When Did I Realize I Was A Geek?

Written by AJ Dent, GeekGirlCon Staff Copy Writer 

raphael - young aj

My little brother representing the Minnesota Twins while I geek out as Raphael the Turtle.

One of my clearest childhood memories says so much about me as a person, it boggles my mind to this day. My cousin Nick and I were playing at our grandmother’s house and discussing kindergarten, which we had both recently started attending. He boasted, “You know, I have a girlfriend now. Her name’s Sarah.”

Ever overly competitive, I shrugged. “Yeah? Well, I have a boyfriend.”

Nick was instantly skeptical, seeing right through the lie. “Yeah, right!”

“I do!”

“Really, then what’s his name?” he snapped.

I hesitated for a split second, then practically yelled the name of my very first crush of all time. “Raphael!”

Needless to say, Nick was soon telling all of our relatives about my belief that I was dating a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.

Through the rest of my childhood, my geeky interests (and lack of a real, live boyfriend) continued. I loved playing The Pagemaster on my Gameboy, built entire Lego towns with my brother, and totally wanted to be Demona from the cartoon show Gargoyles.

It wasn’t until high school, though, that I realized what I was and am: a big ol’ geek girl. Rather than picking up romance novels like my older sisters did, I was content to curl up with Archie comics. Each year I took as many writing classes as possible, and wrote papers on things like lava lamps and the history of Goosebumps books. To top things off, every summer my friend Amanda and I would dress up like pirates and bury toy-filled treasure chests around town for children to find. No joke. We were cosplaying it up without even knowing the term.

From “dork” and “nerd” to “weirdo” and “geek,” I was called ‘em all by both my classmates and my closest friends. And I accepted them with smiles! Even if I’d denied my geekiness, my Batman shirts and wire-framed glasses showed the truth.

I was just always trying to have fun, and this often led to activities that are now considered hipster and cool: thrift store shopping, crocheting, rollerblading, being obsessed with my family’s cats. Nerd is the new black these days, of course, but living without at-home internet access in a town of three thousand people, I had no inkling of the impending geek-chic explosion.

raphael - aj now

Lifelong crush: Even as an adult, Raphael’s my dream “man.”

Since moving to Seattle a couple years ago, I’ve made a home-away-from-home at Shorty’s, a local pinball bar. Its circus theme, retro arcade games, and spicy nachos are always rad, but that’s not what draws me there every week. The regulars are a variety of tattoo-showing, superhero shirt-wearing, art-creating, punk music-listening geeks, much like me. I feel as if Shorty’s—and even Seattle at large—is the place where formerly outcast nerds congregate for fun and to feed off each other. If I could go back in time, I’d tell my adolescent self to hang in there because there’s a place out there that’s awkward and poetry-filled and amped up about dorky things, too.

Between the wonderful dweebs in my life, the adulthood acceptance I’ve found, and GeekGirlCon’s encouragement, I have never been happier to be a geek!

When did you realize you’re a geek?

AJ Dent
“Rock On!”

Ask GGC: What was your favorite childhood video game?

Here’s today’s Geek Fact of the Day: The Sims launched on February 4, 2000. Happy Birthday to The Sims!

In honor of this nostalgic video game many of us played growing up (or still play today), we asked GeekGirlCon staff members to share their favorite video game from childhood. Check out some of their answers.

Elevator Action NES Cover

Elevator Action NES Cover

“Choosing only one game was really hard for me as I have so many good memories of game time growing up. However, there is one little known game that I always come back to partly because I played it so much and partly because almost no one has ever heard of it. It’s Elevator Action. In this 1983 NES classic you’re a thief trying to get into the hotel, steal the goods, and get to your getaway car (using the elaborate elevator system, of course) without getting shot by the good guys or squished by one of the many elevators. It’s partly puzzle, partly reactionary, and mostly just plain fun! There’s nothing better then hearing that short few notes that said you made it to the car and you’re headed to the next level!” – Jex Ballard, Manager of Volunteer Administration

Torin's Passage

Torin’s Passage

“My brother and I LOVED Torin’s Passage. It’s a point-and-click PC game, and you play Torin, who’s on a quest to rescue his family from an evil sorceress called Lycentia. Torin travels to the “lands below” to worlds beneath the surface of the nested planet, through colossus crystal columns called phenocrysts. He is aided by a purple cat-like creature called Boogle, which is able to change itself into a variety of shapes. It’s got lots of fun puzzles (some of which were pretty hard for a children’s game), but the best part was the humor. The game was designed for parents to play with their kids, so a lot of the jokes went over my head as a child, but they are hilarious now. BRB, searching Ebay for Torin’s Passage…” – Amber Dawn Bushnell, Designer

Classic Frogger

Classic Frogger

“Frogger! At the end of every semester when I was in Catholic grade school, we had a school party day at the local roller rink, Rollero. I never had very good balance with wheels on my feet (I still don’t), so I spent most of my time–and lots of quarters!–in the little video arcade room. There was Donkey Kong, some ridiculous shooting ducks game, Ms Pac-Man (also a favorite), and then there was Frogger! For some reason I loved being the little green frog dashing across all those lanes of traffic. I wasn’t terribly good at it–we only went twice a year, plus a birthday party here and there–but I just loved it. Play the game here.” – Sarah Grant, Copywriter

Classic Centipede

Classic Centipede

“The game was simple: one button, one 2 ¼” trackball.* Me versus one determined centipede! I would play that game for an indeterminate amount of time on a pair of quarters at our local arcade. Once I played before a high school volleyball match and I played so long, that the next day, I had to hit the ball with my left hand because my right was so sore. If I see the game, I’ll get a nostalgic twinge and dig for quarters in my wallet so I can play.

“The coolest thing is that several years ago, I learned that the game was designed by Dona Bailey, one of the few female game programmers in the industry.

*The same size as a billiard ball.” – Kristine Hassell, Twitter Administrator

The Magic Map!

The Magic Map!

“When I was a kid, I bought King’s Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow at my neighbor’s garage sale (for 25 cents!). It quickly became my favorite game of all time. As a kid, it was thrilling to use the game’s magic map and discover some seriously awesome lands. I loved that Sierra incorporated stories like Wonderland (the Isle of Wonder), Beauty and the Beast (Isle of the Beast), and Theseus and the Minotaur (Isle of the Sacred Mountain). Both my sister and I played through King’s VI many, many times – frequently as a team. I sincerely hope a King’s Quest reboot is on its way!” – Stephanie Little, Web Administrator

“Mine was Where in Space is Carmen Sandiego? One of my earliest memories of DOS games. My dad was a total astronomy enthusiast and just sat me down with this and I was hooked, engaged by the graphics and enthralled with researching V.I.L.E. operatives, planets, and moons. Since I love space, this definitely stood out for me more than any of the other games in the series. The imagination behind the dossiers was particularly impressive. I remember reading that thing more than a few times, for sure. A few years ago I wanted to play it again to see how it held up but there’s next to nothing on the Internet about that installment of the Carmen Sandiego series. Definitely the best one, too.” – Kathryn Storm, UX Designer

So readers, what’s your favorite childhood video game?

“Rock On!”

Ask GGC: What is your geeky New Year’s resolution?

Hello and Happy New Year, readers!

It’s another year and another 365 days for geekery and nerdiness! When asking the GeekGirlCon Staff what their geeky resolutions for 2013 are; here’s what some of them said:

This would be a great cosplay!

“I have two geeky resolutions this year. My first resolution is to attend a convention that I am not volunteering at in any way. For most this may sound easy, but I work a lot of cons, so it’s more difficult than it seems. My second resolution is to cosplay at least once this year. Maybe I’ll dress up as Illyria, even if it’s just from the neck up.” – Jex Ballard, Manager of Volunteer Administration

These two adorable creatures are already into Kristine’s goals for 2013.

“I don’t so much believe in making resolutions just because it’s a new year. I DO believe in continuing to treat people as I wish to be treated, making healthier choices in life, and lastly being true to myself so I can be happy. There’s also the matter of planning a honeymoon this year… Happy New Year’s everyone! Thanks for making GeekGirlCon a reality and see you in 2013!” – Kristine Hassell, Twitter Administrator

A fantastically decorated page.

“My resolution this year… well, one of a couple, actually… is to start writing things down. This includes everything from tasks at work, to outings with friends, to starting up an altered journal so that I can note day-to-day activities, movies, good and bad times, everything that I possibly can! That, along with the usual of eating better, more exercise, just generally treating myself better — this should keep me busy.” – Kris Panchyk, Exhibitor Services Manager

I’m right there with you.

”Save Community from cancellation and get Dan Harmon back on the show. Should be easy enough, right?” – Abby Reinheart, Manager of Hospitality and Transportation

So what say you, readers? What is your geeky resolution for 2013?

“Rock On!”

GeekGiftGuide: Last Minute Gift Guide

It’s a few days before Christmas; the malls are mobbed from open to close, and you really need to find a stellar gift or two for some geeks in your life.

Who you gonna call?!? I’m pretty sure the Ghostbusters won’t be able to help on this one…

Never fear! GeekGirlCon’s Last Minute Geek Gift Guide is here!

Kinda Last Minute
There’s always Amazon, but if I can, I like to think a little smaller. CafePress, ThinkGeek, Etsy, and HalfPrice Books have a wide variety of products guaranteed to appeal to the geek in your life: t-shirts, toys (both pop culture and scientific in nature), coffee mugs, movies, books, bumper stickers — and the list goes on!

Local comic and games shops may offer gift cards or gift certificates if you’re overwhelmed by the amount of geek one place. Find out what genre your geek loves the best, then ask an employee to point you in the right direction. It saves time, and gives your shopping experience a personal touch–as well as giving that employee the opportunity to show off their own geek cred.

Here are some sites of local comic, games, and geek-inspired shops:
Greenwood Space Travel Supply (Seattle)
Golden Age Collectables (Pike Place Market)
Comic Stop (locations in Lynnwood, Everett, Redmond, and the U District)

Mostly Last Minute
It’s definitely time to go local, people. If you’ve got a steampunker or a scientist in your midst, shops like UW Surplus, Second Use, and Hardwick’s are goldmines. New and used machine parts, tools, building materials, furniture, and stuff you never thought about using might be just what your geek is looking for.

There’s also a search option on Etsy for “shop local”. Find something you think your geek will like, and contact the artist. If that handmade awesomeness is available, it’s as easy as meeting the artist at a local coffee shop to exchange your money for the nifty gift.

TOTALLY Last Minute
Tickets to local events can be found on Brown Paper Tickets, a fair-trade ticket company; you can print them and hide them in a festive box for your geek to open. Brown Paper Tickets sells tickets to concerts, movies, author readings, and conventions. For instance, you can gift your geek with passes to GeekGirlCon ‘13! (shameless plug, I know…)

You can order tickets to other awesome Seattle geek events like Emerald City ComicCon and Sakura Con from other sites, as well.

I don’t know about you, but I love to poke around in museums and educational attractions. Don’t tell the kids about the educational part, though, or you might have a fight on your hands! Some suggestions for local places and events:

Pacific Science Center: The big one going on now through January 6, 2013 is the King Tut Exhibit. There are also rotating movies at the IMAX Theater, as well as camps and scientific exploration stuff for the kids.

Woodland Park Zoo: Memberships, which help support both the zoo and animals in the wild all over the world, start at just $42 for adults for an entire year.

Seattle Aquarium: Learn to make fish faces of all kinds at the Seattle Aquarium! Special exhibits and fun, on-going classes for kids make this a fantastic gift.


Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI): The grand opening celebration of the new MOHAI building at 860 Terry Ave N in Seattle promises to be a day to remember in the history of Seattle!


As an absolute last minute option, there is probably a gift card rack at your local supermarket or convenience store. Those racks have gotten bigger over the years, and sometimes that card is the gift your geek will value most. They get to pick what they want at their leisure, online or in a store, and you don’t have to worry about having your gift exchanged or returned. Some racks contain gift cards for iTunes, a favorite restaurant, or online gaming sites. Even a gift card to that Seattle coffee chain looks pretty in its little envelope, and geeks love their caffeine.

Barnes and Noble Gift Card

My favorite gift, for anyone looking, is a Barnes and Noble gift card. Any denomination welcome. *wink*

Happy holidays, and happy shopping!

Sarah “SG-1” Grant
GeekGirlCon Copywriter

“Rock On!”

Artist Corner: Rebecca Brinson

Greetings readers! November is winding to a close and with it, National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo. I thought what better way to highlight writing in the Pacific Northwest than to speak with Development Director at Seattle’s own Richard Hugo House, tireless 826er, and my friend, Rebecca Brinson!

Rebecca Brinson

Hi Rebecca!


Let’s begin with your origin story. How did you land at Hugo House? Tell us what you do for the House?

Well, I ended up at Hugo House the same way many people do—I was an errant creative writing major. After I graduated from the University of Washington’s undergrad creative writing program, I worked for several years in the development department at ACT Theatre. One of my favorite jobs there was as the grants manager, where I got to put my writing talents to good use. Outside of my work at ACT, I co-founded Northwest Essay with a friend of mine. We had both worked as college tutors and saw a need for affordable, high-quality online personal statement essay editing. As Northwest Essay started to show some promise, I wanted to dedicate time to building it up, so I left my full-time job at ACT and ended up working part-time at the front desk at Hugo House. When the development position eventually opened up, I was ready for full-time work again and ended up in fundraising once again.

I still run Northwest Essay on the side, but my responsibility at Hugo House is to raise roughly 50 – 60% of our annual operating budget from institutional grants (gifts from foundations, corporations, and government entities), special fundraising events, and individual donations. I’m a one-person development shop, so I write grants, plan, and produce fundraising events, manage our membership program and our annual giving campaign, work with our executive director on major donor relationships, and generally be an ambassador for the House. I also end up spending a lot of time managing IT, as I’m the administrator of our online patron database and am enough of a web developer that I get under the hood occasionally of our Drupal installation. (PS, we’re looking for a new Drupal developer contractor to help us out with, among other things, the upgrade from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7! If any of your readers are into that, they should contact me.)

Richard Hugo House

I am familiar what Hugo House does but can you explain it to those unfamiliar with its mission?

Richard Hugo House, named after Seattle poet and writing teacher Richard Hugo, is an arts center grounded in the written word. Our mission is to foster writers, build community, and engage the Pacific Northwest in the world of writing. We offer creative writing classes for adults; creative writing camps and writing circles for youths; produce readings, book releases, art shows, and multi-genre performances; commission and premiere new work by established and up-and-coming authors through our Literary Series; employ two writers-in-residence to work on their own writing as well as mentor (for free!) members of the community; and manage ZAPP, the Zine Archive & Publishing Project, one of the largest independent zine archives in the world. Whew! Through all of our programs, we support the creation of new work, encourage artistic risk and cultivate a welcoming community.

Can anyone just come to the house for writing inspiration or do you have to be a member?

ANYONE can come by! Our cabaret space is often (though not always) empty during the day, and it’s a fun place to write. Of course, there are benefits to being a member–members at the Sentence level ($100+) can use our member writing office, which is stocked with a desk, books on the craft of writing, wifi, and general coziness.

What programmes and classes does HH offer to help aspiring authors?

Nearly all of our programs and classes can be useful to aspiring authors. Works in Progress, our twice-a-month open mic, is one great resource. And our writers-in-residence, Tara Hardy and Peter Mountford, are another–they will meet with you for free to talk about writing and your work! You can also choose from many workshop-based (feedback on existing work) or generative (prompts for creating new work) classes. Also, keep an eye out for more “State of the Book Salons” that we present with Seattle7Writers.

Does fostering a community of writers help authors come out of their collective shells?

We talk about this a lot at Hugo House. Writers, after all, are pretty solitary creatures. But we’ve come to the same conclusion that people who regularly travel alone often come to–yes, being alone is fulfilling and key to who you are, but it makes it that much more important to have a landing pad to return to. The writers’ community, of which Hugo House is proudly a part, is that landing pad.

Any words of advice for aspiring authors?

1) Find a niche, and 2) don’t just labor alone in your garret.

The writers that I see succeeding in Seattle and beyond are, more often than not, those that lay claim to a certain subject matter, audience, genre or subgenre, reading style, or area of expertise, and are willing to make connections with others. It’s not “networking”–it’s being part of a community. If you go to people’s readings, they will come to yours. Honestly, it isn’t about being a perfect writer–it’s about being a good-enough writer that stands out in your chosen field who’s always trying to improve and who’s willing to be a part of something bigger.

How has HH helped YOU grow as an author?

Osmosis! Well, sort of–just being around this many writers, and this much writing, on a daily basis really forces you to bring your A-game. And while most of my writing energy is used up at work for grants, letters, blog posts, annual reports, and the like, I’ve found that my editing muscles have really bulked up. Part of that is training and practice I’ve pursued outside of Hugo House (my continuing work with Northwest Essay, the nine-month certificate in editing I got from the UW, joining the Northwest Independent Editors Guild), but much of it is editing material here at work–and having my own materials edited, too!

1st Annual Richard Hugo House Local Celebrity Spelling Bee Logo

As a lifelong word nerd, I participated in spelling bees when I was younger. When I heard about the Celebrity Spelling Bee, it was an easy decision to attend. Whose idea was it to do a twist on such an American school tradition?

Brian McGuigan, the program director, and I came up with it together. We knew we wanted a lower-level fundraising event to balance out our $150/plate springtime dinner auction and we knew we wanted it to be raucous and irreverent. Taking the general spelling bee model, and adding local celebrities, cheating (people can bid money to cheat their faves into the next round), and a bar…well, the math made sense, and the Celebrity Spelling Bee was born. We’ve done it for two years now, and I hope we do it for many more. It’s got some room to grow; I hope we can make it a landmark event.

As I mentioned earlier, you are also a tutor with 826 Seattle. One of our Community Business Partners just happens to be one of my favorite shops in Seattle, the Greenwood Space Travel Supply Co. located easily enough, on Greenwood. Can you talk a little about the 826 Seattle connection with all things spacey?

Sure! The original 826 is 826 Valencia in San Francisco; 826 Seattle is now one of eight chapters around the country. The basic model is that there is a wacky retail store out front and a tutoring and writing center in the back (I believe this tradition descended from the retail zoning of the 826 Valencia location). For us here in Seattle, the theme is space travel, which riffs on our “Jet City” history. Hugo House and 826 Seattle are great complements to each other, and great resources for writers of all ages in Seattle; you’ll often find some of the same adult volunteers contributing time to Hugo House and 826. As far as youth writing instruction goes, I view it as a two-tiered system: 826 Seattle is about welcoming access to writing support and encouraging creative and critical expression; Hugo House youth programming is welcoming, too, but asks more of its participants, who tend to self-identify as “writers” and are looking to develop their craft. We have a fair share of those kids at 826, too, of course, but the time commitment alone required of Hugo youth programs (for example, two straight weeks of the Scribes summer camp) means you really gotta be into it.

826 Seattle

How long have you been a tutor with 826 Seattle?

I started volunteering as a tutor at 826 in October of 2005. Apparently, I was the first person to fill out the online volunteer application, which is a fun not-actually-an-award to have. I still tutor; I’ve also led many workshops and helped out with multiple fundraising efforts, too. Plus, I met my now-husband there–so I feel like I got a pretty good deal out of it all!

What’s in store for the rest of 2012 and can you share a little of what can we look forward to in 2013 for Hugo House and 826 Seattle?

For me, I’ll be focusing on Hugo House’s year-end fundraising campaign, tutoring on Monday nights at 826 Seattle, and editing essays through Northwest Essay (right now is our busy time, as people are readying their applications for undergrad and graduate programs). At Hugo House, through the end of the year and next spring, we have the three remaining events in our 2012-13 Literary Series (featuring writers like Ryan Boudinot, Patricia Smith, and Cheryl Strayed), as well as many other events and tons of classes. 826 Seattle is in the midst of after-school tutoring (including high school-only tutoring from 6 – 8 p.m., M – Th!), field trips, workshops, and more, which will continue through the rest of the school year.

Finally, we here at GeekGirlCon, love sharing our geekdoms. What have you been geeking over lately?

Bread! I do a lot of amateur baking; currently I’m tweaking flour ratios and testing new baking vessels for my basic naturally leavened bread, which I make with a sourdough culture that lives in a jar on my kitchen table. My next step is to create a system of note-taking about changes that I make. It’s fun to make things up based on memory, but not as effective for improvement, perhaps, as methodically tracking my every baking move.

Bread! Delicious!

Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule and if you are interested in any of the programs that Rebecca mentioned above, please click through to read more!

Kristine Hassell is the Twitter Administrator for GeekGirlCon.

“Rock On!”

Geeks Run The World: The Force is Strong with this One

How’s it going, readers? Shubz here, presenting you with a new blog piece called “Geeks Run the World,” where we learn a little more about some of our geeky peers that operate their own business! Kicking it off is our very own Meg Humphrey, who is the owner, designer, and operator of The Force is Strong with this One.

Star Wars Comics Skirt courtesy of Meg

1: Tell us about The Force is Strong with this One.

The Force is Strong with this One is an idea that spawned from too many people asking me if I have an Etsy store. I’ve been sewing my own nerdy/whatever-I-think-is-cute clothing since I was 13. I’ve always gotten compliments on my skirts and dresses whenever I wear them, especially at conventions. I’m really open about my obsessive and nerdy interests so it was only natural that I’d make myself Star Wars dresses, Disney skirts, or cupcake headbands.

Over the last few years, I’ve noticed more and more people want to wear things that I’ve been sporting for over a decade. There is still a kitsch factor to the clothes and accessories, but it’s becoming more ordinary to see Chewbacca’s face on someone’s clothing or Iron Man on their handbag. At Emerald City Comicon 2012, I was so bombarded with questions about my clothes, if I have store, if I do commissions, etc., that I decided to take the plunge. I spent all of April and May making products and had my first show in June at VanConShow. Five months, a tumblr, five conventions as a vendor, and a BRAND NEW ETSY later, I feel like I’ve gotten the swing of things!

2: What separates your business from other online clothing stores out there?

I’m not sure it really separates me, but everything I make I would want to wear myself! Being a bigger girl (and much bigger when I started sewing), I make a wider range of sizes and try to only make things that I think would be comfortable and flattering. But really, I just think everything I make is cute! I think a lot about what colors work well (even down to the color of the thread I use), and I’m pretty careful when I choose patterns. Just because a fabric has Spider-Man or whoever on it, doesn’t mean I’ll automatically use it. I also try really hard not to overcharge. I understand what goes into sewing. So when I see a skirt of basically equal quality, material, and design going for $65 (mine are priced $20-30), I think it’s just ridiculous! I wouldn’t pay that much so I don’t charge that much. I’m want to support and be available for the everyday nerd!

3: What is your favorite piece you’ve created?

The Empire Strikes Back Apron (Take 2) courtesy of Meg

That would have to be my Empire Strikes Back Apron (Take 2)! At Rose City Comic Con, Tyler from A Wave Blue World bought it to wear while he cooks for his wife. When I saw him again at Jet City Comic Show, he told me she loves it! I’m also super happy with how my tote bags and drawstring backpacks have turned out. I get told by customers that they get a ton of compliments! It’s super important to me that everyone is happy with what they buy.

4: What is the most valuable lesson you have learned as a woman in business?

There are so many things! I think the most important lesson is that there will always be something you’ll forget. When I started this up, I was overwhelmed by everything I hadn’t thought about – a website, business cards, table displays, a cash box, etc. A business is never JUST the product, but that was the only thing I really knew about when I started. Plus, I think at every convention I’ve sold at I’ve forgotten SOMETHING – my swatch books, some price tags, once I even forgot to bring money for my cash box! Thankfully, my dad knows me well enough and had some fives and ones stashed away for such an occasion. You can’t freak out over this stuff – especially if you’re at a con out-of-town. You have to go with the flow and make it work. If you can, make sure you have friends and family who have been through the same experience or at least be willing to help you when you need it. I wouldn’t be in business at all if my friend Kami (TalisX on deviant art.) hadn’t really pushed me into it. I wouldn’t have business cards or a website if my boyfriend wasn’t much more savvy with computers than I am!

5: You are also on staff for GeekGirlCon, as well as holding it down with a day job WHILE running your business – how do balance it all?

I’m also the Panels Coordinator for Sakura-Con, and I’m planning on going to grad school soon. Thankfully, I’m one of those people who always needs something to work on, and I’m a chronic multitasker. If I’m chilling and watching some anime or crime shows, I’ll be pinning a garment, sketching patterns, or doing con work. Now I’m not saying that I’m spot on with my time tables – sometimes I take too long to respond to emails or I have to put projects on the back burner or stay up waaaay too late to finish my job. The key is that as much as I may complain about my workload and stress out about deadlines, I really love what I’m doing and the amazing folks I’ve met. Treating myself to a super amazing dinner every now and then as a reward for hard work doesn’t hurt either!

Hello Kitty Drawstring Bag courtesy of Meg (This one is Shubz’ favorite!)

Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to share about your business, Meg! For more about The Force is Strong with this One, visit http://www.etsy.com/shop/ForceApparel. Readers, how do you manage your busy geeky lifestyle? Shoot us a comment below!

Got a blog idea or want to know how to contribute content to our blog? Email Shubz Blalack at shubz@geekgirlcon.com!

“Rock On!”

Adventures at BrickCon 2012

Hey everyone, Shubz here and back from a fun-filled weekend of sleeping in, sun, and LEGOS! That’s right, this past Saturday, I got an opportunity to check out BrickCon with my husband and a few of our friends. Feast your eyes on some of these impressive structures!

This pyramid is no joke! Check out all the detail in the layers to give it that unfinished look.

You can’t go wrong with Ron Swanson.

There was a booth with blacklight and light up lego structures, and my favorite was this beautiful chessboard.

Now this was definitely another favorite! BEHOLD THE BATCAVE! This was complete with a rotating panel that held Batman’s other suits and all the vehicles the Caped Crusader cannot go without.

I never knew the Justice League decorated so minimally.

Folks, this is only a fraction of the Hogwarts structure.

Another view of Hogwart’s. How awesome is that?

Please check out BrickCon’s site to catch more of the fun and building that happened this past weekend.

If you are a builder of any of the structures I have added, please email me at prcontent@geekgirlcon.com so I can properly give you props on your hard work and creativity.

What’s on your Lego builder bucket list?

Shubz K. Blalack
PR Content Producer

“Rock On!”

PAX ’12 : Game on!

PAX 2012 was like PAX usually is: tons of stuff to see, lines to wait in, and free swag to get.

Just walking the show floor is an experience worth the cost of the badge, with grand displays set against the deafening noise of games and attendees. I’m always comparing it to a theme park: tiring, exciting, and fun. I played almost too many games to note, a couple of my favorites being the hilarious Octodad and The Walking Dead.

Borderlands 2

The moments I always remember, though, are the ones spent in random rooms on the second and third floor playing board games with friends and people I’ve only just met. It’s not just because I love tabletop; I think that this is where the community of PAX still lives on through the noise and the overstimulation of the exhibits. There’s a very simple joy in gaming that’s hard to find as you get older, and to be able to share that with your friends is a great feeling.

There’s also a great mix of simple, complex, lighthearted and serious tabletop games available in the library, so no matter who you are playing with (or where your exhaustion level is at 10:00 p.m. on Saturday), there’s something for you. Some of the highlights in tabletop for me were Ufology and Cards Against Humanity, which I had never played before this weekend.

Ryan Gosling may or may not have been at PAX…

Now all I have left is lots of sleep, a Magic the Gathering coloring book to do, and a list of games that I absolutely *must* buy. Oh, and a TMNT costume.

Heroes in the Half Shell!

Julia Santo
Programming Operations Director

Guest Contributor
“Rock On!”

GeekGirlCon Statement

On our blog, GeekGirlCon embedded a YouTube video from one of our panelists that was meant to describe, from her own view, what it means to be a “geek girl.”

Unfortunately, we did not clearly hear the beginning of the video, which made a remark that excluded transgendered people from the conversation. Once members of our community raised their concerns, we re-watched the video and removed it from our blog as it did not reflect our mission statement.

GeekGirlCon was created because we wanted to create a safe, welcoming, inclusive place for all geeks. We still live by this creed every day. All ages, gender identities, sexual orientations, sexual preferences, sizes, abilities, ethnicities, nationalities, races, creeds, religions, familial statuses, etc., are welcome. Our core beliefs also state that both “geek” and “female” are self-identified.

We think it is incredibly important to have a dialogue about people who are misrepresented, under-represented, or not represented at all in geek culture. We both attempt to be proactive and rely on our community to bring these conversations to our attention. To those who watched the video, we are deeply sorry about the pain inflicted from these remarks. Thank you for raising your concerns.

If you’d like to contact us to continue this conversation, please feel free to comment or email us at info@geekgirlcon.com.

Guest Contributor
“Rock On!”

Live Blog: Geek Girls in Popular Culture

Hey again! Shubz here and I’m back live blogging at Geek Girls in Popular Culture in room 301/302 with Cecil Castelluci, Sarah Kuhn, Sarah Watson, Stephanie Thorpe, and moderator Javier Grillo-Marxuach!

Why do you think that level of interest in science and mathematical persuits are less desirable in female characters?

Cecil Castellucci (CC): That character is usually designated as a sidekick.

Sarah Kuhn (SK): Is this female protagonist a good role model?

Sarah Watson (SW): I don’t think geekiness and sexiness is separate.

Is the role-model trope restricting characterization?
Stephanie Thorpe (ST): People don’t like feeling stupid in general. When someone comes across as smart, they may put on an air of condescending. We want women to be likeable, adorable, and cute. Smart tends to go with aloof a lot of the time.

Headless Heroine: Has all characteristics that can relate to a wide range of reader.

Nancy Drew as a headless heroine. Many authors have depicted her differently.

Are there any characters that you identify with?
ST: I’m influenced by the X-Files. Dana Scully was that lightening bolt – she’s a skeptic, she’s intelligent, and her scientific background. I want to see more strong characters like her.

SW: I loved the Goonies, Martha Plimpton.

CC: I loved Daria!

Thoughts on editing geek girls
ST: Depends. Sometimes they want more nerdy, sometimes they want less.

SW: I’m more of the middle man.

SK: Not a lot less nerdy notes [in scripts], but I did make notes like, “What does this mean?” Is it a reference?

CC: Made a love story about a Klingon and a Jedi. Writing a geeky character made it easy to have a demand for more geeky media and characters.

Lisabeth Salander
ST: She is a strong female lead. She’s not necessarily someone I look up to or want to be like, but I enjoy spending time reading about her.

Star Trek Characters
CC: It’s subjective. Uhura in classic Star Trek, not a nerd. Uhura in the recent film, language nerd.

Love stories with geek girls
CC: Amidala falls apart when love is threatened.

SW: Hermione is intelligent and a fighter despite her obstacles.

Changing genders in iconic characters
ST: (RE: Elementary’s Watson) If they’re doing it to add a romantic element, I’ll be disappointed.

SW: I’ve seen it and it’s fantastic. Lucy Liu brings a nurturing role to Watson.

SK: There’s a new interest piqued when you introduce new elements or changes.

CC: I’m excited!

Any socially unattractive female geek characters?
SW: In TV, everyone’s really attractive. Books offer you to create what they would look like.

“Rock On!”

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