Salt Lake City Memories

09/08/2013 at 12:01 am | Posted in General Nerdery, Just for Fun, Stories from the Road | Leave a comment

Tonight I’m in Cheyenne (and soon in Laramie), looking ahead to SALT LAKE CITY on Sunday night!  One of the prettiest places there is. If you’ve never flown in over the Wasatch and the colored lake at sunrise with a Supermoon on your starboard side, I can’t explain it.

Then we roll on to Colorado, which has been deserving my attention for far too long.  Colorado, I love you.  I’m sorry.  I hope you haven’t forgotten me.  I’ll be back through again next year.  Let’s be friends?

Marian Call Utah Trivia: SLC is the first place not-on-the-west-coast that I ever remember going in my young life. And it’s a short, funny story.

In middle school, I was so obsessed with Les Misérables that I wrote a script suitable for middle schoolers to perform, and in seventh grade we performed it (I was Enjolras).*  You should have seen my rewrites of “Master of the House” and “Lovely Ladies.” It was spectacularly Waiting for Guffman, I’m sure, but my classmates and I were dead serious about our production. It was heartfelt.

The real Les Misérables wasn’t coming anywhere near Seattle that year, so I convinced my dad we should organize a trip of school classmates over the summer to go see it in the closest city — that was Salt Lake.

We couldn’t afford it alone really, but I told my Dad we should coordinate a trip for a bunch of my classmates and chaperones, and have them pay a little extra for our very much legwork.  The extra bit of money would make it possible for me and my dad to lead the trip (he was the director of our school play, I wrote the script).

And that, boys and girls, is how I invented crowdfunding in the seventh grade. And how I visited Salt Lake City for the first time!

Loving the Mountain States, eating a peach and tomatoes from a Montana farmer’s market, attempting not to die from exhaustion because the drives are so long.  Love to all.

Marian

 

*My dialogue for the script, written in sixth grade, was based on the unabridged novel, not the musical. That’s a young nerd in the making.

SDCC: What Marian Is Doing!

07/14/2013 at 1:23 am | Posted in General Nerdery, How to this-or-that, News & Explanations | Leave a comment

BOOTH 1320 BOOTH 1320 BOOTH 1320

Why, whatever will Marian be doing at SDCC?  Well I’ll tell you!

I am having a big concert on Friday night, like I do every year, sponsored by the San Diego Space Society.  But this year Molly and the Doubleclicks will join me!  It will be big and awesome!  Details are here or else here on Facebook.

Screen Shot 2013-07-06 at 10.09.43 AM

NINJA GIG:  I will also be findable singing and signing (NINJA SINGING) at the CA Browncoat Booth (A7/A8), Saturday at noon.  There will be singing until they shut us down.  Bring your Jayne hats!

BOOTH TIMES:  My stuff and I live at booth 1320.  My new live CD and Something Fierce and everything!

BOOTH 1320

So remember that number!  I’ll be there Thursday from noon to 4pm, Friday from 11 to 3pm, and Saturday from 12pm to close 4pm [updated]!  No hours Sunday, sorry, I will be back in Seattle!  Hopefully those signing times will stay the same, but if they change, I’ll change them here and at http://mariancall.com.

NEW STUFFS:  My new Live Album will be at my booth with me!!!  And I will be continuing The Postcard Tour by writing a bunch of postcards for a bunch of you!  We’ve had a bunch of these cute postcards printed, and you can buy them, or you can get one free with a CD purchase, and if I’m there, I’ll not only sign it, I’ll write you a whole postcard from me!  I like doing that.  So come by the booth!  1320 1320 1320 1320

Postcard SDCC preview

I also have a giveaway for the first person who comes to the booth and specifically asks me for it:  the last available necklaces IN EXISTENCE from the MCEAQ fundraiser.  That is, unless someone else is selling theirs on eBay.  So come to 1320, ask for the goodie, and you’ll be the recipient!  (Not available preview night.  Open floor hours only.)

A bunch of you have asked for NEW POSTERS, so I’ve printed my great Postcard Tour Posters made by Patrick Race from Alaska Robotics!  They will be available for $10 at the booth.  I am also happy to ship them to folks on the Internetz who want them, but I might wait to do that until after SDCC when things have calmed down a tiny bit.  And I’m happy to sign and personalize them and draw a little doodle or something for you during my booth hours!

So come and visit — I’ll see you guys on the Con Floor, feet aching, exhausted, tweeting up a storm. Can’t wait!

The new poster, with a bunch of room for signing and writing something nice:

Postcard Poster sm

Rocketfest!!!

08/28/2012 at 4:43 pm | Posted in 1904, General Nerdery, How to this-or-that, Just for Fun, News & Explanations | Leave a comment
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I am doing a very special thing this week.  I have been excited about it for months.  But I have not communicated my excitement to you guys yet.

ON LABOR DAY I AM GOING TO SPACE CAMP.

I am taking with me some of my favorite people:  Molly Lewis, Ken Plume, Joseph Scrimshaw, Phil Plait, George Hrab.  We are trucking over from Dragon*Con Monday morning.  We are there going to present the live audience in Huntsville, AL with a variety show of terrifically geeky sciencey entertainment, and we will be streaming the show LIVE FROM SPACE CAMP TO YOU.

How to watch: tune in to http://spacecamp.com on Monday Sept. 3rd at 2pm Central.  Facebook event here (share it!).

by Len Peralta

Here’s the why of this event.  It’s a fundraiser for the U.S. Space & Rocket Center Scholarship Foundation.  That’s a fancy way of saying we’re raising money to send more kids to Space Camp.  There will be stuff you can order, special goodies from Thinkgeek and Space Camp, and everyone who donates $10 or more online during the live stream will be entered to win a bigger prize from Thinkgeek. (Thank you Thinkgeek!)  Of course you can just donate too, that’s an option anytime at http://spacecamp.com/rocketfest.  But I hope that during this livestream we can flood the gates a little.  I want to demonstrate to the folks at USS&RC that the internet is full of people who want to support them.

When I was young, I was totally the scholarship kid at horse camp.  I begged and begged my parents, but they couldn’t afford it.  When I finally got to take my swim test, saddle up for early morning trail rides, and take my first crack at archery, it was thanks to anonymous strangers who helped to provide scholarships.  So there’s a big soft spot in me where summer camp is concerned.  It’s not just camp, it’s a big deal for a kid.  It’s CAMP.

And this is not just CAMP, it’s SPACE CAMP.

Science has been on my mind this year.  I know, I’m a liberal arts nerd, I don’t have much right to step into the science nerd realm.  [Insert rant about the overstated divide between “fuzzy” and “techie” and how early a girl is forced to choose.]  But in light of Curiosity’s landing, our little Mars invasion — and in light of the shuttle’s last landing and Sally and Neil leaving us — I feel more and more urgency about science education.

No, not education, excitement.  Science Excitement needs to become a national priority.  We need a tiny bit of moon landing feeling back.  A few of us experienced an incredible thrill as Curiosity landed.  I want to know how to spread that feeling, to make it more universal and less niche.  Because that sentiment is what would help to reorient the U.S. toward invention, discovery, research and development as a public prerogative.

I feel strongly about this (and I’m late to the game, I know, a lot of you have been fighting this fight for decades).  And I don’t know how I can do anything to change national sentiment as an individual.  But this seemed like a good little place for a singer-songwriter to start.  So here I go.

On Labor Day I hope you’ll tune your computer to SpaceCamp.com at 2pm Central and watch our little show, have a look at Rocket Park, even if it’s just on in the background while you barbecue on the deck.

And if you are within driving distance of Huntsville, I’m talking to you Dragon*Con attendees, consider bringing the family out for the day — Space Camp is throwing a field day from 10am-5pm, complete with rocket launches and bubbles and science demos.  The price of admission gets you our show and everything else in Rocket Park.  How cool is that?  Come sit on the lawn and have a picnic among rockets and be entertained.  We definitely need a live audience, so bring the kids and come play.  Make a pilgrimage to Space Camp! Especially if you’ve never been.  You know you want to!

Last: please, tell everyone.  Tell the whole internet.  This is just a little tiny thing but let’s get some eyeballs on it.  I’ve worked hard to pull it together and I really hope it will be half as beautiful as in my head.  Point people to info at http://spacecamp.com/rocketfest, and RSVP or share the Facebook event here.  If you can possibly blog about this or otherwise publicize it — DO.  The official press release is below.

Stars and stars and stars to all of you — writing from Cincinatti at 3am between concerts —

Marian

P.S. If you are in Huntsville or Atlanta, and you could Minion for me and the other entertainers, we need two volunteers to come along and help out for the day.  We can provide round-trip transport from Atlanta, and lunch.  Write to marian@mariancall.com if you are interested in going to Space Camp to help.  Sound/web/social media skills a plus, we’ll need some of that.  Loving Space Camp a double plus.

++++++++++++++

ROCKETFEST
LABOR DAY 2012

When:          Monday, September 3, 2012, 9am – 5pm, entertainment at 2pm Central
Where:        U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Huntsville, AL, streaming live at http://spacecamp.com   
What:            Rocketfest, a fun filled day of music and family entertainment

On Monday, September 3, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center will host ROCKETFEST.  With your paid admission to the Space Center on Labor Day, the whole family can enjoy a fun-filled day.  There will be family activities on site like rocket launches, bubbles and science demonstrations;  attendees can win prizes from Thinkgeek and enjoy a special concert and variety show in the park.

The entertainment lineup (2pm) will feature nationally renowned musicians George Hrab, Molly Lewis, and Marian Call, along with science and geek culture icons Phil Plait the Bad Astronomer, Ken Plume and Joseph Scrimshaw.  All entertainment will be exciting and family-friendly.   The festival performance will be streamed LIVE on the web at http://spacecamp.com.

The event is a fundraiser for the U.S. Space & Rocket Center Scholarship Foundation. For more information or to donate, check out http://www.spacecamp.com/rocketfest.

The USSRC is home to Space Camp, Aviation Challenge, The Davidson Center for Space Exploration and world-class traveling exhibits.  It is also the official visitor’s information center for NASA – Marshall Space Flight Center.  To learn about all of the exciting programs and activities at the USSRC, go to www.rocketcenter.com.  The U.S. Space & Rocket Center is a Smithsonian Affiliate.

Press Contact:    Tim D. Hall, timh@spacecamp.com  (256) 701-0916

Happy Kickstarter Eve! Photos by Valette you’re unlikely to forget

06/29/2012 at 10:47 pm | Posted in General Nerdery, Just for Fun, Stories from Alaska | 4 Comments
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HAPPY KICKSTARTER EVE!

In celebration, I’m thrilled to unveil the complete set of photos I shot with +Valette Keller for the Kickstarter: http://www.flickr.com/photos/valette/sets/72157630338274326/show/. Click through for the whole slideshow, it’s amazing!

http://studiovalette.com

This is an amazing wearable art piece from the Anchorage fashion show “Object: Runway,” designed by Anchorage armorer & smithy Chris Cushman of Penguinarms (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Penguin-Arms/172408626146626).  It won third place overall in the wearable art show!  And made me scareder than I’ve been in a long time as I walked up and down the catwalk with no backstrap securing the halter top.  But hey, it’s for art!

Chris made the gorgeous steel rose and the jewelry too, both of which will be making an appearance in my fundraiser.

Yes, these will be available during the upcoming fundraiser in some form.

KICKSTARTER EVE HOORAY

To be sure you don’t miss the Kickstarter details, get on the e-mail list here: http://mariancall.fanbridge.com.

….
P.S. Thanks to all the many first- and second-wave feminists who worked so hard to ensure that I could do a project like this and just find it a fun and empowering art project, a tribute to classic high fantasy. It’s not a commentary on anything, it’s just for fun.  You are welcome to think about it whatever you like, but creeper comments are subject to deletion so they can stay in your head.  I really enjoyed doing a project like this with a very normal-sized healthy girl body instead of a wasp waist.

Geek Girl Con! And why it matters to me.

10/07/2011 at 1:18 am | Posted in General Nerdery, News & Explanations | 25 Comments
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I never would have called myself a geek as a kid.  I was just a girl who spent every waking hour reading and exploring computers and drawing and learning and buried deep in the land of imagination.  I was just a girl who spent every recess in the library or the counselor’s office, who was socially awkward around people, who fantasized about being a robot or an alien to explain my differences from my peers.  I watched TNG every week with my Dad and wrote Star Wars spinoff stories.  But I would have been deeply confused if anyone had described me as a geek.

Because boys got to be geeks and nerds.  Thirteen-year-old me knew this from movies, adults, my peers, and especially from cartoons, ads, and shows on TV.  Boys got to have comic books and LEGO and play D&D and video games and wield plastic lightsabers.  And the truly geeky boys got beat up and ostracized and mocked for it (like my little brother), so they formed small outgroups proudly identifying more and more deeply with the activities they enjoyed.  Me, I admired those groups from afar – and retreated deep into books, drawing, writing, the land of imagination, where I could write my own adventures.

I quickly learned not to bring up the things I loved, or how much I loved them, around other girls.  I definitely learned how uncool it was to like my homework and my teachers and computers.  I grew practiced at hiding my talents in spelling and math, hiding my love for tests, so as to have any friends.  (It’s still damn near impossible for me to say out loud, “I went to Stanford,” because it’s alienating.  (But I can tell you, because you’re the Internet.)) So childhood was a wonderful but solitary journey.  I have no complaints about this — I don’t see it as a serious problem — it was just my formative experience.  A lot of people nurtured me and my interests, especially my family and certain teachers, and for them I will always be grateful.  But this part of my childhood defines me, it’s my central narrative: hiding my books and my drawings and my test scores.  That was me.  And I wouldn’t change that.

Fast forward to 2006.  I came to Myspace (a little late).  And as I filled out my “interests,” as an adult, with no peer group watching and no pressure to edit myself, I found that the list looked very, very geeky indeed.  And when I started meeting my very first few online friends — through Nathan Fillion’s Myspace page, of all places — I was surprised.  Surprised out of my shoes.  SO MANY OTHER GIRLS LIKED THE STUFF I LIKE.  Including old friends of mine with whom I had played Barbies when I would have rather built pirate ships.  We had been hiding from each other when we were young.  And here we were, all exposed by social media.  And I learned just how many other girls had also secretly been having an experience like me growing up.  I learned how many other girls are embarrassed by their academic accomplishments and love of sci-fi.

I cannot tell you how amazing it feels to find you belong to a community when you thought you were alone.

By joining the “geek” community I have met female friends who enjoy what I enjoy, and who had childhood experiences like mine.  I’ve also met plenty of awesome women who were unafraid to be themselves all along, who boast about their accomplishments and their nerdiness, and I admire the heck out of them.  Geek girls are nothing new, but our openness about it is.  Lightsaber battles are not just for the boys anymore.  And I’m so happy to finally be able to join in the fun as an adult.

These days, geek girls are finding one another and showing up at conventions and comic shops, faster and more vocally than the boys were prepared for, I think.  And it’s a good thing.  But it’s tough.  In a way we’re invading a safe space that once belonged to boys who, at least in their youth, were most comfortable away from those bizarre female aliens.  And I know what it’s like to have a safe space, and to have that space invaded by people who make me uncomfortable (not because they’re evil, but because I’m socially awkward around them, and I’m suddenly a little less free to be myself, bound by awkwardness). So I can empathize with the confusion of this new world for the boys and the suspicions that accompany it.  I’m not surprised this demographic change comes with its rubs and scrapes.

And honestly, certain parts of geek culture are slow to catch up to the fact that we’re here — women have suddenly altered the makeup of the audience, but women are only beginning to become a significant percentage of content creators.  So there are lurches and bumps and internet flame wars along the way to learning to live in a larger community, a community that was a male-dominated outgroup and is now much larger and more diverse than existing social constructs are prepared to grapple with.

GeekGirlCon this weekend in Seattle aspires to be a positive, open, fun celebration, inclusive and accessible to all types (men welcome! kids under 10 free!).  I look forward to seeing how it goes.  I have reservations, but I have a lot more hopes.  I especially hope it empowers people to be who they are and like what they like — perhaps some young girl like me who feels she’s alone in loving school work and Star Trek will learn there’s a larger community she can grow into.  Perhaps some young boy might learn it’s OK to invite that cool tomboyish girl to his D&D table even if he feels pressure not to.  Perhaps we can empower younger folks to reach across the gender divide and find pride in who they are.

The practical stuff:  GeekGirlCon passes are very accessible, starting at $20 if you pick them up in person at local businesses. The con will address some serious issues, like cattiness and sexiness and gender in comics and gaming — but most of the panels and topics are just the same geeky fun you find at any convention.  It’ll feature amazing guests like Jane Espenson, Bonnie Burton, Amy Berg, and Chase Masterson.  And me!  I’m on a Sunday panel about creating community.

And I’m playing in the awesome kickoff event!  It’s open to all, not just con attendees! YOU SHOULD COME!  I recommend tickets in advance as we’re close to sold out/standing room.  BUT IT WILL ROCK.

Seattle, WA // Fri. 10.07.11 – Geek Girl CONcert with Molly Lewis & the Doubleclicks
Tickets now on sale! Molly Lewis out of Seattle, and The Doubleclicks out of Portland.  This very special concert will be held at the Great Hall in Green Lake at 8pm – it’s an all ages show and younger folks are more than welcome.  Tickets $10-15, reduced for students and GeekGirlCon pass holders.  Facebook event here.

I have lots of thoughts about the various geek/gender battles that have broken out on the web lately, but mostly, I see all of it as a sign that we’re undergoing the birth pangs of creating a better community.  I want real discourse, healthy discussion, some education and hard listening, and that’s damned difficult to come by (especially on the internet).  But it’s beginning to happen.  We’re learning to play together.  It’s better than it was, not as good as it will be.  For my part, I want to stay positive and I want to hear some of the opinions that are difficult for people to voice.  I want to hear personal stories more than diatribes that generalize about gender.  There’s a lot of gunk we have to just get out of our systems (and out in the open) to make this community work, and let’s face it, it’ll probably be rocky.  I see myself as a peacemaker and an artist generally.  So I’m reluctant to get too deeply involved in controversies, myself.**

Because mostly?  I just want to have fun.  I want to get back to geeking out about awesome stuff.  And I want a safe community to geek out in.  That’s possible.  We can make it happen.

**********************

**Odds on the comments/response to this post winding up in controversy are entertainingly high.  I will be taking bets as to the topics that will inflame people about a relatively non-inflammatory personal narrative.

In Which I Officially Cover They Might Be Giants

08/23/2011 at 7:50 am | Posted in General Nerdery, News & Explanations | 1 Comment

THERE IS NEW MUSIC FROM ME!  TODAY!

Here I am on a record called Mink Car Cover and it’s now on sale! http://minkcarcover.bandcamp.com/album/mink-car-cover

If you are a fan of They Might Be Giants I hope you know their great album Mink Car.  It’s canon for me and my family.  I was thrilled to be invited to record a cover of the song “Hovering Sombrero” (with extra accordion) for this officially approved album cover project. All proceeds go to the FDNY Foundation.  You can read more at http://minkcarcover.com/ and see all the other amazing artists involved!

The story goes like this:  ten years ago They Might Be Giants happened to have an album slated for release on September 11th, 2001.  As you know, they didn’t have quite the release they were planning on.  This is a fundraising project surrounding the tenth anniversary of 9/11, celebrating the music in a positive spirit.  And it’s aimed at supporting the FDNY Foundation, the official not-for-profit foundation of the Fire Department of New York.  Money goes to support and train emergency responders.  (I repeat:  this is a fundraising project; nobody benefits financially from this except the FDNY Foundation.)

I had to record this track while I was on the road.  It was quite the endeavour.  I snagged the guitar (courtesy of Scott Barkan), scratch vocals, percussion, banjo and accordion parts in Seattle in my brother’s sewing room.  My brother is a tailor, and also a completely awesome artistic partner in crime.  (More photos here!)

Brother played accordion for a long time.

Closet recording gives you Indie Cred.

I sent the track to my Dad in Austin.  He played me some pianos and sent them back to me.  I intercepted them in San Diego, edited the whole piece together during San Diego Comic Con in my hotel room  And then — foreseeing no chance to get into a studio anytime soon — I recorded the final vocals in the closet with some coats, after a signing at the California Browncoats booth and just before I had to check out of the room and go sing a concert in hall 32A-B.  (It was dark in that closet.  It took me a few takes to remember that I had a music stand light in my luggage so I could quit bumping into the closet rail in the dark.  Every take of the vocals began and ended with the sound of the closet door opening and closing.)

I uploaded the session to my engineer, Bryan Ray (in Austin) from the home of some artists I was meeting for the first time in Pasadena.  He worked on it while I disappeared into the Sierra mountains for a couple days, and we met up to do the final mix on the track when I came to Texas to play some shows.  We submitted just hours before the deadline.  Now you know how a song gets put together while I’m touring: without sleep.

Mink Car happens to be one of my favorite Giants albums ever.  Now that the final product is here I’m VERY excited.  Also appearing on the album are MC Frontalot, Molly Lewis, The Doubleclicks, Mike Lombardo, Ryan North, Devo Spice, Hank Green, and lots more awesome folks who feel (like me) that Giants albums are to be revered a little more than your average record.

It also felt right to me to do this, because sometimes the best response to a big bad world is to make art.  Sometimes it’s the only response, actually.  So I hope you’ll give the album (or my track) a listen or a download at http://minkcarcover.bandcamp.com/album/mink-car-cover.

Hovering Sombrero!

Thinkgeek concert nerdy details! Nerds.

06/24/2011 at 10:54 pm | Posted in General Nerdery, How to this-or-that, News & Explanations | 1 Comment

Hey Geeks!  I am live streaming a concert tonight!  Provided we get the audio sounding good!  Which we hope and think it will!  Yay last-second trips to radio shack.  Make humble sacrifices to the tech spirits; I am.

Here are all the details of how stuff works!!!

  • Watch the live stream at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/marian-call-live-from-thinkgeek-hq starting a little after 7pm EDT.
  • Want an awesome incredible poster from tonight’s show, drawn by John Tyler Christopher?  You can order them tonight only at http://mariancall.com starting at about 7pm EDT!  The first 100 will be signed by me, but everyone who orders will get one — we will print as many as you guys order.  But only tonight!!  Sales close about midnight EDT.  All proceeds go to keep Art of Akira, and the artist behind it, thriving.  Keeping art alive is up to us, and it’s the best.  International friends: you can order too!  If your shipping is lots extra you might have to work out an extra little invoice, but you’ll be contacted individually.  Order just like normal!
  • There are lots of prizes, both for folks here in person and listening/watching online.  The rules are below for folks who want to win stuff from @thinkgeek!!!
  • If you are enjoying the show from a distance, especially the whole show, please tip so Marian can keep making music!  Or buy some lovely songs.  Or come to a show in Arlington, Annapolis, New York City, Philadelphia, Cambridge, Portland, or Seattle!  And more cities coming soon.

HERE ARE RULES AND PRIZES FOR YOUS!  From the Thinkgeek monkeys.

ARE YOU PHYSICALLY HERE?
Four ways to win if you’re at the show tonight!

1. Tweet with the hashtags #TGMarianAkira AND #meatspace (in the same tweet!) by 8:30pm ET and be entered to win (by random drawing) a $50 ThinkGeek gift certificate.  Must be present at the concert in person to win!

2. Submit a t-shirt idea in the brainstorm box by 8:30pm ET and randomly win a $50 ThinkGeek gift certificate. Must be present to win!

3. One random ticket purchase-r who is here tonight will win these items at the end of the show:
Zombie Shooting Gallery, Magic d20 of Destiny, Fawkes and Codex Highland Sextasy Poster, Lights and Sounds Delorean, and an Atari Pixel Logo Beer Stein

4. One person who tweets #TGMarianAkira AND #frakabanjo AND #meatspeace (in the same tweet!) by the end of the show, about 10pm ET, will win a #frakabanjo stainless steel engraved dog tag.  Only 10 exist in the ‘verse!  Must still be present to win.

THESE PRIZES ARE FOR TEH INTERNET.
Three ways to win if you’re not here IRL!

1. Tweet with hashtag #TGMarianAkira AND #internetz (in the same tweet!) by 8:30pm ET and randomly win:
LEGO Hoth Wampa Set, Canned Unicorn Meat, My First Bacon, and a #frakabanjo stainless steel engraved dog tag.  Must still be viewing to confirm via Twitter that you accept your prizes, so stick around until 8:30!**

2. Marian will announce the rules of the second challenge via the webstream during the first half of the show.  Enter our challenge as broadcasted on Ustream and randomly win at the end of the show:
Enterprise Pizza Cutter, Bazinga Lunchbox, Critical Hit LED d20 Die, and a #frakabanjo stainless steel engraved dog tag.  Winner will be announced at the end of the show, about 10pm ET, so stick around!  You must still be viewing to confirm via Twitter that you accept your prizes or we’ll pass them along to someone else.**

3. One person who tweets #TGMarianAkira AND #frakabanjo by the end of the show will win a #frakabanjo stainless steel engraved dog tag.  Winner will be announced at the end of the show, about 10pm ET, so stick around!  You must still be viewing to confirm via Twitter that you accept your prizes or we’ll pass them along to someone else.**

**When we choose our online hashtag winners, we’ll need to confirm within 10 minutes that you are still viewing and that you want to claim your prize, or else we need to pass it along to someone else.  So be watching your stream around 8:30pm and again at the end of the show if you’re interested in prizey stuff!

New York! Boston! Dallas! Austin! Wake Up and w00t!

10/28/2010 at 8:34 pm | Posted in 49>50, Browncoats, General Nerdery, Just for Fun, News & Explanations | 5 Comments
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It has come to our not-so-royal attention
that some of you in some of these very large cities
still do not have your golden tickets
to the Singular Inc0mparable Bizarre Nerd Revue Spectacular
known as #w00tstock.

The valid excuses that come to mind are Three, and I shall name them:

1. Perhaps you fear the side effects of being in such close physical proximity
to so many of the gods and demigods
of the Pantheon Of Internet Celebrities Who Are Celebrities Because
They Actually Do Cool Stuff
(the finest of the A, B, C, and D-lists will be in attendance).

AND YOU ARE RIGHT TO FEAR.
Your computer screens and smart phones
generally protect you from the full power of their collective blinding Awesome.
But think on this:
your little electronic barriers also insulate you
from the ensuing radiation-induced Superpowers
(and inevitable tragic alienation
and prolonged near-romance with a sexy investigative journalist)
that you’ve always dreamed of.
You’ll never know
if you don’t show.

2. Perhaps you have forgotten that not so very long ago
you begged and pleaded for w00tstock to come and for gods’ sake take the East Coast.
But now that it’s here, you mean to play hard-to-get
for fear w00tstock may not call you in the morning
if you are too easily conquered.
You shameless tease you.

3. Perhaps you do not know what a w00tstock is
but it’s happened a number of times already
and you are embarrassed to ask anymore,
so from time to time you just wait patiently
for everyone to quit bloody #hashtagging about it. #w00t #w00t #w00t

If this is the case,
If ignorance is your defense,
then you should ASK SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN THERE about the amazing.

(You are reading my blog on the Yntarnet right now, so I know you have time at this very moment to ask Twitter or Facebook.  And this entry gives you blanket permission to come out and confess it.  Say it with me, it’s difficult, but it feels good: “I have no idea what w00tstock is.” Ahhhh. Isn’t that better?)

It is unlike a con.  It is unlike a concert.  It is Nerd Vaudeville.
It is a Variety Show of interesting things that you never knew you were dying to see
like Chewbacca playing guitar and Marian in heels
and real mad scientists in Halloween costumes.
It is the unmatched synergy of the modern Superheroes and Sidekicks of Wit
at your service.

So.

Short of picking your pockets personally
(a chore I’ve neither skill nor time for)
I cannot remedy your pathetic ticketless situation by force —
So I haunt street corners and plague subway cars
late at night, haggard, halitosid, attempting to foist on you
limp and possibly snotty pamphlets
detailing the amazements you will miss
if you stay home and watch “Doctor Who” episodes again
which you have already seen three times sober
(and once (or possibly twice) while intoxicated).

Here, transcribed, with only virtual snot, is the text of my dirty subway pamphlet:

THE W00TSTOCK IS NEAR!  THE DAY IS APPROACHING!
PREPARE YOUR SOUL! (mandatory)

NEW YORK 10.29.10 //// COSTUME BALL!
BOSTON 10.31.10 //// COSTUME BALL!
AUSTIN 11.02.10 //// just a regular ball!
DALLAS 11.03.10 //// just the other regular ball!

REASONS TO ATTEND (mandatory):

PaulandStorm
Adam Savage
Grant Imahara
Jonathan Coulton
Neil Gaiman
Paul F. Tompkins
Bill Amend of Foxtrot
Bill Corbett & Kevin Murphy of Rifftrax & MST3K
Drew Curtis of Fark.com
Marc Abrahams of the Ig Nobel Prizes
Jason Finn of the POTUSA
MC Frontalot
Molly Lewis
Mary Jo Pehl
Stephen “Stepto” Toulouse
((me!))

And, presiding over all proceedings like the flaming Eye of Sauron,
THE UNDEAD SPIRIT OF @WILW*

Get tickets now or settle in for the looooong, dark wait for another thing half this exciting to occur. It will be a while — even for you, New York. (mandatory)

Humbly submitted for your review on too little sleep and too much coffee,

Marian Call

*Not physically in attendance. But technically speaking, “Undead” is an accurate description of @wilw at this writing.

Upcoming Marian Call shows, details and RSVP info at http://mariancall.com:

10/29 w00tstock, New York, NY
10/30 House Concert, Holden MA
10/31 w00tstock, Boston MA
11/1 Tommy Doyle’s, Cambridge MA
11/2 House Concert, Concord NH
11/3 House Concert, Montreal QC
11/4 House Concert, Ottawa ON
11/5 House Concert, Kitchener ON
11/7 Evil Squirrel Comics, Chicago IL (tickets required, http://mariancall.com)
11/9 Dunn Bros. Coffee Co., Roseville MN

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Thinkgeek Broadcast How To’s

10/06/2010 at 10:52 pm | Posted in General Nerdery, News & Explanations | 6 Comments

Note: This show has already finished airing, but I’ll leave this post up for nostalgia’s sake. You can view videos of the event still hosted at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/marian-call-live-from-thinkgeek-hq.

Hey! Some of you have so many questions, we thought it would be easier to answer them here!

First of all, I’m Marian Call, http://mariancall.com, and accompanying me tonight is the incredible inimitable Scott Barkan, http://myspace.com/scottbarkan.  We’re playing at http://thinkgeek.com’s Secret World Domination Headquarters!

If you have a live, real-time question, address it to http://twitter.com/magicswordking or http://twitter.com/thinkgeek and they will guide you. If you’re chatting about the show on Twitter, the hashtag is #MarianTGHQ — so you can see chatter about the show at http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23mariantghq.

You can watch and chat at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/marian-call-live-from-thinkgeek-hq. The show will also be embedded at http://mariancall.com.

If you are enjoying the show, please drop a tip in the Paypal tip jar or buy some music!  You can download stuff http://itunes.com/mariancall, or at Amazon or any number of online retailers — but Marian’s preferred is http://mariancall.bandcamp.com (it also has the most and newest and secretest tracks).  For physical cd’s, visit http://mariancall.com/purchase.php.  For T-shirts or bags or hoodies, visit http://skreened.com/mariancall?partner=mariancallmerch.

Online Listeners! We are making a crazy quilt compilation of online listeners to represent the community of folks listening from afar. E-mail your SFW photo to replybot@thinkgeek.com for the photo of you, listening, to be included!

Online Contests! We are playing Geek Bingo here at Thinkgeek HQ, but online viewers are welcome to play games too. To win one of 4 Thinkgeek prizes, Tweet @thinkgeek during the show using the hashtag #MarianTGHQ — and randomly selected winners will get the following:

7pm – 7:30pm:   Plush Darth Vader

7:30pm – 8pm:   Plush Yoda

8pm – 8:30pm:   $150 Thinkgeek Gift Certificate

8:30pm – 9pm:   Wampa Rug

(I recommend you do it more than once as any of these gifts are awesome. Also, to our dear overseas friends: these items will be shipped direct from Thinkgeek HQ without the insane shipping rates, so feel free to enter!  These items can be shipped overseas if you win (within reason)).

If you have an idea for a T-shirt that Thinkgeek should make, you can submit it at http://thinkgeek.com/bounty!  You may have to login.

Yes, we are taping the show to play later, barring technical difficulties.

And again, if you enjoy what you see, please tip accordingly.  Paying voluntarily for stuff you love is what the geeks do.  Because geeks rock.

We hope you enjoy the evening!

Marian

So. Big news. w00t w00t w00t!

06/20/2010 at 10:04 pm | Posted in 49>50, General Nerdery, Just for Fun, News & Explanations, Stories from the Road | 7 Comments

Some of my following are geeks, and some are not.  But I hope that all of you will rejoice in this frabjous news:

If you don’t know what w00t means, it’s the sound a Geek makes when it’s happy about something.  Or when you squeeze it.  If you don’t know what w00tstock is, here’s a bit of a primer.  And here are details on MY w00tstock, edition 2.4, including ticket info.  It will be on Thursday night, July 22nd, 2010 at 7:30pm.  (Protip: you do not have to be attending San Diego Comic Con to attend w00tstock.) (Other Protip: this is an awesome event, with an incredible lineup of way-famouser-than-me people, and I will only be performing for 10 minutes at it.  So if you want to see a real Marian Call concert, also come to a real Marian Call concert.  There will be one accessible from, but not exclusive to, SDCC on Saturday night 7/24.)

Other distinguished guests you may or may not have heard of (but I have! Eeeeee!) include:

You might not know who any of these people are, and if that’s the case, just smile and nod and realize that this is maximally awesome for Marian.  Or check them out, if you think you might like them.  One of my favorite acts to come out of w00tstock thus far is a monologue by Peter Sagal (@petersagal) at w00tstock Chicago; part I is here and part II is here — and it’s SO worth 12 minutes of your time.

To sum up, just know this: if you’re reading this blog in the first week I’m posting it, then you were here first.

One of the reasons I think this is so awesome is that Paul-of-Paul-and-Storm reported to me that I am one of the most recommended acts ever.  That’s because of you guys.  A couple of amazing people in high places recommended me, and I owe them humble thanks.  But I hear that many many dozens of fans took time to write and recommend me as well — and that’s because you’re AWESOME. “I don’t really have that many fans,” I remember stammering on the phone as I confirmed this engagement.  “Well, you have the right ones,” responded Paul emphatically.  I concur.

Since this announcement (and because of a couple very hardworking fans — it only takes one or two per city!) I have had much larger-than-expected turnouts at my shows.  Please please please, let’s keep this up!  You guys ROCK.  I am behind on everything, so please pardon me as I try to keep up with all teh awesome.  But as I wind my way through this whole darn country I am more and more astounded at how amazing are the people I’m meeting, the people who are listening, everywhere.  I’ll do my best for you.

Thank you!

<3 Marian

******************************************************************************

Upcoming shows, details at http://mariancall.com:

6/20 Corazon, Santa Fe NM
6/22 Open House Concert, Green Valley (Tucson area), AZ
6/23 Open House Concert, Phoenix AZ
6/27 Open House Concert, Toronto ON
6/30 Outdoor Concert on East Stage of JT Lake, Joshua Tree CA — come camping! You know you want to…
7/1 Hillary Artspace, Las Vegas NV — First Thursday art party!
7/2 Open House Concert, Salt Lake City UT — huge backyard bash!
7/3 Trident Books & Coffee, Boulder CO
7/4 Folsom St. Coffee, Boulder CO
7/5 Dirty Woman Park Concert, Monument CO — bring your 4th leftovers and a super soaker!

A handy little invite I like to forward to my friends when I’m landing on the ground — just copy and paste pertinent show details from http://mariancall.com and stick it in an e-mail!  I will need a lot of help bringing folks to my concerts through the mountain states, it’s not my home turf yet.

Marian Call touring all 50 states!

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