Thursday, September 12, 2013

NOS4A2 - Book review


I just finished this book so I thought now was the time to write about it. My friend handed me this book by Joe Hill and I started reading it 2 days later without a thought about the fact that it is a book by JOE HILL and therefore a horror book. I don't generally read horror books for several reasons. Reason 1, I do most of my reading at night, in bed while trying to fall asleep, you can guess what kind of dreams reading horror books at night bring me. Reason 2, horror books stay with me. I love horror movies, but those are two hours and then you're done, whatever horrible images you see may implant themselves in your psyche but they tend to fade. However, when I read horror my imagination creates images that are much more intense and disturbing than you will find on any movie screen, and it takes days to read a horror book not just hours. Over the course of those days I create whole horrifying worlds to haunt my dreams and waking hours.

I was already too far into NOS4A2 to quit by the time I really realized that it was a horror book. I even went as far as to read t before I went to bed several nights. BIG mistake. The dreams that resulted from this mistake kept me awake for days. And yet I KEPT READING! I literally couldn't stop myself.

 This book is amazing. The writing is excellent. I honestly couldn't put it down. I would get to the end of a scene knowing that I had other things to do and keep reading for another hour, responsibilities be damned. I went through all 700+ pages of the book in 4 days. I don't want to give anything away. But I will say that Joe Hill paints a vivid and disturbing world with full rich characters. I haven't been this caught up in a book in years. Though I will add a warning, if you are easily disturbed this is not the book for you. I will probably be dreaming about/ being disturbed by this one for years to come. But there is something deliciously wonderful about a book that horrifies and captivates you as completely as this one. And the occasional shiver down my spine is totally worth the enjoyment I got from this book. I honestly can't recommend this book enough. And with that I hand it to my husband and I'm off to play some nice light airy video games.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Dragon eggs

I may have mentioned that my friend is getting married in October. We threw a shower for her in May. She wanted a Game of Thrones shower and her mom wanted something more traditional. So we came up with a compromise. Food and decorations mostly end up slanting toward the traditional. With black and white damask tablecloths, plates, and napkins and purple, white, and red flowers and balloons; Everywhere. But, I was insistent that the centerpiece for the dining room table be something special. Thus, the plan to make dragon eggs was born. We spent months trying to figure out how exactly we were going to accomplish this. Around Easter, we bought all sorts of eggs to try and find a mold. We considered paper mâché, ceramics, modeling clay, painting things, all were either no starters or fails. Honestly, we thought of everything. Then, my friend Pam cracked it. She found something on the Internet wherein someone had made tinfoil bases covered in Fimo. Considering that I had wanted to go with Fimo all along, this was the perfect solution. Particularly when she came over and showed me how easy it was and how good it looked!! We actually got to work that night. I wanted them all to be a little different so we each got started with our own ideas.

I chose to put down a base layer over the tinfoil and then I cut scales and individually laid them on top of the base layer. Next time, I will probably smooth the scales down a bit after placement because the final product, while exactly what I wanted look-wise, was a bit on the fragile side. 

Pam used a tool to draw cross hatch lines and the another tool to pull up the corners creating a really great scaly effect. Pam'was definitely the most commented upon. Everyone wanted to know how she did it. 

Amy used a tool to create an all over pattern which left the egg smooth but with a great scaly look. It had a really nice feel and everyone wanted to touch it. Hers was definitely the most picked up and played with at the shower.

After we had baked the eggs (perched atop tinfoil covered ramekins to avoid resting spots) Pam went one step further and added a layer of bronze buff and rub to her egg and Amy's. The buff and rub was the perfect finishing touch, adding a little extra fantasy spin to the eggs.
The chest was a simple thing purchased from Michaels and stained the appropriate color by our friend Kristen.
The most asked question at the shower was, "When are they going to hatch?" Needless to say our geek bride was thrilled. I think they were her favorite part of the party. She was so careful when she wrapped them to ship them home and she kept calling them her babies. They are now sitting in a spot of honor in her home and I believe will figure into the geeky wedding somehow.

Now I just have to make a set for myself. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Nails - Polka Dots!

Yesterday, while playing games, a few of us had a nail interlude. Translation, while others were learning games, four of us decided to do our nails. When my friend Pam started using a tooth pick to make polka dots on her nails I said "Oh wait, I have a tool for that." I immediately pulled out my dotting tool and she proceeded to experiment with the new tool.

My hands were too shaky yesterday to do my own dots so Pam did them for me. Here's the interesting part, for her dots, Pam chose a China Glaze "Secret Peri-wink-le" over Cover Girl Outlast "Violet".

Now, I have a few problems with China Glaze. While they have some of the best colors out there, vibrant and seasonal offerings that are often very hard to resist, the nail polish is often too thin or too thick. Without fail, EVERY time I paint my nails with just China Glaze colors, they are chipped and need a re-do by the next day. So, aside from a few exceptions, I only use China Glaze on my toes where, surprisingly, the colors and nail polish shine, I've had China Glaze's "Towel Boy Toy" on my toes for two weeks with nary a chip, go figure.

But I digress, when Pam used the China Glaze on her fingers for the dots it was perfect, it went on smoothly, piling up into nice even little raised dots without her having to heap it onto the tool. It also dried very quickly and didn't run at all when she painted on a top coat. It was so good that we didn't even think about it when we moved onto my nails. I used two Essie colors; "Naughty Nautical" over "Lapis of Luxury".

Essie's nice thick consistency, a feature that often makes it a favorite for longer term wear, was a detractor when using it for dots. We really had to pile the polish onto the tool, and even then it was sticky and reticent to drop onto the nail cleanly. What I learned from this experience is that my awesome vibrant China Glaze nail colors aren't just good for my toes, they're great for nail art and for accents. I'll definitely be trying some of them out on stripes and other decorations in the near future.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

So I have this friend...

And she's getting married in October. I'm the Maid of Honor,  I'm married I know, it should be matron but... well... just no. Recently, I threw her a wedding shower. Now, her mom wanted it to be a more classic affair, girls only, cute dresses, very lady's luncheon. She also wanted to invite most of the bride's family living on this coast, the bride lives in LA and her parents and I live near Boston. I was happy to throw the shower, I love the bride like a sister and was planning on throwing one before her mother chimed in anyway. Only now the task was a bit more complicated. The bride isn't what you'd call... traditional, in fact I believe her wedding is going to be one awesome non-traditional shindig. But her mother was pushing hard on the traditions. So what's a Maid of Honor to do? Compromise.

Every year when the bride comes to visit in May, all of her friends living on this coast throw her a birthday party. These parties are always themed and involve costumes. We always end up on my front lawn taking pictures and freaking out our very normal neighborhood. What the bride had originally intended for this visit was a Game of Thrones Birthday party/ bridal shower. So... I did what I could. Starting with the invitations. I wanted something simple, not too intimidating but with a nice nod to Game of Thrones. I was also for some reason really interested in using rubber stamps. So... to the internet I went until I found this on a delightful little shop.  This woman does good work and she does it fast. The stamp is frankly a work of art in and of itself.

The bride is quite fond of house Targaryan (though truth be told she's also I huge Lannister fan). I went with the dragon stamp over the lion stamp because I found it to be just a striking stamp. I felt that it was pretty and interesting but lacking the slightly more masculine harsh feel of the lion stamp, and I also wanted to theme the shower in purple and red and the dragon stamp just sang purple and red to me.

Here are a few pics of the finished invitations and envelopes.


I used a fast drying ink for these along with nice card stock from paper source. The ink really didn't bleed at all and it didn't take much ink to saturate the stamp enough to get a nice clear print. Just in case you're wondering, yes your home ink jet printer can print on a smaller piece of paper with nice paper stock with ease and grace. I used a regular non fast drying ink for the stamps on the envelopes, these took around 8 hours to dry, which slowed things down significantly.

These were really easy, though I was super stressed while I was making them out of fear that I would mess something up. Which in the end I did, I put the wrong date on the invite and there was a whole second send out that I ended up doing. It all ended up ok though, since I got to ask everyone for recipes for the bride with the second batch of invitations and ended up making her a nice cookbook with recipes from friends and family.

I'll have more crafty things to post about the wedding soon! This is going to be a very crafty wedding.

You know you're a geek at the gym when...

You start coveting the workout gloves of the guy who is now using the piece of gym equipment you just finished with... And you wonder if you can justify buying them by incorporating them into a cosplay costume. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

You know what? Working out kind of works.

I have anxiety. I've always had it. It comes and it goes and I have good days, weeks, months even, but then sometimes I have bad days, weeks, months even. It's been much better since I started working from home instead of an office. And it's better still when I work less than 50 hours a week. Well this week I hit the anxiety jackpot. I'm on prednizone, for an unexplained loss of hearing in one ear, and my body and my anxiety HATE prednizone. It's a horrible drug that I'm taking because I don't want to be deaf in one ear. But believe me, if the alternative had been something less devastating I would have thought twice about taking this crap for 3 weeks. 
Prednizone gives me hot flashes, horrible mood swings, heart palpitations, and it really heightens my anxiety. 
In addition to everything else, this week I've been working on some editing tests for a client. These things are complicated  and require a lot of concentration. So of course this is the week my anxiety has me all geared up. Today, I finally got through most of the edits. At 10:30pm I was totally freaking out, anxiety attack central. My husband suggested playing some video games. I wanted to go for a walk. We ended up going for a walk/run at 10:30pm. It helped! I can't believe it. I mean I should, I've been working out steadily for a year now. But this is the first time I've actually used exercise to relieve an anxiety attack. It was pretty amazing. I feel almost normal, and without having to take any drugs. There may be something to this whole exercise thing.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Accent nail

Yeah that's right, today these chubby little digets were rocking an accent nail, aka the purple nail among the green ones. I've never actually done it before, but a painting mishap lead to some creativity on my part. I actually kind of like it. 
If I can find the time, I'm hoping to get a board game post together tomorrow, but work is kicking my ass this week, so we'll see if I have time to actually get to more writing. But hey, I'm on a roll so we'll see. :)

Oh BTW in case you didn't know I have another blog, here: Boston Sock in a Toaster. It's mostly about food just in case you're into that kind of thing.