Photo Fun Friday: Dana Skully and Fox Mulder

I’m sure a lot of you already know that there’s a new X-Files mini-season playing right now. It’s a six-episode one-shot (so they say) that is now four episodes in. Yes, I’ve been watching it. You might have noticed that I’m a bit of a geek. And while I haven’t really geeked out a whole lot here at the lair over my two favorite FBI agents, I have mentioned them now and again. I also used them for one of my annual holiday photo manipulations.

[Loba Tangent: That might actually be one of my favorites so far…especially Scully. She looks so…right as Mrs. Claus, doesn’t she?]

So, as I’m sure you’re all wondering at this point: What do I think of the mini-season of new episodes?

Eh.

I say that with all due love and respect (to a show that I stopped watching after the sixth season and have yet to finish). Are the episodes bad? Not really. Are they great? Not really. They’re fun. And, of course, it’s great to see Scully and Mulder together again. I guess, though, that I’m growing weary of this constant nostalgia barrage from Hollywood. Just because you make something with characters that say things that will make me go “Hey, I know/remember/used to like that!” doesn’t mean that you have an automatic hit on your hands.

Of course, didn’t I just describe the whole point of The Big Bang Theory?

[Loba Tangent 2: No, seriously, didn’t I? I don’t know. I have never watched an episode of that show. After having the 10th person tell me that it was “my kind of show,” I knew I needed to stay as far away from it as possible. I’m secure that my decision was the correct one.]

Anyway, yes, I am enjoying this new season of The X-Files, if only for those purely nostalgic reasons (with some new joy thrown in here and there for good measure). I’m laughing where I’m pretty sure I should be laughing. I’m sufficiently moved by things I’m sure were engineered specifically for maximum feels. I did find the episode “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster” a bit forced. I wanted a monster-of-the-week episode. I did. I just didn’t want one that was so self-aware of being a monster-of-the-week episode. Less is more, people.

And now we’re down to the final two episodes of this mini-season. I feel as though they kind of need to get back to the whole point that they seemed to have in the first episode…and then kind of wandered away from. Not that I want a whole lot of that alien mythos BS bludgeoning me over the head. That was kind of what turned me away from the show in the first place. That and giant spider legs climbing out of someone’s mouth. That was just way more NO than I felt prepared to handle. Ever.

I’m not sure how things are going to wrap up, or even if they are going to wrap up. Maybe they’ll decide they want to do another mini-season. Or another movie. (Please don’t do another movie.) However it goes from here, I will be there to see it through. I’m happy enough revisiting these old friends that this time I’ll stick around until the final curtain call. Plus, I was promised Agent Reyes at some point before the end. I want my Agent Reyes fix, thank you.

And, of course, going home to the FBI once more has re-sparked this little PhotoShop trickery in my brain. I always wanted to do something that made Mulder and Scully’s names more than just names. Over the years, I’ve seen iterations of this idea that kind of came close but not really. This new mini-season finally pushed me to make my dreams real (dream big, Loba!). I actually pre-tested these elsewhere to what I would call success. And by success, I mean people found them to be generally disturbing. Win!

So, without further ado (or curmudgeonly rambling), I give you Agents Dana Skully and Fox Mulder. You’re welcome.

skully_mulder

Logical Art Thou Among Vulcans

It seemed only fitting to choose Spock for this year’s holiday greeting. And just as our venerable Vulcan does, I will you all a most logical holiday, however you choose to celebrate the season. Here’s to 2016 and all the rambling I hope to do here at the lair. I hope you all will drop by every now and then for a visit. I mean, I can totally ramble to myself…but company is nice, too 🙂

spock-stained-glass

Photo Fun Friday: Dylan McDermot Mulroney

I’m struggling to find the time and the motivation for posting lately, but this was another one of those “inspired-by-true-events” misspoken names, a la the now infamous Tawny Kattan photo (which is still probably less traumatic than Steven Tyler Moore), that turned into an “I have to make that happen” PhotoShop moment.

Without any further explanation or any further ado, I give you…Dylan McDermot Mulroney. You are, of course, very welcome.

Dylan McDermott Mulroney

Daft Luge

Today was unofficially a snow day here at the lair. My company was closed because of the snowy pummeling we received overnight and through most of the morning. I was still on-call, but because most of our work comes from the government (which was closed), there wasn’t much call for me. So, in between random projects, social media blurbling, and putting all my workout muscles to use during marathon shoveling sessions, I finally took the time to make a PhotoShop trickery idea a reality.

It started after watching this great PSA, put together by the Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion in response to Olympic host country Russia’s abysmal treatment of gays:

//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/n4CEaoNADiY

Yet another way Canada has already won the Olympics.

Anyway, I liked the way the visors blacked out the luge team’s faces. Kind of like Daft Punk’s helmets totally black out their faces. And that was all I needed to come up with this:

daft-luge2

You’re welcome.

Merry X-mas!

No, denizens, I’m not contributing to the “war on Christmas.” You know me, though…always looking for a loophole. And, in this case, our two lovely well-wishers would say nothing less than Merry X-mas. Think about it…what if, at the end of the series, Mulder and Scully disappeared to the North Pole and took up residence as that mythical toymaking duo, the Clauses? We’d all want to believe then, eh? Plus, they’d still be having crazy adventures with strange UFOs…just now, Mulder would be at the helm!

xmasfiles_660

As a special treat, click the small and get the full-sized version. Use as you wish. Share as you wish. I hope it brings you joy. And, whatever your pleasure, denizens, I hope your day is marvelous. Just like you.

Loba-Lantern

Little break from all the drinking that’s been going on here at the lair. I carved a pumpkin last night. I haven’t carved a pumpkin in a very long time. Too long. I used to love doing this every year (remember, Halloween is my favorite holiday). So when I learned that there would be a pumpkin decorating contest at work, I decided that I would get back to something that used to make me incredibly happy.

I need a little extra happy right now.

Truth be told, I don’t even mind if I don’t win anything for this little cutie. I had a blast carving him. This was also the first time I’ve ever used linoleum cutters for the task. Not bad for my first go, eh?

I snapped a couple photos of my wolfy pumpkin with a candle, but they came out incredibly dark (duh, right?). Therefore, forgive the graininess of this photo, which I had to take into PhotoShop for some level adjustments:

Even though it’s early, Happy Howloween, denizens. Hope you all get your scare on in the best ways possible.

An Officer and the Extra-Terrestrial

Thirty years ago today, Steven Spielberg unleashed his schmaltz upon us in extra-terrestrial form, complete with marketable candy-coated goodness.

I hate to break this to you, denizens, but I’ve never liked this movie. It’s riddled with forced sentimentality as only Spielberg can inflict upon audiences. But I couldn’t resist this idea when it popped into my head. My only hope is that someone out there gets my weird sense of humor (it actually does make sense if you know a little movie trivia!), and that they laugh even a fraction as much as I’m still laughing.

I Don’t Give a Damn ‘Bout My Bad Doppelgängin’

I warned you, denizens. There was a reason for my last Flashback Friday choice.

Truth be told, Joan Jett’s 1988 release Up Your Alley is my favorite album, holistically speaking. This probably stems from the fact that this was my first taste. However, I can find something enjoyable from all of her Blackhearts releases. I can even dip back into her Runaways years and find stuff to make those long commutes at least audibly enjoyable. All I have to do, though, is just see the cover art for Up Your Alley, and the Loba Happy-O-Meter is cranked to 11.

None more black, indeed.

This was quintessential Jett in many ways, especially in visual style: teased black rocker hair, black leather all around, kohled eyes, “come here if you dare” stare. However, I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for the cover of her 1983 release, Album. Atrocious jaundiced background aside, this has always struck me as one of her most “fun” covers:

Nothing better than a Jett in flight, eh? I’ve always loved this pose…so much so that I’ve considered getting the silhouette on a T-shirt. Plus, she’s decked in her trademark black, including the leather pants, but she’s still holding onto her punkier Runaways style with her red Chucks, that bandanna thing she kept going for quite a while, and some badass black leather-studded accoutrements.

I love this version of Jett so much that this is the photo I chose as the inspiration for my own Joan Jett costume for a rock-themed party this weekend:

Close enough for government work, right? I was pretty pleased with the overall look (although I’m sure there was more makeup on my pasty face that night than on an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race). I thought about taking my Guitar Hero controller with me for effect (after covering the Aerosmith logo, of course), but decided that I didn’t want to run the risk of spilling anything on it. And there was much to be spilled. Open bars make awesome parties.

Most people immediately twigged to who I was supposed to be. One couple, however, did ask if I was Jack White.

Damn young people. Learn your rock history!

Of course, I did have a disturbing epiphany when I finally stumbled back home that night and caught a quick glimpse of myself in the foyer mirror. With my mullety hair and my thickly lined blue eyes? I looked a little less like an 80s rock star and more like a motorcycle-riding graduate of Eastland Prep…

Loba as Joan Jett Totally Looks Like Nancy McKeon as Jo Polniaczek

Take the good. Take the bad. Take ’em both and there you have just a part of Mi Vida Loba…

Ode to…Pöpcørn?

I love the Muppets. A lot. I’ve already talked about how Jim Henson is one of the greatest influences from my childhood. Seriously, the two things that continue to make me proud to be an alumna of the University of Maryland at College Park are: my three aunts graduated from there; and Jim Henson graduated from there.

I still haven’t made it to see the new Muppets movie. I’m actually quite irritated with myself over this fact. I haven’t wanted to go see a movie in a very long time, but frog dammit, I want to see this one. Time to finally finish off that Fandango card!

In the interim, however, I’ve been watching some of the YouTube videos put out by Muppet Studios. Two have quickly become my favorites. Two of my favorite recurring characters are Beaker and the Swedish Chef. Poor Beaker, always getting the fuzzy end of the lollipop stick, no matter what. All the horrible things that Bunsen Honeydew did to him, yet he continued to rise like some kind of orange-tufted, felty Messiah (ooh, have I offended the fundamentalists? Good). Even when he’s on his own, as in this video, he still somehow attracts an incomparable level of disaster that is equal parts traumatic and hilarious. Okay, that’s a lie. They’re just hilarious…

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnT7pT6zCcA&w=640&h=360]

And then there’s the Swedish Chef. I can only imagine that he must be offensive on some level to true Swedes. Right? I mean, come on, such a blatant mockery of their native language must ruffle their feathers at least a little. Yet there’s something so delightfully underdoggish about the Swedish Chef. He’s utterly incompetent and frighteningly inept at his profession. But he means well in his attempts. And he botches his dishes in such hysterically horrifying ways…such as this attempt to make Pöpcørn Shrimp. I can’t stop watching this video. Also, please, please, please make sure that you have the closed captions activated while you watch this. Trust me. You will appreciate it that much more…

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7UmUX68KtE&w=640&h=360]

I like how my favorite characters are two of the Muppets that have regular Muppety heads but have “real” hands (the Swedish Chef always had human hands; in fact, they originally were Jim Henson’s hands and Henson’s voice…Beaker has human hands as well, but they’re covered with felt). Also, neither one speaks a true language. The Swedish Chef is somewhat understandable at times; Beaker though…I have no freakin’ clue there, denizens. Just makes him that much more entertaining. Although, really, maybe Beaker isn’t even a “he.” How the hell can you tell? Maybe it’s a girl. I don’t know. Do you?

While you marinate on that question, here’s one final video, of both Beaker and the Swedish Chef together, bringing their…unique dialects together for this musical interlude. Watch for a guest appearance from one of my other favorite Muppets along the way…

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXKUb5A1auM&w=640&h=360]