Geeky Inspiration Boards: Number 01, The Tardis

For those who don’t know, an inspiration board is usually a physical bulletin board of some type, and it’s adorned with a smattering of swatches, pictures, and images that focus around a central theme. People make them when they are trying to plan a wedding, redecorate a bedroom, or design a website. Still curious? Here’s more deets on Inspiration Boards. Having recently been inspired by seeing so many visually stimulating inspiration boards on Pinterest, I have decided to start a series of them in the geek vein. My first Geeky Inspiration Board pays tribute to the blue box the Doctor calls home, The Tardis.

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I just finished Season 3, which contains a bit about the Master and his attempt to steal the Doctor’s Tardis. It was of course, a jerk move, but it left me with an icky feeling. No one should enter the Tardis without the Doctor’s permission! It’s his home! It made me reflect on how comforting the Tardis can feel, despite it being a freaking space ship, powered by strange alien technology. You never see a bed or a couch in it, but to the Doctor and his chosen companion, it’s home. That’s the safety zone they know they can retreat to, where they are protected and where they can hang their fez at the end of an adventure. It’s a cozy little police box, isn’t it. It’s home.

10 weird things you can do today to make someone smile

  1. Leave a voice mail message for someone you haven’t talked to in a while, but don’t leave it in English, leave it in Pterodactyl.
  2. Walk up the street popping quarters into all the parking meters. You’ll probably get some funny looks but maybe you’ll get a few thank yous or high fives. High fives are the best.
  3. Ask someone how their mom is doing. We all love our moms and it always brings a smile to someone’s face to think about them. Asking someone about their mom might encourage them to call their mom, which in turn will make their mom really happy.
  4. Make superhero whooshing sounds every time you leave a room, and do that superhero arm thing.
  5. Draw a caricature or cartoon of a random co-worker and tape it to their monitor when they are away from their desk. Or just draw a wang. Those are funny too.
  6. Run up to a stranger and ask them what year it is. When they answer, panic and run away.
  7. Buy a bag of candy and offer a piece to every person you see. Chocolate is probably best. You lose points if you buy that sugar free crap.
  8. Ask a random person if they want to hear your best celebrity or cartoon character impersonation. Once you bust out your super convincing Sean Connery, they will definitely be amused. Probably. Or they might call the cops, whatever.
  9. Write compliments on pieces of paper and leave them in random books at the bookstore. You know, “You look good today,” or “Damn, you have a really beautiful smile.” That kind of stuff. You will definitely be getting a future smile for that one.
  10. Communicate in a new language all day. When anyone asks you a question, answer in “boops” and “beeps” and tell them today you are speaking robot. They will get a kick out of it, I promise.

Photo by @ToastyTreat

Feature image by Nicole Misnik

What do you do to cheer someone up? Let me know in a comment!

5 tips to get over those new blog heebee jeebees, plus some first post ideas!

This post is inspired by this tweet from Kristy Lynn.

1. Pretend like your blog is already established, super popular, and loved by everyone.
Let’s LARP for a second. You know, live-action role playing. Get out your boffer sword and repeat after me: “My blog kicks so much ass. My blog is the shiz niz. People freaking love my blog… oh mah glob!” When we role play, we play pretend. We get inside our mind, and convince ourselves to become someone else, or believe something else. Kind of like this. I want you to get inside your mind right now, and tell yourself that your blog is a masterpiece that people adore. They love every word that comes off of your keyboard. They think you’re some kind of bloggy messiah. Your words are like a savory wine of wisdom to the cyberspace masses. Okay, now go.

2. Give yourself a super specific topic that you can’t mess up. Nope, not even you.
Tell a story. Make a list. Take a picture of yourself with your pets. Here are some super specific first posts even you can’t mess up.

  • 5 things I wish I could eat forever.
  • Meet my pets. Worship them.
  • If I was a superhero, this is what I’d be able to do.
  • What my 3 favorite movies say about me.
  • On my first day of high school, I did a very weird thing.
  • Let’s talk about what a dork I was in middle school.
  • 5 weird sex things I learned during my trip to Japan.

I’m full of them, literally. And if you can’t come up with one, you can always do a Blind Post from your favorite blog.

3. Don’t wanna talk about your blog? Talk about other people’s blogs.
Blogger is as blogger does. Blogs are like a box of chocolates… ya never know what yo gonna get Jennay. Okay I’m done. If you’re starting a blog, chances are, you read blogs. Or look at them randomly. Or have seen one once. Why not make a post about which blog inspired you to start a blog, and talk about your favorite posts of theirs. Put them on a little bloggy pedestal, and then when you’re done, you can re-read it and learn how to put yourself on that same pedestal. Blogging takes confidence, charisma, and a little bit of narcissism. So pretty soon you’re going to have to learn to worship yourself, much like your favorite bloggers. Remember to say, “I kick asstons of ass, and people want to hear what I have to say.” Read that last sentence out loud.

4. Talking about yourself is the easiest, because you are you all the time. So talk about your life!
First post idea: My life in 5 paragraphs. Keep it short, basic, and punchy.

  • First paragraph: Age 1-5. Your birthplace, your folks, childhood mishaps, messy baby stuff.
  • Second paragraph: Age 6-10. Favorite cartoons, your weirdest Halloween costumes.
  • Third paragraph: Age 11-15. Pre-teen woes. First crushes.
  • Fourth paragraph: Age 16-20. Raging hormones. Crap you did you probably regret.
  • Fifth paragraph: Age 21-present. Who you are now. What all that other stuff says about you.

5. Just frigging post it!!!!! Hit that publish button!
New bloggers are notorious draft hoarders. We write half a post, get scared, lose our motivation, forget our ideas, and close the browser. Baby, I am here to tell you: wrap it up, post it, and then ask your blog friends for feedback. The blogging community will tell you what they think! Trust me, sometimes we just won’t shut up. We will help you revise, fine tune, and make it better for next time. But… we can’t make it better if it doesn’t exist. New bloggers believe their first post will define their entire blog, but that’s just not true! It only seems that way, because it’s the only thing on your blog. Trust me, you’ll have plenty of time to add to it. But if you keep holding onto this fear of the publish button, guess what? Zero posts plus 14 half written drafts equals … zero posts! Publish baby, publish!

Leave a comment with your first post ideas, first post fears, or links to your very first post. I’d love to see them.

Featured image from Cali Sales on Tumblr

Living the Geeky Life (with purpose!): A How-To Guide.

Sometimes we become overwhelmed with all the little stuff in our everyday lives, that we forget to take a look at the bigger picture. What’s our purpose to life, and are we living it purposefully? My favorite example of a purpose-filled life is that of good old Charles Xavier. Charles is a mutant, with a mutant ability (aka an amazing superpower!), who builds his entire life plan around this ability.

Charles’ life story, the X-mansion, and its inhabitants, are the perfect parable for how one can live with geeky life with purpose. Charles had some struggles from the get go: a physical handicap, some toxic relationships (*cough Magneto cough*), and some cultural oppression from mutant haters. Charles sought to better the world, and wanted to train young mutants to use their abilities. He wanted to do mankind a solid, and to prove to the world that mutants were not a threat, while overcoming all of his obstacles.

His “Geeky life with purpose” consisted of creating the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning – aka the X-mansion and home to the X-men.

So how can you create your own X-mansion? Chances are, you’re not a telepath with a Westchester mansion at your disposal. But if you are, please call me. Anyway, to create your own X-mansion, take my advice.

1. Determine your purpose(s).
What cause do you care greatly for? What makes you happy? Maybe you love gaming, and want to share this love with others. Maybe you want to write a fantasy novel. Maybe you want to open a cosplay yoga studio in SoHo. My purposes are: To use my creativity to make art that spreads joy and positivity, to connect others with similar passions via the Internet, to build relationships with other positive geek women, and to empower others to do the same. These purposes help me to decide which projects I want to take on, and which ones I don’t.

2. Spread positivity to the other hoomanz.
We’ve got like 100 years (if we’re lucky) on this planet, and then we venture into the great beyond. And while to die would be an awfully big adventure, we need to make this experience right here, right now, a positive one …for as many people as we can. This means making ourselves happy. This also means making others happy, including people we don’t know. This means smiling at the jerk who cut you in line, and imagining he needs someone to hug him. This means random acts of kindness. This means making eye contact with people, listening to them, and connecting with them emotionally. This means loving ourselves and being secure in our mind, body and spirit, even though it’s not perfect.

3. Pick inspiring role models.
Some of my favorite geeks include Wil Wheaton, Nathan Fillion, Amy Poehler, Felicia Day, and Pewdiepie. They are giving, loving, humble, caring, funny, and fun! To me, they represent the ideal geeky life with purpose. On Geek & Sundry, for example, Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton allow talented vloggers to have their own part in the show, and they take auditions for new vloggers too! I also adore Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls – it’s positive geekery, that encourages. Their motto is: “Change the world by being yourself!” And Pewdiepie ran a donation campaign for Charity Water, using his fame for good! I would love to see you guys list examples of geeks doing good in the comments below!

The Holstee Manifesto

4. Make goals, timelines, inspirational posters, daily affirmations, calendars, lists – organize the purpose.
Get a big chalkboard, and bright colored chalk, and write down your purposes in big letters, for you to read every day. Buy a Holstee poster, and hang it over your bed, or write your own Manifesto. Write a little encouraging jingle, and sing it to yourself in the shower. Make a list of daily affirmations and say them every morning before you get out of bed. Cut photos out of magazines or newspapers that align with your purpose and hang them all over your house as a reminder. Determine where you want to be in 1 week, 3 months, 6 months, 5 years. Write everything down in a journal and read through it when you are feeling discouraged.

5. Get others involved.
It can be difficult to stay motivated if the only person you have to answer to is yourself. But if you start a geeky endeavor with other motivated and positive people, the snowball affect can be fantastic. Whenever I feel discouraged or lazy about a project, I know that others are excited for it, and depending on me! That makes me want to press on! For them, for me, and for the people involved in the project. Co-running NEPA BlogCon and the Geek Girl Pen Pals has taught me that the amount of energy I have can be multiplied exponentially when other geek girls get involved. My project cohorts are like my flux capacitor, always charging me full to 1.21 gigawatts.

6. Allow others to encourage you.
Surround yourself with positive friends and family who will cheer you on, “like” your status updates, and wave flags down at the finish line. If people are making snide, condescending and negative remarks about your work, cut them loose! Allow positive people to be the Chewie to your Han. Going out for Geek Girl Brunches in NYC has been a wonderful way for me to talk to my geek girl friends. We grab mimosas, chat about our projects, and just spend time together! Remember to make time for real world encouragement, not just digital.

Photo by Monika Kusheva of her Marmal brand

7. Develop your brand.
Having a strong sense of self and identity, built on top of your purpose, is a great way to have something to hold onto, and share with others. Coming up with a name, a look, a business card design, a phrase, a photo that you love: They can all work to be the bricks in the wall of the X-mansion.

8. Let your mind wander. Make time for the geekery, but make time for the nothing too.
As a geek, it’s easy to be obsessed with our computers. I am constantly blogging, Googling, Tweeting, and staying connected. But a healthy and purposeful life means getting back to our disconnected roots. It means leaving the phone at home and going out to the park with your dog, while letting your mind wander. It means getting enough sleep, and not sleeping with our phone. It means prioritizing our lives and giving attention to all parts of it. Ever notice how you get your best ideas right before bed, or right when you wake up? Let your mind wander and you might find your purpose comes to you quicker than you expect.