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Rock Band is my most favorite video game in the history of all video games.  I’m by no means good at it (I usually recruit someone to split drumming/kickpedaling duties with me, and have been known to fail singing on Easy) but I love it like no other.  I even draw nerdy literary comics about it. And this week, I made Rock Band cupcakes.

Rock Band Cupcakes

Rock Band cupcake

They’d be really nice to make if you were having people over for a Rock Band night.  (Do those exist?  They should.  If you host one, invite me over.  Perhaps I’ll bring cupcakes.)

On a somewhat related note, have you seen the trailer for The Beatles: Rock Band yet?  I’m pretty stoked.


In honor of Watchmen, I made these cupcakes with Jackie.  It is probably one of the more kickass sets of baked goods I hope to ever create.  The whole second generation of Watchmen is represented, even Archie:

The Comedian cupcake, Rorschach cupcake, Archimedes cupcake, Ozymandias cupcake, Silk Spectre cupcake, Captain Metropolis cupcake, Nite Owl cupcake, Dr. Manhattan cupcake, Doomsday Clock cupcake, Watchmen cupcakes.

Watchmen cupcakes

watchmen cupcake the comedian's badge

See my previous post on Father’s Day cupcakes for a link to the fondant recipe we used.  Based on demand, I might put up a fondant decorating tutorial later this week when I make cupcakes with Deanne.  We’re thinking Rock Band and/or Clue.  Get excited.


Laura Ingalls Wilder is freaking hilarious.



What?  No.  Not the Laura Ingalls Wilder who wrote Little House on the Prairie.  At least, not the real Laura.

Someone on Twitter has started tweeting as the renowned author of American pioneer literature under the pseudonym HalfPintIngalls.  Whoever it is combines a wicked sense of humor with a bookworm’s knowledge of Wilder’s life and work.  Here’s a sampling of HalfPintIngalls’ delightful tongue-in-cheek humor.

On fashion:


On venerated cultural traditions:


On modern marvels:


On the 2008 presidential election:



On daily life:


If this mysterious HalfPintIngalls is a man, I am adding him to my list of Internet crushes, along with Randall Munroe and Dan O’Brien. If you can’t get enough of HalfPintIngalls either, follow “Laura Ingalls Wilder” on Twitter.

When I interviewed for a copy editing posititon at The Daily Cal, one of the interview questions I was asked was, “What is your favorite punctuation mark and why?”  We’re all nerdy grammarians at the copy desk, so my response was, “I’m so glad you asked that question.  I love the interrobang.”

The what

The interrobang.

Feast your eyes on that. Aww yeah.

The interrobang.

It’s a combination question mark and exclamation point, to be used in instances like, “SHE SAID WHAT” or “WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT“, when the normal ?+! combo just won’t do.  I love the muddled combination of utter surprise, confusion, and exitement an interrobang conveys.  And visually, it’s one of the most beautiful punctuation marks out there.  I mean, look at those curves and that serif stylizing.

It’s fallen out of fashion to use interrobangs (they were invented in 1962 and were the hot new thing to have on your typewriter keyboard for a while), but I think that retro styling just adds to the interrobang’s charm.

If I ever form a rock band, I want to be called The InterroBANGS.  Too bad this band already beat me to the punch.  Check out this facebook group dedicated to the revival of the interrobang.

I’m sure you’ve been in the situation where you go out to a nice restaurant with a large group of friends.  It’s all fun and games until the check arrives and it’s time to figure out how to split the bill.  Usually this means a few ambitious people around the table will whip out their cell phone calculators and a stub of pencil and sit around scrawling figures.  And I don’t know about you, but we always seem to be saying “Okay, we’re still thirteen dollars short.  Everyone throw in a dollar.”

So...Whos good at math?

"So...Who's good at math?"

I like to avoid these situations from the get-go by bringing out the heavy artillery: my TI-83.  I’m kind of a nerd, if you couldn’t already tell by my school.  One nerdy thing I have done in the past is programming my TI-83 with all sorts of useful programs.  I’ve never taken a CS class and I’m definitely not a math girl, but that’s okay.  If you like problem solving and logic in general, you’ll find calculator programming quite addicting anyway.  The program I’m probably most proud of, and the one that I still use even though I’m not taking highschool Calculus anymore, is a little beauty titled “DINNER”.

“DINNER” has the ability to calculate, from any given person’s appetizers/entrees/drinks total, the amount of tax and tip they should pay.  It even allows for adjustment of the percentage of tip you want to leave (10%, 20%, or anything you like).

My gift to you today is the full program of “DINNER”, straight from my TI-83.  My explanation of what’s going on is in italics.  You’ll see that it’s really not too hard to go into the belly of the beast and tinker around to write your own program; you’re basically just dictating to the calculator all the steps you would take manually anyway.  May your group dinners never be dampened by awkward bill-wrangling again.

I hate math, but I love my TI-83 Plus.

I hate math, but I love my TI-83 Plus.


Asking for the total amount “A” spent on appetizers/entree/drinks


:Prompt A

Asking how much “T” you want to tip your server


:Prompt T

Giving the user the results.

Tax due:

:Disp “TAX”

:Disp 0.0825A

Tip due:

:Disp “TIP”

:Disp TA

Total amount due:

:Disp “TOTAL:”

:Disp A + 0.0825A + TA


And it can even be a conversation starter.  You’re welcome.

Hey there. I’m Katherine. This is going to be a blog about being a college student living in Berkeley, CA. The best way for you to get to know me is probably to explain myself in terms of Cranium, the best party game of all mankind:

If I were a game category in Cranium, I would definitely be the Word Worm. I’m not so much of a Data Head; I thought my college admission might be revoked because I almost got a D in Calculus (uh, integrals, what?) but luckily, that didn’t happen, and now I get to live in Berkeley, the most rocking city this side of the Mississippi.

As a word worm, though, I can spell forwards and backwards, individually or on a team. I don’t like to brag (I secretly do), but I’m a two time high-school spelling bee champion. I am pretty much all over this literacy shit. At school, I happily work for less than $5/hr as a copy editor for The Daily Californian, meaning that I proofread articles for grammar, write headlines, and would really like a shirt that says, “bad grammar makes me [sic]”.

I’m not too much of a Star Performer (my humdinger performances are notoriously incomprehensible), but get me in front of Rock Band and despite being tone-deaf and rhythmically challenged, I will rock and roll all night (and party every day). My favorite band is The Ramones, and my first concert was Social Distortion at the Fillmore in San Francisco. I love music, and will be blogging about my favorite bands, both famous and emerging.

I’m not a picky eater, but I detest overhyped restaurants and go to great lengths to debunk such establishments. One of my favorite things about living in Berkeley is finding (and sometimes fabricating out of thin air) special occasions that necessitate celebrating at a locally acclaimed eatery. Some of that enthusiasm for food will probably carry over onto this blog as well.

Say hi in the comments and let me know what you’d like to see!