What’s Up With Otakon? FAQs About DC’s Anime Convention

Hugging a random panda bear at Otakon 2014!

So… Otakon just happened. This blog is all about expanding your horizons and trying things, geek-chic things that you might not really be familiar with. So let me ‘splain-to-you-the-Otakons…

Otakon came stealthily into DC like a ninja and maybe even alarmed some people who weren’t aware of this giant, Japanese pop culture-themed (really, anime is the biggest draw) convention that’s been in the DC-Maryland-Virginia area for a long time now. For years, it was in Baltimore.

Sadly, scheduling didn’t work out for me so I wasn’t able to go this year. Though, if you follow me on Instagram, you know that, at the least, I made it to the afterparty. I cosplayed as who else but Lottie Person from Snotgirl! Not an anime, but I swear that comic has serious anime vibes and is just waiting to get picked up by a major Japanese production group. My version of Lottie involved a Powder Room D wig (thanks for the tip, Onlinekyne!) and some accessories I already had at home, so it’s not an exact match. More of a… if Snotgirl was a geek-chic girl hanging out in DC version.

If you’re unfamiliar with Otakon and it sneaked up on you like it did me this year, I can answer some typical questions about it and cons (conventions) in general to help you get ready for next year…

Continue reading What’s Up With Otakon? FAQs About DC’s Anime Convention

Tetris That: Use Tetris Everyday and Make Life Way More Fun

You remember that one episode of The Simpsons, right? Where Homer loaded up the car with the Tetris theme playing in the background? He moved packages, and later baby Maggie and even folded his tall wife Marge in order to fit everyone into the car.

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Well, if you do it right (and not break anybody’s neck or long blue hairstyle in the process) there’s some real value in approaching life like that…

You know, like Tetris! *doom music*

If you keep the Tetris theme song and a Tetris mindset close at hand whenever you face a repetitive task, I think it can calm you down and even add some humor to whatever it is you’re doing. Kind of like putting a smiley face sticker, a Hello Kitty, or an amusing hashtag on your real-life moment. (Wait, I hope there isn’t a #real life? Now THAT mess should be illegal; that’s taking hashtags too far…)

Why does Tetris make everything better? Well, other than its cultural context–a super-happy game that almost all people have loved playing for decades, now… Tetris is made for that in any case. Tetris is the original fidget-spinner, the original addicting portable game. People were obsessed with playing Tetris on airplaines and in the office before you could even put games on smartphones. And that was before smartphones or even mobile phones ever existed. You can thank Nintendo (you know, the Legend of Zelda and Pokémon GO people?), for that. Their easy-to-put-in-your-bag Gameboy system made it possible. And then, there was the Tetris-splosion that put Tetris on everyone’s computers… After growing up as a kid in the 90s, an insanely fun game like Tetris is never far from your consciousness.

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But, flash forward to today… Continue reading Tetris That: Use Tetris Everyday and Make Life Way More Fun

Dowager Countess Brie Burgers

Dill and herbs on a toasted a hamburger with slices of brie.

If Dowager Countess Violet could have eaten a hamburger on Downtown Abbey, this definitely would have been it. Brie, fresh herbs and a toasted bun are so lovely together, you’ll be afraid to add ketchup. In fact, don’t. Just trust me on this one and try my geek-chic cheeseburger recipe. And rather than fries, I’m going to recommend some yummy, posh veggies for you, too.

You can finish this whole dinner in thirty minutes or so. (Don’t tell Mrs. Patmore we fed her family hamburgers, and in only a half hour!)

Where I got the idea

After years of watching Downton Abbey (thank you again, Julian Fellowes! Seriously, hashtag-Julian-Fellowes-right-now) I did not once, not ever think to myself, ‘Hey, this show needs some fancy hamburgers.’ Obviously, the show was great without hamburgers. Though, the many scenes with Dowager Countess Violet, (Aunt Violet to Mary, Edith and Sybil), and Isobel Crawley (Matthew’s mother) did leave me very curious about what they snacked on when they played cards or did puzzles and gossiped together in all those hilarious scenes. And then, we had the unbelievably fabulous family dinners with everyone in spectacular gowns, and the men in incredible suits. Even the servants looking on, watching the Crawleys dine, they looked very good. And that wasn’t just because of the talented casting directors…

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I also sat down for a few hours and made this once, while laughing hysterically. #fangirlproblems

Downton Abbey created a luxurious, refreshing vibe, right in our living rooms for years. And we never forgot we were also looking at a very close, wonderfully warm family seated around the well-appointed table. All that came together so magically.

Downton Abbey didn’t need hamburgers. But if they did need hamburgers on the show, then they’d need these herb brie burgers.

And, as a huge fan of the show, when I first made hamburgers using some odds and ends of dill and brie I had in the refrigerator, loved them, and wanted to find a good name for my posh cheeseburgers that captured the sophisticated, yet yummy homey flavor… my mind leaped to the Dowager Countess. The fanciest, most poshest dame I know.

Continue reading Dowager Countess Brie Burgers

Something Old, Rad, Borrowed and Bad

Blue embroidered mesh dress hanging beside yellow Rachel Roy dress with chain strap

I thought it would be fun to hook people up with some trendy, throwback, or otherwise awesome things going on in the world of geekdom and fashion. Here are my favorite finds for July…

And, I suppose… nice girls who are getting married look for something that is old, something that is new, something borrowed, and something that is blue. Well, I know that saying but… I don’t care. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Something Old

Bright chartreuse green cover of Snotgirl no. 1. Lottie Person stares ahead in a lime haze.
Jesus… I want to be so green.

Snotgirl is hardly old, but it did first come out last year. I am completely obsessed, OBSESSED, with this comic book from the creator of the Scott Pilgrim series and Leslie Hung (you *must* follow her on Instagram, by the way, her artwork is so le sigh… fabulous). Snotgirl is a beautiful fashion blogger with horrible allergies. Seriously, when that was explained to me in the comic book store, when I regularly deal with stupidly horrible allergies and keep up sort-of-a-fashion-blog (What blog? You’re reading it now), I thought I’d been bodysnatched, in… comic book form? Seriously though, I met a few other women who could relate to the social and emotional struggles of the green haired fashionista lead.

Continue reading Something Old, Rad, Borrowed and Bad

Glamour in Pokémon Go: How to Dress Your Avatar for the New Update

How to look rad in Pokemon GO

Glamour and glitter… fashion and fame! No—this could have easily been yet another reference to Jem and the Holograms on this blog, but it is not. Instead, believe it or not, for both fashion conscious, gear-head gamers and, you know, normal upstanding people, there are some serious opportunities to trick out your avatar in the new Pokémon Go anniversary update.

I’m talking about the cooler, far less challenging aspect of the Pokémon Go anniversary update that has nothing to do with egg timers, raiding or rare spawns. It’s the part of the game update that no one is talking about: the chance to be the very best, that no one ever was… looking good at all angles in that gym! Have you seen the new, improved gyms?! Gorgeous! And your headshot deserves to be right up there, looking better than even the Gym Leader. I’m telling you right now, anyone can do it.

Here’s more on the anniversary update and how to get your trainer looking good…

First of All, What Anniversary Update?

Trainer in blue stands beside his menacing Rapidash. His eight seconds of fame on the big screen are nearly up.
Never has a fiery unicorn been more manly. And another cool guy’s matching his jacket and Magikarp hat has got a great pose going on in the background, too.

If you’ve been able to download the big update (please don’t get frustrated, locked out of your account, then turn back like I almost did… it totally is worth it), then you’re seeing rounder looking gyms with cool team flags hanging from them, and when you click to see if the inside is any different—surprise! It is! It is completely different. Not only can you see all the Pokémon lined up in a gangsta posse pose, like they’re the magnificent seven, you can see their trainers standing beside them if you click on each. And then, in the background against the dome is a pretty baller looking action shot of each trainer, posed, ready to fight. That’s right, if you make it into a gym, your avatar’s face, at some point, will be freeze-framed in what looks like a mini high-def plasma screen behind all the battling critters… I think you’ve got about eight seconds before it fades to white and it’s the next trainer’s turn on the runway. Continue reading Glamour in Pokémon Go: How to Dress Your Avatar for the New Update