A tri-weekly blog about gaming, entertainement, and food.

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Top 10 Guide to (possibly offbeat) Holiday Flicks

With the Xmas season in full swing, it’s only appropriate to put on a few flicks to get into the spirit of the season.  So next time you’re stuck with your family and they insist on putting on a “holiday movie” I’ve put together a list of some of my personal favorites that still fall into the “holiday” categories for you to choose from.  Maybe you’ll find some on here that you can put in your holiday collection for easy access by the family when they’re itching for the holiday cheer!

10. Edward Scissorhandsedward-kim

Year: 1990

Director: Tim Burton

Starring: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, Vincent Price, Alan Arkin, Anthony Michael Hall

This Burton film begins with a grandmother telling a story about why it always snows on Christmas in their California hometown.  Her cookie-cutter culdesac is peppered with a sense of weirdness, like many of Burton’s films, and when a strange young scissor-handed man is brought into town after being found alone in the spooky mansion at the edge of town it brings more than just gossip. She recants to her grandchild the offbeat and unlikely love story between Mr. Scissorhands and a young woman in their quiet 50’s suburban town, and how their love keeps it snowing each Christmas.  Sounds sappy, I know, but how sappy can it be with Johnny Depp in a leather body suit and scissors for hands awkwardly falling in love with a blond Winona Ryder teenager?  Either way, it’s a Christmas classic for sure! Read the rest of this page »

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Food Friday Haikus (from Thursday’s lazy dinner): A Feast For Your Eyes

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We started with wine

Roussanne, Eberle ’06

A lead up to food

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Tips For Being a Good College Geek Neighbor (a passive rant)

1.  Recognize your surrounding neighbors.

Are they college kids? Is it a family neighborhood? Do they have an Elder God door knocker?  Are they cooking up meth in the adjoining garage?  These are all important pieces of information to take into consideration after moving into a new place, especially when deciding decor, gaming equipment placement, and bedroom choices.  Not to mention making  a mental map of what route emergency vehicles would have to take in case of an emergency, fire or otherwise…  Who is living near/next to/below/above you is a very key piece of intel when setting up your lair.  A variety of factors can influence how you set up your apartment, especially when the focus is for console gaming, computer gaming, LAN hosting, tabletop games, LARPing, etc.  Know your neighbors as you would know the dragon boss in your next dungeon. Read the rest of this page »

LARPing: To Boldly Go…

Captain’s log: Stardate 40247.3

At the edge of the Alpha Quadrant, we’ve picked up a distress beacon coming from a nearby M-Class planet.  We initially proceeded with a routine rescue response until our science officer discovered it was not only a beacon of Starfleet design, but it was 17 years old!  Could it be? The lost away team of the USS Krofft?  We would have to send out the away team for these pour souls that Starfleet has waited 17 years for… and bring those people home!

A Star Trek/70s SciFi LARP for 16 people.

PlanetRise2

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Food Porn Friday: Star Wars Featurette

I decided to do a little photo-feature on some of the foods that I sampled yesterday from my Star Wars Cookbook (and other galactic recipes). They were so tasty that even Jabba would be jealous! Now excuse me while I pop out to Dagobah and do some push-ups with a Yoda backpack to burn off those calories…

Food Porn Friday: Star Wars Featurette

Pages featured from “The Star Wars Cookbook: Wookiee Cookies and Other Galactic Recipes” by Robin Davis

Whovian Knitters Saved!

Left: Tom Baker, image copyright BBC
Right: Lauren as the Doctor – photo by Brian J. Matis

About three years ago I started the biggest knitting endeavor known to geeks: the Doctor Who scarf.  This 12 foot, 7 color, all wool tasseled scarf made its first appearance in “Robot” in 1974 when a poor knitter who was friends with the costume designer was handed an armful of yarn and asked to knit a scarf.  What no one had anticipated was that A) Begonia Pope was a knitter with ninja-like crafting speed, and B) she would use ALL OF THE YARN to make a scarf for our fourth Doctor.  This resulted in the original scarf starting out 20 feet long, but the extra footage did not make it far with Baker’s stunts and shenanigans.  It was altered to the beloved 12 foot scarf that holds a special place in every Whovian’s heart today after its big break back in ’74.

Once it became one of the most notable costume pieces in Doctor Who history it also became an integral part of Gallifreyan costuming, especially at conventions.  And when this happened geeks and cosplayers all over the world exclaimed “but, but, I can’t knit!  How do I get this awesome costume piece?” And thus every Whovian Knitter was bombarded with tear-filled requests to make these dreams come true.  What many people don’t seem to realize is the time and effort that go into undertaking is such a huge and daunting project.  Sure, it’s just like knitting a bunch of scarves… just all at once… but let’s face it, geeks everywhere would notice if you didn’t use the right shade of  colors, altered the pattern, or even wrong yarn materials!  And thus, a certain level of blood, sweat, tears, detail and concentration is required for the construction of this crafting monstrosity. Read the rest of this page »

Bi-Trektual

Voltaire

Voltaire – photo by Alas Vera, featured on http://www.voltaire.net

You may or may not know, but the incredibly talented Aurelio Voltaire has recently come out with his latest album: Bi-Trektual.  Until recently, I was in the grouping of people who “did not know” that this highly entertaining album was even in the works.  For any of you who are unfamiliar with Voltaire’s work but are familiar with the Burlesque show that we recently put on, my solo number was to Voltaire’s “When You’re Evil,” a dark cabaret style piece with almost a gypsy feel at times.  Back to the geek side though, his newest album Bi-Trektual is a hilarious compilation of songs mainly comparing and combining Star Wars and Star Trek, but also include other fun little references to other sci-fi series and movies as well.

As usual, the whole album is a fantastic mix of quality music, raunchy and infectious lyrics, and also this time incorporates any geek’s wet dream of being able to connect with everything Trek and Wars related.  It has so many moments of “OMG-SO-TRUE!” shout outs for sci-fi fans that I stopped counting after the second track.  It combined these so well, in fact, that it caused my non-Trekkie fiance, Joe, to crack a smile and even stifle a snort on more than one occasion when I subjected him to the first listen of the album.

I decided to download the digital copy because I couldn’t stand to wait for the physical copy to come in the mail, but would highly recommend purchasing this album if you haven’t already.  The physical CD is already on my Xmas list even though I own the digital copy, if for nothing else than the fantastic album artwork.  If you’re still not convinced, take a look at the track list below and see if you still have any reservations!

Buy it on Amazon!                                            Check out Voltaire’s Page!

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Return of the Forgotten Holiday: Pornstar Edition

Now that I have your attention, I’d like to turn it to one of the best yet perhaps most forgotten holidays of the year: Thanksgiving.  Yes we all remember it now while our stomachs are still distended from stuffing our faces the previous day and night, but today also marks the start of the official holiday season.  Let’s be honest though, we shouldn’t even be calling it the holidays.  It’s the Christmas season, though not necessarily “Christmas” as in anything remotely related to religion.  The Christmas season, especially here in California, has become synonymous with buy-lots-of-stuff-and-pretend-we-live-where-it-snows season.  Not only that, but each year it creeps earlier and earlier and has done so enough times that it has all but wiped Thanksgiving out completely!  Tuesday Morning Quarterback refers to this phenomenon as the Christmas Creep. He recounts that “not long ago, Christmas creep occurred on any observations or decorations before Thanksgiving. Now, holding off on Christmas kitsch until Halloween ends is viewed as incredible restraint.” -Gregg Easterbrook, TMQ

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Jessi Belle McGraven: Dissonant Belle of the South

When you hear the phrase “Southern Belle,” the first things that come to mind are ruffled bustling skirts and fancy dresses, decadent home-cooked sweets, unrivaled hospitality, and an accent that could swoon the pants off of the Grinch himself… if he wore any to begin with.  Hey, it’s not a perfect analogy!  Green-furred villain wardrobe details aside, southern belles are what shape and move much of the south in the mid-late 1800′s and have a very specific and rigid image to maintain.  So when the image of Jessi Belle McGraven, my newest gaming character, began to form in my mind from bits and pieces of belle imagery coalescing like smoke from a forgotten cigar I couldn’t help but pull ideas from modern media as well.  The most obvious choice that stuck out like the scheming card shark that she is was Annabelle Bransford, queen of the tables in the 1994 motion picture Maverick.  She holds the perfect southern belle balance of refined etiquette, innocent yet maddening flirtations, and classic beauty… and then uses it all as a front to hide her scheming, thieving, and greedy ulterior motives to amass wealth wherever possible.  She was perfect. Now that I had a solid and devilish idea of how I wanted to shape my newly brewed character, I had to think of how to insert her into the harrowed and twisted world of the Weird West that is the host to Deadlands: Savage Worlds.

Image copyright Pinnacle Entertainment Group, 2012. Used with permission. www.peginc.com

Image copyright Pinnacle Entertainment Group, 2012. Used with permission. http://www.peginc.com

Your Cure For the Mondays – Burlesque: A Day in the Life

Photo by Brian J. Matis

Lauren and Baby Snake “Madness” – Photo by Brian J. Matis

I felt it fitting to start off and christen my new blog by writing a bit about a fantastic show that I was lucky enough to be a part of this past weekend.  This was SLO Tease‘s third of (hopefully) many Burlesque shows to come and continues to have a massive impact on audience and performers alike, though often in very different respects.  For the audience it’s typically a mixture of seemingly endless anticipation, uncontrollable excitement, and being witness to mesmerizing moves, though not necessarily in that order.  Not to be confused with stripping, Burlesque focuses on the art of the tease, anticipation, and the leaves the question of “wow, what else?!” on the mind of the entire audience.  More often than not, it also tends to inspire a number of girls (and boys!) to come up after the show fervently asking how they can sign up to perform in the next one.  A fraction of the eager fresh meat potential performers commit to a future show, but those that do are always a fabulous addition!

Not so surprisingly, I was one of the fresh meat initiates after the first SLO Tease show and got to experience firsthand the fun and empowering transition from audience to troupe member.  As far as prior experience goes I had about 15+ years of musical training, but as you can imagine that does little to nothing in regards to choreographing a dance with the happy balance of incredibly seductive yet non-trampy.  Whenever I was at a loss, the troupe came to the rescue and helped in any way they could, even if that meant helping to dispel self conscious worries by enacting every school boy’s fantasy and comparing various body parts during rehearsals…  Keeping true to the “tease” of burlesque I’ll let you interpret that as you will.

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