Seven years ago, I was the victim/survivor of sexual assault. I’ve put a lot of thought into the difference between “victim” and “survivor”. Most people and organizations seem to agree that “survivor” is the better choice – it sounds much more positive … Continue reading
It’s been a while and I honestly don’t know where to start. I’ve been writing this in my head for over a month, and I’m pretty sure I’m still going to get some things wrong. I feel like I had … Continue reading
Obviously I’ve been watching way too much Dragonball Z Kai – we’ve been marathonning something like five episodes a night. It’s one of my husband’s favorite shows, and one of the things I enjoy most about our relationship is sharing what we love with one another. Sure, he doesn’t appreciate James Marsters’ cheekbones the same way I do, but he sat through all seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and enjoyed most of it! We don’t always like the same things, but I am enjoying DBZ. Except for Goku being late literally EVERY TIME there is a fight. UGH.
Anyway. We had D&D again last night, and I realized how lucky I am to have an awesome group of friends who like the same things I do. I’ve always been a geek – my dad and I used to spend our weekends watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Hercules, or playing Castle Wolfenstein, or reading Lord of the Rings. I grew up watching TNG and Buffy, and desperately trying to convince my sisters to play AD&D with me. Every summer holiday was the perfect time to devour entire sets of novels, or play “Hardy Boys” with my best friend. I was perfectly happy loving the things I enjoyed, and I don’t think that the idea of “being cool” was something that I was aware of, never mind interested in.
Then junior high happened, and suddenly everyone cared way too much about what everyone else thought. I look back now and laugh about how silly it was, but even now some vestiges of insecurity still cling to me. For some reason, once we hit about 13, it’s no longer cool to be enthusiastic about something. To me, being a geek isn’t about WHAT you like, but HOW you like it.
So I am definitely still a geek. When I find something I enjoy, I don’t just watch/play/read it. I devour it, I marathon the episodes, I read the fanfiction, I buy the swag, I draw the fanart, I even get tattoos. And I’m not alone! The best part of the internet is that it brought all the people like me together. When I read through tumblr or Pinterest, I feel like I KNOW these people. We laugh about the same things, and it feels good.
Everyone is a geek about something. Everyone has that one thing that they are super passionate about, that they know everything about and will talk about literally anywhere or anytime. What’s yours?
Before my baby was born, I wasn’t big on cooking or baking. My sister is the baker of the family, and she does an amazing job. Seriously, go check her out. She made my wedding cake and basically every birthday cake our family has had. Suffice to say, if I need cakes, cupcakes, cookies, or anything of that nature, I ask her.
However, I’ve found that since being a stay-at-home-parent, I enjoy trying new recipes. None of my food is particularly pretty – my pancakes are oddly shaped – but the baby doesn’t seem to mind. We started him on solids at about five months, and he’s been eating finger food since about eight months. I wasn’t really sure what kind of stuff to give him, so I looked around the interwebs (thank the FSM for Google) and found a few recipes that are easy and seem to be a hit.
Today we are making sweet potato pancakes! The first time I made them I pureed my own sweet potatoes, but since I’m generally lazy and don’t like doing dishes, I used Gerber’s sweet potato puree this time. I put both versions of the recipe below, since you don’t need as much milk or oil with the puree.
Sweet Potato Pancakes
- 1 Cup Flour
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
- 1 Cup Sweet Potato Puree (OR one 7.5oz jar of pureed sweet potatoes)
- 1 1/4 Cups Milk (OR 1/4 cup of milk)
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla
- 1 Egg (Beaten)
- 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil (OR 1/2 tsp Vegetable Oil)
- Mix dry ingredients together and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients. Mix into dry ingredients, stirring until just mixed.
- Cook on griddle. Serve immediately or freeze for up to six months.
Okay, so maybe the photos aren’t Pinterest-worthy, but I promise they’re tasty.
There are many reasons why Transformers: Age of Extinction is a terrible movie. My husband made the joke that the only thing that went extinct was the audience, and I agree because we shut off the movie a little over halfway through (and I was horrified to realize there was another hour and twenty minutes left). Yes, I know it’s a Michael Bay movie, and no, I didn’t have high expectations. I was mildly entertained by the sight of Optimus Prime with a gigantic sword, riding a mecha-dinosaur into Bejing. But what annoyed me most about the movie wasn’t the excessive explosions, or the bad dialogue, or the ridiculous plot. What I hated most was Cade’s attitude toward his teenage daughter and her boyfriend.
Look, we get it. Dads are protective of their daughters. Parents are protective of their children – I have two, I understand wanting to make sure they don’t get hurt or make the same mistakes that I did. But trying to own your daughter’s sexuality is misogynistic and wrong. As much as parents are loathe to admit it, your teenage daughters ARE people, and have the right to make their own decisions about who they date and when. Sure, they’re gonna make mistakes and date some douchebags (points to self). But those are THEIR mistakes, and they should own them.
Here’s an idea. Instead of banning boyfriends (or girlfriends), TALK to your kids about respectful and appropriate relationships. Be open about sex, no matter how embarassing it is. Sure, they’ll be horrified when you mention condoms, but that knowledge is important. Talk not only about sex, but about appropriate behavior in a relationship. Model that behavior with your huband or wife. Meet their partner, welcome them into your family. Sure, you might not like them. My dad sure didn’t like my first two boyfriends. But he didn’t forbid me from seeing them, and he didn’t sit on the front porch with a shotgun when I went out on dates. And sure enough, they didn’t stick around forever. I learned something from each relationship. And now I’ve found the man I’m spending the rest of my life with, who my parents adore, and who is an amazing father to our kids.
So Cade, shut the hell up and listen to your daughter.
When I heard that D&D 5th edition was being produced, I was understabdably skeptical. After all, 3.5e was doing the job just fine, and 4e was terrible. But then I started to hear good things on the interwebs, and one of our group members suggested trying it out. Last night was our first night of a new 5e campaign, and it was awesome.
Highlights of 5th Edition
Proficiency is a new concept that tells you whether or not you are competent at a specific task. If you are, you can add your proficiency bonus to all rolls for that skill. If not, you don’t. Simple as that.
Example: Croman the human barbarian is proficient at using a longsword. When he attacks, he adds both his Strength modifier (+3) and Proficiency bonus (+2) to his d20 roll. Croman is NOT proficient at using a scimitar. When he attacks, he adds only his Strength modifier.
Advantage & Disadvantage
Instead of having all sorts of bonuses and penalties to your attack/skill/saving throw rolls, you are either at an advantage or a disadvantage in a given situation. For advantage, you roll two d20s and take the higher roll, for disadvantage you take the lower roll.
Example: Kiryn the dragonborn cleric is pretty scary-looking, and bares her fangs to indimidate a petty street thief. When his friends attack, Kiryn gets advantage on her first roll (or they get disadvantage, it’s up to the DM).
Backgrounds & Personality
Your character is no longer just a “stat block”. For those players who have a hard time with RP, the personality traits and background section help them flesh out their character. Each character has a bond, a flaw, and an ideal that is connected to their background.
Example: Kiryn’s background is “pirate”. Her ideal is the freedom of the sea, her bond is her first ship, and her flaw is a lack of trust in her companions due to previous experience with mutiny. She is also able to use her pirate background to get away with minor crimes and petty theft.
Bonus XP for Role-Playing
At the DM’s discretion, players can be awarded bonus experience for playing to their characters ideals, bonds, flaws, or other personality traits. I love this because it really encourages players to think their actions through, and not just attack everyone or everything they see.
Example: Croman, the human barbarian, believes in never harming women or children. When Kiryn suggests using a child as bait for slavers, he refuses, and is given bonus experience for playing to his character’s ideals.
Overall, 5th edition is awesome. We’re still learning and figuring out the kinks, but I really enjoy it so far and can’t wait to DM my first 5e campagin!
When I was seventeen, I was convinced that I didn’t want kids. They were loud, smelly, and kind of gross, and I figured I would always be too busy writing poetry and getting piercings and going to drum circles to ever be responsible for tiny humans. I thought kids would stifle my personality – “cramp my style”, as it were. Yet here I am, ten years later, a stay at home mom with two adorable boys.
I have my husband to thank for that, mostly. I met him online six years ago, when I was a hippie with a fauxhawk who worked in a coffee shop and lived in an attic decorated with Christmas lights. One day I looked up and there he was, smiling nervously, with an adorable little boy in tow wearing a tshirt that said “Chick Magnet”. That little boy, who is now almost done grade two, stole my heart and convinced me that I could, in fact, be a mother.
Fast forward six years. My boys are loud, smelly, and kind of gross. They play with their food and laugh at farts and the baby puts dog toys in his mouth. But they’re also a ton of fun and occasionally hilarious and they make me happier than I could have ever imagined being at seventeen. And no, I don’t write poetry or go to drum circles anymore. But I do have other hobbies – I cook and cross stitch and play games and yes, occasionally still get piercings. I like to think I’m a cool mom, although I’m sure my kids will disagree in a few years.
The best part of having kids is sharing what you love with them. So I’m off to teach the munchkin how to play D&D.