Here are a few of my favorite things: Nintendo, Penny Arcade, The Legend of Zelda, Mario, Pokemon, Harvest Moon, Fallout, Dungeons and Dragons, books, dice, Professor Layton, Shadow of the Colossus, Minecraft, and so much more. I'm going to talk a lot about video games, I sincerely hope you don't mind.

Newest paper sculpt project!

Sonic Screwdriver trio for my friend's birthday.

An interview with Adam Harum of Transolar Galactica.

They achieved their Kickstarter goal, and now the world gets more of their award winning sci-fi comedy!

Doctor Who themed lip balm!

Brought to you from Earthtastic! and A Bit of Geek.

Minecraft paper sculpt!

My submission to the Mojang community art contest. Watch the video!

A TARDIS desk lamp!

Instructions and babbling on how to make a TARDIS lamp from foam core!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The incomparable Wil Wheaton

Today has been nothing short of surprising and amazing. The whole weekend has been incredible, so I didn't think anything more could happen to make things even better.

Enter Link and Dark Link, impressive cosplay females that we saw almost first thing upon entering the center. We stopped for fangirl moments of praise and some photos.

Then, something wonderful happened: Wil Wheaton photobomed the photo of me with the Links. You can see the top of his head, one wild eye, and his highly identifiable dick cape.

After this we decided to follow him so I might get my badge signed, and we discovered him at his booth, meeting fans and signing things. We hopped in line and before I knew it, I was talking to Wil Wheaton.

I stuttered a hello and introduced myself, then began to tell him how much I enjoyed his blog. I also thanked him for posting the video a few weeks ago of TheBloggess's inspiring speech at a convention in Utah about being "furiously happy".

He was so fabulous and friendly, down to Earth and comforting. It was such a pleasure to meet him. I walked away with a free signed print of him collating paper (should have cost me $20 but I didn't realize they cost money and I was so nervous and flustered and inspired that he was super kind and gave it to me free. Thanks again!!)

What a superb day.


Saturday, August 27, 2011


Greetings from PAX!

I meant to post an update yesterday for day one, but between all of the titles to play, t shirts to grab and board games to learn, I simply couldn't find the time!

Right now I am posting from the expo hall while in line for a free, and totally awesome, Shadow of the Colossus shirt! Within the hour I will be lining up to attend the dungeons and dragons panel, wherein Gabe and Tycho (of Penny Arcade fame), Wil Wheaton and others will be playing a session! Sounds very exciting to me.

Last night I was found to be on the second floor in a table top room with Jacki, playing Battle Star Galactica the board game with four total strangers.

PAX is magnificent.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

The princess in the wasteland.

Today's post will be sadly brief (even though I have tons to say) because I am posting from my phone! I am currently up in Washington to attend PAX! And I am quite excited about it. I was unable to go last year, seeing as I was in Ireland, and even though it was a great experience I am still sore about missing PAX.

I am going to make the best of this weekend, including panels. I don't normally go to very many but this year there are a few on Friday that I'm interested in. Expect next week's entry to overfloweth with PAX goodness.

For now, allow me to talk a little bit about how awesome it is that Andrew and I finished new super mario bros. Wii! It was a cheer worthy moment for me, and I may have been seen to jump up and yell, and I may have taken a bunch of screen shots with my phone. I smiled and basked in the shiny glow of our combined triumph.

I wish I could commend Nintendo on making such an amazing sequel after all these years. When the title was announced I was excited and also curious. Why make a sequel after so much time, and would it be good? I picked up my copy on release day and didn't regret it. Four players was extremely kind of them, but there is no way to finish that game with all four players! If anyone has done so I would love to hear about your experience!

We decided that our next game would be Kirby's Epic Yarn. I've played through a few of the worlds myself, but it'll be much more fun with Andrew. We've started it and he's a really great explorer, I'm feeling confident that we'll find all of the hidden items in later levels. I'll have more to say next time.

Before I end this scattered phone post I am going to delightedly inform you all that after many years of stalling (for various reasons) I have finally started a Fallout 3 file. If I'm being totally honest, and I like you so I will be, I started a file shortly after the game was released but never had a chance to play it. I wasn't worried though, I knew my day would come.

Now that day is here and I am very happy! I love Fallout. I played through the second I've and had a great time and I was really looking forward to the release of the third one. I played it at PAX before it came out and was thrilled. Although, I am not a fan of excessive gore and violence so I imagine that the astute reader has deduced that Fallout isn't an easy game for me to play.

I prefer the older versions. The lack of technological advancements meant that the graphics couldn't be so gross. Whenever something's head gets blown off I can't help but respond with an emphatic, "ew! So gross!" This, fortunately, amuses Andrew.

My Fallout 3 chronicles will go on for some time, so expect to hear a lot more about my adventures in the wastelands!


Friday, August 19, 2011

Our house of many mushrooms.

Before I left for Washington in the middle of June, Andrew and I were on a steady schedule of playing New Super Mario Bros. Wii and/or watching an episode of True Blood every night before we went to bed. I quite enjoyed this seeing as it was fun and fulfilling and best of all he and I are excellent cooperative players at Mario.

With all of the insane hopping, jumping, flying, floating and stomping that goes on in a multiplayer side scroller, it is unfortunately easy to accidentally take all of the items out of the classic question mark block, or to bump into your co-pilot and send them screaming into a pit of lava. Some even call it 'marriage poison'.

It would appear that some relationship duos don't play quite as
harmoniously as Andrew and I do. I consider us very lucky!

When I first brought up playing Mario together, he had some reservations. Apparently he wasn't terribly well versed in the Mario universe while he was growing up, and as a result felt that he possessed inadequate experience to be able to play alongside me, Mario lover extraordinaire* since age five.

I quelled this concern, stating I didn't care how good or bad he was and that I simply wanted us to play together. I am sorely lacking in the co-op/multiplayer gaming department, seeing as I rarely had anyone to play with. I have a sister who greatly enjoyed gaming when she was younger (and does now again many years later) but that's really another subject. The point here is that when I have had a multiplayer game (that was co-op!) I always enjoyed the experience and I wished that I had more. So anyway, he finally agreed to play with me.

It has been a truly fantastic experience to play alongside him and watch him improve. He started out like anyone else did as a new player; uncertain, overly-cautious and accident prone. It was like watching myself so many years ago, and it was great. I've never been present for someone's first experience with Mario (other than my own, of course). I recall my sister being great at Mario and I repeatedly died, feeling forever like an extremely poor player. Andrew is now really quite skilled!

Currently, I am very pleased to say, we are at Bowser's castle at the end of the game! This is insanely thrilling to me because, and don't judge me here, I've never been able to finish any of the traditional side-scrolling Mario games! I know I know, it's absolutely shameful! And it certainly isn't for lack of trying. I have played Mario and Mario 3 so many times, but my goodness are they difficult. The original one I've warped to World 8 with all the tanks and just, no. No no no. As for Mario 3 I always always always get stuck on World 5 in the clouds. I simply cannot get past the cloud portion. Someday I would love to complete them both.

To my delight, the cloud levels in New Super Mario Bros. Wii are
actually extremely fun! I wonder what the creatures are called...

The level designs are absolutely superb. It's very much a 'just right' situation for me. The worlds follow the classic pattern of grass, sand, ocean/ice, etc. It is completely nostalgic while being very new at the same time. The presence of Blooper swimming dangerously in the ocean thrills me to no end and I personally believe that he doesn't have a strong enough showing in the series. 

One aspect of gaming that I've never quite indulged in is the secrets/side quests. I'm not sure if I've just never noticed them before, or if I didn't care, or if I thought the main story was too time-consuming or what. I've become aware, however, that I am missing out on a huge portion of the great gaming experience! To my good fortune, Andrew is very into secrets and side quests. This has made it a very easy transition. 

Between jaw-clenching, hand-cramping, eye-twitching sessions of the later levels that brought me dangerously close to screaming, we've been going back to previous worlds and collecting the star coins that are hiding in each level. It eases the tension of the more difficult stages and allows us to continue playing and keep having fun! Good on Nintendo for that feature. Of course the star coins are actually used for unlocking helpful hint content, but they keep me playing even when I'm feeling fed up so I'm happy for their existence. 

I can't wait to complete the final battle. What we've seen of it so far has been nothing short of epic. Nintendo pulled out all the stops to make it an enjoyable and exciting experience, even including some hyper satisfying throw-backs to the original final Mario-Bowser battle. The presence of real-time destructible environments really piqued Andrew's involvement levels and, quite frankly, made me feel 100% panicked and frantic.

I don't do well in the event of being chased by something that takes up half of the 
screen. I keep dying from jumping erratically. I wouldn't recommend this tactic.

Hopefully next week I'll have some screenshots of my own and an accompanying 'Success!' post to inform you all that we've finally finished the game. And to anyone that owns a Wii and hasn't played it yet, I strongly urge you to pick up a copy! It's so much fun but really does require patience and understanding, especially when your co-player butt-bounces you into oblivion right next to the flagpole. You have to accept that that sort of thing is just going to happen.


*I kid. I love Mario very much but I'm definitely not an extraordinary player :)

(Comic strip from Penny Arcade, cloud stage image taken from Nintendo's NSMB website and final Bowser screenshot borrowed with love from Gamespot)

Monday, August 8, 2011

D&D, classic gaming and Lord of the Rings: a brief moment of sharing.

I'm sure there are a lot of things I could talk about right now but really this entry is so I can share this video:

It's so well done, and she has a very lovely voice! This gets me even more pumped to start a D&D campaign! I think it'll be happening soon, *squeeeee*!

There's not too much space in the house for me to put up my own decorations, which is fine because I have a lot of garage space to work with, but I'm really happy that there was enough space for me to put out my video game consoles! I have boxes of them, almost all in working condition, and it is my hope to one day have a home that has a room dedicated to classic gaming. Just TVs everywhere with shelves overflowing with old systems and games.

Until that day comes though I thought it'd be really nice to have them all on display. And now, that has come true.

 There on the left you can see them going all the way down. There's a third
shelf that is obstructed by the middle shelf that houses even more consoles!
Also not pictured are my orange and gray NES zappers as well as my original
GameBoy! The right is a close up of the NES just for the sake of it.

This house plays host to a monster projector and screen, seventeen feet wide to be exact, and is absolutely amazing for movie viewing experiences. Especially in high def. Saturday night saw the conclusion of the epic trilogy of The Lord of the Rings. I missed out on Fellowship (still being in Washington and all), but I was present to watch Two Towers and Return of the King. All in special extended edition, might I add! It was truly spectacular, but Saturday night was made particularly special by the presence of one Legolas. 


He was a gift for my 19th birthday and has very successfully made the move down to California with me. Andrew thought it'd be brilliant to set him out for the showing on Saturday night, and he proceeded to creep everyone out as he peered down from the balcony through the night. Brilliant indeed.

Now he serves to scare the life out of me every time I walk into the bedroom because he's been in storage for so long that I'm no longer accustomed to seeing him!

Hello takes on a new meaning.


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