Casual Cosplay Connections: Strong Female Characters

Aug 30, 2016


Hi friends! I'm a few days late on my Casual Cosplay Connections, as per usual, but I still wanted in on the fun so here I am! This month's theme was 'Strong Female Characters,' and although I have some qualms with that particular trope (I mean, have you encountered a female character that isn't strong in one way or another?!), I do have a favorite badass lady that I wanted to pay homage to.
 

Liz Lemon from 30 Rock! Sure, she isn't strong in a physical sense, and she sure as hell isn't super put together...but she's independent, she doesn't take any shit, and she's down-to-earth. Basically, she's awesome.


Not quite as awesome is my low-quality cell phone pic. Really, I should talk my husband into taking my photos for this segment, but selfies are so much easier for me when I'm alone. Does anyone else deal with that silly self-concious thing? I need to get over it.

 Anyway, I wanted to say thanks again for all the kind words these past few weeks. It's been hell, but I'm back home now and just trying to feel normal again. Thank you to the super sweet ladies who offered to guest post for me while I just plain had no will or time to write, it really helped me out. Thanks to Liana and Stacey for being two of the most amazing humans and surprising me with an emergency care package, it made me smile and laugh out loud when I just felt like crying moments before. I've said it before and I'll say it again, this community is so full of loving and supportive women. Thank you all for being you<3

Thank you to Danielle and Charlie for creating such a fun monthly segment! If you didn't join in this month, who would you have chosen to cosplay as?


5 English Towns Every Geek Needs to Visit

Aug 25, 2016

Hi friends! Today I have another guest post to share with you, thanks to the lovely Emma of Scruffy Little Nerd Herder! This girl is beyond sweet and her blog is full of geeky goodness, so I just know you're going to love hearing what she has to say. I'm not going to lie, I'm super jealous of the fact that she lives over in England, and I loved reading her recommendations for awesomely geeky places to visit on her side of the pond. Without further ado, take it away Emma! 

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Hey everyone. I’m Emma and I blog over at Scruffy Little Nerd Herder. The amazing Ashlee has kindly asked me to write a guest post for Her Geekery, and because I’m waayy over the pond in England, I thought I’d talk about some British towns you guys need to check out if you ever come to visit. Obviously there’s a geeky catch – when is there not!?


Lacock

This idyllic town in Wiltshire looks like it’s been taken straight out of the 1700s. That’s probably why it is also known as Meryton - Jane Austen’s Meryton. Lacock doubled as the Pride and Prejudice village in the 1995 miniseries starring Colin Firth. You can stand on the cobbled streets and easily picture the handsome Mr Darcy galloping through the town astride a horse. Pride and Prejudice isn’t Lacock’s only claim to fame though – it’s also home to a very important witch and wizard; Lily and James Potter. Their home in Godric’s Hollow is located in the village. You can literally touch the gate Voldemort used to enter their cottage and murder them both. The local Abbey was used to film some scenes from inside Hogwarts as well. Other movies that have been filmed throughout Lacock include The Other Boleyn Girl and The Wolfman. For the youtube watchers amongst you, Lacock is also where the famous tuber Zoella grew up, with her brother Joe Sugg - or Thatcher Joe as he is better known.


Whitby

Much further north, you will find the seaside town of Whitby; better known as the home of Dracula. Author Bram Stoker based his novel on the town after he stayed there in the late 1800’s. Dracula himself was actually inspired by a mixture of local folklore, and articles found within the public library. There’s a plaque located in the exact spot where Stoker started to write his gothic masterpiece, and another to commemorate the house he spent six years of his life in. Both the 1931 and 1977 Dracula movies were filmed here. Bram Stoker isn’t the only novelist to have a plaque in Whitby though; Lewis Carroll regularly visited between 1854 and 1871. Charles Dickens was also known for frequenting the town.


Stratford upon Avon

No one hears Stratford upon Avon and doesn’t instantly think of Shakespeare. The English playwright was born here in the 1500s, and spent most of his life here when he wasn’t living in London. Every year, a huge celebration takes place throughout the town to acknowledge Shakespeare’s birthday – most recently his 400th. Stratford Upon Avon has also been home to various other notable people in its time. Arthur C. Clarke, author of 2001: A Space Odyssey, lived here in the 1940’s, and Simon Pegg went to college here. The Royal Shakespeare Company is also based here. Finally, the house from movie The Haunting is located just outside of Stratford, and is actually haunted in real life – supposedly.


Greenwich

Greenwich is probably the most popular filming location in the UK. Its Old Royal Navy College has been stage to huge blockbusters, such as Sherlock Holmes, The Dark Knight Rises, and Pirates of the Caribbean, and its grounds have had their fair share of spotlight as well - most notably in Thor: The Dark World where Malekith’s giant spacecraft crashes into its ground towards the end of the movie. The roads outside of the college are also used on the big screen, especially for period movies like The Kings Speech, and Les Miserable, or films containing a lot of stunt work, like The Mummy Returns, and Shanghai Knights. The town however, is best known as the home to time itself. Everywhere in the world is measured in terms of distance from Greenwich, so here you will find the Greenwich meridian which divides the eastern and western hemispheres. You can also visit the Royal Observatory, which is home to London’s only Planetarium, and features visualisations based on real scientific data from real astronomers.


Cardiff

Technically not a town, I couldn’t resist including Cardiff, which is best known for Doctor Who. The BBC series was almost exclusively filmed here, as well as its spin-off Torchwood. You can find all sorts of locations from the show here, from the department store that Rose worked in, before it blew up, to the Roald Dahl Plass which served as the Space-Time rift. You will also find Southern Down Beach which doubled as Bad Wolf Bay. It’s also home to the Doctor Who Experience, which is essentially an interactive Doctor Who episode, where you can walk into the TARDIS and go on various adventures. It’s amazing. Oh, and I mentioned Roald Dahl Plass didn’t I - well it’s named after the children’s author who was born in Cardiff in 1916. There is also a plaque dedicated to the sweetshop Dahl frequented when he was a boy, which inspired his work on Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory many years later.

Thanks for reading my post guys. Have any of you ever been to any of these towns before? If not, which one would you like to visit the most? Don’t forget to come say hi over at Scruffy Little Nerd Herder!

Why Joyce Byers from Stranger Things is a Strong Female Character

Aug 22, 2016

Hi friends! You may have noticed that things have been a little quiet around here, which totally sucks. I'm going through some tough family stuff, but luckily I'm part of an amazing online community full of talented women willing to help me pick up the slack. One of my favorite gals, Kay, offered to write up a guest post about, Stranger Things, one of my latest TV obsessions! I'm sure you'll love her post as much as I do, so without further ado, take it away Kay!

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Hey there! I'm Kay and I blog over at My Open Sketchbook, but today I popped into Ashlee's awesome blog to talk about Stranger Things! If for some reason you haven't seen it yet, A) Stop and go do that ASAP and B) pretty big spoilers ahead. You've been warned.

Like pretty much everyone I know both online and off, I became completely obsessed with Stranger Things. I binge watched it in two days with my partner, and it was glorious basically from start to finish. I think they did an amazing job on both characters and plot, while paying brilliant homage to so many classic 80s films. In fact, I found this to be one of the best examples of homage I've seen. They paid tribute to so many films (The Goonies, ET, Alien, and many more!) without ever directly copying anything; they simply provided the same look and feel of certain movies. THAT is how homage should be done. I was so impressed.

I was even more impressed with the writing of the characters and how the writers often set things up to have a very cliche/trope feel, only to blow the tropes out of the water and do something different. I very much appreciated that. One of the most impressive characters to me was Joyce Byers. I've read quite a few articles describing her as a weak character, or a badly written female character, and I think that is utterly ridiculous!

 First off, let's address some (ridiculous) stereotypes that often accompany the label of Strong Female Character. A big one is that Strong Female Characters have to be emotionless. Or at the very least, they can't show sadness or vulnerability. They must be rocks; solid, tough, who can kick-ass! Bullshit. Having emotions does not make a character (male OR female) weak! It makes them human. And physical strength most certainly doesn't make a character 'strong' all around. The second stereotype I see a lot of people complain about that really just steams my beans is that a woman who is a mother doesn't count as a Strong Female Character because she's just playing into 'society's role for women'. Um, also bullshit. Having & wanting children in no way makes a woman weak. Or a man for that matter. It's a personal choice. Some people want kids, some people don't. End of story.

So now that those two stereotypes are out of the way, let's take a look at Joyce Byers who is both emotional, physically weak, AND a mother. And still definitely a Strong Female Character. Right off the bat, we can see that Joyce is someone who is a bit high strung. She clearly struggles to make ends meet and puts a lot of responsibility on her oldest son. I can understand that early on you may worry she's going to be the stereotypical frazzled mom who falls into typical cliches.

 But as soon as Will goes missing, we see the strength kick in. First, she gets right up in the chief's face about the fact that the police aren't doing enough. She advocates for her missing son in the best way she can. She doesn't back down. And then, when things really start getting weird, she shows immense strength in sticking to her guns. She doesn't just sit and cry and do nothing, or fall into booze or drugs. She keeps going, despite seeming and acting absolutely insane. She keeps at it because she knows it is all she can do for her son. If that isn't strength, then I don't know what is.

When Lonnie (aka Dead Beat Dad) shows up, I got really worried. I was terrified the writers were going to make her into a typical female cliche who goes crawling back to the abusive ex seeking comfort in his arms. I was prepared to be furious, because that is so often done, and it would have made such little sense for Joyce's character. But instead she kicks him out quite spectacularly, and I could have cheered with joy!

In one of her biggest acts of strength, when the time came to enter the Upside Down to try and retrieve Will, Joyce, as usual, refused to back down. She knew she most likely wasn't mentally or physically equipped to deal with whatever the Upside Down brought, but there was no way she wasn't going in there. This was her SON. SHE was going in, and SHE was going to find him. And that's exactly what she did.

So how exactly is she not a Strong Female Character? Most of the complaints I heard were due to her crying a lot and being hysterical.


Ummm, HER SON IS MISSING!!! And if that weren't enough, HE IS COMMUNICATING VIA LIGHTS AND THERE ARE APPARENTLY MONSTERS AFTER HIM!! How calm would you be?! How would you not sound insane explaining that? I have noticed that many of the articles I've seen claiming that Joyce isn't strong were written by women who aren't parents. And I truly think that makes a huge difference. The love a parent has for a child goes so far beyond rationality. And despite her hysterics, she remained focused, 100% of the time, on the idea of finding Will. She never gave up. She never backed down. She did every possible thing she could, and she got her son home. She is, most certainly, a Strong Female Character.

Over to you, what did you think of Stranger Things?

5 on 15: Invasion of The...

Aug 15, 2016


I'm thrilled to be able to participate in so many creative ideas, like Emma of Scruffy Little Nerd Herder's new photography prompt, 5 on 15. I'm sure a lot of you have seen the 6 on 6 posts floating around the geeky blogosphere. Well, this is that prompt's quirky big sister! Each month on the 15th, we'll be posting five photos based on a theme. For the 6 on 6 prompt, those themes centered around different colors...this time, we're doing something a little more challenging!

August's theme is 'Invasion,' and I really struggled coming up with five photos that capture that theme. I think I ended up doing a decent job though, and I can't wait to see what everyone else came up with!


Oh man, will the Daleks ever stop trying to invade Earth? I mean, give it up guys, it's never going to happen! Not as long as the Doctor has our backs, of course=P


Is anyone else a huge fan of Invader Zim? Even though it premiered when I was a kiddo, I never watched it until a few years back. I'm glad of that fact, since I think that a lot of the humor would have went over my head as a child. Any way, GIR is of course my favorite character, and this GIR/Powerpuff Girls mash-up makes me so happy!


I've talked about The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway on this blog before, and that's because it is seriously SO GOOD. It revolves around an invasion of sorts...so I'm counting it as relevant to this month's theme.


I'm going to try to keep the beer photos going in this new prompt, because there really are so many cool beer labels to choose from! This month I'm going with Invasion IPA, a collaboration beer by Mikkeler and Anchorage, which was a super tasty Belgian-type IPA. Not too hoppy at all, so if you aren't a fan of IPAs but like a good Belgian, this one is definitely worth a taste!


The timing of this month's prompt couldn't be more perfect, since August 9th marked the start of the Burning Legion invasions in World of Warcraft! The new expansion, Legion, doesn't officially drop until the 30th, but the pre-release brings all kinds of fun new content!

What would you have included in this month's prompt? I'd love to hear your ideas on the subject of invasions! So many great fandom-related stuff to apply to the theme, and I'm hoping to see a lot of fun things I didn't think of in all of your posts! Thanks to Emma for creating yet another awesome monthly prompt<3  

Zine-o-Matic Review with Cratejoy

Aug 8, 2016

Last month, I reviewed the Anime Bento subscription box for Cratejoy's Fandom Month, which was crazy fun! I think it's awesome when brands reach out to big and small blogs alike to promote their products because it means we all get to share the love. I know that a couple years ago, I never would have imagined that I would be compensated in any way (I definitely view getting free geeky swag as compensation=P) for writing this little blog of mine, so when a brand I like asks to work with me, I'm more than happy to help.  I was lucky enough to be asked to review not one, but two really cool subscription boxes, so today I want to share the Zine-o-Matic with you all!

About Zine-o-Matic

I was very pleasantly surprised by the Zine-o-Matic box. Cratejoy describes it as "carefully curated zines and underground art from up and coming artists across the world." To be honest, it sounded a little too hipster for my tastes, so I was expecting to think it was interesting and not much else...but it was actually beyond cool! Here's what was included in my box:


I had no idea I would be receiving such a quirky mix of paper goods! I particularly love the vintage photograph of an elderly couple at Knott's Berry Farm, one of my favorite local theme parks. The cat and turtle sticker is really cute too, and I'm crazy about the Lovers tarot card from the classic Rider-Waite tarot deck!


This 'feelings' page was too perfect not to share with you all! As fangirls and boys, we're all quite adept at dealing with all the feels, am I right? This is from the 'Space Face' zine, which was super weird but full of fun, relatable artwork.


One of my favorite things that I received was the 'Slowquest' create-your-own-adventure zine. I don't want to spoil the ending for you all, so I'm just going to show a random page from it...but man, I really enjoyed reading through this little story!


Without a doubt, my absolute favorite goody was the 'Tasteful Insect Nudes' booklet. It was adorable! The image is a little blurry, so just in case you can't read it, the funniest entry (in my opinion) is,

This intriguing foreign ultra babe is Suzette. Getting by on her leggy physique, she's constantly hounded by would-be suitors. Beware though gentlemen. She has a nasty habit of eating her mate's heads! It may just be worth it though!

Haha!


I couldn't get enough of this colorful artwork! I can't tell you the name of the zine since it was unmarked, but it was full of random drawings and comic panels and was a very enjoyable flip-through. There was also a fun 3-D zine (with 3-D glasses included!) and a vintage zine published in 1957 that included articles like 'Are You Easy to Live With?' and 'A Formula for Happiness.'

 Overall, I would definitely recommend this subscription box to anyone who loves indie art and quirky surprises! The only complaint I have with it is that I would have liked a guide detailing the artists and authors since many of these didn't have that information included. Aside from that, I think the Zine-o-Matic is worth the price tag ($13.99/month + shipping). The quality of everything included was fantastic and I wasn't disappointed with a single thing!

To be honest, I enjoyed opening this box more than the Anime Bento, which is saying something since I love me some free anime gear=P If you're interested in getting your hands on the Zine-o-Matic subscription box, you can order it from Cratejoy here!

Are there any fun subscription boxes that you've recently received? I'd love to hear your recommendations in the comments below!  

Casual Cosplay Connections: 90s Cartoons

Aug 1, 2016


Hey friends! I've managed to take another unexpected blogging break due to some family stuff, but I have a few guest posts from some awesome gals lined up for this month and I can't wait to share them with you all! I've been so busy that I almost forgot about July's Casual Cosplay Connections post, whoops! 

This is one of my favorite new monthly segments, and I think Danielle and Charlie are the best for setting something so fun up for us. If you haven't heard about Casual Cosplay Connections yet, you should check out this post for more information. And be sure to join us next time, the more the merrier!

July's theme was "90's Cartoons," which means I had a ton of awesome characters to work with! I ended up going with one of my very favorites as a kid, Rugrats. Growing up, Tommy Pickles was a huge idol of mine. He was fiercely independent and not afraid to make the tough choices for the good of the group. Okay, maybe that description is a little too serious for a show for children...basically, Tommy was a badass.


I'm definitely counting this month as my freebie, haha! I'm not going to lie, I feel like I cheated this month by just wearing a light blue top and khaki shorts (I didn't think I could pull off the diaper), but it's SO HOT in Southern California right now and I just couldn't think of anything better to throw together at the last minute=P Oh well, I did my best! That face is totally my 'I don't know what to do with my face' look that I use in most pictures, so maybe next month I can learn how to do the photo thing.

 I'm not sure if I've said this often enough, but I'm so in love with my online gal pals. The Geek Girls x Bloggers Facebook community is seriously such an amazing group of women. They're nothing but supportive and sweet, so if you're new to the blogging world or if you're a blog badass looking for some like-minded geeky ladies to bond with, you should definitely check this group out.

 Let's get nostalgic! What was your favorite 90's cartoon and why?

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