Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Music is an emotional art form and because of that I form emotional attachments to certain stars. I never met David Bowie, but I loved him and who he was, even though complicated. I loved his music and movies and antics. He was a gift to life. I’m going to celebrate that instead and just list some of my favorite things about David Bowie.

  1. His ability to change.

2. His creativity.

3. Generosity. He was very charitable and he was always kind to other artists.

4. No Fear.

5. His private nature.

I am having a hard time writing this. It will be a while before this hole closes. May he rest in peace.

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In a Galaxy far, far away… Star Wars is bringing George Lucas great pain.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is bringing joy to so many people but a small minority of jerks couldn’t let everyone be happy. They had to post spoilers or in one case I heard about, they had shout the spoiler in an office full of Geeks who hadn’t seen the movie yet. Bad behavior is one thing.  This is just malicious. How can you delight in the writhing pain you cause people? It’s not funny. It’s not cute. You need to get a new brain because getting enjoyment from tormenting others is horrible. Learn some damn respect.

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The excitement around the new Star Wars movie brought out the worst in a small amount of the population. I guess  some people were never taught to let people around them enjoy things. Some parents are bad examples and can’t be happy if others are joyful and they didn’t get to be as well. Time never runs out to learn lessons in life.

Luckily in my life everyone has been really careful about not spoiling the movie for anyone. Kane and I were especially careful not to talk about what we saw unless we were sure everyone around us had seen the movie. I still debate over whether or not to post certain comics because I don’t want to spoil it for people who haven’t seen it yet.

Seriously though, why do people feel the need to intentionally spoil a movie for other people? This is literally what the internet looked like the day the movie came out to the general public.

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Troll from Gnomes by David the Gnome

The fallout? People saw the movie anyway. Deal with it. If you don’t like, don’t bother watching it. If I don’t like a sport, I don’t go out of my way to make people who enjoy them feel emotional pain. Star Wars, or ANY movie or show should be held to the same level of respect.

Here are my rules for making sure you can keep your friends safe.

  1. Ask, “Hey, have you see this movie yet?”
  2. Don’t post long posts without WARNING people that there are Spoilers ahead.
  3. ASK. Some people don’t care if you spoil the movie because they have no plan, want, desire or need to see the movie.
  4. If you think something is awesome or hilarious think for a moment… will this ruin a key plot point for my friends and family?

These are pretty easy rules to follow. Also, hey…if someone hasn’t played Fallout 4 yet either, shut your mouth.

 

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Settling into my seat, I realized the show still wasn’t for a bit starting, so I wandered around. I marveled at how good my seats were because of the general admission. Funny thing about that. I went to settle back and I had been let into the wrong part of the theater. I hadn’t realized my ticket was for the balcony.  When I decided to go comfy the ushers sent me to the second floor and I thought about how much Kane would have hated this seat. I was a few rows from the front of the balcony and he would have had vertigo of the worst kind.

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You don’t really get the true feeling of vertigo from my photo here. I felt like I could just trip and be flying. The seat was really good though. I enjoyed the view, and as you can see, nothing was obscured.

Finally the lights went down and people rushed to get to their seats. I was sad to see that the theater wasn’t completely full because I adore Cibo Matto. The age demographic in the theater at the start of their set was mostly mid 30’s to mid 40’s. It’s probably because Cibo Matto took a break from 2002 till 2011. Their newest CD, only their third, is Hotel Valentine. All the songs are about a hotel, the rooms and surrounding areas. It’s adorably so much their shtick.

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When the lights went dark and Cibo came out, people crowded towards the stage. It was an amazing show. They danced, sang and partied playing to the crowd. I was excited because they played all the hits, Sugar Water, Know Your Chicken, Sci Fi Wasabi, and Birthday Cake.

They came out and danced during Sci Fi Wasabi.

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Sci Fi Wasabi is by far my favorite song of theirs. They do a little rapping on this track and it’s got some hilarious lyrics. I’ve always loved their nerdy references to Star Wars and science fiction tropes.

“What’s up b? wa-sa-bi

I’m searchin? the city for sci-fi wasabi
The start button has been pushed already

Obi-wan kenobi is waiting for me in union square
My wheel needs repair. The bike lane’s glowing all over the city
My bike, specializes in the nitty-gritty
New york city never had equality, it’s reality, economic duality
Where are my amenities
Tell me my sanity
Ain’t no analogy for individuality, I got immunity from multiplicity
That’s how we do it. we got your harmony.
Where’s you’re identity?
Our name is stereotype with an A
I got to get the shit straight
Your vision of stupidity’s made of vanity
Keep your quality up in the sky

There is a hole on broadway, no control, it’s in my way
I feel no goal. where is my soul?
I got no reset for this game

A.o.k. gotta find an alley anyway
My hair turns grey day by day
Don’t erase your points, you’ve got your pace
Don’t waste your days, get your innerspace
Don’t give me chase, I’m at st. marks place
Feeling stromboli, not ravioli
I’m charging my energy fresh as a daisy
Biologically let your system know what’s up
Here comes your twin hopper
Yuka honda knows her water, Pass the volvic?
No wonder her fingers are smooth like butter
It’s specific. no mind traffic
Cibo matto 1999!
I’m miho hatori straight outta purgatori
AI’ aI’ alright? I’m passing on your right
Don’t be snobby with me
Not aioli, surely not moby
Obi-wan kenobi told me in the lobby
Technically I’m free and I can find the key

Our name is stereotype with an a
I’ve got to get the shit straight. can you relate, my mate?
Don’t be late, my gate is open
Downtown still sends me up in the sky.”

Throughout the years, I’ve heard Cibo in movies and video games.  They used the song Birthday Cake in Jet Set Radio Future. If you haven’t played it you should find a copy. It’s the sequel to Jet Set Radio. You and your friends are roller blading taggers running from the police. Everyone listens to a pirate radio station that is a tribute to the radio station in the Warriors. It’s insanity. You have to roll around tagging things, fight rival blade gangs and avoid getting caught by the police. The levels get larger and crazier as the game goes on. They chose the song Birthday Cake, which is about a woman baking a cake for her son and his wife, on his 30th birthday! (Yeah, I used the lyrics there. 😉 ) You can usually find this game used for $5.00 or under, it’s worth it.

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I swear they used a Cibo song in Katamari but couldn’t find any internet references to corroborate my claims. If you remember this or can recall the song, feel free to comment.

They announced at the end of their set that they would be back on tour in 2015. I hope it’s true. I would love to go see them again.

Tune Yards was up next and as a special treat, they brought Cibo Matto out to help them with a final song. Maybe later I’ll write about Tune Yards.

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After they played I discovered the bathroom on the second floor. I wear it was made for hobbits.

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The Missing Muse

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Lucky duck, I caught wind of a show Cibo Matto was playing in Seattle in December. They were opening for Tune Yards and I really only wanted to go to see Cibo Matto. I got my wish and Tune Yards gained a new fan. The night turned out to be pretty magical.

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Adult? Haha… who’s an adult?

 

Who is Cibo Matto? Seriously, you should fall in love with this band. Japanese expats living in New York, Cibo Matto is a duo act that started in the 90s. They are a mix of Sonic Youth style grunge pop and trip hop. The band name means crazy for food in Italian. Their first two albums all had to do with food of some kind. The concept was surprisingly robust. Throughout the years their music has appeared in movies and a video game, Jet Set Radio. (Although, I swear they were on one of the Katamari games.)

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I was out by myself to see a concert, which was strange for me. I’m usually with a small group or performing, either way I’m never alone at music events. I found a way to pass the time. I was there early bc my keys were locked up at work. I had to rely on timing and texting to make sure my husband and I connected at the right time. Since I was at his mercy, I was only fifth or sixth in line outside the beautiful Moore Theater. I’ve never been inside this Seattle Landmark. Footage from Pearl Jam’s Evenflow video was filmed at the Moore Theater. The weather was unseasonably warm which was perfect because I had a new outfit that was meant for summer. Standing in the line I realized as the sun started to dip it was a good thing I had an over jacket, scarf and gloves. Using my lovely phone I took photos of some of the surrounding area while standing in line as well as facebooking and tweeting about where I was and how excited I was to see Cibo Matto finally. I never had a chance to see them in the 90s.20141213_18475020141213_184104

The Moore Theater was built when architecture really meant something, 1907. The floors and walls are lovely marble with curving stairs up and down to the different levels. I found a bar in the basement with some restrooms. On the main floor was a snack bar with some food. The only things I could eat were candy, so I bought a water and some peanut butter cups. I was struggling with eating a gluten free, meat free diet and was starving. Really, I just needed something to keep myself standing. Looking around the room I glance to the second floor to see the room guarded by the muses. Counting the statues and reading their names I found Melpomene and Terpsichore. Both of whom I’ve used for character names but… there were only eight that rimmed the lobby. Who was missing?!

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Rewind… on my way out the door I suddenly doubled back. Taking off the necklace I had on, I grabbed a necklace I’d picked up at Geek Girl Con. On the necklace is Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space. I love this necklace. I felt compelled to put it on, leaving the other necklace behind, then running out the door so Kane could lock up.

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Fast Forward. Starring up at the ceiling I start puzzling over who was missing… Urania. Urania is the muse of Astronomy and Astrology. I found this especially interesting because of my choice to go back for my necklace. Striking up a conversation with the ushers on my way to my seat, I mentioned the missing Muse in the lobby. 20141213_194918

According to the employee, the Muse haunts the upper balcony where a second circle of statues is also missing a statue of Urania. Searching for other stories about the haunted balcony, I have found accounts where people felt a statue was starring at them or seen mysterious movement. One story involved roadies sleeping with gear over night. They didn’t sleep at all because of footsteps, voices and a door that kept opening.

Hearing about the haunting, I felt instantly blessed and protected. As if I had listened to quiet whispers sending me back for my necklace to honor the missing Muse. They left her out because they didn’t think she had anything to do with the arts… now I find myself writing a song for my band about the last days of the universe.

The sky will grow dark and we won’t even know it on Earth until it’s too late.

Thank you to whoever told me to grab the necklace.

Part two will be about Cibo Matto performing. Amazing…

 

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Kane and I are in a band called Post Rapture Party. It’s been keeping us pretty busy this past year, so busy we haven’t blogged much. Our band is very important to not just our selves but our fellow band mates, Spooky and Ashe. The first Post Rapture Party CD is almost done and should be out next month. The CD is a great accomplishment that’s taken a lot of work from our band mates, producer, our artist friend Raph and our fans. One of the things I love about our music is how it touches such a large variety of fans. Now, we may never be famous, but I hope that people can listen to our music and enjoy it. That’s why I am bringing it up in a blog today.

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VIPS: Very important people in my life. Right to Left: Ashe, Spooky, Noccie (me), Kane. Photo by Neil Jordan of Shadows Will Fall Photography

 

Our music crosses over easily into the geeky realm because about half of our songs were inspired by geeky subject matter. We have songs that are about life like Aurora, which is a suicide note. I was thinking about the Aurora Bridge, which is the saddest bridge in Seattle. They had to put up a fence to keep people from jumping. It always breaks my heart because it’s so beautiful up there. My mind reels at how you can end it all while staring so much beauty in the face. So, I tried to put myself in that place. Other songs were inspired by movies, television shows or video games. At first, we were just writing to get practice together. In the past few years though, I’ve had good fortune to write songs about some pieces of geekdom that are near and dear to me. We aren’t explicitly a geek band or nerd core but it doesn’t stop us from writing with our hearts. Although, that was part of what made the past year so difficult. We had a member leave and part of that was because he wanted songs to be about real things.

Why does there have to be a separation about my emotions over Wash and my feelings over heart break in real life? Those emotions are the same emotions. One does effect me directly but at the same time… “I am a leaf on the wind.” (::sobbing softly::)

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Let’s talk less about that and more about how we are some of the nerdier people you know, without having it branded on our CD. (Although… that might be awesome.) We have been together four years at the end of May and during that time we’ve written songs about documentaries, horror movies, vampires, Firefly and a video game. Post Rapture Party is not the first band to write songs about pop culture and we won’t be the last. Part of how this happens is our writing process.

As the singer, I write most of the lyrics. The guys don’t know until it’s too late what I’m actually saying because of the unusual way we write our songs. Our method starts with pure collaboration though jamming. One of the band starts off playing and I don’t sing without listening to what they are playing. As I listen, things will flash into my mind. Occasionally it’s Serenity and how Wash wanted children or Mal alone in the cockpit with River. Other times current events like right after the Ferguson shooting of Michael Brown we wrote a song I call Ashes. There is no specific reason the songs are written but something plays on our hearts and we run. Energy fills the room when the song is right. Everyone in the band gets involved and we start talking about arrangement and composition till we’re happy. We can write a song in two to three sessions usually.

Our second album is currently in the works and we have three songs so far. Out of those songs is Miranda. (Listen to the song while you read.) That is why I keep bringing up Firefly. The song describes the internal struggle Mal must feel about keeping his crew alive. I’ve always thought he feels like he has to make up for losing so many during the battle of Serenity Valley. Mal is as loyal to his crew as they are to their captain. We’ve performed the song a few times and even when people don’t realize it’s named after the planet that Reavers came from, they love the feelings behind the words and music. You don’t have to be a fan of Firefly to enjoy the song, but if you are there is a different level of engagement. The most obvious references in the song are in the chorus, “If you go to the edge of the universe, you lose your mind.”  The line comes from a conversation the crew is having about the origins of Reavers. Someone says they heard they are people who went insane from seeing the edge of the universe and Jayne says, “I’ve seen the edge of the universe.” There’s a hilarious moment there where everyone is giving him accusatory glances. One of the verses comes from the fact that Mal is an atheist of sorts and they make mention that believers are the really dangerous ones. The lyric is, “It’s hard to believe in anything with so many believers around you. The kind that have something to hold onto.”  Here’s a link to that live performance of Miranda again.

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On our first album, out in May 2015, we have a song called Dust Devil. The song is named after the movie Dust Devil. This horror movie was written and directed by Richard Stanley, the brilliant mind behind the videos for Fields of the Nephilim. If you haven’t seen it, take the time to find a copy. He’s not just a serial killer, he’s much worse doesn’t even begin describe it. Wendy Robinson is being pursued by the Dust Devil because she no longer wants the spark of life she’s been given. The demon has sensed her willingness to cross over but she changes her mind. The winds of the desert stoke the fires as Wendy fights for her soul and the Dust Devil fights for his immortality.

Dust Devil is a cult classic worthy of hunting down.

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Let it Go was written very early in our band’s history and is the fourth song we wrote. That was around 2011, WAY before Frozen. Let it Go was inspired by the video game Flower by Jenova Chen and Nicholas Clark. You play as the wind in the game. As the wind collects flower petals you affect the environment by rebuilding a fallen city. Our song is the same, you should feel the wind blowing across a land without people. We want you to imagine standing where you are right now but after the fall of humanity. There is nothing but grass beneath your feet because the world has reclaimed the land.

Welcome Home, also on our first CD, was inspired by a documentary called Cropsey. On Staten Island, New York, there is an urban legend about a man that will come and take you in the night. Mothers used it as a way to make their children go to bed when it got dark. No one knew that a real man was making the urban legend true. Andre Rand was the truth behind the legend. This insane killer snatched mentally disabled and autistic children from the streets and killed them. He had been a janitor at Willowbrook State School which was an institution for the mentally infirm. Willowbrook was made famous by Geraldo Rivera when he exposed the patient abuses going on at the facility. Really, this was just a place for people to lock away their autistic or mentally disturbed relatives. The facility was over populated with patients and didn’t have enough resources or staff to keep the facility in good running order. When Geraldo went into the facility, he just walked in and found patients soiled and in some cases alone in dark bathrooms with no lighting. It was horrible. The facility was shut down and when people didn’t come for the last patients they were put out on the streets with nowhere to go. Some of the patients lived at the abandoned facility years later after it was forgotten.  Welcome Home is written from the perspective of a patient returning to the facility and confronting their ghosts.

I hope you enjoy this insight behind my band, Post Rapture Party. Keep an eye out for more songs. We have one we need to get back to inspired by Blade Runner. Keep an eye out!

Our next show is May 28th at the Rendezvous, Seattle. Here is a link for tickets!

Like us on Facebook and Twitter!

Listen to us on Reverb!

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There is a magical place where you can go to be with friends you’ve never met before. This magical place is called a convention. I’ve been to lots of conventions. Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head. There is a sweet spot with conventions where they aren’t too big yet and aren’t in the first year stage. A balance is struck between panels, vendors and other activities in these sweet years. Geek Girl Con is in that sweet spot right now. I’m not saying it won’t get bigger and better. I do want more but this is definitely part of that sweet spot.

There were panels I wanted to watch and musical performances that I loved. The vendors room was an interesting mish-mash of crafts, arts, authors and organizations. There was a gaming floor for table top games and a few video games present. The special guest area was humble and calm. The special guests weren’t asking for money in exchange for their signature and photo. The cosplayers were friendly, proud and excited by about the other cosplayers. Everyone was really down to earth and approachable.

I personally had a few moments where I was brought to tears. Honestly, I’ve been rather emotional lately but when I met Karen Prell I couldn’t help myself. Karen Prell is the voice and puppeteer for Red Fraggle, of Fraggle Rock. So many happy child hood memories came back and my regret that Jim Henson was no longer walking on this earth came spilling out. I was utterly overwhelmed and teared up. There had been a short line with only 5 people in front of me. She was so thankful to be talked too and very sweet. I wish I had been able to make it to her panel.

I only made it to one panel. There were many but the first day we were there, I was lost in the wave of people, sights and sounds. The second day I couldn’t arrive early enough to hit the panels I really wanted due to poor logistics. Kane made it to several though, I am sure he can run down how the panels stand up.

There were all kinds of human beings present. There were older people, little children, Men, Women, gay, straight, Trans, little people and disabled people. I wish I had taken a picture of her but there was a really nice little person that was hanging out with a lady in a motorized chair. They were dressed as Hermoine and Luna Lovegood. I ran into the Sexy aka the Tardis. I loved her costume so much. There as a guy, very secure in his manhood dressed as a Hello Kitty version of Gears of War. There were tons of cos players of all kinds. There were lots of Doctors from all throughout the series. I saw a few tiny baby Doctors, daleks and tardis’. The costume contest was funny and impressive. A lot of the Cosplayers hung around after to talk to people and pose for photos.

The music was fantastic. Friday night they had a kick off party at Wayward Coffee House. Wayward Coffee House is a Firefly and Science Fiction themed coffee house. They have a Chai Tea Latte called the Muab’dib because of the spice. My favorite drink is their Green Tea Latte. I have had these all over Seattle and theirs is the best. They use matcha powder and make sure it’s pure with no additives. The Doubleclicks and Molly Lewis   (here is her facebook.) played at Wayward as a pre-convention party. The place was packed with about 150-200 people. If you don’t know the Doubleclicks, they are a band from Portland. They are sisters and incredibly funny. Aubrey plays the Cello and Angela plays the guitar and ukulele. They sing songs about D & D, velociraptors, Mr. Darcy and acceptance in the geek community. Molly Lewis plays the Ukulele, she’s from the Seattle area. Her songs are funny and irreverent. The songs go from break ups to Goldeneye 64. The whole crowd began to sing along with both bands. The big Concert on Saturday was Unwoman and Marion Call. If you haven’t heard of Unwoman, you should hunt down her music. Her music is played on electric cello. Electronic versions of classical instruments have become popular in the past 5-10 years but Unwoman has been playing since she was six and her first album came out in 2002. She briefly toured with Rasputina and has played at the last four SteamCon’s. Her music is soulful, lonely and haunting. Watching her perform was a trip because she has an electronic Cello. This means the body of the cello is missing in this case. You can see from the photo it’s just the head, neck and strings. I was floored because I am used to seeing photos of her with a standard wooden cello. I felt lucky to see her twice at the convention. If you doubt the geek relevancy of her act, just know her name Unwoman is a from “A Handmaid’s Tale,” by Margaret Atwood. A story of a post apocalyptic dystopian society where infertile women are called Unwoman. The headliner was Marion Call, a self published singer and songwriter. Marion Call is like a nerdy Ani Difranco. I only had a chance to see part of her performance though. She’s very talented and uses her body and non musical prompts in the composition of her music. It was fascinating to watch her perform. She would stomp on the stage and type on a type writer for different parts as accompanying rhythm/percussion. While, I am not too into her music, she is an INCREDIBLE musician. She’s also adorable because she was really excited that she is traveling to see CERN again. I appreciate that passion for science.

One of the really unique things about the music at Geek Girl Con were the secondary concerts they had. In the atrium area of the convention center, all the musical guests that performed and some other musicians that had traveled to the convention performed. It made the entire event magical because you were surrounded by music as you went from the doors to the third floor. The openness and accessibility of the music made the convention feel that much more intimate. They didn’t have a microphone and but Unwoman did have a little travel amp she uses. Most of the music was acoustic, except Unwoman of coarse. Everyone was so respectful and quiet. People were sitting on the floor once the couches and foot stools filled up. There were people watching from the second and third floors as well as people traveling on the escalators. This was a great chance for people who couldn’t make it to the concerts to enjoy the musical guests and for other musicians to get introduced to the crowd.

Did I mention that the special guests felt comfortable to just walk around freely at the convention? Denise Crosby was there as a special guest. I about died when I saw her sitting at a table with no line! Denise Crosby played officer Tasha Yar on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Even though she was only on the show for a short time, her character had real meaning and impact. I still feel for Data, having lost the only woman he ever loved. Back to the convention though. I saw her just walking around enjoying the place several times. I kept making Pokemon style jokes during the convention though, “Look, a Denise Crosby in the wild!” There aren’t many conventions where stars can go and feel like they aren’t going to get mobbed by crazed fans.

A very special feature of this convention was a science discovery zone! They had real scientists running an area for children to explore science! The experiments included simple things like making a raisin float in carbonated water and more complex experiments like detecting DNA. There craft activities like making a nature book and making home made goo. All of this was propelled by fun and a punch card. If you got six punches you could enter in a drawing for prizes both days. There were 10-12 activity stations, so it was easy to get six. Even though the area was really big, like 4-6 kids could be at each station, there were more people interested than could fit into the area at one time. This is so math! I hope next year they get a room for that activity area though, it was INSANE.

After everything was said and done there was one more thing we had to do! The Ladies of the 80’s sing along was right before the closing ceremony. Everyone made their way to the largest room at the convention. There were two screens on either side and hilarious videos were projected with subtitles. They played Madonna’s “Borderline”; Cyndi Lauper’s “Girl’s Just Want to Have Fun”; Janet Jackson’s “Nasty Boys”; Debbie Gibson’s “Only In My Dreams”; and Olivia Newton John’s “Physical.” The host also played one of my favorite nonsensical videos, “Love is a Battlefield.” There is sexy dance fighting and 1980’s post apocalyptic clothing. Nothing makes any sense any more! WE ARE YOUNG! Heartache to Heartache we stand! Love is a battlefield. Sure… sure it is. Whatever makes you feel better in the morning. ( I love this song on Rock Band and dance along like in the video. No, I’m not going to post a video of that) The best and last video played was “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” by Bonnie Tyler. The video for Total Eclipse is like the brain child of someone on drugs. The video includes ninjas, laser eyes and ballet dancing barbarians. There is no rhyme or reason to the video. Everyone had a good time, it took a few songs but everyone really got into it. There was a dance party in front of one of the screens where most of the kids wound up. The host was also adding little funny comments throughout the event. This was a great way to end the weekend.

The closing ceremony was short and sweet. They thanked everyone who had come together to make the convention so wonderful. Then the Doubleclicks played, “Nothing to Prove.” I couldn’t help myself, I teared up again. The whole room was singing along with the song. Above is a link to the video.

YAY GEEK GIRL CON 2013! I signed up to volunteer for 2014. See you there!