Starbase Indy 2010 - The Con in Pictures

We're capturing footage right now, but it'll take a couple of weeks to edit, render and upload, after which I'll post the video here at Born For Geekdom and send out email and facebook messages to all those involved in the filming. Until then, here's a sneak peek at Starbase Indy 2010 in photos. I'll also post a list of businesses we bought merchandise from and some we plan to buy from in the future. Support small business! Especially those run by your fellow geeks.

The band Five Year Mission played a high-energy show. If Weezer and
They Might Be Giants had a Trekkie baby that loved to host sing-alongs,
this is what that baby would sound like. Except, it would be five babies...
and they would be grown men.

You HAVE NOT LIVED until you've watched Galaxy Quest on the big screen
at a convention with an audience full of fans.
"By Grapthar's Hammer...what a savings."

Geek Knits by Keriayn! Aside from the Trek dolls, she had a Leela and says
she's working on a Frye as well. She said she's considering opening
up an Etsy shop soon. 

The "Sci Fi and Ethics" Philosophy Seminar, lead by three authors
and college professors. Starbase Indy has plenty of intellectually stimulating
activities and panels that host in-depth discussions. 

The Saturday Night Masquerade involves a costume and skit contest.
This was "Star Fleet Man" set to "Sharp Dressed Man". Good times. 

The Starfleet Command Awards Ceremony. What's that?
You didn't know that Star Fleet has become a real thing?
Well, it has. With rank, transfer orders, Academy exams, captains, admirals, and much more.
Well hang on, finish looking at the pictures before you Google "How to join Star Fleet"...
and by the way, there's also something called "Barfleet".

One of the many charities supported by Starbase Indy, this was a Borg Cube constructed
to be filled with  canned food and donated to Gleaner's Food Bank.
See, here's the thing about geeks. We're smart, we're organized, we're obsessive, and
we're dead serious about the idea of a utopian future...so it's RPG, costumes,
and geektastic seminars for a good cause. Check out Cats Haven, a no-kill
shelter for cats in Indianapolis. A very worthy cause. 

Just goofing around with my boyfriend.

Martial Artist and Weapons Maker Gary Strunk displays his handmade Klingon Bat'leths.
If you frequent cons, these are much easier to get autographs on than metal weapons and they're also sturdy enough for actual combat. Plus...they're just plain super awesome. 

NASA astronaut David Wolf thrilled us with incredible stories of near-death experiences
 during space walks, life in zero gravity, home videos from shuttles and the ISS, and what's
happening at NASA after all the government cancellations this year. This was my favorite panel.
Wolf talked about how realistic it could be to create artificial gravity in space,
the problems they're working on to prepare humans for deep space travel,
and how with more financial resources, technologically-speaking,
humans are a mere 20 years away from setting foot on Mars. In fact, this panel may
end up with it's own blog entry later.  It was truly stunning and amazing. Plus, he set his
home movies to Queen's, "Don't Stop Me Now". Big time bonus points.  

The longest autograph line during the convention was for David Wolf,
which just goes to show it's not just a love of film and television that brings us to the con,
we're all totally serious about our love of space travel and the future of NASA.

Audrey, Hellraiser, and a Zombie Stormtrooper. Don't question it...

Here are some more businesses and organizations we met at Starbase Indy 2010:


Mystik Waboose
Starbase Atlanta


GOT STEAM? A Steampunk Emporium
Nigel Sade


Michael Roney - Klingon Translator
The Lou Trek Show
Starbase Indy


No Basement in the Alamo - How Pee Wee Changed My Life

I can quote every single microscopic second of Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. Saying the lines from that movie is like breathing to me.

“Is there something you’d like to share with the rest of us Amazing Larry?” I say like the exasperated Pee Wee when I’m stuck in a roomful of murmuring people or a crowd.

“A scale model of the entire mall!” I may yell at the end of a grumpy tirade, just like Pee Wee does when he’s formulating a complex plan to reconstruct the theft of his beloved bike.

Aside from spoken lines, I may even give someone a nice long monster-like hiss when I’m feeling particularly cold and miserable, just the way Pee Wee does to a mugger in a dark alley. (Tim Burton, the film’s director, made his cameo appearance as the mugger. This was Burton’s first full-length feature and it was a taste of all the whimsy of plot and formalistic design yet to come.)

I didn’t grow up with this movie. It came out when I was a kid. I watched it anytime it showed up on television on some lazy Saturday afternoon. But I didn’t have the same Rain-Man-like devotion to it that I did to Temple of Doom or Aliens.


I fell in love with the movie when I was twenty years old and adrift on the sea of early adulthood.

I got kicked out of college halfway through my junior year for insufficient financial aid and found myself having to seek truly gainful, fulltime employment for the first time in my entire life. I had odd jobs before. In high school, I worked as a library assistant, both at school and our township library. The summer after I graduated, I interned at the prison where my father worked. (That’s another story for another day.) During my freshman year of college, I worked in the library reference department.

By worked, I mean I spent my eight-hour night shifts pretending to be Count Chocula on message boards for people who identified as actual vampires. They hated me. 

I knew if I moved back to my hometown, I’d wither and die of depression and lack of opportunity. As luck would have it, a friend had an out-of-state internship that started in January. She needed a subleaser for her room in the house she shared with several other girls. So, I packed up my dorm room, Star Wars posters, Xanadu and Falco records and moved into my first ever apartment.

I got a job waiting tables in the dignified American institution that is The Olive Garden. The eighty dollars I could earn slinging spaghetti on a Saturday night felt revelatory. 

Rent was only two hundred dollars a month, so I had extra. I could come and go as I pleased in my saucy red 88 Sundance. I could watch movies in my room anytime I wanted without bothering a roommate. I was free. 

Without classes, without supervision, with a job that never started before 11:00am, all I wanted to do with my free time was watch movies. Constantly. Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, specifically. Repeatedly. A brilliant and highly underrated movie about a man-child on a quest to redeem his stolen bike. The VHS cover called to me, Pee Wee Herman on his shiny red bike jumping in the pure white air…he looked free. He looked how I felt. 

Pee Wee was just the kind of fairy-tale, anti-hero, comedic genius that I needed in that moment. He had fortitude and strength of conviction, even in his lowest and most depressed moments. He was halfway between childhood and adulthood. So was I.

Sure. I had a five-thousand-dollar bursar bill to pay before I could go back to school, a seemingly insurmountable sum of money to me at the time. I didn't have a clue where to get started on that and frankly? I didn't care.

Pee Wee dreamed of his lost bike. He had nightmares of dangers, dinosaurs, and devils. I was silently stressing about the fact that I didn't even want to go back to school. It didn't seem to be getting me any closer to my dream of having some kind of creative career.

I watched the movie in whole and in part, with friends and alone, over and over and over and over again. It's the movie that best represents the year I was twenty. The year I became truly independent. All the terror and wonder of becoming an adult. Its soundtrack and mythology is lodged in my brain…in my heart. I think I love it the way some people think of nannies or kindly old aunts.

It only took a year to pay my way back into school, finish my undergraduate degree, and discover creative writing. But still...that's a lot of pasta, both served and eaten. 

Pee Wee found his bike and I found my life. 


New Disney Webisode Series Shares Rare Footage

Just in time for Mickey Mouse's 82nd birthday today, a new Disney webisode series is being released. It's called Armchair Archivists and it will satisfy all Disney geeks who happen to be particularly obsessed with behind-the-scenes information. I get all that I can from traveling museum exhibits, Googling and Blue-Ray and DVD special features. But I'm always looking for more.

The first video they share is the last footage Walt Disney himself ever shot on the Disney lot, and it's a film introduction he did when he couldn't be at an event in person. (He says he was busy filming, Blackbeard's Ghost at the time, one of my favorite live-action films from Walt's era.) There's something sad about Disney's apology for not being able to attend in person though...I guess it doesn't really help matters that Walt Disney looks an awful lot like one of my grandfathers, who also happened to be an artist...click on Read More to see the footage.


Happy Birthday Kate Capshaw!

I miss your face onscreen. Whatchya up to lately?

Anyone who knows me knows I love Kate Capshaw. And in a twist of accidental fate, I had a fiction story workshopped in a class tonight that involved the movie, "Space Camp".

Space Camp was a revelation to me when it was shown to my fifth grade class. A female astronaut who doesn't take no crap from nobody? Yes, please. My heroes were always the brains of the operation. The smart chicks who somehow ended up in danger. Or space.

Perhaps it wasn't accidental at all. Maybe subliminally, I knew there was cause for celebration. When I found out a few minutes ago that it was her birthday, well, I just felt like posting.

The thing I like best about Capshaw is her sass and her intelligence. Watch her in any behind-the-scenes interview and you get this sharp wit reminiscent of Katharine Hepburn.

Oh yeah...and I've also rambled on and on about her on my action heroines blog. She had this fabulous Lucille Ball thing going on in Temple of Doom that I don't think most people fully understand.

Leave Willie Scott Alone!

Anyway, wherever she is, I hope she's having a lovely birthday and I want to see her in something soon. If they make another Indy, and she doesn't cameo...there may be a riot somewhere in the Mid-West. And I just may be holding the bullhorn.


The Hobbit Movies - More Turmoil Than You Knew (with video from NZ)

The version I had growing up...
UPDATE: The movies will shoot in NZ after an agreement between all the parties was reached!  To read about the resolution, click here. To get a better understanding of the dispute and the impassioned opinion of a nervous LOTR geek who lurves her some Peter Jackson and New Zealand as Middle Earth, read this blog...

About this time every year, Jake and I dig into all of the Lord of the Rings movies. We watch the special features, the movies, read some Tolkien, and just generally geek out over the stuff. Maybe it's the holiday atmosphere that begins to arrive once Halloween is over that makes it just the right time to dig into old English material.

All the trades have been reporting problems with The Hobbit movies for over a year now. There were rights problems, Guillermo Del Toro had to finally leave the project as a director because everything had stalled out for so long and he had other contractual obligations. After that, we all waited with baited breath until Peter Jackson himself stepped up to say that he would direct the two films.

So now we know the films will shoot in February, the question is WHERE will they shoot? Why does it matter so much? Perhaps because New Zealand is such a gorgeous and unique landscape that it's the only one physically capable of standing in for the rich fictional environment of Middle Earth. Perhaps because the country's economy has so desperately come to be built upon the film industry there...because if The Hobbit films don't shoot there, chances are other films scheduled to shoot there will pull up stakes too. The reasons are numerous. Most important to this geek living in the American mid-west and having no practical reason to care...I find that the New Zealand film industry and the LOTR films in general have created a kind of hopefulness about film that probably hasn't been felt since the days of classic Hollywood and Chaplin. Peter Jackson, with his renegade style of filmmaking at the local level (his locality, of course) has become a new figurehead for a generation of geeks, dreamers and closet creatives.