Two Parter Blog: 1. Amazon Hates Connecticut. 2. Link link link link

I’ve been worrying about moving and now that I’ve completely changed my plan money has been on my brain. I’ve decided that I’m going to get rid of as much as I can here and then just get some IKEA stuff when I get there. So I thought about it and decided “hey, amazon has this associates program where they cut you a percentage for a referral”. I got excited and tried to sign up for it when I got this lovely notice:

Balls.

So not only did I wait too long to do that, I cannot take part in it because I live in Connecticut. Well… You know what?

If you’d like to toss a couple sheckles my way I have an amazon gift card wishlist and you can always paypal a few dollars my way (to the email “cranialspasm @ gmail . com”. Every little bit helps!

 

(By the way, I feel like a complete asshole for posting this. I don’t like asking for things. It’s a stupid pride issue.)

 

Anyways, here’s a list of a few things I have done recently away from this site (just in case you didn’t know).

Podcasts
As always, I’m on Lions, Dragons & Wolves. This past episode was about humor and what makes us laugh. So (of course) TK decided to tell us exactly why nothing is funny. If you have never listened to the podcast before, I would suggest not starting with this one. I’d suggest 008 LDW Autumncast: Invade Poland (because I get assigned the coolest Muppet totem ever).

I connected with Seth Wright (my buddy that has a podcast Tales from the Attic) via Skype one weekend. We chatted for close to two hours (which is so weird for me as I don’t talk for that long typically) and as we chatted he invited me to record a segment for episode 46 of his podcast. It was a bunch of fun and I’m hoping that I get to do it again!

Other Blogs!
Nerds in Babeland – About a month ago I wrote a post about a card game called Dominion that my family is currently obsessed with (and that I will probably buy AFTER I move so I don’t end up having packing issues). For a list of all of my posts, here’s my contributor feed.

Record Club – Record Club is actually hosted through my website, but it’s a different feed. You should definitely check it out though! An album is chosen and the record clubbers listen at work and write up reviews. Because the back catalog was so huge, my reviews haven’t started yet but I have put a lot of work into the site and I think you’d enjoy the opinions from the funny people in the Record Club.

Youtube
I have been playing my ukulele a lot and I WROTE AN ORIGINAL SONG! I also covered Eddie Money, recorded two Beatles songs around Valentines Day, and revisited one of  the first songs I learned a few years ago (MGMT Redux FTW!).

Things I’m Loving At the Moment
So many friends of mine have started podcasting now (and I’m contemplating starting one myself because these assholes haven’t invited me to be on theirs…) Two that have made me giggle are:
Midseason Replacements – In this podcast, they pick a random episode from a random show and then they proceed to make fun of it for an hour. It’s been pretty damn funny because the episodes are only about 22 minutes and these guys play off of each other so well. Also? They had me at Hot Sundae.
*TANGENT* I originally wanted to find the original “Go For It” music video, but I could just find a shaky handed Android taping of a TBS rebroadcast of the episode. Then… I found this…

So yeah, that has nothing to do with the Tuxedo Man Children (who have a hysterical blog to boot), but you should completely subscribe to their iTunes feed!

The Bloggess – Jenny Lawson has finished her book and recorded her audio book, and now she has taken to creating taxidermied memes on her website. I actually joined in on the fun.

Toggle the Switch – An Australian and an American decide to do a podcast. What results is a bunch of talk about poop. I mean… Laugh-because-you’re-a-little-uncomfortable-about-the-conversation style talk about poop. These two amazing people are friends of mine that I met through a podcast (Walking the Room) and decided to do their own podcast.

Ten Minute Podcast – Chris D’Elia, Will Sasso, and Brian Callum give you exactly what the title promises. Ten minutes. I listened to it for the first time at work and laughed so hard I was asked to go outside to calm down. Subscribe. It’s hysterical. Also? Kinda crushing on Chris D’Elia now (in a “this dude is funny as shit” type of way).

A Couple of Cunts in the Countryside – A newer Youtube channel from two guys in the UK. It cracks me up.

Kittens and Carbonite: This Nerd is Irritated.

I couldn't find a picture that I really liked of girls in all shapes and sizes, so here's a picture of Bruce Campbell. You're welcome.

Awhile ago I had posted something lamenting on the fact that I get challenged a lot by guys regarding my nerdocity. I have thought in the past that was true, then my twitter feed exploded in nerd chaos yesterday.

Apparently, a female comics fan believes that “being a girl and liking comics is no longer taboo.” She also continued to rant about how batting “your lashes while feigning embarrassment about your adorable nerdiness” seems to be encouraged by titling a blog Has Boobs, Reads Comics. She also states that she would “like to punch her [writer Jill Pantozzi] in her stupid boob.”

Months ago, Team Unicorn was under web attack (not from Peter Parker) for being “too attractive to be geeks.” An enormous controversy/discussion stirred from the female community immersed in everything nerd and it had finally felt like the storm had calmed.

But as I write this, I find myself disappointed (not in Jill). I am more disappointed in the women that feel that this is an issue. I think that with a title like Has Boobs, Reads Comics Jill cuts through the bullshit. If someone doesn’t want to read her review because she is a woman, that’s too bad because she has some incredible insight.

Does the acknowledgement of her lady parts scare away readers? I guess it’s possible. People do things that surprise me on a daily basis. I AM curious as to what the gender ratio is of those reading HBRC. Are some women jealous that another gets paid to read comics and review them for MTV? Is it employment envy or is it more?

Women seem to be the most vocal when it comes to struggling with self-esteem. With “I look so gross today” or “nobody loves me”, it is no surprise that those comments are typically referred to as fishing for a complement. When someone rages about a girl with fantastical interests being too attractive to enjoy something… That is more of an indicator as to how they feel about themselves.

Venting in such a wholly public forum like the internet means you are posting because you want someone to read it (and a sadistic part of you wants the person you’re coming down on to read it as well). Well, blogger that inspired this post… I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that you believe your fandom mentality is the only superior one. I’m sorry that you have had to deal with those fans that you determined to be the “worst customers”. I’m sorry that the majority of views on your site are for such a hateful message towards women that reads like you think that embracing who you are is wrong.

However, I’m not sorry that Jill gets paid to review the comics you have to pay for. I’m proud… and I have never met her. Geek/Nerd Girls UNITE!

Oh and by the way? I prefer Batman to Spiderman. I also have boobs.

Check out some nerdy girls that know their shit.

http://www.thenerdybird.com/
http://www.geekgirlcon.com/
http://geekgirlsnetwork.com/blog/
http://www.geekgirldiva.com/
http://nerdsinbabeland.com/
http://actionflickchick.com/superaction/

Why I Love Hyperbole and a Half (aka @AllieBrosh is Awesome)

Sometimes I look at webpages and think “I totally could have written this. Why am I not as well known as [insert name here]?” It is a habit of mine. Constantly comparing where I am to where someone else is. I think that’s the nature of the blogging beast. Everyone with a public website wants to be viewed. They want the opportunity to share their foibles and funny and sometimes downright melancholy hoping to have someone post a comment. I like comments. They brighten my day.
(Oh, and FYI… If you have a blog, leave a comment and check “COMMENT LUV” and it will link to your latest post!)

But I digress.

This post is actually for one of my favorite blogs out there, Hyperbole and a Half.

The creator, Allie Brosh, is one of the most imaginative wordsmiths online. Every time she posts something new, it feels like there is a gift waiting for me in my RSS Reader.

Allie’s writing is extremely well thought out and she fully captures my attention (and my attention span is about 140 characters). The stories are all bits and pieces from her life, like the time she moved and her less than bright dog went apeshit, or the time she was traumatized by a fish.

The latest in the span of her stories is how she was terrified by the monsters in her closet and what her young mind thought she needed to do in order to survive the night.

She spins a story so fantastically funny, it amazes me the length of the post in relation to how long I feel like I have been reading it. This brings me to the conclusion that Allie Brosh is a witch and must be BURNED AT THE STAKE! (Just kidding.)

I think that her approach to every story makes everything that much more amazing by creating CRAZY ADORABLE PICTURES TO PUNCTUATE EVERY BIT OF FUNNY SHE WRITES! Seriously. Here’s her self portrait.

Allie Brosh is more adorable than you.

ADORABLE, right?

I cannot say enough about how much I enjoy Hyperbole and a Half. But you would be better off heading over to her site to read. The only thing that is sad about it is that once you’re caught up with all of her archived posts, you’re going to have to wait just as long as I do for the next one.

Well Hello. I’m a Nerd. I Also Have Lady Parts.

I think it’s perfectly odd that people (mainly guys) have tested my nerdocity.

As an example, I was at a karaoke night awhile back with a bunch of my friends because two buddies popped in from Cali. I was outside trying to shake out the terror that was the super drunk guy trying to sing Blondie, when a dude outside spotted my backpack.

I like odd things. Yes, I have a backpack that is a turtle shell. It is a teenage mutant ninja turtle brand turtle backpack. Nevermind the level of awesome that it is, it is quite amazing (even though for some weird reason it smells like fish… still). It was a gift from one of my besties. She got it for me when we were rocking out Newbury Comics in Boston. Then I decided to do a cross country photo set with my turtle twin in San Francisco.

Turtle Times is Hard

Turtle Twin

Anyways, I’m outside of the pub and this guy said, and I quote “You don’t know nothing ’bout Ninja Turtles.”

My reply was singing the ENTIRE themesong, including the words that SOME PEOPLE glaze over. In the middle of my rousing rendition of the theme, he held up his hands in defeat which I ignored and completed the song.

It struck me as weird. I see all of these amazing blogs on the internet from girls that are just as (if not more) nerdy than I am. You have Action Flick Chick (who has a total lady boner for Stallone), Geek Girl Diva, Has Boobs Reads Comics, and a site for an upcoming con (that I would totally go to if I could afford but I expended my travel budget arranging to visit with some friends this year) called Geek Girl Con. Also, I have met thousands of women on the internet that have like interests and also have been blessed to have been able to contribute to a site like Nerds in Babeland.

With groups of people like Team Unicorn, with their phenominal videos, you would think that the surprise that comes when someone sees you wearing something remotely nerdy would have diminished by now.

Instead the general mindset is that “oh she’s just trying to get our attention”. Not really guys. Most of the time when I leave the house in my green lantern hoodie, I’m not looking for anyone to gape at me. As a nerd, even when I’m dressed to the nines I don’t want that either. 

I guess that because of the wide availability to order things online, people assume that everyone is just jumping on the bandwagon. I don’t even know if this is the hipster in me as I still don’t know what a hipster actually is. I might be one. I don’t know.

I guess that when some guys approach girls in nerdy clothing with a question about their favorite cut scene in Final Fantasy 7, they think they’re going to catch someone in a lie and go “AHA! I knew you had never played!” By the way, my favorite? Sephiroth in the flames. The music chosen was gorgeous and the flowing white hair made me want to get a humongous sword and bangs and a penis (Wait… What?).

I am what I like to call an “ecclectic nerd”. I am not a superfan of anything except comedy, but I enjoy many things and have a relatively good memory.

I cannot tell you in which comic where Jean Grey transitioned into Pheonix, but I remember reading it at some point. I cannot name all of the actors in Star Wars (the real ones, ya’ll), but I can probably sing the song in the Cantina. I can’t remember the time lineup for Saturday morning cartoons, except that I know the shows and the “After these messages… we’ll be right back” jingle.

I can tell you that out of everything in my childhood, I still tear up when I watch the Transformer movie EVEN though I know I should think it’s horrible. I thought Pythona should have kicked Jinx’s ass in the G.I. Joe movie. Oh, and adding Jinx into the movie just so it wasn’t dick heavy was lame.

I did things that could be considered “girly”, but that wasn’t the memories of my childhood that stick out the most. The kids in my neighborhood did a huge suburb hide and seek game that we called “Predator”.

A while back, I asked twitter followers and people on facebook what the general public considered “girly”. Here’s a few things that I got.
“little dogs, cupcakes, flowers, pink, chocolates, hearts, princesses, glitter, kittens, ruffles, bows, rainbows, polkadots, barbie, dolls, makeup, dresses, shopping, tutus, tiaras, flowers, perfume, diamonds, stuffed animals, fairies, jewelry and jellies.”

One of my followers, @LizTheCanadian said “ordering a salad”. I almost pissed my pants. I think I needed that bit of humor to break me from the bunch of stuff that doesn’t really apply to me.

Here’s what I remember from my childhood: Dragons, Jem, nighttime games, G.I. Joe, Thundercats, Transformers, Tron, Pong, Super NES, Atari, Donkey Kong, lava lamps, swimming, skiing, singing, camp, making fires, failing at putting them out, going to juvie for unintentional arson (just kidding), burning stuff with a magnefying glass, Alvin and the Chipmunks… I could go on.

Yes there were things that I did that were uber girly, but I was still very influenced with comics, video games, and for some reason I loved pens. Just black, blue and red ones. Completely mental.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, before you assume that I don’t know anything about nerdy stuff you should walk a mile in my shoes. I know nerdy things and I also wear heels. I win.

Happiness

@thebloggess carries much love… along with a trashbag of human remains

Since I have been all sorts of absent on my blog, I figured I would introduce you to some blogs that I totally adore. First up! THE BLOGGESS!

To tell you a little bit about Jenny… Uh… I’ll let her do it herself from her website bio.

About Jenny: Jenny is a columnist and blogger. Her personal blog (www.thebloggess.com) is extremely popular, averaging close to half a million page views a month. She’s been a regular contributor to the online Houston Chronicle since 2006 and also writes a popular advice column, a parenting blog and a satirical sex column. She was recognized by the Nielsen ratings as one of the Top 50 Most Powerful Mom Bloggers, who named her part of the Power Pack. She’s been featured on Gawker, Salon.com, Mashable, Babble, The London Times, The Washington Post, and a Houston Press cover story recently called her “a local – if not national – treasure”. MSNBC calls her an “internet rockstar” and Forbes listed thebloggess.com as one of their Top 100 Websites for Women. She was Marie Claire magazine’s inaugural “Blog Crush of the Week”, a finalist in the 2010 Weblog awards for Best Writing and Most Humorous Writer, has won Social Luxe’s “Most Provocative Blog” and “Most Humorous Blog” award. She was recently named The Huffington Posts’s Greatest Person of the Day and has fooled many people into thinking she’s very important. She is a sought-after speaker, and has around 80,000 twitter followers, including Ellen DeGeneres, the Today Show, Barack Obama and many more. She’s contributed to a number of books and magazines and has an upcoming book that will be published through Amy Einhorn’s imprint. Jenny has an extremely diverse audience. According to Alexa analytics, she is especially popular with moms between the age of 25-45 who are college graduates and who are accessing the blog from home.

With posts like I’m looking for a cat named “Bob Barker”, UPDATED: Cats Eat Babies. Apparently, or And then I met Neil Gaiman, I am pretty sure we were twins separated at birth that look nothing alike and have different parents. TWINS!

She used to also get a bunch of crazy letters from a lovely woman named Nancy, that not only make me think of a homeless man on the subway ON PERCOCET with a laptop that is actually not homeless but quite wealthy, they make me think that she should have had a book deal. Sadly, Nancy passed on in October, leaving one last letter for Jenny to find last month.

Jenny seems to take everything with a grain of salt and a shot of tequila. I appreciate the stuff that she puts out into the world. Especially the stuff in her Zazzle store , especially the mommy cards that she has created. If ever I have a child, I’m getting a gross of this one

So go visit the pink, black, and white blog. DO IT!

I’d tell you that I’d cry if you didn’t, but I cannot dictate what you do with your life.

I can tell you, however, that my mother truly enjoys me reading the posts to her (Especially about Bob Barker who was then assumed to be Anderson Cooper who then grew into Ferris Mewler). She MIGHT cry if you don’t read Jenny’s blog. REAL TEARS! Granted, she might not know if she’s actually doing it but WHY are you breaking my mother’s heart? It hurts me to watch this guys. Seriously. I mean, look at this face!

For just one click a day, you can make my mother happy.

GAH! All this Baziak guilt! Steep in it! Steep!

I want tea.

Have You Met @Wilw? Neither Have I But I Want a Hug.

I should preface this entire post by telling you that I’ve been drinking. There will be many tangents. That… is because I love them.

I may lose some nerd cred here, but let me tell you something. Something deep, dark and secrety. I have never seen a full episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Somewhere, a Patrick is crying. Hateful tears tinged with the slightest hint of bourbon.

Yes, it is (apparently) sad but true. Typically the time I get to sit down and watch TNG the dulcet tones of Sir Patrick Stewart and that other guy lull me into such a state of relaxation I narcoleptically watch the episode. I think in one episode there were people living on a planet that wasn’t really a planet and they weren’t really people and I just realized how crazy either my brain is or the episode. Apparently everything was okay in the end because there was another episode.

But I digress. Honestly, I knew who Wil Wheaton was, but I couldn’t put my finger on HOW I knew him.

I have been a big fan of Leverage since its inception. During an episode where a rival gang is trying to perform a con on the same sucker that team Leverage is, I actually stood up and pointed to my screen screaming “I know that guy! I love that guy! Who IS that guy?” I knew that I had seen him before but I couldn’t place where. Even though I had my phone in my hand I was far too lazy (read: drunk) to look it up. Besides, it’s far less satisfying to have someone tell you something that you know your brain should know. I like brain teasers that make me want to stab something in my peripheral. Just kidding Wil (if you ever read this). I don’t stab anything except myself, and that resulted in a ridiculous story.

Anyways, a little while later I was treating myself to a marathon of The Big Bang Theory on my DVR (also known as “I have a whole evening to myself and no one else has the remote”) and I saw Wil’s evil twin… EVIL WIL WHEATON! As the Snidely Whiplash to Sheldon’s Dudley Do-Right, Wheaton SCHOOLED the Cooper.

I apparently scream at my television a lot. My upstairs neighbor hates me. I blame the water, not the decibel of my voice. It’s just harsh water man, now let me scream at Penny… bitch. I need to stop drinking when I write these. Or I need to continue to write drunken blogs.

Oh yeah. screaming at the TV. So I holler “that’s motherfucking CHAOS!” to which Patrick said “Uh… that’s Wesley Crusher you whore.” to which I replied “how did you get in here?”

Crap. I’m going to actually step away and continue in a few. I need a slight break.

Okay I’m back. So finally I realized that the person that I was looking at was someone I had known at some point. Wil Wheaton was in stand By Me. Actually, I don’t remember that movie. I saw that movie when I was younger, but at 28 I can tell you it was about kids going to see a dead body. I think there was a train.

I know that sometimes Wil feels like he is constantly being compared to the yound Wil that is found in tangible format in TNG and Stand By Me and Toy Soldiers.

Wil, I don’t know if this will please you… But I don’t know you that way. I could blame the alcohol or the drugs or the depression… You know what.. I WILL blame them. Stupid self involved stuff.

I know you as the snarky hacker in Leverage. I know you as the diabolical ringleader in the Guild. I know you as the Evil you that thwarts Sheldon in the most miniscule ways.

I also know the you that you blog about. The soothing voice of the Radio Free Burrito. The tabletop game enthusiast. The blogging stepdad. The “stupid mini youtube clip man”. The man who is married to his best friend.

I have found that your blog provides insight into experiences that I could barely fathom, be it the boredom that is experienced on a set when you aren’t needed and you are in an area that isn’t your home and when one of your sons does something that you find heartwarming/inspiring. I read posts that are insights into who you truly are as a person.

Thank you. Wil, it is so easy for someone to say something and actually feel something completely different. Your blog is, in a sense, a naked version of both vulnerability, excitement, and awe at the life that you lead. You are proof positive that if you embrace who you are, there is an army of those that feel the same way you do.

Recently my worlds collided with your visit to the Nerdcastle with Hardwick, Ray, and Mira. I found that the conversations that were held and the opinions explored were riveting. I LOVE hearing stories from other people’s lives.

The banter between Hardwick and yourself made me realize that I have a million stories to tell. It’s hard for me to determine what is a topic that someone wants to hear about and what is just considered normal. I think that with the discussions that you and Chris had, you were both frank, open and honest.

I didn’t experience a childhood like yours. I doubt many have. The fact that you and your parents tried to keep a sense of normalcy is remarkable.

Even more recently, the Bloggess posted an open letter to you asking for a picture of you collating papers which you happily provided. God, the internet is amazing. Within the span of thirty minutes there was a request for a picture of you collating papers and a FRIGGIN picture of you collating papers. I’m going to call it crazawesomspectaculous. There are no words, so I Figured I’d make a mashup.

Are you still reading Wil? Goodness you’re a trooper. Thank you for that.

I’m a table top RPGer and when you posted about your gaming group with friends that you don’t often get to see, my first response was “WHY NOT ME?!?!”

I’m a tabletop RPGer. I’m strongest in the WhiteWolf genre, and have played through the HERO system, but I have found that I can work my way through D&D and love every minute of it. Sadly, I am Chaotic Neutral at best… Some might consider it a personality flaw. I consider it a genetic enhancement that makes me awesome. I always cheer for the underdog or the anti-hero. If you throw someone at me that’s uber pious, I tend to want to change that person’s alignment.

I love hearing your stories of gaming with your friends. I have quotes that make me giggle too.

Anyways, I just wanted to let you know that I truly enjoy the you that you are right now. Nerds are everywhere and we’re the smart ones that know how to use the internet therefore… Nerd niche = internet WINS.

Please keep blogging.

Oh and for those of you that are reading that aren’t Wil Wheaton… HOW DARE YOU?!?! Just kidding.

Please check out his blog and buy his books. He’s doing now what I hope to do someday in the future.

Wil… Thanks for setting the bar so friggin high. If I get to a Con that you’re at, I want to game. And a hug.

* I don’t have links for this post because I’m lazy (read: drunk)