Since it’s a new year, I thought that I would look back over last year and consider the nerdy fun that I had. It wasn’t always the best year. The country has been crazy, I had surgery on my rotator cuff and still am getting my mobility back, and we had more house repairs than I would like. However, I also had some fun and did some cool things, so, here goes!

In honestly, no particular order, my ten awesome nerdy activities of 2017

D20 Modern

My partner is a great DM, they are a storyteller and a writer and the campaigns are always super fun. Last year, we decided to start playing with D20 Modern instead of Pathfinder. Similar set-up and system, only in the modern era. This was super fun because now we got to be in regular society, specifically, Hollywood, and we get things like guns, and tasers, and mace. I’m a failing actress in this campaign – but I know EVERYTHING because I’ve done it all on stage. We may or may not be fighting a nest of Hollywood vampires led by Christian Slater with the help of Nicolas Cage.

PAX East

I went to PAX East for the 7th time, and took students for the fourth time. I love PAX because I like being around nerds like me, and I love taking students because I get to introduce them to this awesome nerdy world. At school, my students are the ones playing games in the corner of the snack bar that gets made fun of. At PAX, my students are part of the mainstream. They also can check out careers in the industry and people who have made their living being nerds. It’s such a great experience, even though tracking 18 college kids for 4 days in Boston is a little nuts. Also, I convert new Protomen fans every year!

Pax East 2017 main hall

Nerd Nights

This past year at PAX, I went to a panel of some awesome people who run board gaming events for charity and became super inspired, so I started my own version of Nerd Night in my area. We have raised money for a bunch of local charities in the last year, as well as combining with our annual Extra Life event for the best year ever for Children’s Miracle Network from my group. I love gaming, and my community, and this is just a great way to get people involved with both.

Star Wars camp

I ran a Star Wars camp for kids this summer, and it was AMAZING! We did some science – we made slime, and death star bath bombs, and did some basic robotics. Then we also had fun, we made Chewbacca rice krispies treats and mini sets and stop action movies. We ended the week with a party including costumes and my voice-activated R2D2. Also, my class was almost half girls!

Stormtrooper marshmallow

Stormtrooper marshmallow

Chewbacca marshmallow

Chewy marshmallow

Secret Hitler

I know that I’m behind the times, but this was our school’s year of Secret Hitler, and I played it for the first and then second, third, fourth, etc. times. I think this year, it also took on a new significance, and the idea of fighting the fascists is on everyone’s minds. Also, I’m really good at deception games. Don’t play those with me.

Spiderman

So, I saw a lot of great movies this year, and all the Marvel movies were fantastic, and in fact, I think Thor was my favorite. However – only one of those movies was released on my 10th wedding anniversary, and that was Spiderman! We were married on 7/7/7, and on 7/7/17 we had a really nice date night and got to see Spiderman in IMAX 3D. This is what nerdy married couples do people.

Halloween

Speaking of Thor being my favorite movie this year, I decided to have some serious Halloween fun and made myself a Thor costume, Mjolnir and all. Then, I made the pug into The Hulk! The best was when I was asked to participate in a Halloween pageant at school, which I did entirely in character with my best Thor voice.

me as thor and the dog as the hulk

Solar Eclipse

Not much united the country this year, but I think almost everyone watched at least some of the solar eclipse. In our area, we got a 66% coverage, which was fine by me. I think what I really enjoyed the most was getting people interested in the science of the sun. I taught a class at the local library all summer leading up to the eclipse, where we talked about stars, shadows, light, and heat and made rainbows and solar ovens. I explained solar eclipses for the news and made sure people knew why to wear their glasses. The next one is in 2024 and totality is going to go right over Dawn’s house, so we are already planning a party!

Henry Rollins

I’m not gonna lie, I had no idea who Henry Rollins was before September, but my partner said we had to go, so we did. He was fantastic. Henry Rollins somehow manages to talk about human connection, rock and roll, and politics altogether with tons of pictures in a way that made two hours of him talking seem enrapturing. I kind of want to hunt down Black Flag music and become a punk fan.

Women’s March

This is not necessarily nerdy, but it might be one of the most important things I did in 2017. THe partner and I went down to Washington, DC to participate in the Women’s March. We didn’t even make it out to the main part of the march because of how many people were there, but it was still amazing. There were tons of signs, and people, and diversity, and love, and activism, and I got to be in the middle of it. Considering the way things have gone this year, I think women are finally getting their due in society, and I’m always glad to be a part of that.

women's march

So, I had some pretty great times in 2017, and I’m hoping for more in 2018.

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