Black Friday Purchases I Would Sacrifice A Night Of Sleep For

I am so glad I am finally able to partake in the glory that is 5 Fandom Friday. It’s a project started by 2 of my favorite geek girl bloggers, Megan, aka The Nerdy Girlie, and Kristen, aka Super Space Chick. An experiment, whose intent is to expose those deep-seeded fandom-obsessed layers of us geeky bloggers, as well as a tool to help us all overcome that creative block which can sometimes get the better of us. This Friday’s topic of choice involved Black Friday SHOPPING!

A little baby Public Service Announcement for anyone reading

I’ve got to get up on my little soapbox and make a PSA before I begin this post. First and foremost, as I write this post, my husband is at work, on Thanksgiving. Black Friday, and the monster it has become, is a bit of a moral dilemma for me. I work at eBay and Black Friday is one of our biggest days of the year, but companies putting earnings ahead of employees has never felt right to me, and shouldn’t feel right to anyone. I think certain days, no matter what their messy origins are, can and should be reserved for time with family and relaxing. Thanksgiving at one point was one of those days, but has now become “Pre-Black Friday.” I am definitely a proponent of companies who close their doors on Thanksgiving (or whatever holiday we choose to decide is a day we can not work and spend time with loved ones). Shop online all you want, but please let people spend the time with their families, and put people before profits.

The second part of my PSA involves consumerism and blogging… and YES, I am guilty. When bloggers talk about shopping, spending, and what they want want WANT, it can make them seem greedy, and it can make readers feel like they need more as well. Well, readers, I’m here to tell you that we all need to be smart with our money, and only spend what we can afford. We should budget for our families and our futures as well. If we’re fortunate enough to come into a small fortune, we need to be smart enough to put some away, or give some away; to family in need, to a friend who has fallen on hard times, or to your local Girl Scouts/Church/charity whatever. Just because we can have, doesn’t mean we need to. With a blog, we can safely fantasize/fan girl about these expensive items, but we don’t always need to buy them. I’d stress to those reading – frugality, responsibility, and charity, when possible. Alright – let’s get to it.

1. Goodies from Crystal Cactus

Rose Quartz Claw

I couldn’t possibly narrow down my choice for what I would want from Crystal Cactus for Black Friday. Too many beautiful crystals!

Aurora Dress in Blue Castle Print

2. Gobs of glorious dresses from Pin Up Girl Clothing

I was first introduced to Pin Up Girl Clothing by my darling friend Yissel via her Instagram. Not only is mid-century fashion freaking stunning and classic, but this store has adorned their beautifully made dresses with loads of lovely patterns, from fairy tales to the one I’ve chosen for my company holiday party… Tipsy Elephants. I love everything about this store!

Bobcat Skull

3. Animal Skull or Ethical Taxidermy from The Strange and Unusual

A rare gem in my hometown, The Strange and Unusual, is a local store run by a local tattoo artist and a rock star. The store sells unusual taxidermy, skulls, and shrunken heads.

My Sailor Moon Chest Tattoo

4. Tattoos! More specifically, my Sailor Moon chest tattoo!

I’ve commissioned a really talented artist to do tattoo work for me, and that artist is Danni Jo. She has designed this fantastic Sailor Moon inspired chest piece for me, and it’s going to cost me a pretty penny. So… tattoos. Yes, please.


5. Discord & Fluttershy Resin Statue My Little Pony

After becoming a Pegasister, or a Brony, or whatever the heck you want to call me, I’ve been obsessing over this tiny horse legend, known as My Little Pony. My favorite pony happens to be Fluttershy, the sweet tempered, animal loving pegasus. I stumbled upon this resin statue, which perfectly captures her sweet side!

Be sure to check out this post to see what the deal is with “5 fandom Friday” and post your very own edition! Comment to let me know what you’d give your left nut for this Black Friday!

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My Internet Firsts: A Weird Adventure Through My Internet Beginnings

AOL Instant Messenger, Geocities, chat rooms… Don’t lie, you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about. Well folks, put down your Tamagotchis and lend an ear, because tonight, I’ve just been remembering all the weird stuff I used to make and do on the Internet.

My first AIM Usernames

AIM was a huge part of my day to day at one point. It was what you used to send awkward messages to your middle school crush, find out what all your friends were doing instead of their homework, and of course, you got to pick an amazing and personal username… a true reflection of yourself. Here are some of the winners from my younger days.

  • CartoonSpaz: This was my very first username. I really loved cartoons (My favorites were Rocko’s Modern Life, As Told By Ginger, and The Angry Beavers) and also fancied myself a bit of an unusual person. My English teacher once told me that I “march to the beat of my own drummer” and I really appreciated that. Unless it meant I was tone deaf or something.
  • lenore

  • LilDeadLenore: Would you believe I was a goth girl? Yeah. Some things never change. I loved Lenore, the comic series by Roman Dirge, about the adventures of a cute little dead girl. Lenore was my idol! Adorable, funny, homocidal, and dead! Check out Roman Dirge’s website here.
  • AkoUtena: My friends and I really loved Japanese, because we were huge anime fans. I had a friend who had put Ako in her screen name, and when I asked her what it meant, I found out it was “child.” I adopted it into my name, and combined it with my favorite anime character, Utena. So, you have: Child Utena. I loved the story of Utena’s tragic childhood, where she suddenly became an orphan, but was rescued by a prince and thus decided to become a prince herself. I always wanted to be a prince.
  • SushiBugs: Once I hit college, I got on a sushi kick. And I also liked bugs. You know, like insects. I really have no better explanation for this one.


My first PC Game: Rockett’s New School

I talked about it before on my blog and I’ll talk about it again. This game was a total obsession of mine! I saw myself in the main character, Rockett – an artist and a girl who had to learn how to fit in at a new school at a weird time in her life. As a military brat, I moved every 3 years during my childhood. I wouldn’t change it for the world, (I did get to live in Ethiopia and Japan all before I was 14 years old) but it did come with some struggles. This game was relatable and immersive for me as a girl. I was really sucked into the characters, and their story lines in the games.


My first website: Project Marionette

Around age 16, I decided the AIM username wasn’t enough. I needed to get serious about my web presence, whatever that was. I had no real concept of branding, nor did I really know the purpose of a blog, so I went with what I did know: anime. I scoured the net for the most beautiful anime art I could find, and I would theme my website after that. Usually Shoujo Kakumei Utena, Sailor Moon, Fushigi Yuugi, Card Captor Sakura, Pokemon, Ah my Goddess, or Chobits. I’d use MS Paint to manually slice tables and assemble my ancient HTML websites that was. I just loved being a little code monkey.

My first website was I was in this weird angsty teen phase where I felt controlled by the SYSTEM and by ADULTS (ANARCHY!!!1!) so, I liked the word marionette. Marionettes were also beautiful dolls, elegant and creepy. It represented all that weird emo stuff I was going through. Teenagers, right?

pixelpetsOn these sites, I would struggle constantly for content, and the “blog entries” were never anymore than “Hi, it’s me again! Just a little note to say howdy doo!” For me, the thrill of the website was my little collection of pixel pets, taking personality quizzes to better find out who I was (because those things totally work…), and listing out my favorite things like colors, movies, TV shows, smells, food, music, etc. Productive, no?


Often times on these websites, you could join online rings. Who knew what the heck the point of that was. I guess it was just a way to get people to find your site by cycling through the sites on the ring. Yeah, I was in a few of them. Mostly anime, cute, or kawaii ones. Totally inter-cool.


My first MMORPG: Furcadia

kattahead (1)Yeah, so, hi, I’m Stewie, and I used to play a game called… Furcadia! OH GOD STOP LAUGHING. Furcadia was a free MMORPG involving, well, furries. You could create a character who was an anthropomorphized dog, cat, horse, mouse, or dragon. Basically an adorable chat room full of colorful creatures.

I played a female cat person named Katta Piraa. I had pink hair, black fur, and yeah… I was a cat.

If you’re feeling wild, you can read more here or check out the official website.


My first online club: The Quilting Bee

The Quilting Bee was actually lots of fun, and might still be fun if it was still around. It was an online pixel art and friendship club, where you create a large digital quilt by swapping “patches” with other people in the club. The rules were simple: You had to swap at least 2 patches a month, and your website had to be decent looking. You had an official member number and had to design your own quilting patch. It was a fun way to meet other web designer types who also had an affinity for cute pixel things. Here’s an example of a quilt!



My first real blog: Darling Stewie

I finally decided I was spending way too much time online with nothing to show for it. I needed to get organized and focus my design skill so it, well, made any fucking sense. So I decided to start a blog, develop a brand, and put my thoughts in order.

I began to showcase my web design, logos, and other design work in an online portfolio. I also modeled my favorite outfits, talked about my favorite trends, geeky things, wrote articles on blogging and social media… Basically I began to share all the magic in my mind in a better way. And hey! This particular design was featured in an article, Excellent Graphic Designer Website Designs – 30 Examples. Here’s a later evolution of the design of Darling Stewie:

And look where we are today. I’ve been officially been blogging on for 4 years on December 10th, so join me in celebrating my blogiversary by joining in on the fun!

I’d love to see some of your Internet Firsts! I am sure you’ve got some great stories about Angelfire, Neopets, or Yahoo Chat Rooms to share… so please, make your own Internet First posts and use #MyInternetFirsts… and let all that embarrassing, MySpace Magic hang out!

Other My Internet Firsts posts!
A Geek Tragedy’s Internet Firsts

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Halloween, NYCC, eBay Design, and D&D

My sister, Natalie, and I went as Daria and Jane for Halloween this year, and we won the “Best Group Cosplay” award in our office! Please do not mind my horribly photoshopped hair. I think Natalie looks freaking awesome! I’ve loved Daria since I was an angsty 13 year old. Oh, who am I kidding, I’m still an angsty 13 year old.

We went back to NYCC for our third year, with our friends @patcartelli and @tonydac! We cosplayed as an amazing troupe of Bob’s Burgers characters. I was Tina, Pat was Jimmy Jr, Tony was Beefsquatch, and Mark was Bob. So many amazing pictures! We saw some incredible comic book artists, cosplayers, and toys. Unfortunately, the panels were nearly impossible to get into and it ended up feeling more like an overcrowded advertisement than a convention. But hey, we had fun! NYC is looking more and more exciting to us each day!


I also helped to plan one of the BEST NYCC after parties in history with my cohorts from Geek Girl Brunch. Read all about it here!

It isn’t often that I have the chance professionally to do things outside of my day to day job as a graphic designer at eBay. But last month, they held a Design Conference for eBay employees in Red Hook, Brooklyn that was both inspiring and humbling. Never have I felt more inadequate as an artist and compelled to push myself to new limits, professionally. The conference was held at a most epic venue, Pioneer Works, which I must highly recommend as a place to go if you’re feeling creatively blocked. Not to mention, hearing some of the higher ups in the design world at eBay speak, was so inspiring. Paola Antonelli, Dustin Yellin, and John Couch to name a few.

Mark and I have been playing D & D (first edition) together recently, headed up by one of his professors at Wilkes. I’m of course a gnome – an illusionist, poof! And he’s a halfing rogue. Typical. The fun of playing a gnome – THE JOY! Such jovial jovialities. Yup.

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