1. Spring 2015 Life Update!

    March 13, 2015 ♥ Posted in: Journal, Nerd Topics by Kristina Horner

    I’ve got a few cool things I want to fill you guys in on, stuff I’m working on and whatnot. I’ll just throw it all together in a little update blog because, why not?

    1. I decided (about a month ago) to put my head down and actually start editing one of my NaNoWriMo novels. I am making absolutely no promises about what this means, except that it’s a thing I am doing. I just thought it was worth mentioning that I liked my 2014 NaNo novel enough to focus some serious energy on sorting through the mess that is my first draft, cleaning it up, and potentially giving it to some friends to read to help me turn it into… something.

    Mostly I wanted to let you guys know because unlike the thrill of NaNo and writing that first draft, it turns out that editing is an extremely solitary activity with no way of sharing anything until it’s done. So, if I’m quieter online for awhile, that’s probably why. If you were following me during NaNoWriMo you already know this, but the novel is called “Delaney Unlaced”.

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    2. My Patreon page is still a thing, and I try to take an active effort to keep it new and exciting as often as I can. Especially now that I have a 40-hour-a-week day job, it’s harder than ever to prioritize what I use my extra time for. I’ll never stop making YouTube videos, but after that – Patreon really helps me decide where to dedicate those precious few remaining hours. Want to be able to influence the types of things I’m creating? What new projects I work toward? Here are a few of the goals I’m considering, that you can help make possible by becoming a patron!

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    I’m always curious to know which of these ideas/projects people are the most excited about (and there are of course other ones listed on the site; these are just the bigger ones). If these sound interesting to you at all, or are things you’d like to see me do, consider checking out my Patreon! I would never ask for something for nothing, so in addition to these overall goals, there are other perks available for becoming a patron (including being part of the Secret Facebook Group, getting your link in the sidebar of this website, joining my monthly Google Hangout, etc).

    Again, don’t feel any pressure to use Patreon. I’ll never make it a requirement for watching my content and I won’t think less of you if you don’t care to use it. But I do have to make sure that potential new readers/viewers at least know it exists at all!

    3. Costumes, costumes, costumes. I’ve been hard at work getting my cosplays together for Emerald City Comic Con, and it’s been a crazy amount of work – especially Rapunzel! Curse you, Rapunzel!! There will be pictures to come, of course. I seriously can’t believe how much work it’s been. If I seem a little crazy over the next few weeks, it’ll be because of this costume. Dear god. So much hair. There’s so much hair!!

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    That’s about it for me right now. Be sure you’re following me on Twitter and Instagram for more frequent updates about costumes, what I’m reading and general news. It’s been really difficult not having the same amount of time to interact with you guys, which is why I am so adamant about keeping this blog current.

    I don’t want it to feel like I’ve gone away. I’m right here! I’m still making things! Love me!

    Until next time,

    Kristina xoxo

     

     

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  2. I Can Feel The Sun Coming…

    March 6, 2015 ♥ Posted in: Journal, Writing by Kristina Horner

    There’s something incredibly magical and infectious about knowing the weather is getting nicer. I realize it’s only March, but here in Seattle the sky has opened up and the sun’s peaking through, and I can feel it in my bones.

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    Seattle’s a funny place, because when the sun comes out, we know our time is limited. The sun is a finite resource here, and when we have it – we use it to its full potential. As soon as those clouds part, the city goes crazy. We plan vacations. We have picnics. We start jogging again. We sit on our decks. We make lists, we spring clean, we dust off old hobbies and vow to start doing them again.

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    This happens to me every year, and I am always thankful for those first, early rays of sun that really get my muscles pumping (both actual muscles and creative muscles). And after a solid three months of adjusting to my new job, I think I just might have started to find some semblance of a life/work balance again, which means I actually might have the capacity to take on these new summer plans I’ve got churning in my mind.

    I am a chronic over-achiever. I mean this in every sense of the word – while I love saying yes, yes yes to everything, it often leaves me with not enough time to accomplish everything I set out to do, stress knots in my shoulders, and a to-do list that would make even the most organized cringe.

    But at least when the weather is nice, I have that extra something on my side. Energy. Motivation. Positivity. The promise of long car rides with friends, inspiring conventions, seeing people we never get to spend enough time with, camping trips, and best of all – getting stuff done.

    I have a lot of things I want to do this year. My convention list has eight events and counting, I’ve got a laundry list of cosplays I want to make, and I’m trying to bite the bullet and finally edit one of my novels. I miss doing Team Hypercube regularly. I would love to take a personal vacation for once. I’m still trying to read 50 books this year, work exercise into my routine, and keep in better touch with the people I care about.

    It’s going to be a crazy summer. But somehow, the sun on my face on this chilly March morning is telling me I can do it. And whatever I can’t accomplish – that’s okay too. Because we’re only capable of exactly what we’re meant to do.

    What are your plans for the good weather season? Does the hint of sunshine ramp you up? Let me know in the comments, and let’s all try to encourage each other!

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  3. Book I’ve Read 2015

    February 10, 2015 ♥ Posted in: Books, Geek Events, Journal by Kristina Horner

    I wanted a place to document which books I read this year, in what order, and what I rated them. Because I like when things are organized into lists, and because apparently Goodreads alone isn’t enough. So here it is! My 2015 Reading List:

    January:
    1. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart (4.5)
    2. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (4.5)
    3. Hazed by Mark Sable (1.5)
    4. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (4)

    February:
    5. Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison (4)
    6. Cinder by Melissa Meyer (3.5)
    7. On the Bright Side, I’m Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God by Louise Rennison (4.5)
    8. A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel by Hope Larson (4)
    9. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (2)
    10. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (5)
    11. In Real Life by Corey Doctorow and Jen Wang (4.5)
    12. Off To Be The Wizard by Scott Meyer (5)
    13. The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black (4)

    March:
    14. The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski (5)
    15. Wait Til Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn (3.5)
    16. Spell or High Water by Scott Meyer (4.5)
    17. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson (4)
    18. This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki (4)
    19. Cress by Marissa Meyer (2.5)
    20. The Woods: Vol 1 by James Tynion IV (4)
    21. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (4)

    April:
    22. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick (5)
    23. The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson (3.5)
    24. Saga Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (5)
    25. The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson (4.5)
    26. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson (3.5)
    27. Saga Vol. 3 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (5)
    28. Sex Criminals Vol. 2 by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky (5)
    29. Doll Bones by Holly Black (3.5)
    30. Bossypants by Tina Fey (5)

    May:
    31. Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter (5)
    32. Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen (3.5)
    33. The Heir by Kiera Cass (3)
    34. Talon by Julie Kagawa (1)
    35. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell (4.5)
    36. The 100 by Kass Morgan (3)
    37. The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant by Drew Hayes (3)
    38. The Woods: Vol 2 by James Tynion IV (4)
    39. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (3.5)

    June:
    40. I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson (5)
    41. The Martian by Andy Weir (5)
    42. An Unwelcome Quest by Scott Meyer (3)
    43. Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley (3)

    July:
    44. Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson (5)
    45. The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey (4)
    46. Knocked Out By My Nunga-Nungas by Louise Rennison (3.5)
    47. Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen (5)
    48. Dancing in My Nuddy-Pants by Louise Rennison (4)
    49. Armada by Ernest Cline (3)

    August:
    50. I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest (4)
    51. Fortunately, The Milk by Neil Gaiman (4.5)
    52. The Last Girlfriend on Earth: And Other Love Stories by Simon Rich (4.5)
    53. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (3)
    54. Survive The Night by Danielle Vega (1)
    55. Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman (5)
    56. If This Isn’t Nice, What Is? by Kurt Vonnegut (4)
    57. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (4)
    58. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han (2.5)
    59. Amber House by Kelly Moore, Larkin Reed and Tucker Reed (3.0)

    September:
    60. Vivian Apple at the End of the World by Katie Coyle (3.0)
    61. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (5.0)
    62. Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis (4.5)

    October:
    63. In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis (3.5)
    64. Revival Vol. 1 by Tim Seeley, Mike Norton and Mark Englert (4.5)
    65. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (4.5)

    November:
    66. The Haunting of Gillespie House by Darcy Coates (3.0)
    67. Under Different Stars by Amy A. Bartol (2.5)
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    *feel free to bookmark this page and check back over the course of the year to see what I’m reading.

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  4. I Got a Job at Microsoft

    February 7, 2015 ♥ Posted in: Journal, Writing, YouTube videos by Kristina Horner

    Hello, lovely blog readers!

    As you can see by the title of this blog post… I’ve got some rather big news to share. Life alteringly big news, in fact — and something I’ve kept quiet for the last two months.

    I got a job at Microsoft.

    This is some intense news, so here is a picture of some kittens at a birthday party.

    This is pretty intense news, so here is a picture of some kittens at a birthday party.

    To be honest it feels a little cliched, having grown up in Seattle. If you were raised here, you know what I’m talking about. If your parents didn’t work at Microsoft they worked at Boeing. While I’d mulled over the idea of getting some sort of day job over the last year or so, I always imagined some hip new media company. Not… Microsoft. Not the most obvious place to work in the Northwest.

    But here I am. And to be honest, it is a pretty hip job. I was hired as a Community Manager, which means my responsibilities include a whole spectrum of various types of community engagement for a laundry list of games owned by Microsoft Studios.

    But Kristina!? you’re probably asking. Why did you take this job? I thought you were a professional YouTuber! I thought you made oodles of money talking to your camera!

    First of all, I am flattered if you think that. Alas, while I enjoyed my freelance time immensely, it was really starting to weigh on me. If anyone ever tells you that turning your hobby into your job is the ~American Dream~, then you should just tell them to talk to the hand. Because (let me drop a wisdom bomb on you for a second here) if there’s one thing I have learned in my twenty-seven years of life, it’s this: we have hobbies for a very specific reason. We have hobbies because we are creative animals, and we enjoy making things, doing things, being part of things. Sometimes we even enjoy making things just for the sake of creation, but when you add financial pressure to that, you can literally feel your enjoyment start to deflate.

    I didn’t want to hide sponsorships in my videos anymore. I didn’t want to make videos for other companies’ channels anymore. I didn’t want to wake up every day knowing I had to film videos, or had to write blog posts, or I might not pay rent. And I also didn’t appreciate the ever-present self awareness of “what am I actually doing with my life” looming overhead.

    I am acutely aware, however, of how special a thing I’ve created online. And how lucky I am that so many of you care enough about what I’m doing to have stuck around this long. For a long time, considering getting a different job felt like giving up. Throwing in the towel. It felt like I was admitting I hadn’t “made it”.

    But then I start re-evaluating my goals. Made what, exactly? I starting thinking about what I was actually doing, and what I wanted to be doing. I love making videos. I love blogging. I love my Patrons, and my book club, and I love the amazing community of intelligent, caring people who engage with the things that I do.

    Why would any of that need to change, just because I wanted to get a day job?

    It was at that moment that I realized it wouldn’t change. I could still make videos. I could still read books. I could still blog, and tweet, and interact with people online exactly like I always have. This moment of clarity changed everything and I began applying for jobs. The Microsoft opportunity came at exactly the right time and while I’ve been extremely stressed out as I struggle to adjust to a vastly different lifestyle… not much has actually changed, at least online.

    In fact, that only thing that’s been really tough has been not telling you guys about what I’m doing, which is precisely why I am writing this blog post. So… I work at Microsoft now, 40 hours a week. This probably explains why I might have seemed a little distant lately. It was tough to figure out what to talk about without spilling the beans, but I wanted to give myself time to adjust on my own before I told the whole Internet.

    Oh, it’s also been tough to keep up with my email. I did not realize how much email I got until I wasn’t able to check it regularly. How cow. But that’s another issue entirely.

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    So just to sort of let you know what to expect from me now, my online presence mostly won’t change. You can still count on 2 new videos a week. The Restricted Section book club is still going strong. I’ve got three cosplays planned for Emerald City Comic Con. And this blog will always be here.

    I’m just going to have a bit less free time, and I might complain about traffic a lot more, since my commute is right in the heart of rush hour and includes a toll bridge. But audiobooks are a new obsession of mine, so there’s always a silver lining.

    Whew. I don’t know why I am so nervous to be announcing this. I guess it makes sense, because it’s the biggest change that’s happened in my life in a long time. It’s been sort of a tough adjustment, and I miss having all the time in the world to create things for you guys.

    But I think this is going to be a very good thing for me.

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  5. Winter Video Round Up!

    January 12, 2015 ♥ Posted in: Books, Journal, YouTube videos by Kristina Horner

    Hello, lovely blog readers!

    Yet again I have sort of fallen off the face of the planet, but I’m here to make amends by doing another little roundup of my favorite videos I’ve posted in the past month or so. If you missed any of them… go ahead and catch up! I’ll wait here.

    So, first of all.. this video I’m about to show you is probably my favorite video I’ve ever made. Half the views it has are probably from ME, rewatching it and laughing hysterically alone in my room. I have no shame about this. It’s that funny.

    Joe and I did a slightly different take on the whisper challenge. Rather than asking each other inane questions sent in on twitter, we just said nerdy phrases at each other. It was amazing.

    The next video I want to share is my wrap-up from the #xmasbooktubeathon. I love booktubeathon. In fact, I am really coming around to just loving ALL readathons, and I can’t wait to do so many more in 2015. But this was the weekend long readathon I did right before Christmas, complete with a lot of struggles:

    This year I am, of course, doing the 50 book challenge, so there will be MANY more readathons to come. And, I can imagine, more book struggles.

    As we get closer to the end of the year, I started getting reflective. About books, of course. I realized too late that the trendy thing to do was your top FOURTEEN books of 2014, so I look a n00b only listing five. Whatever!

    Then I had to show off all my NEW books, of course. This is a very book heavy blog post, I’m finding. No regrets! Here is my most extreme book haul yet:

    I posted many more videos over the last month or so, so scoot on over to my channel to catch ’em all! Like a Pokémon master. Or you can stay here and leave me a comment telling me what kinds of videos you’d like to see more of in 2015. Whatever you want.

    Thanks, as always, for reading my blog! It makes me smile. I like you guys.

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  6. December Updates!

    December 9, 2014 ♥ Posted in: Books, Journal, Writing, YouTube videos by Kristina Horner

    Hello valiant blog readers!

    I have been terrible at keeping this thing updated. I know. Every time I get busy this blog is the first thing to go, but it’s also one of my favorite things I do online! I don’t understand it! I’m gonna be better. I promise.

    Anyway! Here’s what I have been up to since the last time I wrote a blog post, which was… early November.

    The biggest thing for me was – I finished my 9th NaNoWriMo novel! It was a crazy month, with very little time for anything other than writing, but I DID IT. It felt amazing, and here’s my video documentation of the process if you want to know more about what it was like for me:


     

    I also recently started up a book club on Goodreads if you haven’t heard about that yet. It’s called The Restricted Section and we’ve already got a great group of people involved! Our first book (for November) was Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore (which I loved) and this month we’re reading My True Love Gave to Me, a compilation of holiday themed short stories written by popular YA authors. I can’t wait to dive into it.

    As for this month, I’m currently gearing up for Project 4 Awesome (that’s taking place December 12-13 if you wanna get involved) and then shortly after that is the Christmas BookTubeAThon! I can’t WAIT to find out what the challenges are; I love BookTubeAThon so much. I will likely be making daily videos and shoving everything else on my to-do list way down so I can knock out a bunch more reading before the end of the year.

    It’s also going to be my birthday soon… I turn 27 on the 27th, making it my golden birthday! This will also set my well into my “late twenties”, which is something I am still grappling with, emotionally. Where did the time go? I honestly couldn’t tell you. I was too busy wearing footy pajamas and watching My Little Pony to notice how old I’ve gotten.

    That’s sort of it, for now! I hope you’re all doing well and I will be back very soon with another blog post. Happy December!

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  7. Halloween Party Photo Dump

    November 3, 2014 ♥ Posted in: Food, Geek Events, Journal by Kristina Horner

    Hello, lovely blog readers! I know we’re well into November by now, but I still wanted to share with you a few photos of our Halloween party. Halloween is a big event around here for my housemates and I – we’ve thrown a party each Halloween since 2008; it’s automatic now. Halloween rolls around, we throw a party. It’s always big, loud and tons of fun.

    This year’s didn’t disappoint! We turned on those black-lights, cranked up the tunes and opened our doors!

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    This is the one day of the year we actually put our built in bar to use! This is where we stuck chips and all the various bottles of booze, mixers and beer.

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    This was the ‘fancy drinks’ table. We reused our Unicorn’s Blood recipe from last year’s Harry Potter party (Blue Hawaiian Punch and whatever vodka you have lying around) in our punch fountain, vodka gummy worms (dear lord these were strong) and radioactive green test tube shots (pineapple juice, sour apple shnapps, dragonberry rum and a few drops of green food coloring).

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    This was our food table! This year we had the Mummy-Rollups (weenies wrapped in crescent rolls), graveyard dip (standard 5 layer dip with tombstone shaped “headstone” crackers) and orange pumpkin-shaped rice krispies treats.

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    IMG_7474 Finally, it wouldn’t be a party without good ‘ol Aragog. It felt like old times, having our little spider friend watching over the festivities.

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    How was your Halloween? What did you do? What’s your favorite Halloween snacks or drink? let me know in the comments, and I hope your Novembers are off to a great start!

     

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  8. October Life Update!

    October 10, 2014 ♥ Posted in: Cosplay, Geek Events, Journal by Kristina Horner

    Okay, I haven’t just “sort of fallen off the blogging wagon” – it’s completely left me behind and I’m going to need to call a Lyft to catch back up. Even though writing is just about my favorite thing to do, whenever I start to get busy this blog is the first thing to get the axe. I don’t mean to! I love this blog! But I am going to try to be better. I mean we’ll see, since next month is NaNoWriMo, but I am going to try.

    So what’s been getting in the way of blogging for me? Well, I have two easy answers to that, actually.

    1. Cosplay

    2. Reading

    Usually I have a million excuses as to why I haven’t got time for a damn thing, but lately, it’s been those two things, 24/7. If you haven’t noticed, I have recently jumped headfirst back into reading, and it’s been seriously awesome. Every once in awhile I’d feel that little tug, like there was something missing from my life – and it was totally reading. I’ve been doing a book challenge over on Goodreads to read 30 books this year (modest, I know, but I wanted to start realistically) and I am flying through! You can follow me there if you want to see what I’m reading and how much I like the books I’ve read.

    And the cosplay… don’t even get me started. To be fair, I love it. I am head over heels, honeymoon phase totally smitten with it. But good lord it’s expensive and time consuming. I don’t even want to know how much money and how many hours I have dumped into this hobby already. I really don’t.

    But this weekend I’ll be at Geek Girl Con here in Seattle and I’ll be cosplaying both days! Saturday I will be reprising my Queen Frostine costume I wore at PAX, as we now have the addition of a Mr. Mint and plan to enter the costume contest with them.

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    And then on Sunday I get to fulfill a life-long dream of cosplaying as Sailor Moon. That’s right – I’m dressing up as Usagi herself. The best part is, we have an entire cosplay group of every single Sailor Scout, including the outer scouts. The only sad part is that our Uranus can’t actually make the event, but we know she’ll be there in spirit.

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    I don’t know how I managed to snag Sailor Moon, but I am so pumped it’s actually happening. I’ve put literal blood, sweat and tears into this project. Between a sewing machine needle going directly into my thumb, to hot-gluing my finger prints off, to having to redo a depressing number of parts of this costume due to mishaps and mess-ups… this pretty soldier of love and justice cannot wait for her costume to be finished so she can just wear it and feel like a magical girl.

    I will definitely be posting pictures! Be sure to follow my cosplay page on Facebook for more regular updates about our costume journey.

    That’s all for now! Please don’t abandon me – this blog will be up and running again very soon. I promise. Pinky swear. See you later!

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  9. Renaissance Faire Instagram Flashback

    August 14, 2014 ♥ Posted in: Cosplay, Fashion/Beauty, Geek Events, Journal, Travel by Kristina Horner

    I love Renaissance Faires. I really love them.

    Usually I manage to make it to about one a year but in 2014 I’ve had the good fortune of attending THREE. I got to check out LA’s Pleasure Festival back in April, then I finally finally finally got to attend Faerieworlds down in Oregon in July, and I wrapped up my Renaissance circuit with the Midsummer Fantasy Faire right here in Washington this past weekend.

    I figured I would put together a compilation of photos from the events to share the experiences with you, dear readers. Photos go a lot further when it comes to these events.

    Row 1: The SoCal Pleasure Faire with Ariana, Tyler, Sammy and Joe! This one was so big we didn’t even realize we’d missed a whole section of booths and shops until the faire was almost over! We spent the day shopping, eating, and enjoying the fact that it wasn’t 100 degrees out, like most Faires we usually attend.

    That second picture has detail shots of all my new medieval swag (the best part of attending a Ren Faire is adding to your outfits each year; I’m totally guilty of overspending all the time). The third picture was just a funny vendor that made me laugh.

    Row 2: Faerieworlds is my new favorite event of all time. It’s sort of a Renaissance Faire meets music festival, and it’s right outside of Eugene, Oregon. I attended with some of my best friends: Eia, Joe, Justin, Ariana, Jenn and Liz. You set up camp, you shop, you dance, you listen to live music and you seriously unplug from everything else. We started the weekend in elaborate mythical creature costumes and ended up wearing next to nothing as it got hotter and dustier.

    That second picture is a bunch of us hanging out in a yurt that Ariana was totally in love with… they just left it open all the time, so it became our go to chill space when it was too hot during the day or too cold at night.

    The stage with constant folk music playing was a serious highlight, as was the fact that most booths and food vendors stayed open at all hours of the weekend. However, my favorite part was that there were workshops and activities for everyone – I spent a good amount of time with hula hoopers, learning new tricks (as you can see in the third picture) – while the others were at sword fighting workshops. It was truly amazing.

    Rows 3: This was our first day at the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire with Eia, Ariana, Joe and Meagan. It included immediately getting my hair braided (because it was way too goddamn hot) and putting Eia in jail. It was her birthday, so it seemed like the thing to do. These guys publicly “arrested” her and dragged her over to be contained until she tap danced for them and sang Happy Birthday to herself.

    We’re great friends.

    This is the Faire I’ve been going to since high school, so it’s always fun to run into familiar faces and delight in how much the event grows each year.

    Row 4: The second day of the faire was absurd when it comes to impulse buys for just about everyone involved in the trip. Also Liz joined us. I bought mermaid ears (can you believe it!? mermaid ears that look totally amazing!) and a crystal flute. I’m not even joking you. If someone told me as a child that I would spend my hard earned adult money on mermaid ears and a crystal flute… well… I probably wouldn’t have been surprised. I was a weird kid.

    So that was my Renaissance Faire experience for the year, and I’m terribly saddened that it’s over for now. There are always yuletide feasts to look forward to, but I’ll miss the dusty paths of the faire, the turkey legs, the bards, the bodice ice. Until next year, huzzah!

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  10. Going #DigitallyDark with Absolute LoJack

    June 16, 2014 ♥ Posted in: Geek Events, Journal by Kristina Horner

    I’ve recently been in contact with Absolute LoJack – a really neat company that deals with device theft. They sell software that not only helps you secure your information if one of your devices is stolen, but also helps you stay one step ahead on being able to locate and get that device back. It’s available for laptops, cell phones and tablets and the more I learn about it, the more amazing it sounds.

    I’ve never personally had my laptop or phone stolen, but I definitely know multiple people who have. I have had my wallet stolen, and it was a similarly devastating experience. Not only is the item itself worth something to you (especially in the case of an electronic device) but the information inside it – that’s what can be really scary to lose. When I think about the information that exists on my laptop or phone and what could happen if it fell into the wrong hands… it actually makes me feel sick to my stomach.

    Knowing there are programs out there that can not only lock and delete information from your device if it gets stolen, but can also help recover it is extremely helpful to my peace of mind. Absolute LoJack asked me what I would hypothetically pay to get my computer back if it was stolen and I said “oh god, I dunno. At least $1000”. It costs so, so much less than that to take the precaution before the worst happens. That was seriously mind-blowing to realize.

    Why is this relevant to you? Well, aside from the fact that I think everyone should make sure they have a plan in place in case their important devices get stolen, I also wanted to share a project that they’re doing. Absolute LoJack has come up with the idea of encouraging people to try going “Digitally Dark” for a day – this means you cut off access to one of your important devices for 24 hours to emulate how it would feel to lose that device. The experience is supposed to make you realize how catastrophic it would be if it went missing, and to use that motivation to take the steps you need to make sure you’re covered if it does happen.

    I think this is a fantastic idea, and as much as I hate the idea of not using my phone for a whole day — I think it will be good for me. Hopefully the experience will help myself (and others!) realize how serious device theft is becoming and how easy it can be to get yourself  prepared. Over 100 cell phones are stolen every minute in the United States – that’s a horrible statistic and it’s rising all the time. This is why I am planning to go Digitally Dark this week Wednesday, June 18th.

    If you want to try going Digitally Dark WITH me, you’re more than welcome to! I will be ditching my cell phone for the entire day, and will be filming a video diary of the experience. We can commiserate online together using the #DigitallyDark hashtag.

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    Let me know in the comments if you want to join me – or, if you’re just interested in finding out about Absolute LoJack, they’re offering readers of my blog 30% off any 1-year standard or premium subscription until June 30th. Check it out here and use the code “DARK30” at checkout.

    Thanks for reading, and if you decide to unplug on Wednesday – good luck!

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