television

Why I’m Pretending Community Season 4 Doesn’t Exist

Yes, I eagerly awaited the return of Community last fall.  I shook my fist at the heavens and overused the #October19th hastag when the season was delayed until the spring.  I gleefully shared the epic season 4 trailer in the days leading to the premiere.

Me before the start of season 4

Then I decided to stop watching Community.

I gave it a chance.  Probably too much of a chance.  Right after the first episode of the season, I entered the “5 stages of grief after the death of the quality of your favorite TV show.”

Denial:  ”Eh, not the strongest episode, but it’s still early in the season.  It’ll hit its stride.”
Anger:  ”ABED WOULD NEVER EVEN SAY THAT RAWRRRR SMASH HULK RACHAEL WHY YOU NO FUNNY TV”
Bargaining:  ”If only the fandom better supported Dan Harmon.  If only we recognized that there’s worse things than cancellation.”
Depression:  *finishes an episode of Community*  *sulks silently while looking at season 3 gifs on Tumblr*
Acceptance:  ”Whelp, this show is never getting better.  I’m giving up and letting go now”

Honestly, we should have seen this coming.  I had a twinge of fear for Community after Dan Harmon was fired from the show last spring, but the fandom and I weren’t scared enough.

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big life stuff

Continuing My Life in Boston After Marathon Monday

I’ve been thinking a lot about how lucky I am to be unqualified to write about my Boston Marathon experience.  My office is on the edge of the city, about 8 miles from the finish line, so even in the midst of the panic at 3:10 PM, I felt the distinct security of being away from crowds and landmarks. My apartment is also a good distance from Copley Square, so I haven’t had to see normally bustling blocks of my city turned into a crime scene.

But I finally decided that I had to write, not because my experience is worth sharing, but because there’s so much that I feel like I have to say.  Instead my feelings have been manifesting in sporadic tweets and jumbled IMs to my friends.  Better to write something semi-coherent instead, even if it’s already been written down much more eloquently by others.

This tragedy happened in the place I’ve called home for the past five years, so a careful balance is beginning to form in my mind.  It’s the balance between  letting myself process and not over-thinking it, because if I think about it too much, it’s going to be hard to continue feeling at home in Boston.

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fashion & beauty

+5 to Style: Dice Jewelry from Eclectic Eccentricities

Fashion is all about expressing ourselves.  For me, my fashion statements can vary greatly, including:

“I’m a chic but serious businesswoman, don’t let my age and pretty shoes fool you”

“Yeah, I’m fashionably casual, rocking these Chucks and this floral scarf at Trader Joe’s without even trying”

“Yes, my outfit rocks, and yes, I am a HUGE NERD.”

We can express our nerdy style in a few ways, from gaining fashinspiration from our favorite characters in fandom to geek-inspired nail designs to licensed attire.  I’m personally the biggest fan of any nerdy clothes or accessories that let me fly my nerd flag without interrupting my regular style.

That’s why I was so excited to come across this dice jewelry from Eclectic Eccentricities by Bella Rose while I was at PAX East a few weeks ago.

Bella Rose creates stylish necklaces, bracelets, and earrings using a gaming mainstay: dice!  I’m already a fan of using pretty & sparkly dice in my D&D ventures, so I love Bella Rose’s colorful creations!  They’re just the thing to add a subtly nerdy touch to your ensemble.

Bella Rose was lovely enough to talk to Tilde Mag about the story behind her unique jewelry.

Bella Rose’s dice-spiration

My initial inspiration for the jewelry really came from my love of dice.  Ever since I got into table top gaming I’ve had a need to buy more dice. I always find so many wonderful colors and styles so I just loved collecting them.  I finally decided the best way to satisfy my love of dice and desire to keep buying them was to try making them into jewelry . This way I could have a reason to want to pick up a few dice here and there so I could make them into something I could wear and enjoy even more.

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world

Kickstart Gaming for Girls with Fairy Mischief

Here at Tilde Mag we’ve been talking a lot lately about girls being in the minority in the gaming community.  These discussions often center around how to hold your own on Xbox Live and building respect for cosplayers.  It may be silly and obvious, but the simple fact is that many of the hurdles women face in the gaming community would be a lot easier to deal with if there were…just more girls playing games.

Jay and Susie are parents of a budding nerd daughter, and they set out to do just that.

These parents are venturing into game design for the first time with the goal of helping girls get into more “gamer-y” games.  After noticing that their daughter Willow and her friends really enjoyed playing the card game “War,” they created Fairy Mischief.  This game has many of the same concepts and dynamics as War, but also teaches girls gaming elements that are applicable to more advanced games.

Susie explains it a little better in this great video she made for her Kickstarter campaign:

As a girl who grew up with tabletop games that didn’t venture much beyond the world of Milton Bradley, I can definitely appreciate the drive behind what Jay and Susie are trying to give young girls.  When I started playing tabletop games with my guy friends over beers in college, I had never seen a die with more than six sides before, and even simple concepts such as adding and subtracting points for abilities was foreign.

I was lucky to have patient friends to teach me these concepts in my twenties, but other girls who are interested in entering the tabletop world might not be so lucky.  As we’ve discussed here in the past, it’s a lot tougher for these girls to enter these types of fandoms as n00bs.  Because they’re not already experts they could be easily dismissed into the “fake nerd girl” category.

When I heard about the goals of Fairy Mischief at PAX East, I was excited and I knew this was something I had to get more girls to support.  You want to do something to help girls in the gaming community?  This is something real and tangible that you contribute today.

Susie & Jay are currently running a Kickstarter with the help of Luke, a partner at game design company Fun to 11.  The Kickstarter runs through April 16 and needs literally every single backer they can get to meet their goal.

Susie, one half of the couple that designed Fairy Mischief, was kind enough to answer a few questions for us:

Tilde Mag:  You created Fairy Mischief to help girls transition to “gamer-y” games. What challenges exist for girls trying to get into games that don’t exist for boys?
Susie:  We think the biggest one is that there are just more out there geared towards boys. It’s not that girls can’t play those games, but the marketing, the art, where they are placed in toy stores, is not always the most welcoming for a girl – especially a new girl gamer.

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film music

I Met Elijah Wood and All I Got Was This Crummy T-Shirt: How My Adolescent Humiliation Made Me a One Direction Fan

In 2004, I was really, really, really into The Lord of the Rings.

I watched the first two films, and finally the third after it came out on DVD (although I waited until I could get the extended edition, of course), almost every day as I did my homework. How I managed to concentrate on trigonometry while Elves were forging ancient swords and Hobbits were triumphing in the face of great evil is beyond me, but I did it. I had a life-size cutout of Legolas. I challenged everyone I knew to games of the Lord of the Rings edition of Trivial Pursuit. I was saving my money to buy the Evenstar. (I never bought it, which I still regret. Someday!)

LOOK HOW BEAUTIFUL THIS IS

I was in deep, y’all.

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books

Adapting to Adaptations: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries sadly came to an end last week.  Those vlogs were definite bright spots in my week.  Even though other exciting things are clearly coming from the Pemberley Digital gang, I have a hard time being quite as excited about it, as Pride & Prejudice has always held such a deep place in my heart.

When the vlogs first started a year ago, one of the things that kept me hooked was the constant wonder of where the story was going to take the modern twist.  Now that I can reflect on the complete series, I’m thinking a lot about some of the impressive risks the writing team took, the creative ways they perfectly conveyed Austen’s themes in a 21st century context and (as any fan of anything would) where I think they missed the base.

One of the things the Lizzie Bennet Diaries did brilliantly is that it focused so particularly on each of the girl’s stories.  I think this was the biggest triumph of the series, and that’s what really set it apart from other P&P adaptations.  So I’ve been thinking a lot about each of the Lizzie Bennet girls.  These girls’ plot lines touched me because they really spoke to my own current struggles as a young twenty-something starting to find my place in the real world.  The best part is that I know that sentiment exactly mirrors what Jane Austen’s book did for 19th century girls.

I kind of want to preface this “analysis” with a few disclaimers:  First, that I adore this vlog series.  It deserves all the success it has earned and I think it did a brilliant job handling a property so many people are passionate about.  Secondly, I am far from a Pride & Prejudice expert.  I’ve only read the book a handful of times, and never in an academic setting

Regardless of your opinion of LBD, I know we can all agree on three things:

This cast is stupidly attractive


(source)

Turning the name Mr. Bingley into Bing Lee was the most brilliant adaptation choice of all time


(source)

We’re all going to spend this spring trying to replicate Jane’s hairstyles


(source)

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books film music television

Find A New Fandom Through The Power Of Music

I love fanmixes. Without fanmixes I would never have learned about Belle & Sebastian and without Belle & Sebastian I would have been down several good friends, including one to whom I owe my entire taste in music during 2005-2009. I used to just trawl through HP fanmix livejournal communities and download all the mixes with really great lyrics and/or Belle & Sebastian songs because I had just made the amazing discovery that if people like a good band they also like other bands which are good?? Magic.

If I was cool at all during my teenage years, it was due to my music knowledge and that music knowledge was due to my nerddom. Right now I feel like it works the other way around; I’m a big fan of 8tracks, which is totally legal as well as totally awesome, and I keep finding shows I need to watch based on which mixes I like there.

LET’S DANCE. read more »


world

Gaming Like a Girl at PAX East 2013

Mainly through the fortune of the con being two exits down the Pike from my apartment, I got the opportunity to once again attend PAX East this year. In case you’ve never heard of this con, 65,000 nerds descend on Boston for a weekend of video and tabletop gaming, and it is a ton of fun, even though I only had time to do one D&D delve.

I did however get to cosplay as Jayne from Firefly (maybe gaming relevant because there’s a Firefly game coming out this year?):

In case you had any doubt that I possess no shame

Buy a new sparkly dice set:

These beauties are ready for some critical hits

Wear this adorable 8-bit hairbow from ThinkGeek:

Do you think I could get away with wearing this at work?

In addition to meeting cool people, some of whom we’ll be doing some features on over the next few weeks, I attended a fabulous panel, “You Game Like a Girl,” which focused on feminism and issues for girls in the gaming and nerd community.  I was so excited by this panel, because it really sums a lot of what we’re trying to accomplish at TildeMag, and I came away feeling empowered by what’s coming for females in the nerd community. You can check out the video here, the panel starts at 3:05:00.

Watch live video from PAX East 2012 on TwitchTV

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small life stuff

Nerdy Easter Roundup

Growing up I never got elaborate Easter baskets.  That’s because I grew up in a super Catholic family, and my mom felt like giving us a ton of candy on Easter would distract us from the fact that Christ Has Risen.  (To be honest, I kind of get her point.  Easter is the most important Christian holiday, and unlike Christmas, I never really understood its secular celebration.)  Bottom line, all my friends got a crap ton of candy, toys, and VHS tapes on Easter.  I got a chocolate bar, a packet of jelly beans, and a rosary.

So!  I was pretty psyched when my boyfriend and I started exchanging Easter baskets as adults.  I finally all the candy and awesome treats I always wanted.  This is a picture of the amazing robot baskets  we exchanged one year:

We got these felt baskets at Target, and they’re so cute and adorable and I love them so much.

Sadly, I don’t think Target sells the robot baskets anymore, and I had a really hard time finding nerdy Easter baskets, but I still found a few offerings that will help make your Easter a little geekier.

Chocolate Zombie Bunny from ThinkGeek reminds me of another famous malicious bunny from Monty Python

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fashion & beauty

Geek Lingerie

It’s kind of hilarious that I’m writing this post.  Me, the girl who didn’t buy underwear from a shop other than Target until the age of twenty.  However, during a recent search for new knickers I was inspired to look into geek lingerie.  Of course, it definitely does exist, and it’s mostly pretty bad, but there were a few panties I thought were worth sharing.

I actually really despise the concept of geek lingerie.  It kind of plays right into the “fake nerd girl” issue that has becoming annoyingly prevalent.  You know, the idea of girls who sex themselves up in a nerd context to get attention because it will blow the minds of boys who have zero experience with female interaction.

Obviously, though this actually does happen, this idea is extremely offensive to every type of nerd, male or female, and it’s especially hurtful for girls who just want to express the nerdy interests they’re passionate about.  I could probably write twelve posts about this topic, so I’m not going to get into it further here.  I’m only bringing it up because when you write a post that involves slapping nerdy imagery on women’s vajayjays, you kind of want to immediately defend the fact that there are girls who might want geek lingerie simply because she‘s into it.  I’m of the viewpoint that women can incorporate nerdy interests into your sexuality all you want, as long as you are genuinely digging it.

I could probably be one of those people if I just got over myself.

Galaxy Panties from ModCloth | ModCloth is already current favorite website to buy all my apparel.  Compound that with the fact that these panties feature space AND glow in the dark?  Can the galaxy contain my excitement?

DC Panties from Superhero Stuff | Simply classic.  Don’t worry, you can wear these under your leggings if you choose.

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Rachael