I Moved!

I mean, you can if you need to.
Never fear! I'm transitioning to www.audreybrown.net.

Born For Geekdom isn't going anywhere. It'll stay put. You can read through the archives anytime you want. We're going to take Born For Geekdom to a blog farm upstate, where it can play ALL DAY LONG with all the other blogs! It'll be happier there. I promise. 

Born For Geekdom shall stand as an eternal testament to my long, languishing bouts of grad school/freelance journalist-era depression, my strangely aggressive movie reviews (Bitter Bonnie is a frustrated writer/director!) and all the overbearing feminist opinions of my early twenties you can handle!


I Think I Have Fangirl Burnout

I don't think I want to be "Born For Geekdom" anymore. I think I need a really long break.

Am I a geek? Yep. Will I always be one? You know it. But I think there's more to life. When I started self-identifying that way publicly, years ago, it had a different tone. Now, to me, my place in it feels shrink-wrapped, commercialized and inauthentic to who I am on a daily basis.

I used to say, "I suffered for my geekdom" because it was true. That statement used to feel so important to me as a part of my story. Now I think, "So what? Do I really want to carry around the mantle of having suffered and make it 'my thing'?"

I used to feel liberated by my geekdom. Now I feel a sort of consistent pressure to prove how much I know about movies and superheroes and blah, blah, blah. Being a geek, for me, used to mean ducking out of that rat race. I don't think anything has changed about the culture I love so much, I think I'm just situated incorrectly within it at the moment. Or did it shift? Did anyone else feel it move just an inch or so under our feet?

I'm not one of those, "Boo! Nothing should ever change!" people either. I'm really not.

Let me be absolutely clear, I support the movement of geeks and nerds embracing their true identities, especially my fellow women. I'm still for the cause. All the way. 

But...there's more out there. We all know this. I suspect that none of us think our online identities or the time we spend at cons are the sum total of who we are. It's a part of who we are. Right? We are telling young girls that...right? 

If we're not, we're making a mistake. A big one that young girls (and young boys, for that matter) are going to pay for down the line. There's no difference between an overly sexualized commercial culture that makes girls feel pressured to be something they're not so they'll spend money and an overly sexualized commercial culture that makes girls feel pressured to be something they're not while wearing a Harry Potter/Star Wars/Dr. Who costume so they'll spend money.

We get that, yes? We're not teaching them to swoon over men and be obsessed with boys, just in a context we're more comfortable with, I hope.

Are we encouraging the young women in our lives by showing them examples of female sci-fi writers or other women in the industry? Are we pointing out when a beloved geek culture film or TV show fails the Bechdel?

Who is on Death Star watch? We're not building one of those, right?

I'm more than my Netflix queue. I'm more than my tattoos and my t-shirts and my comic books and my movie collection and the cons I attend and the trivia I can cite. I can use my geek powers for good. I can parlay them into doing something, making something or helping somebody. We should be advertising that part of the geek job description. Not just running around and seeking approval or attention or talking about how cute Han Solo is, I hope. Not just forking over dollars. Not just slapping the label "empowering" on something and then behaving the way that the rest of the world behaves about everything else.

I think I'm experiencing fangirl burnout. Has this ever happened to you? Is there something wrong with me or do I just need to shift gears for a little while and do something else?

Maybe it's my age. Maybe it's the fact that I "fangirled" as a living for so many years. Maybe I'm just transitioning into my fanwomanhood? When I started this blog, I wanted to be Wil Wheaton. This is so cheesy, but now I'm kind of interested in what Audrey Brown has to say.

Changes are coming to this blog. I don't know what they'll be, probably a title swap, a template change. You need to know, I'm intensely grateful for every reader. I legitimately love you guys. I hope you stay with me as I navigate this shift. I'm just kind of freaking out. I know, eloquent, right?

In fact, more people have been visiting this blog lately than ever before. Through massive traffic swings and down times, I've resisted the urge to over-monetize this blog or sanitize it for the sake of more traffic. Because I've always needed it to be able to grow and change with me.

And I know, what I'm saying here is really unspecific. I don't ever want to attack anyone, so my complaints seem vague. Maybe I'm just having a moment. If it's one thing I hate, it's "Anti" people. People who are obsessed with the negative, always "against" and never "for". I'd rather be pro-something than anti-whatever.

I'll never eschew my geekdom. Ever. You can't cast off who you are.  I hope to return one day when my positivity, energy and love for the culture feel reinvigorated. There's no shame in the way I grew up or the things I love. But as a fangirl, I feel completely stagnant. I'm struggling to recognize my culture amidst homogenization. I want more from my years of doing this...being this. I expect more.

Has anyone else experienced fangirl burnout and come out the other side? If so, please share in the comments section below.

"My Girlfriend's Boyfriend" Resonates

My best friend Lindsay introduced me to Mike Bibirglia on the way home from a "Back to the Future" screening at the Hollywood Palms a few years ago. Lindsay is one of those people who knows about everything good before 98% of the other people on planet Earth. She's a tastemaker. I think the only thing I ever introduced her to was "Wicked" and Jim Gaffigan. The other thousands of things that we both love came directly from her.

Mike Birbiglia is funny. But he's also skilled at writing and performing emotionally resonant material. His film "Sleepwalk With Me" floored me. It ran through my thoughts for days after my initial viewing. It was hilarious, beautifully shot, but most importantly, it had something specific to say. There's a lot of meaningless comedy in the world. (Which is okay. Sometimes the meaninglessness has a meaning.) But Birbiglia's comedy is grounded, focused and helpful. It's adding something to the world instead of taking something away... 


My Birthday. It Happened.

I was going to write a whole "hilarious" blog about coming up with new self-deprecating nicknames for myself in my thirties. Nicknames like "A More Annoying Zooey Deschanel with Shorter Hair", "Posh Spice if she liked carbs" or "The Ron Swanson of Christianity". (It would take too long to explain.)

Then I watched the documentary MissRepresentation and felt really guilty for how often I talk negatively about my appearance here on this blog, even for the sake of jokes. So I shall de-nickname myself. For now. 

Or maybe I could generate kinder, more appropriate titles like "A Slightly More Feminine Garrison Keillor" or "Future Comic Book Writer for Vertigo Whose Appearance Doesn't Factor Into or Measure How Talented or Hard-Working She Is". 
Which is all to say, this was my birthday song this year.


Bea Arthur Is My Patronus

Yesterday I decided, if I lived in the Harry Potter universe, Bea Arthur would be my patronus.

If a dementor ever showed up and tried to suck my soul away, I would simply yell, "Expecto Patronum!" and a Golden Girls-era Bea would come out of my wand, all shimmery and majestic.

She'd stand in front of me with her hands on her hips and deliver spectacularly insulting punchlines toward the Dementor until he felt so bad about himself that he gave up, went away, and re-thought all of his life choices.

She might say, "What are you wearing? I haven't seen that much fabric draping since the last time Shelley Winters went to the Oscars!"

Maybe she's a little bit of Dorothy Zbornack for real. Maybe she says to the specter of death, "I'm no spring chicken myself, but you should really try some hand cream. Are those fingers or Blanche's leftovers from KFC?"

Blanche would then appear in patronus form, "Dorothy, I do not appreciate the insinuation that I eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken."

Dorothy would reply, "Oh, I'm sorry Blanche, that was rude of me. You don't eat Kentucky Fried Chicken...you INHALE it!"

The sad part is, I could sit here and write new Golden Girls dialogue for HOURS. Because I, my friends, am a woman out of time and place. You know that trick from Steve Martin's Roxanne where he rattles off twenty nose jokes in a bar without even having to think about it? My gift is Golden Girls dialogue. Not super helpful in a practical sense of the word.

So now it's off to work for the day. If your patronus could be any real person, who would it be and how would they defend you? (I think my back-up would be Dorothy Michaels from "Tootsie".)


Embrace Your Identity Crisis (If Jack Skellington can do it, so can you.)

I remember the day my parents took me to Indianapolis to see "The Nightmare Before Christmas". It was a wonderfully overcast Indiana day in November 1993. In a fit of fantastic genre agreement, it was also the first day of snow.

1993 was the year of Jurassic Park. I was ten, so to go from the breakthrough summer of Jurassic Park to the fall of Nightmare, the times...they were good.

I remember wanting to identify with Sally while I watched, thinking that I should. Because she was the girl. But Sally was already self aware. She knew who she was, what she wanted, and she did whatever it took to go after it.

Jack's problems rang more true. He wanted to be something he wasn't, all glittery and glowing. Normal. I too, with my weird quirks and strange style and natural bend toward the gothic, envisioned a more populist way of being a kid. I wanted to be in step with the world around me.

There's something so effortlessly magical about the image of an innately dark character discovering the joy of Christmas. Holding a tiny delicate snowflake and feeling wonder, maybe even hope, for the very first time. It gets me. It really does.

I watched the movie again yesterday while hanging my fall garlands and orange and purple lights. The best movies can show you something entirely different with each viewing. I'm enjoying watching my favorite films at different stages of my life and seeing what comes through that never did before. Sometimes a viewing hits you in an unexpected way, that's what happened to me yesterday. I can't explain it just yet. Not fully. But it muddied the waters. In a good way.

Nightmare Before Christmas is a fish out of water story, but it's also a coming of age. It's a story about self-acceptance, even amidst the discovery of something new. The question of the film, for Jack, is "Who am I in relation to this new world I have discovered? Where do I fit? What is possible now that wasn't possible before?"

What would the movie have been like if he locked himself away in his tower and never went through his identity crisis? What if he hadn't almost ruined Christmas? What would he have learned?

I say, let's go through. Let's find out.


On Turning 31 and Shutting Your Thumb in the Car Door

I turn thirty one in ten days.* We seem to celebrate milestone birthdays in modern culture more than any others and thirty seems to be a big one. The last "big one" before the actual big one, which seems to be unanimously agreed upon as being forty. (Unless we're talking about fishing. Or death. Then the "big one" has entirely different connotations.)

I always pictured turning thirty like it was going to be some sort of highly filtered, well-lit lotion commercial. I looked forward to it. I'm grateful to be alive and healthy. I have a sister who never reached thirty, so last year, I was acutely aware of how wonderful it was to enter my fourth decade on planet Earth. I'm happy to be here. I like it. There's weather. And food. 

Then again, I'm easy to please. Because when it comes to aging, I feel like I have a distinct advantage. I've never been beautiful. Don't be jealous of my amazing experience as an average woman and please, don't yell at me for bragging about it. I'm not being coy or begging for compliments. Nor am I declaring myself ready to move into Notre Dame and begin my daily internship as resident bell-ringer.

I'm just saying, I never won any beauty contests.


I Fangirl Failed at Star Wars Weekends 2013 - Photo Blog

You guys, I just...the shame. The shame of what I've done. I can't even...

For years, YEARS, I have been dreaming of doing my first official cosplay. But let me tell you, cosplay ain't cheap. So it took me years to get started. I chose Han Solo, because like a lot of other things in my life, the idea came to me in a dream. One of the best dreams ever, in which I was Han Solo's daughter and I had inherited dear old Dad's blaster and holster. Anyway...


Be the Squid Monster! (aka Follow Your Dreams)

That's me. Directing a scene in my short
film. "Dancing Cardassian Neck Monster."
(Photos by Ricky Brigante of
Inside the Magic.)
I have reached invisible-dancing-squid-monster status. What is invisible-dancing-squid-monster status, you ask?

I'll tell you.

We spend most of our lives struggling with identity. But occasionally, we get an idea of who we are. An inkling. We try to tell people, "This is who I am!" They go, "Riiiiight. Whatever you say. *whispered* Get the straight jacket!"

For me, it's been everything you've read about here over the last few months. I'm a writer/director/performer type. But when you run around telling people, "I'm a writer/director/performer type," what do you expect people to do with that?

You might as well be telling them, "Hi! I'm an invisible-dancing-squid-monster!"

Uh huh. Sure you are. Where's the proof?

Except, I guess even if you really WERE said monster, nobody could see you. Because you'd be invisible. So maybe, an iridescent-dancing-squid-monster. Yes. Much Better.

(I wish I were an artist, because I have said monster in my brain. He's adorable.)

I currently have a handful of irons in the fire. I'm finishing up a short film I directed. I'm continuing work on a live show I started writing a while back, working on a comic book. Just a handful of stuff that makes me sound delusional. I even landed a regular, small (But huge to me!) performance gig in Orlando. (By the way, I wrote my own monologue for the audition. That felt pretty good.)

My squid monster is backstage stretching and doing warm-ups. Soon, people will start to see his tentacles and maybe they'll catch a glimpse of his cane or his top hat or something and they'll be like, "OH! There really is an iridescent-dancing-squid-monster! I thought that chick was just lying like Chunk from The Goonies!"

The fact that I have chosen to represent my hopes and dreams incarnate as a male squid monster is a discussion we're going to have to save for another day.


In Which I Move into the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse with Elijah Wood

"I find that if I just sit down to
think, the solution presents itself."
I wanted to ask a question on facebook the other day. But it seemed so self-centered that I decided to ask the question of myself rather than seeking validation from others.

And I promise, that's the only time I'll use the word "validation" in this blog entry.

I wanted to ask, "When was the first time you ever remembered me talking about wanting to be a filmmaker?"

I have this theory that if you look, and I mean REALLY look at your life, you'll find that some of the great unanswered questions you struggle with have actually been clear all along. You just have to be willing to accept the evidence that presents itself.

Did you ever play that MASH game when you were in junior high or high school?

You would list at least four life possibilities in many categories. Mine probably looked like:

Elijah Wood
Egon Spengler
Scott Howard
Billy Idol

(My best friend has correctly assessed that my taste in men was always "slightly left of center". She never judged my deep and abiding love of the seemingly conflicting nerds and bad boys. For the record, I blame Ghostbusters for this duality. Spengler and Venkman imprinted a generation of girls with "ideal" male archetypes. See: Next set of parentheses.)

(That was a joke. Movies haven't affected my real life relationships. I'm TOTALLY kidding...)

*shifty eyes*


Pay Tribute, Make Something

Lately, I've been writing these long rambling blog drafts. Pages and pages worth of stuff on Dr. Who, time-travel stories and of course, Ebert. But I can't seem to hit "publish".

It might be part of a transition I'm going through where I'm trying to focus on finishing bigger projects and larger goals. (Short films, comic scripts, screenplays, etc.) So I'm trying to conserve my writing energy for the longer hauls. Sometimes my writing energy goes toward the immediate satisfaction of hitting "publish" here on Blogger or even on Twitter and Facebook.

But still, as I re-read everything I wrote about Ebert in one of those unpublished drafts, it occurred to me that the best way to pay tribute to our role models is to get busy filling the void of their vanished voices by working as hard as we can to express our own.


Check out CONsent by the 16-Bit Sirens

The 16-Bit Sirens are doing something very cool. They're doing a project that highlights a hot topic at conventions. Women who cosplay are often subjected to crazy amounts of harassment when dressed in their costumes. (Not that any amount of harassment isn't crazy, but you know what I mean.)

So they're doing a photo essay about it, one that I hope will be ongoing across various cons, that highlights the idea that con attendees all deserve respect. Especially from one another.


Guys, I'm a Cyber Hobo Now! (And Hopefully, a Filmmaker)

Because I totally want your money! But I'll put it to good use, I promise. 

This blogger and longtime film critic is trying to make the leap into becoming a creator. I'm totally ready to fall on my face if I have to. But it's time to try. No matter what. 


Some things I want to tell you about our pitch...

Remember Those Awesome "Batman: The Animated Series" Title Cards?

I randomly stumbled upon THIS ARTICLE that points out fourteen of the best of 'em while I was researching fonts for a special project today. As an added bonus, it also introduced me to the nifty website said article was published on, Comics Alliance.

I only own the first two seasons on the show on DVD, but I have to say that I wholeheartedly agree with this list. That was truly a breakthrough show. It was a gateway to comics for many of us, it had a rich full orchestral score, and instead of aiming for a purely contemporary style, it offered a classic and distinct take on art deco. Brilliant.

You know what else? The show holds up really well. Even today. What's your favorite episode?


Aron Reviews Jack the Giant Slayer

It takes certain elements to make a successful fairy tale. You need a damsel in some degree of distress, a seemingly insurmountable foe or obstacle, and a gallant hero. It helps if said hero rose up from nothingness, but it's okay if he's a well-bred prince as well. The recent release, Jack the Giant Slayer has a lot of these elements and more, along with copious visual effects that are used to try to make you believe in a version of our world upon which giants walked.


There is nothing really groundbreaking or game changing about the writing in Jack the Giant Slayer. That's not to say it's bad, but it definitely doesn't do anything to innovate the genre of mega budget fantasy movies (if that isn't a genre, it is now). The movie loosely follows the familiar story of a boy named Jack who is tasked with selling a horse for the money he and his family need to survive. In a moment of naiveté, he accepts a handful of beans as payment for his beloved steed. That may seem like the dumbest idea in the world, but what sort of kind-hearted lad wouldn't trust a monk?


Let's face it, the reason we go to see movies like this is because it's a two hour eye candy fest. Unfortunately, Jack the Giant Slayer offers more of an “eye candy party with three teenagers hanging out in a basement” rather than a full-blown festival. The giants in the movie has their scale portrayed nicely, and they seemed to be actually part of their environments rather than pasted on top of it. Even their facial movement was well-done, but their shiny and strangely textured cartoony skin detracted from any of their animated goodness. It seems especially rough upon reflection, now that there is a movie that spent far less money and has much more believable visuals.

Overall, Jack the Giant Slayer is a decent movie. It has an easy to follow story, despite being fairly predictable; and despite the textures on the giants looking only a smidgen better than those used in the 90s hit cartoon ReBoot, the visuals are pretty good. There are quite a few months left until the summer mega hits come to our local theaters, and if you catch a matinee then seeing this movie could be considered money well-spent, especially if you have a couple of kids with you or your other plans for the day got rained out.


America, I Made You a Mix Tape for When You Visit the Kennedy Space Center

Completely inconspicuously posed at LC 39A aka
"Yes You Can! Glamour Shots!" aka
Dear NASA, can I live here?
Don't pretend like you don't know it's because I like you. Because I do.

1. Space Oddity - David Bowie

2. SpaceCamp - John Williams - It's my list, I can put an entire soundtrack on it if I want to.

3. Flash - Queen

4. End Credits - Alan Silvestri - Contact - It works like the overture for the show. Fantastic and beautiful, just like the movie.

5. 2001 Space Odyssey - Eomer Deodato - This is the 70's funk version. I admit to using this one because it also appears in the opening scenes of Peter Sellers under-appreciated classic "Being There".

6. Enterprising Young Men - Michael Giacchino - Star Trek- This is one of my personal favorites. So much so that it's the song I wake up to every day. It's my cell's alarm ringtone.

7. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home - Leonard Rosenman - I'd highly recommend this soundtrack in it's entirety as well. Great stuff! Any/all of Jerry Goldsmith's work is a must too. But if I'm not careful, this will turn into a Star Trek playlist. So moving on...

It's my personal belief that you really have to prep your brain for all of the information you'll be receiving at KSC. A great playlist helps you get into the right frame of mind. After all, KSC is the theme park based on real miracles. One of the only places in the world that still celebrates scientific progress like it's a GOOD THING! Because it is!

I'm slipping into hyperbole, I realize.

Just make sure to visit KennedySpaceCenter.com and SpaceFlightNow.com to plan your own trip and get plenty of up-to-date news on all of the launches happening at the Kennedy Space Center.

What good would it be if I made you a mix tape and you didn't use it?

In all seriousness, a day at Kennedy is something to put on your life list. Make sure to factor in taking an additional guided tour. They are all worth it, but you really need to do the KSC Up Close Tour while the Vehicle Assembly Building is still a stop. It won't stay that way forever!


3 Lessons from Improv Class and important life advice from Tina Fey

As an awkward teen, one of my greatest joys was going to summer camp every year. Not for the delightful lunchtime hash browns or the chance to cross the state line from Indiana into Kentucky. Though both of those were a plus.

At church camp, I always participated in a week-long improv class. One where we played games, learned about the word "chutzpah" and got into trouble if we pantomimed drunkenness.

Those were good times.

A few months ago, I heard an improv theater in Orlando, the SAK Comedy Lab, was offering a free improv class for those interested in seeing what a semester of classes might be like. So I signed up.

Because why not? Maybe they'd have hash browns...


In Which Aron Does the Hilarious Monster Mash-Up

He did, indeed, do the mash.
But which kind?
Read on...
You may have already heard of the book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which combines the classic Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice with elements of modern zombie fiction.

You should have heard of it, because you're being a good reader and also listening to our podcast!

Anyway, since Audrey and I mentioned that I have had monster mashup novels on the brain, I decided to hash out five ideas and try to get it out of my system!


Oh Rifftrax, I Wish I Could Quit You

Because not only are you awesome all the time. (You know how I love you just for being you.) But you also post totally random hilarious things on the facebook...like this five hour video of Michael Sheen's laugh from today in honor of your upcoming Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 live riff.

You are the Kip to my LaFawnda. Metaphorically speaking, of course.


What Have We Here? An Interview with Batgirl's Therapist...

Dr. Letamendi in Batgirl #16
(by Gail Simone, art by Ed Benes)
One of my favorite journalists strikes again with this excellent interview over at NERDSPAN.com


There are also some good trails you could follow here to continue the "fake geek" conversation we started in this week's podcast.

I'm a big fan of Batgirl: Year One but am currently WAY behind on my comic consumption. So in addition to being an awesome interview, this also motivated me to plan my next trip to Heroes Landing.

It's within walking distance from my home...coincidence? I think not!

Fundamental Life Truth brought to you by The Sound of Music

"Maria, these walls were not meant to shut out problems. You have to face them. You have to live the life you were born to live." 

                       - Mother Abbess. "The Sound of Music"

I've written, deleted, and rewritten a dozen entries about the topic of faith and how it intersects with my geekdom. But I can never seem to hit that big scary "publish" button. I've done some stuff for the Burnside Writers Collective before, but that was mostly parody.

The most I can muster today is this Fundamental Life Truth. The walls of "the abbey", metaphorically speaking, are not to be used for hiding. (Or literally, you know...if you live in an abbey.) 

I've heard a lot of people use God as an excuse lately. People of faith know how to say all the right things sometimes. Stuff like, "Don't hide your light under a bushel," and so forth. But they, we, also know how to suffer silently for no good reason because we're afraid of doing what we're called to do.

But you can't seek approval from anyone else in regards to what you really really REALLY want to do with your life. You just have to do it. Stop hiding. Stop preparing. Just go. Be who you feel like you're supposed to be and stop seeking approval from others. You may never get it. 

What problems aren't you facing today? What life were you born to live? Are you living it? 

Mush you huskies! No more verklemptedness. GO LIVE!!!!!!!


Role Models - Aron Talks Admiral Adama

*A special welcome to new honorary raving fangirl, Aron Deppert! This is his first blog here. Check out his bio by clicking on the "Honorary Raving Fangirls" tab up top or visit his home base at AronDeppert.com.*

I grew up on a very strict television diet which mostly consisted of sketch comedy shows, occasional BBC sitcoms shown on PBS, lots of Star Trek: The Next Generation and its subsequent spin-offs. If you had asked me a few months ago who was the most admirable commanding officer of an intergalactic vessel, I would have said Captain Katherine Janeway of Star Trek: Voyager.

Don't get me wrong, Janeway is still at the tippy top of my list, but since recently binging on the entire rebooted Battlestar Galactica series I most definitely have to say she is closely tied with Galactica's commanding officer, Admiral Bill Adama. Here are a few of the qualities that make me feel like he is incredibly awesome.

Perseverance As Adama and his flock set out on their journey they had quite a few big roadblocks (spaceblocks maybe?) in their way. The first, and probably biggest one, was that no one was sure the planet they were seeking actually existed. As far as this ragtag group of humans was concerned, the place called “Earth” was just a myth that they had read about in their religious texts. Adama knew that despite this, they would need a proverbial carrot to motivate them so he bought into the Earth myth as a morale booster.

Also, while they were on this wild goose chase through space they had a fleet of religious fanatic, killer, human-hating robots hot on their tail. These robots, known as Cylons, not only outnumbered them, but out-gunned the humans. Adama not only thought of some ingenious ways to get the upper hand, but he never once relented in his quest to find a planet he didn't even initially believe in.

One look at this mug and
I'd be down for the count!
A booming, gruff voice It may sound as though Bill Adama gargled with a jug of hydrochloric acid before he started work each day, but that voice seriously works to his advantage. When he's barking orders in the CIC or interrogating a captive Cylon, Adama's voice is one that demands respect and attention. A growling reprimand delivered to an insubordinate officer is doubly effective if the commanding officer delivering it sounds like he is more bear than man.

Knows how to THROW DOWN! Adama may be old, but he is incredibly scrappy. He survived a nearly fatal gunshot wound to the abdomen, and successfully beat down someone half his age in a boxing ring. Anytime the going got tough, Bill's fists got going and didn't stop until he was the last humanoid lifeform standing.

That steely glare This is a man who basically invented glaring. One sideways glare from those icy blue eyes and you know you are in deep doo doo. With or without the glasses that is one look that most certainly would kill if looks could.

Fatherly love One of the higher ranking officers on Galactica is Bill Adama's son, Lee. Though their relationship is strained at first, the two quickly make up for lost time due to the tragedy they are facing together. However, Bill's love doesn't stop there. He repeatedly calls Starbuck his daughter, but it's clear that he cares for his whole crew a great deal. There are a few times in the series when Adama notes this type of connection with his subordinates as a weakness, but it would be easy to argue that this was one of his greatest strengths.

The sheer scope of what Admiral Adama had to accomplish would be enough to make my puny, spineless psyche crumble. Had I found myself in his shoes, I would have handed over my rank insignia and crawled into the nearest hole to drown my sorrows in Ambrosia. Adama ventured forth with the last remaining 50,000 members of humanity and set out on a path to find them a new home; a planet called “Earth” that most people believed to be a myth. The obstacles the universe threw in his path were too numerous to count, but with Bill Adama showed us all that with enough faith, perseverance, bloody knuckles, and love we can accomplish anything.


Riding the Flying Rainbow Unicorn into the Sunset of Life

I was born for it...

I'm disrespectful to dirt!

I can't even do laundry like a normal person! Because every time I go to use my "Super Washing Soda" I INSTANTLY think of that Simpsons episode where Homer finds out that his likeness is being used for a Japanese detergent called Mr. Sparkle.

And because I'm slightly OCD about the whole thing, I have to yell, "Mr. Sparklllllllllle" the way that it sounds on the commercial every time too.

I usually go for it full volume if nobody is home.

But when we have guests, as we do currently, I sometimes wonder if they are hiding their valuables after they hear the crazy lady in the laundry closet whispering a long drawn out, "Mr. Sparklllllle" to herself in a Japanese accent.

They go to bed at night and they're like, "Audrey really likes to do laundry."

"Yeah, plus I think she might be a little bit racist."

Yes. These are the things I worry about.


WBFG Ep. #2 - "Nobody Expects the Second Episode!"

WBFG Ep. #2 - "Nobody Expects the Second Episode!"
(Featuring the music of the supremely talented Five Year Mission)

In which...

 Audrey learns about Rule #31 of the Internet. 
Bill Bryson's destiny is explained.
Aron learns about Spock's Earthican literary heritage.
Betazed Leisure Wear. 

If you have a question, comment, or topic suggestion you can send us a tweet, or you can email us at [bfg.podcast {at} gmail {dot} com].

And if you like the show, be sure to swing by our iTunes page to rate us and leave a comment!


Nobody Does Geek Valentine's Day Cookies Like Heather

This is one of guest writer Heather's annual fangirl holiday traditions. See some of her cookies from years past HERE and HERE. (The lady can make a pretty killer jack-o-lantern too.)

I think "We Eats It" is my favorite from this year!

What are your fangirl holiday traditions? Leave a comment and let us know!


WBFG Ep. #1 - "It Has Begun!"

WBFG: EP. #1 - "It Has Begun!" 
(Featuring the music of the supremely talented Five Year Mission)

In which two high school friends, Aron and Audrey, who haven't spoken on the phone or seen each other for thirteen years attempt to catch up. On everything. All at once. 

In which Aron and Audrey also make no preparations at all and instead choose to jump into this whole podcasting thing completely off the cuff. 

And also, there's coffee. And discussion of high school, politics, religion and feelings. 

All of the feelings.   


1. Why is there only one Vulcan hairstyle?
2. What's the one word that best describes the Klingon Christmas Carol?
3.  What would a zombie apocalypse look like if we replaced the zombies with jocks?
4. How to Avoid Thinking You Invented Choc-Ola and ThinkGeek.

Next Week:

1. Aron and Audrey's favorite podcasts.
2. Why You Should Be VERY Cautious When Looking up Buffy-inspired Fan-Fiction on the internet.
3. Plenty of TREK talk, feminist and otherwise.
4. And more...

Do you have a question or a comment for the next show? 
Email us at [bfg.podcast {at} gmail {dot} com], or send us a tweet.

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My Attitude This Week

"Are you ready? Then let's go get 'em!"

"Dirty Rotten Scoundrels"

I just woke up with that specific movie moment in my head.

Hooray for subliminal encouragement sponsored by a lifetime of movie gorging!


In Which Heather Bursts your LOTR-Scented Fantasy Bubble

As I age, I find myself more and more affected by smells. The clean scent of ozone in the air makes cleaning house a happy chore. Eau de litter box makes baking cookies a mediocre task at best. The sense of smell evokes the strongest memories, and makes me wonder: Do elves smell nice? 

And if I’m going to talk about elves, would this font be more appropriate? (I looked for “Elvish”, but this is the closest I found. For the record, Word 2010 also comes sans “Klingon”. Alas, I love my italics too much to change to a font that doesn’t due them justice. Anyway, where was I?)

If I were to journey to Middle Earth (Shut up! It could happen!), what would the natives smell like? Would their powerful B.O. precede them into a room? Would it linger on their departure?

My first experience with Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy led me to believe Aragorn was a straight up hottie, but in retrospect, I have my doubts. Sure, he looked great, but what he smell like? 

Do the men of Middle Earth even have access to deodorant? Mr. Jackson is far too classy to show them going off the path to take a leak in the woods, but you know they did. (OMG! I’ll bet they didn’t even have toilet paper! No, I can’t go there…) So dare I hope they had Forest Fresh Battle Axe for men in those travel packs of theirs? Man-sweat may appear attractive, but it can shrivel your nose hairs!

I can picture all those hot, sweaty battle scenes even now. Aragorn swings Anduril (that’s his sword, peeps) in an arc, his whole body following through on the motion. His hair whips across his face, sending droplets of sweat flying dramatically across the screen. That stringy hair may look sexy on camera, but when’s the last time he had a good shampoo? I’ll bet his scalp smells like a teenaged boy’s favorite hat, all sour and oily. He needs to lather, rinse, repeat repeat repeat!

I don’t recall Legolas ever looking like he needed to improve upon his personal hygiene habits. And you won’t catch Elrond looking “not so fresh”. Which leads me back to the question: 

Do elves smell nice? I bet they do. I have to believe that.


Heather Cichos is a staunch supporter of mandatory Underoos for adults. She flosses religiously and believes her dentist is secretly trying to kill her. She doesn't like to buy sympathy cards because they don't make funny ones, and hasn't been bungee jumping with Mel Brooks in ages.

Okay campers, rise and shine!

And don't forget your booties 'cause it's cooooold out there!

Happy Groundhog Day nerds! Usually this time of year, I whine about the temperature. Since I live in a sub-tropical climate now, I probably shouldn't complain. Although, it is a chilly 70 degrees right now...

It's pretty much the only weather-related holiday of the year. Just let me have this one.


Back in the Studio Again

Been singing this to myself a lot this January. But I replace the word "saddle" with the word "studio" because I've made a return to voiceover work. Sing it Gene!


Dr. Who and River Song: The Diagram

So, a guy (my husband) walks into a bar (Raglan Road) with a gal (me) and tries to explain how River Song and Dr. Who know each other to the gal who missed a ton of really important episodes that explain that particular backstory. You can imagine the confusion.

Quick Sidebar: How AMAZING is she as a character? I've added her to my list of dream con costumes. Specifically, I want this one:

I won't spoil anything, but fans of the show will understand how my husband spent about half an hour trying to explain her presence to me over a round of pints. We were getting nowhere, until he drew this.

That about does it, you reckon?

And then there was bread pudding. So no more talky talky for us.


Posting Positive - 6 Ways to Defeat Humblebrag Accusations

Be happy, like Zelda's biggest fan!
I brought navel-gazing to new heights here at BFG in 2012, so one of my resolutions for 2013 was to be more positive on the internet. Despite my strong desire to cheer up, something gave me pause.

I was afraid of being accused of the humblebrag.

Humblebragging has been around for a long time but really took off as an internet meme a couple of years ago. It is essentially where you try to sneak in a brag about yourself while trying to look humble.

So how do we all navigate the space between genuinely wanting to communicate in a more positive light and looking like a constantly self-promoting narcissist/serial humblebragger?

Let's take a side road to answering that question, shall we?


The Great Deception of Bettie Page Bangs

Aside from the fact that said blog title would also make for a fabulous mystery story, it's also the story of my life. You see, I cut bangs because in my mind, I think they will look like this...

Or this...

When in reality, ON ME, they look like this...

Someday, I will learn to listen to the well-meaning hairstylists who try to politely let me know that the style doesn't quite work on me. Until then, bring on the denial and break out the scissors.


2013 Character Study - Leslie Knope

In addition to a theme for each year, I like to choose a character study.

Having a character inspiration doesn't mean I dress like that character or do what they do, it just means, I pull inspiration from something that I like about them.

My Character Inspiration for 2012 was...

At the start of 2012, I was feeling pretty drained. I was only six months into living in a new state and I still felt like I was in a whirlwind. I liked the idea of choosing a character who was strong in resolve, someone who was a healthy skeptic and someone who was an independent person. Dana Scully is a tough and disciplined character full of traits I needed to emulate at that time. 

But 2013 is beginning in a very different way. I'm rested. I'm feeling prepared after a lot of very specific, focused hard work in 2012, especially in the fall. While, of course, nobody is every really in control of big life events, at this time, I'm feeling a lot more centered and self-aware.

So my Character Inspiration for 2013 is...

Leslie Knope is a wonderful role model. She has a strong conscience and very strong convictions. She's intelligent, motivated, not afraid to be different and she's a loyal friend. She's feminist, she's fast to admit when she's wrong and she's not afraid to be successful or go after what she wants, even in the face of strong opposition.

But most of all, she is well aware that her ambition and her ideas annoy people...but she just goes RIGHT ahead and pursues them anyway.

Being outgoing is not the same thing as having a backbone. You might be surprised to know that. Being outgoing or extroverted can mean you accidentally spend your energy on entertaining others instead of taking care of yourself or your family or pursuing matters that are important to you. Which can be a runaway train that takes you away from your best intentions much more quickly than you ever thought it could.

I've always been outgoing. This year, it's time to use the backbone. Not to earn one by the end of the year. To start using mine right away, today.

Leslie Knope has this way of being kind AND barreling through obstacles while somehow maintaining positivity.  It's what makes her such a funny and ridiculous character. The very idea that there's such a thing as a clean and honest politician, in and of itself, is what makes her so interesting. She's such an optimistic character. But I don't think it's because she, as written, doesn't hear criticism. She just doesn't give quarter to it when it comes from untrustworthy sources. The woman is a machine. I'd love to access some of her better-written qualities.

How about you? If you could rob a fictional character of any of their qualities, which one would it be and what would you take?

They Say We Need a Resolution

So long, Year of the Tap!
Well, you know. We all want to change the world.

My favorite time to talk about New Year's Resolutions is when everyone is so sick of them that they want to take those shiny fresh-start sentiments and ram them up the other end of one of those obnoxious noisemakers.


My husband and I don't really do resolutions. We do themes and we put a special focus on things. Last year, we very wisely and very maturely decided that 2012 would be the Year of Spinal Tap. (The fictional band, not the medical procedure.) Because you know, that's practically helpful.

We had an absolute blast pulling up to video shoots and singing "Folks lend a hand in a...". We definitely analogized the heck out of "turning it up to eleven". I think all of our friends will want to strangle us if we use Nigel's British accent ONE-single-solitary-more-God-blessed-time. But at the end of December, we were driving to work one day and we kind of looked at each other and went, "Hey, maybe this year we shouldn't base the entire theme of our year around a once-successful rock band that slowly self-destructs. Just a thought."

With that, we bid our Year of Spinal Tap adieu and re-adopted the idea of a more basic theme. Separately, we thought about our nominations. When I asked him what he had been thinking, he said, "Get On It". Which is funny, because mine was, "Make It Happen".

Like everyone else, I've already started with my calorie-counting and my healthier eating and my attempts to banish inner-negativity. Yes, I'll be re-arranging our home office (again) trying to keep the house more clean and reading more often and pledging to spend more time with the people I love.

But "Make It Happen" is in effect too. If it's not a part of "making it happen", then I'm not doing it.

What's your theme for 2013?