Gen Con, the largest and longest-running tabletop convention in North America, is revealing a new mascot for the Gen Con brand. Starting
January 28 at noon (PST), the Gen Con Twitter account (@gen_con) will start a weeklong contest to name the new dragon mascot, giving away two 4-Day badges for Gen Con 2019 to the lucky winner! Participants can enter by replying to the tweet announcing the contest with their name choice, and the hashtag #gencondragon. The submission with the most likes by noon (PST) on Monday, February 4 will be named the winner (subject to Gen Con approval)!
The dragon is designed by award-winning fantasy illustrator Craig J. Spearing. Spearing has worked with numerous distinguished board game and literary publishers, including Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Arcane Wonders, Fantasy Flight, Penguin Random House and Scholastic.
Link to contest: https://twitter.com/Gen_Con/status/1089984306011811843
I was talking with Quinzel earlier in the month and she asked me if I wanted to review The Grinch. Slight problem with that was that I hate The Grinch. I hate the animated cartoon, the Jim Carrey version, and I would probably hate its newest version.
“Well, what about doing a post about your favorite Holiday movies?” Quinzel suggested, probably a little gob smacked that I extol so much vitriol for that little green bastard.
So here I am, to tell you, my friends, about my favorite Holiday movies. Strap in.
- Love Actually
Everyone talks so much trash about this movie. You know what brah? I don’t even care. Bill Nighy is a hilarious delight. Keira Nightly’s collarbones stand at attention. Colin Firth is a weirdo, Natalie (not her real name) is not fat. Rick Grimes is a creeper. A mean creeper at that. And macking on his BFFs wife. IT IS A LOT AND I AM HERE FOR IT ALL. Plus, Karl. Oh Karl you fine specimen of a man. That woman deserved her neurotic brother and not you. LOVE ME KARL!!!
- Frosty the Snowman
Yall, do you know how short this show is? I put it on for Geeky Baby the other day and it was over BEFORE I GOT FINISHED DOING THE DISHES! That is my type of Holiday movie. I have the attention span of a toddler on pixie sticks, and I can handle this. I know this is saying nothing about the story of Frosty the Snowman, but. he’s a snowman? He almost gets a girl pneumonia while trying to save him. And speaking of pneumonia, WHERE ARE THIS GIRL’S PARENTS!? If I hopped a train to the North Pole to save a sentient snow man, I am pretty sure my mother would have several words for me. I am pretty sure this rant qualifies me for AARP. If you need a spokesperson AARP, I am here for you.
Scrooge is a dick. Bill Murray is a delight. This movie is just good fun though. We all know the tale of Scrooge. Rickety old man, counts his pennies, visited by three ghosts. This is just another version of it. But with the comedic stylings of Bill Murray. You can’t go wrong. Plus, I like when he shouts the answer to the trivia while on TV to his brother. It always made me cackle as a kid.
- Trolls Holiday
Okay, so looking at my offerings above, it may seem like I am a holiday hating jerk. But honestly, I am not. I love the holidays. I love making Chex Mix and cookies with Geeky Baby. I enjoy decorating the tree and presenting my husband and kid with their Christmas tree ornaments. In that vein I got to be honest with you that I enjoyed Trolls Holiday. We all have that overbearing enthusiastic friend that just wants us to share in the joy that they have for something. And Poppy is no different. She learns her lesson in the end, and happiness is had by all. Plus, I am a sucker for a good song and this movie is full of them.
- The Olay Holiday Musical
Okay look. This isn’t a holiday movie. But look. Have you guys seen this? I love the girl that sings, and I end up singing all the little songs that she sings too. And who among us haven’t had catty ass relatives asking us annoying questions that we wish we could quip to like this? PS: Olay if you are granting wishes, I would love any of the products she is talking about. Leslie PO Box 90232 Indianapolis, IN. 46290
As you can see, I don’t have a lot of favorites. But I have a steady supply. This isn’t to say this is all I watch. I have a kid. I have to introduce her to Rudolph (which is a video instructional on how NOT to treat someone different than you), Charlie Brown Christmas (If I have to hear ‘Oh Christmas Tree’ more than once during the holiday season, I will probably fight someone), and of course The Grinch (my kid calls it The Grunch and it amuses me to no end). Geeky Baby should be allowed to make her own choices on the shows that she likes. Maybe she won’t be as curmudgeonly as I am when she gets older.
I was gifted with a beta access code for the game Aftercharge. After looking at the instructions, it seems that it was for three players. I reached out, got a few additional codes, and gave them to Quinzel and her husband so we could play together. Imagine mine (and her) surprise when we realized that we couldn’t play as a unit and that it was luck of the draw when we played.
Aftercharge is a first person shooter. You either play as a Workonic or a Enforcer
Quinzel and I decided to chat after playing. Here is our dialogue.
Leslie: Straight off the bat, I’d rather play as an Enforcer rather than a Workonic. I get to shoot things. Um, that sounds sort of sociopathic.
Quinzel: Yeah, on that note I'm fairly certain the Workonics are the good guys and the Enforcers are the bad guys. I think I chose the dark side here..
L: I didn’t see it as good guys vs. bad guys. The enforcers needed the power to live, the Workonics...didn’t like the power? Wanted it destroyed? It didn’t make much sense to me why they were trying to blow up my power sources. That’s what they got shot.
Q: Idk, I think the Workonics were some punk asses. All I could do as a Workonics is hide, and then beg one of my friends to bring me back to life. It's a hard sell to play the game as a Workonic. Both me and my husband felt the Workonics needed something...extra? The Enforcers are where it’s at.
L: Maybe if we had a backstory on why they were trying to tap out the power sources and why the Enforcers were trying to kill them. That said, I did not do too bad as a Workonic. Check the score yo:
I am really good at running around like a maniac and hiding. That is my sole goal of life. Please don’t notice me. I am in my corner kicking ass and taking names.
Q: But...but...shields! Like, I could just put up shields and it's
all good! I also loved the enforcers had that tracking device on their guns. Make it a little more panic??? To see a Workonic pop up. My kind of fear <3
L: I would see the tracker go off and like clockwork, I would start flailing. My gun would be all over the place like it could see through their invisibility. I really need to work on my steadiness. Even though this was a beta, I did not have any glitches at all. The only issue I had was waiting a little bit for the game engine to match me up with a team. Even then, I let it run for about two minutes, ran to get a drink, and by the time I got back, I was matched up. I was playing on PC. What about you?
Q: Oh man it was the opposite for me. Super duper glitchy. Kinda like Vanellope in Wreck-It Ralph? I was like( OOOO!! I'm on the roof now!! Annnd back on the floor. One thing I enjoyed even through the glitches was the graphics. Very well done! What do you think?
L: I think I am used to college student gaming programmers. I figured this was going to be amaturish in its designs. But no. This was a really pretty game. I did enjoy the graphics. I was cracking up however at the one woman Enforcer. The way she was drawn, I could instantly tell she was a woman, and it wasn’t her...body, it was more the way she was moving. I don’t know how to describe it.
Like, take a look at her:
I guess she is kind of curvy. I don’t know. Also, while I was looking, there are actually two female Enforcers. Here is the other:
They both seem feminine to me. Maybe I am just being silly, I don’t know.
Q: I meannn, Huntress and Tinker give it away for me. I am glad at them not having overt feminine features (super small waist, big boobs, lack of armor) so I will give them that. But I agree, I could kind of tell by the way they moved...when I spent a lot of time hiding as a Workonic 😂
L: What, you mean bra armor with midriff bared and mini skirts with shin guards don’t do it for you armor-wise? /sarcasm
Q: Mmm, yes bare skin is so battle ready. Skin is the new helmets, ya know?
Getting off topic a little, sorry. I'll just ask, would you buy this game?
L: For me to buy this game, there are a couple of things that need to happen. 1) I need to be able to pull together a team myself. Choose my people and all of that jazz. I don’t like playing with unknowns if I can help it and that is the main reason I dragged you and your hub a dub in to play this with me. 2) While not a requirement, I would absolutely LOVE IT if I could choose which side I am playing for. However, I can see them not making that an option. If you think of Fortnite for example, you don’t get to choose which side you are playing on in the Battle Royale. However, in Fortnite, you do have the option of grouping up with people that you know. What about you?
Q: I personally need the Workonics to have just one more feature. Yes, it can be done winning as a Workonic, as you proved, but there needs to be more. Enforcers has guns, trackers, shields, and an energy force that doesn't rely on someone else reviving them. So I need Workonics to match that. As far as random groupings, I had a couple of 10 year olds yelling at me, which reminded me why I like to pick my groups too. Let me compete and yell at my friends why they didn't revive me. It'll create memories for a lifetime 😂 With those two things added, yeah, I'll buy it. It seems like it could be a wang dang doodle of a good time.
L: So it’s settled, two girl gamer thumbs up. I am not sure when Aftercharge will be out of non beta and for everyone’s consumption, but it is something you should take a look at. Oh! One more thing before I go. You guys remember in the 90s, if you were in high school, you would have that one friend that would do the squat “prison pose?” One of the characters on this game does that when they are lining up your matches. BUY THIS GAME BASED ENTIRELY ON THAT IF YOU WANT TO AND NO ONE HERE WOULD JUDGE YOU! BY NO ONE HERE, I MEAN ME, LESLIE.
Q: I'll judge you with a high five. That's expert decision making right there
L: It’s like that time my friend’s brother made his first paycheck and then spent the entire 200 dollar paycheck on Faygo.
My name is Leslie and I had a miscarriage. This is not my first miscarriage, this is my 4th. You know how they tell you that things get easier the more you do them or the more they happen? That is a lie. This never gets easier. The disappointment gets harder and more painful.
I’ve had a miscarriage and not a lot of people know. A lot of people will continue not to know because I am not advertising the blog post at all. But I need to write it. Someone may find it and find it therapeutic.
I found out I was pregnant the day before I was set to go on a cruise. We were excited and scared. As I have said I have miscarried before. But you know what? I made it through. I made it an entire week on that cruise with no issues, no pain.
Two weeks after I got home I started bleeding. With the scant amount of blood, the doctors weren’t worried. The baby was measuring younger than they thought it should, was I sure of the exact date of my last period? Yes I am sure. I track it like whoa. Hmm. The bleeding is scant, and we see a heartbeat, bleeding sometimes happens. About half the women who bleed lose their baby. Guess what? I am in that half now.
The world doesn’t stop spinning when you miscarry. You still have work, you still have people you may need to take care of. Life is still there, even when your mind isn’t. You feel guilty for leaning on your partner who is going through this loss as well. Who is hurting as well but would never tell you because they feel your hurt is greater than theirs.
Because I have had a baby at one point, my clothes started to get snug quicker than the first time. I excitedly ordered maternity clothes. I took them back today. They were unopened, unused. The look in the cashier’s eye said it all. I looked a wreck. She knew why I was returning. She wanted to empathize. I just wanted to leave. I wanted to run out of this store proudly displaying tank tops with cutesy sayings about being pregnant. I just wanted to go. I knew it would be like this going in there. I didn’t want to go in there, but Destination Maternity has some shitty policies about returning clothes. It was either that or pay even more shipping to ship it back.
My name is Leslie. I have had a miscarriage. It doesn’t get easier. It gets harder. I’m hurting, but I am doing the best I can.
I feel like my first foray into conventions warrants a blog post. Multiple blog posts. You have been warned.
About 3 years ago I wrote a blog post on the anxiety I feel about going to conventions. This never got finished and it never got posted. How could I explain to you guys the giant weight on my chest at the thought of going to a convention? I would be going by myself (my husband isn't into those things). I'd have to talk to people *shudder*. I'd have to figure out what I wanted to do, and how to do it. Nah bruh, cons weren't for me.
But this was 3 years ago (possibly more, I haven't checked the date on that draft). A lot of things have changed. My anxiety is a lot worse. However I also manage it. I have to. I speak with strangers every day during my 9-5. People look to me for direction. I feel like now is the time for me to step a pinky toe into the con world, and Gen Con seemed the optimal place to do it
What is Gen Con?
According to the website, Gen Con is the longest running gaming convention in the world. From what I have seen and my understanding they deal primarily in board games and role playing games (think D&D). It is (for now) located in Indianapolis, which suits my needs as I am located in Indianapolis as well.
Why do I want to go?
I like games. I like games a lot. I don't have much experience in board games however. I have played Ticket to Ride a whole lot. I'd also like to learn how to play D&D or even a card game like Magic the Gathering. This convention offers the perfect opportunity for that.
Also I think this is a small step into the convention world. It is local and it is downtown and I can get there with relative ease. I can also navigate downtown like a boss. Part of my anxiety stems from needed to know everything about where I am going. I am that person that can't take driving directions from someone, because if you tell me to turn 3 seconds from a turn I will hurt you. And also freak out when I miss the turn. I have control issues. Sue me.
I'd also like to meet different people. My friends are typically spread out across the globe. Maybe I meet some nice people around here that like to do somethings that I like to do. This seems like also a great place to network and spread the good news of this blog and our podcast (you are listening to our podcast right?).
What do I hope to take away (other than pins)?
Other than some swag, I hope to learn to play at least one game. I hope to hand out stickers (and possibly buttons if I can get my funds together to purchase some). I want to wander around downtown, take pictures with cosplayers, and eat a good lunch. Mostly I hope to step out of my comfort zone and enjoy myself. I want to come back with tons of stories for our readers here and listeners on the podcast.
Have you been to cons? Are you leery about going to cons? Do you have advice for me? Let me know!
I was reading this story on seagulls when I was reminded of my own seagull experience.
I am landlocked for the most part. You can go to upstate Indiana and get to a few beaches there, but I live in the dead center of Indiana.
A group I belonged to in high school (Shout out to Upward Bound!) took us to an amusement park. I forget where at this point, could have been Cedar Point. We get there, and they hand us our lunch, which are ham sandwiches.
I hate ham.
I see a little bird (which I now know was a seagull), and toss him pieces of my bread. He gets closer so I toss him more. Then another bird comes, and another bird comes, and one brazen ass bird comes and yanks the sandwich out of my hand. At this point I notice there are like 12 birds. I start screaming and running like a maniac, while my friend groups, chaperones, and people milling about are staring at me like I’m crazy. Because I resemble the bird lady from Mary Poppins.
Eventually security show up, chasing the birds off with the car. Brazen ass bird has flown away with my entire sandwich.
I am older and wiser now. I don’t mess with any birds, and I will go pure ninja warrior on a seagull.
To understand what is going on with all the laptop information, please go back to this post where I speak all about it here.
My current gaming laptop is a Gigabyte, so it made sense (to me at least) to start looking there for my Ultrabook purchase. I bopped over to their site, and what do I see under products?
They even have an Ultrabook category! I was excited. So, I started to peruse further. The Ultrabook series for Gigabyte is called AERO. They have a ton of different options. I am opting to look at the 14-inch models because as I said in my previous entry, I am looking for something slightly smaller. The model I am looking at specifically is AERO 14 (GTX 1050 Ti).
Right off the bat, the first thing I am noticing when it comes to these specs is that it feels as if these are gaming specs. I’ve not been in the room with many Ultrabooks that could take on gaming, but these are looking as if they might be able to. They have the SSD that I am looking for, storage is 512GB, comes with Windows 10 Home. It has a 14-inch display. I have no perception of measurement in my head, so I busted out a tape measure and measured my display on my work laptop. From corner to corner it is about 15 inches or so (always remember that displays are measured diagonally) and my work laptop is a full-size laptop. The laptop is gorgeous and comes in three different colors.
In other interesting facts, it is only 4 lbs, 1.9cm slim (whatever that means), the charging adapter is light, and has an additional USB charging port on it, so you can charge additional equipment. It has an intel core i7 processor. It has something called Thunderbolt 3 port technology which I had to look up. Thunderbolt is the hardware interface for ports. Thunderbolt 3 is the newest and has USB- C. I can go further in depth, but all you really need to know is that it seems like most of the USB ports on this laptop are USB- C. It also one of the things that allows this Ultrabook the ability to Output its display at 4K on 3 external displays. It allows you to tweak the fans, which I think is kind of awesome. It goes quiet, normal, gaming, or you can customize it. If you are a game streamer, it lets you adjust the background of your streaming without a green screen.
All of these things sound amazing. It is a gorgeous laptop. I have spent hours on the site looking at it. But does it meet the qualifications that I need? Let’s see:
1. It must be small. No full sized laptops This is a little smaller than my work laptop, which leads me to think it is a full size laptop. I think it gets away with being called an ultrabook because it is so light.
2. No HP Laptops. √
3. No Lenovo laptops√
4. I need a solid state hard drive√
5. No less than 128GB of drive space√
6. I would prefer a Windows machine, but would do Linux if everything else was there√
7. My price point is $500 dollars. So we need to talk about this one for a minute. Gigabyte only sells refurbished items on their website, so I had to Google to see a price. That is when it became clearly evident that this was an Ultrabook in weight only (UIWO?). This is a gaming laptop, and as such it has a gaming laptop price. It is about 1100 dollars over my budget. I may be able to fudge my numbers a bit and get a little more money for the right laptop, but I cannot fudge 1100 for a laptop that has a lot of bells and whistles that I do not need. No matter how pretty it may be.
So there you have it. Gigabyte has amazing laptops. I know, I own one, I’ve had it for a good little while and the product is good. It stands up over time. I’m able to play my games on it and have not seen a degradation of the quality. While I would love for my newest laptop to be with them, and they met a lot of what I need, they did not meet the two most important factors. So, the hunt is still on. As always, if you have any notebooks you want to recommend, or any thoughts on laptops in general, feel free to reach out. Leslie@geekygirlguide.com
Update: I was back on Gigabyte’s website when I noticed something:
They have an Ultrabook series, but if you look a little bit lower, they have a mainstream series. I clicked over to there:
And what do we have here?
Gigabyte does have some smaller less powerful computers! Let’s check it out.
*Tries to find a price*
*Reads how old these are*
*Throws everything away*
So, after doing some reading, these laptops are from 4 years ago. Why are they still on your site Gigabyte!? We will not be diving in to the other laptops. My original opinion still stands. Gigabyte is too powerful and too expensive for what I need it to do.
On to the Next one!
I am a big believer in using what you have. I am one of those people that is resourceful with the tools around me. My husband is frequently amazed by the meals I make with whatever we have in the kitchen. To me, it is like a puzzle. Use what you have and be as frugal as possible. That way you have money to splurge on other things. That is why I have been trying to use this Kindle Fire tablet and keyboard for the longest.
This is not working for me.
The keyboard is way too small for my chubby fingers. I can’t properly admin from it. The touch screen thing drives me batty. Also, I don’t care what you say, SILK IS NOT A BROWSER (#BrowserBias2018).
While I do own a lovely laptop, my laptop is a behemoth. I hate lugging it anywhere. It is a proper gaming laptop. I need to be able to write and admin the site from my living room, or the break room at work, or wherever I am at. I think it would be conducive to me trying to write more in 2018. Not just for the blog, but in writing prompts and the like. I could be wrong though and it would just devolve into another way for me to read more fan fiction. We shall see.
Intel has trademarked the term Ultrabook. For them it means a line of high-end sub notebook computers that are smaller (think old school Net Book) but has a decent battery life. This is exactly what I am looking for. I need something small and compact. I don’t need to game on it. I need to be able to admin the site, surf the web and write my short butt off. Also, and this is a pure vanity situation, but I need it to fit into my new Kate Spade backpack. There is a small list of older models of Ultrabooks listed on Wikipedia here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Ultrabook_models. That will give you some examples on what I am looking at.
I have some other rules for this new piece of equipment coming into my life:
1. It must be small. No full sized laptops
2. No HP Laptops. I had an incredibly bad experience with HP that nearly caused me to fail a college course several years ago. Ever since then I have been put off HP. HP if by some chance you see this blog, and want to talk to me and prove me wrong about your products, feel free to reach out. Leslie@geekygirlguide.com
3. No Lenovo laptops. Want to know why? Read here: http://money.cnn.com/2015/02/19/technology/security/lenovo-superfish/index.html
4. I need a solid state hard drive
5. No less than 128GB of drive space
6. I would prefer a Windows machine, but would do Linux if everything else was there
7. My price point is $500 dollars. Ideally it would be under $400, but I am not holding my breath on that one. For all of you scoffing at the price, saying I will not find what I want for that price, you better watch out. I love a challenge. Also, one thing I love more than reading? PROVING PEOPLE WRONG!
So that is it as far as my requirements. I must tell you, when I first started writing this, I scoffed because I thought I only had one or two requirements. Turns out I am slightly picky. Picky is good though. It will ensure I get what I need and what I want. I’ll be taking you along on #UltrabookWatch2k18 with me. I’ll be researching Ultrabooks and writing about what I find here, using the requirements up above to see if what I find is a good fit for me. I hope you will come along with me on this journey. Maybe you will find something you didn’t know you were looking for as well.
2017. What can you say about it? In 2016 we saw the death of huge icons, of people we have admired for years. 2017 continued the theme of death. Not of people per se, but of ideals. People that we thought were kind, courageous, and brave ended up being total trash heaps. Our country is in the middle of one of the biggest dumpster fires I have ever seen. That is what 2017 meant to me.
2018 is here and it is full of the optimism, hope, and joy we once wished 2017 would hold for us. Please let that be true. I am not sure I can handle too many more dumpster fires.
It is a new year. It is the same old me. I don’t believe in resolutions. I never keep them. I am however working on being a better person. Here is the list of things I plan on doing for the new year (But I had also been working on them in 2017 as well)
If 2017 was a dumpster fire, my brain is part of the trash heap that had lighter fluid sprayed liberally upon it. I am an organizational nightmare. I worked on this a lot by obtaining a paper planner and started to use that. I did not use it as well as I could have and that is what I want to work on this year. I actually have two planners this year. One for my job, and one for my personal life. Maybe if I organize a little bit better I could have the time and energy to do the things I want to do when I have down time. It might make it easier for me to craft more or organize more activities for geeky baby. To see some of the fun creative stuff I have been doing with my planner, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram.
2) Werqin on my fitness
2017 saw me change my eating habits a lot. I eat (most of the time) like I have some damn sense. I drink more water than I do diet soda. Though I do still enjoy an icy cold Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper. I make somewhat of an attempt to bring a healthy lunch and snacks to work that work well with a diabetic.
I am the most sedentary person you will ever meet in your life. Like I am a total slug. It amazes my husband that he can find me in one spot and 5 hours later I will be in that same spot huddled up with a blanket on doing absolutely nothing. He doesn’t understand it at all. I feel like if I exercised more, maybe I would get some energy back? Isn’t that how it is supposed to work? We shall see. I found some free videos on YouTube and will be using those to start. If I feel like it is something I could go gung ho on, I may get a gym membership.
3) Do Your Homework!
I have been talking about this one or a while. My goal this year is to do every single bit of homework Nerdette assigns throughout the year. You may be asking yourself “Why in the hell would she want to do homework?” In addition to being a nerd, I am an absolute geek. I live for homework. Plus, I have done several of the homework assignments from Nerdette, and I always come away with some knowledge, or at least a good book recommendation.
So yes. These are the major things I have in store for 2018. Do you have anything that you want to grow or develop? Did you have a great 2017? Let us know!