Tag Archives: nerdiness

4 Reasons Why I Had the Best Anniversary Weekend Ever

Or, 4 Reasons Why, If You Live in the Detroit Metro Area and Frequent Zoos or Used Bookstores, You May Have Witnessed Some Weird Girl Seriously Geeking Out

1. My OED dream came true.

For years I’ve fantasized about owning my very own copy of the world’s most amazing dictionary. What’s so amazing, you ask? (Shhh. We’re pretending you did actually ask.) Well, for starters, let’s look at this quote from the preface of the 1933 edition:

“The aim of this Dictionary is to present in alphabetical series the words that have formed the English vocabulary from the time of the earliest records [ca. AD740] down to the present day, with all the relevant facts concerning their form, sense-history, pronunciation, and etymology. It embraces not only the standard language of literature and conversation, whether current at the moment, or obsolete, or archaic, but also the main technical vocabulary, and a large measure of dialectal usage and slang.”

In other words, let’s define every single word ever used in the English language and then, because that’s not awesome enough, let’s also track its history and usage in meticulous detail and illustrate with examples from literature so that entries for words like “red” require eight whole pages. There is only one response to that, and it is ::SWOON::. (If you’d like to read more about the fascinating history of the dictionary’s creation, which required decades to complete, I enthusiastically recommend The Professor and the Mad Man by Simon Winchester.) So anywho, I’ve been salivating over the OED for ages but I’ve never had a freaking fortune to spend on one. I’ve just been yearning from afar until Friday when I found a used compact 1991 edition in beautiful condition at John K. King Used and Rare Books in downtown Detroit. And—brace yourself—it was only $45. Seriously, y’all. I am not even joking. Of course it didn’t come with its original slipcase and magnifying glass, but who needs that? I picked up a $20 4x dome magnifier at Barnes & Noble and I’m set. For $65 I have what Amazon is selling for $360. If I had a trumpet, I’d be playing fanfares in your face right now.

This compact edition is a micrographic reproduction of the original 20-volume set, meaning there are 9 tiny pages on each large page which must be read using a magnifier. It’s ideal for people with empty wallets and full bookshelves (i.e., me).

2. I enjoyed The Avengers so much I think I have to nominate it for “Best Movie Autumn Has Seen In, Like, A Long Time.”

I saw Thor, which was only ok, and I was also disappointed in the lackluster Iron Man 2, so I never even bothered to see Captain America after it got mediocre reviews. Thus my expectations for The Avengers were pretty low. Wow, did I get my socks knocked off. The action sequences were after a girl’s own Die-Hard-loving-heart, the characters were so artfully developed that my English major soul was leaping for joy, and the constant injections of humor kept the whole thing beautifully balanced between tension, poignancy, and fun. In fact, it was so good that we saw it twice, and we caught the 3D show for the second time around—even more awesomeness. The graphics are just stunning. Go see it right now!

3. I saw a red panda at the Detroit Zoo.

This animal is so cute it makes me want to die. And if you don’t know what a red panda is, check out these pictures first. Then watch the video below. Say goodbye to your reason and prepare to hyperventilate from all the awwww-ing.

And I actually saw one in the flesh! Walking around on its widdle furry paws wiv its widdle fuzzy face and fwuffy stripey tail ANNNNHHH ::blackout::


4. I did it all with the husband.

I feel sorry for everyone who didn’t marry him. He’s my favorite person on the planet and all the things I want to do and see in this big wide world would be completely blah if he weren’t there too. Look at us. Aren’t we presh? Five years, people. #winning

Our pictures together are a constant (painful) reminder of my dwarfishness.

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4 Reasons Why I Do Want Kids

Or, 4 Reasons Why I Second-Guess Myself When I Decide I Don’t Want Kids

1. If I had a baby, I could dress it in this.

From Geekling Designs on Etsy.

Not to mention other ridiculously precious and tiny articles of clothing and footwear. I mean, have you seen the kinds of things they make for babies these days? I can hardly walk past the baby department in Target without blowing a brain fuse from all the cuteness. If you see me in there wandering around with a vacant look and drool on my chin, that’s why. Just move on. Nothing to see here.

2. I’d be doing something meaningful with my life.

Raising a child is probably one of the most important and amazing things a person can do—the more so because it’s freaking hard work. And I’m the world’s most obnoxious over-achiever, so if I don’t have a kid I’ll feel like my life is futile and insignificant. I realize how unreasonable that sounds, but I also realize how unreasonable it is to attempt to keep the spice rack in alphabetical order. Doesn’t stop me from doing it.

3. Kids are fun.

Seriously, it’s kind of a drag being a grownup. Holidays and special events are dull. Life is an endless cycle of responsibility and boring chores (feed self, feed cats, pay bills, worry about money, clean house). And although I do occasionally color a picture or blow some bubbles, the zest is gone. Having children would mean feeling excited again about Christmas morning and birthdays and playing games and taking trips to fun places.

See what I mean? Don’t you remember how everything was awesome and entertaining when you were a kid? How much you looked forward to stuff? I do, but now I’m just old and curmudgeonly. I need some youthful enthusiasm around here before I turn into a grinch.

4. The warm fuzzies.

I have a husband and a family (not to mention four cats) I care very much for, and they all bring me a good deal of joy and fulfillment. But I know that parents feel a totally unique kind of love for their children—a feeling that no other experience in the world can give. I want that, even though I know I’d be trading sanity and time and energy and peace and independence for it (and also in spite of the fact that my reasons-to-not-have-kids list is actually longer than this one ::nervous laugh::). The heart wants what the heart wants, amirite?

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3 Reasons Why I Fear My Book-Nerdness Has Finally Become Straight Up Neurosis

Or, 3 Reasons Why I’m Surprised I Can Function Socially (Well, Sort of Function)

1. Constant allusiveness.

Last week during a bleary-eyed walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I thought “Gah, this sucks, I feel like Gandalf finding a path through the mines of Moria.” It didn’t help that I caught sight of Piglet lurking in the shadows like a balrog.


Anyway, see what this means? I’m not even having original thoughts any more. My inner monologue is now just an unending stream of book excerpts—and currently it seems to rely heavily on a mixture of Hamlet, P.G. Wodehouse novels, and exclamatory expressions used by Nero Wolfe (pfui!).

2. Obsession not only with books but also with lists of books.

I recently spent an entire afternoon reorganizing my main Goodreads list into a number of more granular lists dedicated to various categories, in order to better analyze my reading habits and preferences. Here are some pie charts demonstrating the results (predilection for pie charts is another daily struggle).

BY ERA: I omitted a large chunk of classic literature before the 1800s, but that category would be almost exclusively things I read for high school and college classes, and I’m just trying to track my preferences in leisure reading.
BY GENRE: There is some overlap between children/young adult and the other genres, but I decided that the CYA designation is primary and the others secondary, especially considering the aforementioned purpose of this analysis. 

Here’s a bar graph illustrating how little you care.

Levels of Interest

According to my calculations, I’m higher on the list than televised golf tournaments. But just barely.

3. Severe withdrawals.

I invariably experience a period of malaise after reading a truly good novel, during which I mope and fret and dismiss all other books as weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable. This condition is even more acute following completion of a series. When I finished Deathly Hallows, for instance, I sank into despondence so deep that it took weeks before I had the heart to pick up another book, and it was a challenge just to keep my hair brushed and eat something besides peanut-butter toast. You know there’s something wrong when your reading habits directly result in the consumption of three jars of Skippy Natural.

Omg DELICIOUS, even when you’re not so depressed that you maunder about in a bathrobe drinking milk from the jug and making pathetic attempts to cast Cheering Charms.

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