goodness, nerd

Science, please

Why do I love this image so much?  Maybe it’s the Bill Nye/Ken Ham “debate” that took place recently that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy toward science right now.

That debate could not have been more frustrating or inspiring to members of Team Nye.  He demonstrated, with well-constructed arguments and a clear mind, such enthusiasm for our inherent sense of wonder and excitement at the prospect of a new discovery.  I’m so pleased he’s our chosen representative.  The guy is so sharp and well-spoken.

hello

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goodness, life, martial arts, nerd

I go by many names…

Senior Ecuador and I hung out for three days straight over the winter break (Dec 30-Jan 1), first crashing at my place, then at his for New Year’s, during which we killed a delicious bottle of ruby port and watched Mechagodzilla. The next day, after grabbing breakfast at Literati, he worked on a gift for his brother (woodburning Zelda logo onto a box lid). That night we watched Escape from Los Angeles (no words). I’ve taken to calling him Roomie, and he, for his part, has given me a fine assortment of titles which the other members of the dojo have embraced with an endearing amount of enthusiasm: The Wolf Tamer (for my recent excursion to see a particularly vocal coyote outside my house: I threw on some jeans, sneakers, and brought a maglight and my bokuto. I got as close as I could to the sounds this amazing animal was making before every instinct in my body forced me to stop my approach), The Devourer (I was jealous of Senior Ecuador’s hashbrowns), and The Taker of Things (pretty sure this is also hashbrown-related, but I continue to live up to it).

san

I can’t understate how much I love these titles, and I wondered what someone who friended me on Facebook today would think of me. I skimmed through my photos and have decided that my life up to this point has been fantastic, and full of other, excellent titles:

Sensei– Teaching martial arts to kids means I had fun every day, learned how to handle kids (which was a skill I did NOT have before that job), and became an occasionally great teacher.

Beekeeper– I found a new common interest with my dad, got to wear an awesome cosmonaut outfit, and learned a shitload about bees (which are amazing, btw).

Grad student– How long have I been fantasizing about calling myself a grad student? Basically forever.

Thanksgiving attendee– Every year, the shot of my large, loud Italian family on the porch of the beach house. So much love.

Halloween enthusiast– The pumpkin carvings and dressing up, especially at work (especially at my office job where NO ONE else EVER shows up in costume, lol), plus all the pumpkin-related food-stuffs. It always makes me so happy.

Renaissance Faire attendee– And this year I might actually work the faire.  I could counted among the faire folk.  God.  Little dreams coming true, one at a time.

World traveler– Hawai’i to present my own work at a conference, Scotland and Ireland to celebrate getting into grad school, and much more to come (soon!). I’ve been saving up those vacation days, and grad school will be done in 5 weeks…

Friend/daughter/sister– My favorite photos are the unflattering ones, caught mid-laugh with giant grins plastered across everyone’s faces, particularly with Little Iron Friend, Diminutive Friend, and Dad.

So far, so good.

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goodness, life, nerd

Renaissance Faire: Ultra Success!

I went to the Renaissance Faire with friends this past Saturday.  I was the only one to dress up because Treehouse Friend was lazy and his girlfriend, Ballerina Friend, couldn’t find her costume.  I invited a couple of students who work in my office who are from China and have never experienced anything like the Faire (one had never even heard of the Renaissance).  One came and brought two more Chinese friends, who seemed to have an amazing time.  One of them decided she wanted to rent a costume at the last minute, saying, “If I don’t, I will regret it.”  She took forever to pick something out and got some help putting it on in the dressing room by a woman working the tent.  When she finally had a look in the mirror, she jumped up and down and did her best impression of a boiling tea kettle.  Her enthusiasm lasted all day, and frankly, she looked beautiful.  She sashayed around the Faire and threw her skirts around in front of every reflective surface we passed.  She took loads of selfies and smiled all day (they all did, actually).  We moved through the Faire at a snail’s pace to make sure they didn’t miss anything, and I enjoyed answering their questions about people’s costumes, weapons, and common old English greetings (“Good day, my lady”).  I really enjoyed moving slowly through the Faire and interacting with more attendees and workers than I ordinarily would have.  I didn’t look at my phone more than a few times, and even then only to take a few photos.

the washing well women were doing less heckling of men this year, though just as much splashing

the washing well women were doing less heckling of men this year, though just as much splashing

And then things got epic.

Just as my Chinese guests asked about where we could eat, we came upon the food court.  I scouted out some shady seats and we all separated to hunt for hearty meats.  I went to buy a sausage/hotdog at one of the stands.  The guy cooking sausages was calling out to people passing by, “Come get your hot sausages!  Everyone loves a hot sausage, right ladies?”  As I approached I pointed at him and nodded with a completely straight face.  He laughed, “Hey!  This fine woman likes her sausage, don’t you m’lady?”  I put in my order with the woman at the front and gave a tip (which resulted in the standard bust waggling and HUZZAH! from her), and was about to walk away with my brat and sauerkraut when suddenly the woman running the stand came out from the back, looked me up and down and said, “You’re beautiful. You should be working for me.”  I thought she was kidding, so I said, “I’d be honored, m’lady!” and gave her a little curtsey.  She came right back with, “Great, come get my number at the end of the day, we’ll be in touch,” and I’m standing there with a giant sausage in my hand like ‘oh shit, she was serious.’  So I’m totally selling sausages at the Faire next year, LOL.

Overall it was a hallmark year.  I got to share something I enjoy with foreigners (which I love doing), and I might finally be able to work the Faire, which I’ve wanted to do for years.  Plus, among all the harmless flirtation you get from the men at the Faire, one guy said, “You’re looking lovely, lady green,” as I rushed past to catch up with friends, and gave me a small bow.  Naturally, I slowed my pace, dipped and offered a quick, “Thank you m’lord.”  Huzzah for nerds!

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goodness, manfolk, nerd

Supernaturally hooked

So *sigh* I’m definitely kinda super hooked on Supernatural.  It is my new X-Files: ridiculous in premise, and demanding of a good amount of willing suspension of disbelief, but it’s got its hooks in me, and it doesn’t hurt that the protagonists are both straight males (which rules out the chance of every episode being injected with a will-they-won’t-they love story that derails the whole plot, thank the FSM).  Plus they’re fun to look at, so that helps.

There are a good number of genuinely funny moments, and there are no topics the characters won’t address.  If something should be bothering them, they bring it up and have an actual, believable conversation about it.  The series’ formulaic nature is well-hidden behind solid dialog, believable effects, genuine brotherly love and pretty faces.

Plus, every sign points to the actors not being dicks, which is always good.

yes plz

yes plz

UPDATE: April 17, 2013
And now I’m spending too much time watching random gifs from the show on a tumblr site dedicated to random gifs from the show.

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goodness, nerd

What’s taters, precious?

Dude, how awesome is Gollum?  He’s hilariously, lovably tragic, and is the one thing that Peter Jackson managed to actually improve upon from the books.

Then I drew him!  Hooray!  I am so pleased with this shitty little drawing.

FAT, STUPID HOBBITSES

FAT, STUPID HOBBITSES

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goodness, humor, nerd

In Communist Russia, customer serves you

totally accurate

totally accurate

Occasionally I poke around Medieval Collectibles to see what’s on sale that I might add to my Renaissance Faire costume.  I’d been poking around for years before I finally got around to buying a legitimate Renn Faire costume, so of course I bought the wrong size.  I chatted with some very helpful online service reps who assured me that if I bought the right size and sent back the too-big dress, I would be refunded the amount of the too-big dress and all would be well.

Well.  That was almost a year ago, and I only just got around to sending the too-big dress back this week.  I sent with it a note that essentially said, “Hey, I spoke with some very nice people at your company who assured me I could get a refund for this dress since I bought another one, so here it is and since you’ve all been so nice, please enjoy this group of photos of Benedict Cumberbatch transforming into an otter.”

I received an email from said company today:

I wanted to let you know that we received back Irish Dress and saw that you wanted us to process this as a return for refund. Typically a 15% restocking fee is removed before refunding, however since you already placed an exchange order, we are waiving this fee.

How nice!  They’re refunding me in full.  Then it said boring stuff about waiting a few days for the full refund without freaking out because where is my refund raaaaaaaagh!! /table flip.  Then there was this:

P.S. Thank you for the pictures of Benedict Cumberbatch, they were very funny! 🙂

Success!  Hahahaha omg I love that a human looked at my little note and smiled.  Totally made my day.

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goodness, nerd

New obsession: Broodhollow

I’ve been following a new webcomic, Broodhollow, for a few weeks now and I’m totally mesmerized.  The artwork is smooth and gritty with beautiful coloring.  The characters jump off the page.  The storyline is fun, creepy and mysterious.  I just love it.

broodhollow

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goodness, humor, life, nerd

My new career as a part-time smartass, perhaps

I wrote a review of Beautiful Creatures, the worst book on the planet, on amazon.com a couple of months ago and got a lot more (read: any) attention than I expected.  It served as my impetus to get on Goodreads.com, which is a fantastic book review website that I’m currently addicted to, and where I’ve made a couple of new friends due to the popularity of my Beautiful Creatures review.

artist rendition of me being a book reviewer

artist rendition of me being a book reviewer

I got another comment on my review today that read thusly:

Ok, so I haven’t read this book yet but when I do read reviews of books, I like to read the people who gave a bad review and discover why they didn’t like the book or what irritated them about it. I love your sense of humor with your review and how you go into detail about the specific parts of the book you didn’t enjoy. I am a writer and have recently self published my first young adult novel called Seeds of Eden. This is probably going to sound a little odd but I was wondering if you would read it and do an honest review of it. As an author I am still trying to find my reader base and connect with new readers. I can email you the epub version of my book if you would like to take a look at it. If you aren’t interested that is also fine, it’s up to you. Let me know what you think about this and get back to me! 
Here is the link for my book on amazon: Seeds of Eden (The Concilium Series)
You can also find it on Goodreads too! 

I was pretty dumbstruck.  Was this a tricky way for this person to get someone to buy her crappy $0.99 ebook on amazon, or was she actually, genuinely asking for a review?  I sat statue-still at my computer and thought, “Is this my first ever official request as a book reviewer?”  I’m choosing to think so because that’s awesome, and the book looks pretty awful and should be fun to hilariously critique, lol.  Still, I’m excited about it.  Kinda stupid-excited.

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goodness, manfolk, nerd

Doggie toof brushin’

Boyfriend plays WoW arena with a guy who has a menagerie of pets at his folks’ place (he’s a college freshman this year), and occasionally tells us hilarious stories about their personalities and habits.  He off-handedly mentioned that he has taken to brush the dogs’ teeth almost every day since they were puppies, and I almost died.  SO CUTE.  I demanded a video of this, and he sent a pic with this IM conversation:

I was sitting in the back yard and she’s on a bench
she was like sleeping against me
and then i started playing with her mouth
it was funny
whiter than mine... by a lot

whiter than mine… by a lot

Apparently the dogs are so accustomed to him sticking his hands in their mouths that they don’t freak out about it at all, which is adorable.
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goodness, life, nerd

Dracula, my love

The original Dracula is my favorite ghost story.  It’s easy to see that it’s not the ultimate literary novel of its time, but it’s a fun read and a creepy story set in a time where if you were stranded somewhere, you were totally fucked.  If you get sick in a foreign country, you’re screwed.  If you don’t know how to kill the thing that’s coming after you and your loved ones, get your affairs in order, because it might be time to die.

nice job, google

nice job, google

Obviously I’m not a fan of how prominently Christianity comes swooping in to save the day (of course the Count can’t enter a tomb that’s been sealed off using putty mixed with the holy sacrament, DUH), but that’s sorta part of the charm of this story; it’s full of silly superstition and stolid, antiquated reliance on the impregnable defense afforded to the faithful.  It’s pretty cute.

And the action!  Fight scenes!  Storms!  Abandoned vessels washing up on shore!  Giant wolves!  Hypnosis!  Seduction!  Hidden treasure!  All this and more!  Written in the style of the turn of the century, who wouldn’t want to read it?

SPOILER:
The part on the ship is what makes this a truly horrifying story.  It’s the strongest part of the story in my opinion.  If that part doesn’t hook you, you have my permission to stop reading, and continue your inevitable march toward the end of an unfortunate, unremarkable life.  You schmuck.

READ ME, PUNY MORTAL

READ ME, PUNY MORTAL

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