As you all may remember, Gen Con last year was my first Con ever. I had a blast. I went under the banner of Geeky Girls’ Night In, and reported on it a couple of times on the podcast. See below:
I looked forward to going again on a press pass this year, and was getting ready to line up articles as well as segments on the podcast. I was slowly planning what I wanted to see and who I wanted to speak with.
I got denied a Gen Con press pass this year.
When I reached out to the PR people, they said it was because I was given a press pass last year, and did nothing with it. No reports or anything. I refuted this and even sent the evidence; and email to the same person I was corresponding with, that I sent her the prior year of all of the content I created based on Gen Con.
I never heard from her again.
Normally I would roll with this and keep it moving, but I am slightly irritated. However, as I write this, some clarity has come my way:
These people do not owe me shit.
I got a press pass last year, I created content based on that press pass. End of transaction. That does not guarantee me a press pass this year.
I am taking a deep breath and letting this go. And I believe I am going to go ahead and purchase a pass for Saturday. The Friday before, I will be heading to Butler University to see Hello from the Magic Tavern again. I am super excited about that as well.
The year is 2006. We could go back even further, but we will start here. A very distraught Leslie is in Kokomo Indiana. This is where people go to get pregnant and die. That is all they do there (and meth). But I am there. After living it up In Lafayette for a time, running out of money and with no healthcare, I have tucked tail and returned home. I have two shitty jobs and an even shittier outlook on life, thanks to living back at home with someone I do not mesh with at all.
I am working on myself. Truly. I have re-enrolled in school and am going to get my associates in computer information technology. I am working with a therapist and was surprisingly diagnosed with something that has plagued me my whole life. I got medication for it and it made it easier to return to school.
Life is still hard though. I am in a town I do not want to be in. Small town, small mentality. It sucked the soul out of me. All of my friends wanted to party and drink and I was slowly growing out of that phase in my life. I wanted more. I wanted stores that don’t close early on Sunday evening. I wanted a nightlife that included culture and local music. I wanted the demands to attend church to stop. I. WANTED. MORE.
I ended up spending more and more time by myself. Friday’s were for Chinese takeout and a rental from blockbuster. I’d also get popcorn and a candy if I was feeling extra. I’d work on homework and look for a better job. I’d also play The Sims.
My mother didn’t understand my fascination with The Sims. “Go outside!” she would say. “You can do all of the things you are doing on this game in the real world!” Could I though? Could I really? Is there a way to Ctrl+Alt+C in my life and type in MOTHERLODE and be the recipient of $50,000? If that is the case could someone give me this secret, because mama still got student loans to pay.
Could I then use that cheat code multiple times in order to get the house I want, work whatever career I find interesting, because it doesn’t matter how much I make, I have plenty of money? Could I randomly find a man, eat a bunch of fruit and give birth to twin girls like I wanted?
The Sims was my escape. An escape I so desperately needed in such a trying emotional stage in my life. I would build generations of families and pass down the wealth. Create elaborate houses for them to live in with every whim cared for.
Meanwhile, I was floundering emotionally. For the first time in my life school was going great, I’d found a job that while the pay was still horrible, the pay was better than anything I’d earned. My personal life was in shambles. But two years was all I needed.
I played The Sims. Constantly. I didn’t have much else to do, so this is what I did. I retreated into this world. It may have been a little unhealthy, but it kept me sane. For every verbally abusive instance I endured, The Sims was there. I invented lives, better lives than I ever thought I would get to live. I was happy. My characters were happier than I ever thought I would be.
Two years came and went. I met someone. I graduated, I left a shitty life and even shittier job behind. I moved on to more schooling and a bigger city. Life was great. My Sims playing slacked off a bit. I still grabbed the other itineration of The Sims, because I love the game. It’s no longer an escape for me however. It is just a pure joyous pleasure to play.
It’s 2019. I am in a wonderful job. I have a house of my own. A family that I care very deeply about, and I still play The Sims. This time, I let a Geeky Baby join me on the designing. She is fascinated by the babies. “The baby is crying! Help it!” I don’t really use cheats anymore. I like them to work their way up. The latest family started in a house half built I got on the exchange. She kept doing freelance work until she could afford things for it. She met a guy, got married, had a baby, had twins, and is living her best life with them. They have money, they have things, everyone is pretty much happy.
This is my Sims Story.
EA is not at E3 this year. They had their own thing called EA Play. It was here where they announced a new expansion of The Sims 4, it is called Island Living. It looks like fun. There are mermaids and dolphins involved which is always a plus for me. The island (Sulani) changes based on how you care for it. Knowing me it will be a desolate island with one beautiful but foreboding house in the background. They also teased a magic expansion pack this fall as well as some goodies for Pride, starting June 18th. I can’t wait.
I will probably pick it up and play the expansions with Geeky Baby where she demands I paint everything black. We will fuss back and forth about it, but I will eventually create a house that she can make all of her own. EA, thank you so much for creating a game that provides so much merriment to me. It also provided a light through the darkness of my life at a certain time.
Last weekend I went and saw Us. I have questions. I also have observations. There will be spoilers. I also want to note that I saw Us at the drive in. Sometimes darker (as in colors, not genre) movies I run into some difficulties seeing, so some of my questions may be because I couldn't see properly, feel free to enlighten me on anything.
- Observation: Winston Duke's character was a punk. He was absolutely useless, and his drive to keep up with the Jones' drove me nuts
- Question: Did you notice you never got a good look at Adelaide's parent's faces? What was the symbolism in that?
- Question: When they won the T-shirt for young Adelaide, the mother noted that the Thriller movie scared the mess out of her. You scared of Thriller, but you walking into an abandoned fun house? Oh you dumb dumb?
- Question: When they were pulling up to the beach that Adelaide didn't want to go to, they saw the Jeremiah 11:11 guy dead. On that beach, you saw his tether dripping blood, just standing there. Did they kill each other?
- Question: Also on that beach, did anyone else get the feeling that the twin girls were racist assholes? They knocked over the little boy's sandcastle, and demanded to know why Zora wasn't swimming. Maybe racist isn't the right word. Maybe just insensitive pricks.
- Observation: Something struck me as off with the little boy. I am not sure what though.
- Observation: When the tethered met Adelaide's family you notice the father's face was dark as well? You could barely see it. He was worthless too. Skulking around like Frankenstein's monter.
- Question: Pluto (The little boy's tether), what happened to his face? Why was he all burnt up? I know he liked fire, but we never got a reasoning for it.
- Question: You saw at the end the little boy controlling his tether. Why didn't anyone do this from the beginning? WHY DID WE NOT START A FIRE AND BURN OUR TETHERS!?
- Question: Maybe it was too dark for me, but what was the significance of the dance recital? I know Adelaide stopped dancing after that, but the tether mentioned how she knew Adelaide felt it during the dance. Felt what? What did she do?
- Observation: Winston Duke's character and his boat are the worst. THE. WORST.
If you guys could help me with these questions, I would be much obliged. Also, I would love to hear your theories!
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.