LA Adventures: Downtown Photo Walk with Mixbook

Photo by Kyle Huber
Photo by Kyle Huber

This is the first of a few posts from our time at the BlogHer 2016 conference. Before the whirlwind of a weekend began, I was invited by Mixbook to join them and other bloggers on a tour of Downtown LA with Red Line Tours and Instagrammer Kyle Huber / aka @asenseofhuber.

Representing Geeks Everywhere
Representing Geeks Everywhere

I was excited to go on the tour as I am still getting reacquainted with LA after being away for so many years. I used to work downtown about ten years ago, but it has changed quite a lot since then.


Bloggers on a photo tour
Kyle Huber showing us how to reach all four corners of the buildings.

We looked at different famous sites like The Bradbury Building and Cliftons Cafeteria, and many historical places in downtown that I didn’t know existed! (I was in my own bubble last time I lived here… 🙂 )



It was a beautiful day and we made our way through downtown, walking with our headphones, and I was happy to play tourist for the day. We stopped at Central Market for lunch and I beelined with Jen of Skinned Knees to a vendor that makes Pupusas.


The day also gave me an opportunity to meet and connect with several other bloggers as well including Jenna from Outrageously Wonderful, Tinna of super duper fantastic, Evelyn of Momma Mafia and a many others!

Photo by Mixbook

It was also great to meet the Mixbook team. They graciously gave us some credit to try out the website and I loved it. It was easy to use, and because I can’t remember how long it has been since I printed my photos, I decided to print the 5×5 version (square, IG-like). It was exciting to get an envelope of photos in the mail! (Yay for Happy Mail).


Since we are moving again in a few months, I didn’t want to frame them just yet. Instead, I made a temporary display, so Melissa and I can still enjoy our photos from the first few months of living here in Los Angeles.

(Thanks Mixbook for the tour and the photos!)

Continue Reading

LA Adventures: Sand Castles on the Beach

Last weekend, we traveled down to Long Beach for the 84th Annual Great Sand Sculpture Contest. When we first arrived, we noticed a ton of kites flying on the beach and across the ocean.  It turned out to be Kiteboarding! We were intrigued and watched the hundred of boarders flying across the ocean.


We ventured down the beach, searching for Pokemon (of course)….and found the Sand Castles. There were only about six sites but each of these artists were so talented!




We were excited to see this next one. We aren’t Pokemon addicts. Nope. No sir. IMG_1786

It was the perfect day and made us realize that we need to get to the beach more often!

(Photos by Melissa)



Continue Reading

Community Is There When You Need It

This is going to be like a Shonda Rhimes show… a lot of flashbacks and flash forwards… bear with me.

When I was a wee young thing…. 13 to be exact, my father brought home our first computer. My uncle owned a computer store, so we were able to get the new Macintosh (this was 1985). My father also brought home this thing called a modem. He hooked it up and away we went. At that time, it was mostly to Compuserve and local BBS’s (Bulletin Board Systems). I also discovered a system called Ddial. It was a seven line chat system where you could “chat” with others in your neighborhood. I was hooked from the get-go. I “chatted” for hours and hours with other kids, teens and other nerdy adults in the area. I could go for hours and hours about that time, but that’s a story for another day.

Through that community, I became friends with A.

Fast forward 25+ years and those of us from that community reconnect via Facebook. A is one of those friends.

Flash back to 2011. I was in my first semester as a grad student in my program. I meet J. We used to sit in the editing lab together until all hours of the night, as she edited her thesis film which was about women veterans. Although she graduated way before I got out of there, we stay in touch, and she’s a great person to talk shop, and life with. She’s one of my biggest supporters when I was working on my thesis and even flew back to school to be there for my show. She’s awesomesauce.

Flash forward to last week. I’m just about to get into conference mode for BlogHer, and I get a note from J. Her mom (who has been sick for a long time), is being sent back home for hospice care. J is a filmmaker, like me, and is “surviving” in NYC (much like I am in LA). She needs to find a way home. We find some resources online, but I felt the need to reach out to my online community to see if anyone had any other ideas. Friends started sending info about bereavement flights and other tips, but the next morning I get a message from A.  When does she need to leave? How soon?  I get the info to him and he sends back flight info. I was confused. How? What?

He was donating miles to J to get home to her family. I couldn’t believe it.

Yes, A and I stayed in touch, but we have not seen each other IRL in 30 years. He was willing to donate to someone he didn’t even know. I told A that he rocks and he is a saint.

“No, Vets Rock”

While I start the madness of a conference, I get J and A in touch via messenger and they sort out all of the details. I couldn’t believe this was happening. They sorted it all out and J flies home to her family today.

I am so thankful that J was able to get home. 

I am so thankful that A was so generous to a perfect stranger. 

My faith in humanity goes up and up and up today. 


Continue Reading

Insta-Snapchat-Grams—My Initial Thoughts

A loud boom happened in social media land yesterday. Did you hear it?

Instagram took a page (and really, most of the app) from Snapchat and created something called “Instagram Stories”.

It’s very similar to Snapchat in the sense that you can post something and 24 hours later it’s gone. Instagram still has it’s usual portion of the app, photos and videos can still be uploaded as usual.

It’s only been a day, but here’s some initial thoughts.

  1. It’s clunky like Snapchat was in the beginning (still is in some ways)
  2. I feel like I have to create a whole new Instagram account to enjoy this. I follow A LOT of people on Instagram. Many more than Snapchat. I feel that I won’t be able to see the people I want to right away because they will get lost in the shuffle.
  3. I really dislike the way that it is only available as a horizontal scroll. It’s small and not very accessible. Is it accessible other ways? Please let me know. 🙂
  4. The fun part about Snapchat is the way that it is used by friends, brands and celebs. It seems more intimate and not curated as much as Instagram is.  The filters add a lightness that I don’t see in other social media accounts.
  5. I also love the Snapchat live stories, which is curated by Snapchat on a local level, and at major events (Comic-Con, Lollapalooza,etc).

What are your thoughts? DO you love it or hate it? Or still in the “I’ll keep trying it” stage like I am?


Continue Reading

And…we are back!

Oh HI! It’s been quite a while! For those of who you are new… here’s more info about me and this website.

It has been a busy, busy,year so far!

Let’s see.

  • We moved cross-country to Los Angeles (after spending the last 5.5 years in Southern Illinois where I was acquiring, not just 1, but 2 Master degrees! (MS in Media Management and my MFA in Media Arts if you must know) 🙂
  • Explored our new neighborhood, ventured to the beach, seen SOME of my many friends from my previous stint in Los Angeles
  • I’ve worked on two network shows (America’s Got Talent and Battlebots) and I’m now freelancing at a virtual reality company!
  • In between those gigs, I learned my way around Los Angeles again by delivering everything from Lucky Charms to Hot Wings with Postmates. (Get $10 off your first order with my code, SCALVERT)


ALSO, to end out the summer… I’m teaching a filmmaking workshop to kids at BlogHer 2016, which is being held in Los Angeles this year! I love this stuff. For those of you don’t know, BH is one of the largest blogging conferences in the world! This year, some keynote speakers include Sarah Michelle Gellar and Mayim Balik and more!

One of my favorite parts about grad school was participating in our summer camp, Girls Make Movies. We have four hours to teach them some skills! I can’t wait for the challenge! P.S. if you want to attend the conference, I have a 30% discount link right here!  

ALSO Part 2 – GTYD is becoming a YouTube channel! Melissa and I are going to have some FUN videos on the way. Inspired by our friends, Lacie and Robin, we will be bringing you all sorts of goodness… Entertainment reviews, tech demos and lessons, and so much more. The first video should be up next week!

ALSO Part 3 – my new short film, The Bra Mitzvah is almost complete (in script form). It’s a comedy about a girl’s first time with getting fitted for a bra. I’m hoping to shoot it this year!

WELP, that is my big, gigantic update for now.

Stay tuned for SO MUCH MORE GOODNESS to come!


Continue Reading

Kittens – Month 2.5


Every day is a new adventure with these little rugrats.

IMG_3415 IMG_3419 They have grown so much in the past couple of months.
IMG_3432 IMG_3547

They are getting stronger and more agile and that means we are kitty-proofing every day.

IMG_3548 IMG_3551

but it’s worth it.  🙂


Continue Reading

The Adventures of Scout and Buster

oh, hello

About a month ago we became new kitten-moms. After Miss passed away in August, we decided that we wouldn’t adopt any pets until after grad school. That changed when we saw the photos of these tiny little kittens who were rescued by one of Melissa’s classmates.

It was the best decision we could have made. We are in love with these new kittens and it’s hard to concentrate on anything when these two are around. This even means getting ready for your finals this week (ahem).

I took out my camera this morning because I was photographing some of my Blue Dawg Deli artifacts and the kittens were coercing me to come take their picture.  How could I resist?

Buster lounging
Buster lounging
More Paws!
oh, hello
Oh, Hello! (Scout and Buster take a brief pause from Pew Pew Pew each other)
Continue Reading

Notes From Las Vegas: A Break From Reality

Downtown Container Park

I’m in Las Vegas until the end of March to help my parents while my dad recovers from  major surgery. It’s been an intense experience, but I am glad that I am here. I have been reflecting a lot about my life and how I want to live it going forward. That is another blog post for another day, but for now, check out another awesome-sauce find in the downtown area. You can find out more about Downtown Container Park on their website:

Downtown Container Park

inside Downtown Container Park
inside Downtown Container Park
Continue Reading

Notes from Las Vegas: The Life Cube Project

Welcome to the Life Cube Project

It’s been quite a tornado for the past few months. I can’t believe that I haven’t written a blog post for three months. I guess I have been a wee busy:

  • 1st semester as a teaching assistant with my own lab
  • My own school work
  • my art work… filming… scheming… designing…
  • oh and. . . a little side diversion to Las Vegas since the end of Feb.

My father became sick about two weeks ago and my parents live out here by themselves. It’s a tough situation out here for them, so my youngest brother and I came out to help my mom out while my dad was in the hospital.   My other brother will be coming at a later date to help maneuver them into a good place.  I won’t go into my dad’s surgery just yet, or their other stuff, because frankly, that is their stuff. I will say however that the systems in place for disabled/not-so-elder people is extremely frustrating. I am trying to make heads and tails about the systems here in Nevada, and I hate to say it, but I feel like Illinois with all of their issues seem to be more straight-forward.   However, that is a WHOLE other conversation that may happen here in the future (once my mind has decompressed from this trip).

What I will say is that I stumbled on something that has been my saving grace this week.  It’s a community art project called “The LifeCube Project“.

from their website:

1) Encouraging people to write down what they want to accomplish in their lives; and
2) Connecting art with community, involving as many people as possible!

My first visit was on Saturday night with my one of my closest friends, Kelly. We have been friends since our 20’s and she has always been one of the most supportive people in my life that a girl can ever ask for.  She  flew out from LA to be with my mom and I during my dad’s intense surgery on Saturday.  To say I was grateful is an understatement. My wife couldn’t be here because of the crazy cost to fly here from STL (crazy spring breakers) so to have Kel here with us during the wait was above and beyond one of the best things a friend has ever done for me. 🙂 After the intensity of the day, I needed to decompress and I was so excited to visit the project for the first time with one of my besties.

We drove up to the parking lot, walked towards the cube and it was surrounded by artists adding their own artwork to each side of the cube.  Paints and chalk are provided and visitors are encouraged to add their own flare to the piece.  It was such a freeing moment after a day filled with so much stress.

I returned the next evening with my cousin who came to visit my dad. Again, it was a magical experience, and again artists were continuing to share their vision with the community.

again, from the website:

The Cube will be covered with murals and a tapestry of paintings by local students and artists, write boards for
interactive messaging, slots for dropping in written goals and wishes, and photographs of historic Las Vegas. It will
be filled with music on the weekends, and lit up at night like a rock concert. And after a month on site, we’ll burn it all
in a fiery ceremony on March 21st, 2014.

I plan on visiting every day and will continue to edit this post until the 21st with photos and maybe video from my visits every day.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Continue Reading

2014: The Land of Resolutions


M and I decided to visually represent our resolutions this year. I wish I could show you her board because it’s much neater, but I took to my board with gusto (and the style of a six year old).

2014 Goals

1 – Lose at least 60 pounds.

Well, I have quite a few more of those to lose, but we’ll just start out with this. It’s a realistic goal and one that I’m determined to hit. M got this amazing vegan cookbook from her mom for the holidays and I’m off to the store to get the first bit of ingredients. I’m excited to try some new recipes like Sweet Potato and Curry Soup… Chickpea/FakeTuna Sandwich…  I’m not sure I am going totally vegan, but I am making steps to cutting back on red meat.

2. ToDo List Central 2014

I am going to have lists upon lists upon lists. That isn’t different from years past, but following them is another thing. It’s a typical issue for someone with ADD to try a million different organizational methods, but this year, I am going to try and stick with one.

3.  Mindfulness.

This has been a big topic in our household and one that I hope grows into a legitimate practice in 2014.  I think our time away from the internet was a good start, and I don’t want to fall back into our patterns. I’m going to try my best to not do that and be mindful of my surroundings.

4. Reflect More

I used to journal and write a lot more when I was younger, and I know that practice kept me sane. I need to pick that up again this year. It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind that is life (especially when you are in grad school), but I need to check in with myself.

5.  Skype/Call More with Friends/Family

I have become notoriously horrible for trying to reach on the telephone. If you try to call me after 7pm, I probably won’t answer the phone. I realize that part of that usually revolves around being around people all day. I need time to recharge and it’s hard to verbally speak with people. However, I can write/chat online easily. I don’t totally get it, but I am going to stop beating myself over it.

Therefore, I want to make sure that I am keeping in contact with those that I love by scheduling skype dates/phone calls, etc. If I keep it on a schedule, then I won’t lose touch with those I adore.

6. Read at least one book towards my thesis research a month.

What is my thesis? Good question. 🙂 I’m still exploring and while I have a bit of time, I really need to get my head into the game. I have a few ideas and really need to center and hone in on what I want to do. This is the problem with having too many great ideas! 🙂

7.  Buh-Bye Soda

I said last year that I was giving up soda. I lied. I kept drinking it. However, I am determined to give up that evil stuff this year. I don’t need it, it’s bad for me (especially someone with one kidney) and I need to fall in love with water.

8.  Date Nights

With both of us in grad school with crazy schedules, we have to schedule nights for just the two of us. It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle and not concentrate on your own relationship, but I’m determined to schedule these nights! (This is more for our joint goals, but I’m adding this to mine to give me an extra kick in the butt to remember how important this is) 🙂

9. Work out at least 4x a week

This goes back to my first resolution. Without this, I won’t lose those 60+ pounds. Swim, Zumba, whatever… this is going to happen.

So what were your resolutions this year?


Continue Reading

The 12 Days of No Social Media


A peaceful moment in Western Illinois

A peaceful moment in Western Illinois

Happy New Year everyone! Are you ready for 2014? I am! 2013 was a funky sort of year. It definitely hit some high and sour notes, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger (Yes, I’m quoting Kelly Clarkson). 🙂

M and I were inspired by this post by my friend Lauren (aka Queerie Bradshaw) about cutting herself off from the online world for a month. ( fyi some of her content may be nsfw 🙂 )While I wasn’t sure I wanted to go for a month, I felt that our holiday travel schedule was a perfect time to test the waters. I logged off Facebook, Instagram and Twitter during our travels.

Over the past few years, socializing via online media has shifted from emails and IM chats to comments on Facebook walls or retweets on Twitter or “hearts” on Instagram. I also didn’t really respond to any emails that were sent (unless it was urgent) If I was going to go offline, I was going offline.

How did it feel? Odd at first. I felt a bit cut off from the world. However, it also felt freeing. I woke up in the morning not worrying about the latest crisis or getting riled up about something some crazy homophobic idiot has said.  Instead, I felt happy and was ready to be in the world. M and I enjoyed our drive up to Chicago and listened to podcasts, music and comedy from one of our more recent fave finds, Miranda Hart.

What I failed to remember at first was while we were off social media, others were not. I started to realize how much my friends and family were attached to their mobile phones. I realized how much I WAS also attached to my mobile devices. How I was not fully engaging in conversations with those around me. Why do we need to check Facebook while having dinner with friends? It really became apparent how much this is affecting those around me and others too. We went out for dinner and I saw a family who brought their entertainment with them. Their table was silent while the father seemed to be responding to texts iPhone, the mother checked out a few blogs on her iPad and the daughter was watching a movie on her iPad mini. They had no interaction with each other or their environment. The only interaction I saw was the husband showing the wife something on his phone, they laughed, and then went back to their respective devices.

F**k. I realized this is what I have been doing with M for many, many moons. This isn’t what I want.

I want to continue to use Social Media. I don’t have a vendetta against it. It has been wonderful in so many ways. I have been able to keep up with friends and family around the world for the past few years. It has connected me to so many amazing new people in my life too. Bloggers, artists, etc.  However, I want to start using it in a more mindful fashion.

What does that look like? I’m not entirely positive. However, I’ll be sure to keep you posted on my progress.

2014: The Year of Kicking Arse and Taking No Prisoners. 🙂



Continue Reading

Burning Q’s About Our Marriage


This week, the Illinois Legislature passed the marriage equality bill.  It was an amazing moment and while we are so happy about the fact that we will be legally married in our home state, we have received some very interesting questions from friends and family this week. We thought it might be fun to clarify a few things for y’all:


  1. We are already married!

No, we are not having another ceremony. Been there, done that. We had a small intimate ceremony in Iowa (where it has been legal for a few years), and then had a beautiful, larger ceremony with friends and family in Chicago.  However, if you are interested in purchasing items off of our registry, feel free! 🙂

2. No, we don’t need to get married again in Illinois.

For our currently married friends. . .did you need to go to every state in the US to get married? 🙂 We are married. Period.

3. However, we are still not recognized in most of the US. 

While we are ecstatic that Illinois is going to be come the 15th state to support marriage equality, this isn’t over.  Every state that currently surrounds us in Southern Illinois doesn’t support us. Heck, you can’t even utter the word “gay” in Tennessee schools.   Until we are fully, federally recognized, this fight is far from over.

4. Marriage is a Class Privilege 

We fully believe in marriage being a right for all who wish to partake in it. However, we feel that it’s vital to acknowledge that marriage is a privilege of those that can afford it. There are many other issues that affect every queer individual.

Honestly, this whole marriage business is another notch to add to that “class privilege belt”. Once we are afforded legal status in our federal government, we will receive a slew of benefits that single people don’t get to partake in. I call bullshit on that. Why should we get tax relief because we are married? There are a ton of other “perks” and don’t even get me started on if you have kids. That’s a whole ‘nother bucket of crazy that I can’t even begin to get into right now.

5. On that note, marriage equality doesn’t make us equal. 

It’s a nice step in the right direction, but honestly, in our opinion, there are some major issues that need to be reconciled. Some queers can be fired for being out on their job. Some members of our community live in fear, ever single flippin’ day because of threats of violence. Oh yeah, and some education systems think we really don’t exist.

The fact that more and more states are legalizing marriage equality does not mean we are suddenly equal and don’t have any more problems in our society. Don’t confuse ‘marriage equality’ with ‘equality’

6. We do exist. Deal with it. 

Finally, we want to say that we really do appreciate those friends and family who have supported us from the get-go. For the most part, we have some amazing people in our lives and we get all smooshy when we think about that. However, for those of you who think our marriage is a farce, or not the reality, well you really need to just get over it. We are here. We do exist. Oh yeah, and we are legally married. We’ve heard some crap recently that kids don’t understand us. I call bullshit. Kids understand love. They understand two people who care about one another. They get it. Still don’t believe me? Check out this video. . . the reactions are fantastic.

Embedly Powered




Continue Reading

TravelGeek: AmtrakRideWithPride.Com



I’m so excited to share the news about Amtrak’s new blog, Amtrak Ride With Pride. I’m one of their guest bloggers and so is my good friend, Deb.

Go, don’t collect $200 and check out Deb’s post about riding the California Zephyr, and my post about my tips for incoming LGBT college students.

There are also some pretty awesome travel deals too!

Here’s a quick little video of my beautiful ride down the coast of California from LA to San Diego. #WishingIWasThereNow

Embedly Powered

Continue Reading

Geek Out on the Town: My Recap of Hack SI

Screen Shot 2013-11-10 at 8.17.02 PM

This weekend I attended my very first hackathon, suprisingly in my own backyard! Hack SI was Southern Illinois’s very first all-day hackathon produced by Dav Glass, Darryl Jones , some awesome sponsors and a heck of a lot of volunteers.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was a woman, going alone to a hackathon. Yes, I know, I’m a geekgrrl, but hacking?? I have never claimed to be a hardcore coder, but with my upcoming thesis work, I’m digging my heels back into CSS and gosh darn it, I’m going to learn how to use Javascript. 🙂   Was I going to be accepted at this all day geek fest? Well, first of all, I was pleasantly surprised to see this kick-arse awesome Code of Conduct on the Hack SI website:

Embedly Powered

Hook, line and sinker. I’m in! What an awesome way to feel welcomed into this event.

The morning was filled with talks by local techies giving us wisdom on Hacking 101 to Life Hacks to case studies on local tech projects.

Afterwards, it was time to play! People split up into groups and went to work. This is one area that I thought might be improved on in the future (and I gave this feedback directly to the organizers too). I felt that if there was more icebreakers then some people (like me) who may be a wee bit introverted at times might have felt a bit more at ease at walking up to groups and checking out what people were up to (or joining in). Regardless, I’m interested in learning more about how to produce documentary work on the web, so I dug further into researching Parallax Scrolling.  Thankfully, I was joined at my table by a couple of people including Bret and a gentleman (who I didn’t get his name – doh) whose son was producing a video game with his high school classmates while he worked on a painting program.

In between the moments of feeling like I didn’t know what the heck I was doing to holy crap, I think I’m starting to understand things, I got up and walked around to see what else was going on – quite a lot actually! Some projects included a drone powered by Wii remotes and a 3d Printer was printing out some cool items!

Embedly Powered


Embedly Powered


At the end of the day (after being sufficiently caffeinated and fed all day) it was time for everyone to show their stuff. It was so cool to see how many different types of projects were created in a day! I wish I had video of everything, but I’m sure there might be some floating around the interwebs soon.

As for my hack for the day, I showed off my ode to my nephew. It didn’t turn out exactly how I wanted it to, but that’s ok. I felt that yesterday was a great way to get my feet wet again. I feel a bit more confident to find the resources that I need and now I know that there are a few more people I can turn to when I get stuck with this blasted javascript. 🙂

I can’t wait until the next one!

Continue Reading

It’s Oh So Quiet Here


It’s been almost three months since our dear, sweet Miss passed on and I’m not sure when I’m going to get used to this. I miss the super purr as we called it. She sounded like an engine revving up when she was relaxed and happy. This was usually when she had her whole body draped across either M or myself. She loved laying in our laps or our arms, with her arms hanging over our arms and slightly pressing her claws into our skin in a rhythmic motion.

While I know that neither of us are ready for another pet quite yet, it is still so hard to come home sometimes to a quiet house.

Continue Reading

Salon LGBTQ – Uh-Mazing People and Conference!

Salon LGBTQ, the first Social Media conference for our community was this weekend in Atlanta. I was playing Staff Photographer / Instagrammer (alongside many of the @VillageQ peeps) and had an ah-mazing time. The conference was a stark difference from some of the bigger conferences I have been to in the past, (SXSW, BlogHer).  I’m kicking myself for forgetting who said this (speak up, speak up), but this person said that this is a conference where you will run into the same people over and over and may actually get to meet everyone involved.  While I didn’t quite get that chance, I not only was able to deepen some bloggerships(friends who blog 😉 ) and meet new interesting awesome people. It felt so good to be in a room of people from the queer community and allies. I felt lots of good vibes in the air the entire weekend. I could go on and on and detail every aspect of the weekend, but here is a visual representation for you 🙂 !   I’m looking forward to seeing other recaps (which I am sure I will see quite a few as everyone decompresses a bit more 🙂 )


Continue Reading

FilmGeek: A Million Directions

A Million Directions

I took a class last year that helped me realize the type of work I wanted to produce. In this class, I started off filming a completely different documentary, but the night before my rough cut was due, I had a bit of a breakdown. I actually filmed myself talking to my webcam, and that video became the impetus for a new documentary, one that was closer to where I want to be as a media maker.  I revised this doc this summer and added some extra footage, but in the mix of it all, I felt that it lost some of the initial rawness and urgency that emerged in the first version. I may continue to send this off to festivals, but I also thought it was a good time to share with friends and family considering this week is the transplant-versey of my kidney donation to my dad (11 years!).

This is a very personal documentary and one that is still hard for me to watch. I hope that this work wasn’t as one-time occurrence and that I can continue to make pieces that are as raw and emotional as I feel this one is.  With that being said, let me introduce A Million Directions:


A Million Directions from Stacy Jill Calvert on Vimeo.

Continue Reading

AppGeek: Jawbone UP

Jawbone UP

As you all know, I am making those moves to get healthier in my life and I was lucky enough to get to test out a tool that will help me track my goals easily! This is the Jawbone UP. Here’s some quick info about it:

 Live Better. Start Now. Jawbone UP. Track your sleep activity, steps, calorie intake and more with the Jawbone UP wrist sensor and free mobile app. UP gives you meaningful, personalized insights so you can make lasting improvements to your everyday life.

  • UP is a system that takes a holistic approach to a healthy lifestyle.
  • The wristband tracks your movement and sleep in the background.
  • The app displays your data, lets you add things like meals and mood, and delivers insights that keep you moving forward.

What I liked about it:

I don’t wear a lot of jewelry and usually find bracelets cumbersome, however, I enjoyed wearing the UP. It was comfortable and it didn’t distract me as much as I thought it would. To use the system efficiently, there is even an app where you can track your daily progress and also gain support from friends and family who are also using Jawbone UP. You can create a team easily by searching your Facebook and Twitter friends or accessing your address book. I don’t have a lot of friends using the device, but I hope that will change!

I wore it day and night for about ten days (which is how long the amazing battery lasts!) and it tracked as it says above, every movement and also my sleep patterns. That was one of the main things that I love about the Jawbone UP. I know that I don’t sleep very well, and have had questions as to if I may have sleep apnea, and Jawbone UP seems to think I have a sleeping problem as well. I’m hoping to see this change as I continue to work out. Will my deep sleep be increased? Time will tell!

tracking-jawbone up

The meal tracking is extremely easy to use and they start you off with some basic typical food items to make your tracking easier. After you enter each meal, your main screen will be updated with your calorie count. I find this extremely helpful when trying to stay under the recommended calorie count for weight loss.
foodIt also helped you keep track of your moods. I loved this so I can go back and maybe figure out the food/mood relation if I chose to do so further down the line.

I didn’t get to try this function, partially because I don’t really nap, but the option seems really neat.

Don’t forget to track those workouts too! The UP is water resistent, but it is not waterproof. Which means, I can’t wear it when I’m swimming, however, I can track my workout easily afterwards.

IMG_2112One more thing that is great about this product too is that if you are already working with other apps to track food/weight, etc, you can combine those results within the app.

Cons (not really):

Honestly, there isn’t any real con to this at all. The only downfall is my own problem. I need to remember to actually charge the device! 🙂 UP does a great job of reminding you when your battery is getting close to 0%, so this is not fault of theirs! ADD girl needs to write some post it notes to help remember to actually charge it! 🙂

Final Thoughts:

If you are looking to gain some insight about your habits, track your daily steps, sleep patterns and meals, this is a great option. It comes in different sizes (for different wrists) and different colors too! You can purchase it directly from Best Buy via this link.

Product Specs: 

Tracks motion, distance, location and speed

For efficient monitoring of your workout.

Measures steps taken and calories burned

To help you keep track of your progress.

Watch-style design

Keeps your information within easy reach.

Up to 10-day battery life

Allows long-lasting use.

Syncs with your iPhone

So you can organize your long-term data (requires app download).

Water-resistant up to 3.3′

For use in most weather conditions.

Apple, the Apple logo and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. iPod is a trademark of Apple Computer, Inc.

  • Measures Steps Taken: Yes
  • Measures Distance Traveled: Yes
  • Measure Elapsed Time: Yes

Disclaimer:  The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free 



Continue Reading

Music Monday: Flashback – way back


In 2000, I was working in London for a startup that sold kid’s toys. It was an amazing almost-year that resulted in life-long friends and memories too. Our office was smack-dab in Picadilly Circus and one night (or maybe two…it’s a bit fuzzy 🙂 ), we dashed after work to a bar/sound stage for the Pepsi Chart show. It’s a well, top 40 chart show (similar to what TRL was back in the day on MTV, but the audience was allowed to actually drink).

When I’m down and feeling icky, I usually venture back to that time because the music was sugary pop at it’s best. It’s cheesy and I love it. I have no problem admitting it, and gosh darn it, it makes me feel better. I think we were here the day they filmed this, but again, that year is a smashed up memory meld now. Regardless, this was one of the top pop bands at the time and this song just makes me want to dance in the studio.

Enjoy and Happy Monday!


Continue Reading

Photo Geek: Campus Rah Rah

I bought a prime lens this weekend and took it out for a spin. First, at home, taking this oddly focused shot of M and I:stacyandm

I then wanted to check it out on campus. It was the first home football game and it was unfortunately too hot to want to walk around the tailgate, I did take this adorable photo of a couple sitting in front of me under the tent. (This was actually an IG photo)

stacyjill-540056776420856408_3751763 Finally, my fellow MFA peep and I walked over by Campus Lake and chatted for a while. It was nice and relaxing and the geese were nowhere to be found (they sometimes scare the living bejeezus out of me).


How was your weekend?

Continue Reading

The Top 5 Musicals for Geeks


GTYD welcomes guest blogger, Adam Riemer today with his Top 5 Musicals for Geeks:

Broadway is the home to many things: Pop-culture icons, cartoons that come to life and some things that the main stream world can’t seem to fall in love with.  Whether if it is on stage or you have to wait for a local theatre company to revive it, there are Broadway shows and musicals for Geeks that only you and your friends could appreciate.  Here are 5 must see musicals for any theatre geek.

The Toxic Avenger
If you think of superheroes on Broadway, you probably think of Spiderman.  A few years back there was a different hero gracing the stage.  Just like the movie and geeky references, this comic and pun filled show swept audiences through a world of slap stick comedy, gags and all-out geekery.  If you love comic books, then check out a revival of The Toxic Avenger.  More like a show that should be a midnight movie like Rocky Horror, The Toxic Avenger failed off the white way but lives in our hearts.  With awesome rock music and serious comedy, it takes a place in history for the Geekiest shows that have been on Broadway. 

Peter and the Star Catcher
Admit it, everyone reading this has at least thought of if not written and submitted fan fiction to their favorite movies or shows.  That’s why Peter and the Star Catcher ranks on this list.  Not only does it tell the stories before Peter went to Neverland, but a small cast of 12 people plays more than 100 characters.  Whether you are a kid or an adult, the show is performed by a story teller so pajamas are the perfect attire if you want to have fun.  Grownups who “don’t want to grow up” can wear their favorite footies while kids can pretend to be adults wearing their favorite kids robes and slippers.  You’ll fall into a trance with the colors, staging and stories that whisk you away to a “land never” dreamed of before.  This incredible show is something that will blow you away and set you flying to a land past the “furthest star”.  If you like classic tales, find out what happened before Neverland and set the stage for Peter, Mary and of course Captain Hook.

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog
I don’t think you can get geekier than having anything starring Neil Patrick Harris or the former Doogie Howser MD.  Not only was he the ultimate geek of his time, but when he left TV he went right to broadway (with a couple of stops in random musical movies like Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long blog).  In this sort of action packed movie musical, Neil plays an evil villain that blogs his adventures and plans to destroy his nemesis.  In an ongoing battle to win the love of his life, who of course falls for the hero, Dr. Horrible plots, plans and more important, blogs.  Perfect for any geek that likes comics, heroes and musicals, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long blog is available on DVD, for download or for purchase on most major sites.

From Monty Python to your own town, this broadway redo of the classic movie “The Holy Grail” will take you “cantering with coconuts” to meet “killer rabbits” and even find a gay Lance-a-Lot.  In pure Monty Python fashion, this touring show makes fun of theatre, the classic film and also adds in unique comments about the city it is in.  One of my favorite comments was when they were at the National Theatre in Washington DC.  The one character made a comment about being excited to see the Air and Space museum.  She was expecting to see a giant empty room…she was definitely wrong.   If you like British humor, and what type of geek doesn’t, then you have to see Monty Python’s Spamalot if it is coming to your city.

The Sing-a-Long Sound of Music
Everyone loves audience participation shows.  Because Evil Dead in 4D never toured and Rocky Horror is kind of overdone like a “bat out of hell”,,,but still loved, The Sing-a-Long Sound of Music is perfect.  I hate admitting to it, because it is like a dirty “habit”, but I love this one and always go.  There’s something about singing and yodeling nuns on hills that becomes as addicting and “edelweiss” flower soda.  You hate it, are happy you finished, and then want another.  The show has props, you throw things and the audience is encouraged to sing-a-long making it a fun show to see with friends, but might be a bit outdated for kids.  The show tours or appears in theaters about once a year so check the nearest major city or for where it will be playing.  It is definitely one that is fun to go to, even if you hate high pitched singing and old classic films. 

Geeks and theatre are hand in hand.  You have shows about superheroes, shows about geeks and everything from aliens to princess, witches to fan fiction and more.  Whether it’s Comic-Con or a Broadway ball, you’ll find tons of reasons to geek out and work your geekish charm dressed as your favorite star.

About the author:

Adam is a broadway theatre queen with multiple sites including broadway shows for kids and his reviews site featuring tons of broadway songs.

Continue Reading

Where Bloggers Blog

StacyJillCalvertFirst off, I will admit, I geek out over seeing people’s workspaces. I think it’s because I love seeing ways that I can improve on my organization and the fact that someone’s space usually tells you something about their personality.

My friend Ruth*posted this link the other day that made me squeel. It was a blog created by Karen of Chookooloonks dedicated to Blogger’s spaces!  I decided to go ahead an submit mine and it’s up today! 🙂 Make sure you check out the other spaces as well!

*Ruth and I actually met online almost eight years ago when she wrote for our group blog Thirty Voices. We finally got to meet face-face at BlogHer12! She’s awesome. You must go check out her blog. 🙂


Continue Reading

Must Watch Music Monday: Mary Lambert


“She keeps me warm. . . she keeps me warm. . . ”

That lyric has been hanging out in my head all summer. If you don’t know already, it was part of the chorus for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s song “Same Love” which was all over the airwaves this summer. Mary Lambert is the amazing voice behind those lyrics and has now expanded the chorus to a full song. It’s gorgeous and lush and the music video gave me chills. She spoke to Buzzfeed recently and as a queer filmmaker, I really appreciated the thought that went into the video.  You should definitely read the article and also check out the live blog that she did for AfterEllen last night at the VMAs.

However, before you go off and check out those articles. Check out these videos first. 🙂


Then. . . . check out the live performance of Same Love from last night’s VMA awards:

Who is that? Oh yeah, Jennifer Hudson. LoveLoveLove

Continue Reading