Thursday 31 July 2014

Turning in your Geek Card

By Marie Victoria Robertson

I hate the phrase “turning in your geek card” for the same reason I hate variations like “turning in your man card” and “turning in your woman card” (I was once told the latter because I couldn’t fake enthusiasm about pretty shoes.) These phrases imply that there’s a predetermined list of criteria you need to meet to deserve a label, or else you can’t legally call yourself a geek/man/woman/laser-shooting velociraptor. 

That’s complete bull, of course. A good friend of mine told me she didn’t feel like she was allowed to call herself a geek, because she only liked Archie comics and the only sci-fi movie she loved was District 9. And I told her the same thing I’d tell anyone who wasn’t sure if they were a geek or not: if you feel passionately enough about something to want to call yourself a geek, then you are one. Plain and simple. There is no checklist of criteria to meet, no committee ready to revoke your geek card if you don’t know who Optimus Prime is. 

But the truth is, the geek community can sometimes be pretty defensive about what it likes and doesn’t like, and there is the belief that some fandoms are universally known and universally beloved and it can cause a bit of a kerfuffle if you come out as a “hater”. 

I know. Trust me, I know. I’ve been called a “hater” and been asked to turn in my geek card. I try not to admit it when I don’t like something, and this is pretty hypocritical. So, this is confession time:

I really, really don’t like Firefly. 

Sorry Firefly: It's not you, it's me.

I’ve watched the series and the movie and I could go on about the issues I have with them, but the bottom line is that I don’t like Firefly at all, and for that I’ve been non-jokingly told to turn in my geek card. 

There’s more. Last year, I finally read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and felt a resounding “meh” about it. The reaction I usually get when I admit this is, “But how can you not like it?? You’re such a geek!”

The very thing that makes us geeks—an adoring devotion to our favourite things—is also our downfall. When you really, really love something, it’s hard not to take it personally when someone else dislikes it. And I get it, too. I’ve been on the other side. I once tried and tried so hard to get a friend of mine to enjoy Futurama and I couldn’t help but feel a little personally insulted and betrayed when she just didn’t like it. 

But the problem was mine, not hers. The issue was a difference in tastes, not an attack on my fandom, nor is my dislike of your fandom an attack on you. 

There are thousands of fandoms out there; no one is going to be familiar with them all. Heck, I couldn’t tell you the first thing about Dungeons and Dragons. Similarly, some of my closest geek friends have never even heard of Earth: Final Conflict. In the same vein, no one is going to love every fandom, and that’s okay

If someone is aghast because you don’t like Game of Thrones, kindly introduce them to your middle finger. If anyone ever requests that you hand in your geek card because you don’t like their thing, remind them that you love what you love, and that you don’t owe your time and fandom energy to anyone but yourself. 

Marie Victoria Robertson is a published speculative fiction writer and playwright, as well as the board president of Jer’s Vision: Canada’s Youth Diversity Initiative ( When all the other girls wanted to marry Johnny Depp, she wanted to run away with Worf on the Enterprise. She enjoys giant robots, time-travel paradoxes, and forcing her son to watch Futurama.

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Meet Ottawa Geek Social Club!

By Angela Hartwick

When I say geek, you say social! Wait, what? 

Geeks aren’t best known for their social skills but social geeks do exist, as do introverted geeks that want to expand their horizons. I run a group called the Ottawa Geek Social Club. The club strives to build the local community of adults with geeky interests. Since 2010 we’ve been providing a menu of local geeky fare and space to socialize with the like-minded. 

The group’s homebase is, a social networking hub that focuses on getting people together based on their location and common interests. There are currently almost 300 meetup groups in the Ottawa area, based on interests such as politics, food, sports, singles, and parenting. There’s something for everyone and I encourage anyone who likes people plus anything else to browse the site. We’ve recently been making ourselves more visible by creating a website page, a Facebook page, and twitter, but of course most of the fun is in the meets themselves.

Meetup events can be created by any group member, they can be small or large, exclusive to the club or open to the public, recurring or one-offs, and related to a myriad of geeky interests. We’ve hosted movie nights in members’ homes, board game nights, geocaching, lan parties, and Magic: the Gathering leagues. Our signature meetup is the bi-annual Meet & Geek, where members gather en masse to socialize over the many facets of geekdom, play games, and enjoy snacks and drinks.

We also schedules meetups to attend bigger events such as WonderGeeks Activate parties, Comic Con, geeky triple bills at the Mayfair, lightspeed dating, Doors Open Ottawa, nerdlesque shows, and astronomy nights at the museum. This way, OGSC members can attend as part of a small group. If there’s an event that’s geeky and in Ottawa let us know about it and we’ll likely promote it!

Most of my friends I’ve met in one of five ways: growing up in the same neighbourhood, attending the same high school, joining the same parenting group, working together (formerly or presently), and through the OGSC. Until OGSC I had few friends who wanted to play Arkham Horror on a Friday night, check out the opening of a new Pinball venue, or meet Peter S. Beagle. Many members have made lifelong friends. A dozen members were near and dear to me enough to invite to my wedding two years ago, and Assistant Organizer Sara met her husband Will at an OGSC event in its early days. 

We’ve recently started publishing event reviews where members can share their thoughts and experiences. This is an exciting step in supporting the local community (in addition to publicizing and attending events). And in October, the Ottawa Geek Social Club will be partnering with the Ottawa Geek Market to run their very first "Geek Social" evening event: a networking/trivia night/pizza party.

If you’re interested in meeting people and finding out about interesting events you may otherwise have missed you should check us out at 

Angela is a 30-something year old mom of three kids - a baby, a school-aged kid and a teenager – and a furbaby, living in Orleans with her geek soul mate husband. She studied English Literature and Social Work but took an unexpected turn somewhere and ended up working as a policy analyst for the feds. Hobbies include reading, playing boardgames and Magic: the Gathering, cooking healthy foods, blogging, and discussing favourite tv shows and movies. She is the proud organizer of the Ottawa Geek Social Club, which strives to provide meetup opportunities that reflect the many facets of geekdom and beyond!

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Geek Girl Review: Harley Quinn Invades Comic-Con


 By Thea Nikolic

So it's that time of year again. The one and only San Diego Comic-Con and Harley Quinn decides that she will attend this year's convention. First off, the creators treated this comic like the #0 one in the fact that there were multiple writers and artists creating the whole story. And it works as it matches Harley's crazy personality. Also, it was an extremely fun and entertaining read. She gets into all sorts of trouble, including getting kicked out a couple of times and finding herself in a room full of Joker cosplayers, which she proceeds to test to see if her 'real' puddin' in amongst them. And on top of everything, Harley is looking to show her art to top comic artists to see if she could make it in the comic art world, and there are some big names in DC that are drawn and talked with some nice surprises.
Definitely worth picking up even if you don't collect the regular series as it is a complete story without talking about the rest of her continuity. So if you weren't able to make it SDCC this year, you can still live it through Harley's eyes.

Thea Nikolic aka Critical Miss has been cosplaying for several years and has just recently started hosting panels at various conventions about cosplay. She is also an actor, so she loves to play and act like her various characters that she loves. You can follow her cosplay shenanigans with her costuming husband at their Facebook page You can also follow her on Twitter @HarleyQuinnBabe as well as on Instagram harleyquinnbabe. 

Monday 28 July 2014

Geek Girl Review: Hercules

By Courtney Lockhart 

It’s been awhile since a team has attempted to bring the legend of Hercules to the big screen. Even longer since a live action version. The last live action Hercules most of us remember  involves Kevin Sorbo running around Greece with  Bruce Campbell. It is a tricky prospect that needs the right effects, the right cast and the right story.  Brett Ratner didn’t manage a perfect score in any category, but definitely tried to strike a balance.

When it comes to the story, there is one aspect that is sure to divide the audience: There are NO gods. This Hercules ( Dwayne Johnson)  is a mercenary. The legends surrounding him are all the work of either the hero’s storyteller nephew Iolaus (Reece Ritchie) , or misconceptions he never bothered correcting since they were good for business.   So how does he actually get things done if he isn’t a demi-god? Hercules has a scooby gang!  The see-er Amphiaraus ( Ian McShane), amazonian archer Atalanta (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal), spartan thief Autolycus (Rufus Sewell) and mute warrior Tydeus. (Aksel Hennie)  The film follows the team as they embark on the classic trope of ‘one last job before retirement’: protecting Trace  and it’s royal family (John Hurt, Rebecca Ferguson and Isaac Andrews)  from a bloodthirsty warlord names Rhesus. (Tobias Santelmann) I found the plot, loosely based on the graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars by Steve Moore, moderately predictable. I could see the complications and problems coming a mile away, but couldn’t figure out the solutions quite as easily.  

Ian McShane absolutely steals the show and provides much needed lightness to the piece.  The rest of the cast, similar to the audience I was watching with, seemed to forget that action movies are allowed to have humour in them. Dwayne Johnson, who is known for being a extremely charismatic performer, confuses stoicism with stilted delivery until the film’s climax.

I rarely find a film that has used 3D as well as this one did. It was not merely added depth as it was in Captain America: The Winter Solider and there were no cheap ‘reaching into the audience’ gags.  The extra effects were used to swirl the action around you and made the battles visually stunning. Extra points for not using shaky cam. The action sweeps smoothly from one point of view to another without going so fast to upset movie-goers with motion sensitivity.  

In the era of the deconstructed fairy tale, this Hercules is another case of trying to make the mythical manageable.  The result is a film that is a bit lacklustre but still an enjoyable way to spend 98 minutes.

Courtney Lockhart lives in the west end of Ottawa with her husband and step-cat.  She is polishing her skills to pursue one of her dream careers as either a costume drama character, Torchwood operative or executive assistant to a billionaire vigilante. You can follow her daily mission to DFTBA on Twitter @corastacy.

Sunday 27 July 2014

San Diego Comic-Con Highlights

By Emily Towsley

Now that the International Comi-Con is starting to wind down, it’s time to take a look at some of the things that happened at the “nerd prom” that not all of us got to attend. The lucky few that did, let it be noted that I am extremely jealous of you. However, that even you oh lucky one, probably missed a few things. So let’s get down to business. 

In a previous article I outlined the issues female cosplayers have been documented having at conventions. Over 1 in 4 women polled have admitted to being harassed about their attire at a convention. This year at SDCC,  an anti-harassment policy was included in the handbook, and attendees were assured there would be security on hand and swift responses to reports. The Verdict? Still out. Since Comic-Con is just wrapping up, we haven’t heard much about the present state of harassment at San Diego. But, I am still very impressed that their anti-harassment policy made it to the handbook. I am especially glad that this problem is finally being addressed as a problem, not just something girls should “dress less slutty” to avoid. 

Besides the awesomely beautiful items that were SDCC exclusives, the LA weekly reported some distinct trends that emerged in the buying patterns of our fellow nerds – Jon Snow’s Direwolf Ghost as Funko sculpture was a popular item, as were the anniversary items for Alien, Ghostbusters and Hello Kitty. Even though most vendors limit the amount of items each person can buy in order to eliminate too many resellers, some of the more popular booths ran out of their inventory early in the day. The most prepared fans camped out before the doors even opened in order to get their prized items. For that Direwolf, I completely understand. 

There were so many, here is a link  to a list with a run-down of every category. I'll share a few here, but be warned- possible SPOILER alerts ahead.

Game of Thrones held a panel, and led with an amazing bloopers reel! Whether you’re as big of a fan of GOT as I am or not, seeing these seriously intimidating robed characters goof off on screen is definitely a good time. George R.R Martin will not be writing an episode this season, or possibly even visiting the set, as he is seriously buckling down on his novel writing.  While Martin’s presence will undoubtedly be missed,  the Thrones family will be growing by 9 this year including legendary character actor Jonathan Pryce, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine alum Alexander Siddig, and Academy Award Nominee Keisha Castle-Hughes. 

Marvel Comics expanded on their previous announcement that Thor puts down his hammer, and a woman is to take the role next. "This all goes back to when I launched Thor: God of Thunder, it's all been leading up to the moment where Thor can't pick up his hammer. I wanted someone to pick up that hammer, and not be just for a moment or a scene, but for the foreseeable future” said Aaron Daughterman about the future changes, “The idea is to follow her as she carries his hammer, and not just picks it up to whack somebody for a couple of pages.”  During the Marvel Cinematic panel Saturday night, the crowd was treated to the first clips from Avengers: Age of Ultron as well as a July 28th 2017 release date for Guardians of the Galaxy 2

Warner Brothers and DC Comics held several panels to show off their big and small screen accomplishments. A teaser trailer for Batman V Superman was overshadowed by the premiere of the first official images of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman.  On the TV side,   the Arrow teaser trailer was recut between Friday and Saturday to reveal that Ra’s al Ghul will be making his way to the CW this fall.  

As the news continues to roll in about the SDCC panels and the overall atmosphere of the Con, I’ll continue to read it – and daydream about the day when I too can go to “nerd prom”. Until then my nerd-lettes, that’s a wrap! 

Emily Towsley, can be found either teasing her cat, or philosophizing with a customer over coffee in her second-life as a barista. Messages of support regarding her addiction to Netflix, and news of vintage teacup sales can be left on her twitter. ( Her spare time is spent reading copious amounts of books, ( or working on her latest blog. ( 

Friday 25 July 2014

CGG Reviews: LUCY--More Than An Action Movie

by Jordan Danger and MJ Baker

I opted to review Lucy because I enjoy movies with theoretical science as a catalyst for the plot line. I expected something akin to Elysium or Limitless, but what I got was so much more.

The premise of Lucy is simple: a young American woman, living in Taipei, is accidentally dosed with a large quantity of a drug that opens up her brain’s full potential, revealing a myriad of skills like telekinesis and telepathy. I had assumed the rest of the movie would be Lucy, played by Scarlett Johansson, wreaking vengeance on the drug cartel that had dosed her. Boy, was I wrong.

The movie was a cleverly cloaked commentary on the human condition and humanity’s eventual evolution. In the words of my co-reviewer, MJ Baker, “It was like a new age science class wrapped in an action movie”. Director Luc Besson, also famous for his film The Fifth Element, takes us on a journey from the beginning of homo sapiens all the way to modern day life, somehow intertwining this story with a hell of a lot of theoretical neurophysics and sugar coating it in a thrilling Bourne Identity-like storyline.

Johannson is not an actress that has, honestly caught my attention much in the past; however, her performance in this role was exceptionally well done. She spends a good deal of the film in an emotionless state, but unlike Keanu Reeve’s portrayal of the famous Neo, it didn’t come off wooden or flat. We found ourselves swept up in feeling what Lucy must be feeling, thinking what she must be thinking, and yet wondering what would happen next.

The film presented some intriguing theories that have been explored by scientists in real life, in way that was accessible and exciting. “Let’s face it,” says MJ, “Morgan Freeman can explain anything to you and it sounds completely reasonable.” Besson’s intermingling of documentary footage, a monologue in a lecture hall by Freeman, and scenes of the actual plot line were seamless. What was cool about this film was the number of ways the director conveyed a message or emotion without any words at all. Indeed, some of the most poignant parts of this film were completely without dialogue.

Do not go into Lucy expecting another action film; you won’t get it. However, if you are looking for something that combines all the energy of a thriller with the art house quality of a foreign film (and a heavy dose of an episode of Carl Sagan’s ‘The Cosmos’), you’re in for a treat. The teenagers behind us were entirely displeased with the film, and loudly proclaimed this at the end; however, my science geek comrade was rendered mute by the climax and I personally found myself wanting to stay for a second screening so I could soak up all the philosophical dilemmas presented.

In short, this movie was so much more than we expected. It’s a shame that it is likely to be overlooked as so many films are that successfully marry the genres of science and fiction.

MJ Baker is a baker (no lie); she owns Bake It So! Bakery, a custom-order bakeshop in Ottawa. She is also a lifelong geek, first and foremost a fanatical Star Wars fan. Her head holds more geek and science trivia than Wikipedia. MJ is the co-star of Capital Geek Girls' YouTube show, 'Two Girls Talking'. She loves fireflies, coffee, and books of all sorts.

Jordan Danger is a veteran blogger, writer, and marketing consultant based in Ottawa, Ontario. She is also President and Editor in Chief of Jordan blogs at, a lifestyle blog about crafting life both literally and figuratively. She loves DIY projects, her dog, and Oxford commas.

Thursday 24 July 2014

Summer Short Reads: Wonderful Women Writing Sci-Fi and Fantasy

By Marla Desat

I love short fiction. I love when a story that takes me mere minutes to read sticks in my brain, and captures my imagination for days, invading quiet moments to reveal its depth. I particularly love short science fiction and fantasy stories. These stories pack so much into just a few pages.  This summer, I'm also trying to add diversity to what I read, and to read more work written by women. So, I took to nomination lists for literary awards to find some great writers that I haven't read before.  Here are two great short stories you can read right now!

The strength of this story rests in Rachel Swirsky's deft interplay of science fiction, fantasy, love, and grief. Swirsky's imagery is vivid without being overdone. As the story slowly reveals itself, you are swept up in the emotions of the narrator. The tragic truth behind the desperate fantasy of this story lands hard and heavy, and left me tearing up thinking about it for days. "If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love" won the 2013 Nebula Award for Best Short Story and has been nominated for the same category for the Hugo Awards, which will be awarded this August. 


The selkies of myths and legends live as seals in the sea but can shed their skin to become human on land. If a person steals their skin, the selkie is forced to remain in human form and is under their power, until they can regain their skin and return to the sea. Sophia Samatar's "Selkie Stories Are for Losers" tells the story of a young girl dealing with the grief of her mother's disappearance. Her friend, Mona, also struggles with a broken family, and the two girls bond. This lovely short story about the effect on children of parental breakups, be they mythological or mundane.  "Selkie Stories Are for Losers" was nominated for the 2013 Nebula Award for Best Short Story, and has also been nominated for the Hugo Award in the same category. Samatar is also up for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, which recognizes new professional science fiction and fantasy writers. 

Marla Desat is a recent University of Waterloo grad living and working in Ottawa. When she isn't playing the latest video games, she's geeking out over comic books, board games, tabletop roleplaying games and science. Marla also writes for The Escapist as a freelance news writer. You can follow her on Twitter @mrdesat

We've Got Eyes At San Diego Comiccon 2014!


Ladies and lady-supporting gents, we’ve got eyes live on the ground at San Diego Comiccon all convention-long. CGG supporter and Instagram nut, @comic_stalker, is photographing the con live for us all week and weekend. Be sure to watch our twitter and facebook feeds for the photos as they come in. So far, it looks like a wild, crowded, magical place full off way too many bodies and soooo much merch.

If YOU are at San Diego Comiccon this weekend, share your pics with us via twitter at @capitalgeekgirl and we’ll retweet them!

And remember: drink lots of water, wear comfortable shoes, and don’t take any bull from anyone, geek girls!

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Sitting down with the Queen of Mean: An Interview with Persephone Vice

By Katie Bonnar

When you’re sitting down with a female wrestler for the first time, you let them call the shots – I met Julia at her hair salon of choice in Billings Bridge Mall, the night before her WWE tryout. Measuring 6’2”, Nulis towers over me at 5’4”, but more dominant than her stature is her nature – she’s immediately warm, upbeat and friendly. Not what you’d expect from a self-styled villain in the ring, nick-named the “Queen of Mean”. In her words, “Persephone is all about business, doing what she needs to do: plan of attack, executing it and be done with it. That’s how she is.”

Nulis wasn’t always a fan of wrestling, but started to attend independent wrestling matches and was introduced to Jeff Smith, who pointed her on her path. She started as a manager and valet, while training on the side. In 2006, at the age of 21, she made her debut in Hamilton. 
When asked how her family took the news, Nulis surprised me, “I’ve kept it pretty quiet within my family. My mother knows and she said ‘are you sure this is something you want to do because, if it is, I’m going to support you in any way that I can’ – so she’s been my rock.” Her brother also echoes this support as do a couple of cousins, including one with whom she was close and whom she lost a few years ago. She paid tribute to him during an especially significant match: her first title win, the Ontario Championship Wrestling title, a disclosure that leaves us both feeling the lingering raw emotion in her voice.
On the back of this WWE try out, her family’s understanding of her wrestling could drastically change. So how does one get a WWE tryout? Her trainer, Wayne Cryderman (Crusher Kline), of Bodyslammers, was asked for names of his students. Nulis has been put forward before, but they hadn’t called until now. This waiting has been good for Nulis who acknowledges that “it just gave me more time to focus on myself, how I look, how I want to present myself to them.” It was Cryderman who made the call, letting her know about the try out, “I’m very thankful to Wayne for opening doors for me so I’m going to make the most of every moment that I can.”

I asked what this could mean for her, “I’m just going to go in with a very level head, very humble head and whatever criticism and advice they give me, I’ll take it and that’s how I can improve.” You can’t help but feel an intense admiration for this woman who loves her sport and seeks to continually improve. It explains why her fans love her so much – her positive attitude, even under the guise of a villain, really does shine.

Speaking of fans, Persephone Vice has a devoted following, which Nulis is happy to indulge. She’s always up for pictures and autographs at shows, but she keeps fan interactions to the events. In public she’ll acquiesce to a photograph if asked, but she’s clear that there’s a line and she doesn’t feel it appropriate to cross that with dinner invitations from fans. Having endured one over-zealous fan, Nulis is understandably keen to ensure she maintains boundaries.

Nulis also maintains an intense training regimen, but admits that nothing can prepare her body for the feeling in the ring – the impact on the ropes and the mat takes your breath away and leaves you gasping, “No matter how much you train, it’s very exhausting!” The experience in the ring is in direct contrast to the preparation Nulis undergoes before the match, “Lots of meditation – I think of the outcome of the match and I make sure that I surround myself with positivity. I’m not injured, my opponent doesn’t get injured, the fans are entertained…surround myself with good.” Having suffered through several injuries, including a broken shoulder that required surgery, it is clear why Nulis has adopted this pre-match ritual.

I asked who her ideal opponent would be, from any universe and while she has a soft spot for Rogue and Storm, her response was immediate, “Tank Girl! 100%! Oh my god, it would be so crazy.” Nulis also confesses to a zombie obsession – in particular, the Walking Dead. She’s fascinated with the idea and admits that were this to happen, Persephone Vice would need Wolverine’s healing ability and some seriously armoured skin to combat the undead. We were both quick to agree a Persephone Vice comic book would be awesome! And what’s a superhero without a weakness? Nulis admits hers is red velvet cupcakes and also credits her friends with getting her hooked on the board game Ticket to Ride. Who knows, maybe WWE will present Nulis with her own ticket some day soon.

I encourage anyone who is interested to catch Persephone Vice in action at these upcoming events:
July 26 Beechwood Fair
September 6: Picton fair
October 3: Metcalfe Fair 
September 27: Timmins, Ontario

And if you’re looking to unleash your inner wrestler, contact Body Slammers 

No word yet on when Persephone Vice will learn her fate with the WWE, but the experience was one that she’ll never forget and she also had a blast being a Rosebud for WWE’s own Adam Rose. She also notes that she’s come away with some solid advice and this has left her more determined and focused than ever. You can keep up with her on her Facebook page for all the latest info.

Katie Bonnar is a modern renaissance woman, which is reflected in her interests. She is a seriously devoted fan of music, art, photography, arm chair economics, fashion, culture, language and My Little Pony. She's an early adopter and, while obsessed with the visually stunning and well-designed, she's also on a quest to minimise the ephemera in her life. You can find her on Twitter at @iamkatiebonnar

Tuesday 22 July 2014

You're Invited: Ladies Night with Capital Geek Girls


On August 10th from 6-9pm the Comic Book Shoppe 2  and Capital Geek Girls are holding a store-wide private party & shopping event for female-identified geeky girls of  all ages. 

10% off all regular priced items, 20% OFF Graphic Novels, 50% OFF all back issues, 50% OFF paper posters, Magic the Gathering Common and Uncommon cards 10 for $1, two regularly priced T-Shirts for $40.


Bags are filled with donations from CGG, the Comic Book Shoppe, Venus Envy , Stroked Ego , Capital City Derby Dolls , Staja Artist Collective , SlutWalk , Microplay on Bank St., local geeky businesswomen & MORE! *please note not all loot bags are All-Ages*


Geeky treats for sale from Cici & Co!


Hollaback Ottawa
The League of Superheroes


In addition to shopping and open gaming, there will  extra activities including: 

Geeky Manicures: $13 by Thetis, Professional Esthetician. 

Portraits by Local Artist-for-hire Emily Griggs 

Cosplay Panel By Critical Miss: CGG Author Thea Nikolic will host an open discussion panel at 7:30pm in the downstairs gaming room; don’t miss out on this wise woman’s tips, including ‘Cosplay on a Budget!'

Costume Contest: All customers are encouraged to costume for the event if they choose. Costumes are not limited by genre or female-identified characters. We will have a Photo Booth with Alex Rose Photography. Prizes will include: ‘CGG’s Favourite’ Prize donated by the Comic Book Shoppe, a ‘Best D.I.Y.’ Prize donated by Wallack’s Art Supplies , and a ‘Ladies’ Choice’ Prize tallied from a ballot box next to the photo booth donated by Body Poets . Winners will be announced at 8pm.

So mark it on your calendars. We hope to see you there!

Monday 21 July 2014

Budget Entertainment for Geeky Kids

By Jenn Kelly
We are a one-person-working-two-jobs family, so when it's time to entertain my child for the summer because school is out, I need to be frugal but fun. I'm talking about 'almost ten' kind of fun. For a smart, inquisitive, conscientious boy who likes to blow things up.  
1- Rebuilding LEGO
Yes, it does sound boring.  However, if you can take their specially built models and create a mass-attack of Darth Vader invoking carnage on the superheroes and Emmett, you've got a kid immediately filled with imagination. Destroy built Lego carefully, you don't want them freaking because you overdid it. My dining room table was left like this for a week. We made videos. 

Or you can ask them to build things. For example, my son started building our home. Each room. And then took a photo. The detail was incredible.
2- Crossfit
Yes, you can exercise with your child. How else can you both stay in shape and have them burn off extra energy?  If they don't want to exercise, make them. No seriously, make them.  My kid always beats me in the chin-up competition. 
3- Cross-Stitching
I can hear you laughing.  Every child needs to learn how to sew. They can't be handing you their shirt and button at 22 years old.  Check out this site for Star Wars patterns. You can buy the white cheesecloth stuff, some embroidery thread for less than 10$ and all you do is draw on the stencil with a marker.  This teaches your child patience, dexterity and other uses for their hands instead of video games.
4- The Drive-In.

The Port Elmsley drive-in is the coolest. Yes, it's about an hour from Ottawa. Admission is $11 for adults, kids aged 5-12 are $4 and babies are free. They have an incredible snack shack (get the poutine!) a play structure for the kids while you're waiting for the movies to start, and clean bathrooms. Bring your own snacks, a sleeping bag and pillows! This weekend is the second 'Planes' movie and then 'Malificent'! Movies every single night until labour day. Bring window screen and tape so you can keep your windows rolled down.

Jenn Kelly likes to be original. Just like everyone else.

Thursday 17 July 2014

Geek Girl Review: Rifftrax Live!

By Jordan Danger and Courtney Lockhart


Seeing Sharknado was my first experience was RiffTrax. I was already very familiar with Mystery Science Theatre 3000, of course, but I hadn’t watched anything from these guys in many years. What I enjoyed about the theatre experience was that the RiffTrax crew was broadcasting and commentating live. What a neat concept for a theatre experience! It felt like we were really there in the room with them, and I think experiences like this are how movie houses will stay in business even when it’s so much cheaper to stream a movie onto a massive TV in your living room.

Their commentary throughout the movie was funny as always, but what made it even better was the crowd. Laughter is contagious, so witty quips that might have only garnered a chuckle from me often had me in giggling because my seatmates were roaring with delight. 

If you’re familiar with Sharknado, I can tell you that any addition to the movie could only be an improvement; but having seasoned Stadtler & Waldorf-esque commentators sarcastically dissing the movie for the entire time was truly delicious. 

RiffTrax is doing more of these theatre experiences in the coming months, so I encourage you to get out and give it a try. We often joke about what movie theatres will do next to make us feel like we’re a part of the film—will there be smell-o-vision? Water misting? Wind machines?—but I think this is a much more elegant answer. 
 Cast of Rifftrax: Bill Corbett, Kevin Murphy, Michael J Nelson


I’ve been a fan of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 since I was barely in double digit ages. Half of the hidden language of my teen years is quotes from the show. So when I first discovered Rifftrax Live! last summer  I was incredibly excited that this cornerstone of my twisted sense of humour lived on. The problem with trying to convince people to watch a show like Rifftraxlies not in getting them to leave the house, but more explaining what exactly they are leaving the house for.

“They’re three comedians and they make jokes about the movie while it’s playing.” 

“ No, they don’t pause the movie- they talk over it. It’s like a commentary track but funny.” 

“ Well  you don’t have to worry about missing the plot because the movies are generally really bad.” 

It can be a bit of a hard sell, until you get there.  From the minute you set foot in the theatre you know you’re in for a different kind of night. The usual carbonated beverage shilling and three month old trivia of the movie theatre pre-show is replaced with songs by Jonathan Coulton, The Doubleclicks and Weird Al.  Fake producer quotes and 'coming soon' notices pepper the screen.

The show itself usually consists of an old PSA short and a feature length film.  At the showing we attended the short warned of the importance of springs  and why you don't piss off magical talking objects by wishing they never existed.  We were then treated to a plethora of fish puns before heading into the feature presentation Sharknado. 

I would not have made it through the movie without Rifftrax.  I'm all for a cheesy movie  but there is  a limit to the continuity errors and blatant disregard of logic that I can take- and don't forget, I'm a fan of The Vampire Diaries.  The  humour dulled my cringing and the repeated refrain of " Um... science? No? Ok then."  still makes me smile and giggle when I think about it. 

Rifftrax Live! will be back at Cineplex theatres  August 14th as they take on the infamous 1998 version of Godzilla. 

Jordan Danger is a veteran blogger, writer, and marketing consultant based in Ottawa, Ontario. She is also President and Editor of Jordan blogs at, a lifestyle blog about crafting life both literally and figuratively. She loves DIY projects, her dog, and Oxford commas.

Courtney Lockhart lives in the west end of Ottawa with her husband and step-cat.  She is polishing her skills to pursue one of her dream careers as either a costume drama character, Torchwood operative or executive assistant to a billionaire vigilante. You can follow her daily mission to DFTBA on Twitter @corastacy.

Tuesday 15 July 2014

How to Become a S.H.I.E.L.D Agent: Avengers in Times Square

By Jenn Kelly
I'm a huge 'Avengers' fan. Not ridiculously huge, like, I have mementos all over my house, but I love the show and the movies. So when the boys and I found out they were having a wickedly-cool exhibit at the Discovery Times Square, we knew we had to visit. I just want to clarify that we were already in Manhattan. We didn't make a special trip.
The exhibit opened at the end of May, and Stan Lee, yes THE Stan Lee, loved it. We bought our tickets in advance (about $80 with a discount) and arrived there 10 minutes before opening. They have 'timed' visits by the way. 
We were allowed to take one photo outside. Unfortunately there were no photos allowed in the actual exhibit. 
Upon arrival, you were instructed to create your own 'badge'. My child calls me, 'Bad Mommy'. Don't ask.
Then you were brought into a room where you were debriefed about the situation. All employees were dressed as S.H.I.E.L.D team and they even saluted. Which of course, the kids loved. And me. I saluted right back. Because I'm awesome like that.

Testing room where you complete 4 tests. Strength test in hand-squeezing a lever; arm strength test in rotating a wheel as fast possible; reflex test in tapping on the 'bad guys' on the computer screen; and the fourth was your weight (thanks). Your results were compared to Steve Rogers a.k.a. Captain America. Of course, you failed. It had glass cabinets filled with Captain America trading cards, his shield, his costume and his gorgeous leather jacket.
They had a 'Hulk Room', where the computers took your thumbprint sample and showed how your DNA exposure to simulated radiation would result in you too, becoming like the Hulk. It allowed you to use the special ipad to 'control' the Hulk's movements in punching, jumping up and down and banging your hands together loudly to create a sonic boom.  They had the 'Ironman' room where you could 'become' like Ironman with special eye-sensors to blow up planes attacking you; or you could watch yourself be clothed in his costume and try out the thrusters. They had Thor and Loki costumes and even Loki's staff! And when asked where Mjölnir was, we were informed that it was not on loan from Asgard. I was skeptical about the costumes, asking if they were actually used, and I was told yes. But hubby said they winked at him later, so I'm slightly doubtful. They had a write-up on each Avenger - Black Widow, Hawkeye, Nick Fury, Howard Stark, Margaret Carter..
At the end of the two hour tour, we could have stayed an extra hour, playing with the computers that searched space for life and for other planets, there was the gift shop with their $35 t-shirts, of which I'm regretting not purchasing. And of course, you can also pay anywhere between $15-$75 for your group photo with the Avengers. We chose the cheaper version. At least I look all bad-ass. For a mom wearing a skirt.

Worth it? Absolutely. Even with the four 'games' not working. 

Jenn Kelly is a mom. And wife. And is currently devouring 'X-Men' novels.
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