here’s to the next decade. Hope it’s as good as the last one was to me.

Posted in Conferences | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Happy Independence Day!

I find this quote from Captain America particularly moving on Independence Day. Celebrate your freedom and do not take it for granted.


Captain America

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

An Interview with Thirty Seven Stars Crochet

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting Laura Stubbs, the mastermind behind Thirty Seven Stars Crochet, at ConCarolinas. I fell in love with Laura’s beautiful and fun nerd-themed crochet work and asked her for an interview. Laura graciously consented to me 11022566_10204241611866118_2351991972494730691_npummeling her with business questions and some fun non-sequiturs. Here’s the full text of our interview.

Ash: How long have you been crocheting for fun and for hire (respectively)?

Laura: I started crocheting just over four years ago. My senior year of college I needed something to fidget with so I decided to make a blanket. That took way too long so I started learning how to make the smaller stuffed animals. Then about two years ago I started working making commissioned pieces and selling them to people that I knew, and then about 8 months ago I quit my job to focus on it full time.

Ash: Do you do other yarn/string/knitting crafts?

Laura: I wish that I could knit, or weave, and maybe one day I’ll get to it, but for now it is pretty much crochet, and the occasional string art piece where I get to get out my frustration by hammering nails into boards. 

Ash: Thirty Seven Stars is such a unique name. How did you come up with the name?

Laura: Thirty Seven is a number that came to represent the friends and family that supported me while I was going through a pretty rough transitional time that included not having any idea what I was doing with my life and quitting smoking. Those people and crochet were what started to pull me through it, and while the number of people in the group has changed, thirty seven has remained significant to me and a constant reminder of where I came from and that others helped to get me where I am. Also I like stars.

Ash: What made you decide that you could do your crochet work for more than just your own personal enjoyment?

Laura: Needing to pay the rent was a big factor. Also realizing that there was a market for toys people couldn’t get anywhere else, I could make an obscure pokémon for someone or a cuddly hookah, the possibilities were endless and each piece was one of a kind and people love that.

Ash: You make numerous nerd culture inspired pieces. Which is your most popular piece? 10647137_374989189353256_8478210916909229425_n

Laura: With kids, the minions from Despicable Me are the biggest thing, and Baymax from Big Hero 6 is getting up there. With the older crowd Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy and Louise from Bob’s Burgers.

Ash: What is the most challenging piece you’ve ever created?

Laura: I had a commission for an almost life sized Needler from Halo. That was pretty tough.

Ashley: When people contact you for custom pieces, what information do you require of them? Do they need to get really specific or do they tell you a rough idea to get you started?

Laura: I need a price range and a deadline, and I can work anything into that. If they have a picture of what they want, it helps a lot. I’ll usually ask questions about how they feel about textures, colors, and size. I really like just being able to go with it and do it in my style though. 10154077_10202044905349828_551436262_n

Ash: What has been the most fun piece you’ve created for yourself? For a client?

Laura: My favorite for me was probably my vices set where I made a pack of cigarettes, a hookah, and a bottle of pills. I love making cute versions of adultier things. I get a ton of strange and awesome requests but really loved getting to make Strongbad and Homestar Runner for a client. 

Ash: I absolutely loved your Nyan Cat cosplay at ConCarolinas. Is that something you made for fun or can people order one of their own? 10153852_10202041925515334_128907799_n

Laura: The Nyan Cat costume was made for Dragon Con several years ago, and I like to still break it out and wear it around. If someone wanted to order one they certainly could but it would be pretty pricey. 

Ash: What would you say to someone who would like to make their own art into a business?

Laura: Give it a shot. You really never know if something will work out until you try it, and it can take you some really amazing places.

Non Sequitur Questions

Ash: Favorite film of all time?

Laura: This might be the hardest question you could ever ask me. Since I spend so much time sitting and watching Netflix while working, there are just so many possibilities. I might just have to go with the easy way out with Pirates of the Caribbean because I saw it 11 times in 1620516_10201736147031063_729763435_ntheaters. But I feel like I am doing so many great movies a disservice. 

Ash: If you couldn’t crochet any more and could do anything in the world for work, what would you do?

Laura: I would love to own a bar and bakery. Likely with dessert flavored drinks, and drink flavored desserts. 

Ash: Favorite superhero?

Laura: Baymax quickly jumped the line after Big Hero 6 came out. He’s my spirit animal.

Ash: If you could add wings to any animal that does not currently have them, which animal would it be and why? Would you ride this animal into 396574_2474790474760_1844740355_nbattle?

Laura: A hedgehog. Because the only thing that could be more adorable than a hedgehog would be a flying hedgehog. Though I don’t think it would be particularly useful in battle.

Ash: If you could live in any television show, which would it be and why?

Laura: Either Doctor Who because time travel and aliens would be an awesome adventure, or Bob’s Burgers because hamburgers are delicious and everyone is hilarious.

Ash: Favorite book?

Laura: The Old Kingdom Trilogy- Sabriel, Lirael, and Abhorsen by Garth Nix.

Ash: Best candy?

Laura: Sour Patch Kids

Ash: What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?

Laura: I was given an offer to live rent free for almost a year in exchange for caring for the neighborhood stray cats. I accepted that offer, and had a wonderful time with a rotating cast of adorable animals.

Thank you so much to Thirty Seven Stars for sitting down with me! If you live in the Charlotte, NC and Durham, NC areas, you can see Laura’s work live and in person. Here are her upcoming events:

  1. She’ll be at CLTure Fest in Charlotte, NC – June 27, 2015. That’s this Saturday!
  2. Laura’s work can regularly be found in Charlotte at NoDa Eclectic Marketplace behind Smelly Cat Coffeehouse.
  3. You can also find her work regularly at Hunt Street Market in Durham, NC.

You can also follow Thirty Seven Stars on Facebook, Instagram, and check out her online store.

Until next time, stay tuned here for more fun and nerdy things!

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

TV Top 30, Day 04 – Your favorite show ever

The Big Bang Theory

Image courtesy of IMDB.com.

This is an easy one for me. My favorite TV show ever is The Big Bang Theory. My best pal, Stephanie, and my cousin Brickey introduced me to this show in 2009. Big Bang never ceases to make me laugh, and frankly, it looks like they asked to borrow all my t-shirts for the costumes.

The Big Bang Theory has extremely clever writing, a hilarious ensemble cast, and a commitment to scientific accuracy. I don’t know how many other shows actually keep an actual theoretical physicist on staff just so all their science jokes can be feasible, but The Big Bang Theory does. I watch the show just about every time it’s on the air.

The thing I think I appreciate the most about The Big Bang Theory though, is the era it helped usher in–the era of the nerd. I’ve been a nerd my entire life. I’ve been mocked and teased for it. I’ve been told that there are “no girl nerds,” thus making me feel even weirder about my nerdy interests. It never swayed me though. I’ve always been unabashedly nerdy. Why try to be anyone other than me? The Big Bang Theory has finally made it culturally acceptable to be a nerd and (dare I say it?), even cool. It also opened the door for me explore many other nerdy interests that I ended up loving too. Star TrekBattlestar Galactica, and Dungeons & Dragons are all by-products of my love for The Big Bang Theory.

What’s your favorite all time show? Do you love Big Bang as much as I do?

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

TV Top 30, Day 03 – Your favorite new show (aired this TV season)


Image courtesy of IMDB.com.

When I started this blog about 5 years ago, I started off a series called TV Top 30, in which I work my way down a list of 30 topics related to TV. I like the idea of a good writing prompt, so I think I’m going to pick this up again. So here we go with my favorite new show that aired this TV season.


I know Marvel gets a lot of love here on my blog, but I’ve always had a soft spot for Batman. I cut my teeth on Batman: The Animated Series growing up, which is arguably one of the best animated series of all time. It still holds up. Kevin Conroy will always be Batman for me.

All that being said, I am perpetually fascinated by the glut of adaptations and reboots we have in today’s world of pop culture. I love the idea of what’s being done with Gotham, with a young Bruce Wayne and Catwoman, the young rogue’s gallery, and seeing the story unfold from Jim Gordon’s perspective.

I have not been able to finish the entire series yet, so please no spoilers in the comments (I think I got about halfway through the series before life got full), but I’d love to know what you all think about Gotham. I heard it sort of went down hill later in the season, but I’d like to think the entire world doesn’t share the same opinion.

What’s your favorite new show this season? The summer season counts too!

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Cross-Medium Canon Conundrums

With the announcement of casting for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the longAgents of S. H. I. E. L. D. list of upcoming Marvel movies, Agents of S. H. I. E. L. D., and Agent Carter, I’ve become a mixture of excited and thoughtful. The respective franchises are things I’ve loved for a good portion of my life. I’ve read comics since age 6. I’ve immersed myself in the study of Harry Potter for 11 years, both as an academic and a fan. I love that these things are finally “cool” and more mainstream. The idea that I can experience my favorite fandoms across a variety of different mediums is not only enjoyable to me, but intrigues me on multiple levels.

Comic books have always had a crossover nature. It’s not uncommon for a reader to find at the end of their issue of Wolverine, “Follow the further adventures of Wolverine in Uncanny X-Men #146,” or something to that effect. In fact, one of the things I love the most about the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the crossover that began with the Agents of S. H. I. E. L. D. TV series. I was already a fan of the films, but this straight up made it feel like a comic book to me. The fact that I can spot things in Thor: The Dark World that appear in Agents of S. H. I. E. L. D., things from S. H. I. E. L. D. that show up in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, etc., is absolutely fascinating to me. Yes, you can watch these things individually and not necessarily need to watch both to enjoy them, but I love the enhancement they give the story. I get the drift that the MCU is meant to have the feel of a comic book. The cross-medium that the MCU is employing here crosses over easily and solidifies its own canon. Harry Potter is going to be a different story.

Once I plowed through all available Harry Potter books in the summer of 2004, I went to the library and found copies of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages. It was fun to get the story enhancing details from these school books, but the idea of getting a completely new story, the “creation” of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in film form, not in the original medium of the novel, is a bit of landmark. I can’t think of another fandom that has had the author of the original canon create an original screenplay for a film that was not lifted directly from the original medium. So here’s my question–how does having a cross-medium canon affect interpretation?

I recently learned a bit about adaptation in a session at ConCarolinas. During the process of adapting a book to a film it typically goes as follows: 1 page of a book = 1 minute of a film. Take 600-800 page book and translate that to a 2 hour movie? DIFFICULT. Needless to say, adaptation is an incredibly challenging process. There are things books are capable of that films can’t do and vice versa. Even so, that’s not exactly what’s happening with the Fantastic Beasts film. Fantastic Beasts promises to be a completely original film, written by the original author. I’m curious how this will affect people’s interpretations of the original novels, as well as the movie franchise. I suppose it will be difficult to gauge exactly what will happen until it releases, but I’d love to know your thoughts and speculations.

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment