Posts tagged geek
The lovely and wonderful Erica McGillivray is turning 27 this year (just like me!) and she only has one birthday wish: make GeekGirlCon happen! I’m not going to describe the convention again as many of you have heard the same speech from me many times before AND those of you who are super ambitious can search through our archives for previous articles (there is even a drop down selection for GeekGirlCon!).
You can read her full letter/plea for birthday gifts on her blog, but Erica is asking for a simple birthday gift. Instead of gifts or dinner or any of those things, she just wants her friends to donate a couple of dollars to GeekGirlCon. Her goal is to raise $500 before her birthday on Dec 13th. In the meantime, Erica is posting a new story about herself and her life as a geek every day on her blog. They’re fun and run the gamut from her desire to marry Geordi LaForge as a child to her decision to be a vegetarian later on in life.
Of course, most of us don’t know her in person and probably wouldn’t be taking her out for dinner or drinks but that isn’t really the point of this fundraiser. I don’t know about you guys and gals but I have made a lot of awesome friends lately through the geek and nerd community online. I’ve even bought holiday and birthday gifts for people I haven’t even met in real life (yes, I acknowledge this means I could be buying gifts for creepy pervs in their basements but I don’t really think that applies to these people ;-)). Erica even writes about this on Day 8 of her Birthday Bash series of posts. Point is, I’ve met some truly awesome people online and if I lived in their part of the country/world I would love to go out with them for their birthday. Erica is definitely one of those people (actually, I would LOVE to take the entire GeekGirlCon group out for drinks but sadly I’m not in Seattle…and I’m poor).
I can’t wait until GeekGirlCon happens and I can finally meet up with all these wonderful people. However, you know, (and here is my shameless plea) we need a tiiiny bit of money from everyone in order to make it happen. 100% of the money that is getting donated will go to helping make the convention happen and everyone helping out with the convention is a volunteer so, truly, none of us are profiting from these fundraisers in a financial manner. Hell, if you love Nerds in Babeland and want to get us an awesome Christmas/Hanukkah present? Donate some dollars or even cents in our name to Erica’s Birthday fundraiser and you can kill two birds with one stone!
So, please donate to GeekGirlCon for Erica’s Birthday!
When you hear the words ‘nerd’ or ‘geek’, often the image of the socially awkward, glasses taped in the middle, brainiac comes to mind. Maybe you think of math lovers, D&D gamers, Trekkies, or technophiles, But really, that’s just the gateway stereotype to a whole huge spectrum of people out there. My current favorite ‘definition’ of nerds or geeks comes from our Nerdist inspirational dude Chris Hardwick who says we geeks and nerds are ‘people who are unabashedly obsessive and creative.’ Amen and yea verily. I love this for one big reason: it’s so inclusive.
Geekdom ain’t what it used to be. The terms geek and nerd used to be bad things. Being called a geek was a slam and something you avoided. These days it’s a kind of badge of honor. Like anything that goes mainstream the terms are often misused, but we are talking about inclusiveness here so we’ll ignore that aspect for the time being. Seems being a geek is the new black. It’s everywhere. And lo, this is a goodness. But it can feel like a game of who is the bigger nerd at times. Ironically, the ubiquitousness of geekdom can leave one feeling EXcluded.
I’m a geek from waaaaay back. I saw Star Wars in a theater seven times in ’77 and stood in line with Darth Vaders and Boba Fetts playing with Master Replica sabers before seeing ‘Revenge of the Sith’ a couple of decades later. I wear glasses and have a Mario mushroom candy tin on my desktop case. But even I sometimes don’t feel I have enough anti-cool cred to be one of the cool geeks. I don’t have an iphone and I couldn’t care less about Playstations or Wii’s.
There are lots of things I am unabashedly obsessive about. Things that on the surface might not seem to fit in to the geek jello mold. Cue Hardwick’s defintion. Huzzah! I can once again lay claim to the label ‘geek’ just by virtue of the thing I am happily allowing to eat my life right now: Poi.
Allow me to share with you my current pron: Costa Rica Flow
Know how long it takes to be that good? The Gladwell formula of 10,000 hours comes to mind. If that isn’t obsessive and creative I dunno what is. Even so, it still feels a little ‘non-geekish’ until you see these:
Many people aren’t familiar with poi, a dance that, at its bare essentials, involves creating patterns in space by swinging a ball on a rope in each hand (replace the balls with Kevlar, add kerosene and you have fire poi). Much of it is surprisingly scientific, incorporating concepts like centrifugal force.
Aha! Geometry! Centrifugal Force! You Tube! So it IS geeky! Not that I needed proof, but validation never hurts. But, if you’re still not convinced I’d challenge anyone to not see the connection in The Duel of the Fates choreography and this.
The world just got a whole lot smaller and expanded all at the same time. I love it when that happens.
Kink In Motion
This comic touches on many very true elements of tech support. When I had to deal with my ISP’s tech support staff last month, I was brought to frustration and near-anger multiple times. While I’m sure there are individuals who are honestly lost when it comes to their computer, whose tech support call can be ended by a simple suggestion of “reboot your system”, there are surely more of us who understand the inner-workings of our systems.
I design and program systems for a living, so I understand how to get into the back-end and fiddle. Rest assured that if I’ve resorted to calling tech support, I’ve exhausted all my options. Telling me to “restart your computer, then find your Start menu” is not only belittling my intelligence, but wasting my time. Go off the script and listen to what I’m telling you! This is what I’ve tried, we’re at this point now, go from there.
Ah, if only there were indeed a secret password that we could use to bypass all the tiresome steps and go straight to someone who knows what they’re doing. Until then, geeks everywhere will continue to try to solve their own problems before resorting to the non-supportive tech support.
This is Part 2 of my 3-part series on Comic Con. Since there’s a lot to tell, I’m just going to get right into it.
7:00am – Wake up for another day of geek-tastic fun times. I am dressed and ready to go by 7:30, but need caffeine badly.
7:36 – My uncle meets me at my house. Yes, I have a cool uncle who’s also a geek and loves comics even more than I do. He decides he wants to drive into the city. The adventure begins… but first, caffeine!
8:58 – Exit Lincoln Tunnel. Hello, NYC, I’m inside you now!
9:20 – Arrive at Javits Center and am approached by someone who recognizes my Jukebox the Ghost bag. I share my love of the band for a bit before proceeding.
It is madness and confusion. I am herded onto a line, but I know not what for. All I know is there are many people before me. I have to wonder at what ungodly hour they had to wake up to accomplish this feat. I mean, I thought I woke up early…
*costume sighting* – someone behind me is dressed as the 11th Doctor – complete with fez. I like fezzes. Fezzes are cool. I am inspired and start thinking of more costume ideas for Halloween.
9:50 – Doors open and everyone cheers. We slowly make our way in – back to where we started! Apparently before doors officially open it seemed like a good idea to our show-runners that they hide us in the basement. I do not question this and simply make my way to the next adventure.
10:23 – Stand in yet another line, this time for my second panel of the weekend with Stan Lee. This one is called “MTV Geek”.
10:55 – Still waiting in line. Had another Doctor Who sighting, this one the 10th Doctor. It made me smile. The more I think about it, the more I want to do a DW costume for Halloween this year. I start planning how to make this work and get even more excited. I wonder if the glow forming inside can be seen by those around me.
11:12 – They finally let us in, and we take our seats. I’m happy because this time I’m actually allowed to take pictures AND I have pretty good seats.
11:17 – Introductions. The crowd cheers loudly for their Brigadier, Stan Lee. The panel begins. Stan Talks about his project with MTV called “The Seekers”. It all seems to be very hush hush, but there is going to be a contest to win a chance to work on this thing with them. At least, that’s how it sounded to me. I wish I was talented enough to enter: *sigh*
Next we got a preview of some other projects MTV Geek is working on. Some stuff looks interesting, including a comic called Hell Town. At this point Stan Lee leaves, I’m assuming to do his signing. More books are introduced, including a graphic novel called “Agent Mom” that looks like it could be cool and is brought to us by Alaina Huffman *aka* Black Canary on Smallville.
Another book that looks like it has possibilities is “The Gloom” by Tony Lee, which, among other things, involves a monkey with a fez. See, I told you fezzes were cool. And I seriously can’t help but think of DW whenever fezzes are involved. Anyone else? Anywho, this book starts in November, and I do believe I will be checking it out. More info on all these things can be found at geek.mtv.com
11:48 – MTV panel ends. We move closer to the front for the next panel, “DC Universe”
12:10pm – DC panel begins to thunderous applause. The excitement energizes the room (although the Metallica music playing in the background certainly helps).
In the world of Superman we hear about “new Kryptonite” that affects us humans instead. *is intrigued* We also get news on Brightest Day and it is hinted that new things will be revealed, but no specifics are given. And in other news, Nick Spencer is taking over for Supergirl at Issue #60 (Jan 2011). And “Earth One” is announced, which gives us a look at Superman at the age of 21, when he makes the move to Metropolis and takes his final steps to becoming Superman. This is something that really peaks my interest, especially with Smallville coming to an end. The presentation concludes there and they open it up to questions.
1:14 – Panel ends. Time to eat.
*costume sighting* – Codex, from the webseries “The Guild”. This girl looks enough like Felicia Day for it to be both scary and awesome. I promise the picture will be part of the photo post I plan on doing (most likely Monday).
2:20 – Now that HP levels have been restored, we decide to wander the exhibits. I happen upon previously mentioned Codex and compliment her on her costume. The people I have met so far have been super friendly. It’s almost like a little nerd family.
Eventually a friend finds me amongst the masses. I later find out that yet another friend is here visiting from Boston.
After much browsing I discover two deals I could not pass up – the complete Dresden Files for $6 and the Dark Phoenix book for $7 (75% off!). Add 1 to the win column.
5:11 – I think I have covered just about every inch of this place. HP drained to the lowest amounts, I rest to bring levels back up.
(Sidebar – I don’t have to tell you “HP” refers to “hit points” and not “Harry Potter,” right? We’re all geeks here? Good. Moving on…)
5:46 – Bored, I start taking pictures of whatever is around me. I’m getting some good shots when, suddenly, my “low battery” light starts flashing. Glad I brought my spare ones. W00t for preparedness!
6:48 – Waiting in line for the “Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep” panel, I chat with a couple of people about the blog (among other things). Might be seeing them tomorrow at the Walking Dead panel.
6:58 – I am joined by friends from yesterday and we enter the panel before ours, “LGBT Comics, Creators, and Characters”. The room is packed. I am pleasantly surprised that this is an issue many people seem to care about. I guess if anyone is going to be accepting of a group that happens to be “different” though, it would be this community.
7:44 – The zombie panel is about to start. They coax people in by saying, “The more of you we can pack in, the more of a threat we can pose to the convention when the apocalypse comes.” I know right away that this panel is going to be amusing.
7:50 – With everyone seated, the panel begins. The title of the panel is explained to be a chapter in the book “The Proper Care and Feeding of Zombies” by Mac Montandon, who was leading the panel. He introduced the rest of the participants, all of whom have their own zombie books out. One author had this to say – “Don’t buy internet small pox. If you take nothing else away from this, let it be that.”
The author of “Paul is Undead” (Alan Goldsher) credits Stephen King for giving him zombie fever. That and Shaun of the Dead. “Zombies and funny – count me in,” he says. Robin Becker, the author of “Brains”credits Dawn of the Dead to her indoctrination.
All of the panelists have a great sense of humor about their craft, especially Goldsher and Mira Grant (author of “Feed”). Grant had us in stitches as she described her background in zombies. Best quote came from her – “The zombies are the universal health care of the monster world. There’s no participatory stupidity on your part. They’re just gonna come for your a$$”. She actually had a lot of great quotes, too many to account for all of them. I wish I had my video camera and could have recorded most of this panel.
Eventually “Zombie Strippers” comes up and the moderator takes it as a cue to turn to the audience for questions. The panel offered free books to those who had a question to ask. When free things are mentioned, everyone jumps up. Well, maybe not everyone, but a significant number of them did. I thought the whole panel was really amusing and exceeded my expectations. Kudos to everyone involved.
8:45 – Panel concludes with one last word – Braaaiiinnss! I stay put for the next panel, “Roddenberry is Back”.
8:58 – Panel starts by feeding the audience. They figured since it was 9:00 we could use some food, so they got us pizza. I am oddly hungry after the zombie panel.
After everyone gets their food, the real panel starts with a video introducing us to the worlds Roddenberry has created. Next they talk about continuing the legacy that Gene Roddenberry started. One of the big projects mentioned was “Days Missing” – a graphic novel series they are working on. There is also talk of “keeping the spirit alive,” which refers to the spirit of their founder, Gene Roddenberry. They mention the documentary “Trek Nation” which was announced is finally done and will possibly be shown at the Star Trek convention in Las Vegas. The documentary is an “autobiography of Gene through the lens of his son”. We got a good look at all the projects they’re currently working on. Personally, I’m especially excited about ‘Days Missing”. It involves a character whom nobody knows but is apparently very important in history and has been a part of many critical events ranging all of time. Intrigued? Yeah, I was too. In fact, I thought the whole panel was really interesting, both smart and funny. The only thing that was disappointing was that more people weren’t hearty enough to stick around for this one last panel. Oh well, it just meant more food for us…
10:10 – The final panel of the evening comes to a close. Another great end to another great night.
That about wraps up this post. The rest is travel time and writing the actually blog. Gonna go to sleep now and recharge so I can do it all again tomorrow. One day left!
PS – In editing this post I read “travel time” as “time travel”. Yes, this is where my brain goes at 2am.
To those of you ladies who are playing Halo: Reach, the guys of Achievement Hunter(Also the guys who bring you Red vs. Blue)are hosting a community playdate tonight from 8-10 Central time. I’ll be about, my Gamertag is Tenii87. Drop me a friend request or a party invite and I can show you my somewhat mad skills…well my slowly developing mad skills. 😛
GeekGirlCon will be holding random silent auctions via Twitter. All items being auctioned off are donated by vendors/merchants, geeky crafters, GeekGirlCon organizers and anyone else who wants to make sure this event happens. Feel free to donate something awesome if you want. All winning bids will go straight into making GeekGirlCon be as great as we can make it. No bids are ever too small!
1) FALLOUT NEW VEGAS: The long awaited next link in the Fallout franchise is almost here!!!! I am seriously looking forward to using my V.A.T.S. system to headshot Super Mutants and the new irradiated geckos!
Plus there’s a Super Mutant that seriously looks just like narrator Ron Perlman…for realz. Even though Obsidian is the big dog on this, it still has that Fallout look I got so used to in Fallout 3, the best game of 2008(IMHO). For me, it’s the most exciting release besides Halo: Reach and Fable III(which I’ll get to in a moment). It’s an RPG, which is my true calling when it comes to video games, I’ve played Oblivion enough times I can become the head of all the factions in less than a day of playing, and I can beat the game in less than 5 hours. I shine in RPGs like I decidedly don’t in FPS games. So this release is a
2) Fable III: The other game that is making me anxious for October to hurry up and get here. I have my copy of this(and F:NV) on pre-order at my local game retailer and I am looking forward to being able to finding the villager I created with the Villager Maker in the game. Plus, I LOVE the way Fable looks. All of them. They are some of the prettiest games, and I am a huge fan of the whole medieval theme the game has going on.
Plus there’s a Super Mutant that seriously looks just like narrator Ron Perlman…for realz. Even though Obsidian is the big dog on this, it still has that Fallout look I got so used to in Fallout 3, the best game of 2008(IMHO). For me, it’s the most exciting release besides Halo: Reach and Fable III(which I’ll get to in a moment). It’s an RPG, which is my true calling when it comes to video games, I’ve played Oblivion enough times I can become the head of all the factions in less than a day of playing, and I can beat the game in less than 5 hours. I shine in RPGs like I decidedly don’t in FPS games. So this release is aBIG DEAL for me.
Well that’s my video game news for today! Look for some more coming soon!
I don’t normally play FPS video games. They aren’t my thing, I’m more of a spell casting, sword wielding RPG kinda girl. But I decided to give Halo: Reach a fair try. And I’m seriously glad I did.
First off, it’s GORGEOUS. And I have no resistance when it comes to something pretty. The graphics team outdid themselves, and it’s a fitting look for Bungie’s last hoorah. They revamped everything for this game, the design of the enemies, the way your Spartan armor looks, even the Warthogs, Mongooses and Phantoms got a visual reboot.
I was also excited to find that I could actually play the whole game as a female Spartan, a great way for girls to show their pride in playing an FPS. The various and numerous armor customizations also kept me happy for hours. All the color combos and finding a good emblem was a lot of fun, for me especially, because customization is my favorite part of an RPG.
Another thing that surprised me was how much I have enjoyed playing the multiplayer. Classic Slayer is my favorite mode of play though I am also quite fond of Firefight, or even Gruntpocalypse, when I’m in a bad mood. In the two weeks since I started playing I’ve managed to work my way up to Sergeant 1st class, and for someone who can barely play on Easy without dying horribly, that’s an achievement. The daily challenges also encourage me to play more and to focus on certain things, such as sniping. I was terrible but I am slowly getting the hang of headshots, especially in the campaign when I can hear a bunch of children scream, “YAY!” and see confetti every time I headshot a Grunt.
The campaign also really drew me in. I became very attached to the characters, and to save those who may not have played Reach or finished it I won’t reveal the fates of anyone. But suffice to say, it was beautifully written, even if they didn’t go along with Eric Nylund’s masterpiece The Fall of Reach.
In closing I would like to reiterate that I DON’T play First-Person Shooters. Ever. But this game, it has somewhat converted me. And I think I like it.
A wonderful nerdsourced production posted on The Node (@node) by fellow Nodist, Clay Robeson. Everyone needs to check this out. It’s brilliant parody of Cee-Lo’s Fuck You. Clay’s description:
When Cee Lo Green’s “Fuck You!” came out, a parody (not that it really needed one) sprung forth into my head full born, like Athena from Zeus’ big ol’ melon.It was, of course, wrapped in the geeky goodness of Comic Con, and my own personal passion for puppets. The problem, as is often the case with puppets, is that you can never do it alone.And so I called upon my own personal nerd brigade to assist, and received extra vocal tracks from Colorado, and extra hands for puppets and eyes for cameras more locally.What resulted is something that we’re all pretty happy with.
So, I don’t normally want to use this site to request monies and this isn’t necessarily intended to do just that. Jane Espenson shared this story on Twitter and I thought I at least owed it to this fellow Nerdy Girl to share it here:
Basic story (quoted from the above article):
“Theirs was not your average love story. Kevin Pratt and Tashi King got married young, in an age when people tend to wait. The wedding was so small, they didn’t even tell their immediate family. They served pie instead of cake — and the bride wore red.
They were perfect for each other.
But in just a few short months, the fairytale turned into a nightmare. The economic downturn gripping Arizona cost Kevin his job at an architecture firm. Tashi, who worked for a real estate company, was cut back to part-time.
And rather than roll with the tough times, Kevin faltered. He was depressed. He complained of headaches. He said he was tired, even though he didn’t seem to do anything.
Sometimes, Tashi would come home from work and find that he’d slept all day. He’d be confused, she says. “He thought I’d just left.””
Later on the article goes on to describe how Kevin was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of cancer:
“Kevin’s cancer came in an unusual form, especially for a 24-year-old. Only two to three cases of gliobastloma multiforme are diagnosed per 100,000 North Americans. Most of those are in men over 50.
It’s also an unusually aggressive cancer. It is almost always fatal. Without treatment, the median survival time for a patient diagoned with glioblastoma multiforme is three months. With treatment, a “lucky” patient might get two years.”
Anyway, there is a lot more to the article and if you have some spare time you should go read it. If nothing else, send @redtapelass good thoughts and prayers. If you have any extra money (which I know is asking a lot in these tough economic times), Tashi informed me that his Frat boys have a fundraiser (The Paper Crane Project) and there is a paypal donation account that is linked to their webpage (http://washandtashi.blogspot.com/)
Anywho, thanks for listening!