This blog is brought to you by GeekGirlCon Twitter administrator, Kristine Hassell
Greetings, readers! Have you heard about Standard Action? If you’re down with RPGs, you will enjoy this earnest fantasy/comedy web series for geeks of all kinds. Since they have launched a Kickstarter to fund their third season, I thought what better way to introduce them to our audience than with a chat with producer, writer, star, and co-creator, my friend, Joanna Gaskell! So please, follow along today for the first in a three-part interview with Joanna! Today, we’ll focus on SA and their first Kickstarter.
Q. Let’s begin with an origin story. Tell us a little about yourself and what you do for Standard Action (SA)?
A. Sure thing. I’m the writer and producer of SA, and I also play one of the lead characters – a Elf Barbarian named Edda. I work on a variety of different projects in Vancouver, BC, mostly in an acting or voice over capacity, but I’m also producing a bit more now, and writing when I can. I’ve been in Vancouver for about six years, but I’m originally from Victoria, and I did my acting training in London, UK.
Q. I am familiar with the coolness of SA, but can you explain it to those who might now know?
SA is the fantasy webseries for geeks of all kinds. It’s a bit like Lord of the Rings if the entire party was made up of Pippins. It has the humor and the intelligence of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld or The Mighty Boosh, and the campiness of the old Hercules, Legendary Journeys show. It’s full of references to nerd culture and gaming, but it’s accessible enough for anyone to find the humor in it.
The story follows four inept, misfit adventurers who find each other and set out on a quest full of bumbling hilarity that tests not only their fellowship, but everyone’s perception of what a hero should be. It’s heartwarming in places, very silly in others, and it appeals to anyone who ever rooted for the underdog.
Q. Do you have to have played an RPG to get the humor?
Our show is full of references to nerd culture and gaming, but it’s accessible enough for anyone to find the humor in it. We don’t just stick to gaming, either; we have Easter Eggs in there for Browncoats, Trekkies, Star Wars fans, Tolkien lovers, Monty Python addicts, and more. It’s really a story about interesting, relatable characters and their journey through the mishaps of a fantasy world. You don’t have to be a nerd to enjoy it, but every once in awhile you might appreciate a joke a bit more if you’ve ever been a gamer, or part of a fandom.
Q. Your Kickstarter will be funded with less than a day left. Congratulations on your funded third season! Has its success been a surprise?
Thank you! One thing about being on the web is that we have pretty close connections with our fans, so we knew we had a lot of support out there. But I have to admit I was pretty blown away by the first week of our Kickstarter. We hit our base goal in just three days, and it certainly gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling to see the generosity from the fans, and the obvious appreciation for what we do. It’s always great to know as an artist that your audience wants to see more! We’re trying for a big last push as our campaign comes to a close, though ‒ the more we raise, the longer our season will be, and I’d really love to have a lot of episodes for Season 3.
Q. What you do when you’re not rocking as Edda?
Ha! I seem to wear the Edda ears and costume really, really often, so people always look surprised when I show up not in costume at a panel, or at another job.
Currently, I have a bunch of other projects on the go. I co-host a board game review show called Starlit Citadel Reviews, which has become very popular; we’re in our second season, and have over 60 episodes out. I’m doing a stage show here in Vancouver called the Critical Hit Show ‒ live D&D on stage ‒ which always gets a great audience. I’ve been working a bit with Zombie Orpheus Entertainment, the great troupe who made JourneyQuest and the Gamers movies. I’ve finished filming on their next feature (Gamers: Hands of Fate), and next up is a web mini-series called Humans and Households. And there are two sci-fi projects I’m co-producing at the moment: one of them is uber-low-budget sketch comedy show Space Cab, which I’m pretty darn excited about; and the other one… I can’t talk about yet.
Oh, then there’s my day job. I have one of those, too.
Tune in early next week for part two of my interview with Joanna! We will chat about how SA has helped her hone her craft and where you might find Edda and her crew this year!
05.3.13 // May Geek About Town
Hi folks! The sun is out, the birds are chirping, the day is getting longer! What events can the Seattle Geek get into? Read further!
Saturday, May 4: Free Comic Book Day!
From the website: “Free Comic Book Day is a single day – the first Saturday in May each year – when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely FREE* to anyone who comes into their stores. *Check with your local comic book shop for their participation and rules.”
Saturday, May 4: Beginning Puppetry
From the press release: “In this fun, dynamic class, you’ll learn the foundations of good stage puppetry ‒ focus, physical commitment and basic puppet operation. We’ll focus on how to make your puppet seem alive and connect with the audience. You’ll get lots of hands-on time with professional arm-and-rod puppets plus a simple practice puppet to take home so you can keep working on your skills. No puppet experience required. Please dress comfortably and be ready to move. Class size limited to 16.”
Wednesday, May 8: Girl Power Hour: Let’s Get Social! The Power of Social Media
From the events page: “Make sense of what’s happening now in new media, a staple for individuals and brands looking to make their mark and cut through the noise in today’s ever-changing world. Panelists will include local social media stars and women doing big things. You’ll get social over cocktails and desserts before and after a 40 minute Q&A.”
Wednesday, May 8: Dungeon Crawl Classics at Gamma Ray Games
From the events page: “You are no hero. You’re an adventurer, a reaver, a cutpurse, a heathen-slayer a tight-lipped warlock guarding long-dead secrets. Join us as the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG World Tour 2013 rolls through Seattle. “Learn to play” sessions will be run by Goodman Games’ writer, Jobe Bittman. No experience necessary!”
Thursday, May 9 – Friday, May 10: Minxes of Middle Earth: One Simply Does Not Strip Into Mordor
From the Facebook Page: “One Ring Has Been Found! Rumors circulated late last night that after the 111th birthday party of, now missing, Mr. Bilbo Baggins that the ONE RING has surfaced after centuries in hiding. No one would come forward with any concrete details but with a parade of unlikely characters showing up in the once quiet Shire anything is possible. Recent reports suggest that Sauron’s chief lieutenants, 9 Ringwraiths have been dispatched to take matters into their own hands. Discover the truth as the cast of Minxes of Middle Earth shimmy our way out of the Shire, shake our way past foes, bump n’ grind up to new friends and tease our way into Mordor to destroy the One Ring for good. Or will we? NOTE: This event is 21+”
Saturday, May 11: Intermediate Puppetry: “Finding Your Puppet’s Character”
From the press release: “In this fun, intermediate puppeteering class, you’ll learn the basics of characterization – voice, physicality and emotion – and how to apply them to your puppet. You’ll get tons of tips for making character choices and see what a big impact they can have on your puppet’s performance. Beginning puppetry class or equivalent puppet experience recommended. Please dress comfortably and be ready to move. Class size limited to 16.”
Saturday, May 11: Little Shop of Horrors at Wayward Coffeehouse
From the Meetup page: “Can a man’s strange passion cause a flower to kill? How will his madness end!? If you’ve never seen the original Little Shop of Horrors, join the gang at the Wayward Coffeehouse on Saturday, May 11th for a fun evening out.
Thursday, May 16: Geek Bingo at Gamma Ray Games
From the event page: “Seattle’s Browncoats bring you another great opportunity to have fun and support local charities on the third Thursday of every month.”
Thursday, May 16: Seattle Girl Geek Dinner
From the event page: “Light a Fire with IGNITE! Seattle Girl Geek Dinners and IGNITE are excited to partner in our first fundraising event to support IGNITE’s mission: to educate and increase exposure of STEM related careers to young girls..”
Friday, May 17: GeekGirlCon Benefit Concert
Nerd music concert to raise money for GeekGirlCon featuring Shubzilla, Nursehella, and Jonny Nero Action Hero
Wednesday, May 27: Central Cinema Presents: Supergirl with GeekGirlCon
From the events page: “GeekGirlCon is back with a screening that will make you believe a GIRL can fly! Starring Helen Slater, Faye Dunaway, Peter O’ Toole and hunky Hart Bochner, SUPERGIRL is one high flying and soaring fantasy adventure! Join GeekGirlCon and SUPERGIRL for an evening of awesomeness! We will be screening the 138 minute director’s cut!”
Don’t forget to check the calendars of some of your favorite geeky hangouts for ongoing events. Here are a few links from some GeekGirlCon partners:
What nerdy activity are you going to do now that the days are longer?
If you’d like to see your event up on Geek About Town, please email email@example.com for consideration. Please note that we reserve the right to either approve or deny your request. All submissions must be in alignment with the GeekGirlCon mission statement.
04.11.13 // Join us for the premiere of #WonderWomen
We’d like to invite you to join GeekGirlCon for a fun Twitter chat on Monday (April 15) during the PBS premiere of Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines. Wonder Women! is a fantastic documentary that examines representations of powerful women in popular culture. GeekGirlCon is a big fan of the film. We hosted a panel with women featured in the film at GeekGirlCon ’11 and screened the finished film during the closing celebration at GeekGirlCon ’12.
Now, Wonder Women! is being brought to the masses. We’re really excited to watch the film again. Find the screening time in your area, and take a peek at the film’s trailer below.
GeekGirlCon staff will be tweeting away as we watch, and we hope you can join us! Don’t forget to follow @GeekGirlCon and use the hashtag #WonderWomen as you watch the documentary to be a part of the conversation. We’ll be watching at 10 p.m. PDT when it airs in Seattle. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on the film.
04.2.13 // April Geek About Town
Hey, everyone–spring is here! With the weather getting warmer and the days getting longer, take a gander at what’s going on in the Seattle area for your enjoyment.
Friday, April 5: D23′s Disney Fanniversary Celebration
From the event website: “D23: The Official Disney Fan Club is hitting the road with D23’s Disney Fanniversary Celebration, commemorating dozens of unforgettable Disney milestones celebrating landmark anniversaries in 2013! Each show will be hosted by a Disney archivist and D23 Team member and will highlight the rich behind-the-scenes stories of these magical moments through rarely or never-before-seen film footage, concept art, photography, and exclusive interviews with many of your favorite Disney Legends and luminaries.”
Friday, April 5: Geek Bingo for Charity
From the calendar page: “Come play geek-themed bingo hosted by the Seattle Browncoats Charities. Cards are only $1 and proceeds go to local charities.”
Saturday, April 6: Seattle Supernatural Family Meetup
From the meetup page: “Please RSVP early, and be sure to bring water and snacks for yourselves (and the group, should you wish to!). This is the time to find people within short distances from each other, to discuss private screenings, share head canons and theories, and exchange stories from cons and other events.”
Saturday, April 6: Steampunk University hosted by Steamcon
From the event page: “Confused about steampunk or have a friend that is? It’s entirely understandable. It is a much misunderstood genre and has grown into an even more misunderstood subculture. In the course of working on Steamcon, we have had a lot of opportunity to accumulate knowledge and we’d be happy to share it with you… free of charge! We will be talking about how it all started, why people wear goggles, how to find great clothing and lots more. This is a great chance for those new to steampunk to get their feet wet.”
Thursday, April 11: GeekGirlCon Cocktail Connections: Geeky networking!
From the invite: “GeekGirlCon is hosting our very first Cocktail Connections! Come out to connect and engage with other geeky professionals, and enjoy Lunchbox Laboratory’s infamous cocktails as well. Professionals of all flavors and persuasions are welcome, whether you are a gamer, a scientist, a writer, a pop culture fanatic, or any other kind of geek. Mark your calendars and bring your business cards!”
Thursday, April 11: GeekWire Meetup & Radio Show
From the event page: “GeekWire’s April 11 Meetup will feature a taping of the GeekWire radio show, with hosts Todd Bishop and John Cook plus special guests, giveaways, a live version of our Name that Tech Tune contest and a featured App of the Week presented live by the app developer.”
Friday, April 12: Various Authors Honoring Octavia E. Butler
From the calendar: “Join PNW authors in a celebration of Octavia E. Butler’s legacy. Readings by Vonda N. McIntyre, Nisi Shawl, Dennis Y. Ginoza, Erik Owomoyela, Caren Gussoff, and Rashida Smith. Copies of the e-book anthology Bloodchildren: Stories by the Octavia E. Butler Scholars will be available at the reading.”
Friday, April 12 – Saturday, April 13: Contac in Tacoma
Contac is a free mini gaming convention for Tacoma. Contac will be hosting the Northwest Qualifier for Vampire the Eternal Struggle. Boardgame events at Contac will include Ticket to Ride, Small World, and Survive: Escape from Atlantis event. There will also be several Heroclix events on both days. Other boardgames include: Republic of Rome, Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar, a Great Dalmuti Marathon.
Saturday, April 13: Screening of Phantom from Space
This event is hosted by Seattle Sci-Fi Cinema at the Wayward Coffeehouse.
Saturday, April 13: init(together) conference
From the website: “The conference will feature a series of panel discussions and hands-on workshops for women seeking to develop their skills in computing. We are launching our mentorship program to connect female computing students and women entering industry with faculty and industry professionals in Southern California. Our Career Expo will feature a variety of companies and programs in Southern California – bringing industry directly to attendees.”
Saturday, April 13: BoneBat “Comedy of Horrors” Film Fest
From the website: “The BoneBat “Comedy of Horrors” Film Fest is an annual evening of giggles & gore, hosted by Steve and Gord of The BoneBat Show!”
Saturday, April 13 – Sunday, April 14: SpaceUp Seattle at the Museum of Flight
From the event page: “SpaceUp Seattle is a two-day unconference and interactive conversation about the cutting edge evolution of commercial space flight. Join space enthusiasts of all ages for this fascinating look at the democratization of the space frontier, as we talk with representatives from Blue Origin, SpaceX, and Planetary Resources.”
Monday, April 15: PBS Airing Wonder Women! Documentary
From the Facebook page: “This fun and warmly witty film traces the fascinating evolution and legacy of Wonder Woman. From the birth of the comic book superheroine in the 1940s to the blockbusters of today, Wonder Women! looks at how popular representations of powerful women often reflect society’s anxieties about women’s liberation.”
Tuesday, April 16: Firefly & Serenity Trivia at Central Cinema
From the meetup page: “For the 21st episode in our MAP Theatre trivia series, we bring you…
FIREFLY/SERENITY Trivia Night! 50 questions about your favorite band of space cowboys! We will also be watching your favorite Firefly episode on the big screen after Trivia. Vote here to determine which one!”
Saturday, April 20: Pop Conference 2013: Begging to Differ: New Visions, New Sounds at the EMP Museum
From the event page: “Begging to Differ: New Visions, New Sounds will include one-on-one debates as well as two-on-two or three-on-three debates; critical karaoke where three to four panelists will be grouped together to argue the highs and lows of an artist, album, or genre in the length of a single song; and Ignite Talks where presenters will have five minutes and 20 PowerPoint slides to make their case.”
Saturday, April 20 – Sunday, April 21: Fan Expo Vancouver
From the website: “Fan Expo Vancouver is a celebration of all things pop culture including comic books, anime, sci fi, horror and video games. FAN EXPO VANCOUVER™ showcases over hundreds of exhibits and sprawls to over 150,000 square feet. This event is in association with the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo.”
Friday, April 26: Opening of Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic at the EMP Musuem
From the event page: “Be among the first to journey through Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic. Explore the realms of darkness and light with the Conquerors’ Scavenger Quest; challenge your companions to an archery contest; witness a sword fighting presentation by Knights of Veritas; make modern myth come alive with a photo of yourself perched atop the Iron Throne from HBO’s Game of Thrones; take in a special appearance by the Carter Family Marionettes; game play with Card Kingdom; learn-to-play demos and R&D spellslinging with Magic: The Gathering; enjoy spotlight talks with historian and head archivist for The Jim Henson Company Karen Falk, New York Times bestselling author Terry Brooks, and American executive producer of the Oscar award-winning The Lord of the Rings film trilogy Mark Ordesky.”
Friday, April 26:Stormworld by Brian Herbert and Bruce Taylor
From the calendar page: “Join Bruce Taylor for readings from the short story Stormworld by Brian Herbert and Bruce Taylor. Brian Herbert may also be reading. Come support local authors!”
Friday, April 26 – Saturday, April 27: She’s Geeky
From the website: “Are you a woman? Are you a geek? Well, this event is for you! We invite women from a diverse array of technological fields and those doing technology in non-technical fields.”
Saturday, April 27 – Sunday, April 28: LinuxFest Northwest
From the website: “LinuxFest Northwest is an annual event produced by the Bellingham Linux Users Group, and volunteers from other northwest U.S. open source users groups. It is held on the campus of Bellingham Technical College. The Fest features Linux and open source experts and aficionados sharing their experience and enthusiasm with a wide variety of free and open source technologies.”
Saturday, April 27 – Sunday, April 28: Stumptown Comics Fest
From the website: “We’re proud to bring you publishers like Dark Horse Comics, Oni Press, Top Shelf Comix, and other well-respected comic book publishers. Guests include Fables creator Bill Willingham, Eisner award winning artist Becky Cloonan, multiple award winning writer Greg Rucka, as well as some of the countries premiere comic book studios like Periscope Studio and Tranquility Base. Stumptown Comics Festival’s ten-year anniversary will be the kick-off celebration of the expanding vision of Stumptown Comics, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering a wider appreciation of comics through education and public events.”
If you have any geeky events you would like to see on Geek About Town, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that we reserve the right to include or exclude events from our list.
Did you know that today is International TableTop Day? Find a game to celebrate with this installment of Ask GeekGirlCon: What is your favorite tabletop game?
“My favorite tabletop game is Betrayal at the House on the Hill published by Avalon Games. Every time you play this game, there is a different scenario. You build the game board as you go, and every time a different set of circumstances triggers the big bad Haunt. There are dozens of endings to this game and I’ve never seen the same one twice. I remember the first time I played I was beyond intimidated because my friend had to pull out his giant binder of endings and I thought it was the rule book. Even though the game varies so much, it’s still easy to learn and easy to play. And did I mention everyone has the chance to randomly become a traitor? What’s more fun then turning on your friends half way through the game because you’ve lost your sanity and turned evil?” - Jex Ballard, Volunteer Program Manager
“We play a lot of games in our house but my favourite game to play would be Antoine Bauza’s Tokaido. Tokaido is simple, relaxing game where you and fellow players travel along from Tokyo to Edo on the famous Tokaido.
This is a simple game with point to point movement where each player chooses a traveler at random to travel one of the most magnificent roads of Japan. During your journey, you will buy souvenirs, eat amazing meals, visit temples, meet new people, and see gorgeous vistas all as you travel the East sea road.” - Kristine Hassell, Twitter Administrator
“It is so hard to choose a favorite! Right now, I would say it is Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game. I had a lot of doubts when I picked up the game, as I have played many bad games based on TV shows or movies. Battlestar Galactica is a rare board game that is not just a lot of fun, it also remains true to the show. You really feel as though you are playing a character on Battlestar Galactica. While the game is mostly cooperative, one or more players are secretly cylons or cylon sympathizers working against the human crew. There is a lot of bluffing, deception, and deduction. This makes it fun to play over and over!” - Susie Rantz, Manager of Public Relations
Your turn, folks! What’s your favorite tabletop game? Any suggestions on what to play next?
03.24.13 // Join us: Women Lead a Changing World
Are you eager to discuss or learn more about what you can do to help shape the future for women and girls? If you live in the Seattle area, we have just the event for you!
On Wednesday, March 27, head to Town Hall Seattle for “Women Lead a Changing World,” an event hosted by the Women’s Funding Alliance (and includes our Programming and Events Director Jennifer K. Stuller!).
Here’s the description from the event website:
“It’s a defining time for women and girls, both locally and around the world. The playing field is changing dramatically and the time for powerful, fresh leadership is now. Be among the first to hear new information about critical factors shaping the future of women and girls. Find out how five extraordinary women are leading the way, and learn how you can take action…whether you have two minutes, two hours or two days!”
We were able to catch up with Sara Reyerson, director of grant programs at Women’s Funding Alliance and coordinator of the event. Read on to see what she had to say about it … including a few sneak peeks at some new data that will be shared at the event!
Can you tell us more details about “Women Lead a Changing World?”
This event is all about what matters most to women and girls in Washington State – and how each of us can be leaders in taking action. The program features: Compelling new data about critical issues. Inspiring stories. Five extraordinary women leading change for women and girls, locally and nationally. And a motivating call to action!
Why do you think now is the right time to have this conversation?
This conversation zeros in on emerging trends facing women and girls. New data will be shared. A few sneak peeks:
• 72 percent of women who work outside the home are in industries that pay below our state average.
• 80 percent: The share of 10th-grade girls who report being bullied or harassed via cell phone or computer.
• Women hold less than 1/3 of our state legislative seats, and 80 percent of corporations have less than three women on their boards of directors.
Each of the speakers will share how they are leading in a movement for change – championing the well-being of girls and women across our state and nation.
What are one or two things you hope people will take away from the event?
We hope every person attending the event will see themselves in the stories and information shared by the speakers. And we hope each person leaves having an idea of how she/he can personally take action to improve the lives of women and girls!
Can you tell us more about Women’s Funding Alliance?
Women’s Funding Alliance is the leading funder in Washington State that invests in and advocates for women and girls. We build leadership and drive financial investments to make change on the most pressing issues facing women and girls. We do our work in service to a vision that every woman and girl has the opportunity to live, lead and thrive.
Thanks for answering our questions, Sarah. We hope to see some of you at “Women Lead a Changing World!”
03.11.13 // GeekGirlConnections: Cover Letters 101
by Terra Olsen
The dreaded cover letter, it instills more fear in job seekers than any other part of the job search experience. But it doesn’t have to be so scary or terrible. I have broken down a few helpful tips to help make the cover letter experience more bearable.
But first I would like to take a moment to stress the importance of a cover letter. Time and time again I have talked to hiring managers who are dumbfounded when they get a resume with no cover letter. Not sending a cover letter does two things: Firstly, it sends the wrong message to the employer. You are basically saying that your time is more valuable than theirs, or that you simply don’t care enough. Secondly, you are missing a valuable opportunity to sell yourself. A cover letter helps an employer get to know you beyond the resume. Cover letters are really a wonderful tool that can help differentiate you from the completion.
So now that I have clearly convinced you to write cover letters, on to the tips!
Be sure to write your cover letter in a proper and formal fashion. Always have a formal salutation. Address your letter to the hiring manager (e.g. “Dear Ms. Lastname” or “To Whom It May Concern”). None of this “Hi” nonsense. Make sure to close your letter formally as well (e.g. “Sincerely”). In addition, do not use abbreviations or internet/text lingo—I cannot stress this enough. Seriously. (And that includes emoticons!)
2.) Proofread x12
It is essential to have a flawless resume, but it is even more essential to have a flawless cover letter. If you have spelling and/or grammatical errors in your cover letter, the reviewer might just toss your application without even reviewing your resume. So proofread your work. A good rule is to set it aside once you’re done with it, and then proofread it a few hours or a day later. It is hard to see your own mistakes when you just produced something, so taking a step back will help you clearly see where you might have misspelled something. Again, just slow down and take your time.
3.) Know who you’re addressing
Make sure you address the right company. I have seen cover letters that have had the correct company in some sentences, but then a different company in other sentences. Big no-no! Make sure you know whom you’re addressing, and how they spell their name (e.g. GeekGirlCon, not Geek Girl Con). In addition properly addressing the company you’re applying to, make sure you stress why you want to work that particular company. Hiring managers want to know how you will help their company succeed.
4.) Do Not repeat your resume
You should use your cover letter to tell the employer more about yourself, not to reiterate information that is in your resume. This is an opportunity to show your personality, and interest in their company and the industry. Try to tell an interesting story about why you’re interested in the industry, or why a particular strange job was actually a great way at developing x and y skills.
I hope these tips help you create the perfect cover letter and land your dream job! Happy Hunting!
03.8.13 // Ask GeekGirlCon: Women Who Inspire You
Hi, everyone! In celebration of International Women’s Day, GeekGirlCon’s staff was asked the question, “Who is the woman who inspires you the most?” Here’s what they shared:
“The women who inspire me the most are my fellow staffers at GeekGirlCon (past and present). They are some of the most amazing, fierce, and talented people I’ve ever met, and their dedication to our mission inspires me daily to work harder and be the very best version of myself.” – Rachelle Abellar, Manager of Design
“The obvious answer is my mom. She’s funny, extremely smart, adorable, an amazing artist (she makes quilts of all kinds!), so supportive, a breast cancer survivor, and she isn’t afraid to speak her mind. I aspire to be as much like her as I possibly can. The answer for people who don’t know my mom? Felicia Day. I knew her as an actress on Buffy, Dollhouse, and Dr. Horrible’s Singalong Blog. But I’ve seen her at Emerald City Comicon several times now, and I follow her journey through creating her own web series and making the things she loves into her career. She’s straight-forward, sassy, super-smart (the girl has a degree in theoretical math!), and she has made her life into her art and her work—and she obviously loves it! Felicia Day is one of my role models.” – Sarah “SG-1” Grant, Copywriter
“My mother is the woman who inspires me the most. From an early age, she taught to speak my mind and that knowledge was something that no one could take away from you. She might be stubborn and opinionated (no, she is both) but she has always been generous both in resources and spirit. She’s dangerous at trivia games with a near encyclopedic knowledge about the Golden Age of Hollywood, and no one makes SPAMsilog like she does. She beat breast cancer and was one of the main reasons I decided to quit smoking over a decade ago. When she gets fired up, my friends nicknamed her the Filipino Julia Sugarbaker, and it is a moniker well deserved. She continues to be an inspiration to me and while we might not speak as often as I’d like, she’s in my heart and thoughts every day. Mahal kita nanay, ikaw ang pinakamahusay na! (Translation: I love you, Mom. You’re the best!)” - Kristine Hassell, Twitter Administrator
“It’s hard to come up with a “most inspiring,” but I think the woman responsible for some of the biggest shifts in how I see myself and how I respond to the world is Melissa McEwan of the Shakesville blog. Her writing helped me realize that whatever activism I can manage is still worthy. WE change the world, and all of its problems are not mine alone. Liss pulled me out of inaction and got me involved, teaspoon by teaspoon.” – Alison Kozar, Manager of Programming
“There are too many women I find inspiring … my mother and grandmothers included! In addition, I am always looking for ways—big or small—that I can give back to this world. To that end, I look to women like Melinda Gates for guidance. She has put so much energy into supporting women and girls around the world and ensuring everyone can be healthy and feel empowered to live up to their potential. Plus, she’s a former computer science gal. Geeky and giving back: what could be better?” - Susie Rantz, Manager of PR
Reader, now it’s your turn – who is the woman who inspires you the most?
03.7.13 // March Geek About Town
Hello, readers! Who else is recovering from Emerald City Comicon? What a weekend!
However, if you’re like us, you’re probably already hungry for some more geeky activities. Check out these great March events in the Seattle area. There are TONS of them!
Seattle Yelp Geeks Out! takes place during the entire month of March. Admission to all events is free with an RSVP—and all you need to RSVP is a Yelp account! We’ve tagged all the events below that are part of Seattle Yelp Geeks Out!
*Yelp Geeks Out Event*
Thursday, March 7: Explore the new MOHAI with Yelp for FREE! (10 A.M. – 8 P.M.)
From the website: “The brand-spankin’ new Museum Of History And Industry is open. And better yet, it’s FREE every first Thursday of the month. So what better way to kick off Yelp Geeks Out than by meeting up together to take a free tour of this incredible new space?!”
Friday, March 8: Super Gaymer Party for the Launch of Gaming in Color! at Raygun Lounge
This is the Seattle launch party for a new documentary called “Gaming in Color”, celebrating diversity and LGBT contributions in gaming.
Friday, March 8: Ladies Night at Raygun hosted by Queer Geek
Queer Geek – Seattle is a LGBT (and friends) gaming and “geek” group. Their Friday “Ladies Night at Raygun” will be sharing the space with the Super Gaymer Party (above). Ladies Night at Raygun happens every Tuesday!
Saturday, March 9: Game Design/Development Collaboration hosted by Seattle Games Cooperative
Gathering up designers, developers, programmers, artists, etc., to collaborate on creating a full length playable game on any engine (based on preference such as a Unity, UDK, classic engines, etc.) within 8 hours.
Saturday, March 9:Second Saturday SciFi Cinema
From the website: “Continuing our long tradition of geeky movies at Wayward, join us for “Teenagers from Outer Space”, hosted by SciFiCommons. There will be MOVIE TRIVIA and PRIZES during intermission! No cover; 9-11pm.”
Monday, March 11: Pub Quiz Fundraiser for Relay for Life! at The Blue Star
Geeks Who Drink will be teaming up with Relay For Life at the UW and the American Cancer Society for a special fundraiser event. There will be a cover charge of $5 per person to participate in this pub quiz. From this money, $5 per team (approx. $75 total) will be given to the winning team, with the remaining proceeds donated to cancer research.
*Yelp Geeks Out Event*
Monday, March 11: A Superhero Barcrawl
Stop 1: Decorate Your Cape @ The Upstairs in Belltown
Stop 2: Shuffleboard @ The Lava Lounge in Belltown
Stop 3: Trivia Night @ Rabbit Hole
*Yelp Geeks Out Event*
Wednesday, March 13: Adult Nerf Wars @ The Tag Zone in Des Moines
From the event page: “This incredible event space is offering the Yelp community FREE admission to come play some Nerf wars, hang out with friends and get some complimentary food and drinks while you’re at it. Limited to just 60 people only, make sure you RSVP.”
*Yelp Geeks Out Event*
Friday, March 15: Cheers, Beer Geeks! A FREE Local Beer Sampling Event at Downtown Spirits
The final details of event are still in the works. Stay tuned to their website for more info!
Friday, March 15: Geeky Improv Double Header at The Jewel Box Theater
Two of Seattle’s geekiest improv groups join forces for a one-night-only theatrical experience at Seattle’s Jewel Box Theatre! Seattle Experimental Theater’s own hit improvised Star Trek parody Where No Man Has Gone Before joins forces with improv tour de force NERDprov for an evening of geeky hilarity.
Saturday, March 16: Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology
From the event site: “In this lively multimedia presentation, pop-culture historian Jennifer K. Stuller will help us explore how the female hero in modern mythology has broken through the boys’ club barrier of tradition. Using comics, television and film, we will discuss female action and super heroines from the 1930s to the present day. Do social and political forces affect pop culture – and vice versa? This conversation will examine women’s representations in media and women’s roles as media makers, inspiring us to think deeper about popular culture, media, gender images and storytelling.”
*Yelp Geeks Out Event*
Tuesday, March 19: A Pinball Tournament at Full Tilt Ice Cream
From the event page: “We’re hosting a fun FREE pinball tournament at the Ballard Full Tilt location. We’ll be selecting a machine and whoever gets the highest score at the end of the evening wins a super chilly, super COOL surprise!”
*Yelp Geeks Out Event*
Wednesday, March 20: Geek Chic With Brooks Brothers at Rocco’s in Belltown
From the event page: “Bow ties!!! Cardigans?! Gingham!? Seersucker?! YEP!!! Dress up and dress smart (BOW TIES PREFERRED/REQUIRED)… !”
*Yelp Geeks Out Event*
Thursday, March 21: A Cheezburger Tour
From the event page: “Join up for a meet-and-greet with the Cheezburger team. After checking out the office, spend your night playing Settlers of Catan, Cards Against Humanity and Foosball (and so much MOAR) with the Cheezburger crew and fellow Yelpers. Show yourself as the ultimate champion of all things games!”
Saturday, March 23: Vixy & Tony with Sunny Larsen and Betsy Tinney
From the website: “Our favorite filk performers are back at Wayward this Spring for a shiny evening of fun, friends, and geek-inspired live music. No cover; please note earlier start time, 7-10pm.”
Saturday, March 23: Intermediate Puppetry Class with Vox Fabuli’s Rachel Jackson
From the invite: “You know how to make your puppet talk, but what does she sound like? You can make him move, but where is he going? And how does he get there? In this fun, intermediate puppeteering class, you’ll learn the basics of characterization – voice, physicality and emotion – and how to apply them to your puppet. You’ll get tons of tips for making character choices and see what a big impact they can have on your puppet’s performance.” NOTE: This is a class about puppet operation, not puppet construction. Register at Brown Paper Tickets.
Monday, March 25 – Saturday, March 30: APRIL Festival and Small Press Book Expo
From the website: “APRIL’s mission is to connect readers with independent literature and the authors and publishers of this relevant and vitalizing work. The Small Press Book Expo is one of APRIL’s cornerstone events. On March 30, tons of small presses and journals from around the country will pack the ground floor of Richard Hugo House for a day of eye-opening indie lit shopping.”
*Yelp Geeks Out Event*
Thursday, March 28: A FREE Moving Screening at Northwest Film Forum
From the event page: “Limited to 110 guests, be among the first of your friends to RSVP for a FREE screening of The T.A.M.I Show. Called one of the “top three rock movies” ever made by Quentin Tarantino, this movie will have you singing in your seat!”
Thursday, March 28 – Sunday, March 31: Norwescon 36
From the website: “Norwescon is the Pacific Northwest’s Premiere Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention and one of the largest regional Science Fiction and Fantasy conventions in the United States. Whether you’re looking for writer’s workshops, costuming tips, artistic creativity, musical concerts, or filmmaking experience, you’ll find it here!”
Friday, March 29 – Sunday, March 31: Sakura-Con 2013
From the website: “Sakura-Con is the oldest and most well attended anime convention in the Pacific Northwest.” Check out the list of great events, programming, guests, and exhibitors at their website!
*Yelp Geeks Out Event*
Friday, March 29: A Board Game Bonanza at Raygun Lounge
From the event page: “Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne, Agricola, Puerto Rico, Munchkin, Ticket to Ride, Arkham Horror and more … Come check them out from Raygun’s library of more than 60 games, pick some peeps to play with, sample some locally brewed Blue Dog Mead and have a blast!”
*Yelp Geeks Out Event*
Saturday, March 30: Nerdy Dancing: A Glow-in-the-Dark Dance Party!
From the event page: “Taking place at Q on Capitol Hill. You and up to TWO guests are invited, BUT you must be 21 or older (with ID) AND have received an email confirmation to attend this event. There will be a guest list at the door. So if you want in, RSVP with a Yelp account!”
Saturday, March 30: Hello, The Future
From the website: “We’re very excited to welcome Hello, The Future all the way from California for her first performance at Wayward. Hello, The Future is participating in NorWesCon and will be performing at Wayward during the con weekend. Fabulous geek-inspired satirical and fun filk music. No cover; 8-10pm.”
Saturday, March 30: Tabletop Day!
From the website: “On March 30th, 2013 , we ask you to go to your friendly local game store, neighborhood coffee shop, school auditorium, community center, or host a game day at your home and play more games.”
WOW! That’s a lot of geekery for one month.
Which events do you plan to attend?
And please let us know if we missed any!
02.25.13 // Geeks Giving Back, February: Animal Rescue
How often have you been playing your favorite game, only to have your cat jump up and bat at the monitor, or “help you out” by warming your hands, i.e., sit on your hands on the keyboard? Our geeky staff love their animals and love giving back to the animal community. In this first installment of Geeks Giving Back, we focus on volunteering with animals. There are a variety of ways to volunteer with animals, but today we focus on volunteering with rescue.
What is animal rescue? An animal rescue organization saves animals of an established type from a variety of sources and places them, through adoption, with new owners. Pet rescues are easy to find. Google your favorite breed of dog or animal with the word “rescue” and your locale to find a rescue near you.
Our Manager of Fundraising, LB Chambers, volunteers at Greyhound Pets, Inc. in Woodinville, WA—a non profit organization that finds homes for retired racing greyhounds (or those deemed unsuitable for racing). Our Manager of Social Media, Ana “Vee” Visneski, volunteers at the Seattle Animal Shelter.
Everyone has their own reasons for choosing to volunteer for such an organization. For Vee, her own adopted dogs contributed to her motivation. She says, “I have two adopted dogs who are such a joy in my life, and I firmly believe that every animal deserves a loving home. Rescuing your pet instead of buying should be something everyone really considers. The Seattle Animal Shelter is a great asset to this cause.”
LB wanted to adopt after meeting greyhounds and volunteers from Greyhound Pets, Inc. at a local pet store. Rather than jump full tilt into the relationship, she decided to volunteer for the organization to get to know the breed a little better. A dedication to adopting need not be your motivation. Perhaps you just like to play with cute puppies, kitties, or your animal of choice.
Within these organizations, there are many types of volunteer positions to fit your motivation. For example, some of the volunteer positions listed for the above organizations are booth volunteer, foster home, transporter of animals, in-shelter volunteer; individual, youth, or group volunteering. These range from activities that require an hour of your time to constant care, from irregular timing to highly specific scheduling.
“If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering at Greyhound Pets, Inc. they should visit the website (at www.greyhoundpetsinc.org) and then contact Moira Corrigan who is the President (her contact information is available on the website). Before you become a full volunteer you must attend a training session led by an experienced or head volunteer, but Greyhound Pets, Inc. is very accommodating in finding times that work for their volunteers. This is a great way for someone who wants to volunteer regularly, but not on a strict time schedule. Volunteers are needed twice a day to take out the dogs and there is the option to take a weekly spot, but volunteers can also be on a contact list in case more volunteers are needed to fill open spots (usually there are spots open every couple days),” LB responded when asked what someone who wanted to volunteer with Greyhound Pets, Inc. specifically might expect.
“You can also become a foster home for greyhounds which is equally important. A lot of the time a greyhound has spent his or her entire life in a small cage with only moments of speed on a racetrack; they have no knowledge of mirrors, cars, televisions, other animals, even stairs (especially stairs!). It’s a lot of work to foster a greyhound and work him or her through discovering the world outside a cage, but very rewarding and a lot of fun.” Different organizations have different needs, so be sure to check with your favorite rescue as to what their volunteer needs are and how to go about volunteering with them.
Vee warns that you may want to take every single animal you work with home. “My first dog was a rescue, and she is the best dog ever. (I might be biased.) I began working with the Louisiana SPCA after being a responder during Hurricane Katrina because I felt it was a way to keep helping the region even in my off time. There was so much healing to be done in that region, and I knew how much my dog had always been a big part of my own life. I hoped that reuniting people with their pets, or finding families new pets to love, could help some of that healing happen.” Vee kindly provided the adorable photos shown on this blog from her work with the LSPCA, and are used with her permission.
If you have an interest in volunteering with a pet rescue, the animals give their unconditional love in return, and you may find other rewards. We’d love to hear about your experience.