Media Recs from My Quarantine to Yours

Running out of things to watch while you social distance? Wanting to branch out and explore something new? Here’s a few of the movies, shows & YouTube offerings I’ve been enjoying over the past couple months that I think you might like, too.

Stephen Colbert eats popcorn while wearing 3D glasses & looking highly entertained. Source: Giphy

Caitlin Foskey
“Rock On!”

Staying Productive While You Stay Home

We all have friends who seem to have already organized their closets, deep-cleaned their apartments, and picked up a new hobby or ten while stuck at home. But if you’re finding yourself in the opposite boat—the one where you keep meaning to get things done but you end up sitting on the couch scrolling through Facebook instead—me and my ADHD brain can empathize.

A robot tries unsuccessfully to kick a ball before falling over. Source: Giphy

Here are a few systems I use to help me get from wanting to do something to actually doing the thing.

Caitlin Foskey
“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!”

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!”

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!”

Love a Deal? Save on Your GGC’19 Hotel Room

Description: a photo of the Olive 8 tower where the Hyatt is located. Source: Wikipedia.

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!

Description: a map showing the route between the Hyatt and the Conference Center, which is 0.1 miles in a straight line. Source: Google Maps.

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.

We’ll see you in just a few short months!

Caitlin Foskey
“Rock On!”

Three Television Portrayals of Women

I’ve been dealing with a persistent case of burnout over the past couple of months. Although it’s been frustrating from relational and productivity standpoints, staying home and hiding from the world has left me with a lot of good tv-watching time. I’ve been checking out new shows and catching up on old ones, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the portrayals of women in several of them. Here’s a snapshot.

Nadia Vulvokov from Russian Doll

Nadia, standing in a bathroom, adjusts her shirt before swaggering toward the door. Source: Giphy.

Caitlin Foskey
“Rock On!”

Hey, Staffer! Whatcha Geekin’ Out About? An Interview with Jo Lau

Image description: Jo sitting, looking up to where a tan ferret is perched on her head, licking its lips. Source: Jo Lau

Image description: Jo sitting, looking up to where a tan ferret is perched on her head, licking its lips. Source: Jo Lau

In this edition of Hey, Staffer, I’m taking the reigns from Jo (JC) and interviewing her for a change. I have been honored to work for the past year under Jo as a GeekGirlCon Copywriter to her Manager of Editorial Services. Jo has recently transitioned into a new role here at GGC–read on to learn about her new position, her “drunk toddler-puppy hybrid” pets, and plenty more!

Who are you and what do you do at GeekGirlCon?
Hi! I’m Jo, or JC Lau. I’m GeekGirlCon’s Campaign Project Manager! My job is to make sure that our various campaigns are coordinated and that all the different teams that touch them are aligned on how we want to show the world our best side. It involves taking marketing requests from other departments, parsing out the requisite tasks for each marketing team, and then making sure it all gets done. It’s a lot of herding cats, but the cats are lovely and want to make things work out.

Caitlin Foskey
“Rock On!”

Join The Discussion #GeekGirlCon

Skip to content