I looked at a picture of my dad today. It’s strange that the photo seems different than the memory in my head. The eyes are further apart and he looks a little older. The smile is just a little more crooked than what I remember. And I don’t remember those wrinkles starting to form around the eyes. Do pictures age when memories can’t? Or is the picture just clear where my memory is starting to fade?
All night I lay on my pillow and pray
For my boss to stop me in the hallway
Lay my head on his shoulder and say
Son, I’ve been hearing good things
I wake up without warning and go flying around the house
In my sauvignon fierce, freaking out
Take a forty-five minute shower and kiss the mirror
And say, look at me
Baby, we’ll be fine
All we gotta do is be brave and be kind
I put on an argyle sweater and put on a smile
I don’t know how to do this
I’m so sorry for everything
Baby, come over, I need entertaining
I had a stilted, pretending day
Lay me down and say something pretty
Lay me back down where I wanted to stay
Just say something perfect, something I can steal
Say, look at me
Baby, we’ll be fine
All we’ve gotta do is be brave and be kind
I pull off your jeans, and you spill jack and coke in my collar
I melt like a witch and scream
I’m so sorry for everything
One of these days my neighbors are going to figure out that I only get up at 5am to vacuum, blast music, and accidentally pound the wall a few times on the mornings after I’m forced to stay up late due to the bass pounding through the wall from their shoddy music.
Yes, everyone. I am still reading “The Zombie Survival Guide.”
I have a problem where I only read in bed these days. So I kind of fall asleep about half way through the 4th page. Then I startle myself awake somehow, look back over to where I left off, and try again. Except the second time I startle myself awake, I’ve only advanced about 3 sentences. The 3rd time, I’m another page behind and how did that even happen!?
So. Slowly, but surely, I am making my way through the book. I’m at the end though. The how-to of survival is over and now I’m a pro. I am fairly certain I will still be around after the Zombie Apocalypse. The end of the book is recorded zombie occurrences throughout the years. Starting in like ancient Egypt or something. Pretty good stories.
This book is hard core.
Next on my list is “Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.” I’ve already finished “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.” Who knew my favorite book could be better!? Seth Grahame-Smith knew; that’s for sure. We’ll see if Ben H. Winters is just as talented at enhancing Ms. Austen’s works. I’m still holding my breath for an “Emma” parody. “Emma and Encantados?” “Emma and Each Uisge?” Extraterrestrials? Evil Clowns? The possibilities are endless!
Something’s got to entertain me while I wait for George R.R. Martin to get his act together and finish “A Dance With Dragons.”
Why do people write “no pun intended” after a pun? As soon as you type that, there’s a pun, and you’ve intended to make other people see it. If you didn’t intend for a pun, you’d leave it (without the “no pun intended”) and hope no one notices, or you’d delete what you wrote and type in something else. Something less witty. Something boring.
Why point out your cleverness by telling people you didn’t mean it? It’s demeaning to your wit. People will see it, or they won’t. They’ll be as clever as you, or not. And, if they are, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing they didn’t need your guidance.
You know that book Men are from Mars, Women from Venus? Well, here’s a prime example of that. This assignment was actually turned in by two of my English students: Rebecca (last name deleted) and Gary (last name deleted).
First, the Assignment:
English 44A SMU Creative Writing Prof. Miller
In-class Assignment for Wednesday:
Today we will experiment with a new form called the tandem story. The process is simple. Each person will pair off with the person sitting to his or her immediate right. One of you will then write the first paragraph of a short story. The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story. The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back and forth. Remember to re-read what has been written each time in order to keep the story coherent. The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached.
And now, the Assignment as submitted by Rebecca & Gary:
At first, Laurie couldn’t decide which kind of tea she wanted. The camomile, which used to be her favourite for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he liked camomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So camomile was out of the question.
Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than the neuroses of an air-headed, asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago.
“A.S. Harris to Geostation 17,” he said into his transgalactic communicator. “Polar orbit established. No sign of resistance so far…” But before he could sign off, a bluish particle beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship’s cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.
He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he felt one last pang of regret for psychologically brutalising the one woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4.
“Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel”, Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. The news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared out the window, dreaming of her youth — when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree, with no newspapers to read, no television to distract her from her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her. “Why must one lose one’s innocence to become a woman?” she pondered wistfully.
Little did she know, but she has less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu’udrian mothership launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dim-witted, wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace Disarmament Treaty through Congress had left Earth a defenceless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human race. Within two hours after the passage of the treaty, the Anu’udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverise the entire planet. With no one to stop them, they swiftly initiated their diabolical plan.
The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his top-secret mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive explosion which vaporised Laurie and 85 million other Americans. The President slammed his fist on the conference table. “We can’t allow this! I’m going to veto that treaty! Let’s blow ‘em out of the sky!”
This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic, semi-literate adolescent.
Yeah? Well, you’re a self-centred, tedious neurotic whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium.
I made up a song about Seroquel while in Nursing school.
No, really. It was kind of a song and dance number. It went…
Voices singing in your head (Seroquel! Seroquel!) Telling you to make everybody dead (Seroquel! Seroquel!) Well don’t you know they have pills for that? The down side is they make you fat. But at least you’re not crazy anymore!
I love baking. Love it. My secret dream is to own my own little cafe/bakery/bistro… thing. Or have a cooking show. Or something. Dreams like that need determination, dedication, and a lot of start up cash. I think right now, I’m pretty happy being a nurse. My coworkers seem to enjoy my baking, and there’s not a lot of pressure. It’s just fun, and it makes people happy.
So, because I love baking so much, I let people talk me into signing up for a cupcake baking contest. Iron Cupcake Milwaukee. I signed up about a month ago and I haven’t shut up about it since. The contest was to make a cupcake centered on beer. Ideas raced through my head. I had made Guinness and Bailey’s cupcakes. They were pretty amazing. I wanted something different though. After trying to decide between a beer and brat and beer and bacon cupcake, I finally settled on beer and wings. Two of my favorite things. What could possibly go wrong?!
Well, to start, there is no recipe in the Google world for Beer and Wings cupcakes. I was on my own. Whatevs. I’ve made up recipes before. I could do it again. But, just in case, I made an experimental batch the week before the big event.
The cake part was easy. Mostly because I decided to be lazy and ask my good friend, Duncan Hines, to help out. Take the oil and water out of the package instructions and dump in 14.9oz of Guinness. Add 2 eggs. Voilà! Cake batter.
The filling was a little tricky. I was going for a buffalo sauce flavor. Whipping cream and mixing in something acidic, like buffalo sauce, is a bad idea. Proteins separate and cream curdles. I used science (aka heated the cream and added corn starch) and it turned out pretty good. No sugar. Tried that too. Even a tiny amount takes over the whole flavor and the heat of the buffalo sauce is gone. Ok. Cream filling and cake are done. Frosting was made out of Bleu Cheese, cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar. I called them Hot Shots.
You want healthy? Grab a carrot. These cupcakes are not for the obsessive dieter.
So the cupcake recipe was successful, and my guinea pig coworkers seemed to enjoy them. I was set. Contest was on a Monday evening. I work Monday mornings. Afternoons too. Sunday was going to be my baking day. So, the Sunday before the big event, I worked my but off in my tiny little kitchen and my improv kitchen too. My kitchen, you see, is tiny. I am not exaggerating when I tell you I have a grand total of maybe 3 feet of counter space. I’ve made it work so far. But, so far, I’ve been cooking for me. In this instance, I was making many, many dozens of cupcakes. So, I made up some more counter space. With my table and a kitchen cart and the top of a small bookshelf. Six hours later, I had 12 dozen cupcakes for the contest, and a few dozen more to bring to work.
And then the big event. I showed up early, proudly carrying my plastic containers full of mini cupcakes. I took my big display cupcake and placed it lovingly on a plate with some celery and carrot sticks and splashed on some tabasco for color. I put my clever little display card next to it, so people would know what my cupcakes were. I opened the containers and started putting the mini cupcakes on the table for people to grab. And then the baker next to me showed up.
She showed up with her giant, 3-tiered display tower and props and it was intimidating. But not nearly as intimidating as when I glanced to my other side and saw Homer Simpson built out of gum paste, sitting on a mountain of Duff Beer cans!
I texted my friend. “Everyone has fancypants display trays and I have cupcakes on the table!!” Let me tell you how awesome my buddy is. She came right over with, not only dessert trays for me, but she had also made me another display sign. And it was framed! I may not have been up to par with my 2 neighbors, but at least my cupcakes weren’t just sitting on the table. They looked presentable now.
And then the people came. And they kept coming. And they didn’t leave. They just multiplied! Like bunnies. Zombie bunnies. Black Friday at an Outlet Mall may be a good comparison. The bakers were told to bring 8-10 dozen cupcakes. I brought 12 dozen. They were gone in 45 minutes. And you know what? People kept coming. Like Field of Dreams gone horribly wrong, they kept coming. And I had to look at them, with their plates held out, and say, “I’m sorry, but I ran out.” I’m pretty sure I broke hearts.
I had a blast. It was a lot of fun. The baking, the stress, the temporary panic, the pride. Even the swarm? Zounds? Legion! Even the legion of people was fun. And then, just like that, it was over and everyone started taking stuff down.
I didn’t win. I didn’t expect to win. But I did expect to have fun, and I did. I’m glad I participated. I’m not sure I would again. I entered to have fun, and I did. I guess I just didn’t realize so many of the other bakers would be like actual, professional bakery bakers. This was a fun event for me, something I did to pass some time and brag about to coworkers. To many of the other bakers, though, this seemed to be a really serious competition. Were they just competing to have fun? Were they feeding an obsession? Were they hoping to promote their businesses? I don’t know.
I registered for Iron Cupcake Milwaukee because I love baking for friends and coworkers. I guess I just wanted to see what it would be like to take that to the next level. It was a lot of fun, but the best part about the next level was seeing friends attend and trying my baked goods. So, maybe I’m not a big league type of gal. I think I like the experience of my smaller audience more.
So, Iron Cupcake Milwaukee, I had fun with you. A lot of fun. I’m glad we met, and perhaps we’ll meet again. For now, though, I like the smaller audiences more. I like being able to watch people try my creations, and I like seeing the look on their faces when they try something they like that they weren’t expecting to be delicious. I like feeling that baking is a fun hobby, rather than a way of life. I like making people happy one batch at a time. I like that my secret dream is still just a dream. I’m not so sure I could handle it becoming a reality just yet.
I have a secret. I like watching infomercials. When they come on while I’m at the gym, that’s it. I’m hooked.
I like watching infomercials because I see things like the Hula Chair and, my personal favorite, the abtronic, and I get to laugh at the idea that, somewhere, someone is thinking omfg!! I’ll bet that actually works! Especially since Chuck Norris is using it. His tears cure cancer so, clearly, this machine is the real deal!
I can laugh because, somewhere, some idiot is spending money on this crap.
Seriously? You people seriously believe that electric impulses being delivered from a glorified belt are going to, not only melt away pounds, but also give you those 6-pack abs you dream of while you lay on your couch, watching Dr. Phil and eating Doritos? *snerk* ok. The more money you spend, the more humor I have in my life. So keep shelling out the cash!
It’s really pathetic that people have nurtured their laziness to the point where it’s easier to buy a product that will do a work out for them than to get off their derrieres and walk around the block.
The world is laughing at you.
Dear Chuck Norris: I apologize for using your name so shamelessly. I know you endorse actual exercise equipment and not the abtronic. It’s just fun to throw your name around. You understand.
“I expel a mouth full of smoke and contemplate what a weird town New York is. People will walk past a naked bum shivering in the streets or a woman sobbing on a street corner but they’ll take time out to castigate a man smoking a cigar. A helluva town. I hope I can finish my smoke before I get stoned to death.”—Waiter Rant » The Privacy of Smoke (via bananza)
The number one thing to know about nerdy girls — they’re probably not going to be doing body shots at the local sports bar on a Friday night. If they’re out partying, it’s over a micro-brewed pale ale in the quiet corner of their local hole-in-the-wall watering hole. Other good places to spot nerdy women: libraries, bookstores, used bookstores, any other place with books you can think of, comic book stores, knitting stores, craft stores, sitting in the park…reading a book, the local cat fanciers convention, at a midnight showing of “Alien” or in their living rooms, watching “Firefly” again.
Tip #2: It helps to look like this guy:
On the other hand, it helps to look like this guy too:
You’re pretty much good either way.
Tip #3: Read lots of books.
Here’s the brutal truth: the nerd girl of your dreams is a brainiac. She’s going to know a lot of stuff about a lot of stuff. You’re going to need to study up — none of that sitting at the coffee shop with an unread copy of “The Waste Land” in your hand, trying to impress the shallow ladies. Your nerd girl will check to make sure that the spine on the book is cracked and cracked good. She likely also will ask you to compare “The Waste Land” to “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” If you have to resort to Cliff’s Notes, do it surreptitiously. It’s like getting a butt implant – the nerd girls will know you’re faking it.
Tip #4: Don’t slack off on your video game skills.
One of the prime perks of dating a nerdy woman is that she will not yell at you for playing video games rather than, say, going shoe shopping with her. In fact, she likely will sit down next to you and pick up a controller. Here’s the thing though: she’s probably good at whatever game you’re playing so you better be good at it too. Whether it’s Mario Kart or Tiger Woods Golf or the bloody carnage of Grand Theft Auto, she will show no mercy. Practice, practice, practice!
Tip #5: Listen to NPR.
Nerd girls like to stay up to date on their current events…and they like to do it with the dulcet, sometimes somnolent tones of NPR broadcasters. Beware, though, of the onset of NPR depression which stems from listening to so much news and sad stories about flooding in Nova Scotia or the inequities facing migrant workers that you become convinced the world is doomed and there’s no use leaving your house in the morning. This will put a damper on your dating. However, this prevalent disease also will give you an out if you’ve had to slack off on your NPR duties – just say, “I had to take an NPR break. Sometimes it makes me sad.” This serves two purposes: it gets you off the hook AND it makes you look sensitive. Bonus!
Tip #6: Be interesting.
Whereas a lot of ladies want you to be rich, nerdy women just want you to be interesting. Do you have a comic book collection that spans decades and rests in a vault somewhere untouched by human hands? That’s kinda cool. Are you learning how to do animation so you can one day post the adventures of a hobo cat online? That’s kinda cool too. Maybe you build houses for the poor on weekends or spend an afternoon teaching creative writing to high school kids? Awesome and more awesome. It doesn’t matter what you do, just do it well.
Tip #7: Know your pop culture references.
Know the complete works of the Nerd Holy Trinity: Joss Whedon, J.J. Abrams and Peter Jackson. Know that Nathan Fillion will always be on your girl’s “freebie” list. When she goes to church and thanks God that Robert Downey Jr. survived the 1980s so he could play Iron Man, say “Amen” right alongside her. And for the love of all that is sacred and holy, do not EVER get “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” confused: one has Wookiees, one has Shatner, it’s not that hard.
Tip #8: Compliment her by saying, “You remind me so much of Liz Lemon.”
This is truly the highest form of flattery for just about any nerdy woman. Liz Lemon is our patron saint. Her inability to wear high heels, keep food off her face or refrain from making penis jokes while holding a tower made of Legos in her hands makes us reflect fondly on our own quirks. We love her…and you should too.
Tip #9: Embrace her collectibles.
That is not a euphemism for something pervy. It’s just a fact. When you walk into her apartment for the first time and notice a glass cabinet filled with a miniature TARDIS, a sombrero-wearing Giles, a 17-inch Han Solo and a two-foot long replica of the Enterprise NCC-1701-D, do not say, “What the hell is all this stuff?” Instead say, “What the hell? Why don’t you have MORE of this stuff? And may I mail order something for you?”
Tip #10: Be willing to go to conventions.
It’s just a thing we do. Relax and embrace it…and know that nine times out of ten, you’ll catch a glimpse of some nubile young woman dressed as a Princess Leia slave girl. It’s what the universe does to reward patience of our significant others.
Tip #11: Know what to do in a zombie attack.
We’ve been practicing for this one for a long time. We don’t want to have to leave you behind.
Well, that about covers it. Congratulations on taking your first steps on the road to nerd girl nirvana. Know that you have selected the finest kind of woman possible. Way to go, champ!
You like to read. Which character in which book have you identified with the most?
This is a tough one.
I don’t really have a tendency to identify with the characters I read about. Certainly, I find a few character traits we have in common, and it makes me feel more connected to that character. I may find myself wishing I had more things in common with said character. However, at the end of the last page, I’m still just me. And I’ve enjoyed seeing a world through someone else’s eyes without forgetting who I am.
Just for the sake of giving the question an answer though, I’d say it’s a mix between Hermione Granger (of the Harry Potter series) and Elizabeth Bennet (of Pride and Prejudice). Quick wit, unnecessary insecurity/fear of failure, and a little nerdiness mixed in with “a lively, playful disposition, which delighted in any thing ridiculous.”