Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Celebration Of Harry Potter 2018: The Best Costumes!

Now that I've shown you around the expos and merchandise, let's focus on the most magical part of HP Celebration: THE COSTUMES.


Guests come from all over the country to dress up and hang out with fellow fans, and every year the crowds get bigger and more intense. Of course most folks in Universal are NOT dressed up - the percentage is actually quite tiny compared to your average convention - but what these cosplayers lack in numbers they more than make up for with sheer ERMERGERSH factor:
 Game of Quidditch, anyone?


 Even the service dogs get in on the fun:

I love that fans are really putting their own spin on things, too; there were lots of fashion-bounds of non-human characters, like this Fawkes and Hedwig in the middle:

[Fawkes: Niky Sama]

Plus that's a young Professor Sprout [Hufflepuff At The Beach] and - behind them - Neville's grandmother, complete with fur stole and vulture hat!

Molly and Arthur have never looked sweeter:

And here comes their son Ron (aka little Noah), who's not only conquered his biggest fear, but is casually eating chips while riding around on it:


(This is the second wheelchair build for Noah; he had his own Hogwarts Express in my last post.)

On Saturday the Syfy Network was hanging around Diagon Alley filming cosplayers, so the corner near Wheasley's Wizard Wheezes was the place to be for great photos:

Monday, January 29, 2018

Celebration of Harry Potter 2018: First Looks Friday!

You guys, I have so much fun stuff to show you from last weekend! Universal's Celebration of Harry Potter never fails to bring out some of the best fan costumes, and the official exhibits aren't too shabby, either. (I'll start with exhibits and end with costumes, so stick around 'til the end!)

Since the crowds are a little less on Friday, that's the day John and I queue up for both exhibit areas and check out the new merch, free swag, and fun prop displays. Even on Friday that required around two hours waiting in various lines - and the halls were HOT this year, with only a few fans scattered around to ease our pain. Oof.

But! Thanks to our efforts we scored the exclusive new Celebration wand (only 1,000 made, so it sold out Day 1! Yikes!), which was not only in stock, but also a million times better quality and design than last year's:
 So pretty. The end is a shiny black "gemstone" - actually plastic, but very convincing.

Plus they were giving out this Knight Bus poster and pins for free:

These posters change every year, one per book. I'm excited that we still have all the previous ones; someday that's going to make one heckuva wall display.

And the free pins:

Of course the posters are already all over ebay, so just remember, folks: we got them for free, and could take several if we wanted to. (We only asked for one each, but others were clearly stocking up.) So don't let anyone scalp you too badly, k?

I also see the wands are going for up to $300 on ebay, so just so you know, they cost around $60. And no, we won't sell you ours. ;)

Now on to the big BIG surprise: John experimented with video this weekend! Here's a quick look around both expo buildings - including the Studio Tour, which took another hour's wait to see, so don't miss the end:

My favorite part is around 1:50 when you can see all the glittery goodness in the Weasley twin's suits!

This is John's first ever attempt at something like this (he's teaching himself iMovie), so I am super psyched. In fact we have plans  - crafty plans, you might say - for the future, so if you're on Youtube go subscribe, K?

Getting back to the expo,  you can see it's quite dark in there. The booths included a VR experience, stuff for Pottermore and the new phone game that just debuted, advertisements for The Cursed Child, etc.

Of course I also took pictures, so here are a few favorites:

MinaLima is always the best area, just for all the COLOR. They introduce new art prints and postcards every year - and the floor was especially awesome this time:

I found it interesting that prop baby Harry has green eyes - as he should - but they didn't give Daniel Radcliffe green eyes for the films:

Also I can't tell you how creepy it is that the first thing you see in this giant, pitch-dark exhibit hall is a crib under a spotlight with a staring fake baby in it. WHAAAAT.

The owl mobile over it was pretty dang awesome, though:

Friday, January 26, 2018

Jen's Gems: Beauties, Beasts, & The Great Period Debate

Time for more of my favorite finds from around the interwebs!

This non-Disney Beauty and the Beast photoshoot is so pretty it hurts:

Click the first link up there to see the rest of the photos and a video of how she made the beast out of spray-foam(!?). Just incredible!


Two things I love: big musical dance numbers and the one, the only, NPH. Put the two together, and you get one happy clappy Jen. C'mon, let's watch this one together - again and again and again:

The only way this would be better is if the camera didn't cut away to the judges' non-reactions so much. (YES WE SEE THEY'RE SMILING NOW BACK TO NEAL PLS)

Ooooh, here's some juicy intellectual controversy for you: one of my FB friends shared this article and came down on the "PROPER GRAMMAR AT ALL COSTS" side. (The fact that I just flaunted proper grammar in writing that sentence brings me great joy.) I'm obviously more in the camp of "by any means" when it comes to getting a point across, and found this fascinating - because it backs me up, haHA. Let's see what you guys think:

Side Tangent to share a fun/funny fact: When I wrote Cake Wrecks (the book) my publisher of course had a copy editor check my work. The editor found zero errors - BOOYA BAY-BAY - except for the fact that he wanted to change all of my all-caps words to italics, as is grammatically correct.

I convinced my publisher to keep the caps.

Score one for living language.


Over on Instagram I just started following Umberto Mulignano, tiny dragon sculptor extraordinaire. Check out this Deathly Hallows-inspired beauty:

And look at these little babies!

He also has an Etsy shop, but since it sells out fast better follow him on Insta to get the heads up on new listings.


WARNING, these next and final videos contain an adorable, talking, CGI spider.

However, if anything will help lessen a fear of spiders, it's little Lucas here. So you might give it a peek even if spiders squick you out.

[scroll down]

I must have watched this 10 times in a row. It's just so darn cute. The little "Hi!" Ack!

But wait, there's more:

There are a total of four over on his official Youtube channel. Go see, go squee. ;)

Hope these made you smile! Happy Friday!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Best Demon Clown Pottery I Could Find

About twice a year John and I trek over to Mount Dora to check out Renninger's "Extravaganza," a massive antique festival that almost defies description. It's like an outdoor flea market, except with old stuff, fair food, and over a hundred acres worth of shopping, which brings in sellers and buyers from all over the country.

Even if you're not into antiques, this thing is worth a visit. It's like exploring the junk-filled attic of Warehouse 13 in there, you guys, and you never know what you're going to see around the next corner.

Walking in from the car. This is one tiny back corner; the tents stretch out in all directions and go on seemingly forever.

Heading in through one of the many gates. A weekend pass is $15, or wait 'til Sunday and pay just $4.

One of my favorite games here is Find The Creepy, and lemme tell ya, that's a game that never gets old. (pun intended)

Demon Clown Pottery. For serving people's souls, I guess.

He wants a hug. 

Also your soul.

And I believe at the same booth:

Friday, January 19, 2018

Growing Pains: 4 Things I Didn't Expect As My Panic Disorder Gets Better

I never thought there could be downsides to getting healthier, but as I work through my exposure therapy and keep on treating on with my Hashi's and anxiety, I've hit some unexpected bumps in the road:

- More energy can feel like more anxiety

I've been tired most of my adult life; physically unable to keep up with all the little things I want to do. I can't begin to describe the frustration, the sense of missing out and loss - but then, for a lot of you, I bet I don't have to.

So once I was diagnosed and began treatment for Hashimoto's, a massive vitamin D deficiency, and a bunch of hormonal stuff in 2014, I slowwwwwly began to improve. (Here's some interesting stuff about Hashi's and anxiety, btw.) I don't lie crying on the couch anymore because it's too hard to move. I can actually get up to fetch that thing I need without five minutes of mental preparation first. And sometimes - sometimes! - I actually want to move. I want to get up and dance around with Lily. I want to power walk through Universal. I want to stretch and feel the outside air on my face as I dash through a crowd, throw up my arms, and jump around laughing with friends.

This doesn't happen very often, mind you, but sometimes.

And sometimes, when that energy hits, it is incredibly inconvenient. When you're accustomed to a decade of working quietly at home, and when you LIKE that hermit routine, content in your non-moving ways, the sudden itch to run and laugh and see new things and just plain MOVE is frankly terrifying. Now throw in a panic disorder, where every increase in heart rate or minor jolt of adrenaline has always equaled an impending attack, and you've got a real pickle on your hands. A sweaty, wide-eyed, trying-hard-not-to-panic pickle.

I have more complications because of my sleep schedule, since you can't exactly go anywhere at 3AM to power walk off a sudden adrenaline buzz, so I've had one or two panic episodes triggered by a perfectly healthy desire to get up and go. The sensation is just so new, and as we panic peeps know, any new sensation is prime panic fodder.

Provided I have a good outlet, though, this occasional new energy is wonderful. I like getting that itch in my legs telling me I need to get up and stretch, or go walk on the treadmill desk for an hour. (Also, after having it packed away for two months in the garage, WOW DO I LOVE MY TREADMILL DESK.) But at the same time, I hate change. I hate being interrupted from my sedentary, cerebral routine. I hate having to reorder my life to incorporate... [gag]... exercise.  So yeah, thanks, Getting Healthy. How dare you.

- One Victory Doesn't Mean The War Is Over

I'm still learning to accept this one: just because I finally managed to do something hard doesn't mean I'll always be able to. It doesn't mean I'm cured. At least, not yet. It's a war, not a battle, and some days I'm going to feel stronger and braver than others. I still have to keep trying, of course, but after winning a few rounds it hurts that much more to fall back into being afraid of the queue for the Little Mermaid ride, as a purely random, snatched-from-the-air example. [whistles innocently]

There's also the fear that maybe you'll never feel that strong again; that it was a one-time fluke, that thing you did. And if you have to explain that no, you're NOT quite "normal" yet to friends or loved ones, despite the victories? Dang. So hard.

- You Start To Feel Like A Fraud

Anxiety is a slippery thing; there are many shades to it, many varying degrees and even definitions. I don't have social anxiety, which seems to be the most common; I have agoraphobia and general anxiety disorder. I panic in situations where I feel trapped, or sometimes I panic over nothing at all, if I haven't been to the chiropractor in a while.* [More on that below.] That means my experiences don't line up with a lot of yours. I don't (usually) obsessively worry about things I've said or awkward social encounters; instead I lie awake fretting over anything that involves travel, or elevators, or the middle seat in a theater, or traffic jams, or tunnels, or broken down theme park rides, or... you get the idea.

So already I feel a little like the outsider in the panic community, but on top of that, I'm getting better. I'm not on daily meds for it, I often like leaving the house now, and frankly if you met me IRL you'd probably never suspect I have anxiety. At my best times, when I'm riding high and haven't had to take a Xanax in 3 months, I start to wonder if it's even right for me to talk about anxiety. Like I'm not in the club anymore, or that I'll be seen as gloating over my progress, or worse, that I'll be seen as a fraud only claiming to have anxiety for sympathy. (Ug.)

I don't believe any of that, for the record, but these thoughts do start to swirl around when I feel stronger.

- You Start To Question Who You Are

I've really tried to NOT be the anxiety blogger, you guys. I like to think you know me and John for a lot of things: for crafts and cosplay and Cake Wrecks and extravagant Harry Potter parties and STILL being into steampunk (fight me) and maybe some other thing I'd never have thought was memorable, but that stuck with you.

Still, when you live with a thing that defines your life, it's eventually going to feel like a part of you. Like it IS you. I mean, look, these anxiety shackles go with all my outfits now. They're comfortable. They're familiar. Almost everyone I know has never seen me not wearing them. They're ME.

Except, they're not me.


I hope.

I don't know.

Like I said, you start to question. Like, how much of my introversion is really agoraphobia? This foundational aspect of my personality: Jen, the introverted hermit - how much of that is built around my fears instead of my desires? I barely remember the person I used to be, even though it's "only" been ten years since my panic switched on overnight. If I wasn't afraid of anything, if my panic were completely gone tomorrow, would I be someone else entirely? Would I be some world-traveling public speaker? Would I want to be?

This is getting far too philosophical, but you get my point. When something foundational in your mental health shifts, everything shifts - at least a little. Luckily(?) the road to better mental health is a long and winding one; I should have plenty of time to figure it out as I go along.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, gang; whether you're battling anxiety or other long-term health issues. Tell me how you've changed as you get better. Tell me how it's changed YOU. And tell me if you ever see a steampunked treadmill desk, because I could really use some inspiration here. (Oof.) (And don't say "paint it gold and glue some gears on it." That's already Plan A. :D)

This post needs a picture, so I figure you can't go wrong with orange flowers.

*Now regarding the chiropractor thing: I have a messed up section in my upper back from the constant computer use, and it causes what I call "free-floating" panic. This kind of panic strikes fast, with no warning, and feels very different from a typical panic attack. I'll describe it below.


Instead of a typical panic attack, which builds to an all-consuming dread and a massive influx of adrenaline - which in turn sparks the galloping heart rate, light-headedness, etc - this "free-floating" panic seizes my upper body all in an instant, lightning fast, and makes it feel like I can't breathe. Obviously my heart rate goes up, because it's scary, but it's not the blinding terror of a typical panic attack, and I'm still able to think clearly. It feels more physical than mental, if that makes sense; like my chest and esophagus have been gripped by an invisible hand. Once I learned this "other" panic is connected to my posture, I devised a simple shoulder stretch (modified from one my doctor prescribed) that can stop it completely in about 10 seconds. (Those seconds still feel like a lifetime, of course, but I'll take it.) Even better, since I can stop the attack so quickly, I don't have nearly the amount of adrenaline shakes to deal with afterward.

If you'd like to try it, the stretch goes like this: sit up as straight as possible, inhale deeply, and try to touch your elbows together behind your back. Raise your chin, arch your back, and hold that scrunched-back position (while holding in your breath) for several seconds. Exhale, relax, and repeat. If possible, stand up and walk around while you're doing this to stay distracted. Distraction is key to prevent this from triggering a full-scale panic attack. (In the past this always led to a full attack for me, which is why it took me so long to realize they're different kinds of panic.)

Your mileage will vary, of course, but if you're on a computer a lot and have sudden panic definitely give that stretch a try - and if it helps,
get thee to a chiropractor. Once I start needing the stretch a few times a week I know it's time for my next visit, but happily I can last up to two months between adjustments now.

I hope some of you find that helpful! It was darn near life-saving for me when I first learned the posture-panic connection - from an Epbot commenter, no less - so I like to mention it as much as I can, just in case it helps someone else out there.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Visiting Figment & Epcot's Festival of The Arts!

Epcot almost always has a festival going on these days, and last week they started their second annual Festival of the Arts - aka, the "Figment Love Fest" I blogged about last year. John and I headed out on Monday to check it out, and I gotta say, the front entry display is A++ would photograph again:

Same Figment topiary from last year, different place - and I love all the giant watercolor rainbows around him.

 Although John thought the rainbows looked like their paint was peeling. :D

More rainbows in these fantastic Mickey and Minnie window displays:

Retro 80s goodness! Makes me wish they offered plush in these outfits. (They don't... do they?)

On the far side of the Fountain the living statues are back, this time with two revamped designs. You might remember I had a hard time figuring out the themes last year, but this time they've been labeled: Seas, Motion, and Energy.

As we were turning away I watched the Motion statue hop down from his stage and exchange his wheel for a young girl's plush Stitch. They took a photo together, and then she startled him with a hug:

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Better Late Than Never? Holiday Matsuri 2017, Part 2!

I know I already showed you guys most of my favorite Christmas cosplays from Holiday Matsuri last month, but wait, there's more!

 We'll just say she's more "Winter" than Christmas. :D

Look at all these gorgeous details! The fur collar, the poinsettias - and I love how she did her eye makeup with that blushing at the temples. 

HolMat really is THE con for big beautiful gowns, you guys:

In fact I only learned about HolMat through local cosplayers I follow online, who all see it as a can't-miss for the year. For a small con HolMat has a huge emphasis on cosplay, and was only the second con I've been to where I felt like the ladies noticeably outnumbered the men. (The first being Leaky Con.) 

Except when it came to the photographers, of course. Those are all men. Always. (Someday I'm going to write a post about this... but not today. NOT TODAY JEN FOCUS.)

Ahem. Right, 'nuff chatter. ON TO MORE PRETTIES:

Her cape was completely covered in (silk) autumn leaves! And look at that blue ombre fade!

Ooh, here's a funny one:

 I'm not sure this MST3K guy could even make it into the vendor hall, ha!

If you only follow one pro cosplayer online, make it Alyson Tabbitha:

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

DIY Star Wars Spinner Card: My Rebel Heart

I'll admit it's early for Valentines, but you guys, I needed a project. I've been lagging hardcore since New Year's, so out of desperation I started brainstorming crafts for the next holiday I could think of, and I happened to be looking at Star Wars stuff at the time, soooooo here we are:


 Ready for the big reveal?

Can I just say, I am so pumped this worked.

Plus this doesn't HAVE to be a Valentine; it could work for birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers... well, maybe not baby showers. But maybe baby showers? Or, since the spinner section is made separately, you could add just that part to a card you make yourself.

I originally sketched this as a necklace, but almost immediately hit some roadblocks in the skills department - or lack of skills department, I should say. I love the idea of a heart hidden inside the Rebel symbol, though, so don't be surprised if I revisit this idea later.

For now, though, LET'S MAKE SOME CARDS.

You Will Need:

- white card stock
- black card stock
- red paper (or card stock)
- glue stick
- black mini brads (the teeny tiny ones that look like this:)

Mine came in a multi-color pack from the scrap-booking aisle in JoAnn's.

- printer
- thumbtack or small nail
- scissors

This is a pretty quick craft, since John and I've done all the hard stuff for you. (It took a lot of hours of tweaking and prototypes - I'm still finding paper shards all over the office.)

So first, print out my two page template from the bottom of this post. Print the text page on white, and the circle page on red.

I have an alternate poem I like better down below, btw, but I was afraid to post it up here because it's kind of... awful? Funny, but awful. :D  I'll give you both options in the downloads, so be sure to tell me which you like better. (AWFUL PEOPLE UNITE!)

There are two of each template on the red page, enough to make two cards. If you're just making one card, though, don't bother cutting out the duplicates.

Roughly cut around the heart circle(s) and glue them to your black card stock:

Saturday, January 6, 2018

"The Greatest Showman" Is The World's Greatest Pick-Me-Up

I just saw The Greatest Showman, and fellow geeks, I have a new mission in life: to make sure every one of you who needs an uplifting, inspiring kick-in-the-pants goes to see it immediately.


If you've missed it 'til now, here's the trailer:

There's really nothing I can write here that would be a spoiler, because what you see in the trailer is what you get: a rousing musical about outsiders banding together to find love, family, and most importantly, pride in their differences. The Greatest Showman has no surprise twists or mysteries or "Gotcha" moments; the only really shocking thing is how they managed to make every single song so darn catchy.

It also has the distinction of being the first movie to have me in tears within the first 15 seconds. (Yes, SECONDS.) Not sad tears, mind you; just awe-struck, fist-pumping, grabbed-by-the-gut because oh-my-gosh-this-is-so-beautiful and I-was-not-expecting-this tears. Greatest Showman starts with a literal foot-stomping bang - you can see snatches of it in that trailer - and I want to see just those first few minutes at least 50 more times.

There are so many great anthems in this movie it's hard to pick a favorite, and many/most have this fantastic driving beat; the kind of fight-song staccato that rumbles through your chest and makes you want to get up and shout. Add to that the gorgeous lyrics about being warriors, being proud, re-writing your own destiny, etc., and, well. WELL.

I found out later (since I came home and inhaled every Youtube video I could on it) that this was Hugh Jackman's passion project, and it took him seven and a half years to get the green light from a studio. That passion really shows. In fact, if you're OK with some song spoilers, here's a video of Jackman getting so caught up in one that he actually hurt himself to sing it:

(In a later interview Jackman admitted he was bleeding by the end, having bust out several stitches in his nose. Eek! [But don't worry; there's no blood in vid.])

And here's another video from the same session of another absolutely incredible song, "This Is Me."

The directors consider this the movie's anthem, and I think it may be my favorite - though I'll need to see the movie several more times to know for sure. :D

Both of those numbers look and sound so much better in the film, but my gosh, do you see all that emotion? I mean, when she grabs Hugh's hand, and they're both crying? I'm talking BUCKETS over here, gang.

I'll add a quick caveat to say that of course this is a completely fictionalized and sanitized re-telling of P.T. Barnum's story, and of course there are things from the real history that have and should be criticized - but again, this is pure fantasy. If you're already planning to tell me why the circus and Barnum were bad and why romanticizing them is bad, then obviously this isn't the movie for you. That'd be a shame, though, because Greatest Showman really does have a beautiful, hopeful message about humanity. Not to mention some ROCKING costumes, gorgeous sets, and dance numbers to take your breath away.

I really want a Ringmaster's jacket now. You know, more than usual.

Speaking of dance numbers, I'll end with this final video not so much for the dance instruction (though I'm tempted) but because it has clips of the final choreography for Lettie's (the Bearded Lady) song. Let's all appreciate her KILLIN' those moves in that purple dress, y'all:


That kind of energy is infused through the whole movie, and you can't help but come away grinning and tapping your toes. If you've been lagging a little like I have since New Year's, then this is just what the doctor ordered.

So go see it already! John and I are already planning to see it again tomorrow. And maybe the day after that. (Sorry, second viewing of Star Wars; YOU'LL JUST HAVE TO WAIT. :D)

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Let's Look At Pretty Stuff And Play With Axes

I'm grumpy and tired and I haven't put on a bra in like three days (HIGHLIGHT), but I promise I'll have more interesting silliness for you guys soon. In the meantime, here's some prettiness:

"Devil Bridge" by porbital on DeviantArt

Ahhhh. Just looking at that feels better. (Can you believe that's a photo of a real place?)

And check out this amazing dragon pin from the early 1900s:

Those color fades in the wings are rockin' my world. Also that tail swoopy!

The past few months I've been cutting John's hair, which I'm sure explains a lot to our local friends (WHAT I'M TRYING), and is also why I've been watching a lot of Youtube tutorials on cutting hair.

 Anyway, I'm liking this one: everything we need is right there in the garage!

Plus I could really see myself venting some frustrations at the same time. What do you think, John? John? [looks around] John? Hey, where'd he go?

And finally, for the ultimate grumpies-killer, here's a German advertisement about a post-apocalyptic robot looking for Christmas:

Yes, the holidays are over already, yes, I still maybe cried a little. (When he goes up the stairs at the end - gah!)

Hope your week of getting back to work and real life is going well, gang, or at least smoother than mine. (Tomorrow, WE BRA. Maybe.) John's been out repairing some water damage across the street all week, so you know that old saying: "When the cat's away, the mouse does whatever the heck she wants, same as always, except she's hungrier now because no one's here to make lunch."

Pretty sure that's how it goes, anyway.

Monday, January 1, 2018

42 Geeky Resolutions You'll Actually Want To Keep

I think we can all agree: New Year's Resolutions suck.  Even if you manage to keep one, it's always something awful and tedious that no one - NO ONE - wants to do, like eating more greens or learning how Snapchat works.

Ahh, but you know what doesn't suck? Wish lists. Things we already want to do, but just need a little nudge and/or proper scheduling to get around to.

So I thought I'd put together a geeky wish-list and turn it into this year's resolutions. Stuff for us fans that could make us better fans. Stuff to help us learn more about each other, share the things we love, and maybe find some new things to love along the way.

And best of all, this list couldn't care less if you go to the gym.

Here's what I've got so far:

This Year I Will Read:

- 1 classic sci-fi novel I've never read before
- 1 new/modern sci-fi novel
- 1 graphic novel
- 1 indie comic book
- 1 classic children's book
- 1 fantasy novel that's more than 600 pages

This Year I Will Watch:

- 1 classic sci-fi movie (something made before 1980)
- 1 classic fantasy movie
- at least 6 episodes of an Anime I've never seen before
- at least 6 episodes of a sci-fi/fantasy series I don't think I'll like
- at least 6 episodes of an old sci-fi TV series
- at least 6 episodes of a new sci-fi/fantasy series

This Year I Will Play:
- 1 new board game
- 1 new card game
- 1 new video game (in a style I don't usually play)
- 1 new role-playing game

This Year I Will Write:

- An encouraging comment on at least one social media post per day (FB, Instagram, etc.)
- A fan letter to someone I know IRL
- A fan letter to someone I don't know IRL
- A compliment on the check for every good server - with an equally nice tip

This Year I Will Wear:

- A closet cosplay of a favorite character (even if I never leave the house in it)
- A cool hat 
- Something my inner 6-year-old would love
- Something fandom-related to work
- Something I've always wanted to wear, but have been too afraid to try

 This Year I Will Go:

- To a local museum I've never visited before
- To a new gathering of geeks: a convention, art show, local comic shop, etc.
- To a game night with friends (or I'll host one myself!)
- To a local craftperson's hobby shop: stained glass, woodworking, model making, etc.
- To a local Maker's Space, if I can find one

This Year I Will Make:

- Something light up with an LED I wired myself
- A fandom food (something mentioned in a book, show, or movie)
- An action figure or Pop Vinyl aged with craft paint (paint on, wipe off)
- A display for that collection or thing gathering dust in the closet
- Something silly that makes me smile

And finally, for the miscellaneous category:

This Year I Will:

- Compliment every kid I see wearing something nerdy
- Join a new fan page or discussion board online
- Buy or make one new piece of geek art, then display it somewhere everyone who visits can see

- Try a new skill: sewing, chain mail, sculpting, coding, origami, quilling, resin, etc.
- Try a new tool: Dremel, soldering iron, scroll saw, heat gun, etc.
- Ask a kid what their favorite show is, then watch at least one episode of it
  (Bonus points if you know the kid and can watch it together!)
- Recommend something geeky to a non-geek: a book, show, podcast, etc.

And just to go the EXTRA mile, I got John to turn the whole list into a handy printable for you guys:

Click to embiggen, then right-click to save the image to your desktop.

You'll notice I didn't include any suggestions for shows or books or movies, because that's where you guys come in. Let me see your lists! What should every geek watch, read, play, and listen to? (Er, maybe stick to just a few suggestions at a time...)

And beyond that, what am I missing? What else would you add to your geeky resolutions? Or what's your favorite already here? (I'm kind of partial to the "cool hat" one. :D)

Thanks for making it through 2017 with me, gang. Thanks for being my tribe. Every year I want to reach further and try harder, just to make you proud - and because I know you'll be just as proud of my failures as you will of my successes. So here's to lots more failure, more sometimes-silly successes, and more just plain trying in 2018. I love you all.

(Lily loves you, too.)

 (Tonk, however, couldn't care less. ;p)