Meet this week’s Lady Geek of the Week: Kaitlin Stewart. Liz first introduced Stewart on Being Geek Chic a few weeks ago and announced that Stewart’s instagram account, PwnLove, “is the coolest instagram account out there.” Liz wasn’t exaggerating.
Stewart’s currently on day 125 of a “365 Days of Video Games Fashion” quest. So cool, right? Sometimes the geekiness is subtle, sometimes it’s loud, and sometimes, it’s a pair of socks. Whatever the occasion, whatever the day brings, Stewart pulls off these geeky fashions like nobody’s business.
Check out Stewart’s blog PwnLove.com for even more geeky garment goodness.
Stewart’s raking in the PR buzz, too. Check out her interviews with The Daily Dot and the Geeky Hostess. Being Geek Chic’s interview gets a little more personal. We dive into her passions and frustrations of being a geek – which include being forced into the role of Donatello when she actually had an affinity for Raphael…
Q: What has led you to your passion?
A: Since I was little, my parents always encouraged me to play video games. The first video game was a Sesame Street counting game on the computer quickly followed by beating Mario and Adventures in the Magic Kingdom on the NES.
I fell in love with fashion when I was a tween. I loved clothes, make up and accessories. I love to take fashion risks and try something new. I could spend hours flipping through catalogs and magazines, exploring different style websites, watching runway shows and shopping for clothes. My bedroom in my childhood home is covered in magazine clippings of my favorite outfits, ads, pictures and inspiration. It wasn’t an instant connection to combine my two passions of video games and fashion but when I look back now, it seems like a natural fit.
I’m not convinced I game enough anymore that it’s worth making the investment in the Nintendo 3DS, but when I posted this room inspiration from Professor Layton games on Apartment Therapy earlier this week, I was surprised to see so many people love the new Miracle Mask game. I think I might be stealing my bro’s 3DS for a titch this weekend…
So what say you? Do I need to make the jump? I’m curious to hear if other people are as obsessed as the AT readers.
Perhaps fun, childlike animation is the theme of the week. This post over at The Mary Sue featuring concept art for a Sherlock Holmes inspired animated series made me drool. For real. Why isn’t this a thing? Holmes and Watson are my favorite BFFs in the history of literature. They care about one another deeply, but they are not foolishly supportive. Each is unafraid of pointing out when the other is wrong while their other half takes care to never get their feelings hurt over it. I need to remember that in my own life.
I’m crafting this weekend as I prepare for a VERY EXCITING MARCH on this here blog. I can’t wait to announce it. But here’s a tiniest of tiny hints. I’m doing a DIY project that involves a stamp and this cool video courtesy of crafting gurus Whimseybox was a super big help. If you ever need to make a stamp of say… something that can travel through space and time… then that’s the video you need.
It’s already snowing like we’re on the other side of “The Wall” here in Minneapolis, so I’ve got big “hunker down” plans. Including a movie, a mani and a cup of tea. Every time it snows, this is my tradition. I won’t be THAT sad to see this ritual go in a few weeks. Just saying…
Here’s another fun home post from me on Apartment Therapy: Before & After: A New Meaning for Reading in Bed
Happy weekend, friends!
She’s tattooed, fond of brews and she’s got some moves. Introducing this week’s Lady Geek of the Week: Leslie Stewart (aka Darling Stewie). She’s a “20 something Northeastern Pennsylvania web designer, super geek girl, , voiceover enthusiast, convention going LARPer, kawaii fashion fanatic, coffee addict, toy collector and meme-obsessed chick.”
Q: What has led you to your passion?
A: I’ve always loved design and the Internet, so my passion is primarily geekery plus internet. I love writing, drawing cartoons, and creatively expressing myself on the internet so that’s how was born - my ultra geek cute blog.
In addition to that, my geek passions were fueled by awesome friends. We collaboratively made each other geekier by having anime watching parties, playing D&D, and always talking about geek nonsense. We all started LARPing (live action role playing) together and it was a combination of friends hanging out and being geeks. That’s how I met my awesome boyfriend. It was love at first Elven sight.
Q: Proudest achievement?
A: My current proudest achievement is joining the ranks of Antipode Geek Bellydance and performing at geek/anime conventions across the East Coast. We are scheduled to perform at Genericon in Troy NY March 1-3 - a Super Mario Brothers Bellydance. It’s a super fun group of geek girls who put on creative geek belly dances! I absolutely LOVE bellydancing, and the combination of dance with fangirl geek topics like science fiction (Doctor Who, Firefly), video games (Sonic, Zelda), or anime (Utena, Sailor Moon) makes it that much more fun. Check them out at and , please and thank you. :)
Q: If you could take any fictional character out for a drink, whom would you choose, and what would you drink?
A: Probably Louise from Bob’s Burgers, a tiny little maniac after my own heart… We’d drink something with lots of sugar and caffeine in it.
Q: When did you first realize you were “geeky?”
A: Christmas morning 1993 … this was when I received my first Nintendo… and first Mario Brothers game. This was the moment when I first start the conversion to geekdom. As I entered my teenage years, I noticed the other girls were interested in the world of the superficial: shopping, supermodels, and cheesy chick flicks… but my interests included the world of the supernatural and the superhero: cosplay, science fiction, comics and cartoons, and Dungeons and Dragons. Truth be told, I’d take a D20 over a day of shopping any day.
Q: What would you tell your 13-year-old self?
A: Keep calm and geek on, Little Stewart.
Q: What would be the title of your memoir?
A: “BRB, Larping: A memoir.”
Need daily, quippy bursts of Stewart? Follow her on Twitter @darlingstewie!
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
I am not a “night life” person. Most Saturday nights for me involve watching a movie on my couch with popcorn on my legging wearing lap. Usually, my boyfriend is reading some insanely nerdy book nearby and the fireplace is glowing. This is how two Midwesterners survive the winter together.
But every once in a while, my girlfriends and I shine our dancing shoes, slip on some bling and put on our game face. This time was a little different though. Our game face meant zeroing in on A and B buttons and our purses were heavy with shiny silver Washingtons. Or quarters, if you will.
Insert Coin(s) is a new vintage arcade mixed with a dance club. Plus some wireless modern gaming if you can afford bottle service. It’s only the second in the country, the first is in Las Vegas, and it’s definitely found a good home in Minneapolis. We are an artsy, nerdy and fun-loving crowd the clientele definitely represented this.
I’ll be the first to admit: this concept works. Sure, I was sucking it up at Super Mario Bros because I was very busy swaying my hips to the loud Top 100 beats - but it was fun. Sub-standard gaming abilities aside, it turns out buzzed Space Invaders is more hilarious than regular Space Invaders. Who knew? And if you ever found yourself thinking, Pac-Man could be drastically improved with a Ke$ha track, well, this is your testing ground for that theory. (Yes, it’s better. Oddly.)
This ladies night out was made even more fun, because drunk nerdy boys dancing like robots and cowboys on acid is a surprisingly uncommon site in most bars around here. Not to generalize, but we’re a reserved and stoic people. It was honestly a 50/50 split between ladies and gents on the dance floor and I had more fun dancing there than I have at most “rave” style clubs.
Pickup line of the night goes to a dude who zeroed in on my lovely friend MM. His exact words: “You’d have to gain 100 pounds before you’d ever consider going out with me.”
Dude, what? Just buy us a round on NBA Jam. Quit dissing yourself and show us your skillz.
A couple of thoughts on how Insert Coin(s) could be improved:
1. The Lady Dancers: I really hate this about all nightclubs, but for some reason it all just seems so lazy here. The dudes working at the club wear dashing suits and the women are wearing cut up bikini tops and glow sticks. They are “crowd pleasers” or something of the type. On top of that, there were these barkeep girls in blue bustiers that were so tight, I wondered how they could even bend over. If you want girls to be dressed up and looking ridiculous, why not play into your theme and go for full on Cosplay? There are so many sexy video game themed ladies you could start with: Lara Croft, Jill Valentine or Samus Aran. The possibilities are really endless and they would make a girl like me much more excited about those gyrating hips.
2. Hand Sanitizer: Have you heard? The flu is going around in Minnesota. Suddenly, those Frogger controls look like a contagion area.
3. Coat Check: It’s 0 degrees here right now. There is NO way you can go from car to club without catching pneumonia. I had to start a dance party in line for my coat because it took 45 minutes before I got my hands on my down blanket with sleeves. Get a systems engineer in there and streamline that shit.
If you live in the Twin Cities or you are just visiting for the weekend, I recommend Insert Coin(s). Get a roll of quarters, pack the hand sanitizer and set a new record on Galaga.
In 108 minutes, Wreck-It Ralph accomplishes something the entire video game industry has failed to achieve for more than 30 years:
Three major consoles. Hundreds of major and indie developers. Mobile and handheld gaming. Thousands of writers, programmers and artists. Millions, maybe even billions, in marketing dollars. All schooled by one movie.
I applaud the filmmakers, but I’m utterly baffled, because they made it look easy. And for so long, we have been told it’s “hard” to sell games with female characters we can look up to, care for and relate to. I think $49.1 million at the box office, which is Disney Animation’s highest opening weekend in history, tells a very different story. Listen up gamers, it’s time for a revolution.
Let’s start with Vanellope Von Schweetz and her home game, Sugar Rush.
Vanellope is funny. She’s smart. And she has confidence, despite her condition, pixlexia. She is driven and willing to fight for her rightful place in Sugar Rush, which is largely made up of racing girls - not boys. The aesthetics are a marvel: the racers’ outfits and vehicles may be sugary, but they aren’t princess-y and they aren’t racing on some simplistic puff course either. These girls know how to compete and they talk trash. They want to win - and they aren’t cheering on the sidelines for their man.
It honestly made me tear up - SPOILER ALERT - when Vanellope was transformed into a princess after winning her race, but opted to abolish her dolled up status and instead be President of Sugar Rush. Do you understand the sub-text here? Are you listening, America? Women, girls, OUR GIRLS, they don’t want to be princesses - they want to be president.
And then there’s Calhoun. An argument has been made online and elsewhere that she’s modeled after Samus Aran of Metroid. That could be true, but here’s a key difference: she’s not in hiding. You know she’s a woman. You know she’s in charge. It isn’t some big shocker at the end of the movie that Hero’s Duty has always been led by a strong, tough woman.
And - SPOILER ALERT - it was her husband who got shot, because she failed to take care of him. She put her gun away and he needed rescuing. Not the other way around.
The primary male characters, Ralph and Felix, love these women for these very reasons. They admire them, respect them and even fall for them - because they are a true representation of our modern social relationships. It’s OK for men to be sensitive. It’s OK for them to wreck things and then feel badly about it later. It’s OK for a short dude to fall in love with a taller woman. And most of all: it’s OK for men to ask women for help.
After seeing this movie, I want to play these games. And you know what? So does my boyfriend. And my brother. And my dude friends. Sugar Rush looks like a riot. Hero’s Duty may just be the very FIRST first-person shooter I have ever been interested in. And yes, I want to find an arcade right now and hand over my quarters for Ralph and Felix.
I know many haters will say, well, Ralph is the main character - and therefore sold the movie. Yeah, I agree and you’re right. But this is why the lesson here is so critically important. The gaming industry can continue to sell their games with strong men on the covers, posters and in commercials. When you play, the men can continue to be the primary characters - but I promise you - your game will be better AND more likable if you surround your male characters with women that matter.
Last, but certainly not least, I need to give the filmmakers props for the fact that girls were playing games in the Litwak arcade in equal number to boys. And EVERY kind of game. Not just the “soft” games or the games marketed to them. (Hey Nintendo, we are gamers too.)
Wreck-It Ralph was a joy to watch, but also a major wake up call for me. If we are ever going to see a video game industry with likable and respectable female archetypes, we may just need to bring in some new voices. I think Sarah Silverman, Jane Lynch, Jack MacBryer, John C. Reilly, Director Rich Moore, screenwriters Phil Johnston and Jessica Lee might just be a great start.
Can I just tell you how excited I am for it to be the weekend? I’M SO EXCITED. Here’s my plan:
Oh, and celebrate with the girl that gave me these. It’s her birthday. And she’s the cutest.
Two of my closest friends have birthdays within 10 days of each other, so I suppose this gift wrap freebie is just about the most perfectly timed thing ever. And of course, Mini Eco just pulls at my heartstrings with the cutest variation of wrapping paper to ever feature a bad guy. Go download the printable wrapping paper here.
And now, onto the mind-blowing space stuff that I can’t stop thinking about…
Let’s tour earth
I’m a couple days late on this, but it’s too amazing to pass up. We’ve all seen pictures of earth from space, but rarely do we get context. Or a close view. Or a night time view. Or from a camera that pans across the surface. Or with narration from a super smart NASA employee. Aurora Borealis (I think…) becomes visible at around 4:10, so hang in for that, because it’s incredible.
3D I can actually get excited about
Not much for 3D movies? Me neither. But this 3D gif of a nebula by Finnish astrophotographer J-P Metsävainio blew my mind. I am in love with it. This is the closest I will ever get to space exploration and damn, it’s amazing.
Here’s some of the things I wrote for Apartment Therapy this week:
Do You Know Your Mother’s Phone Number? (Important Louis CK joke in this one people. And an IT Crowd joke. I mean, come on, I can’t pass up any opportunity to be a total cheezeball.)