CONvergence is Upon Us!

Tuesday after work marked my beginning of CONvergence 2016. Tuesday night I learned more about Cinema Rex couches than I ever thought I would know. Carpet powder, vacuuming, quality inspection, layout, the history of couch acquisition. Daymn, Cinema Rex has their shit together.

On Wednesday I had an opportunity to volunteer for three other groups that I’ve never worked with: Logistics (hauling heavy stuff), Connie’s Quantum Sandbox (helping organize the kids activity room. ALL the arts and crafts), and Programming (panel room layouts, floor taping). It was a solid day that started at 9:15am and ended around 5:30pm. Afterwards, dinner in the hotel bar with, and then back home to pack up clothes, costumes, board games and bourbon.

I’m participating in eight panels this year (lolsob).

Thursday
*Balloon Hovercraft Activity
*Scotch and Cigars

Friday
*Oddities of Animal Transport
*Our Favorite Board Games

Saturday
*Road Tripping the Light Fantastic
*Face Value: The Truth is Trickier Than You Thought
*Space Plague and Goblin Pox

Sunday
*Sense8

The full schedule with panel descriptions can be found here.

It’s worth noting that my Friday, Saturday and Sunday panels are all 9:30am panels, which is the “early” panel. I also managed to draw a 11:30pm Saturday night panel, which is the latest panel one can have. That there’s some timing magic. I like my Thursday lineup. I think I should invite the kids from the Balloon Hovercraft Activity to the Scotch and Cigars panel. I joke, but that’s one of the things that I love about CONvergence – there’s something for everyone and for kids of all ages.

I’ll also be hanging around in the Skepchick Party Room and volunteering around con all weekend. If you’re going to be there, I hope you have a wonderful time! I look forward to seeing all of you nerds.

CONvergence is Upon Us!

Frivolous Fridays: Mobile Gaming

Frivolous Fridays are the Orbit bloggers’ excuse to post about fun things we care a lot about that may not necessarily have serious implications for politics or social justice. Although any day is a good day to write about our passions outside of social issues, we sometimes have a hard time giving ourselves permission to do that. This is our way of encouraging each other to take a break from serious topics and have some fun.

I am lurving the mobile gaming these days.

I dabble in some PC and console gaming, but I really hit my stride with easy to transport world-building games, collecting games and daily challenges – games that I can carry with me, and check in on periodically…say…over my morning coffee, in line at the post office or over lunch at work.

Continue reading “Frivolous Fridays: Mobile Gaming”

Frivolous Fridays: Mobile Gaming

The Mystery of the Missing Boardgame

This past fall I went to OmegaCon, a small convention that takes place in central Wisconsin and mostly involves a lot of pajama wearing and gameboard playing. About a month after the con I was in my office and noticed that I was missing my copy of Lords of Waterdeep. This made me very sad. I assumed that I must have left it at the convention, even though games very rarely end up missing at that particular con. With a shrug and a c’est la vie, I put it aside and figured I’d try to track it down or pick up a new copy at some point.

Come Christmas morning:

An board game box with fantasy warrior artwork and "Lords of Waterdeep" text across the top of the box. The lid is lifted up so a few unpunched game pieces are visible..

A open Lords of Waterdeep game. Not lost at OmegaCon after all! Quizzical look at the Hubby. “Hubby – why did you take my Lords of Waterdeep game off of my shelf and wrap it up as a gift for me?”

“No, that’s a new game.” He doesn’t offer any other explanations, so I deftly further the interview, “Why?”

Continue reading “The Mystery of the Missing Boardgame”

The Mystery of the Missing Boardgame

I don’t want to be Elfstar anymore!

Oh my FSM – the Hubby and I just finished Dark Dungeons and I think I tore some nasal tissue from all of that snorting. I wish I would have had a chance to contribute to the Kickstarter for this film. By playing it straight, the director and cast highlight the delightful, hilarious absurdity of the claims intimated by the original Chick tract. They even managed to get a book burning in. Good on ’em!

Front of a DVD case showing the Dark Dungeons artwork - a shrouded figure holds a dagger and one hand held up to the view, moving through a cloud of smoke.

Like Debbie and Marcie, I didn’t have any experience with RPGs until college. And the RPGers were definitely thought of as the most popular kids at school (hahahaha!). And like Debbie I did unwittingly chant spells from the Necronomicon…oh no, wait. That didn’t happen. What happened is I spent way too much of my meager college money on source books and costume pieces (LARP is so waaaaay cooler than pencil and paper nerdery), devoted untold hours to studying fictional lore, and spent six hours every Saturday night running around Winona State’s empty English hall brandishing index cards filled out with handwritten weapon names and stats and throwing rock paper scissors. And then going out to Perkins at midnight to devour french fries and bottomless carafes of coffee.

It was awesome. No calling Cthulhu from the depths as far as I recall. Although I did have this one Gangrel character that was decent at Animalism until…goddamned Setites.

I don’t want to be Elfstar anymore!

I don't want to be Elfstar anymore!

Oh my FSM – the Hubby and I just finished Dark Dungeons and I think I tore some nasal tissue from all of that snorting. I wish I would have had a chance to contribute to the Kickstarter for this film. By playing it straight, the director and cast highlight the delightful, hilarious absurdity of the claims intimated by the original Chick tract. They even managed to get a book burning in. Good on ’em!

Front of a DVD case showing the Dark Dungeons artwork - a shrouded figure holds a dagger and one hand held up to the view, moving through a cloud of smoke.

Like Debbie and Marcie, I didn’t have any experience with RPGs until college. And the RPGers were definitely thought of as the most popular kids at school (hahahaha!). And like Debbie I did unwittingly chant spells from the Necronomicon…oh no, wait. That didn’t happen. What happened is I spent way too much of my meager college money on source books and costume pieces (LARP is so waaaaay cooler than pencil and paper nerdery), devoted untold hours to studying fictional lore, and spent six hours every Saturday night running around Winona State’s empty English hall brandishing index cards filled out with handwritten weapon names and stats and throwing rock paper scissors. And then going out to Perkins at midnight to devour french fries and bottomless carafes of coffee.

It was awesome. No calling Cthulhu from the depths as far as I recall. Although I did have this one Gangrel character that was decent at Animalism until…goddamned Setites.

{AD}

I don't want to be Elfstar anymore!

It’s CONvergence Time!

CONvergence is an annual sci-fi/fantasy convention that takes place here in the Twin Cities. The 2015 theme is dystopian futures.

Banner from CONvergence 2015: DoublePlusGood

People have been hard at work all week to get the hotels up and in CONvergence shape! The Hubby and I will be checking in tomorrow morning to join the badge line and then start attending panels and cosplay watching.

Continue reading “It’s CONvergence Time!”

It’s CONvergence Time!

It's CONvergence Time!

CONvergence is an annual sci-fi/fantasy convention that takes place here in the Twin Cities. The 2015 theme is dystopian futures.

Banner from CONvergence 2015: DoublePlusGood

People have been hard at work all week to get the hotels up and in CONvergence shape! The Hubby and I will be checking in tomorrow morning to join the badge line and then start attending panels and cosplay watching.

Continue reading “It's CONvergence Time!”

It's CONvergence Time!

Cosplay: We Made A Thing Today!

One of my favorite things about CONvergence -and of which there are many – is all of the cosplay. The Hubby and I love to people-watch, and we like to dress up when it’s creative and convenient. This year we decided that we had the time and energy to put together a few costumes. We spent yesterday planning specifics and shopping, and we made some amazing finds. I’m not going to put up photos of the complete costumes until CONvergence weekend, but here are the descriptions:

The Belcher Family
Tina and Louise Belcher from Bob’s Burgers – Aaron is repurposing a wig from a previous V for Vendetta costume for Tina, and he has a pair black thick-framed glasses that will serve.  We found a simple blue skirt, blue t-shirt, and yellow barrette for the him at Target. Black high-top Converses came from Famous Footwear. The retro tube socks will be picked up from Sox Appeal tomorrow. We had a bit more of a challenge finding a green dress for my Louise. There was nothing at Target, Savers or TJ Maxx, but then we lucked out at the Dress Barn: Kelly green with sleeves on the clearance rack, only one left AND in my size, 35% off. SCORE! Pink bunny ears hat ordered from Etsy. Black flats with strap from Famous Footwear. Continue reading “Cosplay: We Made A Thing Today!”

Cosplay: We Made A Thing Today!

CONvergence Programming Is Announced!

I’m very excited for CONvergence this year. Not only is it my first year as an Invited Participant, but I made it onto FIVE panels, including an author reading which I’m organizing (more on that below). Our fearless SkepchickCon organizer and CONvergence volunteer, Melanie Mallon, has been busting her butt for the past several months to help ensure that we are going to have awesome programming, including some killer science, skepticism and social media panels.

Here are mine:

Food Allergies At Con: How to Cope – You have a food allergy, yet are trying to survive from the limited opportunities at CONvergence: how do you cope? What can you safely bring, keep, and prepare in a hotel room? Panelists: Brianne Bilyeu, Richard Wielgosz, Karl Tingelstad, Marie Porter, Renee Petersen

Real Monsters – Reality is stranger than fiction. The deep seas and uncharted lands hold unimaginably bizarre creatures. This panel explores some of the strangest, ugliest, and most unlikely creatures known to live. Panelists: Brianne Bilyeu, Ryan Consell, Matt Kuchta, Siouxsie Wiles, PZ Myers

It’s (Not) Written In The Stars – We’ll explore the myths and beliefs of astrology and why some people still find it convincing in the modern age of science. Panelists: Jason Thibeault, Brianne Bilyeu, Dan Berliner, Matt Lowry, Nicole Gugliucci

Kids Ask a Scientist – Our panel of scientists will answer questions, with the answers geared for the 12-and-under set. Panelists: Brianne Bilyeu, Camille McAloney, Nicole Gugliucci, Siouxsie Wiles, Lori Fischer

Skepchick and Freethought Bloggers Author Reading – Join the bloggers of Skepchick and Freethought Blogs as they share their favorite original writings. Topics may include science, social justice, atheism, skepticism, art, online community, blogging and random geekery. Panelists: Brianne Bilyeu (mod)

I’m geeking out over Real Monsters because Holy Shit Weird Awesome Nature!!! I’m already getting annoyed (in the good way) about the anti-astrology panel, and Food Allergies will be interesting (plus I’m excited about getting to share a panel with the Evil Cake Overlord). I’m probably most intimidated by Kids Ask A Scientist because kids ask weird shit and you can’t just throw out “Rayleigh Scattering” and leave it at that when they want to know why the damn sky is blue. The author reading is my baby.I’m emceeing 10-15 bloggers (including me) who will each read one of their favorite original writings, and they only get 3-5 minutes each. It’s going to be a fast-paced bonanza of Skepchick and FtB readings.

At the time of this writing there are FORTY-SIX panels tagged as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). 46, y’all. That gives me such a happy…I can’t even describe it.

You can see the full schedule here. It’s on Sched, which means you can create a profile, create a customized schedule of the panels you want to see, and take a peek at what your friends are signing up for.

Click here to register for CONvergence. Or click on the giant banner below. Either way, really.

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CONvergence Programming Is Announced!

Sims Cosplay

I play Sims3 – my “best friend” got me into it and I just get drawn in for hours trying to improve my skill levels and find rocks and meet objectives, and fulfilling wishes and goals, juggling multiple players (but I haven’t picked up the Pets expansion yet…), tracking down celebrities, fishing, and putting additions onto my houses. So yeah, thanks “best friend”.

But all of that also means that I got a big happy over this cosplay.

SIMS Cosplay

Image shows five people cosplaying Sims, with various outfits and mood diamonds over their heads and holding Simlish speech bubbles.

I especially like the “nudity block” – tee hee! Seen on Being A Geek on Facebook

Sims Cosplay