For those who haven’t experienced it, the DIY Science Zone is a place were geeks of all ages can get hands-on and do experiments one-on-one or in small groups under the guidance of top scientists. Your donations will help us stock enough supplies and bring in enough field experts to ensure that everyone who wants to participate is able to join in the geeky fun.
We want to make this year our greatest yet, and we need your help. So, strap on your safety goggles, pull up your neoprene gloves, and let’s make some science happen!
Well, folks… it’s that time of year again! Time for planning barbeques, buying fireworks, and trying not to be maimed or seriously injured by said fireworks. That’s right y’all! It’s Independence Day!
For many people, and in latter years I think particularly, the Fourth of July is a mixed bag of emotions. Everyone loves an excuse to have friends and family gather around to gorge themselves on Costco hot dogs, vats of potato salad, and luscious summer watermelon. The weather is (generally) pretty good in most places of the US, and it is a day off work for many to celebrate the bravery of the founding fathers.
But with the good can also come the bad… Political tensions are running high. Fireworks can often be seen as a nuisance. Perhaps you are a person suffering from PTSD, a small child scared of loud noises, or a pet fearing the apocalypse. Or maybe you are just a person who enjoys peace and quiet, which is okay too. No one likes being taken off-guard by the random whims of the neighbor down the street who only get the kind of fireworks that are so loud they rattle your windows. Beyond that, fireworks are expensive and are also a safety hazard when handled improperly.
When asked, most people will proclaim Thanksgiving or Halloween as their favorite holiday, but I would have to say that the Fourth of July is one of mine for a very special reason.
When I was little, we were pretty poor. My dad worked a crummy construction job for a slum lord and my mom was a bookkeeper for a few small businesses. While my parents always made sure that we always had everything we needed, with three kids there wasn’t a lot of room in the budget for luxuries.
As an adult, I now kind of see fireworks as a symbol of literally burning money, so it is surprising to me that my father would insist that we buy fireworks every year, even if it was just a few. My town was small and there wasn’t a community fireworks show until I was older, so if you wanted fireworks you had to buy them yourself. I remember getting positively giddy when I would see the small Lion’s Club stand being erected in the grocery store parking lot at the end of every June. I would scour the couch for coins, saving up to buy my favorite firework, The Climbing Panda. As the calendar flipped from June to July, I could barely contain my enthusiasm, and sure enough, the time came to purchase our fireworks to celebrate America’s birthday.
I was the middle child of three. My older sister was a strong willed wild-child, and my younger brother always needed more attention as the baby. With young kids and working full time, it is hard to find one-on-one time with any of your children, but my dad made it happen for me every Fourth of July. A few days before the big day, my dad would scoop me up and whisk me away to the store to pick out the fireworks, just the two of us.
I would hold his hand as we walked up to the red shack, savoring the scent of gunpowder. It was so unlike any smells that I would encounter normally and it acted like a stimulant to my excitable mind. I would stand on the little wooden steps that the proprietors placed before the stand so that the smaller patrons (ie, me) could see over the counter. I remember emptying the coins from my pocket, carefully counting them out, and asking politely for a Climbing Panda. Looking back on it now, it is slightly laughable that the Lion’s Club would sell a small explosive to a six-year-old, even if I was accompanied by an adult.
My dad and I would look over the wares of the stand carefully, calculating out how many sparklers we would need. Ten in a box, three kids (plus some of the neighborhood kids), two adults, and at least one box of each color. We would pick up a few Roman Candles, some smoke bombs and ground flowers. Then my dad would point to a twenty dollar pack of bigger fireworks, and I would goggle at the fortune he was spending on something that would only last for a night. Twenty dollars seemed like quite a lot compared to my ninety-nine cent panda.
Once the sun went down on the evening of the Fourth, we would get to show off our selections to my family and the neighbors. We would pretend to be fairy queens with sparklers, and army commandos with the multi-colored smoke bombs. Pop-its littered the sidewalk as ground flowers glowed in their short, whirlwind blooms. Dad would be the lead technician, always stressing safety when enjoying fireworks. I would snuggle in a blanket near my mom as we watched the glow and pop of the mostly fountain-style fireworks, and most of all, my Climbing Panda. And in a whiff of sulfur, it was over and it was time for bed.
Now I am an adult, and my dad and I aren’t on speaking terms. Life happens, and the years go by, and all that other cliche stuff. Oddly though, even after all these years and everything that went down with my dad, I still get excited about the Fourth of July. I will walk into a fireworks tent, smell the gunpowder, and I am instantly transported back to being a little girl counting out sticky pennies to buy a tiny firework. And I remember how much fun I had with my dad.
Fireworks are kinda like life, yeah? An expensive and inconvenient nuisance that might burn you, but beautiful to behold, best shared with friends and family, and over far too quickly. So, things might not be great now–like my relationship with my dad, or the state of our country–but that doesn’t stop me from looking forward to better times. And when those better times come, I will appreciate them all the more for knowing that the moment is fleeting.
That is why I love the Fourth of July.
Happy Independence Day everyone! If you are planning on enjoying fireworks, always practice proper fireworks safety! And please remember to be courteous to your neighbors.
In my opinion, the coolest thing about GeekGirlCon is how much customization can go into everyone’s individual experience of the weekend (besides the epic congregation of a bunch of feminist nerds all in one place, that is). Whether that means spending most of your time gaming or cruising the Exhibitor Hall or deep-diving into our panel offerings, there’s truly no right way to GeekGirlCon. For a lot of folks, I know that a key part of really experiencing any con is by volunteering. At GeekGirlCon, we call our con-weekend volunteers Agents, and we seriously could not do without them, the perfect and irreplaceable extended family that they are.
If you’re interested in joining our ranks again or for the first time this year, here’s what you need to know before applying:
We do need Agents to be at least 16 years old.
This year, the con falls on Saturday, November 16 and Sunday, November 17. We ask that Agents are available to take two shifts (4-5 hours each) over the course of the weekend, though we’ll be able to work with you to make sure that you get to any programming you’re especially excited about!
As an Agent, you’ll be required to review some training materials and adhere to our Code of Conduct before hitting the floor.
And also, there are perks!
You’ll get a free pass to the con and access to our Agent Headquarters! And an Agent t-shirt, the best of all event-specific clothing!
You’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at con operations.
You’ll be connected with other Agents and year-round staff members; we’d love to meet you!
If you’re at all interested, here’s this year’s application. We’ll contact all those who applied after the applications close in September.
This year’s con falls on the weekend of November 16 and 17. We’ll be gathering at our usual haunt, the Washington State Conference Center (across the street from the convention center you’re picturing!). One of the items on our GeekGirlCon ‘19 To-Do List is enticing exhibitors to apply for space in our Exhibition Hall and Artist Alley.
Here’s the application form if you already know your way around these matters, but we also have this super useful FAQ page that’s full of specifics. Before I leave you to the application, there are a few things I’d like to bring to your attention,
First, there’s $10 non-refundable application fee. Of course, we’d love to be able to accept applications without a fee, but charging a bit per person helps keep the burden of expanding this piece of con operations from falling solely on one group. If you’re accepted, we’ll apply the $10 to the cost of your booth/table.
Second, applications are due May 31 at 11:59 p.m. PST. Any applications that come in after that time will be automatically added to the wait-list. We intend to respond to applications by the end of July.
Third, please reach out to email@example.com if you have any questions or concerns. We’re beyond happy to help.
GeekGirlCon has this magic ability to bring out the creativity in all of its participants. From con-goers to panelists, GeekGirlCon lets us share our thoughts, ideas, and amazing sewing skills through costumes and programming. One particular place where the creativity magic is highly concentrated is our Exhibitor space, and we want YOU to be a part of it!
Attending GeekGirlCon’19 from out of town? You’re going to need somewhere to stay, and you can’t get much closer than the Hyatt at Olive 8!
This year, we’re partnering with the Hyatt to offer reservations for the full con weekend (November 14 through 18) for just $149 a night. The Hyatt is right down the street from the Conference Center where GGC’19 will take place, close enough that you can pop back over in case you forgot something or need to charge your phone for a bit in the middle of the day. Make your reservations now!
Looking for more to do while you’re in town? Check out the Hyatt’s list of sights, attractions, wineries, breweries, and sports stadiums that call Seattle home to start planning your geeky adventure in style.
New year, same GeekGirlCon-attending you. Or, in other words, passes for GeekGirlCon ‘19 are on sale now!
This year, we’ll be convening on Saturday, November 16 and Sunday, November 17 at the Conference Center in downtown Seattle. If you’re able, snag your passes now! They are currently at their lowest price, so be sure to take a look.
Here’s a quick rundown of the prices for your reference:
Saturday Pass: $25
Sunday Pass: $25
Two-Day Pass: $40
While we have tons of very adult-oriented programming, we also have tons that’s very much for kids. So, for all of the kids in your life:
Kids 6-12: $10 (one of these is good for both days of the con!!)
Kids 0-5: FREE
Besides the base pass prices, there are a few minimal service fees ($1-$3, depending on what pass you’re getting) and a standard Seattle Amusement Tax.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
That’s all for now! Get your passes and keep an eye on our blog and social media for more updates—especially all of the programming goodness that’s sure to come!
We’re just a couple hours away from saying goodbye to GeekGirlCon ‘18, and while this part of the con is always a bit bittersweet, the countdown to GeekGirlCon ‘19 is on!
Source: Giphy. Description: Linda from Bob’s Burgers doing jazz hands in excitement.
Join us November 16 and 17, 2019, at the Washington State Conference Center for even more panels, DIY science, featured contributors, artists, and everything else you love about GGC!
Get your passes now at our early bird prices, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, or this blog for updates on everything we’ll have in store for you next year. We’ve already got great stuff in the works, and we can’t wait to share it with you!