Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

We're geeking out with a very '90's-riffic board game my fiancé got me for Christmas:


So...no. Wait. We couldn't even get through it. Too weird. We're putting on some Battlestar Galactica instead. Much more romantic. 

Happy Hearts and Flowers Day :-)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

One Ring to Rule Them All: A Geeky Fairytale Proposal

This bedtime story is dedicated to my readers. You've been asking about my hinted engagement; here's how it went down a few months ago.

Once upon a time, a really adorable dude with a geek streak fell in love with a book-loving, museum-adoring, geek-culture-writing gal. He decided that he wanted to marry her and live happily most-of-the-time after. They went to look at rings and she decided that she wanted a marquise-shaped diamond. At the time, she didn't think there was a particular reason why. She later realized what was likely the first "gemstone" she'd seen:

Look at that pretty rupee!

(See? I have a girly side. Even if it emerged from The Legend of Zelda.)

This subconscious decision was fitting since the first present she'd ever bought her pancake-loving future husband was this Woot apron:



...complete with LOZ references. But the question remained: how was Prince Charming going to propose to his girl?

It started with creating the ring box.

He thought long and hard on what would cleverly represent their love. He remembered that the first time he ever saw his beloved was at the Art of Video Games exhibit she attended so she could write an article for Examiner.com. She was in the gift shop, contemplating the purchase of a Mario plushie.

Never thought I'd find the love of my life by making that face...
Between that first encounter and her love for old-school video games, the prince decided to customize the ring box with a Nintendo theme.

He found a hand-painted Super Mario Bros. mystery block-styled box on Etsy, made by emmadreamstar


She was willing to customize the inside of the lid with an inscription and, with a nod to Legend of Zelda, he requested the following inscription (which she now has in the last picture for the item- apparently, she liked his idea as well):


He bought a plushy heart insert for the ring and put it inside. All after asking her dad's permission, of course.

But where to ask his future wife for her hand?

Both he and his girl are history lovers. On their first date, they discussed going to George Washington's Mount Vernon estate together but they hadn't yet gone.

On a particularly warm and beautiful Saturday, the prince escorted his future bride towards the mansion. About an hour later, a guide invited the couple to the third floor which had been closed off to the public. She described the rooms and their history, which were mostly defined as Martha Washington's quarters, and also briefly touched on the Washingtons' marriage.

Our hero took his lover's hand and thanked his lady for the time they had spent together thus far, starting from when he first laid eyes on her and Mario. It reminded him of those Nintendo mystery blocks- one never knew what they contained. But sometimes they gave the traveler valuable things.

She somewhat suspected what might be going on at this point. But nothing could have prepared her for when he took out the box. At the realization of how much time, thought, and effort he had put into the proposal, this usually stoic woman broke down into sobs of joy.

His beautiful speech was largely inaudible over it, but he repeated it to her later. In the end, he got down on one knee and asked to spend his life with her. She'd never been more sure of anything than when she said yes.

Happy [almost] Valentine's Day, dear readers!


Friday, January 24, 2014

Not Quitting My Day Job

This is why I can never be a "real" professional writer and can only take the occasional freelance job as a hobby. 

"It's frigid outside and I have the day off! I have an abundance of coffee inside of me! I can't wait to go home and start writing! I've had this article fabricating in my head for SO long! Yay, I'm here! Just boot this baby up...ooooh! When was the last time I played Diablo III? It's been months! No. NO. Go write. Ooooh...Steam is having a sale?...Michelle. FOCUS."

20 minutes of perusing Steam later...and I'm contemplating taking a nap.

#fired

BBS TTYL

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Eat Your Words: Literary Dinnerware

Creating a wedding registry sounds like it would be fun. You picture a couple with one of those laser gun thingamajigs; they take off in the middle of a department store, zapping things that they want people to gift them to celebrate their love.

In reality, when you get married after your 20's, you've likely been living alone for awhile already and have your basic needs covered. Twice- he or she probably has it all, too. People keep asking if you have a registry so you know you need to make one but really...you want gift cards.

It takes a lot to make me squee with this stuff. The only thing until today that did so was finding a small collection of Kate Spade word game-related items, like this

Kate Spade New York Say the Word "Word Search" Dish

or this.


Kate Spade New York Say the Word "Crossword" Dish.

We both love games and I particularly love literary games.

Wait, what was I saying? Oh yeah. "The only thing until today that did [make me squee]..."

Because today I found these dishes on Modcloth:



I try to find the appropriate balance between being helpful and being super duper annoying when it comes to correcting grammar. These adorable dishes are a gentle reminder of the rules. And they're proactive! Helping others before they've even made a mistake. Now that's beautiful.

Close-ups of each plate:






Monday, January 13, 2014

Life Hack: How to Use Only One Paper Towel to Dry Your Hands


How many paper towels are you using each time you wash your hands? Yup...you're doing it wrong. It may seem trivial but think about how many times a day you wash your hands and suddenly, doing it correctly seems pretty essential.

TED Talks, while almost invariably interesting, don't always leave its viewers with everyday advice. A TEDx (click here to find out more about TEDx) from mid-2012, however, proves to be very useful indeed- viewers walk away knowing how to use only one paper towel to dry their hands...and their hands will actually be dry.



I first watched this TEDx about two weeks ago and have been putting Joe Smith's method into practice ever since to determine its effectiveness. The first time was in the bathroom before heading back to a fashion show and believe me when I exclaim that wet hands are so 1997. I shook my hands twelve times and used the folded paper towel. Voila! I was so impressed that my smile caught the eye of two other salle de bain visitors who eyed my hands. Then their wet hands. Then back to my hands. After being beckoned, I showed them my new move, told them of the TEDx, and went back to my seat.

The show seat. Not the toilet seat. Geez.

Since viewing the video, the only time I've suffered from less-than-perfectly-dry hands was when no paper towels were found and only those old-fashioned hand dryers (and not the swanky new kind, which I love) were available. I'm looking at you, Kingstowne Regal Cinema.

Especially during winter when it's so easy to get chapped hands, I really appreciated this video. And for those Captain Planet lovers out there, using fewer paper towels will save quite a few trees.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

$20 off your first Uber car ride; 20% off ride for existing members

Unless you've been a hermit or don't live in a major city, you've likely heard of Uber, the newest and possibly the best car service option available. Uber is different because you summon a car using a phone application which then allows you to track exactly where the car is on a map. It provides you with different car options from UberX- the most affordable and, at least in DC, often cheaper than a regular taxi- to Black Car service, with several options in between. Uber provides you the name and picture of your driver along with a description of the car (so feel free to text that info to your overprotective so-and-so's). Speaking of texts, Uber will text you when the driver is on his or her way and when he or she arrives.The cars are always perfectly clean, the drivers are always kind without exception (imagine that!), and they will adjust the temperature or even music at your request. Uber does not allow tipping, making them even more affordable. If you're unsure if Uber really is a great deal, use the trip cost calculator on the phone application. Payment options include credit card or Paypal and transactions are done via the app; simply tap for a car, climb in, get out, and have your receipt emailed to you. You can even have the fare split amongst multiple people right from the application.

If you're still unsure, January 2014 is the perfect month to try Uber: until January 20th only, Uber is doubling their sign-up bonus to a whopping $20 credit, most likely more than covering your first ride so you have nothing to lose by trying them out.

Already an existing Uber member? It's extremely rare to find promotion codes for Uber after the initial sign-up bonus but until January 13, current members receive 20% off of one ride with promo code UBERTPG20.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Happy Holidays!

Welcome to 2014! I hope you enjoyed your holiday season. Mine was lovely – thanks for asking! I even managed to have fun on the train ride home:


It was one of my Christmas presents and ITSSOGOOD! It's temporarily sold out on on Thinkgeek but grab it on Amazon

2013 was fabulous and I can only imagine it getting better from here. I haven't written much on here lately, and I apologize for that, but it has been a (wonderfully) busy last few months. I have a few literary opportunities in the works and I will keep you posted as they are finalized. I've also had amazing things happen in my personal and [real] career life- I'll try to update you on those soon. 

This post is to let you know that you, Dear Reader, haven't been forgotten and I'm totally still in love with you. 

Though not as much as my fiancé, who is currently making me waffles from scratch. Mmmmm. Gotta go...

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Fandom Signature Tea Blends by Adagio

I've never been a huge coffee drinker, save for some of Starbucks' holiday lattes.

Getting my peppermint mocha latte on.

No, I'm much more of a tea drinker. I only drank tea on occasion until this year when I found the wonder that is Teavana.

I can't explain why, but the process is part of the fun.

I wanted to thank Teavana properly and, as done in the modern era, this meant me going on their Facebook page and liking them. This led to one of my friends letting me know about Adagio teas. I'd like them, she said, and they're a bit cheaper. As they are an online company, I was skeptical- how would I know which tea I would like without trying it first, or at least smelling it? After all, my love for Teavana was kindled when my boyfriend asked to pass them on the way out of the mall so he could nab a free sample. I went in, laughing at the idea that anyone would spend this much on tea, and left with a brewing tumbler, maharaja chai oolong, and samurai chai mate.

Still, I decided to check out Adagio's webpage. A few clicks later, I gasped in delight.

They have fandom teas.

When I saw a tea dubbed "Rose Tyler," I figured that it must be a coincidence. Until I read the description- "Inspired by Doctor Who's Rose Tyler, this blend is sweet and a little bit spicy."

Ohhh, yes.



They have Doctor Who teas, complete with companions, the TARDIS, River Song, and more. They have Sherlock teas...33 of them, to be exact.Game of Thrones. Harry Potter. Even Pokemon. And plenty more.

Each one has beautiful artwork (either on the pouch or on the tin, depending on what size you order) and a description to match its name. A list of ingredients helps you determine if you would enjoy it.

I haven't tried these yet, but I will. And these would make such unique gifts for the geeks in your life- can you say early Christmas shopping? Allons-y!


Friday, October 4, 2013

Deals in DC for Those Effected by the Shutdown...Which is Everyone


Over the last few days, I've informed you of deals for furloughed workers ranging from free drinks and food to free knitting and yoga classes. But everyone in the DMV area is being effected by the shutdown- it's certainly not just hurting federal employees.

Some bars and restaurants are taking this into account and having offers for everyone (except for Congress members. Some places are charging them double). Eater has created a page of such places; it is regularly updated and includes a map. Enjoy your weekend, indeed.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Government Shutdown Deals, Day 2

\

Same shutdown, different day. Welcome to Day 2. I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry.

Yesterday, I informed you of some deals in DC for those furloughed and some important information on  the shutdown. The trend to offer the forlorn furloughed free food and drink has expanded in the last 24 hours.

-Many of the links in yesterday's post detailing food and drink offers in the area are being updated regularly.

-Additionally, there are things to do and see for those out of work at a discounted price or free. Movies, museums, classes, and spa treatments are available.

-Another option for dealing with the stress is to sweat it out. Some gyms and studios are offering free entry or discounts to government employees.There are lots of yoga options in particular- go ahead and find your zen.

-Here's information related to your housing and financial needs during the shutdown. This includes the Social Security Administration, the IRS, loans, and more.

-If you're being furloughed, don't forget to apply for unemployment! Here's important information about unemployment during the federal government shutdown.

Your smirk for the day: if you apply for unemployment in Virginia, you will ultimately get to a page with this example. I find it pretty hard to believe he would ever be furloughed during a government shutdown. Wouldn't he just go back in time and fix things?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Government Shutdown: Info and Deals


Happy Mandatory Vacation, Day 1, to my government employee readers!

As my friend, you may have already gotten an earful on what I think about the shutdown. But as my reader, I come bearing resources.

So [try to] fret not.

Here are some things that may be helpful, including some steals and deals:


-Each agency's plan.

-Also, it seems that a lot of people haven't heard about DC Mayor Gray's declaration that he would consider all DC government employees essential in the case of a shutdown. Therefore, DC will not [likely] be shutting down.

-Furlough food freebies for government employees.
 
-Happy hour specials for the shutdown.

-Live updates on all shutdown specials.

-How to MacGyver DC (and save more money during the shutdown).
 -For a small chuckle: Government Shutdown Pickup Lines on Twitter.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Dora the Explorer: The [Fake] Movie Trailer

When you're an adult, some of your friends have wee ones. And sometimes, you get to spend time with the cutie pies. Doing so as an adult is different than babysitting as a teen in that you get zero dollars per hour and that you're actually capable of caring for a toddler. There is no running to the mall to blow your bounty after having the pleasure of spending time with those you care about along with the one they most care about.

But once in awhile, you may indulge in a bit of tv while fraternizing with toddlers. Case in point: I watched Dora the Explorer for the first time this weekend.

And suddenly, a video that I had seen awhile back not only made sense but was pretty hilarious.

Last year, College Humor posted a satire movie trailer for Dora the Explorer. It stars Ariel Winter of Modern Family fame. Subsequent Dora videos have been made by College Humor; I didn't find them as funny but the original, my friends, was pretty well done.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Did you watch the premier of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D last night?

Even if you're not terribly familiar with S.H.I.E.L.D, which was originally created by  Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1965, you may at least remember Agent Phil Coulson in the recent Avengers movie.
  
Agent Phil Coulson: I’m Agent Phil Coulson with the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division. 
Pepper: That’s quite a mouthful.
Agent Phil Coulson: I know. We’re working on it.

I usually watch things later on demand, but for this? I raced to my guy's place from work and got there with 15 minutes to spare so that we could watch it together on *gasp* real tv.

I'm so excited to blog about it! But...the spoilers! I can't do it- River Song would have my head. Here's what I can say:

1. It wasn't disappointing. It lives up to the amazingness that are S.H.I.E.L.D. and Joss Whedon (who created and is the executive producer of the show).


2. Those who felt saddened by certain events in the Avengers movie will be relieved and happy within, say, the first five minutes of S.H.I.E.L.D.

3. Firefly fans, rejoice: Ron Glass, who portrayed a certain Shepard, plays a character on S.H.I.E.L.D.

4. The dialogue is often snarky and funny. Not hysterical but pretty amusing.

-There are two ways to do this.
[sarcastically]-Ooh, is one of them 'the easy way?'"
-No.
 -...Oh...

4. This show reeks of it being made by geeks, for geeks. In a good way. One of those rare instances in which a geek reeks oh-so-good.

Welcome to Level 7.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs at 8 PM on Tuesdays on ABC.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Maryland Renaisance Festival

I've wanted to check out the Maryland Renaissance Festival since I first moved to DC seven years ago. Every summer and fall, I made plans to go which always fell through. This year, I grabbed some people and made my way to Annapolis, Maryland for the festivities, which will be in town until October 20, 2013.

I was not disappointed; it was by far my favorite event in the ren faire/celtic festival genre that I've attended. It was pleasing for both extremes as well- my guy has been to many such events and loves the Maryland Renaissance Festival and my friend had never been to one and enjoyed herself so much that she was sad to leave.

Why was it so great?

Layout. Maps are given to attendees upon entry. The grounds are large but relatively easy to navigate. The setup is quite fantastic; unlike many festivals, the buildings are less makeshift-seeming and more permanent-looking. It has the look of a quaint old rural town, complete with lots of greenery. Make sure to wear close-toed shoes; as is typical, there's lots of mud and dirt.


Employees. Those working the faire are passionate, friendly, and enthusiastic. They are dressed up in character and often have a background story that they intertwine into regular conversation. Patrons are greeted and ensured that they are having a good time. Street shows take place anywhere and everywhere.


Entertainment. Each year has a storyline which is entertaining in itself, and most weekends have a theme, such as Pirates Weekend or Scottish Weekend. Entertainment can come from some unexpected places, such as certain vendor locations (the glass-blowing by Art of Fire was educational and really interesting and their works of art were truly special) or above you (Molly Dangles dazzled us with aerial arts upon our entry). Musical acts occasionally pop up along the main path before or after stage shows.


Not all of the stage shows were fantastic, but most were great. The majority weaved comedy into their acts even where it would be unexpected, such as Barely Balanced, an acrobatics show that utilized swords, or The Squire of the Wire who, amongst other things, juggles and walks a tightwire. With a myriad of other types of events, such as Bodice Talk with Mistress Beatrice and dancing around the maypole, it's impossible to be bored.

Food. Nosh is always a notorious drawing point of faires, but the Maryland Rennaisance Festival has much more than your standard turkey leg. They of course had the obligatory meat on a stick but managed to put almost every other type of food on sticks as well- even macaroni and cheese. (Macaroni and cheese is breaded, fried, impaled on a stick, and happily devoured.) Soup in a bread bowl will become a more tempting option during the final and colder weeks of the festival. Meatball wraps were surprisingly flaky, well-seasoned, and delicious. Medium-sized cups of Pepsi products were somewhat modestly priced at only two dollars. Since the festival is in Maryland, crab options abounded. Hot apple dumplings with ice cream were a refreshing afternoon snack while taking in a show.

Shopping. Artisans carried everything renaissance-related you think you need and plenty you hadn't realized you do. Long story short, I started the day off in a cheap purple renaissance gown that I bought to double as my Halloween costume because the authentic outfits can be quite expensive; I ended the day in a completely new four-piece outfit. Capes and capelets, hats and hairpieces, and jewelry and gems are plentiful here. Honey? Pottery? Glass? Of course.

Short story long, I was only allowing myself to purchase a hat to go with my purple dress. I walked into Queen of Hearts. Twice. The first time was to look at a Robin Hood-style hat and I left lusting after an overdress. The second time, I debated over the hat again and the owner insisted that I couldn't leave until I saw what I looked like in the dress. I was pretty skeptical...until I stood in the mirror. The reaction on my guy's face was preee-tty awesome to boot. I decided to look around at dresses in some other shops and found my way to Unicorn Clothing. They didn't have overdresses but they had a huge array of corsets, chemises, overskirts, and underskirts in different colors and fabrics, even lace. My beau asked me to try something on for funsies and the most helpful salesgirl I've ever encountered helped me pick out a black lace chemise, black cotton underskirt, and black and red lace overskirt to match a red velvet corset I selected. There was no mirror in the dressing room so I stepped out uncertainly after she laced me up. My guy gasped and three other customers in the dressing area ran over to me and fawned over me like I was a renaissance prom queen. Two told us that if we didn't leave with the outfit, they would threaten our lives...and one had the archery equipment to back up her claim. One twirl in front of the mirror and I didn't need the threats. I had to have it...and had to wear it out. So thank you so much, Unicorn Clothing! Check them out when you go. They even give a military discount.




The Maryland Renaissance Festival runs from August 24th until October 20th in Annapolis, Maryland. Tickets are $17 for the first part of the season and $22 for the latter part of the season; they can be purchased online or in person. Children under 7 are free and discounted tickets are available for children ages 7- 15. Huzzah!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

May Designs: 40% Off Select Custom-Made Planners

For me, being organized is essential. I have a pretty busy life. And while it may be more geeky to use a calendar app as one's planner, I really enjoy physically writing events down in a planner. And I like to look cute doing it.

Enter May Designs, a company that lets you make customized planners and stationery. How does it work?

Go to MayDesigns.com. Then:

  • Step One.

    Choose your pattern from the swatches below.
    Choose from your pattern from the swatches below.
  • Step Two.

    Customize it. Add a monogram or name.
    Customize it.  Add a monogram or name.
  • Step Three.

    Choose your Inside Pages. Agendas, Dots, Lines, etc.
    Choose your Inside Pages. Agendas, Dots, Lines, etc.
  • Step Four.

    Preview & Checkout. Voila - you are finished!

The planner and/or stationery will be sent to you. Planners are hand-stitched and are available in a variety of formats (besides agendas, they have wedding and pregnancy diaries, coloring books, budget planners, meal & calorie planners, and more. Stationery is thick and comes with beautifully lined envelopes. There are so many patterns, colors, and fonts that you'll have a hard time choosing.

Right now, you can go to MayDesigns.com and get your personalized 2013- 2014 academic planner or 2013 planner for 40% off! Normally $20, these items are now $12, plus $6 for shipping. If you're reading this after the end of this promotion, look on deal sites like Groupon where there are sometimes other offers. You can also like May Designs on Facebook for the latest on all promotions.

I have ordered both the planner and the stationery. I am absolutely in love with the stationery; it's great quality and oh-so-pretty. I received my planner about a month ago. It wore pretty terribly within the first few days and didn't seem to be the same quality I was used to with May Designs so I contacted them. They sent me a new one for free and I am test-driving that one as of yesterday. I will keep you posted.

How cute is this stationery?!



My matching planner.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Amazon Launches Kindle Matchbook

Remember a few years ago when you didn't own a Kindle because you just weren't sure if it would be as satisfying as physically turning the page of paper copies? The good news is that you've changed your foolish
ways and got on the e-reader bandwagon. The bad news is that you have enough paper books to have started the wildfire at Yosemite National Park.

Start looking around at all of the bookcases taking over your home and wish that you could magically convert the hard copies of your books to Kindle copies. Then try to be patient for October; that's when Kindle Matchbook will launch and you actually can.

Amazon announced Kindle Matchbook earlier today, informing customers that "For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases will soon allow you to buy the Kindle edition for $2.99, $1.99, $0.99, or free." By past, they mean any book that you've purchased from Amazon since they opened for (book) business in 1995. Even if you don't have a Kindle, you can download one of the free Kindle apps for your phone, computer, or tablet and use this feature. 10,000 books are available for this October 2013 launch; more will be available depending on the willingness of the books' publisher.

Kindle MatchBook features include:

Kindle editions at a great price: Amazon customers who purchase or have purchased qualifying print books can get the Kindle edition for prices that are typically $2.99, $1.99,$0.99, or free.

For book purchases dating back to 1995: Print purchases all the way back to 1995—when Amazon first opened its online bookstore—will qualify once a publisher enrolls a title in Kindle MatchBook.

Easy discovery: Readers can easily look up their entire print book order history to discover which of their past purchases are enrolled in Kindle MatchBook.

Popular Kindle-only features: As with regular purchases, Kindle MatchBook titles have unique features such as Whispersync, Popular Highlights, and X-Ray.

Read anywhere capabilities: In addition to Amazon’s best-selling Kindle devices, customers can download a free Kindle reading app for iPhone, iPad, Android tablets and phones, PC or Mac and start building their Kindle library today.
 Kindle Matchbook is similar to Amazon Autorip which was launched in January in which customers can obtain free MP3 versions of CDs that they purchased through the website since Amazon's music store debut in 1998.

 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Geeky Tees and More Part 2: Shirt Woot

In case you missed Part I of this Geeky Tee Series, ShirtPunch is a great website for shirts, phone and iPad cases, stickers, and more.You can check out that article here.

Once again, I was inspired to write an article of this sort due to inspiration from an impulse geeky shirt purchase. In this case, I nabbed a Doctor Who-themed sweatshirt off of Woot:




It's hard to tell with this resolution but that Weeping Angel is made entirely of code.

The t-shirt version was first available 12 days ago when it won the ASCII Art Derby. What is the derby, you ask?

Woot started off as a daily deal site; its popularity quickly allowed it to create several spinoff Woots. Currently, there are Woot, Tech Woot, Accessories and Watches Woot, Home Woot, Tools and Garden Woot, Kids Woot, Wine Woot, Sellout Woot, Community Sourced Deals (where members post deals that they find elsewhere on the web), and, of course, Shirt Woot. (You can access all Woot compartments at Woot.com.) In the spirit of Woot, there is a different offering every day at Shirt Woot. While that isn't the only shirt available, it is the only one priced at only $12 plus free shipping. "After their featured debut on the front page, Shirt.Woot tees move to our Top 20 list, where they'll continue to be available at $15 as long as they maintain their popularity. Once a shirt falls off of that list, it will still be available as a special order, digitally-printed kind of thing at $18 in our All Designs catalog. We also offer a new curated collection of tees (and other items, from hoodies to tote bags) every week in our Woot Plus events. So if you don't like what you see in the spotlight, keep looking - we've gotta have something you wouldn't be ashamed to be seen in."

Back to the derby: Shirt Woot will regularly host contests with a theme. The first, second, and third place designs will be printed and available for purchase. Any Woot member can vote and becoming a Woot member is free. If you're a new artist interested in designing a Woot shirt, the Derby is your best option. If you have shirt design experience and have an idea for a shirt, you can email Woot at artists@woot.com. And you get paid. Naturally. This is America.

Sometimes, Woot will have a Woot-Off; for Shirt Woot, today is such a day.  "In Woot-Off mode, a new product is launched immediately after the sellout of the previous deal. The number of Woot-Off items, sequence, and quantity will not be announced. When Woot-Off mode is over, the orange lights will disappear and our normal schedule will resume. In cases of painful Woot-Offs lasting more than three days, consult a physician." In today's Woot-Off, I was notified that only new designs will be offered. That's how I was able to get this sweatshirt. I wanted this design very much when it debuted but decided I had enough tees. So...perfect. I nabbed one of the hoodies today during the Woot-Off. As soon as it sells out, another item will take its place.

Oooh. One just did. They have a Game of Thrones-themed shirt called House of Malcontent. But who knows for how long?

Over the years, I've bought more than 15 items from Shirt Woot as both gifts for others and myself. Here's a sampling.


A retro gaming must. I've had this one for ages and rocked it at the Art of Video Games exhibit at The Smithsonian American Art Museum.


As you can see, a lot of Woot's shirts are throwbacks from 1980's geekery (much to my delight). Here is a mash up between Leonardo and, well, Leonardo. Woot shirts, by default, are short-sleeved; however, special collections will sometimes have long-sleeved shirts, bags, tanks, or aprons.




 I got this for one of my friends for Chanukah. This one is particularly great for Jewish cooks, although who doesn't enjoy a good latke (potato pancake)?




One of my first Shirt Woot purchases. Cuz when is the movie ever better than the book? 'Xactly.







The Spice Girls wish they had this much girl power! Ever read fairy tales and wish the female protagonists kicked a little more butt? Well now they do.



Getting this shirt was a must for me, considering I actually was the school spelling bee champian- err, champion- nearly every year in grade school. And what's the fun if you can't poke some fun at yourself?







 Who would get the most enjoyment from discovering Harrison Ford? Oh, I know- Harrison Ford. I got this one last week as a surprise for my significant other...hopefully he isn't looking at this. It's due to arrive this weekend.



I also got this one for my significant other recently and it came in the mail yesterday. Appropriate timing considering the Lord of the Rings debacle we experienced this weekend. Read about that here.





For the classic literature geek. Or the overdramatic and star-crossed loving teenager. You decide.



I got this for my guy for Christmas as he loves to make pancakes for friends when they come over for brunch. Gotta love the 8-bit Zelda reference.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Fellowship of the Fantasy Movie

Truly, I have no one to blame but myself.

I mean, why would I ever-

Wait, let me back up a bit.

On Saturday night, we had plans to stay in and babysit our friend's adorable toddler. I was actually looking forward to it. Because staying home on a Saturday and watching a movie is what cool old people do.

My guy is really good to me. And because I'm really good to him, too, on our way to his place I told him that whatever he wanted to watch tonight would be fine.

I saw the look in his eyes and I immediately knew that I had made a grave mistake.

Let me explain myself. If he had said the same to me, I likely would have picked a movie about which he was on the fence. But I wouldn't pick, say, a Sex and the City Marathon- something I know he loathes and would never consider seeing by himself. I figured this would be a mutual courtesy.

Girls, if you're dating a geeky guy-
And he is into fantasy and you are not-
And you have been putting off watching Lord of the Rings for your entire relationship-
DO NOT SAY that he has free reign over the television.

I didn't know that he has an "Oh Em Gee I'm Totally Watching LOTR With My Girl" face before that moment but somehow, without a word exchanged between us, I knew that was the face he was wearing. No. NO. Nonononono.

I sat back in my car seat while he waxed on about the film as I allowed the knowledge of my doom to wash over me and sink in, unable to register a word he was saying.

When I finally came to, I made sure he understood that I was agreeing to the first movie and not the entire trilogy in one sitting. "No, I know," he confirmed, "and besides, the extended version-"

THE EXTENDED VERSION? Seriously?!?!

I'm pretty sure that no one is reading this by this point. The Lord of the Rings fans are horrified by my dislike of their epic tale. The non-Lord of the Rings fans clicked out of this page as quickly as they could.

Which is fine. Because I don't really feel like admitting to anyone that imwasmptasbabasibout.

Sorry. *takes hand off of mouth*

It wasn't as bad as I thought.

Sure, it was waaaaay too long to be only a third of the darn thing. And sure, I've seen the LOTR-based memes and had a field day. But I have to admit that I wasn't bored and that my assessment that I'd be merely "watching a bunch of guys with long hair walk around a forest for four hours" wasn't entirely accurate.

I had seen Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring when it was originally in theatres. I was a freshman in college and while I had some geeky tendencies, like needlework and endless reading, I hadn't been exposed to much fantasy quite yet. It was much too much for a total n00b. Even now, it was a lot to take on. Reminded me a bit of flooding, a technique used to cure phobias. "In order to demonstrate the irrationality of the fear, a psychologist would put a person in a situation where they would face their phobia at its worst."  For example- have a fear of heights? Time to go skydiving. Have a fear of watching Lord of the Rings? OH HERE YOU GO I HAVE THE EXTENDED VERSION AND YOU ARE STUCK HERE FOR HOURS BECAUSE THERE IS A TODDLER ON PREMISES.

Yeah, that may be a bit overdramatic. But taking poetic license doesn't seem so bad on posts I know no one is reading :-)

Speaking of overdoing...

Yesterday, my man downloaded the Lord of the Rings MMORPG and asked me if I wanted to play with him. I guess he figured he'd strike while the iron is hot.

And...aaaaaaaaaaaand I may have agreed to consider playing it. I'll watch him for a bit and see if I can get into it.

Like I said. No one to blame but myself.