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Nerd Pride June 19, 2009

Posted by Sparkel in books & movies & shows, to friend or not to friend.
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I am going to the beach for July 4th weekend with M’s sister and some of her friends, so they decided that we should get together and discuss money, transportation, etc. for the trip.  We had a bbq the other weekend, which two friends of M’s sister who have somewhat become friends of mine, attended.  One of the friends is reading the Twilight series, which I am a fan of.  We delved into a discussion about the last book and were almost immediately teased.  M’s sister brought up that I am currently re-reading the Harry Potter series, and said that she sees me reading every night into the wee hours and that she just doesn’t understand how anyone could like reading that much, or like to read “those books.”

My initial response was ‘what a close-minded idiot.’ I expected everyone else there to scoff at her and tell her that both series are actually quite enjoyable and that reading is awesome.

Instead I was greeted with a chorus of jeers and derogatory questions about what I could possibly see in reading, that it’s something done only by losers with nothing better to do and nerds.


Nerd [nɚd] is a term often bearing a derogatory connotation or stereotype, that refers to a person who passionately pursues intellectual activities, esoteric knowledge, or other obscure interests rather than engaging in more social or popular activities. Therefore, a nerd is often excluded from physical activity and considered a loner by peers or will tend to associate with like-minded people.

Now, maybe I am a little strange, but this definition makes me beam with pride.  I have been teased, called “four-eyes” and “loser” and “nerd girl” for as long as I can remember by people I genuinely just rolled all four of my eyes at and regarded as utter morons who were jealous because their imagination didn’t stretch as far, and thought ‘wow it must really suck to be that dumb’ so I would just cock my head and give a sympathetic look instead of crying like they so obviously wanted.

I spent my formative years feeling different and like an outcast.  And I’ve spent the last decade feeling a kinship with those who don’t think it’s weird to look forward to new releases and to read your favorite book until it’s so worn that pages start falling out and you’re forced to buy another copy.  Who don’t find it strange for a person’s idea of fun to be perusing Barnes and Noble and used book stores.  Who think a third of every paycheck being spent on books is money well spent.

I know I am not alone in my Harry Potter love and Twilight squee’s because JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer are millionaires several times over.  Rowling is actually a billionaire.  Plus the stories are so difficult to put down!!  Harry Potter is so. freaking. GOOD!!

I tried explaining this to bitch-faces and little giggles that brought me back to middle school.  I was outnumbered and immediately defensive, telling two of the girls who are expecting that I realize it’s obviously too late for them to develop any kind of interest in something other than themselves, but that the people I really feel sorry for are their children.  Not only with they likely be illiterate until they begin school and are forced to read, they will probably develop the same close-minded jeering at those who enjoy taking their minds to wonderful places, and that the world will suffer for having more people like that in it.

Needless to say, the beach should be tons of fun.

(Especially when I pull Harry Potter out of my tote and settle in for some much needed beach-reading.  I’m on book 5, and have hardbacks of books 6 and 7, which are kind of huge and very heavy.  DO NOT TEMPT ME BIAS!)

I just want to make it clear that if you do not like to read, that’s fine.  Really it is.  But just as you cannot understand doing something you claim is mindnumbingly boring with your precious spare time, I, and others like me, cannot understand not wanting to read and enjoying it immensely.  There are books that I cannot imagine not reading before I leave this world.  There are times when I cannot sit still at my desk because I am so eager to get back to whatever I was reading in my car before begrudgingly walking to work.

I can promise that I will not question your choice of what to do with your time if you do not make fun of what I decide to do with mine.

As quoted from a most enjoyable movie, “don’t tease me about my hobbies. I don’t tease you about being an asshole.”



Bored=Meme about reading and books (woot!) July 30, 2008

Posted by Sparkel in books & movies & shows, meme.
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Do you remember how you developed a love of reading?
My parents always read a lot, and constantly took us to the library or a book store. My siblings and I each had our own bookshelves in our rooms, and my parents kept a huge one in the living room and several in hallways. I remember always finding it so strange if I went to a friends house and they didn’t have books everywhere.  A common question in my house has always been “what are you reading?” rather than “are you reading anything?”, so it was pretty much assumed that we would all love to read.

What are some books you loved as a child?
Anything by Shel Silverstein, this great children’s encyclopedia my parents got that I read letter by letter one summer, The Bearenstein Bears books, Dr. Seuss books, Calvin and Hobbes collections, the Ramona books, The Baby Sitters Club series, Nancy Drew books, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, A Promise is a Promise, those scary story collections, and many, many more.

What is your favorite genre?
Fiction. But not really chick-lit.

Do you have a favorite novel?
Several: The Time Traveler’s Wife, the Twilight series, Atlas Shrugged, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Atonement, Harry Potter series, etc.

Where do you usually read?
In my car during red lights, while waiting in line, at Starbucks before work sometimes, in my cozy chair in my room, or on the couch in the living room.

When do you usually read?
Usually whenever I have to wait for something or someone if I’m out (I carry books at all times), before work, or before I go to sleep.

Do you usually have more than one book you are reading at a time?
Sometimes I’m between books and just want to go back and read certain parts from certain books.

Do you read nonfiction in a different way or place than you read fiction?
Nope. But to be fair, I don’t read as much nonfiction as I’d like or probably should.

Do you buy most of the books you read, or borrow them, or check them out from the library?
I buy them.

Do you keep most of the books you buy?
Yes, it’s very rare that I’ll give away a book, but I usually lend them once I’m done.

If you have children, what are some of the favorite books you have shared with them?
I don’t have children, but if I do I could name hundreds of books I’d love to share with them, such as The Giving Tree, Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny, Where the Wild Things Are, Corduroy, Love You Forever, Where the Sidewalk Ends, The Lorax, Are You My Mother?, Clifford, Amelia Bedelia, The Paper Bag Princess, and so many more.

What are you reading now?
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

Do you keep a To Be Read List?

What’s next?
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer. Can. Not. Wait!!

Favorite book to read over and over?
The Twilight books, The Time Traveler’s Wife, and any of the Calvin and Hobbes collections.

Squeee!!! April 18, 2008

Posted by Sparkel in books & movies & shows.

It’s no secret that I kinda sorta wanna get engaged some of the time (like when I’m not terrified of it and all that it entails.)  But let me tell you something… right now, I am about NINETY FIVE TRILLION times more excited about Jim and Pam getting engaged that I am thinking about me getting engaged.  WHO SAW THE OFFICE LAST NIGHT???

Gaaaaaaah could they be any cuter?  I think the “SQUEEEE!!!!!!!!!!”‘s are still echoing throughout my neighborhood.

Do YOU wanna talk about No Country For Old Men? March 19, 2008

Posted by Sparkel in books & movies & shows, I kinda love my life, meee.

I haven’t really posted for a while. Mostly because when I open the “write post” tab, I have a tendency to sit, tapping the keyboard while I wait for inspiration to just strike like lightning. When it didn’t I felt disappointed or bored and went onto more exciting things, like reading other blogs or some of my favorite sites.

Then I decided something. I said to myself “Self, why not read those books that have been piling up for months? Why not clean your room? Your car? Watch some movies? Write some reviews? Write some short stories!” What the heck am I waiting for? So, I started my revamp by reading every day. My usual schedule is to work from 7 until 3 or 4, then come home and lay around watching TV for an hour or so until I pick up M from the metro. Now, I read pretty quickly. I could finish a decent number of pages in an hour or so. So I’d come home and instead of turning on my TV I’d go straight to my “reading chair.” I read Stephen King’s On Writing, The Time Traveler’s Wife (again), Birdsong, What is the What, Atonement (again), The Other Boleyn Girl, Like Life, and I just started On My Own Two Feet (mostly because I’m getting a very decent tax return and I need to think smart this time.) I also decided to watch more films, and courtesy of Netflix and a wonderful site that has tons of movies for FREE (always key), I have watched more movies than I can remember lately.

The one that stuck out is No Country for Old Men. Suuuuch a good movie. It hits you like a gentle tap on the shoulder 20 minutes after the credits roll and you’re initially all “wait, that’s it??” Which I gotta be honest, I was not expecting. I don’t usually do well with violence, and from the previews I was all “this movie is gonna mind-fuck me hard.” But I liked it. A lot. And while I love M dearly, he’s not exactly um…fond of discussing books and film in depth. So I’ve been all “do YOU wanna talk about NCFOM?” to everyone. Unfortunately not too many of my nearest and dearest have seen it. I’m dying here people! So, I ask (or, you know, beg): do you wanna talk about No Country For Old Men?

So, thanks to these books and movies, I feel immensely more brilliant. Also, grateful for my sudden need to break from technology (well, some technology) because on Saturday I dropped my laptop, so it’s with the Geek Squad for the next two weeks. It’s been rough, but not as rough as it could have been.

Lastly I ask you; what books or movies have you read or watched lately that you’ve enjoyed?

Strike November 6, 2007

Posted by Sparkel in books & movies & shows.
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I feel completely devastated by the WGA strike.  Most of the shows I adore will go into sydication within the next month, and they’re saying it may last so long that the seasons will be considered complete, which means the shows won’t come back until September of 2008.  As disappointed as I feel, I completely see where the writers are coming from, and hope that all shows continue to completely shut down so the effects of the strike will be felt by the ridiculously self-centered studio execs and everyone can go back to work.  I’m reading about big names like Steve Carell, Tina Fey, JJ Abrams and Joss Whedon joining the picket lines and refusing to go to work.  Jon Stewart arranged to have the entire staffs of his show and The Colbert Report paid for the next two weeks.  Fans are joining the picket lines (some even sent pizzas to the protestors), and actors are going on coffee and snack runs.  This email from Shonda Rhimes (the creator of Grey’s Anatomy) gave me goosebumps:

I have to tell all of you that this email directly reflects the stance I came to over a very long night in New York. I absolutely believed that I would edit our episodes. Until a thought hit me: how can I walk a picket line and then continue to essentially work? How am I supposed to look at myself in the mirror or look at my child years from now and know that I did not have the courage of my convictions to stand up and put myself more at risk than anyone else? So I choose not to render my services as a producer. I choose to honor the strike. And I am proud that you all stand with me.

I will miss my shows, as I’m sure you will miss your shows.  I have so much respect for what they’re doing, and how much they’re willing to risk losing to prove they won’t be disregarded and walked on.  I just REALLY hope it’s resolved soon. 

Inertia October 26, 2007

Posted by Sparkel in books & movies & shows, food for thought, M, meee, realizations.
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I wasn’t going to write about this, mostly because I was a little humiliated and stung afterward, but the other day M and I got into an argument and he told me that I’m “wasting my life.”

He said I don’t want to do anything to move forward and succeed in life.  That I’m perfectly content with working at a job that bores me and has nothing to do with my field, I don’t put enough effort into school, and when I get home all I want to do is go online or watch TV.  He said that there are times when he gets so frustrated that he can’t stand to be in the same room as me.  That he can’t understand why I don’t see that I have all the potential it takes to do whatever I want to do, and that it breaks his heart that I just don’t try and seemingly don’t care. 

It’s the first time anyone’s commented on my ambition (or lack thereof) and it’s been on my mind ever since.  I’m not mad at him.  My first reaction was to get defensive, but also for the first time in my life, I couldn’t come up with one comeback, one excuse.  I just sat there, stunned and feeling ashamed. 

Because the thing is…he’s right.  I am lazy.  I have dreams that are never realized.  I’ve wanted to travel to Europe for YEARS.  And when anyone asks why I haven’t, I have no real answer.  I have a list of books I want to read, and piles and piles at home that remain untouched.  I don’t feel like being in school.  I just want that damn degree.  But then what?  Why do I stay at my job?  I always said it’s because the pay is good and I have a flexible schedule, which is perfect while I’m in school.  But I’m not getting the experience I’ll need here.  

The other night M asked me “what would make you happy?”  I’m slowly figuring it out.  The one thing I know, and told him is:  I want to work in TV or film.  I’ve just always thought it’s unrealistic.  And since the pessimist (or realist) in me has accepted that unfortunate fate, the closest I get is watching TV and reading about TV.  And for right this second, that’s enough. 

And then he showed me (again) why I love him.

He sighed, put his arm around my shoulders and said “if you want to work in TV or film, and that will make you happy, then you have to do it.  And it’s not unrealistic.  Hundreds of people do it.  Not many people know what they want to do, ever.  You know what you want, and you have a passion for it.  If we have to live in New York or California, if you need to work 18 hour days, if we need to put off having kids, we’ll do it.  I’d move anywhere with you, and do anything for you.  I want you, and only you.  And more than that, I want you to be happy.”

I hugged him, started to cry, and whispered “I’m sorry I’m such a failure and that I’ve wasted so much time.  I am wasting my life.”  He kissed my forehead and said “you aren’t a failure.  You’re amazing and your smart and talented.  You have more potential than anyone I know.  You just need to do something with it.”

We watched The Office last night, and I told M “you know why I relate to Jim so much?”
He said “you are him.”  I laughed and sighed and said “well, at least I’m not alone.”

Please tell me I’m not alone in feeling lost, sometimes ambition-less and sometimes just plain lazy.

Le sigh October 19, 2007

Posted by Sparkel in books & movies & shows.
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How extraordinarily amazing was The Office tonight?  Gaaahhh…I can’t not smile.

It’s nice that when money, work, school, etc. is pretty much blah, something can still make your day or give you something to look forward to.  This is why I love TV.  (Well, one of the many reasons.)  TV does not care if you get fired, broken up with, things thrown at you, whatever.  It will offer entertainment, comfort and smiles.  I get more excited about Jim and Pam than I do about many, many other things.  While this may be sad or pathetic or whatever… I dunno. 

It seems fitting to quote a show here, so… from Cheers:

Everyone has one true love. It could be a person. It could be a thing. It doesn’t matter. As long as you love it completely and without judgment.  You always find yourself coming back to your one true love.

I read that the other day and immediately realized that (as pathetic as it probably is) my one true love is my tv shows.  I can watch them over and over, obsess over them, read about them… I read TWOP, where I post every now and again, and just feel so. goddamn. comforted in knowing that I’m not the only one who takes my love to this level.  I hope that I am able to get a job in TV because I cannot imagine being truly happy doing anything else. Y’all probably think I am the biggest freak.  But I am a happy freak, which is something 😀

The Real World October 18, 2007

Posted by Sparkel in books & movies & shows.
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After watching the latest episode of The Real World: Sydney;

M: What the hell is wrong with all of these people?
K: I know.  They’re all freaking crazy.
M: If I were in Sydney ALL EXPENSES PAID for four months you would never see me at the house.  I would go sightseeing every day.
K: They don’t care about sights!  They just want to get drunk, have sex, and throw things at each other.
M: What a waste.
K: Of air.
M: And money.
K: They should so do a season in a mental institution. 
M: Ha!  Ok- This is the true story of seven disgustingly self-absorbed, crazy-ass strangers
K: Picked to be comitted (*all the cast members in unision*: “WHAT??”)
M: and have their treatment taped.  Find out what happens-
K: when people stop acting like dumb-ass drama queens
M: And finally become fit for society.  The Real World!-
K: Seven Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Short and random October 16, 2007

Posted by Sparkel in books & movies & shows.
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No, I’m not describing myself.  I’m somewhat tall 😀

Not too much has been going on…

M and I watched Open Water 2 the other night (courtesy of Fear Net.)  That movie was just…ridiculous.  They’re stuck in the ocean next to a yacht because they all went in and forgot to let the ladder down.  There is not one damn shark in the entire movie, and they’re only in the water for an afternoon, and yet somehow 4 out of 6 people manage to die.  One guy bangs his head, one guy stabs another, one girl swims for shore and you never find out what happens to her but just kind of assume that she dies, and one girl just lets herself drown after whining endlessly that she doesn’t want to die.  Dumbest people EVER.  Oh, and it’s supposedly based on true events.  You’d think if it were, the families would be too embarrassed about the utter lack of intelligence of their family members.  It was entertaining though.

As is I Love New York 2.  I floooove that show.  M and I watched the first season religiously.  ILNY and Flavor of Love are seriously the most entertaining shows on television. 

Gotta finish some things before I leave…

Hooray for Office Thursdays! October 11, 2007

Posted by Sparkel in books & movies & shows.

Do you ever fall asleep while you’re doing something (watching TV, reading, studying, playing around online, etc.) and when you wake up you’re really confused?  You don’t remember falling asleep or what you need to do today (because you can’t remember what today is) or maybe even where you live (I actually woke up this morning, sat up, squinted at M and asked “where are we?”  M: “um…our room?”)  Because I have awesome priorities, my next question was “Is The Office on tonight?”  (M: *patting my head* “yes, my little weirdo.”)  Yay for Office Thursdays!!!  The very best night of the week!