Archives For culture

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PAX West is just around the corner! My nerdy heart goes pitter-patter just thinking about it. At PAX, I love walking the floor, attending panels, and playing games—but I also love taking advantage of the beautiful host city. Last year, I had so much fun spending a couple of extra days in Seattle, exploring like crazy. Because it’s so massive, the options can be a little overwhelming, so here are my top recommendations for what to do while you’re there.

1. Make Friends with a Bridge Troll

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This friendly troll resides at 4505 North Troll Avenue in Fremont, under the north end of the Aurora bridge. Getting to this troll’s abode means taking a 15-minute Uber from downtown, but it’s worth it. Not only do you get the unique experience of coming face-to-face with this massive monster (which will put a smile on your face), but there are lots of other cool things in the Fremont area—it’s my favorite neighborhood in Seattle.

2. Visit Add-A-Ball in Fremont

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Pinball, arcade cabinets, booze, and an insane Patrick Swayze mural reside in this cozy underground gaming space. Bonus: there’s a nice patio out front with seating if you need to get some air between heated matches of Bubble Bobble. Add-A-Ball is located at 315 N 36th Street, Seattle—just an 8-minute walk from the bridge troll.

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spiderman thinks about cash

As I’m sure you’ve heard, Sony finally decided to split custody of Spider-Man, and it looks like he’ll be visiting mom on some very important weekends in the future. After a few personal conversations, I’ve come to the conclusion that most people are pretty excited. I feel that.

A few people are worried, though. Or maybe tired is a better word. News of another “Spider-Man reboot” induces cringing for these peeps, and this is my response to them. There are certain detractors that I’m not going to convince, and to those people I say that perhaps the next decade of big-budget movies should be something that they avoid, because franchising and multi-part plots aren’t going away. That’s great news, though!

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In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, this month, USA Today’s pop-culture blog, Pop Candy, is featuring pop-culture love stories. If you didn’t know, the way Jeff and I met is like something out of a sappy movie, and it’s all because of a David Sedaris book. So, I wrote up our story, and it’s currently on the Pop Candy site. Check it out here!

mako pacific rim

People are angry about Pacific Rim. Maybe “angry” is too strong of a word, but there’s definitely a fair amount of disappointment going around. At the risk of sounding block-headed and completely naïve, I was shocked (yes, jaw-droppingly so) when I read the Internet rants, disapproving of the way women were portrayed in the film. Usually my feminist radar is fine-tuned and rearing to go off at the slightest hint of dehumanizing or anti-feminist tropes. Even my favorite films will usually trigger my radar enough for a laundry list of gripes. So why didn’t my radar alert me when I saw Pacific Rim?

The film takes place in the not-too-distant future, where the world has banded together to fight giant monsters (kaiju) with giant robots (jaegers). Each jaeger must be piloted by a team of two, and in order to successfully control the man-made wonder, the pilots essentially meld their minds to act as a single unit, letting the other pilot peek into all their thoughts and memories. It’s pretty intense, to say the least. Our two main characters are Raleigh Becket, famed kaiju killer, and Mako Mori, novice but enthusiastic pilot, whose adoptive father has only just recently and reluctantly encouraged her to take the jaeger helm with Raleigh.

In this high-concept, action-packed film, the biggest complaint from my fellow feminists is that there’s a lack of female characters and lines. One of the main characters is a woman (Mako) and there’s a nameless Russian woman who pilots another jaeger, but that’s not to say that these complaints aren’t well-founded. It’s easy to see that the film definitely fails the Bechdel Test. “Only three lines are spoken by a woman in the entire first half-hour of Pacific Rim,” says an article from Vulture. An article from Kulture Keeper adds, “The only two actresses… barely register as characters. They’re more like plot-objects in the shape of female bodies.” Ouch. The women in this film are products of a writer and director who brought us full-fledged and interesting female heroes in films such as Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone, so there must be more going on here.

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Mega Munny Art Piece

Ashley Walton —  February 11, 2013 — Leave a comment

This is a Munny, and it is the most unique wedding gift we received (and believe me, we got plenty of unique gifts). Currently, it sits proudly on one of our large bookshelves and tallies compliments from guests.

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For those of you unfamiliar with the magical world of Kid Robot, go to their site educate yourself. It’s a company based out of LA that primarily makes vinyl figures designed by contemporary artists, but they also have pillows, large installation figures, and street clothes. Over the years, we’ve collected our fair share of blind box figures, along with t-shirts and hoodies. And if you’re a Comic-Con frequenter, Kid Robot always has a cool booth with artists doodling on giant Munnys.

It just so happens that my brother is the ever-talented artist and writer behind False Positive, and he generously bought a blank Mega Munny and painted it for us. Let me be clear: this is by far the coolest thing in our apartment. We like to think there’s a story behind this Munny—that this girl (vampire?) is a monster slayer, who sews clothes out of the skins of her slaughtered prey.

Enjoy.

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Halloween Party Details

Ashley Walton —  October 29, 2012 — 1 Comment

On October 27, 2012 the Nay-Walton household transformed into a creepy crawly Halloween hovel, complete with cobwebs, skulls, pumpkins, and tasteful blood accents for our annual Halloween bash. We made cake pops, taco soup, witches’ brew, bloodbath punch, and friends brought apples with dip, Halloween donuts, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, and other goodies. We cranked the Oingo Boingo and basked in the company of our delightful friends.

(eyeball cake pops)

(table decorations)

(table detail– the tablecloth was gauze with blood stains)

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Best Halloween Movies

Ashley Walton —  October 25, 2012 — Leave a comment

Here are my picks for best movies to get you in the Halloween spirit. Let me know what you think. Argue. Suggest. Taunt.

10. The Devil’s Backbone

I love Guillermo del Toro with an unrivaled passion. This is probably my second favorite movie of his, after Pan’s Labyrinth. If you haven’t seen this unconventional ghost story, it’s about time. It does have subtitles, so not the best movie for background noise at a party.

9. High Tension

As the title suggests, this film highlights the art of tension-building. I’ve never bitten so many nails.

8. Shaun of the Dead

This is the pinnacle of horror-comedy. Perfect watch for a Halloween party.

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