Monday, 13 August 2012

50 Shades of Nerd

I just finished 50 Shades of Grey by E. L. James, a trilogy of books which I have heard far and wide were amazing and so addicting. 

My thoughts?

Gag.

In my own, honest opinion, I thought they were horrible, laughable even, unrealistic. But these books are not written for me. They are written for women who are lonely. They are written for women whose Husbands or boyfriends lack in their duties to their partner. They are written for women who find rippling abs, muscular arms and greek god like looks attractive.

Ick. 

Not my type.

So what about the rest of us? What about those of us who appreciate a big brain, geek tendencies and awkward, gangly bodies?

I feel like WE deserve something. 

Now, I do not profess to be a writer. I am anything BUT. So don't be all, "Ehhhhhhhh, you didn't write it right." Coz I'll be all, "Ehhhhhh, shut your cakehole." Capeesh?

And so, I very un-seriously present an excerpt from the story for the rest of us lovely, geeky, nerdy girls: 

50 SHADES OF NERD


"Here we are!" Tristan smiles widely at me, his silver braces gleaming in the brightly lit room. "Home."

I look around , stunned. This is how a multi-billionaire lives? The apartment is small, cramped, with a living room that is crowded by a very old, very dusty looking green couch. Facing the couch is a television, one of those TVs that is made of wood and you have to turn the dial to change the channels. I haven't seen anything like it since I was a kid. The walls are covered in a wallpaper that looks like it hasn't been changed since the 1970's - orange and brown, an akward design, and some of it is peeling. 

The kitchen is even smaller, if possible, with a green stove and refridgerator that look like they are on their last leg. A Captain America cookie jar sits on the counter, a clean and immaculate item in an otherwise dusty, dirty kitchen. He obviously takes care of his comic book items.

"Wow, it's...something." I smile up at him, once again taken aback by how large and luminous his blue eyes look behind the thick, bottle-like lenses of his glasses. Will I ever get used to the effect he has on me? 

He shrugs, akwardly rubbing his nose as he sniffles. Allergies. "No use wasting all my money on frivolities like a fancy apartment. All my money is tied up in mutual funds and stocks and..." he suddenly flushes, his eyes darting away from mine to a door that I hadn't noticed before. 

"And what?" I ask, curious as to what is behind that door.

He stares at the door in silence for a moment, deep in thought, his face as red as the turtleneck that covers his thin torso. I wait, admiring his gangly body. His shoulders are slouching, as usual, hunched up as he thinks. His adam's apple, seemingly too large for his long, slender neck, bobs up and down as he swallows nervously. He's always nervous.

Finally, his eyes meet mine, and he smiles, slowly. "Come," he beckons me, heading for the mysterious door, "I want to show you something."

His long, spiderey fingers reach for the doorknob, hesitating, like he's unsure of showing me what's behind door number one. What is he hiding? He glances back at me, searching my face with his large, lovely eyes, before turning the knob slowly and pushing the door open. A light flickers on.

"This...is my playroom."

Holy crap. I stare in shock. In all of my wildest, craziest dreams, I could never have imagined this. 
The room is large, obviously the bedroom, with a small twin bed in the corner. The walls are covered in posters and prints; large posters of Batman and Superman hang side by side, and on the far wall, a lifesize photo of Princess Leia, lounging in her gold bikini. 

But the posters are nothing compared to the shelves and displays of action figures. Thousands of action figures, all in their boxes, all from different universes and multiverses and from galaxies far, far away. Some I recognize, and some, I have to read the title on the box to know exactly what it is. 

Tristan walks clumsily over to the closet door and opens it. A filing system. I come to stand beside him and open a drawer. No, not files - comic books, thousands of them, all filed away neatly and in plastic envelopes to protect them. A shiver races through my body and I close my eyes to try to pull myself together. I never expected this. I never expected to be so...turned on. My inner nerd goddess trips over her own feet in delight.

"Anya?" Tristan's soft voice sounds unsure. I turn and look at him. His face is a mass of emotions; elation, confusion, excitement, nervousness, as if he's scared I'll be frightened away by his collection of toys. I give him a small smile, unsure myself. What do I make of all of this? I try to untangle my own mess of emotions, looking for a clear feeling. 

I close the drawer to the large filing cabinet, and step back. An action figure sitting on a shelf beside me captures my attention; Wonder Woman. My mouth creeps into a smile. Wonder Woman has a special place in my heart. Tall, an Amazon, she towers over men, just as I do. I reach out to touch the box.

"NO!" 

I gasp in shock as Tristan harshly grabs my outstretched hand. My eyes fly up to look at his face. He looks furious, more evil and angry and delicious than I have ever seen him before. I lick my lips, which are suddenly dry. I watch his eyes grow darker. I try to find my voice.

"W-why?"

Tristan stares at me blankly for a moment and then looks down at my hand, which he is currently crushing. He lets go suddenly and sighs, pushing his glasses back up onto his long nose. "Please...just..." His eyes find mine and I can see the desperation in them. "Don't touch anything."

"Why, Tristan?" I watch him. He seems out of sorts, like he was just awoken from a deep sleep. He says nothing, so I try again. "Why can't I touch any of your action figures?"

He shakes his head, staring at the floor, all awkward and unsure and contrite. He looks so young like this. 
"Tristan, why?" I press him.

"Anya..." He sighs, adjusting his glasses, sniffling from his allergies, "I just...I just had a rough childhood, and I'm very protective of my things. You wouldn't understand."

I bite the inside of my cheek. Why wouldn't I understand? 

We stand in silence for what seems like ages, neither of us moving, scarcely daring to breathe. He looks at me, his eyes scanning my face. Why? I silently question him.

"M-My Father..." he breathes.

I nod, waiting for him to continue, my breath hitching in my throat.

He stares at me, his eyes welling with tears behind his bottle-lensed glasses.

"My Father...was a jock."

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And there you have it. An except from a story that will never exist. Hope you enjoyed!

Oh, and do your part! Kiss a nerd today!

Friday, 27 July 2012

Freaky Friday: Zombie Dance

Because you probably need a good laugh before the weekend begins, not to mention the opportunity to watch two really big dorks dancing like zombies, I present to you the video of my BFF and I, doing the Zombie Dance. 

Enjoy!


You're a Mean One, My Dear Wife!

I am a very mean wife.

And it is DELICIOUS to be so!

Ok, so maybe I'm not a VERY mean wife, but having a Husband who loves me so much that he will do practically anything I ask of him is very thrilling and, at times, entertaining.

As they said in Spiderman, with great power over your Husband comes great responsibility to abuse it for your own amusement.

Now this is not to say that I abuse my Husband or that I would ever make him do anything that he really didn't want to do. For instance, my Husband and I are devout Christians, so I would never ask him to do anything that would interfere with his relationship with God. But there are plenty of other opportunities to take advantage of my Husband's easy going nature and his chronic "foot-in-mouth" disease.

Like a few months ago, when my Husband told me that putting makeup on correctly was so easy, anyone could do it.

Funny enough, he couldn't.

The finished product. Eyebrows = WIN.


Or the time he lost a bet to me on a football game and had to clean our entire apartment wearing nothing but a make-shift Tarzan loin cloth.

Dear Hubby doesn't even mind if I tell or show you these things - on the contrary, he finds it hilarious

Now, these opportunities arise frequently. As I said, Jay suffers from chronic "foot-in-mouth" disease. This masterful disease has created such gems as, "Baby, twenty-five years with you would be an eternity."

He thought he was being romantic.

My laughter included snorting that day.

Last night, a fantastic opportunity to enjoy abusing my power over Jay arose. Along with my running, I have started doing pilates, swimming and a bellydancing DVD. 

Yes. Bellydancing.

Stop laughing, you twit.

I be looking all hot, and....stuff.

My cats join in. They're surprisingly good.

A nice surprise, I am actually picking it up very quickly. It made me feel very good about myself that I was able to get it down so fast because the girl on the DVD said beginners have a difficult time with the movements.

Showing my Husband the DVD and some of the arm and hand movements involved, he scoffed and proclaimed that, "Wow, they make it so easy, anyone could get it quickly." 

......Oh, no he didn't.

So I smiled my sweet, loving wife smile and said, "If it's so easy, get up off your butt and do the arm and hand movements." And so he did.

Jay stood beside the bed facing the TV and I started the DVD over. For ten minutes, it looked like he was a cat that is trying to scratch someone's face off, but is too tired to do it properly. He moved his arms up and down, not in a sexy, snake-like fashion, but more like a confused, "get away from me you evil swarm of bees, I'm going to swat you all with my crazy arms" fashion. During all of this, he was moaning about how sore the movements made his shoulders and he kept throwing his hands up and laughing, exclaiming, "I can't do this!" 

And his shoulder shimmy?

Non-existent.

"My shoulders don't move back and forth like that! I don't have any boobs! My shoulder is too sore to move it in a circle!"

All the while, I was dieing. I was rolling around on the bed, holding my stomach, laughing hysterically. This was such juicy revenge for making me feel like I wasn't special, and an entertaining show all in one. Afterwards, I showed him how to do it, and he was quite impressed, even as he rubbed his sore shoulders with Ben Gay. "It's definitely not as easy as it looks," he announced, giving me a sheepish, apologetic grin.

Yes, I realize that I am a mean wife, and that I exploit my Husband's love for me for my own personal amusement. 

But with how hilarious and brilliant I am every single day? I don't think he minds paying that price. 

Saturday, 21 July 2012

How To: Photograph Star Trails

Star Trails in the sky around Polaris (the North Star)

This past evening, with a clear sky finally within my grasp, I dragged my Husband out to the country to finally learn how to shoot star trails.

Now star trails are exactly what you see above - the trails of stars in the night sky as they circle around Polaris, the North Star. If you have a camera with a "bulb" setting, this should be easy enough to do. Generally most SLR and DSLR cameras have this setting.

Having now photographed them for myself, I'll give you Stephie's list of dos and don'ts.

DO

  • Do go to the darkest area you know of. We live in the GTA (General Toronto Area), so that's difficult, but we went further north so that the north star would not be encompassed in the light pollution of Toronto. 
  • Do use a wide aperture, as it will allow more light (aka the stars) in. I used f/5.6.
  • Do learn how to spell "aperture" without using google to check.
  • Do use the lowest ISO setting you can, to avoid noise. I used 100. Can't get any better than that!
  • Do check your focus. Since it's hard to focus your lens on the stars, what I do is turn off my autofocus, manually focus where I think it should be, turn my ISO up to 1600 and then turn the shutter speed to 30 seconds. The resulting photo was bright enough for me to see how my focus looked.
  • Do use a star map to find Polaris, the North Star, or look for Ursa Minor (the little dipper). Polaris is the tip of the handle. The stars circle around Polaris. You don't have to, but it looks cool.
  • Do use a tripod, or your Husband's arms are going to be SO tired.
  • Do use a shutter trigger to keep your shutter open for a long time or your Husband's finger is going to be SO tired from holding down the button.
  • Do bring your Husband.
  • Do eat pizza. It's delicious.
  • Do watch "Batman Begins" on your mini DVD player in your car while your shutter is open, capturing the moving stars. I highly recommend it, it's really an excellent film, and Christian Bale's turn as Batman is exquisite. Four and a half stars.
  • Do leave the shutter open for as long as you like. The photo above was 60 minutes long, but I've seen people leave it open for more than two hours.
Now for my DONT'S.

DON'T

  • Don't forget your shutter trigger and your memory card in your apartment and have to turn back like an idiot.
  • Don't keep accidentally saying, "noise pollution" instead of "light pollution" or you're going to get corrected by your Husband about 50 billion times (a slight exaggeration).
  • Don't burn the roof of your mouth on the pizza. 
  • Don't be terrified of the dark countryside outside of your car as you sit in it, helpless if some psycho killer redneck who lives on the farm where you are decides he wants photographer for dinner and comes with a rock and smashes your window and pulls you out as you scream and try to fight back, but you really don't stand a chance because he's been lifting hay bails his entire life and all you do is lift cameras and he also sometimes works out to the P90X video his Grandma got him for Christmas so he's like, super strong, and he has a wheel barrow that he puts you in and he carts you away and serves you with a nice Pinot Grigio and a bearnaise sauce!....Yeah, don't be scared of that.
  • Don't watch too many horror films.
  • Don't keep thinking about that.
  • I SAID STOP IT. Ahem.
  • Don't accidentally turn your ankle while getting out of the car to turn off the shutter trigger when the photo is finished.
  • Don't hop up and down on one foot and mutter curse words through your gritted teeth after you turn your ankle while getting out of the car to turn off the shutter trigger when the photo is finished.
  • Don't freeze when you hear a coyote howl in the distance.
  • Don't say, in a terrified voice, "Was that a coyote?!" when you hear a coyote howl in the distance.
  • Don't grab your camera and tripod and throw them into the backseat of your car before launching yourself into the passenger seat and yelling, "FLOOR IT, FLOOR IT!" after you hear a coyote howl in the distance.
  • Don't drive home at lightspeed because you heard a coyote howl in the distance.
Star trails in Milton, Ontario

And there you have it! Now you know how to take a photo of stars moving in the night sky. I can tell you're thrilled and want to get right on that. And if I forgot to mention anything, don't sue me. I'm not a professional, I'm a geek.

But hey, I'm not being served with bearnaise sauce right now, so it's all good! 

High five, ya'll!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Big Fat Promotion

I am fat.


Now, reactions to that simple sentence vary. Some will gasp and say, "Nooo, sweetie, you're not fat, you're...big boned!" Others will snort and say, "Yeah, that much is obvious." And there will be a few that the word "fat" doesn't faze, and they'll just continue on their merry way, reading down the rest of this post. 


At least I hope.


Now let me tell you that I am comfortable. Not just with the word "fat," but with BEING fat. 


Shocked?


See, as stated before in a previous post, I am supporter of the Size Acceptance movement. The web definition of Size Acceptance is a "a grassroots effort to change societal attitudes towards fat, obese, and overweight people." It means that I believe in loving my body the way it is right now, not five pounds from now, not 100 pounds from now, but RIGHT NOW, as it is.


I believe in acceptance for all sizes, not just for fat people. I believe in exercise and eating well, no "fad dieting" or punishing your body for not being how the world thinks it should be. I believe in loving your body like it's your best friend.


Now, there are always people who don't believe in what you believe, and that's completely normal. But then there are people who are so very against what you believe, they take it and mold it and twist it into something completely different from what you actually mean. That has, of course, happened to me on several occasions, but none confuse my mind more than the belief that I am somehow promoting being fat.


Ahhh, yes. 


Somehow, my believing that you shouldn't hate your body has a few tongues wagging that I promote that everyone should be fat. 


Well, let me just say this.


You got me!


That's exactly what I'm doing. 


Being fat in this world is SO awesome, EVERYONE should be doing it, and I'm going the extra mile to make sure my dream of a fat utopia comes true!





Let's take a look at what the word "FAT" stands for, shall we? 

The "F" in fat stands for "Freedom." Being fat is freeing! When you're fat, you no longer feel the need to wear clothes since you can't find any in your size anyway, so you just run naked through fields of lavender and grain all day, letting your hair flow behind you, rejoicing in your soft, plushy body. 

The "A" in fat stands for "Awesomeness." Wow, is being fat ever awesome in this society! Let me tell you some of the awesome things you'll receive when you become fat:

  • Having to buy two tickets when you fly on an airplane because the airline thinks you're too big to fit into their tiny seat! I love paying more!
  • Never being able to find cute clothes in your size, and when you do, they're unbelievably expensive! Who needs them, we live naked (see the letter "f")!
  • Going on a ride at an amusement park, only to be told (in front of the entire line of people) that you're too big to fit on this ride and must leave! I don't like having fun anyway, and embarrassment is super cool!
  • Getting unwanted weight loss advice from virtually everyone from your family and friends to strangers on the street! Free advice is fat-tastic!
  • Getting dirty looks from strangers every time you eat! Enjoy that salad!
  • Not being able to fit into the bathroom stall at the store because it's made for people half your size! I'll just go in a bush later!
  • Being scared to go to the doctor because every illness you have from that cold to cancer is caused by your weight! My pinkeye will clear up if I lose ten pounds? Awesome!
You can have all this, plus much, much more! From stupid assumptions about you and your health to people yelling things about your body on the street, society is a bag of fun when it comes to being fat! Like I said, "AWESOMENESS!"

Finally, the "T" in fat stands for "Taco." This is a fat secret, and if the Secret Fat Society ever found out that I told you this, they'd revoke my Fat card, but when you come fat, you receive a free taco. Why? Because tacos are delicious.

So there you have it. Freedom, Awesomeness, Taco. 

I've been out there in the world every day, trying to relieve people of the oppression of "thin." I do my best to promote being fat - I picket, I hand out fat flyers and Burger King coupons, I go on Fox News. 

But really, I don't need to do any of those things. Just being OK with my body and going about my business is promoting being fat, much in the way that being OK with having pale skin means you are promoting being white, and feeling good about how short you are means you are promoting not being tall. 

Which all makes complete sense.

So if you ever see me jogging down the street in my cute workout clothes, promoting the fatness that I love so much, don't worry.

I'll be naked and back in the fields in no time. 

With my taco.