Posts tagged geek

Circuitboard nails

“NAILED IT!” World’s First Nerd Nail-Art

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 

Espionage Cosmetics launches premier

Nail-Art Line via Kickstarter

You’ve seen the Espionage Cosmetics team at every con you’ve attended in the last 3 years. You’ve played with the tiny Jayne hats that top the Browncoats collection, and you’ve squeed over the facebook pics of Bonnie Burton and Felicia Day with the shadows as you sign up for giveaways hosted by your favorite bloggers. Here’s what’s next from your favorite purveyors of geek-chic cosmetics…
Final PromoNAILED IT! On August 5, 2013, Espionage Cosmetics—the makers of hugely popular mineral make-up by and for nerds—launched a 30-day Kickstarter campaign (www.EspionageCosmetics.com/Kickstarter) for their latest product line, “NAILED IT!,” the world’s first nail-art line designed exclusively for nerds and lovers of all things glitter. 8 nerd-inspired designs are printed on high-quality, self-adhesive nail wraps that can be filed to a custom fit, with the potential to unlock up to 24 nerd-tastic designs. According to Espionage Cosmetics representatives, NAILED IT! is designed for “those of us who don’t have the time or talent to make our nails look like a Pinterest board.”

NAILED IT! is designed with you and your crazy eclectic, nerdy interests in mind. How about these gems: Cthulhu-inspired glitter tentacle wraps; turtle nails with glitter masks and googly eyes (googly eyes!); zombie nails dripping with glitter blood… and that’s just the first level of products available for pre-order on the Kickstarter.

Not just another Kickstarter. Espionage representatives say, “We know everyone is so tired of hearing about Kickstarter. That’s why we’re using this like a pre-order. Instead of rewards, you get the actual product, and help to fund the line for other customers.” Espionage Cosmetics is aiming for a goal of $20,000 in pre-orders with an “unlock achievement” feature, where sales past the goal unlock bigger rewards for all subscribers. As soon as the first achievement is unlocked, everyone who has ordered product at or above $100 automatically gets more nail-art—for free!—in their cart.

After the Kickstarter, for those who can’t make it to Espionage Cosmetics table at a convention, your best bet is to head over to ThinkGeek.com… they’ll be carrying the entire line in fall 2013.

The NAILED IT! Kickstarter includes products and rewards at every price point, from $15 to $10,000 and several points in-between. What does that get you? Some examples: $15 for a single nail-art set; $200 for a grab bag of Espionage Cosmetics products valued at $300; at $10,000 you can “Get Espionage’d.” At that level, you’re invited into Espionage Cosmetics design studios where the creative team (whose work has been published in Rolling Stone and other big-name publications) will design and shoot a photo concept for you, including professional wardrobe, hair, make-up, and graphic design. “This offer is ideal for people who are rebranding an existing product, getting started with a new business, or for anyone who just wants to live out an ultimate cosplay or fantasy photo-shoot experience.

Circuitboard nailsNerd-inspired designs, you say? Other NAILED IT! designs to look forward to include: Cats (“the Internet on your nails,” in high-quality photo format), chain mail, circuit boards, and full sets of glitter nails in versatile colors specifically designed for cosplayers (Black Widow? Wonder Woman? Covered).  Espionage reps say they’re especially excited about the Nebula Nails set: wraps bursting with neon cloud
swirls and black holes. “You can find galaxy designs all over Pinterest and the Internet, but none of them are real, existing nebulas. We’re nerds and we like accuracy, so we scoured the night sky for the prettiest, coolest nebulas.”

Espionage Cosmetics: All girl, all nerd, all amazing. Espionage Cosmetics is a small, woman-owned business based in Tacoma, Washington, creating make-up for nerds, by nerds. “We’re a niche make-up company,” say Espionage representatives. “We have other things going on besides the perfect eyeliner. You’ll see us where we hang out, where our customers hang out. We’re at comic book stores and conventions.” …with the perfect glitter eyeliner, of course. Like you have to ask.

Founded in 2011, the company has seen enormous growth in their niche nerd market. In the last year alone, Espionage Cosmetics has expanded from a living-room operation to a Tacoma-based studio space with 3 fulltime women employees. Bi-monthly product launches and fully produced ad campaigns pour out of the studio manned by a full-time wardrobe master/cosplay expert, an interns and conventions coordinator, and the CEO/artistic director/marketing coordinator (her business card says Glitter Jedi).

NAILED IT! nail art is the latest Espionage Cosmetics product line, joining the newly released lip-gloss lines and the Espionage staple, “Everything Shadow,” a large range of mineral make-up colors that can all be used for 17 different cosmetic uses and counting. Everything Shadow has been featured on the Geeky Hostess, Fashionably Geek, and by popular youtube stars. Espionage also continues to draw clientele from high-profile Nerd Celebrities, including Bonnie Burton, Felicia Day, Chloe Dykstra from Heroes of Cosplay on Sci-Fi
network, and Ashly Burch (the voice of Tiny Tina on Borderlands 2).

Last words? Kickstarter pre-orders will be delivered in December 2013.

www.EspionageCosmetics.com/Kickstarter
espionagecosmetics.com
facebook.com/espionagecosmetics

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Comikaze 2013? Yes, Please! (psst – there’s a sale on tickets!)

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Planning on hitting up Stan Lee’s Comikaze this year? You should be. This year looks like it’s going to be spectacular. Just the comic, scifi, gaming, fantasy, anime, and horror expo you’d expect to see from Stan Lee. Take a look into what’s in store for this year:

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I love that Dot Com will be there. I hope he gets plenty of “No one can hear you, Dot Com!” jokes.

All in all, it looks like a fantastic lineup, and tickets are now on sale. Beyond that, we have some insider info that they’re having a 72-hour sale on tickets right now. So if you’re planning on going, now’s the time to check out your options – weekend passes, in particular, are a great deal today.

Angry Wedding bird

Stress Done The Nerdy Way

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As I sit here waiting for the inevitable power outage thanks to the high winds, (and for another tree to fall like before), I think back to the past year for me. It’s entering November, and I find myself busy, as per usual, and looking for more to do, (I’m a glutton for punishment in the month of November,) so now is the perfect time for reminiscing. I’ve been in and out of the hospital for almost the whole year with my family. My grandpa would go into the hospital, come out, and two days later go back in, and I would be the one that my entire family would turn to for information and a plan of attack. More recently my mother went into the hospital and just got off of a seven week short term disability leave. To give an example of what kind of stress this put me under, I was at my grandparents house more than my house to help them out, then at my house more than the outside world, and then anxiety attacks that drove me to my doctor. Stressful right? How did I cope? The nerdy way. Let me tell you how.

Update: Half way through that paragraph I heard sirens from the police, firefighters, and ambulance going off close to my street. Thank you wind.

Dry Vodka Martini, Mr Bond

In September I went to the wedding of my very first friend, and I took my other friend with me, cause I’m single and I don’t go to weddings alone. During the ceremony they had a planting of the sapling, it was sweet, it really was… to everyone else. All my friend and I heard was sapling, and we both looked at each other and knew we were thinking the same thing. He said it first. “You know if they use a little bonemeal on that, it’ll grow immediately.” Thank you Minecraft. Yes, that’s right, we turned a wedding into Minecraft, started making plans for the server that we play on with our friends. It gets nerdier, all before the reception. My friend, Shua, and I were talking about our own prospective weddings, and his won by far. Scottish wedding, kilts on the men, and at the cutting of the cake have someone run up and cut the cake with a sword whilst yelling; “They can take our wedding, but they’ll never take our cake!” That’s right, he went there.

The reception came, and we wanted our allotted booze. The party favors were adorable, and after 15 seconds of looking at them I took a picture, declaring that some Angry Birds had crashed the party. Another 10 seconds later and I was stealing the party favors from the empty seats next to us to create a Tri-Force. Yes, I went there. We skipped the Chicken Dance, and the Cha Cha Slide, but went up there for the YMCA. And we found out what exactly the Lady In Red is doing. Hint, she’s running away out the bathroom window because no one knows her name. We made a couple more parodies from the songs, one including some nice words for Minecraft, before we left to go watch the new episode of Doctor Who.

Even Henry Loves the Sailor Scouts

I make stuff like this, and sell it for Munnies

That’s just one day, how did I make it day to day otherwise? Well, I’m a creative type, I like making stuff, I like to sell this stuff. November 5th here in the city that I live in, we have an Art market, the Saginaw Art Market to be exact. It’s a free event where only handmade items will be sold, artists working in all different mediums will be there. I like to think that I represent the Fiber arts section, with my knitting and crocheting. I make popular culture themed goods. Like these lovely Sailor Scouts, and Tuxedo Mask. And what’s this? A Mega Man hat that I made? A Hatsune Miku hat? There’s even an Okami Ameterasu hat in the works, and a Jak (& Daxter) hat that I’m making for me. There are plans for some ‘Penny’ wristwarmers, (Dr Horrible anyone?) I’d also like to make some hats out of fleece, you know, anime style hats, cause I’m just that cool. I’m no stranger to making nerdy stuff, but I think that I got nerdier as a coping mechanism to all my stress, allowing me to make more awesome stuff.

My podcast now has a slight buffer of episodes because of my epic new nerdiness. “To Continue Press Start” has been getting a lot of attention, well-deserved attention, and I even participated in a 24 hours gaming event to raise money for the Children’s Miracle network. I made it for 21 hours before I had to crash. I blame my cats who wouldn’t let get me any sleep the night before. Now we just have to get back to playing Sonic the Hedgehog for his 25th birthday.

I had a moment when I walked into one of my favorite gaming stores and found out that I’m a regular to the staff now. I no longer have to show my ID when paying with a credit card, because I am a recognizable face. After pre-ordering my Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, I walked out of the store and proudly stated; “It’s so great being a nerd.” I think that my point is to say that being a nerd gives me unique ways of handling stress, and it’s just recently that I’ve found out how effective that it can actually be, and something that is very well needed. Now if you’ll excuse me I have arms to make for Sailor Scouts, and more Link hats to make.

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Minimalistic Art for the Geeky Eye

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These clever little capsules from Greg Guillemin will certainly keep us geek-folk amused for probably a little too long:

 

 

And while I’d probably make flash cards out of them, they seem to be available in some finely printed forms.

Google-plus

Google+: My First Impressions

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June 29th, my Twitter feed was going nuts over news of Google+ and people asking others for invites. My first reaction was, “Who cares! I loathe Google. Wave and Buzz were severe disappointments. My gmail is used for junkmail and notifications for things I don’t care about. There’s yet to be a single Google product to interest or excite me. What is the purpose of Google+ and what use is it going to be to me?”

I walked through the Google+ tutorial and thought, “Meh. I don’t see what the hype is about.” Then I received an unexpected invite, logged in and was immediately hooked.

I’m not going to give a full walk-through of what exactly Google+ is. If you want in-depth detail, then read this very long article on Wired. What I will tell you is what my first impressions are and why I actually really, really like Google+.

First, Google+ is every thing I like about Facebook and doesn’t have any of the things that I hate, which is most of what Facebook has turned into. For years, I’ve been waiting for a good Facebook replacement. The only reason I still use Facebook is because it is the only way to keep in contact with some of my family.

Gone are the annoying adverts on Facebook. Gone is a feed filled with nothing but Facebook game updates that you are constantly having to block from your feed in an attempt to see people’s status updates—you know, the things you really want to know about people. Gone are the annoying suggestions. Being automatically added to a group and other intrusive things are gone. What is left is a stream devoted solely to the things you want to see: What your friends are saying and sharing. I’ve commented that Google+ is Facebook Lite but better.

The thing that has me most excited about Google+ is that I have complete control over how my content is shared. If I want only one person to see a status update, then I can specify that. If I only want one circle to see it, then I can specify that. I can also specify multiple circles, all circles or the entire world by having the update posted to my public profile. For me, this is the best feature! This means that I can open up my Google+ to the entire world and still maintain my privacy; something I can’t do on Facebook.

There are other nifty features such as chat, group collaborations i.e. “hangouts”, “Sparks” which are like Google alerts based on interests that you specify, you can +1 individual updates, you can share them and comment on them, you can even edit your updates and comments after you post them. This last feature also greatly excites me.

Another feature that WordPress users will probably grok the most is the toolbar at the top of Google+. It is very much like the admin bar in WordPress. It is automatically integrated into any Google page, including search, allowing you easy access to all your Google tools.

The only thing currently missing for me is the ability to automatically push my sites’ updates to Google+. Yes, I can use the +1 button on all my posts and add it to the +1 stream in my profile, but those don’t automatically show up in my stream for others to see. They have to visit my profile and click on the +1 tab to see them.

Another thing that I’m half-concerned about are the age restrictions. They are stricter than Facebook. As a parent, I appreciate that a young child cannot create an account which, without the guidance of an adult, can leave their personal and private information open to the entire world to view and leave them vulnerable to online predators. But the fact my near 16-year-old son will have to create a new gmail account and lie about his age in order to use Google+ is a little silly. I feel he is old enough to be able to use Google+.

I’m also worried that Google will mess-up the thing I really love about Google+: My right to privacy and the ability to choose what I share and with whom. Google has a lousy track record when it comes to privacy. So, we’ll have to wait and see. You can read the Googe+ privacy policy here.

It is going to take me awhile to efficiently organise all of my circles so that I can best share the content I want to share and with whom I want to share it. But it will be well worth it.

There are obviously some bugs as this is a new service and still in beta. Invites have been closed, but my friend, Eli Jones (@JuicyJones), has shared a work-around. However, Google+ is apparently at capacity and those who’ve received invites today have to wait a little bit before they can activate their accounts. That being said, if you want an invite, let me know and I’ll happily add you. I’ll happily add anyone.

Google, please don’t mess this up by turning it into another Facebook. What you’ve started with is awesome. Just work out the bugs—such as the crashes with “hangout”—add the ability to push posts for blogs and websites, and I’ll be extremely happy. Google, if you keep up the good work, I’ll never have to login to Facebook again and that is what I’ve been asking for, for years.

One last note, some have tried to compare Google+ to Twitter. For me, that is like comparing apples and oranges. Just like Facebook and Twitter have specific uses and functions for me, so will Google+ and Twitter. Maybe having the ability to push tweets to Google+ would be nice, but considering Google has Buzz—which I don’t use and never will—I don’t see that happening.

If you already have a Google+ account and want to add me, my gmail is jsherred at gmail dot com.

Image Courtesy of riotnrrdcomics.com

Webcomic Review – Riot Nrrd

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Image Courtesy of riotnrrdcomics.com

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. Convention season has been getting rather hectic as of late. Personal issues and business aside, I have wanted to review some webcomics, and as I stated in my last post, I am going to do it.

That said, onward. The first comic I’m reviewing is Riot Nrrd, a comic that is not only a joy for me to read, but one that should prove more than enjoyable to all Nerds out there in Babeland.

Riot Nrrd is the creation of R.J. Edwards, a self-professed nerd who likes to geek out about subjects such as anthropology, linguistics and of course webcomics. The story is focused on a small group of college-aged geek girls from all walks of life, sexual preferences and identities. Edwards states that her comic is aimed at nerds from many walks of life and geekiness, and the prejudices they might face, be it from a disability, race, sexual identity or even fat phobias. While the story focuses on the romantic relationships, friendships and all the awkward and comic moments therein, she also highlights the different levels of geekiness each of the characters have, be it one’s first introduction to the boffer LARP lifestyle, to the planned webcomic featuring female superheroes that are not of the typical swimsuit model variety featured in DC or Marvel comic book titles, but genetically altered and powered roller derby players. What is not to love about that?

Edwards shows a cool angle on how the various fandoms and geekdoms develop in a character. My favorite example of this, as well as the strip that made me into a fangirl myself, is “The Metaphorical Puppyverse” where a main character, Wren, compares following favored television series to owning a house full of active and messy puppies. With the number of TV reviews on this and other sites, fans as well as blog readers and contributors alike can relate!

The artwork is done in Photoshop save for the first two strips that were made using the GIMP program. Cute and very linear, the style reminds me of the art in “Dr. Katz” at first glance. Reading onward, I saw that each character is very distinct, giving the story more realism and credibility.

This is a slice of life comic with a geeky twist, but what sets Riot Nrrd apart from other geek stories are the different races, ages, sexual identities, sizes and disabilities of the characters along with the prejudices they may encounter from time to time in the course of their lives and friendships. All the same, these characters are very likeable and very real geeks, the kind of geeks and people we would definitely hang out with if our paths were to cross!

Book Review: The True Adventures of the World’s Greatest Stuntman

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The True Adventures of the World’s Greatest Stuntman by Vic Armstrong (with Robert Sellers)

Review: Jenn Zuko Boughn

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Chances are, you have never heard of Vic Armstrong[1].

But you probably have heard of: Indiana Jones, James Bond, Superman, Rambo, the Terminator, Flash Gordon, Han Solo, Henry V, The Green Hornet, and Thor.

And since you are reading a site called Nerds in Babeland, you must have heard these names: Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steven Spielberg, Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan, Christopher Reeve, Tom Cruise, Richard Attenborough, Kenneth Branagh, Angelina Jolie, Will Smith…

Vic Armstrong is the recipient of many accolades and awards for stunt performing and stunt coordination, including the Guinness World Record for Most Prolific Stuntman. Keeping in mind that this above list is a mere fraction of the people Armstrong has doubled, worked with, or directed as Second Unit[2] Director, you can see why. The man is a legend among stunt performers, and his family is following in his footsteps. Armstrong’s new memoir details his early life as a horse lover (and expert) on through stunt performer and, later, stunt director. He gives a behind-the-scenes look at many stages of his epic life in the field of stunts.

This is not the autobiography you read for its scintillating prose. This is an autobiography you read for the amazing stories of the amazing events throughout an amazing, long career. The book begins with a recounting of Armstrong jumping from a moving horse to a moving tank, as Indiana Jones. The harrowing near-miss is delivered with the wry humor typical of a stuntperson, with the dry reality that he would have to reset it and do another take. The book is an immensely entertaining combination of a “special features” behind-the-scenes narration of a staggering number of favorite films (and characters), and chatting with a chummy mentor over a pint, recalling the good times of back in the day.

One of the most engaging things about Armstrong’s narrative is his genuine respect and even awe for his fellow professionals, not only in the stunt field, but everyone who’s worked hard in the movies he’s been involved with, and those that came before. He speaks with true joy about his excitement at starting a new project, and with not too much modesty about his skills and setbacks as a professional. Peppered throughout his personal narrative are brief bold-fonted paragraphs penned by some of the more famous folks he’s worked with. These magazine-article-blurb-like interruptions range from delightful (Harrison Ford avers: “If you learn to talk, I’m done for”), to slightly repetitive (many of the paragraphs start to sound like a ping-pong game of vague praise), but all in all the book reads like a snappy, exciting…well, action sequence!

As a stage combat professional myself, what I appreciated most was his consistent stress on the safety of the techniques used, from the earliest movie he appeared in (You Only Live Twice!) to a lovely farewell as he puts down this book to go work on Thor. He makes it clear what technology was available for each movie, what stunts he did that were foolish-young-man stuff and which he butted heads with the director with over safety. He also has interesting things to say about actors that want to do their own stunts, which is food for thought for those movie-goers that may think an actor doing his own stunts is a “cool” thing.

The bottom line: Vic Armstrong has been involved with the stunts for a dizzying number of films that we at Nerds in Babeland regularly nerd out over, and more than that, and more. The man is a legend, and continues to be so. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in the world of the stuntman, or indeed any movie buff.

~Prof. Jenn

 

 


[1] Unless you’re a stage combat nerd, like me.

[2] The Second Unit director is the guy who directs the action sequences.

 

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Awkward Embraces For The Win!

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If you follow Geek Girls Network, Geek Girl Diva, or any other number of awesome geek girl websites, you’ve probably heard of Awkward Embraces.  If not, you really should be following those sites AND watching this web series.  This is one of those web series where you just can’t stop watching.  It was midnight and I had to work the next day, but I needed to finish the first season.  That’s how much I love web series.

Awkward Embraces follows the dating lives of Jessica and her two closest girl friends, Candis & Lyndsey.  Jessica is a geek girl.  She loves Star Trek and comic books and is not afraid to let it be known.  While the basic tag line sounds very similar to Sex & the City, I find that the situations these girls go through are much more along the lines of stuff I would encounter via dating.  Or maybe it’s just that I can actually relate to these girls.  In one episode, Candis is set up on a blind date by her mom.  You expect that it won’t go well, but the best part is the way Candis gets out of it.  Let’s just put it this way, don’t annoy Jessica and then watch a movie with her.

Another reason this web series rocks is because it does what so few actual TV shows fail to do, which is show a realistic, diverse cast.  Each character represents a nice little slice of life, without being reduced to a stereotype.  The dialogue is smart and witty, with story arcs that are not cliche or predictable.  The production value is excellent and, most important, it looks like it was so much fun to work on!  I love when you watch a show and you can just tell that everyone on set had a blast while filming.

Jessica Mills, writer, producer & star of Awkward Embraces, was kind enough to answer some questions for Nerds in Babeland.  At the end, please consider donating a few dollars to the production of Awkward Embraces Season 2.  Once you’re done watching Season 1, you’ll see why we so badly need a Season 2!

1) Where did the idea for the show come from?

I have TONS of awkward dating stories that I love to share with new friends because they never stop being funny. I turned the worst/best story (Episode 4 The Morning After) into a short film. The shoot went so well and it was so fun, I decided to make it a web series.

2) How did you come to work together?

I went to college with Candis and Lyndsey. I couldn’t imagine doing anything comedy and not including them. They are two of the funniest women I know. Then Adam was referred to me by a friend because he had a Canon 5D Mark II and I’d been wanting to shoot something on that camera. We didn’t even MEET until the day we shot that first episode! But he’s great and we all had such a good time that everyone stuck around for the duration.

3) Web series are extremely difficult to fund, in particular when it comes to production costs. Awkward Embraces looks awesome in terms of production quality in general. How did you go about raising money to make the first season?

I didn’t. ha ha I literally shot that season for the cost of pizza. I was working a lot of overtime then, so all the costs (food, snacks, website, domain hosting, etc) just came out of my own pocket. Everyone did phenomenal work for free. I just got REALLY lucky when I found Adam. He does great work. For Season 2 we did an Indiegogo campaign for the first half, and we are about to roll out a second Indiegogo campaign to help us fund the last 6 episodes for Season 2.

4) How many of the stories throughout the first season are inspired by real life events?

Every single one. HA! It’s true. Sometimes it’s a little thing, sometimes it’s a conversation, or it’s an actual story that is mine or that I hear. I find awkward inspiration everywhere. It helps that I’m awkward and end up in awkward situations often.

5) What made you want to do a web series in particular? What do you think about the future of web series in relation to other forms of media?

I was a struggling, frustrated actress. I saw what Felicia Day was doing and just had so much respect for her and the way she took control of her own career that I felt inspired. The web is the best way to do your own thing and get it out there in front of an audience. I do feel that web series are going to become more and more mainstream. Eventually we’ll be streaming all of our television. The place I see web series taking in the future is with branded entertainment. People aren’t watching commercials anymore, and I think these companies are starting to figure out that if they can find someone to build great character and great story around their brand, they’ll get a lot more eyeballs than the commercials we all currently fast forward through on our DVRs. Branded entertainment is sort of the new buzz word in Hollywood. But technology and the business are changing so fast, it’s impossible to tell where we’ll be, or what will happen in the industry. I just hope I’m able to continue to tell good stories and entertain people the way I want. It’s about constantly moving forward and snatching the opportunities as they come along.

6) What can we look forward to in Season 2?

The girls make it their mission in life to find Jessica the perfect mate. So we see Jessica in some situations that she would normally never be in, and she’s got to figure out what to do. It’s a lot of fun. Candis has actually written three of the scripts for Season 2 and I’m very excited for us to get to play with them.

7) You’re a Star Trek fan, clearly, but here is a twist on an age-old question. Spock vs. Picard? AND Kirk vs. Riker?

Picard all the way. I LOVE it when Picard gets angry or upset. Stewart is just SUCH a phenomenal actor, so getting to see him run the gamut of emotion, as an actor, it feels like taking a master class. I love Nimoy, of course, but his range was somewhat limited as a Vulcan. As far as Kirk or Riker, I still have to go with Riker. He’s just dead sexy. Though I am doing a TNG rewatch and every time he hits on a chick, I feel SO AWKWARD. I don’t know what it is! He’s just so confident and overt about it! ha ha. But, he’s hot, so it’s ok.

8 ) Besides Star Trek, what are some of your other favorite things to geek out about? Will we see a lot more of these references in Season 2?

YES! I am obsessed with Doctor Who, so we are definitely going to see some of that. There’s some cute little BSG action in there, and I have a Mythbusters shoutout in an episode. This show is so fun, I love being able to celebrate all the stuff that makes me happy.

You can find more about the series at their website http://www.awkwardembraces.com or on Facebook and Twitter.

Once you fall in love, click the badge below to donate:

NerdgirlReading

Being A Thrifty (Book) Nerd

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The holidays have passed us by and now our thoughts turn to “whoa, that’s a lot of bills I have to pay!” Being a nerd doesn’t make it any easier because we constantly have more and more things that we don’t just want, but need. Top among that list is books and our push to read often sends our costs up. However, there are many free avenues that we can explore to get our reading fix!

Library: This should be at the top of everyone’s list, but many times it is not. I’ve heard from many fellow nerds who rush out to buy the latest book just to read it once and then cast it aside. Instead, head out to your local library where you can read both the latest best-sellers and long-forgotten classics for free. It’s the power of your library card. And with the integration of most library systems today, anything that your local library does not have can be ordered from surrounding libraries, so you’ll never miss out.

E-Books: If you simply do a search for “free e-books” on the web you’ll turn up many sites that provide books for free, from classics to modern fiction. Project Gutenberg was the first to embark on the free e-book trend and many have followed, including Google, Amazon, and Many Books. Whether you have an e-reader or not, there are free e-books out there waiting for you.

Book Swaps: This is the avenue I tend to turn to most often because of my success rate in acquiring books. If you are one of those individuals who has a pile of books taking up space, book swaps are a great way to not only get rid of them, but turn them into new reads. The two I frequent the most are BookMooch and PaperbackSwap. From these two sites I’ve managed to get the latest books, as well as many books from my wishlist that have been out of print for a while. We can all benefit from the exchange of literature. [Additionally, the PaperbackSwap site is partnered with SwapaCD and SwapaDVD, so you can apply the same principle to CDs and DVDs.]

There are definitely more areas to explore for free books and I encourage you to seek them out. Some publishers send out review copies in exchange for a review written on their site or your blog. Other avenues include free audiobooks so that you can listen on the go. And the list goes on. So, the next time you’re wondering if you have to sacrifice your reading habit for the holiday bills, remember that being a thrifty book nerd is never a bad thing.

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‘Monster in my Room’ Cancer Fundraiser

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There is this independent musician that I know. His name is David Ritter (@MacMufasa). He’s doing something pretty awesome for this little boy, named Aiden Reed, who has leukemia. I’ll let David tell you all about it:

This is a song I wrote after reading about Aidan Reed who is 5 and has leukemia. He likes to draw monsters and his family decided to try and raise money for the treatments by selling his artwork. It has been working!

With that spirit in mind, I wrote this song in hopes of raising more money for Aidan and his family to pay for his treatments. I have a 7 year old boy and I cannot imagine what they are going through. My heart goes out to them.

If you can, please purchase this song and help Aidan so that he will get to a speedy remission soon. If you can’t, simply spread the word about helping Aidan.

I hope you like your song Aidan.

The song is really nice. David has set the price to “pay what you want”. So what that means is, if you want to pay 0.50¢, $1.00, $2.00, or even $20.00, just enter the amount and download the song. 100% of the proceeds will be going to Aiden’s family to help pay for his medical bills.

I’ve embedded the track below. If you are viewing this in an RSS reader, you’ll need to visit the site in order to listen or you can click this handy dandy link.

Monster in My Room

There’s a monster in my room
He hangs out there at night
And eyes and teeth they glowing blue
He hangs on my wall with a screw

My Monster fights with me
against the cancer
inside my little body
My monster says:
Oh don’t you fear
My little friend
It will all be ok
Just lay your little head beside me
and I’ll hum this tune and pray

My Monster fights with me
against the cancer
inside my little body
and he says:
“Hey – I’m gonna getcha- I’m coming after you”
“I’ll get ya, track ya, bend and mix ya”
“put you on your back and pin ya”
“Cancer’s gonna lose”

All the monsters I draw
they’re all on my side
Like Indiana Jones
Treasure & adventure
If I could have my way
I’d take out my whip and slay
all of this disease and wipe
it all away
“I’ll get ya, track ya, bend and mix ya”
“put you on your back and pin ya”
“Cancer you’re gonna lose”

From www.macmufasa.com (share this quote)

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