Wednesday, February 27, 2013
As some of you may know, not only am a pretty big girly geek, but I am also a crafter. In fact hopefully I will do a crafting corner as well (I make geek themed jewelry, mustache and element pillows, art, etc) and when I get the occasion to do so for more than myself, I love to cook. Case in point, last year for the Oscars I made themed food which included a Hawaiian scene made out of various types of fruit. So I thought Hmm, other geeks may love to cook as well, we just have a geek tinged flavor to it.
My first recipe is in honor of Futurama. I never really watched it hard core amidst its many resurrections and cancellations, but E convinced me we needed to watch it. And for the past couple of months we have been slowly watching all of the seasons. Its a great show (I love Nibbler) and in honor of it I thought I would do a Slurm recipe and Bachelor Chow.
In Futurama Slurm is the drink of the future. Green colored oozing liquid it is highly addicting, incredibly delicious and most people don’t know where it comes from (a giant slug queen who squirts it out of places you don’t want to know about) And while I didn't find a giant slug queen I did come up with a happy little cocktail that you can drink while watching Futurama. The second recipe Bachelor Chow is basically Puppy Chow, a favorite snacky type treat of mine.
* 1½ oz. Tequila
* ½ oz. sour apple liqueur
* ¼ oz. agave nectar
* 2 oz. lime juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into your favorite slurm glass.
makes 3 pounds
*1/2 cup butter
*1 cup creamy peanut butter
* 1 cup milk chocolate chips
* 1 cup cinnamon or butterscotch chocolate chips
* 1 (17.5 ounce) package crispy corn and rice cereal (aka Chex mix)
* 1 pound confectioners' sugar
Melt the peanut butter with the butter or margarine and the milk chocolate. Pour over the cereal and toss until well coated. Place the coated cereal in a large paper sack then add the confectioners' sugar, fold down the top of the bag and shake to coat.
If you have any recipes you would like to share, please do.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
I love a good horror film. And while the jury is still out on this one, I do like the cast. Apparently it will be out in early April, but knowing my luck I wont get it here. Does it look at all interesting to you?
Summary: After the death of her husband, Dr. Cara Harding's (Julianne Moore) faith in God has been shaken, but not her belief in science. In an attempt to open her up to accepting unexplainable psychiatric theories, her father introduces her to Adam, a patient with multiple personalities who takes on some of the physical characteristics of his other personalities. But, Cara quickly discovers that Adam’s other personalities are murder victims and the more she finds out about him and his past, the closer she and her loved ones are to becoming murder victims themselves.
Sunday, February 24, 2013
Written by: Ilona Andrews
Paperback: 372 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books
December 2011, $7.99
Genre: Urban Fantasy/The Edge Series Book 3
Audrey Callahan left behind her life in the Edge, and she’s determined to stay on the straight and narrow. But when her brother gets into hot water, the former thief takes on one last heist and finds herself matching wits with a jack of all trades…
Kaldar Mar-a gambler, lawyer, thief, and spy-expects his latest assignment tracking down a stolen item to be a piece of cake, until Audrey shows up. But when the item falls into the hands of a lethal criminal, Kaldar realizes that in order to finish the job, he’s going to need Audrey’s help…
I love the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. They are great fun and an mazing world. The Edge series also by our lovely married duo is a little more heavy with the romance which I don’t mind because there is actually a great story within. I will say that they are a bit formulaic, but then again so are all romantic comedies. Each of the books centers on a character we have met previously in the series, similar to the way Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series is all in the same universe, just different characters. Kaldar Marr is one of those great characters that I was hoping we would get to see more of. He is Cerise’s cousin from bayou Moon and by the way no you don’t need to have read the others to enjoy this one.
Things I loved: One of my favorite writing duos does one thing exceptionally well, their world building. In the Kate Daniels series we have Atlanta with magic and tech times and of course all of the preternatural happies we love to have in our urban fantasy. In the Edge series we have the Broken (aka Muggle world), The Weird (full of magic and aristocracy), and then the Edge which belongs to neither. There is a family clan structure to it, a bit Southern or Appalachian mentality to the way things are done or more small time rural I suppose. In any case its fun to read. And why not, it has wyrms, a great con, action, romance, intrigue, and my favorite set of brothers.
I also love Kaldar. To pieces. And all he would have to do is smile at me and I think I’d be the easiest mark ever. I know I am not the only one. One of the reasons I liked this book was seeing the conman meet his match with a girl I liked. Again how can you not like Audrey. Her family pretty much used and abused her in favor of her less than worthy drug addicted brother. She’s had it tough and even though she grew up amidst cons and thieves, she made something of herself. You know I think I liked most of the characters really. In this book we even get to see life from Jack and George’s point of view. And I love those boys.
Yes there is romance, but it works for me. It is full of wicked banter and a slow boil to their romance, things I enjoy. Audrey and Kaldar are perfect for each other and their happily ever after will certainly be fun for both parties. Audrey is great because she calls Kaldar on his bullshit and recognizes his merits. Kaldar sees through Audrey’s tough girl schtick and wants to be come a better person just for her. Its all kind of sweet and when they finally do get together...yowzer. Great scene kids.
But enough about the characters, the action is there. The fun is there. The intrigue and the little breadcrumbs of what is to come in some old baddies and heroes. It is a quick read and one that I think you would enjoy
Things I didn’t love so much: As I said there is a bit of a formula happening: Tough, independent woman meets bad boy. Romance ensues. Really the only difference is the location, and the characters. And all our dialogue tends to be the same, clever and wicked, tons of snark and yet those are things I love. But I can see why others may find it to be the same old thing again and again. The story is a bit slow to start off but once it picks up, it really flies.
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Part of: A Series
Also Recommended: Kate Daniels series also by Ilona Andrews, the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr (for teh same different characters but same world feel), and The Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs.
3.25 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks
The Soundtrack for this Post: Waiting for the Moon to Rise // Belle and Sebastian
Thursday, February 14, 2013
For those of you who don’t know who Harry is. Harry is a reluctant hero, a professional wizard (the only one listed in the phone book) who often helps the police with cases involving "unusual" circumstances and others who seek his help. He lives in Chicago and while considered a bit of a magical thug (all power and no real fine control over it), is one of the best heroes I know. He is kind to the wee folk (Toot Toot), is an animal lover (his dog Mouse and his cat Mister), is best friends with a spirit of intellect who lives in a skull and loves trashy romance novels and makes some pretty good friends…and enemies.
So why do I crush on him? He is a loyal smart ass who wears a sexy leather duster, is quite the powerful wizard and he is tall enough that even my six foot tall Amazon awesomeness could wear heels and still have to look up at him. He is a good looking man who loves women and in the open car doors and saving damsels in distress sort of love. Who wouldn’t want a Southern Gentleman type with Northern sensibilities. *grin* Plus Harry is kind of a geek. He could keep up with my girly geek references and we would have no shortage of witty dialogue.
Of course there is that tortured soul air of mystery that surrounds him and he does have a bit of past. But he is a survivor like me and while mismatched with our 12 piece baggage set, I think we could manage. Who doesn’t have baggage after all? I think the important thing about Harry is he is a wonderful human being because of how he has grown despite his pat and despite a very different path he could have chosen. He is noble to a fault, loyal to the end, and is a bit of a romantic when you really think about it.
There are some drawbacks of course. As a wizard, technology and Harry don’t exactly mix and he would destroy all of my pretty consoles and toys. He sort of has issues with commitment, but I would too if danger and trouble tended to follow me like a permanent shadow.
Despite some drawbacks, I think you would fall in love with Harry too.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
In general I dig sports movies. Sure they are formulaic as our hero overcomes some sort of adversity before winning, but there are a few sports movies or biopics that don't end with a smile on my face. When I saw this trailer before Zero Dark Thirty, I nodded. Yep going to see that one. Thumbs up. How about for you?
Sunday, February 10, 2013
I have broken up with a lot of book series, tv shows, comic books, game consoles, musicians and video games. Even now as I contemplate leaving my roomies (because Miss Hailey is leaving me for the Pacific Northwest) and downsizing a bit I am even thinking about giving up some of my geekiness. Breakups are hard though. Unfortunately for them it’s not me, it really is you. No really…I have moved on. But moving on is hard. You think about all of the memories…hours of playing Space Channel 5, remembering how awesome Anita Blake was before she became a nympho, how CSI used to be exciting and not the same thing again and again or how much you loved that comic series before they decided that killing off your favorite character was a really good idea (NO, no it wasn’t). People change, you grow up and find other interests and sometimes your geeky loved just become obsolete.
I know you understand what I am talking about, so as a tribute to the despised holiday of Valentines Day (because why on Earth should you tell your loved one that you love them more on this day than any other) I have decided to share some of my geek breakups. Our geek loved come and go, but isn’t it hard to say goodbye?
BOOK SERIES: As an avid bibliophile I have fallen in love with many a fictional character or world. There have been many loves, but sometimes the relationship loses the excitement it once had. Things become repetitive, characters change or become stagnant. And sometimes you wonder why you even fell for them in the first place.
My most notable breakup was with miss Anita Blake. Oh how I once loved you. A strong, snarky and competent necromancer who used to…*gasp* solve crimes. I wanted to work out with you like Ronnie did. I wanted to go to Circus of the Damned or your fabulous St. Louis full of vampires, werewolves and other things that winked at you from the dark. And yes I wanted you to introduce me to at least one of the men in your life. But then you changed. You stopped being a necromancer for hire. You stopped being an intelligent, self-empowered woman. The mysteries I shared with you disappeared and so did the monsters. You became obsessed with sex. And while I fancy a good shag every now and then, you started shagging everything in sight. And I mean everything. You had a compulsion you said. I say you got boring. Luckily for you all of your lovers appeared to be out of GQ or Playgirl magazine, but I’m not that much of a voyeur. I was willing to share you with a triumvirate, but when your harem grew to be like 10 guys, all I did was shake my head in disappointment. You have a serious problem Anita, a problem that broke us up. Its an addiction and it has made you a shadow, and kind of a washed up porn star shadow, of your former self. I stopped sharing advnetures with you after Obsidian Butterfly and I don’t think we can ever get back together…like ever. I am just too disappointed in you.
Other series I have broken up with: Sookie Stackhouse, Morganville Vampires, the Otherworld series, Amelia Peabody and the Fear Street series (granted this last one was from 20 years ago). We had some great memories, but it is time to move on I am afraid.
GAMING: I am not ready to break up with my original Xbox or my DS yet, but better technology has us going on geeky little dates less and less. Eventually we will just grow out of one another. And lets face it the spark is almost gone with some of you. PS2 I am afraid the relationship has ended as has our little tryst Dreamcast. A girl only has so much of her time to share with her loves. We did have some great times though didn’t we? And PS3, I have been cheating on you with E’s 360 and unless we breathe some new life into you I may leave you for the next Xbox console this Christmas.
TV SHOWS: Remember when you had to be at home for your favorite tv show. You couldn’t do anything else and you looked forward to that beloved timeslot. And then, like the rest of your geek relationships, something went missing. My Winchester boys from Supernatural, you lost me. Eventually I watched every other week and then I was only reading a synopsis on io9 and not even watching the DVR’s version of your adventures. CSI, you were the original and I loved every little crime scene but when Grissom left so did I. Don’t worry I felt the same when Dr. Green left ER. BBC Being Human you broke my heart with Mitchell and the pain of that breakup that I so did not want was just too much. Sometimes we date only for a little bit before I realize the relationship isn’t going anywhere (this year’s mini dates included Elementary and Last Resort) Then again maybe I just handle the commitment anymore. Too many other loves in my life and for that I am sorry. When you make it on to Netflix and I have the flu, I am sure we can get together again.
Of course there are many other break ups in my life. Currently I am thinking about ending my pop culture posters relationship. While I quite enjoyed having the geeky household full of figures, and pop culture nods…I am kinda growing out of it. Need to switch things up a bit. And while I will keep some of you (Serenity, Secretary, Empire Records, Amelie, LotR), some of you may need to go (Bram Stokers Dracula, the Craft, Tank Girl, etc) But even those that I continue to “date” may be banished to the craft room or the computer room. And my figures…oh that’s going to be a hard one. Once, you were displayed proudly in all of your geekdom. Now you are just a box in the garage.
What have been your breakups of late?
Thursday, February 7, 2013
LEVEL 7 is as follows: "Deep underground, in the middle of nowhere, lies Subterra Bravo – a top secret military installation filled with the unspeakable horrors of science gone wrong. Within its impenetrable depths, the masters of this fortified facility conduct gruesome experiments on innocent prisoners cruelly abducted from their otherwise ordinary lives.
You are a captive of Subterra Bravo, imprisoned in the facility’s deepest laboratory, the hall of nightmares known as LEVEL 7. Your singular goal is to escape but to do that you will have to evade the human and inhuman denizens of this subterranean labyrinth before the entire base is locked down sealing you in for the rest of your short, tormented life. Will you work together with your fellow prisoners to overcome Subterra Bravo’s endless perils or will you use them to secure your own escape? Ultimately, your chances of survival will depend on how well you manage your greatest weapon, which is also your greatest threat: Fear itself.
LEVEL 7: ESCAPE is a semi-cooperative story driven survival horror board game for 1-4 players with nerves of steel and a willingness to confront the impossible. “
On each of your turns you can move through tiles or vents in your quest to escape. And as you explore more tiles, more villains are laid on the table. You can choose to help the other captives escape or just make sure that you are the one who escapes. Our first game was very quick and sadly not all of us escaped as we learned the ropes. However our quick tutorial has us all racing to find the lift and onto the next level. One of the great things about the game play is that it changes depending on the level you are on and the cards you are dealt. If you play it just right you can even get the guards and the aliens to fight one another.
We played through two levels and had a lot of fun. I actually had to think ahead a few times instead of just praying that the dice were nice to me. Replay value is pretty high as there are seven levels for you to escape. Loved the artwork on the tiles, nice and creepy. In all it was kind of a blast. I don’t have a lot to compare it to so read my review and judge accordingly. If I keep this up you might even take me seriously and my geek cred may in fact go up. Anyone else play it?
4 out of 5 d20s.
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Written by: Veronica Roth
Paperback: 487 pages
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
February 2012, $8.99
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Young Adult
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her
I love dystopia. I know I have said it before, but the sub genre makes me all warm and fuzzy which is odd since usually it means something went terribly wrong. Society, the universe, our world...well things are not as we know it. Of course the best young adult dystopia in the past few years was the Hunger Games and it was also a trilogy. So everyone is trying to duplicate that success. Can you blame them? And why not? People are in love with dystopian fiction and we also dig the trilogy (love the beginning, middle and end without 12 books in a series).
Things I loved: This was a great book for book club because it brought up some really nice discussions. In the end if you had to choose one faction which would you choose? Erudite seems nice, the intellectuals and the teachers, the librarians and scientists. They value knowledge above all else, but arent always careful about how they get that knowledge. Amity faction are the happy little peacemakers, the Switzerland of Tris’s society. They are funny, full of mirth, but they are also judge and jury so be careful. being painfully fair and neutral may not be the best thing ever. So then we have Abnegation, selfless to a fault, always putting the needs and welfare of others before your own. Nice girl and kind, yes I am both of those things, but also admittedly a bit selfish. The fourth faction is Candor, the truth speakers. They value honesty, a nice value, but would you be able to pass a lie detector test and reveal every skeleton in the closet and darkest fears? Finally, you have the Dauntless, the fearless. Would you join them? Would you be brave enough?
But choosing a faction isn't that easy. Its kind of like star signs, horoscopes and those personality tests you are always taking. Sure some times you fit in categories and other times you realize you don’t fit in just one because lets face it we are all a bit more rounded, a bit more balanced and diverse in our own personalities. In the end we are all a bit Divergent.
At first I didn’t embrace Tris. She wasn’t as strong as I wanted her to be or as questioning. But I grew to like her. One minute she was brave, the next she doubted herself. She could be reckless and childish, curious and honest. She was truly Divergent and I dug that. Props to Veronica Roth who wrote this when she was twenty-one. I am not that cool. Crafty and creative in other parts of my life, but not as a writer. I also liked Four. He’s a good guy. In fact I liked him more than most most of the characters sometimes. But most of all I liked how many questions I had, how it kept me hooked and lately that is kind of hard to do.
Things I didn’t love so much: There are almost too many unanswered questions. I am hoping that those answers will be explored and answered though in the remaining two books. Questions such as what is beyond the walls? How has the rest of society as we know it fared? When and how did the factions come into being? Why are there factionless and what is their purpose? Who runs the train? Why does no one question anything? I have to ask these questions, I cannot just blindly accept the world like everyone else does.
The odd thing about this book is that a society built on segregation (the factions) and all that comes with it (discrimination, inequality, etc) only promotes chaos and discord. It just doesn’t work. In fact I don’t know how their society really functions at all. But despite this I let it go because the story was still fun. The trails, the action scenes, the simulations and the tests were all very engaging.
However, despite everything I loved about this book, there was something missing to make this a truly awesome book. It was a good, quick read. I liked the characters, but I wasn’t completely invested in them. I liked the action and the overall plot, but it wasn’t all that I wanted it to be. In a way it is a little predictable and follows the pre-requisite steps of most dystopian fiction with a little bit of flair. But as I said there was something missing for me to put it up there with that other trilogy. And yet I am already 6 chapters into Insurgent and I plan to finish the trilogy and keep it on my hallowed bookshelves.
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Part of: A Series
Also Recommended: Matched, Delirium and Wither. Of course the Hunger Games. But I would also recommend classics like Brave New World and 1984.
3.5 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks
The Soundtrack for this Post: Glitch Piano Album by Torley Wong
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
As much as you know that I love my genre films, I do love a good drama piece here and there. This one looks pretty good though of course living here in Montana, it probably will not make it to my theatre the same way that Anna Karenina did not. Any thoughts?
Synopsis: London,1962. Two teenage girls – "Ginger & Rosa" – are inseparable. They skip school together, talk about love, religion and politics and dream of lives bigger than their mothers' domesticity. But the growing threat of nuclear war casts a shadow over their lives. Ginger (Elle Fanning) is drawn to poetry and protest, while Rosa (Alice Englert) shows Ginger how to smoke cigarettes, kiss boys and pray. Both rebel against their mothers: Rosa's single mum, Anoushka (Jodhi May), and Ginger's frustrated painter mother, Natalie (Christina Hendricks). Meanwhile, Ginger's pacifist father, Roland (Alessandro Nivola) seems a romantic, bohemian figure to the girls. He encourages Ginger's 'Ban-the-Bomb' activism, while Rosa starts to take a very different interest in him. As Ginger's parents fight and fall apart, Ginger finds emotional sanctuary with a gay couple, both named Mark (Timothy Spall and Oliver Platt), and their American friend, the poet Bella (Annette Bening). Finally, as the Cuban Missile Crisis escalates – and it seems the world itself may come to an end – the lifelong friendship of the two girls is shattered. Ginger clutches at one hope; if she can help save the world from extinction, perhaps she too will survive this moment of personal devastation.
Sunday, February 3, 2013
Now as a geek you are usually a Star Wars or a Star Trek fan. Love Next Gen and Deep Space Nine, but was an Ewok for a few years for Halloween (Princess Kneesaa from the comics btw) and harbor a deep crushes on Han Solo and Mara Jade. So in a way I am a bit of both though admittedly want to be more of a jedi than a crew member of the Enterprise.
But JJ did something to the Star Trek franchise I didn’t think he could do. He made it relevant again, exciting again and frankly a new lease on pop culture life. I loved what JJ did and I extremely excited for Into Darkness.
So what can JJ did for breathing new life into Star Wars? He will take liberties with the material and risks, but hopefully take the series into a new direction while still staying true to the franchise that everyone loves. I know some Trekkies absolutely hate what JJ did with the whole Star Trek continuity and cosmology, but lets face it Star Wars fanboys and girls are just as critical as they discuss birth order in Episode III among other things. You aren’t going to please everyone is all I am saying. I think JJ will do the world justice and add a ton of new fans while still pleasing the majority of us who grew up with the Force. Another reason I think he will do an amazing job is that he is a Star Wars fan. Look what he did with Star Trek and he didn’t grow up Trekkie. Now picture a fan and the reverence that they hold for something that they love.
I suppose there are some who are just cringing with the announcement. Will the film be chock full of lens flares and twists and turns and that maybe he wont get to what Star Wars is really about. But frankly I would love to get back to the Star Wars I love and grew up with and get away from the whole midichlorian bs.
I have never really hated anything JJ has done in the past few years including Mission Impossible 3. He’s a great guy and a great director. I am excited.