How to Talk About Video Games by Ian Bogost

how-to-talk-about-videogamesTitle: How to Talk About Video Games

Author: Ian Bogost

Publisher: University of Minnesota 2015

Genre: Pop Culture – Media

Pages: 197

Rating: 2/5 stars

Reading Challenges: 52 Books – W38; Perpetual (NonAd)

Videogames! Aren’t they the medium of the twenty-first century? The new cinema? The apotheosis of art and entertainment, the realization of Wagnerian gesamtkunstwerk? The final victory of interaction over passivity? No, probably not. Games are part art and part appliance, part tableau and part toaster. In How to Talk about Videogames, leading critic Ian Bogost explores this paradox more thoroughly than any other author to date.

Our book club selection for October. I got a jump on the book due to the baby coming in less than a week. And I’m thoroughly disappointed in this book. Bogost personality is so very insufferable. I couldn’t stand his “gamergate” type approach to video games. I read most of this book, but I admit to skimming some chapters. I just grew so bored with his writing, assumptions, and tone. Pass.

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Blog-Tember Day 23: German Potato Salad

blogtember2016Prompt: A family recipe (if grandma allows, of course!).

One of my favorite family recipes is my grandma’s potato salad. I’ve never like mustard potato salad or ones with too much mayo. Hers is a hot German style salad with bacon grease. It’s a bit tricky to get exactly right, but when it’s done right, I could eat an entire bowl of this stuff!

Ingredients:

9 med potatoes – peeled, sliced
1 med onion – sliced thin
1 lb bacon – crumbled, grease reserved
1/2 cup flour
2 1/4 cup water
1 1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Directions:

Boil potatoes until soft. Combine bacon, potatoes, and onion in a bowl and set aside. Melt bacon grease in a pan on stove and stir in flour. Heat until bubbly. Add remaining ingredients and cook until smooth and bubbly. Once sauce has thickened, our over potato mixture.

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Blog-Tember Day 22: Fall Favorites

blogtember2016Prompt: Fall favorites. Share your must-haves for this season.

My fall must-haves are an odd mix of food, clothing, and baby essentials. Guess this is just life right now at my house. On my list I have:

  • Chili —  Because it’s the perfect food for cooler temps
  • Diapers — Essentials for new the new baby
  • Brown boots — Really want to find some new ones that actually fit
  • Burp clothes — We seem to have a shortage in the house right now
  • Pumpkin bread — I need to buy more pumpkin and make more!
  • Apple cider — Hot or cold, with bourbon or without, I love it!
  • New toddler boy clothes — I need to round out Arthur’s fall/winter wardrobe
  • PSL — Of course!
  • Comfy cardigan — For when I get chilly
  • Wine — Because I’ve gone almost 10 months without it. I need me some good wine soon!

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Pregnancy Update at 39 Weeks

Due Date: October 1st . The c-section is scheduled for Monday Sept. 26th sometime in the morning. I’m in the third slot for the day so we’re thinking surgery around 11am. Less than a week to go!

Weight Gain: My official doctor record says that I have gained 30 pounds. I’ll take it. Hoping to be able to establish an exercise routine once cleared by the doctor.

Symptoms: Overall feeling like crap. But at this point, that’s to be expected. I’ve also been having random contractions here and there, but nothing consistent.

What’s different this time: I have to take care of a toddler. This is exhausting when I’m already super tired.

Cravings/Aversions: Food is a necessity, but nothing really tastes great. And I get super full really quickly.  This kid is pushing everything around so much that I don’t think my digestive system is doing very well.

Sleep: Having lots of trouble getting and staying asleep. At this point, I have to prop myself up to a semi-reclining position. Baby does not like me laying flat in bed.

I am loving: J is back from Romania. I have another pair of adult hands in the house to help out with Arthur. I definitely needed it.

I miss: Being able to bend over without major pain.

I am looking forward to: Getting this baby out! Five days!

I’m spazzing about: OMG I only have five days until Q comes! What else do I need to finish?

Movement: I don’t care what the baby apps say, this kid has not slowed down.

Preparation: The pseudo-nursery (really the twins’ room) is all done and ready. I’ve got baby supplies in two places (upstairs and downstairs) to make my life a bit easier. The car seat is ready to go. I think we’re good. Just waiting for the kid to come.

Quentin’s Stuff: The “nursery” (really the twins’ room while they are gone) is ready for the little guy. I also had the bright idea of making a clothing/burp cloth/diaper/essentials basket for downstairs. I don’t want to have to go up and down the stairs anytime I need to change his diaper or outfit. Go me on the planning ahead of time! I also packed his going home outfit in my hospital bag. Now I just need to pack my stuff!

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Blog-Tember Day 21: Ice Cream

blogtember2016Prompt: If you were a flavor of ice cream, which flavor would you be? Why?

 If I were a flavor of ice I would have to be Mint Chocolate Chip. It combines my two favorite types of flavors: chocolate and fresh herb. I’m not really sure what it says about my personality, but it’s my favorite hands down. In fact, we have a quart in the freezer right now! For fun, I decided to look it up on the internet.

According to The Kitchn:

You’re pretty cool, to be honest. In high school you might not have been the most popular kid, but you hung around that crowd. You’re a balanced person – you like running and watching football, but you also love going to see a play. You’re loved by everyone and just want to have a good time.

According to Reader’s Digest:

Mint chocolate chip lovers are argumentative.

Always mixing it up? There’s a good chance mint chocolate chip is your favorite flavor, according to Hirsch’s study for Dreyer’s/Edy’s, which found this ice cream signified ambition, confidence, frugalness, and argumentativeness. “[They] aren’t fully satisfied until they find the tarnish on the silver lining,” said Hirsch about its fans. However, Hirsch predicts that mint chocolate chip lovers are compatible with one another.
And according to Buzzfeed:
You probably get excited about Shark Week. You love jokin’ around and quoting movies. But you have a low tolerance for other people’s nonsense. You are not afraid to complain about the injustices of the world over Gchat.
I love how varied the responses are. If you know me in real life, you be the judge. Am I like any of the descriptions?

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Blog-Tember Day 20: Knowledge is Power

blogtember2016Prompt: Something you wish more people knew or believed.

I’m always amazed about how little most people know about their country’s history and world history in general. I know that not everyone would love history like I do, but it would be nice if more people had a basic understanding. Knowing your history goes a long way in understanding how the world works today.

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Blog-Tember Day 18: A Lifesaver

blogtember2016Prompt: One product that simplifies your life.

The key to simplifying my life is list making! I need to make sure that I know my schedule and my tasks. Otherwise my life would fall apart. My one product is actually a combination of three different products that work in tandem: Evernote, The Happy Planner, and a Moleskine Notebook. I use Evernote to plan out my blog posts and Project Life ideas. I can quickly pull up my schedule and see what needs to be finished. You can see an example of my Craft Blog schedule below. I have two notes for each month, one for the life blog and one for the craft blog. I list out my weeks and add my proposed post title. If the post hasn’t been created in the blog, it gets an asterisk at the end. After the post is completed, I strikethrough the title. This helps me stay organized on the blog side.

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My next life organizing product is The Happy Planner by MAMBI. I love having a planner, but found that just an electronic one didn’t work for me. I need the physical product to help me. Enter The Happy Planner. I’ve been using mine since July 2015 and continue to love it. I can quickly flip to a month view or a weekly view to see my activities and appointments and tasks. I also use the planner to help meal plan. I decided the best way to do meal planning was to create post-it flags with all the regular dishes. I can then tentatively plan each week out but still be able to move them around if needed.

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The last project is a simple Moleskine. I tried to do a complete bullet journal in a Moleskine but found that I needed Evernote and The Happy Planner to round out my life. But I still needed a place to to keeps lists, project planning, and collections. Enter the simple Moleskine. An example below is my spending log for part of September.

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The Moleskine goes with me wherever I go. Sometimes I add things in there and then transfer to one of my other projects. But in reality they all work together to keep my life simplified and on track.

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Blog-Tember Day 16: Self Care

blogtember2016Prompt: How do you de-stress/take care of yourself?

My biggest selfcare is reading. I promised myself after having children that I wouldn’t give up my reading. Sure there are many times that I can’t read because there’s something or someone else needing my attention. I can’t spend all day lost in a book anymore. But I still make reading a priority and find time to do it. Before the littlest kid, I was reading ~15 books a month. That number has gone down due to the necessity of taking care of a child. However, I’m still averaging about ~8 books a month. Reading is the biggest activity that recharges my batteries. Hoping to continue the trend after this new baby comes…

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