Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Geek, Thy Name is TV Mom

Some of you who are frequent readers of the blog here at might have noticed a slight change recently... look around, I'll wait....

Did you find it?

The banner.

There ya go.

That's right, I'm adding in a component of my everyday life to the blog: Geek Culture. And as part of that, I'm going to let you in on a little bit about who The TV Mom is on a day to day basis.

First of all, here's a more recent picture of me, surrounded by a friend's massive video game collection:


Here are just a few things you might want to notice about that picture. First of all, I'm wearing a shirt that is a Doctor Who/Donkey Kong crossover (found at, by the way). I'm also sporting a lovely pair of NES controller earrings that were a birthday gift from TV Dad to me for my thirtieth (he got them from Etsy... seller unknown, he won't tell me!). Third, you can see most of my tattoo in this shot... an 8-bit heart with TV Boy's first initial in Binary written on the banner. And of course, my geek glasses.

Then, there's pinball.

Pinburgh 2014 - Image credit: S. Vieth.

There's TV Dad and myself at what is essentially heaven/Mecca for pinball enthusiasts: PAPA... the Professional and Amatuer Pinball Association. It's a huge warehouse just outside of Pittsburgh, PA that houses pretty much every pinball table ever created. They host tournaments every year (no, I'm not *that* good, I'm only ranked 9706th... but I'm friends with the #10 ranked guy!) and events like Pinburgh, when you can show up, get a cup full of tokens, and play until you can't feel your fingers anymore. Here's a shot of me putting the boys to shame on a Black Rose table:

Image credit: S. Vieth.

Those are just a few of the ultra-nerdy things I fill my days with. There are more R2D2's around my house than most normal people have, and I may or may not have gotten to talk to Star Wars actors Jeremy Bulloch and Peter Mayhew a couple of years ago at Comic Con in Chicago...

Boba Freakin' Fett people!

Yeah, this totally happened!

Essentially, I'm a huge nerd, and I love it. Why am I telling you all of this? Because I want you to not only know that I have serious geek-cred, but that I am now an official supporter of the #IWantMyNerdHQ campaign! You may or may not have heard about the Nerd HQ event that is put on concurrently with THE huge Comic Con on the west coast. The event is hosted by The Nerd Machine and features guest speakers from across the realm of all things nerdy including a special panel called Conversations for a Cause, which helps raise funds for charity Operation Smile that provides free surgeries to children with cleft lip and palate across the globe.

The Nerd HQ 2014 event is scheduled to run July 24th-27th at Petco Park in San Diego, CA.

Here's why this is important. This year, Nerd Machine is crowdfunding the event to cover ever-increasing costs for hosting. Here's spokesman Zac Levi to tell you a little more about Nerd HQ and how YOU can help!

Here's what you can do to help. First of all, visit or use the widget on the right to donate to the NerdHQ fund. Even small donations of only $5 can help! Then, you can share or tweet this campaign using the hashtag #IWantMyNerdHQ across all social media platforms, even if you can't give financially. This helps get the word out to all nerds across the world who might want to help and participate! And, just announced: "If we reach our goal by 250K goal by 11:59pm PDT this Friday, April 11th , Five (5) contributors will win a Skype call with Zachary Levi. Anyone who has contributed at least $5 since the beginning of the campaign will be eligible to win." How cool is that?

So please, give if you can, and share, share, share! Nerd it forward! Click the image below for more!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

TRAILER: Disney Planes: Fire and Rescue!

Check out the new trailer for the upcoming Disney flick, Planes: Fire and Rescue, coming to theatres this summer!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

"Hub Network's What's The Hubbub?" - With Spooksville's Keean Johnson and Jim Kreig

Last night I got a chance to Google Hangout with Hub Network's seires Spooksville star Keean Johnson (Adam) and Head Writer Jim Kreig! Jim is an absolutely hilarious guy, and I really kind of want to meet up with him for a drink next time I'm out in L.A. because he seems like the kind of guy who that would definitely be a night to remember! Thank goodness they muted us when we weren't asking our questions, because most of the time I was cracking up.

Image © Hub Network.

My first question comes in around the 7 minute mark, and is a call back to my October excursion to California for the Hub Halloween Bash! Check out the video below to see the entire conversation between myself, these awesome guys, Hub Network Exec Ted Biaselli and a handful of other awesome bloggers! And don't forget to tune in to Spooksville on Saturdays at 5pm Eastern/2pm Pacific on Hub Network!

UPDATE 4/8: The video now has much clearer and better audio! Check it out below!

BEHIND THE SCENES - Pirate Fairy Directors!

Sniffle.... my last L.A. trip post. This means I have nothing more to talk about regarding my trip. My trip is officially over you guys! Wahhh!

Today's post is about my Q&A session with The Pirate Fairy Director Peggy Holmes and Producer Jennifer Cook. If you have the DVD or Blu-ray, you can see their smiling faces on the special features as they introduce the deleted scenes. These ladies are adorable!

Jennifer Cook and Peggy Holmes. Image © Disney.

What was neat about talking with them after our screening is their passion for the characters and the story. They talked about Pirate Fairy like it was one of their children, and in a way, it is. It took months of planning and hard work. Peggy Holmes begins by describing the tale of Zarina in that she "wanted to tell a story about a girl who makes a mistake... everyone makes mistakes."

Again, my techy-geekness strikes and I recorded the entire presentation with these two ladies. You can listen below! There is also a little sneak audio peek of Tom Hiddleston's special feature from the disc from his recording session for the "Frigate That Flies" around the 9 minute mark (which you will want to turn your speakers down for... sorry about that!).

There is also discussion about the adorable little Crocky. Here's the hard truth: everyone loves Crocky. Period. Not only is he downright adorable but he rescues the fairies from a trap, AND he becomes infamous in the stories of Peter Pan! How can you NOT love him? As you'll hear in the presentation, it took a few tries to get his design just right. What we get is nothing short of cute overload! There is even a special feature devoted entirely to Crocky!

Image © Disney.

Finally, I wanted to share something I now treasure as I look at it every single day above my desk:

That, my friends, is a piece of art featuring the background scene from inside Skull Rock, and it is autographed by Jennifer Cook and Peggy Holmes! You know, I have been looking at it for a few weeks now, and it wasn't until the Blu-ray finally arrived at my house and I re-watched it until I realized that it was inside Skull Rock. Yeah, major derp on my part! But I now have a place to start hanging some of my cool stuff I get when I go on these trips... next to my Pirate Fairy art!

I just want to take a moment to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who made this trip possible for me: Sabrina, Gabby, Marshall, Click Communications, and Disney. I've made so many amazing memories as well as some incredible and life-changing contacts with this trip. I also want to give a shout out to my new blogger buddies over at DAM Bloggerswhich is a page you should all pop over and like. It features some of the best parent-bloggers the web has to offer. To make a long sappy speech short, thanks to everyone I've worked with and here's to the next time I hop on a plane to sunny California!

Disclosure: I received a trip to Los Angeles as well as a review copy of Pirate Fairy in exchange for this post. Please see my Disclosure tab for more information.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

BEHIND THE SCENES - The Pirate Fairy Character Development

This is the second to last post about my Los Angeles trip. Getting near the end of these posts makes me itch to jump back on a plane to go to LA again for something or another. (You see that, Disney friends? I'm ready to come back! Please?) These trips are fantastic, a lot of fun, and I've made so many amazing new friends and contacts. I want more!!!

The foyer of DisneyToon Studios.

Yet another one of the neat things I got to do was to sit down for a presentation about the creation of the new character, Zarina, a fairy who becomes a pirate. The character designers had to figure out a way to make her bridge the gap between fairy and pirate, without making her lean too heavy to one direction or another.

The foyer of DisneyToon Studios.

As I've said previously, I love Zarina's pirate costume. I could see myself wearing it to the local Renaissance Festival. Especially her nifty pirate coat... which, as you'll hear in the presentation below, designers designed from the "cuff of a pirate's coat." How neat is that? (And you'll hear a room full of bloggers go "Ohhhhh!" as the idea clicks with us, haha!)

Image © Disney.

One of the questions I asked while I was there was "where did the fairies get their swords?" because the fairy swords were so ornate... and I got my answer: hat pins! Ornate hat pins from the Victorian era would have indeed made perfect fairy swords! I loved how the character designers took everyday objects and made them pirate-y for the fairies.

Image © Disney.

Below is the full half an hour presentation we were treated to, featuring character designers and animation supervisors, all with a background of the cool Skull Rock they had on display in the lobby! Be sure to turn your speakers up! You'll be treated to neat secrets such as which pirate had a secret hobby of sewing and made Zarina's outfit? I won't tell, you have to listen!

Disclosure: I received a trip to Los Angeles in exchange for coverage of The Pirate Fairy release. Please see my Disclosure tab for more information.