Category Archives: Geek

Craft Fair

Craft and Vendor show at the Holiday Inn in Weirton

Tomorrow I’ll be going to my first craft fair armed with books, business cards, and some rather geeky crafty type stuff. If you’re able to get to Weirton, you should come by and say hello!

I’ve got copies of Hunter’s Crossing, Eldercynne Rising, Hardwired Humanity, Guardian of the Gods, Sha’Daa: Tales of the Apocalypse, Sha’Daa: Pawns, Sha’Daa Facets, Sha’Daa: Last Call, and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grieving and Recovery. I also have two poetry samplers, one of fantasy and horror poems and one of more literary type poems.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been making other things also. Some salvaged comic crafts, some Nazgul, a few sorting hats, a couple of pinhead hearts, and some things that are very different for me. I’ve got a trio of fabric face sculptures: Shadow, Lucy, and Nimue. I kind of like them and I’m not sure I’m not keeping Shadow.

If you can’t make it to Weirton to see me in person, not to worry! Come back here tomorrow for the details on how to win a book!

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Filed under Books, Crafting, Crafts, Event, Geek

Fifty Years

Today is the anniversary of the first episode of Star Trek. I have never been more emotional about a show, no, a universe, than I am Trek. Doctor Who comes very close but Trek has the lead by a Vulcan.

Trek has been a part of my life as long as Who – since before I have memory – but Spock was the first person I ever told my mom I was going to marry. Spock was my first real loss (even if it was temporary). My grandfather was a funeral director – I’ve been surrounded by death and loss my whole life – I’d lost people I cared about, animals I’d cared about, but somehow, it wasn’t as keenly felt as this fictional character who didn’t really exist. My mom was a little cruel, knowing what she knew about me. She did not let me watch Wrath of Khan until it and Search for Spock were both available at the movie rental place. She did not tell me about Search for Spock until I’d wept – full on ugly cry – until I literally had no more tears (took a few hours). She thought it was funny and Wrath of Khan still makes me ugly cry. In reality, it was easier for me to mourn a fictional character and later the actor who played him, than it was for me to mourn my mom. I’m honestly not done with any of those things and I probably never will be.

I don’t have the greatest volume of trivia knowledge of the Trek universe. I cannot speak Klingon. I don’t have ears, brow ridges, or a uniform. I do have a great love for this universe that Roddenberry created. I still have hope that we, as a people, can reach the stars and be better than we are now. I still believe we can live up to our potential.

Today, there is a video floating around with memorable moments and bits of dialogue and I get chills. Three minutes of disjointed snippets, a through-the-glass Vulcan salute, and seeing that beautiful ship (more than one version of her) and I’m all kinds of emotional and have goose bumps.

So, happy anniversary (or birthday really) to Star Trek and all the amazing people involved in it. Live Long and Prosper.

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Filed under Geek, Movies, TV

Pokemon Go – A Rant

My family plays Pokemon Go. We have, thus far, really enjoyed it – even if I can’t find a Ponyta to save my life (Husband and oldest child both have one and I really want a Rapidash!). Some people don’t care for it – think it’s silly, useless, or even lazy (since apparently no one should need a game to encourage them to be active). Fine for them and all but I call BS on the useless and the lazy. I am a writer – I live a fairly sedentary life because there are no sports I like to play (and the ones I do enjoy, I can’t find anyone to play with or I prefer the position that requires the least movement but relies on skill – goalie, catcher, etc) or hobbies I enjoy that are physical. I am trying to lose a great deal of weight at the moment and if I have a game that’s encouraging me to walk a mile and a half to two miles every day, how is that bad?  I have a son who would rather play games on his computer or write or watch anime than go play outside – he’s too much like me for his own good – but he’s willing to ride his bike five miles to try and hit pokestops (and catch something bragworthy). How is that a bad thing?

I’m not saying you have to play it or even understand it but don’t trash something that is getting kids (and parents) out and about – even possibly doing this as a family! My family doesn’t have a lot of shared interests – half of us are hermits and the other half are social butterfly extroverts – so having this one thing we can do together is freaking awesome. Yes, I require a game to force myself to exercise some place not inside my home. Short of dancing around like a lunatic to 80’s and 90’s punk and goth music when no one is home, it’s probably the most active I’ve been since we used to play paintball every weekend (eight years ago or so). I don’t run, I don’t care to go for walks (too quiet and boring) but apparently, I’m more than willing to walk 85 km (so far) to hatch a bunch of pretend eggs – even if I do end up with 10K eevees sometimes (10K Magmar totally makes up for that sort of).

As of this moment, my pride and joys are a 1229 Magmar that I hatched and an 898 Ninetails that I evolved (Kitsune!) and my son has a big Snorlax and a Wartortle and my husband also has a good Snorlax and the Dragonaire that he evolved. What do you have in your Pokedex?

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Filed under Geek, Health, Interesting

Lucky Girl

I am an incredibly lucky girl to have met and married a guy who gets me. He doesn’t always understand and sometimes he thinks I’m pretty silly but, where it matters most to me, he absolutely gets me. There are some people who I have never met but who have effected me in ways that probably sound pretty silly to people who aren’t dorks/geeks/nerds – whatever title they choose on any given day. For my birthday this year, I now own two of their autographs. One is pretty much the best present I’ve ever been given by anyone ever and totally made me cry. I’m fairly certain that there is no way that my husband can ever top this birthday.

As of today, I’ve met two of the three actors who ever actually scared me and both were so kind and sweet. I doubt very much that I’ll ever get to meet the third but two out of three is pretty damned awesome. Jump scare type things may startle me, but it takes a great deal to scare me and the first time I watched Candyman, I covered all the mirrors in my room for almost a month.

Tony Todd is really wonderful. Youngest son was waiting with me in the autograph line and pretty much on the edge of the convention being too much for him. He was stimming maybe the hardest I’ve seen him outside our house – but Mr. Todd took it all in stride, talked to him, and kidlet even handed him the squid he carries everywhere which sounds odd but is a great honor.

The Steel City Con is crowded (less today as it’s friday) and there are a ton of people and things to see. It could easily be overwhelming but the people there – the vendors, the artists, the stars – they’re all super kind and awesome and it makes going there fun (even if I always come home with too much stuff!).

 

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Filed under Anxiety, Autism, Comics, Convention, Geek

Totems and Ice Breakers

Image: Sarah Wagner

Image: Sarah Wagner

Last year, around my birthday, the family and I went to the Steel City Comic Convention and, among other things, I came home with a TARDIS. I love my TARDIS. I’ve worn it very nearly every time I’ve gone out since that day. Some people think it’s silly but those tend to be the people who think I ought to grow up and do something with myself (because writing books doesn’t count) and I discount their opinion pretty easily.

The TARDIS is many things to me. It’s sentimental for all the hours spent watching with my mom and all the hours spent watching with my kids. It is a symbol of hope – all things are possible if you are clever enough. It is something of a calming fidget when I get anxious or nervous – something solid I can hold on to and play with, there is comfort in its weight and very presence for me. The interesting thing is that I haven’t had a big panic attack since I started wearing it. I’m not saying that has anything to do with the TARDIS but, at this point, I don’t want to jinx myself by not wearing it.

What I was not expecting was that my totem would also be an ice breaker. More often then not, someone comments on it when I’m out. I love Doctor Who as much for it’s broad audience as anything – people of every age, race, gender, and socioeconomic status know what my pretty blue box really is. Today it was the woman behind the counter at the grocery store who informed me she’s been watching since before I was born. She watched with her mom the same way I watched with mine. I don’t really people well – I struggle with social interactions and find them to be rather clumsy most of the time – but not when it’s about something like the Doctor – then it’s very easy to say hello and find a snippet of meaningful conversation to boot.

For some, it’s just a weird thing, a childish thing even, but for some of us, it is so much more. It’s almost a secret handshake in a symbol, and I’ve yet to meet a Whovian who didn’t greet it with kindness.

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Filed under Anxiety, Geek, Life

Anticipation

As long as the weather, my oncoming sinus issue (I can feel it settling in), and the kids cooperate, I’ll be getting to see Deadpool this weekend. I can’t tell you how excited I am. I’ve been waiting on this one since they screwed him up so so very badly in the X-Men. I’ve been excited since the “leaked” test footage I shared a few years ago (as did everyone else). I would say it’s been years since I’ve been this excited for a movie but that’s not true. I love movies and get pretty excited for them, especially if there are spectacularly choreographed fight scenes and beautiful explosions and big surly antiheroes. I’m not a big fan of the movies I’m supposed to like, being a female in her mid-30’s with children, go figure.

My oldest child is very mad at me because I won’t take him with me. If, after we see it, we decide that Mr. Teenager is ready for the movie, then that’s one thing but he’s 15 and I need to see these things first for myself. I know he’s mature enough for most things. He’s taking a film studies class right now and they’ve watched a bevy of movies that probably push him maturity limits but that’s a whole different blog post I may get to at some point soon. In part, I want to see it for myself to make sure and give the proper approval. But if I’m honest, I really just don’t want to take my teenager on my husband’s and my Valentine date even if it probably will be a matinee.

I know there are parents planning to take their kids (so far 12 is the lowest age I’ve heard first hand) and I truly hope if ANY of them complain, the studio, the theaters, and everyone involved do nothing but laugh at them. They were warned. This is not the Avengers. Deadpool is not a character for children. They should be made to sign a paper prior to buying tickets for these kids that they wave the right to complain about inappropriate content. People planning to take their kids haven’t read much of the comics. My oldest has read some of them but the series we are reading through at the moment is a bit less dark and super funny and I think that’s what he’s expecting. Yes, there will be the kind of humor the boy and I get a kick out of but I have a feeling from the story line that it’s going to be a bit darker than the Dead Presidents line was.

Things I am expecting: Some mention of keeping his mouth shut or a visual reference to the mistreatment of Deadpool. Superb breakage of the 4th wall. Stunning visual feast of a fight scene. The best Stan Lee cameo to date.

If you’ve seen it, I don’t want to hear about it until Sunday. I want to find out for myself.

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Filed under Comics, Geek, Movies

Thoughts on The Doctor

With recent news of Moffat leaving the show and the possibility of Capaldi leaving too after the 2017 season, I’m incredibly saddened by the thought and especially the utter glee coming from some of 11’s fangirls. Granted, they likely had the same thoughts about me when I got so excited that 11 was on his way out as he may well be my least favorite Doctor (who isn’t 5 whose only sin is not being 4). I was heartbroken when 4 left and when 9 was ripped away. Capaldi feels like my Doctor. He comes off as a bit flighty but he is incredibly sly, savy, and smart, and absolutely a riot. He feels like he’s brought the character back to his roots and I don’t want him to go.

I’m not opposed to a female Doctor or a black Doctor or a purple Doctor or a non-humanoid Doctor for that matter. I don’t want 12 to go yet, no matter who is being looked at for the future. There are things I don’t want to see. I don’t want to see a face that would lessen the roles played by certain companions or friends. I don’t want for the gender or color or features to be the sole reason for casting. I want a Doctor who can talk of scarves and question marks or wear a stalk of celery. I like the nods to long ago Doctors and long ago friends and the crazy, alienness that Capaldi brought back to the Doctor and the Tardis. No one can quite match Baker but Capaldi came awful close for me and that’s saying a lot.

I am super excited about getting a new companion at long last. I was not a fan of most of Clara’s tenure, with the surprising exception of the last few of her episodes. I hope it’s someone new and I hope it’s someone who isn’t looking for a boyfriend. I hope it’s someone who challenges the Doctor but doesn’t overshadow him. Donna was incredibly important but she did it in a way that didn’t feel like the show was suddenly all about Donna. Clara became the only important character for a time, even more important than the Doctor, the Tardis, all the rest of humanity. I want someone interesting but not necessarily any more important than any of the rest of us.

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Filed under Geek, TV

The X Files and All The Feels

I’ve done my less personal reviews of the X Files for the Geek Girl Project – See Part One and Part Two but there are some personal feelings I have about it that don’t really belong there.

I’m not shy about talking about my mother, from whom I inherited the crown to this, my fabulous Geekdom. She introduced me to all the best things. I remember watching Star Trek, Doctor Who, and Buck Rogers with her when I was very small. One day we had an earthquake during Wonder Woman (we lived in Washington at the time). (I admit, my father – the guy who doesn’t do fantasy or science fiction except for what I write – took me to see Star Wars – that was never Mom’s cuppa.)

Then came the X Files. It was treated differently than all the other shows we’d watched together. From the moment the pilot aired, we were solid hooked. It was an order pizza, turn out the lights, unplug the phone event every week that we could share as a family, me, my mom, and my brother (though I don’t think he remembers it much). Other people joined us or didn’t, depending on schedules.

The revival has stirred a LOT of emotions for me. My mom always identified pretty heavily with Dana Scully – an intelligent woman, a feisty redhead who didn’t need a man to be considered a whole person by everyone around her. I nearly burst into tears when Dana came on the screen. Gillian Anderson has aged well and reminds me a great deal of my mother, especially during her strawberry blonde/ soft red phase (before she discovered the copper penny color she loved so much).

It was hard to watch the show and not have someone to throw around speculation and theories after it was done. My family puts up with me doing so anyway but it isn’t the same. I could put them here and air them out but that is also not the same. I guess it’s the one social interaction that I do want to be face to face.

Watching now feels a lot like watching then and that’s awesome. It’s hard to recapture that kind of magic but, for me, I think it’s been quite good at managing. I know that, if my mom were still around, we’d at the very least be on the phone the moment it was over if not making the effort to watch together. That’s the part that makes watching hard. It’s a little like watching Babylon 5 without her or ST:TNG or Sea Quest or VR 5 or Earth 2 (we really watched them ALL). It feels the same watching Doctor Who.

I’m not kidding or exaggerating when I say that watching the new episodes feels like coming home to visit with old friends. It really does. I’ll watch them all and love them but they’ll all make me a little sad too, make me miss my mom a little bit more. She would love what they are doing as she would not have enjoyed how they left the line they are tugging. I’ll be watching. Just as I always have. When it’s done, I will miss it all over again.

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Filed under Geek, Life, Memories, Reviews, TV

Movie Magic

Just by pure dumb luck, we found the perfect summer camp for my oldest kid – all about the engineering of movies. He loves the magic of movies – his whole damn Christmas list was full of it – green screen, better camera, books about editing and stop motion. He’s seen a number of movies that represent the best examples of current effects magic but his knowledge of practical effects is limited to the original, non-cgi’d up run of Star Wars and Dune.

I’ve been thinking about this all morning and making up a list of movies with the best practical effects. I think he might, maybe, be old enough for Alien now and that’s the best of them in my opinion. We’ve discussed Savini’s work and Lon Chaney’s work. We’ve looked at Spielberg, Lucas, and Henson’s stuff. We’ve talked Face Off type movie makeups and things like that. If we want to look at bad special effects, we’ll see about finding some Mystery Science Theater 3000. Too bad the USA network doesn’t still run their Saturday night awful movie marathons.

What are your favorite movies that use primarily practical effects? What movies do you love for their makeups or effects?

My list so far: Original run Star Wars, Original Dune, Alien, Jaws (holy moly that shark!), American Werewolf in London (he’s definitely NOT ready for this one), Terminator 2 (not sure about this one either). Most of the best ones, I don’t think he’d like. How I gave birth to a kid that doesn’t like scary things, I don’t know. So, I need help finding awesome movies that aren’t scary (even if the best effects are in the scary ones apparently).

 

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Filed under Geek, Movies, Parenting

Happy Mother’s Day!

My mom

My mom

To the moms out there – have a lovely day 🙂

For me, Mother’s Day is a bit of a mixed bag. I love being a mom but I miss being a daughter. I lucked out in the mother-in-law department. I have an awesome stepmom and grandmother. I don’t want to detract from them but this is one of the days that I miss my mom the most. Generally, it’s Christmas, Halloween, mother’s day and the anniversary of her death that hit me. Her birthday doesn’t hit me so hard but I don’t know why.

My mother was pretty awesome and died much too young. She passed many things on to me – my love of books, my dislike of cleaning, my overly sensitive skin, my obsession with all things fantasy/scifi/horror, and my big mouth that likes to get me into trouble. I am only the Queen of my Geekdom because she was Queen first and raised this princess up dreaming of swords, telephone boxes, and space ships instead of castles, carriages, and princes.

I took her for granted before she got sick (because honestly what sixteen year old doesn’t take their mom for granted?) and didn’t have nearly enough time, or the maturity, to tell her all the ways I looked up to her. I don’t know that we would have been as close as we were when I was little if she’d survived to see my adulthood but I like to think that we would, more or less anyway.

Being a mom myself is something I always knew I was meant to do. If pregnancy didn’t seem hellbent on trying to kill me, I’d

My Boys.

My Boys.

probably have more kids but I love the two I’ve got more than I ever believed possible.  I can’t imagine a life in which I am not a mother. No matter how frustrated I get with them or how obnoxious they are to each other they are the best things I’ve ever had a hand in creating. I wish more than anything that my mom was here to know my boys but I settle for telling them all about her and sharing with them her obsessions and quirks. I try to be the best mom I can be and I think I’m doing pretty well, if my boys are any indication.

If you are reading this and a – live somewhere May 10 is Mother’s Day, b – haven’t done so already, and c – have one available to call, please call your mother. If you’re reading this and are a mother – Happy Mother’s Day!

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Filed under Geek, Life, Parenting, Uncategorized