Every turn of the New Year brings reflection on the year just past. We here are Nerds in Babeland wanted to share with you those reflections from a few of our contributors and staff.

Ms. Lissa Megan

Oh, 2011, you were a hell of a year. You gave us all a swift kick in the ass with war, recession, inflation, loony politicians, crazy weather, horrible reality TV. I could go on this way, but I’ll just say that this was not an easy one. There were a few choice moments, however, that enabled me to make it through with a mostly genuine smile on my face.

I joined Nerds in Babeland in 2011, which has been a super awesome addition to my life, opening up so many doors for me to meet great people, make incredible connections with artists and writers and pushing me to express myself to the public, sharing things I love (and sometimes don’t). I also became a member, then a moderator, of The Node. The Node is an online community built by Chris Hardwick, an extension of the Nerdist empire, to gather creative minds and encourage them to create together. I’ve met a huge network of amazing people there, and I’m grateful for them every day. Probably the happiest event of 2011 for me was attending NYCC, my first Con ever. I had the chance to meet some brilliant artists whom I’ve supported and admired from afar for a long time, say hello to a few new artists I’ve only begun to love. That entire weekend was a nerd-a-thon, beginning with a live Nerdist podcast taping at which I was thrilled to spend some quality time with my friends from The Node and ending with a packed weekend of NYCC whirlwind joy.

All in all, I have so many great memories to hold on to as I end 2011, and I believe even bigger, greater ones to come to in 2012. Happy new year to you all!


Dina “Lady Steam” Kampmeyer

I’ll think of 2011 as the year of cosplay. After discovering this amazing world 2 years ago, I went all out this past year. Making and buying dozens of stunning steampunk pieces, I now have more outfits than I know what to do with. Well, not really, but you know what I mean. Cosplaying at San Diego Comic-Con is one of the coolest things that I have ever experienced. Being stopped by my fellow geeks to get my picture taken made me feel like a bit of a rock star and after spending so much of my life hiding from people, it felt quite liberating. I even got my picture taken by an AP photographer in my custom-built TARDIS dress and now when you do a search online, my face pops up more often than not. Moderating a steampunk fashion panel at Comikaze Expo near the end of the year was the final icing on the cake. I have met so many incredible people this year who also love to dress up and I’m constantly wondering how I didn’t know about this world before now. I can’t wait to see what 2012 will hold for me and I’ll be sure and be dressed for the occasion, top hat, goggles and all.

News on Shuffle

Why Chris Hardwick is my favorite of 2011 and always

When asked what my favorite parts of 2011 were, these things came to mind:
Nerdist Way!
Nerdist podcast live tour!
In general, Nerdist Industries has grown into something amazing that I am proud to say I was able to follow from when it was a tiny little podcast. Now it is one of the top downloads on iTunes and has spawned many other projects, becoming a web of nerdy awesomeness.
Other things?
Neil Gaiman writing one of, if not the, best episode of Doctor Who ever was also pretty rad. Seriously, “The Doctor’s Wife” changed my whole perspective on a show I was already in love with. I wouldn’t mind having Gaiman write more for the series, but I’m also ok with that being a one-shot.
I’m sure there were other things I loved about 2011, but Nerdist and Doctor Who were my major obsessions. Please go ahead and send me feedback, though. It might spark a memory and lead to an awesome nerdy conversation to start off the New Year right.


I was thinking back over my accomplishments of last year and I think I had some pretty fun times. The first, big accomplishment was the fact that I wrote two novels in 2011. In March, after a writing conference, I embarked on the new adventure of expanding a short story into a novel. I had so much fun and learned so much during that process. I’m finally at the querying stage for that one, I think. And in November I did National Novel Writing Month for the first time, winning that and having a rough draft of my second novel of 2011. That’s my focus for editing during the first part of 2012 and I look forward to getting that manuscript to shine.

In other areas of accomplishment, I started another graduate school certificate program, this time in Journalism and Mass Communication. It focuses on social media, which is my main area of interest, so the first class was so much fun! I look forward to continuing that in 2012. I also look forward to returning to Toronto in the Fall to attend my second Supernatural convention. I love Canada and having a chance to return there for a visit, combined with the prospect of seeing J2 again, makes me excited. In June 2011, I attended my first SPN convention and got to meet Jensen and Jared. Yes, they’re really that tall and that lovely. The actors I didn’t get to see in Nashville I got to see in Atlanta later that year at DragonCon, so I had a Supernaturally fun year!

Kristen McHugh

2011: San Diego Comic-Con, an endurance trial, nerd prom, a blur of color and sound that gave me some of the best experiences of the year. The thrill of being around people who love the same things I do, cosplayers who put incredible effort and art into donning personas that matter to them, professionals who geek out as much as we all do, and learning that carrying food is a necessity. There were panels I covered and cared about, there was a glut of 3D, and there was waiting in line for a Doctor Who panel at 5:30 A.M. The best part was meeting so many people I’d only known online and that was worth every minute of the post-con crash. Movies and TV: X-Men: First Class, Thor passing the Bechdel test; The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo wrenching my heart out and making me feel powerful again, The Dark Knight Rises taking over my hometown and making it look gorgeous in the trailer. The Hobbit trailer made us all feel like we were five years old, while Prometheus gave us the creeps in a very good way. We hit the genre jackpot of Torchwood: Miracle Day, Once Upon A Time and Grimm, on U.S. television, and continued the eternal wait for series two of Sherlock. It was a very good year in things to love and the future looks very bright indeed.

It was also a year of controversy for geeky women. Do we exist? Are we real geeks? Can we be geeky and sexy? What does that mean? Why should producers of media listen to us? We continue to struggle with how we identify, the ways the media portray us, how inclusive we are along with what being a geek, being a woman, and rejecting misogyny looks like. We’re all forging our own identities and experience, as we should. It’s gratifying to know that we are working through these issues as a community. We don’t always agree with each other, but I think it’s true that we support each other in carving out spaces to talk about the things we love, calling out the media when they’re getting it wrong, praising when they get it right and discovering new and amazing things. Look at the Nerds in Babeland tagline, it says it all. Bring it on, 2012.

Stephanie Wooten

2011 was an absolutely insane year for me.  I moved across country, got a new job, and moved to a new major city.  It’s all so fresh and new that I’m still not even sure how I feel about all of the change.  I can, however, say that one major awesome thing that happened to me this year was all the wonderful geeky friends I made online.  I started Nerds in Babeland near the end of 2010 with a handful of fabulous women I met on the Node, including Nerds in Babeland’s designer, JackieBee, and contributors like MissLissa, VideoGameDoc, Kat BTahoeWikander, Angel, and so many more.  Since then I’ve had the pleasure of making additional awe-inspiring geek girl friends, including Marissa Nolan-Layman, Kristen McHughJanna O’Shea, Jill Pantozzi, Dina Kampmeyer, Amy Ratcliffe, and Kristin from Geek Girls Network.  I know that does not include half of the amazing women (and none of the men…including Alan Kistler & Chris George) that I’ve met this year online AND it sounds a bit like name-dropping but I swear that’s not my intent! I could not have gotten through this year of extreme transition if I had not met these kind, caring, funny, awesome people, and they deserve that acknowledgement.

My other big highlight is something a bit more traditional.  In December, I went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  This was easily one of my favorite amusement park experiences ever (and this is coming from a girl that loves and misses Disneyland horribly).  There aren’t a ton of rides, but the quality of the rides (in particular the ride through Hogwarts) makes up for the quantity.  The butterbeer was far too sweet for it’s own good, and yet worth every penny.  I spent far too much money on Harry Potter goodies, like Snape’s wand and my own personal stuffed owl, but now I have a Hedwig of my very own.  Say what you want about amusement parks but I love escaping into a fictional world that I was only able to imagine experiencing previously.  I hope to be able to visit this park again in 2012, but nothing will be as much fun as visiting Hogsmeade for the first time.

Marissa Nolan-Layman

2011 was a roller coaster of a year for me. Near the end of 2010 I was laid off from my long term job from hell. I’ve never had an issue finding a job, but now I had amassed that stupid level of experience where I was overqualified for jobs I could have gotten in the past and under-qualified for many that I would love to have. I played the contract job game for most of the year. And then when I had finally found what I thought was the perfect fit, we moved to Oregon. Now this is something I swore I would NEVER do. I had lived in Portland as 19-20 year old idiot kid and it was not a good experience. 10 years later I find myself right back here; having a very hard time finding work because of that silly over/under qualification thing.

One highlight of my year was I started going to conventions again, I had always gone to WonderCon but after having a child it was difficult to make the effort to attend. Well, my son is old enough now that I can start doing things for ME again. I attended WonderCon for the first time in more years than I can count, met a number of awesome ladies and lads and have formed some of the most fulfilling friendships of my life. I attended San Diego Comic-Con for the first time and had a BLAST. Cosplay became a big part of my life and I started learning how to properly sew.

The other big highlight is that I went from being a sporadic contributor here at Nerds in Babeland to writing much more, running the twitter page and editing a majority of the posts. I am now the official Editor of Nerds in Babeland! I never would have thought that was possible. I have found an amazing friend in Stephanie Wooten (our fearless Editor-in-Chief, just so you know this site would not be here if it weren’t for her!) and I wouldn’t give her up for anything.

I have watched the trailer for The Hobbit at least 20 times since it came out. So come ON December hurry up! Unless of course we only have 11 months and 21 days to live.


Is it wrong to think a Hobbit is hot?


So that’s it, what did you do in 2011? What are you looking forward to the most for 2012? Will you call it two-thousand-twelve or twenty-twelve?