Friday, September 28, 2012

Winter Is Coming

Sorry for missing Thursday. I was busy deck building for the Game of Thrones Card Game.

Being part of a giant group of geeky friends is a beautiful and frustrating thing. For one we will never solve who is a better superhero, and two, we do all kinds of things without any shame at all.

Like most people in the world we are currently addicted to Game of Thrones. We fell in love with the card game because as magic players it was a similar game without having to constantly shell out tons of money for the latest and greatest cards. the GoT game is pretty equal about cards. Each set comes with the same thing, always. And new cards and mechanics aren't being churned out as fast as humanly possible so a couple trips to the store should cover you for quite some time.

The other aspect I like is that it plays well with more people, the one on one games are okay, but it' the big messy ones that are great. You can make a night of it with a bunch of people.

Tomorrow we are having our first 6 person game, up till now we have only attempted 4. I am really psyched. To get into the mood I am going to be making Arya's Snitched Tarts from the Feast of Fire and Ice cookbook. If you don't have the cookbook I recommend checking out Inn at the Crossroads site. The ladies who run it helped create the cookbook. It will give you an idea whether or not you should purchase the book.

It will be good practice for when we have our official Winter Game of Thrones Feast as a pre Christmas event for all our friends before they go off and do family things. Everyone is coming dressed as a character. I will keep you guys posted on the menu and hopefully add photos from the event itself.

Meanwhile I am off again. Almost time to leave work and go enjoy National Drink Beer Day! We will be going to the Congregation Ale House as they have delicious food and a phenomenal beer list.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Chainmaille x 2

My new walking regiment involves trips to Disneyland where I use as much willpower as possible to ignore the smells of caramel popcorn, churros, and funnel cakes, and walk my butt off all over Fantasyland to California Adventure. The reward for walking is a ride instead of food or a drink. What better reward for exercise?

So as a result I have slacked on my crafting somewhat. (Wouldn't you?) But I did complete a Captive Inverted Round Chainmaille necklace which looks really cool in person. It's got a nice heavy weight and the chunkyness gives it a modern twist.

The picture shows it somewhat but the lighting doesn't give the silver the right gleam.

I have also made a delicate looking bracelet with what I have dubbed The Planet Pattern since "Rhinos Snorting Drano" is not a very good name for what looks very lovely and nothing like a rhino. I will post that soon as well.

Is anyone out there trying out any of the other patterns from CGMaille? Any success, failures? I won't be showing you my attempt at ruffles, it was just sad. I definitely need to use smaller rings for the smaller rings, mine flopped around unattractively.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fallen London

Reading doesn't always have to be thought of as something linear. And shouldn't have to be. One of my favorite forms of reading is actually narrative gaming.

One of the best examples is Fallen London. You enter a world that is reminiscent of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. In it you use action points to interact with devils, rubbery men and shadowy figures. The world slowly unfurls in snippets of story, as you gain levels in danger, shadow, watchfulness and persuasion. Other strange qualities some negative, some helpful can also be acquired.

It launches your mind into new realms and you will thirst for more, anxiously awaiting a new action point to continue to discover things about the Masters of the Bazaar, the revolutionists, the Universities and then sail to the other corners of the world that have yet to be revealed.

Content is always being added to the game and if you enjoy casual gaming and are not that great with your thumbs on a joystick I would give Fallen London a try. It's free for the most part unless you want to access special content.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Leafy Greens with Bacon and Onions

I had this delicious side to some chicken this weekend at Stone Brewery and I wanted to try to recreate it. It included kale but I figured since I already had spinach I would substitute that.

Bag of fresh spinach
4 slices bacon
Onion (your choice, diced)
Pinch of brown sugar
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Spray
Salt and Pepper
Optional: Bragg's Amino Acids. (Has a soyish flavor, really good for you if you are trying to lose weight.)
You need a decent sized pan, at least 12 inches around.

I used evoo spray to save on calories and spritzed my pan. Then I tossed in the onions. I cooked them at low-medium heat. After about a minute I added the brown sugar.
While the onions were caramelizing in the pan I placed the bacon in the microwave between sheets of paper towels. I let them cook about 6 minutes then took it out. I broke the slices into small pieces.
I let the onions cook until translucent, occasionally stirring. Then I folded in the spinach and the bacon, letting the spinach cook until wilted.
Add a few shakes of salt and pepper and a couple Sprays of your Bragg's if you are using it and toss one final time before turning off the stove.
Serve immediately.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Garlic Infused Vodka

I love savory drinks, as I have mentioned. So when I got a giant bag of garlic I had to try and recreate the garlic martini from the Stinking Rose.

That's my giant bag of garlicI fell in love with driving through Gilroy. I love that Gilroy smells like roasting garlic. It's amazing. I am afraid I don't have a picture of the infused vodka right now but my first attempt wasn't that pretty anyway. I used the recipe from Pop Diva for my infused vodka. I got some glass flasks at Ross but you can find the same ones at The Container Store.

What I learned from my first attempt is that after about a week it's perfect, any longer and it's too much. And straining it is a must. If anyone out there has any suggestions for clarifying the resulting vodka please let me know, because it took on an ugly yellow color from the garlic.

I am a huge fan of making your own flavored vodka. Makes a great present. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Walk Like an ...

Egyptian Theater. Lesser well known the The Grauman's Chinese Theater, but just as cool. Next month it will be celebrating its' 90th Anniversary and if you haven't gotten tickets yet there are still some left for this 90th Anniversary Ball on October 20th.

How could I not want to go after this season's opener to Boardwalk Empire.
Not sure if I will be wearing beads on my head but I am damn excited to get a 20's beaded dress.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cabin in the Woods

Here's the close to being done cross stitch. I like the way it uses negative space and the blue cloth to define some of the areas. I just need to finish the backstitching, add the date of the wedding and then mail it. Better late than never! Then back to the epic Thomas Kincade Beauty and the Beast cross stitch, which I took a break on about 6 months into.

I use The Stitchery for my cross stitch supplies.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Don't have anything new about books to offer but is anyone watching Revolution or Alphas? Revolution reminds me a ton of Jericho. Alphas is following in the footsteps of the 4400.

Where is my new television? Where is my Pushing Daisies type of shows? Everything feels the same. Thank goodness Boardwalk Empire rocked this week.

Monday, September 17, 2012

In a Pickle

I am a lover of all things pickled. In my fridge there are currently jars of olives, pickled garlic, regular pickles, pickled green beans and carrots... you get the idea.

This year I have really gotten into making my own. (Like the cherries) it is simpler than you think! We aren't talking end of the world, pickling for the masses or for long term storage. I am rather impatient and I want a quick turn around. These are the quick pickle variety, made to be enjoyed sooner rather than later, without all the fuss of immersion and vacuums sealing. (Though sterilized jars are still important.)

And as an old New Englander I am fond of pickled green beans. Whole Foods has a great recipe for cajun pickled green beans and carrots that's a great beginner recipe. Pickled Cajun Green Beans and Carrots

Instead of using all white vinegar I went ahead and did half apple cider vinegar, I think all white is too harsh and I didn't mind that it wasn't as clear. I cared more about the taste. And because of this I found I could use closer to 1/4 c sugar instead of 1/3 c. I also cheated by buying prepackaged pickling spices in the International Foods section. Each packet makes two jars and costs about $1.30. So I just threw that in with some cayenne powder.

The picture below is of the jar without any carrots. I also made one with baby carrots because I had those laying around a day I wanted to make them. I think the baby carrots work really well.

About three days is when I find they are at the perfect stage to be debuted.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Unhand Me Villain!

Friday led into a surprise visit to Disneyland to have dinner with my fiance's parents, and by proxy new Disneyland passes for the year. So I did not get a chance to post, on account of running around Disneyland all evening, trying out the new Carthay Circle lounge.

I enjoyed a really good Manhattan and Josh had the dill gin and tonic. The dill went really well with the tonic. I plan on experimenting with dill pickle brine now, and look forward to sharing that with you. I will also share the infusion tips for making garlic vodka (I am the geeky garlic girl!) with tomorrow as penance for having such a late Friday post.

But what I really want to share with you is my experience today at Villains.

After an afternoon fraught with crowds and insane temperatures, at Comikaze we abandoned any attempts to stick around and subject ourselves further to it we hightailed it to visit our friend in another part of downtown and experience the mythic Villains bar.

Between the gothic mirrors and stained glass windows we found one of the most thorough and precise bartenders I have ever had the pleasure of receiving a drink from.

There are drinks and theere are Drinks. They can't be described in flavors, but in memories and experiences. This is that kind of place.

I started with the Inigo Montoya, a wild blend of fruits, cucumber and jalepeno that jumped across the tongue, both cooling and firing at the same time. The drinks are on the pricier side between 12-15, but no other bar has ever seemed worthy of that kind of price, except for Seta in Whittier.

The second drink I had was the Belladona, a Whiskey, mint and blackberry preserves drink that was spicy and refreshing. Each drink has ice either hand crushed or shaved, depending on what the mixologist decided upon creating the drink.

Watching the bartender making the drinks was half the pleasure, each nuanced movement, from the peeling of a lemon and using the juice from the rind, to the shaking.

Since it was named one of the best bars in LA recently I would recommend going during the day like we did, or be prepared to wait quite while for a drink, but it is worth both the price and the wait.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Come One Comikaze All!

This week is the second annual Comikaze event here in los Angeles. The inaugural event was last November. It had some really great aspects and some not very good aspects.


Pros: Really neat vendors, great guests, really neat panels. Great cosplayers.

Cons: All the panels were in tiny curtained off areas, with barely any chairs. The All That Cast Reunion turned into a nightmare mosh pit of people. Most chairs seemed to have been dumped in the ghostly gaming area.

I am hoping with Stan Lee's name attached they will have more space, and some actual rooms for panels this year. I am excited for the Quidditch Tournament and the indie spirit involved in this one. I am a little disappointed that they raised the prices, even though they tout it as being so cheap, the prices were comprable to Anaheim Comic Con, run with Wizard.

I definitely think it warrants a second chance. So if you are around Los Angeles this weekend and want to have a nerdy adventure come to Comikaze. I will be sporting my Captain Hammer shirt (Like usual.) The Hammer is My Boobies.

Naturally Wednesday is Thursday

I can't seem to get these days right.

Last night I found out that my best friend Teri and I are Lucy and Ethel when it comes to making smoothies. A leaking blender, an overfull food processor resulted in a shiny clean kitchen (thanks honey!) turning into a sticky mess. We made beautiful passionfruit-strawberry-dragonfruit seed water. Yup.

I did finish the bracelet I was working on that I wanted to share with you. I have recently gotten back into chainmaille. Been messing with it using jump loops from Michael's for now until I order some online. Forgot how bad the blisters can be in weird places! Made some jump loops as well but I need better wire cutters. The ones I got cut at a weird angle, so I won't be showing you that.
It's not the best picture, but you get the idea.

Here's a better picture.

This one is called Inverted Round using the great tutorial on CG Maille. (Which is the link) It's a great pattern to start with and makes a great bracelet. I used a standard clasp with a larger jump ring on each end to close it.

I started a second project last night, it remains to be seen if it is going to be a smart idea or not.

I am hoping to finish the much belated cross stitch for my cousin's wedding back in July to show you next week.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Another late post. Two years and migraines are not the best companions together. Other than that yesterday I wanted to talk to you about National Novel Writing Month. It's almost that time of year again!

Otherwise known as NaNoWriMo, this challenge is put out there by authors for authors to get them up and moving, to stomp writer's block out for once and for all. It's a month of daily writing, with no apologies and no backspaces.

The goal is to have a first draft of a novel by the end of the month. And even if you don't make it that far it is an amazing learning experience. Just remember to forgive yourself on days you don't make your quota and take days off to renew yourself.

If anyone in the Los Angeles area is interested in doing a writer's meet up during November I want to put that out there so we can begin planning.

I am also telling you over a month in advance so you can get your brain churning for your idea.
Here's the link to the website to get you started. NaNoWriMo

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Late Monday- Or Is it?

It's still Monday in some parts of the world, right? Well, poo, maybe I just time traveled and am actually blogging from Monday.

McKayla is definitely not impressed with my late post.

Your recipe for the week is from another blog with my added twists. Cosita Bella has a really great super quick healthy recipe that includes lots of fresh veggies and kicking flavors. Tomato, Zucchini, Feta & Dill Chicken
My own twists on the recipe included adding yellow bell peppers, portobella mushrooms, using poultry seasoning on the veggies before cooking and a splash of seasoned rice vinegar.
I cooked the mushrooms with the chicken, then added the splash of vinegar, then the rest of the veggies for about 5 minutes.
Since we are on a veggie heavy diet as a side we put a delicious red cabbage salad. (So easy to make.)
Red Cabbage Salad: 1 head shredded red cabbage, 1/2 c apple cider vinegar, 1/4 tsp salt and pepper, 1 teaspoon Braggs amino acids, 1 teaspoon of granulated garlic and granulated onion all put in a zliploc bag and left in the fridge for a couple days. (The longer the better!) I eat this as a snack. It's ridiculous.

Stay tuned for your Tuesday post.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Hide and Go Beer

Hide and Go Beer is a game a bunch of us made up in college, but is still fun to this day. I was explaining it to my friend this evening and thought it would be a great thing thing to share with you all.
All you need to play is friends, a large room or house and a six pack of different beer for each friend, (Preferably ones you think they have tasted before, or else the game is much harder,) and a blindfold.

Each round is played the same until you get bored, run out of beer, or someone is declared the winner.
One person is taken out of the game room and blindfolded. The other players each hide 1 of each different kind of beer in the game somewhere in the room. (Be creative! In a plant! Next to a pet! In someone’s crotch!) This depends on how well you know and trust your friends.
The person who has been blindfolded is led back into the room. Their job is to now search for a beer. It is up to the other players to declare whether the seeker is ‘hot’ or ‘cold’. When a beer is found by the seeker someone opens the beer for them. They take a sip of the beer and try to guess which beer it was.
If the seeker guesses right then they keep the cap. The cap symbolizes a point for them. Each player then does the same until all plays have had a turn. This is round 1. Round 2 is the exact same.
If you want to tell the players to bring 2 (6) packs each, the winner can earn 2/3 of the booty left and the runner up the last 1/3 of the prizes.
It’s my favorite kind of game. Everyone wins, (you would be drinking together anyway, admit it) and everyone has fun.
Let me know if you try it this weekend and if you come up with any twists or have another similar game to share with me

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hunger? Where?

I am not the biggest fan of Gary Ross's version of the Hunger Games. There are some great moments, but he fails to capture the essence of the story. It ringa hollow. So I am way more excited for Catching Fire.

I love Francis Lawrence's adaptation of 'Water for Elephants' even though I didn't think the actors had much chemistry. We already know that the entire cast of Hunger Games has great chemistry. Combine that with someone like Lawrence's understanding of how to adapt a story to satisfy the audience will make Catching Fire so much better than The Hunger Games.

With the rise in youtube and fan trailers and videos we can see what other people are thinking when they picture the story. giant Robot had a really interesting cut together fan trailer from Kevin Tancharoen, made of many of our favorite sci fi movies. You can catch it here Kevin's Hunger Games Pitch

I like Kevin's darker and more twisted take on the story. It's not necessarily what I pictured with the first movie, but it feels much more like the scenes at the end of Mockingjay, and I think he would do a good job exploring Katniss's twisted headspace in that book.

Some other fan videos are actual scenes filmed by people who love the books. My two favorites follow.

This first one is a fan's version of Haymitch in the second Quarter Quell from Catching Fire.

The second one I offer you is an extremely well acted (and 10 times better than the movie) version of the cave scene from Hunger Games. You'll want these two to star in the movie instead.
That's your geek rambling for the day. Feel free to comment. I want to hear your opinions! Did you like the movies? Did you hope for something different? What kind of fan trailer would you make?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


So I am a rogue knitter and crocheter. I find patterns and then attempt to nerdify them. To mixed results. (My Star Trek Red Shirt sweater for an elephant. Oof...) So when I saw facebook promoting Bernat's Baby Kitty Hat I instantly saw Yoda in it.
Baby Kitty Hat
Who wouldn't right? So I grabbed some Vanna White Baby Yarn in Sweet Pea. (t looked like a similar yarn to what was in the pattern. And I figured I would use the hat portion and just embellish the ears.
Vanna White's baby yarn is a lot thicker and my crocheting is 10 years of practice behind my knitting.
Here's the result.

So I ended up with an adult sized hat. Be forewarned! Check your gauges. (Luckily my best friend Teri will be taking the hat. A picture of her modeling it will soon be up when I use some wire to make the ears still out.

To modify the pattern to get Yoda shaped ears after about the 5th row of 12 stitches I added a second sc in the first stitch. I did it again on the 7th row. After about the 9th row I began a decrease on the same side, decreasing a stitch every odd row until I bound off the last 3. I made 4 of those, sewing 2 together for each side (The inner and outer ears.)
Then I just sewed them on. Was hoping the double sided ear would make it stiff enough on it's own. Sadly, no.
My consolation is the purple basil at the farmer's market this week. I was late making you a post because I will busy falling in love with the following recipe. Farm Girl's Purple Basil Pesto You understand right?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Late Tuesday Night

Got distracted playing the Game of Thones Card Game. I am a geek girl and these things happen. So your post is a little late and short but I promise much better tomorrow!
Anyway you know what I am reading for books, but I can't overlook the comics! After all I am co-owner of Versus Comics & Games, a soon to be retail store here in CA.
If you read one comic book this year (or if you are sick of Marvel and DC superheroes) check out Joe Hill's Locke and Key series. Epic mythology and luscious artwork by Gabriel Rodriguez. I love his art in the 'The Great and secret Show' an adaptation of Clive Barker's great and wonderfully weird book.
So go out and get lost in it. Become a kid again!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day Laziness

Okay, I admit it. I am feeling lazy today because I get a day off. (I hardly ever do.) So I am not giving you an original recipe. I am sharing a recipe from a fabulous site that I like that has been helping inspire me for recipes for weight loss. You won't miss the carbs in this one, I promise!!! Poor Girl Eat's Well's Caribbean Jerk Chicken Mango Stuffed Avocados
My own special twist on the recipe is one that will save you time. Instead of getting all those individual spices I used cajun + chinese 5 spice. Voila! You cover all your bases!
This is another great one to use avocados while they are still in season!