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Episode 172 - Harry Potter Houses

Come on. Admit it. You've taken a Harry Potter house quiz or two. It's a great geeky time killer at the very least.

This month, we decided to take a few quizzes and compare results. Isabela, Evan, and I have lots of opinions about all things Harry Potter, not just the house definitions and meanings. We open with a brief discussion of Fantastic Beasts and The Cursed Child to kick off our discussion. I get all the names wrong. All of them.

For those who might not be as well versed in the Hogwarts houses, summaries of each house (taken from the Harry Potter Wiki)

Gryffindor values bravery, daring, nerve, and chivalry. Its emblematic animal is the lion and its colors are scarlet and gold.

Hufflepuff values hard work, dedication, patience, loyalty, and fair play. Its emblematic animal is the badger, and Yellow and Black are its colors.

Ravenclaw values intelligence, knowledge, and wit. Its emblematic animal is the eagle, and its colors are blue and bronze.

Slytherin house values ambition, cunning and resourcefulness and was founded by Salazar Slytherin. Its emblematic animal is the serpent, and its colors are emerald green and silver.

The fandom dedicated to Harry Potter is highly devoted and there are many ways to look at the Hogwarts Houses. We have a great time discussing the quizzes and our own desires to "self sort" into the house we truly feel the most aligned to.

Quiz and Article Links

Buzzfeed - What Is Your Hogwarts House Percentage?

Pottermore - The Sorting Hat

Personality Lab - Find Your Hogwarts House - Harry Potter Sorting Hat Personality Test

The Sorting Hat Chats - The Basics of Our Sorting System (article - no quiz)

Until next time, get your geek on!

Regina, Isabela, and Evan

To Discuss

What is your Harry Potter house? Are we friends or house enemies?

 

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Episode 171 - Guilty Pleasures

Guilty pleasures! We had a great time at this hangout. We first discuss what makes something a guilty pleasure. We decided it's often something you don't talk much about, you generally don't tell your friends or your family about it. Sometimes it might make you feel a little embarrassed that you enjoy it so much. Or it might be a show or movie that you watch and watch over and over again. 

Isabela previously discussed how guilty pleasures are often code for feminine. Romances are often described as guilty pleasures. One of the ideas we mention is they are often more light hearted or popcorn entertainment. 

The most amusing part of this hangout for me was hearing us defend each other's guilty pleasures and then finally finding something Mark considered a guilty pleasure, even if he didn't want to admit it. 

Until next time, get your geek on!

Regina & Isabela & Mark & Julie

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Episode 170 - Capes & Baskets LIVE at Wizard World Portland

Capes & Baskets: What Fairy Tales Can Teach Us about Superheroes

Were you unable to attend Geek Girl Con or Wizard World in Portland, Oregon? Have you always wanted to see The Geek Embassy's ambassadors in action?

Well, now is your chance! For our recent presentation in Portland, I was able to record our panel on my phone on a mini tripod recommended by a photographer friend of the show, Andrew. The sound isn't great but I think you can hear each of us well enough. Isabela is the faintest since she is farthest from the mic.

I truly adore this presentation. It represents the best of The Geek Embassy: a bunch of geeks merging their interests into a completely new idea. The genesis of this presentation came from me and Jen having cocktails one spring afternoon. All of sudden I had out a notepad and we were sketching through the ideas that ended up becoming the basis for this presentation.

To Discuss: Capes & Baskets

What fairy tales do you love? What superhero stories could you relate to that fairy tale? Can you make the connection? Want to challenge us to?

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Episode 169 - February LIVE Hangout: Relationships

Relationships

Those we love, those we wish for, and those we mourn. For our February hangout, we discuss relationships. We talk about canon couples: those fictional couples who set the bar for love and romantic gestures.

But we've talked about those geeky relationship moments before so to spice this up we threw in our favorite doomed couples and our favorite "ships" or relationships we wish for. AKA "Fanon." We've got some crazy matches in store for you and some sad couples who either had tragic ends or tragically ended their shows because they ended up together. (Writers: don't kill the sexual tension! It really ends things!)

My 'ship couple brought up quite a bit of discussion and some creative ideas. Check it out to see what crazy world we really would like to see come about.

We WRaP the end of the episode with what we are Watching, Reading, and Playing. So much great geeky material to discuss!

Make sure to check out the live video and the podcast episode.

Until next time, get  your geek on!

Regina & Isabela & Julie & Dante

To Discuss

Tell us:  Your favorite couples? Who do you 'ship? Who is doomed but awesome in your mind?

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Episode 168 - New Years Live Hangout

New Year's Eve has come and gone but the staff of The Geek Embassy had to take some time to reflect on 2016. We suffered plenty of misery, had some good times, saw some good movies, and read some great books. 2016 is one for the record books for sure and we are hoping that 2017 will bring everyone lots of joy.

Or at least a few less celebrity deaths.

Rhonda and I recall our fabulous time at Geek Girl Con in Seattle. We presented a great panel titled, "Capes & Baskets: What fairy tales can teach us about superheroes." It was really well received and a blast. The comments were amazing. It was so much fun to see people take our ideas and run with them. We also offered some advice about what not to do if you have a panel at a con. (The dreaded, "We want to hear from you!" is at the top of the list.)

We shared some of our expectations for 2017 and things we hope to find this year. We also shared some geeky gifts we got from the holiday season. One of Rhonda's gifts to me is going to play a pretty significant role this year for the site. Keep an eye out for that in the coming months.

Unfortunately, we will not be at Emerald City Comic Con this year. Our panel and press badges were both rejected. Maybe we will make it again in 2018.

Until next time, geek your geek on and have a fabulous 2017!

Regina & Rhonda & Mark & Ryan

To Discuss

What was your favorite moment from 2016? What are you looking forward to in 2017? Let us know in the comments.

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Episode 167 - November Hangout

Get your geeky gifts here!

For our November hangout the staff of The Geek Embassy put together a wonderful gift guide of all kinds of geeky themed gifts. I won't lie. Quite of few of my suggestions are things on my very own wish list. Check out our consulate themed gift suggestions.

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Tantalus Depths

https://www.inkshares.com/books/tantalus-depths

Paper Girls

(volume 1, volume2 out Dec 6) - sci-fi

The Martian

https://www.amazon.com/Martian-Andy-Weir/dp/0553418025/

"Emergence" by David R Palmer

https://www.amazon.com/Emergence-David-R-Palmer/dp/0553245015/

http://product.half.ebay.com/Emergence-by-David-R-Palmer-1984-Paperback/1299986&cpid=2689560

Tickets to a play

https://www.pcs.org/oregontrail

Mothering the Game 

https://www.inkshares.com/books/mothering-the-game

The Dresden Files

https://www.amazon.com/Storm-Front-Dresden-Files-Butcher/dp/0451457811/

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ThinkGeek - Solar System Glasses

http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/2033/

Art book - Lois van Baarle

https://www.amazon.com/Art-Loish-Look-Behind-Scenes/dp/190941428X

Cooling Pillow 

https://www.amazon.com/Acanva-Memory-Cooling-Natural-Standard/dp/B01JFRW1L4/

Nap Pillow Buddy

Minion

Storm Trooper

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MyBOOKmark bookmark

http://mybookmark-shop.com/

Postage Stamps

Star Trek postage stamps

Wonder Woman postage

Lego Ghostbusters Firehouse

http://www.target.com/p/lego-ghostbusters-firehouse-headquarters-75827/

3D Lamps

https://www.amazon.com/WOlight%C2%AE-Bedroom-Children-Decorative-Millennium/dp/B01FX8ILZY/

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FW00NI6/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Tickets to Bridgetown Comedy Festival - 4 days of comedy in May

https://www.bridgetowncomedy.com/

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Tech:

Lumo Lift - Posture Coach & activity tracker

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N9P8GMW/

Polk Swimmer Bluetooth Speaker

https://www.polkaudio.com/products/swimmer-duo

Electric Wine Bottle Opener

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003YFI0O6/

Syma X5C Explorers drone with camera

https://smile.amazon.com/Explorers-2-4Ghz-6-Axis-Quadcopter-Camera/dp/B01CNGT0DG/

Apogee One

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7 Wonders - Duel

https://www.amazon.com/7-Wonders-Duel-Board-Game/dp/B014DMSTXK/

Superfight

https://www.amazon.com/SUPERFIGHT-Card-Game-Core-Deck/dp/B00E5QL2AC/

Mouse Guard RPG

http://www.mouseguard.net/book/role-playing-game/

Custom Photo Card Deck

http://photo.walgreens.com/walgreens/pdpgifts/type=playing_cards?tab=photo_Toys_PlayingCards

Dice Masters

Doodle and Dice bags (you never have enough)

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Episode 166 - October Live Hangout

We embraced the season for October's hangout and talked about our favorite horror and suspense films. The basics are covered like our favorites but we also talk about our history with suspense and horror films, branch off into TV show, and briefly mention zombies and that show that premieres in a few weeks. Here are the questions we considered:

What was your first horror/suspense movie?

What movie scares you?

What novel scared you?

What suspense/horror movie made you laugh?

What is your all time favorite suspense/horror movie?

Are there horror/suspense movies that belong canon?

We do a horror themed geek and tell but I just couldn't help myself and had to share a print that my friends, Amy and Don, got for me of a little baby Wonder Woman. She is just amazing as you can clearly see from the post image. Check out Jeff Pina's work here. Unfortunately, he doesn't have any of the adorable-ness on his site but you can see some on his Facebook page. Just click on the photos and scroll down. 

Also, Isabela and I both wear our elf ear cuffs from Geek Girl Stuff. Yes, they look cool and they are seriously comfortable. Go order yourself a set now!

Rhonda mentioned a book she picked up at Geek Girl Con, "Zombopocolypse," by Matt Youngmark at Chooseomatic Books. That's right. It's a chose your own adventure for adults. TOTALLY AWESOME. Make sure to check out his books and his super secret webcomic.

New ambassador Evan Graham joined us for this hangout. Keep an eye out for a project he and I will be working on in the near future. In the meantime, order his book or mine on Inkshares.

Until next time, go be awesome!

Vote

Should my sign off stay, "Until next time, get your geek on!" or change to "Go be awesome?" This is choose your own sign off! Tell me in the comments.

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Episode 165 - September Live Hangout

For September  we close out summer talking about our favorite geeky amusements from the summer and delve into a conversation about conventions. We discuss books we are reading, and one someone is writing. We talk about games we've been playing; lots of phone and board games including Pandemic: The Cure. Binge watching addictions and series that may depend too heavily on nostalgia for the younger crowd.

In our discussions of the recent cons we've attended, we discuss what makes a con work and what stands out as a failure. Regina and Isabela talk about their first experience at Rose City Comic Con (they plan to go next year) and Rhonda's fifth year at Dragon Con (and likely her last). Have you ever felt like a con you were at turned into a Geek Zoo with people just coming to view the spectacle and not take part in the fandom?

We share some great swag we picked up in our show and tell segment and how much we appreciate the indie artists available at smaller con venues.  Who is your favorite artist you discover while walking through Artist Alley?

Share your con experience with us in the comments. The good, the bad, and the ugly! We want to know!

Until next time, get your geek on!

Regina, Rhonda, & Isabela

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Episode 164 - Summer Movie Podcast - August

For the last episode in our summer movie podcast series, we shake it up a bit and both saw different movies. I saw Star Trek: Beyond and  Rhonda saw Suicide Squad. We discuss the evolution of the Star Trek movies, and the careful consideration given to all the character backstories. There is one major critique I have for the franchise. Make sure to listen and let us know if you agree.

Rhonda discusses how Suicide Squad had a huge opening weekend even with less than stellar early reviews. She attributes this to the marketing of the movies and how posters and trailers and interview (oh my!) for this movie were everywhere. How has the marketing of a movie caught your attention and did the movie hold up to the hype? (Hint: Suicide Squad definitively fell short for Rhonda.)

For streaming recommendations, Regina is aghast to learn Ronda hasn't seen Stranger Things and attempts to keep her cool over how cool it is. As a secondary recommendation, Regina explains her current obsession with the Food Network shows on Netflix but especially Good Eats with Alton Brown. Rhonda suggests viewing 10 Cloverfied Lane and regrets that it took her so long to start watching it. Did you binge watch any shows this summer?

As the episode ends, I announce that The Geek Embassy has a panel at Geek Girl Con in October. We are presenting, "Capes and Baskets: What fairy tales can help teach us about superheroes." Rhonda and I will also be doing sister cosplay both at GGC and at local cons we are attending in September. Rhonda will be at Dragon Con Labor day weekend and Regina will be at Rose City Comic Con on September 10 and 11th. If you are attending, find us and say hello!

Keep an eye out for our next show on the new YouTube Live platform (G+ Hangouts are retiring).

Until next time, get your geek on!

Regina & Rhonda

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LIVE with Evan Graham and Tantalus Depths

As I hope you all know by now, I recently joined a new community of writers trying to get their books published: Inkshares. I jumped into a contest for the Nerdist for books about video games and found myself in a strange new land surrounded by strange new customs. Every heroine needs a guide as she begins her journey and Evan Graham was my guide. He introduced me to this strange land and introduced me to the powerful community could be made there. 

About Tantalus Depths

But this post isn't about me or my book, it's about Evan and his amazing novel, Tantalus Depths. This novel tells the story of Mary Ketch who is leading a survey mission deep into space. 

The Diamelen’s survey mission to Tantalus 13 takes an unexpected turn when the entire planet turns out to be an ancient artificial structure. What lies in the heart of Tantalus? And why is the crew’s AI, SCARAB, willing to kill to keep its secret?

Filled with adventure, exploration, tension among the crew, and dangerous artificial intelligence, this story has all the components to a great work of science fiction. On top of that, the lead character is a female pilot who is not afraid to kick ass and take names. 

We discuss the writing process, running a crowdfunding campaign, and talk about some of Evan's influences while he was writing. He mentions 2001 and Star Wars as huge influences and then I compare him both to Joss Whedon and J.R.R. Tolkien. Let's just say we had a good time. 

Please make sure to support Evan's campaign. He's in the homestretch to reaching full publishing on Inkshares and I cannot think of another Inkshares author who deserves it more. Go forth, Geeks, and help support one of our own in making his book a reality. 

Where to Find Out More

Tantalus Depths on Inkshares and Facebook

Evan on Twitter and YouTube

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163 - July Summer Movie Blockbusters

"Who's afraid of those ghosts?"

For the July Summer movie episode, Rhonda and I take on the ever controversial Ghostbusters reboot. There was quite a bit of fuss about the casting of a female Ghostbusters team and the internet exploded after the first trailer dropped making it the lowest ranked TV trailer in the site's history. We discuss the controversy and what we thought stood out in the movie (Holtzmann Forever!) and what didn't work as well (man candy).

The all star cast includes Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, Kristin Wiig, and Kate McKinnon. Listen to hear us discuss the good and bad moments, what we enjoyed and could have done without. 

We also have some excellent shows for your summer binge watching in our streaming recommendations. Make sure to check out Crazy Ex-Girlfriends and Ash vs Evil Dead on Starz via Amazon Prime subscription.

To Discuss

What other gender swapped TV shows or movies do you remember? When does it work or not work and why?

Until next time, get your geek on!

Regina & Rhonda

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162 - Live July Hangout

Greetings Geeks!

We had a great hangout for July! New ambassadors Julie and Dante joined me and Rhonda to talk about how our experience and enjoyment of music has changed throughout our lives. we start with our first memories of seeking out music on our own, venture into junior high favorites and first crushes. From there, we linger a bit too long perhaps in high school and how music first started to truly impact our identities. Looking at post-college time to the present brought us almost full circle in our musical biographies. Yes, we did discuss the Hamilton Soundtrack. 

I was delighted to finally understand how the Q&A feature works and how to get the questions out to our viewers in real time. Many thanks to Micah and Amy for actively participating and commenting as we were talking. Your participation made it feel like a real hangout. If you are interested in participating in the hangouts like this, make sure to RSVP yes to the Google event post, that way you will get notifications sent with our questions during the hangout itself. 

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Episode 161 - Summer Movie Podcast Series

Greetings,  Geeks!

Rhonda and I saw two very different movies for June. Rhonda saw Central Intelligence and I saw Free State of Jones. We compare notes about the movies and how we go about choosing movies to see. Central Intelligence is a comedy starring Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart. It is a comedy of errors of sorts where two high school friends reconnect and shenanigans ensue. Free State of Jones is  drama based on real life events that took place during the United States civil war. It stars Matthew McConaughey as Newton Knight who led a group of rebels to secede from the Confederacy.

This episode I ask the pivotal question: Can you spoil a movie based on true events? Because I talk in detail about the plot of Free state of Jones. Rhonda admits that she is hugely into comedies right now and will likely see everything that might stand a chance to make her laugh. Bad Moms, anyone?

We give some great streaming recommendations for your summer leisure tablet time.

As always, we would love your comments on the show. Have you seen either Central Intelligence or Free State of Jones? Have suggestions for the movies we should see in July? We want to see them all.

Until next time, get your geek on!

Regina & Rhonda

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Episode 160 - June LIVE Hangout

For our June LIVE Hangout, we talked about villains: the ones you love to hate and hate to love. What makes them relate-able or hate-able? Rhonda, Mark, Isabela, and I had a great time chatting about our favorite villains from movies, TV, books, and video games. We also had a wildcard category which Rhonda won hands down.

We start the discussion determining which villains we think are canon, ones that set the standard for the rest. Included are some of the greats of modern mythology: Darth Vader, Voldemort, and the Wicked Witch of the West. Listen and tell us what you think of our selections and thoughts about loving that bad guy. I'm looking at you, Spike.

To open the show I talked a little bit about my book campaign on Inkshares for "Mothering: The Game." Make your way over there and pre-order your copy before July 15th so I can be in the running for the Nerdist contest. I read a short excerpt on the show from the chapter I will release when I hit 50 readers. Only 22 more to go at the time I am writing this! You know you want to read, "Achievement Unlocked: Daily Quests."

We decided on two future themes for the show: music and cocktails and antiheroes. So on July 10th keep a look out for The Geek Embassy's LIVE Cocktail Party. Hopefully, our new ambassadors will be able to make it to that show.

Let us know in the comments about your favorite villains or any recommendations for drinks we must make next month.

Until next time, get your geek on!

Regina, Rhonda, Mark, and Isabela

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Episode 159 - Summer Movie Podcast May

This month, Rhonda and I discuss the latest Avengers movie, Captain America: Civil War. Although billed as a Captain America movie, it is an Avengers themed extravaganza of action and internal conflict as our heroes navigate how they operate as a superhero crime fighting team now exposed to public criticism. Listen to hear us discuss the characters, storytelling approaches, and action in this summer blockbuster. 

We also give some streaming recommendations to help fill your vacation downtime. 

From Regina:

Netflix: To Catch a Thief - 1955  directed by Hitchcock. Starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly

Hulu: Deadbeat

Amazon: Tumble Leaf

From Rhonda: 

Hulu – “Telenovella”

Netflix – “Danger Mouse Begins—Again”

Amazon – “Preacher” season 1, ep. 1

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