Archive for the ‘A-To-Z Blog Challenge’ Category

G is for Geeky Attire – #AtoZChallenge

April 11, 2013 12 comments

I’ve always dressed a little different from other folks. Half is that I have no sense of fashion and the other is that I really like to wear things which make me happy. I’ve only been half aware that I might be dressing oddly, and have continued to simply ZOMG SHINY through my wardrobe through the years. My family has always kinda followed their own weird piper, so to speak.

Ahoy, matey!

I’ve had freaky hair, freaky clothes and have never been embarrassed or felt odd about it.

Oh yes, the 80s

I word the oddest things and was happy with it. Very happy. Most of the time, I had my picture taken in my oddest clothes. And I have the happiest smile.

Working on the San Antonio Riverwalk

I never quite wore appropriate clothing for my activities. Seriously. Just doing my own thing.


I had been attending renfaires since 1982, but didn’t dress up until the late 90s. My attire was pretty crappy at first, but after hanging out on Usenet (Yah, I’m old), I kinda hit my niche with hot pink attire. And eventually added neon green, as more people started getting wacky in their renfaire get ups. I’m the furthest you can be from being girly; the hot pink thing was a huge inside joke. My mom thought it was humorous; I think she was happy just to see color in my wardrobe after the YEARS of nothing but black clothing.

Who needs coffee when you can look at THIS?

I had a bit of a change happen to my wardrobe, once online shopping hit. I was happily buying from ThinkGeek shortly after I moved out to Virginia in 1999. Since they were local to VA, I was familiar with them as I worked with Fraize at Dell and had met Regan through renfaire. My shopping really kicked in somewhere in 2003. Tshirts & toys for myself. Tshirts for friends & boyfriends. I still do so. Hah! I have a couple of photos up there on the ThinkGeek site, but I always forget to send them in. I still owe them the lightsaber chopsticks picture, where I use them for hairsticks.

I was tweeting this while wearing "i'm tweeting this" tshirt.

Fast Forward. So, I had joined a social network site which has some blogging in it. I found that when I used the blog, I met more people. I met a TON of great people in Seattle from the site; some who are close friends today and even attended my wedding! I’m used to people slagging on me for being weird, fat, having a big bumpy Italian nose and whatnot. But a gal named “Computer Barbie” posted the following:

I know a group of women who commiserate for hours that men will not commit, but they will not spend 13 minutes putting on make up. They wear nerd clothes too. One of them wears a boys student coat, androgenous moccasins, androgenous pants. She looks like she has long grey side burns. She pushes her hair behind her ears. 1 lock falls in front of each ear. That is the only part that is grey. Another wears Circus Socks [multicolored socks]. These women are Fashion Casualties. These women are middle aged but successful. These women claim to have boyfriends. JMO

As someone who LOVES awesome socks, I was kinda butthurt in a humorous way. So I blogged about it. Turns out a bunch of other women, from their 20s – 50s (and younger/older) also love their nerd clothes, their stripey socks. So a silly sock club was born. Many of us started buying MORE socks, because we wanted to day, You know, we dress for OURSELVES, not for you. Just because you think we’re too old to dress for happiness, doesn’t mean it is wrong.”. We all started posting pictures of our socks as we bought them, and the term “Sock Prawn” was born. You know. Wait. This is the internet. I don’t have to tell you.

I discovered Sock Dreams and Sock It To Me Socks, both in Portland, Oregon. I started shopping from SITMS because Holly, proprietor of Monster Art & Clothing sold her socks.

Sock wall at Monster Art & Clothing

We started having Stripey Sock Meetups. We bought each other socks. Friends & family started buying us socks; it became the thing to do.

Mine are the pink & turquoise

Not all socks we love are stripey. They can have all kinds of textures and patterns.

We love our socks. We love our geekiness of all kinds. Not everyone who’s a sock person is a gamer. Not every sock person is into fandom. However, we are all pretty geeky about a good many things. We’re made up of food geeks, history geeks, tech geeks, gamer geeks, glitter geeks, renfaire geeks, music geeks. No matter what your geeky stripes (hah!), when you run into a sock geek, you have an instant bond; something to talk about and share.



Gen Con Socks!

D is for DoodleMan – #AtoZChallenge

April 10, 2013 Comments off

I’m terribly behind in the A-to-Z Challenge, thanks to being at GDC and Kingdom Con. Not just about the cons, but the sheer amount of email I received over two weeks. It’s slow going, so I figured I’d get back in the groove with a short and fun post. I’d like to introduce you to DoodleMan. Well, around here he’s DoodleBug, DoogleMan, DOOOOOOD, DUUUUUDREALLY?, DAMMITDOODLE, and AAAAUUUGHJERK. His real name is Snickerdoodle, given to him by his kitty Mama, Tatiana. Aka my step-young-adult-daughter.

Greetings. Do you have a treat handy?

Greetings. Do you have a treat handy?

DoodleMan likes to be in the center of everything, as giant neurotic orange and white cats are wont to do. As a matter of fact, as I write this, he’s just just jumped up on my keyboard for some scritchings. When the Hubster & I moved to Austin, Tatiana and Doodles came down, too. She went back to Seattle, but we all decided we’d keep him around as company for Bubastis. Anyone who knows the dynamics of all the kitties in our house(s), starts laughing about now.

Fresh water? Don't mind if I do!

Fresh water? Don’t mind if I do!

We have a morning routine together, and we started it back when I was doing remote Community work for Flying Lab Software and for BioWare. It involves me sitting down with a cup of coffee, and Doodleman coming to visit. This visit includes laying across my desk, cuddled up to the coffee cup. I’m always afraid it’s going to tump over. Our habit is now in place again, as I’m unemployed. As I look for work and send out resumes, he’s my constant morning companion.



Speaking of mornings, he also doesn’t like me to sleep too long. Obviously, we have many IMPORTANT things to do like SCRATCHIES AND PETTING.

"Good morning, Human",  said the cat on my chest.

“Good morning, Human”, said the cat on my chest.

Really, he’s a weird and funny cat. Who is kind of a jerk to the other cats. And us. But I wouldn’t have him any other way.

Shhh. Kitty sleeping.

Shhh. Kitty sleeping.

C is for Cantina Crawl – #AtoZChallenge

April 3, 2013 9 comments

So, yes. Star Wars Galaxies. Love it or hate it (I loved it), there was one part of of this game which really set it apart from others. And that was the Entertainer Classes. You could be a Dancer, Musician, Image Designer, or all the above. The best parts are when we had “Cantina Nights” on various servers and worlds. The epitome of the Entertainer experience, though, was the Cantina Crawl. It is really hard to explain what a Cantina Crawl is about, so I’ve included my favorite Cantina Crawl video, from Javier. He’s the master at these, I swear.

These started on the Bria Server, and the invite was out to all people who wanted to drop by from their on server and from other servers. There would always be a color theme and tone, plus there would be a schedule of Cantina visits spread through the event.

Gorath's First Cantina Crawl, planned out with the help of the German SWG players.

Gorath’s First Cantina Crawl, planned out with the help of the German SWG players.

My home server was Gorath, and I also found a home on Kettemoor. I spent my time between both servers, but mostly on my home server. I was part of an in-game band, called The Kreetles. We were busy almost every night of the week, performing music and dance for roleplaying events and other gatherings.

Rinna in a beautiful light

Rinna in a beautiful light

The more artful of Entertainers planned out elaborate routines, wrote “songs” to go with all the Star Wars music songs they gave us. Like for my Blue Rodian, Honeewoo, I “wrote” lyrics to go with Eiffel’s “I’m Blue”. Sure, that song wasn’t in the game, but you suspended disbelief. Whatever “song” went with the tune/lyrics/dance moves was good.

Bria Crawl - Attack of the Hawtpants

Bria Crawl – Attack of the Hawtpants. Yes, I’m the Blue Rodian.

The Cantina Crawls were a great bonding experience in-game and allowed non-roleplayers to hang out and just pretend to be “bar patrons”. Many didn’t know how to roleplay, but would be the “bartender” or “bouncer”. Didn’t have to say much, but felt part of the whole roleplay/entertainer experience. Heck, we’d even have patrols of Stormtroopers show up to “disturb the peace” and grief everyone who was an alien species.

Nurian, watching over the Gorath Crawl, on the planet Lok.

Nurian, watching over the Gorath Crawl, on the planet Lok.

The success of the Cantina Crawl also led to more silly persuits. If virtual dance/song bar hopping wasn’t silly enough, there were the “Wookiee Crawl” and “Rodian Invasion”. I missed out on the first Wookiee Crawl, where it was literally, Wookiees crawling on the ground, all over the place. I did, however, create the Rodian Invasion! I cannot remember the server we invaded, off the top of my head. But we sure had a blast. No rules in clothing or theme, other than we were smelly Rodians, invading various planets. We danced, we told jokes. Played music and talked in Huttese when we could. Thanks to The Complete Wermo’s Guide to Huttese, we did so brilliantly. All the while, yelling “RODIAN POWER” everywhere we traveled. Many folks on the server couldn’t just instantly change over to a Rodian, but many of them followed us around for the fun.



I will treasure my Entertainer friends out here in the Real World(TM) now, with SWG shut down. We still laugh and giggle about the good times we had in the SWG Cantinas. We remember the new friendships and community bonding as we danced and sang across each other’s servers. And I still sometimes “talk” in Huttese. I sure do miss my Entertainer pals, and those who supported our very very sandbox gameplay style.

Zyre & Iago, the wonderful pair who managed The Kreetles. Love you jerks. <3

Zyre & Iago, the wonderful pair who managed The Kreetles. Love you jerks. ❤

B is for Beer – #AtoZChallenge

April 2, 2013 5 comments

This is a post from 2011. Not much has changed for me in regards to beer. Okay, I take that back. I now officially a hop head after living in San Diego. My big love is still Imperial Stouts and nutty Porters. Enjoy!

I was watching a discussion happening on Twitter which I saw tweeted by @LadiesOCB. The topic? QUESTION: Do we need women targeted beer marketing campaigns? What is the right way to target women, if at all?

My first answer? Nope, we just need good beer to market to real beer drinkers, not pandering the same sexist ways.

A wee light bulb went off in my head and I realized I’m having the same argument about women and games. You don’t need to do anything special for women to play your games. JUST MAKE GOOD GAMES. If you make good games and respect your playerbase, women will play them. There’s nothing magical about attracting girls and women to your games.

The game goes for beer. IF you make GOOD beer, break out of your sexist adverts and don’t “dumb down” beer, women will drink it. Period. Respect your product, respect your audience, no matter who they are, and you will be successful. Sure, you won’t make as much money as the top three “American” beers. Craft brewers and indie game developers have a lot in common. They have passion for their product and they want to bring as many people into their world.

I think that products like Chick Beer, are sexist and stereotyping. Women do not need pink packaging and yet another dig about how we should all watch our weight. It’s sexist and insulting to women and to men. If your beer is good, then ALL people will drink it. This beer isn’t a beer for women /made/ by women. It’s a marketing idea that someone created. I mean, “Chick has Beer Cred. We are brewed in Wisconsin by the second-oldest, tenth-largest brewery in the United States.” As a beer geek, I know exactly who’s brewing it and why.

I admit, I am saying this without trying the beer. And I could tear the website claims up over and over because none of it is factual. That really isn’t my point. My original point was to write about how I felt about this sort of marketing and how it is damaging to women. It reminds me of all the times I’ve been told “Girls don’t play hardcore games”, “Women don’t get strategy” “Are you shopping for (insert man of your choice)?”.

Beer Tasting at work, along with MEGAFORCE

Instead of ranting more about all this, I’ll get back to my point. I’d love to interview and write about women who are gamers and beer drinkers. The women who play what they want because they like it. The women who drink Ryes, IPAs, Stouts, Porters…beer across the entire spectrum. There are many women homebrewers, too. I’d love to hear from them.

Negra Modelo and Poo, the card game

A is for Attitude – #AtoZChallenge

April 2, 2013 5 comments

I blame my schedule on the tardiness of Day 1 of the #AtoZChallenge! I have been AFK for over a week, and I’m still recovering from the most amazing time at GDC. I’ll have TWO blog posts for today to make up for it! Today’s post is the letter “A”.

The “A” is for ATTITUDE.

Just a few smiling faces for our end of show picture!

Just a few smiling faces for our end of show picture!

I just spend the most amazing week with the best people in the world. I was accepted again in to the Conference Associate Program, aka the official volunteer program of the Game Developers Conference. It is an amazing program, and I’ve been lucky enough to participate more than once. 2013 GDC was not only my 3rd in the program, but my 1st as Staff! Being staff is the same as being a CA; we’re all the same. We just have more paperwork. 🙂 And we support the CAs whilst they’re working hard in all the jobs they do. We also take off our Staff shirts and put on a CA tshirt to sign up for extra jobs, or to sub out when someone gets a job interview or some other amazing thing they don’t want to miss.

Being a CA takes a LOT of attitude; a very positive attitude! A willingness to go above and beyond. Having a great positive attitude doesn’t mean you bring an ego or any sort of sucking up. You truly have a positive attitude and believe in helping people. You can be an introvert and still show attitude. You can be an extrovert and involve others in being positive.

When I first joined the CA program in 2010, I sat through the first meeting with all 400 people. There was an amazing vibe going on. My cynical self was scoffing inside; it reminded me of a cult, really. I quickly found out that these people are NATURALLY positive. Or they force it and want to work on it being natural. I felt that being older, I would have a difficult time. Just the opposite. No one cared about my age, my looks, my weight, or anything other than we’re all here with positive attitudes about…everything.

Cards Against Humanity Time!

Cards Against Humanity Time!

I quickly fell in love with the program. The love & positive attitudes, even when exhausted or ill, really made me take a look at myself. How I quickly always saw the negative in just about everything. It was a struggle, I tell ya, to learn to love so openly. I waited for the shoe to drop; it really can’t be all this awesome. The shoe? It was that I had to face going back to the “real world”. The challenge would be to believe in myself, believe in others, and be more aware of love happening around me all the time.

I started out on a more positive life back in 2006 when I moved to Seattle to help my mom. I was working on not being a big jerk, and learning to love myself again after years and years of hatred in my heart. I was always looking for something to bring me happiness, instead of finding within myself. I learned how to set boundaries and cut loose the negative hateful people. My first year as a CA finally helped make the circle complete.

Sure, I’m still cynical and snarky. But not in a self-loathing or place of hate. I recognize my privilege and do what I can to help others. I started mentoring from a place of love & respect. As I am fond of saying, DO ALL THE THINGS! And I do them out of love.

I never thought I would carry a positive attitude in 95% of my day, every day. And I have to thank those who believe in me and love me.

All 80s all the time! Check out the Class of GDC pictures on the Official GDC Flickr page.

All 80s all the time! Check out the Class of GDC pictures on the Official GDC Flickr page.

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