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    The Mommy Gamers Podcast Episode 169: The Period Pack

    The Mommy Gamers Podcast Episode 169

    For Episode 169 of The Mommy Gamers Podcast Marcia and Carrie are excited to be back after a short break. The ladies are joined by guest host Krystal aka Overyacting, an awesome Mom and the Xbox General at the PMS Clan. As a huge fan of Cards Against Humanity Marcia just had to talk about the new Cards Against Humanity for Her deck. It’s the same deck you’d usually get, except the box is pink and it costs $5 more as a jab at the “Pink Tax”. If you’re not familiar with the Pink Tax, it basically represents the fact that women’s products on average cost about seven percent more than similar products marketed to men. You can enjoy the usual CAH quips and pick up that deck on their website here. They also now have a Period Pack of cards to add to your CAH deck. A collection of menstruation themed cards all written while the writers were on their periods. We will be reading those cards to you on Episode 170 of the podcast. You’re welcome!

    Speaking of flow (period jokes…we’ve got plenty) the gaming chat flowed heavily this episode. Mass Effect Andromeda, Friday the 13th: The Game, Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, ESO online, and Perception. You can read that review of Perception by Mike Robles on our site here. TV chat includes Wayward Pines, Nashville, Lucifer, Orange is the New Black, The Preacher, and Blood Drive. Guys…we had a LOT to talk about this week.

    Marcia is extra fired up about Twitch Affiliates getting a subscription button. Yes, we have a Twitch stream and you can stare at Marcia while she plays video games at www.Twitch.TV/TheMommyGamers if you’re into that sort of thing. You can also now use your Amazon Prime membership to subscribe to the channel for free!

    We also had some great listener questions! If you ever want us to answer your question on the podcast make sure to leave them for us here in the comments, or on our Facebook page.  This week we had some great questions about Twitch streamers that maybe reveal too much? Which then launched into a lively discussion about male Twitch streamers, like Scarfino, who also unfairly use their sexy beards to lure in viewers.

    Shout outs to our new Patreon supporters Derek Weber and Doughboyeeeee. If you are still reading this super long podcast description, love our show, and want to support us and get some fun rewards you can join our Patreon community here. Patreon supporters will be getting Carrie, Marcia, and Krystal reading 69 jokes as bonus content soon!

    And because you can never have too many links, as promised here is the Facebook link to Desirai’s new venture, Libri Labra

    Okay guys, that’s it for this pile of show notes. We will see you again in two weeks for a new episode. Enjoy, please share it around, and keep being awesome.

     

     

    10 Great Gifts For Your Geeky Mom

    Let her relax then drop the gift bombs


    This weekend is Mother’s Day weekend. If you don’t already have a gift planned for your mom you should probably get on that STAT. I’m sure your mom adores you and will appreciate anything you get her. However, if you’re ready to thank her BIG for all the years of teenage bullshit she put up with, please refer to the list below.

    *NOTE: This list is based on items I’ve personally owned, used, pine for, or had suggested to me by friends.

    1. Apple iPad Pro

    Your mom loves her iPhone but the screen is just too small for some games. The 9.7″ inch iPad Pro is perfect for such occasion and so much more. Be sure to get the one with lots of storage. You can never have too much storage space for games, music, photos and videos. The iPad Pro maxes out at 256GB which is more than enough.

    2. Apple iWatch 2

    Hatching PokemonGo eggs has never been more fun! She’ll also never miss another call, text, date or notification. It will track her activity, remind her to stand and help calm her mind with deep breathing exercises. There are even secret achievement events. Whaaaa? ‘Nough said.

    3. Apple Pencil (for iPad Pro)

    Not everyone wants or needs a stylus, but for those that already have an iPad Pro there’s this. It mimics the size and feel of a real pencil better that most styluses out on the market. I’ve been dying to take this for a spin in order to digitally practice handlettering– I mean… your mom.

    4. Eye-Vac Touchless Stationary Vacuum

    You know what part of sweeping sucks the most? Having to pick it up with the dust pan and dumping it in the garbage. The Eye-Vac Stationary Vacuum will save you that last step. Just sweep towards the mouth and it will automagically vacuum it up. No more back braking. No more dust, hair, and dirt in your face. You just gave your mom weeks, if not months of time back. There’s even a pet version available. She’s going to love it!

    5. HyperX Cloud Stinger Gaming Headset

    These babies are light weight, memory foam, with 90 degree rotating ear cups and 50mm directional drivers for audio precision. Games sound good. You sound good. At an affordable price point these are an excellent entry level gaming headset. However, they work for PC, Xbox One, PS4, Wii U, Mac and mobile. Buy these and save your mom from the guilt she’d feel when your little brother or puppy inevitably destroy them.

    6. Amazon Echo

    Let’s be honest, Amazon Prime has been God’s gift to online shoppers. The Amazon Echo is like Siri but better. Combine Echo and Prime and you have a personal assistant that plays music, adjusts your lights, reads you audiobooks, and will place Amazon orders when you run out of toilet paper. If you’re not ready to splurge on the Echo you can test the water with the Dot. Alexa, send Mom a Nintendo Switch.

    7. Reliefband

    Video games continue to improve and get more realistic. VR is picking up steam. For some people there is a downside to these advances which includes wanting to toss their cookies after each round of their favorite FPS. The Reliefband claims to work for VR sickness plus motion sickness AND morning sickness. Need I say more?

    8. Owlet Smart Sock 2

    New baby. Who dis? This thing tracks your baby’s heart beat and oxygen levels and lets you monitor it from your iPhone. Peace of mind allows for peaceful sleep. Both are priceless gifts for new moms.

    9. Pixie

    This product is perfect for people so focused on others they forget and misplace things. Affix a Pixie tag on important items like car keys, wallets, luggage, etc. and track them using your iPad or iPhone (hmm… I’ve established a trend here). Pixie tags come in packs of 2, 4, 6 or 8 and with a free iPhone case. Looks like they’re also having a Mother’s Day sale.

    10. Ring

    Both a doorbell and a motion sensor camera, Ring allows users to see, hear and speak to anyone at the door from their smartphone, tablet or PC. What better way to stay on top of all those Prime packages being delivered?

    Mother’s day isn’t about spending all the dollars, but it is about treating your mom to a day off. Consider taking care of all the pets, cooking dinner, letting her pick the movie, babysitting your siblings, doing the dishes and/or laundry. Anything that will allow her to take a deep breath and put her feet up. Then maybe you can slide her that sexy iPad Pro you got her.

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    Keeba Rage Unlocked: Pottermore’s Patronus Quiz

     

    Recently, J.K. Rowling‘s Pottermore finally released a Patronus quiz. Myself along with many other Harry Potter fans had been waiting eagerly in order to find out what our personal Patronus would be. The quiz, however, was disappointing at best. The quiz was timed, hosted on a buggy website, and had very few questions. I was extremely upset by my results. You can see my entire reaction to the quiz in the newest episode of Keeba Rage below.

    Did you take the quiz? Let me know what your result was, and if you were happy with it in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for all of our awesome video content.

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    Geekery, Rants
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    A Close Encounter with the Hello Kitty Cafe Food Truck

    Close, but no cookie (literally)…

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    I know, everyone likes Hello Kitty. She’s adorable! Even so, apparently everyone still underestimates her popularity. Including the people who run the Hello Kitty Cafe’s food truck. Including hundreds of fans who showed up today to check it out. Including me.

    When I left my house around noon in hopes of catching the Hello Kitty truck, I really had only a vague idea what I was doing. I wasn’t exactly sure what kind of food would be offered, or how long I’d be there, or if there’d be a crowd. I brought my camera, some sunblock, and a copy of Quidditch Through the Ages (because I was playing in a Facebook-based quidditch trivia tournament at 5 p.m.). I was prepared to stand in line. Or so I thought.

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    My view from the back of the line

    I’ve been a Hello Kitty fan since I was five or so – my dad would bring me Hello Kitty souvenirs when he went to Taipei, Taiwan starting in the mid-’70s. Today I still have my share of Hello Kitty merch – t-shirts, a keychain, a purse. It didn’t occur to me to wear any of it today, but lots of other people did. I saw t-shirts, mostly, but here and there you could see a clear kawaii influence. Parasols! Mini-bun hairstyles! And lots of geekery. Turns out, the Hello Kitty fan base (more adults than kids) also loves Pokemon, “Star Wars,” “Doctor Who,” and cute Chucks. Ah, my people.

    When I heard that the Hello Kitty food truck was coming to Oakbrook Mall in Oak Brook, Ill. this weekend, of course I planned my day around it. Not very well, as it turns out. I forgot the sunblock in the car, didn’t think to eat beforehand, and walked around the mall for like 30 minutes before I figured out where the truck was parked (in front of Urban Outfitters, duh). By the time I arrived, my phone battery was already depleted from trying to catch Pokemon – which I didn’t do much of, seeing as I was plumb out of Poké Balls. I debated for a few minutes as to whether or not I should bother to get in line, because the posted menu consisted of donuts, cakes, cookies, macarons, a water bottle, a mug, and t-shirts – and the donuts were already sold out. The offerings didn’t seem very filling, and the line was already pretty huge.

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    This is the closest I got to the macarons, which are in the bowtie-shaped boxes

    I decided I’d get in for a few minutes and see how fast it moved. I was right behind the mom of a little girl in blonde pigtails who declared passionately, when asked if she was sure she wanted to do this, “I’ve been waiting for this my WHOLE LIFE!” It wasn’t too bad, so I stayed – but it got worse. I had time to re-read Quidditch Through the Ages and memorize the entire list of fouls and the names of the 13 English teams. Then I had time to memorize the entire list of broom games of the wizarding world that were precursors to quidditch. Then I was able to memorize the entire lineup of European quidditch teams. Then I memorized the names of everyone who had ever played quidditch. Then I memorized the length and width of the quidditch field, and the names and previous names of all the positions of all the players, then the history of the Golden Snitch (it was introduced in 1269). And then I was sick of quidditch.

    So I made friends with a mom and seven-year-old daughter who told me all about their charm necklaces and gave me a catalog. I petted two tiny puppies in line with me, one of which was wearing a Hello Kitty harness. I listened to the Harry Potter conversation of the people who were right behind me until they gave up. I admired someone’s “Doctor Who” bag, which had Tardises (Tardisi?) on the outside and cartoon Doctors along the inside lining. I spotted some friends who had been in line since 9:30 a.m. And then I got thirsty. Everyone in line had someone else with them who was passing them drinks from Argo Tea, except me. At one point, we passed waters down the line to someone, and I wasn’t the only one tempted to just grab the cup and drink it myself. So many people around me were sucking down bubble teas that I started brainstorming ideas of how to get myself one (Taskrabbit? Paying the seven-year-old girl to do it? Bribing someone in line for their drink?). In the end, the mom and daughter offered to save my place, and in return I got them bubble tea and water. Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers, saving those of us who are way unprepared.

    I managed to not take any pictures of people wearing cool things, but I did get a picture of a tiny puppy in line!

    I managed to not take any pictures of people wearing cool things, but I did get a picture of a tiny puppy in line, being petted by my seven-year-old friend

    I snaked my way through three sets of zig-zagging line separators designed to contain us as we slowly got closer to the pink food truck. At some point I figured I was in it for the long haul because I had already been in line for two and a half hours. I was maybe 40 minutes from the end when the macarons ran out. The truck employees first passed word back that three boxes only were left.  I said, optimistically, “Well, as long as there are still some on display at the front of the truck, there are still more left, right?” At which point a person in the truck took down all the boxes of macarons at the front of the truck, and my new mom and daughter friend gave up and went to go get macarons at Godiva instead. I was about 20 minutes from the end when the cookies ran out. There was no food left, and my Facebook-based quidditch tournament was about to start.

    Hell hath no fury like a crowd deprived of Hello Kitty sweets. A bunch of people left disgusted, and others went up to the truck and asked about the situation – could the people who were left at least get the bags (free with a $25 food purchase) for standing in line for four hours with nothing to show for it? It’s my understanding that the employees called in, but were not allowed to do anything for anyone. More rumors, naturally, ran rampant – there were no mugs left, they were going to stop selling after another 15 minutes so they’d still have merch left for tomorrow, that sort of thing.

    My phone, an ancient Samsung Galaxy S4, had been turned off early so I’d have battery power for the quidditch tournament, should I still be there at 5 p.m. I was. I was the first on my team to play (as Keeper). It was Slytherin vs. Hufflepuff (I’m a Puff). The question that was asked…was NOT IN QUIDDITCH THROUGH THE AGES. It never is, especially when I’ve spent the last three hours in line memorizing every fact about quidditch in the entire freaking book. I answered it correctly, immediately, probably because the answer had come up in a study session with my fellow Puffs at some points (yay me). Then the Slytherin Seeker caught the Snitch. Tournament lasted 3.5 seconds, score 100-10, which ties the shortest Quidditch game on record. A fact I know because I spent three hours memorizing every fact about Quidditch in the entire freaking book.

    20160813_201732Meanwhile, in the line, things had reverted to controlled chaos. The line seemed superfluous, as the truck had completely closed down and the workers were selling out of a tent next to it, as fast as they could. Some people  were convinced several lines were now being formed, and yelled at the mall security to stop letting people buy over those of us who’d been standing in line for four hours. There were 50 (or was it 15?) mugs left, and the free bags were long gone too. The rest of us in line had to have SOMETHING to gripe about, so we complained about how long people were taking to decide on which style of t-shirt to get, because after four hours in line shouldn’t you pretty much already know? A bunch of people also started getting on the Facebook page to complain.

    In the end, I left with a mug, a $25 t-shirt, and two pins. The pin is my badge for sticking it out. I wasn’t even planning to buy the shirt, but, well…there weren’t any cookies.

    Curses, Hello Kitty Cafe food truck – turns out, the people in charge were just about as unprepared as I was. We suburban Chicagoans (and some Wisconsinites, and some Hoosiers too) are a tetchy lot, and we don’t like when people run out of food. If I were a real wizard, I’d find a curse and hex the people in charge (okay, maybe not, since I’m a Hufflepuff). As it is, I don’t actually believe in magic, so I’m going to sit here drinking tea out of my new Hello Kitty mug, wearing the hell out of my new pink t-shirt, and wondering if Hello Kitty cookies are really just that good. I may never know.

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    Yaya Han’s new cosplay fabric collection is out!

    The line, featured at C2E2 this weekend, is now available at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores

    The Yaya Han Collection Fabric (2)

    This past weekend at C2E2 in Chicago, I saw probably more costumes than I ever remember seeing at the comic book convention. Now, I’m no cosplayer myself (I mean, I can technically sew…). However, I can certainly appreciate the artistry that goes into creating costumes, and I’ve often marveled at how lovingly crafted they are. And yes, I’ve wondered, where did she get that material and how does he go to the bathroom?

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    Cosplayer extraordinaire Yaya Han, speaking yesterday at C2E2 about her new line of cosplay fabrics, says she was “honored and flattered” to be tapped to help out with the fabric line.

    So, earlier this year when I heard about Yaya Han’s line of cosplay fabric, I was interested in an academic and abstract way. I very well might have gotten more into cosplay when I was younger if I knew at all where to find stuff (I used to dress up as Deanna Troi because it required one low-cut flared dress and one Starfleet logo communicator pin). And I like pretty fashion things.

    Given the coalescing of mainstream culture and cosplay represented by my very anecdotal observation about the proliferation of costumes at C2E2, this feels like an idea whose time has come.

    The Yaya Han collection, an exclusive line created by CosplayFabrics.com with input from Han and available only at JoAnn Fabrics stores and joann.com, officially debuted on Friday. In fact, I hear that some people at C2E2 were already wearing costumes made from them. I had a chance to experience the fabrics for myself on the show floor; now, I have no idea what constitutes great cosplay fabric, but I can tell you many of them do stretch in four different directions as advertised and there are some really lovely colors and patterns.

    “Sourcing fabrics has been an intricate part of cosplay,” Han said at her press conference, noting that in the past, cosplay has often consisted of dyeing, manipulating, and digging deep in terms of research. Finding the very materials needed was a huge part of the process. So, streamlining this part of it helps cosplayers in a big way: “This puts the focus on creativity, instead of running around finding things,” she said.

    Yaya Han cosplay fabrics

    A rep demonstrates the four-way stretch capability of one of the fabrics on the show floor.

    The fabrics are now easily accessible by everyone within driving distance of a Jo-Ann Fabrics store, which is huge. Previously, specialty fabrics like these had to be purchased online, which made it impossible for cosplayers to determine quality, flexibility, breathability, durability, texture, and accurate color-matching. In addition to accessibility, Han believes it’s important to offer a variety of materials and colors in different designs for different genres, from anime and steampunk to fantasy and superhero. And naturally, comfort is a big deal too.

    It sounds like Han and CosplayFabrics.com are already looking forward to expanding the line, which currently consists of 75 different fabrics across 16 different categories. They include four-way stretch spandex, four-way jumbo spandex, brocade and coutil fabrics. Coatings include foil, leather, and embossed armor plate. So, if demand is high, the Yaya Han collection could be here to stay – and it might get bigger and better.

    For cosplayers, this could represent more than just another step in the right direction. It’s also recognition that cosplaying is an innovative and creative art form, one that’s becoming more popular, more visible, and more mainstream. “The most wonderful thing here is that somebody noticed us little cosplayers,” Han said.

    CosplayFabrics.com appears to be open to feedback on how to improve the collection, once everyone has had a chance to actually experience the materials in real life, so go check it out at your local store and see what you think. I’d be interested in hearing input from actual cosplayers as to how the fabrics really work.

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    Help the Monsters, Help My Dream

    Wallace Phelps Monsters Anonymous

    “You’re the guy who is with Jeremy London, aren’t you? The zombie guy?” The security guy for the celebrity room seemed star struck when he noticed my writing partner Jason Robbins and myself’s presence. Jason confirmed our identity and the tattooed mountain of manhood pulled back the curtain to escort us so that we didn’t have to wade through the throngs of fans waiting to meet Jeremy and the other cast members of Kevin Smith’s “Mallrats” at Pensacon in Pensacola, Florida.

    When Jeremy saw us, he hugged us all and made certain to introduce us to Joey Lauren Adams who is best known as Alyssa from “Chasing Amy.” We got settled in his area and people smiled and asked each other where they knew us from. We had to be someone if we were in the “Mallrats” area. An older man walked by and looked at Jeremy’s headshots and posters, pausing long enough for me to nod to him, trying not to freak out when I said, “Mr. Cummings…”

    His familiar soothing voice responded, “Hello there!” Jim Cummings, the voice of Darkwing Duck just said hello to me. What is my life?

    Every bit of this is thanks to a new short film I helped write called, “Monsters Anonymous.” In the film we sit in on a group therapy session where the classic movie monsters of the 1930’s try to cope with modern audiences not finding them scary. Frustrated and irritated with the continuing popularity of zombies, they learn a powerful lesson at the end regarding relevancy from the very zombies they vilified.

    Just a few months prior, I almost gave up. In my journey to make a better life for my little girl, it seemed like I was making negative progress and it wasn’t fair to her due to many personal setbacks and tragedies.

    Then randomly my writing partner sent me the idea and partial script for “Monsters Anonymous,” asking for help fleshing it out, it didn’t surprise me none. He had done this kind of thing before and I love the challenge. He explained he would be given a little money to produce a short 12769508_10153932498499004_501892817_nwith the members of an acting class he was in.

    I liked the idea so I agreed to rewrite it for him. I added jokes, restructured the scenes, and inserted new characters to make it more lighthearted and when Jason received my draft work, he said it was one of the funniest things I had ever written. I explained that it was just my first pass on it, but Jason gets excited and can’t help himself sometimes. The next day he told me that he sent it to everyone including his acting teacher, “Mallrats” and “Party of Five” actor Jeremy London.

    It wasn’t until we were in Jeremy’s home working out the ending that he had come up with that it hit me that this was real. After the story meeting, he and his wife lead us out telling me that “Monsters Anonymous” was one of the funniest scripts he had ever read and this is the guy who read “Mallrats” before filming, which is one of my favorite comedies.

     

    The last few months have been incredibly surreal. Just a few months ago, I wrote a letter to myself entitled, “I Hope,” where I basically asked myself if this was all going to work. I asked if my little girl would ever get to see the type of life I want to provide for her. Now, I have co-written a movie in the living room of the lead actor in the movie that got me wanting to write movies, Jeremy London.

    The star of Kevin Smith’s first movie, “Clerks,” Brian O’Halloran has agreed to star in it and there is so much more I want to be able to tell you, but at this stage, I cannot.

    I understand that this short film alone will not bring me to my dream of providing my princess with a better life while doing something I’m passionate about, but I’m a whole lot closer than when she was born and it feels amazing.

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    If you have ever felt like a dream of yours is out of reach, please believe me when I say that you can do it. Right now we are running a Kickstarter campaign to get funding for “Monsters Anonymous” and at certain levels you will have the opportunity to spend the day with us as we shoot the film. You will be able to get professional zombie make up and be an actual member of our cast, but the real value will be in the experience. There is nothing more inspiring than to be with a group of passionate people who want nothing more than to create.

    No matter who you are or what you want to do with your life, take a deep breath. If you can complete that breath, you still have time to achieve your dreams.

    Unboxing Loot Crate’s February 2016: Dead

    Desirai Labrada and husband John Henry unbox “Dead” the February 2016 Loot Crate. Loot Crate is a monthly subscription for fans of pop culture, and gamers alike. Included in each box are t-shirts, gadgets, collectibles and more. The February theme is “Dead” and includes exclusive items from AMC’s The Walking Dead, and Deadpool.

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