To our fans in the areas affected by Sandy: stay strong. Our thoughts are with you. To those that aren’t, please help if you can. Canned goods are great, but they’re generally not accepted as legal tender in exchange for blankets & such. You know things are rough when we’re operating within a soup-based economy. I mean, it could be worse…but you don’t wanna know about it.
I love words, but I especially love weird, non-English (or American English) “loan” words that Americans have co-opted over the centuries because they so perfectly (and usually much more succinctly) sum up a full phrase. Here are my top ten favorites of the bunch!
10. Yankee – From the Dutch, in reference to the English colonists who began settling previously Dutch-dominated areas in the New England and northern mid-Atlantic regions. To wit: before it became New York City, the Big Apple was known as New Amsterdam.
9. Pundit – From the Sanskrit “pandit”, referring to learned individuals renowned for their wisdom. Nowadays all you need is a decent suit and a TV camera to earn this title!
8. Ad lib – From the Latin “ad libitum”, directly translating as “at one’s pleasure”, but commonly used to describe improvisation, particularly as it pertains to speech. See “binders full of women”, etc.
7. Lingua Franca – From the…lingua franca. OK, this one is weird — it actually refers to the composite language used to facilitate trade and communication between various western European peoples (particularly around the Mediterranean rim) and the wider world who spoke different native languages. It refers to the “language of the Franks”, and became the dominant European language following the rule of Charlemagne. These days, I’m pretty sure the lingua franca is just a mash-up of Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Carly Rae Jepson lyrics.
6. Femme Fatale – French for “deadly woman”. Can run the gamut from sultry vixens like Jessica Rabbit to more authentic representations of the term, like Sharon Stone’s ice-pick-happy character in Basic Instinct or Glen Close in Fatal Attraction. Really, any stab-happy female.
5. Zeitgeist – German for “of the times”. An angrier-sounding synonym for “pop culture”. Or a bad Smashing Pumpkins album.
4. Blitz – Also German, meaning “lightning”, but so much more awesome. “Blitz” can refer to a “shock-and-awe”-style military campaign, sending swarms of large, athletic men after one much smaller athletic man to “tackle” (hurt, maim, kill, disable, grope) him, or as a more enthusiastic synonym for “inebriation”; “I got BLITZED last night, dude!”
3. Nemesis – From the Greek for “retribution”, but currently used as a catch-all for revenge, comeuppance, downfall, etc. Remember the G.I. Joe animated movie from the late 80s? There’s a reason every boy (and probably some girls) of a certain age loved it, and that reason is Nemesis Enforcer.
2. Doppelgänger – From the German for “double walker”, this word has lost some bite over the centuries. Originally it referred to one’s evil twin; now it just refers to any old look-alike.
1. Schadenfreude – Again with the German! I love this word most of all, as it really has no comparable one in English: “pleasure derived from the misfortune of others”. Now, I’m not saying it’s cool to be an un-caring jerk — but schadenfreude has its place AND its merits. “When the Tigers swept the Yankees in the 2012 American League Championship Series, I totally indulged in some good, old-fashioned schadenfreude.”
Sorry for the prolonged radio silence (radio? WTF’s a radio, old man?!), but we were in NYC all last week and this past weekend for New York Comic Con, and it’s taken me two whole days to properly decompress and catch up on things here in Ex-Boyfriend HQ. Selling tees, subsisting on soft pretzels, drinking yourself to sleep — you know, BIZNESS. Earnin’ that dolla-dolla bill. Kitty needs a new pair of kitten mittons.
Anyway, we have lots of pictures to share, and great stories (remind me to tell you about the cab I shared with the coked-out CPA in Hoboken who decided it was better to ask me if I was a cop AFTER he took a HUGE snort from his little phial. It was all very American Psycho.)
In the meantime, enjoy this supremely disturbing video of a belly-dancing wookie. Remember — once you’ve seen it, you can’t UN-see it!
City Envy, n. – Acute jealousy experienced by visitors in cities that have cooler stuff to do than back at home.
One of the fun aspects of what I do is the travel involved in going and vending my stuff around the country. This year alone, Ex-Boyfriend has been in Las Vegas, Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Baltimore, and Washington, DC. Next year we’re anticipating the addition of Orlando, San Francisco, and possibly even Toronto! And as much as we love Baltimore and miss it while we’re gone, there are certain things about these new metropolises that we just go ga-ga over and wish were waiting for us back home.
Now, I’m not much of a gamer. I play Scramble With Friends and Words With Friends (feel free to start a game with me; username: Bearadactyl) and occasionally Baseball Superstars on my phone when waiting around outside of changing rooms or watching TV, but that’s about it. I haven’t seriously played video games since I was 19, which was…longer ago than I am willing to reveal to YOU people.
But a video game tournament involving alcohol consumption at a bar, with the prize being a fully-subsidized bar tab for the evening? I am ALL ABOUT IT. Especially given that my heightened tolerance and pairing with an equally-rusty or inexperienced gamer is the only hope I’d have of advancing to the second round. Maybe they assess bonus points for competing in a Tanooki suit.
This is just surreal — a security firm called HALO Corp. is actually including emergency zombie outbreak training in their upcoming annual counter-terrorism summit, which will be attended by over 1,000 military, law enforcement, medical, and federal personnel. Admittedly, they are being tongue-in-cheek about the whole thing, explaining that it’s merely a fun way to engage in a pandemic training scenario, but this is a bit too meta for even my liking.
“HALO Corp.”? Seriously? I feel like I’m being punked by my brother Tom and his LAN party friends. Regardless, remember to always aim for the head.
I don’t ever get to just GO to a lot of the events I sell at — IF I’m lucky (unlucky?) enough to be working a convention or trade show with occasional lulls in foot traffic and wander around, it’s never enough time to fully absorb all that the conventions have to offer, and I can never do it concurrently with Meredith, as she and I switch off who mans the fort while the other wanders.
Which is why I was SO excited to hit the 2012 Small Press Expo this past weekend with Meredith — we got to see the WHOLE show floor, and take our time at each table/booth, engaging with the artists and chatting with friends.
Here are some of our favorite new (to us) artists from the show, and where to find them:
Cute, funny watercolor illustrations of the absurd. Difficult to describe succinctly, as Scott’s themes are wide-ranging, but really well done!
Honestly, there were so many, many other awesome creators selling wares at SPX that Meredith and I found ourselves saying “I want to buy everything!” to one another countless times over the 4 hours we spent walking through the convention hall. Some other really awesome artists to explore include:
Every single part of this video of Nekrogoblikon’s “No One Survives” is hilarious, but here are some highlights and Easter eggs:
• The bartender at Carlito’s Way is Jon Lajoie, aka Taco from FX’s The League
• The object of the goblin’s affection is, errmm, adult film star Kayden Kross
• If you go to the YouTube page, you can read the full lyrics. They are pretty typical for metal, but here’s a wonderful taste:
We used to laugh, we used to cry,
Now the only thing we do is die!
This past weekend Meredith and I were exhibitors at the Baltimore Comic Con, and it was a blast! It’s always a ton of fun to do local shows — not just because we get to skip out on exhausting travel, but also to meet people in the area who are new to Ex-Boyfriend!
Here are some highlights from the weekend, costumed and otherwise:
There were of course the usual suspects — your Supermen, your Spider-Men, etc. But this was the only transitional Clark Kent-into-Superman we saw, and we thought it was pretty cool. Especially in conjunction with his buddy…
Two-Face! I loved the commitment to the character with this one — the cosplayer did the half-and-half hair and necktie, as well as the suit and disfigured hand!
But whenever we work at conventions, my favorite costumes are the ones that are either really well-done from a structural/mechanical/design standpoint, or that reference more obscure characters:
My crappy photo doesn’t NEARLY do this guy’s mask and make-up job justice, but his mask was so perfectly applied to his face that you’d be forgiven for thinking he was actually disfigured in this way!
And this dalek from Dr. Who was pretty amazing, complete with lights, sounds, and rolling chassis! EXTERMINATE, indeed!
But my faves are always the obscure characters, like Marvel’s Swamp Thing analog, Man-Thing.
Or this couple, who showed up as a spot-on Shredder and Krang from TMNT!
But my favorite costume of the weekend was easily this one:
Wesley, aka the Dread Pirate Roberts from The Princess Bride! This guy gets extra points for authenticity for his inclusion of an ROUS (those are Rodents Of Unusual Size for you noobs).
And I would be remiss if I didn’t share this fun snapshot:
Some Ex-Boyfriend super-fans who came to the con rocking their Fuzz Aldrin and Pterodactyl Springs Summer Camp tees! We love seeing our stuff out in the wild, so if you’re ever hitting up one of the events we’re exhibiting at, be sure to wear your Ex-Boyfriend gear and stop by our booth for a pic — we’d love to see you!
Hint: we’ll be at the New York Comic Con next month from October 11th through October 14th, and just north of Baltimore October 27th-28th for the next Run For Your Lives zombie obstacle 5k!
• Kudos for the sly nod to NOT drinking and driving
• Beer > heist money
• That’s a lot of off-duty cops in that bar
• “Made From Beer” is a slogan straight out of Idiocracy
In other drinking-related news:
I’ll be selling my wares this weekend (Saturday AND Sunday) at the Baltimore Comic Convention in the Baltimore Convention Center. Our good friend John at Ex-Boyfriend’s unofficial “sponsor bar” Bad Decisions is knocking a whopping 10% off the tab of anyone who comes in Saturday or Sunday wearing Ex-Boyfriend gear! A pretty sweet deal from the best bar and lifestyle label Charm City has to offer!
Admission to the con is super-cheap — just $25 for Saturday, $20 for Sunday, or $40 for both! If you’re a panicking Yankees fan, come out for the nerds during the day, catch the game across the street with us in the evening, and then get crunk at Bad Decisions to drown your sorrows after the O’s win! Just hop in the closest cab and say “Fells Point, corner of Fleet & Washington”!
Finally, if you’ve been itching to get a Fuzz Aldrin, Catnip Freakout, or Fidel Catro shirt for yourself or a friend, September is the month to do it. Why? Because Ex-Boyfriend has teamed with Jackson Galaxy and Spirit Essences to support the worthy cat rescue group Kitten Associates! Throughout the month of September, Ex-Boyfriend is donating $5 from the sale of tees & hoodies featuring these three designs to Kitten Associates, so snap ‘em up yourself, or help us spread the word!