Tuesday, December 31, 2013

14 Geekolutions for 2014



My Geekolutions for 2014 in all their glory! Some seem a little like goals, but I'm resolving to do these things, so yeah. I tried to be reasonable about the whole thing and there's no hard and fast "do or die" mentality about them. I do what I can. Besides, no one knows what the future holds for me.

1. Watch all of the Original Star Trek.

2. Watch all of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

3. Participate in 3 5K walks (ex: Dirty Girl Mud Run, Turkey Trot, Famous Racing Sausages).

4. Lose 50lbs (min.) using my geek fitness goals.

5. Attend at least 2 Cons. I'm hoping to attend GenCon, Chicago's Wizard Con, and Gameapalooza. I so badly want to hit up some others, but. . . well. . . I'm new to this whole thing and. . . broke.

6. Keep my geek fitness goals for at least six months. (That's a reasonable minimum.)

7. Read 30 books, half of which should be from my Augmenting Geekology List.

8. Organize my closet (give a home to all my geek shirts).

9. Play 5 video games through completely.

10. Play all of my tabletop games at least once this year.

11. Go to Door county (tour lighthouses or learn some paranormal history or something).

12. Complete at least 50 geocaches.

13. Go out of state at least twice. Preferably to new places I've not visited before. This could be a ghost hunt or a vacation or even a Con.

14. Eat at a celebrity chef restaurant (Chicago is really full of 'em). We've been to Graham Elliot's and Gordon Ramsay (when we were overseas). I'd love to, on our 10-year-Anniversary this year, to do a tasting weekend. This totally feeds my food geek.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

CAH Presents 12 Days of Holiday Bullshit MAILED GIFTS - Day 7

One more came rollin' on in today! The one of the last two envelopes we were waiting for arrived!

Here is Day 7:

The envelope. Are. . . those people . . . uh. . .doing stuff? Oh wait. . .even JUST people. . . oh my!


Here are the sleeves for the cards:



Here are the cards that came in the set.



Friday, December 27, 2013

Reasonable Geek Fitness

I've spent a large chunk of my life playing the extreme yo-yo game. The heart of my weight issues lies purely in being able to be active. My eating habits are, overall, monitored alright, but what really makes the difference is getting up and out. Sadly, I'm just not a health nut. I'll talk in general about healthier choices, but I don't do the raw foods thing or the vegan thing or the no-processed-foods thing. I just can't, actually. Trust someone whose been there. . . eating healthy is expensive. I can get a taco at Taco Bell for $1, but make homemade healthy tacos. . . not $1.  I try, though, to make smart choices about calories, fat, sugars, sodium, etc. But my pocketbook does not allow for me to be extremely picky. (Don't even get me started on gardening. . . me and the green thumb have not worked out, despite my passion for wanting an herb garden.)

I was on a good track for a while after I had my daughter. I was working with the Curves workout program in my town. It was great. 45 minutes-wam-bam-thank-you-mame! I was seeing results and I was feeling good about it. Then I moved. . . to where there are no conveniently located Curves. Yet, as my daughter was getting older, her and I were able to venture out into the great big world together on walks and things. Oh yeah, and my work was having a physical fitness competition for the last half of our 2012-2013 school year.

We walked and walked and I was using my Wii games and Wii board to stay on top of things and add in new routines, etc. etc. But then we had a long stretch of inconsistencies. It started with our trip to visit the in-laws. Almost three whole weeks of no home cooking, only eating out and very little exercise. It was in the 90's outside, so you don't just go outside for a little jaunt, especially with all the wild dogs in the neighborhood where they live. We used to live around the corner. We know.

Once we arrived home, it was the most stressful time I'd encountered since that time last year, but it was already too late. I had already gained back 15 pounds and with all the stress, the poundage was quickly rising again.  Sad to say, by October I was feeling like Tim Allen stuck as Santa. I had lost sixty pounds already. . . I didn't want to gain back half of that in only a few months. That was a devastating thought, but things just were not working in my favor. Work, money, mood, you name it. . . It wasn't working out for me. Yet, now is as good a time as ever to jump back on the treadmill, right?

I'm always jump-starting my workouts and things, only to be derailed by life. Such is my lot, but its hard to do alone. So I'm going to be super-motivating and I'm tying it into my geek journey! What a perfect way to get in shape, by tying it to something you love!

First, I started by looking at pre-established geek fitness programs. All of them seem to assume I have some semblance of fitness already. Sure, lifting weights and blending cardio and strength training are the way to go, but quite honestly, this isn't the Biggest Loser and the amount of time I have between work and a three-year-old and housewifery and the need for personal time isn't going to work out for an extreme blending of hardly anything. I also felt like most of these workouts were geared towards twenty-somethings and I am so a thirty-something. There will be no Super Mario Parkouring outta this nerd.


I abandoned most of what I saw, because I was being realistic. I needed to do something that was very much me and not try to fit into someone else's program. So I made a list of things that I want to change and geeked them up a bit.

1. I need inspiration. What better way to inspire than by using inspirational quotes? I love quotes. While I was looking for something on Etsy, I came across two Star Trek quotes that just seemed so geared towards what I was looking to do and I knew that inspirational quotes would be what I would need to motivate myself.

2. I need to get physical. What are the things that I can do to get my ass off the couch? Well, there are my Wii games and my Wii board. No, I'm not a couch-Wii-playing. I'm full-on-intense about it. I even got Just Dance 2014 for funsies. My husband does not approve of that particular purchase. I also want to get walking again, because I need to get some major weight down and walking, the long and short of it, is the best thing for right now. I also just need to get off the couch more often. I know it's winter and harder, but what are my trade-offs? Binge-Watching Trade-Off.

3. I need to be rewarded. I need to be validated for the work that I'm doing to keep me moving forward. To keep caring about what I'm doing. I function very much on a rewards and recognition system. Doing this solo makes it difficult to always feel validated for the work I do, but I came up with some ideas for how to make this happen.

4. I need to consume in a healthy way. Yeah. . . I can't just go whole hog and think that the input isn't affecting the output. So I have my food goals that will be set up through my favorite calorie-counting site, MyFitnessPal. It is not only food, but water. So I'll be keeping track of that.

I'll post what the actual goals and plan are in another entry, but I think this is going to be pretty awesome. I've made geek badges to earn along the way that I can post. I'm even constructing a list of reward items that I can purchase when I meet certain goals (that are also hubby approved purchases). I'm really looking forward to making all this work together and it feels like it's going to be fun. I just need a swift kick to the ass to get myself out the door.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

CAH Presents 12 Days of Holiday Bullshit MAILED GIFTS - Day 12

Day 12 both happened and arrived on the same day for us, so I'm not going to split them.This was the coolest card! Sadly. . . it does not have my name on it. . . it's has. . . my husband's name on it. . . Oh my devastation was great and then he said "but think of all the awesome ways you can now mock me." That made me feel a little better. Plus the site let me have that little moment of "look. . . my name on a card. . ."

What's even more awesome is that you can enter any name and actually be insulted by CAH, personally! Go check it out and enter in all your favorite names to see what kind of feedback you get when you hit the submit button.

https://www.holidaybullshit.com/

Here is the envelope my husband's card came on. So sad am I, but this was still totally awesome.






Monday, December 23, 2013

Silly Parents. . . These Cards Aren't for Kids

http://maxistentialist.tumblr.com/post/70955989315/a-mysterious-envelope-appeared-at-the-office

I can't not comment on this. I saw it posted through Wil Wheaton and then followed it over to Maxistentialism.

I do have to ask why "Elves, etc" is the one that set this particular parent off. I mean, if  they're in tight with the decider of post-humours-fates, wouldn't maybe. . . Interfaith Circle Jerk has been a bit more. . .inflammatory? Or. . . uh. . . have they not gotten that packet yet? Maybe those might be a bit more pornographic. Yet, then you actually look up what makes something pornographic, it has to have intent. It can only truly be considered pornographic if it lacks artistic merit. At the very least it would be pure erotica trash. Sadly for this parent, CAH clearly is a piece of socially offensive art that causes people to evaluate their own what-what about this and that.

Another thing that jumped out at me, was that the handwriting felt like it was forced cursive. Typically people (especially students) who frequently write in cursive grow at being adept at it, but something about this particular handwriting makes it feel forced. Almost, to ensure that you take them seriously and that they are an adult, they must write like this. I know some adults have some pretty bad handwriting or no cursive skills at all, but even this feels a little off to me. Then add in those really emphasized exclamation points. Seems rather girlish, if you ask me.

Add the incredibly over-the-top and almost afterthought threat of turning them over to the F. B.I. I mean, it's not that I don't think there are people out there who would do this (think of all the people who go after people on twitter or Facebook. . . such as the girl who dressed as a Boston Bombing Marathon Survivor for Halloween), but it feels all incredibly juvenile. If this was an adult who seriously cared, wouldn't they have maybe typed out a formal letter or angry intent? I know I wouldn't just scrawl something on a piece of paper and waste my stamp on something that isn't powerful with thought-out presence. Think about, too. . . wouldn't a parent be more likely to call the company if they felt this was truly F.B.I. worthy pornography? Or find an e-mail or point of contact before scribbling out a threatening letter? To even contemplate the return of the money spent on the offensive crap their daughter received?

I also just have to address the fact that a child signed up for 12 Days of Holiday Bullshit and the parent had no clue. I don't think I can buy into the kid not owning the game or not having to consult the parents for the finances to attain it. Or did a friend sign the daughter up for this as a joke?  I can buy the ignorant parent thing. I mean, hell. . . parents have been accused of worse, but to get angry at a company for your own negligent parenting? You're the one who didn't know about that which your child signed up. Cards Against Humanity means that the game is against humans, human existence, and being humane, kind, and benevolent. What in the world kind of game do you think this is?  What prompted this parent to intercept the envelopes on this particular day? The whole thing, while technically plausible, seems just a little off.

This whole thing feels like a call for attention. Especially with such a flimsy claim as thinking the F.B.I. is going to come in and freak out, because you didn't monitor your kids online behaviors or the use of a credit card as a minor. I have money on this being a kid. So if anyone looks into it or follows up on it, I'd love to know what comes of it.

Cards Against Humanity      1             Faux-Humanity     0


CAH Presents 12 Days of Holiday Bullshit - Day 11

https://www.holidaybullshit.com/

NUN!!!

So there's another video. Another new song about how jaded we all are about the holidays. If nothing else, it's a great conversation starter. I talked to my husband about those who are jaded about the holidays. I think I was there once or twice in my life, which usually stems from a string of bad holidays or frustrations over money issues or too much pressure on those around you to have to live up to a certain holiday standard. I know it's all supposed to be funny and hilarious, but then my parent/teacher personality kicks in and all I can think about is how negative the future holidays will be as children continue to see adults mock the holidays. We had been taught that sarcasm is sometimes the worst thing to use on kids, because they don't have a filter yet. Sadly, the entire world they live in (especially online and in so many of the older kids cartoon shows) is literally one big pit of sarcasm.



It's still a funny video. I just had to keep reminding myself that it's supposed to be funny and if you seriously say "fuck the holidays," then you're not doing it right. As someone who has lived a life of upper middle class to completely broke and close to not having a roof over their head to currently living barely above the poverty line on my teachers salary, I've never blamed the holidays for being what they are. I've made them my own. And maybe that's the truth behind all of this stuff. My kids love to yell out "YOLO" for everything (sharpening a pencil in the middle of class. . . really embracing life there), but isn't that kind of the point? If I'm not happy with my life, what do I need to do in order to find happiness in my situation?

Thanks CAH for causing me to soapbox so much this holiday season. It's been fun!

Now enjoys the cards that I've already posted pictures of, because I got this particular gift early! W00Ts!!!

Black Card: Kids these days with their iPods and their internet. In my day, all we needed to pass the time was _____________.

Black Card: GREETINGS HUMANS    I AM ______ BOT   EXECUTING PROGRAM

White Card: A simultaneous nightmare and wet dream starring Sigourney Weaver.

White Card: Being blind and deaf and having no limbs.

White Card: People with cake in their mouths talking about how good cake is.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Don't Forget the Wrapping Paper

I wanted to have some special wrapping paper this year to have fun with. I didn't want the traditional glossy sparkles of candy or Santa images. I do enjoy the classic snowflake styles, but I wanted something special this Christmas. So far it's turned into the most fun Christmas, because of all the neato geek stuff I've done.

Googling around the net, I discovered this pretty nifty site called Spoonflower.com. They print custom fabrics, gift wrap, wallpaper, and decals. They have some incredibly cool patterns for the modern hipsters out there, or anyone, quite honestly. I spent a good while browsing the keyword "geek." What I turned up made me squeal with girlish delight!

The wrapping paper of my dreams started to appear before my eyes. So much so that I couldn't contain my need to geek and purchased more rolls than I intended.

I found:

Chemistry Christmas

Chemistry Christmas (which reminded me of Ho3 = The Element of Cheer). I loved this one so much I ordered two rolls of it so that I wrap the majority of my gifts in it.

Red Christmas Dice
Polyhedrals

Then I saw two awesome dice designs that I just loved. I figured I could wrap some of my gaming clubs gifts in one of the two and gifts for my family with the other.




Minion Hearts


As I browsed even more, I saw this minion wrapping paper and figured it would be perfect for the special Santa gifts for our daughter. Only the gifts from Santa would be wrapped in it. We'd keep the paper hidden, so she wouldn't see any of our gifts, and it would stand out under the tree!

Trek Stripes

Last but not least, I ordered a selfish little purchase of Star Trek paper. As a little bit of backup for if I ran out of paper, but I couldn't help it. It was just too cool. 
Can I just say, my gifts look so geekin' awesome! I am loving this site and I'm already finding My Little Pony paper for my daughter's birthday and even trying to get my husband to tell my mother-in-law so that she can make some cute little summer dresses out of some of these really awesome material! Part of me even wants to take a stab at being more crafty so that I can buy some fabric and make some quick dresses and things. . . or bags. . . hmmm. . .

Bottom line. . . check out this site for all our geek cloth or wrapping or decaling needs! It is AWESOME!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

CAH Presents 12 Days of Holiday Bullshit - The New Day 9

https://www.holidaybullshit.com/

There's nothing like looking back at a year that turns out to be totally fu-barred. Well. . . sort of.

{SOAPBOX ALERT}

We, as a culture, have become more and more focused on the negativity of the end of a year and mocking the year gone-by. Not that it isn't funny, but I feel like there's some sort of bandwagon that everyone hijacked as it went by. Actually. . . come to think of it. . . to be anti-celebratory is all the rage these days. "I don't 'do' Halloween" or "I don't 'do' the whole gift thing." We're protecting ourselves from something. From the harshness of the hard times many of us have fallen on? To compensate our sorry state with jaded outlooks on life? Boy am I cliche today! Just walk away. . . .

{STEP DOWN}

Enjoy the musical stylings of Jonathan Mann (who also did the not-suitable-for-informative-paper-research Song A Day #709: The History of Video Games. . . that I almost showed my kids for fun before break on this fake Day 9 of CAH Presents 12 Days of Holiday Bullshit).


 Oh yeah. . . and don't forget the cards.


Black Card: Here's what you can expect for the new year:
     Out:_________________.
      In: _________________.

Black Card: Revealed: Why He Really Resigned! Pope Benedict's Secret Struggle with ________________.

White Card: The royal afterbirth.

White Card: Having a strong opinion about Obamacare.

White Card: Congress's flaccid penises withering away beneath their suit pants.




Friday, December 20, 2013

CAH Presents 12 Days of Holiday Bullshit MAILED GIFTS - Day 1 & Day 4

IT'S HERE!!! IT'S HERE!!! IT'S FINALLY HERE!!!  The Day 1 gift has finally arrived. In addition to this blessing, we also received Day 4! Excitement!  Here's what we got.

Let's start with Day 1. There is a pear tree, but it looks like we're quickly loosing the poor little partridges.  Oh my! Must be windy is that cold landscape.


Here are the packages for the cards, along with the title of the set and the Fun Fact.



The cards are here and I'm so happy to see them. I can't wait to include them in my original deck.


Finally, here was the note that was included, helping me to understand what this all exactly is. I. . . had already read this and I wish it hadn't taken over 20 days to arrive FROM CALIFORNIA! I still stand by the fact that something about this one taking so long seems really out of place. SOMETHING was going on there. Either way. Enjoy. What do you think the code at the bottom means?


Yeah. . . so. . . do not throw away anything they send you. Especially, for example, the Clusterfuck game that I will never play with anyone, ever, because I'm not 15 or in college.

And that's what arrived with Day 1. I received a very nicely printed and packaged copy of Clusterfuck. Love the title. Don't like the game. It's a bit too awkward for my group of friends. Maybe if I was still in my 20's it would have been a pretty cool game, but. . .I'm old. . -ish. . . now. Blah. I feel like I sound ungrateful. . . shame on me. I own it for posterity. And to lock away in the lock-box under my bed, so when my daughter is a teenager, she never finds it.

Here is the envelope of the four calling birds?  More like Four Foul Fowls. Pheweee!


Clusterfuck! Figure out how you REALLY wanna. . . well. . . you know. . . KNOW. . . in the biblical sense.



Oh yeah, and here's the invitation to the sexy party (which will always remind me of Stewie).


Loving the 12 Days! This is so frickn' awesome and makes checking the mail an even more anxiety-riddled ritual than it already is!


CAH Presents 12 Days of Holiday Bullshit - Day 9

Edited Note 12/21/2013 - Scratch that. . . now CAH Presents 12 Days of Holiday Bullshit - Day 10? What in the world?!?!?!

https://www.holidaybullshit.com/

I know I can be an overly emotional and weepy kind of girl sometimes, but it did my heart good and added to all the positive mojo I was feeling today to see that CAH donated $100,000 to DonorsChoose.org. I am a middle school teacher who was trained in the Milwaukee Public School system where so many students a struggling, because of cuts to funding and the mass exodus due to so much of the Scott Walker Bullshit.

So many teachers right now, especially in areas like Chicago, Milwaukee, Raleigh, and other major cities, are in need of financial support for classroom supplies. My first year teaching, I sunk hundreds and hundreds of dollars into my classroom in Oshkosh, while also trying to pay off student loans and support my family. You don't make a whole hell of a lot, especially after taxes and all the other necessary paycheck addendum are made. Most teachers have a calling. It's not just a training that is built up and you just go do it. You have to feel it in your soul, because the job is brutal and can crush you, mind, body, and spirit, if you aren't driven by that absolute calling.

I can also see CAH focusing on this kind of charity after watching their local Chicago schools go through everything they went through this past year. Don't underestimate how moved and touched the teachers who receive these dollars will be and I am happy to say that my dollar helped to support colleagues.

In order to see how awesome this charitable act is, click this link to get to their breakdown of what CAH did to honor our country in better ways than. . . most of our country.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

CAH Presents 12 Days of Holiday Bullshit - Day 8

https://www.holidaybullshit.com/

Are you an online comic fan? Or. . . maybe you just love the funny pages? Well you are in luck! CAH commissioned an awesome Funny Pages Zine to be sent to those who paid up for the trees to be destroyed. The rest of you have to suffer with this eco-friendly version.

Can I just say. . . FRICKIN' AWESOME!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Promoting My Tabletop Gaming Club

At my school, they read announcements over the loudspeaker. So whenever I have something to add for the clubs I run, I just write up a little announcement and it'll be read by the kids assigned on that day to read them. I usually try to make things exciting or funny. I found the students who actually are asked to listen to announcements get a kick out of them. Doubly so in our Dean of Students reads them, because he gets all sports announcery. So I always try to come up with something fun and witty to get the students attention isntead of just "Don't forget about gaming club at recess."

Also, our weather here in Wisconsin was getting pretty snowy and really cold and is projected to be even more snowy and cold. Most of the recess times were being spent inside. So the students had to either sit in the balcony of the gym or they got the gym floor, depending on the day (alternating between the grades). So instead of just sitting on the balcony, why not come play a tabletop game, right?

Caching in on the season and the reason, I made this cute little announcement and then had my club members pass them out to their teachers and friends to promote the club.  I also put it up on my projector background in my classroom. It was awesome! Just imagine a kid coming to this announcement on a page and having to read it aloud on the spot. Poor girl on Monday didn't know what to do. Today, the Dean of Students actually got in on it and gave it a nice little melody. I'll have to change it for tomorrow. Maybe. . . Winter Wonderland?


BONUS: Our "Game of the Week" from the previous week was Smallworld! I actually used his brief tutorial at the beginning of the episode of Tabletop to help explain the game

Edited 12/20/2013: We had 5 new people come to check out the club this week and even had an inquiry about Magic: The Gathering. I'm super excited about having a very productive school group with a consistent group of kids who participate.

I also made the Winter Wonderland announcement for Thursday and Friday:
School bells ring, Are you listening?
In the hall, snow is glistening.
A beautiful day, We're not outside play.
Walking to a gaming wonderland (In Mrs. B######'s room.)      
Tabletop Gaming Club is open every lunch/recess. Come on over to Mrs. B#####’s room, A###, and check out the game vault!


CAH Presents 12 Days of Holiday Bullshit - Day 7

https://www.holidaybullshit.com/

Is elf cum like eggnog?

Anyways. . .all I can only think of pooping back and forth forever when I watch this video. Happy 7th day of holiday bullshit!


Here are the cards on the background:

Black Card: What's the one thing that makes an elf instantly ejaculate?

White Card: The Grinch's musty cum-stained pelt.

White Card: Rudolph's bright red balls.

White Card: Jizzing into Santa's beard.

White Card: Breeding elves from their priceless semen.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

CAH Presents 12 Days of Holiday Bullshit - Day 6


https://www.holidaybullshit.com

As a followup to family and Christmas, they've posted some downloadable posters to help you offend even more people. Maybe safer for your dorm than your childhood room when you visit home for the holidays.

https://www.holidaybullshit.com/images/PostFamilyPosters.pdf

CAH Presents 12 Days of Holiday Bullshit MAILED GIFTS - Day 3

I was starting to get a bit nervous about the arrival of the gifts, but Day 3 has finally arrived! Here's what was included.

Here is the envelope. Three extremely New Wave, Frenchie Hens (even though they're probably chicks and the cock of the walk).


Here is the packaging for the set of cards that was sent for Day 3. I had to relive the awkwardness ALL over again. ::shakeshead::



Finally, the cards that have now made their way into my larger deck. . . even though. . . oh goodness, I'm having some sort of moral dillemma over this whole thing. Ray is saying I'm being all uptight, but I'm super struggling with these cards coming up when playing the game with friends. ::hyperventilate:: It'll be alright.


There you have it. Day 3 finally arrived. I only wonder when Day 1 will arrive, if ever, and what other treats are in-store for us. Hopefully no more god or God jokes. Not that I'm all freaking out, but seriously. . . my youth and this whole New Pope thing has got me in some sort religious crisis. At least they're all equally made fun of. Man up chick. Deal with the hilarity.