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Friday, January 16, 2015

5 Fandom Friday - Conventions I’ve Been To Or Wish To Attend

Conventions are something I'm slowly working my way into. It took me forever to get my husband to actually agree to go to one with me. But for this Friday, I won't hold back my passion and desire for conventions with a wonderful 5 Fandom Friday mixed list of Conventions I've Been To or Wish to Attend.

1. GenCon

Of course I need to start out with a convention that really changed me as a geek, a gamer, and a woman. 2014 was the first time I attended GenCon, not for lack of wanting to have attended prior, but this was the first year we could really make it happen. It was my first LARGE convention and it was the first one I attempted to wear a costume at. I actually separated myself for my husband for long periods of time, trying to experience the gaming world as a single woman. Boy, let me tell you, it is a whole different world without my husband. Even gaming without my husband IN THE GAME made all the difference. I still loved the experience enough to go back in 2015, but I was so blown away by the atmosphere and the absolute community and friendliness of the people. Everyone was polite and nice. Excuse mes were everywhere! The only bad experiences I had were with some of the people running vendor booths. One was so bad, I left in tears, because I felt so attacked and belittled. It actually made me not even want to buy the game that I had gone there to get and was excited about owning.  The only other bad experiences were the ones where people were running their mouths, acting like they were experts, but were just coming off as idiots. That mostly happened on the bus.  Overall, though, I LOVE LOVE LOVE GenCon and can't wait for this year!

2. N.E.W. Game

This is a local convention that the gamer group we're part of runs. I've been invited the last two years to help with the Family Room. This year I was able to help create the Polyhedral Playground for families and my game club kids ran part of the room and another of the gamer group ran the other part of the room. I designed the logo, which was kind of super awesome. One of our group members drew it up for us. It was really super cool. It was also the first official con I had ever been to and I loved it! I meet some wonderful people there and get to expose my kids to such wonderful experiences. This past year, though, I felt very shamed by something my students did and it was a huge learning experience for me. I still feel embarrassed by it to this day. I did, though, also get the best picture ever out of the event. I love it so much.

3. Origins Game Fair

I've learned that Origins is the convention you go to when you JUST want to play games all weekend long. And that is why I want to go. Plain and simple. And. . . well. . . it's one that we can drive to. We're not super huge fans of flying places, so we like to be able to drive where we need to go. It's in Columbus, Ohio. Really the selling point is that it is all gaming all weekend with nothing really stopping you. Kind of falls in more with our N.E.W. Game convention than with GenCon, to an extent. Or at least, that's what we've heard. Anyways. It's on my list of to-go-tos.

4. Star Trek Las Vegas

I had a hard time thinking of 5 conventions, even though I could have gone small, but then it dawned on me. . . I really wanted to attend a Trekkie convention. Someday in my life I want to attend a Star Trek Convention. I want to see the crew. I want to see the fans. I want to be a part of it. And, since I've read Wil Wheaton's books, Las Vegas seemed perfect, because it even has a simulator and is so focused on Star Trek in every way possible. Sadly, I of course struggle with some of the issues that Wheaton raises about Creation Entertainment and it makes me not want to fully commit, but at the same time, what an experience! I just feel like it's the premiere Trek-Con and if I could only go to one, this is the one I'd love to check out. Plus I've never been to Vegas and that would be a large appeal.

5.  ComicCon

My dream is to someday make it to ComicCon just to experience it. Just once I'd like to be part of the intensity of being in the geekiest place on earth EVER! And the potential to catch a glimpse of people I admire or am totally greek-crushing on. That would be pretty awesome. Is it strange that I've actually had dreams about attending? No. . . seriously. . . I fantasize about someday going. This is what it would look like walking down this side of the street. . . here is what it would look like entering that building. . . and the parties! Oh please someday I want to go so badly. . . . someday. . . .

And there you have it. 5 Conventions I've Attended or Wish I Could Attend. Have a great weekend and check out these bloggers:

Kendall Ashley (Distracted Blogger)
Bibliosnark (Confessions of a Book Whore)
The Nerdy Fox (A Girl & Her Geekery)
Kacie Cruise (The Written Word)
The Nerdy Girl

Friday, January 9, 2015

5 Fandom Friday - My Favorite Things About Winter

I live in Wisconsin, so Winter is literally a way of life! I live just on the border of super cold north and the south of Wisconsin, which is right in the path of one of the airflow currents that brings down winter hell. The last two winters have really been unbearably cold. . . this Polar Vortex junk has been super intense. With it being a way of life, it's not hard to find the joys of life in this winter climate. Here are my 5 Fandom Friday Favorites Things About Winter.

1. Hot Drinks 

Teas, Hot Toddies, Hot Chocolate, and Cider have been the drinks of choice around this household. I discovered the joys of a Hot Toddy last year. It's essentially a small amount of whiskey (1oz), black tea, honey, lemon, and a cinnamon stick. Served hot! You can find dozens of different types of recipes for how to make it and what to add, but that's my recipe and I'm sticking to it. Sometimes I add a little sugar to give it a little sweet bump.  They're a treat only on the coldest of days. For other days it's all about the tea. I am not a coffee drinker, so you won't find me brewing a fresh pot or anything, but you will hear the tea kettle going off. I'm big into Castiel tea right now from Adagio. Totally perfect.  Other are apple cider and hot chocolate. My favorite is Starbucks Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate. Plus cupping the mug is always so comfy.

2. The Landscape

I live out in a mostly country. Lots of farms and open landscape with trees and other natural settings makes winter landscapes beautiful. Especially when the sun is setting or rising and it's creating that gorgeous winter scene that includes colors! Or, you get those gorgeous crisp landscape scenes. The beauty of it is so photographic, you just can't help but want to break out the camera and start clicking away. It feels so peaceful and puts you in an instant good mood with the beauty of the scene. Now cue some Lord of the Rings epic music.

3. Time for Book Binging

It's time to light the fire and snuggle up with a good book. For all the books I get at Christmas, there is never a shortage of material to read while trying to stay warm under a fluffy comforter. Snuggle-up reading is the best. You can be close while enjoying your favorite story. For some reason I always feel compelled to grab Harry Potter. It just feels so wintery with their scarves and stuff.

4. Favorite Series Binging

Binge-watching is all the rage now adays. I can't check a feed without seeing someone raving about binging out on a show. I am not above this current trend. Last winter we binge-watched Supernatural and The Walking Dead. I can't still remember sittin' back and sippin' on a Hot Toddy while watching the rise of The Governor. This year it's Parks and Recreation. We got hooked from catching episodes on TV that would run like 8 in a row and then out of order. So now we're in it to watch it all. It is so cold out, our dog is scared to go outside to pee. Sticking out hand outside for the leash hook could mean instant frostbite.


And the gamer in me comes out and it's time to take away the guilt of playing board games, because outside is just TOO DAMN COLD! Plus I'm participating in the 10x10 Challenge on BoardGameGeek and I've got to get some gaming down. Oh. . . and we got tons of games for Christmas and my birthday. Good times!

Other Fandom 5 Bloggers

Friday, January 2, 2015

5 Fandom Friday: New Years Fandom Resolutions

There are resolutions I'd like to make in general, but I make resolutions throughout the year to myself as needed. So I thought it would be fun to do something a little different and try this new thing called 5 Fandom Friday, which is a frequent thing on a Google+ group I'm part of called Female Geek Bloggers.

So here are my 5 Fandom Friday: New Years Fandom Resolutions:

1. Play More Games

I am a tabletop gamer through and through. Cards, dice, boards, . . . you name it. . . I'll play it. So this year I'm participating in the 10x10 Challenge on BoardGameGeek. Play 10 games 10 times. I'm participating in the Hardcore and the Normal Challenges. Hardcore means I dedicate myself to a specific set of 10 games and the Normal Challenge is any 10 games as I want and I don't have to plan it out. I'm really quite excited about it and it'll be great. I want to make sure I record these in my blog.

2. Play Games with More People

Even though we're part of a gaming group, we don't get out much to game with them because we have a 4yo. We just can't afford to pay a sitter to go out and we don't live near anyone who would watch her for us for free or for a few hours or anything. We have to count on when my mom takes her.  So I'd like to make sure I'm playing more games with my kids in my Tabletop Club at school. Like, not sharing more games, but actually playing games with them. I'd also like to branch out independently to the local game shop and start some sort of women's game night for women gamers. It'll keep the men at home babysitting (hehe).

3. Meet My Reading Goal

I'm a literacy teacher for a middle school. I have to try to stay on top of what the kids are reading or what's popular. Sadly, I like books that challenge me a little more than YA Literature. So I cannot exclusively read YA. I also don't read exclusively Graphic Novels/Comic Books. I've taken to enjoying a few, but I really am a reader through and through. It's what I have my degree backgrounds in. It's what I love. So I'd like to make sure that I'm reading an equal amount of various materials. I have a 34 book goal on GoodReads. I read 39 in 2014 and my goal was 30, so here's hoping!

4. To Get To GenCon2015

It's going to take a lot of savings and lot of scraping and scrimping, but we are going to make it again to GenCon! This year our friend Jim is going to go with us, which will help things a little bit, I think. Either way, it's going to be awesome and we are going to make this work. If it means Ramen noodles for us every night, so be it. It'll help when our daughter is done with daycare and starts school with limited summer attendance.

5. Finally Fully Invest Myself in My GMing

Last year I had my first little foray into being a game master for Pathfinder. I created a sweet Google+ Pathfinder adventure using the Beginner Box and set things up with my husband and our friend (who lives in NC). I ended up crafting these additional adventures and while I feel I succeeded at the storyline, I was struggling with balancing the experience and items in order to keep my participants happy. So once things start to become a little less depressing around here, I'm hoping to start dedicating a little bit of time to getting back into that, so we can RPG with our friend a bit more over the summer.

And that's it! My First #5FandomFriday and My 5 Geeky Resolutions.