Saturday, June 30, 2012

What is a Nerd?

Celebrate your nerdiness!

I'm currently reading American Nerd: The Story of My People and finding it insanely interesting. It  is, as expected, a very nerdy book that explains the history and dynamics behind what is commonly considered a nerd.

In the beginning of the book, Benjamin Nugent, the author of the book, gives his opinion of what exactly a nerd is. I agreed with him on some points and disagreed on others.

I, having been classified as a nerd by myself and many others, thought it would be an interesting exercise to write a post on what my definition of a nerd would be.

So here we go:

1) A nerd is almost always an enthusiastic learner. We enjoy learning new things and knowing that we're storing away knowledge. This doesn't, however, mean we're great at everything or enjoy learning about everything. We all have specific interests that we love amassing information on. For example, my brother is more of a tech nerd, so he's more interested in learning about javascript, html, and css. While I've dabbled in html, tech is not my expertise. I'm an avid reader and comic bird nerd that knows more about the technicalities behind tattooing, sociology, and DC Comics trivia than your average girl.

2) Nerds generally enjoy a good cosplay. I honestly haven't ever met a nerd who doesn't enjoy dressing up as their favorite character from a book, movie, or graphic novel. I've met a few who are more shy about it, but never one that thought the idea was stupid.

3) Nerds are passionate about at least one thing that isn't a social norm. I've noticed this just recently: there are some things it's socially acceptable to be passionate about (ie. sports, your occupation/future occupation, mainstream television shows, or even academics to an extent) and other things that aren't okay because it's not what everyone else is passionate about (ie. superheroes, sci-fi, too much reading, or video games). 

4) Nerds rarely enjoy massive amounts of physical activity. This one is more relative because I've seen a few exceptions to this, one being my younger brother. Generally, however, we tend to participate in activities that require little to no physical exertion. Common exceptions to this, however, are any activities that have an obvious nerd factor or make us feel more like the fictional characters we admire. Sword play/Fencing, other fighting techniques (ie. Tae Kwon Do or kick boxing), and fictional games (ie. Quidditch or water-bending wars) are the major categories of these exceptions. Generally these at least appeal to the majority of nerds, whether they pursue them or not.

5) Nerds have a large variety of different personalities. Unlike the generalized model one is often acquainted with, we come in many shapes and sizes. We can be arrogant or humble, introverted or extroverted, confrontational or non-confrontational. We aren't all cookie-cutter copies and we have a plethora of interests that span a wide variety of topics. In fact, I'm quite certain I've never met a nerd who didn't want to be a Renaissance man/woman (aka. someone who would like to be skilled in many differing areas, see Leonardo DaVinci). 

So that's a rough list of what a nerd looks like to me. You may agree or you may disagree. If you have something to add/comment on, feel free to leave it in the comments!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fun Stuff

She needed to wrap her "burn" too. 
So I almost used a picture of my nasty burn as the picture for this post. You're lucky I didn't. I just figured it had already nauseated enough people already. It looks much worse now than it did in the "day of" picture. You're welcome. You got an adorable picture of my niece instead.

For those of you who aren't up to date on my medical issues, I recently sustained major second degree burns on my thighs due to a Starbucks Venti Chamomile Tea landing in my lap. Fun stuff, right?

Anyway, I ended up going to hospital that day to get it treated. They prescribed a cream to fight off infection and hydrocodone (which I didn't take . . . I don't cope well with things that make me loopy).

On Tuesday, I went to the dermatologist to have them check up on it and they gave me more of the cream, along with some antibiotics. I have to go back on Friday to get a steroid cream that ought to prevent scarring.

So I've basically been bedridden since Sunday, since the location of the burn makes it difficult to walk. I'm thinking I'll be able to walk around a bit more tomorrow, though, which is good because I have stuff I desperately need to take care of (aka. fixing my haircut, turning in library books, going to appointments, etc.). In the meantime, I've been chilling on the couch in the living room and sleeping in my parents' bed (remember, they're in France), which is closest to me and also downstairs.

Also, guess who called Monday? A possible employer that wanted to set up an interview. *facepalm* This would happen the day after I wound myself. Thankfully, when I explained my situation, they said they could call back next week and schedule one then. Success! Prayers for getting this job would be much appreciated. I'm sick of the job hunt.

Back to the wound, I have relatively high pain tolerance in general, so it wasn't entirely unbearable. The worst part of the whole ordeal, pain-wise, was when I had to wash the wound Tuesday night. That was excruciating and, looking back, I should have made an exception to my "no hydrocodone" rule for that one. Only cried three times this week overall, though. I'm kind of a boss.

My little brother has been taking care of me all week, which is quite a task for anyone. He makes me food, brings me the things I need, and even gets clean clothes (including the dreaded underwear) for me when I clean my wound/take a bath, because my room is upstairs and that's currently out of the question. Chull is the best.

Starbucks, by the way, has contacted me recently and filed an incident report, since my injury was partially caused by a lack of following procedure. This means that I can send in the out-of-pocket expenses that I accumulated through this injury and they will review it and possible compensate me for it. Also, as an act of goodwill, they're sending me a gift card in the mail soon. So, thank you Starbucks! No hard feelings over here, but I'll definitely be sticking to cold drinks for a while.

Anyway, that's all for my little life update. Thanks for everyone who has taken care of me, asked about me, and prayed for me. Y'all are amazing!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer TBR List

Over at The Broke and the Bookish, they have this thing called Top Ten Tuesday. Each Tuesday they give other bloggers a chance to participate in making a top ten list with them. This week the topic at hand is this summer's To Be Read list. This is meant to be each person's top ten books they are excited about this summer. They could be new releases or old favorites that you're planning on rereading: whatever you choose!

I thought this sounded like a lovely blog post idea and couldn't pass up the chance to do it. . .

Read the rest of this post on my book review blog: Booklist That

Have a lovely day!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day, Pa!

Had to go to the hospital for second degree tea burns I sustained at Starbucks this morning.
Fun stuff.  (Yes, I'm blonde now.)

Had my grandma and good friend over to spoil me with a hot fudge sundae.

As you can see, Father's Day has been particularly interesting. But hey, at least it was memorable. Haha.

I love you, Pa. And it's a good thing I'm your favorite. ;)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Motivation and Reflection

I've just finished cleaning my desk in the hopes of spurring on my creativity by being organized. I feel like I've been slacking in my writing for the past couple of weeks, churning out my work just before my self-imposed deadlines (which I only end up enforcing because others are waiting for that work) and dragging my feet when it's time for me to write. I'm hoping that I can jumpstart my "writing juices" by getting myself to learn to sit down and focus more often than I normally do.
Thus the cleaning off of my desk.

It seems I get both reflective and motivated at night. Motivated in the sense that I do some of my best writing at night, probably get the most cleaning done (like my desk), and generally strive to create goals for myself or seek how I can do things differently, therefore improving my way of life. I become reflective in the sense that I start analyzing the things that are going on in my life, which inevitably ends up making me emotional because I tend to focus on the negative things. It was in that mood and state of being that Growing Up, my last blog post, was written.

This is where I find myself right now. I'm thinking up goals for myself and planning out art projects I'd like to complete quite soon. I'm mourning the impending and likely inevitable loss of a friendship while stressing over the job interview I had today.

I suppose I get restless when I'm up late and this causes my mind to slingshot through emotions and such. It's a bit irritating, but I learn a great deal about myself during these late night forays into the depths of my own mind. Sometimes I'm not sure if this is something to be desired or cautiously avoided. There are times when it hurts to mess with old wounds or try to clean up new ones, but if we don't examine those wounds, we can't clean them and ultimately stimulate healing. It's a frustrating chain of events. I'm the sort that likes to coddle my emotional wounds and bottle them up until they become unhealthy and begin to fester. Let's just say I'm not great with emotions.

It's probably quite obvious that I'm writing this late at night and I wonder if it will even be coherent to all of you. Oh well. Maybe that just means I need to start getting some sleep and cut down on the "exploration of my inner self." It's rather uncomfortable, after all.

Then again, some of the most beautiful things emerge from discomfort.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Growing Up

My brother. Yes, that's a half-chewed grape in his mouth.
Growing up is a terrifying ordeal.

I guess I'd better specify exactly what it is I mean by "growing up." When I refer to growing up, I am basically referring to the age group consisting of seventeen to twenty-two year olds (and possibly older). This is a time in nearly everyone's life where they are trying to figure out exactly what they want to get out of life and how they are meant to make that happen.

This sentiment -- this feeling of terror in the face of the unknown -- is one that many are familiar with. Still, the realization that others are dealing with they exact same questions you are trying to tackle somehow doesn't make you feel much better. This is likely because we all realize that these aren't questions that anyone else can truly answer for us; rather, they are decisions we each have to make on  our own.

Up until now, our parents have been the decision-makers in most of the big dilemmas our life has presented us with. They generally had the final say at the very least. Now we're supposed to strike out on our own to "find our fortunes" ( that's a Howl's Moving Castle reference, for those who care). It's terrifying and exhilarating all at once.

On the one hand, it's scary trying to move from being supported to supporting yourself, finding where you fit, and where you want to be. On the other hand, it's wonderful when you feel like you're finally getting closer to accomplishing those dreams you've desired for so long and it feels like the world is at your fingertips.

Coming from my own prospective, I have the potential and the desire to become a published author. There's much I have to do in order for me to accomplish that dream, but it feels doable now. There are times when I can almost taste it. But there are also times when I feel like I'm looking through the wrong side of the telescope and all of my goals are comically out of reach. I feel out of place in my hometown (particularly after living in Paris, France) and I'm literally itching to get out of here, but my circumstances have determined that I stay for now.

It's like those cartoons from when I was a kid where the person trying to get the horse to move dangles a carrot in front of its nose to keep it going, but the carrot is always out of reach. There are times when I wonder if I'll ever reach the carrot at the end of the line or if it'll always just be a dream and never a reality.

I realize I sound a bit melodramatic and I apologize for that. Still, it's a legitimate feeling that I know I'm not alone in experiencing. It's a big world and there are so many opportunities to shoot for the moon; but at the same time, there's such a potential for failure that it can nearly paralyze a person at times.

All in all, I know its all in the hands of God. He knows exactly where I (and everyone else) need to be and if I listen and follow, I'll be able to finish the race. Trusting Him is key and listening to His voice is more than necessary.

Still, what I wouldn't do for a couple of neon signs to point the way for me right now . . .