Friday, May 22, 2015

#Fandom5: Five Nerdiest Things I've Ever Done, May 22nd, 2015

#Fandom5, or 5 Fandom Friday is a weekly blog link-up and the creation of Kristin at Super Space Chick and Megan at The Nerdy Girlie.  It's a lot of fun and a great way to find new blogs! Go here to learn more about it or follow #Fandom5 on Twitter!

This week's topic is: five nerdiest things I've ever done!

I'm really struggling to write this post, because I'm a big nerd. There are lots of things I've done that could be included in this post, but I just see those things as normal activities. Fun stuff I've done throughout my life, interests I've had, stuff I don't even realize is nerdy because it's just something my friends and I are into or it's part of my job... like traveling to a tropical island and then spending every day in the archives, or making elaborate elf or pirate costumes, then wearing them to midnight movie showings.

That's just how I roll.

1. I make my own fan merchandise/props when I can't find what I want...
I collect garden gnomes, so when the movie Gnomeo and Juliet came out, I was ecstatic! The following spring Garden Fun, an online garden store, announced they would be selling official licensed Gnomeo and Juliet gnomes, so I pre-orderd a pair. But I wanted an Elton John gnome too...

So I made one. I bought a gnome and painted him up to look like the Paris gnome character from the movie, when he's singing Your Song. I've made other things too, like a Cave Johnson Lemon Grenade, a weirwood tree, and the headpiece to the Staff of Ra.

2. Harry Potter midnight book release parties, two in costume
This was years before I even knew what cosplay was - I have always liked costumes and look for any excuse to dress up.

The local independent bookstore in my hometown hosted midnight release parties for the last three Harry Potter books, and got the entire downtown involved. Downtown transformed into Hogsmeade, local stores and restaurants offered themed food, drinks, merchandise, and crafts or games. It was amazing and attracted HUGE crowds.

For the last two book releases, I went dressed as a Ravenclaw student - I made my costume out of thrifted pieces and sewed the skirt, but I could never find a Ravenclaw badge in stock, so I embroidered my own!

3. I participated in Dark Age reenactment.
While I was studying abroad in England I joined a live steel reenactment group. The group was part of The Vikings (there are organizations in the US and Canada, too, but this one was based out of the UK). I bought a full costume, learned about Viking history and the Norse presence in England, and the cultural significance of the items I owned (dye colors, decorations, wealth/status items). Since I was studying archaeology at the time, it was right up my alley. I also made a lot of English friends, while most of the American study abroad students only made friends with each other. We still keep in touch and two of them have visited me in America!

Besides our weekly practice/drinking meet-ups, I participated in a training weekend and three reenactment events while I was in England, and spent weekends camping in a muddy field in Rochdale and amidst castle ruins in Denbigh, Wales. Because we used real steel weapons (with dulled edges) and not foam like some LARP groups, I always returned to my dorm room covered in bruises, but I loved it.

4. Making our SDCC plans
I reeeeeeally like lists and tables and calendars. For SDCC 2014 I used Excel to chart out all the panels and events we wanted to attend. It was color coded, and I used it to cross-reference the panels I wanted to attend against the ones The Boyfriend wanted to attend, room location, and how much time to allot for travel and queues. I made several plans and we were able to attend everything we wanted to except one panel we forgot about because we were tired and it was in a different room.

This is just how I like to plan and how my brain works, but I guess this is pretty nerdy of me. It worked so well that I'm totally going to do it again for this year's SDCC, and I even wrote a post about how I make our schedule, in case anyone might find it helpful (coming in June).

5. I spent my 30th birthday playing Dungeons and Dragons for 8 hours.
I have friends who have held elaborate parties, gone to dinner at fancy restaurants, or gone to New York or Vegas to celebrate their 30th birthdays. But I'm a broke-ass grad student with few local friends. So I met up in the mall with a group of strangers and played D&D the whole day. It was awesome, and probably the best birthday I could have expected, all things considered. And now I have a new hobby and am making new local friends who aren't grad students who only talk shop! Win-Win!


  1. I spent my 25th birthday in a movie theater for a 15-hour Marvel marathon, so I feel ya :D

  2. Your gnome is amazing!