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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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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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!  Eat lots of good food and wear loose pants so you can eat extra!  😀

REBLOG: If My Life Were A Movie, I’d Hire Better Writers

This is my second REBLOG weekend. This is one of my better posts. Not too old but not too new. Just right, as baby bear would say.

The Sadder But Wiser Girl

I keep thinking lately that if my life were a movie we should almost be at the point where something wonderful happens.  You know, things just seem like they are so bad and then that great thing happens that miraculously turns things around.  It of course results in a happy ending.  The “It’s always darkest before the dawn” type thing.

So obviously this is real life and although I’m sure there’s a plan for me somewhere, I don’t see it happening.  But this brought up a very good bunch of stuff for my blog.  What IF my life WERE like a movie?  What would happen?

I’d get some sort of anonymous donor all of a sudden paying to send me to school.  Then I could follow my dreams.  If this were a movie, I’d know what those dreams were…

I’d have a trainer preparing me for my first triathlon using…

View original post 524 more words

Anxiety and Finicky Appliances Don’t Mix: Why Refrigerator College Isn’t for Me

Yup, I’ll never be as cool as Frank Jr.   He gets go to Refrigerator College.

We can put that career choice right up there along with being a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model and financial advisor.  Not gonna happen.  I will never be an appliance repair person.

Every time I turned on the washer last week, I got an error message.  It would only flash for a few seconds and then disappear.  I was really driving myself nuts.  Why would it do that?  What is wrong with my nearly new washer?  Did Best Buy do something to it to make us regret not buying the extended warranty?  Is it in cahoots with the dormant dishwasher and the humming garbage disposal?  I got out the manual, but of course nowhere did it list the error code I was seeing.  Oh crap!  Oh crap!  Curse you appliance gods!

The error kind of looked like it had a “c” and an “l” in it.  Maybe it’s the filter?  So I tried cleaning the filter. I followed the instructions to the letter.  I opened the little door, I undid the little hose thingie, I had a rubbermaid container ready to catch all of the water out of the little hose.  No water came out of the hose.  However, all kinds of water came out of the filter chamber when I loosened the end.  It went everywhere.  Two towels later I finally got the filter out-it was clean, although it was slightly stinky in there.  I put everything back and turned on the washer.  Same error code.  Next I tried to clean out the gasket-there was quite a bit of hair stuck in there.  I turned it on again-there was still an error code.  Arrrrrrrrrgh!

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to try the next recommended step, which was to dial the LG service number on my phone, and let the “washer” talk to the phone.  Does this make anyone else think of when they ask droids in the Star Wars movies to talk to ships?  No that’s just me?  I was looking around for R2-D2 and C-3PO-though I bet this wouldn’t be one of the six million forms of communication that 3PO was supposedly fluent in.

After deciding that I didn’t feel comfortable letting my washer talk in robot language right in front of me (who knows what it might say about us), I opened my laptop and found a website that explains all of the error codes.  I felt pretty stupid-it turns out the washer was just telling me that the child lock was on.  As soon as I saw it on there, the code made sense.  Of course!  Duh!

Hey wait a minute, if I COULD find an R2 Unit, would it talk to the garbage disposal and fix it?

But wait, there’s more…

The next morning was the first day of the weather deciding that, oh yeah, it’s FALL!  I anticipated this happening.  I made sure I turned the heat back on before I went to bed last night.  It’s been warm and humid, which has made it feel even warmer.  This morning was the WAKE-UP call!  It was cold enough that the dog climbed in bed with me after my husband left for work.  I have the heat set at 60 at night because my husband is the reverse Princess and the Pea with 8 or so blankets on the bed.  At a little before 7 am, I have the thermostat set to go up to 66 degrees.

The reverse princess and the pea…  It’s sort of like this, but with blankets.

When the alarm went off, I went into the bathroom to hear a HORRIBLE noise coming from somewhere.  I thought it was the humidity control thing in there, but as I fiddled with that I realized that it was coming from the FURNACE.  Nooooooooo!  I went downstairs, turned off the heat, went to get my son out of bed, and then went down to the basement to fight with the furnace.  I finally pulled the door off the front and it wouldn’t even stop running.  It sounded like it had swallowed a train or something.  There was a wheel thingie turning on there, and I had no idea what it was or why it wouldn’t stop.  When it finally stopped running 10 minutes later, it started to get very cold in the house.  I texted my husband that it wasn’t working right and making a horrible noise.  Since he was there at work the day after his horrible accident, he had only gone in to wrap a few things up and could come home (apparently you really shouldn’t report to work after almost having your toe amputated by rogue metal).  Meanwhile I was still coming up with ways we would have to heat our house alternatively since we couldn’t afford a repairman.  What could we burn?  Where could we burn it?  Could we chop down our tree?  Our neighbor has a chainsaw. I bet if we mowed our lawn she’d lend it to us.

He came home, and he got it to work.  He just TURNED IT ON.  That’s all.  There was no noise, it was putting out hot air.  It was like he had a magic touch.  When I asked him how he did it, his first response was that a magician never reveals his secrets.  Then he said that he unwrapped his foot and showed it to the furnace and scared it into working.  Ha ha.  Thanks furnace.  This is the thanks I get for vacuuming you out, changing the furnace filters,  and removing the dead mouse with two wooden dowels as giant makeshift salad tongs?  Make a liar out of me?  I see how you are!

See?  Anxiety and Appliances that don’t behave are not a good mix.  No furnace school for me.  No refrigerator college.  Not even coffee pot repair classes.  The appliances don’t like me.  It’s a conspiracy!

Oh humble large appliances and important things in our home, please please please stop the conspiracy and live together in working harmony!

Extreme Geekdom, Iron Man Style

Guess what this is?

For those of you who have read my “About” page, as you can see by the picture above Evil Genius really did make his own arc reactor.  Now it’s not real-all it does is light up, but it looks REALLY cool.  It’s LEDs and a power source, nestled into a pvc pipe vent that has been hollowed out and the design cut into metal by a laser.  Oh and vellum, that was my contribution.  It’s actually part of his cubicle sign at work, but this part he worked on for quite some time at home.

(Just in case you haven’t noticed, we are geeks.)

At some point in this process, Evil Genius promised The Professor that he was going to make him an Iron Man suit of his own for Halloween.  He wasn’t thinking at the time that The Professor would remember. He did.  I ended up buying him a cheap Iron Man costume at Target last week.  There were two different costumes.  The $20 one had muscles.  As far as I could tell, that and the glow in the dark arc reactor were the only differences that I could tell between that and the $10 one.  Needless to say, I bought the cheaper one.

Me being me, and the wife of an engineer, I had to make it light up somehow.  I jokingly asked Evil Genius to make him his own arc reactor.  Not going to happen.  Then I had a vision.  At Lowes they have these lights that look remarkably like the arc reactor in the movie.  Lowes is not a place I get to very often. It’s not like it’s out of my way, it’s just one more place to stop when I’m out running errands.  I checked the light section at Target while I was there, but it didn’t look enough like what I was going for.

Now who cares that a seven year old’s costume that happens to have the middle light up is authentic looking.  Apparently I do.

Today we finally made it Lowes after renting movies.  The light, while not exact, looked pretty darn close to the one in the movie.  So I shelled out the money, and have spent the better part of the afternoon trying to figure out how the heck to attach it.  The first idea was to sew a pocket onto the inside of the costume, and slip the light in that part.  I don’t want stitches showing.  So that idea went away.  My second idea was to use the circle of velcro that came with the light.  I had my son put on a black shirt, then the costume over it.  I slipped the light in between with the sticky side up against the shirt and stuck it on.  Then I sewed the velcro to the shirt.  Looks great, but it’s pretty obvious that the light probably won’t stay on.  The additional part didn’t work-I cut circles of velcro in half and stuck them to the light and to the inside of the shirt.  You could see the half circles of velcro through the costume when the light is on.

The light, attached to the shirt, with the velcro that I have since removed from the front.

This is kind of what it looks like shining through.

This is what I’m actually trying to light up.

So that’s where I’m at.  I’m not sure where to go next here.  Suggestions are welcome.  I’m sure I’ll come up with something, it may just take some time.

Here’s the funny thing, this isn’t an abnormal situation at our house.  We always seem to have something a little strange brewing.  Some days I don’t think we are just geeks, we are EXTREME geeks.  Now granted, I’ve seen people take it to extremes on the internet.  I’ve seen people get married in full Klingon garb and wear their Star Wars costumes around for fun.  But we get into the technical stuff, and that’s a little scary.

I think Tony Stark would be pretty darn proud of my ingenuity. Oh wait, he probably wouldn’t care. He’s a narcissist.

Halloween in my family has never had a shortage of creative costumes.  As an adult, that creativity has been stifled in me somewhat.  Mainly by a husband who doesn’t care for Halloween.  Also because I just haven’t had much opportunity to dress up.  This year, the kids are getting old enough that I can really have fun with it.  We have the house mostly decorated, we’re working on the costumes, I’m getting my geek on in a big way!

I’ll keep everyone posted on the costume.  I’ve had a couple of suggestions from friends on Facebook.  Maybe between that and the old brain, I’ll come up with an uber brilliant idea…

(Incidentally, just as proof that we aren’t just geeks, but well rounded ones- The whole family actually got to go to the football game this time.  It was meant to be.  Not only was it perfect weather, but the eagerly anticipated half-time performance from the marching band just happened to be music from Star Wars.  This was enhanced by the summary of the football season thus far scrolling on the big screen in a Star Wars type title sequence, as well as a mock award ceremony on the field with people dressed up as Star Wars characters.  It had to be one of the coolest things I had ever seen.  I don’t know if anyone else shared my enthusiasm outside of my family sitting with me, except maybe the guy who comes to the games in the Clone Trooper helmet.)

If My Life Were A Movie, I’d Hire Better Writers

If my life were a movie… there’d be great refreshments at reasonable prices.

I keep thinking lately that if my life were a movie we should almost be at the point where something wonderful happens.  You know, things just seem like they are so bad and then that great thing happens that miraculously turns things around.  It of course results in a happy ending.  The “It’s always darkest before the dawn” type thing.

So obviously this is real life and although I’m sure there’s a plan for me somewhere, I don’t see it happening.  But this brought up a very good bunch of stuff for my blog.  What IF my life WERE like a movie?  What would happen?

I’d get some sort of anonymous donor all of a sudden paying to send me to school.  Then I could follow my dreams.  If this were a movie, I’d know what those dreams were…

I’d get to go back to school with really smart fun people…

I’d have a trainer preparing me for my first triathlon using ordinary things.  I’d be weightlifting family sized cans of vegetable beef soup and full containers of cat litter. I’d be running through an obstacle course made of hula hoops, carefully arranged dog poop, empty Cheerios boxes, and leftover siding.  I’d be pulling a wagon loaded with all of the uneaten food from my house, which would be REALLY heavy (great training potential).  I’d be forced to run up and down the playground equipment at the park over and over.

Just as I’d just given up forever on finding a job and threw myself into something else (most likely the chest high mountain of laundry on the back porch), the dream job would happen to come up on the job website.  I’d decide to apply for one last job and get an interview.  They wouldn’t offer me the job at first, but something miraculous would happen and I would end up getting an even better job because I impressed someone there… because they would think I’m awesome.

We’d break out into song at the most interesting moments.  My daughter going poop in the potty would rate a huge song and dance number.  I would finally get a job interview, and there would be dancers following me as I sang all the way there about how I was going to change my life.  Dinnertime-you bet there’d be some sort of production.  And everyone would like and eat the food too.

“Myyyyyyy husband mowed the laaaaaawn!” Everything would be cause for a musical number if my life were a movie.

Somehow my schedule would miraculously allow me to do all kinds of work to prove the naysayers wrong.  I’d be out there, pounding the pavement, doing something to make everyone who ever doubted me have faith in me again.  Not sure what that would be, but I’d be proving them wrong.

My husband would be very romantic. You know, random flowers and stuff like that.  I bet he’d be conscious too, unless it was a comedy relief type of thing, because unconsciousness can be very funny.

I’d have a better wardrobe (does the HD camera also add ten pounds?)  And better hair.  Much better hair.

I have pretty cute children anyway.  I suppose they would be just as cute, and would say much of the same stuff they say in real life.  Except my daughter wouldn’t poop her pants at the most inopportune moments, and my son wouldn’t eat his boogers.

I’d be giving up my blog just about the time a famous editor would read it.  He would make great strides to try to find me and hire me to come to work for his company.  Also, my fans would rally around my house begging me to return to what inspired their life:  My blog.  Oh yes, and I would have a lot of fans.

I’d have a lightsaber.  I’d also have some sort of superpowers.  And I’d be able to do that slow motion floating and turning in the air thing like on The Matrix movies.  There’d be some sort of epic battle in my backyard.  I’d win.

It would have an awesome, though eclectic, soundtrack.

Yes my life is definitely not a movie.  If you’re willing to buy my story, however, we’ll talk.

Would my life story have the elements that Nicholas Cage looks for in a movie? Would he wonder how he wasn’t in my movie? I’m sure that 1) all of the dialogue probably would be whispered or screamed and 2) food would be served in the movie.

When I Was Crowned Queen

My crown, custom made just for me.

This week I became queen.

I’m not really sure what I’m queen of.  I am unsure of what I am actually ruling over.  One fact that I do know is that I have a crown.  It’s very sparkly (made of sparkly bulletin board borders from Dollar Tree) and is covered with beautiful jewels (the sticky ones).

I’m sure you can guess who made it for me.  There were ulterior motives involved.  She knows that if I am queen, then she is a princess.  I know this because she told me so.  You’ve got to love that blunt honesty.

I wonder if anyone has bothered to inform the cat that she has been dethroned?

That being said, I started thinking what I would do if I were queen?  And what would I like to be the queen OF?  I mean besides my house.  That obviously isn’t working, even with the crown.

When we were kids there was always the “Land of Dairy Queen” commercial on.  We would all stop whatever we were doing and oooo and ahhhh over the wonderful treats.  If I were to be a queen, I would think that would be my kind of place to rule.  People would be free to eat whatever they wanted and none of it would make them gain any weight.  No tricks, and no Oompa Loompas, because they really creep me out.

Sadly I could not find an image from that wonderful commercial. However, I will post this delicious image that has me drooling all over my laptop instead. Did I eat lunch today?

Or maybe I’d be more at home ruling a place like Naboo.  Not sure I’d like the headwear-some of it looks pretty heavy.  But she had a REALLY cool ship.

Hey, I didn’t know Queen Amidala had a cat! Cat Amidala…

Most of the Disney queens were evil, the famous ones anyway.  Ever notice that?  Noone cares about the non evil ones.

Oh come on, even the queen has to go sometime… What a very functional throne! I think I may request one.

What would I do as queen?  I’m glad you asked! Even if you didn’t, I’m going to tell you anyway.  Naptime in my kingdom would be mandatory.  EVERYONE must nap!  I would require a constant supply of Diet Sunkist Lemonade, because if the queen ain’t happy…  Walks would also be mandatory. My royal subjects must walk with me and keep a consistent pace, or risk banishment from the kingdom.  Football would only be viewed in the dungeon (our basement kind of resembles a dungeon, I could sooooo put a TV down there).  My castle would be automated, it would be like Fantasia except with better results.  I’d have a washer that retrieves the dirty laundry, loads itself, washes it, and then would load the dryer.  The dryer would dry the laundry AND fold it.  It would be really, really cool.  And the rest of the house would follow suit.  My favorite part of course would be the self cleaning toilet.  A self-cleaning castle.  How nice!  I really COULD lay around and eat bon bons all day.  I’ve never had a bon bon.  I’m thinking it would be something like a dark chocolate kiss on crack.

Sorry… I really must be hungry.  There goes my mind wandering again.  What was I talking about?  Ah yes…

The dress in my kingdom would be casual.  None of that fancy frou frou princessy stuff, except the crown.  This Queen shops at Eddie Bauer (the clearance rack) and Bass Pro.  No really, I do!  And we’d eat pasta.  LOTS of pasta. Because I really, really like pasta.  And veggie pizza with whole wheat crust.  Of course I wouldn’t have to make any of it.  The oven would do that, because remember it’s an automated castle.  And everyone will eat it and LIKE IT!  Or else they can take another mandatory nap.  There will be dessert every night, some sort of chocolate or ice cream related dessert, and it will have no calories because I said so.  That won’t matter anyway.  Since I will be Queen I will get to have a gym membership again, except that it will be MY gym.  Complete with a personal trainer who looks like Thor.  Oh heck, why not two personal trainers, the other one can look like Tony Stark.  Oh yes, and my carriage shall be a purple prius with a trunk that goes on forever.  That way I can go to Pier 1 and be able to put furniture in it.  And I won’t flush my keys down the toilet while I’m there.

No I meant without the suits. No they’d still be wearing clothes. I mean, oh never mind…

One final thing, no one shall interrupt the Queen on her phone…  that could quite possibly result in me yelling “OFF WITH HER HEAD!”

What would you do if you were Queen or King?  Come on over, I’m sure my daughter would gladly make you a crown.  Except you may have to supply your own jewels, I’m all out!

I’ve Been Married 4745 Days: How Did We Do That?

TV relationship most like ours. But my husband is much smarter than Tim Taylor.

“Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love.” -Albert Einstein

We’ve been together awhile.  Every so often I want my husband to know that I still like him.  I actually wrote him an appreciation letter the other day.  It wasn’t a love letter, though I did tell him I loved him a few times in it.  It was just more me letting him know how much I appreciate him.

Evil Genius and I will be married for thirteen years today.  As I’ve said before, according to tradition it’s the lace anniversary.  Whatever.  I don’t need doilies.  We’re still happily married.  I’m not saying it’s been easy.  The last few years have been particularly challenging for us due to all kinds of weird work situations, his return to school and subsequent graduation, and difficult children.  Lately he has become an excellent zombie due to working long hours, two hours a day on the road for work in addition to those long hours, and a brain full of information and ideas that he can’t ignore.  Meanwhile, I am climbing the walls because I’m home all day and sleep until 7 am.  Nonetheless, I still love him to pieces.  Supposedly he loves me, but it’s hard to show it when you are too tired to move or disseminate information.

How will we be celebrating our anniversary?  We went out for a bit the other night.  Just the two of us without any children.  He’s working today, tonight we’ll probably cook something for dinner and hang out.  And hopefully he’ll be able to stay conscious.

Just in a show of appreciation for us, I think the dog tried to chew a red rubbermaid lid in the shape of a heart.  I’m going with that and ignoring the 17 other things he chewed up.

I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to write today.  In honor of our anniversary, here’s some random thoughts about our relationship:

You really CAN meet someone at a bar.  Believe me, I tried other venues.

If we didn’t have each other, I’d never know where I’d seen an actor/actress before and he would never know what their name is.

We’re both ADD, but man does it manifest itself in very different ways.

We’re an interesting couple. Here’s another one of our favorite TV couples. Who doesn’t love Monica and Chandler. They’re dysfunctional like us, I think that’s why I like them.

We both think the same things when we see something, but he usually says it first, and better than I thought it.  I tell him to stop.

Opposites can attract, but you have to some similar interests and values.  Our personalities are quite different, but we both have an outrageous sense of humor, love movies and music, and appreciate good food.  We don’t always want to watch the same movies, or eat the same kind of food, but we try to be flexible.

We’re not perfect.  Noooooooooooooo….  I wish he would not be so distracted and he wishes I would relax a little.  Ok, a lot.

He reacts to emotional moments in movies.  I’m dead inside when it comes to that, but I cry easily at real life…

“You are my sun, my moon, my starlit sky, without you, I dwell in darkness…” Are you puking yet? Don’t worry, our relationship is NOT like that.

I wish football would go on strike.  He wishes it was year round.

We both think chocolate is one of the food groups.

He thinks pain is weakness leaving the body, I am a complete and total wuss.  Once he had to hold me down and pull a giant splinter out of me because I was too weenieish to take it out myself.

I guess I’m still a romantic at heart. I love watching these two in the Iron Man movies. It works for them, probably because these two people are so full of themselves in real life…

So Happy Anniversary to my husband.  I hope he keeps me around for another one.

“All you need is love.  But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” -Charles M Schulz

Learning to Embrace Geekdom

I am a geek.

Harry Anderson of “Night Court” fame once told of the origin of the word geek.  He said it was what they called the circus performer who bit the heads off of chickens.

Today’s version of a geek is much more friendly.  The “I Geek…” program that has been so well promoted has really helped with that.  Geek more refers to something that you have a keen interest in.  I also think the show “Big Bang Theory” has a lot to do with it.  I love that show.  Geeks trying to relate to people who aren’t.  It’s kind of like my life.  It’s almost cool to be a geek these days, depending on what kind of geek you are.

Being a geek is now cool!

I am a geek on several levels.

The version that most people know me as is the band geek.  The music geek.  I was in marching band and LOVED it.  Symphonic Band, Orchestra, Pep Band.  My life in high school revolved around instrumental music.  I had a hard time understanding that other people didn’t enjoy it like I did, like my high school boyfriend (he quit band-he rolled his eyes when I talked about it.  No wonder we broke up.)  I was good at it because I worked hard-it didn’t come naturally for me.  I was so jealous of my friends that were naturally so good they got to do things like All-State Band and the State Fair Band.  In college I was in those things and then expanded into vocal music.  I played in the municipal band and the regional symphony.  For a while I was a music teacher.  Now I’m now.  That’s another post.

You know I never actually got to go to band camp?

Then there are the other layers of geek.  I like movies.  I like some TV.  I love Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Superheroes.  The original Star Wars movies are still some of my all time favorites-there was a time when I could recite “The Empire Strikes Back” word for word.  My son has all the action figures that I had as a child (sorry collectors, they are not still in the boxes).  I get excited when there I find “Star Trek:  TNG” on TV.  I went to “Star Trek:  Nemesis” on opening night.  When I went to the new Star Trek movie, I almost cried when it was over because I never wanted it to end.  I waited in almost painful anticipation for the Avengers movie to be released. Harry Potter was magical to me-I saw the movies wishing that there had been such a thing when I was a kid.

I’ve just been waiting for an excuse to use this…

I have not read “50 Shades of Gray”, though I did check out an excerpt online because I wanted to know what the hell everyone was talking about (It’s PORN!  I’m sorry, that is porn.)  I have however read most of Robert Heinlein’s vast collection.  Alan Dean Foster, JR Tolkien, Brian Daley, Isaac Asimov, those are all very familiar names to me.  I used to read a book a day.  I was a little bookworm as a child.  I am trying very hard to get back to reading something that isn’t a magazine article these days-but when you have kids it’s hard!

But not all the geeks like the same stuff.  For the record, I’ve seen a little of Dr Who, but never got into it.  Never seen Babylon 5.  Saw the Stargate movie-never seen the show.  Watched some of Battlestar Galactica, but kept forgetting it was on (if it wasn’t for my DVR, I probably wouldn’t know when anything was on.  Again, another post).  Watched Smallville for a spell, then lost interest.  I don’t get into the whole Twilight/Vampire thing-though I have really enjoyed Being Human on the Sci-Fi channel.  Oh I’m sorry, it’s Sy-Fy.  Never quite understood why they changed the spelling-just how stupid do they think people are?

When we moved back to the Midwest after years of being a military family I started to get embarrassed about the things I liked.  For years I pretended that I had no interest in the stuff.  Mainly because I liked guys and I wanted one to like me back.  Thank goodness I finally met my husband.  I married him because I could be myself around him, and he likes the same stuff I do-movies, sci-fi, books, music, etc. We often speak in TV or movie quotes at home.  Let’s face it, he’s the Band Geek who never joined the band (I love the American Pie movies, and there is a good reason why).  Yes I am in a Geek Marriage.  But that’s ok.

He is a geek in more ways than I.  For example, he is a science geek.  He took Quantum Physics FOR FUN.  He also loves video games.  He plays World of Warcraft and City of Heroes.  We have every older video gaming system they made, including an Atari and a 3DO.  I think he salivates whenever we pass a Gamestop.  And he loves Comic Books-he takes my kids to the comic book store for fun.  He is currently designing metal signs for people’s cubicles at work based up their interests.  When his is complete, the world will stop and take notice.  That’s because it’s the Iron Man face, complete with a replica of an arc reactor that lights up.  He wants to be able to take it out and wear it.  I’m glad they embrace his weirdness at work… I tease him about it, but I love it.

I’m so glad he has found his niche.  His love of sports (mainly football-once again, that’s another post) is something that is very relatable to others. Outside of our family it’s hard for me to relate to other people that like the same things I do.  I guess because I’m a girl.  I’m still seen as the odd girl.  Quiet until you get to know me, developing the social anxiety hasn’t helped!  I remember vividly a few years ago when I was working with kids in a local after school program.  My boss told an entire room of people right in front of me how I’m kind of odd, and that was good because I could relate to the weird kids.  I wasn’t sure whether to be embarrassed or proud at that moment.

My husband has never been embarrassed of his interests.  He proudly lets people know what he likes.  He wears Star Wars and Star Trek t-shirts.  He lends out the movies he really likes to people who haven’t been exposed to the stuff.  I’m still embarrassed to show up the book that I’m currently reading in public-it’s the very first book ever written based upon “Star Trek:  TNG”.

Part of my goal now that I have more time to devote to being myself is getting to the point that I’m ok with being me.  Learning to embrace Geekdom, and learning about what is actually interesting about me being, well ME.  Developing the part that counts, the part on the inside, and stop worrying so darn much about what other people think!  So if you are offended that I am, well, such a GEEK, then stop reading my blog!!!

Not everyone is as fortunate as I am to have found a partner in Geekdom as I have.  Oh boy, my kids are DOOMED!  Again, that’s another post…