Event Recap: Gallifrey One 2015 – The 26 Seasons of Gallifrey One!

HELLO EVERYONE!!! How are you doing this fine fine fine week? I hope you all had such a wonderful weekend and that you had a great Valentine’s Day whether you’re with someone or not. This weekend was my first Valentine’s Day solo in…7 years? Something like that…and you know what? I had an awesome time. Life is what you make of it!

This weekend I spent time at my FOURTH Gallifrey One Convention…the all Doctor Who convention taking place in Los Angeles every February for the past 26 years!

This is my favorite convention, information pills easily, ambulance of all time. I love everything about it. I love that its all about Doctor Who. I love that its personal and small and you get to interact with the guests all the time. I love that there are always super great guests and that everyone, from the big stars, to the sound people or costume designers, are all SO awesome to talk to. I meet a ton of people, sing karaoke til five am most nights, and just have a blast. I love that I get to see old friends that I don’t see very often or that I only get to see at Gallifrey One and I also get to make new ones as well. I literally look forward to this weekend all year long, I just have too much fun.

Day Zero

Yay for Lobby Con/Day Zero/Let’s Party Too Hard So We’re Sick the Rest of the Weekend. Sort of.

The con officially starts on Friday morning with programming and that such but there’s an unofficial Lobby Con, where people show up, check in to their hotel rooms, exchange ribbons, hang out, eat food, attend the ice cream social and karaoke to the break of dawn (but no, really…) My friends basically did all of the above, because we are all STOKED to finally be there!

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The look that the registration lady gave me when I said I wanted this to be my name haha…

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Its not Gallifrey One until we do karaoke. And Spice Girls karaoke. With our dear good friend, Richard Dinnick.

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My friend Ana and I :)

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Richard Dinnick with me, and my friends Crystal and Ana

Day One

Its officially time for Gallifrey One! I was tired, maybe a tad bit hungover (but just a little!) but totally ready for the first day!

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This year’s Gallifrey One was HEAVY on Torchwood, the Doctor Who spin off show centered around Captain Jack Harkness. Above you see, Naoko Mori, who played Tosh on the show. She also played Nicola in Spice World, which made me fangirl a little ;)

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The lovely and somehow incredibly incredibly sexy Burn Gorman, who played Owen on Torchwood.

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Yes, this is me creeping up on Naoko. I’m awesome like that.

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Now creeping up on Eve Myles, who played Gwen Cooper on Torchwood. She also had an appearance on Doctor Who with the 9th Doctor and Rose Tyler back in series 1.

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Well I’m in trouble….or I’m apparently the Dalek’s DUFF…

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I’m ready for an adventure in the TARDIS. Always.

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Don’t ask me if I know what I’m doing. I might have to lie to you and you know how I feel about lying.

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Another night of karaoke. Not sure when this was taken but probably around the silly part of the night because we all look absolutely ridiculous!

Day Two

YES. Day 2!

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I had brought my Ten dress (from Her Universe) but wasn’t sure I was going to wear it. I wore it last year and felt super ugly the whole time, and fat…but I decided to put it on and was SO SO glad I did. :) Sometimes its nice to feel cute in a little dress.

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K-9!!!!!

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Today was allllllll about John Barrowman, his sexiness, his dirtiness, his humor and just….hold on, I lost my train of thought because I started drooling again…

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Just a  Minute! The half time show of the Masquerade (and honestly my favorite part), where a group of con guests get up and play a game called Just a Minute. They’re given a minute to speak on a particular subject without hesitation, deviation or repetition. Its HILARIOUS, and this year’s game was awesome.

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The MASSIVELY adorable Sophie Aldred who played the companion Ace, in the 7th Doctor’s series.

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Another night of super fun karaoke. We needed another picture with Richard in front of the TARDIS and this year…we got a little creative. I’m MASSIVELY in love with this photo.

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Getting sleepy. But still having a TON of fun in karaoke.

Day Three

Last day :( Very sad but lots of exciting stuff including more John Barrowman AND pictures with John and Eve.

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John Barrowman being awesome ;) He plays Captain Jack Harkness as a companion to the Doctor in Doctor Who and as the head of Torchwood in…Torchwood.

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Yes. I am a creep. Get over it.

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Oooh yay, creeping on Burn Gorman.

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And while we’re at it, let’s creep on Nichelle Nichols, from Star Trek. *squeeeee*

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So I went to go get my picture with John and Eve (which I was super nervous for, which made NO sense because I meet people all the time!) and I asked them if they could fight over me and this is what ensued. However, John was like, “We can do this better…” and the next picture was just…beautiful haha.

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the best part is I got to keep BOTH of the pictures. I asked them both for a hug and they said yes and then John stops and goes, “Can I ask you a question?” and I say, sure, and he says “If I were to push you forward, would you bounce back up?” I kid you not. I had to take a couple seconds of laughing before I said,  “YES!” Boob jokes. I expect nothing less of John Barrowman.

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Me and my dear friend Katie, who had an epic Donna Noble cosplay for the weekend!

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My super awesome group for the weekend. We have all met through our love of Harry Potter and our membership in the Los Angeles Dumbledore’s Army and now we’ve taken that to our love of Doctor Who.

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Now, I’m home and taking some time to relax and recover. I’m sad that its over but I’m glad to be home as well. Its always such a fun weekend and even though this is over, I’m already eagerly awaiting til next year.

A few notes about next year, that were talked about in the closing ceremonies, for those of you who are interested and maybe would like to attend!

Gallifrey One 27 will be taking place in February 12th, 13th and 14th of 2016 at the Mariott Hotel at LAX. Thank goodness. I know a lot of people were afraid they would be changing that part of the convention but thank goodness they aren’t.

Badges will go on sale on May 1st, 2015, and will remain at 90 dollars per weekend badge.

They will be eliminating the ability to transfer badges. Just too much work for them. However, you can buy badges that are “Guest of” and the name can be filled in at the actual con. Interesting change, not sure how I feel about it. I’ll be nervous when badges go on sale in May (though thankfully it gives me time to get the MONEY for the badge).

They also will be cutting the amount of weekend badges by a few hundred in order to reintroduce one day badges. I’m okay with this, I think it’ll be pretty awesome, though I plan on sticking with a full weekend badge.

Either way, so long Gallifrey One 2015, I had a blast as per usual. Each year I think, there’s no way next year will be better and I’m always proven wrong. I got to see old friends, meet new friends, cross off some Gallifrey One bucket list items and just had a ton of fun and created a ton of memories. I’m ready for Gallifrey One 2016.

Until then, I’ll just enjoy all the other super nerdy events that are coming my way soon ;) See you all soon!

Doctor Who Rewatch-Season One

So I am currently doing a rewatch of all seasons of Doctor Who. I’ve watched most of the episodes over and over again but I haven’t sat down to rewatch them, order in order, visit web since I first watched them. I’m attempting to watch all of them before Gallifrey One, the LA Doctor Who convention next month. After each season, I’ll do a little do-dad of my favorite episode and all that fun stuff.

Enjoy!

Doctor Who Series 1-2005

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The Doctor: 

The 9th Doctor, played by Christopher Eccleston

Companion(s): 

Rose Tyler, played by Billie Piper. Mickey Smith, played by Noel Clarke. Captain Jack Harkness, played by John Barrowman

Favorite Episode and Why: 

The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances

I was already pretty hooked into Doctor Who by the time I got to this episode BUT I think this is the episode that really made me go,”Okay, there is no way I’m going to stop watching this show.” For one thing, scary little kids are SUPER creepy but I get a kick out of them. They’re something that is supposed to be sweet, innocent, playful and they’re turned into this completely menacing and creepy thing. Its fantastic. I also love the introduction of Captain Jack Harkness because John Barrowman is a babe, and he has so much comedic timing in that episode alone. I love him. I also love the ending of this two parter. I can’t help but get completely choked up with Nancy and Jamie’s reunion and I love watching The Doctor dance with Rose.

Least Favorite Episode and Why: 

Boomtown

Its not that I don’t like this episode. For the most part, I like all Doctor Who episodes. But this one is just sort of a letdown to me. Maybe because I know the two big episodes are coming up next, with 9’s regeneration and all that, and I’m ready to move on to the excitement? I’m not sure. But I found myself mostly tuning this one out. I also was never a huge fan of the Slitheen story lines, though I do absolutely adore Harriet Jones (who I just discovered is also Mrs Gardiner in Pride and Prejudice LOL). I think its because they’re so big and bulbous and yucky. I’m not a fan. I do love The Doctor in this episode though, kind of going through his own internal battles. I would say maybe its my least favorite because there is less action going on and its not one of my particular favorites of the inner struggle episodes.

Favorite Quotes: 

The Doctor: “Fantastic!”

The Doctor: “I give you, in return, air from my lungs.”

The Doctor: “Go to your room! Go to your room! I mean it. I’m very, very angry with you. I’m very, very cross! Go! To! Your! Room!  I’m really glad that worked. Those would have been terrible last words.”

The Doctor: “Everybody lives, Rose! Just this once, everybody lives!”

The Doctor: “Rose… before I go, I just want to tell you: you were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And do you know what? So was I!”

Jack Harkness: “Ladies, your viewing figures just went up.”

Rose Tyler: “You don’t just give up. You don’t just let things happen. You make a stand. You say “no.” You have the guts to do what’s right when everyone else just runs away…”

Jack Harkness: “Who looks at a screwdriver and says “Oooh, this could be a little more sonic!”?”

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What are you favorite and least favorite episodes of Doctor Who, Series 1? What are you favorite moments, your favorite quotes, who is your favorite character? Share in the comments!

Tuesday Top Ten-Best of 2013…So Far

Well, cialis 40mg guys, medical its July 2nd. This year is half over, and I can’t believe there’s still six months of awesome left.

The way I see it…2013 has been MY year so far. I’ve had a great year and I’ve had the chance to do a TON of things, I’ve had the chance to meet SO many people and I’m feeling so good this year. I feel like I’m finally on the right track. And not just in WhatANerdGirlSays world either.

My boyfriend just graduated university and I finally got into university, which means I’m on the downhill slope of my degree. Its just been SO great and I’m so happy.

So this week’s Tuesday Top Ten is a little different, and some of you may be a little disappointed, but I just kind of wanted to recap the awesome that has happened to me this year.

SO here it is: Sara’s Tuesday Top Ten of Best Things About 2013…So Far

10. Published A Little Less than Famous

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I’m dying to publish my own novel. I’m dying to be a published author like all the ones that I get SO excited to meet. And I was able to finish and self-publish my novel, A Little Less than Famous. And its not perfect. It could use a lot of editing work on it but I am so insanely proud of it. I’m proud of myself for finishing it. I’m proud of myself for writing it. I’m proud of myself every time someone reads it and likes it. I am so proud of it being part of my writing journey. I hope I can find some time to sit down and really edit it (or pay someone to edit it) and share it in all its perfection. For now, it is what it is and I am still so VERY proud of it. Almost every author that I’ve ever talked to has told me to keep writing, and to just finish something and I was able to accomplish that and I am proud of myself for that. On a side note, the book is ON SALE for only 99 cents until July 5th so click here to check it out!

9. Star Trek Premiere-My First Ever!

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I had never been to a full movie premiere before! Last year, I went to the Grove with a few people from LADA and we saw an advanced screening of the Woman in Black and Daniel Radcliffe WAS a special guest and that was really super awesome but this right here was SUCH an amazing experience. I’m a fangirl, I’m a geek, and I seriously get so excited to see famous people. I can talk to them, no problem at all, but all that anxiousness and excitement is WAY too much to handle. But what a GREAT experience for me and the other girls of iFandoms Collide. We got free t-shirts, saw an advanced screening of the movie, and saw Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Zachary Quinto and SO MANY MORE cool people. And at the end of the night, we ended up on the channel 5 news. Which, let me tell you, probably had to do with the fact that we were flirting with the guy the whole time. But seriously, a COOL time, and now all I want to do is go to premieres all the time!

8. My First Ever Gallifrey One! 

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I am a new Doctor Who fan. I’ve only been watching for a little over a year now, probably right after they put up season 6 on Netflix. But as soon as I started watching it, I was hooked. This is my favorite TV show, period. And when I found out from a few friends of mine that there was an ENTIRE Doctor Who convention, I was like, “okay, I gotta be there.” Now, unfortunately this convention is a little pricey but its TOTALLY worth it and my super awesome friend, Ana, bought me my badge before they sold out and I paid her back. And I am SO grateful she did that because WHAT an experience. It is probably one of the BEST cons I have ever been. First off, its in a hotel, which means its limited to how many people can go, which is great, because you’re not crowded *too* much. Two, its SO intimate because its ALL Doctor Who. Doctor Who 24/7. Three, it was just a blast. Karaoke until 5 am, seeing all kinds of Doctor Who actors and actresses, buying WAY too much Doctor Who merch. It was amazing.

7. Clockwork Princess

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This is EASILY the best book that I’ve read so far this year. And there’s a ton of epic books coming soon and I still think this will remain the best book of the year. Easily. I waited for this book for so long and then it was supposed to come out in December of 2012 and they pushed it back to March 2013 and I was just dying for it. Then I was going to a Cassie Clare event three days after the release, where I would get my copy and I was like, no way. I can’t wait three days! So I ordered it on my Kindle, refreshed my Kindle allll night, and then at 10 pm (midnight for where it was being published), it downloaded to my Kindle and I stayed up ALL night reading, finishing it at about 3ish am. My eyes were all bloodshot and raw, and I was sobbing and it was just SO much to deal with and NO ONE had finished it, obviously, because I had stayed up all night on its release day, before the bookstores had even opened, to read it. Every single person I know who has read it, has talked about what it did to them, especially that epilogue. What a beautiful book.

6. Discovering New Books: Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, Tahereh Mafi, Jessica Brody and more..

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Seriously, I discover new authors all the time, mostly because I read so super fast and I have to find new things to read. But this year…seems to be a bit more and I attribute that to the combined factors that I know have a GoodReads that I am VERY active on, I have this blog, and I go to all these events now. I am discovering authors left and right, and they’re all so amazing, and I can’t keep up with my “to-read” list anymore. Before, I was just rereading the same books over and over again (which is okay, of course) but everyone would be like “You’re reading Goblet of Fire again!” or “You’re reading City of Bones again?!” and I was like, well, sure, because I don’t know what else to read. But NOW that I’ve made so many friends, especially all of YOU guys, I’m discovering new authors and new books and I’m loving it.  I am so excited for all the books that are now coming out in the second half of this year because I discovered their prequels in this half of the year.

5. City of Bones Meet and Greet at WonderCon 

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I am SO spoiled when it comes to City of Bones, at least so far. I mean, I’ve been SUPER bummed at missing out on the City of Bones panel at San Diego Comic Con because my best friend is getting married that day. And I realized, yeah, I do want to be there. But I’ve met them all already, the ones that are going to be there, AND I still have the TMI premiere coming up next month. So I’m still so lucky. I was able to be one of the five people that got to go to the VIP signing for City of Bones. I was planning on getting to WonderCon super early that day to try and get my hands on a wristband for the signing but it turns out, I didn’t even need to. Cassie did a contest through her Twitter, and I was picked and I got to go to the VIP signing where I got a book and a HUGE poster signed by Cassie, Jamie, Lily and Kevin. Cassie remembered me from the week before (see later), I told Jamie I was cooler than him (one of my finer moments haha), I could barely utter a word to the beautiful Lily, and I told Kevin that he was awesome in Gossip Girl. What a fantastic amazing experience.

4. Author Breakfast at Ontario Teen Book Fest


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Okay, so the whole reason I went to this fest was to meet Morgan Matson, Jessica Brody (again) and Marie Lu. I left that fest feeling like a million dollars, and meeting a TON of new authors that I now love and adore because I’ve read all their books and they are SO amazing. It was a seriously cool experience to sit down with these authors, and interview them for our first ever vlog post and to just sit and talk writing with them. I am an aspiring writer and being around all those published authors was TOO much for me to handle. I had a blast all day. All the panels were super awesome, Leigh Bardugo made me crack and has now become one of my favorite authors. Meeting Morgan after all this time of worshipping her book, Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour was an experience. But it was also great because the four of us from iFandoms Collide and my sister Jessica got to go to the author breakfast because we were bloggers and we really got an intimate time with all of the authors and that was just the best part. Especially since now, whenever we see any of these authors, they totally remember us. We made an impression!

3. Seeing the Arrested Development Banana Stand 

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Okay, some people may be like, seriously, Sara? A banana stand? But it really is one of the BEST things about this year and there’s a lot of reasons why. I mean, Arrested Development is a GREAT show so there’s that. Frozen bananas (FREE ones) are SO delicious. And it was something that I could do with my boyfriend. My boyfriend is so incredibly patient and good with me being a fangirl and going to all these events and freaking out over things that most people just don’t get. He’s SO good with me, I swear. There are NOT a lot of boys in this world that would be as awesome as he is with me. I’m an intense person. But he’s the big Arrested Development fan and he got me into it almost six years ago, before we were even dating and it was one of those things that we always did together, watch that show. We’ve done that several times since then, with TV shows, but that was the first one and so we have kind of a bond with that. And it was super fun, celebrating that it had come back for a long long awaited fourth season. And its fun to be able to extend my nerd fun with my boyfriend every once in awhile :)

2. iFandoms Collide

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Seriously, this would be number one if number one wasn’t so epicly epic. I am so grateful for meeting these four girls. I met Tatiana, Sylvia and Megan back in April, though we’ve known each other through Twitter for so much longer. We actually were all at WonderCon and didn’t even realize it. Megan was part of the normal autograph session for City of Bones but Sylvia and Tatiana were both at the VIP too, and we didn’t even realize it. Then, when the Festival of Books came around, we all realized that we lived within a few miles of each other, and decided to go together…and the rest, as they say, is history. The first day we ever spent together was April 20th, day one of the Festival of Books. That literally was ONLY two months ago. TWO months…and yet it feels like its been forever. We’ve bonded so fast, and we’ve created iFandoms Collide together and so many of the cool things that I’ve gotten to do this year is with them. So thanks Megan, Sylvia and Tatiana for coming into my life and making it fangirl awesome. I can’t wait to go on the road trip with you, stalk Robbie Sheehan, hit up the City of Bones, Catching Fire and Divergent premieres with you and just be friends forever :)

And Gabby and Paulina, I love you girls too! I wish I saw my other ifandoms girls just as much :D

1. Meeting and Interviewing Cassandra Clare

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I can’t believe this even happened. All these months later and I’m still like, I interviewed one of my absolute favorite authors. I got to INTERVIEW her. I got to sit across the table from her and interview her and she gave me a hug and she saw my tattoo and took pictures of it with her phone and gave me a cool epic Clockwork Princess poster that, like, no body else has and a Clockwork Princess pendant designed by Hebel and ohmygod. I couldn’t even handle it. I entered the contest, and just never thought about it until I got the email from Allison Tran at the Mission Viejo Library and just DIED. I was so excited, I started jumping up and down at school…and I’m in college, by the way. I was SO nervous to meet her and so nervous to interview but she was so cool, and she made me feel super relaxed and answered my questions and told funny stories and its an experience that I’ll NEVER ever forget, no way, as long as I live.

If you’re interested in watching the interview, here it is!

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I seriously have had SUCH a great year so far and I am so lucky in the things I’ve been able to do and all I can think of is…

If the first six months of 2013 were THIS cool, the last six months are going to be even MORE COOL!

I can’t wait, and I’ll be sharing it ALL with all of you awesome people.

Don’t forget to check out previous Tuesday Top Tens!

What has been the best part of 2013 for YOU? Is it a book or a movie? Did you get to meet someone cool or was it an accomplishment you reached? As always, share in the comments!

Convention Navigation!

Okay, advice so this started off as a blog post…and it remains a blog post but I also think I’m going to make it a new section on the actual blog. It got way longer than I meant it to but that’s okay.

Because a nerd’s heaven is the convention…its a place where you can go to finally be YOU, pilule and nerd out and see all those fabulous celebrities that you worship from home. Its the place where people won’t roll their eyes at your geek tattoos or your cosplay outfit. Its home.

But it takes some navigation to make it through a con successfully and that’s where this blog came in. With the help of some of my nerdy friends, ampoule I came up with this list of do’s and don’t’s for conventions and with it, you can have the confidence to go to ANY con and rock it :D

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DO: Dress to Impress

Cosplay, cosplay, cosplay! Dress up! Don’t be afraid to dress up because so many people do and its fun! If you show up in regular ol’ Joe Shmoe clothes, you’re going to be sad that you left your super badass Black Widow costume back at home. Be creative, get crazy!

And don’t feel like you need to dress as Spiderman or Batman, just because its a comic convention. Throw on a Marty McFly (shout out to the badass The Nerdy Girlie for that one), or a Disney princess, or an old school cartoon cartoon. Again, be creative and have fun.

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DON’T: Be Unrealistic

Keep in mind that when you’re wearing a cosplay outfit that you’re going to be walking ALL day. You’re going to be waiting in lines, and navigating through crowds. You may want to wear a crazy awesome costume, but do remember that half way through the day, you may be sweaty and incredibly uncomfortable. Be aware that those sexy stilettos that you’re wearing for your Emma Frost costume will look super cute until you’ve been walking in them alllll day.

Now I’m not saying to ditch those things but I am saying that you need to think of these things. Be realistic about your day. Bring a separate change of clothes, bring a second pair of shoes. Be comfortable while you’re at the conventions because there are a lot of lines and a lot of walking. Wear comfy shoes, and if you’re cosplaying, BRING comfy shoes. Your feet will thank you!

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DO: Plan your Day Well! 

There are SO many things to do while you are at a convention and sometimes its hard to hit them all. However, you can manage to get a lot done if you plan ahead. A lot of conventions put up their panel schedule before the actual convention. Print out the schedule or keep the program handy, take a look at some of the things you want to do and plan your day from there. Some conventions even have a feature where you can create YOUR schedule, which is super handy.

Also make sure to plan some time to hit the floor of a convention, and some time to hit the vendor area of the convention. There’s always A LOT going on, and it takes a good chunk of time to get a good fill of the convention floor and the vendor area.

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DON’T: Be One A Line/Seat Hogger 

Like I said before, there is A LOT of things to do at a convention, and its sometimes hard managing to do everything that you want. That being said, be respectful when it comes to lines and saving spots. I’m not saying don’t save spots in lines, or seats in panels. That’s okay, but be respectful about it. Don’t save spots in line for more than a few people. Don’t block out an entire row of seats at a panel. Its just plain disrespectful, and you’re not going to win points with anyone. Most panel rooms do NOT clear out inbetween panels so saving seats for that many people, when someone really wants to see this particular panel…its just not right.

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DO: Take Care of Yourself

This means eating, staying hydrated and sleeping well enough the night before. I’m not saying don’t party hard, because that’s fun. But there’s a time and a place for that. Gallifrey One is a party con, but its also a convention held in a hotel, so if the party gets too much, or you need a nap during the day, you can hop in an elevator and hit the hotel room for a nap. Not all conventions have that convenience so make sure to get a good night’s sleep. You don’t want to be too tired when you have a whole day of awesomeness ahead of you, and you don’t want to yawn in front of that hot actor you’ve been waiting two hours in line to see’s face, now do you?

Make sure to drink LOTS of water, bring a water bottle, or canteen! You can usually find water fountains in the convention centers and you’ll be able to refill it. Drinks, even water, are usually VERY expensive. The same goes for food. Food at the conventions is not cheap and you don’t want to be spending ten to fifteen dollars on food when you could be spending that on a new Star Wars poster or that Star Trek box set that you’ve been eyeing for years.

Pack snacks, protein bars work really well to curb your appetite. If you are staying in a hotel room, keep snacks and fixings to make a meal, especially if you have a fridge. Bring fixings for sandwiches and stuff. The weekend is NOT about eating fantastic food; its about enjoying the convention and sometimes eating sandwiches three times a day is part of that. If you do eat, eat outside the convention center. See if there are any fast food or cheap restaurants within walking distance and hit those up. Your tummy will be happy and your money can be spent on way better things.

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DON’T: Not Shower!

Comic conventions have a distinct smell…and that is the smell of BAD ODOR. I know we’re geeks and nerds and that not all of us spend a lot of time in front of the mirror, or in front of the closet, figuring out our look for the day. That’s fine, I get that. And I know that you want to spend as much as you can at the actual convention. That being said, DO NOT avoid personal hygiene. Please, please, please SHOWER and if for some reason you just don’t want to waste your time showering, then please wear deodorant. Keep your fellower con goers in mind, and keep the body odor to yourself. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to talk to a really cool person but they’re just stinking up the room like Pig Pen on Charlie Brown.

A good note as well is to bring hand sanitizer. You shake a LOT of hands through out the day, whether you’re shaking the hands of a celebrity or just shaking the hands of someone who you meet while waiting in line for a panel. Everyone’s germs are being spread like crazy and the last thing you want to do is catch a cold on the first day of a convention. Hand sanitizer is a GREAT idea.

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DO: Think Preemptively 

Buy your badges WELL in advance. I don’t know how many times I tell people, tickets for such-and-such conventions are going on sale, and when they don’t get tickets, there’s all this anger and disappointment! Buy the badges as soon as you can! Keep in mind when badges go on sale, and plan head. Also keep in mind when badges go up in price! Buy them early and you’ll save yourself from having to pay double for a badge than what someone else paid.

With that, book your hotel well in advance too; sometimes even BEFORE the badges go on sale. Keep on top of when hotels will be releasing the rooms for that particular weekend. If you don’t stay on top of those things, the hotels will fill up fast, and you end up paying for a hotel that’s either a hefty walking distance away, or requires you to drive your car to the center. While this doesn’t sound too bad, the parking at conventions can be anywhere from ten dollars to THIRTY dollars a day, and do you really want to waste that much money on parking because your hotel is too far away? I don’t think so.

One more thing: if there is a badge pick-up the night before the convention starts, try and get there for that! Usually you can get it pretty quickly and you won’t have to wait in the LONG lines that can exist on the very first day of the convention.

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DO: Meet New People

This is one of the BEST parts about hitting up a convention. Finally, a place where you’re surrounded by people who finally UNDERSTAND you. They totally get your references and your excitement over a new movie or book or whatever. They get it! So meet up with people, get your nerd on, have different discussions about your fandom, make FRIENDS. Share your etsy page, or your blog, or geek group. I’m looking into getting some business cards for this blog to hand out to people when I meet them.

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DON’T: Be RUDE! 

Please don’t be disrespectful of those who like fandoms that are opposite of yours, or are of fandoms that you are particularly fandoms of. There’s just nothing more disrespectful than making fun of someone because of the fandom that they like. Everyone is there to have a good time and to represent the things they like and there’s nothing worse than having that guy in the Batman costume making fun of you because you’re wearing a Twilight shirt. Just don’t do it.

Also, its okay to get into discussions with people, I do that all the time! Its friendly and its fun to debate back and forth, but again, respect. Don’t criticize people for their ideas or beliefs, don’t get in their face and don’t be MEAN! I’ve seen actual arguments and fights at conventions and that just shouldn’t be happening.

One last thing: I know you’re there to have a good time, and see all the panels you’ve been looking forward to, and meet your favorite celebrities, but if you’re in a badass cosplay outfit, keep in mind that people are going to LOVE it and APPRECIATE it and that they’ll want to take a picture of it. Its always really disappointing when someone in a real cool costume refuses to take pictures. Stop and take a picture; it only takes a minute. If you’re on your way somewhere, all you have to say is “I’m on my way to a panel but find me later and I’ll be happy to take a picture!” Don’t wear a cosplay outfit if you don’t want people to notice and appreciate it.

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DO: Show Your Appreciation

Tell those celebrities you love them! They want to hear that they did a great job, they like to hear that their performance, or writing, or whatever, meant something to you. When you see them walking around, say hi, tell them they rock, etc. They want to hear these things. However, this leads me to my next DON’T.

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DON’T: Bug Celebrities 

Seriously. Don’t do it. Don’t be “that guy” or “that girl”. I’m not saying that celebrities are in the own little bubble and we should completely ignore them. No way. A lot of times, celebrities and con guests are roaming the con floor just like you, and they want to enjoy it the same. Use your best judgement, there are some guests that don’t mind people coming up to them and asking for a picture or an autograph. There are some celebrities that will say no because they have a set autograph/picture slot sometime during the convention weekend or they are charging for photos/autographs at their booth. It would be very rude of a guest to take a picture with you on the con floor and then turn around and charge another fan at their booth. Use your best judgement when it comes to the guests. They’re as happy to see you as you are to see them, but you wouldn’t want random strangers getting in your face all the time so be respectful and keep your distance when necessary.

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Lastly:

DO: Bring a Backpack

Seriously, you’ll be thankful you did! Maybe it sounds terrible because you’re going to have to carry it all day but its better than some alternatives. Some cons provide you with bags but not all do. So bring a backpack. You can carry the things you’ll need during the day AND you can stash all the things that are constantly being handed to you in there. Things you should bring in your backpack:

your phone charger! Don’t forget this!!! You use your phone to keep time, keep track of the people you came with and to take pictures! you don’t want it dying!

chapstick! suncreen! possibly a hat/sunglasses! IBUPROFEN! At some of the bigger conventions, especially San Diego Comic Con, lines will be outside, and FOR HOURS. Be prepared. It gets hot, it gets sunny and you don’t want to get sunburnt. And always keep some Advil with you, the worst is getting a massive headache when you’re trying to have a good time!

laptop. Okay this isn’t a MUST but if you’re a blogger like me, it could be a good idea for up to date blog posts and twitter updates and things like that. I can do everything from my phone, so that’s why, back to number one, I bring my cell charger!

food/drink. Keep snacks and water bottles with you at all times! Trust me, you’ll love that you did!

CASH, CASH, CASH! I preach cash! Yes, more and more vendors are taking cards because of those new little devices that you can attach to your phones and tablets but cash is so much better. One, you’ll be less likely to spend money that you DON’T HAVE and sometimes, you can haggle the vendors for a lower price because you’re giving them straight up cash.

a sharpie. I always carry a sharpie with me. You never know when you’re going to randomly run into someone and you’re going to be SUPER bummed that you didn’t have a pen or a sharpie for them to sign your program

business cards for your blog, etsy/merch store or your geek group/club. Carry those babies around with you so you can hand them out to people!

mints/hand sanitizer: you’re going to be meeting people all day. Self-explanatory, yes?

jacket: it gets cold!

-for girls: a hairbrush/little makeup kit. Sometimes you need this to help you feel not so frazzled and alien.

ipod/book: I’ve only needed these two things a couple times but bring them anyway. You never know when you’ll be stuck in line by yourself, with no one to talk to (though this is SERIOUSLY rare), and you’ll have nothing to do. The Ipod is a must

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So that’s my super long blog post of how to navigate your first con! Its super long, and I apologize for it but if you’ve made it to the end, congrats!

I will be adding this as a new “section” on the blog so that it’ll always be available and easy to find!

Can’t wait to see you all on the convention floor :)

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What are some of your do’s and don’t’s of conventions? Share them in the comments! I’ll add them to the list!

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries…Also Known as My New Addiction!

For those of you who are already Lizzie Bennet fans, health and have not yet reached the episode where they reveal Darcy, illness I will warn you, I reveal who Darcy is later in this post. So if you’d like to be surprised, don’t read any further than this. You’ve been warned, fangirls!

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I should start pleading with people to stop introducing me to things…seriously. Ever since I joined The Los Angeles Dumbledore’s Army in October 2011, my group of nerd friends has increased by…well, 100% because I really didn’t have a lot of nerdy friends before that.

And one of the best parts of being in this group is sharing the things you love with each other, especially those that they may not have discovered yet. I love sharing Tamora Pierce love and Cassandra Clare love and all that. I get all happy when I hear they tried it and loved it.

But it also works vice versa. They tell me about things: books, TV shows, movies, etc. And I get addicted.

As if I didn’t have enough to obsess over!

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So a few weeks ago while I was away at Gallifrey One, my friend Erin told me about The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, an online vlog telling the modern day (fictional) story of Pride and Prejudice. She showed me the very first episode and I thought it was funny and cute but I didn’t really think much about it. I remember my friend Deb telling me that I would probably enjoy it and I catalogued it in my long list of things to read and watch (that list is too long to even contemplate…).

Well, a couple of days ago, my friend, Ana, who was at Gallifrey One with us, asked me if I had watched it yet because it was so good and she was blasting through episodes. Deb and Erin jumped in on the conversation and sounded really excited. And you know me, I hate to be left out of something that gets a fangirl reaction from others. I had to get on this.

I first read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen when I was about 10 or 11 years old. I remember loving the book so much, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t really understand more than half of the book. I mean, I’m sure I understand the love story, but there is SO much more to the novel besides that, and as I reread the book over the years (and reread and reread…), I discovered more and more about the book and learned more and more about the book, and it still remains one of my favorite books. I love the story, I love Jane Austen. I think so many people see of it as a romance novel, but there is so much more there besides the romance between Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy. I seriously encourage every single one of you to get out there and read that book. Because it is one of those novels that doesn’t have copyrights, it’s available for free download on Amazon here. So no excuses.

So I jumped on this Lizzie Bennet bandwagon.

And holy addicting vlog series Batman. This is the most amazing thing ever! I blew through all 94 current episodes in a couple days. I probably could’ve watch them all in one day, if you know, homework hadn’t gotten in the way.

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is basically this: a modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice shown in the form of video diaries, recorded by the main character, Lizzie Bennet. She lives with her marriage obsessed mother, her quiet, her fashion obsessed and super sweet sister, Jane, and her younger hyperactive handful sister, Lydia. She’s a graduate student in mass communications, making these videos with her best friend, Charlotte Lu. The neighborhood explodes with rich medical student, Bing Lee, moves in, with his sister Caroline Lee and his best friend, William Darcy.

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(Clockwise starting in the left top corner: Maria Lu, Fitz William, Lydia Bennet, Lizzie Bennet, Jane Bennet, Charlotte Lu, George Wickham, Mary Bennet, Bing Lee, Caroline Lee, and Ricky Collins)

Sound familiar in the slightest? Oh yeah, Pride and Prejudice in 2012. Its amazing.

Of course, we are missing Kitty and Mary Bennet, but don’t worry they make appearances and in unexpected places.

Now these videos are the brain chain of Hank Green and Bernie Su, who are just two of the many people who make this awesome show possible. And yes, THE Hank Green, younger brother to young adult lit god, John Green, and the other half of the Vlogbrothers. If you don’t know what the Vlogbrothers are, please god go educate yourself! NOW! :D

The thing that I really like about this adapation is just the hilarity of it all, and how it really shows the depth of the characters and the reality of them all. For some people, its hard to understand the characters through Jane Austen’s writing style because it is unfamiliar to the writing we know today. However, in this adaptation, you really see the characters. You get a real sense of Jane’s kindness and her inability to say bad things about anyone. You really see Lydia’s irresponsibilty and her tendency to not take things seriously. You also see the frustrations of Charlotte as well. The thing that I liked the most though was the way you see Lizzie…she complains about everyone so much, has an opinion on everything and can be so judgemental…hence the “prejudice” part of the title. This is exactly how Elizabeth truly is in the novel, but I think sometimes you miss it because you’re so focused on the actions of Mr. Darcy. In this vlog adaptation, however, you really get to see that character flaw captured in Ashley Clement’s portrayal of Lizzie Bennet.

I also liked the direction that they went with these characters. Sure, you still have the marriage obsessed Mrs. Bennet but this is 2012/13. You can’t have the entire series based on marriage. Instead, it focuses very much on idea of the modern, career-driven, ambitious woman. Jane is in the fashion industry, Charlotte and Lizzie are both graduate students, Gigi Darcy is an employee for her brother’s company, Pemberley Digital, Lydia (mostly) works her butt off at community college. These women go through the same to similar romantic entanglements in the novel, but in very modern ways. Without spoiling too much, I really liked how they changed the Lizzie-Mr. Collins-Charlotte triangle from one of marriage and commitment to one of more modern, work-related circumstances.

Plus…the costume theater. Oh god, the costume theater is amazing. The story is mainly told by Lizzie Bennet, though people are constantly walking in on her and joining her videos. Occasionally, you get a video diary by Lydia, a couple random videos by Charlotte and Jane, Gigi Darcy along the way but mostly its Lizzie. But in order to make sure you get the story completely (or as complete as it is in her eyes), she has costumes that she wears for various people in her life, and she’ll put on a little reenactment of a recent event in her life. Its hilarious, especially when she impersonates her mom (below)…oh, god, the amount of actual laughs that this got out of me was great.

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I also really like the changes they made to some of the characters. I like that they kind of cut Kitty Bennet, because in the novel, she was just Lydia’s shadow. I love the changes they did with Mary Bennet; she’s honestly one of my favorite characters in the video series. I also think I have a little crush on Briana Cuoco, who plays her. I also really like Fitz Williams, Darcy’s friend, who is given a larger role and also the role of Gigi Darcy, both pictured below. Fitz lends some serious hilarity to the films and Gigi captures the sweetness and little sister-ness of Georgiana from the original story.

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But the thing that I love the most about it is…its one of my absolute favorite stories of all time told in such a fun and modern way. The episodes aren’t too long, an average of 5 to 10 minutes and each one leaves you wanting more. So far, they are up to episode 95 with only a handful left, as you can imagine, the story is nearly wrapped up.

And let me tell you, not seeing Darcy until episode 60? HORRIBLE! I am a Mr Darcy lover. Yes, Mr Darcy can be a total jerk but I still adore him and he was one of the greatest romantic heroes in literature. And when Darcy did eventually appear…well, I wasn’t disappointed. Meet Daniel Vincent Gordh, a.k.a. William Darcy.

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He is super good looking…and he just captures the essence of Mr. Darcy. And they made Mr. Darcy such a hipster. He’s always going around in ties, bowties, suspenders, little scarfs and geeky glasses. I couldn’t stop laughing every time he shows up in a different outfit, especially the cardigan and bow tie look. Too adorable. He kind of reminds me of Ed Westwick as Chuck Bass in Gossip Girl. I was most definitely not disappointed…and you really believe him as Mr. Darcy. I count the minutes until he reappears on screen.

Like I said, the story is great…its the story we know and love but in a world where women are a lot stronger and have way more freedom than they did in the time of Elizabeth Bennett. It captures the beauty and values and soul of the original story while keeping it fresh for new eyes. I seriously love it; I blew through all the current episodes as fast as I could and I really recommend you watch it!

I also recommend watching it on the actual website: lizziebennet.com. There you get the videos down by Lydia, Charlotte, Gigi, and other characters. You also get the Twitter conversations between characters as well and all of these lend more to the story than just the Lizzie episodes. I did it that way, and its awesome. You really get the full story, as much as possible, and its enjoyable and really a unique way to tell the story.

And for those of you who are a bit intrigued, check out the first episode, which I have cleverly inserted into this blog post. You’re welcome :D

Hope that you enjoy and that you become as addicted as I did!

New videos are uploaded Mondays and Thursdays at 9 am!

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NEWS NEWS NEWS!!!!

Okay, view so today I totally woke up with the Monday blues. Like total and complete Monday blues. I woke up sleepy (gosh darn you, time change!!!) and grouchy, my tooth hurt and I was hungry and didn’t really have time to eat before school. Just a completely unhappy person.

So when I got home from school today, I ate lots of food, took some ibuprofen for that insufferable toothache and crawled into my bed for some good ol’ sleep time. And when I woke up, not only did I feel insanely refreshed but I also woke up to some seriously good news.

First off, for those of you who won’t be able to make Cassandra Clare’s tour this spring for Clockwork Princess, she leaves us this little note from her tumblr:

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So, yay! That’s exciting! If you can’t make her tour, which obviously some people can’t because she’s just not coming to a town near them, you can still get your hands on a signed copy of Clockwork Princess, and one that is first edition, and has the family tree. Super cool! I think its really awesome of Cassandra to do that. I know that I am able to make it out for this tour because she has a few California dates but not everybody can and this is just awesome.

Also! News for any Starkids out there like me. We’ve been waiting MONTHS for A Very Potter Senior Year and guess what? It FINALLY has a release date! And for only a couple days away! That’s right, A Very Potter Senior Year will be hitting youtube on Friday, March 15th! Very, very exciting.

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I know I’ve been waiting a while for it. I know some of you downloaded the album and song lyrics back in December when they released so you could learn them all before the musical, but I didn’t go anywhere near them. I want to be COMPLETELY surprised. I am pretty stoked to see that we’ll be adding McGonagall, Hagrid, Lockhart and Mad Eye Moody to the cast of characters.

You can see the Mugglenet release right HERE.

Lastly, for all you nerds and fangirls heading to Anaheim, California for WonderCon in a few weeks, like me, and for fans of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series…its just been announced by Lily Collins herself (see here) that the City of Bones movie will be descending upon the convention to reveal a new trailer and a brand new poster, before releasing anywhere else.

I. Am. So. Excited.

Can I just say for a moment that I adore living in California? I do. EVERYTHING is here. San Diego is less than a couple hours away for Comic Con. Wonder Con has been ten minutes away for the past two years and is normally is San Francisco, which is only a six to seven hour drive. Anime Expo is here. Gallifrey One is here. Comikaze Expo is here. Disneyland is here. People come here all the time on tours and autograph signings because its Southern California for heavens sake.

So I am so lucky that I am able to attend WonderCon as Anaheim is basically my backyard and that City of Bones will have SUPER exciting things for us when we go.