the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for the ‘fun stuff’ Category

EdibleBook poster rev tabloid

When I say “I eat books like that for breakfast”, what I mean is that I eat them for dessert. literally*.  Around the world, on or around April Fool’s Day is The Edible Books Festival.  Our local Edible Books evening was the first Friday of April. Hosted by the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center, over twenty smart, funny, and punny edible books awaited judgement (and eating!).   Being a play on words, or a pun of some kind certainly wasn’t a requirement, but all of my favorites were word plays of some kind. observe the deliciousness! Warning – photo dump and awful photography ahead.

"Dive-rgent"

“Dive-rgent”

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We have returned, victorious from GrandCon!  A new gaming convention in Grand Rapids, MI, GrandCon featured pre-scheduled gaming events, a ginormous gaming library you could sign games out from, a Pathfinder competition, table top roleplaying, game demos, a really nice dealer room,  seminars, and more.   I’m happy we got there early in the morning on Saturday, as the registration lines only grew and grew into the afternoon.  I heard at one point that over 1200 badges were printed and that they ran out of programs.  I think they’re gonna need a bigger hotel/convention location next year!

There was also an adventure to a brand new comic/gaming shop in the city, and an unintentionally SFnal dinner involving LED lights in a sushi presentation.

While I write up a longer post about the super cool World building panel that was presented by Tracy Hickman, Ed Greenwood, Steven Schend and Jeff Grubb,  you should enjoy these photos.

photodump commencing in three. . . .  two. . . . and we have lift-off/photo dump!

These huge cardboard monsters were set up in the lobby, they were part of an oversized gaming demo for King of Tokyo

SAM_3559

SAM_3560

The game comes with regular sized dice, and regular sized cardboard characters that go on a regular sized board, but throwing big plushy dice is so much more fun!

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I had the best line for Belle’s opening number in Beauty and the Beast, but so far I haven’t been able to make the rest of it work. Who’dah thought that Gaston’s song makes for the best messing about?

Feast your eyes on the travesty that is Darth Bob!

Sung to “Gaston”, from Beauty and the Beast.  Makes a great duet!
Darth Bob:
Who does she think she is? That girl has tangled with
the wrong Sith! No one says “no” to Darth Bob!
Lied to! Betrayed! Publicly humiliated! Why, it’s
more than I can bear!
LeFou:
More Gorg?
Darth Bob:
what for, nothing helps. I’m disgraced!
LeFou:
Who you? Never! Darth Bob, you’ve got to pull yourself together!

It disturbs the force to see you this way
Looking so down in the dumps
Every Sith wants to be just like you
Even when taking your jumps
There’s nobody here as admired as you
You’re everyone’s fav’rote bad guy
Everyone’s so scared shitless of you
and it’s not very hard to see why
No one’s mean as Darth Bob
no one’s fast as Darth Bob
No one’s force choke is as strong as Darth Bob
we’d all love to be your apprentice,
You’re perfect a pure paragon!
You can ask any Hutt , Dug or Wookie,
And they’ll tell you whose side they prefer to be on!
No one’s been like Darth Bob
a kingpin like Darth Bob
No one’s got conflicted soul like Darth Bob!
Darth Bob:
As a specimen yes I’m intimidating!
LeFou:
my what a guy, that Darth Bob!

Chorus line:
Darth Bob is the best
Makes even Ventriss all stressed
No one trains like Darth Bob
gives us pain like Darth Bob
in a challenge no one force chokes like Darth Bob!
For there’s no one as force sensitive,
Darth Bob:
I’ve got Midichlorians to spare!
Le:Fou
you’re completely light negative!
Darth Bob:
my force powers are nearly as dark as my hair!

LeFou:
in a force duel nobody maims like Darth Bob!

Darth Bob:
I’m especially good at regenerating
When I was a lad I sacrificed my own Dad
when he could teach me no more
and now that I’m grown I never feel bad
and I know every last page of Sith Lore!
Chorus Line:
No one kills like Darth Bob
or has skills like Darth Bob
Then stomps the star system like you!
Darth Bob:
I use Death Stars in all of my decorating

 

 

Stay tuned for more silliness!

Yesterday we met our fearless bounty hunter / thief.  She dreams of training with the Jedi at their temple on Coruscant, but meanwhile she’s in trouble with her current clients who are getting ready to betray her.

Jumping forward in time a bit, she’s made a deal with the devil to get to Coruscant where she trains with Jedi Master Luke Skywalker.  Skywalker sure has his hands full, he’s got very little time to train new Jedi Knights, and little does he know there’s a secret agent in his latest crop of too-old students:

I’ll Make a Knight out of You.

(Sung to “I’ll make a Man Out of You”, from Mulan. Watch those pauses, they’re killer)

Let’s get down to business
to defeat the Sith
Did they send me farmers?
and not Padawans?
you’re the oldest bunch
I ever trained
but you can bet
before we’re though
One day I’ll make a knight
out of you.

Tranquil as a forest
but craving excitement.
Don’t think of adventure
Jedi craves not, those things.
You’re a sloppy slow
distracted lot
and you haven’t got a clue
Somehow I’ll make a knight
out of you.

(various padawans sing)
I’m never gonna catch
my breath
Say good-bye to
Tatooine
Boy was I a fool in school
for cutting gym
Skywalker’s got em
scared to death
hope he doesn’t see
I’m really Sith
Now I really wish that I
could use the force!

As Jedi
We won’t give in to
the dark side ever
As Jedi
with all the force
of the universe
As Jedi
With all the strength
In our power
Mysterious as the
dark side of Naboo

Time is racing towards us
till the Sith arrive
heed my every order
and you might survive
You’re too old to train
It’s preordained.
So pack up, go home
you’re through
How can I make a knight
how of you?

(Chorus repeats twice:)
As Jedi
We won’t give in to
the dark side ever
As Jedi
with all the force
of the universe
As Jedi
With all the strength
In our power
Mysterious as the
dark side of Naboo

Everyone enjoys a good game of tag, right?  And blogger tag is the BEST.  I’ve been tagged by my buddy Clint over at Geeky Daddy.  Which means I get to answer ten fun questions and tag some of my blogger buddies.

Here we go!

1.What is your dream vacation?

The Pillars of Hercules.  Start at the straights of Gibraltar, and follow the coast of the Mediterranean all the way until you get back.  that vacation would probably last a few years!!

2. Are you spontaneous or do you like to plan ahead?

I wish I could say I’m spontaneous, but I’m an obsessed planner. About the only thing I do spontaneously is nap on the sofa!

3. Tell us one thing you want to do but don’t dare do it.

write a short story.

4. What’s your biggest phobia?

spiders. actually, any thing with eight legs.  Went to an aquarium a few years ago where they had giant spider crabs. Haven’t been able to eat crab ever since.  I got no problem with six legged critters or star fish or centipedes. but eight? eight is very, very bad.

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A number of years ago my husband dragged me kicking and screaming to a “game night”.   This was not your mamma’s scrabble night. On the table were Mystery of the Abbey, St. Petersburg, Ticket to Ride, and probably some others. That first night I wasn’t so sure about this whole Euro-gaming thing. Victory points? Nobility track? Resource tokens and Trade Goods? how in the world was I supposed to keep track of all of it??

It did take a while for me to get the hang of it.  At least a year, probably two.  (You know how some people aren’t math whizzes? I’m not a “resource token” whiz.  I just want one of those red cubes, I don’t care if it’s supposed to be rum or tobacco or gold pressed latinum, I just know  I need a red one!)

But boy am I happy I did!  I dont’ think I’ll ever be that gamer girl who games 5 night a week or more, but a few times a month with my friends makes me a very happy camper. err, umm, gamer.

I live in a college town, and every year in early spring the local university hosts a gamers convention.  Organized by students and held on campus, if you’re brave enough to search for a parking spot you can enjoy 48 hours of gaming and geekery. Euro-games, roleplaying games, a LAN party, collectible card games. . . . .  and of course games and cards for sale and overpriced food in the basement. I’ve never been into roleplaying games, but there was a Vlad Taltos system that tempted me!

This years university gamer convention was last weekend, and I ran Ticket to Ride: Europe, which is my favorite kind of Euro-game: the kind where you can learn the rules in 60 seconds, the game takes less than 2 hours to play, and it isn’t going to fry your brain.  Even better, I got to introduce a buddy of mine to gaming. I pretty much dragged him kicking and screaming to my table and said “you’re going to play this!!  okay?”

and he had a good time, see?

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I haven’t done a Friday Fun post in what feels  like ages, so I know, let’s do one!

I’ve got a “to be read” pile that’s nearly reaching the ceiling, I finished Lavie Tidhar’s Osama last night and haven’t even started a review yet, am torn between three books I want to start and I’ve got two other books on hold at the library.  Yup, definitely time for a Friday Fun / random stuff / link soup post.

speaking of reading piles, what are you reading right now, and what have you got on deck?

Are you looking forward to the Prometheus Alien movie? Think it will rock? Worried you’ll be walking out of the theatre saying “Way to wreck the franchise, Bakula”?  see the trailer here.

Wanna win some sweet military history stuff from Osprey Publishing? Military history caption contests are the best!!

If you ask me, this is what heaven looks like. (yes, yes, I know, I stole this link from Dark Cargo, but she always posts all the cool stuff first)

Seems like everyone who is anyone is reading Saladin Ahmed’s Throne of the Crescent Moon. I’m getting my copy tomorrow. I’m usually turned off by anything that gets hyped or over-hyped, but not this time. Maybe it’s because I’ve met Ahmed and he’s one of the nicest, most modest guys around (not to mention insanely well read, intelligent and a fellow Michigander). But anyways, what are your thoughts on titles that are hyped / overhyped? First titles that come to my mind are Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and the Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Are books that are superhyped bound to be disappointing to us book snobs? or am I just an epic book snob?

I’m a cavewoman and just discovered pod casting.  what reasonably priced ipod/mp3 player should I buy for use on long work commutes? I’m also thinking 40 minute yoga sessions will be much less boring if I’m listening to some sweet audio.

and randomly speaking of fun Michigan stuff, I’ll be at the Marmalade Dog gaming con next weekend.  Hoping to run at least one game of Ticket to Ride:Europe on Saturday morning, possibly Game of Thrones as well, while secretly hoping to get in on a game or two of Small World or Railways.  are you a board gamer geek? what are your faves?

When you suddenly discover that the book you just picked up is sublimely brilliant, how do you proceed?

.

.

.

do you savor every word and every sentence, tantrically drawing the experience out as long as possible,  enjoying new portions of the book every day for over a week, waking up each morning looking forward to your precious moments spent reading those mind blowing words and hearing the breathless sound of your hand turning the soft, smooth pages?

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or do you devour the book with an unrestrained animal urge,  foregoing food, sleep and social interaction, in your desperate, pleading need to reach the climactic ending,  secretly hoping it will end with a cliffhanger so you can smile crookedly at the promise of a repeat performance?

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photo courtesy of the Hot Guys Reading Books Tumblr feed.  Go check it out.

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I’m happy to say, 2011 was a hella awesome year for me:

- Was my first full calendar year blogging, in which I posted 104 reviews

- I joined Twitter

- I got my first blurb on a book

- I got a promotion at work (ok, not blog related, actually, blog detrimental, but still cool)

- I got really inventive in finding new places in the house to stash books (such as inside the TV stand).

- I participated in two read alongs. We read Dune over the summer, and The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings trilogy this autumn. If you’ve never participated in a read along, they are great fun!

I hope all my bloggy friends had a wonderful 2011 as well, and here’s to all of us having an even better 2012!

 

But did I reach any of my reading and blogging goals for this year? What about those pesky bookish New Years Resolutions? Way back in December of last year,  I proposed that 2011 be the year of “reading what I’ve got”.  Fewer trips to the library, fewer trips to the local bookstore, and more trips to the bookshelf for titles I’d purchased once upon a time, but never read.  I must have had some time on my hands, because I managed to count up everything I owned, and figure out how much of it I’d read.

So, did I make any headway on reading more books that I owned?  Does buying a ton of books and getting some ARCs in the mail skew the results? Cuz I bought a metric sh*t-ton of books. and got a handful of ARCs.  I’m not going to count everything I own again, but we can look at the stats of what I reviewed:

of the 104 books I reviewed in 2011:

20 were off my bookshelves
28 were purchased (either new or used)
36 were borrowed from the library or borrowed from friends
20 were ARC’s received from publishers or authors

That New Year’s resolution to “read what I got” instead of buying and borrowing new-to-me titles? Can you say Epic Fail?  It’s not my fault tho. . .  all my bloggy friends posting reviews of books that looked awesome that I just HAD to read! and with Valente and Kent and Rothfuss and Hodder and Stephenson coming out with new stuff like every five minutes, what’s a girl to do?

I better come up with something more realistic for 2012. Like join a gym (ha! like that’s gonna happen!).

So what are you gonna be up to in 2012?

Holiday decorations take-down-ing getting you down?  Winter is just beginning, so why not decorate your home with paper snowflakes? It was all the rage when I was a kid in the 80’s.

Into Steampunk? create yourself some steampunk gear snowflakes!  I call ‘em GearFlakes.  They are easy to make, require zero fancy tools, and you can have a lot of fun setting them up in geared patterns on your window.  Let the whole neighborhood know a steampunk geek lives here! You don’t even need a compass. or a protractor. I promise.  It’s six way symmetry steampunk awesome.

What’s this you say? you want step by step instructions?  Today, and today only, your wish is my command!

you’ll need:

paper
pencil
sharp scissors
two bowls, one larger than the other (Or I suppose you could use a compass, if you really, really wanted to)

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.