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.
I’ve had freaky hair, freaky clothes and have never been embarrassed or felt odd about it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We started having Stripey Sock Meetups. We bought each other socks. Friends & family started buying us socks; it became the thing to do.
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.
I LOVE MY SOCKS! GO OUT AND LOVE YOUR SOCKS, TOO!
I’m cheating again, so I can get caught up with the Blogging A-to-Z Challenge. I wrote this when I was in Austin, back in 2011. The dates/places have changed up, but I’m still hosting these kinds of meetups. And I face the same challenges regarding inclusiveness in gaming/game events. I will miss my Board Game/Beer Geeks Meetup here in the San Diego area once I’m back in Seattle next month.
I already know I failed my mission just a bit in regards to my recent claim. I promised to write a blog post each day of the week for Speak Out With Your Geek Out, but I failed. But I swear, I have a great reason! Why? I was hosting the Girl Geeks Of Austin Monday Board Games & Brews event! Each Monday night, we have a group of women who drop by the Black Star Co-Op. So, it’s actually combining numerous geek things. Board games, craft beer and sustainable/local foods. And it is a co-op! One of my birthday prezzies to myself will be to buy a membership there. Such fantastic people.
I’ve posted before about why I started the game night. I’m all about supporting ALL people playing games; I believe everyone can find the right games and great people to play with. The difficult part – If you don’t already play games with people, how do you meet people for games? How do you find games? Board games can get pretty expensive; it is hard to justify buying a game if you don’t know anyone who plays them.
I’m an organizer geek; a nexxus. I LOVE bringing people together to do amazing things. I love meeting new people when I host an event and watching people discovering new people. It cheers me to see people make friends, share their info and talk about planning exciting games, dinners or whatever with each other. I like turning people on to new games and new beers. I like to encourage women & girls to play games.
Back to my Board Game & Brews night. Many of the women who come to the game night have never played board games. Or they’ve done family games like Monopoly, Sorry, Scrabble. There is nothing wrong with these games; for many people it is the first taste of gaming & socialization. Yes, even with family!
But many want more. They’re interested in games they see around. They want to not be talked down to or ignored in a game store. They want to do something creative and they want to socialize with other like-minded geeky people. No matter your geeky bent, while you’re doing a geeky activity, you get to learn more about people. You get to meet others who grok (look it up) you.
I’m not great at teaching people to play games. I yawn when reading rules. I am best learning as I play, so I usually stick to pretty easy to explain games that I’ve played a lot. Or some casual card games. Fluxx, Poo, Apples to Apples & Guillotine and many others are easy to teach and easy to learn. Then there are some dice games like Zombie Dice, Cthulhu Dice and some board games like Tsuro and Dixit.
How do you get started with your own group? Meetup.com is fantastic to start in finding a group. Volunteer to host a meetup. Most meetup group owners are DELIGHTED to find more people to host events. I know I am; I can’t do everything and be everyone. As example, we have people who do fiber arts and I do not. So I encourage our fiber arts geeks to host their own meetup event on our same group page.
- Pick a place you want to host an event. A shop, a pub, coffee shop. Get to know the people working there so they know to expect you.
- Choose how often and what day you want to do your event. It doesn’t have to be weekly like mine.
- Get yourself into Social Media so you can advertise your event. Good thing about Meetup.com? You can do so much in it.
- Show up. Even if no one does, show up. When I first started doing the Monday Steampunk Meetups at the Wayward Coffeehouse in Seattle, I was there at a small reserved table every week. Eventually, one or two would show. And as the word got out, more people showed. I kept up with advertising it on the local steampunk mailing list. Having our small group talk to others at the other local events & conventions, brought more people out. After a few months, there was anywhere from 10-20 people ever Monday. Stick to it and it will succeed.
- Greet everyone. No matter what else is going on, remember you are doing this for a reason. Make sure everyone is welcome. When you have regular people, you can dub others to be greeters. No one should ever feel unwanted for a social geek event.
- Have fun. If you’re not, no one else will. You may try and try again, but eventually you’ll get the hang out of it. Sure, epople will “Why don’t we meet on X side of town?” “Why can’t we ever do Y together?”. I always say, “GREAT IDEA! You can put something together and I’ll promote it. Unfortunately, I can’t take on another event, but I want to help you succeed.”. AND MEAN IT.
Hello, I’m Donna and I’m a Geeky Organizer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)?”.
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.
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.
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.
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.