x Kalyna Durbak | GeekGirlCon

Three Little Ways New Pokémon Snap Captured My Heart

I didn’t know I could be so excited for New Pokémon Snap to come out until Becca posted about replaying the original Pokémon Snap from 22 years ago. Her post immediately transported me to my childhood TV room, trying to capture all 63 featured Pokémon on film. Would the New Pokémon Snap scratch the nostalgia itch and be worth the full price? Would I still get excited about taking pictures of Pokémon I didn’t know? I found out soon after I started playing—the answer is YES!

Here are three little ways New Pokémon Snap captured my heart, and one way it did not:

Kalyna Durbak
“Rock On!”

An Earth Day for 2021

Yesterday marked the 51st Earth Day! I’m sure that there are many sites that will list tips to reduce your carbon footprint and be a better steward of the Earth. This is not that kind of post.

The Earth Day Flag [Image Description: a photo transfer of a NASA image of the Earth on a dark blue background.] Source: Wikipedia

Did you know that the first Earth Day was a massive protest? What started as a nationwide environmental teach-in became a 20 million person protest, demanding the US government do more for the environment. The Earth Day protest proved successful; over the next few years, the US enacted a slew of environmental agencies and standards. Here’s a sample of what happened within the next three years after the first Earth Day:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency (1970)
  • Clean Air Act (1970)
  • Occupational Safety and Health Act (1970)
  • Banning of DDT (1972)
  • Clean Water Act (1972)
  • Endangered Species Act (1973)
  • Leaded Gasoline Phase-Out (1973)

While we have many environmental protections in place, we have a lot of work to do to ensure everyone has access to clean water, pollution-free air, and opportunities to recreate in beautiful parks. Most often, it is underserved and underrepresented communities that suffer environmental catastrophes. We don’t have to look far back in history for examples: the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Flint water crisis from 2014-2019, and the ongoing battles against the Dakota Access Pipeline clearly show how environmental issues intersect with racism and poverty. 

While it’s too early to truly celebrate any recent victories in social and environmental justice, I find this spring more hopeful than the last. Where is the hope I speak of? Hope is found in every piece of trash we compost, in every company we hold accountable, and every environmental act our governments pass. Hope is found in standing in solidarity with protestors, donating to bail funds, and fighting white supremacy. Hope is found whenever we view environmentalism with an intersectional lens; it’s all connected, as they say, in a loop that never ends.

[Image Description: A woman with a day pack stands at the base of a redwood tree and is looking up. The tree is massive, and makes the woman look very small.] Source: personal photograph.

Learn more about the history of Earth Day:
EPA History: Earth Day (EPA)
Earth Day at 50: A look at the past, present, and future (NOAA)

Learn more about threats to our Earth:
Climate Change (NASA)
What is Ocean Acidification (NOAA)
Pacific Ocean takes perilous turn (Seattle Times)
Why biodiversity matters (Nature)

Environmentalism +
Environmental & Climate Justice (NAACP)
Feminism and environmentalism go hand in hand (Greenpeace)
Why Queer Liberation Is an Environmental Justice Issue (Earth Justice)
How to Unite the Fight for Racial Equity and Environmental Action (NRDC)

Kalyna Durbak
“Rock On!”

Postcards 101

If there’s something my friends and family know about me, it’s that I love snail mail. I’ve sent many correspondences throughout the years, whether it’s for a holiday, a birthday, or just a random hello. In 2020, sending mail has been one way to keep in touch with loved ones across the country; while I can’t visit physically, at least I can send something physical to let people know I’m thinking of them.

One of my favorite ways to keep in touch through snail mail is by writing postcards. I don’t have to write much on a postcard to convey my feelings, since there isn’t much space to write! While I know I could just text someone a random hello, I like sending postcards because it lets me be more creative in my message sending. I can write hello with fancy hand lettering, or stick washi tape on the lower border of the postcard. Every postcard is like a custom made art piece, sent to someone I care about.

Not sure how to get started writing postcards? No problem, I’ve written out my tips below. Happy postcard writing!

Image source: chibird.com [Image description: A cartoon ghost dressed up as a mail carrier sends a letter. At the top of the image it says “sending love!” and on the bottom, “I hope you feel it soon!”

Kalyna Durbak
“Rock On!”

Tea Time

There’s one habit that I’ve acquired during this pandemic that I’d like to keep: drinking more beverages throughout my day. Specifically, drinking several cups of herbal tea a day. I’ll always have a cup of coffee to start my day, but the rest of my day now belongs to tea. 

[Image description: A looped GIF of steam rising from an elegant mug.]Image source: Giphy

Kalyna Durbak
“Rock On!”

Observing the passage of time

It’s hard to keep track of time nowadays. I often find myself trying to remember what day it is, or when was the last time I did something. I have work deadlines and homework assignments, but it all gets jumbled into one big blob of work. There’s just something about being cooped up at home that makes time slip by, unnoticed by my usual measures. That is, until I look out the window. Though quarantine has turned all of our lives upside down, nature stays the course (as always).

[Image description: a GIF of a blooming pink Dahlia flower. Source: GIPHY]

Kalyna Durbak
“Rock On!”

We’re still accepting programming submissions!

[Image description: a photo from the 2016 panel “Saving Sci-Fi & Fantasy: POC, Women, & LGBTQ Voices Saving the Genre.” In the foreground a large group of people sit and listen to 6 panelists, while looking at a screen. The screen reads “Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn.”]

As we posted on Wednesday, we are still planning on GeekGirlCon 2020 happening as scheduled. That means we are still looking for programming submissions! Here are the different types of forms we have for programming:

  • Panel Submission: To submit your own panel or presentation for consideration.
  • Panelist and/or Moderator Application: To be considered as a panelist or moderator on any panels needing additional participants.
  • Performance/Event Submission: To submit an idea for an event or performance (musical performance, variety show, networking event, game show, DJ, etc.).
  • Workshop Submission: To submit interactive/educational content (Paint ‘n Take, hands-on wig styling tutorial, learn-to-code hour, etc.).
  • Tabletop Game Host Application: To submit a game you/your company created for consideration for the Gaming Floor.

If you want to submit an idea for programming but need help brainstorming, think about what kind of programming you attended at last year’s GeekGirlCon. Don’t remember? The programs of GeekGirlCons past are always available on our website to download. The Copy team also wrote some sample pitches last May.

More importantly, think of the kind of programming that you wish GeekGirlCon had last year. What would make you excited to come to GeekGirlCon 2020? Chances are, there are others who would love your idea too. Read through our Mission and Values, and if your idea fits, send it in!

Find all of the details about programming submissions on our site. We will accept submissions to all forms until Thursday, April 30 at 11:59pm PST.

Most importantly—stay healthy, stay safe, and practice social distancing. We’re in this together.

Kalyna Durbak
“Rock On!”

Share Your World and Write For Us!

Perhaps Connie is taking notes for a future GGC blog post? [Image description: Connie, from the cartoon Steven Universe Future, flips a page of a textbook and writes notes in a notebook.]

This year, we’ve been asking you to share your world with the GeekGirlCon community. There’s a lot of different ways you can share through social media, but it’s usually confined to 280 characters or a picture. What if you wanted to share something longer than a tweet? Perhaps you wanted to share with a bunch of self-professed geeks? If so, you should consider writing a guest blog post for the GeekGirlCon blog!

Kalyna Durbak
“Rock On!”

Houseplants, or how I survive The Grey (and geek out at the same time)

We are 8 days from the Winter Solstice, or the shortest day of the year. That means on December 21st, Seattle will have a grand total of 8 hours, 25 minutes, and 27 seconds of “daytime.” Every morning, as I stare out the window drinking my cup of coffee, I am confronted with a moody greyness that’s hard to shake off. I know it’s probably too early in the season to start complaining about The Grey, but I can’t help myself. It’s dark out there!

This year, I’ve developed a new morning ritual to remind me of sunnier days. I sit with my houseplants.

I know, I’m a plant lady.

Calatheas can be finicky, but are quite pretty
[Image description: A leaf from a Calathea makoyana, also known as a Peacock Plant. The leaf is “round, pale, glossy green leaves. The upper surfaces of the leaves are marked with dark green blotches along the veins, and the lower surfaces colored deep purple, with leaf shafts that are very thin” (Wikipedia).]

Kalyna Durbak
“Rock On!”

#GGC19 Sunday Preview

Can you believe it’s Day 2 of GeekGirlCon 2019? Since GGC is one weekend long, that means it’s the last day as well. This is the first year I’m working at the con, and I have to say it’s so satisfying seeing everyone sharing their passions and favorite fandoms through panels, cosplay, performances, and art work.

While this is the official last day of #GGC19, keep the spirit going after the convention ends by using the hashtag #ShareYourWorld. Each one of you, whether you’re a volunteering or attending, makes GeekGirlCon so great!

Kalyna Durbak
“Rock On!”

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