#FLtoGenCon : 32 Hours of Commuting

Because we’re crazy, Markus andI decided to drive to GenCon – the greatest four days in gaming! It’s a 12-hour journey to our friend’s house in Nashville, and then just another 4 or so hours to Indianapolis. We tried to keep up with tweets along the way (don’t worry – we were passengers when we tweeted) using the hashtag #FLtoGenCon. At one point, I even started a trivia game with other GenCon travelers. If you missed the journey, here it is. Next year, we’ll use the hashtag more.

Continue reading “#FLtoGenCon : 32 Hours of Commuting”

Growing Up GenCon


My hands are clammy and continue to tug at the bottom of my skirt. It took me four weeks and seven stores before I found a skirt that even roughly matched those suitable for a day of class. My wool sweater stifled me in the heat of the convention, no doubt worsened by my nervousness, and the white Oxford shirt scratched beneath. Why did I decide to wear this in the summer heat of Indianapolis? I had just spent an hour attempting to hand-stitch my Ravenclaw patch onto the just-arrived-from-the-internet robes, but ended up safety pinning it to the black cloth before leaving the room. Continue reading “Growing Up GenCon”

Be Proud.

NeilWhoahI listened to an amazing podcast the other day from the Morning Coach series. In it, JB Glossinger talked about sharing the positivity and negativity in life. He encouraged “you” to tell the world when you were having a great success. This  is opposite to what I was taught growing up. “Stop showing off, Andrea,” my mom would politely intone as I displayed a theatre award from my school. I never had much self-confidence as a younger adult, but as I have come into my own in my 20s; I’m finally feeling like a confident, successful woman.

So I want to share with you some happiness, some positivity, and some success. I know in reading my own posts that I generally post about the pub I own or my weight/depression. When I feel down and start to tread the slippery slope of depression, I turn to writing to work through my negativity and receive reassurance from you guys. Even though only a few people read these blogs, the support I receive via comments, tweets, etc., is better than any medicine I could afford.

Back to the podcast, JB explained that we should be happy to share the success in our life – he described it as providing a light for others to follow out of the darkness. And then when we are in the darkness, we can follow that light from others. This really rang home for me. In my darkest times, it’s always an encouraging message from strangers that bring me back to even ground. I don’t think most people realize the power of just one tweet but when you’re struggling with depression and in “the low” – it’s hard to feel anything but encouraged when your phone lights up with a message full of love. <3

With that said, and in an effort to focus on positivity, here’s what I’m happy about RIGHT NOW! 

  • I’ve lost 5 pounds since #BecomingShepard – I’ve tracked daily on my FitBit, worked out, and stayed true to my nutrition, the occasional tater tot aside. I’ve also cut down on my alcohol consumption and haven’t skipped a single workout. 🙂
  • I own a geek pub at 28 years of age. I often have to be reminded that this isn’t a usual feat and rather something I should be proud of, so here it goes – I OWN A FUCKING PUB THAT’S AWESOME AND AWESOME GEEKS GET THEIR GEEK ON THERE! Sure, I have a lot of trolls and assholes in its wake but on the majority, I have a great group of regulars that make me happy to work long hours and a fantastic staff that I don’t mind sharing 90% of my life with each week.
  • I have really awesome friends. I have friends behind me from all corners of the globe who I’ve met just over the last year. They’re amazing geeks doing amazing things and I’m so honored to have their encouragement and love from afar.
  • My husband is pretty cool and let’s face it – that Star Lord costume is the sexiest. I’m very happy that despite being told this bar would ruin our marriage, we work together and love each other more than ever. Marry your best friend because if the friendship isn’t there, love has a harder time of overcoming the obstacles life dishes out.
  • I get to see all of my friends at GenCon in just a couple of weeks! I can’t help but be anything except excited at the prospect of all-night gaming, hugging friends I haven’t seen since last August, and meeting even more nerds like me.

Be proud and leave that smile on your face. Tell me what you’re happy about and share your success. I would love to hear it. 🙂

The Guardians of the Galaxy Screening!

10489856_10101702398471767_6126923288228522261_nYesterday I had the awesome opportunity to attend a special screening of the new Guardians of the Galaxy flick, thanks to the lovely people at Disney Parks Blog. This is our second DPB meet up ( the first for the Monstrous Summer 24-hour Disney party.) If you haven’t applied for one of their events, you should keep an eye out because they’re wonderful. We closed down the pub Saturday night so we were running on four hours of sleep when we arrived at Downtown Disney to check out the film. Markus was very happy to debut his Star Lord costume for the first time, and I got to wear one of my punny GotG reference shirts. I was a little too tired to venture into my Rocket Raccoon costume so that’s saved for GenCon in a few weeks.

When we got to the theater, the Disney Parks Blog team did a great job of making everyone feel awesome with free popcorn and drink tickets, and limited-edition 3D glasses. The glasses, themed after the different characters from the film, are really solid and comfortable. They’re meant to be kept! After obtaining our wristbands, we stopped for photos in front of the large cardboard movie poster. Markus was pulled away for pictures with fellow attendees and the media staff. It was really fun seeing all of hard work pay off as I watched (and swooned) from the sidelines. The blog team had cute costumes as well, including this awesome AWESOME MIX VOL 1 tape costume. Continue reading “The Guardians of the Galaxy Screening!”

Of Bars, Birthdays, and Blood Infections


Last Thursday (Gemini-Cancer cusp baby!) I turned 28, which means I’m two years closer to 30 and I also need to shut the fuck up about getting old because I’m still in my 20s (so you can save the comments now.)

Things have been insane lately! I opened my geek bar and it has consumed my life, but honestly, it’s fucking awesome. I have one day off each week, when I binge on television shows, video games, and the ability to be naked all day. It’s FANTASTIC. But every other day, I get to drive to the pub with my husband and work on our dream just a little bit more. We’re broke; we’re exhausted; and we have more laundry than teenagers, but it is so much fun. It’s really been amazing and we have an outstanding staff who have become family in less than a month. Continue reading “Of Bars, Birthdays, and Blood Infections”

I’m Having a Baby (No, I’m Not Pregnant)

I seem to experience this particular situation more frequently these days, which tells me that I’m (ew) getting older. The situation is another person finds themselves pregnant and then for the next nine months, my social media feeds and text messages are flooded with information, pictures, and fruit-to-baby comparisons all about her pregnancy. I find it annoying because I’m just not on the “baby mode” level in my life RPG yet.

But I’m having a baby.

I feel like I’ve been pregnant for months, because this baby has been taking a toll on me. I’m mentally exhausted; my body is physically drained all the time. My feet are tired; I’m spending money on countless daily trips to prepare for the big day; and I talk about it all the time.

Ohthe baby is my bar.

I want to half-heartedly apologize to my friends and the readers of this blog (still unconvinced that they exist!) for talking about, posting about, complaining about, and freaking out about my upcoming pub 24-7. My life has been consumed by building this business, my absolute first startup and certainly the first brick-and-mortar place. Starting a pub has been extremely challenging, but the last two years have taught me so much and I’ve been working really hard to level up my entrepreneurship talent tree to get that end game move – “Own a Successful Business!”

So while I am apologizing (sort of), I’m also not because I am completely and utterly excited as hell to finally see this dream come to fruition. When I was 16 years old, talking about opening a Lord of the Rings-themed restaurant called “The Grey Havens”, I never suspected I would be where I am today – just weeks away from birthing a 3,900 square foot beauty out of my business vagina. Yep, I went there.




Take Me Back to Those Chat Room Days

[Based on my news article for Kicktraq. You should give their site some love!]


Somebody else remembers this!
Somebody else remembers this!

Let’s take a trip back to 1998 and 12-year-old me, a girl whose room was adorned in ‘Nsync posters from Tiger Beat, beanie babies, and printed Star Wars photos. My mother used to tell me I’d make a great lawyer because I could spin a pretty persuasive argument, but I chose to instead put those skills to use in AOL chatrooms. That sounds really creepy, right? I would spend hours with people writing out blocks and blocks of text, describing my character’s feelings, dialogue, and the environment around us.


I still remember my first major character – Aurelie Renault. She was a courtesan at the Moulin Rouge, madly in love with Christian, who was a total dick, by the way. We created GeoCities sites (OH YEAH!) for our characters and it was a really involved storyline. There was nothing creepy or 18+ about it; it was just pure writing. A group of five of us strangers came together and created a story where everyone could play a part in figuring out the main plot and how things ended up. I played in all kinds of games, including Phantom of the Opera to Braveheart to Star Wars. Damn, I miss those days! And much like intense storytelling over long periods of time, you became invested in the story. Instead of having a bossy DM or feeling frustrated that you weren’t able to creatively steer the adventure, it became a truly collaborative effort where everyone’s input enriched the game experience. 

But as gaming evolved and my tastes revolved more around shooting bad guys in Goldeneye, I got away from storytelling. The chatrooms disappeared after becoming unsafe from random penis pictures, and I haven’t found anything quite like it since then.

Continue reading “Take Me Back to Those Chat Room Days”

The Gender Agenda

My inner 12 year old is screaming right now.
My inner 12 year old is squealing with joy right now.

I remember being treated to McDonald’s as a kid after school or on the weekend because at the time, fast food wasn’t as terrifyingly unhealthy for you like today. Trans fat for everyone, baby! Gimme dat Happy Meal.

It was the best meal ever because not only did I get french fries (and seriously, FYEAH FRENCH FRIES, AM I RIGHT?), but I got a freaking toy, too! We would drive up in our rad Aerostar van and my parents would let me order, which made me feel like a total grown-up and resulted in me beaming at them for instilling so much responsibility in me. It was kind of a big deal. But the absolute best part was the TOY. When we pulled up to the speaker, I would squint and strain my eyes in order to see which awesome toy collection they were currently carrying. I remember being particularly obsessed with the Barbies and the mini Beanie Babies. I wasn’t really into toy cars, so I never cared for the Hot Wheels collection. But in all honesty, I never remember thinking one way or the other about ordering the “boy” toys instead of the “girl” ones. It never occurred to me that I couldn’t have the former, but they just weren’t as cool as the girl ones (in my 12-year-old opinion.) Continue reading “The Gender Agenda”

“I Should Go” – A Mass Effect Parody

Editor’s Note: Thank you for the overwhelming response! I am so humbled to share my work with all of you and sincerely appreciate your kind words and encouragement. <3 We should be shooting a video soon! Lyrics are posted on SoundCloud.

When I was little, I dreamed of becoming a singer. I was always cast as the mother or the solid alto for the chorus. I was too tall, too mature, and my voice was too deep for those leading ladies. (Blah!) I immediately became good friends with all of the sopranos in the department, who loved that I could help them rehearse their parts while I crooned the male notes. Eight years ago, I wrote my first song parody for the inaugural Queen of the Geeks pageant at GenCon. I, along with my superhero alter-ego Deodorant Dame, took home the crown with an a cappella rendition of “Why Won’t You Just Bathe? – a play on “Why Won’t You Behave?” from Kiss Me Kate. Over time, I’ve written a handful of mini-song parodies while commuting or showering, but this is the first time I’ve been able to make something happen with one.

Screen Shot 2014-03-09 at 10.21.57 AMYou’ve probably heard “Let it Go” from Disney’s Frozen. I know I’ve heard and sung it 200+ times, so it was really easy for me to get excited when I was driving along and accidentally sang “I should go!” instead of “Let it go.” The reaction, a result of too many hours playing Mass Effect, became a force of nature and the song was written overnight. I tried recording the song for almost 8 hours at home but by the end of it, I had torn up my voice, annoyed my neighbors, and almost thrown my Mac out onto the lawn due to latency woes. Enter Chuck and his wonderful wife Christine, two friends from my geeky costuming circle. Chuck has a band, Sci-Fried, and apparently a recording studio! They opened their arms to me for a morning of the most terrifying and thrilling fun I have experienced. Continue reading ““I Should Go” – A Mass Effect Parody”