Saturday, February 26, 2011

I Accidentally the Whole Keyboard

Ravi here.

I can't stop window shopping on the internet.  It's probably a legitimate addiction at this point.  I find the strangest things... or they find me, one or the other.  One such oddity found its way to me just the other day...

Okay, internet, that is enough.  I draw the line.  WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS???

Now I'm not sure whether to love or hate these things.  Sheer ridiculousness coupled with utter... I don't even...

I'm gonna go lie down.

Happy Rolling...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Nerdy Nibbles: Cooking with Comics

One thing I love about webcomics is how often artists will band together for a cause. Almost every major disaster the past few years has been met with fundraising by webcomics, and collaboration events have sprung up for countless charities. Sometimes the artists will draw comics together for an extended period of time like a telethon. Sometimes they'll make posters or exclusive content for donators. And occasionally, you'll get something really unique.

If you couldn't tell from the banner, what we have here is a cookbook, which is why I'm talking about it today. Each recipe in the cookbook is in comic format, drawn by many webcomic artists both new and old with characters familiar to fan of their series, including several that I'm a fan of currently. From breakfast to dinner, the cookbook professes to have 50+ recipes and 90 full-color pages worthy of drooling over. And the greatest part? The proceeds from purchasing this collection of recipes will go towards feeding hungry families by supporting regional food banks!

Right now, it's available for preorder here and should be available at the end of the month. For now, it will primarily be available for purchase on the website, but if you're in the Chicago area, the first printing will be available at Chicago's Comic & Entertainment Expo March 18th-20th. According to Kurt from TGT Media, the proceeds from this event will go towards Chicago's regional food banks, and plans are being made to expand to other regions in the USA and Canada. You may also be able to find it later in your local comic book shop or other retailers.

I love comics, I love cooking, and I love supporting good causes. I can guarantee this cookbook will find its way onto my shelf, and I hope you'll consider supporting the Canadian and American National Food Banks, webcomic artist collaborations, and good food by picking up a copy for yourself.

Happy rolling!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Our Geeky Wedding

You've probably figured out by now that DM and I are married. We've only said it several times. He was my DM when we started dating in 2004 and he continues to be my DM today. Our relationship was built around a mutual love for all things nerdy. So when we finally tied the knot June 5th, 2010, I felt that we had to have some touches of Geek in it. A traditional wedding is anything but what we were looking for, so we didn't go with it. We were outdoors at lunchtime in the mountains, serving sandwiches and homemade chips from a local restaurant to 60ish of our closest friends and family. It was a perfect day, and everyone had a good time. What made it the best, though, was that we were completely unabashed by the geeky little things we did to make the wedding our own.

DM's sister-in-law offered to play violin for us as we walked down the aisle. A very sweet offer from my matron of honor, and one I was happy to accept. Primarily because she's a talented violinist who already knew how to play the Legend of Zelda theme. My brother-in-law convinced her to learn it, and they in turn convinced us (it wasn't hard) to use it. I was more than happy to walk down the aisle after tying the knot to Link's theme. I had walked up it to Zelda's Lullabye, so really, it only made sense. I am not ashamed that I was married to video game music - both are beautiful instrumentals with strong, happy memories behind them.

After a few queries of whose idea the music had been from the few friends who recognized it, there was another nerdy treat awaiting them. Atop our wedding cake sat this little pair:

Those there are a pair of Zaku II SD models from the Gundam series. DM and I painted and assembled them ourselves, mounted them on a piece of plywood we sanded and washed thoroughly, and posed them in the closest position to holding hands as we could - crossing axes. And yes, the "bride" one is holding a small fabric rose. No other cake topper we could think of could express "us" as well as this homemade geek topper, and our friends and family seemed to agree. It was small and simple, but it was undeniably "DM and Indeah".

That was all the geek we infused in the wedding itself, but with a lunch reception, we had the rest of the day ahead of us. Most weddings end with people going home and going to bed as it's usually late. Ours? All us "kids" in the area got together at the local arcade where we proceeded to drive go karts, play a Singles versus Couples laser tag match, and played arcade games until the place closed. Yep, going to an arcade is how we decided to spend our wedding night, and I don't regret a moment of it. 

If you're still waiting for your Mr. (or Mrs!) Right, let me leave you with some advice: when the time comes, there's a ring on your finger and you're planning the big day, don't be afraid of "what other people will think" about the little things. It's your day, and there's no one that day will be more important to than your and your future betrothed. Make it your own, and don't look back. You won't regret those little touches that let who you and your loved one are shine through.

Happy rolling!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Nerdy Noms: Bubbly Koolaid

Ravi here.

I know the title doesn't sound like much of a recipe, but, it goes in your mouth and you have to make it, also it is DELICIOUS.

This is an original "recipe," the idea for which originated while my boyfriend and I were having our not-valentine's dinner.  While sipping my glass of ginger ale, I thought to myself, "what if this ginger-ale were grape-flavored?"  Apparently, I had thought aloud, because, as soon as the thought crossed my mind, boyfriend ran to my cupboard and grabbed my Koolaid packets.  I vaguely remember thinking "this is what stoner zen moments must be like" as we huddled over a glass of ginger ale and poured the individual packet in.

The result?  Well, first the ginger ale outgassed.  A LOT.  Then we realized we needed to use a lot more ginger ale than we would have used water.  Otherwise, it was SPECTACULAR.  We were quite pleased.

Let me know how it tastes in other flavors!

Happy Rolling!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Sure-Fire Monopoly Shortener

Ravi here.

During my quest to attain the coveted MUDKIP, I realized something: I HAVE NO SHOT GLASSES.  Needles to say, Side Quest Unlocked: Attain Shot Drinking Receptacles.

I searched far and wide for an appropriate set of shot glasses.  Walmart, Target, Party City, Bed Bath and Beyond, Kohls, Think Geek, Amazon... the list goes on for considerably longer than would make a good story.  While I ended up settling for the cheapest glasses I could find, many others caught my eye and have been placed in a magical "someday" list.  One such glass I actually sat down and thought of excuses to use it should it ever come into my possession.


I came up with a list of ways I would use this.

How Ravi would use these shot glasses:
Monopoly shortener - After turn 3ish, you won't be playing Monopoly anymore, or at least you will be playing A MORE FUN VERSION OF MONOPOLY.  (Seriously, though, if you do this, use something with a lower alcoholic content, like beer or hard lemonade, unless you really want the game to end at 3 turns.  No, really, you will DIE if you go too long with hard liquor, that's 2 shots PER TURN).
Roll for liver damage - Because if I don't say it, sissy will.
Encounter enhancer - My wolves roll damage with d6's.  Enough said.
Pick a drinking game - I don't think it even matters which game, you can make up at least 50 with these.
DM dice - For, you know, when I finally get around to hosting that game.

Yes, I have decided I really like these shot glasses.  Someday, when I have them, I will use them to do all of the above and review them so you all know whether or not you want these glorious ideas.

Happy Shots Rolling!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Nerdy Nibbles - No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Still working on that name...Any opinions on which you like most? I've set up a poll on the right side of the blog for you to pick your favorite. We're having a hard time deciding, so we're taking our readers' opinion into account.

So! I feel officially like a blogger now. I realized yesterday "Oh wait! It's my day to update, and I don't have a food to post!" Scramble maneuvers initiated, a grocery store quest activated, and I came out the other end with cookies. You get cookies today for being good readers! And I've officially done something just to make a blog post about it. Yes, I may be a little crazy.

I've heard of No-Bake cookies before, but I've never made them. Heck, the Oreo Truffles were the most complicated dessert I had ever made. Well, maybe they still are. This cookie recipe is easy as pie (easier I guess. I've never made pie) and sure to delight your friends. I'd say they're healthy tableside treats, but I think the 2 cups of sugar counteracts that.

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

(picture goes here)

  • 1 stick or 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa
  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. In a medium saucepan, heat the first 4 ingredients to a boil. Boil continuously for one minute while stirring occasionally.
2. Add the last three ingredients and mix well.
3. Using a cookie scoop, ice cream scoop, or spoon, drop dollops of the mixture onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. (to keep the baking sheet clean, double up on the parchment paper. The oils will leak through the parchment paper.
4. Let them harder, and they're good to go! You can also freeze or refridgerate them well.

Optionally, you can add a few other things - raisins, coconut, caramel, whatever you like with your chocolate, peanut butter and oatmeal. This recipe makes between 15 to 24 cookies depending on how large you want them to be. Whatever the size, they're delicious!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Webcomic Review: Looking For Group

Ever since I was a little girl, I loved comics. So when I was introduced to webcomics, it became a quick, constantly growing addiction. Today, I have over 100 I follow on a regular basis organized by update schedule. Reading them is the first thing I do in the morning, and sometimes the last thing I do at night. Starting today, many of my updates will be links to and reviews of various comics on the internet, and I'm starting off with one of the greats - Looking For Group.

Made through a collaboration between Ryan Sohmer (writer) and Lar deSouza (artist), Looking For Group parodies mainly MMORPGs, but throws in touches of anything and everything Geek, including but not at all limited to: D&D, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Dune, The Lion King, Discovery's infamous Boom-De-Yah-Dah song, even the Smurfs. The plot covers the enthralling adventure of Cale'Anon, an optimistic elf who is determined to throw off the stereotypes of his race as villains, but finds himself immediately teamed up with Richard, an undead warlock with a penchant for death, destruction, and endless humor, Benny (aka Gid), a troll priestess who's up to her neck in trouble, and Krunch Bloodrage, Benny's Tauren adoptive father and the balance to Cale's good and Richard's evil. Cale and Richard alone are the perfect odd couple of adventuring, and when combined with the rest of the series' colorful cast, they experience unparalleled character growth and depth. Joined by many others over the story, the cast encounter an adventure the quality of which would fit well alongside many well-loved fantasy epics, including Lord of the Rings and The Song of Ice and Fire series. Overall, Sohmer and deSouza combine serious and talented storytelling with an amazing sense of humor and high-quality art to make a fantasy epic webcomic that few others can compare to and many strive to be like.

Additional reader review - "Looking For Group is one of the most entertaining and addictive web comics that I’ve ever followed. The main character is irritating, yet lovable, and tends to grow on the reader as they follow him through his disaster-ridden quests. Its parodies and inside jokes are hilarious! There’s also Richard, who made me love undead warlocks in a way that should never be… I highly recommend this comic!" - Cat Sass, friend of Indeah and recently-turned LFG fan.

If you couldn't tell, I love this comic. I've been reading it since day one, and I'll continue to read it until it's done. Updating Mondays and Thursdays, it's one of my and Ravi's favorites. The characters are amazingly colorful, especially Richard. He's the undoubted fan favorite, to the point where the creators made plushies and figures of him, which sold out of their preorders within a day. They're supposedly working on a short feature film of the comic. Two trailers have been released for it, both parodying well-loved Disney tunes (Slaughter Your World and This Is War). It's been in the works for a while, but I continue to hold out hope for it - there's no doubt in my mind that it's going to be awesome, and you'll know when it does come out. Ravi will unleash the Squeal Heard Round The World.

TL/DR: Go read Looking For Group. Don't ask questions. Just go do it. Are you reading it yet? Why the hell not?

Happy rolling!