Mother Nature is a bitch, you'd think we'd hang out more: Random Tuesday Thoughts

randomtuesday

Yay! It's Tuesday.

Tuesdays are like my Mondays, since I don't work on Mondays. Except not really. On Monday apparently it was rough going at the office, because I got an email from my boss saying, "You sure picked the right day to be off."

Hello? Mondays are always the right day to be off.

And Tuesdays are always the right day to be random. Got the button? No? Well git it - and git random!

On Saturday it had snowed a fair bit, so I bundled up the whole family and we went out to shovel. We shovelled both walkways and both driveways (front and back). We even shovelled the crabby neighbours' driveway (something I wish I could do more often because, well, they're 85, but I usually have an impatient toddler with me).

Then on Sunday Mother Nature did this:

What a bitch.

I should probably pay more attention to the weather forecast.


I kind of wish I had one of these, to freak out the neighbours for the hour-plus that I spent shovelling snow. But only because they all own snowblowers and are laughing at me anyway.

Can somebody explain what the happy crappy THIS is? It looks like a site that scrapes everyones' feed and replaces a few words (and don't think I wasn't amused that the "cell phone" in my post became "dungeon phone"), but I can't figure out why. There aren't any ads on it or anything. Fame and fortune...?

(If it's a virus delivery system, I'm awfully sorry. But at least we're all going down together?)

Do you think the guy in this pic looks smug because he thinks he looks hawt, or because the pyrex plug is deforming his lips?


I'm finding MMO gaming frustrating lately because I just don't have the hours to dedicate to it that I once did. I love to team with people, but they're not always tolerant of my short timelines or that I have to bugger off because my kid woke up from his nap.

And before you ask, yes, there are groups of like-minded parents who game. They're just really irritating to team with. They never have any time and they're always going afk because of their kids.

Everybody already seen Sleep Talkin' Man? Yes? Good, cause it's freakin' hilarious.

I showed it to hubby, who didn't think it was nearly as funny as I did. He did, however, give me a look of deep suspicion. Then I saw him checking the bedroom for tape recorders.


Because I'm trying to figure out a way to spend MORE time on the computer, on Friday I start my first 'two week' resolution: to enter a competition a day at 99designs.com. I realize it's not a very exciting resolution, blog-wise, but I promise to tell you if I win any.

Unless you expect me to share. Then, um...well, have I mentioned what a terrible graphic artist I am? Really, really awful. Nobody would ever pick my designs. Ever.

A note to the poor lost souls that Google brings here: No, I don't know what you should do for your girlfriend. No, I don't know what to do when your dog swallows an avocado pit either (other than freak out). I don't know how to get rid of a manipulative boyfriend other than the way I did (by punching him in the face). And the rest of you? Are fucking gross.


One day, when I feel like alienating ALL my readers, I'll actually post some of the sick things people google. Til then - there's just random Tuesday. Link up, y'all! And go forth, and visit thy neighbour.

Amen.

What to get your nerdy practical girl for the holidays

(a.k.a. What Keely Wants for Christmas)

I find that I don't actually want many tangible things for Christmas this year. Unless it's "a really good OB who can troubleshoot my uterus" or "a volunteer vet who wants to fix my dog for free" or "a contractor performing random acts of kindness who wants to reno my bathroom". See? I'm horrifyingly practical now that I'm somebody's mother. I mean, your average fangirl is super easy to shop for: just get her a Buffy Season 8 trade paperback or a plush Harry Potter Monster Book of Monsters or a Star Trek original series replica Medical Tricorder. Or if you're in the money (and trust her not to turn it on you), Saruman's staff of power.

All of those things would have thrilled me in years gone by, but now it's just more crap in my tiny house. Really cool, well-made crap that will be instantly destroyed by the thresher that is my kid.

But, do not despair, there are still things that women in my situation covet. To wit:

1. A Brown Coat. But not just ANY brown coat, a browncoat's brown coat. Totally useful, stylish, and if you're lucky it still smells like Captain Malcolm Reynolds.

2. A Keurig single-cup coffee maker. Countertop real estate in my kitchen is not plentiful. So I would set this baby up next to the computer and game all night, always telling myself I was "just having ONE cup".

Well, or, at least I could have a cup and dream about doing that. Sigh.

3. Star Wars Lightsaber Chopsticks. The people who run the sushi restaurant we frequent (and I mean frequent) already laugh at us for showing up so much. This would just be icing on the cake. Er, sushi.

4. The motivation to get back to working out.

Oh, that one's not tangible either, is it? My bad.

5. A Dawn Simulator Alarm Clock. Now that I have to get up in the cold pre-light hours again, I'm lusting after one of these. Although, unless they have a companion "coma simulator" for hubby, I'll probably just have to keep on lusting. Having the "sun" come up 2 hours after he's hit the pillow seems a little cruel and unnecessary.

6. A snowblower. Oh, shut up. I have two driveways this winter, since we're finally able to use our garage for, y'know, parking a car in. So I need something to make my life easier so I can...make my life easier.

I know, I don't ask for much, right?

Also I'd like world peace and a big mug of mulled wine. But I'd settle for household peace, and a big mug of mulled wine.

What do you guys covet?

Nerdy Bits

I stumbled across this post over at The Park Bench the other day, and it really made me feel like maybe my nerd-girl credentials are a little dusty. Mostly because I don't know who the fuck Liz Lemon is. But I have been slacking off a little lately in the nerd department. I mean - what if I got all NORMAL? The shame.

So, here's what's going on in my Nerd World lately.

Champions Online, the next big superhero MMO, is now in open beta (that means anyone can give it a go)(if they're willing to sit through a several-hour download, that is). So far, I give it a resounding 'meh'. I really, reeeeaaallly wanted to love this game, because superheros and MMOs are my 'thing', and I'm getting a tad jaded about my beloved City of Heroes, after a mere 4 years of playing it.

I know! I'm so fickle. Anyway, there are lots of clever things you can do in Champions (burrowing under the earth as a travel power? Okay, that's pretty cool), but most of the missions seem like a grind (kill X amount of X) and my artsy brain just can't get past the fact that it requires some video-card-on-steroids to render a game that's essentially in 2D. We get that it's a comic book game, you don't have to put a thick black line around everything. Honest.

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Season 3 of The Guild came out on Tuesday. For XBox Live subscribers, anyway. Which I am not. So if you ARE, please shutthefuckup until it's available to the rest of us, m'kay?

(If you're unaware, which I was until recently, The Guild is a web-based series about a group of MMO players. Each episode is 3-5 minutes long. Even if you don't play MMOs, it's a freakin' hilarious look at the weirdness that has evolved out of relationships over the internet. Like, say, BLOGGERS. Ahem.)

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Dollhouse, Season 1. Yeah, I know it came out on DVD a little while ago, but I just got around to watching it now. I wasn't super pumped about it. The plot sounded like an excuse for a lot of scantily clad women, and I always considered Eliza Dushku to be one of the few weak links in the Buffy series. I mean, anyone can play "bad girl with a vulnerable side", and she didn't even do the 'vulnerable' part that well in my opinion. But Dollhouse? Rocks. Eliza Dushku has totally upped her game, and the storyline so far is fan-fucking-tastic.

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Faunasphere, that strangely addictive little web-based gem of a game that I wrote about a while back, is now live. Anybody can sign up and play for free, and they've added a spooky new world: The Swamp.

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The first in Kevin Smith's new Batman series, The Widening Gyre, came out on Wednesday. The story has definite potential, though not so much the art.

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Apparently Frank Cho and Doug Murray want ME to draw their upcoming comic, 50 Girls 50. ME! Well, okay, not me specifically. If you're a comic book artist, they want you to take a shot at illustrating the first 6 pages of the script, and they'll pick a winner.

Hey, I draw comics.

Fancy that.

Some stuff for you guys, because I'm in a giving mood and you're all pretty cool

Remember the online game, Faunasphere, that I posted about a while ago? Well I'm still playing it. Because it's still totally addictive. Really, what other game gives you goals like "Breed an all-white 'Hugger'"?

Okay, so the one I bred had 7 eyeballs and homicidal tendencies. Whatever, it met the criteria.

Because I like to push my addictions on other people, Jenny from Big Fish Games has given me 10 beta accounts to give to you guys! She even pre-made them with cute and cool screen names. Which, trust me, is preferable to having ME choose your screen name. You just wouldn't get any respect with a label floating over your head that said "Flaccidophalus" or "Princess Pherschnoogenfailure".

Trust me on that one.

So let me know if you want to play via comment or email, and I'll hook you up!

And, because so many of you asked (well, there was that one person, shut up), the recipe for 5 Minute Microwave Chocolate Cake in a Mug:

5 MINUTE CHOCOLATE MUG CAKE
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug (MicroSafe)

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
Pour in the milk and oil and mix well..
Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again.
Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts.
The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!
Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.
EAT ! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous)*.

Let me know how that goes, since I am microwave-free myself. And that is all I have for you today. I think next week there's a book giveaway, or something. I don't know, I'll have to check with my people.**

*You're making chocolate cake in five minutes in your microwave. Just go for broke, yo.

**I'm just fucking with you. I don't have people. I used to, but I didn't feed them and they died.

Tell 'em Welchbelly sent you

My self-proclaimed status as a raging geek has finally paid off.

Last week Jenny from Big Fish Games emailed me to say she'd heard I was a uber geek gamer (thanks, Sprite's Keeper!) and would I be interested in checking out a new online game they've been working on?

Uh, yeah? I love beta testing video games. They're often buggy and half of the time they end up being crap (cough LordoftheRings cough) but you get to see everything first, and provide feedback before things go live. Because all too often, nobody consults me before they design things. Like those incredibly stupid street layouts in the east end of town.

Anyway. The game, Faunasphere, isn't that far from launch so it's not buggy at all. And it's web-based, which means no downloads so you can play it at the office without anybody busting you for having game software on your laptop, not that that's ever happened to me. And it's totally freaking addictive.

The general premise is that you are a 'caretaker' for fauna, cute little creatures that have survived on a polluted planet. You and your fauna are there to clean it up. You explore, harvest, fight pollution, and you can help build larger 'community' projects. The whole game is very easy to learn, and kid friendly. It has happy messages like saving the environment and helping your community, plus some science lessons. Your kids will be all, "Mom! Did you know you can have recessive genes?" And you can be all, "Ha! I tricked you into learning something!"

(Actually, it may very well be meant for kids. If so, don't tell me, because I'm having fun. And I'd hate to look silly. Except you guys don't have a shred of respect left for me anyway, so I don't know what I'm worried about)

You can also breed your fauna to customize their look. (Don't worry, the game sticks with environmental and scientific lessons, and stays away from potentially teaching your kids about the birds and the bees. The fauna lay eggs. Which actually may make for an interesting conversation when you do have that talk with your children).

You can still get in on the Faunasphere beta if you want to play! Just head over to the website and create an account. Or you could wait until it launches in August, but, waiting is totally overrated.

Maybe I'll see you there. I'll be the one with the floppy ears.

Maybe the new neighbours are interested in a house mouse AND a MIL: Random Tuesday Thoughts

randomtuesday

The new neighbours are here! The new neighbours are here! I saw the man pull up, and then take a kitchen chair out of his car and let himself into his new house. I was like - that's IT? A chair? You moved just a chair? In a Honda Acura? Who DOES that? Omigod these people are weirdos! And then I realized that, ahem, I'M the one standing on my own couch to stick my nose over the sill of the piano window to spy on him, because it's the only window on that side of the building, and I don't want to gawk out the front window. Who exactly is the whackjob here?

My suspicions were confirmed later when I texted Fashionista about their arrival and her response was, "So are you going to take them over a casserole or a loaf of fresh baked bread or something?"

Oh, right, THAT'S what normal neighbours do.

I may or may not have posted a while ago about how we have a mouse in the house. I can't remember. It really seemed kind of trivial to me - I saw it once, but it doesn't seem to poop anywhere important or eat the last handful of Goldfish crackers or anything. Unlike hubby, who seems to think it's the fourth horseman of the fucking apocalypse, I was pretty content to let it clean up after the toddler and scare the shit out of him us every once in a while.

Until today, when I was contentedly seated on the throne having a morning pee and heard this weird ticking noise. I looked down and saw a tiny pink nose poking out of a gap in the baseboards, gnawing away on the wood.

"You cocky little fucker!" I exclaimed, and the nose disappeared, like: crap, she saw me.

(Or more likely, Merde! I have been sighted! I must alert zee Resistahnce! Because I totally imagine mice all having this outRAYggggeous Franch accent.)

So now it's all-out war, mouse. My apologies in advance to your extended family, but you should have thought of that before you interrupted my morning constitutional with your arrogant display of teeny cojones.


My MIL apparently thinks I'm opening up my own mess hall. Or something. We have limited drawer space in our tiny kitchen, so since we moved in to this house I have been keeping my cutlery on the counter in mason jars. I don't know, I kind of thought it went with the 50s decor. But apparently this year it became too much for her, because she keeps buying me cutlery caddies to replace the jars.

The first time it was the (used!) plastic cutlery basket out of a dishwasher. Because yeah - THAT says 'classy' way more than canning jars.

This last time she was here she brought a new cutlery caddy, that came with it's own place setting for 4. In case that wasn't enough, she threw in an entire extra box of utensils. That's in addition to my original cutlery, which was complete and matching for 6 people.

When I queried hubby as to the motivation, he said she thought I might want cutlery that matched. But my cutlery DOES match. And I fail to see how giving me more cutlery THAT DOESN'T MATCH is going to help the situation at all.

I swear, it's enough to make me want to drill tiny holes in the end of each and every one of them and hang them from the ceiling.

I don't think I'm ready to start this cleanse tomorrow. I need to detox, before I can detox. I am going to have problems with the lack of caffeination. More than likely, other people are going to have problems with my lack of caffeination too.


I was going to post a Mother's Day thing yesterday about how you other moms should celebrate the things about yourself that aren't necessarily nurturing or maternal, the things that make you YOU that aren't making snacks or kissing booboos. Because those things make you a better parent, too. But then my kid threw things at my head all day and refused to nap and bit me and peed on some comics and screamed a lot, and I didn't feel like a good parent no matter what.

But, yeah, you should celebrate those things.

Never mind, I'll just post it next year.

I was also going to to post something to my own mother, along those same lines, about how much I appreciate her as a FRIEND and how intriguing and entertaining she is because she has so many aspects and interests that aren't directly related to motherhood. Plus because I didn't get her a card. But I felt like murdering instead of writing and she'd never read it anyway because she's on fucking dialup.

I'll just post it next year.


Okay, who thinks the people at MIT have waaaaay too much time on their hands?

(I still want one, though. I'd set it up in a corner of the living room and put a sign on it that says NO BOYZ ALOWD)

Aaaannnd on that note, I'm off to my Hut of Solitude. Want to play Random Tuesday Thoughts? Grab the button, make a random post, and link up with Mr. Linky! I had a little talk with him after the issue he had last week with commitment, and I think we're all on the same page. Nevertheless, he's on notice, so he gets one week to shape up or I'm demanding we go to counselling.

Happy Tuesday!


I've been kidnapped by pirates

Okay, not really. That was a really dorky intro. To tell you I'm not here right now, I'm off pillaging and plundering and swashing my buckle.

Flying Labs is giving away 14-day trials to their pirate MMORPG, Pirates of the Burning Sea. It's got pretty graphics and swords and boats, er, ships you can sail. So I'll be...preoccupied.

Unless you'd care to join me? Tempest Mexia, here, is currently stabbing and shooting, pillaging and plundering, and trying not to steer her boat, er, ship into anything rocky, all on Antigua server.

Yaar!