Your partner writes a Craigslist ad to get rid of an item of yours that they totally hate. What does it say?
This assignment required only a small amount of imagination. I love anime. My brother and roommate, Kevin, can appreciate my collection of comics, movies and video games, but my other interests . . . well, he pigeonholes Japan as a nation of perverts and anime as a product of that perversion. Daring him to watch Spirited Away or Cowboy Bebop, two excellent examples of the quality of the medium, affected no change of his opinions. Secretly, I wonder if the subtitles prove daunting to my dyslexic sibling . . . Reading in order to enjoy a movie may taint your opinion of the genre in much the same way that Jersey Shore or The Bachelor has infected my enjoyment of documentaries. Then again the beautiful strangeness of these tales can overwhelm the more practically minded. Kev enjoys operating heavy machinery and tilling the earth. Case closed.
“So, you really want to get back into World of Warcraft?” I asked, somewhat taken aback by my friend’s regression into geekdom.
“Absolutely,” Dasad said in between sips of a chestnut praline latte – I swear Starbucks is taking advice from Yankee Candle in their choice of holiday blends. “Look you need something to occupy your free time outside of grading . . . mole tests or whatever the hell you teach in chemistry. MMOs are the perfect outlet.”
I nodded. The last week before my school closed for the Christmas break had proven . . . stressful, so much so that I considered stealing away around noon for a several pints of spiked nog. The mounting terror of children, emails, ungraded labs, January’s midterms, cloying principals, overbearing parents and those last-minute quizzes that you thought would provide an easy grade but . . . ah, the to-do list sought to smother my sanity. Only with three o’clock bell did the anxiety begin to drain away like poison from a wound leaving me exhausted and with a slight migraine.
I had met with Dasad hours later for drinks and coffee, confessing my near panic attack and utter thankfulness for the Christmas season.
I laid head to pillow last night, expecting a late morning and a possible three-day weekend. Sadly, high temperatures and asinine school district ruined my snow day. Work and a classroom of equally upset teenagers awaited me instead.
Outside the classroom, I waded through projects, yet-to-be-graded homework, and — my saving grace — AMVs. This is one of my favorites over the last few months. Truly a work of art.
This photo has nothing at to do with the following post; however, the subject matter is more pleasing than what I found on the basement computer.
“You’re kidding!” Dasad laughed, nearly dribbling coffee onto the table. “They left it up? On the screen?”
“No, no, no,” I said, waving my hands, as if brushing away the misconception. “It’s what the address bar listed. You know how when you start typing, Firefox offers a few of the popular searches from the last week? Apparently, someone’s been visiting frequently. All I typed was a ‘H’ and the site appeared, right below Hulu.”
“What was the name again?” my friend smiled, baiting me.
“Hotmoms.com . . . or something like it.” My friend’s squeals filled the entire cafe like a fire alarm. If the coffee and caffeine had failed in its primary function, curiosity and Dasad’s laughter proved a jolt of adrenaline. Even the baristas stared, whispering behind the counter and consulting their watches. Only a boy and girl continued to ignore us, racing Hotwheels across a neighboring tabletop. I lowered my voice.
“Nerd. Nerd. Nerd,” Dasad muttered, pointing at the sundry collection of costumed moviegoers, the vast majority sporting Marvel-themed t-shirts. “God, we’ve landed in some antisocial geek convention. Again.”
“It’s just a movie, dude,” I sigh. “Try to enjoy the energy from the crowd. Everyone’s been waiting years for this moment.”
Dasad and I had decided see the Avengers a few Saturdays ago, a day after Disney had released it here stateside to glowing reviews both from fans and reviewers alike. Many of us, myself include, were simply happy the film was so well received as it guaranteed the superhero genre had not yet jumped the shark. However, not everyone was enjoying the growing anticipation — not vocally at any rate.
“You do realize that you’re a computer science major, right?” I argue. “You work all day long building databases and designing web sites. You’re not just a geek, man. You’re a prince.”
“Ha! And what does that make you?” he laughed. “You dabble in every nerd world there is: super-heroes, hobbits, anime, manga, and semi-clad bishoujo figurines. All tucked away in your parents’ basement. What does that make you?”
“A king. But don’t tell anyone,” I whisper. “I’m traveling incognito.” Continue reading
Lately I’ve been immersing myself in the works of O. Henry so much so that I decided to write my own for geeks like me. Imitating another author’s writing style is not as easy as it first sounds — mostly because the gauge for success is rather ambiguous — but anything that helps me become a better writer . . . well, I’m not going to ignore.
Regrettably, the sibling response was decidedly mixed. Katie really enjoyed it, while my dearest brother after some consideration responded with a ‘meh.’ Needless to say, I’m anticipating proofreading his next law brief. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the story — more than Sean, at least.
Luddites in Love
With the exception of honeybees, ants, and reality TV starlets, the modern American citizen communicates more than any other species on earth. Since the dawn of the iPod, it is said that the human species has stumbled upon the evolutionary fast-track to cyborg-ification. Cell phones strapped to our ears; fingers typing out ten texts per picosecond; cat videos by the billions streaming on YouTube. From dawn to dark, we expose our life’s tapestry of photos, quotes, and gossip before an expectant public like specimens in a digital zoo, to be ogled, examined, and meme-ed at the first opportunity. The sum total of pheromones exuded by the world’s ant population palls to a day’s worth of status updates from an average college sorority. Continue reading
“Contractions?” Katie whispered across the table, her voice calm and relaxed like a speeding train flying off a suspension bridge. “How far apart do they need to be before . . ?”
“Five minutes or so. Anything less than that and they need to haul tail to the hospital,” Dad said staring across the table. A strange intensity had began to burn in his eyes; he shifted in his seat, hands curled before his mouth, legs flexed and eager to run — if the situation so demanded — the hundred-fifty miles back home. Mom continued to nod at my brother’s electronic voice, now rising and falling over the receiver like a roller-coaster scream.
“Yeah . . .,” she laughed. “Uh-huh . . . right. Well, ca . . . sure. Just call if anything . . . right, sure.”
Then she ended the call, pressing the little red button and reaching for her wine glass. My mother allowed the alcohol to swish and twist around her mouth, savoring the subtle flavors of the pinot before answering any of our questions. Dad’s face had alternated between several shades of volcano red and oxygen-deficient blue before spitting out the necessary question . . .
“Well?” he asked. Continue reading