The ABCs of Geekery

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I see the world through different eyes than other people do. Like this sign. I so totally would have thought this.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I live in a geek world. I admit that on here on a regular basis.  My husband is a geek, and my kids are geeks.  I live in a small town where geekery is in short supply, so you can say that I don’t exactly have a lot of people I can talk to.

Working in a library, I must say that I have found a few more kindred spirits.  I still get a lot of strange looks when I’m ask to recommend books and I gush over Tolkien and Rick Riordan.  But at least there are a few like minded teens that wholeheartedly embrace their geekiness right along with me.

That’s right, I live in my own little world much of the time, and I like it there.

Several writer friends and I decided to do a little exercise to get the creativity flowing.  Each of us wrote an ABCs of something that we consider ourselves quite familiar with.  I chose geekery, because, well, why not?

As it turns out, this post was much harder to write than I thought, because so many of the things I wanted to write about started with the same letter.  So I had to make choices.  And decision making is NOT my strong suit…

Yep, even as a kid I was a pretty big geek.

I’m Princess Leia, my sis is an Ewok. My lightsaber ruled.

Avengers-The movie responsible for bringing me out of my geek closet that I had retreated to when I became an adult.  We’ve seen it more times than I can count.  When there’s nothing on tv, one of two movies goes in the blu-ray player, Avengers or Iron Man 2.

Big Bang Theory-Thanks to this show, geeks are almost cool.  And I would totally hang out with Sheldon Cooper. Oh wait, I do, because my son is totally Sheldon.

Comic Book Store-I am very fortunate to have a wonderful comic book store right close by.  They have pretty much everything a geek could ever want!  We spend a fair amount of time there, even though I myself don’t purchase the comics like the kids (and husband) do, it’s still fun to look!

No.

No.  I want one that is fully functional.

Death Star-I want my own Death Star.  I do.  So I can go destroy things that make me unhappy.  It wouldn’t be actual size.  I could keep it in the garage.

Elves-I had to put something in here related to Tolkien.  This has nothing to do with Keebler elves, though I do like to eat their cookies.

Fan Fiction-Remember the books that were based on the Star Trek series that would tell other stories starring the characters?  I used to read them voraciously.  Now I think the equivalent would be fan fiction.

I never thought I'd love a tree so much until I saw this movie.

I never thought I’d love a tree so much until I saw this movie.

Guardians of the Galaxy-I had a hard time with this letter, so I finally picked this movie.  I didn’t think I was going to like it.  This is the latest Marvel movie to come out, and it is great.  Still not quite on par with Avengers or Captain America: Winter Soldier, but it is definitely worth seeing in the theater.  And it has a great soundtrack too!  G is also for Groot, whom I guarantee you will totally fall in love with when you see this movie.

Heinlein-When I was in grammar school, yes that’s what they call it in rural Maine, my mother was the librarian.  I discovered some wonderful things spending so much time in the library.  While other girls were reading Sweet Valley High books, I was reading Heinlein.  And Alan Dean Foster.  And Brian Daley.

So if I can't have the Death Star, can I just have Iron Man?

So if I can’t have the Death Star, can I just have Iron Man?

Iron Man-Because it’s Iron Man.  And Robert Downey Jr. is Iron Man.  That is all.

John Williams and James Horner-I got involved with music because of these guys.  In case you don’t know, they are both composers who did the scores for, well, scores of geek movies.

Klingon-I have never gone to a Star Trek convention.  I think it would be great fun.  And I would love to dress up as a Klingon.  Really!  Because who wouldn’t have fun with that?

Libraries-Still the ultimate geek haven.  It’s changed a lot in the past few years.  A lot of geeks come to not only check out their favorite books, but also play games on the computers and play Magic with their friends.

Avengers Magic Mike

So much to see in the movies these days… Thank you Marvel.

Marvel Cinematic Universe-Thank you Marvel for making superhero movies fun again. I’m not saying I dislike the dark gritty Dark Knight movies, I’d just rather be laughing.

Nerds-Now they don’t make QUITE so much fun of us…

Optimus Prime-While I’m not a huge Transformers fan, I must add this for my husband’s sake.

I never get tired of this picture.  Never.

I never get tired of this picture. Never.

Physics-Because where would we geeks be without physics? Truth be told I barely passed Physics in high school.  But my husband took Quantum Physics for fun in college.  Science people…

Q-The best villain in the Star Trek universe.  Sorry Khan.

Role playing-Now get your mind out of the gutter!  That’s not what I’m talking about!  I’m talking about Dungeons and Dragons and Star Wars and superhero type stuff.  You get to pretend to be a character you like.  As a kid I role played Star Wars by mail.  Now it’s all technological and stuff.  Maybe it was a good thing I didn’t have the options available today as a kid.

We like Star Wars a little bit around here. Just a little.  Not much at all.

We like Star Wars a little bit around here. Just a little. Not much at all.

Star Wars and Star Trek-A friend of mine (you know who you are) insists that if you like one you cannot like the other.  I call that theory complete BS.  I find both incredibly awesome, and for totally different reasons.  I love the story of the Star Wars universe even if I haven’t been totally enamored with the newer movies.  I grew up on it.  I saw Star Wars for the first time at the drive-in my preschool years and have been in love with it ever since.  Star Trek is the reason why I can never really say I’m bored, when all I have to do is find an episode of one of the series to watch.  Or pop in one of the many movies-we own them all except for Into Darkness.

Time Travel-Back to the Future style, of course.  Still one of my all time favorite movies!

Underoos-I had C3PO underoos as a kid.  Now my kids have superhero underoos!  If that doesn’t scream geek I don’t know what does.  I kind of wish I still had some.

Villains-I love a good villain.  Ian McKellen’s Magneto is probably still my all time favorite villain.  Q, Darth Vader, Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman), The Borg Queen, Ivan Vanko, I could sit and name the ones I love for hours.  I especially love complicated villains, and the stories behind why they went bad.  In some cases, very, very bad.  In other cases, not so much.

It's the best website on the internets.  Nothing but Wil Wheaton's face photoshopped onto everything imaginable.

It’s the best website on the internets. Nothing but Wil Wheaton’s face photoshopped onto everything imaginable.  http://photoshopwilwheaton.tumblr.com/

Wil Wheaton– This guy is everywhere.  He is on every form of social media there is.  I think I follow him on every platform possible.  Why?  Because he is the ultimate geek.  He speaks to us geek folk in our language.  For the layperson, Wil played Wesley Crusher on Star Trek:The Next Generation.  He was the kid.  I had a poster of him in my bedroom, because I was a closet teenaged geek.  Now I probably look like I stalk the guy, but I don’t care. He’s our spokesperson.

X-Men-Because X is a hard letter.  I like X-Men.  And I wasn’t about to put Xbox, because Skyrim.

Yar’s Revenge-At one time I was one of those video game freaks, I had an Atari.  Then they got hard and complicated.  Now I play Tetris and that’s about it.  My husband is the major player in the house.

Remember this?

Remember this?

Zork-Only one of the coolest games ever made.  Do you remember Zork?  It was a game with no graphics, no visuals, nothing but words telling you what to do next.  This was something we did at school on those very first computers that we ever had in a lab.  This was even before Oregon Trail.  It.was.awesome.  Awhile back I had a copy of the game fall into my possession and was so very sad that I couldn’t get it to work on my computer.

Now I was a little late to the party, thanks to a really busy week and little inspiration to finish this, but there is a link up if you’d like to link up your very own ABC post of anything that you feel that you’re a bit of an expert in.

Selfies at the races.  Not sure who the guy is.

See my Captain America t-shirt?  I’m so proud I own one.  I just bought a sweatshirt too.  I’m not really obsessed with the Captain, I just have a really hard time finding Iron Man stuff I like.  😉

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The Cap’n Countdown: A Geek Girl Post

The-First-Avenger -Captain-America-movie-poster-(2011)-picture-MOV_f134343e_bHi Steve Rogers:

You don’t know me, but I just want to say this…

Of all the formerly frozen guys in the world, you are totally my favorite.

(Giggles and runs away.)

On Friday April 4th, I finally get to have my date with the Cap’n.  I have to share him with a friend, but I think he can take it.

Also, I don’t get out much…

(Sorry Iron Man, but a geek girl’s got needs.)

Confessions of a Geek

Theme ThursdayThis post originally appeared as a guest post on my friend MJ Mele’s blog An Old and Cranky Gamer.  When I heard that this week’s Theme Thursday was going to be geek culture, I of course had to dig into my files to retrieve this gem masterpiece mindless drivel.  Read on to read about my experience as a lady geek.

You know I never actually got to go to band camp? The above picture could very well be me:  A redhead who played the flute in band from elementary school through college and beyond.  But I never went to band camp, so technically I can’t have the cool catch phrase “Like this one time, in band camp…”

My band days may be long gone, but that doesn’t make things much different for me. Throw me in any social situation these days and I’m like a fish out of water, a hobbit out of the shire, or dare I say a taun taun in the desert.  I know, AWKWARD.  I live in rural Iowa where I fit in sooooo well.  Good times.

Part of my problem is my inherent inability to make this thing known as small talk.  While I can talk about the weather for a few minutes, and maybe a thing or two about my kids, the vast majority of things that fascinate other people don’t even really register on my radar.

That’s because I speak GEEK.  Yeah, I’m one of those.  Not only am I a geek, I’m also married to one.  In addition to this, I’m raising my very own geeklings.  I’ve seen and I can totally kick your butt at Star Wars trivia.

Evil Genius at the Lego Store at the Mall of America.  He dreams of a Lego Death Star.  His mean wife keeps telling him no.

Evil Genius at the Lego Store at the Mall of America. He dreams of a Lego Death Star. His mean wife keeps telling him no.

Don’t get me wrong, I like some of the things that decidedly normal people like.  I like clothes.  I work out.  I love movies and music.  I like a big glass of wine on the weekends.  I like to look at Pinterest.  But despite all of these things I seriously belong to a whole other world.

Years ago I tried to hide my geekiness and act like normal people, but as I have gotten older and have been referred to more than once as kind of weird, I realize that it really doesn’t matter any more.

So I’m going to make it a little easier on you people.  I present to you the vastly contrasting things between what would be considered a “normal” female’s world and mine:

*****

I like to talk about movies.  But don’t talk to me about The Notebook or Silver Linings Playbook.   I’d rather talk about Iron Man 3.

IMG_1733Oh, you know a little French?  I know a little Klingon.

Golf is a four letter word in your house?   Hmmmm, Skyrim is the same thing in my house.

Do you own pets named Fluffy and Spike?  Mine are named Rogue,  Neo, and Tiberius.

What do your kids like to spend money on?  My 5 and 8 year old children pooled their Christmas money so that they could buy Skylanders for our Xbox.

So you say you can name all of the people on Real Housewives of Orange County?  I can name every major character on all five Star Trek series.

You said you’ve read the whole 50 Shades of Grey Trilogy?  I’ve read the whole Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

You named your kids names like Emma and Brayden.  We considered names like Jadzia and Zephram.

You spent your Saturday morning getting a pedicure?  I spent mine at the comic book store.

My son loves the comic book store.  Where else can you hang out with Leonard and Sheldon?

My son loves the comic book store. Where else can you hang out with Leonard and Sheldon?

Your say your kids got an Xbox? I’ll see your Xbox and raise you an Atari, a 3DO, a Nintendo, a SuperNintendo, a GameCube, a Playstation 2, and a TANDY.  Yes, a Tandy.

Your favorite show is Gossip Girl?  Mine is The Big Bang Theory.

You went to see Sex and the City on opening night?  I saw Star Trek: Insurrection on opening night.  I was one of the only girls there, unless you counted the ones in the ISU Marching Band.  By the way that had to be the coolest night of my life.

How many times have you watched Bridgette Jones Diary?  I’m pretty sure I’ve seen The Empire Strikes Back at least 100 times.

You play the Sims a little?  I bet my husband’s Sims could kick your Sims asses.

What did you ask for when it was your birthday?  I asked to go see Iron Man 3 and Star Trek Into Darkness!

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So there you have it.  I’m totally okay with being a big geek.  If that scares you away, so be it.  I wouldn’t be trying too hard to talk to you anyway!  😉

I also wrote about accepting my geekiness many moons ago in the post Learning To Embrace Geekdom.

Now go forth and read further about geek culture by clicking on the Theme Thursday button at the top! 

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Her Royal Geekness

My whole life is a darkroom. One big dark room.

My whole life is a darkroom. One big dark room.

Are you a normal person?  Do you find people like me strange and unusual?  Do you want to try to communicate with a geek like me?  Then look no further than my latest guest post over at An Old and Cranky Gamer.  Yes I’m off and running ’round the internets again, giving my stuff away for free.  Click on the title below to give it a read.  Tell Michael “Hi” while you’re there, maybe even take a little peek around…

 Confessions of a Geek

Geek humor

Geek humor

The Periodic Table: It Really Has Nothing To Do With Your Period

Saturday I posted this picture:

IMG_1684

She was so stinking proud of herself, except that she didn’t know what exactly it was.  She kept changing her story.  It was flowers, it was an alien, it was a thing.  The one thing she was sure of was that it was for me, because she lodes me.

Then Evil Genius came home, took one look at it and said “Hey, she made a molecule!”  It figures that this would come from my husband, the man who took quantum physics FOR FUN.

This piqued The Professor’s interest.  He piped up “What’s a molecule?”  Thus began a scientific journey.   They talked about atoms, and protons and neutrons and isotopes.  At some point the big giant Chemistry 101 book came out.  They spent a good chunk of the evening discussing chemistry, including poring over the periodic table and discussing what the different letters were for.

So now my son is trying to memorize the periodic table.  Yeah, you saw that right, THE PERIODIC TABLE!  He’s eight, and he is absolutely obsessed with it.  Of course me being me, I made the mistake of having Evil Genius pull up the periodic table song on YouTube.  Now he wants to listen to it over and over, because he wants to learn ALL of the words.  For those of you who have never heard it, it’s all of the elements on the periodic table set to the tune of “Modern Major General” from The Pirates of Penzance.  And yes, I included the link:

Interestingly enough, although I have seen the Pirates of Penzance, I know the “Modern Major General” song with different lyrics.  My sister and I were obsessed with The Pirate Movie,  which is a spoof of the Pirates of Penzance, when we were kids.  I know that the original song doesn’t have the lyrics “Maaaaaan, I’m older than the Beatles, but I’m younger than the Rolling Stones…” in it, but every time I hear that tune THAT’S what I think of…

The geek part of me is thrilled, the not so geeky part of me is having some pretty bad flashbacks.  I almost flunked Chemistry.  I barely understood it, and it didn’t help that we moved in the middle of the year from Florida to Iowa.  Fortunately I had a wonderful, very understanding teacher who spent a lot of time with me and helped me pull a C in the end.  Don’t ask me to tell you anything about it because I really didn’t retain anything from the class.  I do remember that we watched “Connections” with James Burke a lot.  I didn’t actually remember his name, but I just looked up “Connections” on YouTube to look really smart.  Turns out they have every stinking episode.  The only thing I remember about it was that he always wore the same clothes.  Feel free to browse YouTube for it.  Come on, you know you want to.

What I took away from Chemistry is this-“Entropy” is the measure of randomness or disorder of a system.  This is probably the single most useless piece of information I have retained from school.  However, I liked that I remembered that definition so much that the following year I wrote a poem about it in English class.  Yes, I wrote a poem about something from Chemistry. You know, now that I think about it, I could write a song about it.

Entropy
(To the tune of Yesterday)

Entropy
it’s not really what it used to be
Randomness for us all to see
Oh I believe in entropy

(Ok, I’ll quit while I’m ahead…)

I took the definition a bit differently than it was actually used.  At the time I thought it described my life, my room, my car.  My life had high amounts of entropy.  Nowadays I’d like to think that it is an accurate way to describe my brain.  So I really don’t understand it, I’d like to pretend for a minute that I know a scientific principle besides the states of matter-solid, liquid, gas, wasn’t there one other???  There is a reason why I took the route that I did in college-no more science classes with lots of formulas!  Which is really too bad, because I am such a sci-fi geek.

Anyway, back to my children.  I hope that people don’t think that we’re like Rick Moranis’s character on Parenthood-that we sit around with flashcards of physics equations and foreign languages trying to cram every bit of information we can into their brains.  Nooooo, they are just naturally weird like we are.  They ask good questions, and we try to be good parents and answer them.  Usually the family scientific discussions revolve around some kind of physics or engineering.  These discussions start with a question about such things and my brilliant reply is “Ask the engineer.”  Believe me there are a lot of these questions, because nobody cares about the things that I know about like music and writing.   Now we’re adding chemistry into the mix.  Before long he’ll be mixing up concoctions and using a bunsen burner in the basement.  When he blows the house up, I’ll blame his dad.  Or I can blame his sister for making that molecule.

I love this picture, that's why I'm using it again!

I love this picture, that’s why I’m using it again!

If you still believe I’m a funny person, please vote for me in the Circle of Moms Top 25 Funny Moms Contest!  You can vote once every 24 hours, and vote for everyone you want to.  I’m hoping to be included on the Top Blogs page by the time this posts, probably waaaaay down at the bottom.  That’s what happens when you run with the big dogs…

Ok, ok, I know you want to see what I’m talking about-here just for you is the clip from The Pirate movie that we loved as kids.  Now you’ll get an idea of where all of this insanity comes from.  New followers, be very, very scared...

Theme Thursday: The ADD 80s Child Looks At 80s Teen Movies

Leave it to Jenn at Something Clever 2.0 to throw one out there that really stumps me.  I had to think about this a lot.  It hurt.  Then me being me and awesome at the last minute posts, I finally started forming a twisted idea in my mind of how to handle this prompt.  Read on…

This week’s Theme Thursday question was:  What character on the Breakfast Club are you? You are about to enter the mind of an ADD person trying to think about 80s movies.  Scared yet?  Just keep reading-you’ll get there soon enough.

Many moons ago I saw the movie.  A really long time ago-it has been several years ago and I’ve seen it in it’s entirety at least twice.  My memory of it, not so good.  Although I think I might own it,  I don’t want to go messing around in all the vhs tapes to try to find it and watch it. The one thing I do recall correctly is that it does have one of the BEST 80s songs in it, “Don’t You Forget About Me”.  I love Simple Minds!

It’s not that I didn’t like the movie.  I did.  It’s just not one of my favorites.  The 80s had so many great teen movies.

Like this one.  "What's happenin hot stuff?"

Like this movie, Sixteen Candles. “What’s happenin hot stuff?”  Long Live Long Duc Dong.

What do I actually recall about the movie?  With a little help from the internets, I can recall the characters pretty easily.  I remember that Molly Ringwald was in it.  You know Molly Ringwald, as the prom queen, which I definitely wasn’t in high school and still am not.  She is, like, so much the queen of the 80s (say it in your Valley Girl voice, come on, you can do it!).  She’s in one of my very favorite movies, Sixteen Candles.  Come on, you’ve seen Sixteen Candles.  It’s the movie with Long Duc Dong in it!  Children of the 80s, can you honestly see the word “automobile” in print without automatically flashing to this scene?

Or hear the word “married” without thinking of this?

What were we talking about again?

Oh yeah, The Breakfast Club.  It also has Anthony Michael Hall, as the geek. Hey wait a minute, he was also in Sixteen Candles, as a geek!  What a coincidence!  Can you say “typecast”?

Unfortunately, YouTube was not as forthcoming with the clips I wanted to show from Sixteen Candles, I did however find this gem from Weird Science.  How come geeks don’t wear bras on their heads anymore?  Or do they?

Anyhoo, we also have some other people.  Judd Nelson was the bad boy, right?  Or was that Judd Hirsch?  No, he was the guy in Taxi.  It wasn’t Judge Reinhold was it?  No, it definitely was Judd Nelson.  I was definitely not the bad boy.  I never did much of anything bad in high school.

Note:  Judge Reinhold was in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.  Another 80s classic.  I don’t remember that one either, I had to look it up.

Then there was Emilio Estevez, he was the jock.  I am definitely not a jock.  Emilio Estevez is the son of Martin Sheen and the brother of Charlie Sheen, who starred with another 80s John Hughes movie alum Jon Cryer on Two and Half Men, who starred in Pretty in Pink with Molly Ringwald.  Wow, we could almost play Six Degree of Kevin Bacon if we really wanted to.  (I’ve never seen Footloose, by the way, and I never want to.)

And finally there was Demi Moore.  No, it was Winona Ryder.  No wait a minute, it was Ally Sheedy.  Yes, it was definitely Ally Sheedy.  She was the basket case.  I don’t randomly scream and throw stuff, but I am kind of a basket case.  I asked my husband, he said that I am definitely the basket case.  Ok then, that mystery solved.  Why do they call them basket cases anyway?  Being nuts doesn’t really have anything to do with baskets.

Wasn’t John Cusack in that movie somewhere?  Oh wait, no, I’m thinking of Sixteen Candles again…  He was also in some pretty memorable 80s movies, including another one of my very favorites, Better Off Dead.  Another movie seriously lacking in online clips of the best parts.

If you really wanted to find a character that I identify with, then watch Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.  No, I don’t identify with any of the female characters, I identify with Cameron.  We never owned a car that anyone rubbed with a diaper, but I am about as paralyzed by fear as Cameron was, not to mention wound about as tight more often than I want to admit.  I don’t have a Cameron clip, but I do have a great one:

The 80s also included one of the darker teen movies, Heathers.  I loved that movie, and I loved Christian Slater.  Didn’t we all back then?  There were other teen movies that I have never seen.  I have never seen St Elmo’s Fire, but I owned the soundtrack.  Was Beetlejuice considered a teen movie because Winona Ryder was in it?  No?  Ohhhhh, ok.  I still loved it, though.  I must admit I never saw Say Anything until I was a married adult when we started having John Cusack movie marathons.  Why?  Because he’s awesome!

That’s enough from me.  Which 80s teen movies did you love?  Which ones did you hate?  Were there any characters you identified with?

Be sure to check out the other Theme Thursday posts over at Something Clever 2.0!  Follow the link here or click on the Theme Thursday button on my sidebar!