Saturday, June 25, 2011

Off to "Socialize"

One of the biggest arguments that people have against homeschooling is that we don't "socialize" enough. (Socialize is, I think, the proper word here. After all, says that "socialization" means "
a continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behavior, and social  skills appropriate to his or her social  position.", which is definitely not what the anti-homeschoolers want. I mean, an individual identity?! Crazy talk!)
My mom can't especially argue that we "socialize" enough, since we don't do their expectations of socializing... Hanging out in a building all day with lots of people who are probably jerks. (My mom has defined High School as "all the jerks in the entire world crammed into one building".) So, instead of being subjected to this all fall/spring, my sibling sand I are instead subjected to one week a year where we get fairly typical "socialization".
Dun dun dun.
Girl Scout Camp!
So, tomorrow starts my week of possible fun, and probably a lot of irritating gossip. (I'm not being overly negative here... I am excited. Just not for the gossip. >.<) So, I'll not be posting anything for at least a week, possibly longer... Sorry...
On the bright side, when I get back, I'll be putting up pictures of my shoes. (Yay!)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Some Geeky Books (D&D part II)

So, you've learned some of the DnD jargon. Congratulations. Unfortunately for you, being able to understand me when I say, "Oh! I got a critical attack roll with the d20! And now I get to take eight HP against him, without rolling my D8!" does not mean you are a D&Der.*. Sorry.
To really, truly, and completely learn how to play Dungeons and Dragons, you're going to have to have the right equipment. First of all, you're going to need your own set of dice. You can usually find these at gaming stores**, at math stores, at school supply stores, at toy stores, and even online.

Tips for choosing your dice:

1. Make sure you're buying an entire set. An entire set will contain one D20, one D12, one set of percentage dice, one D10, one D8, one D6, and one D4. This is usually good enough, although if you're a 'real' gamer, you'll probably end up with at least one full set, and then another set of just D6s.. Possibly more than one real set. My family has probably about seven sets of dice (although we've lost several dice... haha.)

2. Choose dice that you like. That is to say... You're going to be gaming with these dice, you better make sure they look cool. 'Cool' differs in many peoples minds... For some people, 'cool' is a pre-packaged dice set from the DnD store. For others it's a glow in the dark set of dice. For others it's neon yellow, or marbled blue. It really just depends. But either way... Buy the dice you like. I had a brightish blue set, that looked kind of like stone, for the longest time. I loved those dice. I now have a plain, clearish dark blue. They're still good dice, but I'd actually kind of prefer my older dice.

*You're just a newbie. And you don't stop being a newbie until you've been knocked unconscious at least once, and no longer even blink when you get cursed and you can't see a thing. I'm sorry.
**Dice shops. That's another geeky post coming up... Those places can be creepy.

So you now have your dice. Is that it?
That'd be too easy.

No, now you have to go out and get your own set of some fairly expensive, but wicked cool books! Woot! Let's hear it for that!

So, first of all, there's two things you need to know when buying DnD books.

1. That you're buying the right types of books
2. That you're buying the edition you want to play with.

The reason I say 'the edition you want to play', is because there are currently four editions. The newest is number four, of course, the second newest is 3.5. I've played both (heck, I think I've played version 2 or 3), but I actually prefer the version 4. I don't know why. Because it's shiny. :) I'd recommend getting the newest version, simply because it's easier to find the books, and a group that plays it. 

And then there's the types of books. Here is a guide to add to my already long post, about what types of books you're going to want to get, as a new DnDer. (There are often boxed sets, which contain the Player's Handbook, DM's guide, and the MM... That's an easy way to get them. I have one of those, and I love it.)

(Sorry.... no pictures today... Blogger's photo thing is being stupid... >.<)


    Player's Handbook. The Player's Handbook is probably the most important book in the entire set. It contains all the rules that you need to know in order to make a character. It has the class and race features, equipment, armor, scores... It has all the rules to play, if you're a player. There are more Player's Handbooks... Such as Player's Handbook 2, Player's Handbook 3, and so on. These have different races and classes, but the essential rules are in the Player's Handbook 1.

   The Dungeon Master's Guide.  The DM's Guide has different things in it than the Player's Handbook, as you can probably expect. It has more advanced rules for the game, and specific rules that the DM will have to know. It has tips for writing adventures, running campaigns, creating dungeons, and keeping people on task. My description sounds really dull, but the DM's Guide is actually pretty fascinating. As most of the books, there is also a Dungeon Master's Guide 2, which is equally interesting.

   The Monster Manual. The MM is pretty much what it sounds like... the guide to monsters. In the MM there's tables and descriptions for monsters, from Aboleths to Lycanthropes to Magma Beasts, to Zombies. In each table it tells you how to create one of the monsters, how they act, what they do... What level they are. The MM is one of the more uneven books, however, and if you're going to be a 'real' DnDer, you're probably going to eventually want to get at least the MM 2.

   D&D Player's Strategy Guide.  This is one of the least well known books, since I've only seen it in two or three stores, maybe. However, it's also one of the most fun books to read, since it isn't written as a rule book. Instead, the Strategy guide is what it sounds like... a guide for making the coolest, most awesome characters ever. The pictures are mainly cartoons, many of them humorous. I love this book so much. :)

   Adventure Books.   There are hundreds of these books. They're adventures, premade adventures... In a book. They can be very useful, and entertaining. You can also download adventures, sometimes from free, and there are many websites for making random dungeons and encounters.

   Power Books.   These usually contain new races/classes, or different types of classes. For example, in the Player's Handbook 1 there is the 'Fighter' class, with two types of fighter: Great Weapon Fighter, and Guardian Fighter.  In the Martial Power book, however, along with different build options for Rangers, Rogues, and Warlords, there are also two new types of fighters, the Battlerager Fighter, and the Tempest Fighter.   Using the Power Books, you can generally create any sort of character you could ever want.


Those are just a few of the books out there... But they're mostly the ones that we use at my house. :)

And that's the end for today's quite long, slightly rambly, and completely geeky post. Tomorrow, if anyone's reading this, I'll probably have a new one. Like... Character Sheets or something. :P


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Some Geeky Jargon (D&D part I)

The first reaction I get when I say "I play Dungeons and Dragons" is "wow!". Unfortunately, the second response is "What IS Dungeons and Dragons?". The third is "Can you teach me?".*
I can teach you.
It takes a really freaking long time to learn all the rules. Why? Because there's a lot of rules. And a lot of those rules are complicated. And a lot of the complicated rules use a lot of different, foreign, strange jargon.
Geeky Jargon.
So, in order to learn D&D, you're going to have to learn to speak D&D.
So here's a short guide for some of the common words.

D.  D is an abbreviation for the word "dice". You use it with a number, with the D usually coming before the number. For example, D20 means a twenty sided dice.
D20:   The most commonly used dice of all. (It's circled in my diagram.) The D20 is used for attack rolls, skill rolls, and pretty much everything. You want to roll high, a rule that usually applies to every roll with any dice.

D12: This dice looks somewhat like the D20, only it's... Well... got twelve sides, not 20. The twelve sided dice is used mostly for damage rolls, for weapons such as the Greataxe. This is one of the least used of the dice.

D8: the D8 (not the date), is another one of the damage roll dice. It's much more commonly used than the D12... I'd say about a third of the weapons you can use have the D8 as the damage dice.

D10:  The D10 is also a damage roll dice, but it also has it's own special thing. When you couple it with the 10s dice, (which have the numbers 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, and 00 on it), and roll them together, they become the percentage dice. These are really helpful when you're the DM, and you're choosing things using a percentage table.

D6: the D6 is another very commonly used dice. After the D20, I'd have to say it's the most commonly used dice. They're used for rolling up character sheets, for attack rolls, and for stacking up into tiny towers when the other players are taking way too long deciding what they're going to do.

D4: the D4 is yet another damage roll dice... That's pretty much all you use it for. :P


DM:   The DM is short for The Dungeon Master. The DM runs the game, and plays the NPCs, the monsters, and describes the rooms. They're also the ones who'll take you literally if you say "I jump off a cliff!" even if you're only joking.

AC: really easy one here. the AC is your armor class, and it shows just how tough you are to hit. At least in the 4th edition, you really want this to be high. If you have an armor class of 15, then only an attack roll that's 15+ will hit you.

HP: another easy one. Hit Points. These tell you how much health you have.

Character Sheet: the Character Sheet is the place where everything about your character is recorded... The AC, HP, your weapons, equipment, languages, race, class, etc., etc., etc.

Tiles: Gaming Tiles. These are the things that make up a little map on the table/counter/floor where you're playing. Your figurine, which represents your character, moves on top of the tiles, which gives you a visual as to where your character, other PCs, and the monsters are.

In Game/Out of Game: when you're "in game", it means that you're in character, and you're speaking, or describing your characters actions, without asking the DM questions, or talking about not game related subjects. When you're Out of Game, you're not in character... You can be asking questions of the DM, such as "But how can he do that?!", saying stupid things such as "I jump off the cliff!", being actually sensible by saying things like, "I have to go now", or you could just be cluttering up the gaming table with annoying senseless chatter. You usually want to be IN game.

PC: no, not the computer! An PC is a Player Character... Which is pretty much self explanatory. If a character is a PC, it means that a fellow gamer is playing it. This is opposed to the NPC, which is when the character is being played the Dungeon Master, who is not considered to be a player.

Race: Pretty self explanatory. This is things like, Elf, Human, Gnome, Halfling, Dragonborn, etc., etc., etc.

Class: Again. Pretty simple. This is what you are, in terms of your job. Example: Rogue, Fighter, Paladin, Wizard, etc.

*Unless of course it's another D&Der. In which case I usually get either a "That's sooooo cool!", or, if it's a boy, "But... I didn't think girls play D&D! O_o"

So, that's it for today... I think... I'll have more D&D explanatory stuff up soon, I think. Probably stuff about the Character Sheets, or the books... Possibly more jargon (D&D has a LOT of jargon).


Monday, June 20, 2011

Maybe I'm a bit Insane...

Or maybe that's a bit more than a bit. I'll let you decide.

But either way... Here's the deal. (The deal? That one. You know. The one with those words. At that time? With those people? Who may or may not have had hair. You know that one.) hem.

A while ago, I went to a rummage sale (dun dun dun), and got a huge bag of stuff for $5. Yeah. Cheap. Especially since I have mad packing skills and managed to fit so much crap in that one paper bag that the woman checking me out actually commented "I have no clue how you got all this into here" while she was frantically trying to duplicate my skills.
Which she obviously didn't have.*

But anyway, to make a long story short (TOO LATE!), in that bag of stuff, I managed to fit in a pair of boring, old, brown "Roxy" shoes. (Think like Converse Chucks, only... not. ;) ) They were okay, but the thing is is that the laces were falling apart, and I didn't have any that matched. (The shoes are brown. The only extra laces I have are grey. Grey + Brown = an unhappy Angela). Since I'm a crafter, it's actually easier for me to just re-paint the shoes, rather than go and buy new laces. However backwards that sounds.

So, yesterday, I took my gesso, and painted them all white. (And boy did the rubber start looking brown.). Then today, from the suggestion of my friend, I painted them green. Bright green. Bright sparkly green. In fact the bottle of paint says it's "shamrock green". Ha. Take that.
So, now I have some sparkly green shoes.

Then, I took my other fabric paint, and painted the TARDIS on one of the sides, a rainbow type thing on one of the lacing areas (you know what I mean?), and some zig zags down the inside of the shoe with the TARDIS. (which is not the one with the rainbow, just FYI.)

Now, it's not turning out as great as I had hoped, but I still have hope for the shoes. I'm pretty sure I can add some more stuff (Steampunk gears, a D20, etc.) and make them look cool..



So, back to the deal.
I'm going to finish these stupid shoes. And they're going to turn out good (you hear that, shoes? You're going to turn out well, OR ELSE! *shakes fist*). And then I just might head over to the Salvation Army/Goodwill, and see if I can find some more converse.

*although, to be fair, there is no way on God's green earth that I'd ever have the skills to be a cashier. I was in a bake sale, once, for YEAGOS, and I couldn't even give this woman her change when she bought something like.. oh... five dollars and twenty five cents worth of food, with seven dollars. I fail.

How the World Became... According to the Ancient Greeks.

Here is Angela's simplified (shortened), and hopefully less confusing rewrite of how the world came to be, according to the ancient greeks.

The world started because Chaos (darkness), Gaia (earth), and Eros (love) mixed together. These were 'gods' but not the “real” gods.
Chaos gave birth to Erebos and Night.
Ouranos and Okeanos sprang from Gaia. Ouranos' job was to protect Gaia, although later they became a couple. Ouranos and Gaia gave birth to the twelve titans, three cyclopes, and three giants with one hundred hands. Ouranos was unhappy because of his children, and decided to hide then in (or on) Gaia (or earth.). Originally Gaia was unhappy with that, but later decided it was okay. Then she decided that she'd have to get rid of her husband, and supplied one of her sons, a titan named Kronos, with a sickle. When Kronos cut off his father's private parts and killed him, part of him fell into the sea and created Aphrodite. From his blood came the Fates, Giants, and the Meliani nymphs.
Kronos took over the throne and married his sister Rhea. He then freed his siblings, and all were happy for a while. Then Kronos began to have his own children, and had the same fears his father did. He decided just to swallow them when they were babies to save himself the trouble of killing them later. Rhea, however, was unhappy with this, and she managed to hide her son, Zeus, from his father, and convince Kronos to swallow a rock instead. When Zeus got older, he killed his father, and released his (Zeus's) siblings from his father's entrails.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Wak3 and G0

So, y'all are probably getting sick of my shout out for other blogs (sorry, I don't mean to have a blogroll here), but here's yet another one that you should read. And follow. :)

The link is here, and the blog is written by my friend Matt Fish! Yay Matt!
So, he only has one post up, but I'm sure that if enough people follow his blog, he'll write more. :)

That's all for now. (Oh, and the fact that CHIPMUNKS ARE REALLY FREAKING ANNOYING!).


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Bucket List

Hey everyone!
So, I still actually have a few months left in summer, believe it or not! And even though most of those days are pretty jam-packed with stuff, I still might have the occasional 24 hours where I might be able to get something else done. Something I really want to do. Me. Myself. Not to say that I don't want to go to Girl Scout camp, do Lifeguard training I, or take summer piano lessons (alright, well, maybe I could do without the piano...), but hey. That's not my entire summer (Or is it? Please God, don't make that be my entire and complete summer! PLEASE!).
So without further rambling on my part, let me introduce... My summer bucket list.

  1. Read and review at least ten books.
  2. Learn at least one more Kabalevsky song.  <--- Did this! :)
  3. Refashion at least some of the t-shirts taking up room in my... well... room. <---Done!
  4. Talk to at least one person every week who isn't Matt, Katie, or one of my siblings.
  5. Finish my Geology science course  (part one.)
  6. Learn at least four new words, and use them in my regular sentences. (word one: Autodidact.)
  7. Go to the beach.
  8. See Harry Potter 7 part two in theaters. 
  9. Splatter paint at least one t-shirt.
  10. Modify my (boring) brown shoes I got at a rummage sale. <--- I did this!
  11. Edit one of my novels at least once. (This includes collective novels.)
  12. Go outside at least once every day. (This one'll be tricky... xP )
  13. Write a lyric poem (a somewhat random collection of sentences!) every week. (Maybe then I'll feel accomplished.) <--- No way I'm ever going to be able to do this.
  14. Start learning French. Again. (What is this, the fifth time I've tried? Jove!)
  15. Be more social. (This one I'm definitely expecting to go unfilled. Or maybe Girl Scout camp will give me my chance... Hm....)
  16. Learn to play "Poor Unfortunate Souls" on the piano. >:D  <--- I can't do it well, but if I get the music from the library again, I can do it.
  17. Finish NEM 2 (my math... This probably won't happen until like, October... Oh well... October is still summer. [If I keep telling myself that, maybe it'll be true!])
  18. Come up with some really, really awesome Halloween costume. A really awesome one. <-- I'm going as Mary Poppins. The only person cooler than her is.. wait... nope. No one.
  19. Walk to the library. 
  20. Solve the stupid rubik's cube!
So, there you go. There's my summer bucket list. I'll probably keep updating this, with what I've done, what I haven't... Adding stuff.... So if you're at all interested in this (pssh, you aren't), you can keep checking in.
Right-o. Off to... Do whatever thing I'm going to do after this.


Monday, June 6, 2011

When It Rains, It Pours.

I'm not actually talking about the weather. Believe it or not, I'm talking about.... *drumroll*

Recently, I have gone to two rummage sales, each of which I have returned from with at least one bag of (mainly) t-shirts. Also, yesterday I went to a party at my cousins' house. My cousin Nora was there, and she gave me a bag of her old t-shirts to refashion.

I now have probably about 15 t-shirts to cut up/refashion.

Now, I run out of t-shirts pretty fast, when I have good refashions to do. I can't count how many times in the past few months I've thought, "Man, if only I had a bunch of t-shirts I didn't care about! I could cut them up...". But right now, at the moment?

I have no new refashions I want to try.

This is a problem.

So, I'm probably not going to get anything here, but if anyone finds a website link for an interesting t-shirt refashion, I'd appreciate if you put it in a comment on this post. :) I'll even put up pictures.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

How to Avoid Talking About Things You Don't Want to Talk About

Are you sick of having uncomfortable talks with your parents?
Are you tired of having to put up with the horrible talk from your peers and coworkers?
Do you run and hide whenever you see a certain person coming, because you know that they're just going to talk to you and set you up for an insult?
Do you find these posts irritating?
To avoid all those uncomfortable conversations?

If so, this guide is for you! Filled with insightful tips on how to avoid conversations, The Guide is bound to solve all your problems*!
In this comprehensive guide, you will find instructions on how to avoid questions, avoid conversations, and much more!
For a limited time now, you can buy it for only $9.99!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Remember, this is a one time offer!
Call 123-456-7890** to buy!!!!!

*Not guaranteed to feed, clothe, bathe, and socialize the reader.
**again. I don't know what would happen if you called that. :)

Chapter 4: How to Avoid Talking About Things You Don't Want To Talk About

   If you've paged open to this chapter, you're probably facing some crisis on a near daily basis where someone, whether it be your coworker, family member, peer, teacher, or just random person off the street, engages you in a conversation on a topic you really don't care about, or feel uncomfortable talking about, or that makes you feel insulted.
   Never fear. There are ways to avoid conversations... And although they are not guaranteed to work for every case, often they will do the job. There are five techniques we will be covering in this chapter. The "pretend you don't know what they're talking about"*, "give them an odd expression"*, "change the subject", "Walk Away", and "answer with random things".

*My mom has said that I have to credit her for these two.

   Some of the techniques have been covered in other chapters, so we shall not cover them again in this one. Please see Chapter Two, How to Avoid Answering Questions You Don't Want to Answer, for the method on changing the subject, and Chapter Three, How to Reply When There is No Reply, for the technique of answering with a random sentence or phrase.
    We shall now continue with the other two.

   Pretend You Don't Know What They're Talking About.   
   This is a fairly simple approach. All you have to do is pretend that you have no clue what they're saying. Let us take a look at two different conversations, one using this approach, and one not.

   Mom: So. I heard that you flunked your math test.
   You: Well... Um.....
   Mom: Grounded!

And here is the conversation, with you pretending you have no clue what your mom is saying.

   Mom: So. I heard that you flunked your math test.
   You: Sorry?
   Mom: did you fail your test?
   You: Could you repeat that?
   Mom: Did. You. Fail. Your. Math. Test?
   You: Sorry mom, but honestly, I have no clue what you're saying. I'm going to go to bed now, okay?
   Mom: Not until you tell me if you flunked your test!
   You: Oh! A test?! So that's what you're talking about!
   Mom: *sigh* I'm going to go make dinner.*
  *Not recommended in use during real grade-talks. Your education is important. The Guide does not take responsibility for any failed lives.
     As you can see, that was a lot more productive. Even if you eventually have to own up to the failed math test (which you will), you can bring it up on your own time and in your own terms. This way you are not caught unawares.
   Let us look at the second technique.

   Give the person an odd expression*.   An odd expression can be anything from widening your eyes at them, to giving them the "you have something on your teeth" look, to contorting your face into something that might resemble an alien. This is a hard technique to demonstrate in this Guide, but the important thing is not to stop giving them the look until they walk away. Once they do that, you are free to abandon the possibly painful pose and go discuss Justin Beiber** with your friends.

*This comes from a YouTube video, of which I have only watched the first half. The Guide does not claim copyrights for this.
**The Guide does not own the brand Justin Beiber. The Guide does not take responsibility for any injuries acquired from raving fan girls.

   Walk away.  This is a very simple technique, but is not recommended for conversations involving a car. To walk away from someone, it is most important to part with some excuse for leaving, saying goodbye, or using some random, conclusive phrase. Otherwise, the other person is prone to thinking you want them to walk with you, and the method is no longer useful.

   These techniques, while useful by themselves, are usually more effective if you use them along with another method, such as Changing the Subject, Random Phrases, and/or just walking away.