Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Scott Pilgrim vs. Stephanie ... and Spaceteam won.

Friends of ours came over this last weekend to enjoy some dinner and good ol' fashioned fellowship. The husband needed to borrow a router [and of course Mr. Dude had an extra one] and some troubleshooting in setting it up for whatever project he had going on at home. I told him any night of the week was fine [amazing how your evenings are suddenly all available when you're at home with your sleeping kiddo], and he'd get bonus points for bringing his wife along and staying long enough for us to have dinner together. He agreed and the date was set.

So our home-beer-brewin'-gotta-moustache-that'll-make-Moses-jealous-composer-extraordinaire friend and his lovely graphic-designing-film-photography-I-can-knit-anything-with-my-eyes-closed wife joined us for a fantastic evening in.

After dinner, the guys set about to work on their project while we ladies decided that chatting away with BBC's classic Pride and Prejudice in the background would be lovely. Suddenly, though, Mr. Dude quit out of the movie and went to the arcade games section on the XBox360, declaring that he had been waiting for Mr. Composer Friend to come over just so they could play this particular game together since they share a love of the movie by the same name.

Even more suddenly, a controller was in my hands and all four of us were trying to help poor Scott Pilgrim defeat all the bullies so he could go on a date with Ramona, or something to that effect.

Correction. They were all helping Scott. I was randomly pushing buttons and wondering what the heck they made my character do. It all seemed like a giant plot just to get me to play video games.

Attempted indoctrination via "gateway" games, I tell you.
[But, Stephanie! This is a really easy arcade game! You gotta admit that it's awesome! How could you not like video games when there's stuff like this to play?! Look at those graphics! Listen to that 8-bit music they wrote just for this game!]
And when we all got horrendously sick of the soundtrack [or maybe that was just me] and finally beat the level, our artsy and talented friends pulled out all four of their Apple devices so we could play an epic group game.
[I make the distinction about what kind of friends they are because there are very few people that Mr. Dude will recommend Apple products to or not scoff at for purchasing said products. He's a techie - and it irks him that Apple won't let him "under the hood", so to speak. But if you're a composer, a photographer, a graphic designer, an architect, etc, who actually needs some of their specialized software, then he's all for you dropping a ridiculous amount of money on an Apple product.]
Spaceteam is a cooperative game where you have commands flashing on your screen that you need to follow or one of your teammates needs to follow. And if you don't follow them all [or enough of them], then your space ship dies. Oh no!

Here's the official [and better-than-Stephanie's] description from the Apple Store:

Fluxtrunions? Beveled Nanobuzzers? Auxiliary Technoprobes? Outrunning an exploded star?!?!

Felt awfully Star Trek-ish to me.

I guess I'm just lucky that Q didn't show up to make it all the more confusing.

Also, have you ever tried to play a game like Catch Phrase, Pictionary or Yahtzee quietly, especially when there's an infant attempting to sleep not-so-far-away in a rather small apartment?

This was like that. As in, not possible.

Multiple infant-wakings aside, it was exhilarating, confusing, fun and stressful, all at the same time.

And I think I may actually like it.

[Gasp! Is this where I tell Mr. Dude that I found it on the Google Play Store, so we can install it on our phones, too?] 

So that was my epic Friday night. It was Scott Pilgrim vs. me. Or maybe that was Mr. Dude vs. me. Not sure if he won or I lost.

Either way, I spent my Friday night playing video games.

Definitely wasn't expecting that.

Uh, at least we can be on the same Spaceteam now? 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Best. Movie. Prop. EVER.

Mr. Dude and I spotted Skyfall on Amazon Prime this weekend, and took the opportunity to sit still for a couple of hours. It's a rare occurrence when you're the parents of a 7.5 month old, even when he's not mobile yet.

[Irony: It actually took us a couple of days to watch it because we couldn't sit still long enough in between caring for Little Guy and tending to household chores. Oh you childless couples - savor your restful times now, because they all but vanish when you've got a munchkin!]

May I submit to you the best movie prop ever?

Screenshot from our TV. Note the closed captioning. Yes, we're old. 
Folks, that is a Scrabble mug. 

And I think I need to find one. 

And then play a game of Scrabble. 

But not with Mr. Dude. 

I love him, but the man takes at least ten minutes on every single turn trying to get the best possible play. Maybe I just need to start reading a book or something when it's not my turn. But then I can't watch to make sure he's not trying to cheat. 

You know, like this time: 

Where was the cheating, you ask? 

Hint: Look at where he placed "frigid". 

The good news is, I still beat him. Soundly. Even after letting him get away with such an atrocity. We were on our "babymoon" and I was both in a good mood and feeling sorry for how badly he was losing. Aren't I magnanimous wife? :) 

Now to look for a Scrabble mug on the interwebs ... 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Nerdy Christmas Un-Gifting Guide, Part 2

Oh, handmade gifts. 

They are either awesome and just what the person wanted, or they are incredibly tacky and very quickly headed to a local thrift shop. 

They can be a fantastic way to save money and give something meaningful, or they somehow end up costing a fortune. 

Handmade gifts are apparently extremists. 

In the latest installment of "Where on earth does Mr. Dude find this stuff?", I present to you the handmade gift I will not be undertaking this holiday season: 

Source: Imgur
No, seriously, where does he find this stuff?!

I can hear him protest now:
"But, Stephanie! It's a mix of Portal and BioShock Infinite! It's AWESOME!"
I don't care if I like the score of the BioShock games or if you think that Portal would be a good "gateway" game for me because it's a giant puzzle. 

I love you enough to spend my time making something else instead, like pumpkin pie. 

Sure, you couldn't hang up the pumpkin pie at your office like you could with this cross-stitched wonder, and I do like me a good embroidery project. 


You're not getting this for Christmas, either, Mr. Dude. Lo siento. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

College Nostalgia

No, not our own nostalgia for college - although we are headed to our own 5 year reunion soon.

[Gasp! We're old!] 

We stumbled upon this nostalgic video game art in all of its 8bit/Post It Note glory during an afternoon family walk. It's brought to you by a dorm at a college here in town:

Mr. Dude, of course, thinks it's awesome.

Meanwhile, I'm starting a list of all the reasons why he can't do the same thing in our apartment windows, just in case he asks. Good to be prepared, you know! 

Happy Veterans' and Armistice Day! 

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Nerdy Christmas Un-Gifting Guide, Part 1

[Like every blogger (and their mom) this time of year, you gotta put out a gift guide in time for the holidays. Most of them will tell you what you should buy for this group or that one. As the wife of a nerd, I know there's a give and take to when I simply shake my head and smile about what he puts on his wish list versus when I put my foot down and say, "Absolutely NOT!" Thus, I'm here to tell you what items I won't be buying for my very nerdy husband, no matter how awesome he may think they are.]

Mr. Dude has a very (for him) fortunate birthday of a few days before Christmas. Most kids would be scared of their birthday being overshadowed by everything holiday, but Mr. Dude loved it.

He liked having so many decorations and lights and songs and parties all around the time he was celebrating another year of life. Plus, it's meant that he's gotten some pretty epic presents over the years when people combine birthday and Christmas budgets.

Case in point: the latest graphics cards, super quiet power supplies, terabyte hard drives ... it makes it rather easy for all of our parents and sisters to go in on an otherwise expensive gift when it's one item for both occasions from all of us that we've seen on his Amazon wish list.

Computer upgrades? Those I can handle.

Minecraft light from the ThinkGeek booth at PAX?

Source: ThinkGeek
Oh sure. I was actually present when he bought it.

Full size replica Portal gun?

Eh, I didn't really have a choice on that - he bought it without telling me he was going to.
[But, Stephanie! They only made 1000 of them, and they're already going for hundreds of dollars on ebay!"]
But Star Trek: Next Generation uniform hoodies?
Source: ThinkGeek, and yours for only $59.99! Working combadge and pips not included, unfortunately. 
In the words of Grumpy Cat:

I can only go so far, Mr. Dude and dressing in costume outside of PAX, ComiCon or Halloween definitely doesn't make the cut.

So no, these won't be under the tree or in your stocking. Don't get your hopes up.

More Nerdy Christmas Un-Gifting Guide items to come ...