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It’s the Most BUSIEST time of the Year…

Public Service Announcement: If you are not done having children, please try to make a conscious effort to spread out their birthdays. Our boys’ birthdays are barely 3 weeks apart on the calendar. Between them and the abnormally high number of other family birthdays in August, I’ve been insanely busy. It’s my own fault for insisting on doing their parties mostly DIY. The things I do for love, huh? Once they’re both past the age of 5, combined parties every year from then on!

At the same time that motherhood duties kicked into overdrive, I finally got some callbacks on Upwork, where I peddle my Virtual Assistant services. I couldn’t very well turn down potential income with the holiday season right around the corner now, could I? Of course not. Did I also mention the revolving door of family visitors that we simply can’t avoid around “birthday season”? My house has been a zoo, a love-filled zoo.

blerdymomma and little man bean bag chair 2

Unfortunately, this has all left me with zero time to update Blerdy Momma. :'( I haven’t been able to draft new posts or edit pictures to share, and my camera is collecting dust with pictures from San Japan still in it. Please rest assured that once all the buzz settles down, I will be back at it. The best way to keep up with me right now is via Instagram where I still manage to post periodically.

A thousand apologies for my impromptu absence. It should all be over soon. I can’t wait to be back. And if you happen to have any suggestions on how I can improve my time management, email me at blerdymomma(at)gmail(dot)com!

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3 Indie Game Projects I’m Looking Forward To

We love going to conventions and finding out about games coming from indie developers who aren’t ever going to get Fallout 4 level media coverage. Honestly, nowadays I feel like these guys are more likely to have an original game idea, and I’m a sucker for new things. Mainstream gaming (and Hollywood, for that matter) seem to be more focused on generating cash cow sequels to established franchises than innovating brand new concepts. And while I DO await Final Fantasy XV with bated breath, it would just be refreshing to play something I haven’t encountered before while I wait. So, here are 3 indie developer gaming projects I can’t wait to see released.:

Random Encounters indie game
image courtesy regularpeoplegaming.com
  • Random Encounters– I visited the vendor table for this card game at Classic Game Fest. The character art caught my attention. This game is played co-op style and the goal is to survive 3 levels with the aid of loot and the luck of your dice roll. Visit their website for a detailed tutorial video and PDF copy of the rule book. According to their Kickstarter, the game is expected to arrive stateside within the next month!
  • Color Thief– I saw gameplay footage of this fun little gem at Pax South 2016 and was absolutely fascinated! Navigating the world by moving color? I’m an adorable chameleon? Puzzles? Sign me up! My only worry is that it’s a PC game, and my laptop is not powered up for gaming. DJ008 can always use an excuse to build a new machine, though. Now, do I preorder one copy or two??
  • Divinia Chronicles: Relics of Gan-Ti– Some random web surfing found me on the website for this game, and the music they have playing in the background reminded me of exploring a Final Fantasy game (specifically, IX, but anyway…). Now I’m a band geek at heart and my love for a well-done soundtrack is what got me into gaming, so I had to check this out. The artwork and graphics hit me with a dose of nostalgia and the story premise did too. It’s supposed to be out on Steam this December, but check out their trailer in the meantime.

Which little-known games are you following? Or are you working on a game that you want people to hear about? Shoot me an email (blerdymomma (at) gmail (dot) com) and let’s talk!

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Little Man Predicts Summerslam

Becky Nattie Eva Carmella Naomi Alexa Summerslam
image courtesy wwe.com

This month I thought it would be fun to let my soon-to-be-4 year old make the WWE pay per view predictions. He’s a boy of few words, and strong convictions. I asked him about each match interview-style, and here’s what he had to say:

  • Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton- Randy Orton
  • Finn Bálor vs. Seth Rollins to crown the first WWE Universal Champion- Finn Balor

    finn balor seth rollins summerslam
    image courtesy wwe.com
  • WWE World Champion Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler- Dean Ambrose
  • John Cena vs. AJ Styles- AJ Styles
  • U.S. Champion Rusev vs. Roman Reigns- Roman Reigns
  • WWE Women’s Champion Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte- Charlotte
  • WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day vs. Gallows & Anderson- Gallows & Anderson
  • Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Chris Jericho & Kevin Owens- Chris Jericho & Kevin Owens
  • Intercontinental Champion The Miz vs. Apollo Crews- Apollo crews
  • Cesaro vs. Sheamus- Sheamus
  • Carmella, Becky Lynch & Naomi vs. Natalya, Eva Marie & Alexa Bliss- Natalya, he very specifically said just Natalya.

Little Man was very sure about all of these predictions. In some cases he told me that he liked one participant in the match, but still expected the other to win. Time to hop on the Network and see if he’s right! How YOU doin’??

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Classic Game Fest, part 3: My goodies

Are you tired of hearing me talk about Classic Game Fest yet? I just had so much fun that weekend. I promise this is the last edition in the series. I just want you to see the rest of my haul. Beyond the video games and the nerdcore music, we found some pretty sweet baubles.

Ok, ok. I’ll stop talking about Classic Game Fest now. I’m not sure that we’ve ever spread $200 so far outside of a grocery store. San Japan is right around the corner this coming Labor Day weekend. I wonder how much trouble we can get into there this year.

But check out this other cool stuff we saw!

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Shared Post: When Does Choice Become a Gimmick in Video Games?

This blog post about choice in video games caught my attention because it mentioned Final Fantasy XIII in the first sentence. And the author is 100% correct. I hated how linear FF XIII was! So much so that I truly do not understand why it was such a sensation or how it warranted a sequel.

I feel like choice is important to my enjoyment of a game. But, I don’t need my choices to determine the entire ending to feel relevant. Who else found entertainment in Final Fantasy VII when your conversation choices decided who you went on the date with at the Golden Saucer? Or when your performances decided your look to “infiltrate” Don Corneo’s mansion? The main storyline didn’t change, but that little nugget still makes it fun. Either way, I feel like choice may or may not add to a game; but the absence of it is definitely a detriment to my experience.

Anyone who has played Final Fantasy XIII knows how much it sucks to have choice taken from you in a video game. Sure, we all love linear games like Super Mario and Zelda, and story-based games like the Final Fantasy series *cough*mostly*cough*, but having the ability to impact the future of your game? Oooh, that’s […]

via When Does Choice Become a Gimmick in Video Games? — Pop Culture Uncovered

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6 Nerdcore Artists I Hope You’ve Already Heard Of

nerdcore music haul

I could’ve just named this post “Classic Game Fest: Music Haul”,  but this title sounded more fun. One of My favorite things about Classic Game Fest is the fact that there are musical acts on the sound stage all day long. With the convention being hosted all in one large room, this means I get to blerd out to a soundtrack. As a musician, I love the moments when everyone hears a familiar game tune and there’s just a collective, nostalgic happiness.

Nerdcore is a genre of hip hop music characterized by themes and subject matter considered to be of general interest to nerds.”~ Wikipedia

For the record, I don’t consider the term “nerdcore” to be limited to hip-hop style, but that’s just my interpretation. At Classic Game Fest, we got to meet and listen to a great line up of artists. We made it a point to support our favorites by visiting their booths and buying their music. All of them were super cool and down to earth. We’re all nerds, after all! If you are looking for something new to listen to when you get tired of *insert craptastic pop song here*, check these guys out.

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Bitforce– This rock trio always puts on a high energy show. This was my second or third time seeing them live and they have a great sound.

Aramis– Game Fest was my first encounter with this rapper, but he was absolutely hilarious and chill. Check out his song “RageQuit” on the Sleight of Hand album.

1-UP Creative Mindframe–  This guy (real name: Emmanuel) was pretty cool and we talked to him at length about music. He had a little listening station set up at his booth which DJ008 enjoyed and it turns out he plays saxophone too. We picked up a cd after his set.

Tekforce– Funny story: Tekforce had his laptop hooked up to the sound system playing his background tracks and it died halfway through a song. Two of the other nerdcore artists present hopped up on stage and beatboxed so he could finish the song. It was hilarious and also impressive! Easily the second coolest moment on the sound stage. (Yes, Tekforce, I’m telling everybody.)

Doug Funnie– We missed part of his set, but his song about Psycho Mantis was what stuck with me most. I’ve spent many hours watching DJ008 play through most of the Metal Gear Solid series.

Megaran– So the coolest thing we saw happen on the sound stage was when Megaran did a freestyle using random fan-presented objects for his lyrical inspiration. If you only have 10 minutes, listen to “Infinite Lives” and “Cry of the Planet”. They’re definitely my favorites.

Honorable mention: Victim Cache– Ok. I don’t think we actually saw this band’s performance. But their booth was along with all the other artists and what caught my attention was the tapes stacked on their table. As in those things that music came on after 8-tracks but before CDs. Yes. They had them. And they had adorable cover art on them. They also had EPs (the little LPs)! Fret not, they include digital downloads so you can still listen to the music like a modern human being. But Victim Cache gets an honorable mention just for being creative, and I will at least give these a listen. DJ008 does actually have a set of turntables.

So there you have it. We spent a lot of time hanging out in front of the sound stage at Classic Game Fest. And if you saw my post about my Games Haul, you know that we are still within the $200 budget that we set for the weekend. Impressed? I sure was! Now go check out all these amazing artists and tell me your favorite songs!

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Classic Game Fest, part 1: Games Haul

Classic Game Fest games haul

Classic Game Fest is an awesome two-day convention held in Austin annually to celebrate retro gaming culture in all it’s forms. There are no Xbox Ones or Alienware. Instead, there are Power Gloves and cartridges as far as the eye can see. And it’s a marvelous thing!

If you’re following me on Instagram, you got to see a bit of our family experience. It’s going to take me a series of posts to share all that Classic Game Fest had to offer. 🙂 So where do we start? With the games! DUH!

We made out like bandits considering we set a spending budget of $200 for Classic Game Fest. Now that doesn’t include leaving the con to eat and things like that. That was just money intended for shopping at the convention. And within that, we managed to score some awesome new peripherals and games (and much, much more; keep an eye out for future posts). Y’all know there is nothing I love more than a good deal. Take a look!CGF console peripherals haul

Peripherals

  1. NES Advantage- Can you say adjustable turbo? At $5, this thing was a steal!
  2. NES controller- We needed a second USB one after the kids got DJ008 one for Father’s day.
  3. SNES controller- Also USB connection. DJ008 is putting together a Hyperspin machine for our living room.
  4. XBox 360 remote- Our Xbox 360 lives in the guest room and spends more time as a Hulu viewer than a game console now, so it made sense to finally get a remote for it.CGF game haul

Video Games

  1. Star Ocean: The Second Story- You guys… I never finished this game. The copy I borrowed from a friend had a scratch on the first disk, so once I beat the boss at the end it was never able to finish the cut scene and load the second disc. That has bugged me to this day, but I never found this game at a low enough price to get it. FINALLY… THE BLERD WILL FINISH THE SECOND STORY!!!!
  2. Star Ocean Till the End of Time- This game was $8. I was not leaving it on the table.
  3. NBA Give ‘n Go- DJ008 picked this one. I don’t generally play sports games because I suck horribly at them and I’m ok with that.
  4. NARC- This cartridge is a port of the old 80’s arcade game. DJ008 picked this one too.
  5. Rad Racer- So now I’ll just admit that I didn’t actively get into gaming until Sega and Playstation. DJ008 picked all the NES stuff. I’ve just been slowly attempting to go back and pick up on things I missed.
  6. Driver- Grand Theft Auto without hookers!
  7. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell- DJ008 likes stealth games (MGS all day), but never got into Splinter Cell. Now is as good a time as any, I guess.
  8. Dance Dance Revolution DDRMax2- Candy is my jam… ’nuff said.

I think we got a good haul at Classic Game Fest, don’t you? Come back in a few days to see the nerdcore music, clothes, jewelry, and everything else we got in Austin!

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We went to Texas Comicon 2016

Texas Comicon was this weekend, and they have a military appreciation badge discount. Not gonna lie, Texas Comicon has been a disappointment in past years; so even though it’s only 10 minutes from our house, it’s always a toss up whether or not to attend each year. This year the website advertised Michael Dorn (Star Trek TNG Commander Worf) in attendance, so I figured we’d go for one day and get his autograph for my mom, the Trekkie Extraordinaire.

We decided to go on Friday after DJ008 got off work. Way to fail, Michael Dorn was already gone for the day when we got there. The hall was surprisingly empty, but then Texas Comicon has a habit of recruiting lackluster celebrities, and therefore drawing less than stellar crowds. Despite all that, I have noticed that the selection of vendors at Texas Comicon is usually very different from what other local cons have so it’s usually still worth going. This year, the vendors did not disappoint. They had great stuff at reasonable prices, and I walked away with several new trinkets to further inspire my blerddom. Little Man got to choose his first bauble, which he was very pleased with. He and Tiny Hulk both got badges at the door, too, which thrilled them to no end. Check out my spoils!

 

You probably noticed a tremendous lack of cosplay photos in this gallery. There were very few people actually cosplaying at the convention. I assume that’s because it was Friday and on Saturday there will be many more people in costume. We won’t be back to see it, though, since we’re going to Austin for Classic Gamefest instead.

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Shared post: WWE Battleground Recap

I forgot to have a second post ready this past week, so please hop on over to Pop Culture Uncovered and check out this smart recap of the last WWE pay per view, Battleground. I largely agree with Brett’s analysis, and look forward to Summerslam after the success of this show.

It’s been a crazy week since last Monday in the WWE Universe. It was capped off by a PPV (special event?) that was better than it had any right to be. With a handful of matches I would’ve expected at Summerslam, this event was the perfect mix of great wrestling action and promise for the […]

via WWE Battleground 2016 In Review — Pop Culture Uncovered

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Anime Tokyo Grand Re-Opening

You guys!!!! This past weekend I got to check out the new, larger location of a local anime shop! The kids stayed home to hang out with grandma so it was just DJ008 (my hubby) and I, but we’ll be back with them another day. The store is known to locals as Anime Tokyo, and it started out as a hole in the wall with anime rentals, manga, and fun figurines. I was excited even then because it’s on the west side of San Antonio, and stores catering to the anime nerd crowd just aren’t common over here.

It turns out, Anime Tokyo was hosting it official grand re-opening this past Saturday. We stopped by because the Facebook page was advertising Q&A panels, cosplay, and pizza. I’m down! I should’ve paid closer attention, because we got there early in the day and the stage was still being set up when we got there. Oh well.

We did get to see that Anime Tokyo has expanded to include T-shirts, Plushies, a viewing area with couches and tv, and a much better snack selection. We had to treat ourselves to some treats, of course. What I know my boys will love, though, is the awesome wall of gashapon! I’m going to get them a pile of tokens and let them go nuts starting a collection of capsule toys. As best I can tell, there was no longer a section for renting anime, but I imagine that in the age of Crunchyroll and Otaku-Streamers, renting anime probably wasn’t their biggest seller.

DJ008 and I didn’t get to stay long because we got a call saying that little man wasn’t feeling well. We grabbed our treats and went straight home. I was lucky enough to see a couple of amazing black girl cosplays before leaving, though. I wish I had asked them about potential Facebook pages to follow or something. I guess I’ll have to go back and hope I run into them again one day. In the meantime, go check out Anime Tokyo if you’re in San Antonio! And if you know of any other awesome shops in town, please do share!!!