I can’t even begin to tell you how very excited I am for our YEG Girl Geek birthday party tonight. This past year has been incredible.
You guys have been unbelievably supportive. Coming out to our events, not heckling my demand for painting robots, my late recaps, or my terrible photos, and by spreading the word. Every dinner we seem to get more and more ladies and gentlemen coming to the event. You are a diverse, fantastic, and friendly crowd – and I’m honoured to call you my friends.
People often ask me what type of geek they need to be to attend a dinner. Just who goes to these things? I’m pleased when I can tell them that you really defy labels. There are ladies from video game geekery, tech, science, space, pop culture… and so much more. I’ve learned so much throughout this past year, and can’t wait for the next season.
Of course, with a new season, there comes a casting change. I am extremely sad that tonight is Shauna McConechy‘s last YEG Girl Geek Dinner. As you probably know by now, Shauna has accepted a position with IBM in Toronto. Like everything Shauna and I do, this became a reality super quickly, and she will be leaving on Sunday. This job is going to be fantastic, and Shauna is going to take over the “centre of the universe” in no time at all. Because, that’s just what she does. She’s a force to be reckoned with, and they aren’t going to know what hit them. This is a great move for Shauna, and I wish her all the best. I’ll be supporting her the best I can from here in Edmonton, and sad that we will never finish our game of Super Mario Bros on Wii.
This is where I get mushy.
Shauna has been one of the finest mentors and friends I could have ever asked for. We met, by complete fluke, thanks to this incredible thing called Twitter. Shauna’s convinced we would have eventually met otherwise, but I have my doubts. Words can’t describe how much I’ll miss her. She’s a networker beyond comparison, she’s genuine, passionate, someone who actually gets things done, an amazingly hard worker, a fantastic marketer, and as you well know, a super snazzy dresser. (Remember the Girl Geek Dinner when she dressed up as Batgirl?) Without Shauna, YEG Girl Geek Dinners would never have happened. I would probably never have seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer if she hadn’t borrowed me the whole series. I probably would have opted to stay home and read books rather than attend so many fantastic events around our city. Without Shauna, I never would have dreamed of pulling off something like the Hackathon last October.
I’m going to miss having her around. I’m going to miss our trips to see scary movies in theatres, even though we’re both chickens. I’m going to miss long meetings where we get a little bit accomplished while watching Big Brother or Across the Universe. I’m going to miss our super fun video game nights, when I learned not to bubble if she’s bubbled, and Shauna learned that I will never leave a man behind. (Surprisingly, both from Mario.) It’ll be hard not having someone around to tell me to wear some damn heels or to dress up. And I’ll be sad not having someone around to vent about work, or geekery, or other things, and that she won’t be able to tell me to suck it up in person anymore.
Of course, she isn’t dying. She’s just moving to Toronto. There will be Skyping, texting, long phone calls, and hopefully, visits in our future. But this is definitely a huge loss for Edmonton Girl Geek Dinners.
That’s not to say we’re stopping. Oh, heck no. We’re going to keep-on keeping-on. We’re going to kick so much ass in the next season. And I won’t be alone. Shauna and I have already discussed who will be joining the cast this season. Our people are still talking to their people, so we’ll let you know as soon as we can. (Although you can send audition videos in if you’d like to…)
So on our first birthday, I want to say goodbye to one of our lead actresses, and thank all of you. You’ve been the finest cast and crew we could’ve asked for. Let’s hope for many more years, so we can be around for Karen’s daughter (our future speaker). And of course, keep your fingers crossed that there will one day be painting robots.