Category Archives: nerds and geeks

Administrative Assistant 2.0

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The administrative assistant at Paul’s office is pretty cool. Actually, Melissa’s not his administrative assistant. She greases the organizational wheels for a whole fleet of geeks, and in that capacity, she puts up with more than her share of hacker hijinks. Like the day they kept using a remote command to make her CD drive slide open and shut over and over until she called in a hardware tech to find out why it was malfunctioning. Or the oh-so-hilarious fake error messages that pop up on her computer screen from time to time. Whatever they throw at her, she handles it all with the aplomb and good humor that must have been at the top of the list of job qualifications on her resume.

Melissa and her husband have a daughter around Caleb’s age, and our families have enjoyed getting together outside of work to hang out and get to know each other. She’s wonderful.

Today, though, I had to bump her up a few more notches on the Katrina Scale of Awesomeness when Paul walked into the office to find this t-shirt in his mailbox:

Apparently, Melissa and Chris came across it while shopping and thought of him immediately. Is it perfect, or what?

Nerdfighting

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Recently, while surfing around YouTube (a site I find helpful in reaching my maximum procrastination potential), I stumbled across the term “nerdfighters”. Introduced by two nerdy brothers on their video weblog, Brotherhood 2.0, Nerdfighting has swelled into an entire movement, spawning its own legion of self-proclaimed nerdfighters with blogs, activities, and a common cause behind which to rally.

What is nerdfighting, you ask? I’ve read a lot on the subject, and from what I can tell, it’s a call for nerds everywhere to stand up and be counted, to utterly reject the social pressure of conformity, and to embrace their inner (and outer) nerdiness. Nerdfighters (who, by the way, are “made of awesome”) fight against the constant sucking pull of popularity. Nerdfighting is a mandate to love and accept your MMORPG-playing, Battlestar-Galactica-loving, intelligent, bespectacled self for what you are. A nerd.

Talk about inspiring! As soon as I heard about nerdfighters, I felt my inner nerd sighing in soulful recognition.

Of course, I had to share my discovery with Paul, who was entertained, though perhaps not as inspired.

“You know what I’m thinking, right?” I asked.

“You want to be a nerdfighter, don’t you?”

“YES! I really, really do!”

He laughed. “You can’t, you know.”

Indignant, I asked him why not.

“Because you’re not a nerd.”

What??? I was flabbergasted. I am SO a nerd! I have nerd credentials out the wazoo! I started to run down my nerdy attributes for Paul, enumerating them on my fingers as I went, but no matter how many nerd qualifications I listed, he refused to acknowledge my essential nerdiness. Perhaps he didn’t realize just how geeky I was when we married, and now must either live in denial or face the fact that the woman he loves is only one small step away from applying to Star Fleet Academy.

I’ll let you be the judge. Here are the nerdy facts:

*I play World of Warcraft.

*I have written fanfiction.

*I know the ultimate answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything.

*I have attended the Rennaissance fair in costume.

*I have an intellectual crush on Joss Whedon.

*My laptop has a name: Penelope (after Penelope Garcia, the hacker/computer whiz on Criminal Minds).

*I know what ragdoll physics are.

*I can explain the entire X-Files story arc in detail.

*I scrapbook.

*I care about punctuation. Deeply.

*If someone invited me to LARP, I totally would.

*I have used internet shorthand in spoken conversation: “brb, honey; I’m grabbing a drink from the fridge.” “You got the raise? Woot!”

*I know the difference between a Trekkie and a Trekker (and which one I am.)

*I use big words. Er…I mean…I employ a substantial and variegated written lexicon.

As I finished presenting the evidence to Paul, he asked, exasperated, “What? Do you want to be a nerd?”

At that moment, I couldn’t think of an answer. Do I? Do I really?

But somewhere in the middle of watching the latest Nerdfighter video (“Please Google, Take me to Mars”), I finally realized the truth, and it is this:

Yes. Yes, I do. I want to be a nerd.

Because from what I can see, nerd is the new cool.