Geek’s Guide to Seattle during PAX West

So you’ve bought your passes, packed your suitcase, and you’re ready for PAX West! But while you’re in Seattle, what else are you gonna do?

One of the largest U.S. gaming events, PAX West is something you’ve probably looked forward to for months…if not years. Personally I’m pretty pumped for the event and I’m a Seattle native. I can’t imagine how much excitement there would be if you’re riding, flying, or driving into town for this event. The good is that the wait is almost over! And even better, you’re coming to one of the nerdiest cities this country has to offer. Even beyond PAX West there’s a whole ton to do here while in between events, or if you just want to get away from the crowds for a bit. Here are some of my favorites!

MoPop Museum

Right now the Marvel exhibit is being shown at the Museum of Pop Culture and it is absolutely to die for. Not only does it feature first edition comics and original costumes from all of your favorite Marvel movies, but it’s more extensive than you might think. Another feature of the MoPop is their Indie video games lab and sci-fi/fantasy exhibits. I’m actually a member of this museum I go so often. It really is the best.

Add-a-Ball Arcade

This gem can be found a block away from the Lenin statue and across the street from Theo Chocolate (which gives chocolate factory tours FYI). The spot is jam-packed with arcade games, pinball machines and all kinds of nerd goodness. It is a bar, so this is not a kid friendly establishment, but if you’re looking for one of those you can try out Full Tilt in Ballard.

Pink Gorilla

This retro game spot has drained quite a bit of my savings on their rad retro games and gaming systems. They have just about everything you could wish for with retro gaming and even some newer games/gaming systems. Word on the street is that they might have a booth at PAX West but, just in case, you can find them in the University District.

Pinball Museum

Still looking for some fun? Check out the Pinball Museum on on the south side of downtown with the Pinball Museum! With systems dating back to 1934, the Pinball museum is a great way to keep the nerdom alive in between events.

Archie McPhee

This is a joke…shop. This store is packed to the brim with practical joke merchandise, and is a fun spot to grab a souvenir more impactful than a magnet. You’ll find this haha spot in Wallingford.

Columbia Tower

While most may point you in the direction of the Space Needle, you can save your dough and get some pretty spectacular (weather permitting) views from the Columbia Tower. Hop in and take the elevator to the 73rd floor for the observation deck! You won’t regret it.

Outsider Comics and Boutique

This little shop is pretty awesome and you’ll find them at a lot of geek events around Seattle. You can find all of your fav comics and game pieces here as well as jewelry, clothing and events.

Food place

Since there a are quite a few food places that you could/should stop by in Seattle I’ve added some great ones here with links to their pages. Pick your poison.

Happy Con, everyone!

 

Why Fitness And Gaming Go Hand In Hand

It’s been a while since I was in the workout mindset for a few different reasons. Life was terrible, then hectic, then confusing, and now I’ve landed somewhere in the territory of crazy…in a good way. In my life, there’s pretty much zero reasons for me to ever be physically active. I write all day in an office, then sit on a bus to get home, then sit and paint or game. My legs pretty much never need to be used. BUT. A few months ago I started having really extreme pain in my knees and lower back. The culprit? You guessed it – sitting all damn day.

Getting back support in my chair started helping with the back problems, but my knees were pretty much in constant pain and I couldn’t figure out why. I tried changing my shoes and tried to walk more, but I needed a serious change to stop feeling like a 73-year-old woman. So my partner in crime suggested that I started working out. Like actual cardio working out. I called a friend who honestly was the sweetest EVER about getting me onboard with Beachbody and then another friend suggested ClassPass. With the two programs combined, I started out on a two-week journey to getting fit. I figured if I could just make it two weeks I’d be good.

I’d be lying if I said it was easy to start. But with the help of some cat stickers, and a hand-drawn sticker chart I started working out every other day and I finally started to feel more like myself. I’ve always been a pretty healthy eater, but working out started making me more conscious of how important a balanced diet was. I switched from white rice to brown. I started stocking up on healthy snacks like dried mango and mixed nuts. I started upping my protein intake and drinking way more water. And guess what? After two weeks my knees started feeling so. much. better. I will say, for the first week and a half they were still hurting and I did a lot of modifications on workouts because I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t further injuring my knee in the process of trying to heal it.

The awesome thing is that by taking this time to honor my body I had more energy to do things that I loved, and I wasn’t as sluggish. Do I now have the body of a bodybuilder, no. But that was never the goal here. I started working out because I want this body to be as healthy as it can be for as long as possible. I want to have the energy to enjoy the things I love, not be walking around in some kind of coma going from one sitting posture to the next.

I’ve never considered myself a gymrat, or someone obsessed with getting their body perfectly toned, but I love having the option of going to a yoga or cardio class whenever it works in my schedule and being able to easily turn on a workout when I’m feeling sluggish when I get home after work. Usually, this only takes an hour out of my day to workout/shower and I can already feel the results. And it makes me that much more alert for when I’m playing or painting fanart, or blogging!

It’s not about perfection, it’s about taking steps toward being healthier and happier. For me, it started a month ago. For you, maybe it starts today. Join me?