Monday, April 29, 2013

Books: April 2013

So, once again- you guessed it!- I only made it through 1 book this month because, once again, it's Tolkien :)  But boy was it good!

image via Amazon

I enjoyed Two Towers much more than Fellowship because a lot more plot actually happens in this book.  Fellowship is almost entirely set-up, giving us lots of background on hobbits and their customs, the layout of Middle Earth, the story of the Rings, elves and orcs and wizards and all the other characters we meet along the way.  The need to pause and explain things is what turned me off to the entire series back in middle school, but I'm glad I pushed through this time, because I was rewarded with real action and adventure in this second book! 

I mean seriously- the book starts with a fight!  A death!  A kidnapping!  And yes, it is a little monotonous at times listening to Gimli and Legolas and Aragorn debate the finer points of tracking the poor kidnapped hobbits, or the Ents telling long, rambling stories like senile old men, but there's enough going on in this book to make the pace work.  The first half of the book deals with two intertwined storylines, so you forgive them for stopping for long conversations, and the second half of the book finally catches up to Frodo and Sam (and Gollum)- and it's definitely my favorite half.

I'm torn over who earns the title of Favorite Character- Sam, for his loyalty, bravery, and all-around underrated heroism, or Gollum/Smeagol for being one of the most interesting characters I've ever read.  I don't always like the little devil- I'm pretty much with Sam the whole time and strongly distrust him- but damn if he isn't fascinating!  I think a lot is owed to Andy Serkis for this- although Mr. Geek read the books before the movies came out and therefore has always heard his own personal Gollum-voice in his head, the Andy Serkis version has always been my reference for the way this creature acts and speaks.  Like I said, I don't always trust his motives, but, like Frodo, I can't help but feel pity for the poor wretch, or that maybe it's not entirely his fault that he became what he is.  There are moments when I even want to cuddle the little guy- like when Frodo tricks him into being captured by Faramir's men and he's told that the penalty for stealing fish from their pond is death.  He immediately drops the fish from his hand and says, "Don't want fish."  He's just hungry, guys!  Leave him alone!


I'm eager to finish the trilogy soon, but first I'm going to take a break and tackle something a bit easier for May.

What book (or books) did you read this month? 

Much love,
The Geeks

Friday, April 26, 2013

Oh, Internet... {14}

Pregnancy-wise, this was a tough week.  I thought I'd figured out a way to beat morning sickness, but...yeah.  I didn't.  This was the last week of the first trimester, though, so in theory I should be done with the whole getting sick thing for a while...right?

The internet was nice and awesome this week, though.  Here are some non-vomit-inducing things from my internet this week:

Following up on last week, here are some Earth-ish planets, ranked from most Earth-y to least // via BoingBoing

-You can officially submit your comments to the TSA now about their awful, awful pornoscanners.  Here is one man's comment.

I am actually super pumped to see The Bling Ring.  Check out the newest trailer at Hypable!

Thanks to SCIENCE, you can now hear Alexander Graham Bell's voice! (Thanks, slashdot!)

Leaky is doing a LOST re-watch with some Starkids!!!!!  Eeeeek!

So what happened on your internet this week?

Much love,
The Geeks

Oh, Internet... is inspired by Kaelah Bee's Things I Love Thursday posts

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Then and Now

So y'all are well aware that we're a little crazy about Disney.  (You know, as we honeymooned there and everything.)

So you'll understand how thrilled I was to find this blog called Imagineering Disney which is chock full of geeky Disney goodness- like this series of "Then and Now" photos from the Disney parks!

images via Imagineering Disney
The series is pretty amazing- not only because it shows what has changed, but also because it shows what hasn't changed over all these years.

Anybody else geek out over old-school Disney stuff like this?

Much love,
The Geeks

Kudos to BoingBoing for featuring the ID blog and therefore alerting me to its existence :)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Crafting Adventures: Coffee Mug Quotes

My baby sister turned 18 this weekend.

Let's pause and let that sink in for a moment.

Okay.  Now that I've somewhat recovered, I'd like to share with you the little present I made for her on this momentous birthday.

She'll be heading off to college in the fall- Auburn University, but we forgive her for that indiscretion, poor dear- and college requires an awful lot of caffeine.  Coffee is best enjoyed when mixed with an inordinate amount of cream and sugar (and chocolate, if you're me) and when sipped from a really cool coffee mug.  So, I decided to gift BabySis a really cool coffee mug!

There are many tutorials out in blog-land for decorating ceramic mugs, but I was particularly inspired by this one from Design*Sponge.  I actually did this craft a few months ago, but I didn't want to spoil the surprise for BabySis.  I'm so excited to finally be able to share this with you all!

Rather than the cute illustration of the Design*Sponge example, I decided to go with a quote from one of my sister's favorite books- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  If you haven't read it yet, you haven't lived yet, so I suggest you drop everything and go find a copy NOW.  There are many beautiful reflections on the meaning of life in this book, so it was hard to find the right quote to use- I had considered making a matching set for her, but I figured she'd rather minimize the amount of potential dirty dishes in her freshman dorm room.

Here's a brief overview of how I whipped this up.

First, I needed to decide on a quote to use.

{click to enlarge}
I picked up a plain white mug from Target for around $3 and measured its height and circumference to determine how much real estate I could reasonably use.  Using Inkscape, I created a rectangular project space and set about arranging pretty words in pretty fonts inside that space.  Here, I used the quote "My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations," in the free font Mathlete (the "bulky" version) and included a couple of star vector images.  The stars look a little cheesy, though, so I got rid of them.

{click to enlarge}
Here it is again, only this time without the stars.  There is another quote from this book that I really love, so I decided to give that one a go, too.

{click to enlarge}
This says "Some infinities are bigger than other infinities," in the same font (the "bulky slant" version).

I decided to go with the first quote; I figured if BabySis ever finds herself unable to collect her thoughts, a steaming hot cup of caffeine could be just the thing she needs.

{personal photo}
 I printed the quote out, then cut the paper down so it would fit on the mug.

{personal photo}
I flipped the paper over and traced over the letters with a pencil, pressing down hard.

{personal photo}
Next, I taped the paper to the mug, wrapping it all the way around.  (To ensure the pencil fully transfers to the mug, make sure you tape the paper down flat.)

{personal photo}
To transfer the pencil onto the mug, I traced the letters again, this time on the printed side, again pressing down firmly, going over them several times.

{personal photo}
This is what it looks like when you remove the paper- the perfect guideline to trace over!

{personal photo}
I picked up this marker at Michaels- it's meant for glass and ceramics and IS NOT FOOD SAFE, so don't use it to decorate any surface that will come in contact with food (like a plate, or the inside of a mug or bowl).

{personal photo}
 Here's what it looked like right after tracing over the pencil marks.  If you look closely, you'll notice that it's nooooot quiiiiite perfect.  My hand wasn't entirely steady, the tip of the marker was not as fine as I'd assumed, and apparently I taped the paper on at a slight angle, so the words aren't entirely straight.  *shrug* The idea was for this to look like handwriting (only slightly neater than my own) so a few imperfections are acceptable.  All that was left to do was follow the directions on the packaging to cure the ink- for this marker, it meant letting it sit out to dry for 8 hours, then placing it in the oven for 40 minutes.

{personal photo}
Ta-da!  Pretty easy, don't you think?

What would you decorate a coffee mug with?  What are your favorite quotes?  Who's your favorite author?

Much love,
The Geeks

Friday, April 19, 2013

Oh, Internet... {13}

The world is not always nice, but the internet is always awesome.  Here are some awesome things that happened on my internet this week.

I get a Mother's Day present this year...and I want THIS!  // via Think Geek
And this is also awesome :) // via Think Geek

I think I need to try this pie recipe from Bake or Break...

Why is it so hard to make a phone call in emergency situations?  "Because the networks get busy."  But do you actually know what that means?  This BoingBoing article explains it beautifully.

More internet = more freedom!  (Or at least the two are correlated.) 

NASA may have discovered habitable planets!!!!!  Why are we not more excited about this?

What awesome and positive things happened on your internet this week?

Much love,
The Geeks

Oh, Internet... is inspired by Kaelah Bee's Things I Love Thursday posts

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Lifescouts: Bowling

image via Lifescouts

So I haven't really been keeping up with the release of Lifescouts badges- whoops!

I think technically this badge is for people that *win* at bowling, but technically I've beaten Mr. Geek, like, once!

Mr. Geek and I LOVE bowling, even though neither of us are particularly good at it.  I used to think Mr. Geek was an amazing bowler, but as it turns out, he's only *amazing* compared to my sisters and me.  When we went bowling with some friends, well...and yet he's still better than me!

Also, going bowling allows for some super unflattering butt shots!  Yay!

Do you love bowling?  What's the highest score you've ever bowled?

Much love,
The Geeks

*all photos personal unless otherwise noted*

Monday, April 15, 2013

Lawfully Funny

Yeah I'm bad at titles.

Observe as John Green and Mental Floss drop some knowledge on ya'.

Do you know of any other weird laws on the books somewhere?

Much love,
The Geeks

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Speak My Language, Part 3

Well folks, I think you may have failed my last vocabulary test in How to Speak Geek, so it's time for another lesson.  In fact it's so vital that this week's Friday post is coming early.


We're pregnant!

Today was our first appointment with the OB, at 10 weeks on the dot.  We had a sonogram, which gave us a ton of printed pictures, the above of which is the clearest and most awesome.  Do you see that tiny blur of motion- the white blob near the baby's arms?  That's the heart- beating super fast.  The scanned images aren't quite as clear, but the picture on the screen was actually incredibly detailed, considering the fact that Lil Bitty Chikin is only about 2 1/2" long (from big ol' brain to tiny little booty).  Let me tell you- there is nothing more surreal or more beautiful than hearing your baby's heartbeat for the first time.

I started feeling symptoms- especially morning (that is, ALL DAY) sickness- rather early, so, of course, I turned to The Internet which, in its infinite wisdom, informed me that THIS MEANS IT'S TWINS OMG.  Needless to say, we've been slightly fretting over this thought in the backs of our minds- this baby was unexpected, but TWO??  The sonogram confirms that there is definitely only ONE little rascal in there, though, so freak-outs are unnecessary.

Although we had no real worries going into this appointment- other than how many little ones might be in there- it was still incredibly thrilling to hear the words, "Everything looks healthy and normal!"

I have finally figured out how to stave off the upset stomach (eat precisely 5 saltines while still lying in bed when you first wake up, for those who are curious) so when people ask, "How are you feeling?" I can honestly answer AWESOME!  I no longer feel miserable all day long- instead I'm feeling giddy and excited and, well, HUNGRY.  :)  I've been munching on so many carrots that Lil Chief will never need glasses!

Until we learn the gender, Mr. Geek and I are not thinking about names- nor are we willing to refer to the baby as "it" because that seems weird, so we needed a nickname.  Even before we got pregnant, Mr Geek has been threatening that with our first child, when I'm in a drug-induced delirium and the nurse asks for the name, he's going to jump in and say Master Chief.  As in the character from Halo.  Since he knows that actually pulling such a stunt would result in a broken nose (amongst other things), we've decided that the name Lil Chief (or just Chief) will be acceptable while Baby is in utero- BUT THAT'S ALL.

Now, those of you who are here not because you're a personal friend or relative, but purely as blog readers- you know, all...two of you- I know what you're thinking: what does this mean for the blog?  Is Our Geeky Adventure now officially a "mommy blog"?

I can promise you that as of right now, I do not intend to become a full-on mommy blogger.  I promise I will not post side profile photos of the ever-growing bump, I will not share with you each week how big Chief is by comparing him or her to a piece of fruit, I will not share day-by-day accounts of what I ate and how many times I peed, and when Chief is born, you will not be receiving a play-by-play of what his or her poops look like.  I promise.  [I do read a few mommy blogs, for the record, and I find them entertaining and educational, but that's never what I intended Our Geeky Adventure to be.]

What can you expect to change from here on out?

Well, this baby is obviously our next adventure in this crazy life together, and that's what this blog is all about- our lives, our emotions, and our adventures.  So Chief will certainly be influencing things around here.  Some of the crafting and home decor inspiration posts (and soon-to-be tutorial posts) will be baby-related- especially since we're going to be renting a house soon and decorating a proper nursery!  Once I work up the nerve to be able to really cook full meals again, I'll be sharing pregnancy-friendly recipes that deliver vital nutrients and delicious flavor combinations.  I've also been trying to work up the nerve to do some real fashion posts- you know, the starting-to-be-cliched 'What I Wore' variety- and I think this is the perfect time to go through with it, so I would like to start featuring maternity fashion looks that don't necessarily look like maternity clothes.  These posts will be finding their way to this blog because I need to decorate a nursery (and make baby clothes!), I need to eat simple but healthy meals, and I need to make sure I don't spend the rest of this pregnancy in sweat pants- so hopefully these ideas can be inspiring to those of you who are embarking on your own pregnancy adventures without completely boring those of you who are not.

You can also continue to expect all things geeky to show up here in the form of book reviews, Nerdfighteria news, Lifescouts badges, current events in the tech world, and even a look at how we choose our next cell phones (coming soon!).  I promise not to overwhelm you in nothing-but-Baby.

So...gah!  We're pregnant!  Ohmygoodness!

Do you have little ones?  What was your first reaction when you first heard the news?  How do you defeat morning sickness?

Much love,
The Geeks

PS Do you have any suggestions for things you'd like to see on Our Geeky Adventure, baby-related or otherwise?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Monsters University

We are super excited for this movie!  Check out this post on Disney Insider about the story process!

Are you a super huge Disney nerd like we are?

Much love,
The Geeks

Monday, April 8, 2013

I've Got What it Takes

Just a little positive reinforcement on a Monday.

Much love,
The Geeks

Friday, April 5, 2013

Oh, Internet... {13}

I can't believe it's already April!  Apparently the weather can't believe it, either, as it's still acting a bit like February.  The high today is supposed to be in the low 60s, so we're getting there, but it was snowing down in Blacksburg hopefully that doesn't make its way up here.  NO MORE SNOW.  The internet sure kept me warm this week though!

This is an awesome and totally do-able sewing project from A Jennuine Life

I realize they've had this dress for a while now, but suddenly I adore it // via ModCloth

I love this post on View Along the Way.  Sometimes it's easy to forget that real people live in those houses on home decorating blogs, and real people sometimes have messy spaces.

Miss Camel is fellow flats-wearing bride!  Yay comfort!  (Although as you may recall, I LOVED shopping for wedding shoes, though it was frustrating at first.)

The BBC is experimenting with 'transmedia' in this season of Doctor Who.  I haven't yet read Summer Falls but I think I want to- although this Hypable article seems to give you all the information you need from the story for this season...

What warm and/or lovely things happened on your internet this week?

Much love,
The Geeks

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

This Star Won't Go Out

There was an awesome Vlogbrothers video uploaded yesterday about several awesome things (including a groundhog):

Probably the coolest thing in this video is the fact that a book of Esther Earl's writings is going to be published soon.  I really want it.

(Learn more about Esther here.)

Also I'm not quite so sure I am as optimistic about the TFiOS movie as John is...but I'm still going to see it.

Are you excited to read Esther's book?

Much love,
The Geeks

PS Yes, I realize that when I have nothing to write about I just share a YouTube video but you know what?  It's still entertaining.  So there. :-P

Monday, April 1, 2013

Celebrating Tabletop Day

Saturday 30 March was International Tabletop Day- a celebration of board games and other tabletop games.  While the concept is to go out and play board games at game stores and community centers. Mr. Geek and I had set aside this weekend as a lazy weekend, spent almost entirely in our jammies (or squishy pants, as we call them). 

image via International Tabletop Day

So what did we play this weekend?


I grew up playing Monopoly, Jr when I was a kid with my sisters and all the neighborhood kids, and I can honestly say I had never played real Monopoly until marrying Mr. Geek.  He knows this game like the back of his hand and can rattle off the rent prices without even looking at the cards!  Needless to say, he has a tendency to win.  Like, every time.

As in I have yet to beat Mr. Geek at Monopoly, and this weekend was no exception.

...he's winning again.
We ended up celebrating Tabletop Day all weekend- yesterday, when we got home from Easter Mass, we changed out of our Pretty Clothes into something more comfortable and sat down for a couple more games.  What can I say- I'm a glutton for punishment.

What's your favorite board game?

Much love,
The Geeks

*all photos personal*