Sub vs. Dub: How Do You Watch Your Anime?

Kirishima fights Tetsutetsu in a My Hero Academia school festival match!
Kirishima and Tetsutetsu, both with similar quirks, fight each other in an evenly powered match!
Image courtesy of Giphy

To lovers of all things Japanese, it is the age old question: Is subtitled anime better than its English dubbed counterpart? Or vice versa? In the past, many audiences had little choice but to watch whatever form was available to them, but as the internet improved and streaming services have begun to offer a veritable buffet of media choices, we are essentially able to pick whatever form of media consumption we choose. Each form has its pros and cons, and it is only fair to explore them both.

Subtitles Offer a More Authentic Experience

Subs, or subtitled anime with the original Japanese voice acting, would definitely be the best choice if you are looking for a pure anime experience. Even when the story is set in fantasy or non-Japanese contexts, anime is rife with Japanese social norms, body language, and cultural references. Watching the anime in the original Japanese helps to connect some of these small yet significant nuances, which allows for a well-rounded cultural experience.

Often, when watching the dub (where English or another language is superimposed on the animation instead of the Japanese), it becomes clear that there are just some things that don’t translate well out of Japanese to other languages. For example, the use of honorifics. Anime gets much of its charm from emotional connections between characters, which can be initially gleaned from the honorifics used between them. Terms such as san, chan, and sama all signal different relationships and levels of familiarity, or lack thereof.

Rebecca Anglesey
“Rock On!”

Why You Should GiveBIG!

A young child stands next to the GeekGirlCon Main Stage watching a music performance.
Image courtesy of GGC

Hi everyone! We are quickly coming upon one of GeekGirlCon’s biggest fundraisers of the year: GiveBIG, hosted by 501 Commons on May 5-6. We are so excited to be able to offer a con that promotes underrepresented communities in science, art, comics, and so much more, but we are only able to do so with the generous donations and support of our community.

So why should you support GeekGirlCon? GGC is an organization made up of a community of passionate people who come together to promote the belief that everyone deserves a safe space to express themselves. The 100% volunteer staff of GGC works year-round to bring the best possible programming, vendors, and activities to GGC for people of all genders, ethnicities, and sexualities to enjoy and to help spread the spirit of our labor of love throughout our community. If that sounds like a cool thing that you want to support, then you should GiveBIG! If you want to learn more, check out our Mission Statement.

Our mission is only possibly with your support, and every contribution counts (and is also tax deductible). You can even schedule your donation early if you just don’t want to wait. Be sure to check back in with us on May 5-6 to see how we are doing!

And from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your continued support of GeekGrilCon. It truly means the world to us! 

A blue heart with the logo for GiveBIG, and a yellow banner that says “10 Years of Giving.” GiveBIG is powered by 501 Commons and will take place on May 5-6.

Rebecca Anglesey
“Rock On!”

Practicing Self-Care in Isolation

Description: A white cartoon cat meditates as it levitates and reaches rainbow-colored nirvana.
Image courtesy of Giphy

When we think of self-care, the first image that comes to our minds is a bubble bath, candles, and a glass of wine. But the idea of self-care is much more than that. Don’t get me wrong—if a bubble bath, candles, and a glass of wine are things that help relax you and make you feel good, by all means do those things! However, there are also a lot of other ways that you can practice self-care in these stressful times that you may not have thought about while you are in isolation.

Acknowledge Your Feelings

The situation the world is in right now is scary and stressful and maddening, so it is okay to feel scared and stressed and angry! If you allow yourself to feel your feelings, you are better able to identify what is making you feel that way so you are able to cope with the situation. I know this sounds a bit obvious, but just let it out!

Limit your News Intake

While you absolutely should stay informed about what is happening in the world right now, try to limit your news intake to one reputable news source. If there are important developments, a reputable source will surely be reporting on it. The problem with seeking out multiple sources is that you will often see the same stories over and over and over again (as well as sensationalist stories to get clicks), adding to your stress and anxiety about the situation. As tempting as it is, try not to stay glued to your newsfeed. Just to take a look at it a couple of times a day to stay well informed.

This can also equate to limiting your time on social media in general. While it is easy to sit and scroll on your phone for hours because there isn’t much else to do (I’m guilty of this as well), you will often come across a lot of people posting about how bored/stressed/angry they are, as well as possible misinformation about COVID-19, which can feed your own boredom/stress/anger.

Control What You Can

A lot of negative feelings in this time are related to a perceived lack of control, so instead of focusing on what you can’t control, try focusing on things that you can control. Clean your closet, organize the bookcase, weed the garden, bake something, etc…. Controlling the heck out of this small stuff will help you feel grounded.

Keep to a Regular Schedule

I have come to find that my time in isolation has felt a bit like that week between Christmas and New Years. Time seems irrelevant and it is easy to get sucked into a nonexistent schedule of sleeping, eating, and sleeping again. To maintain a sense of normalcy, it helps to keep a regular schedule. Wake up at about the same time, eat your meals at normal times—you get it. Then, when this crisis is over and we are able to emerge from our homes, it won’t be such a shock getting back to our normal routines.

Help Others

Helping others is one of the biggest mood boosters there is. While it seems difficult to help people when we are supposed to be staying away from people, there are a few ways you can help out that take little to no contact. If you are going to venture out to the grocery store, check in with elderly neighbors to see if they need anything. Getting necessities was already difficult for our elderly population, and the current crisis has made it even more so. It only takes a minute to call or drop a note in their mailbox offering help, and they will surely appreciate it. Check in on your extrovert friends over FaceTime or Skype, because I can guarantee you that they are craving social contact. This could also be a great time to take in a foster pet, as adoption rates have gone down dramatically. Look around in your neighborhood for these little ways you can contribute to the cause, because we are all in this together.

Moisturize!

This one is small, but very important. We all have a heightened awareness about washing our hands, and all that extra contact with hot water, soap, and alcohol based sanitizers can quicklyy take a toll on the skin on your hands. Use a hand cream or body moisturizer a few times a day to keep the skin from getting cracked and itchy. Over-dry hands are not pleasant.

Escape Reality for a Bit

In times like this, we need a bit of escapism more than ever, and it is okay to duck out of reality for a little bit. Read a book, play a video game, or binge watch your favorite television show without guilt! You deserve to be able to relieve your mind with a bit of distraction.

Meditate

Even if it just for five minutes in a day, it is good to sit down and clear your mind for a moment. If you aren’t well practiced in meditation, try finding a guided meditation on YouTube. Trust me, it really helps.

Self-care is possibly the most important thing you can do for yourself during this time. If you aren’t taking care of yourself, you can’t care for others effectively, so don’t feel guilty about taking a few minutes for yourself during the day. 

And, as always, GGC is here to help support our community through hope, love, and acceptance. Tell us what kind of things you do to practice self-care at home!

Description: A small yellow cartoon chick sleeps and is surrounded by the phrase, “It is absolutely okay to take time for self care. You can’t do things well if you don’t feel well.
Image courtesy of Giphy

Rebecca Anglesey
“Rock On!”

Stay Healthy!

Here at GeekGirlCon, we care about the health and safety of everyone in our community. Currently, The greater Seattle area (and many other places in the world) is facing a battle with COVID-19, popularly referred to as Coronavirus. Now is a good time to review a few ways to keep yourself, your loved ones, and your community as safe as you can. When it comes to germs, sharing is not caring.

Wash Your Hands

This cannot be stressed enough, folks! WASH. YOUR. HANDS. Hand washing is the simplest and most effective way to stop the spread of disease. Follow these simple rules while washing your hands  to give yourself the best shot at killing as many germs as possible:

  1. Use hot running water and wet your hands.
  2. Soap up!
  3. Scrub your hands for 15-20 seconds. Yeah, it seems like a long time, but that’s just how long it takes to kill the germies. A good rule is to sing Happy Birthday twice. Be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, in between your fingers, and around your finger nails.
  4. Rinse well. Don’t touch the faucet when you are done! This can re-contaminate your hands.
  5. Get a disposable paper towel and dry your hands. Use the towel to turn off the water without touching the faucet directly.

If you can’t wash your hands, you can use hand sanitizer with a minimum 60% alcohol base, but nothing beats a good ol’ wash.

Check out this funny old video about washing your hands from the Washington Department of Health:

Description: Various people enthusiastically endorsing hand washing to a catchy tune.
Video courtesy of the Washington State Department of Health

Cover Your Coughs and Sneezes

Believe it or not, there is actually a right way and a wrong way to cover a cough or sneeze. The best method is to cover your mouth with a tissue and throw it away. If you, like me, often find coughs and sneezes sneaking up on you and you don’t have time to get a tissue, then you should turn your head into the crook of your elbow. This will direct the germs away from your hands while also not spreading germy spittle across the room. Try not to cough and sneeze directly in your hands unless you have no other choice, and please wash your hands immediately.

You should cover that sneeze, little dude…
Description: A kitten sneezes adorably.
Image courtesy of Giphy

Don’t Touch Your Face

This is a really, really hard one. We touch our faces all the time, every day. When your eye itches, you scratch it. If you have dry lips, you put on lip balm.  Do you see where this is going? Your fingers are the parts of your body that will undoubtedly come into the most contact with germy surfaces, and your face houses the mucous membranes that give germs the easiest access into your body (eyes, nose, and mouth). It is like granting bacteria VIP access to your body. I know it is hard, but please try to not touch your face.

That’s just what the germs want!
Description: Will Ferrell belligerently threatens, “I’ll get inside your face!”
Image courtesy of Giphy

If You Feel Sick, Please Stay Home

Through most cold and flu seasons, we are told to stay home when sick, but are kind of pressured to go about our lives as usual. It is difficult to make the decision to stay home from work or school when there is so much to be done and people who depend on you. But please, please, please stay home if you are feeling unwell. Please keep your children home from school if they are feeling sick. Trust me, no one wants them there and they don’t want to be there.

Currently, the King County Public Health Department has put out a list of Public Health Recommendations to help combat the spread of Coronavirus. They recommend trying to work from home if you can, and to avoid large gatherings of people. We should all stay calm, but be mindful of our habits and surroundings to keep ourselves and everyone else safe.

It is important to point out that, while many people get the cold and flu every year and come out of it perfectly fine, there are also many who don’t. COVID-19 is proving to be similar. While you, a reasonably healthy adult, may just have mild symptoms and will recover on your own, there are those in our society who would not. The elderly, the very young, those who are pregnant, and the immunocompromised react much more severely to common illnesses. If we have it within our power to stop the spread of diseases that may prove fatal to the most vulnerable members of our society, then we have a moral and ethical obligation to do so. So please, protect other peoples loved ones and wash your hands.

Want a little more info? Check out our previous blog post How to Conquer Con Crud for some more tips from GeekGirlCon on how to stay happy and healthy!

And also… wash your hands!

Description: A waving hand informs us that clean hands care, protect, and count.
Image courtesy of Giphy

Rebecca Anglesey
“Rock On!”

GGC 2019 Panel Recap! Knotty Geeks: Fiber Arts and Fandom

Description: Rapunzel knits a really, really long grey scarf for Pascal the chameleon.
Image Courtesy of Giphy.

Of all the amazing panels offered at GGC 2019, I was most looking forward to Knotty Geeks: Fiber Arts and Fandom. Crafting is having a bit of a renaissance in the geek world, and I am all here for it! I am an avid geek crafter, and I really wanted to see what other crafty geeks have been up to while possibly getting some new inspiration for myself. I waited patiently (not really) for 4 p.m.  to roll around on Sunday and I headed down to the room with high expectations. I was not disappointed!

First off, the room was pretty full, which was encouraging to see for a late Sunday panel. As I looked around the room, I saw folks of many different ages waiting patiently for the panel to begin. Some of them were even working on knitted projects as they waited. I was actually a bit jealous, since I hadn’t brought any current projects of my own.

The panelist really didn’t waste any time once things got started. She kicked off the panel with one of the biggest and most important issues facing people who like to craft with ideas derived from pop culture—copyright infringement of trademark and licensed properties. Basically, what it boils down to is don’t sell this stuff. You can make patterns for things, knit a sweater depicting your favorite anime character, and even give them away as amazing one of a kind gifts, but the key is not to exchange money for said goods. It is really the safest practice. Now, you can absolutely jump through the hoops to create patterns in collaboration with license holders, but it is a lengthy and difficult process. Many times, it is simply easier to find licensed patterns that already exist and purchase those.

Another aspect of this issue that was mentioned is something known as “The 30% Rule.” This rule states that if a product that derives its design from another idea is not infringing on copyrights if the new product differs from the original by at least 30%. This can be tricky though, as it is largely subjective. Personally, I find it much easier to just find a fun pattern online and run with it.

When the necessary legal stuff was out of the way, we got to see some really fun and cool examples of fiber arts in the geek world. We were treated to a brief history of knitting, crocheting, and cross stitch, and were shown some cool and fun work that other geeks are doing out in the world. We had a discussion about how much math is involved in the art and the panelist showed us how some people are crocheting hyperbolic planes. She also passed around pieces that we could feel and look at in-depth, which was really fun. You could just feel the air in the panel room change with different levels of interest and awe with every project that was passed around.

The last portion of the panel was dedicated to a show and tell, and the attendees really delivered! It was wonderful to see geeks of many ages and skill levels get up in front of the room to show off work that they were so proud of, and to be supported by a community of like-minded people. The one I remember most was someone who showed their double-knitted Star Wars scarf that was readable from both sides! It was one of the most fantastic pieces I have ever seen! Even after the panel ended, there were groups of people in the room who stayed to talk about their crafts. Information was exchanged and connections were made. To me, this is what GeekGirlCon is all about—connecting you to your people. I was so, so glad that I attended this panel, especially since it has special significance to me.

I have been a crafter all my life. As an adult, I have taught myself how to knit and crochet. My mom taught me how to sew when I was very young, and it has proven to be a valuable skill. When I was 10-years-old, my father taught me how to cross-stitch. Yeah, my macho dad who worked in construction taught me how to cross-stitch because I was in love with the stitched Christmas ornaments he had made before I was born. No matter what goes on between my dad and me, I will always be grateful to him for giving me this gift.

Like many people, I have struggled with anxiety and depression for a very long time. And, also like many people, I was mis-diagnosed as a teen and didn’t receive the proper treatment for my mental illness. When things got hectic or hard, or when there would be too many thoughts running through my head, I would use cross-stitch as a type of therapy. It was something I could do that would calm my spirit and order my mind. I spent so many hours sitting in a really comfortable (and ugly) pink recliner, watching movies, and just having a great time creating beautiful things. Even now, over twenty years later, it is my favorite hobby.

Description: A highly detailed cross-stitch depiction of Snow White coming across the dwarfs’ cottage.
This kit took me six years to finish. It is my masterpiece and I enjoyed every second!

There is also a timely and important issue that this panel brought up that I feel very strongly about, which is the gendering of crafting. We tend to think of knitting, crocheting, and other fiber-based arts as being a purely feminine pursuit, but that just isn’t true. I learned from this panel that, historically speaking, fiber arts have been practiced by people of all genders. If you think about it, it makes sense. I mean, everyone probably needed to have some kind of sewing and knitting skills just to keep their clothes in decent shape before they were mass manufactured. It wasn’t until fairly recently in human history that these skills were branded as being “womanly” and were relegated to the lowly position of being a housewifely, old lady hobby. I was taught to cross-stitch by a man. My boyfriend and I like to spend quiet nights crocheting together. Young people can make amazing things. Fiber arts are for everyone. Period.

Description: A hand crocheted Yoda outfit for a small child, complete with light saber.
My boyfriend and I made this together for his nephews first Halloween. We were doing baby Yoda before it was cool!

I also love the idea of crafting for a cause. Sometimes you have an important message to get out there, or sometimes you get the itch to knit something, but you already have a million hats and aren’t sure what to do. Margaret and Christine Wertheim created a crocheted coral reef that has traveled to museums around the world to bring attention to the plight of coral in the Great Barrier Reef. My boyfriend and I have been knitting marsupial pouches to send to Australia to care for animals orphaned by the devastating wildfires. Premature babies, cancer patients, shelter animals… there is no end to the possible good that crafters can do, and have done, in this world. I am proud to be a part of a community that cares.

It doesn’t even have to be about knitting or crocheting. I want to take the opportunity to open this up. Sewing, quilting, sculpting, jewelry making, weaving, and any type of crafty outlet belongs here. In fact, I want to see what you have made! Share your projects! Stand up and be proud of the things that you have made! Inspire and be inspired by others! There is a place for you here.

Description: A small orange and white shoulder purse featuring BB-8.
I made this small bag out of scraps from another project. Waste not, want not!

Want to find some more inspiration and fun patterns online? Try heading over to ravelry.com to find another great community of knitters and crocheters. Want to learn? YouTube has so many great tutorials available for any skill level. Or you could do what I did and pick up a copy of Knitting for Dummies. There are a ton of resources out there for eager students. Don’t be afraid to try things. You may make something amazing!

I can’t wait to see if this panel will be back at GGC 2020!

Rebecca Anglesey
“Rock On!”

Come Visit GGC at NerdFaire 2020

Description: The logo of NerdFaire, featuring a large pair of horn rimmed glasses. Text reads, “2nd Annual NerdFaire 2020, A Mini Con for ALL THE THINGS Nerdy and Geeky.”
Image courtesy of NerdFaire

Con season is about to kick off here in the Pacific Northwest, and we couldn’t be more excited! We at GeekGirlCon love nothing more than to get out and support other local Cons, and we want to invite you to come hang out with us at the second annual NerdFaire.

What is NerdFaire, you ask? Well, it is a mini convention in Lynnwood that celebrates all things nerdy and geeky! They love to showcase local shops and businesses and they hope to build an inclusive space for everyone (yes, EVERYONE) in geekdom. Here are the hard details:

When: February 1, 2020 from 10 am to 8 pm

Where: Lynnwood Convention Center, 3711 196th Street Southwest , Lynnwood, WA 98036

What: The con will feature a cosplay contest, panels, a showfloor where you can purchase handmade goods (and also a GGC table where you can chat with us about this years GGC), and more

Tickets: $5-$25, kids under 12 free. See the options and find more info here

We hope to see you there!

Description: Jeff Goldblum pointing forward and saying, “I’ll see you there.”
Image courtesy of Giphy

Rebecca Anglesey
“Rock On!”

Holiday Gift Guide for the Geeks in Your Life

*jingle bells*

Do you hear what I hear? Could it be the dulcet tones of the approaching holidays, sneaking up to ambush us with last minute shopping panic? Why yes, I think it just may be!

Description: Jack Skellington flings his arms wide, scattering snowflakes about.
Image courtesy of Giphy

No matter what holiday you celebrate, it is always enjoyable to give to others. Seeing their faces light up as they open a gift chosen with care an affection is undoubtedly one of the best parts of the season. To help you spread the love, I’ve put together this list of gifts that may just put you on the nice list with the geeks in your life.

Note: we are not getting any type of compensation from retailers to feature any of these products. These are simply items that I have found fun and useful.

Amazon Kindle: $49.99-$299.99

Description: A front and back shot of a Kindle Paperwhite featuring the prologue of a book.
Image courtesy of amazon.com

For the bookworm, I would recommend a Kindle. There are a lot of perks of having a Kindle, and one of the biggest ones I have found is that I always have something to read because I can carry thousands of books with me wherever I go. There are multiple models to fit just about any budget. You can get a full blown ten inch tablet or a simple book reader. Whatever your lover of books desires, you are sure to find something that suits them just right.

My Personal Pick: All-new Kindle, $89.99 

Check them out here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=kindle&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

Williams Sonoma Harry Potter Ultimate Silicone Spatula Set: $31.96-$39.95

Description: Four spatulas of varying designs and sizes featuring the Hufflepuff house crest.
Image courtesy of williamssonoma.com

Do you know someone who whips up absolute magic in the kitchen? Make their holidays extra enchanting with this handy set of four Hogwarts House themed silicone spatulas! The set includes two mini spatulas, one medium spatula, and a flat flexible nylon spatula emblazoned with your favorite house crest. The spatulas are heat resistant and dishwasher safe. If you don’t think you will use all four, you can also purchase individuals.

My Personal Pick: Hufflepuff, $31.96 

Check out the whole Harry Potter collection: https://www.williams-sonoma.com/search/results.html?words=harry+potter

SOCKS!

Description: A set of five no-show socks cleverly designed as different cats.
Image courtesy of hottopic.com

Yes, socks! Hear me out—socks are inexpensive, useful, and fun! Gone are the days when socks were possibly the most boring gift ever. You can find all kinds of silly socks in a variety of styles, from no show, to crew, to fuzzy, to knee high, in fun designs. When your friends don their fun and funky socks, they will think fondly of the friend who is keeping their tootsies toasty.

My Personal Pick: Kitty Cat No-Show Socks 5 Pair, $14.90 from Hot Topic

Find some more sock inspiration here: https://www.hottopic.com/accessories/socks/?q=socks

Friends Trivia Quiz Cards: $7.12, https://www.boxlunch.com/

Description: A box containing a Friends themed card trivia game.
Image courtesy of boxlunch.com

Channel your inner Holiday Armadillo and gift your friends with the gift of Friends! How many categories of towels does Monica have? What does Chandler do for a living? Test your knowledge of this iconic show with your own gang for a good time this holiday. 

Check out more Friends merch here: https://www.boxlunch.com/search?q=friends&sz=60&start=0

Give to a Charity

Description: Max the dog joyfully distributes presents.
Image courtesy of Giphy

Sometimes you really want to give someone a gift, but they insist that they really don’t want anything. Maybe they feel like they have a lot of stuff already, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t give them a heartfelt and meaningful gift—you can donate to a charity in their name. Find a cause that is meaningful to them and reach out to local organizations to find out how you can help.

My Personal Pick: The Northwest Organization for Animal Help (NOAH) Center, https://www.thenoahcenter.org/

What are your favorite holiday gift ideas? We would love to hear them!

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Rebecca Anglesey
“Rock On!”

Celebrating Pokémon GO Community Day at GeekGirlCon 2019

Description: A young GGC attendee shows off their stuff dressed up as Pikachu!

The theme for our Con this year is ‘Share Your World,’ and I wanted to take this opportunity to share a bit of mine. I am a huge Pokémon fan, and I have been an avid Pokémon GO player from the very beginning. Coincidentally, Novembers Community Day happens to coincide with day one of GGC! It is a true melding of my worlds.

For any who don’t know what Pokémon GO Community Day is, for a few hours on one day a month, a specific Pokémon is featured and spawns more frequently in the wild. The game also offers other bonuses during this time, such as increased instances of shiny Pokémon, experience boosts, and special moves for evolving the featured Pokémon.

Todays featured Pokémon was Chimchar!

Description: A shiny Chimchar jumps in an attempt to avoid capture.

Living in a suburb north of Seattle, I generally have my preferred Pokémon hunting grounds near to my home. Today, however, I had the chance to hunt in the city around the Washington State Convention Center. Just walking around the Con, I could tell that the love for Pokémon was strong, which is great because the area surrounding the convention center is chalk full of gyms and pokestops.

Description: A Pokemon GO map displaying a plethora of pokestops, gyms, and Pokemon to be caught.

Hunting for Chimchar in downtown Seattle was a new experience for me this time because I set out on my own. Usually, I go out in my neighborhood haunts with my boyfriend to celebrate Community Day. The environments are familiar, the best spawn places are well known, and I have the company of my partner. Today, he was out of town visiting a friend, and I hit the crowded and less known streets of Seattle to catch as many Chimchar as I could.

At first, I was scared. I’m very shy by nature and I also deal with bouts of extreme social anxiety from time to time. The area wasn’t what I was used to, and I didn’t have my partner to lean on if I felt uncomfortable. The people around me were not those I had come to know by sight in my own neighborhood through many Community Days together, but strangers.

Despite these facts, the spirit of the day began to wash away my fears. I saw three people meet on a corner (holding two phones each) and begin to discuss their goals for the event. As I continued to walk, I would make eye contact and exchange a friendly nod with my fellow players. Con goers in full cosplay were out and about playing. At one point, and older woman stopped me to ask for some advice. She was a newer player and wanted to know how to tell a shiny Pokémon from a regular one, and I was more than happy to share my knowledge with her.

Description: GGC attendees in full cosplay out on the streets of Seattle to participate in Pokemon Go Community Day.

This is why I love this game. It encourages people to get out, see their community, and make friends. I have seen all types of people out playing at any given time—kids and their parents, couples, friends, and even the elderly. In my experience, there is not any one “type” of person who plays Pokémon Go. People of all genders and ages are able to find enjoyment in the game, and it gives us all a common bond.

In my everyday life, I won’t really go out of my way to talk to people. But on Community Day, that all changes. I almost become a different person. I will go up to groups of people and ask if they want to become in-game friends. There are people gathered around gyms to take down whatever featured legendary Pokémon raid is happening, excited at the prospect of having more people in their raid groups to give them the best chance to catch a rare Pokémon. After raids, people will congratulate or console complete strangers on their luck (or lack of) in catching the raid Pokémon. Children will come up to me to show off their best catches. Pokémon GO creates a safe place to enjoy something fun.

By the end of the three-hour event, I had caught right around 100 Chimchar, which really isn’t a bad haul. Within the first hour I had already obtained a three-star shiny Chimchar, which made the entire day a victory in my book. All in all, I walked away with three three-star Infernapes, including my shiny, with candies to spare to train them up. I ventured outside of my comfort zone to play a game I love, and I feel that my efforts were rewarded.

Description: An in-game stat sheet for a shiny Infernape.

I’m looking forward to the announcement of next months Community Day! Check in game for details and play safely!

Rebecca Anglesey
“Rock On!”

How to Conquer Con Crud

With GeekGirlCon 2019 only days away, now might be a good time to bring up something we all know and love: Con Crud! We all know what it is, but what are some ways to make sure you don’t get it? We at GeekGirlCon care about your health and well-being, so we wanted to share some tips and tricks that have worked well for us in the past, combined with some advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A healthy Con is a happy Con!

Karen gets it.
Description: While talking on the phone, a young blond girl halfheartedly coughs into her balled up fist and says, “I’m sick.”
Image courtesy of Giphy

General Good Health Practices:

Here are some tips that will serve you well not only before, during, and after Con, but in your everyday life as well!

Wash your hands often. Hand washing is a very effective way to prevent the spread of diseases. When washing your hands, good technique is key. Wet your hands with warm water, then scrub your hands with soap for around 20 seconds. Don’t forget areas like the back of your hands, between your fingers, or under and around your nails. Rinse your hands well and make sure they are completely dry. If you don’t have access to water and soap, alcohol based hand sanitizer will work in a pinch. For more information on when and how to wash your hands, click here.

Sub Zero should be using soap…
Description: Sub Zero of Mortal Combat punches through some running water, then positions his hands under an air dryer as if preparing to strike his enemy.
Image courtesy of Giphy

Stay hydrated. Water makes up most of our bodies, and it functions best when we keep replenishing the water we lose through daily living. Try to stay away from the sugary stuff if you can. Pure H2O is best.

Eat well. Food is the fuel your body uses to live, and, in terms of energy, you can only expect to get as good as you give. Try to eat healthy, nutritious foods with a good balance of vitamins and nutrients to give your body what it needs to stay healthy.

Before Con:

The best way to make sure you don’t catch anything during Con is to prepare yourself before hand. As they say, a pinch of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Get the flu shot. We hear this every flu season. Get the flu shot so you don’t get the flu. It is good advice that should be followed for personal protection against the potentially deadly virus, but there is another factor to consider when getting the flu shot. When you immunize yourself against the flu, you are also protecting those around you from catching the virus as well. Flu vaccines work on the philosophy of herd immunity, meaning the more people who are vaccinated, the more protection it offers to those in our society who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons (think babies, the elderly, or people undergoing chemotherapy). This is a good thing to keep in mind when you know you will be going someplace where there are likely to be a lot of people, like Con. If you have questions or concerns about getting the flu shot, talk to your doctor. More information about the flu shot can be found here.

Take immunity boosting vitamins. It can’t hurt to shore up your immune system any way you can before going to Con. Not only can taking vitamins help boost your immune system, but it can help to give you more energy as well. Vitamin mixtures such as Airborne or Emergen-C are good options to take once a day before attending Con. Please be sure to follow dosage directions on packages.

Get lots of rest and manage your stress levels. Bodies that are sleep deprived or strung out on stress have lowered immune responses. Give yourself the best shot at not getting sick by getting some good sleep and making some time to relax or meditate. A little self care can go a long way.

During Con:

Okay, here it is! The big event! It’s going to be hard, but try not to get so carried away in all the excitement that you forget about your health! Remember that there are lots and lots of people around, each bringing with them a various mixture of germs and bacteria. Many large event spaces use air conditioning, which will dry you out faster than you might imagine, so remember to keep drinking water. Think about how you feel after getting off an airplane, and take steps to keep yourself safe.

Cover your coughs and sneezes properly. Yes, there is a right way and a wrong way to cover your cough or sneeze. When you sneeze into your hands, you are getting all of the germs on your hands, which then go around touching stuff. If you feel a sneeze coming, first try to direct your body away from what you are looking at (or who you are talking to). Place your nose and mouth firmly in the crook of your elbow and let loose. Not only does your arm create a more effective barrier to flying germs, but the germs are also more likely to stay put there. For more info on correct coughing and sneezing etiquette, click here

Wow, Sneezy. Not cool.
Image: Sneezy blows away the other six dwarves with an epic sneeze explosion.
Image courtesy of Giphy

Try to avoid touching your face. Even with our best efforts, our hands still come into contact with millions of germs every day, and your face is like a gateway into your body. Touching your mouth, nose, or eyes, or any of the surrounding areas is giving germs easy access. It is a tough habit to break, but keep it in mind.

Bring a small container of hand sanitizer with you. We can’t always have access to soap and water, especially when walking around a Con show floor. We touch a vendors wares, wipe a toddlers nose, sneeze, cough, then go back to touching stuff again. We are all human and we all do these things. Just try to use a bit of hand sanitizer after.

Pace yourself and know your limits. Con is exciting and you want to cram in as much cool stuff as you can! But, you should also listen to your body if it is telling you it is tired. Take a few minutes to sit and rest. Go back to your hotel and take a quick nap. Keep hydrating and eating well. If you over-tax your body, you are making it that much more vulnerable to germs.

After Con:

Just because the Con is over, that doesn’t mean you should forget about taking care of your body. This is a critical time. Sometimes it can take a few days for Con Crud to make itself known. You should keep up with hand washing and other good hygiene practices, as well as some other tricks.

REST! Your body and mind are going to be tired. Take some time to relax and recuperate. Your body will thank you for it.

If you do end up getting Con Crud after all, please stay home. It is hard to pass on germs to other people if you keep yourself away from people in the first place. Everyone will thank you for not getting them sick too. Keep resting, hydrating, and taking vitamins. If you feel like you need to see a doctor, please do.

REMEMBER: YOU KNOW YOUR BODY BEST!

That is actually sound advice, Count Rugen.
Description: Count Rugen of The Princess Bride advises Prince Humperdink, “Get some rest. If you haven’t got your health, then you don’t have anything.”
Image courtesy of Giphy

Rebecca Anglesey
“Rock On!”

Take Up the GeekGirlCon QUEST

Attendees of GGC 2019, harken to me! For the brave, adventurous, and those who liketh to win free stuff, we have a fun side quest to be undertaken. Shalst thou accept the challenge?

Description: A young man wearing a headset and seated before a laptop proclaims, “this is my quest; this is my destiny.”
Image courtesy of Giphy

Whilst thou art journeying through GGC, we charge thee to seek out Agents of GGC and earn their seal for completing various tasks. 

The rules of this quest are simple–complete the tasks, find nearby GGC Agents, and have them stamp thine GeekGirlCon QUEST page in the GGC program. Each stamp will gain thee one entry into a prize drawing. If thou completeth all six tasks, thou shalt be rewarded with a GGC avatar pin! Present thy collected stamps to the good people at the GGC QUEST Table (located next to the Info Booth on level Yakima) to redeem them for drawing entries.

Description: a cat hovers protectively over a stack of carpets. A caption reads, “Khajiit has wares if you have coin.”
Image courtesy of Know Your Meme

Though tasks may be completed in any order, they are laid out for explanation thus:

A seal can be earned by attending any panel at GGC 2019.

A journey to the Game Floor to play a game of thoust choosing shall be rewarded with a seal.

Attending any workshop or meetup shall reveal another seal.

A post on social media with #GGC19 wilst earn thee another seal from the good people of the GGC QUEST Table once shown.

For the adventurous and inquisitive, a seal can be found by conducting an experiment in the DIY Science Zone.

A last seal can be uncovered at the GGC QUEST table by completing the Con survey, for we sincerely appreciate any feedback thou hast to give. This task comes with the added reward of a GGC avatar pin!

It is prophesied that the drawings shalst be held at the SassyBlack Concert at 7 p.m. on Saturday, and at the Cosplay Contest at 5 p.m. on Sunday. Thou must be present to win!

Now, I implore thee! Go forth and quest! Fun, adventure, and prizes await!

Description: An animated Thor enthusiastically hoists his hammer, Mjolnir, and says, “let us go forth to VICTORY!”
Image courtesy of Giphy

Rebecca Anglesey
“Rock On!”

Join The Discussion #GeekGirlCon

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