Birthday Bash Day 2: The Pianist Child Prodigy

For complete context about why I’m not having a birthday party for my 27th birthday this year and how you can still celebrate with me, read You’re Invited to My 27th Birthday Bash.

Erica playing the piano at her very first recital.
Tiny me at my very first piano recital.

In 1989, I got Barbie Beat for either my birthday or Christmas. Barbie Beat came with a cassette tape, which played Barbie and her friends’ theme music. You were encouraged to sing along with them. Like a good little girl, I’d spend hours jumping on my bed and singing my little heart out. (My bed actually collapsed once as my constant jumping on it loosened the screws enough that it fell apart. While I was jumping on it.)

My maternal grandma, whom I love and adore, used to tell me I was such a wonderful singer. She’d whip out her child’s recorder — all primary colors and big buttons — and record me singing whatever new songs I’d learned in school. Grandma still has those tapes as she played them for me a few holiday gatherings ago.

Like every small child in the US, I wanted to be a famous musician. However, I’m both completely tone deaf and have a bad voice. My singing career was cut off at the knees. Only my grandma would defend my voice today.

At 7-years-old, I started playing the piano at my mom’s insistence. When I first started playing the piano, I had to play inside the barn. My mom had been dragging around an upright piano rescued from a friend’s summer home, and the barn was where it was stored. I’d sit inside the hay-filled barn, listen to the mice, and play “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” over and over. Then I’d go pet the cows. By the time winter rolled around, my parents moved the piano inside the house, where there were modern amenities like heat.

Then there were the recitals. I had to wear ridiculously puffy dresses to my recitals. To this day, I’m pretty sure scratchy tool constitutes as child torture by the UN. Continue reading “Birthday Bash Day 2: The Pianist Child Prodigy”

Birthday Bash Day 1: Mary Sue IN SPACE or How I wanted to marry Geordi LaForge

For complete context about why I’m not having a birthday party for my 27th birthday this year and how you can still celebrate with me, read You’re Invited to My 27th Birthday Bash.

Erica standing in front of a poster of Captain Picard.
Sadly, standing in front a Captain Picard poster in an Oregon mall is the closest I've gotten to meeting Patrick Stewart.

Star Trek: the Next Generation premiered when I was 3, almost 4-years-old. Some of my first memories are watching it with my mother. I’m pretty sure I cried when they killed off Tasha Yar. In addition to my early sci-fi addiction, I also started authoring stories as soon as I could write my name. My stories usually featured the adventures of myself and my cat. But everything is better IN SPACE.

Soon my cat and I were space travelers, and it didn’t take us long to board the USS Enterprise-D. Once aboard and in the grand tradition of all Mary Sues, I discovered that lo-and-behold I was the long-lost daughter of Captain Picard. (Because seriously, who wouldn’t want Patrick Stewart to read you bedtime stories and order you Earl Grey from the computer?) Yes, I realize Picard hates children (“Disaster”), and my young mind possibly ripped off the idea from “The Last Outpost.” Still, having Picard as your father would be pretty damn awesome.

But not everything was cups of hot tea and kitten snuggles, no, my first fake!daddy and I didn’t see eye to eye on everything. I wasn’t a child in my fantasies; I was an adult. And I had a life and a freaking spaceship of my own. I wasn’t always the best spaceship captain and got myself into a boatload of trouble. A little bit of a cross between Malcolm Reynolds and Vala Mal Doran (before they were invented, dammit). I could shoot a phaser and fight hand to hand combat with the best of them. Take that, Worf! But I also figured that some day, I could easily join Starfleet if I wanted. I was a genius after all.

Things became more amicable between my fake!daddy and I when I started to date Geordi LaForge. Continue reading “Birthday Bash Day 1: Mary Sue IN SPACE or How I wanted to marry Geordi LaForge”

You’re Invited to Erica’s 27th Birthday Bash

Erica just wants to have fun at Geek Girl Con for her birthday.
Erica just wants to have fun at Geek Girl Con for her birthday.

Hello family and friends,

As you may know, I love birthdays. And in particular, I love my birthday. Even as I’ve passed the “fun” milestone birthdays into the “omg, I’m getting old” milestone territory, I still love my birthday, and there’s nothing better than celebrating it with my nearest and dearest.

This year I will be turning 27-years-old. And I have the very sad news to report that I will not be having a birthday party this year.

Please take a moment if you need to.

Now that you’ve had a moment, you may have noticed that lately I have been out-of-contact and very busy. Maybe I don’t call you on the phone as much or it’s been months and months since we’ve gone out to dinner. Or perhaps you’re just wondering why I haven’t been updating my Facebook or you haven’t seen me at my regular hang-outs. Well, that reason is three little words:

Geek Girl Con

Geek Girl Con is a nonprofit which promotes and celebrates geeky women. Some of you may know my love of Star Trek, She-Hulk, and search engine optimization, just to name a few of my geeky interests. Geek Girl Con is seeking to have a convention in Seattle sometime in 2011, and I am one of the people heading up efforts to make sure this convention happens.

Currently, I am the Marketing Director for Geek Girl Con and am running for President on the Board of Directors. I believe in Geek Girl Con as a cause, and I believe in the celebration and promotion of geeky women. Geek Girl Con is made up of 100% volunteers.

This year, instead of throwing in $20 for a plate of Indian food or $15 for a movie at my birthday celebration, I’d like you to donate to Geek Girl Con. I want to raise $500 in the coming weeks until December 13th my birthday. 100% of this money will go to Geek Girl Con, and our current fundraising efforts are going directly into putting a deposit down on our space to have the convention.

Please donate to Geek Girl Con for my birthday:

Starting December 1st, you can follow the progress of my 13 days of fundraising on right here on my blog, which will every day include a new embarrassing, wacky, or otherwise interesting insight in to who I’ve become in the last 27 years of my life.

Thank you for your support.


Erica McGillivray

P.S. Please help me out and send this to a friend or family member as I know some of you are the best forwarders on the planet! 🙂