Meet Rachel (@), a blogger and cosplayer who loves her spandex and wigs. She lives in an apartment chosen “in no small part for its proximity to a Lego store.” And, she’s a founding member of Geek Girl Brunch, along with previous Lady Geek and fashionista Yissel Ayala. (Psst: Live in the NYC-area? Sign up for August’s Marvel themed brunch here.)
When Rachel’s not inviting New York’s finest and brightest lady nerds for discussions over eggs and mimosas, she is rooting for the bad guys over at rooting FireandLunch, a podcast and blog sure to tickle your geeky bones.
Her Geeky Top Ten? “Star Wars, Dune, ASoIaF, Star Trek, Farscape, The Foreigner novels by CJ Cherryh, LOTR, Harry Potter, Avatar: The Last Airbender and anything Miyazaki (but Nausicaa is her favorite).”
Read on for Rachel’s Lady Geek of the Week interview!
Q: Favorite Geek Girls Brunch conversation topic?
A: The great thing about Geek Girl Brunch is that we are all automatically friends even if some of us have never met or only spoken on Twitter. You show up to that month’s brunch knowing that the other brunchers all like whatever that month’s theme is and you use that as a jumping off point to talk about everything else! We trade book and comic recs, talk cosplay, our day jobs, fashion, apartment hunting, whatever! There’s lots of phone passing, people showing each other web comics or cool items on Etsy. The brunches are definitely a space to share with each other and that is what I find most fantastic. Those face-to-face conversations create more momentum, in my experience, and lots of projects come out of them!
My favorite thing about any Geek Girl Brunch is that I always end up with a list of new stuff to check out. At our last GGB we all walked to the comic shop afterwards (JHU Comic Books!) and just started handing each other titles.
Q: Where do you find inspiration in life?
A: My friends, most definitely! I try to hang around creative people, enthusiastic people, people who want to know how things work or people who just flat out make cool stuff. You can feed off another person’s excitement in a way that motivates you to start a million related projects! I’m also just a true geek, I read a lot, watch a lot. I consume a ton of media, as most geeks do! I’ll get excited about a book release, read the book, talk to other fans about the book and suddenly I’m making a costume based on a character and I meet someone at a Convention that also reads that book and while we geek out about that we start geeking out about other things. It’s a cycle of enthusiasm!
Q: When did you discover you were “geeky”?
A: Always. I grew up in a family of movieholics. My mom used to take me for day-long marathons at the theater. I watched old movies, new movies, terrible movies, whatever but sci-fi was our favorite genre. When I turned 8 my mom looked at me in the video store and said, “You are old enough for Alien.” That was a big deal! I’d been waiting to be old enough to watch Alien! That early love of sci-fi films led to sci-fi novels and that lead to fantasy novels and as a child of the 80s I was playing video games. Sometimes I’m not sure how anyone couldn’t grow up geek!
Q: If you could take any fictional character out for a drink, whom would you choose and what would you drink?
A: I kind of want to cheat and say Bren Cameron from C.J. Cherryh’s Foreigner novels. He doesn’t go anywhere without his two bodyguards, Banichi and Jago, who are also favorites of mine. Bren is a little fancy though and would probably choose expensive liquor. Banichi and Jago would never drink “on duty” but if they did I would make sure they had the finest of whatever poisonous import they wanted. But me? I’d stick with a craft beer. Is that fancy enough to hang out with an intergalactic diplomat whose official job title is “dictionary maker”? Or is it really cheating?
If that’s cheating then I’d invite Jessica Atreides and drink whatever SHE brought. That would definitely be fun. We’d talk philosophy and she would teach me Bene Gesserit secrets to winning at life. And maybe I’d see the future a little.
Q: What would you tell your 13-year-old self?
A: I would warn her about the Star Wars prequels. My 13 year-old-self was a Star Wars maniac. The prequels was a very difficult time.
Emma Bauer is a Being Geek Chic Contributor. Clearly, she’s got great taste. She is a PR enthusiast, dog lover, tea drinker, art appreciator, and of course, aspires to Be Geek Chic. Follow her on Twitter: @emmalynnbauer
A lovely internet reader name Jin recently emailed me with some pretty crazy LEGO flower pot creations and I just felt I had to share them. Not only do they use LEGO, but they utilize geeky minifigs to tell stories in them.
You can check out the rest of Jin’s creations on her Flickr account. If you’re just getting started with LEGO flower pot building, I recommend checking out our DIY video from last summer, which makes the process supremely easy.
Comics are truly great. But they can be a little intimidating, there’s no denying. Issue numbers in the hundreds and beyond. Comic book stores with wall-to-wall selection staring down at you. What’s an average Joe or Jane to do? “Like This/Read That!” is your semi-recurring comic book breakdown, sending out fresh reading recommendations that are simple, sensible, and positively super.
As far as weekends go, the first weekend in May is always a special one, typically filled to the brim with geeky goodness. As May 2014’s first weekend gets underway, that holds especially true this year. Today Friday, May 2, a significant new comic book movie hits screens (as is often the case this time each year) with the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Two days later, on Sunday, May 4, fans around the world will celebrate “Star Wars Day,” surely one of the coolest unofficial holidays around (Ahem, May the Fourth be with you). And wedged in between on Saturday, May 3, perhaps most importantly, is Free Comic Book Day, taking place each year on the first Saturday in May. As the name implies, the day celebrates comic book culture and more specifically, the independent comic book store by, how else, giving away free comic books!
In this flurry of activity, there has perhaps never been a better weekend to jump into the world of comics! We’re here to help you partake in the festivities, with these timely comic book recommendations:
Read this: Various Free Comic Book Day 2014 Special Issues (Preview)
On Free Comic Book Day, the best things in life are indeed free. Come Saturday, you’ll have a little bit of everything to choose from. Some publishers do sneak previews of their upcoming titles. Want to see what this Guardians of the Galaxy buzz is all about before the August film? Marvel’s freebies have got you covered. Other publishers do commemorative issues, celebrating past classics. Did you love Archie, Betty and Veronica when you were young? There’s a special Archie Comics Digest on offer just for you. Whatever the case may be, you can get prepped by looking at all of the special issues online.
Each comic book shop marks the occasion in its own way. Typically, every store will have a slightly different selection, with some stores doing random grab bags, some letting you take your pick of four or five issues, and others even channeling their inner Oprah with other sales and giveaways too (“You get a free comic, you get a free comic!”). And fear not if there’s no local comic store near you or your store runs out of the freebie you want: Most of the Free Comic Book Day issues will be available on digital storefronts like Comixology as well. It may not be as fun as partaking in person, but it’s just as free!
Read this: Amazing Spider-Man #1 (Digital)
If you’re not a die-hard comic book fan who races to the store each week to buy the latest and greatest issues, you might be surprised to learn that for much of the past year and a half, there has not been a major Spider-Man comic starring Peter Parker in publication. Indeed, the most recent mainline Spider-Man title, Superior Spider-Man starred the long-time villain Doctor Otto Octavius, who injected his consciousness into Peter Parker’s body through the wacky wonders of comic book science (Really.). But that story recently reached its finale, and Peter Parker made his triumphant return with a new #1 issue earlier this week (What conveniently wonderful timing you have, Marvel.). So if you want to get on-board with the newest adventures of the classic Spidey you know – facing off with Electro of all villains – then this comic is worth a look. Why not give it a download or pick up a copy at your local comic book store on Free Comic Book Day?
With the cast for Star Wars Episode VII revealed earlier this week, Star Wars Day 2014 may be one of the most jubilant in a long time (again, conveniently wonderful timing, eh?). It seems Star Wars fans have some reason to be excited once more. One casualty of all this excitement however, has been the “Star Wars Expanded Universe,” which encompassed all of the Star Wars characters and stories that sprang to life outside of the films – in novels, comic books, video games and other various media through the years.
To both honor the passing of the Expanded Universe, and to stoke your excitement for the impending return of Star Wars to cinemas, you might like to pick up some Star Wars comic books this weekend. There have been many, and you can take your picks whether you have a preference for Jedi’s or Bounty Hunters. But here are a couple very well-regarded titles to get you started, one focusing on the beginnings of the Star Wars saga and another telling a story intended to directly follow the ending of Return of the Jedi (which could provide some fun food for thought with regards to the new post-Jedi story J.J. Abrams and crew are shaping now). In any case, let the anticipation for that scrolling text and the booming John Williams score begin…
And there you have it! I hope these recommendations help supplement a weekend of geeky delights. Happy Free Comic Book Day to one and all! Now if you’ll excuse me, I shall return to my attempts to map out Saturday’s ideal route between all my favorite local comic shops.
Guest post by Adam Giorgi, who also happens to be my brother. He’s a writer, gamer, reader and Potter head. He also makes cool comics from time to time. Check out his blog: Geek-Attack. Follow him on twitter: @adamgiorgi
Meet Bree Brouwer (@ on Twitter and Pinterest). She’s a freelance blogger, enthusiastic cosplayer, experienced scriptwriter, and bonafide Lady Geek soaking in the Arizona sun. Her professional life keeps her busy with connecting brands to audiences through storytelling. She works with her clients to “make their audiences think they’re a superhero.”
But that’s just the beginning to this Lady Geek. With her partner in crime, Megan Gotch, aka The Nerdy Girlie (check out her LGOTW feature here), Brouwer co-launcher the Female Geek Bloggers group, a community of blogging, saga-ing, and world-dominating ladies who wave their geek flag proudly.
We’ll let Brouwer tell you more about the origins of the Female Geek Bloggers group. And with that, her sage advice for her 13-year-old self, her passion for building brands, and which favorite side-bun-wearing female hero she’d share a beer with.
Q: How did you discover your passion?
A: So this takes a bit of explaining as it was a long journey. :) I discovered my passion about a year after I’d started freelancing. However, I didn’t focus on the “traditional” geeky freelancing route (i.e. writing solely about pop culture, entertainment, tech, and anything geeky). I write about some of those things when I can, but because I focus more on business blogging and writing, I eventually realized, “Hey, this is really fun getting to help a company build their brand.” As such, it spawned the idea for my upcoming blog, called Live Geek & Prosper, which will help fellow geeks like me start and run online businesses, specifically from a fun, geeky angle! I know so many geeks are dying to get out of the 9-to-5 (like I was), but simply don’t have the know-how to do that (or don’t have the stomach for reading boring, bland online business blogs). And that’s where my passion lies — using geek culture and examples to help geeks believe in and pursue their ability to make a full- or part-time living online.
Q: When did you discover you were “geeky?”
A: Your readers all probably concur that being “geeky” is one of those things you’re born with. At least, that’s how it was for me. And I realized it pretty early on, considering my mom read to us before bed which instilled in me a desire for life-long learning. That being said, as soon as I attended school and realized that others weren’t reading/watching/obsessing over the same stuff I was, it really settled in that I was a geek!
Q: Why did you decide to start the Female Geek Bloggers group?
A: Megan and I had met online via Twitter and connected via email and Skype for a few months before we realized that there simply wasn’t one, cohesive place that female geek bloggers could interact together in a truly safe and supportive environment. Which is horrible, when you think about how big the internet is and how many groups are on G+, FB, and LinkedIn. So we literally thought of the idea and created the G+ group within the span of, I think, 15 minutes? It just seemed like something we had to do.
Q: If you could take any fictional character out for a drink, whom would you choose and what would you drink?
A: This is a cruel question. However, I’d probably choose my first female heroine obsession, who was Princess Leia. I’d love to head to a posh Coruscant night club with the politician (yes, I’m an EU girl) and share both girly and business-y stories with her over some expensive craft beer from like… the Hapes Consortium.
Q: What would you tell your 13-year-old self?
A: I don’t believe in the whole “don’t care about what anyone else says or thinks” because taken to the extreme, that can produce a very selfish, dangerous mindset in people. However, there’s still some truth there, so I’d tell myself, “Don’t listen to what others say is right or tell you to do, but keep an open mind in case they could be right.”
Emma Bauer is a Being Geek Chic Contributor. Clearly, she’s got great taste. She is a PR enthusiast, history scholar, tea drinker, fashion devotee, and of course, aspires to Be Geek Chic. Follow her on Twitter: @emmalynnbauer
Ah, New Year’s Eve. If Pinterest is to be believed, it’s a time to wear your most fabulous tiny but sparkly dress, sip champagne and nibble on bite-sized treats while laughing with 30 or so of your closest friends in someone’s very nice, spacious home. If the bars in my neighborhood are to be believed, it’s a time where you and your entourage shall crowd into the various bars, shell out between $60 and $100 for all you can drink and ring the new year in with hundreds of other Districtonians.
If you’re like me, the chances of either of these things happening are slim to zero. But, the good news is it’s not too late for you to pull together your besties and ring in 2014 simply, deliciously, and—of course—geekily.
Being Geek Chic’s test kitchen has you completely covered with two new recipes, and tweaks to some old ones, to help you put on a Star Wars-themed (or generically space-themed) New Year’s Eve party on short-notice. All you need is any of the six Star Wars films (may I recommend IV - VI, the classics?) and enough space for everyone to sit comfortably.
The menu for my New Year? Dagobah Swamp Punch and Death Star Popcorn Balls!
Dagobah Swamp Punch (serves 4-6)
1) Scoop the sherbet into the punch bowl and cover with champagne. It will foam up as you mix the sherbet into a smooth consistency.
2) Slice the limes into half inch thick rounds and mix into the punch.
Death Star Popcorn Balls (makes 8-10 popcorn balls)
1) Heat 3 TBS vegetable oil in a large pan and add the kernels. Cover and cook over medium high heat until most of the popcorn is popped.
* 1a) Alternately, you can also coat the kernels with a vegetable oil spray, pour into a large paper bag and put in the microwave for 2-4 minutes until most of the popcorn has popped.
2) In a large saucepan, bring sugar, water and corn syrup to a boil.
3) Boil for about 10 minutes, then remove from heat and stir in the extracts.
4) Cool the syrup completely (about 1 hour) and allow it to thicken.
5) Pour a couple of handfuls of popcorn onto a piece of parchment paper and drizzle some of the sugar syrup over it. Use two forks to completely coat the popcorn.
6) Butter or oil your hand, then scoop up and squeeze popcorn to make a ball about the size of a baseball. Let go slowly, so the popcorn ball doesn’t fall apart.
7) Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and allow to harden overnight. Continue until all of the popcorn or syrup is gone.
Recipe by Emma Carew Grovum. She is a data journalist working at the Chronicle of Philanthropy in Washington, D.C. She previously worked as the Digital Editor for The Cooking Club of America and blogs at kitchendreamer.blogspot.com Emma loves Star Wars, pandas and all things Joss Whedon. Find her on twitter at @emmacarew.
Molly McIsaac (@MollyMcIsaac) – blogger, comedian, model, activist, and above all, geek – is the Lady Geek of the Week! The 23-year-old hails from mellow Seattle, where she blogs about geek culture, fashion, and beauty over at The Geeky Peacock. Just what is a Geeky Peacock? I’ll let McIsaac explain:
“I’m a big ol’ geek. However, I defy the stereotype that this word creates in most people’s minds: I am socially functional, outgoing, fashion forward, and I take good care of myself! I’m a ‘girly girl’ who is not afraid to dress up like a wood elf and beat up boys with a foam sword or to play action figures with myself until 2am. Thus: I am the Geeky Peacock!”
There you have it! Check out her interview with Being Geek Chic:
What led you to start blogging?
I’ve ALWAYS had a lot to say, and for the last three years I’ve been doing geek culture journalism for other websites. The fact that I had to “pitch” articles made me feel very limited - there was so much I wanted to rant about! So one night I decided to finally buckle down and create the Geeky Peacock. Rather than pigeon hole myself and my blog, I decided to make it a blog that was ME - I’d talk about whatever I wanted, post outfit pics, talk about beauty and geeky things and cosplay. Basically, anything that made me happy! And blogging DOES make me happy.
(Editor’s Note: My favorite blog post of all time from Miss Molly is this one: Drinking with the Doctor. Molly, Matt Smith, Arthur Darvill - all drinking in a room together looking fabulous. I am still jealous. I’d trade in my 10 speed, Buddy Scooter and ice skates to life swap for that one night. Alas. Go read it. You know you want to.)
Where do you find your inspiration?
Everywhere! Fashion wise, I try to incorporate geek chic aspects on top of pure fashion. I’m inspired by goths, Japanese street style, magical girls in anime, superheroines, floral and lace and leather, 90s fashion, oversized shoes… For everything else, life and the world inspires me. I am ridiculously excited about being alive and working on projects, so I spend a lot of time looking at art and photography, reading articles about weird, sciencey things, or lurking on fashion websites.
Tell us about your tattoos!
I currently have 7 tattoos, with plans for many, MANY more. As of now I am on hold due to funds and because covering up tattoos for cosplay is time consuming, but eventually I’ll have a full sleeve and a thigh piece.
Right now, my ink includes: A golden snitch from Harry Potter on the top of my right wrist (I got this one a week before the 7th book came out - it was my first tattoo!); a chocobo from Final Fantasy on my upper right arm; a half finished MASSIVE realistic field illustration of a barn owl down my ride side; an outline of the state of Alaska on my left upper arm (where I was born and raised); a mandalorian skull from Star Wars on my right hip; a big red semi realistic beautiful squid on the inside of my left arm (I’m fixated upon cephalopods); and finally “I want to believe” (yes, from X-files) on the outside of my left foot.
If you could take any fictional character out for a drink, whom would you choose and what would you drink?
Severus Snape. Straight firewhiskey. I’d try to get him drunk enough to fall in love with me, and if that didn’t work at least drunk enough to get in his snarky pants.
What would you tell you 13-year-old self?
You know how you’re bullied for all the things you love right now? In 10 years, you’re going to be super cool for liking all of it. You’re better than this, and you’re better than them. Hold your head high and keep loving what you love.
Post by Emma Bauer, who works as BGC’s official intern. Clearly, she’s got great taste. She is a PR enthusiast, history scholar, tea drinker, fashion devotee, and of course, aspires to Be Geek Chic.
Follow her on twitter: @emmalynnbauer