Geek Girls Rule! #299 – What Makes a Geek? (Or at least this one, in particular)

So, Lisa from SingleHop found my blog and asked me if I’d be willing to be part of their Geekness Day roundup.  Given that I’m a sucker for writing to prompts, or answering questions other people ask me, I said sure.   They sent me some questions to contemplate in my blog for Geekness Day, mostly surrounding what makes me a geek, and contemplate I have.  And I poked around on their site a bit, to see if I wanted to be part of this.  They look pretty cool, and as a former IT professional, I can only encourage offsite backups, cloud-hosting is A-OK in my book.  (If you’re interested in online backups or the cloud you can check out the SingleHop cloud hosting page!)  So here goes.

We could be here all day if I were to list all the things that make me a geek.  I mean, we can start with my love of comics, Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy, role-playing games, videogames, computer games, board games, research, writing and reading fanfic, learning how to knit specifically so I could knit myself a life-sized Dalek to sulk in (no, I haven’t managed it yet, damn it), Legos, Playmobile, the fact that I have a library and a good 60% of it is SF/F, the other 40% is a combination of YA, mysteries, romance and non-fiction.

THIS AoA Nightcrawler panel to be exact... minus dying bad guys.  Just Kurt.
THIS AoA Nightcrawler panel to be exact… minus dying bad guys. Just Kurt.

Oh, yeah, I also have a shrine to Nightcrawler in my bedroom (and a very understanding husband)*, and a tattoo of Nightcrawler on my calf.  The Dave Cockrum Earth-616 Nightcrawler.  I’ve got plans for an Age of Apocalypse Nightcrawler on my other calf at some point.   Also, I help organize Science Fiction conventions, write SF/F and horror, design role-playing games, and have retained nearly every useless fact I’ve ever encountered (but cannot remember anyone’s birthday to save my life).

Last night at dinner, I sat down and explained the mechanics behind birth control for women, and why making a “pill for men” is so difficult, as well as outlining the progress that’s been made toward that goal.  I am not a scientist.

Oh, and my latest binge on Marvel Heroes started at 9:00 PM and ended around 4:00 AM, because I am a grown up.

I can quote entire Monty Python movies from memory, as well as most of the Black Adder series, Red Dwarf and many, many SF/F/Horror movies.

If I had to pick a favorite geeky quote, I don’t know that I could.  I mean, there are so many, for different situations.

Sometimes the Geek Husband What Rules and I re-enact the fight scene between Mercutio and Tybalt from Romeo + Juliet while grocery shopping, because having heated Elizabethan arguments in the grocery store makes us both laugh until we can’t breathe.

I used to do IT, so sometimes if something goes wrong, I’ll look at the GHWR and say, “Have you tried turning it off and on again?”**  Doesn’t matter what it is.  I’ve actually said it concerning one of the cats.

If something goes really wrong, we’ll look at each other and say, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.”***

And, if I’m not feeling like discussing something, I just look at him and ask, “Who’s Queen?”****  That one doesn’t work as often as I’d like it to.

My Dad is the one who got me into SF/F/Horror as a child.  I still don’t know what the hell he was thinking handing an 8 year old “The Colour Out of Space.”  Actually, I do know what he was thinking:  “Jesus Christ, kid. I know you’ve read all your books.  Here, just read this one and quit whining about going to the bookstore for the third time this week!”  He was thinking the same thing my mother was when she handed me a volume of Walt Whitman poems that same year.  My folks always said that they would never discourage a child from reading.

Then they got me.

I recently reconnected with my first “middle school boyfriend” on Linked In.  I know, totally ridiculous.  He was telling me about one of his daughters, and he said, “She reminds me of you, because she reads like it’s breathing.”

Yup, that about sums it up.  I LOVE ebooks for the fact that I can now cram dozens of books in my bag and not throw my back out trying to lift it.  I gave myself tendinitis reading Steven Erikson’s Malazan series at the gym, by holding the gigantic books up one-handed while on the exercise bikes.  I’ve got a bag full of books, notebooks, magazines…  I think the only time I didn’t read for fun was when I was in grad school, because I didn’t have any time.  But then I’d get that week or two off between quarters, and I’d park myself on my couch and just read all break.  One break I averaged three good-sized novels a day.

Anyhow, on to geek role models.

Most of my geek icons were dudes, because that’s what there was.  Encyclopedia Brown figured largely in my nerd lexicon, The Mad Scientists’ Club, The Three Investigators.

I didn’t really have any nerdy women role models.  Not in the way of knowing other female geeks and looking up to them.  I think the first positive representation of a female nerd I ever saw was Jordan in Real Genius, which remains one of my favorite movies to this day.  She was good with her nerdness, and Chris really liked her for her nerdness.  She didn’t have to “take off her glasses and let down her hair” to be sexy and therefore desirable.

I’ve talked before about the lack of female nerd role models, and the  disappearing of female geeks from the discourse, by both geeky dudes and non-geeky women who discuss geekdom as if it were this monolith of “Nice Guy ™” behavior, and didn’t involve, and hadn’t always involved, a whole hell of a lot of women.  There have always been female nerds, geeks, whatever you want to call us.  We’re here in spite of all the stupid roadblocks thrown up in our way, and you can’t run us off now.

I’m a nerdy woman, who has always been a nerdy woman, and will always be a nerdy woman.  I wear my Geekness proudly, and let the freak flag fly every chance I get. *****

That’s how I’m a Geek.

If you like the blog or the podcast,  please, please, please donate to keep us going, and fund more combat boots for stomping the patriarchy.  Donations go to pay for the podcast hosting and website domain, primarily.

Oh, and Honey Badger’s first two songs are available for download here, for free or pay what you want.  We’re also part of a larger compilation to benefit a local venue, with a song written by yours truly.  Check it out (we’re track 16).   We’re going in to the studio to finish the new EP in late August, I caught the plague, so haven’t been up to vocals.  We’ll also be in Portland, OR on August 15th for a show. 

Remember we’ve got the GGR TwitterTumblr and Facebook page.

*How understanding, you might ask?  Just now, he saw me searching for that Nightcrawler image, saw an image of an action figure I don’t have yet, and said, “We’ll have to hop on Ebay and see if we can find that one for you.”  I love this man. 
**The IT Crowd

****Black Adder II
*****Like I have a choice. 

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