Member Spotlight – Jenn Rinella

For this month’s member spotlight highlight, we interviewed Jenn Rinella. This amazing lady has helped us out numerous times at GGB DFW events and has also donated some amazing raffle items, including the Neil Gaiman tickets that one lucky member won a few months ago!
1. What are your favorite fandoms and why?

Pretty much anything tied to teen lit I’ll pay attention to, even though I am well past my teen years.  Harry Potter – because magic!, the Divergent Series – you don’t have to conform!, Transformers (not teen lit but how can you NOT LOVE Optimus Prime).  From TV, I love Firefly – space travel with misfits that kick a&& – but mostly Doctor Who.  I grew up with Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Don’t Panic!).

2. What nerdy or geeky activities do you love and what got you interested in them?

Honestly I’m such an introvert that I don’t do much that involves crowds ever.  If you ever notice me at a brunch, I’ll be at a corner of the table (whenever possible) with everything in hands reach ready to bolt in heartbeat and not because of anything anyone did, just the brain is saying “okay you’ve people’d enough today, get the heck out of here.”

At home I’ll watch or read pretty much anything.  If anything Harry Potter is on cable when I’m  channel surfing, I stop and watch (yes I know all the movies by heart at this point).  Jurassic World!  I love Chris Pratt, period, whether he’s playing with raptors (I want one, do my cats count?) or listening to the same music I grew up with in Guardians of the Galaxy.

I do play video games.  “The cake is a lie…”  I play WoW because I’m allowed to beat the tar out of things in there (I have a temper and people in general suck but assault is frowned upon in our society).  It was/is also a way to connect with my son (he was put up for adoption but we’ve ‘known’ each other for 7 years now and it’s amazing).
3. Who are your favorite characters (from anything!) and why?
Doctor Who – the Doctor,  10, 11, and 12.  Even through I grew up in Germany, AAFES didn’t carry Doctor Who so I didn’t ‘find’ it till 2010 when a friend let me borrow the reboot when I was home FOREVER recovering from surgery.  I was hooked.  With a physics background in Astronomy, how could I resist anything tied to time travel and David Tennant is so adorable.  Mal from Firefly, pretty much just Nathan Fillion – that man has aged well.
4. When did you get involved in the DFW area nerdy scene or in GGB?
Well the one and only con related thing I have ever made myself go to was Dallas Comic Con Fan days in Feb 2015. When I finally got up the nerve to approach an author, Demethius Jackson, about his book – he’d sold out, but he took my email address to let me know when it was available.  He agreed to meet with me after I bought it a few weeks later and sign it for me.  He was getting ready to self publish book two and started a kickstarter and NO WAY was I letting that fund drive fail.  He invited my fiance and I to dinner after that and he brought our glorious president, Danita, with him and the rest is history (also I’m IN HIS BOOK!!!!).
5. What is your superpower?
I’m invisible…  Hence no pictures with this post.  But seriously.  I am hearing impaired and when some people find out they tend to dismiss me out of hand while forgetting that legally deaf is not completely deaf.  Since, many times, I am usually the smartest person in the room (not ego, just fact) this usually works against them most of the time.  I try to not use this power for evil, but underestimating me is usually a bad idea.  I hear more than you think I do and I usually win when push comes to shove.
6. Who is your role model?
This is hard.  No one I grew up with or am really really close friends with, outside of the lovely ladies of GGB DFW, are into much of anything I focus on.  The fiance is not a geek in this sense (we are both techies) but that man will watch anything related to the Aliens and/or Predator series and the cheesier the sci fi or horror film is the better for him.  I love science and fiction and science fiction and I was the oddball nerd/brain of the family.  I’m not religious and lean towards agnostic. Show it to me, don’t make me take all of it on faith.  I’m not going to believe just because you ‘sound’ like you know what you are talking about.  Curiosity wins  ( I am so part cat even though I was born in the Year of the Dog and love them too )
7. What else do you want people to know about you?

I just try to be a nice person, be kind to animals and small children, not stab adults that are acting like children – and I usually have very lethal looking sharp pointy metal sticks on me at any given time (yah for KNITTERS).  I pay it forward whenever I can.  The fiance and I are very blessed and we know it can disappear in a heart beat.  We help people out when we can, absolutely no strings attached, usually anonymously.  It’s just money; if you can’t do good with it, why have it in the first place?  Plus we don’t have two legged kids to raise and educate (just the Squeaks, our two cats, who(m?) are already smarter than most humans…  Well Cinna is, her brother Ru, not so much – but he sure is pretty 😉 )

So, I donate to GGB DFW when I can come up with something good and theme related to the brunch raffles because I love that this is an organization that supports women being themselves, whether they love dress up or geeky books or stuff ‘usually’ reserved for boys.  The fiance and I also have our pet causes in the Beagle Freedom Project – because no animal should be tested on – as well as the AFSP and Project Semicolon in memory of my brother.


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