At the beginning of November, I had the opportunity to sign up for and try ClassPass, the monthly fitness class membership. You can sign up for unlimited classes near you offered from a variety of studios, and for only $99 a month.
The user experience is very slick. When you sign up, you see a site similar to the one pictured above. It lets you sign up for classes, learn about studios, and see the classes you’ve already taken. Once you sign up for a class, you have the opportunity to add it to your Google Calendar, and it sends you a reminder email with any important info you’ll need to know before the class begins. This is great for when you’re trying new workouts–it tells you the type of clothing to wear, and if you need to bring anything special with you.
I had grand plans of exercising daily with ClassPass, but I was out of town for the second half of the month and busy prepping for my trips before that. Because of this, I only attended 4 classes. However, I loved the classes I attended and learned a lot about my preferences thanks to ClassPass! The 4 classes included:
Barre3: My favorite go-to for barre classes. Still love it! It leaves me feeling renewed, relaxed, and energized.
Antigravity yoga: This was fun, but probably isn’t going to become a regular class for me. I enjoyed wrapping myself up in the aerial silks, but some of the positions left bruises and marks from the silks and hanging upside down for long periods of time just wasn’t really for me.
Power45: This is Flywheel’s version of Barre. The instructor definitely acts more like a spin instructor than the Barre3 instructors I’m used to: They’re loud, encouraging, and fast-paced instead of calm and relaxing. This class was tough but fun. I could see making this a regular part of my workout routine and constantly pushing myself to be able to hold the exercises for longer and do better. Bonus: Everyone in this class was SO nice. People started conversations with me before class started and everyone was positive and encouraging throughout and after the class.
Fly 45: I tried my first spin class and LOVED it. Thanks, Flywheel! It was tough and I was drenched with sweat and bright red, but the instructors was amazing and they keep you motivated and uplifted the whole time. I felt like I was dying, but in a fun way. That’s a thing, right? I look forward to doing more spin classes, as long as I don’t have anywhere I have to be immediately after. Like I said, you get drenched.
I would definitely recommend ClassPass to folks who want to try a lot of different fitness classes and have the time to go to enough to make the cost worth it. If you’re traveling for half the month like I was, it may not make a lot of sense, unless you’re going to another ClassPass city. If that’s the case, you can continue taking classes there!
If you want to try ClassPass yourself, visit classpass.com and get started! (If you have a fitness-loving friend, it also makes a great holiday gift. Get a month for each of you and schedule classes together for a built-in workout buddy!)
December is here, which means the ugly sweater parties are just around the corner. Just because you’re forced to wear a bright and “tacky” sweater doesn’t mean you can’t show off your geeky side! Break the ice and show off your fandom with these geeky sweaters. I’m guessing you’ll want to wear them long after the parties are over!
A Christmas Story Sweatshirt, $23.95 from Amazon.
Darth Vader sweater, $49.95 from UglyChristmasSweater.com.
Fargo Sweater, $85 from Mondo Tees.
Gremlins Sweater, $85 from Mondo Tees.
Home Alone Sweater, $39.99 from Amazon.
Laser Cat-Zillas Sweater, $48.95 from Amazon.
Olaf Sweater, $25.55 from Hot Topic.
Pizza Sweatshirt, $59 from Beloved.
Robot Sweater, $29.99 from Amazon.
Santasaurus Rex Sweater, $29.99 from Amazon.
Street Fighter Sweater, $43.58 from Yellow Bulldog.
ThinkGeek Ugly Sweater Hoodie, $29.99 from ThinkGeek.
Unicorn Sweatshirt, Starting at $18.50 from Amazon.
Video Game Santa Sweater, $29.99 from Amazon.
It’s that time again! Time to leave the comfort of your home and battle for deals. Or enjoy your family while pushing a couple quick buttons on your computer and supporting geeky businesses. Whichever.
Here are some of my fave sites that are offering deals for Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday/Whatever extra day they’re coming up with this year. Found a deal not listed or have your own geeky shop having a sale? Let us know in the comments! I’ll continue to add to the list over the weekend!
Amazon: Approximately one bajillion various Black Friday deals.
BlackMilk: 20% off selected gear until 12/2 at 1pm PT.
Brit.co: 30% off your purchase through 12/1.
Danielle Robbins: 15% off with code OHHEY15 from 11/28-12/2.
Dark Horse Digital: 50% off your entire webstore order (with a $20 minimum). Good December 1 only!
Espionage Cosmetics: 25% off their online store from 11/28-11/30.
Femmecraft: 20% off with code PAINTITBLACK.
Geeky Hostess: 25% off your entire order with code HOLIDAY through 12/1.
Her Universe: 60% off select items, free Boba Fett holiday pin with orders of $25+.
Hot Topic: All tees $10, 25% off everything on the site, 3 Pop! Vinyl Figures for $30.
The Humble Penguin: Free US Shipping with code BLACKFRIDAY2014 through 11/30, or 20% off with code CYBERMONDAY2014 through 12/2.
Job Hunters: 20% off all merch from 11/28-12/1!
Jordan Dene: 40% off everything with code EPICSALE2014.
Jump From Paper: Up to 30% off with code JFPBLACKFRIDAY through 12/1.
Kelly Moore: $30 off any bag with code BLACKFRIDAY from 11/28-12/1.
Len Peralta: Custom drawn holiday greeting cards on sale.
Marvel: 20% off your purchase with code MARVELTHANKS. (Friday only.)
Matthew J. Fletcher: 20% off all original art, Buy 2 get 1 free prints, and more until 11/30.
ModCloth: 50% off 100s of new arrivals until 11/30 at 10am PT.
Monkey Minion Press: Free item with purchase of $5 or more.
Penny Arcade: Various specials and new items throughout the holiday season!
Punished Props: 50% off all digital content Friday-Monday.
Spiffing Jewelry: 15% off with everything with code BLACKFRIDAY15. (Friday only.)
Steam: “Exploration Sale” from 12/26-2/2.
ThinkGeek: Save up to 30% with code ELFINSALE until 11:59pm PT 11/29.
Threadless: All tees $12 and free shipping with code BLACKFRIDAY14 through 11/28.
WeLoveFine: 25% off all t-shirts with code BLACKFRIDAY25. (Ends 11:59pm PT 11/29.)
Last week, I spent some time in beautiful Victoria, BC to work with an amazing fundraising project. Desert Bus For Hope was a week-long livestreamed event where people play the game Desert Bus while doing challenges, auctioning off awesome games, collectibles, and crafts, and talking with various geek celebrities. It was my first time at the event, and in addition to handling media relations, I got to spend some time on the livestream.
Things get weird at Desert Bus. Memes and traditions are formed quickly, and it took me a while to learn all of the inside references from previous years. But, they did their best to educate me with various hazings. Without further ado, here are some of the moments I was on the Desert Bus stream.
(Special thanks to Andrew Ferguson for all of the photos, and the Video Strike Team for cataloging and creating the individual video segments!)
Andrew needed to take some “hairography” pics for a challenge, so I volunteered as Tribute.
Desert Bus folks attempt to haze me by “taking me to the store” but I pass by not laughing throughout the run of the video. It’s one of the more difficult things I’ve done.
I got to drive the bus for a bit during one of the many Caramelldansen moments, so I danced along in my seat. I’d try to explain the Angler Fish mask and hats, but it’s Desert Bus. Just go with it.
While at Desert Bus, an infomercial I modeled for a year ago ended up playing on a tv just offscreen from all the action. I come on-screen to explain the infomercial and what it’s like modeling, then lead folks in a walk-off.
The next day, the chat challenged me and Serge to a Zoolander-style walk-off. James comes in at the end and wins the whole thing.
James may have won, but I still got a sweet Blue Steel gif out of it!
As the bakers of the group, Kate Stark and I are tasked with creating a “cake” with a kit of edible modeling clay. We decide to make the Desert Bus 8 logo.
As I prepare to leave, I get hazed one final time: Tally, Kathleen, and Ashley “take me to the gay bar”. It’s a wonderful, wonderful moment.
I mean, there’s nothing better than being fed fruit while beautiful ladies dance up on you and smell your hair. Right?
And last but not least, check out our segment on NPR, where you can hear a small bit of me doing Karaoke for one of the first and last times of my life.
All in all, it was a bizarre and magical experience that resulted in more than $630,000 raised for Child’s Play. I’m honored to be involved, and can’t wait for next year!
Cakes Cove makes cakes, chocolates, and other goodies to fit any fandom/party. I’m in love with their life-size R2-D2 cake, their gorgeous chocolate dragon eggs, and their zombie virus rock candy. Ok, that’s a lie. I love everything they make.
I got to try some of the espresso chocolate they make while at Desert Bus, and it’s delicious and caffeinated. If you’re looking for a sweet treat for your party or a gift, you want to reach out to Cakes Cove. (They do custom orders as well!) Visit them at CakesCove.com!
One advantage of being at Desert Bus For Hope is that I get to see the awesome auction items in person. And after I saw the treats from Rocky Mountain Cookies, I couldn’t stop thinking about them. I’ve entered all the drawings and bid on the auctions. I need more of the cookies in my life.
You see, these cookies are gorgeous. And not only do they look great, but they taste amazing (and I’m not even a big sugar cookie person). The star cookie above is cinnamon roll flavored with cream cheese icing, and the cookie with the Child’s Play logo is a sugar cookie with orange blossom-flavored icing. I ate them both back to back.
Rocky Mountain Cookies will create custom cookies for you, which means no matter what your party theme, gift idea, or favorite geekdom is, they can make it happen. And they’re going to be SO GOOD. So good, you guys.
Check them out at rocky-mountain-cookies.com and say “Thanks” to them for helping support Child’s Play through Desert Bus For Hope!
I am so flattered and thrilled to announce that I am this week’s geek. Yes, I now have my own “Geek a Week” trading card, and can be found in a pack of 52 with other amazing people like Amanda Palmer, Clark Gregg, Patrick Rothfuss, George RR Martin, and Seth Green.
In addition to these amazing images, you can hear my podcast interview and see a speed drawing of my card here. Check out the rest of the geeks and find out how you can get your own pack of cards at geekaweek.net!
Starting at 10am today, I’ll be hanging with a whole bunch of people playing “Desert Bus”, the “worst game ever.” It’s a real-time simulation of driving from Tucson to Vegas–an extremely boring stretch of desert that takes 8 hours to complete. As long as people keep donating money, our drivers will keep on driving. And while that’s happening, auctions, call-ins, challenges, and other shenanigans will be happening in the same room.
The event is a fundraiser for Child’s Play, and has already raised almost $1.8 million in the 7 years it’s run. Last year alone raised over half a million.
You can watch it all happen via livestream at DesertBus.org. I’ll be handling press throughout the week, which means you’ll see me pop in on camera here and there. Check it out, throw a donation our way, or try to win one of the amazing live auction, silent auction, or giveaway items (including a bunch of handmade geeky crafts!).
I hope to see you tuned in this week!
Looking for a great gift, a fun item for your bookshelf, or just something to snuggle next time you’re watching your fave horror flick? You’ve gotta check out these plushies from Killin’ Me Softly. Andrea, the designer, uses her love of horror films and Disney villains to create these plush creatures. Who would have thought that Freddy Krueger would look so adorable as a doll? Above, you’ll also see her Poison Ivy, Beetlejuice and Lydia, and Daria and Jane. She takes custom orders as well, which means your favorite obscure character can finally be created in doll form!
The plush dolls are $20 each with price breaks for sets that come with multiple dolls. You can see all of the dolls available on Etsy.
Have you only been eating one breakfast, like a boring human? Chris-Rachael Oseland‘s new book, An Unexpected Cookbook, will get you enjoying breakfast, second breakfast, AND elevensees before you know it.
The book is full of well-researched recipes that fit into the time period and world that Tolkien created. This results in a collection of comforting recipes with whole food ingredients, and pictures and recipes of breads and pies that make me drool.
Inside An Unexpected Cookbook, you’ll find:
- Recipes structured around the Hobbit meals of Breakfast, Second Breakfast, Elevenses, Luncheon, Afternoon Tea, Dinner, and Supper
- All recipes researched by an actual historian and based on the time and region of England that inspired the Shire
- All historical recipes then edited around the limitations Tolkien placed on the Shire to make them fully Hobbit-accurate. (So no new world foods other than coffee, tobacco, and potatoes)
- 50 full page photos of food porn
- Footnotes to help people with dietary restrictions and an appendix to make finding those recipes easier
- 11 Paleo/Primal friendly recipes
- 19 Gluten Free friendly recipes
- 20 Vegan friendly recipes (which happen to be kosher and halal)
- 40 Vegetarian friendly recipes (including the vegan ones)
This book, which will come out just in time for your holiday feast or gift-giving occasion, can be pre-ordered for $19.95 on Etsy. Your pre-order will be signed AND come with a bonus poster!
Will you be picking up the book? And how many breakfasts do you have on a normal day?