The Geek Life

April 14, 2013 at 9:54 pm | Posted in Essays | 3 Comments
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I’d like to come out of the closet. I’m not sure I was actually in there with my Star Trek uniform, my Ren Faire garb, and my Steampunk accoutrements. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a geek.

As I get older, I embrace the Geek Side even more. I don’t know if it’s the truth, but being intelligent is cool these days. The Big Bang Theory has gone a long way to improve geek perception. Who doesn’t love Sheldon Cooper?

One of the coolest things about geeks, in my opinion, is how much we’re willing to do to dress up. It’s really a freeing thing to dress up at a con. The better job you do at your outfit, the more likely you are to be a minor celebrity. And people will work hard or spend a lot of money to get the coolest outfit. I’ve seen the most amazing Weeping Angel and Predator.

Bonus points if you are the only one wearing that outfit. More bonus points for obscurity.

Another thing I love about the geek community is how much intelligence is prized. Can you even BE a part of the geek community if you’re not smart? Some of the sexiest men in the geek community are the most intelligent. I mean come on, Doctor Who? Sherlock? There are also plenty of kick-ass women in the geeky community. In almost every Predator movie, the woman was the last one standing. Ellen Ripley lived every time in comparison with the boatloads of men who didn’t!

There’s some rampant sexualization of women in the geek community. Women almost always wear skin-tight clothing or are scantily-clad. How many men fantasize about Princess Leia in her slave girl outfit? I’ve been reading accounts of women who are groped and otherwise accosted because they’re dressed up at cons. I can’t say that it’s totally unexpected. A big part of the geek community is composed of men. Not all of those men, but quite a lot are social awkward, socially inept. They gather their information on appropriate behavior from the internet. As we all know, there are some shall we say questionable? sources on the internet. Even though it’s not unexpected, it’s not acceptable.

2009 Wrap-up

December 26, 2009 at 2:24 pm | Posted in Blog Chain, Essays | 13 Comments
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This post is part of a blog chain through the Absolute Write writers forums. Find the other participants here:

Lost Wanderer – http://www.lostwanderer5.blogspot.com
Claire Crossdale – http://theromanticqueryletter.blogspot.com/
coryleslie – http://corrinejackson.wordpress.com/
bsolah – http://benjaminsolah.com/blog
DavidZahir – http://zahirblue.blogspot.com/
RavenCorinnCarluk – http://ravencorinncarluk.blogspot.com
Ralph Pines – http://ralfast.wordpress.com/
shethinkstoomuch – http://shethinkstoomuch.wordpress.com
Lady Cat – http://www.randomwriterlythoughts.blogspot.com
truelyana – http://expressiveworld.com
misaditas – http://misaditas-novels.blogspot.com/
collectonian –http://collectonian.livejournal.com/632314.html
laharrison – http://lesleyharrison.wordpress.com/
beawhiz – https://beawrites.wordpress.com
razibahmed – http://www.blogging37.com
FreshHell – http://freshhell.wordpress.com
AlissaC – http://alissacarleton.blogspot.com
Aimee – http://writing.aimeelaine.com

Dear 2009,

It’s been a good year, hasn’t it? We had good times! There was that cruise to the Bahamas. The ocean on the cruise line’s private island was the bluest I’ve ever seen. I loved hanging out in a hammock on the island. The food was so good that I’ll remember it for a long time. I won’t miss that tiny cabin, though.

There was a  trip to Alabama, too.I love spending time with my aunt and my mother. They’re my heroes, the wild, succulent women in my life. My aunt taught me that I should be celebrating my uncle’s life instead of mourning him continuously this time around.

There were some short road trips, too–mostly to see family in Tennessee and Ohio. I welcomed two new members to the family, but then said goodbye to one. I’m sad that I’ll never get to know his sweet face, but grateful that he won’t have to live his life in pain. I’ll never regret those trips to see him.

There were learning experiences! BlogHer was this little light at the end of the tunnel for most of the year. My bestie mentioned it to me at the beginning of the year and as mentioned in a previous post, convinced me to go. It was worth every penny I spent and every second I was there. I’ll never consider blogging frivolous again. Bloggers change the world.

There was geekiness abounding! My parents had a Star Trek party, complete with Klingon blood worms and Andorian tapeworms. My cousin made t-shirts for everyone, and there was even an ice cream cake. We bounced into the theater flaunting our geekiness. It was one of the best times I had all year.

I also attended DragonCon where I learned that I am much less geeky than I thought, and have mad social skills. I got to hear Leonard Nimoy speak, had Patrick Stewart increase my already stellar opinion of him, and met two authors that I admire–Peter S. Beagle and Diana Gabaldon. I think the best thing that came out of DragonCon was that my dad found a new hobby–making Steampunk jewelry. Hopefully he’ll have his Etsy store set up soon and I’ll post pictures and links.

There were new friends. Namely my lovely friend Rachael that I met on Twitter before I ever met her in real life. She’s a sister from another mister! There was also the marvelous GeekBoy, my boyfriend of 3 months.

There was creating! From the beginnings of a novel to personal essays and even a query, I believe I was more prolific this year than I have been in my entire writing career. I submitted a story, an essay, a poem, and a query for publication this year. Submissions are something I had never tried before this year. I don’t know if I was too scared, too insecure, or just not ready. I received either no response or rejection so far. I was concerned that it would keep me from submitting again, but I know that I just have to find the right market. I got paid for the first time for writing this year. It was such an exciting event to get the notice for the first time, to know that someone liked my writing well enough to pay for it. I hope I will never lose that excitement.

I was also more prolific in my knitting/crochet than I have been in the past. I owe that to the spectacular ladies of my weekly knitting group. We’re a very eclectic group of varying ages. We had some older ladies for a while, but they’ve been taking classes and we haven’t seen most of them for a few months. We’re mostly 20s and 30s ladies, some with families, some just with significant others who love to knit. We take any kind of fiber arts lovers, actually. We geek out over knitting, Harry Potter, and whatever else comes up in our conversation on a weekly basis. These ladies are women that I would do anything for and who I could count on in a tight spot. They’re my closest friends, and I wouldn’t give them up for all the money in the world!

It’s been a fantastic year! I can’t wait to see what next year holds.

Sincerely,

B

2009 was anxious!

December 19, 2009 at 11:28 am | Posted in challenge, Essays | 2 Comments
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I’m two days late, but I wanted to do this post.

I wish that this year’s summary word was more positive. I think that this year has been more stressful than any other year in my life. I am currently without a permanent job. That’s not to say that I’m not working. Quite the opposite, in fact. I am a substitute teacher, which is possibly one of the most difficult jobs I’ve ever had.

I’ve been looking for a job for about 18 months now. For one reason or another, I’ve not been able to get a permanent job as a special education teacher. I’ve got to deal with my references being 2000 miles away, not really knowing anyone in a school district where it’s often who you know that gets you a job, and competing against graduates fresh out of the two local colleges, although I’d think that experience trumps education in this case.

I took a job working with adults with brain injuries at one point. The job was stressful, poorly supervised, and the odd hours meant I didn’t get to see my friends or my family. I lasted two months. Right after I quit, one of the patients punched another staff member, knocked her down, and proceeded to stomp on her.  I don’t regret leaving that job at all.

There has been anxiety over the job search. I hit the district websites nearly every day looking for new openings. I try to get my name at the top of the list without hassling principals. I debate whether or not to look for another job. I apply for non-teaching jobs. I get called for interviews sometimes, but only for teaching jobs.

There has been anxiety over money. When you’re only working on an as needed basis, you don’t get paid for the days you don’t work. i’ve been living on my retirement money for most of the year, but it’s gotten tight in the past few months, to say the least.

There has been anxiety in my relationship. I had just settled into being single for life when I met a wonderful guy who I’ve mentioned before. I had the mistaken impression that I didn’t have all that much emotional baggage. I was entirely wrong. The manner in which my last two relationships ended has apparently made me entirely paranoid in my current relationship. I know that he’s a different person than the other guys, but it’s very difficult not to apply your past expectations to the current person. I thrive on consistency, and this relationship has definitely not been that.

I guess the positive in all this is that I’m learning to better cope with anxiety! I’d be quite happy if 2010 was not anywhere near as anxiety-ridden, though.

Best Change to my Apartment 2009

December 13, 2009 at 6:00 am | Posted in challenge, Essays | 1 Comment
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I’ve lived in my apartment for about a year and a half now. I have too much stuff to fit in the apartment when combined with the things belonging to my brother and his fiancee–my roommates. I expected to live with them only one year after I moved back to Kentucky from California.

As usual, my life has taken a turn for the unexpected and I still live with them. Lemonade, dear readers, lemonade. That is all I will say.

Up until some point in the spring, I still had some of my things in my apartment in boxes. My mom and my cousin came up one weekend to help me clean my apartment because it drives me crazy. I hate having too many things. I hate having things unorganized, having things that have no place. My wonderful, amazing, spectacular mother bought some organizational items, and the two of them helped me unpack those last  boxes. We threw things away. Never enough. I never get rid of enough of my things to make me happy. Japanese simplicity appeals to me. I accumulate things like a hoarder. I’m a craft junkie, and each new craft comes complete with a new set of equipment.

It was a relief to have those things put away and no longer eyeing me balefully from the corners of my room. I keep working to give away more and more of my things so that everything has a place and nothing overflows onto the floor!

Best New Food of 2009

December 12, 2009 at 8:59 pm | Posted in challenge, Essays | 1 Comment
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I thought about this one a lot. I can pinpoint the first time I had avocado because I couldn’t believe that I had gone the beginning of my life without finding out how f#$king awesome avocados are. (My apologies for the language. I feel that strongly about avocados!) I can remember about when I first tried Indian food because they do vegetarian right. Being vegetarian limits the new restaurants you can try and the new foods that are meat-free. I thought and thought to see if I could remember any new restaurants. Nope. I tried to remember if I had tofu made some different way. I actually think I did, but I can’t remember if it was this year or last.

Finally, I remembered TVP burgers! I don’t think they were something my family ate when I was a kid. If they were, I’ve rediscovered them again. What’s TVP, you ask? It’s an anacronym for texturized vegetable protein. Sounds pretty boring, doesn’t it? It looks pretty unappetizing, honestly. It’s like tofu–it takes on the taste of whatever you season it with. The best thing about TVP burgers is that they’re crispy! Who doesn’t love fried food?

Best Place of 2009

December 11, 2009 at 6:00 am | Posted in challenge, Essays | 2 Comments
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In quite a disgustingly romantic way, I have to say that the best place I’ve found in 2009 is in my boyfriend’s arms. I love how we fit just so. I love how he seems to sigh and release some of his tension when he’s in my arms. That’s the best feeling in the world–to know that you can lift some of the weight off of your beloved just by being you and holding him.

I feel the same way when he holds me. No matter what is wrong or worrisome in my life, being with him makes it all fade away. When I’m away from him, I can think about how it feels when we’re curled up on the couch, his chin resting on my head, his body curled around mine, his hands holding me and feel the strength of his feelings for me. It helps soothe the savage beast in me and relieve some of my tension even when he’s not around.

Challenges of 2009

December 9, 2009 at 8:47 pm | Posted in challenge, Essays | Leave a comment
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I think that Gwen Bell’s Best of 2009 Blog Challenge is the best challenge, the most challenging thing I’ve done in 2009. There were plenty of individual challenges, but this one has been the one that has pushed me more than any others. It has pushed me to be consistent about updating my blog. It has made me really evaluate the various parts of my life this year. I think it will be something that I will look back on next year and be proud of. I think that it will be a place to start from. It’s really very empowering as opposed to being depressing.

I think that all too often American society tends to focus on the negative. Most prominent is when everyone looks back at their New Year’s Resolutions every year. There’s always an emphasis on what resolutions you didn’t meet. One year, I made a list of all the things that I had accomplished that year before I started on my Resolutions. Even though I hadn’t met all of my goals for the year, I felt empowered looking at the list of things I did achieve!

I have a feeling that most of us can make a list of things we regret in our lives much, much faster than a list of things we are proud of. I know that there are a few things that I genuinely regret, more things that I regret a little, and possibly only one or two things that I can say I am truly proud of accomplishing. It should be the other way around. I should be able to give a long list of things that I am proud of, and few things that I regret. We have a tendency to rush through things so quickly that we don’t take the chance to celebrate our wins, to be proud of ourselves.

I think that’s my new motto: Be proud of yourself.

Best Moment of Peace of 2009

December 8, 2009 at 9:23 pm | Posted in challenge, Essays | Leave a comment
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It’s late June, and while the air in North Carolina is sultry, it’s not opressive. It’s dark enough that I can’t see well enough to walk down the street without a flashlight, there are no street lights on the island, and the porch lights at the house are out. My mom, my aunt, my brother, and my cousins are upstairs in the house watching a movie or playing a game. I am not trying to get away, but I am enjoying the time to myself.

I would feel like I was floating except for the rope of the hammock digging into my back. I dangled one leg off the side to rock myself back and forth. It is soothing, and I breathe deep of the salted air. I sway gently in the air, thinking about everything and nothing. It is soothing, and I think I can relax enough to fall asleep. Replete, I finally roll myself out of the hammock, catching myself in time to avoid crashing into the concrete patio. I make my way inside to rejoin my family, still floating in the evening breeze.

Best New Blog of 2009

December 8, 2009 at 6:15 pm | Posted in challenge, Essays | Leave a comment
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I missed out on this post last night, but I wanted to share my favorite new blog, so you get to hear about it now!

I love humor blogs. I’ve been a reader at I Can Has Cheezburger for at least a year now. I enjoy Not Always Right, Post Secret, and similar blogs. I’m always on the lookout for something new to make me laugh! My reader bursts at the seams with all the funny stuff.

One site I like is F My Life, but it ends up making me depressed. People can be meaner to one another than I have words for at times. I recently found the solution to that at the website It Made My Day! Their tagline is “Little Moments of Win,” and I love that idea. I think that Americans as a society are generally overly negative. I hate that. I don’t want to spend my life thinking that the grass is greener, envying other people, and dwelling on the negative. I guess I’m a glass half-empty kind of person. With a dose of realism, though. I want people to find ways to compliment one another, share ways that their day has been great, remember their blessings.

It Made My Day does that and more. It’s generally kind of nerdy, which is right up my alley. I usually end up laughing out loud at one or more of the stories, and that makes MY day.

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