Seven Hundred and Thirty

Everything about this is a good explanation of why we’re perfect for each other.

Well, it’s time to finally come clean! 730 days ago, I married my best friend and lifelong partner in crime – Markus. We decided to legally tie the knot on 12-12-12, for obvious, number nerd reasons. I also told Markus it would be really easy to remember our wedding anniversary.

My dad was the only secret witness, giggling on speakerphone at our local, extremely small courthouse. There was also a random resident on the balcony, who cheekily clapped after we kissed. It was really the silliest thing ever, but it was something perfectly private for us without schedules, relatives, and dresses. We wore comfortable geeky clothes as we drove to the courthouse in the rain (an omen of good luck that produced a double rainbow on the drive home!)

It felt weird to seal our bond with this simple doing, but it was really fun to secretly “elope” amid the craziness of planning a wedding. I remember we took off our wedding rings when we arrived at his mother’s house – looking back now, I can only laugh at our attempts to hide it. Two days later, we spent a whirlwind weekend celebrating with friends and family at our epic Star Wars wedding.

They say fate is a funny thing, and after meeting Markus, I truly believe in it. After seeing him on an opposing escalator at DragonCon (thinking he was SUPER cute), and then randomly linking back to him here in Florida as I tried to join the 501st Legion … how can I not believe in it? Out of all the attendees, he just happened to be two hours away from me. There are just so many things that point to he and I being led together. I am so thankful to have a total geek for a husband, a person who accepts me for my hours of Dragon Age playing and Cullen-obsessing; a nerd who launched astronauts into space; a bearded Viking man who I see almost 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, who helps me lead a business and doesn’t drive me crazy as much as I would have expected.

So cheers to two years of marriage, and eight years of geeking out together. I love you, Markus. Thank you for accepting my weirdness with your own.



PressStartTurkeyIt’s Thanksgiving here today in America, which generally means a few things:

  1. Turkey. A giant bird has been ritually killed, frozen, possibly brined, then cooked again.
  2. Seriously, more food. Today is about seconds, thirds … fourths? Impressive.
  3. Football. I guess it’s some game where people throw a ball around and touch #butts.
  4. Family. It’s that time of year when you make nice around the dinner table, for better or worse.

It’s certainly been one heck of a year in the 365 days since Thanksgiving. Last year, Markus and I joined my side of the family. My sister was just recovering from a recent relapse and things were a bit awkward. My nephew was OBSESSED with Minecraft and cried when he couldn’t defeat some sort of arch spirit or whatever in a cave somewhere … I don’t exactly play, therefore understand, Minecraft. Continue reading “Thankful.”

The Appendices

Oh, hey, remember me?

It’s been a really long few months. I admit that I haven’t been taking care of myself like I should. September and October in particular left me feeling ragged, magnified further by powerful migraines and chest pain. I had pushed my stress to such a breaking point that anything would set me off into a flurry of tears, tension pain, and hyperventilation. So … let’s just say I wasn’t exactly surprised when my appendix decided to secede from my body and I needed emergency surgery.

Continue reading “The Appendices”

‘Emma Approved’ and Why Web Has Won

The face of storytelling is radically changing thanks to the explosion of social media and closer access to the global community. One of the wonderful upsides of this evolution is the birth of web series, that is an episodic drama or comedy that is published through the web (no film or television.) Some of the best shows I have seen are purely web series, whether it’s The Guild, Dragon Age: Redemption, or more recently, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (LBD.) 

Last year, a company now officially called Pemberly Digital, took a chance on a unique retelling of the Jane Austen classic Pride & Prejudice. In their vision, Elizabeth Bennet was a voracious lady starting a webcam project to detail the story of her life – for educational purposes! The series, which has won several awards and nearly 2 million views on the first YouTube episode, was a resounding success for the company and cast, so when Pemberly Digital announced their next project, the internet awaited with baited breath.

Unfortunately, Welcome to Sanditon truly paled in comparison whether for lack of translation, characterization, or simply a weaker story (I lean toward the latter.) Pemberly’s third series, however, has been an absolute brilliant success that has not only proven their ability to perfectly and beautifully translate a story, but also shown the world how much they have grown and that they’re only getting better.

tumblr_mv6oxsqEdw1qlbyp3o1_500-2Yesterday the finale episode of that series aired, wrapping up several months of perfection from the cast and production team. Emma Approved, a modern retelling of another Austen classic, took Pemberly’s web series model to an entirely new level, incorporating social media accounts and corporate sponsorships for the characters and a fully interactive website/blog to further suspend our disbelief. The lovable, though misguided, Emma was an absolutely perfect modernization of the character.

Without spoilers, the story follows the original closely, and the chemistry (which ended up being real!) between the main characters can’t be matched. 10/10 would watch again. Seriously, GO WATCH THIS NOW!

Just Stop It, Internet.


Because #Reasons
Because #Reasons

I’m over this place. (I would say no fucks are given, but this post is chock-full of them.)

The world has turned terrible in the last month. At least, it feels worse than usual. I know that social media has magnified every bad thing in any city on the planet, but from the bombings in Gaza, to the death of Robin Williams, to the horrendous acts of ISIS, and now the unrest here in Ferguson, my hope for humanity is at an all-time low.

Lately it’s hard to spend more than 5 minutes on the internet without tiptoeing onto the ledge of spiraling depression. It’s overwhelming and awful. Reading about all of the terrible things pisses me off, makes me sad, and seduces depression back into my daily mental equation. Sometimes, it’s just too much for me. Continue reading “Just Stop It, Internet.”

#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”

Run, girl, run. It’s really living.

Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out.

The air is calm and cool against my skin. There is a dampness still clinging to the city after an early morning rain. I love these kind of mornings. Some people nearby complain to each other about the “dreary weather,” but this isn’t misery – this is rejuvenation. I slide a finger against my smartphone and hit play. The sound of music rings in my ears and the corners of my mouth creep upward into an appreciative smile. I’m really going to live today.

I set off down the street, my feet pounding on the pavement carefully. The last thing I need to do is fall. It’s around 10:30 in the morning so the convention attendees are already running around. I pass a few people, smiling as I habitually do to new faces, and receive smiles in return. My heart is beating harder and my legs are beginning to remind me that they don’t like to run. I ignore them.

I cross my first street and skip over the large white blocks as if playing a game. A lady in bright pink hair with bright red lips smiles at me. I hear her shout a “Woo!” as I jog off. I feel like a rock star.

It’s been nearly three blocks and my legs, hips, and ankles need a break so I slow down to a walk. My body is buzzing with every step and it’s an exquisite moment where I feel alive. Suddenly the early alarm clock doesn’t seem to matter; this is what I wanted to do.

I jog a few more blocks up to the large park, walking intervals in between. I decide to turn around after stepping up and down the local government’s staircase several times. I’m feeling good, I think. Let’s get a little crazy. As if in total conspirator agreement, my music speeds up and hits a particularly enthusiastic note. I start sprinting down the street.

Yes! I’m doing it! Run! The world is my oyster or something and I … My body creaks and my knee stings me with pain. Nope, nope, nope, nope!

I slow down and come to a stop, my shorts halfway on an archeological dig to my uterus, and my ankles ready to secede and declare war on my foolish brain. I try to quickly recover my breath and fail to suppress a stupid, goofy smile. For that one moment, I was a superhero. I was really living.

My music calmed in time with my steps and I headed back to the hotel. I passed more convention attendees. I smelled more than they did. I didn’t apologize. I marched back quiet and proud that at least today, I chose to live and it felt wonderful.

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!”