The #metoo and #timesup Movements Have Come to the Nerd Community

*Please note that although we are an all-ages blog, this post will be dealing with some sensitive subject matter that is not kid-appropriate.  However, we felt that this movement and the positive changes it is bringing about were too important to ignore here.  

I have been watching and waiting for the day to come when we would get our first news that a member of the nerd/geek community was guilty of sexual harassment, assault or worse.  Well, that day has arrived.  In a single afternoon, not one, but two cosplayers of some recognition were exposed for their rapes, assaults and other lesser, but still painful, crimes against women.  A week later, another cosplayer was exposed for his public harassment and assault of his fellow cosplayers, including men this time.  What a sad week in our community.

The news spread like wildfire in the community as cosplayers and con-goers alike warned each other to stay away from these men.  Statements of support were given all around.

However, there were rape apologists for both men that did not surprise me, but still sickened me.  Lame non-apology apologies were given from both men.  Whatever.  It has gotten to the point that I don’t even hear that anymore.  You raped.  You assaulted.  You are done.

We have arrived at such an important moment in time for all people, not just women, but for us all.  Decent men are no longer lumped in with those who rape and assault.  Women are believed.  Victims, no matter their gender identity, are provided support and guidance.  We are protecting each other.  This particular part of this very ugly chapter in our lives is a beautiful stand-out.  It is great to see.

What I am so very curious about is what is going to happen at WonderCon next month?  Will these people show?  If so, how is that going to go, I wonder?

Here’s what I do know.  Please allow me a rant.  We are done.  There will not be any more groping and cosplayers nervously dismissing it because we, “Don’t want to make a scene”.  There will not be any more going to security only to have your concerns blown-off.  Our voices will be heard.  They are quite loud and united now.  So, if you are a creeper that likes to insult and grope cosplayers or con-goers, your little reign of terror is at an end.  We are done.  Your actions will have consequences.  Our voices will be so loud that con management and security cannot ignore us.  You are on notice.  You will have to take your troll selves back to your mother’s basement and stick to exclusive online trolling, until we figure out a way to stop you anyway.  Rant over.

OK, so now as a parent what the heck do you do with all this information?  This is some real grown-up awkward as heck stuff!  However, it is stuff that is all over the news now, so your kids have heard something about it.  They most likely have questions.  I had to impose my parental veto rights and have the kiddo unfollow and block all the creeper cosplayers mentioned earlier on her Insta feed.  She asked why, which is a valid question.  Well, she is 11, so I told her the basics.  I told her that these men touched people where they should not without consent from the other person.  Then I reiterated that these areas should not ever be touched on her or any of her friends even with their consent.  I explained to her the concept of consent and how we, and we alone, are in charge of our bodies.  Nobody should ever touch you without your permission.  I also had to go into the discussion of how some people incorrectly feel that they have permission based on the type of cosplay (skimpy or racy) that the cosplayer is wearing.  It is so sad that I had to say any of this, but as is part of your parenting responsibility.  You have to have the awkward and unpleasant discussions with your kids.  At least before someone else gives them a whole lot of inaccurate information.

This is all just my take on things to be sure.  I would never ever tell you how to raise your kid, how to parent them on these issues or anything else.  This is just what worked for me and my kid in my home.  If you have some good tips on how to handle these very adult matters with your kids, I welcome your comments.

Until next time…. #metoo #timesup and I Believe You!

Love, Kim and Scout

Vegas Adventure- So Many Marvel-ous Things!

Last Thanksgiving, the kiddo was with me for that particular holiday, so we decided to take a quick trip and have a Vegas adventure!

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We had a most excellent time seeing the sites!

We stayed at the Excalibur, which is right on the strip.  The newly refurbished rooms are super nice.  I wanted to take the kiddo to a themed hotel for this first trip together, but in the future, we will stay off the strip.  We obviously do not go to Vegas to gamble, so staying off the strip with trips into the specific places we want to go is better with a kid.

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One advantage to staying at the Excalibur were discounted tickets to The Tournament of Kings, a dinner and show experience.  We had our Thanksgiving dinner there.

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We hit up Madame Tussauds, which had a special Marvel exhibit that was fantastic!  They also had a 4D movie experience that was terrific!

We then went to Marvel Avenger’s S.H.I.E.L.D. Station.  This interactive exhibit helps you train for a future as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.  We are totally worthy.

For a change of pace, we found a great metaphysical store off the strip, The Realms Within.  If you are ever in Vegas, please visit this wonderful store!  If not, then you can visit their website here.

Last fun thing we did was go to the show, “Baz” at the Palazzo on the strip.  This show was a mash-up of Baz Luhrmann’s movies.  Absolutely fantastic!

All-in-all, we had a great adventure in Vegas for Thanksgiving.  If you have some fun and helpful Vegas vacationing tips, hit us up in the comments!

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Until next time…

Love, Kim and Scout

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Valentine’s Day approaches, and we found some really fun and funny gifts for that special nerd in your life!  Shopping links are included, so go crazy!

Star Wars Bouquets from ThinkGeek:

Feisty Pets, also from ThinkGeek:

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Cap Watch from Superherostuff.com:

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This gorgeous Black Panther bag from Loungefly.com:

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These are just a couple of marvelous ideas from us for your Valentine.  Happy Shopping!

Love, Kim and Scout

*All photos from their respective websites and lead image from Superherostuff.com

2017, Or My Year of Learning Things

Well, I don’t know about you, but I was more than ready to say “Good-Bye” to 2017!

What happened with the election, our healthcare hanging in the balance, our safety hanging in the balance, and well, you know the rest.  That has been covered non-stop.  I spent 2017 taking a big chance, which turned into another big chance and both went bust for me.

Whenever things go upside-down, I look at it and wonder, “What lesson is to be learned here?”  I mean, I might as well.  What else is there to do when surrounded by debris?

So, I did that.

So, what the heck did I learn?  I learned that taking both chances was totally worth it.  Yep, I know, I suffered financially and ended up with nothing, but it was worth it.  The worthiness I found is in seeing how strong I could be.  How hard I could work.  How much I could throw myself into something new and pick up some new skills along the way.

Now, I have not forgotten the months of sleepless nights, working all hours, giving up time with my daughter and my friends.  All of that was awful.  Just awful.  I have not forgotten the tears and the feelings of pure terror every time my phone rang or I got a text message.  I have not forgotten working through a debilitating knee injury that sidelined me for a whole year.  Running about in tremendous pain, but getting it done.  I do look back and marvel at how strong I am.  I did it!  I did it.

I know, this post is so tooting my own horn, but I want to post about the negative as well as the positive in my journey.  To be extra nerdy here for a sec, in “The Last Jedi”, Yoda says, “Failure is our best teacher.”  He ain’t a Jedi Master for nothing, people!

So, yep, to put it mildly, “It did not go well.”  But you know what?  I learned a lot.  A whole lot.

Now is the time to move forward with those lessons tucked away, but never far from my memory so as to not forget.

So, let’s get on with it shall we?

Love, Kim and Scout

 

“The Last Jedi”- OK, So What Happened There, Nerds?

It’s been a couple of months since “The Last Jedi” hit theatres, so I will say that this article contains spoilers, but come on!  We’ve all seen it already.

Scout and I were so excited to see TLJ, as we are always excited for any new Star Wars film, tv show, etc.  To put it simply, we loved it!  Why did we love it?  Well, here’s a list:

  • General Leia, that’s all that need be said
  • The inclusion of women and people of color throughout the film
  • Realistic portrayals of women in power and how we problem solve
  • Rose, again that’s all that need be said
  • The new creatures
  • Maz, again, that’s all blah, blah, blah
  • BB8
  • That throne room scene
  • YODA!!!  Puppet Yoda
  • The realization that the Jedi Order as it was, had to go.  The lessons learned there (failure being a great teacher, amongst other lessons) are valuable lessons for us all
  • The director threw out the Star Wars playbook and let this episode play out like a third installment instead of a second one.  All bets are off now.  They can pretty much go anywhere with the episode nine.  So exciting!

OK, so that’s a small list of what we loved about the movie, but there was a vocal group of nerds that went out of their way to torpedo the film.  They used bots to bring the user score on Rotten Tomatoes down, had pages on various socials in order to bring this movie down.  What?  Why?

These nerds are most likely some of the same people that worked so hard to do the same to the women Ghostbusters.  Again I ask, what?  Why?

I wish I had an answer for you, but I do not.  Like most hate groups, I am left with a great sadness and more than a little confusion.  How does this happen to people?  Do they feel any joy at all anymore with their fandoms, or is their joy derived from torpedoing other’s enjoyment of things?

Now, if you didn’t like the movie just cause you didn’t like it, that is more than OK.  I’m not saying you have to like all the same things I like.  The hate groups are different.  They have actual hate for things because of the inclusion of people of color and especially women.

I’m afraid that as long as nerdy women keep going to cons, cosplaying, blogging and embracing fandoms, there will be hate groups out there to well, hate on that.  Rain on our parade, so to speak.  The more popular these fandoms become, the louder the complaining will be.  Oh well, anything to keep Reddit in business, I suppose.

Scout and I choose to continue on our nerdy journey and not pay them any mind.  That is easier said than done, but I think we can do it.  We nerd girls are made of tough stuff.

Love, Kim and Scout

Christmas at Hogsmeade

This year was the first year that Universal Studios decorated the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at their various parks for Christmas.  Before our block-out days took effect, Scout and I hit up Hogsmeade for some Christmas fun!

On our way, we ran into a couple of friends:

After a couple of photo ops, we were ready to go to Hogsmeade:

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First stop, butterbeer, of course!

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They do have warm butterbeer during the holidays, but I have to get mine frozen.  I imagine the warm version is pretty amazing as well.

Next up, we watched the frog choir:

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Then we hit some shops and Scout the brave soul, rode the Hogwarts ride.

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After a delicious dinner at The 3 Broomsticks, we watched the light show on the castle.  It was beautiful.  I’m all about a Christmas light show that begins with castle ghosts!

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We had an amazing day and found a new holiday tradition.

Love, Kim and Scout

Social Media Tips for Parents

Last week a YouTube star, Logan Paul, made a colossal mistake.  Then he followed said mistake by issuing a non-apology, apology, that made it worse.  So, what did this jerk-face do?  OK, it is just terrible, so you may not want your younger kids to read further.

He posted a video from Aokigahara of a dead body and proceeded to make fun of the man.  The man had committed suicide by hanging himself.  Aokigahara is also known as the “suicide forest” due to the large numbers of people that go there to end their lives.  Why Paul was there is anyone’s guess.

The video got millions of views before it was taken down by YouTube.  Paul issued an apology that made matters worse by basically trying to explain his actions away by saying he was trying to “raise awareness”.  Yeah, sure, OK.  Sure you were.

As a parent to a child that loves, and I mean LOVES YouTube, I was more than a little bit concerned.  Was she a fan of this guy?  His fanbase is made up of kids her age after all.  What is a parent to do about this?  Here’s what I did…

First, I asked her if she was a fan of his.  Thankfully, she is not, so I did not have to struggle with letting her remain subscribed to his page.  I had decided to allow her to continue to follow him, for now anyway, to see how he handled the fall-out and use it as a teachable moment.  Then I told her why I was asking.  She had heard about the video, but did not watch it.  She had no plans to watch, “Something so mean”, so I breathed a sigh of relief at that.  We then talked about his “apology” and why it was so not enough by far.

The kiddo and I have an open dialogue about her social media interests as well as her presence on various platforms, this blog, our Facebook page (which I run, but it is our cosplay page) and her own Instagram page.  I know her passwords.  I ask her about her YouTube interests and any new channels she subscribes to.  I look at who she is following on Instagram, and I have veto power of them all, as does her Dad.

I think you will agree, that this is tricky.  You want your kids to have freedom to pursue their interests, but there are just so many garbage humans on the internet, so what do you do to protect them while protecting their independence at the same time?

My best advice is to keep an open dialogue with your kids.  I mean, you should want to know what they are into anyway, so take an active interest in their social media habits.  I would also recommend visiting commonsensemedia.org when you have concerns and questions.  This site has articles from experts (which I am not), and you can search articles based on the age of your child as well for age-appropriate advice.

Here are some more tips for discussion with your child when letting them loose on the internet:

  • The internet is forever.  There is no such thing as deleting.  Nothing is ever really and truly gone
  • Be kind.  If you wouldn’t say it to the person’s face, don’t put it on the internet either
  • There is no such thing as anonymity.  Your identity can be found out with some simple searching
  • Set those privacy settings to protect yourself (probably best for parents to do this one)
  • If you see something that makes you feel uncomfortable, sad or scared, tell a parent immediately!
  • Lying on the internet is easy.  Do not just assume a person you have never met face-to-face is actually who they say they are

I hope these tips help in navigating this tricky parenting issue.  Please post any other tips you have that I missed in the comments!

Love, Kim and Scout