WW – Laundry Pod

Small Laundry Pod

Laundry Pod for sale at the Container Store

I cannot imagine doing laundry in this thing. I would have to insist on “one shirt for one day (or possibly two!)” rule.

Book Signings

One of my goals for 2014 is to read faster. There are so many books I want to read but I am such a slow reader. Also I am branching out and reading books outside of my regular genre. When my husband mentioned an author book signing he wanted to attend, I wanted to go since I was interested in reading this author’s works.

Patrick Rothfuss was signing books at a local bookstore. It was sort of an impromptu signing so I thought there might not be a crowd. Oh how naive I was! His fans love him and will drive hours to see him. From that experience, I gained a lot of wisdom on how to handle the next book signing event.

Arrive Early. Some of you may have laughed at that but others may be like me and believe that if you arrive 45 minutes before an event, you should be OK. We had arrived within the vicinity of the bookstore about 90 minutes before the event but fiddled around since we didn’t want to be too early. Little did we know that when you bought your book to be signed you got a ticket. The bookstore had been passing out tickets since 9 a.m. The tickets were color-coded, so those people who got the first color got to stand in line first. My husband was in the group that was second to last. We left the bookstore at 11 p.m. with the line still going strong. Patrick Rothfuss became my hero that night when he promised to stay as long as it took to sign everyone’s books – all four hundred attendees. Many had multiple books and some even had special requests like playing their guitar for him.

Bring snacks and water. If only we had some water and snacks, our four hour wait would have been so much easier.

Charge those electronics. Make sure your phone or tablet has a decent charge. You will probably spend a lot of time staring at it – maybe even tweeting about your experience.

The book signing was a good experience. Normally I am not one for autographs but there is something about author signings. Maybe it’s having a connection with your favorite author even if it is only for a couple of minutes. Next time I will know what to expect and will be prepared for the long haul.

Home Delivered Food

Last night our neighbor friends invited us over for dinner. They cooked a meal they had bought from a service that delivers all the ingredients and recipe to your door. I would describe the dish as strawberry bread pudding. I was surprised by two things: bread pudding being served as a main entree and that I really enjoyed it as bread pudding is not something I normally eat.

There is a part of me that loves this idea of food dishes delivered to your door that you then cook at your leisure. Then the other part of me feels so guilty for evening considering this since it makes me feel very lazy housewife. Still it would be nice to have someone else take care of the planning of a meal even if I have to cook it. Cooking is the fun part. It’s the shopping part that is a downer.

My neighbor loves this service which makes me seriously want to try it out. I am thinking about either Plated.com or BlueApron.com. Has anyone else used a food delivery service and what has been your experience?

Gen Con Family Guide – Kids Events

This year we attended Gen Con for the first time. We took our 8-year-old daughter and even though we had read it was a kid-friendly con, we were unsure of what to expect. By day two, our daughter was making plans to attend Gen Con next year.

This guide to Gen Con is for families – those who are looking to bring their kids for the first time. There is so much to do. Let’s begin with kids events.

Kid Events

Kids under the age of nine do not need a badge. You will have to get them a wristband that will have a phone number to call should the child get lost. Kids without a badge are limited to what events they can attend. Events listed with a kids ID (beginning with KID) are available.

We attended a few Kids events. Here is a list with a brief review of each:

How to make a mask – Kids build a paper mache mask and then decorate it. This was a really cool event that was much more involved than I had expected.

Story Time with Mother Geek – The Surreal Mother Geek read her Mother Goose inspired tale that teaches kids about geeky culture. Cute story and very enjoyable. You can get the book on Amazon.

Make your own cape – Kids were given a piece of material and supplies to decorate as they saw fit. This one was disappointing to me as I would have expected a fleece material instead of the nylon material that you see with cheap costumes. It wasn’t that bad though. My daughter enjoyed it making the cape. They did provide paper to place over the design so you could carry it around while the cape dried if paint or glue was used. Some of the paper dried to the cape and was very difficult to remove.

Game Fun – Kids created their own board game. My daughter created one that we played at the con and at the hotel.

Shadow Puppets – This was one of two puppet events we attended. Kids were given some objects to cut out and put together with brads. One object was a dragon. They used those cutouts to cast shadows.

Writing with kids – This was a family writing workshop that was fun but not really what I was expecting. This event was at 9am which might have been a little early for our late sleeper. We were all given a sheet a paper and then had to write a sentence about a picture. Then we took the sheet of paper, crumpled it up, and threw it into the middle of the floor. Then we picked up a sheet of paper and continued the story started by someone else. We repeated this for a few rounds and then shared the stories. It was fun although not as fulfilling as I had hoped.

Puppet Workshop with Mayfair Games – This was a fun workshop sponsored by Mayfair Games. A professional puppeteer gave tips and instructions. This was one of the events my daughter has requested to do next year.

Princess Islansardi’s Tea Party – This was a true tea party where each guest was a different type of fairy. My daughter and I were gnomes. You were given some background story and then role played as you worked together to find the missing princess. The group that sponsored this also has a kid LARP(live action role playing) where kids search for dragon eggs. My daughter wants to do that one next year,

WW – Newspaper

newspaper ad in Indianapolis

Another picture from Indianapolis. It’s an attention grabber for sure.

Gen Con Wrap Up

It has been 11 days since Gen Con 2014 or if you prefer to look at it this way – 336 days util Gen Con 2015. Either way it is time for my Gen Con wrap up or debriefing where I will spill all the details I remember ten days later with very few notes.

Gaming

For a gaming convention, I did very little gaming. I had signed up for a few games but missed all of them. *sad face* But I do have a few demos..

Krosmasters Arena – This battle game features some of the cutest chibi figures. I have almost bought this game on several occasions, so knew I wanted to give it a try at Gen Con. The basics of the game is straightforward: be the last one standing. You chose your character to do battle in the arena. Use your special skills to knock out the competition. For the most part, you defend and attack the same way – with a roll of the dice. So this game has adorable characters and dice! Did I really have any other option but to love this game?

We didn’t pick this up at the Con as we were tight on space but did order it when we got home.

Oh Gnome you don’t! We saw this gem at the Gut Bustin’ Games booth.. There was also a life-sized version of the game being hosted. In fact, I saw the life-sized version first and was instantly intrigued. Later we ran across the booth and had to stop. Basically you’re a gnome collecting gems. Sell your gems and keep them away from other players. While hanging out at the booth, several people commented their family loved this game. We didn’t buy this one because I couldn’t find their booth again. This is why it is very important to haul around the program guide with you everywhere. Maps are super helpful.

Life sized Oh Gnome you Don't game at Gen Con 2014

Redneck Life is also from Gut Bustin’ Games. Think The Game of Life but with redneck couture. You roll for your name and occupation. Life events happen like your first home, first divorce, first car – but with a redneck twist. Who knew your dream home would come with a blue tarped roof? Irreverently funny. Must buy this.

Lost Legacy – AEG’s game that is similiar to Love Letter was one of our favorite finds. It’s a card game where your hand size is one card. Draw a card and then play a card. Try to stay in the game and find the Lost Legacy card.

Trekking the National Parks – I didn’t see this game demoed but did see the guy with a backpack and a little Kickstarter flag leaving flyers about the game. Sadly I missed the Kickstarter and should have practiced due diligence and checked it out way sooner because I love this concept and will be looking for this one in the future.

Seminars

I did attend a few seminars on writing and from game companies. The information I got from these will probably be what I remember most from Gen Con. The seminars were informative and overall fun. I will do more of these next year.

Anime

The anime film festival saved us. There was a good mix of anime for all ages. My daughter was able to watch a few while we rested. This was held at the Westin Hotel, so it was quieter than the convention center and way less crowded. It was a nice change of pace around 5:00 in the afternoon while we waited for others to finish their scheduled events.

Cosplayers

Many, many people in costume. Fun to watch the cosplayer’s parade even if it was by accident. I had no idea there was a parade until I saw all the people just standing around waiting for it to begin. I got stopped from making progress to an event by the parade and had to watch it.

Exhibit Hall

The exhibit hall was huge! I didn’t see it all or even half. Next time I will spend more time here and watch(take part) in more demos at the booths.

Overall our first Gen Con was a lot of fun for everyone. All in our party are ready to do it again. Bring on the planning for GenCon 2015!

WW – Downtown Indianapolis

ww_Indianapolis_827

From our recent trip to Gen Con. Downtown Indianapolis is beautiful.

Gen Con Debriefing

gencon

We have been home for a few days from Gen Con and still have yet to recover. Very little is unpacked, and we go back to work Monday. Boo hiss!! But we had a GREAT time! Those four days weren’t nearly long enough, and Hermoine’s time turner would have been a huge help to make it to some events. I have a few blog posts in mind that I hope to have written within the next week. There was so much inspiration at Gen Con that I think I have enough project and ideas to keep me busy until July(Gen Con 2015!).

I think we are finally recovering from all the travel so I hope to get to my post Gen Con blogging within a day or so.

Gen Con Bound!

Well..almost. Only one more week until we head out for Gen Con. We have a few stops along the way but we will start our trek Saturday. I can’t believe it is finally here. We bought our tickets back in January and I have been planning for months for this. So why is it that I feel so unprepared?

Packing for a convention is different than just packing for vacation. We will arrive early at the convention center and leave rather late. So there will be no running back to the hotel since it is too far away. Whatever we might need, we will have to take with us. I have been gathering travel sizes of everything: deodorant, shampoo, body wash. Some of these items we will be taking with us to the convention center since I know the venue will be full of people, and it is bound to be warm at least part of the day. Feeling fresh is a great energizer since there are a lot of board games to play, there will be little time for sleep.

This is our first year, and our 8-year-old is coming with us. She will need some entertainment for the long days. There are many kids events that she will be doing. During the down time, we hope to visit the dealer’s room a lot as well as the spouses’ craft room.

I will share my Gen Con planning this week, and then after Gen Con I will have a lessons learned post as a follow up. Right now even though I feel unprepared, I think it is just nerves. Gen Con is almost here, and I have to trust that the month’s of prep work are going to be enough.

Trash Can Bags

Scenario: It’s hour three of operation Clean House. Your last task is the garbage. The end is in sight. You pack down the trash into the bag, remove it from the can, and then spend the next ten minutes looking for the trash bags.

Don’t let this happen to you!

Here is a simple tip that I picked up watching the cleaning crew at one of my former jobs. When you empty a garbage can, before lining it with a new trash bag, place a few bags in the bottom of the can. Next time you empty the trash, there is a new trash bag waiting right there. After a cleaning marathon, it’s nice to find a little nice gesture you have done for yourself that will get you finished with housework just a little faster.

trash_can

Look! Garbage cans! and so convenient.