You Sexy Thing!

I’m thrilled to be moderating a panel at UniversalFanCon this year! Join us on the first day of the con, April 27th for…

YOU SEXY THING!

Panel Description: Sure geeks are universal…but so is romance. Many think that just because we’re nerds that we’re not interested in, or good at, all things smexy. But that’s just not true. After all, GEEK isn’t the only thing that’s universal. Sex is as universal as it gets. Every person on Earth got here through sex. And when it comes to CONSENSUAL good sex, there are more humans chasing it than running from it. Show me a person who denies this, and we’ll sell you a bridge in Greenland that’s lined with emeralds and your own personal crew waiting to sing ‘We’re off to see the wizard!’ in five-part harmony.

When we sit down to read we want to escape, yet have enough reality where we can see ourselves in the story. So why aren’t there extraordinary books out there starring the geek of your dreams? There are. And there are a lot of them. However, if you’re not sure where or how to come by these marvelous works of art, come to our panel and talk to the authors who create them. That’s right, we’ve got you.

This panel covers:
1) Worldbuilding (all genres, from contemporary to sci-fi to fantasy)
2) How kinky can geeks get? (BDSM romance)
3) Flipping for badass gods, faeries, angels, etc. (Fantasy romance)
4) Comic/Video game genres (wrapping games & romance together)
5) Da skilled lovers (writing scenes: realistic or ridiculous?)
6) Fang-banging, video gaming romance (speaks for itself, doesn’t it?)
7) Can we have it all? YES! (Multi-cultural, interracial, LGBT romance)
8) From books to the big screen, geeky sex equals…shiny! (Firefly/sci-fi romance)

Cuttin’ the cord!

I’ve recently cut the cord, meaning I don’t have cable anymore, and it’s been a serious challenge to find a service that will allow me to watch premium (or premium according to my former cable provider – ugh) channels without paying an arm, a leg and half a liver.

So far, I’ve tried two providers – Sling TV and PlayStation Vue. This week I’ll talk about Sling TV. Next time, I’ll get into my experience with PlayStation Vue.

Sling TV – This service provider is actually owned by DISH Network, the satellite TV guys. You can get it as an ‘app’ if you have a TV with a Roku interface. I’m sure there are other ways to get it as well, but I have Roku, so that’s as far as I went. My thoughts on the app itself? Well, given I’ve been a professional in the ever-evolving world of tech for almost thirty (30) years, the interface and ‘feels’ of this service seem to be in its infancy, but the ‘bones’ are pretty solid so they can really expand the functionality of this app A LOT,  if they choose to.

Sling PROS

  1. It’s SUPER CHEAP! If you’re used to paying over $100 a month for cable, minus a premium channel like HBO, then you’re going to love Sling TV. It’s about $25 a month and I get the channels I love, like Syfy (This is required so I can get my Killjoys fix!), BBC America, the History Channel, HGTV, etc.  If you want HBO, it’s an additional $15, which still brings you in at well below that $100 cable bill.
  2. It has a guide function that allows me to see what coming up on the channels I want to watch, as well as an On Air tab that allows me to see only what’s on right now.
  3. Search function is standard and allows you to search for specific shows, as well as channels. I like the channel search because it shows me everything coming up on that channel along with any On Demand programs.
  4. If you want to rent movies, you can do that as well. While you can opt in to purchase a premium channel, you don’t have to. If you want one movie rather than a whole month of HBO, you have that option.
  5. Bandwidth choices! This is huge, especially if you have a crappy internet connection, like we do where I live. You can choose the maximum bandwidth that the app is allowed to use, from no limit (best quality) all the way down to .8 Mbps.
  6. CUSTOMER SERVICE IS AWESOME! These people are super responsive, even on Twitter (@SlingAnswers). There is a real, warm-blooded dedicated staff and they will absolutely talk to you if you need help.

Sling CONS

  1. Where’d the menu go? – When you first sign in, you can add your favorite channels to the My TV area. Unfortunately, I have yet to figure out how to get this menu to reappear so I can add more channels to it. Help says ‘click the Add button’…but there isn’t one, so…yeah.
  2. Favorites – The fav button doesn’t always show up where you expect it to. As an end user, what this really means is that the buttons for ‘MyTV’ and ‘Favorite’ look too much alike (both have a little heart at the center), so when you think you have one, you really may have the other (searched the Help Center but didn’t see any explanation). If you think you see Fav, and it’s really MyTV, when you click it will take you to the Favorite section under My TV…and since you didn’t actually ‘fav’ your show, of course it isn’t listed.
  3. For shows that are truly marked as Favs, you sometimes get these weird gray boxes (see screenshot) and multiple iterations of your show. I have no idea why this is. For example, I have two grayed out boxes, one for Killjoys and one for Dark Matter. I also have two listing with the actual Killjoys and Dark Matter graphics. I can’t tell what’s what until I click on them. Turns out, one listing contains the entire series with all the episodes grouped together (you have to actually watch them in order for them to appear, so no DVR capabilities here), the other listing is a single episode. This single episode is also listed with the grouped series, so I have no idea why they’re here at all.0810161101
  4. On Demand is limited, but they are working on adding more shows.
  5. Occasionally the menus don’t align. For example, I selected a show called PlanetEarth and it had a StarTrek TNG description.

In the end, I selected Sling TV. The product is off to a good start and for what you get, the cost is super affordable. But honestly, what sold me is the amazing customer service! But I’ll tell you about that next time…

A Different Kind of Yum!

Okay, I’ll be completely honest here — when I first heard of this recipe my first reaction was “EWWWW!” But after reading what’s in it, it sounds absolutely delish and perfect for a holiday picnic or outing.

If you make this, let me know how it turns out!

Layered Cornbread Salad (courtesy of The Food Network)

FNM_050113-Layered-Cornbread-Salad-Recipe_s4x3.jpg.rend.sni12col.landscapeTotal Time: 20 min
Prep: 20 min
Yield:6 servings
Level:Easy

Ingredients
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Kosher salt
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 scallions, minced
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
2 cups crumbled cornbread
2 15 -ounce cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican-blend cheese

Directions
Toss the tomatoes, bell pepper, cilantro and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Whisk the sour cream, mayonnaise, scallions, lime juice, chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.
Assemble the salad: Sprinkle half of the cornbread in a glass bowl or trifle dish. Top with half each of the black-eyed peas, corn and the tomato-pepper mixture, then half each of the sour cream mixture and cheese. Repeat the layers with the remaining ingredients, ending with cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
Photograph by Con Poulos

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/cornbread-salad-recipe.html?oc=linkback

Totally me!

I posted this on my Facebook page the other day and it resonated so much, I just had to post it here, too!

This is what happens when the book is really good…
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Thirsty Thursday – Peach Iced Tea

Just PeachyIn celebration of the upcoming release of Just Peachy, we’re spending out Thirsty Thursday exploring delicious peach drinks and nom-noms.

Due to some technical difficulty (basically my computer doesn’t want to convert the .flv video file of my peachy video with Ms. Lisa B) we are posting a recipe for homemade iced peach tea instead of the peach crush we planned to share with you. But we’ll get this worked out, and soon.

In the meantime, enjoy!

Music Monday – Tina Turner

Tina Turner is a living legend, plain and simple. Today, one of the hardest working women in show business is Beyonce, whether you like her music or not. So what do you get when you put these two ladies on one stage?

Scroll down and take a look!

Thirsty Thursday – Butterbeer

Yes, people, I have a Harry Potter fetish. In another life, I believe I was a Ravenclaw or a Gryffindor, complete with Quidditch skills and a killer broomstick. So, since I’ve got HP on the brain, here’s a refreshing drink that you’ll love to make for yourselves:

BUTTER BEER!

Oh, and for you non-beer drinkers (like myself), there’s no actual Budweiser in this recipe, courtesy of MyRecipes.com. Written instructions are below the video. Enjoy!

BUTTERBEER:
1 12-ounce bottle cream soda
1 teaspoon butter extract
1/3 teaspoon rum extract

WHIPPED TOPPING:
1/4 cup marshmallow cream
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/3 teaspoon rum extract
Preparation

In a pint-sized beer mug, combine bottled soda and extracts. Stir. Using an electric mixer, whip marshmallow cream, whipping cream, and rum extract until smooth. Add whipped topping to butterbeer.

Thirsty Thursday – Strawberry Mimosa

Thirsty Thursday is a celebration of the coming Spring and Summer months where we have access to the sweetest, juiciest fruits to add to our favorite mixology masterpieces. To kick off our Thirsty Thursday series, let’s jump right in with Strawberry Mimosa’s with the wonderful fashionista in Michigan, Ms. Lisa B. (@gypsywoman35 on Twitter).

Enjoy!