MST3k Live

[TURN DOWN LIGHTS WHERE APPLICABLE]

Last weekend I had the honor of attending the Mystery Science Theater 3000 live show, and can I just say it was one of the best shows I have seen in my entire life.

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For nearly the entire time I have been watching MST3k, it has been a pretty solitary activity. These days it’s mostly me watching on the iPad while I’m doing dishes (and of course once upon a time it was me sitting in my apartment in Philly, and before that it was me staying up reaaaaaaly late at my dad’s house). So needless to say, watching it among hundreds of people brought a different…energy to the equation.

Now, look, I’ve been to some *pretty geeky shows* in my day. Niche shows with an extremely dedicated audience, where 75% of of the attendees come in costume. And none of those shows even came CLOSE to the energy of this crowd. And they maintained that energy for the entire show (keep in mind this was the second show in a row for many of those people!) People were laughing so hard that it was hard to hear all of the lines, people were falling out of their seats, and I had tears streaming down my face. It was simply amazing.

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It was great to see everybody in person, but I was kind of surprised at how visceral my reaction was to seeing Joel Hodgson live and in the flesh. This man was a hero of my childhood, and there he was, standing on stage right in front of me.

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In fact, I came very, very close to meeting him in person! Turns out Tim Ryder, the guy doing the voice of Tom Servo on the tour, is a friend of a friend. Our mutual friend sent him my blog post about them replacing my stolen membership card and he contacted me through the blog. He tried to get us the secret backstage access, but there was a bit of a communications snafu and I couldn’t convince the security guys to let us in.

Next time!

Anyway, the show was fantastic, the crowd was as into it as a crowd could be, and I laughed as hard as I have ever laughed in my life. Even without the secret backstage access it was a night that I will remember for a long, long time.

Now that is how you parent

My favorite part is when I say, “Set the clock for dinos” and he looks at me, grins, and then *yanks* that minute hand around. Gotta go pretty far if you’re going to see dinos…

The things I get in the mail…

You know, like adult storm trooper costumes…

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(If you think, boy, Shane sure has a funny look on his face in this picture, it’s because NATURALLY I was whistling the Imperial March when I took the picture but didn’t think about what that would mean for my face until I got the picture onto the computer…)

The package had a Packer’s magnet in it too. YOU REALLY DO KNOW ME!

Thanks Aunt Cecelia!

Quote Monday has a healthy appetite

Alex, pointing at pizza furiously: “That! That!”
Me: “What is that called?”
::Alex thinking::
Alex: “Yum!”

Sara: “Alex, what would you like to have for breakfast?”
Alex: “Pizza.”
Sara: “No, not pizza, what else?”
Alex: “Pizza.”
Sara: “No, something else.”
Alex: “Cake.”
Sara: “No, not cake.”
Alex: “YES CAKE!”

Me: “Hold on, let me cut [your pizza] up.”
Alex: “No! Big!”
Me: “It’s too big. It will still be big after I cut it.”
Alex, getting upset: “Noooo! No cut it!”
Me: “Alex…do you want TWO pieces of pizza?”
Alex: “…Yes! Yes! Cut it!”

Sometimes it’s all about the presentation.

Me, to Sara: “Do you want me to make something for breakfast?”
Alex: “Pasta!”
Me: “Pasta?”
Alex: “Pasta!”
Me: “Pasta’s not for breakfast.”
Alex: “Bacon!”
::Me walking away to write down this post::
Alex, calling after me: “Potatoes!”

Caramelized Banana Dutch Babies

The first Friday of the month is reserved for recipes. You can see additional First Friday Food posts here.

The Reason:

As I said the last time I talked about Dutch Babies, sometimes you want a delicious, warm pastry for breakfast, but just don’t have time to go full-on pancake.

Well I would further add to that, sometimes you don’t have time to slice up a bunch of peaches or apples, or peaches are not in season. Enter, banana dutch babies:

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The Journey:

One of the coolest things about dutch babies is the way they puff up in the pan, then deflate when you take them out of the oven (or, at least, *I* think it’s cool, but none of the kids seem to be as excited about it as I am…with this and a lot of other things)

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Pictured: mid-puff dutch babies! (And look! It even fits in the oven with sheet pan bacon!)

The Verdict:

We have actually been making these for years, so about time I got around to putting this one up. It is easy and delicious. The only problem I have is that two are no longer enough for our family!

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Oh wait, I do have one other problem with it.

We only have one cast iron pan, which means my 2nd dutch baby is in a pan that is oven safe, but I don’t normally put in the oven. That means that I can NEVER, EVER remember that the handle will be scorching hot, and constantly grab it for all it’s worth.

Learn from my constant, repeated stupidity. BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT GRABBING HOT PANS WITH YOUR BARE HANDS!

The Recipe:

Recipe adapted slightly from Chef Druck.

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 4 bananas
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Get two ovenproof skillets out (cast iron of you have them!)
  3. Combine the vanilla, eggs, milk, granulated sugar, salt and flour in the blender. Pulse until mixed.
  4. Heat both pans on medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to each pan along with half of the brown sugar. As soon as the sugar is melted, slice two bananas into each pan and turn a few times to coat well on both sides. Let them brown slightly. Pour in half the batter to each pan and put both pans in the oven immediately.
  5. Cook for 15 minutes, until the Dutch Babies are golden and puffed up. Optionally, douse with a big cloud of powdered sugar (we usually skip this) and serve immediately

Happy Anniversary!

I realize there aren’t really any wedding pictures of us online, since we are SO OLD that digital photography was only starting to be a thing*.

And what good are wedding pictures if you keep them to yourself and nobody can see what you looked like with a goatee? (That would be me, not Sara…still awaiting pictures of what Sara would look like in a goatee.)

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Me: “Who’s that?”
Alex: “Baby.”
Me: “No, it’s not a baby. Who’s that?”
Alex: “Baby.”
Me: “No, is not a baby! That’s dada!”
Alex: “Baby dada.”

You know, when we got married everybody said, “Are you going to shave your goatee?” and I said, “No, why would I shave my goatee? That is what I look like.” I mean, if everybody was so desperate for me to look like somebody else, I could have worn a Nixon mask or something.

Then like a month later I shaved my goatee and have never had one since.

Now you might think this proves the naysayers right, however, I kind of like the fact that when I look back on these pictures now I look young, and foolish, and so 2004. I mean Sara just looks beautiful, and timeless, and basically the same, so what’s the fun in that? Might as well just look at a current picture.

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Anyway, here’s to lucky 13. May we look back on pictures of ourselves after another 13 years of marriage and laugh about how ridiculous we look, the way we look back on pictures of 2004.

*Whoops, looks like I posted a much better picture already at 10 years. Good thing I have this blog to keep me honest.

MST3k comes through for me

As you are probably aware, I was mugged recently. Of all the bad things that happened because of that, obviously the worst (BY FAR) was the theft of my MST3k Revival League membership card.

From my post on the new season of MST3k:

I had planned to lead with a picture of my Mystery Science Theater Revival League membership card, but my mugger is now enjoying it (because of course I kept my Mystery Science Theater Revival League membership card in my wallet…what if I needed to show it at a moment’s notice?)

Well.

Unbeknownst to me, a friend tweeted at the host of MST3k, Jonah Ray, and explained what had happened. A short while later, I got a little something in the mail:

The text of the letter reads:

Shane!
So sorry to hear that you’ve hit a rough patch and that someone made off with your Official League ID. We’ve got your back, friend.
Best,
Ivan
Ivan Askwith
Producer, MST3k

Mystery Science Theater 3000, a show I have adored for almost as long as I can remember, a show that I actually cried over when it was revived, HAS MY BACK.

If I wasn’t a fan already…