Category Archive – Randomness

Week of Geek: Food, glorious food!

by  | Category: Pop Culture, Randomness, Super Fan
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Hi again Geeklings!  How’s the summer going?  Reading those books for TSRC?  Make sure to register and log in to keep those pages coming and increase your chances to win that GoPro.  We believe in you!  And check out the WriteIt site while you’re at it.

So, you know what I like?  Food.  You know what a lot of people like?  Food.  You know what a lot of people also like?  Fandoms.  So a lot of fandoms feature food.  Specific food.  Special food.  Food that may not ever be completely and perfectly replicated in real life but that hasn’t stopped many fans from trying.

Let us count the ways…

Cookie Cat – He’s a pet for your tummy!  He’s super duper yummy!  *sad voice from out of nowhere* He left his family behind!  Now available at Gurgens off Route 109.  So the jingle goes in one of the first episodes of Steven Universe about the title character’s favorite treat; an ice cream sandwich shaped like a cat.  It’s one of those treats that give you that warm, happy feeling.  We could all of use a Cookie Cat every now and then.

Pork Cutlet Bowls – Known in Japan as Katsudon, this is Yuri Katsuki’s favorite dish on Yuri!!! on Ice, and the inspiration for his Eros skating routine.  Yes, really.  It even inspires the grandfather of fellow skater Yuri Plisentsky to create a katsudon-inspired pirozhki, which is a Russian staple.  Yay for fusion cuisine!

ALL THE FOOD featured in Miyazaki films – The movies of Studio Ghibli are famous for the various delicious edibles you see animated on the big screen.  Too many to list here, but here’s a helpful article from Buzzfeed that you can peruse, with links to recipes so you can try to cook them yourself.  Eat up!

Pie – Supernatural‘s Dean Winchester loves many things.  His family.  His friends.  His car.  But one true love that will never die is his love of pie.  A love we can all share.

Fish Fingers and Custard – Combining fish sticks with a dessert sauce.  A weird one, admittedly, but a big part of the 11th Doctor’s persona, as it was the first food he discovered after his regeneration that he liked (getting used to new taste buds is hard you guys).

Butterbeer and various pumpkin foods – Butterbeer is awesome, no matter what recipe you use, and it’s no surprise the wizards of Harry Potter all enjoy it.  But, a personal favorite of mine from the books is the pumpkin treats.  I LOVE using pumpkin in baking!  All-year-round but especially in the fall!  Pumpkin cookies are my favorite!  So kudos to wizardkind for apparently agreeing with me.

Lembas Bread – Hobbits from The Lord of the Rings all love their comfort foods.  But for the adventurer, Lembas bread is the way to go, as one bite can keep you full for a whole day, so you don’t need to bring much of it.  Travel light.

Turkish Delight – How often do YOU betray your family for something sweet?  Hopefully not often, but this sugary treat (which is a little obscure in our neck of the woods, and a bit more common in Europe) had Edmund Pevensie siding with the vicious White Witch in The Lion, the Witch and the WardrobeConfections have rarely been so devious.

Spiced Warm Milk – If you’re not lucky enough to live in one of the wealthier parts of the Hunger Games‘ Panem, your food options are scarce and simple.  Little milk, little spice, heat it up, surprisingly satisfying.  Gotta enjoy the little things.

So there’s a few examples.  What are some of your favorites?  Post away below!

And if you’re looking to try your hand at a few recipes I’ve got a list of nerdy-themed cookbooks.

But there’s more!  Here’s another list from our friend Sarah.

And one from our friend Michel for some good, old-fashioned comfort food.  It’s hard not to love comfort food.  It’s so comforting!

So eat up Geeklings!  (But don’t overdo it.  Too much of anything is never good.)  Keep having fun this summer and until next time, End of Line.

Week of Geek: When ‘Grit’ meets Saturday Morning Cartoons

by  | Category: Pop Culture, Randomness, Reading Lounge, Super Fan
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Hi again Geeklings.  Hot enough for ya?

So, I just finished reading a new graphic novel we just got in our libraries; Wacky Raceland.  Not sure if you’ve heard of it yet, but let me bring you up to speed.  You see, last year, DC comics (the guys who bring us Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, etc) took a look at their comic licensing rights for old Hanna-Barbera properties and decided they needed to update them, for a new generation (that’s usually the reason given for updating something).

Back up again; what’s Hanna-Barbera?  Yeah, for anybody born in this millenium, that’s a fair question.  Hanna-Barbera was an animation studio that ran from 1957 all the way up to 2001.  Their main thing was Saturday Morning cartoons, and they’re responsible for such iconic animated characters as The Flintstones, Yogi Bear, The Jetsons and Scooby-Doo, as well as many more.  They started WAY before my time too, but I was exposed to the reruns during Saturday mornings (are Saturday Morning Cartoons still a thing?  It used to be a thing) and I watched a lot of their 80’s and 90’s reboots, plus they were responsible for a lot of Cartoon Network shows in the 90s as well, so I am somewhat familiar.

Anyway, DC came up with Hanna-Barbera Beyond last year, and decided to take some of the studio’s best-known properties, as well as few lesser-known ones, and add new takes on them.  Sounds legit.  Definitely not the first time anyone’s done that.  *Cough* *Afterlife with Archie* *Cough*

The results though?  Kinda shocking.

Take Wacky Raceland.  It’s based on the cartoon Wacky Races, which debuted all the way back in 1968.  Here’s the opening to give you an idea…

Yup, that’s pretty much the whole premise; themed racers with matching cars race each other while one mustache-twirling villain and his dog sidekick try to cheat their way through.  Perfectly goofy and perfectly harmless.

Writer Ken Pontac and everyone else involved with Raceland watched that and apparently thought “Hey, you know what this reminds me of?  Mad Max!”

And so Wacky Raceland was born, which finds our Wacky Racers racing each other in sentient and souped-up war machine-type cars in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, dealing with hostile terrain, hostile beasts, hostile tech and even more hostile survivors, all under the seemingly-omnipotent watch of “The Announcer” and all for a shot at a place called Utopia.

Dick Dastardly and Muttley, the bad guy and his dog from the cartoon, have gone from this…

To this…

They kept the color scheme and the goggles, and then took a few creative liberties with the rest.  Just a few.

The pretty and pink Penelope Pitstop (the one with the lipstick arm in her car, because apparently in the 60s you couldn’t be a woman in a racing car and not look good at the same time) has gone from this…

To this…

Yowza.  Still pink, still pretty, but not someone you wanna mess with either.

That’s quite the stretch for both characters.  You gotta give the creators props for imagination.  Not many people could see the Racers and let their minds go to this place, right?

So how was the book?  Quite ghastly, actually, if you know the source material.  There’s drinking, there’s drugs, there’s bar fights and violence in general, there’s freaky robots and monsters and floods and nuclear fire and a whole lot of just fighting to survive  For kids this is not.

Overall though?  I kinda liked it.  And I kinda want to see more.  My biggest complaint in this book is that the ending seemed pretty rushed.  I still have questions!  There’s more I want to see!  Darn it, did I just get emotionally invested in a new series?  I think I did!

So, how can you get in on this?  We have the first volumes of Raceland, Scooby Apocalypse, Future Quest and The Flintstones.  Place holds accordingly.  While I imagine Scooby Apocalypse will have similar themes to Raceland, The Flintstones is supposed to be more of a modern drama (despite being set in the Stone Age) and Future Quest is more of an Avengers-mash up of HB superheroes.

Give ’em a try, and once you do you can post your comments below or post your own reviews on Write It!  As I was, you may be both pleasantly surprised and kind of horrified.

And here’s a question; what shows from when you were a kid should get a gritty reboot?  How would that look?  Discuss and post!

Have a great week Geekings, and until next time, End of Line.

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Get Gloomy

by  | Category: It's here!, Randomness
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I know it’s exam time and everyone’s stressed and miserable, so I thought I’d share something fun with you guys. And I figured since misery loves company I’d share the best, most miserable thing I could think of… a card game.

I’m sure you’re wondering how a card game can be awesome, fun, hilarious and miserable all in the same time, so let me explain.

This is not just any old card game. This is Gloom: The Game of Inauspicious Incidents & Grave Consequences. (BTW, did you know you can check out games from the library now?)

Gloom combines character cards, action cards and storytelling, and in a wonderfully gloomy twist the winner of the game is the person with the least amount of points.

So how do you play?

Each player gets a family of characters (five character cards per family). All the characters and families are unique and weird and wonderful, but my personal favorite Dark’s Den of Deformity, (for no other reason than I used to want to run away and join the circus…though maybe not this circus). You decide who goes first by determining who has had the worst day.

Now that you have your family and you know whose day sucked most the game can begin. On your turn you make two plays, which at face value means you play two cards. The cards you play could be modifiers which effect your Self-Worth (or someone else’s if you so choose), event cards which make things happen, or untimely death cards…I think you know what those do. But what makes your two plays, and the whole game, so great is that you are obligated (and the rules state this) to explain how these things happen.

For example: If on my first play I put down the “was beaten by beggars” modifier on my character Samson O’Toole, The Bearded Man, not only does her Self Worth drop to -15 but I have to explain how she got into that situation. So I would tell you that the beggars came to the circus gates to, you know, beg for food and Samson challenged them to a game of cards and the beggars won which made him really sad because up to that point he thought he was quite the card shark. See What I did there? And if my second play is to put down the “was delighted by ducklings” modifiers on one of your characters, giving a self-worth of +10, you have to figure out how that happened (MWAHAHAHAHA mine is an evil laugh).

The game ends when a player successfully kills his or her entire family and the winner is the player with the lowest Self Worth.

All this to say that this is the BEST game on the planet and if you don’t believe me here is Will Wheaton and friends delightfully torturing characters:

Week of Geek: Tabletop troubles? We got this!

by  | Category: Pop Culture, Randomness, Super Fan, What's Going On
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A good rainy day to you all Geeklings!

So you know what’s a good way to spend the time on a rainy day?  Board games!  One of the hallmarks of geek culture is one’s proficiency at various tabletop versions of action and adventure.  From Settlers of Catan to Exploding Kittens to classics like Risk, Trivial Pursuit and Clue, there are so many ways to spend time with friends and family and get real competitive (nicely of course; you want to keep these friends, right?  Right?).

BUT, here’s the thing; most of us only have so much money and so much space in our homes for board games.  And there are A LOT out there.  From the comical number of Monopolies, to the recent craze of card games that don’t involve diamonds and spades, to the epic ones that take up hours of your time, there’s just… so many.

So say, hypothetically, you and your friends want to have a game night and you’ve used all of your current games too many times and you want to try some new ones but don’t want to run out and buy them and the clock is ticking and no one’s coming up with any ideas and WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO?!

Fear not!  We got this!

Now, I bet you’ve noticed that we have board games you can use in our libraries… but did you know we now have board games YOU CAN TAKE HOME!  WHAAAAAAAAA?

It’s true!  At three of our branches – Maple, Dufferin Clark and Ansley Grove – we now have games you can take home for three weeks and play to your hearts content.  We have games for kids, adults AND teens!  You like kittens and explosions and laser beams?  We got that.  You want something dour and dreary and full of misfortune?  We’ve got that.    Like Sushi?  We got that.  Want to figure out who among you is a werewolf while practicing your French?  We’ve got that too.

Not enough?  How about classics like Risk or Trivial Pursuit?  And, of course, we’ve got Settlers of Catan.  You may have heard of it.

 

So if you’re in one of those 3 branches, check the catalog to see what’s in and then stop by the front desk to ask to sign it out.  If a game you’re looking for is not in or at a different branch you can put a hold on it, just like a book, and we’ll let you know when it’s in for you.  Brilliant!

So have fun, play fair, bond, stay dry, and until next time, End of Line.

Rebel Genius

by  | Category: It's here!, Randomness, Reading Lounge
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Written by the co – creator of Avatar the Last Airbender: Michael Dante DiMartino, Rebel Genius takes you on an adventure into a fantasy world of art and friendship.

In a world where art and Geniuses, magical creatures born from artists’ creative spirit, are banned under the rule of the cruel empress. Twelve year-old Giacomo, an orphaned artist living in the sewers suddenly finds himself with his very own Genius. Having a Genius is punishable by death but luckily, Giacomo is brought to a secret studio by young artists where he is protected and trained in sacred geometry. There, Giacomo makes new friends and unlocks his hidden abilities. Life is safe and peaceful until a murderous artist and his Tulpa, a living sculpture, goes after the Sacred Tools that will grant them power to destroy the world. Giacomo and his friends must risk their lives to find the tools first or face destruction. On this dangerous adventure, lives are lost and Giacomo discovers a secret about himself that nobody ever expected.

This was a good book, telling an artful story of survival, friendship and magic. It also contains quite impressive drawings and a good dose of mystery. This is a middle grade novel but still worth the read!