Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Defending Geekiness

I was recently the subject of some (friendly--at least I hope so) ribbing by some family members for my alleged "geekiness", which I put in quotation marks because their definition of being a geek is the fact that I was incredibly excited for the latest episode of The Walking Dead, which if you have to read that link to know what it is, I'm sorry, but I am just baffled as to how you even found this blog, but I digress. In any case, the plebeians don't know just how deep the geek goes, but in any case, one of the words thrown around was "pathetic", which just for context you should know that this family event took place during the Eagles' bi-week, which means our home team wasn't playing that day, and it was specifically set up that way, and also the cousin who called me pathetic didn't know that Italy was shaped like a boot.

I internalize damn near everything I hear, which yes, I know I shouldn't, but it stuck in my craw, this allegation of being "pathetic". Sometimes I think the only things that stick are the ones I suspect, or fear, are true. Society has long regarded the attendees of Comic-Con as geeks who live in their mothers' basements and lost their virginity somewhere around never. Even though superhero movies, comic books, sci-fi, fantasy, and other media and genres of that ilk are enjoying a mainstream run right now, and a non-too-shabby take at the box office, there's a definite line in the sand between the regular audiences, who are enjoying what's being presented to them, and the geeks, who seek out the new, the cool, the weird, and who take to message boards to pick apart the lastest episode or installment of whatever it is that they love best. Geekdom is enjoying a heyday, and heydays, as they are wont to do, end. Don't know when or why, but being a geek will fall out of fashion as swiftly as it fell in. Most people will move on to whatever the next cool thing is, and the geeks will still be blogging about who would win in a fight between Batman and Iron Man. It's what we do.

So, is the fact that we still mourn Firefly a testament to our tenacity or evidence that we can't move on from something as inconsequential as a tv show? Are we above the mainstream who follow trends like sheep, or are we stubbornly refusing to evolve? Are geeks pathetic?

I've thought long and hard over that question and the answer I came up with is a resounding maybe. Maybe the fact that I took a day off work to meet my favorite author and drove all the way to the great back ass of nowhere because God forbid he do a reading in an easily accessible place in a major city does smack of sadness, even if I don't regret doing it for one second and I got his autograph TWICE, so that makes the harrowing drive on a highway that terrifies me totally worth it. Maybe the fact that a new album, or a new movie, or hell, even a new episode of something I love gets me excited to the point that my squealing hurts my dog's ears makes me a sad sack.

But I don't care. Maybe a new book or upcoming concert is a stupid reason to get myself excited, but I have something to look forward to almost every day. There is always something to be excited about, and even after I've seen/heard/experienced it, I can go over and over the nuances ad infinitum. I'm proud that I can keep the entire cast of Game of Thrones straight without double checking or referring to the complicated addenda in the books (which I did read anyway). While everyone in my house is half-watching the latest episodes, I'm fully engaged in a medieval world that has fucking dragons. While my cousins roll their eyes and tell me I'm pathetic, they're bored out of their skulls and I'm gleefully anticipating how Daryl and Merle are going to reunite, and I'm loving every minute of it. And unlike the Eagles, who are frankly a source of near-constant disappointment, nothing in my geek menagerie topples my good mood, even when favorite characters die or story lines bulldoze through previously established plots.

Maybe I'm weird and maybe I have a distorted sense of reality, but I'm also damn happy, and I think I speak for all geeks, whether they love movies, comics, TV, books, social media, music, tech, or some combination thereof, when I say I feel sorry for anyone who doesn't get wildly enthusiastic as regularly as we do.

Life's too short to be disaffected.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Seeking Myself

I like to pride myself on being highly self-aware, and if I actually were, that would be a hell of a thing to take pride in. But, I'm not. The only way I know of to gauge how I'm feeling is open an extra tab on my laptop while I'm working and search for songs. I don't know what kind of mood I'm in until I hear what I've selected for myself.

Something Corporate or New Found Glory: nostalgic for my teen years

My Chemical Romance or Green Day: either melancholy or exuberant--they have a wide range

The Beatles or Queen: nostalgic for my childhood

Beyonce/Lady Gaga/P!nk/Katy Perry: amped up and vaguely pissed at the male gender. Tends to occur once a month.

Broadway tunes: highly energetic. Often involves dancing. It's rarely, if ever, pretty

Avenged Sevenfold: angry

Celtic Woman: Irish (yes, Irish is a mood)

As special as I like to believe I am, I wonder if I'm the only one who gauges their own mood by the choices they subconsciously make. Feel free to comment if you do the same, and with what.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Why "The Walking Dead" is Different from Other Shows

What I do in preparation for other season premiers:
Rewatch the previous season's finale
(Re)read the source material, if it exists
Set my DVR

And that's pretty much it. If I could, I'd organize a watch party with my friends, but since all my favorite shows air on Sunday nights and I have to wake at the ass-crack of dawn to go to work, I generally watch alone and text my friends during the show. And then we get on with our lives. Which we have, despite all evidence to the contrary.

What I do to prepare for the Walking Dead
Gas up and change the oil in my car
Go to the drugstore and refill my first aid kit
Target shooting with my dad
Rewatch both previous seasons in their entirety (Don't judge me! AMC was running a marathon and my pajamas are really comfortable)
Reread the comic
Watched about a dozen interviews
Set my DVR
Reread my first aid manual

Now, in all fairness, I am retaking my CPR certification for work this week, and I've had to change my oil since about May, so this weekend was not only an exercise in anticipation for more zombie-killing goodness (and Michonne! Yay, Michonne!), but also shit I had to get done anyway.

Doesn't change the fact that I know how far I have to drive to find redneck country (half an hour north and half an hour east. The joys of living in suburban Pennsylvania!). Rednecks, as TWD has taught me, are primed to handle the apocalypse. I doubt any of the real life rednecks I'll have to team up with will look like Daryl Dixon, but in the event of a national disaster I'll take my chances with the uggos.

Also doesn't change the fact that I know where the nearest prison is located and three different ways to get there.

As for going shooting with my dad?

That's just fun.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Vampire Sex Novels

I'm currently reading about 16 different books, one of which is Deborah Harkness' Shadow of Night. It's basically Twilight for people who don't congratulate themselves on knowing who Shakespeare is but are overwhelmingly impressed with their knowledge of Christopher Marlowe's existence. For the purposes of this post knowing that the female protagonist, Diana Bishop, is an author insert if ever there was one and the love interest is Matthew, a millenia-old vampire of unspeakable beauty who is hopelessly smitten with said protagonist due to....reasons, is already more than you need to know.

It isn't my place or right to criticize another writer, especially one who can, you know, finish a book, which already makes her way more talented and accomplished than me, but I do have a question for anyone, Harkness, Meyer, all their ilk who write romance novels with a vampire as the hero. Exactly why must they all have cold skin?

Every vampire romance novel I've heard of in recent years has made a point of describing the vampires as having skin as cold and pale as snow. They linger lovingly over this detail, and remind the reader of it at least once per chapter, lest we forget how ethereally unhuman they are. And that's fine. I get why a creature who avoids sunlight and is essentially a perfectly preserved corpse is cold and white. There's a logic in that. And if those descriptions went only that far, I could live with it. But these are romance novels, so we know at one point in the series, if not the individual story, we are getting a sex scene. And at some point, that scene is going to mention again how cold a vampire's skin is.

It doesn't take a discerning reader to realize that these sex scenes are blatant culminations of a fantasy wherein a gorgeous man/rakish bad boy who has dodged love and commitment for centuries consummates his love with the self-appointed Plain Jane who has reformed him from his wicked ways because she and her love are just so indefinably "special". Clearly they are designed to titillate the reader, who is at this point picturing herself as the heroine, having wild, biologically impossible, endlessly thrilling sex.

With a dicksicle.

The most egregious thing is that these novels are written, for the most part, by women. Women, who are tapping out their fantasy sex lives on gorgeous antique typewriters like real authors use, and the thing they apparently all crave in bed is a popsicle shoved up their hoo-has.

I must ask all female readers and writers alike, when did this become a thing? These books sell like hotcakes and 99 times out of a hundred it's not due to the elegant prose or rich plots, so am I now in the minority because I don't want to flash freeze my lady parts?

I'm not saying I don't get the appeal of ice cubes during funtimes...especially in the summer when the air conditioner is broken. But they are supposed to stay out of the main event. I don't know what woman went to the gynecologist for her annual check-up and decided she wanted to enjoy the fun an icy speculum brings to the party on a regular basis, but I do want to know why she decided to tell the world that she was not alone in her frozen fetish.

And I'd also like to point out that she's a liar and a gross minority before the trend escalates and guys start taking ice showers before sex in a sweet but wildly misguided attempt to please their partners. Please don't do that.

At least not without asking.