I saw this meme earlier today and thought it described me to a ‘T.’ I have always been a geek. I wouldn’t have originally described myself as such, but other people have and it stuck.
When I was in high school I was kind of ashamed of how uncool I and the stuff I was interested in was, but as I have gotten older I’ve taken pride in being a geek and loving the stuff I do. Luckily, my husband shares a lot of my interests.
I have nerd cred.
Once in second grade I was late getting to where my mom was parked after school. A bully (who later wrote me love letters, but that’s another story) pushed me down on the ground, sat on my back, and forced me to eat gross dried out playground grass. It was awful. That began the crappy time period between elementary and the end high school where I was made fun of or ignored for being different.
In high school, instead of lettering in a sport, I lettered in Scholar’s Bowl. I have broken pretty much every single pair of glasses that I have ever owned, multiple times because I was hit in the face with a basketball in gym class. Yep, I was more than once the kid who had glasses held together with tape. When the school secretary had to be absent in the afternoons, my principal would ask me to sit at her desk and answer the phone and even to fill in for the school librarian once.
At an early age I found a love of reading and voraciously devoured science fiction and fantasy novels. I also found television shows like Wonder Woman and The Incredible Hulk, which began my fondness for superheroes and graphic novels. I became fascinated with Star Wars, Star Trek, and anything to do with space. My whole family sat down together to watch The X-Files and Star Trek: The Next Generation.
As an adult, I have attended Comic-Cons in Denver and Kansas City with my husband and have seen so many like-minded souls. It has been so inspiring and validating to see others who love movies, fandoms, comics, and characters as much as I do.
Lately my husband and I have been introducing our kids to Star Trek and Star Wars. In doing so, I’ve been thinking about some of the “geeky” things that I love and why I enjoy them. Here is just a short list:
I discovered Star Wars when I was very young in the early 1980’s. I wanted to be Princess Leia. I thought R2D2 and C3PO were the coolest droids ever. I loved Yoda and the Ewoks. I wanted to live among the trees in the Ewok village. I’ve always felt that Star Wars is the ultimate Good vs. Evil saga, and who doesn’t love one of those? While I have enjoyed the new movies, I detest the prequel movies that came out in the late 1990’s-early 2000’s, and my favorite will always be the three original episodes. A few years ago it was really cool view a Star Wars exhibition and see so many pieces of Star Wars history.
I became aware of Star Trek a little later than Star Wars. I remember watching the movies on television and just being amazed by the heroics of the crew of the Enterprise. I idolized Uhura because she was one of the first women (and black woman) with a prominent role on the bridge of a starship and exploring the universe. She made me feel like I could go to space and I told Nichelle Nichols so too.
I have seen every episode of Star Trek (some several times), with the exception of the second season of Discovery. To me, Star Trek is a wonderful embodiment and social commentary about how the human race is able to move past issues like war, racism, sexism, poverty, illness, and capitalism, to better ourselves and explore the unknown.
Just so you know, I think the J.J. Abrams movies suck and I don’t consider them Star Trek movies. They are action movies labeled as Star Trek but dumbed down for people who aren’t Trekkies. I hope that with the resurgence of Patrick Stewart as Picard, a new STNG movie will be made.
I got into Doctor Who late. I started watching with Nine and was hooked. I love the concept of being able to go anywhere in time or space and also the thought that there are people out there that care for strangers and will help them even if it poses danger to themselves. My husband would probably say that I am obsessed with the show.
I know this sounds silly, but on days where I am exasperated at work and I feel like giving up, I change my instant messaging avatar to a photo of the TARDIS. No one but me knows what it is, but it is like my Bat Signal… I keep hoping that one day the Doctor will notice and take me away.
I love reading DC Comics’ The New 52 Wonder Woman, Batgirl, and Supergirl. I love classics like V for Vendetta and Ms. Marvel. When I had hip surgery a few years ago I quickly devoured Compendium One and Two of The Walking Dead and I am working on Compendium Three right now. Until I started reading The Walking Dead during my recovery from surgery, I would say I was a book snob- I had never thought that a story told mainly through imagery could be so exciting or captivating. My husband has a couple boxes of The X-Men and Batman that I want to read and my dad has a box full of his comic book collection from the 1960’s that I’d love to get into.
If you couldn’t already tell, I dig superheroes. Wonder Woman is my favorite. I could probably still recite most of the lines from the Christopher Reeve Superman movies of my childhood. I like Captain America, Thor, and the Black Panther, but a lot of other Marvel characters just aren’t my thing. I think the idea of someone dedicating their life to helping others is valiant. While I don’t care for how oversexualized women are often portrayed in comics, but as a feminist, I think the image of a strong, intelligent, powerful heroine is something that should be promoted. I think it is a powerful image for little girls to see a strong character and believe that they can be just as brave, strong, and powerful, even if it isn’t in the same way.
One of the television shows my family would sit down together and watch on Sunday nights was The X-Files. I love the combination of Mulder’s open-minded curiosity and Scully’s skepticism as they investigate aliens, paranormal evens, hoaxes, conspiracies, and other unsolved cases. There aren’t a lot of television shows I would watch over and over, but this is one of them, partly from nostalgia and partly because the stories are just great. Don’t tell him, but I like to think that my husband is the Scully to my Mulder.
The Lord of the Rings
I first read The Hobbit in 6th grade and it was incredible. My dad gave me a boxed set of Tolkien’s works and I just ate it up. I was the type of kid who always had a book in hand and I hated having to quit reading – why listen to a lecture about Eli Whitney and the cotton gin when I could be with Bilbo Baggins trying to escape Gollum’s dark, dank cave? I remember when I first started taking painting lessons and my teacher asked me what I wanted to paint, so I told him that I wanted to paint the scene from The Hobbit where all the dwarves show up at Bilbo’s home and eat all of his food. Of course, my teacher said no and made me copy some painting of a sunset instead. I admit, that was a little ambitious for my first painting, but aim high, dude. I love these books (and movies) because Tolkien created such a vivid and full world with his Middle Earth. The characters, with their greatness and their faults, are so real and so compelling, even if most of them aren’t human. There epic battles and endearing friendships. I can’t wait until my kids are bigger to share the stories of Gandolf, Bilbo, Frodo, and Samwise.
Comic-Cons are awesome. I don’t know how else to describe it. There is so much to do- meet celebrities, listen to interesting panels, see incredible cosplayers, shop for artwork and memorabilia, and so much more. My husband and I have been able to meet and get autographs from many of our favorite actors like William Shatner, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, and tell them just how much their work has meant to us. We’ve been able to speak to artists, ask them about their work, and buy some; my favorite is a portrait of Wonder Woman that Neal Adams signed for me. I’ve sat in a Delorean from Back to the Future, which is a lot smaller than you’d think. It was so fun to just visit with Wil Wheaton (my childhood *and maybe adulthood*) crush a couple different times- I even admitted to him that I glued an 11×14 photo of him on my wall in the 6th grade (and got in tons of trouble for doing so). At our last Con I was very pregnant with my daughter and was wearing a t-shirt with “Future Starship Captain” written on the belly and Garrett Wang loved it and took a picture of me. I could gush about how great Comic-Cons are all day, but I’m sure it would bore you.
What “geeky” stuff do you enjoy? Drop me a comment, I would love to hear from you.