Tag Archives: star wars

Are You Ready for Star Wars?

Even if you’re not a Star Wars fan, you KNOW that the new Star Wars movie is coming out this week. It’s all over the news, the face of any possible medium of advertisement, and if you have any friends, they’ve probably mentioned it. The world is buzzing. It’s a monumental week.

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Millennium Falcon Cookie Cake

MAY THE 4TH BE WITH YOU! It’s that time of year again, and boy does it feel good! Two big disappointments in the Star Wars world for me–one, I missed the annual Star Wars convention (ugh) and two, I don’t have any Star Wars apparel. What?! That doesn’t even make sense. Oh well, at least we have the common sense and decency to celebrate today. How are we going to celebrate? We are going to have a Star Wars movie marathon (no prequels, sorry) and also play Star Wars cards! Yep, it gets nerdy around here–especially when Fit’s brother joins. Lastly, we are baking a Millennium Falcon Cookie Cake. Epic, I know. All it takes is some decent batter and the artistry of Hungry. For this Star Wars recipe, you don’t need any pre-formed molds, just a butter knife!

I have been a huge Star Wars fan my entire life, my brother and parents brought me up to breathe it in like air. So this day is always fun for us. Why not celebrate what you enjoy? 

Had to get our props out :)

Had to get our props out :)

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The #8 Greatest Video Game of All Time

We continue our way down the top 25 video games of all time! Our choices are weighed quite heavily now as these games that have been in our hearts for many years must be decided upon. You have now seen the same game pop up for multiple people. I can’t wait until the end when we list them all out for everyone and see what stacks where. We could even weigh the games with the most and highest picks! And if you missed the others on our countdown, please check them out: #25, #24,#23, #22,#21,#20#19#18#17#16#15, #14#13#12#11#10, and #9.

Kai – Rise of Nations My favorite RTS (real-time strategy) game ever, Rise of Nations is a historical RTS spanning all of human history.  You pick a civilization and start with a small settlement in the Ancient Age, build farms and buildings, conduct diplomacy and trade, raise armies and research technologies, and eventually end up in modern times with stealth bombers and nukes.  

Rise of Nations combines a great theme with really solid mechanics, getting rid of a lot of the tedious elements of earlier historical RTS games.  In addition to fun multiplayer, the Thrones & Patriots added some fun historical campaigns, allowing you to play as either side of the Cold War or Alexander the Great.
 
My best memory of Rise of Nations is my friend Jason and I stay up all night playing game after game (each one lasting 45 to 90 minutes).  We put in dozens of hours in both multiplayer skirmishes (usually allied against the AI) and single player campaigns.
 
 I haven’t played it in years, but I can’t imagine it’s any less fun now than it was then.  There’s a new “Extended Edition” on Steam, so there’s no excuse not to pick it up and give it a try if you’re looking to spend an afternoon taking over the world.

#13 Greatest Video Game of All Time

Look at us, we’re on a roll! One week back to back already! Let’s see if we can keep this up. As a refresher, this is the video game brain trust’s list of the top 25 greatest video games of all time and we are now down to #13! These are the ones you’ve missed so  far: #25, #24,#23, #22, #21, #20 #19#18#17#16#15, and #14. Let’s hit it.

Kai – Goldeneye 007 – The only game on this list that I never actually owned (no N64), Goldeneye is an amazing game that I played at every one of my friends’ houses.  It’s a first-person shooter based on the Bond movie and is one of the best movie to game conversions ever made.

The single-player is really well done, with complex level design and objectives that scale with difficulty.  As good as that was, the multiplayer was even better, with insane tension and battles.  I’ve never played more splitscreen multiplayer of anything, even Mario Kart.  My friends and I would always load up license to kill (one-shot kills) and proximity mines.  It truly revolutionized multiplayer shooters going forward and is still a lot of fun.

Taking Over Comic Con 2013 (Denver, CO)

I want to avoid making this painfully long so if you want an in-depth review of the roughly five hours we spent at the event, read my biography in a few decades. I’m only saying this because I could talk about those five hours forever. I know we didn’t spend much time there but we made it count and it was completely worth it so let me tell you how we ended up at DCC and how it went.

Months and months ago, the great Stan Lee, inventor of Marvel Comics and most of its iconic characters, announced that he would make his return to Comic Con after a near twenty year hiatus this year in Denver. They published an article about it in the Boulder Weekly and I immediately told Fit. She had never attended a convention, especially one of this scale, so we decided it had to be done. Unfortunately, we had planned to attend a wedding in Santa Monica months in advance to that so we knew we wouldn’t be able to take off of work for Friday and Saturday… bummer. We settled for Sunday and I bought tickets in person at Guiry’s in Boulder at a discounted rate. I bought two one day passes for Sunday.

Months pass and we don’t put any thought into the event or what we should wear. Saturday night rolls around and costume-less, we decided to wear our aprons that we use in the house. Alana was a makeshift fit and cooking Wonder Woman while I was the same version of Captain America, with a Sonic the Hedgehog hat that has ears. It cost us no time and no money but we figured no one would even pay attention to us but oh were we wrong.

Excited!

Excited!

Before leaving

Before leaving

We drive to Denver and pass a line that stretches for half a mile. Ten minutes after parking we end up at the back of that line and wait for the doors to open around 9:30 a.m. Almost everyone there is so nice and accepting of one another. The only people I don’t like are the bullies that make fun of other people. And we don’t tolerate bullying so there was none of that, but rather lots of positive reinforcement, high fives, and pictures. I will say that we got our money’s worth in people watching alone. The cosplays and costumes were top notch and I loved how passionate everyone was. We tried figuring out everyone’s costume and did a really good job. We even helped some clueless people by eavesdropping. Our first picture came when I ran into none other than the hero of Hyrule, Link. He was sporting his red fire tunic and the Master Sword. Link is super fit so I had to take a picture with him.

Link!

Link!

While the line was moving, the most unexpected thing happened. A photojournalist asked for our picture. We obliged and posed… little did we know, this would happen about 14 more times throughout the day. We never expected to be so popular but vendors, exhibitors, staff, photojournalists, bloggers, and attendees asked for our picture. One young woman who was with her friends even asked for a picture with us. Not just of us. We said yes and gave our regular pose every single time. I would love to see those 15 pictures especially the one with our fan because it was so random. Either people loved the idea that we were wearing aprons and it was creative or they thought we were fit and somewhat sexy.

Hungry and Fit! Our pose

Hungry and Fit! Our pose

Once we got inside we headed upstairs for the main hall. By doing this, we ended up missing a bunch of the panels and presentations we wanted to attend, such as the spotlight on Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day. What can you do? We don’t regret our choice because we had our most fun upstairs. When we ended up looking for the panels, gaming rooms, main events, and what not we ended up just wasting energy and getting frustrated. The easiest way to do this is just explain what is in our pictures since they highlight the best parts of the day.

Celebs

Celebs

Here is Fit posing with Han Solo trapped in carbonite. Damn you Lando for selling him out to Vader and Boba Fett. This was a part of the Far Away Creations area where a group of Star Wars fans provided models and replicas of the original trilogy. Lots of fun.

Here is Fit posing with Han Solo trapped in carbonite. Damn you, Lando, for selling him out to Vader and Boba Fett. This was a part of the Far Away Creations area where a group of Star Wars fans provided models and replicas of the original trilogy. Lots of fun.

After trekking through some aisles of vendors and trying our hardest not to spend every penny, we decided that we could each have one big purchase. Fit decided quickly that she wanted a picture with Chewbacca. Thus we paid Peter Mayhew for a picture with our camera and he autographed a photo of Fit’s choice. She chose a scene where Chewy and Han are wielding their bowcaster and blaster pistol. Epic. He was huge. He was as tall as us while sitting down and his hands were enormous. She also ran into a Storm Trooper with an awesome voice box and a Jawa.

Alana with Peter Mayhew (who played Chewbacca) --she can't contain her happiness here

Alana with Peter Mayhew (who played Chewbacca) –she can’t contain her happiness here

NEVER LETTING THIS GO

NEVER LETTING THIS GO

"Move along, move along"

“Move along, move along”

Now it was my turn to decide. William Shatner, George Takei, Felicia Day, and Wil Wheaton were all tempting individuals to meet and take a picture with but my decision was a no brainer. I wanted to meet and take a picture with Kelly Hu. I had a massive crush on her when I was a teenager. She starred in The Scorpion King, X-Men, and voiced Visas in KOTOR II. For some reason, she had no line while all of the others were absolutely packed all day long. Her picture proceeds went to Much Love, a charity for animals. She was super nice and was happy to talk to us about everything from shopping on Amazon to our pets and more. Here’s the picture.

Kelly Hu and I

Kelly Hu and I

After that I got caught by Umbrella Corp because I was infected by a zombie. Their vehicle was awesome.

After that I got caught by Umbrella Corp because I was infected by a zombie. Their vehicle was awesome.

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Here I am spying on someone’s crafts hoping to get some ideas for a friend. Secret agent style.

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This is a co-worker’s ex-boyfriend showing why he was the coolest guy in the room. He’s a self-taught lightsaber master but he had a hard time actually talking into the mic. The crowd loved it though so good for him.

Gandalf! Literally hunted him down the whole time and finally found him

Gandalf! Literally hunted him down the whole time and finally found him

Fit met Gandalf and he let us pass.

Buff chicas

Buff chicas. She actually made that armor!

Fit’s favorite costume of the day was Commander Shepard from Mass Effect.

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Hungry’s favorite costume of the day was a Hello Kitty samurai. He let me hold his war banner.

Hungry and Fit! Our pose

Hungry and Fit! Our pose

Here we are on stage finally getting a picture of us together after fifteen other people took them first.

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Fit found a bantha to cuddle up next to. It looked like a baby.

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Hungry found a sausage for lunch while Fit had a pear salad. We spent a bunch on bad food there but it was expected and we didn’t mind.

I know my brother (Kai) would've loved to play this

I know my brother (Kai) would’ve loved to play this (I’m Gonna Wreck It!)

Fix It Felix Jr. does exist! We didn’t get to play.

I could go on and on but I don’t want to bore you too much so we’ll leave it here and keep you updated the next time Hungry and Fit attend an event!

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The Invasion of MMORPGs

Nerd alert post–no cooking or working out in this one. What is a MMORPG? It is a massively-multiplayer online role-playing game. Think World of Warcraft–the most popular and successful of them all. There have always been some: EVE, EverQuest, and so on. But now, big companies and big game lines have really started throwing themselves into this genre. Don’t get me wrong, I used to play WoW a lot, it’s a lot of fun, but my feelings start to get mixed once my beloved game series get involved.

This post is inspired by my playing Skyrim yesterday. I love the Elder Scrolls series, with them choosing different homelands of each of the playable races and being able to experience each one. Skyrim, which is pretty much all snow, is for the Nords. I usually either play as a Khajiit or a Wood Elf. I started thinking how cool it would be when Elder Scrolls finally got to their homelands. The desert land of the Khajiits with endless sand, or the forest-cities of the Wood Elves. How awesome it would be to explore it, especially now with such improved graphics and the ever-present attention to detail Bethesda offers.

My Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim character

My Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim character

And then I remember. Oh yeah, they’re making an MMO. That might mean that there will never be another Elder Scrolls game after that. And that kinda breaks my heart. I know they’re trying to make it as Elder Scrolls-y as possible, but it will still be an MMO. It will never be the same. I find myself wishing that they would choose not to jump on the bandwagon and instead, work on Elder Scrolls VI. Perhaps they still will, but that will be a lot to take on.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic by BioWare (probably in competition with Bethesda for my favorite company ever) jumped at a huge MMO project like this as well. Of course I was excited–one of my most favorite series by one of my most favorite companies, it had to be good. And while I do enjoy playing SWTOR, it’s just not the same as Knights of the Old Republic. I would much rather have another single-player sequel to that amazing series with all its tough choices, exploration, and story than the impressive huge universe BioWare created. But KOTOR is a lot smaller than the Elder Scrolls games, so I doubt there will be another since TOR is out.

naiya avatar sokan

I’m not sure why MMOs are trending so much–perhaps because of the big money gains, the success, and fame? World of Warcraft certainly made its mark on gaming history and will continue to do so. But just because it was wildly successful doesn’t mean that every big awesome gaming company needs to do it. For me, the Elder Scrolls series is truly unique and I love the worlds they create, the attention to detail, and the openness of gameplay that is hard to recreate in an MMO. I hope the MMO format doesn’t kill it, but it probably will.

What are your feelings about the increasing number of MMOs? Cheers!

Return of the…Star Wars Franchise? What?

Stunned. Couldn’t actually believe it. George Lucas sold the beloved (well, mostly) Star Wars franchise for 4 billion dollars to Disney. Wait, what? You’ll have to repeat yourself. Took about twelve news reports until the news finally soaked in. The franchise I grew up with and became obsessed with , those amazing three movies, (and then those added 3 rubbish) are continuing. Images of Mickey Mouse with lightsabers and more creations like Jar Jar keep popping up in my mind. Vader, you said it. My first thought was just…let it die. Or rather let it live on in a semi-untarnished memory. At least of the originals.

I couldn’t believe Lucas would sell out like that. Well, that isn’t true, because look at the prequels. I’m just surprised because it came out of nowhere. Disney? Hmm… Please don’t serve us another set of bad, childish movies with painful writing. Don’t do the Princess-y Disney, do the darker and more complex movies you’ve been coming out with. With a looming 2015 release date, us Star Wars fans are left to sit with endless “what if’s” and imaginations of further franchise destruction.

But wait. Finally stumbling past my shock and disappointment, some friends pointed out a few things which I tend to forget. Disney recently bought Pixar and Marvel, two of my favorite companies. And the movies that have been coming from them? Brilliant. I absolutely loved the Avengers, I bought it on Blu-Ray/DVD as soon as it was available. For some reason, the thought of ‘Disney’ just brings images of cartoony corniness–something Star Wars needs to move away from. Which was why the news was accompanied with immediate stomach-wrenching dread. But, very good example, look at movies like the Avengers, Thor, Captain America, and so forth. All movies I thoroughly enjoyed. And they came from Disney. As did Pirates. So there’s a shot. 

(what a weird picture)

This Kathleen Kennedy woman (who is taking over Lucas Films) seems like she’s got a lot to her. She’s produced tons of films which have collectively won 120 Academy Awards–that’s not a bad record. There could be something to this. However, in that article, she mentions Lucas as Yoda, something he absolutely strayed from as we all know–that is not a good sign. Still, as my dad pointed out, it could be a political move. She’s got a good record. She could make something out of it.

All I hope is that they follow the books of the Expanded Universe that so many brilliant fan-authors have created. There is such a rich universe filled with captivating stories, complex characters, and a certain depth to it. I know it’s hard to match that, because they’re books, but it’s a beautiful model to follow (well most of them…not the one where Lando had a dog–a dog, really?!). I just want Kennedy, or someone close to her, to have a deep knowledge of those books and the ability to relay them into some new movies. You could do so much. Mara Jade? Yes, please. Han and Leia’s childrenAwesome. The New Jedi Order? LET’S SEE IT! Okay, now I’ve gotten myself amped up for things that probably won’t occur. But if you’re a fan like me, you understand. Imagine if Luc Besson or Joss Whedon wrote or directed it.

“IT’S A TRAP!!!”: How The Star Wars Expanded Universe Is Going To Steal Back Into Your Heart

Overall, the dread has seeped out some and there is a dull excitement–maybe not even that. Curiosity, I suppose. Will wait on more details. How do you feel about it?

Yes, That’s a Beautiful Pumpkin–But Don’t Throw Out the Seeds!

Yikes, what a long title. Anyways, I’m here to bring you something that could be possibly even more amazing than carving a pumpkin…its seeds. As some of my friends may know (cough LENA), I absolutely love pumpkin seeds. In fact, I love them so much I can eat a whole container of them (sorry, Esther). The flavor of it, the grittiness, the amount of protein in the middle. There’s no downside (at least for me, but Chris doesn’t like how long it can stay in his mouth).

Indeed, it’s a great protein source. Did you know that one ounce of pumpkin seeds can give you 9.35 grams of protein? Not bad! Well said, Watto. And it is so easy it’s not even funny. We carved our pumpkins with paring knives (that was the hard part) and then I gutted them. I have memories of my dad letting my brother and I draw faces on our pumpkins, he would cut it, then let me do all the dirty work of grabbing its seeds and goo. And I loved it. So of course, I was the one to do it this time. But I was not going to throw them out, oh no! I collected all the seeds from the two pumpkins and prepared them. All in all, it took about an hour. However, 40 minutes of that was cooking time. The rest is easy.

What You Need:

  • Raw pumpkin seeds
  • Melted butter (or oil)
  • Salt

First, set the oven to 350 degrees.

Next, get all the guts of your pumpkin(s) and place them in a strainer. This will take the most work. Have a light flow of water running over the strainer as you pick the seeds from the gunk and place the gunk in the sink.

Once you have all the seeds by themselves, place them into a small mixing bowl.

Place the melted butter into the bowl with the seeds (I used about 3/4 of a tablespoon) and mix around.

Then, shake plenty of salt into the bowl and mix again.

Spread out all the pumpkin seeds as flat as you can on a baking sheet. Then place in the oven from 20-40 minutes (depending on your oven and how many seeds you have) or until golden brown.

And that’s it! Serve and enjoy. I won’t be able to stop munching.

(Nymeria loved eating all the bits of pumpkin dropped on the floor)

Save Money and Devour Nutrients: the Grown-Up Lunch Box

For a little while now I’ve wanted lunch boxes like this: 

Or this

Anyways, putting my lunchbox fantasies aside, I wanted to let you know how easy it is to save money at the very same time you are devouring nutrients and getting good calories. Another healthy article? I know, I know, I’m sorry! But it’s really easy, again, like I was saying before. Then, I was talking about general meals and putting little effort into making them healthy (not hard). But now, I’m talking about bringing your lunch to work. 

Are you one to usually buy lunch? Let’s stop that. No need to waste money, and especially to waste it on bad food. It’s so important to know what is in the food you are eating. Preparing your own meals is the perfect way to do that. Don’t have time in the morning to pack a lunch? Do it the night before. I promise it won’t get bad. Making this effort could really save your eating from junk food to health food. Again, go to the market and get the veggies and fruits on sale, meaning they are in season. There are so many things you can do that take 5-10 minutes. Let me show you some lunches I pack.

Here we have a guacamole, spinach, tomato, and morning star chicken sandwich. Healthy ingredients, protein, veggies, and grain right for you. Whole-Wheat bread. Easy. Took Chris about 5 minutes to make for me. I ate this with an orange and some yogurt-covered raisins. 

This is my most frequent lunch meal. We have a huge thing of organic spinach in the fridge and we use it for almost every meal. I chop up whatever vegetables we have (this one has red pepper, cucumber, avocado, and tomato) and throw some morning star protein in as well. I use my cousin’s wonderful Balsamic Nectar and throw in a little oil too. Don’t feel full from salads? I always do from mine. Add protein to it or a healthy fat like avocado. Eat an orange or an apple with it. 

Here’s another good example of a usual meal including other things that accompany my main dish (salad or sandwich or leftovers). I always add a fruit and usually some kind of carb (here is my Grandma’s featured trail mix!). That sandwich is spinach, hummus, morning star, and tomato. I have a big thing of water that I keep by me at all times to constantly drink up. 

And here’s an example of other foods that accompany my salad or sandwich. I don’t know why that apple looks so freakishly large, bad camera angle maybe. I will usually have the apple and raisins with my main lunch meal, and then eat the Clif bar a few hours later. I can’t eat much at one time, but I get hungry quickly so I usually eat every three hours if possible. 

So there you have it. Examples of easy, simple, quick-to-make lunches to bring with you every day, no matter where you work. You don’t even need to refrigerate it. Just try it one day. You’ll find it very rewarding, I promise, and you’ll want to do it every day. You’re making yourself a nutrient-packed meal that will make your coworkers feel bad about themselves.

Tell me what lunches you bring to work! Enjoy :)