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The Happy Type
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How To Make Kimbop

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One of my favorite things to eat while living in Korea was Kimbop. Kimbop is a really common food that can be a meal or a snack depending on what you put in it and how you want it to fit into your schedule. I was a huge fan of Kimbop because it was a healthy, quick, and really convenient food to grab for a couple of bucks while I was rushing around. In Korea you can hit up Kimbop joints and get your fix for a couple of dollars or if you’re in a hurry Kimbop is also sold to-go wrapped in foil and it should be noted for any lovers of breakfast tacos that they look identical when they are wrapped.

life-so-harddI cannot tell you number of times I forgot that the warm foil package in my hand WAS NOT A BEAN AND CHEESE TACO. GUH.

Thankfully when I tasted my first Kimbop roll I got over my disappointment over never finding a breakfast taco in those little foil packages. Kimbop is tasty and can be pretty cheap to make depending on what kind of fillings you decide on. I’m pretty partial to beef and tuna recipes, heavy on the mayo, but the recipe that I’m going to share with you is a standard Kimbop recipe and is one of the most common. Think of it as the original version of Kimbop. I’ve had some really tasty Kimbop during my time overseas and I’m pretty excited to share this great on-the-go snack with y’all, so enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 cups Cooked White Rice (You want your rice to be sticky so make sure to use a short grain rice)

Krab Stick (Yes, with a K. Fake crab is kind of a must in kimbop.)

Pickled Daikon Radish or Danmuji (단무지)

Eggs

Julienned Carrots

Gosari (I’ve got a handy gosari recipe in case you can’t find any)

Sesame Oil

Sheets of Nori

Bamboo Mat

Now that we’ve got all your ingredients let’s talk about what you need to do to get some delicious Kimbop in your face as soon as possible! First if you haven’t cooked rice get that in your pot or rice cooker and get moving. You want your rice to be warm when you spread it on the nori so something that I like to do is get my other ingredients prepped while my rice cooker is doing it’s thing. While that rice is moving along here’s how you can get your assembly line ready for making your Kimbop as fast as possible.

Over medium heat add 1 tbs of sesame oil to the pan and add 4-6 oz of Krab stick to the pan cooking it thoroughly. Next move on to your cooking your carrots by adding another tbs of sesame oil to the pan and adding your julienned carrots to the pan. I like to buy 16 oz packs of already julienned carrots and add half a package to the pan for around 3 or so rolls.

Cut your pickled radish into long narrow 1/2 inch strips. If you aren’t about cutting then rest east because you can get bags of it already pre-cut in nearly all Asian grocery stores. Scrambled 2 eggs and pour into your making sure to spread it evenly like a pancake. Take the egg out of the pan and cut into long strips just like the radish. You want to make sure that you get an equal amount of ingredients in your Kimbop so consistency in your cutting is key. Every little bite of Kimbop should be like a flavor party and you’re the guest of honor!

After all the prep work is done all you have to do is put together your soon to be tasty Kimbop. Just lay your Kimbop down shiny side down and spread an even layer of rice on your nori. While your rice is still warm layer all of your ingredients in whatever order you like, but the key is to do it while the rice is warm because without it your nori and rice won’t stick together which means that your Kimbop will just fall apart when you try and cut it. Once everything is layered start to roll your Kimbop in on itself starting by folding over from the edge closest to you. Apply even pressure and keep rolling away from you with your mat. Let your Kimbop rest BEFORE YOU CUT IT. I swear that letting your Kimbop chill out for a few minutes will mean all the difference in how it looks after you cut it. I was impatient to eat and so my Kimbop is a little lopsided but at least it was still delicious.

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I hope this little collage shows you just how easy it is to put together your Kimbop roll after all the prep work has been done and that you have some fun making these tasty rolls. I always loved being able to pick up some Kimbop for a dollar or so in Korea and I’m glad that I learned how to make my own because sometimes you just need some Kimbop in your life. Hit me up if you have questions and keep your eyes open for my Kimchi Chiggae post that is soon to come because nothing is going to be yummier this fall!

Blogging For Fun

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Today’s topic is going to be all about FUN. Yes, fun, fun, funnnnnnnnnnnnn and in particular, the type of fun that comes from blogging. Lately, I’ve seen a ton of buzz around the internet along the lines of:

“Turn Your Blog Into a Business”

“Your Blog’s Brand”

“Make Money From Blogging”

Now I’m not against any of these things, but it feels like I can’t refresh a page or twitter feed without getting smacked in the face with all the ways to monetize my blog, grow my blog as fast as I can blink, or some other plan to capitalize my corner of the internet. And you know what? It totally bothers me and here’s why. Blogging should be fun. I mean isn’t that why so many of us sat down and actually started our blogs? For fun? To create a place to share all the amazing things we find interesting and to share our story?

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I’m not trying discourage anyone who is out there making their way in the blogging business world or to poo poo on their parade. Nope, no blog shaming here! What I am trying to do is to cut through the noise and remind the blogging world that blogging should be fun. As soon as you start focusing on the numbers, the followers, or the money then where the heck is the fun? I’m not someone who can have fun and really be relaxed if I have deadlines looming in front of me because, well, that’s work, right? Yea.

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Blogging is time consuming and blogging is work, but it’s also a work of love. So you know what? Take a breath, chill out, maybe watch some reality TV and let the business side go a bit. Blog because you love it, because it inspires you and you’ve got something to share just for the sake of sharing. I know some people do start their blogs with a plan of wanting to make it pay the bills and that’s totally fine and if you can do that, YOU DO YOU, GLEN COCO. However, for the majority of bloggers that started because they had a passion to share and a love of writing then do just that. Share, write, connect. The whole enchilada (delicious, delicious, enchiladas) and who cares if it makes one dollar? Remember to blog because you love and most importantly, because it’s FUN.

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Blogging should be a Dumbledore dance party kind of fun.

Now that I’ve talked about how fun blogging should be let’s dive into a link-up with Katie from Something Winnderful! Katie is one of the best blogs that I’ve ever sponsored and I love getting to co-host a link-up with her. I hope that you join in the Social Saturday link-up and meet some other pretty great bloggers, and the best thing about this link-up is that there are pretty much NO rules. Just join in and make some new blogging buddies for fun’s sake!


How To Stay Motivated

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If you’ve ever set a long-term goal then you know that staying motivated is the key to success. Goals are amazing ways to enrich your life that  move you along from no where to your ultimate end game but there’s also the other side of goals, failure. When you set goals you will also encounter failure because, let’s be real, no one is perfect but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get back up. Every single time that I set a goal for myself I usually have to fight with the fear and nervous feeling I have regarding the whole what if I fall flat on my face? Even the most driven people aren’t always channeling Eye Of The Tiger.

tumblr_msm6swWzDe1r5pqz3o1_500Things won’t always be on par with Dean rocking out to Survivor.

Today I really want to share a few tips that I make use of when I start a new challenging part of life. Attacking a new goal without the right dedication or frame of mind is just setting yourself up to burn out. Burning out is kind of the worst so let’s try and minimize a trip down burn out lane with a few tips to help keep your fire lit and your eye on the prize.

Remember Why You Started

When you set a goal that takes time and feel yourself slowly losing your drive then take a few moments to remember WHY you started. Why is that you decided to, oh, I don’t know, eat clean, go to grad school, start a new career, move to a new city, travel around the world? Whatever it is you have to keep hold of your why. Once you lose your why then the road to quitting is an easy one to take, so when you feel like just throwing in the towel on life’s latest challenge get alone with your why to get inspired and get back to business.

Visualization

I know it sounds weird but if you can actually see yourself succeeding then the odds that you will succeed go up. There’s just something emboldening about believing in yourself enough to visualize your goal being reached. Whatever is challenging you doesn’t seem so big when you can actually see yourself knocking it down. Visualization also has the added benefit of curbing whatever negative thoughts you have running through your mind because if you are thinking positively about yourself and your abilities then you won’t have the time available to be your own worst enemy.

Get a Mantra

Find a saying that will inspire you to keep going when you just want to give up. Words have power and when you can find the right ones that speak to your heart then you’ll be unstoppable. I regularly add to my inspiring quotes to keep me moving forward and I find that they really help me cut my negative self-talk down. When you’re feeling low you might not have the energy to speak positively to yourself so a great collection of inspirational quotes and sayings is the perfect ready to go ammunition for when you are feeling down-and-out.

Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself

Remember that set backs are going to happen. You won’t always succeed and the road to making your dreams happen isn’t always going to be lined with singing flowers and panda bears. (Side note: A road with singing flowers and panda bears would be the best, right? YEA.) Give yourself permission to fail and keep in mind that it’s entirely normal not to be successful right away. Everyone starts somewhere. You just have to stay motivated and be dedicated long enough to keep moving forward because that is when you’ll actually make the gains that you are looking for. Let the failures go and learn what you can from them to make tomorrow a better day.

Kiersten // She Is Fierce

It’s the start of a new week and I want to get it started off on a high note by giving one of my sponsors some face time with y’all on the blog. Today I get to feature Kiersten from She Is Fierce and I’m pretty blown away that Kiersten is one of my sponsors because I definitely admire her as a woman and a blogger. She Is Fierce is a blog full of feminist and empowering writing sure to get any woman back on her feet after even the worst of days. Kiersten even mixes in what’s currently inspiring her, great bits of photography and offers up some pretty solid blogging tips for both the newbie and the veteran blogger. I’m crushing on She Is Fierce and I hope that after checking out today’s Q&A with Kiersten that you’ll be just as much a fan of She Is Fierce as I am!

 

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Introduce yourself and your blog, She Is Fierce, to everyone!

Hi Happy Type readers! My name’s Kiersten, and I blog over at She is Fierce, where I like to talk feminism, current events, reading, and blogging for the most part.

I guess you would call She is Fierce a lifestyle blog, but I don’t like to focus too much on my life specifically.  Instead, I want to inspire my readers to think more deeply about the way they live and why they live it that way.  What makes you passionate, and why – that’s what I hope you’ll leave my blog thinking about.

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What interests you about blogging and what keeps you motivated to create new content?

I absolutely love the community blogging builds – the different people I’m able to meet, and the lifestyles and cultures I’m able to learn so much more about.  There are so many different types of people out there in blog world, and I can honestly say I’ve learned so much about different cultures from being able to read their blogs!

I keep creating new content each day because I love being able to put that piece of myself out into the Internet community and see how people respond to it.  Those connections and conversations are the most important part to me.

Why I Love Blogging Check out Kiersten’s great post on why blogging is a part of her heart.

What does the word ambition mean to you? How do you apply it to your life?

Ambition is such a tough word, and sometimes I honestly don’t think I like it very much because of the connotation it carries – that idea of someone willing to step all over whoever they need to in order to get what they want.

But for me, I guess ambition is a desire and strength to know what you want and go after it.  Everything I do, that I know I really want, I go after and make sure I do everything I can to get it.  I guess for me, ambition is never giving up as long as you know there’s still more you can do to get what it is you want; and I guess the strength to figure out what it is that you want.

What do you hope readers of She Is Fierce take away with them after spending time on your corner of the Internet?

I hope that when you leave She is Fierce you take some kind of inspiration with you, and a better idea of how you feel about the difficult subjects.  Or at least that my blog and what I write here inspires you to think more about what it is that you believe and why.

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What is one thing that you’ve learned from life that no classroom could teach you?

That your beliefs are the most important thing to you, and I don’t think any classroom can tell you how to feel.  All the information and education in the world can’t tell you what to believe, just give you the facts that can help you make a decision.

Outside of blogging what are your passions? What makes you excited about starting a new day?

I know this sounds very old lady of me, but I love crochet! Actually, I’m on vacation as I’m writing this, and I bought a bunch of yarn today – I’m the only person I know who’d go on vacation and come home with yarn!

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 12.37.46 AMA little look-see at Kiersten’s crochet wizardry.

I also really love photography and reading, and have recently been enjoying The Divergent series and non-fiction personal essays.

And I guess I’d say another passion of mine is learning more about controversial topics and fighting for what I believe.  I love a good debate, and if you give me someone who believes the opposite of what I do on something particularly important to me, I could argue for hours!

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Do you have any big plans coming up? What’s your vision for She Is Fierce?

Actually, Marielle from This Flooded Sky and I just started a feminist link-up called The F-Word.  August was our first month and I think it was an amazing success – so many incredible women linked up fantastic posts, and I loved reading all of them!  Each month, the link-up takes place on the first Thursday of the month, with a different (optional) topic each month to help you get started.

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Get Started With She Is Fierce

What Depression Means to Me 

On Still Needing Feminism in 2014 

The Ocean Inside of Us 

Keep Up With She Is Fierce

Bloglovin | Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram | Google+

Why My Sponsors Are Rad: August Edition

Things have been out of control lately and it feels good to settle down a bit by sharing how awesome each and every single one of my sponsors are with this month’s Why My Sponsors Are Rad! My sponsors are pretty stellar and whenever I need a great read I can count on my sidebar to feed my blog reading needs. So let’s get to the good stuff where I share what I’m loving from my awesome bunch of sponsors!

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Kiersten runs She Is Fierce and I can’t even tell you how much I love reading her blog. Though She Is Fierce is full of well-written and conversation worthy posts. I loved her post on making the most of criticism and learning to grow from all kinds of feedback, both positive and negative. I write a lot for not only blogging but graduate school so I connected deeply with Kiersten’s point-of-view. Totally a must-read for any blogger.

fba300e9a2a8ddbee5b24b3e18f58479If you haven’t heard of Anastasia and her amazing blog Stardust then you need to make like a bunny and hop on over to her corner of the internet. As a blogger I was absolutely into her post on how blogging has changed her. It’s amazing how posting regularly on the internet can change your perspective and really impact your life in a positive way. I’ve found the same in my own life so Anastasia’s post was a home run for me.

lettersounds-842x1024Christine from The So-Called Homemaker has written some pretty great stuff lately, but the one that really caught my eye was her guide on how to help your toddler learn to make letter sounds. I don’t have kids yet, BUT Christine’s post spoke to my ex-ESL teacher side and all I could do was nod and say AMEN! She knows what she’s talking about and this guide is a must for anyone trying to help their toddler get moving on their reading and letter sounds.

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I’m a huge fan of Kristyn from Chits and Giggles and the post I’m including in this month’s feature only solidified my feelings for this lady and her blog. Get ready to say THANK YOU, KRISTYN when you get a peek at her post featuring 20 blog post ideas for when you are just feeling uninspired or pressed for time. I’ve been running around like a chicken with no head lately and posts like these are such wonderful inspiration for blogging.

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Alys is has turned into one of my very best blogging friends and her blog Mundane Ecstasy is a wonderful read. Aly’s remembrance on Robin Williams was, in my opinion, well-said and nicely written. Not only were the quotes and video that she shared perfect, but she also included some great resources for anyone located in Australia and struggling with depression.

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Elizabeth and I go waaaaaay back, like she’s one of the first peeps that I ever connected with while writing The Happy Type and it’s so much fun that she and I are still in contact. I LOVE IT. Plus, we share the same love of food, so yea, we are in it for the long haul. Elizabeth from nomElizabeth shares her love and a recipe for this totally delicious and quick meal that in my opinion should have its own food group. It’s no secret that I love Kimchi, but put that stuff in some ramen WITH HOT DOGS AND EGG and I lose my mind.

 

 

Jade and Oak Blog Birthday Giveaway!

I love birthdays, because, well…CAKE. Also, I love to see people happy and just enjoying the fact that they are another year older and wiser so when Jackie from Jade and Oak’s blog birthday came up I was all about joining the festivities! We are talking a big mamma jamma kind of festivities, too, folks. Like the 300 bucks up for grabs kind of festivities. Kinda makes those socks your MeMah got you every birthday look like chopped liver, right?

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Jackie and one of her pugs that I just want to cuddle until I fall unconscious. Don’t judge me because you know you want to do it too.

Jackie is one of the bloggers that I’ve interacted with and feel like I’ve genuinely connected with. It can be kind of hard to really become blogging “friends” with someone in a “I’d totally hang out with them and watch all the moves while we ate all the things” kind of way, but Jackie is one of those people. If you haven’t hit up Jade and Oak before then spend some time there and get to know this amazing lady a little bit and don’t forget to wish her a happy blog birthday!
August $300 Paypal giveaway

Rebekah – Living Lavender | Madison – Wetherills Say I Do | Kelsey – Ladies in Navy | Ashley – The Grits Blog | Sarah – Venus Trapped in Mars | Helene – Helene in Between | Rachel – With Love, Rachel | Jordyn – The Fairy Princess Diaries | Kelly – Six One Six | Madaline – Pretty Thing & Co. | Jana – Life Could Be a Dream | Crystal – The Happy Type | Lisette – Northern Belle Diaries | Tori – Fashion, Bling, and Other Girly Things | Jess – Jess Loves This Life | Jenny – Dancin’ With A Dolly | Jenn – hellorigby! | Marielle – This Flooded Sky | Sarah – The Baloney Bin | Jackie – Jade and Oak

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday Motivation

Today’s post is dedicated to sharing some Monday Motivation because everyone needs a little pick me up to get going, especially when a new week is starting. There’s something about Mondays that makes a to-do list look so unappealing, isn’t there?  I’m really excited for this week because I have some awesome stuff planned for the blog and it looks like my living situation might soon be resolved!

House hunting never gets easier but at least now I get to not only be with my husband, but we even get to have all of our things in one place. I haven’t talked a lot about it but my husband was finishing a tour abroad while I was working on my first year of graduate school and now we get to see each other allllll the time! I’ll be commuting to graduate school but I swear that anything is better than the previous arrangement.

Here’s to drinking all the coffee this morning and setting up for a successful week!

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I am so excited about finding a place to settle down in that if I knew a jig I would be dancing it. Since I don’t know how to do a jig accept this Taylor Swift chest pump as an illustration of my excitement.

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With a day full of meetings ahead of me I’ll be feeding off of these inspirational as much as y’all so let’s get in the mood to make the most of our Monday!

 

Women and Geek Culture v. 4

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What woman didn’t play FFX2 and not love every single second of it?

It’s time for another round of Women and Geek Culture and that means it’s my favorite day of the week. Women and Geek Culture is quickly becoming one of my favorite things on this little blog and I love the genuine discussion it sparks. Who doesn’t love discovering new books to read, games to play and fandoms to love? On the recommendation of Claire from Daisy Bisley I went out and bought the Batwoman in the New 52 series and I’m IN LOVE. Plus, I’ve added a new batch of author’s to my kindle on the recommendation of Marielle from This Flooded Sky and Alys from Mundane Ecstasy. I hope that this regular series proves to be a fruitful resource for other women with geek culture interests because there’s literally nothing better than getting to share what you love.

Meet the women of the 4th installment of Women and Geek Culture!

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Marielle | Alys | Claire

When did you first fall in love with geek culture?

Marielle: My elementary school used to have a book club program – teachers would hand out these mini magazines with book information and we could order through the school.  This was before my town got a Barnes & Noble.  When I was in fourth or fifth grade, I ordered a Tolkien set that included The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings and fell in love.  I was a total Tolkien fangirl for a while, and eventually discovered the SFF section when the B&N opened.  I bought all his other books, but all the elf history went way over my head back in the early days.  Around the same time my brother got me to watch Star Wars by tempting me with Ewoks.  Totally watched that every day for a while.

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Alys: To quote John Green “I fell in love like you fall asleep, slowly at first and then all at once”. My Dad had 3 daughters and he never excluded us from watching/enjoying what would now be called geek culture. Many years later my new boyfriend (now husband) wanted me to play World of Warcraft I agreed to impress him. I had read somewhere that all men wanted a woman to game with and I was determined to enjoy it. And enjoy it I did. WoW was the beginning of my love of geek

Claire: I first fell in love with geek culture the day I found that special someone to geek out about Lord of the Rings with – my good friend Anna. I’ve always loved what I love and can’t remember becoming a geek or ever being labelled one, well until I got to high school and discovered it wasn’t cool to like certain things – looking at you Stargate. I did start to feel a little lonely in my love for sci fi, action movies and other such geekiness. Sharing the love for LOTR was magic! Finding someone to talk obsessively about the tiny details and great deep meanings with made all the difference and did wonders in making me comfortable and confident in being open and enthusiastic about my geeky tendencies.

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Oh, Stargate love. So many feels.

That feeling of shared enthusiasm, passion and inclusion is what I love about Geek Culture – it’s infectious. People coming together to love the sh*t out of something is inspiring and with so many online communities and the growth of conventions, it’s such a great culture to be a part of.

The world may be getting smaller, but the geeks are taking it over!

How do you feel we can create a more inclusive and nurturing environment for girls and women within the geek community?

Marielle: I’ve always been a closet geek.  I pretty much hid the fact that I read fantasy books until I was around 18 and realized I had friends with similar interests.  I’ve toyed with the idea of joining geek Meetup groups in my city, but I’m always put off by the possibility of hanging out with a bunch of weird men or having my geek cred questioned.

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Having your geek cred questioned isn’t fun. 

I’m basically hitting most of the problems with women in the geek community, aren’t I?  I spent so long hiding it that now it feels weird to dive into geek groups. I’d love it if students could read more fantasy books in school, to show that it’s not a genre worthy of mockery.  Or if teen magazines recommended a variety of books for girls.  But maybe my age is showing, because kids these days are the generation of Harry Potter and teen paranormal romance is already mainstream.

Alys: The truth is that there is too much judgment in this world in general. We need, as a collective, to start understanding that every single person has a right (assuming no one gets hurt) to love whatever it is they love.

To make this happen we need to start when we are children, to tell boys and girls that its ok to be a geek. I believe, and am encouraged, by some of the groups out there that tell little girls its ok to love science and gaming but we also need to teach boys – because when those little girls start trying to impress the boys if the boys aren’t interested in a smart gamer then some girls will pretend that isn’t them.

For adults geeks need to admit that they are geeks without shame. If we accept ourselves eventually others will as well. It’s hard to belittle or exclude someone if they will not go away. Sadly the concept of female geeks is so foreign to men (and to be fair major content producers) that the shock of finding us there brings out the worst in others. If we remain, knowing that for right now it will be bumpy, eventually we will have to be acknowledged and welcomed. Of course, it would be nice if other women wouldn’t be so judgmental that would really help.

Claire: By being just that, inclusive and nurturing. Encouraging girls and women to be themselves and be proud of it is important. It’s something I’ve struggled with in the past and being comfortable enough not to shy away from public displays of geekery is now a part of who I am. That came from inclusion and encouragement and paying it forward is important to me. So building and/or finding communities online that encourage women and girls to just be who they are and that it’s actually ok to be a woman and a geek is a must. That and just being plain kind to one another!!

When it comes to female characters within science fiction and fantasy games, literature, graphic novels, or movies there are often two extremes women fall into, the either hyper-sexualized fantasy or the overly aggressive ass kicker. What are your thoughts on this and do you think this will change?

Marielle: Ugh.  It makes me cringe.  Especially when the overly aggressive ass kicker always needs to be saved by a man.  But honestly, I don’t think it will change anytime soon in movies, at least.  I mean, just think of how many movies still fail the Bechdel test.  I think the change is happening slowly in literature, but mostly because every noob wants to be George R. R. Martin.  These tropes are so ingrained but there are some great (female) authors out there who are turning them around.

Alys: I agree with you women are either hyper-sexualized or aggressive ass kickers though we are starting to see women just being smart (I am thinking Jemma Simmons from Marvels Agents of SHIELD who is smart and cute). I agree with you and I am positive that things will change. I would love to believe the world is all lovely but the truth is that the change will happen because big business will realize that we ladies are consuming the media too. Women, especially in the Western world, are usually key decision makers for household purchases and entertainment which is why there are so many products marketed to us. I honestly believe it’s the almighty dollar that will make changes happen – because if women are the decision makers and they want Wonder Woman to wear pants then she will.

Wonder Woman CropNot quite pants, but we’ll take this fierce looking version of Wonder Woman!

Claire: In order to answer this one I need to start by saying I was spoiled by Dana Scully! She is one of my all time favourite sci fi characters and quite frankly one of the most important for the budding young feminist I was when I watched The X Files. Scully was proof you could beautiful and smart, strong and vulnerable, spiritual and scientifically minded – not annoying placed buts in there!

tumblr_li9iuvnkpo1qf4elio1_400Do your thing, Dana Scully.

So taking Scully as my benchmark, jeez-o  sometimes I feel like the world has taken a step back – looking at you Robocop reboot, RIGHT at you. Mainly in movies I hasten to add. TV has always been better at fleshing out great female characters, but they have the pleasure of developing and moulding them over a run of episodes. Not really an excuse if you look to movies like Alien and Terminator 1 & 2. Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor didn’t start out as ass kickers, it was part of their development. Ripley kicked alien ass to survive and Sarah kicked Terminator (and anyone else who got in her way) ass to save her son and in turn the world from time travelling, self aware machine destruction.

How To Inspire People

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Today I wanted to talk about inspiring people and how you can make a positive change in the lives of people around you. The secret to inspiring people is so very simple that it might seem like a no brainer.The truth is that it’s so simple it is easily missed or passed over. Are you ready for the big revelation on how to inspire and lead people?

If you want to inspire someone else then the first step is that you must inspire yourself.

Yup, that’s it. All you have to do is inspire yourself. If you are able to inspire yourself then you will inspire the people around you and let me explain what I mean by inspiring yourself. I mean that you have to believe in yourself. When you speak, your words cannot be a hollow they have to mean something otherwise they are useful as a bowl of plastic fruit (or some kind of horrible lie like a plastic pizza) when you are starving.

Make your words mean something, let your words carry weight, which also means that you cannot just toss out generic catch-phrases or general encouragement. You have to go deeper than a random “You can do this” or “It’ll be alright”. Make a connection and invest in the people around you so that when you speak, you speak to their needs with words meant to make a difference. Words that are meant for them.

So let’s get started and make some time to get alone with yourself. Get your priorities in line and when you tell yourself that yes, you are stronger than whatever is in front of you, believe it. Don’t falter because even if it isn’t pretty you’ll make it work. Remember that things don’t have to be pretty or perfect to be successful and so long as you believe in yourself, so long as you inspire yourself, then you are pretty much unstoppable.

Be the force of nature that you can be, believe in yourself and become an inspiration to the people around you. The best thing about this is you won’t ever have to tell someone what you are doing, it will just happen, oh so naturally. And that’s what will make it worth every effort, every failure and every time that you picked yourself back up and kept going.

On “Nice” Guys And Being The Scorpion

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Today’s post is 100% inspired by some old post-it notes that I found in a box while moving. The notes were a gift from a friend and were the sort that allowed you to address and leave a message for someone along with your current mood. There was even a fun numerical gauge for expressing how strongly you were feeling about whatever little message you were leaving for the recipient. While I lived with my friend Katie we pretty much left each other snarky little messages daily. It’s always fun to find messages from your BFF4L declaring her prowess at salad making or to take your frustration out on the worst co-worker ever in the form of a post-it note. There’s something satisfying about slapping that little note up on the fridge even if it is only for you and your roommate to see. It was in the notes that I found one that evoked memories of a long ago friendship and the assumptions of a “nice guy”.

Among all the inside jokes and random one-liners that Katie and I exchanged I found a note declaring, “To: Katie For: Always being the Scorpion. You can’t help what your nature is.”

66A fair representation of the “nice guy” and any women he encountered.

I looked at the note in my hand and suddenly I remembered who had written it, and the conversation that note had sparked in our house. The note’s author was a self-proclaimed “nice guy” who just didn’t understand why Katie wouldn’t return his attention. He was the kind of guy that fell for nearly every single girl that crossed his path even I had even been on his list at some point before he realized that I just wasn’t in the cards. Sure, he was pleasant enough, but conversation always felt forced almost like he wanted something from you except that you weren’t quite sure what. Every conversation seemed to hang on an unasked expectation, which led to awkward interactions and misunderstandings. He would drive nearly two hours in to town to hang out on your birthday but then end the night complaining to you how he just didn’t understand why your best friend wouldn’t date him.

“I’m a nice guy. Why don’t girls notice that? Why do you all like jerks? Is there something attractive about that? I guess I won’t ever be a hit with the ladies if that’s the case because I was raised right. Maybe one day I’ll find a girl who appreciates a nice guy.” 

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My reaction to the “nice guy” and his little diatribe women’s dating choices and how nice he was.

Dating and relationships isn’t always clear cut and navigating love and friendship is a part of life that consists of pretty much one giant gray area. You can’t help who you are attracted to and in turn you have no power over who returns your affections. Knowing that you are not able to control who reciprocates your feelings is a part of life and, well, free will. Just because you are into someone doesn’t mean that they have to by default feel the same way. It doesn’t matter if you are single and they are single, it just doesn’t work that way.

Too bad for the “nice guy” he never seemed to understand this and just went about targeting every female friend he happened to make until he was alienated within our group of friends. All the girls knew that he was “that guy” and just rebuffed or never took any of his attentions to heart. It was standard procedure to brief any new girls about his tendency for infatuation, but for some reason no one ever talked to him about his behavior. Once after a night out I sat down with him and made an effort to set him straight about things. “Girls don’t have to like you just because you’re a nice guy, you know.” I told him in a low voice to avoid waking my roommate while we sipped on lukewarm beers in my living room. He looked at me with a confused look on his face, “What are you talking about? I’m not saying that every girl should like me…it’s just that A GIRL should like me.” His voice raised slightly as he said A GIRL.

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What our conversation looked like that night.

I sighed and motioned for him to lower his voice, “A girl will like you when you’re yourself. You don’t have to use this “nice guy” card to get a girl to like you. I think it’s actually doing the opposite because we can tell that it’s like..I don’t know…”, I faltered over my words before continuing on, “It’s like a gimmick or something and it just makes things feel cheap.”

“It’s not a gimmick, it’s who I am. I can’t help who I am and all I want is someone to see that I’m a nice guy and appreciate that, that’s all. I thought you would understand that.” He was mumbling now and set his beer down with a sigh. “Look, I should go. I’ll talk to you later or something.” And just like that he was gone with an indignant tone and we never brought up our conversation again.

I talked to Katie after that and we agreed that something needed to be said and she even point blank told him that she just wasn’t interested in him like that. Still, it didn’t stop his indignation or entitled behavior concerning her affections or that of any woman that he felt should be attracted to him due to his “nice” guy qualities or his self-proclaimed gentlemaness. There was no making him see that his actions were not those of a “nice” person, never mind a “nice guy”. We made sure to avoid situations where he would be in the mix and made it very clear that we wouldn’t tolerate his actions anymore.

Even though we cut the “nice guy” out of our lives it was like a slap in the face from the past when I saw his passive aggressive note to Katie. It wasn’t in her nature to be the scorpion, a name that he gave her, and explained to me was based on the fact that scorpions stung and hurt everything around them because it was what they were made to do. My friend wasn’t made to hurt people and she certainly wasn’t made to lash out at everyone around her. However, she was made to like, love, hug, or kiss whoever she wanted. She was made to be free from pressure or the expectations of someone who felt entitled to her affection and attention. She was not made to feel guilty because she didn’t care romantically for someone she thought of as a friend. Nor was she made to “give him a chance” or bow to incessant badgering to date, kiss, or hold hands.

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Never ever feel pressure to date someone. EVER.

I write this today because not all “nice guys” are nice. Not every boy or man that crosses your path is entitled to your affections, body, or attention just because they treat you decently. Sometimes, a woman can feel pressured to like the “nice guy”, to give him a chance and to stop wasting her time on jerks. You can’t help who you are attracted to and if it isn’t there, it isn’t there. Don’t force things because you want to prove that you are different or because maybe all that pressuring is starting to sway you. Date whoever you want and do it free from judgement because truly “nice guys” are first and foremost, nice people and what nice person wants to strong arm someone else into doing what they want?