You Should Visit the North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival

Saturday night, when things were beginning to feel seasonable and not like I had never left Florida, Jon and I decided to bundle up (finally an opportunity to wear my sparkly new hat) and head to the North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary.

It was quite crowded when we arrived, and we waited for about 20 minutes to purchase tickets, but it was totally worth it because of all the pretties. Behold:




(Yes, that is me trying to take a photo with the pandas in the dark).





Beautiful, right? I haven’t even shown you the 175 foot long dragon in the lake:




It had steam coming from its nostrils and was amazing! Dragons are the best.

The event was packed with visitors of all ages: families, couples, friends out for a stroll. The festival was supposed to close on Sunday, but has been extended through January 17, likely because of high demand. Which makes sense, because it is incredibly “OMG BEAUTIFUL.”

Triangle friends: GO SEE THIS BEFORE IT CLOSES. You have almost two weeks, and it is open every night! And a quick FYI: On Saturday nights there are food trucks and cultural demonstrations, such as music and dancing.

Want more info? Here you go! Now, get thee to Cary, and enjoy!




The Budding Television Critic

I love TV (#peaktv). For the past five to six years, watching all the prestige television (#prestigetv?) I can find has been one of my primary, if not my primary, cultural pass times. The majority of my Facebook posts are me, statusing away about the amazing television I am currently watching.

I am also really good at watching the critically acclaimed television that not a lot of other people are watching, such as FargoThe Americans, and The Leftovers. All so good! Seriously, you should watch these shows.

Frankly, I thought that this was a relatively new development for me: watching the #prestigetv that no one else watches, and telling everyone who will listen about it. However, it is not. Behold, from the May 23, 2003, issue of The Torch, my school newspaper:



Within this article, an 18-year-old Lindsay had the following erudite words to share about one of the greatest shows of all timeBuffy the Vampire Slayer:


“I am out of commission from 8:00 to 9:00 every Tuesday night, for I am glued to my television. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the best show on television: witty, funny, moving, and incredibly well-written and well-produced. The demise of Buffy will leave an enormous void in my pop-culture life, and in the lives of my fellow Buffy obsessees around the world. Thank God for DVDs and reruns.”

Buffy, appropriately, ended right as I graduated high school, and this was the last issue of Torch to be published before my graduation. My final words at Pine View: about television. How appropriate.

That said, I have been a television critic since I was a mere youth! Maybe I have missed my calling? Clearly, however, I know what I am talking about in terms of referring television: take my suggestions, friends, for lo, they are awesome!

Happy New Year – 2016 Edition


Our New Year’s Day tradition, and since we have done it two years in a row it is now officially a tradition, is to marathon The Lord of the Rings. The theatrical versions, not the extended releases, we’re not masochists, and it is still over ten hours of movie-watching.

This year, we’ve doubled-down on the sloth and pushed our two sofas together to create a couch fort. This was Jon’s idea, which was given in response to my somewhat ambitious plan to construct a full-out fort in our living room. Much easier, and just as cozy. I’m not sure why we haven’t done this before, it is a truly genius masterpiece, and becomes even more awesome with the addition of furry cats.



As for fuel, over the past two days we’ve consumed eggs-in-a-hole made with challah bread and a ton of butter, a frozen pepperoni pizza, steak and bake potato with cheese and (more) butter, popcorn, hot chocolate from Matthew’s Chocolates in Hillsborough, gelato (also from Matthew’s), and more.

My FitBit stats are at the lowest they have been since I started using one at the beginning of December. Achievement unlocked.

If you’re wondering where we are in the films, we’re well into The Return of the King. The beacons of Minas Tirith have been lit–one of my favorite scenes from the films, because of the sweeping music and drama of the imagery. Hope is kindled! So epic! I figure we’ll finish the marathon just before midnight.

lotr-rotk-beacons (1).png

I hope everyone has had an equally relaxing start to 2016. We can all start the business of getting, well, back to business tomorrow. For today, sloth shall reign.


Happy New Year everyone!



The Dilettantista in 2014 or A (Non)-Response to that Steampunk Post

Hello!  I am coming out of hibernation in response to a sudden uptick in readership because of this post on Steampunk I wrote in September 2011!  Someone posted it on Facebook and evidently it is making the rounds and causing a bit of a stir. It gave me my busiest day ever yesterday, with 931 views on my blog from 704 individual visitors.  Today I already have over 350 views on the blog.  This is a lot  for me, especially since this blog has been dormant since the fall!

When I wrote that post in 2011 I obviously intended it to cause a stir–I was making a statement that I knew would not be popular in some circles, but it was how I felt at the time.  A few people commented on it and that was that.  Now, two plus years later, I’m really bemused that the article is having its moment.  Obviously I am thrilled about the new readership, but I wrote the post over two years ago and I am really far removed from the emotions and experiences that inspired it.  Because of that, I’m not really in a place to engage actively in the conversation–Steampunk, in my current world, is just a thing that exists that other people do that looks cool.  I don’t feel strongly about it either way anymore.  People can do what they want, there are lame individuals in every fandom, and one for all and all for costumes!  Basically all I can say to the new readers who have stumbled on this blog because of an article I wrote a few years ago is welcome, and thank you for the comments, the clicks, the links, and the shares.   I really appreciate it!

In this spirit–sincere appreciation for the uptick in readership and a general welcome to my corner of the Internet–I wanted to let new readers know a bit more about The Dilettantista in 2014, and some of the major differences between the author of the Over Steampunk article and the author today:

This is me with a statue of Thomas Jefferson in the Rotunda at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.  I did not attend UVA nor do a I have an unusual fondness for President Jefferson, I just like this picture of me.
This is me with a statue of Thomas Jefferson in the Rotunda at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. I did not attend UVA nor do a I have an unusual fondness for President Jefferson, I just like this picture of me.

1) In the fall of 2011, when I wrote that article, I was unemployed and pretty bitter about it.  I got a great job in my field of choice later that year (and am soon leaving that job to start another great job, also in my field of choice, but I’ll post about that later!), but being unemployed left me a lot of time to poke around and snark on the Internet while seething about minor injuries.  Because unemployment is the worst.

2) When I wrote the article I was living with my boyfriend, Jon.  I still  live with Jon, but he is now my pre-husband and we’re getting married this summer (yaaaaaaaaaaay).  I’m super excited to be marrying My Person (baaarf yes I am one of those people now).   If you are sappy and like engagement stories, here is ours! Wedding planning has taken up a lot of the free time I kept for blogging and playing on the Internet, which is another reason for the radio silence on this end.


3)  About a month after writing the Steampunk article I got my second little black cat, Minion.  Before that we’d only had Dexter.  Twice the kitty is twice the fun and twice the litter boxes!

My cats on December 31st, 2013.  Dexter is in the front, Minion is in the back.
My cats on December 31st, 2013. Dexter is in the front, Minion is in the back.

4)  I haven’t been to a convention since 2012, so I haven’t had much reason to costume since then.  I still love looking at other people’s costumes and have booked my ticket and hotel room for Dragon*Con 2014, so costumes are not over for me!  I already have some great ideas for what to wear this year…and no, it will not be Steampunk.

5) I still really love Captain Eo and I FINALLY got to EPCOT to see it (for the first time since I was a little kid) a few weeks ago.  Behold:


1514561_10104548835005001_1846058781_nI should probably post about that soon too.

So that’s me, in a…in a really abbreviated nutshell.  I hope you poke around the blog some–there are lots of fun articles on nerd culture and Dragon*Con and pop cultural things.  You might not agree with this little corner of the Internet, but it is mine, and full of odd and sundry things.

Thanks, again, for visiting, and thanks for reading!  I hope you enjoy what you see.

2013 in review

Guys, I only posted five times this year.

That is pathetic.

Granted, I made an entirely new blog for my wedding which has pages and posts, but that’s no excuse.

Blog stats below–still drawing readers despite the lack of new content…yay…?

Next year needs to be better.

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 27,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 10 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.