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Posts Tagged ‘D&D’

Moley

To round out my posts around the theme of eyes, I have three more little vignettes, and then I’ll shut up about eyes and eyeballs for a while.

Moley is Growing Up

First off, Moley the Canadian Tiger Swallow Caterpillar is now a Chrysalis.  My daughter took him with her to dad’s.  If all goes well he should be a butterfly by the weekend.  Go, Moley, Go!

It Goes With My Eyes

A green Xoom tablet cover, and one of the Omar Rayyan prints we bought after seeing him at GenCon last year.

On our first date, my husband and I compared notes on glasses. He had just gotten a new pair, and was lamenting that although they were supposed to be green, they were really a khaki color instead.

Jeremy had ordered the green specifically to “go with my eyes,” he said. Since then, it’s been our little inside joke. I always pick blue, and he always picks green: green shirts, green hats, and now a truly green pair of specs.

If the kids ask what color they should pick for something, we always recommend matching it to their eyes.

Recently, Jeremy got a tablet computer for work. For weeks, he requested that I make him a case. I had a thick blue sweater picked out for his case, but I kept putting it off.

As luck would have it, I ran across a felted wool scarf in a lovely shade of olive green, a perfect match for both Jeremy’s eyes, and his glasses.

The Beholder Is Not So Beautiful

My husband, gamer and blogger at Takeonrules.com, pokes the Beholder in the eye at GenCon 2010. The Beholder is a D&D character. If this was real D&D game, you shouldn't poke a Beholder in the eye. He might eat you or cry on you or something.

Tomorrow we are on our way to the GenCon, the “best four days in gaming”, convention.

Jeremy is forcing me to go into work with him tomorrow so we can get an immediate start to Indy as soon as he’s done programming for the day. He’s not really forcing me, but he suggested it, and I’m not sure I would be allowed to say no.

I’m excited to go to GenCon. It will be fun, but Jeremy is REALLY excited.

After I tiled in the basement all day, and while I am walking around the house like a zombie, with mortar still stuck to my fingernails, he was bouncing around the house.

“Aren’t you excited?” he asked, “It’s like Christmas Eve.”

Jeremy has been pumped up about this weekend for the last few days; he has been ultra focused on it.

Over the weekend, I think he wrote like 40 blog posts per day about games he wants to play at GenCon, strategizing where to go first, and what color underwear he was packing (duh, green).

This is Pete, he lost an arm to the Beholder last year. He angered the Beholder because he talked about Firefly too much. The Beholder will take his other arm at the mere Mention of Game of Thrones or The Dance of Dragons.

Because of his blogging, and reviews of games, he started getting noticed by some game designers. I’m pretty sure he’s planning a secret rendezvous with them, and I will be stuck all alone in the hotel room eating granola bars and drinking wine on the rocks, while watching HBO.

I swear, if he’s off having martinis with Wil Wheaton in person while I’m watching Star Trek reruns, I’ll be angry – very angry.

This whole ballroom is filled with people playing D&D.

These folks are playing a giant game of Settlers of Catan. That's more my speed.

We went last year, but just for a day.  This year we are doing the whole shebang.  Thursday through Sunday, Baby!

I’m excited to people watch, and play some board games. Last year, we discovered a fantastic artist, Omar Rayyan.

There will be lots of photo ops of weirdos dressed up in tights, or vampire costumes or as robots.

There should be time to try new board games, and play some of my old favorites.

I’m excited to stay in a hotel, and stay up late.

When I need a break, I have a couple of interviews lined up, farms to visit, and writing to do, which will round out the weekend nicely.

If you’re at GenCon and you want to say hi, look for the guy in green and the lass in blue.  We’ll be there with bells on.

(Not real bells, it’s just a metaphor, because there probably will be someone there with bells on.)

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Site Stats Speak to Me

My blog stats allow me to see what Google search terms get visitors to my site.  Sometimes they are plain and generic, like “gardening” or “step-families“.  Sometimes I’m surprised with hot topics.  Some of my most visited posts are about meat chickens, and water.  And I’m amazed that my blog is high enough up on the search list to keep getting hits for John Denver.

Every now and again, there are searches for, “my step-kids hate me,” or “What do I do about …”. In those cases, I wish I could send a direct message to the person that was seeking out that information, and tell them that everything’s going to be okay.

My favorite search term so far has been, “How to engage a shy and dorky man in conversation”.

This geek's taken; hands off ladies! (self-portrait by Jeremy)

I have a bit of expertise in this area.  Although, my husband is not shy, I am.  But I think I did a pretty good job of engaging him in conversation.

Through nerd analysis with my husband that I have come to understand the geek way.

Here is my advice to women out there that wish they could talk to that shy, handsome dork, dweeb, nerd or geek.

Tip #1 Refer to all dorks as “Geek”

Men that fit into the dweeb/dork/nerd/geek category almost always prefer to be called “geek”.  The other terms can be considered offensive in some circles.  Nerds are lower in social status than geeks, dorks are lower than nerds, and dweebs are the lowest form.  The term “geek” will make them feel sexy and virile.  I will refer to this group of men as geeks from here out, as to avoid offending anyone.

Tip #2 Identify Your Geek

There are several types of geeks.  It is best to identify the type of geek you are dealing with before starting a conversation.

Photo and shirt from etsy shop Deadworry. Click on the photo to go to their store.

Technology geek: These men love gadgets.  They have the latest smart phone and tablet, and will want to “Tweet” you.  They are being outgoing, not trying to invite you up to their apartment.  This type of geek is not always in the dorky category.  If they have a hip hairstyle and nice shoes, they might not truly be a geek, and this post will not apply to you.

Gamer geek:  There are several species of geeks within the genus “gamer”:  the online gamer, the board gamer, and the role player.  In many cases they will overlap.  If you are unsure, refer to them as “gamer” as this is generic enough to use until you establish which area they like best.  Online gamers will usually play W.O.W. (World of Warcraft) or some other online interactive game.  Board gamers play fancy games from Germany.  Boardgamegeek.com is a good place to go to see what’s hot so you can have an engaging conversation.  Role players play games like D & D (Dungeons and Dragons).  If your guy talks about rolling 20s and smiting you, it’s not a bad thing.

Sport geek: Not all sports fans are geeks.  The geeks are the ones that memorize sports facts, and enjoy talking about stats, more than watching the game.

Movie geek:  This subset of geeks memorizes lines, over-analyzes plots, and looks for filming mistakes.

Music geek: Music geeks pride themselves in following unknown bands and putting down mainstream music.

Comic book/fantasy fiction geek:  If you are in love with one of these men, you better start reading.  Your man and his friends will spend most of their time talking about books, and the movies and t.v. series based on these books.

Reinactment geek:  Many men and women like to dress up and reinact different time periods including but not limited to: the renaissance,  mountain men, civil war, or the SCA, Society of Creative Anachronism.

Hippy geek: These men generally walk around barefoot or wear dreadlocks.  They listen to obscure music.  Many are concerned with peace and justice issues, or the environment. If you don’t recycle or wear hemp fabrics, you may need to start.

All other geeks:  I can’t possibly list all types of geeks here, but it is helpful to know that there are others.

Tip #3 Ask Geeky Questions

If you have identified that the man in which you are interested in, is indeed a geek, start with any of the following questions, filling in the blank for what ever they geek out about:

What is your favorite spell?

Tell me about the last time you leveled up.

Can you tell me a little of the history of the internet?

If a cylon and a storm trooper were to get in a fight, which one would win?

If you were stranded on a desert island, which issue of Iron Man would you have to have with you?

If you were going to a costume party, who would you go as?  If I was going with you, who would you want me to go as? (Slave Girl Leia doesn’t count)

Nerd shirt from ATOB shop on etsy.com. Click on photo to go to their store.

If you could go out to dinner with Neil Gaiman, Gary Gygax’s ghost or Wil Wheaton, who would it be?

Which superpower is the most powerful: teleportation, superspeed, or x-ray vision?

Tip #4 Dress like a Geek

Wear a geeky t-shirt.  Find out what the man you love is into, then buy and wear a t-shirt that speaks to him.  Etsy.comis a great place to look.  Geeky t-shirts are a whole industry.  I guarantee he will notice.

Tip #5 Discretely “Out” Your Geek

Not all geeks are completely “out”.  Some have to hide their geekiness from friends and coworkers.  Start using lines from movies, comic books, or refer to yourself as an elf wizard.  Give your guy permission to make the connection without outing himself to others.

Tip #6 Join a Geeky Group

Get into something geeky.  Geeky realms are usually crawling with men.  There are plenty of women too, but the odds will be in your favor.  Not all geeks live in their parent’s basement.  There are some really great catches out there.  If you haven’t yet identified a geek that you would like to date, choose your geek realm carefully, because you will be spending lots of time talking about this topic, attending conventions and/or ren faires.

Tip #7 Read XKCD

Billed as a webcomic of “romance, sarcasm, math, and language”, this is a comic that most traditional geeks read.  It will certainly earn you brownie points, and give you and overview of some of the nerdier points of geekdom.

Be patient.  While you may be just the woman the geeky man needs, you may not be noticed because of your man’s obsession with his passion.  Join in the geeky fun where you can.  If you don’t get noticed by geek #1, someone else is sure to notice.

XKCD Webcomic. This one is called, "Improvised".

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I won a book yesterday.

It’s called Confessions of a Part-time Sorceress: A Girl’s Guide to the D&D Game by Shelly Mazzanoble.  I don’t play D&D, or any other pen and paper role playing games, but my husband and some of the kids do.

Don’t get me wrong, I am glad to be a nerd.  In fact, I am proud to be part of a Geek Family.  My daughter is blossoming and proud to be a geek as well, even choosing “geek” as one of her spelling words.

We went to the library yesterday for an introduction to Dungeons and Dragons.  Partially to try to win tickets to GenCon-loved it last year- and partially to see if there were some other kids to help my stepson or my daughter to get a gaming group together.

Someone had sent a nasty letter to the editor, regarding residual misconceptions from the ’80s.  D&D doesn’t promote Satanism, anymore than playing Mario Brothers will make you think that you can float around in bubbles, or drive funny little cars.

The best part of D&D is the face-to-face socialization of friends in the same tribe.

Everyone is looking for ways to connect with one another.  Women make up excuses to get together under the guise of selling plastic ware, kitchen gadgets, or makeup.  Men schedule tee times and poker nights.  Do women really want to buy a bunch of junk and do men really want to chase a ball around a field and sand traps?

Nah, it’s not about that.

It’s about building community.

That’s what gaming does for my husband and his friends.

It used to be, that people would get together to share in the labor of harvest, building, preserving, etc.  During that time, folks would build community, learn to trust one another, and create close friendships.

Now that most of those activities have been streamlined or hired out, games give us an excuse to come together, solve problems, and bond.

I don’t play role playing games, mostly because they continue from week-to-week, and take a good chunk of time in one sitting-time I never feel like I have (I have issues with time passage-but that’s another post).

I do, however, love board and card games.

Jeremy is poking the eye of the Beholder at GenCon 2010.

My husband loves them too.  He has been playing all kinds of games for years and years, and I am but a novice.  I got really frustrated at the beginning of our relationship because he beat me at every game we played.  I never had a chance against his skill.  I wanted to play, but I got frustrated.  He is not one to throw a game just to make you feel better.  In fact, he smirks when he is winning and I want to wipe that smirk right off his face.

Then we started playing backgammon before bed.  It was a game that he was just learning.  At first, he won more games than me, but now we are evenly matched.  I win about the same amount as he does.

Game playing feels intimate.  Playing games together helps to fill up my love tank, and relax from my stressful day at school.  That’s because it’s time spent together, laughing, talking, and “grrr”ing when he sends my backgammon guy to the bar…again.

Since Christmas we’ve been playing a card game called, Dominion.  I didn’t want anything to do with it because it looked confusing, and hard.  You have to build decks of cards that will get you the victory points for the win.  I played my first round at GenCon, thought it was kind of fun.  At Christmas we cracked it out, got all of the expansions, and have since been playing 1-3 games a night after the kids go to bed.  It’s a great way to relax, spend time together, solve problems, and bond.

Last night we tried a new game, Race for the Galaxy.  I liked the game, lost all of the four games we played, and then I ranted on and on for about an hour about how I hated the icons and trying to keep them straight while I played.  Jeremy listened patiently while I ranted.  I listened, without patience while he explained the virtues of the game.

Our addiction to games has done one positive thing for us.  We very seldom spend our evenings anymore, looking up the latest LOLcats and clicking on Reddit.  We’re spending time together filling up one another’s love tanks with time well spent.

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