#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!”

Top 5 Reasons to Attend the #GGC19 Kick Off Party

Can you believe it? GGC19 weekend is almost here! Start your weekend early and join us tomorrow night at the Pacific Science Center for the most epic GeekGirlCon Kick Off Party yet.

Image source: Giphy [Image Description: A blond woman exclaims to her friends “I’m ready to PAAAAAAAAAAAAAARTY.”]

Where: Pacific Science Center. You can enter through the Denny entrance, on the South side of the PSC building.

When: Friday, November 15th from 7:00 – 10:00pm

What: food, a cash bar, crafts, games, music, geeky madlibs, and so much more!

Need some more convincing? Here are the top 5 reasons why you should attend:

1. You’ve already paid for it. The Kick Off Party is included with your GGC pass, so why not go?

2. Skip the Saturday morning line.  Speaking of your GGC pass, you can pick it up at the party itself. That means you don’t have to wait in line on Saturday. Treat yourself to an extra half hour of sleep and pick up your pass Friday night!

3. Earn prizes by meeting new people. The Kick Off party is a great way to meet fellow GGC attendees. If you play a round of geeky madlibs with a person you met at the Kick Off Party, you can enter to win prizes.

4. Lots of different activities. On top of geeky madlibs, you’ll have a chance to…

  • craft a dragon egg, 
  • merge crafting and coding with Turtlestitch,
  • play board games,
  • dance to the music, and
  • fill up with tasty food and drinks

5. Party favors. That’s right, there will be multiple party favors from sponsors.

Get ready to party and join us tomorrow night for the GeekGirlCon Kick Off Party!

Kalyna Durbak
“Rock On!”

Happy Halloween!

What is it about the end of October that makes me want to carve pumpkins and eat lots of candy? Oh, right—’tis the season for Halloween!

Image Source: Giphy [Image Description: a glowing jack-o-lantern face, lit by flickering candlelight, against a black background. ]

My parents didn’t allow me to trick or treat, so my Halloweens were spent at home reading, watching movies, and eating all the candy I collected from friends. While I did end up trick or treating a few times in my life, Halloween remains a night where I stay in and stay up as late as possible. This year, I think I’m going to look through the GeekGirlCon ‘19 schedule and plan which panels to attend. 😉

Whatever you’re doing tonight—whether you’re trick or treating, handing out candy, carving pumpkins, or watching a scary movie with friends—we hope you have a fun and safe Halloween!

Kalyna Durbak
“Rock On!”

Panel Preview: For Academia Geeks

Image source: Giphy [Image description: The character professor Sybill Trelawney, from the Harry Potter series, welcomes her students to class. She has shoulder length curly hair, and is enthusiastically extending her arms out in front of her. She is wearing large, thick-rimmed glasses, a headband, and a green blouse. The caption reads “Welcome!”]

Can you believe that GeekGirlCon ‘19 is just 49 days away? Over the next few weeks we’ll be sharing curated lists of panels that we think you’ll enjoy. Our first list is for the Academia Geeks.

Are you still waiting for an owl to deliver your acceptance letter to Hogwarts? Perhaps you’re a teacher who wishes they could teach jutsu from the Hidden Leaf village? Maybe you dream of teaching like one of your favorite characters? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, we have the perfect panels for you!

Kalyna Durbak
“Rock On!”

Featured Contributor Paula Burrows Shares Her World

Following her introduction as another of our GeekGirlCon ‘19 Featured Contributors, we asked Paula Burrows to share a little bit about her world in another installment of our Q&A series.

[Image Description: Selfie of Paula. She is looking into the camera and smiling. She is wearing a black top.]

Paula’s acting credentials include TV series such as The Dangers of Online Dating and Unspeakable, but I was introduced to her work as the voice of Rayla, a Moonshadow elf from the animated series The Dragon Prince on Netflix. In this fantasy series, Rayla joins two human princes in trying to save their world from war. Paula’s performance gives Rayla a full range of emotion—serious one minute and dripping with sarcasm the next. Paula’s vocal prowess really makes Rayla’s story believable.

Read on to find out what her absolute dream role is, what stories she loves, and most importantly, which Hogwarts House she belongs to!

Kalyna Durbak
“Rock On!”

Join Team GeekGirlCon!

Ready to volunteer? All volunteer staff positions are posted here. Need more convincing? Read on…

Are you counting down the days until GeekGirlCon? Do you want more GeekGirlCon in your life, perhaps all year round? If so, consider joining the volunteer staff at GeekGirlCon!

Image courtesy of Giphy [Image description: A gif from the movie Air Bud. A close-up shot of six boys stacking one of their hands on top of the other in a group huddle.  At the last second, a dog’s paw joins the top of the stack.]

Kalyna Durbak
“Rock On!”

Podcasts: Keeping My Ears Happy Since 2014

One word can sum up the reason why I got into podcasts: traffic. It was summer 2014, and I was living near Baltimore, Maryland. My commute would range from 40 minutes to over an hour of bumper to bumper traffic, and I was bored listening to the same four songs on the radio. The time spent in traffic felt wasted. Wasn’t there any way to utilize this time to learn something?

I assure you, the traffic was really bad! Image source: pexels.com
[Image Description: A closeup of a car’s side view mirror. Reflected in the mirror are many stopped cars, suggesting a traffic jam.]

One day, as I was listening to NPR, I heard a promo for one of their podcasts. I didn’t know what a podcast was, but soon enough I downloaded a few episodes for my commute to work. By the end of the year I was hooked to podcasts such as 99% Invisible and This American Life. Thursday mornings became my most anticipated commutes, as that’s when Serial would post episodes.

Kalyna Durbak
“Rock On!”

Libraries: the reason I’m still a geek

There’s just something about libraries. No matter the time of day, I always see people browsing the shelves or picking up items on hold. Surprisingly, it’s never too loud or too quiet in the building. There’s just enough clacking of keyboards and soft conversations to remind me that there are people in the library with me, all using the space in their own way. For me, the library is an integral part of my life as a geek.

This is how I feel every time I step into a library.GIF of Belle from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast gesturing at books from a bookcase ladder.
Source: GIPHY

My love of libraries came from my father. He frequented the public library to use the computers, and to feed my never satiated hunger for something to read. Under the dim fluorescent lights I read classics like Black Beauty and The Black Stallion, and found great fantasy novels such as Tamara Pierce’s Wild Magic (surprise, I had a thing for horses). Most of these books were brought back quite late, and I have memories of paying my late fees in change. No matter how inconvenient, the library workers would take my change with a smile, and always encouraged me to come back for more books.

In middle school, I found something else to read—manga. My local library didn’t carry any comics, so I stopped visiting. I started saving leftover lunch money and used it to buy a new manga every week. I ended up with my own library of manga that my friends would borrow from, and even had a notebook to keep track of my books! After I graduated from high school, my money situation changed. I could no longer afford to buy shiny new manga every week for myself. I stopped looking for new series because I could not legally access them. The geekiness inside of me faded into the background as I struggled to figure out other parts of my life.

I don’t remember too many details from my first visit to my local King County library. I think I had just moved to Washington State, was bored, and wanted to sit somewhere with air conditioning. I didn’t know what to expect when I entered the building. Would I be there only person there? Would it be like the dimly lit library of my youth? I stepped in, and was shocked—the place was packed! Every corner of the building was in use, from study rooms to public computers. Some people were just sitting in a comfy chair and enjoying the view from the large windows. Others browsed the shelves, looking for a book cover to inspire them.

And you know what I found? Manga! The library had a whole section of beautiful manga! I stood in front of the shelves, a big grin on my face. I could finally read all the manga and comics I wanted without going broke. At last, I could feed my inner geek again.

My current stack of library books: Ouran High School Host Club vol. 15; Tokyo Babylon books 1 and 2; Catch-22, by Joseph Heller; Unsheltered, by Barbara Kingsolver; Ms. Marvel, vol. 10; Rat Queens, vol 4; Valerian, the Complete Collection, book 2.

I now visit the library several times a month to borrow all sorts of media. Through the library I watched Westworld and Star Trek: Discovery, two TV series that are only available through a subscription service. When I need a new crafting project, I’ll browse the crafting section in nonfiction. Manga-wise, I finished Fruits Basket, and am now tackling all of CLAMP’s works.

No matter your fandom, you’ll find something for your inner geek at your local library.

Kalyna Durbak
“Rock On!”

Thank you for GIVINGBIG!

We asked you, our community, to GiveBIG last Wednesday—and you responded in a big way. You helped us make GiveBIG 2019 our most successful year EVER by raising the staggering amount of $16,358! From every fiber of our being, we thank you for supporting GeekGirlCon!

As our staff is 100% volunteer, each dollar you donated directly impacts GeekGirlCon’s development and longevity. Because of your generosity, we’re able to

  • continue offering year-round programming;
  • create a welcoming, safe environment for people of all backgrounds, races, sexualities, genders, abilities, etc.;
  • improve and expand our equity work;
  • host our annual convention; and
  • share your world with the world!

Thank you for entrusting us with your donations. We’ll use it to pull off the best GeekGirlCon yet!

Kalyna Durbak
“Rock On!”

Support GGC at The Gauntlet: Cirque!

Distinguished blog readers, children of all ages — ENGAGE is proud to present The Gauntlet 2019! Gather round Mox Boarding House Bellevue on May 19th to marvel as Team GeekGirlCon dazzles the audience with their extraordinary gaming skills!

This year’s Gauntlet poster. The logo features two stylized black and white circus actors on a red background, with the words “The Gauntlet Cirque! May 19th 2019 Mox Bellevue” in the center. Image from: https://thegauntlet2019.causevox.com/

The Gauntlet is an invitation-only 8+ hour tournament, consisting of tabletop games from a variety of genres, plus trivia. This year, 16 teams will compete for the shiny Gauntlet trophy.

Our team is excited to play games and raise funds to benefit El Centro de la Raza (The Center for People of All Races), which serves as a voice for the Latinx and immigrant communities in Seattle and King County. Since 1972, El Centro de la Raza has built unity across racial and economic sectors, empowered the most vulnerable and marginalized populations and strives to provide justice to all peoples. From education and youth-focused programs to community building and development, they offer services to aid the Seattle community and beyond throughout all stages of life.

If you can’t make it to the event itself, consider making a donation to our team! Your donations will benefit El Centro de la Raza in their efforts to bring after school programming for low-income middle school children. Giving through our donation page will also unlock power-ups to aid our team in the Gauntlet. We’d love to win that shiny Gauntlet trophy!

The Gauntlet Tournament’s trophy, which features a metal gauntlet (fist up) on a pedestal. The base has the phrase “The Gauntlet: A call to engage” inscribed, as well as three previous winners and the year they won (Team Paizo, 2014; Team Removed From Play, 2018; Team Wizards of the Coast, 2016). Image from https://thegauntlet2019.causevox.com/

What: The Gauntlet: Cirque!
Where: Mox Boarding House (Google Maps | Twitch Stream)
When: Sunday, May 19th beginning at 11:00 a.m.
Click to donate to our team. Alternatively, you can donate through an individual team member by clicking on their names in the list below.

Captain: Kristine Hassell (Director of Outreach)
5th year participating in The Gauntlet

Player: Alyssa Askew (Manager of Gaming)
1st year participating in the Gauntlet

Player: Reynide Dubreus (Survey and Data Analyst)
1st year participating in the Gauntlet

Player: Julia Kallweit (Assistant Manager of Gaming)
1st year participating in the Gauntlet

We hope you’ll cheer us on at the Gauntlet, and donate to this worthy cause.

Edited to include team member’s names and individual donation pages.

Kalyna Durbak
“Rock On!”

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