#GameNight Taking Fun Back to the Basics

I recently told you about how I received a copy of Monopoly Junior for free from Influenster for testing purposes. Well, let’s just say that Game Night was a complete success. My daughter and I played 6 rounds in 2 days, and she’s been begging me all day to play again, so I think it’s pretty safe to say that she’s enjoying her free toy.

Nope. No fun happening here at all. :P

Nope. No fun happening here at all. :P

Yes, it turns out that Monopoly Junior is just easy enough, just quick enough, and plenty fun enough to hold my 4-year-old’s attention for at least three straight days. Kudos, Hasbro. Kudos.

But that’s not the only thing this post is about. You see, as part of the tasks set to me by Influenster in return for the free game, I was asked to share my “favorite Hasbro Gaming experience”. Said experience doesn’t have to have anything to do with Monopoly Junior, just so long as it’s a Hasbro game that we’re talking about.

Well, after looking through the list of possible games that were provided as a jumping point on the Influenster website, I’ve got to say that I can’t really pick one particular moment, because there are so many that come to mind and make me chuckle!

The first game I saw on the list that made me grin ear-to-ear was “Barrel of Monkeys”, because I can remember playing this game with my cousin Tommy when we were only about as old as my daughter is now. We’d play the game normally, but also make a huge show out of stringing as many monkeys together as we could and hanging them over the side of the stairs to see if we could touch the floor below.

Then I saw “Perfection” and “Operation” on the list and I almost laughed out loud, because these two games were my first experience with stress as a child. The anticipation of Perfection’s board popping up into my face, or the Operation buzzer screaming at me, made my heart leap into my throat every time. And yet I kept coming back for more.

Then there was “Twister”, which I was always terrible at because I’m so clumsy, “Jenga”, which was both hysterical and frustrating at the same time because I’m so clumsy, and “Connect 4″, which saw many an outburst from me when my chips went the wrong way because, you guessed it, I’m clumsy.

It all culminates into “Scrabble”, which almost caused a few friendly fistfights between my husband and I, “Taboo”, which no one in the world is worse at than my father-in-law, and “Trivial Pursuit”, which has so many versions that I can’t count, and I don’t think I’ve ever won a single round of any of them.

All in all, I have to say that I never realized how many of these types of games I’ve played over the course of my life, and I find it highly amusing that I’m now passing the torch, so to speak, to my daughter. From her reaction to Monopoly Junior so far, I get the feeling that she’s going to have a list of her own like this 20 years from now. Keep up the good work, Hasbro!

Gym Class… My Old Enemy…

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Note: Today’s post is courtesy of a prompt from “642 Things to Write About“. Today’s prompt is: “Your worst experience in gym class.”

Well this is an easy one…ANY experience in gym class was a bad one for me.

Okay, okay, I might be exaggerating just a little bit, but the fact of the matter is that gym class was a horrible experience for me for many, many years. It wasn’t so bad back in the first years of elementary school when we were just running around doing tumbling, or making obstacle courses, or marveling over the fact that not one of us could climb those damn ropes. But as we began to get older and started doing more actual sports and the like, gym became nothing more than torture to me. I’ve never been the athletic type in the least, so I was the kind of kid who got picked last for teams and hid in the corner to avoid ever having to touch the ball. I was actually pretty good at things like gymnastics and basic exercise (situps, pushups, speed runs, etc), but those were the kinds of things that we rarely did in gym at my schools. Mostly we played an ungodly amount of basketball, interspersed by the occasional game of baseball, tap-football, or floor hockey, all of which I was absolutely miserable at.

So if you want me to pick one particular experience? It would probably be in the 9th grade, mid-semester, when our report cards came out and I found out that I was dangerously close to failing gym. Failing gym. I was making 90’s in every single other class, but I was failing gym. I nearly had a heart attack. The thing is, the reason I was getting such poor marks was a refusal to participate (I often came up with excuses to sit out, and even when I was playing I was obviously doing my best to avoid having to actually do anything), but at the time I felt like it was an injustice, like my gym teacher was purposely torturing me for being artistic instead of athletic. In the end I pulled up my shorts and forced myself to participate in order to bring my grade up, but at the time I felt like everyone in the world was against me for daring to not enjoy sports. I think every artistic kid feels like that at one point or another, don’t you?

Vox Box is Here! Hasbro #GameNight

So I never really spoke about this on the blog yet, but a few months ago I decided to try out a couple of websites that came highly recommended by some YouTubers I follow, and one of these was Influenster. Basically, what Influenster does is send out free items for people to test and review. The way you get chosen to receive a free item is by joining the website and writing short reviews (a little over a hundred words is acceptable) on products you’ve already used; by doing this and completing tiny mini-surveys, you earn “badges”, which show Influenster what kinds of products you may be suitable to test and review. When they send you a “Vox Box”, which is a shipment of one or more free products, you become a part of the “campaign” to talk about said product; you complete tasks as given to you by Influenster, and if you do a good job they send you more stuff to test and review. Basically, for taking a bit of time out of your day to use and talk about products, you continue to get said products for free. It’s actually quite a sweet set-up, if I do say so myself.

Recently I received my first Vox Box, which was from Hasbro Gaming as part of a #GameNight campaign. Check out the unboxing video:

So basically, for spending a bit of time writing quick reviews, I was sent a $20 board game to share with my daughter. The tasks that are assigned to this particular campaign have thus far taken me about 10 minutes tops, and I expect the rest of the tasks to add about 15 more minutes to the total. So the long and the short is that if you have a little bit of time to waste (I usually work on this kind of stuff when I can’t be doing anything else, like when I’m on the bus to and from work), you can get totally free stuff to try out and keep. Personally, I feel that the time I have put into Influenster thus far has been worth what I received in return, and I hope that they’ll continue to send me awesome stuff to review.

As for how my daughter and I enjoyed this lovely free gift from Hasbro, well…I’ll be writing a review a little later, but for now, I leave you with this pic:

Luv <3

#GameNight Luv <3

A Nightmarish Impression

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Note: Today’s post is courtesy of a prompt from “642 Things to Write About“. Today’s prompt is: “What’s the worst nightmare you can remember?”

It’s strange the kinds of things that can scare the hell out of a kid. I’ve had lots of nightmares over the course of my thirty years, but there is one that stands out and it may not be what you’d expect. After all, I’ve had nightmares about zombies attacking my family, about my classmates and I fighting and dying in an unending war, about my husband leaving me, about all of my friends and family leaving me, about being on an airplane as it crashes to the ground, about being lost in the woods at night and being attacked by rabid wolves. I’ve had some doozies, is what I’m saying. But the nightmare that stands out is one that I had when I was probably about ten years old. I don’t remember much of what was happening in the dream at first, but I was at my grandmother’s house, and suddenly I was left alone in the living room with my aunt Judy. For some reason she began to smile at me, a really creepy, too-wide smile, and then she raised her hands to her face and as she did all of her teeth began to fall out of her mouth, into her hands, and all over the floor.

It might not seem like the most terribly frightening of things, especially considering other nightmares that I’ve had, but that morning I woke up literally bawling my eyes out. For some reason those teeth falling out of my aunt’s mouth scared the ever-living beejeezus out of me, and just thinking about it gave me shivers for months afterwards.

Nerd Block Unboxing and Review for November 2014

For a change I’m actually getting one of these posts out in a reasonable time frame! Progress! :D

Yes, it’s Nerd Block time of the month because I let another month go by without cancelling the service, so let’s go ahead and get down to it. First check out the unboxing video:

Did you catch all the embarrassing bits where I kept talking about not getting an autograph when there was totally an autograph staring right at me? Yeah. Good times.

Anyway, here’s the breakdown:

Deadpool “King” t-shirt: Finally a Deadpool shirt! I’m so happy! And as usual I’ll be assigning a value of about $15 to this item.
“Classic” Robin stuffed toy: I can’t find these toys anywhere, except for the ones that popped up on Ebay after this Nerd Block was released. As such, I’m going to assign it the value that I think a plush toy of this size is actually worth, which is about $5. If anyone knows better, please feel free to let me know.
“Boo” Slap-watch: I couldn’t find this exact item either, but I found similar-looking slap watches for about $7. Since this watch has a Boo on it, I’ll round it up to an even $10.
“Iron Man” comic print mug: Finally, an item in the box that I was able to track down! I found this mug for $8, which seems pretty standard for a mug. If anyone was wondering, the site I found it on also states that it is NOT dishwasher safe, although it doesn’t say anything about microwaves.
“Boba Fett” vehicle fanwraps: First of all, this product comes in a variety of sizes, depending on how large you want Boba to be on your vehicle. Second, the pack that we got in this month’s Nerd Block looks to be smaller than the smallest size you can buy on the website. And third, whereas the packs you can purchase for yourself have two sheets of stickers, Nerd Block’s inclusion only has one. Therefore I’m taking the price of the small pack ($50), cutting it in half for there only being one page of stickers ($25), and knocking off another $10 because of the extra-small size. So we’re going to say about $15.
Bruce Campbell’s “Horror Fest” discount code and Signature: This one is very difficult to put a value on. First off, the “Horror Fest” card comes with a 10% off code for admission to the convention, which is worth different amounts depending on which option you purchase. For me that means it’s worth nothing because I definitely won’t be going to Chicago any time soon. But if you were to purchase the full 3-day admission package the coupon is worth about $7. Then you have the autograph…how do you put a value on that? It’s pretty cool, but you can’t really assign a dollar sign to it unless you actually sell it and get cash for it. So I guess we’ll just kinda ignore that one for now.

Total approximate value of box: $60
Total cost to me: $33

So yeah, the value is definitely there on this box. Even if you only include the items that I really like, we still have a value of $32, which is pretty much the box cost. In the end I’ll probably end up selling the vehicle fanwraps and the Robin toy because one is something I won’t use and the other is something I kinda don’t like looking at, so that’s actually a little annoying because it’s extra effort to me, but I guess I can’t really complain too much.

In the end, I’m glad I continued for one more month so that I could get the Deadpool shirt, and I’m probably going to wind up wearing the Boo watch because it’s so adorable.

What do you think? Do you subscribe to Nerd Block? Did you enjoy this month’s products? Let me know!

The Post Where I Catch Up on Things and Explain Absenses

If you follow my blog you may have noticed that I missed three posts this week: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, which should have been one Accountability post and two “642 Things to Write About” posts. And if you’re a follower you would also know that for me missing posts doesn’t happen very often, so I hope you’ll sympathize when I say that there just wasn’t any time. I traveled home from my shift out West on Monday/Tuesday, and though I normally would have gotten the “642 Things” posts written and scheduled during my layovers, I was actually feeling quite unusually nauseated and motion sick during my flights, so I instead spent my layovers curled up in the fetal position on the seats at flights’ gates. Then I got home and threw myself immediately into decorating for Christmas, which may seem like something that isn’t exactly a panic just yet, but since I fly back to work for two weeks on December 1st I really wanted to get the Christmas stuff out of the way so that I can actually enjoy it a bit before I leave again. And on top of all that my daughter’s 4th birthday is next weekend, so I’ve been running around getting stuff together for that. On the upside of all of this, I’ve only been home for three days and I’ve got quite a ton done. Today I should get  a ton more done, and then I should (mostly) be able to relax a little for the rest of the week.

In the meantime, here’s a couple of things you’ve missed because of my sporadic week:

Authors Answer #3 is up, and it’s a pretty interesting one! In this installment the 10 other authors and I discuss how easy or difficult it is for us to write characters with a different set of beliefs from our own. Check it out!

My goals are a bit scalded from being on the back-burner, and I refuse to step on a scale today, but I can tell you that social media has been my friend, I’ve sold a few more copies of the book, and my arm is damn near broken from all the handwriting I did while I was out at work without my laptop.

NaNoWriMo has also been put on the back burner due to all the stuff I’ve been trying to get done, but it’s not as bad as all that. Before my sickly travel day I managed to get my (HANDWRITTEN, remember) word count up to 30,000 words. That means that as of today I’m 5000 words behind, but you must remember that I’m also home now…where my laptop is. If I could HAND WRITE 30,000 words in 18 days, I’m sure I can use my almost 100-words-per-minute typing speed to bang out the last 20,000 words in 9 days.

I KILLED a brand-new pen, straight out of the box!

I KILLED a brand-new pen, straight out of the box!

Maybe.

We’ll see. >.>

I feel like I’m missing a thing or two, but at the moment I can’t think of anything and I really should go about trying to get the rest of my nonsense done so that I can have a bit of time to myself, so I’ll leave it at this for now, and I’ll say that I’ll try to have proper posts up for next week, but I’m sure you’ll forgive me if I don’t. Because you’re all awesome. You know it. <3

A Room With a View (of Collectibles)

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Note: Today’s post is courtesy of a prompt from “642 Things to Write About“. Today’s prompt is: “Describe a room in your house.”

Though it is technically the guest room, I consider this particular room to be “mine”. Much of the room is taken up by a bed that is actually just a box spring and mattress laying directly on the floor. Another large chunk is taken up by a chest-style dresser that is filled with blankets and sheets and has an old-style 32″ television sitting on top of it.

On the wall with the window there is another dresser full of more blankets and sheets, a large stack of old university text books, and a broken bedside table, on which sits a small pile of special stuffed animals that I’ve kept around.

In the corner by the closet is the duckling-shaped rocking chair that a friend of the family made for my daughter, another pile of blankets and sheets (because apparently we don’t have enough of those) and my winter work boots. Inside the closet is a wide variety of items, including spare pillows, stationary and craft supplies, old work and school notes, old magazines, unused picture frames, hidden birthday and Christmas presents, and (you guessed it) some blankets.

So why would I consider this random hodgepodge of items to be “mine”? Well it’s not all the items I’ve mentioned; it’s the ones I haven’t mentioned. See, on the wall opposite all this mess are four bookcases, and those bookcases are filled with things that I love. First and foremost are books of a wide variety. There are classic comics and manga comics, horror novels, fantasy-epics, supernatural YA series’, old kids’ books from my childhood, Star Wars books, inspirational books, some random school textbooks of a Shakespearean nature, and the first ever hard copy of my zombie apocalypse novel, Nowhere to Hide. But wait, there’s more! On top of the cases is a display katana on a lovely wooden sword stand, surrounded by a variety of McFarlane Dragons from each series. The shelves that contain my manga also house a few anime figures and toys. The shelf that holds my traditional comics also has several Marvel and DC Funko Pop figures. There are several more Funko Pops from various TV shows and movies on other shelves, as well as a variety of other small toys, figures, and collectibles.

In short, these shelves do an excellent job of giving a description of who I am…at least, the geeky part of me. ^_^