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By Jessica Brister On 25 Jul, 2016 At 10:19 PM | Categorized As Featured, Reviews, Toys and Merchandise | With 0 Comments

No GravatarA lot of geek parents often like to share their various fandoms with their children. Call it the perks of being a totally cool parent and all. I am no exception. I love doing geeky stuff with my daughter. When Disney purchased the Star Wars franchise and the release of The Force Awakens, there have been a lot more novelty items out there for fans to love than there used to be. My daughter received a boxed set of Star Wars Little Golden books for her birthday that follow the first six movies. If you don’t know, Little Golden books are children’s books with a gold-colored binding on them. Many of you may have read them as kids or are currently reading them to your kids. I read Episodes I through III with my daughter, and we moved on to the meat of Star Wars: Oh, yes, it’s time for A New Hope!


Star Wars: A New Hope (Little Golden Book Edition) was written by Geof Smith and illustrated by Caleb Meurer. It was published in 2015 by Golden Books. I got this particular book in a packaged deal with five other Star Wars episodes as children’s books, but for the purpose of this review, I will only be discussing A New Hope.
The book focuses on the main plot points of the movie. Young Luke Skywalker dreams of bigger and better things when he meets Obi Wan Kenobi, a Jedi who wants to show him the ways of the force. On a desparate mission to deliver a set of stolen plans for a battle station capable of destroying planets, they meet up with a smuggler and a beautiful princess. The rest is history. Of course, I’m assuming that if you are interested in this book, you probably already know the rest, so I’ll spare you the details.
I adored being able to go through the little kid’s version of A New Hope. There is something very special about sharing this story with my daughter. The story itself works really well as a kid’s book. Well, except for the fact that an entire planet is destroyed, but I thought the book did a good job of glossing over that fact and sticking to the characters instead.
The book is aimed at older children and has no rhyming or rhythm to it. It is definitely story-oriented instead of focusing on teaching a concept. The book only comes with regular soft pages with a hard cover, so you may want to watch this book with very young children. They tend to like to destroy things, and this is very much not a board book.
The illustrations were great, though the faces looked a little more mature than some of the previous illustrators in this Little Golden Book series. They really helped further along the story when necessary. There are pictures on every page as well as text, and they kept my daughter’s interest as we read through it.

Overall, this is a cute book as a novelty Star Wars children’s book. It is a fun way to share your love of the franchise with the movie that started it all. I recommend it for any geek parent.

By Jessica Brister On 21 Jul, 2016 At 08:34 PM | Categorized As Featured, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarSharing your favorite geek fandoms as a parent is one of the many awesome things about having little ones. As my daughter has gotten older, I have started to slowly introduce her to some of my favorite geeky things. Now that Disney owns the Star Wars franchise and with the release of The Force Awakens, there are a lot more novelty items out for fans to enjoy. My daughter received a boxed set of Star Wars Little Golden books for her birthday that follow the first six movies. If you are not familiar, Little Golden books are children’s books with a gold-colored binding. You may have read them before as a child. After reading through The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, my daughter and I continued through to Revenge of the Sith.


Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (Little Golden Book edition) was written by Geof Smith and illustrated by Patrick Spaziante. It was published in 2015 by Golden Books. I got this particular book in a packaged deal with five other Star Wars episodes as children’s books, but for the purpose of this review, I will only be discussing Revenge of the Sith.

The book focuses on the main points of the movie. Anakin and Padame are secretly married, and she is pregnant. War is continuing to rage against the Republic and the Separatist army. There are a lot of battles and fighting, and then the inevitable descent of Anakin into the dark side. I’m assuming that if you are interested in this book, you probably already know the rest, so I’ll spare you the details.

Revenge of the Sith was definitely the best of the prequels. However, it did not translate over very well into a children’s book. Even though the author did the best that he could with making the plot a little more kid-friendly, reading it to my daughter was kind of depressing. I thought that the pacing was right for a children’s story, but the story itself just did not fit well. This is not a knock at the author. I’m not sure what else he could have possibly done.

The book is aimed at older children and has no rhyming or rhythm to it. It is more story-oriented instead of focusing on teaching a concept. The book only comes with regular soft pages with a hard cover, so you may want to watch this with very young children if you decide to purchase it. Since it is not a board book, your very little one might tear it up.

The illustrations were well-done and at least tried to make the book a little more child-friendly. It was a tough story to draw, based on everything that happened. There are illustrations on every page with text, and the pictures did a good job of furthering the narration when needed.

Overall, I really liked this book as a novelty children’s book. However, I would caution any parent with the content of the story. It’s a little down. Actually, it’s kind of depressing. You may want to skip this one until your kids are a bit older, but that is one hundred percent your call as a geek parent.

By Jessica Brister On 17 Jul, 2016 At 07:06 PM | Categorized As Movie News, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarIt looks like Alden Ehrenreich will be the Young Han Solo in a standalone film.  It was revealed at the Star Wars Celebration event in London.

The audition took about six months, including doing multiple screen tests alongside Chewbacca.  Ironically enough, he was the first actor that the directors saw for the role.

The 26 year old actor is known for his role in Hail, Caesar! and Beautiful Creatures.




By Jessica Brister On 6 Jul, 2016 At 08:48 PM | Categorized As Featured | With 0 Comments

No GravatarFor any Star Wars fan who is also a parent, there comes a point in time where you start wondering when you should introduce your favorite franchise to your kids.  It may seem like a simple thing to do: just show them the movies when they are old enough.  However, there are several important question to ask before you start off on this endeavor.  They are:


In my family, the appreciation for Star Wars starts at an early age.

What exact age do you introduce the franchise?

You want your kid to have a great first Star Wars experience that they can remember.  It will be a very special moment for both of you.  I vividly remember the first time that I watched Star Wars with my dad.  We knocked out all three original movies in a row.  This was at a time when I had no idea there were more movies as I watched Episode IV.  It is important to me that my daughter have a similar experience.  However, if I go too young, she may not remember it later on.  If I go too old (like teen years), the magic and wonder might be gone in place of focusing on teen stuff instead.  It’s a delicate balancing act that one must carefully consider as a parent.

Which set of movies first?

This is another difficult dilemma.  Do you go in chronological order?  Do you go with the release date timeline, so that the child sees the movies in the order that most of us did (original trilogy, prequels, and the newest edition)?  I have even see some parents taking their children to see Episode VII with no prior background to the Star Wars franchise.  Where and when do you throw in the Clone Wars cartoons as well?  I know that there are some very strong opinions on this, so I dare not say which is the correct way.  It is something, however, that one must think about beforehand.

Special Edition or original theatrical release?

Regardless of what order movies you show your child, you will have to decide what version of the original trilogy you want to show first.  I think it would be beneficial for a child to see both versions.  There are actually people out in the world right now who have never seen the original release versions (how sad!).  However, there is the dilemma on which to show first.  The original theatrical release is available on certain Limited Edition sets along with the Special Edition, so if you don’t have it already, the originals can be found still.  Then you will have to decide: do you start your child off with the purest original release version with the very dated special effects or do you start with the Special Edition with the cheesy late ’90s CGI?  It’s a very tough call, especially if you prefer Han shooting first (actually, technically, didn’t he only shoot once?).

Does the child read the now “non-cannon” books before or after the new movies?

For die hard Star Wars fans, the many book series that have come out are to be treasured and respected.  Technically, they aren’t cannon anymore (boo!!!!), but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be read.  I like to think of the new movies and the books as parallel universes where different choices were made that altered the course of galactic history.  Maybe Luke stepped on a butterfly or something (tee-hee)?  Or there was a quantum something something (insert smart-sounding science stuff).  Regardless of how you rationalize it, the books are still there, and most are quite good.  Of course, depending on the age of the child and his or her reading level, the books might not be an option.  You could always read them to your kid.  Or, you could wait until they are older and have them read the books after the newer movies.  The last option is skipping the books entirely because that’s a ton of reading and not everyone likes to read that much.  Of course, the English teacher in me says, “Too bad.  Reading is good for you.  Now read those freaking Star Wars books now!”  Just saying.

Do I pretend that Episodes I through III just don’t exist?

It’s the dark thought that has crossed my mind for awhile now.  Why can’t I just pretend that the prequels weren’t ever made?  I could spare my daughter from the abomination that is Jar Jar Binks.  She wouldn’t have to go through the bad dialogue, stiff acting, and overly-used special effects.  Even skipping just Episode I would be a blessing.  Then again, if I had to suffer through them, then so can she!  It can be a bonding moment as we share our disgust for a set of movies that could have been so much more.

In closing, I don’t think it matters how you proceed with introducing Star Wars to your child.  There is no right or wrong way.  Your child might not even like Star Wars, and that’s something that you may have to accept.  The important thing is that it’s a bonding experience: time with you that you both will always look fondly upon.


By Jessica Brister On 15 May, 2016 At 04:03 PM | Categorized As Featured, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarThe geek in me loves Star Wars. The English teacher in me loves Shakespeare. So why not combine the two and make people just like me extremely happy? Well, this actually is a thing. Someone has gone through an re-written the classic Star Wars movies into Shakespearean plays. I received Episodes IV through VI as a set and think they are an absolute blast to read. For the purposes of this review, I will only be concentrating on A New Hope, or as it has been so aptly renamed: Verily, A New Hope.


William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope was written by Ian Doescher and was published in 2013 by Quirk Books. At this time, the first six Star Wars movies have been published in this series so that nerds like me can collect them all. Doescher decided to write these books because George Lucas purposely put archetypal characters in Star Wars, and Shakespeare pretty much is the king of archetypes. It was pretty much a match made in heaven to rewrite the stories in the form of a Shakespearean play.

Verily, a New Hope is essentially Star Wars: A New Hope in iambic pentameter with stage directions. The plot has stayed the same, but the dialogue has been greatly changed. It was definitely a fun way to read a story that I’ve watched and read so many times before. I’m assuming that you are familiar with the basic plot of the story if you are reading this, so I will focus more on how this version differs from the original.

Besides the traditional Shakespearean format and rhythm and rhyme, the book is written from the perspective that the reader already knows the plot twists in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. There are several asides that let a couple cats out of the bag. There is also an added scene that I thought was interesting where Luke, after the trash compactor seen, holds up the storm trooper’s helmet he had been wearing and does an aside like Hamlet did with the skull.

It was interesting to see how different parts of a story set in space would work on a stage. Sometimes, instead of seeing the action, a character will just go ahead and tell you what just happened. The big battle at the end was done as characters just standing on the stage, representing that they were in a ship. Honestly, it’s probably the best that could be done as a play.

One thing that got to me—and this isn’t an actual issue with the book—was some of the iconic Star Wars lines had to be replaced by something that sounded Shakespearean. The Han Solo scene on the Death Star on the detention block with the com speaker was just…not as good for me. It’s really nothing wrong with the book itself. That’s just me being crazy about certain Star Wars things. It can’t be helped.

I loved that the story was separated into a traditional five act play and split up into scenes. The story was divided perfectly to demonstrate the rising action and climax. It’s actually interesting how well A New Hope fit as a Shakespearean play. It felt natural. It didn’t feel forced at all.

Overall, this was an excellent addition to my collection of Star Wars literature. It obviously caters to a very small niche of people, so it is definitely not for everyone. Regardless, I really enjoyed it, and I think that any literary/Star Wars geek will love it.

By Jessica Brister On 14 May, 2016 At 10:33 PM | Categorized As Featured, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarI will have to admit that as a geek parent, I often purchase items for my daughter that are for nostalgic purposes or are just plain geeky gimmicks. When I saw the children’s book Goodnight Darth Vader, I knew that I just had to have it because…why not? (I ended up putting it on her wish list, and my sister got it for my daughter as a birthday present.) I think it’s cute that there are so many geek novelty items out there that I can share with my daughter. This particular Star Wars-themed children’s books is particularly adorable in all of the right ways. It brings back a lot of nostalgia for adults, and is fairly cute for the kids.


Goodnight Darth Vader is a children’s book written and illustrated by Jeffrey Brown. It was published in 2014 by Chronicle Books. Brown has written previous Star Wars-themed children’s books such as Darth Vader an Son (2012) and Vader’s Littler Princess (2013). Goodnight Darth Vader continues the tradition of combining the rhythm and repetition of children’s books with cute pictures and Star Wars content. It parodies the classic children’s book, Goodnight Moon.

The premise of the book is that Darth Vader needs to get his children, Luke and Leia to bed, as if they were a somewhat normal family. The rest of the book goes through saying “goodnight” to all of the familiar Star Wars characters from the original trilogy to the prequels. It’s definitely a nostalgia trip for the adult reading the book, though I’m not quite sure if the young child will appreciate it as much.

The “good nights” go (mostly) in chronological order from The Phantom Menace to Return of the Jedi. Every two pages rhyme, so when you open the book, each set of pages go together. Some of the rhyming doesn’t flow as nicely as other sets, but for the most part, it’s an enjoyable book to read aloud to a child.

The artwork is definitely the best part of the book. It fits the tone and feel of the book quite well. Each page has a fairly full color comic-like drawing of a particular Star Wars scene. Sure, it’s cutesy, but it is a children’s book after all.

Though the book is very enjoyable, I wish that there was the option of getting it as a board book so that it is a little more toddler-proof. I could only find it as either an e-book or as a hard cover with soft pages. Overall, though, I think this is a great buy for Star Wars fans who would like to share their fandom with the younger generation.  Yes, it’s a bit of a gimmick, but I don’t think most adults who are considering purchasing this book will mind.


By Charles On 28 Jun, 2013 At 06:34 PM | Categorized As Conventions, Editorials, Featured, Otaku Events | With 0 Comments

No Gravatar

Always bring a banana to a party.

Always bring a banana to a party.

Well, well, well- look who’s back. It’s been a while since I’ve made an appearance on here, and with good reason: since the beginning of May, I’ve been on a whirlwind of convention travels- all the way from Charlotte, NC for KiraKiraCon, to Sandusky, OH for Colossalcon, and most recently, Portland, ME for Portcon. In between I’ve dropped by VA for AMA, Boston for AB and a splendid little event in Pittsfield, MA called BAMcon (currently my favorite event of the year). And one of the constants I’ve had all 6 of those weekends is new congoers, from those who have always wanted to attend, to curious friends dragged along for the ride, to the confused parents wondering what their children have been jabbering on about incessantly since last summer.

For those of you who have never been to a con, there really is no time like the present to start attending. Explosive community growth, huge influxes of new fans and fandoms, cosplay galore- this is a great time to start hitting up your local con scene, or even traveling someplace new and exciting for a weekend unlike any other.

Wow, that sounds like a sales pitch.

For those of you who have never attended, or find the entire process intimidating, allow me then to provide you with some tips for selecting and navigating your first convention. You don’t need to heed my advice, because everyone’s experiences at the con are different- that’s what makes them so enticing- but at the same time, there are always common pitfalls that have the potential to derail a previously fantastic weekend.

Author’s note: these tips are not the standard sort of “drink plenty of water,” or “sleep and shower once a day” type- the basic precepts of health and hygiene are common sense, and we all are aware of them. And if we are not, the con staff will definitely make sure you observe them. Rather, these tips will (hopefully) allow you to have an enjoyable weekend, free of drama, hassles, and unplanned roadblocks.


Dressing like this might get you dinner…or arrested.

Rule 1: Friends make the difference. This might sound obvious, but nobody wants to be attending their first con alone. From the overstimulation of the crowd’s emotions, to the often hectic environment itself, to the huge platter of events and programming, it is extremely easy to get lost in the mix. Flying solo at a con can be one of the scariest, and overwhelming experiences any fan can encounter- so much so that even veterans often dislike attempting it.

Thankfully, the solution is simple: go with your friends. Make new ones at the con. Build a ‘network’ of people you enjoy spending time with, and coordinate schedules so everyone has fun over the weekend. It’s easier than it sounds, because at the con, everyone is a prospective new friend, and many are actively seeking new people, new experiences and new comrades to share them with. Try it out next time, you will be pleasantly surprised with the results.

Rule 2: Budget, please. Everyone has a con story that proceeds something like this: “I brought $200 with me to cover my weekend, and blew it all within fifteen minutes of hitting the Dealer’s Room. Now I can’t afford to eat.” If this sounds like something that happened to a friend (or even yourself), you are not alone. All congoers fall into this trap at some point- I once spent $400 at a single con on commissions in the Artist Alley, and lived off the charity of my friends for the last day and a half. This often is accompanied by guilt, fear and the knowledge that you just spent a large amount of money in a short period of time, sometimes with little to really show for it.

Budgeting is your friend, throughout the weekend. It’s extremely easy to survive on the cheap at most big cons (especially ones in urban areas, with easy access to fast food), but when the temptation to blow your hard-earned cash on figures and DVDs arises, rely on those friends you went to the con with to keep you in check. Make sure you never take all your money with you anywhere, or give it to a friend who you know budgets well and have them reign you in. Your first con will fill you with impulses you might never have felt before, which invariably leads to impulse buying, and “shoppers remorse.” If you have your friend with you, keeping you from throwing cash left and right, you will make it through the weekend unscathed.


The freaks might not come out at night, but the yokai certainly do.

Rule 3:Don’t try to experience everything. Simply put, you can’t. It’s not possible to do everything at the con over one weekend, especially if your first con is on the scale of Otakon (which is a popular choice for East Coast congoers), Anime Boston or *shudder* Anime Expo. Often events on that scale are massive, with dozens of panels and programs running concurrently all across the convention space. Trying to “keep up” will drive any neophyte congoer insane.

The best strategy is to find a few things you really want to see, and then allow the weekend to progress organically. What do I mean by organically? Well, even the best-laid plans can run awry. Sometimes friends have different plans, or there could be a completely spontaneous decision to do something other than what you planned to do. Looking at the programming schedule beforehand helps you whittle down what you have time for, but it can never forewarn you about random photoshoots, dinner plans, or bumping into that friend you know online who wants to catch up outside of the internet.

Progressing organically, then, is to just ‘go with the flow.’ Enjoy yourself, enjoy your friends, and decide what’s really important when the moment arises. You might wander into a random panel and find yourself interested in the subject. You might discover that a certain cosplay event isn’t what you expected it to be. Or you might just latch onto a cluster of new people and follow them. This is usually one of the best ways to approach congoing, especially now, so just enjoy yourself, and see where everything takes you. Becoming preoccupied with pre-planned events is a surefire way to ruin your weekend. The real appeal of the con is just being at the con.


Navigating the halls sometimes requires skills with a lightsaber

Rule 4: Utilize discretion.  On par with common sense, just because you are at a con, doesn’t mean you should run around like a blithering idiot, get wasted, hit on anything with two legs, and consume things you would never touch in your daily life. Discretion, common sense, a bit of skepticism- these will allow you to circumvent any number of unexpected shocks and potentially toxic situations.

Now this might SOUND like a given, but bear in mind- the energy exchange from cons is powerful, and has the potential to itself become intoxicating. And people who start to fall to intoxication lower their inhibitions and act in ways that might be completely unexpected, even to THEM. I’ve witnessed young adult males doing questionale things for a girl’s attention, seen teenagers drink themselves silly because they can, and witnessed all sorts of…unsavory behavior, simply because one person wasn’t paying proper attention at the time.

Now do not take this to mean that cons are dangerous. They’re incredibly safe. But at the same time, even the safest places are not immune to stupidity and bad decisions. Be aware of yourself, and utilize discretion in your interactions. It will save you more than your fair share of drama.


When meeting your favorite voice actors, please remember they are people too.

When meeting your favorite voice actors, please remember they are people too.

Rule 5: Don’t feed the trolls. Just like on the internet, trolls exist, and prowl around cons. They can be the guys with the cameras taking candid photos without permission. They can be ‘that guy’ in the back of the panel room who never stops commenting on how ‘wrong’ the panelist is. It could be the kid in the mask throwing water at people. They are present, and sometimes highly visible at the con weekend, and can contribute a huge chunk of unwelcome drama. More than a few new congoers have been driven off by their antics, or reduced to tears in the hallways.

Remember, trolls are a part of the fandom experience. You will eventually encounter one, that’s a given. The real tip here is not just not let them bother you. They are actively trying to provoke a reaction, often for no reason other than their own boredom. They thrive on conflict, and making you feel terrible. If you give in, they win. If you shrug them off, they find someone else.

Look all the way back at rule 1 for the best way of dealing with them- your friends. The words of some anonymous congoer might sting, but remember that your friends are there for YOU, and will help you deal with any trolls you might encounter. Rely on them, and your weekend will be a success.

Note: Also, do not confuse trolls with the grey-skinned denizens of the popular webcomic Homestuck. Those are also trolls, but not of the same variety.

So, first time congoer, go forth and enjoy yourself.

For more information, check out some of my earlier blogs on the subject:

Con-Ventional Wisdom

Con Advice

By SarahTheRebel On 9 May, 2012 At 04:25 PM | Categorized As Animation, Featured, Otaku Events, Toys and Merchandise | With 1 Comment

No GravatarThis Saturday I had the opportunity to attend the opening night of the My Little Pony Project 2012 LA charitable art exhibit at the Toy Art Gallery. The exhibit is inspired, of course, by Hasbro’s My Little Pony.

The My Little Pony Project 2012 is a year long GLOBAL celebration in honor of the theme “Friendship is Magic”. Artists from LA, NYC and Tokyo all had a hand in creating one-of-a-kind ponies to raise money for charity.

The opening night included the project charity ponies, 18″ MY LITTLE PONY figures designed by international fine artists, and a pop-up shop by WeLoveFine.

Toy Art Gallery also joined forces with JapanLA, Joyrich and Munky King, and to host a pony treasure hunt, which, I sadly, did not get to in time to participate in.

It may shock anyone unfamiliar with the new My Little Pony culture that has sprung up, but the line to get in started hours before the gallery opened and, by the time I left Toy Art Gallery to head for JapanLA, was stretched around the end of the block. So many men and women came together to celebrate, from guys in punk rock gear and all black ensembles to delicate ladies costumed as unicorns to bemused mothers toting around sons and daughters.

the line started half a block earlier and wrapped around the block!

Even Perez Hilton got in on the magic… in his… special way.

In all the event was a very eye-opening experience for me. So many different people could relate with the super-simple pony themes: friendship, magic and art. Who is a brony? Who is a pegasister? Who is the real pony otaku? The answer is much less stereotypical than you might think!

(ps there is a SarahTheRebel spotting around 2:27 and again around 4:14)

The event was done very well and kudos to the team who coordinated it. There were free cakeballs (as many as you could eat!) a free bar (with sodas for the kids) and an awesome DJ. Overall I was just very impressed. Not many events have the amount of positive energy this one had. But I guess that’s just all that magical friendship floating around!

I’m excited to see how much money this actually raises for charity.

Check out the full artist list and the photo gallery below!

Featured artists:

64 Colors
Ana Bagayan
Angry Woebots
Blamo (Mikie Graham)
Blythe (Junie Moon)
Indie *on view at Munky King.
Jillian Kate
Julie West
Lisa Alisa
Luke Chueh
Madoka Kinoshita
Martin Hsu
Mark Mothersbaugh
Miss Kika
Onch Movement
Perez Hilton
Shojono Tomo
Sket One
Spank! *on view at JapanLA.


By calanagear On 16 Dec, 2011 At 02:45 PM | Categorized As Animation, Editorials, PlayStation, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarHello, mes amis. We are getting close to Christmas, are we not? I was doing a post on my lifestyle blog regarding Christmas ideas and thought HEY…why not do an intriguing list for fellow geeks and otaku? Right? I mean we all need yet more things to drool over.I have therefor composed this list of goodies for people who are themselves geeks OR who are buying for their geeky comrades.


First of all, you need some music to get into the holiday spirit. I love Hue and Hum’s Christmas album. Go and get it now

and support this indie duo.

That’s better. Let’s begin.

The Gamer

Your gaming buddy ( or me) will absolutely start crying if you buy them the newest

Elder Scrolls.

You would be accepted more at work.

People may stop suddenly to bow down and worship you.

If you want my advice,

you could also pre order

Silent Hill Downpour

If you want them to propose to you,

get them a gift certificate at GOG.

                  The Photo Geek slash Hipster

Since Instagram has gained popularity, people are enjoying the look of

60s photography and toy cameras. Get your Instagram addicted

friend or hipster this Diana F plus Gold Edition.

Another great option is to get their pics made into an

Instagram book on Blurb.

The Anime Buff

Odd supernatural powers, assassins….thing that nerds dream of.

Why not get your friend Darker Than Black?

I myself would love to get Ergo Proxy.

The Horror Buff

This is a challenge, as each of us horror geeks have different horror preferences.

I myself love Argento and 70s-earl 90s stuff.

To play it safe, since this is the holiday season,

get them something themed, such as Black Christmas or Christmas Evil.

I love both, especially the latter.

I had the chance to see Black Christmas in LA,

and several of the actors came to speak. It was

an amazing experience.


The Bibliophile

For the reader, I recommend getting the philosopher Huxley and God,

a collection of Aldous Huxley’s essays on spirituality

from the Vedanta society.

The Lovecraftian would probably have a heart attack

if you got them A Lovecraft Retrospective, but

if they survive it they will be your slave for eternity.

For the youngster who is a ‘reluctant reader’,

You Can’t have My Planet But Take My Brother, Please

is a fun read!!

The Religiously Inclined

I have a few shirts from WearableSermon and find them comfortable and uplifting.

For your Mormon pals, the Hue and Hum CD I mentioned is actually done

by a cool Mormon couple, so they may appreciate that.

Hindus with kids will love the comic books from Desi Kids.

Figures such as Gandhi and Ramakrishna are brought to life

in vivid colour. Even if you are not Hindu nor a child,

you will think they are cool.

The Foodie

For some reason, the Star Trek Cookbook makes me want to cry

it is so cool. Intergalactic food will do that to a person.

Kitchen Confidential is a must have, for serious chefs as

well as those of us who do what we can to make things taste

decently. Getting this as well as No Reservations are a Bourdain

package sure to please anyone ( even vegans seem to find Bourdain amusing…)

What are your must haves for Christmas?

By calanagear On 29 Jul, 2011 At 08:43 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Uncategorized | With 0 Comments

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Like most other parents, I am always busy. Nonetheless, I love to read and listen to audiobooks, and just happened to have gotten two new credits in my audible account ( now all I need is a bunch of GOG games and I am good to go). One book that I have been dying to get a hold of is Reality is Broken. Written by Dr. Jane McGonigal who is ‘ a world-renowned designer of alternate reality games — or, games that are designed to improve real lives and solve real problems’, the book argues that games are helpful in a myriad of ways, from making us happier to inspiring us. HOW LONG HAVE WE GAMERS BEEN TRYING TO EXPLAIN THIS TO FRIENDS AND FAMILY? Seriously. Thank God this book was written.  And I love that a woman wrote it 🙂



For my horror fix, I’ve downloaded Listening to Ian Magick by Tamworth Grice. You can get it for 99 cents on amazon, so check it out Kindle users!  I also just found a copy of A House With a Clock In Its Walls by John Bellairs. If you haven’t read him before, you should. Bellairs is the king of gothic literature, that makes R L Stine look…well bad. I read Bellairs as a child and his work has influenced my writing and my choice of video games and movies. He stands in a league of his own, and I can’t wait to reread his books.

I have also been drooling over the board game Betrayal at House on the Hill.  One of my favorite games growing up was Shrieks and Creaks, which took me forever to remember the name. I finally ordered it from eBay and adored it; my craving for more board games prompted my husband to find this one for me. Check out the demo!!

Being the Brit and geek that I am, Network DVD is tempting me, like usual. They release super hard to find shows ( like cult kids and horror classics) that no one else has the balls to release. If you are a horror lover, check out King Of The Castle. It’s incredibly strange and wonderful, and they are the only place to release it. I want  Baffled ( featuring Leonard Nimoy) and The Dark Angel ( with Peter O’ Toole).

As far as music is concerned, I am a HUGE fan of soundtracks. You could say I am obsessed, and my collection is incredibly odd and random. I like Argento OSTs ( especially Goblin), and lean towards darker movies and shows. I really, really can’t wait to listen to the complete Dark Shadows Complete Soundtrack Collection. It is amazing. That show was so unique, and way ahead of its time. I want to listen to it while I clean, just to make myself feel like I am cleaning some haunted manor, instead of my home. I need some atmosphere damnit.

If I had the cash, I would splurge on Valtiel and/or A LoveCraft Retrospective  What are your must haves or wants for the summer?