Why I Love My Twitter Followers

Short and sweet blog entry today, wanted to share something that made my day.

As you may – or may not know – growing up as an outlier not only went a long way to forming my personality and aptitudes, it left me with a pretty healthy dose of social awkwardness. I’m mild-to-fairly phobic about most group situations, and it varies depending on the size / demographics of the group involved.

Tonight, I’m going to an event for local food bloggers. This kind of thing always leaves me torn – I’m excited to get out and learn, experience new things… but OMG there are going to be people there. Strangers.

That kind of thing is really scary to me, and I tweeted a comment about it. I have a wonderfully supportive Twitter following, a lot of whom are fellow nerds, geeks, and whatnot. You know. My tribe.

TOTALLY appreciate the commiseration I received, it’s good to not feel so alone in my awkwardness and fears… but the following advice made my day:

Aw yeah. Leave it to one of my Klingons to provide such sage advice, and make my day!

… I’m starting to think I need a “Klingons” category. Done!

Easy Pysanky How-To (AKA Epic Easter Eggs!)

Though I’m actually Irish Canadian, my best childhood memories of Easter are decidedly Ukrainian flavored.

Manitoba is known for a huge population of Ukrainians. Huge! Excellent homemade perogies could be found anywhere… but I digress. My grandmother’s neighbor was Ukrainian, Easter meant that she’d bake up these wonderful citrussy breads – Paska – and share with us. Oh, they were amazing. My favorite part of Easter, I still remember those delicious breads.

Another favorite part of Easter back then was seeing the Ukrainian Easter eggs, which would show up in advertising, or on display, or whatever. I’d marvel at the intricate designs, the bright colors. Tons of beauty and talent, right there.

One year – I’m sure I was probably in grade 4 or 5 – my class went to the Ukrainian Cultural Center to learn how to make the eggs. We were given little tools to draw wax designs on our eggs – a little stick with a cone shaped well. We’d scoop some wax into the little well, use a candle to melt it, and draw our initial outlines on. We’d dye it, dry it, draw more wax on… lather, rinse, release. When we were done, we’d carefully hold our eggs up near the candle flame, to melt all of the wax we’d drawn on, to reveal all of the colors that we’d protected from subsequent dye baths.

Although none of our eggs looked anything like the gorgeous egg art displayed in the Center, it was a lot of fun. I’ve always loved learning new skills, and I’ve always loved learning about other cultures.

The other day, I was thinking about how much fun I’d had back then, and decided that I would try it again, with my husband. As we’re both sort of anti social, doing at at home was the most attractive option. As I didn’t own any Pysanky tools, I needed to either buy some, or some up with an alternate way to get the wax on the eggs. I briefly considered painting melted wax on with art brushes… but then thought of another way – CRAYONS!

So, last night we bought some crayons and eggs, and went to it. We had a BALL! It was so much fun, and definitely an interesting, fun alternative to our usual Tuesday night “date night”. Though our results were far from professional, they were definitely more interesting than your average “egg dyeing kit” results… and really easy! This is a fun craft for kids AND adults or all skill levels. Let me show you how we did it:

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Star Awards: Didn’t win…. BUT..

So if you follow us on twitter, you know the news already – we did not win the ISES Minnesota Star Awards. Ah well, kinda figured as much – such an odd category, “best use of food”… a single cake up against entire themed spreads of food was a long shot at best. I digress…

Anyway, photos and video will be coming in the next few days, along with a more proper blog about it all (you know, one I’m not banging out at 12:30 am as my feet feel like they’re gonna fall off!)… but I do want to share something. Well, two things actually. Two little events tonight that MADE MY DAY, and totally eclipsed the whole “losing” thing.

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HUGE announcement!

If you follow us on Twitter, you’ve come to know a few things in the past 24 hours:

1. We’re nominated for an ISES Star award! (Events industry, a BIG deal!)

2. Not only that, the nomination is based on our 4′ long Klingon Bird of Prey cake, which we made back in November for Commedia Beauregard Theatre‘s production of A Klingon Christmas Carol.

3. Given that having the opportunity to make such a cake was so ridiculously epic.. actually getting nominated for a big fancy MAINSTREAM industry award for it is completely once-in-a-lifetime!

4. This is a fancypants red carpet kind of event, which means it needs.. Klingons.

Yes, we’ve always been the types of people to live life to it’s absolute fullest, and the idea of having a Klingon entourage at such an event went from “wouldn’t it be awesome if..” to “We HAVE to make this happen!” in a very short amount of time. We don’t have any spare budget for the $300 in tickets that this would require, so we put out a plea to our friends, fans, and followers. To anyone who finds this idea to be full of win, who would be willing to chip in a few bucks to make it so.

The nerd/geek/gaming community has been awesome, and – to date – we’ve raised enough money to buy 2 of the 4 tickets! Thank you SO much to Commedia Beauregard, Kris A Spiesz, Damon Johnson, Margaret Cooper, Shannon Bergeron, & Nik Wachter for their donations! We truly appreciate your generosity, and it tickles us to no end that there are other people out there that agree – this is a great idea!

Well, I’ve got friends in AWESOME places… and I am SO excited to announce that our friends over at the most RIDICULOUSLY awesome company ever (IMHO!*), Thinkgeek.com have offered to lend their support to our quest!

EVERYONE WHO DONATES TO OUR “SPONSOR A KLINGON” EFFORT WILL BE ENTERED IN A RAFFLE FOR ONE OF TWO 2 $75 GIFT CERTIFICATES TO THINKGEEK.COM

Yes, all caps are obnoxious.. but I really think that statement required it. I am BLOWN AWAY by the generosity! Thinkgeek.. man I love you guys. BIG box of goodies coming your way as soon as I have some time to concoct some funky new experiments for ya!

Those who have already donated will also be entered in the draw. Donations must be received prior to March 22, 2010 – OR before we reach our $300 goal, whichever comes first. Click here to visit our sponsor page, which has all of the details, and a link to donate.

Thank you, everyone, so very much for your support! We were thrilled to be nominated in the first place, and now that it looks like we really will be able to have an entourage of Klingons with us.. just wow. I’m blown away by the generosity and support of the community! As a nerd (me!) and a geek (my husband/Chief Engineering Officer), we are thrilled, honored, and humbled. Represent!!

* I’m not being biased. Although ThinkGeek has been a ton of fun not only to shop from and work with, with regards to our Brownie Mix… they also put THIS video out recently. So completely full of win that there really isn’t anything I can – or need to – say about it! Although I will say, it kinda makes me wanna drop everything, drive out east, and show up on their doorstep, begging for a job with them!

The Most Awesome Thing in the History of Awesomeness!

I should start this off by a bit of background, maybe a disclaimer: I’ve never considered myself a Trekkie at all. Hell, until this past summer, I think I’d only seen 2 of the movies, and a few episodes of TNG. When hubby and I attended a big nerd convention in July, we found it weird that neither of us really fit a particular flavor of nerd/geek.. we weren’t Trekkies, we weren’t gamers.. etc. Just generic Nerds.

After this past Friday, I think we both became Trekkies. Well, maybe pre-Trekkies. Trekkies with training wheels. Yes!

Back at that convention, there was a Klingon wedding. We were totally kicking ourselves over not knowing that was gonna happen – I would have cut a steep discount for the opportunity to make a Klingon wedding cake! The ideas – “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” flew, and built on each other. Anyway, ever since then, I’ve been itching for the opportunity to make an epic Klingon cake.

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Ticket GIVEAWAY! – A Klingon Christmas Carol

Back in July, hubby and I were attending a local event, checking out a table of information, when a shiny gold piece of paper caught my eye. Ever the human magpie, I had to check it out.

It was a flyer for a production called “A Klingon Christmas Carol”. It sounded so freakishly awesome that it has been displayed on our fridge at home ever since, as we awaited the season.

“What is it?”, you may ask. A theater company got together, tweaked the traditional “Christmas Carol” story to be Klingon themed, TRANSLATED it into Klingon, and perform it – in full costume – with English subtitles projected onto the stage. I’m not even a Trekkie, and that just sounds so over-the-top AWESOME, I can’t even stand it!

Flash forward a few months. A strong desire to make an epic Klingon cake, a few emails.. and I’m now in possession of a sponsorship contract with Commedia Beauregard, the geniuses in charge of this brilliance!

More on my contribution to their efforts in the coming week or two… in the meantime.. I have tickets to give away!

I will have 2 giveaways, one through this blog, one through twitter. If you don’t follow us, you SHOULD. Details for the twitter giveaway will be announced on Monday.

In the meantime, here’s how you can win a set of 2 tickets* to A Klingon Christmas Carol:

It’s easy, really. Entertain me! This is a really free form ticket giveaway, mostly due to my indecision about how to run it!

What that means is that your entry can be whatever you want it to be. Tell me a joke, draw me a picture, tell me why you want to – or deserve to! – go see this show. Tell me the nerdiest thing you’ve ever said or done. Anything really – most entertaining/creative entry wins 2 tickets.

Entries will be accepted by Email (cakes@celebrationgeneration.com), or by mail (P.O. Box 41844, Plymouth MN 55441).

Entries must be received by 12pm CST, Wednesday November 25. Winner will be announced on Friday November 27!

* Tickets are not valid for either Opening Night or Closing Night.