Birthday Freebie List 2018

Come November, once again I play the annual ‘how much free stuff can I rake in’ game! Every year I have friends asking how I manage to pull in so much for my birthday, so I’m sharing what I got this year and how I got it. A lot of these are through either email lists or phone apps, so the trade off is extra apps on your phone or lots of email throughout the year (or in my case, both). But it can be worth it! Some of these only really send something good at your birthday, others send good stuff year round – I’ve tried to note which ones are really worth signing up for.

This post is in chronological order of when I received the emails (I’m using my inbox to write this up). The list is naturally a little Chicago-centric, because that’s where I live, so there may be some chains not found in your area, or the offer might be different. Also, these offers can change year to year – I forgot to make a blog post last year (2017) but you can view my 2016 list and see how some of the offers have changed. I’ve noticed over the last few years a lot of what used to be a straight up free entree or dessert has changed to a buy-one-get-one-free (such as Flat Top or Cold Stone Creamery). Some of those don’t bother me too much – it’s not as much fun to get Flat Top alone, so I’d be going with a friend anyway.

So without further adieu – the 2018 birthday haul!

Read more »

Birthday Freebies Master List

Hi all!

A lot of friends have been curious about how I manage so many free things for my birthday (this year’s count – 64 offers received!) so I thought I’d put up a post detailing what I got for everyone’s reference.

This will be in chronological order of when I got the freebie/offer/etc, since that’s how I have them listed in my master list.

Read more »

My journey through Doctor Who

Today I have reached a milestone on a journey that has taken me nearly a year.

It began at Chicago TARDIS last year, when I picked up my copy of the book Outside In: 160 New Perspectives on 160 Classic Doctor Who Stories by 160 Writers. I spent the weekend adding lots of autographs to it – I know several of those 160 writers!

After the con I sat down to read. I decided to start like I always do – with my friends’ essays first. I chose to read my friend Sarah’s essay, and though she doesn’t know it (well, she will now I guess), she sparked an idea. Her essay talked about sound and how it was so important in the serial. I had not seen that particular serial and I thought, this would be even better if I had just seen the serial before reading this!

So I made it my New Year’s resolution to watch ALL of Doctor Who, in order, from Unearthly Child to The Name of the Doctor. After each serial, I’d read the accompanying essay from Outside In.

Tonight, I finished the biggest chunk, the classic series, with the television movie starring the Eighth Doctor. Since I’d already seen all of New Who before this journey, I have now officially seen all of Doctor Who at least once.

This has been an interesting journey to say the least. It started out slowly, with frequent trips to recreation land as I traveled through the wastelands of the first two Doctors whose body of work was nearly destroyed by the BBC. As I traveled on, I started grabbing DVDs from the library when they were available.

Reading the different perspectives in Outside In added an additional layer to the journey. It was fun to see how the different writers’ opinions sometimes meshed with mine and sometimes differed.

I’ve also gained a new perspective on the eleven amazing gentlemen who have portrayed the title role. Going into this, Four was my Doctor; Ten and Eleven were toward the top; One and Six were toward the bottom. Coming out of it, my ordering is way different. Four is still my Doctor, and ever will be MY Doctor. I may have started with Ten (my first episode was “Daleks in Manhattan”), but once I began to watch more of the classic series the more I fell for Tom.

The new Doctors have actually fallen pretty far in my rankings as I’ve discovered the different classic Doctors. One is more than just a cranky old man, when given the right situation he could be downright cunning and clever (oh how fun was “Reign of Terror” for clever manipulative One!). Two was more than just a clown. The team of Two and Jamie was simply fantastic!! Three could really kick butt when the chips were down, and what a snazzy dresser!! Four….oh, Four. My Doctor. He could move from playing dumb to throw people off the scent to cleverly manipulating the situation to his advantage to cheerfully taking his companions on mind-boggling adventures. Five was one of the few classic Doctors to fall in my rankings. While he was still an excellent Doctor, he was a bit too bland for my taste. Six, now that I’ve seen all of his televised adventures, was a way better Doctor than the writers gave him credit for. Big Finish really redeemed him, but I could see a glimmer of the real Six under the bad writing. But “The Two Doctors” was a great romp, really my favorite of the team-ups. Six and Jamie make a terrific pair, Jamie is a much better foil for Six than Peri. Seven flipped between clownish and manipulating with amazing skill and made me swoon every time he rolled his r’s. Once Mel left and he teamed up with Ace, they made a great team and I really wish they had gotten a season or two more – they worked so well together.
In ten days, Doctor Who celebrates its 50th anniversary. 26 seasons of classic Who, 7 seasons of new Who, plus a TV movie, two spin-off series, two spin-off movies, and a spin-off pilot. Not to mention countless Big Finish audiobooks and tie-in novels from multiple publishers. The show’s popularity is greater than ever – the anniversary episode will be broadcast simultaneously across the world, there’s Doctor Who merchandise available at mainstream stores like Hot Topic and Spirit Halloween, and Doctor Who cosplayers can be found in droves at fan conventions everywhere.

I can’t wait for the week after the anniversary, when Chicago TARDIS celebrates fifty years with three Doctors, several companions, and a number of writers. While I enjoy hanging out with fellow Doctor Who fans at other conventions or at the photoshoots my friend and I run, nothing compares to CT, where the focus is entirely on Doctor Who. This will be my first year staffing the convention, which will be a new adventure itself!

So here’s to fifty years! I’ve enjoyed my romp through the first 33 of them, and I look forward to spending the next ten days revisiting the other 17! And of course, I can’t wait to see what new adventures are in store when the Twelfth Doctor joins us next month!

Which Firefly character are you quiz

Your results:
You are Malcolm Reynolds (Captain)

Malcolm Reynolds (Captain)
Kaylee Frye (Ship Mechanic)
Zoe Washburne (Second-in-command)
Derrial Book (Shepherd)
Dr. Simon Tam (Ship Medic)
Wash (Ship Pilot)
Jayne Cobb (Mercenary)
Inara Serra (Companion)
River (Stowaway)
A Reaver (Cannibal)
Honest and a defender of the innocent.
You sometimes make mistakes in judgment
but you are generally good and
would protect your crew from harm.

Click here to take the Serenity Personality Quiz

(this will come as no surprise to most of my friends)

Essential iPad apps

This is a blog post I’ve been meaning to write for a while now, and a discussion on my cataloging listserv reminded me I hadn’t yet. I finally got a tech toy I’ve been wanting for ages – my long-coveted iPad. I’ve had it about three weeks now, I used my tax refund to pick up one. I lucked out that one of my best friends, who has amazingly excellent taste, already owned pretty much the exact model I had my eyes on (iPad 2, 32 GB) and sold me hers because she was planning to upgrade. Lucky because the model I wanted is no longer in Apple’s refurb store. She also gave me her case, which I get tons of compliments on. Right away I set it up with the apps I wanted. I’ve had an iPhone for 3.5 years now, and I’m an app addict, so I’ve explored many of the apps out there. My initial apps on the iPad were ones I was already using, then I went and grabbed several others I’d scouted out ahead of time. And now, dear reader, you can benefit from my time playing with apps to save you time setting up your iPad.

Read more »

DrupalCamp Chicago 2012

Just got back from DrupalCamp Chicago, this was my first time going and it was awesome!

Read more »

Scrivener versus Storyist: A comparison

This post was inspired by discussion in the Chicago NaNoWriMo Facebook group, about software. I’ve used Scrivener 1.0 for a while, and just upgraded to 2.0 thanks to the latest MacHeist bundle. I just recently downloaded the NaNoWriMo trial of Storyist. So I thought I’d spend a little time playing with both. This is my pre-NaNoWriMo review, I’m sure I’ll have an updated commentary about these programs after November.

Warning: This is a graphic-heavy post, I’ve included a number of screen captures of the programs (they’re loaded in a smaller size and you can click through to full size but they’re still not small files).

Read more »

On Anime Central & why I love our staff

So much of today was taken up by this month’s all-staff Anime Central staff meeting. 🙂

Read more »

Gaming is addicting

Today is a day where I really haven’t accomplished much. I blame iPhone games.

Read more »

Interesting day

Nearly forgot to blog today! Forgetting my Lent promise & it’s only the second day!

Read more »

Getting back into blogging!

Whoops, I kinda started neglecting this blog!

I’ve decided to make my Lenten resolution to blog each day of Lent, as well as add one new piece of content to one of my websites.

Read more »

Merry Christmas to all!

Merry Christmas everyone!

I’ve just emerged from my post-Christmas-Eve coma (earlier than usual but I think it’s because I’m anxious to start sewing), and I thought I’d blog about my wonderful Christmas eve 🙂

Read more »

Sayonara school!

Yes, I am now officially finished with school!! This Wednesday I turned in my very last paper and gave my last presentation, and now all I have to do is wait on grades.

Read more »

Chicago TARDIS 2011 – con report

Okay, time to write up this con report before I completely forget what happened!

Read more »

Holiday wishlist meme

As usual, snagged from my good friend Paxie 🙂

Read more »

Chicago TARDIS 2011 – photos up!

Hi all!

I will be writing up a full convention report probably tomorrow or Friday (had to dive right into homework), but I wanted to post that I have uploaded my photos.  They’re all up on Facebook, and the last of the photos are heading up to Flickr right now. under the Chicago TARDIS 2011 set.

Highlights of this convention year: Matthew Waterhouse & Janet Fielding trading barbs about knit Daleks, winning the $25,000 Pyramids of Mars game, getting tons of nice comments about my super awesome geeky engagement, talking wedding plans/ideas with Tony Lee, and getting Mark Sheppard to pose for a photo by Mad Girl’s TARDIS with the Traveling Duckies!

Full report to come soon! 🙂

Welcome to my new blog!

Hello everyone!

I’ve decided that as long as I sprung for the paid webspace, I’d install WordPress & start a new blog here.  I’ve let my paid membership at LiveJournal lapse since I’m not as active there anymore, and really, there’s been so many DDOS attacks there I’d rather move anyway.  I’m not getting rid of my LJ, just not going to be using it as a dedicated blog.

This is just my introductory post – my first real posts will be my Chicago TARDIS convention report, which I’ll hopefully get up soon, depends on how quickly I can get through homework.

Anyway, welcome to my new blog, see you again soon! 🙂

WordPress Themes