Friday, July 31, 2015

We Do Friendship Different

Dia and I as babies.
Hello everyone! Today is the last day of our July Everyday Geek Challenge. Don't forget to stop by Dia's blog for her post.

I've been looking forward to writing this post since the start of the challenge. It's actually something I've wanted to write about long before the challenge, but never put together.

You see, Dia and I are best friends (as if we haven't stated that enough already).

And we have all the markings of best friends. We go buy coffee together. We split huge portions of mall Japanese food. We dress up together. We do weird things together, like Dia plucking my eyebrows. We watch Netflix together. We giggle a lot, and usually end up walking into things.

But--when it comes down to it--we do friendship different.

And the only way I can describe it is that our friendship has hit a deeper level. Honestly, we treat it a lot like most people treat romantic relationships rather than friendships.

And the difference lies in how we deal with the not-nice side of loving people: the fights, the ruts, and the simple feeling of being ticked off.

For pretty much the first 8 months of 2014, Dia and I were in a fight. On both sides there were a lot of annoyances...some were petty, some were big. But bit by bit, we allowed them to grow and fester until we reached the point of perpetual-ticked-off-edness. We thought the problem was time apart, but time together felt almost forced. When we checked in to chat, both of us were short. There was a film between us, and no matter what, we couldn't fake it and pretend to not see it.

Finally, it culminated in a summer of not talking. No big blow up fight (well, not right away...) but no messages, no texts, no calls, from either side. We were both too proud to give in.

Eventually, in the beginning of last August, I called Dia. I had been planning this call for a week, and had even made the point to call her on my phone rather than skype, to catch her off guard. I wanted the upper hand (yes, I am sick).

And that's when we fought. We yelled at each other about all the times the other had been hurtful, had not showed up, had failed to understand. We yelled about misunderstood comments and the feeling of not being wanted.

And at the end of the call, I said, "what do you want to do?" And Dia said, "Let's cool off. And in a week, we'll skype and just talk about it."

And that's what we did. Exactly a week later, we sat down on skype and just talked. We explained where we had actually been hurt. We apologized. We brought up things the other had said in the heat of the fight for clarification. And we talked about what had made us grow apart, and how to fix it.

Since then, Dia and I have been so much better. We've had our arguments and certainly our ruts, but we're better at dealing with them now. And we've both gotten better about just admitting when we're mad (because it's a lot better than festering for 6 months!).

And here's the part I'm most proud of: I was retelling this story to a mutual friend, in an attempt to be helpful, and she was blown away by the fact that we were fighting. She had seen us in the midst of it, and even though she's a close friend to both of us, had never realized how bad things were between us.

And that's because even in the midst of it...we were best friends. We were sisters. Yes, we couldn't stand each other's presence for more than five minutes. But we still would have picked each other up on the side of the road at 2am if need be.

One of the things that was a huge underlying issue with me in our Big Fight was not feeling wanted. I was worried that I wasn't Dia's first choice, had been replaced, or wasn't needed. That my presence wasn't missed. I know a huge reason we've been able to deal with fights since then better is because we've established that that's not true at all! Both of us need each other, and want each other, and will always try our best to keep the other around. And it's only with that trust that these ups and downs are possible.

Dia and I say that we had to 'grow up' our friendship. Here are some things we've talked about, found, and believe in our friendship:

+ Family isn't limited by blood. And 'best friend' describes a much deeper tie than any BFF necklace could ever comprehend.

+ That being said, your friends being your family takes more work, and has more ups and downs. But while there are lower lows, there are also higher highs. And it's worth it. Considering someone to be your sister means you love them even when you don't like them. It means you show up regardless, no ifs ands or buts.

+ You don't need to see each other all the time to maintain a friendship. Dia and I live pretty close, but have drastically busy and opposite schedules. We have long stretches without seeing each other, but that distance never leads to problems when we're together.

+ That being said, don't be a hermit. Dia and I both have hermit tendencies, and really have to force ourselves to do something...but we always are glad we did! Step out of your self for your friends.

+ To outsiders, there is never a problem. It's like the 'don't fight in front of the kids' thing. Be careful who you let know about your little tiffs.

+ Always be honest. Don't shy away from hard conversations or awkward questions or big fights. Playing guessing games is horrible.

+ Swallow pride, let things go, and forgive a lot.

+ The best thing you can do is just to let that person know you want them. I personally find it so easy to be self-absorbed. My schedule, my job, my skating, my school, my room to clean, my problem to address. Step outside of yourself. Listen to the other person. Stay up later than you wanted to so you can catch up over skype. Don't finish your to-do list perfectly so you can hang out. Text them on lunch hour just to find out what their day is like. Let them know that you want them in their lives. People give so much more when they know they're wanted/needed/loved.

Now, in full disclosure: Dia and I have been in a bit of a rut lately. But, it's not like last summer's. And we're working through it so much better than we would have two years ago. I love you Sister Dearest. Thanks so much for putting up with me.

Us this May.
Since we don't have a vlog for tomorrow, this is the last day of our challenge! Thanks for reading through, and my sincerest apologies to you guys (and Dia!) for my lack of participation lately. 

Just a heads up: If you enjoyed our Character Vlog Arguments, (Firefly, LotR), then look forward to a vlog project between the two of us in the near future. And I can guarantee you (whether that be in a month, a year, or five years) that we will joint-post again! In the mean time, stay up to date with Dia on her blog, facebook, tumblr, and twitter. And as always, don't forget to join me on tumblr. Thanks for reading!

Happy Thursday! xoxo

Friday, July 24, 2015

Raised Geeky

Day 23 of the July Everyday Geek Challenge with Dia at The Lady Geek, 'Our Upbringings and How We're Geeky'.

Every 45 year-old man that comes through my line at work and sees my name-tag:

Hey, you know who my favorite actress is?

Gillian Anderson?

Yeah! I can't believe you know who she is!

I was named after her. My parents were a little too into The X-Files when they had me.

When we were younger, AJ and I went through a phase of always having to coordinate costumes on Halloween. We were a flower and a bumblebee. We were both skeletons. We were Woody and Jesse. And....we were Legolas and Gimli.

He was Legolas.

I was Gimli.

I had a beard and everything and it was easily one of the best things that has ever happened. 

The funny thing is, at the time I was completely unaware of how funny it was for a 10 year-old girl to be walking around in a brown, fluffy beard with an axe. I was just thrilled to be dressed as my favorite character.

When we were little and watching LotR for the first time, my mom banned us from two scenes: the ones with the orcs being birthed from the ground or whatever, and the one where Smeagol turns into Gollum. She said they were just gross and scary. I resolutely covered my eyes during those scenes from about age 7 through 12. My brother watched through the gaps in Mom's fingers our first time.

It was a grand event, the first time I ever watched A&E's Pride and Prejudice. PBS was re-showing it when I was 11, and I stayed up till the shocking hour of 10:30 six Sundays in a row to see it. 

It was beautiful and funny, heart-wrenching and heart-warming. I loved it from the first episode, and have only loved it more with each new watching (which, honestly, has been 1-2 times per year). 

Also, Gillian Anderson did the little PBS introduction thing for it each week. So it was pretty much fate.


How did geekyness bleed into your childhood? Were you raised by geeks? Don't forget to join the conversation on tumblr using the hashtag #everydaygeekjuly. Tomorrow (Day 24) was supposed to be our third vlog argument, but some crazy scheduling leaves us without a video (woops!) so tomorrow is a free day! Catch you guys Saturday!

Happy Thursday! xoxo

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

15 Times Fandom Actors Made Us Fall In Love

Today is Day 22 of the July Everyday Geek challenge! Today's prompt is 'favorite fandom actor moments'. Honestly, one of the best parts of any fandom is getting to know the actors and actresses behind the characters....and stumbling on their funny lines! Here are some of my favorites.

That time Billy Boyd got into character:
That time Ori proved he was the one for us:
That time Ian McKellen explained passion.
Me too, George, me too:
That time Billy showed us his brilliant side (which we always knew was there).
That time Richard Armitage got deep and melted our hearts.
That time Alan Rickman was scary (but, actually, extremely sentimental).
That time Billy and Dom talked about their friendship.
And when Christopher Lee proved how awesome he was.
Just...their faces...
That time Tom Hiddleston was the classy British gent and Bennedict Cumberbatch was the eccentric millionaire.
And throwing it back to the class-act, Julie Andrews, holding her baby on the set of Mary Poppins.
That time Sean Astin was Mr. Involved.
When Richard Armitage got real about being shy (and melted all our hearts).
And that time Richard Armitage awkwardly smiled at the camera (and melted all our hearts).
Now that we're done with swooning, don't forget to stop by Dia's blog for her post and joint the conversation on tumblr using the hashtag #everydaygeekjuly. Tomorrow's prompt (Day 23) will be, 'Our upbringings and how we're geeky.' As always, thanks for reading!

Happy Wednesday! xoxo

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Pixar-Disney Ships

Well, I've been a bad blogger again. I totally skipped writing yesterday's post for the July Everyday Geek Challenge.  Yesterday was a pretty eventful day....we got home about 3 in the afternoon from our roadtrip, unpacked, and then my mom and I had to take a sheep to the vet. But! That's no excuse and I apologize.

Anyways, yesterdays prompt was 'Disney vs. Pixar' and today's prompt is 'cross fandom ships' soooo, I'm going to combine them, and share my Pixar-Disney fandom ships. You're welcome!

My very first thought was Sully from Monster's Inc. and Megara from Hercules. I know it's weird, but personality wise I see them being really good for each other. Sully is an easy-going, steady character who I think would really listen to and appreciate Meg. Meg would feel safe with Sully, but also have to room to be crazy, fun, and totally herself.

The second I came up with was Andy from Toy Story and Wendy from Peter Pan. I honestly would only see this as a childhood crush, though, because once they grew up I think Wendy might be a bit uptight for him.

Next it gets a little foggier. I was thinking of Violet from The Incredibles, and my first thought was Peter from Peter Pan. But Peter might be a bit too much like Dash, and no girl falls in love with someone that reminds her of her brother. Then I thought of Aladdin. If they were closer in age, obviously....that could totally work. Because really, Violet is just a less mature Jasmine.

Treasure Planet has to be one of the most under-valued Disney movies ever, so of course I was trying to ship Jim Hawkins. I found some stuff that paired him with Ariel, and I've got to say that's my favorite. I could almost see it as a couple, but I like the idea of them being platonic best friends A LOT. I also thought of Violet for Jim, but I'm not sold on that.

What are your Pixar-Disney ships? Don't forget to join the conversation with me on tumblr, and to stop by Dia's blog for her post! Tomorrow's (Day 22's) prompt will be 'favorite fandom actor moments'. Thanks for reading!

Happy Tuesday! xoxo

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Best of the BBC

Time for Day 19 of the July Everyday Geek challenge! Today's prompt is BBC shows and I am SO excited to be sharing my favorites. Don't forget to check out Dia's blog for her picks!

I've been into the BBC for...ages. Even when I was little, I'd sit and watch shows on PBS with Mum every Sunday night. Over the years we've watched and discovered lots of shows, and I'm so excited to be sharing some favorites!

Sherlock Holmes (1984) I've gushed about this show before, but it's too good not to mention. Definitely the best if you want a good, classic, by-the-book mystery. Classic, Mystery, British Fireside Feel.

This is from North and South, but this guy is also in Downton Abbey.
North and South (2004) I'm by far not the biggest North and South fan out there, but it is pretty great. Some would Thornton (played by no other than Richard Armitage) is better than Mr. Darcy, and while I wouldn't go that far, he is pretty dreamy. Classic, Romance, With A Brooding Hero.

Keeping Up Appearances (1990) Another slightly crude but hilarious show, this was my first British 90's TV show. I've seen every episode now, and they're all amazing. Also, Rose is my favorite sister. Judge me. Light, Funny, Sarcastic.

Wives and Daughters (1999) The book this is based on is by Elizabeth Gaskell, who also wrote North and South, but I like this one much better. There are so many great lines, and it's definitely a feel good watch. Sweet, Feel Good, Classic.
And it wasn't me!
As Time Goes By (1992) Another 90's TV Sitcom, I've seen significantly less of these than The Vicar of Dibley or Keeping Up Appearances. I really love the dry humor though, and you just can't not love Judi Dench. Sweet, Feel Good, Dry Wit.

Call The Midwife (2012) A favorite that we didn't discover until this winter, my mum, dad, and I devoured it. It's so full of life, and humanity, and really gives you a whole new outlook. Mum and I had so many conversations inspired by the themes in this show. It's a little taxing emotionally, but definitely worth it. Heart-wrenching, Inspiring, Quote-worthy.

The gorgeous Richard Armitage as Harry in The Vicar of Dibley.
The Vicar of Dibley (1994) Okay, so this is definitely a weird suggestion put next to all the historical fiction romances in here, but it is so. stupidly. funny. A little bit crude, definitely, but freaking hilarious. (Also it has Richard Armitage. So it's a must see) (Also also, Armitage says his role as Harry is most like him in real life, so this is practically getting to know him personally). Roll on the floor hilarious, lovable characters, adorable hero. 

Foyle's War(2002) I saved the best for last! Foyle's War is my mum and I's favorite show, honestly, and we pretty much went into mourning when we finished it. It takes place on home front England during WW2, following Detective Foyle as he investigates at-home murders. They brought back the show for a cold-war version, and while I don't like it as much, it's still pretty good. Also! Fun fact: Anthony Howel, who plays the assistant, Milner, is the same guy who plays in Wives and Daughters. AND it's written by Anthony Horowitz, who's books like The House of Silk: A Sherlock Holmes Novel and the Alex Rider series, as well as other TV series like Poirot and Midsummer Murders. Hard to guess mysteries, heart wrenching, characters you'll get too attached to. 

What are your favorite BBC shows? I'm always on the lookout for new watches! Don't forget to join the conversation in the comments, in a post, or on facebook, twitter, and tumblr using the hasthag #everydaygeekjuly. Check back tomorrow for Day 20, Disney vs. Pixar. Thanks for reading!

Happy Sunday! xoxo

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Never Apologize For Being Geeky

Welcome back to Day 18 of the July Everday Geek Challenge! Today's prompt is 'never apologize for being nerdy/geeky'. I'm really excited to spin off some things I talked about in this post. As always, don't forget to check out Dia's blog for her take.

Traditionally, being geeky has been viewed as a 'boy thing'. Over the past few years, the Girl Geek community has gotten a lot more loud. But with that, comes a whole new community of Fake Geek Girls.

We've already discussed being 'geeky enough'. About how sometimes, geek girls are challenged as to whether or not they're 'real geeks' because they may or may not know every fact about something. While a guy might say 'you know, I'm not a huge Firefly fan but I enjoy it', and is accepted for liking a show but not being as obsessed as some, he won't have his geek-card challenged. But a girl saying the exact same thing will.

I've been told a lot lately that I shouldn't call myself a geek, because I'm not 'as geeky' as someone else.

And yes, I agree. There are people who define themselves a lot more geeky than me. People who know a lot more facts. And who read/watch more than I do.

But I'm not going to apologize for that.

I love the Lord of the Rings, but I admit I haven't read The Salmarillion, The Children of Hurin, or Untold Tales of Numenor yet.

I've never watched an anime. But I skated to the theme song from one this year.

I watched a lot of the original Superman cartoons as a little kid, obsess over the artwork (and the Wonder Woman artwork), but have never seen any of the actual movies.

I like sci-fi stuff, in the form of the X-Files and Firefly. I've been considering getting into Star Wars, but haven't 'committed' yet.

I love Sherlock, but haven't watched the episodes since the last season came out.

I'm not going to apologize for my level of liking things. There are non-geeky things I totally geek out about....spin combos, Jane Austen quotes, vintage clothes....and there are typically 'geeky' things that I really love. But I'm not going to pretend to be into the geeky things that I don't actually care about, just to keep a geeky persona.

I'll geek out about what I geek out about. And love what I love.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Days 14-17: Disappointments, Books, and Being Geeky Enough.

Proof that I am road-tripping and not just being a horrible blogger!
So on this humid and hazy Day 17, I've got to apologize for disappearing the past couple of days! I'm on a road-trip to visit family right now, so internet use has been a little spotty. Thanks for understanding! In this post I'll be catching up from the past several days. Don't forget to check out Dia's blog (she actually posts consistently)! 

Day 14: Fandom Disappointments

It's no secret that I'm a die-hard Lord of the Rings fan. I'm convinced everyone has a first-love, fandom wise. It's the one you grew up with. The one that became a part of you. The one that your own, personal stories and favorite memories intertwine with. We may get distracted by new, flashy fandoms sometimes, but our first-love will always be the one we can't forget.

All that fluff being sad, it's pretty sad that for the 'Fandom Disappointments' prompt, my very first thought was 'The Hobbit!!!'.

In preparation for this post, I went back and read through three similar, previous posts about Middle Earth. They were all written over a year ago, and yet remain some of my favorite posts ever written. I'd love you to read them:

A Hobbit's Take

Home Again: My Re-Read of Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring

Tolkien, Not Jackson: Talent, Commitment, and my Pre-Desolation Thoughts

And here's the thing: I understand that I'm coming from a LotR family. I understand I've been a fan since I was 6, so of course I have super high expectations for The Hobbit movies and of course I'm going to be nit-picky and get annoyed over little things.

But LotR fans have the right to do that. We survived 50 years with only the books and the (admittedly awesome) cartoons. When the movie trilogy finally came out, it drove people to the fandom and encouraged newbies to read the books. Why? Because the movies stayed pretty accurate, were original, and didn't try to change the themes or feel of Tolkien's originals.

The Hobbit, on the other hand, desperately chased trends and became cliche. It drove no new people into the fandom, because it offered nothing that viewers couldn't get from other mainstream movies. It destroyed Tolkien's originality. *end rant*

Day 15: Past 5 Books You've Read

The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer. Finished it in the bus, definitely recommend!

Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull. Absolutely loved this! Such a great, real-life look at creativity. Plus the Pixar history is great.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. Read for lit class (yess! I've only read two books since lit class! So horrible!), and I've got to say it didn't hold my interest.

The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde. Also read for lit class, and this one was freaking hilarious.

I Dare You by William H. Danforth. Read this for the fourth or fifth time in preparation for my 4-H speech, and came away with new insights, like always.

Currently reading: The FitzOsborne's in Exile by Michelle Cooper, Emma by Jane Austen, and Dead Girls Don't Wear Diamonds by Nancy Martin.

Day 16: We're Geeky Enough

Let me start by saying that Dia summed everything up really well in her post. For a while, and now to some extent, it was pretty generally accepted that girls couldn't possibly be as geeky as guys. Now, I think that's shifted some, as a lot of geek girls have surfaced. But, it brings up another problem. As a girl, if you aren't a full fledged I-know-every-fact-and-dress-a-certain-way-and-am-only-interested-in-this, then you're not geeky enough.

I've been told lately that I'm not going to enjoy going to Boston Comic-Con, because it's 'not my thing' and 'not something I would enjoy'. Apparently, since I don't know everything (and readily admit that!) about Star Wars, or Marvel, or Doctor Who, or whatever, I'm not 'qualified' to go.

But, last I checked you don't need to pass a geek exam to get in. I'm a die-hard LotR fan. Gillian Anderson, who I'm named after and who plays in one of my favorite shows, The X Files, is going to be there. I've been obsessing over the original artwork from the Superman and Wonder Woman cartoons lately. I'm getting into Firefly, and have been into Sherlock since the beginning.

You don't have to know a certain amount of things to classify yourself as geeky. You're allowed enjoy things at varying levels, and just because maybe you know less about a fandom than the person in line ahead of you, doesn't mean you're not allowed to go. I love stories. And learning how shows come together. I love artwork. I love the history that each fandom has. And I'm going to have fun at Comic Con, because comic con is all about appreciating those things.

Day 17: Vlog Argument: Lord of the Rings

Later today, Dia will be posting our second vlog argument! Check here for the video, I'll post a direct link when it's up!

Update: It's up!!

Thanks for reading! Again, I apologize for the hap-hazardness of my posts lately. Hopefully we'll get back on track soon! Tomorrow, Day 18, will be: never apologize for being nerdy/geeky.

Happy Thursday! xoxo

Sunday, July 12, 2015

My Phases of Sherlock Love

Day 12 of the July Everyday Geek Challenge! Today's prompt: The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes. Just a heads up, as of today I'm leaving for a roadtrip, so things might bet a bit spotty around here. I have some pre-written stuff, and I will have my laptop with me, so hopefully things will stay moving but apologies for any tardiness! In the meantime, don't forget to stop by Dia's blog!

My love affair with Sherlock Holmes started at a very early age.

I fell in love with the books as a pretty young reader. I made it through every casebook, as well as reading the Hound of the Baskervilles. Over the years, I've picked some of my old favorites back up when I was in a 'fireside British mystery' mood.

At about this time, they were still showing the amazingly accurate Sherlock Holmes mini-series on PBS, the one with Jeremy Brett. Every week I would watch episodes with my Mum, and it only grew my love for Holmes and Watson. I loved Jeremy Brett, because he really was Holmes in so many ways. One of my favorite things, though, was how he'd be sitting on the couch completely still, and then all of a sudden spring up and jump over it! Jeremy Brett really nailed the different energies of that role.

I left my Holmes phase for a while and moved onto other things, but was jolted back into it with the release of the BBC's Sherlock. I was incredibly skeptical at first, but gave it a shot and became utterly obsessed. I admit: I totally joined the ranks of heart-fluttering fangirls with Bennedict Cumberbatch.

I love the edginess of Sherlock. It definitely keeps you on your toes, and is the type of show you might need to watch multiple times to fully understand. I always find myself worrying about where they're taking the show, but that just adds to the excitement! Plus, in their own way, Bennedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman definitely nail the Sherlock/Watson energy, too.

With my new wave of Holmes-obsession, I started looking for more outlets. I found mine in the Enola Holmes books by Nancy Springer. I only ended up reading books 1-3 (because they were ever so slightly too young for me by the time I found them), but I really loved the steam-punk spin they gave on the classic. Honestly, I should really go back and finish them because they were pretty creative!

Sherlock Holmes is the perfect example of a fictional character staying with you throughout your life. While the original Holmes hasn't always been my go-to, his inspiration has influenced my taste and preferences over all my different moods and phases. And really, isn't that what a great story is all about?

Elementary, my dear Watson.

(he never actually said that)


Which 'face' of Sherlock Holmes is your favorite? Chime in in the comments, in a post, or on tumblr, twitter, and facebook using the hashtag #everdaygeekjuly. Can't wait to hear from you! Tomorrow (Day 13)'s prompt is 'Inside Out Review' OR a FREE DAY! For those who haven't seen it *guiltily raises hand*. Thanks for reading!

Happy Sunday! xoxo

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Life-Truth Fandom Quotes

Day 11 of the July Everyday Geek challenge! Today's prompt is 'Favorite Fandom Quotes'. Don't forget to read Dia's post for today!

It's no secret that I'm extremely quote-obsessed. And honestly, great quotes are one of my favorite parts of the fandom world. Here are some of my favorite inspiring, motivational quotes from the best characters, actors, and authors. :) Let these fandom life-truths guide you through life!

On the power of love:
On doing your own thing:

On always being grateful:
On the importance of children:
On belief, faith, and convictions:
On realizing there will always be shadows (but there will also always be light):
On standing up:

On true hotness:

On the power of the little things:
What are some of your favorite fandom quotes? Which was your favorite on this list? Chime in the comments, in a blog post, or on twitter and tumblr using the hashtag #everdaygeekjuly. And don't forget to stop by tomorrow for Day 12, 'The Many Faces of Sherlock'. Thanks for reading!

Happy Weekend! xoxo

What I'm Leaning From Personality Tests

Hey guys! So I missed Day 9 of the July Everyday Geek Challenge, and since it's after Midnight I guess I missed Day 10, too....woops! Anywho, here's my makeup post for Day 9 using the prompt 'personality type and character references'. Don't forget to check out the bottom of the post for our Day 10 vlog, too! And as always, stop by Dia's blog for her take.

I have always been obsessed with all things personality. The personality quizzes, in my mind, were always the best part of American Girl Magazine, and even now, I do more than my fair share of buzzfeed quizzes. But over the past year, I've been diving deeper into the 'serious' side of personality.

I've taking personality tests and assessments, especially when it means I can leave with tools that actually help me be more productive, caring, and understood. The cool thing is, is that with every test I take, I'm always super consistent....I'm definitely not one of the people that falls between two different types.

Last summer at TC, I took a workshop called 'Leadership Colors' where we filled out a really great, thought-provoking questionnaire and then were given colors to represent our type. I was Green, which was definitely spot on. The focus of this particular workshop was learning about our personality color through a viewpoint of how it contributes to a group. With that in mind, some of the Green strengths were:

  • Seeking to improve the current system/not accept the status quo.
  • Competent and analytical.
  • Future oriented, visionary.
And some of the weaknesses were:
  • Getting stressed over lack of control/lack of independence (ummm, hands high).
  • Getting stressed over small talk and social functions.
  • Very sensitive to negative feedback about abilities/performance, and worry about being judged without being fully understood.
  • Often get caught up in little details, which keeps them from getting from Point A to Point B.
This year at TC, I took the follow-up workshop which was called 'The Power of Understanding People.' We took a different questionnaires this time, and were assigned 'tools' that went along with our type. I was a 'wrench', which was the 'expert'. This workshop also discussed the different types working together in groups, with a focus on the needs of each type. Some needs for wrenches/experts:
  • The intrinsic need was security (ummm, heck yes!).
  • Values consistency, intelligence, knowledge, accuracy, and experience.
  • Needs relationships built on dependability.
Some traits of wrenches/experts:
  • Detailed and thorough.
  • Are conservative and serious. 
  • Tend to avoid risks (boooo).
  • Respectful of procedures, politics, and take a technical approach.
Another fun thing was that we also went through our secondaries, and with those we were given fictional characters that matched our types. I got Gillian Anderson from the X-Files! Too funny!

Then this winter, I took the 16 Personalities quiz. This is based off of the theories of Myers-Briggs and Carl Jung, and uses the same letter system as Myers-Briggs. In that quiz, I got INFJ, which accounts for less than 2% of the population. Learning I was an INFJ was so helpful to me. It really gave me the opportunity to understand things about myself that I knew, but didn't connect the dots with or know how to use for the best. INFJ stands for Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging. Some takeaway:
  • I've always know I was an introvert, but the past year has been hugely successful in learning about the workings of my introverted-ness. Like now, I've learned the importance of being quiet, and giving myself time to think. But I've also learned that I need to actively combat my hermit tendencies, because I really do love hanging out with people! 
  • Being called intuitive has really allowed me to trust my gut more. Not to sound weird, but I definitely have always felt things that I couldn't really understand or put into words. Now that I'm calling that 'intuitiveness', I'm a lot better at being open about trusting my gut and not just brushing it off as 'it's all in my head'. 
  • Feeling means I'm very much a 'heart' person. I can have very high highs, and very low lows, and am easily affected by the energy around me. There's a part of me that is very sensitive to feedback, which means I'll run off praise for days (and remember negative comments for months).
  • Judging means that I tend to stick to my life-truths and morals, and once I make a decision, I tend to be fiercely loyal to it.
I don't have much of a conclusion to this post, other than the fact that I'm still on a journey of learning about myself and how I work, and personality tests are my favorite way to do it. Taking the time to learn about it always leaves me inspired, and it's also allowed me to feel less 'weird'. But there is a funny story I want to tell you!

In the 16 Personalities results, it talks about how INFJ's usually have a bit of a split personality. There's the 'inner us', which we consider to be our 'true selves', that is pretty much the baller, kick-butt version of ourselves. That version is witty, chip-on-her-shoulder, and takes no crap. She's strong and fierce. In our heads, all INFJ's are the Baller Us.

But to the people around us...that's not at all how we represent. We tend to be quiet, generally shut our mouths about certain topics, and be generally thought of as 'sweet'. 

Last night I was Skyping with Dia, and we were trying to assign characters for ourselves in Firefly. Dia said I was Kaylee, and I was like, "NO! I want to be Zooey!!". Dia said, "But I'm Zooey!" And I said, "There's no way you could be Zooey if I don't act like Zooey, we're too similar."

Such an INFJ thing to do....we both want to be the kick-butt, inner-selves Zooey, but to the world, we will probably always be the Kaylee's. And we sorta hate that.


Also, Day 10 calls for our first vlog of the challenge!! In this Vlog Argument, we discuss which Firefly character is the best! Enjoy our hilarious and awkward foray into blogging.


What's your personality type? Which Firefly character is your favorite, and who do you think wins...Wash or Jayne? Check back later for Day 11, 'Favorite Fandom Quotes'.

Happy Friday! xoxo

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Being With The People

Day 8 of the Everyday Geek July challenge! Today's prompt is 'why people should play more board games'. Don't forget to check out Dia's blog!

Today, we were driving to church, and we passed a house with a farmer's porch. There were two older couples sitting outside, talking away.

And seriously. When was the last time we did that?

As a society, we fail to connect in so many ways. We text our best friends all day but can't call them on the phone. We don't make eye contact with the cashier at the supermarket. Out in public, we stay hooked to our phones and don't notice the other singular people out there. We forget to pet the cat when we walk in the door. Or to ask our Mum if we should pick her up a coffee.

We say 'text me' instead of 'call me'. We reply 'lol' and 'yeah (winky face!!!)' instead of anything with meaning.

So often, and this is honestly a completely true description of myself, we spend more time talking about getting together then actually spending time together. We miss so many chances to lean up against a car and just talk about life with our friends. Our siblings. Our parents. Our coworkers. Our crushes.

There's a lot to be said for being busy. We have to work hard, and to an extent, we really do need to put our heads down and get 'er done. We all need to make money, and workout, and study, and make food, and pursue hobbies, and crash with the TV.

But what we can't do is make the mistake of being so focused on the grind, that we forget to stop. Breath. Think. Laugh. Foster relationships. Because, in the end, isn't that what we're really grinding for? Just the little things?

That, honestly, is one of the main reasons I think Dia and I love board games so much.

It's the chance to just sit and laugh. Make memories with our favorite people. Relax and spend some time, IRL, just being with those we love.

Because really, is there anything better?

When was the last time you slowed down to play a board game? Share your thoughts in a comment, post, or on social media using the hashtag #everdaygeekjuly. Thanks for reading!

Happy Wednesday! xoxo

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Alternative Disney

Day 7 of the July Everyday Geek Challenge! Today's prompt is favorite fanart. :) Don't forget to check out Dia's blog!

I love anyone who follows me on pinterest probably knows. Lately, though, I've been especially getting into the punk, alternative, and rockabilly side of Disney. It's just too fun! I'm going to keep it pretty light on the words today and just get straight to the images.
Anywho, sorry for the super short post! I share more fanart in an ancient post here.

Happy Tuesday! xoxo

Monday, July 6, 2015

Why I Hate Frozen

Day 6 of the July Everyday Geek Challenge! Today's prompt is why I hate Frozen:

Hello, my name is Gillian, I swear I'm a (mostly) normal person, and I hate Frozen.

Like, no really. It's painful.

And I could write a very, very long post about it. But this video covers pretty much everything.

My two beefs fall into two, broad ares:

Their complete dropping of the plot;


The strong female character thing (hold that thought).

About the plot. I like the concept....having two sisters as main characters is awesome and unusual. But everything else is just confusing. So, Elsa has the magical powers to freeze things. Okay. Why did she apparently be able to control it early on? And why did it have to be hidden from Anna at all? And HOW did she learn to control it?

Who is the short little squirrel-y guy? Why wasn't he the villain? WHO ARE THE FREAKING ROCK LOVE EXPERTS???

Not to mention the fact that, after finding out Hans is evil, the entire movie nose dives to the end without wrapping anything up, and completely ignores a little thing called character development.


Now, the strong female character thing.

I understand the whole 'make good examples for our girls!' thing. I's important. But:

A.) why just girls? Why can't we make strong characters that guys and girls can relate to? Newsflash: you can learn valuable lessons from the opposite gender.

B.) Everyone keeps messing up the strong female character movement, so it's back firing.

We've turned strong female character into an obligatory role...a quota to be reached. We've become so focused on making sure those strong female characters aren't ultra girly, or skinny, or end up with a guy, that we've created a new stereotype. Strong female characters are tomboys. They usually snub the guy at first. And they can kick their butt.

It's turned into another cliche. And, I'm sorry...a strong female is not a cliche.

Strong female characters (and, you know, strong women in general):

-CAN be tomboys.
-CAN be feminine.
-CAN be single.
-CAN end up with a guy.

For me, the only must-haves for a strong female character are:

-That she's smart. As in not a ditz. She can make mistakes, but please don't make her a ditz.
-She's KIND. She can absolutely be sassy. But she must be kind.
-She must know herself. Her wants and not-wants. Or at least, be looking for them and trying her hardest to always follow heart and head.

She doesn't have to have everything together. She doesn't have to be a totally, always confident person. She doesn't even have to beat the boys at everything. She just has to be in control of herself and her life, and do it with a kind heart.

Elsa keeps getting so much praise for being a strong female character. And, frankly...she's not.

An argument for her is that that's the point. That (finally!) Disney has made a movie where the heroine struggles with inner struggles, self doubt, fear, loneliness. And I will agree with you that those are awesome, important themes to have in movies. And I totally agree with you that strong female characters can still struggle with those.

But it's not real. It's all so fake, and cliche. Not believable. Not relate-able. And certainly not helpful to younger girls looking for answers, if that was their goal.

Happy Monday! xoxo

Sunday, July 5, 2015

What Classics Give Us

Day 5 of the July Everyday Geek Challenge! Today our prompt is 'why the classics aren't just for school'. Don't forget to read Dia's post!

I was never a kid to shy away from classics.

The first classic my mum read to me was probably The Hobbit. Since reading was a huge part of our homeschooling, we went on to read lots of classics in my grade school years. Sometimes we considered them 'lit reads', like Frankenstein.or The Indian in the Cupboard. Other times, we considered them 'history' reads, like Rifles for Watie or Johnny Tremain.

In upper grade school, I was assigned lit readings, but usually they didn't look that different from what I read normally. For school I read Jane Eyre. On my own I read Anne of Green Gables (and the rest of the series). In high school I took an in-person literature class, where we read everything from Shakespeare to Austen to Homer.

In summers, on my own, and now that I've graduated, I've never considered not reading a classic because it was long/hard/for 'smart people. I grew up reading many classics before I was 'ready' for them...but it was that fact that grew my understanding of literature.

I love classics for many reasons, but one of the chief ones has to be the humanity of it all. To connect with a fictional character....written 200 years ago...and completely understand what they're amazing, to say the least. Classics will always be relevant to our lives because of that connection. Style changes. Words change. Situations change. But people--really--never do.

Humanity has always dealt with poverty. And striving for success.

Humanity has always dealt with love--falling in, falling out, unrequited love and undeserved love.

Humanity has always asked questions that no one could answer. Humanity has always lived with regrets. Felt alone. Felt scared. Felt joy. Had rare, beautiful moments of connection and complete understanding with one another. Humanity has always been flawed, sad, and beautiful and the classics remind us of that.

The classics are important. They give us a look at what life was really like. They improve our vocabulary. They allow us to analyze. But mostly, they allow us to connect. With real people who wrote out a story people still read today. With fictional characters who don't always fully realize aren't real. And with our peers...whether that's over coffee, or in class.

I'm in the mood for an Austen novel.

What do you think of the classics? Share your thoughts in a comment, blog, or on instagram, twitter, and tumblr using the hashtag #everydaygeekjuly. Tomorrow, our prompt will be 'why I hate Frozen'. Specific, I know. Thanks for reading!

Happy Sunday! xoxo

Saturday, July 4, 2015

7 Ways to Let Your Geeky Side Shine Everyday

Day 4 of the July Everyday Geek Challenge! Today's prompt is 'everyday geekyness'. Don't forget to stop by Dia's blog to check out her posts!

Ridiculously blurry photo, but this is me dressed up as Rosie and AJ has a Red Shirt from Star Trek.
True geeks know that geekyness is not defined by the 'big things'. How many cons you attend, how many facts you know, and the amount of time you spend reading/watching/stalking a particular fandom. Rather, geekyness is defined by the sheer amount of joy you get from your fandom.

And because we all need more joy in our lives, here are some of my favorite ways to add a dash of geeky to your day-to-day. Some are subtle, some are loud, but all are guaranteed to lift your spirits and show your obsessive side!

01: Wear a geeky t-shirt.

02: Carve time into your busy day for reading. Bonus points if you use that time to pick up an old favorite.

03: Post quotes from your favorite fandoms on facebook, tumblr, or just on sticky notes on your mirror.

04: Take something you need, and give it a geeky twist. I love the ewok hoods Dia's been fun, and warm too!

05: Make your next friend get together a movie marathon. Lord of the Rings, anyone?

06: Go 'behind the scenes' of your favorite fandom. I recently read Creativity Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the Way of True Inspirationby Ed Catmull, which goes into the history and creative process of Pixar. Learning about the inner workings just made me love Pixar more (it also made me insanely excited for Inside Out...).

07: Don't be afraid to use too many references. Sometimes, I get into a tailspin of referencing a particular show three times a sentence...but is that really a bad thing?

How do you show your geeky side everyday? Are you more loud, or subtle? Chime in the comments, on your blog, or on twitter, tumblr, and instagram using the hashtag #everydaygeekjuly. And don't forget to stop by tomorrow for Day 5, 'why classics aren't just for school.' Thanks for reading!

Happy 4th! xoxo

Friday, July 3, 2015

A Book For Every Chapter

Punny title game going strong! It's Day 3 of the July Everyday Geek Challenge! Today we're talking about the different books that have had major impact, or even just been favorites, over different parts of our lives. Don't forget to read Dia's post!

I don't remember how I learned to read. Mostly, I think, because I have no memory of a time before reading was a huge part of our lives. My parents, especially Mum, always read to us. Me reading on my own happened organically and as a way to just devour more books. But even when I was reading a lot independently, we always had a family book going. Sometimes it was a classic, or historical fiction and related to our schoolwork. Other times, it was pure fun. We would read for 3+ hours a day when I was little. I couldn't even guess I many books we read as a grade schooler, but here are some I've always remembered:

Fun With Dick And Jane by Pearson Scott Foresman. One of the earliest picture books read to me by my parents. By default, one of the first books I read myself. And the book I taught my cousin to read with.

Frog and Toad  and Owl At Home by Arnold Lobel. Both make the list of books checked out of the library nearly every week. Sweet, kind stories about the little things in life. And reading them older, tearjerkers (tear water tea, anyone?).

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. The first of our 'big' books, and definitely the most beloved. I don't know how many times we've re-read The Hobbit, but I know I/we've read The Fellowship of the Ring at least five times, The Two Towers 3-4, and The Return of the King twice.

From The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg. Road trip audiobook of choice, eight years strong. As kids, we always loved this book because Claudia and Jamie are sooo AJ and I. Only thing is, we have to have the audiobook. So much better with the voices.

Throughout high school, through now, I've dipped in and out of lots of genres. Classics have always been a major point in what I read, but the past couple years I've started to love genres I previously never gave chances to, like contemporary and non-fiction. Here are some memorable books as a young adult:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. No shame, I count myself among the Lizzy-worshippers and Darcy obsessed. But with good reason! If there's one heroine to base your life around, it should be Lizzy.

Becoming Jane Austen by Jon Spence. Yes, an author's biography might be a slightly strange addition to this list, but this book really was impact-full to me. I finished feeling so much respect for Jane...and with an intense desire to be as independent, quick, and individual. Her life story really is a great lesson in loyalty, doing what's right even when it's hard, and always following your heart.

Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham. Originally read in my quest for classy chick-lit, this book has become my life story in my head. Our heroine, Franny, is living in NYC as a struggling actress (it's not as corny as it sounds!). This book follows her ups and downs as she works hard, and doubts, and questions everything about herself, and figures out what love is. SO MUCH of what I've felt concerning skating and the legitimate-ness of doing it as a career was echoed in this book. And because of that it's been a huge encouragement.

Oscar Wilde said, "What you read when you don't have to determines what you will be when you can't help it." Words have power. And I am so blessed to have been shaped by books.

What books have been influential in your life? Share your thoughts in a blog post, comment, or on tumblr, instagram, or twitter using the hashtat #everydaygeekjuly. And don't forget to stop by tomorrow for Day 4, Everyday Geekyness.

Happy Friday! xoxo

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Friends Are People You Dress Up With, Apparently

Day 2 of the July Everyday Geek Challenge! Today's prompt is Geeky Friendship Memories. Don't forget to check out Dia's blog!

Growing up part of a pretty geeky community, it's not surprising that some of my favorite memories with friends have had plenty of geeky connections.  Lord of the Rings was my first fandom love, and for years that meant AJ and I played 'ongoing games' where we created characters and had to act like them every. Single. Day. 

I was always a hobbit named Rosie (who eventually grew up to marry Sam. Duh), who worked at The Green Dragon (the kitchen) and occasionally went on adventures with Legolas (my brother) through the woods. Proudly sporting our polyester capes, we would go on adventures (walks with Grandma) while dodging black riders (any car), and coming home with a large collection of walking sticks.

We had similar games on rotation through most of our under-10 years, with some variations but generally the same. For a very brief time we switched over to Narnia, and then had a phase of pretending the house was Hogwarts. Our bath 'robes' become our school uniforms, and doing science meant doing 'potions class', while history was usually 'muggle studies'. 

In the end, though, we always went back to our familiar and beloved Middle Earth. AJ and I even went as Legolas and Gimli for Halloween once.

And the dressing up didn't stop as we got older. When the first Hobbit movie came out, we pulled together a huge group of friends and went to the movies all dressed up.

A Hobbit's Take (movie review)
 And then there was the time we wore our Harry Potter uniforms to a 4H Awards Night.

Or when Dia and I bough coordinating purple superhero t-shirts at Walmart and insisted on everything them almost every time we went out together (until Dia lost hers, that is).

And then there's this past season, when my team and I had 'superhero day' at practice.

Especially when Dia and I hang out, we usually turn to something geeky. This past spring when she was making my prom dress, we watched Firefly episodes while she sewed (and I helpfully watched TV, obviously). 

And this Christmas, she gave me the most amazing hobbit-door necklace, which I've worn pretty much every day since. Such a fun way to honor my fandom and my friend!

For me, true friendship has always been when we can unapologetically obsess over something. I'm so grateful for all my friends, and the fact that we always get each other's references. Most of our conversations start with 'oh my gosh, you need to watch this show'.  While we don't always share the same level of fandom-love across the board, we do share the fun of expressing that love. 

Thanks so much for reading! Want to share your take on this prompt? Chime in on your blog, tumblr, instagram or twitter and don't forget to use the hashtag #everydaygeekjuly. Can't wait to hear your stories! Just a heads up, tomorrow (Day 3) the prompt will be phases of life through books.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Everyday Geek July

Woah! Can you believe it's July 1?? I honestly still don't feel like summer's even started!

I'm so excited to announce that this month, Dia of The Time Lady Geek and I will be hosting a blog challenge! In Everyday Geek July, we'll be making daily post inspired by the day's prompt. Of course, the best part is going to be the conversations that start with you guys! So feel free to join in one day, every day, or any day, with your own prompt-inspired prompts via blog post, tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, whatever! And don't forget to use our hashtag, #everdaygeekjuly, and comment so we can interact with you!

Personally, I'm so excited to get going! I think this challenge is going to be a ton of fun. I'm a bit worried about the commitment of blogging everyday, but I think I'll find a way to make it work. :)

Part of the prompt for today was a favorite fandom list! Honestly I just got back from my last 4-H TC today, so I'm going to keep this pretty short and sweet. Some of my favorite fandoms:

The Lord of the Rings, Pixar, and Sherlock are my tops.

And I love historical fiction and classics, like Call the Midwife, Foyle's War, and Jane Austen's novels.

I like Harry Potter now and then, although I admit I have to be in the mood for it.

And I'm currently starting to get into (and already loving!) Firefly and Merlin! :)

Well that's it for today! Tomorrow's prompt is Geeky Friendship memories, so make sure to check back in!