Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Ten reasons why I'm probably a nerd
1. I watch the Big Bang Theory. I thought "Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock" was funny, even if I didn't get Sheldon's reasoning, but I'm not a theorectical physicist. Note: After I just watched the clip (with it's overly loud laugh track), I actually get it.
2. I went to one of the first Star Trek Conventions. I always thought I went to the first one, but after a quick google search, I apologize for my ignorance. That convention was at the Hilton Hotel in New York City, where a bunch of my friends and I rented a room. I don't remember us being die-hard Trekkies, but it was more of a science fiction convention, and besides, it was an opportunity to rent a hotel room in the city.
Sadly, this is my biggest memory of the convention: I was walking in the lobby of the hotel, smoking a cigarette (yes, you could smoke inside then). A man passed me, and as he did, he said, "Don't you know smoking is bad for your health?" I said, "Oh, f*ck off, old man." Then I realized he was Isaac Asimov. Isaac Asimov! He was one of my heroes! I may have been a nerd, but I was also a rebellious jerk teenager. I also had no idea how to employ snappy comeback lines. If I was going to be a jerk, I wish I had been more clever.
3. I wish there were more science fiction movies. Also, I wish there were more well-written science fiction books.
4. I read the New Yorker mainly for their science articles and wish there was a magazine devoted to science writing for the jargon-impaired.
5. I was fascinated with cryptology when I was a kid and actually fantacized about working for the CIA (or whoever hired cryptologists), but my family's politics made me think that I'd never pass the background check and that the CIA was probably evil. Early interest in codes is a dead giveaway for nerdism.
6. I love Scrabble. One of my favorite books is "Word Freak: Heartbreak, Triumph, Genius, and Obsession in the World of Competitive Scrabble Players."
7. I like British (aka cryptic) crossword puzzles. What I like even more is to make my own, and one of the "100 things I'd like to do before I die" is get a crossword puzzles published in the New York Times. Somehow, I think this is not going to happen, but one can always dream.
8. Buying the Oxford English Dictionary was one of the most happy moments in my life. I love reading it. Unfortunately, it's too heavy and using that magnifying glass drives me crazy. I wish I had it on DVD, but it's three hundred bucks, and besides, I hear people have complained it doesn't run well on their computers.
9. I am one of those annoying people who tell complete strangers, in the course of conversation, what the origins of an interesting word is or how some idiomatic expression came to be. I also inquire of others, "Did you know that __________?" about obscure factoids, when they probably neither know nor care.
10. I would be lost without the interlibrary loan service.
Bonus: I have a crush on Dr. Reid on Criminal Minds, but I suspect that even non-nerds do. He was a model once (which disappoints me greatly).
Photo note: And, I have a soft spot for "GI Joel" Sherman, a professional Scrabble player and prototypical New York-style nerd. While googling his name, I discovered there is a documentary about called "Scrabylon". Why didn't I know this? I'm going to see if it's on Netflix right now.