Text Adventure Party

Text Adventure Activities Last week, I gathered some of my gaming-loving friends together for a Text Adventure Party. Yes, a party based on those text adventure games from the 80’s. The activities of the night centered around playing Parsely, a live-action game based on the text adventures. We started with Action Castle, which is their recommended beginning game, and ended up graduating onto some actual text adventure games on our main computer (including one Mr. Geek whipped up that focused on the players going through the rooms in our home!). Want to throw your own Text Adventure Party? Take a look below for pics and tips!

Activities
As mentioned above, you’ll want to get your hands on at least one Parsely game (they’re available online for only $5 each!). If your friends are experienced with text adventures, you may end up going through more than one.

Want to make your own text adventure game like Mr. Geek? You can use Quest, a free online program that makes it super easy!

Decor
Print out descriptions of your rooms in the text-adventure style. If you want that old-school font, use Press Start 2P. Mr. Geek wrote ours, as you could probably tell from the description of the kitchen, above. Don’t forget to label your food items as well!

I continued with the retro gaming theme with these fun Space Invaders drink markers and integrated some bright colors to match up with the Mountain Dew Bar.

Food
Food and drink is my favorite part of any theme party, and it’s the part I give the most attention to. I wanted to take nostalgic gamer food and make it a bit more “grown up.” I did this by creating a Mountain Dew bar with a variety of mix-ins, baking my classic Mountain Dew cupcakes, and making homemade Cool Ranch Doritos and Hot Pockets. They were a hit!

Mountain Dew BarI chose mix-ins I thought would be delicious with Mountain Dew and would allow my guests to make their own versions of Mountain Dew “Code Red”. What else should I include for my next Mountain Dew bar? Let me know in the comments!

Mountain Dew CupcakesI revamped the Mountain Dew Cupcakes frosting recipe a bit by adding in some orange flavoring in addition to the lemon and lime. It tasted much more like Mountain Dew!

Doritos and Hot Pockets Cool Ranch Doritos
I had never fried my own chips before, but it was much easier than I expected. These chips were being munched on all night, and guests seemed to love them! They’ll turn out a bit thicker and greasier than your average CRD, but they’re pretty tasty. I used a recipe from Macheesmo.com and it was fantastic. Sure, eating Doritos straight out of the bag is easier, but these are cheaper, most likely somewhat healthier, and MUCH more impressive to have at or bring to a party.

Homemade Hot Pockets
Homemade Hot Pockets are pretty much just tiny calzones. Tiny, delicious, rectangular calzones. The ingredients you put inside are all interchangeable based on your tastes; I went for a classic Pepperoni Pizza Hot Pocket experience.

Ingredients:

  • Uncooked pizza dough (I made mine from hand with the instructions off of a packet of Pizza yeast, you can also buy some pre-made dough from the store.)
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Thin-sliced pepperoni, diced (I used around 30 pieces)
  • Seasonings to taste (I used a dash of oregano and dried red pepper flakes)
  • 1 egg
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prep a cookie sheet with a quick spray of cooking oil.

Divide your pizza dough into 16 equal sections and roll them into their own individual balls.

Roll the balls out as thin as you can while still maintaining some structure (around 1/8 inch thick). Keep in mind that the dough will fluff up considerably!

Mix the sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, and seasonings together in a small bowl to make the filling. Using a small spoon, scoop out a bit of the filling and place it in the middle of the rolled out dough.

Using a burrito-method, fold in the sides of the pizza dough and roll it up to create a small hot pocket-shape. Press the edges lightly with your fingers to make sure everything is closed tightly together.

Carefully place the “hot pocket” onto the cookie sheet. Continue with the 15 others.

Whisk one egg, and brush the egg onto the tops of the hot pockets. (This will give it that browned top). Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool slightly (we all know what happens when you bite into a hot pocket first thing!) and serve!

Any other suggestions for hosting a text adventure party? Leave them in the comments!

Nintendo Cartridge Jewelry

NES Jewelry

 

Etsy shop OhMyGeekness has come out with the cutest little pieces of nostalgia: NES cartridge jewelry. The pieces range in price from $14-45, with most items around $16. In addition to NES, she’s got N64, Xbox 360, PS1, and PS2 cartridges, and a variety of cute geeky and game-related characters and references. These would make a perfect inexpensive and unique gift!

Check out the full selection at Etsy.com.

Home Decor Inspired by Doctor Who

Saturday’s episode of Doctor Who (Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS) was my favorite of the season so far. As the title would indicate, we got to explore a bit more of the inside of the TARDIS, and included in that is a grand library with a few fun items. I personally would love to incorporate the feel of that library and these items into my own home decor!

Encylopedia GallifryGallifreyan encylopedias house verbal stories and facts in bottles, and they look amazing on a shelf. This forum is currently discussing the bottles and where to get them to make your own encyclopedia. If you don’t care if it’s the same bottle, then just get enough of the same bottle to fill your shelf, print out your own labels, and stick them on with some spray adhesive or rubber cement. You can go above and beyond by sticking a small recording device in the top of some of the bottles: when you remove the top and press “play” your own recorded history can begin spouting out, just with less purple smoke.

Doctor Who - Series 7B

I fell in love with this grand book and book stand when I saw it. Although we can’t purchase the book (yet–give it time, I’m sure it’ll be made), we can take the idea of putting our books on display and run with it. Find an old book that means something to you, and find an area of your house where you can display it prominently on a stand. Can’t find a giant gold book stand like the one in the episode? Look for cookbook holders. They’re often intricate, pretty, fairly inexpensive, and just take up a bit of room on a countertop. I have an antique one I bought a few years back, but Amazon.com has some antique-looking ones available for under $30 each. I recommend this one and this one.

Really want the look of the Time War book? Etch the shape and designs into clay, bake it, then adhere it to a fake leather-bound journal. Voila!

What elements of Doctor Who and the TARDIS would you incorporate into your home?

EMP’s Fantasy Exhibit

Tara Throne

If you find yourself in Seattle, you’ve gotta check out the EMP Museum’s new Fantasy exhibit. This exhibit is the third and final part of their permanent exhibit’s redesign that focuses on exploring our hopes, fears, and dreams. Our hopes are found in the Sci-Fi exhibit,  our fears in the Horror exhibit, and now our dreams can live in the Fantasy exhibit.

I had the pleasure of checking out the exhibit and partaking in opening night festivities this past Friday, and I had a great time! (I swear, I didn’t have to fight anyone to win a seat atop this throne!)

EMP Fantasy

The exhibit itself was well laid out with beautiful features like straw on the floor, metal sheeting on an in-exhibit house, a dragon’s cage (complete with dragon with glowing eyes and a nice soft purr!), and fun secret areas kids or small adults can climb through.

The movie/tv props all look amazing in person–I was impressed with the quality of the weapons and  costumes and enjoyed seeing items from The Princess Bride, Xena, Snow White and the Huntsman, Harry Potter, and many others, up close. I also loved seeing the hand written manuscripts and notes from J.R.R. Tolkien, and the comparison of a page from George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” with the same scene in script form for the show “Game of Thrones.”

In addition to props and artifacts, the exhibit teaches people more about the Fantasy genre, and allows you to complete interactive activities like building your own map. (For those interested, you can then save and print out your map to take home!)

You can find out more about the exhibit and the museum as a whole at EMPMuseum.org. Check it out! (And while you’re there, make sure you also check out the sci-fi and horror exhibits. They’re all extremely well done.)

Friday Favorites: April 26

Friday Fave 4-26

Happy Friday! Here are some things that have caught my eye this past week:

Favorite Kickstarter: The World’s Worst Dungeon Crawl
I had the pleasure of doing some D&D-style improv with Bill Cavalier (also known as Dungeon Bastard), and it was some of the most fun I’ve ever had improvising. This guy was cracking me up! He just launched a Kickstarter for a hilariously bad RPG titled “The World’s Worst Dungeon Crawl,” and you know you all want in. Check it out here!

Favorite Recipe: Black Bean Chili
I made this recipe for myself and the writers of season two of Job Hunters (maybe if I bribe them enough, Tiffany will come back?), and it’s delicious! It’s vegetarian, good for you, and fantastic if you serve it with some tortilla chips. Yum!

Favorite Event: EMP’s Quest: Fantasy Exhibit Opening Adventure
I’m so psyched for the opening night party for EMP’s new fantasy exhibit tonight. Mr. Geek and I will be there checking out the exhibit, watching sword fighting and archery, sampling mead, cider, and butterbeer, meeting the new giant dragon built for the exhibit, and getting our photo taken atop the Iron Throne. Tickets may still be available here. Can’t make it out? Be on the lookout for a post in the future talking about the event and the exhibit!

(Least) Favorite Activity: Car Shopping
My car died over the weekend, which meant my week has mostly consisted of canceling meetings and looking for a new car. On the bright side? I’ve learned a lot about cars in the process. And re-learned a lot about public transportation. Use my misery as a reminder to take good car of your vehicle. Get it checked, give it a nice lil hug, and make sure all of your important documents are filed and organized for if and when you might need them. And then wish me luck on the car hunt.

Here’s hoping next week involves acquiring transportation and having time to find more favorites! What have you been loving this week?

Free Digital Comics from Dark Horse

50 free comics

Dark Horse Digital is celebrating its two-year anniversary, and in addition to adding more products to their site, they’ve put 50 of their titles’ first issues online for free. You can pick and choose your favorites, or download the entire bundle. I’m personally excited to read Axe Cop, Buffy, The Guild, and The Massive.

Hurry–the titles are only free until tomorrow (Friday) at 9am PDT!

Decorate with Octopi

What is it with geeks and octopi? Is it the relation to Cthulu? Kraken? Steampunk? Just huge fans of Ursula? Or maybe the sea in general? Anyway, whatever it is, octopi + geeks = true love. So I was thrilled to see all of these items appear in Pottery Barn’s spring line. Outfit your whole house with octopi!

Octopus Serving Pedestal
Octopus Serving Pedestal
Display a fancy cake or a new bottle of Kraken on this awesome serving pedestal. This is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while, and will definitely stand out at your next party!
$89.00 at PotteryBarn.com.

Octopus Salt and Pepper Cellars
Salt & Pepper
Salt and Pepper shakers are out–whatever this is is in. Allow this fierce-looking octopus to guard your salt and pepper!
$24.50 at PotteryBarn.com.

Octopus Bottle Stopper
Octopus Bottle Stopper
This cute lil guy is the perfect addition to a gift of wine for the octopus-lover in your life. Plus, it instantly turns your bottle into an item you can display!
$16.50 at PotteryBarn.com.

Are you an octopus-lover? Let me know what you think the correlation to geek culture is down in the comments!

Tara’s Daily Makeup Routine

OneUpMakeup posted my daily makeup tutorial today, so I’m sharing it all with you!

Disclaimer: I’m a dork, and not a makeup guru by any means. There’s a reason why I’m usually the model, not the person applying the makeup!

Here is the makeup I used in the video:

Clinique Moisture Surge in shades 02 and 03
Clinique Almost Powder in shade 03
Urban Decay Urban Camouflage in shade Jungle Cover #2
Benefit Fake Up in shade 01 Light
Stila Naturaleyes Palette (shades Kitten, Champagne, Gilded Gold, and Luster)
Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in Black
Maybelline Full ‘n Soft Mascara in Very Black
Philosophy Kiss Me Very Emollient Lip Balm in Red

What makeup product, tool, or technique do you live by?

Dungeon-Building Dice Set

f3c4_adventurer_dungeon-building_dice_set

GMing a campaign and the players have decided to deviate off the set path? Need some fresh ideas on how to layout a dungeon? Want to play an impromptu campaign out and about and don’t have your notes with you? Grab these dice!

The dungeon-building dice set allows you to roll to put together a dungeon map. The five dice included in the set are all different, but all connect with each other through two separate pathways. I’m down for any excuse to roll more dice!

You can find them for $19.99 at ThinkGeek.com.