Read Or Die: Everything I Never Told You

May’s bookclub was a special one and marked the end of an era for the Read or Die bookclub. One of the founding members Erin is moving to California for an exciting new adventure with her family. I’m so happy for Erin and her next chapter in her life, but I’m so sad to see her go. She is truly a wonderful person with a warm personality and a caring heart. She’s smart, funny, and kind and brings a lot of wonderful and unique perspective to our little bookclub. She’s also a wonderful mother and a talented baker (there are a lot of really talented people in my bookclub). While I’m sure our paths will cross again, it definitely won’t be the same without her. Maybe she will start a California chapter of our bookclub ;). 

Me, Rachel, and Erin... We made shirts!

Me, Rachel, and Erin... We made shirts!

For our book this month, we let Erin have one last pick, and she chose Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. This was a fantastic read! The writing was brilliant, and the characters felt very real and authentic. They were so dynamic and multi-faceted. The book started with the death of their daughter and the subsequent reactions of the family. It also looked back upon the mother and father’s lives as an interracial couple, and no matter how hard you try, you may be doomed to repeat the mistakes of your parents. While I don’t believe this personally, the book did make some strong logic as to why that might be true. This book was beautifully written and took on a lot of heavy issues. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone, and I look forward to reading other books by this author. 

Rachel provided and extra special dinner with Shrimp Fried Rice, Pork Hum Bao, BBQ Pork, PB&J Cake, and Rosemary Limeade.  The PB&J cake is one of my favorite cakes ever, it is seriously delicious! If you haven’t already checked out the recipe for the Rosemary Limeade, do yourself a favor, and make a batch right now, with or without alcohol it is divine! 

Our next months book is Moonglow by Michael Chabon, and you can find all of the books we’ve read here

Have any of you ever read Everything I Never Told You? Let me know in the comments. 

5 Fandom Friday: Favorite Retro Video Games

I’ll be totally honest, I’m not sure what constitutes “retro” here, so I’m just going to list my 5 favorite old games. Plus these things are all subjective anyway. 

1.) Crash Bandicoot. I loved this game so so much. One New Years Eve I stayed up until 5am and tried to beat the game. I was unsuccessful. I am super pumped for the re-boot. Does anyone have a PS4 I can borrow? 

2.) Super Mario Party. When I was growing up we had an old tube TV and a beat up couch out in the garage that we used to play Super Mario Party on for hours and it was so much fun. Sometimes I miss those days. 

3.) Spyro the Dragon. I never quite got the hang of this game, but it still brought me a lot of joy to play. 

4.) Ms. Pacman. I consider this retro, even though you can find it anywhere. But its simple graphics make it a fun throwback. 

5.) Sonic the Hedgehog. This was probably the first game that I would obsess over and play for hours and hours. Such a fun game, I even found an app recently that semi simulates it, and I got obsessed all over again. 

What are your favorite Retro Video Games? 

28 Things I Geek Out About

Today is my Birthday!!!!! While this is plenty exciting all on its own, but I’m not doing anything terribly exciting to celebrate. On Saturday I’m going to go see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and go to dinner at The Whisky Bar in Seattle. Its going to be awesome. At first I thought I might write down 28 pieces of wisdom that I’ve learned from being alive for 28 years. I don’t think I’m qualified for that type of thing, the only real wisdom I can impart is don’t be an asshole, oh and check the toilet paper in public places before you sit down. Instead I thought it would be appropriate to share 28 things I geek out about! Without further ado, in no particular order:  

  1. Harry Potter
  2. Dungeons & Dragons
  3. Star Wars
  4. Dominion
  5. Parks & Recreation
  6. Feminism
  7. Scotch
  8. Paul F. Tompkins
  9. Makeup 
  10. The Dresden Files
  11. Game of Thrones
  12. Silicon Valley
  13. Bullet Journaling
  14. New Notebooks
  15. 7 Wonders
  16. Well written female characters
  17. Concepts 
  18. Youtube Lifestyle bloggers (Pixiwoo and Whitney Simmons) 
  19. Instagram
  20. Booties
  21. Hand Lettering
  22. Plants
  23. Reading
  24. Traveling
  25. Sword fighting
  26. Wonder Woman
  27. Iced Coffee
  28. Learning New Things

Do any of you make Birthday lists? What are things you geek out on?  

5 Fandom Friday: 5 Fantasy Creatures I would want as Pets

Life has been a bit crazy lately. I started a new job! It is awesome, but also requires a lot more of my mental energy than I was expecting. I did a little bit of traveling and dog sitting away from my own apartment. This stuff has been really exciting and a lot fun, but my schedule is totally out of whack. All this to say, the blog has had to take a bit of a back seat. I’m working on being better about it, because I’ve missed writing a lot!  On that note, there haven’t been any official 5 Fandom Friday posts from The Nerdy Girlie, but I saw this one floating around and wanted to do it. Without further ado the 5 fantasy creatures I want as pets. 

1.) Dragon. Probably like a dragon from the Eragon series, so we could have a bond and I could ride the dragon. Dragons are awesome, even when they are raining down destruction they are majestic beings, no arguing with that. 

2.) Niffler. From the Harry Potter universe. Seeing these adorable creatures come to life in the Fantastic beasts movie was truly magical. Yes they would destroy a home, but they are just so stinking adorable. 

3.) Pegasus. Flying horse, need I say more. My character in my very first RPG had a pegasus, and he was hella awesome!

4.) Sphinx. There is something so awesome about these mysterious animals. 

5.) Giant Otter. Technically these animals exist. I want like a horse sized otter. This may or may not be something another RPG character had. Otters are so cute and they are vicious, really making them the best animal to ride into battle IMO. 

Do you have any fantastical animals you would want as pets? Let me know in the comments. 


Do you have any fantastical animals you would want as pets? Let me know in the comments. 

D&D Group Photo

Our awesome GM commissioned a group photo of our D&D group, and it is fantastic! This is the game that is set in the Eberron world. A floating city with sky ships. Similar to Jim Butcher’s Aeronauts Windlass world IMO. This is the game where we are employees of the University and one broody university student. 

My character is a female version of Indiana Jones, but way cooler. She does carry a whip and a hat. Whenever I create my D&D characters I always have such a vivid image of what they look like in my head. Usually I can find either a movie character or some illustration on the internet to serve my purposes and show to the rest of the group, but it is never quite as perfect as I imagine the character in my head. This photo totally solved that problem and my character is exactly how I imagined her in my head! When I saw the final product, I swear my face looked like the actual heart eye emoji.  

L-R: Warlock, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard, and a new character who hasn't told us his class yet. 

L-R: Warlock, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard, and a new character who hasn't told us his class yet. 

Derek, our GM, worked with the artist Glen Holman on Fiverr. He said that the artist was delightful to work with, and based off the quality of our picture and the other work he has on his site, his work is definitely superb. 

I actually might get my first RPG character I ever created drawn, just so I can have her in my memory forever, even though we don’t play the game anymore. If you are looking to get one of your own D&D characters or your group immortalized in design, I would recommend checking this guy out at least. It’s bringing me a lot of Joy TBH. 

Do any of you draw/illustrate your own characters? Let me know in the comments, because I would love to see them. 

Game Review: T.I.M.E. Stories

Have you heard about the game T.I.M.E. Stories (TS) before? It’s a fairly new game, it was published in 2015 and it is a Legacy game. Meaning that you have to have the same people together to play the game over and over (although I don't think this would be strictly necessary, but I’ll get to that later). The game supports 2-4 people and it is a community dice and puzzle board game. 

The premise is neat, you play Time agents who travel through time and inhabit different “receptacles” in their respective time periods. Each receptacle gives you a different skill set, and everyone uses their players to fight various things and solve problems. Once you solve whatever problem that was happening in the time period you are sent back to you then you are officially done with that edition of the game. In that respect its not great. With the exception of the last expansion we played it took us more than once to defeat each of the editions. In this sense it is not a game to play over and over forever. 

The latest expansion we played. 

The latest expansion we played. 

The problems are usually pretty complicated and require more than one play through so you definitely get your money’s worth out of it. However it is rather pricey the base game costs $50 and the expansions will set you back about $25. The quality of game design is excellent! The board is well designed and made from a really nice thick material. The art on the cards is unique and high quality.

some of the art. 

some of the art. 

I don’t want to give away any spoilers for the actual game play. It is a lot of fun to play and I enjoy the legacy aspect of it. I would rate this game 3.5/5 stars. Mostly because I think the cost is high based on a per play value. If the budget is tight i would skip it. You could always borrow your friends board if they have one to see if its worth investing in the expansions.

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Have any of you play TS yet? Let me know what you thought in the comments! 

5 Fandom Friday: Green Photo Challenge

This 5 Fandom Friday is the Green Photo Challenge. So I am posting 5 photos with a green theme. I will do my best to keep them nerdy, but they don’t necessarily have to be. It just so happens that green is my favorite color so I can find green things everywhere. 

1.) My backpack. I just bought this, and i debated heavily between this green and the black. I decided that everything I own is mostly black, so I decided to take a chance and get the green one. I couldn't be happier about it. 

2.) My plants! I'm just honestly impressed I've kept them alive this long, but they bring me a lot of joy when i look at them. 

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3.) My power drill! I love crafting and using power tools so this is one of my favorite things. 

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4.) My dog in a green blanket. Okay this is an opportunity to show you all my adorable dog and to showcase my favorite blanket which happens to be green. 

5.) This is a little corny but its a picture from my balcony. I don't know if you all know this but Washington is called The Evergreen State. I love my adopted home so very much and I love how green it is, even the grey adds to the green. 

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Post Luke Cage Thoughts

If you haven’t seen Luke Cage yet go check out my first Luke Cage post, watch the show, then read this post :). 

*Spoilers* 

How amazing was Luke Cage?! The only real qualm I had with it was that the time line wasn’t explicit, even though the shows creators and writers said that it took place after Jessica Jones (JJ). This does become clearer after the first few episodes, and when Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson’s character) is introduced. The only other thing that I was sad about was that JJ didn’t make an appearance. On the whole it was a fantastic series, one that I want to watch again, hopefully soon! 

The standouts for me were the acting, the music, and the cinematography. The performances from all the actors were really nuanced and compelling. Half the time I felt like I was rooting for the bad guy and the other half I didn’t know who the bad guy was. 

A big chunk of the show takes place in a nightclub owned by one of the villains, Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes, who is played by Mahershala Ali. Mahershala just won the Oscar for best Actor! .Every night they have a different band singing, and then they usually wrap each episode with the band’s performance of the song. It’s really neat, the songs are Ah-mazing! Spotify has the entire Luke Cage playlist up (most Netflix shows are up there) and I highly recommend you check it out.  

The Villains: Cottonmouth, Mariah (a local councilwoman), Shades Alvarez, and Stryker (Luke’s half brother) who is the only one that seems to know the secret to taking down Luke. With the exception of Stryker, all the other villains are “bad guys” but they also do a lot of good in the community. They definitely have a “look out for our own” mentality, but you also wouldn’t want to get on their bad side or steal their money. One of the most Iconic moments in the season was when Cottonmouth talks to one of his victims about how he rose to the top and got to be the best in his business. The filming and acting were so good and so subtle. By the time Cottonmouth is standing in front of his Biggie painting and the crown is lined up perfectly with his head, it is chilling and awe striking. That moment sent a shiver down my spine. The whole series is filled with moments like this. Instances where the acting and camera work just line up so perfectly for these impactful moments where you question everything you thought you knew about the show. The villains really push this superhero show from good to amazing. 

How did Luke get his powers? When he goes to prison he is just a regular guy. Albeit one with huge muscles and a pretty good fighting instinct, but no superpowers that we know of. Eventually Luke attracts the attention of one of the prison guards who runs an illegal underground fighting ring in the prison. He wants Luke to fight and offers him perks while being in prison. This underground fighting ring is also where we are introduced to the consummate survivor Shades Alvarez. Luke ends up fighting and doing really well.  However, when he wants to quit fighting, the crooked guard won’t let him and threatens his only friend in prison. So Luke has to keep fighting, but eventually gets jumped by Shades and another bad guy. They beat him viciously and he has life ending injuries and ends up in the prison hospital. Luke’s future wife Reva is a prison therapist and begs the doctor to give Luke the experimental medicine that could save his life. Finally the doctor agrees even though he thinks it will be a waste of time because Luke is beyond saving. Meanwhile the guard does not want Luke to survive (hence the reason he had him beaten within an inch of his life). Luke gets put into the tank, reminiscent of the one Wolverine goes into when he gets his claws replaced by adamantium. Then there is a combination of an electrical storm and the guard turning up the heat to insane levels so that Luke will die in the tank. Well that has the opposite effect and Luke ends up with impenetrable skin and super strength. 

Luke Cage comes out of the superhero closet so to speak. For better or worse he reveals himself to the Harlem community as a superhero and vows to help rid it of the criminals and corrupt politicians, who want to destroy Harlem from the inside out. This is pretty unique in the marvel Netflix series as most of the “gifted” heroes prefer to stay hidden (for some good reasons). Not everyone is ecstatic that Luke is out in the open. Mariah tries to turn him into a public enemy by painting him as a thug and a terrorist to the community. Despite all that he still stands up and fights (even when the cops are against him and at first most of the public too). Slowly and surely he wins back the popular opinion. When the cops continue shooting at him, and fail against his bullet proof skin, his hoodie is riddled with bullet holes (also a commentary on how police treat men and women of color in America). The bodegas start selling hoodies with bullet holes in them to both confuse the police and as a show of solidarity with Luke. Coming out like Luke did, took a lot of courage especially when he knew people would be against him. Ultimately it was the right choice because he is an inspiration for kids in his neighborhood to stand up and do the right thing even when it’s not popular. 

the bad ass women. 

the bad ass women. 

I really loved everything about Luke Cage, I think it is a much needed show especially in the Marvel world. The diversity it brings to the table is unique and refreshing. I thought there was a lot of really smart commentary on the current climate in America. The music, villains, Luke were all amazing and added to the Marvel universe in different and interesting ways. I can’t wait to see how Luke teams up with the other defenders later this year, and I especially cannot wait for season 2 of Luke Cage. I only scraped the surface on Luke cage, but you should go check it out right now if you haven’t seen it. 

Let me know what you thought of Luke Cage in the comments! 

5 Fandom Friday: Favorite Sequels

This 5 Fandom Friday prompt is Favorite Sequels. Seems like a cool prompt, for my purposes I think I will group some of the sequels together, instead of taking up the whole list with Harry Potter films. 

1.) The Harry Potter sequels. They really only get better with age. The actors get better the stories get more interesting and complicated. Harry Potter is probably my favorite fandom so this was definitely making it onto the list. 

2.) Avengers: Age of Ultron. I think the ensemble movies are the best of the series, and I thought Ultron was just as good as good as the first Avengers. Arguable Captain America: Civil War can be included as apart of the Avengers ensemble films because it was basically Avengers light. Side note I am pumped for the Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2. 

3.) The Shrek sequels. I genuinely enjoyed all of the Shrek movies (not including the spinoffs or straight to DVD movies). The core lineup was good, and continued to be funny and introduce new and interesting characters. I really enjoy interesting takes on fairy tales, so I’m always a bit of a sucker for those movies. 

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4.) Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. This is probably my favorite film in the original franchise, followed by the Force Awakens, A New Hope, and the Empire Strikes back. I do not care for episodes 1-3. But I thought Return of the Jedi is just a fantastic film, Luke kind of stops being a whiny baby and actually does some really cool stuff and watching Princess Leia strangle Jabba is one of my favorite scenes ever. 

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5.) Mad Max: Fury Road. Easily in my top 5 movies of all time. I thought this movie was an awesome new advancement in the Mad Max universe. Fantastic story and action scenes. Plus you know there are some great tips for when the inevitable water wars come to America. I love a movie that is both entertaining and informative. 

Let me know what your favorite sequels are in the comments!

5 Fandom Fridays: Fictional Spouses I'd Totally Marry

This 5 fandom Friday brought to you by The Nerdy Girlie, is all about the fictional husbands/wives that we would marry. I have a feeling this list will be hard to keep to 5. Okay I’m going to start daydreaming now…

1.) Ben Wyatt- Parks and Recreation

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He is smart, kind, incredibly nerdy, and has a cute butt. Leslie and Ben have such a fantastic relationship. They have an incredible partnership, and they weather the hard and awkward parts of love with humor and grace. They support each others dreams and Ben was willing to give his up to help Leslie achieve her own, swoon. 

2.) Khal Drogo- Game of Thrones

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Beneath his tough never been defeated (except for that one time he got a scratch and it killed him thing) macho attitude. Lies a man who loves his queen more than anything. He was willing to raise an army cross the sea and conquer a foreign land, if that isn’t true love I don’t know what is. 

3.) Jim Halpert- The Office

His sense of humor, his dorky looks, his never-ending love for his wife. Do I need to say more? 

4.) Luke Cage- Luke Cage/ Jessica Jones

Luke Cage is just a fantastic guy. He stands up for whats right. He believes in his community. He has unbreakable skin. When he talks about his wife, who unfortunately was killed you can tell how much he absolutely loved her. Reva helped him out after the whole incident in jail when he got his super powers, and then they fell in love. He cares so much and I would be happy to help him with the loss of his wife. 

5.) Ron Swanson- Parks and Recreation

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Another Parks and Rec husband (honestly this list could be just parks and rec guys *cough* Andy Dwyer *cough*). Ron is a scotch drinking feminist who loves strong ladies, like… um… hello that is basically how i see myself. He sticks to his guns, challenges the people he loves in his life, and genuinely cares for and loves his wife. Everything you could possible want in a husband and partner.