Tag Archives: geek

Before the Cylons Come

26 Sep

I think Dave is a Cylon.

I’m sorry; I shouldn’t come out and just say it like that.  I don’t want to start a witch hunt or anything.  But I do have some pretty serious concerns and I’m not sure where else I can safely entertain them except for the  protected confines of the magical Interwebz.   So don’t freak out or anything but I might be living with an intergalactic death robot.

Well that sounds racist.  He’s not necessarily a death robot.  He could be one of the human-liking ones.  But he could also be preprogrammed to carry out a set of orders related to someone’s (perhaps even my) death. And, well, I just can’t take that kind of risk.

Now, I’ll admit that while inundated with these concerns, I am concurrently rewatching the entire Battlestar Galactica series.  In fact, not even a week ago, I dreamt I was being chased by a murderous cylon.

Unfortunately for me, I rarely have positive dreams.  I’m not entirely sure why that is.  The only exceptions are one very strange piece of creation where I was underground playing Space Monopoly with my grandmother and a few grizzly bears, and one time that I was Mario in Mario 64.

But I digress; I need proof.  My first piece of evidence is the fact that he operates at superhuman levels of labor.  He wakes up at 6 in the morning, works a solid 9 hour day with little break, immediately commutes an hour to arrive at his first 3-hour rehearsal, after which he promptly commutes another hour to arrive to his second rehearsal, which lasts well over two.

Now, I’m accustomed to a portion of that schedule. Particularly at some points last year during postaday deathmatch 2011, I felt like I might die from exhaustion after working all day, going to rehearsal all night, and coming home to polish off a piece of junk from the recesses of my mind to offer up to the Interwebz gods.  But that was an office job, kids.  This robot in front of me is a letter carrier.  A letter carrier.  And if you think that “sounds like a great job”, you are mistaken.  Twenty years ago, being a letter carrier “sounded like a great job” but today, letter carriers are the marines of the service field.  They rarely get real breaks, they’re speedwalking for several hours straight with 80 pounds on their backs, dogs attack them, they have to endure ridiculous attacks of extreme hot and cold temperatures, and every single American citizen thinks that new mailmen should just “know” where their mailbox is as if there’s some sort of government list somewhere that says “42 Wallaby Way’s mailbox is on the back porch beside the terra cotta pig”.   

I know I get upset about the post office a lot.  But you don’t understand; it’s like The Postman out there and attention must be paid.

Do you know what it’s like to work at a place that is open during the entire span of regular business hours, 6 days a week?   I’ll tell you what it’s like.  It’s bloody frustrating.  Getting your hair cut or going to the bank or having a professional appointment is like a unicorn crossing your path and farting a rainbow cloud directly on your face: it’s rare.  Real rare.

Anyway my point is that he is fully functional on very little sleep and maintains this schedule with an alarmingly high rate of frequency; over and over again. Like a robot.

Also, sometimes he makes this super creepy face in the mirror while I’m brushing my teeth and I swear to you no real human could possibly look like that ever.

I suppose that’s really all the evidence I have but it’s also really all I need.  If I uploaded a picture of the face, you probably wouldn’t even need that little bit about the post office being the place where decent, America-loving people go to kill each other as Exhibit A.   So the question now that I’ve ascertained his cylon-ness is what to do about it.  I mean, I can’t go on living like this.  

As of now, my plan is to hold steady until mid-October, at which time my next Lollipop Tuesday will appear in the form of a UFO Convention.  A UFO CONVENTION.  If anyone can understand my predicament, it’s the UFO Convention demographic.   Maybe I can get some answers.

Here’s hoping I survive long enough to attend. 


How I Almost Went to an Elf Convention

16 Oct

I had the most epic Lollipop Tuesday planned for this coming week.


There’s a billboard near my apartment just by the on-ramp to the highway that advertised the Middle Earth Society, which was slated to have a convention this weekend.  I couldn’t make out too much on the billboard but there was a website listed that I could go to.  Something like middleearthsociety.com.

For those of you who are not total losers like myself, Middle Earth refers to Lord of the Rings.  And I fear that some of you may not even know what Lord of the Rings is.  Lord of the Rings is what Dungeons and Dragons was based on.  And Dungeons and Dragons is…

Oh never mind.  Elves and dwarves and things.  Okay?  It’s about elves and dwarves and things.

Anyway, I was incredibly excited for the opportunity to dress up and go to a nerd convention.  Every time I went to look up the details online and gets tickets, though, I didn’t see it on the convention center list or see any blogs or other Internet information alluding to it.  I kept going by the billboard and trying to get more information to make sure I had the dates right, but it’s really positioned in a difficult-to-slow-down area and there was a lot of small font.

Yesterday I slowed way down and tasked Dave with reading the information while I fended off any cursing drivers behind me.  As I glanced to the left to make sure he was reading the right one (there were two), something vital caught my eye: an “s”.

As it turns out, I had just assumed that this convention was for the Middle Earth society because they had a rune-like logo and my mind wanted to read that it was for Middle Earth.

When in fact, it was for the Middle East.

That’s right: The Middle East Society was hosting a convention.    I honestly almost bought tickets and showed up to an academic convention and forum for debate on the state of the Middle East looking like an elf from Middle Earth.

What would I have done in such a situation? Would I have just pulled off my costume ears and excused away the odd garb as part of a culture they obviously don’t understand because they’re clouded by their academic prowess?  Or would I have just slithered home after seeing what I’m sure would be enormous signs welcoming visitors at the convention center to the Middle East Society?

It’s a question that will forever burn in our cerebrums; we shall never know.

Glad I didn’t splurge on that elf getup.

A glimpse of what almost was. Except I would cover up more. Not a lot of plump elves dwelling in Middle Earth, I hear.

Farewell, My Jedi Baby

8 Sep
I’m feeling quite terribly about the fact that my post today was an ode to a post I wrote and then deleted.
I feel like you’ve been robbed of a post.  I know I do.  So allow me to repost an oldie, but a goodie, from back in the days before my 365 Project, when I simply updated when I felt I had something to talk about.  And the day Mark Hammill came to my school definitely qualified.
Disclaimer: I was a little more… shall I say…liberal with my word choice back then.  Enjoy.

Farewell, My Jedi Baby

I met Luke Skywalker today.
Yeah, Luke Skywalker.  Not even Mark Hamill.  It was just straight-up Luke Skywalker all like “Hey, Jackie; I’m Luke Skywalker.  Let me impregnate you.”
Let’s get something straight.  I wouldn’t do Luke Skywalker.  One, I don’t go for blondes.  Two, I’d be self-conscious of my inability to rock his world in bed since I don’t have this whole “force” thing down.  Lord only knows what the man could accomplish with his mind.  I can’t compete with that and quite frankly, I have no interest for the toll it would take on my mental health to know that I had a chance to go at it with a Jedi and he was ultimately displeased.
Not to mention he’d probably make me wear his sister’s golden bikini and dog collar accessories and I simply couldn’t

This image belongs to Star Wars and folks. Unfortunately, it's from back in the day that I didn't realize I had to credit people for their images. Silly Jackie.

 handle him going all Jabba the Hut on me in bed.  I’m down with role-playing, but I have my limits.  A big gargling tub of poo with a domination complex is where I draw the line.  Yeah, I know; my bar is set pretty low.

Nonetheless, I will admit; when I was standing not 15 feet away from the man who saved the galaxy, I wondered if I could overcome all this if it meant I would give birth to a metachlorian-charged Jedi baby. 
I thought of all the benefits my Jedi baby could bring to the family: quick cooking, easy clean-up, direct access to Yoda and Samuel L. Jackson, and the ability to let me know when all is not well with the force.  Because sometimes I wonder, you know?
Then he started to talk about his kids.  Turns out Luke Skywalker has babies.  Three of them.  Except they don’t sound like Jedis at all.  One buys a lot of clothes and only votes so she stays in Luke’s will, one is a comic book artist, and the other, um, I spaced out for.  Cuz I was thinking of his metachlorian-charged sperm.
Then I realized; maybe he married the wrong woman.  Is it possible that Luke Skywalker wasted his incredible Jedi jizz on a female counterpart who is unable to supply him with Jedi babies?
It became alarmingly apparent that I had to save the Jedi race.  Yes, it was up to me.
Unfortunately, I was unwilling to submit to his roleplaying necessities or to the fact that he’s a blonde.  I don’t care if he’s the New Hope; I have a type and I stick to it.  End of story.  So there was only one thing to do; steal Luke Skywalker’s sperm.
As I was devising some sort of Dr. Evil-esque way to steal Skywalker’s mojo, I began to tune back into reality.  Suddenly, it became apparent to me that the man in front of me was not Luke Skywalker at all.  It was Mark Hamill.  I know this because Mark Hamill mistook an X-wing for a tie fighter, Cloud City for the Death Star, and kept referring to his stage weaponry as a “gatling gun.” Plus, he didn’t move anything with his mind.  Not once.
So here I am, working out the details of Operation: Jedi Baby and he’s fumbling over the most rudimentary chapters of the Star Wars Nerd Encyclopedia.  
I guess somewhere underneath it all I expected him to be a nerd, too.  I mean, if I know all about Luke Skywalker, shouldn’t Luke Skywalker know all about Luke Skywalker?
It figures.
I’ve waited my whole life to get a hold of some metachlorian sperm and the moment it’s within my grasp, it all falls apart. All I wanted was a Jedi Baby.  Was that really too much to ask? I wouldn’t have even made him pay child support.

Of Balls and Men

16 Aug

This week, adventure propositioned me while I was at a frozen yogurt shop.  As I rounded the corner to pay, I saw a stack of flyers that directed me to my destiny: The World Pinball Championships.

Happy Lollipop Tuesday Folks.

Thanks to a recent post about my overwhelming Facebook anxiety, it appears I have some noobs in the house.  Hey: thanks for reading another post.  I’m flattered.  So allow me to explain that Lollipop Tuesdays are a special series on my blog where every week I try something completely foreign to me and blog about my humiliation and learning experience for your entertainment.  For more information on this exciting day of the week , see the top of this page and click the link that says “What’s Lollipop Tuesday?” Now: onward!

So with flyer in hand and no idea what to expect, I took a day off work and drove out to explore the wonderful world of pinball.  I pulled into the parking lot of what looked like a warehouse, with middle-aged men sporting bandannas and their best game faces hopping out of trucks and piling into the place.

I opened the door and stepped right into a nerd’s wet dream. 

It was beautiful.  Nerdtastic, if you will.  There were rows upon rows of lit up, music-making, pinball machines.  They had doubles and triples of some of the more recent games and old school machines in great condition.  And every single one was plugged in and playable. But it wasn’t enough to just gawk; I had to register and compete.  Because what’s a Lollipop Tuesday without a chance for severe humiliation?

Glorious. Simply glorious.

I don’t know what I expected.  I guess in some small way I thought my life of video game rocking would somehow pay off here and I’d be able to at least spare myself embarrassment.  But as I was standing in line to play one of the four machines that would compose my ranking score, I was approached by a tall, pleasant gentleman who asked me what my story was.  I explained that I didn’t really have one, but that I was actually there representing a blog and learning about the underbelly of the pinball world as an active participant.  

He told me he was there to be the first Canadian World Pinball Champion.

No, seriously.  He was.  Because he flew in from Vancouver and up until the scrappy Canadian playing on the machine in front of us entered the picture, the guy I was talking to was the reigning Canadian Pinball Champion.    And I’m not sure if he dug the blog idea, he wanted me to get hooked on pinball, or I was one of the only five females in the room and the only one under 40, but he was kind enough to walk me over to another gentleman and introduce me and my blog.

That gentleman just happened to be the three-time, reigning World Pinball Champion.

He seemed thoroughly unimpressed with me, but I was definitely impressed with him.  Because even if I didn’t know a shred about the world of pinball before I walked in the door, I had taken some time to play on a few machines while I was there for fun and in one corner were a row of machines that were saved as relics, with little cards on them stating who won the World Pinball Championship on it in what year and what their score was.  I was staring at a guy who had his name etched on three of them, and the most astronomical scores I’d ever seen on a game.  Ever.

So after I’d had my moment to acknowledge the company I was among, I realized I was about to really suck some pretty awful rearend in front of these people.  

Allow me to further explain my relative suckness.  On the particular day of my arrival, the Classics tournament was underway. The Classics is a competition in itself where only machines made before 1987 are used and there is no skill division – it’s just one big pool of merciless competition.   On some of these old school machines, the score is not digital, but like the odometer on a car.  And as I stood in line to play one of my four games, the gentleman in front of me rolled over the score on his machine.


These people weren’t messing around.  There’s a $10,000 prize at stake for the newly crowned World Champion and a trophy that would stand almost as tall as the winner.  There were folks walking around with gloves on, folks in the ready position at the front of the pinball machine as if they were playing hockey and not just flicking flippers.  And most average Joes walking that refurbished warehouse floor owned pinball machines that they had in their homes

Where the magic happens

The two people I spoke to had over ten.

So of course I played, and of course I sucked.  In fact, on one of the machines I had the absolute lowest score out of all the people who played that day.  But on another, 100 folks went at it and my score rested safely at twentieth position. And that ain’t so bad.  I know this because The World Pinball Championships are actually pretty darn organized.  And as soon as I signed off on my score, it was uploaded into a database that is searchable by anyone who wants to go to the Pinball Association website and check out scores for a particular player, machine, or tournament.

I must admit that I went online to check out the final standings at the end of the 4-day tournament and was sad not to see my Canadian friend’s name as the reigning champion.  But after a bit of networking, I found that there’s another tournament coming up in March.  And aside from the overwhelming suck I brought with me that day, I actually had a fantastic time.

Who knows: maybe I’ll brush up on my game, throw on a pair of gloves and a bandanna, and try to give my new friends a run for their money in the Spring. 

For more information on the World Pinball Championships and other Professional and Amateur Pinball Association tournaments, check out www.papa.org

Confession of an UberGeekNerd

5 Jan

Sometimes I feel like I understand the miniscule, shaky line that society has drawn between geeks and nerds and then I read something like this Wikihow and I’m utterly confused again.  So to solve this issue forevermore, I will simply refer to myself as a GeekNerd.  

Me, a GeekNerd? Alas, it is true.  In fact, I feel that with so many recent subscriptions to Twist365, some of ya’ll deserve a better grasp of what you’re in for.  So here I give thee: Confession of an UberGeekNerd.

I suppose the dead giveaway is that my dad is a Dungeon Master.  And no, I’m not referring to a dirty kink… I’m referring to the wonderful world of Dungeons and Dragons.

If you’re still reading this, thanks.  This is where I usually lose people.  In fact, I’m pretty convinced that aside from my aggressive personality and bizarre cartoon voice outbursts, my role-playing habit is probably the next best reason I didn’t have much of a dating life in, well…ever.

See, my father being a Dungeon Master meant that my entire life revolved around D&D.  When I turned 13, he proudly handed me a 20-sider and allowed me my rite of passage: rolling up a new character.  It meant I was truly part of the family.  After all, my mother and two older brothers played every Tuesday night without me because I wasn’t allowed to join the table until I was of age. And I’ll admit that when the time came for me to jump in, I totally digged it.  There’s something about sitting around a huge table of men approaching a midlife crisis with their huge velvet bags of bulk-ordered multi-colored dice and pieces of paper in front of them that served as proof that they were not really themselves but actually wizards, fighters, and powerful mages in a highly developed fantasy world that seriously altered my adolescent experience.  

Our entire house oozed with peculiarities.   My father’s bedroom was a library bursting with fantasy novels from which  he gleaned material to create his very own world for his friends and family to play in.  In fact, he eventually wrote his own reference book, which was as thick as a dictionary and chock-full of pictures, reference materials, spell charts, and some of his original art.    Oh: did I mention my dad’s an artist?  A really good one, too.  In fact, he just received his Masters to compliment his dual undergrad and is making some truly groovy stuff.  I’m hoping to commission him to jazz up my site soon.  But before all that happened, dad’s biggest outlet for his artistic desires was in the form of character wanted posters.

Essentially, my father would develop a core group of characters in his D&D world and introduce recurring enemies for them to fight.  (For those of you who actually know what I’m talking about, he ran a campaign with old school modified 2nd edition, not this crazy 4th edition 20-sider based business you’re all up to now).  So once characters had committed crimes in his world and the recurring enemies started to take notice of them, he proceeded to draw up wanted signs and plaster them all over our dining room walls, complete with portraits, who was hunting them and the amount of the reward in gold pieces.    Many a Baker family dinner was spent munching on spaghetti and talking about our days with imaginary Dungeons and Dragons characters staring down at us from every side.   For a while, the only thing that even made that room resemble a dining area was the fact that it had a surface to eat on.  But then Dad decided to redesign the table.

When it became absolutely crucial to our gaming experience, dad decided to transform our dining room table into a Dungeons and Dragons table.  He coated it in black acrylic paint and cut a huge square hole in the middle which he replaced with gridded plexiglass and two freshly mounted black lights.  Reason would dictate that this was unnecessary and perhaps not the most sound decision based on the fact that D&D was only scheduled for Tuesdays and living our lives was scheduled for all other days.  But it was also admittedly totally awesome.

It’s unfortunate that I eventually had to grow up and go to college because it meant that I could no longer be part of my dad’s D&D world.  It also meant that I had to find a way to fill the void, which was immediately accomplished with World of Warcraft.

My gaming addiction is a beast in itself.  The best indication I can give you of the severity of my problem is that one of my best friends in college gathered up his desktop computer, brought it over to my suite, pounded down the door, and demanded that if I wasn’t going to come outside, he was going to set up an equally addictive game beside me so that he could at least still spend time with me.

He was a damn dedicated friend.

If that isn’t enough for you to fully grasp the picture, perhaps it will help if I also add that my current boyfriend and love of my life recalled just the other day how when he first met me,  I was always in my room, unshowered and in my pajamas, huddled over the computer with boxes of pizza hidden beneath my mattress.

Hey – something had to fill the void.

Supposedly, I’m cured now.  I eventually got the courage to uninstall Warcraft (after a terrible relapse or two) and it is now safely tucked away in my basement storage locker.  It still calls to me sometimes in the still of the night.

So for now, I have nothing.  I have no D&D, I have no WoW, and thus I have no outlet for my GeekNerd addictions.  I suspect that I can only go on like this for so long before some underworldly demon rips me from reality and tosses me into my own personal hell.  After all, I work right down the street from GameStop and I can’t  help but notice all the expansion packs.   Not to mention Blizzard’s Diablo III is currently under development and the release of that game is a burden that may be too incredible for me to bear.

So I’m stoked that I finally have a laptop.  Because any day I may relapse, quit my job, and disappear from society, which will inevitably leave me homeless and wandering from coffee shop to coffee shop in search of an outlet and a table with which to feed my beastly addiction.  And if that day comes within the span of my 365 Project and I happen to blog about it, maybe you can all come visit me with your computers and play your favorite addicting games so that I feel like I’m part of the human network again.  ♣

Hey! I’m not alone in my resolution to blog every day.  In fact, WordPress is encouraging everyone to resolve to update their blogs once a week or once a day in 2011.  Check out these cool cats who are giving it a shot:
%d bloggers like this: