The Teresa Jusino Experience

Create Like An Activist

Tag: geekiness

China Mieville Is A Poser!

Too hot to be a geek?

I’m writing to rant about something that’s been bothering me for a long time. I hate it when hot guys say that they’re into geeky stuff just to get in on what’s popular, or to get attention. Take China Mieville for instance.

Right. You expect me to believe that someone that hot has the foggiest notion of what it’s like to be picked on as a kid? You expect me to believe that someone who looks like this:

…knows anything about alienation or the need to hide in fantasy? I suppose you expect me to believe that a hot guy like that is also smart, right?

Pffft.

What annoys me most is the earrings. I mean, it’s clear that he’s doing that to make himself look “non-conformist” and “alienated.”  Check out this picture of him in glasses:

It’s as if he’s trying to say “Hey, look at me! I’m a nerd just like you!”

*gag*

Or how about this one?

Like, “Look! I write about squid. I’m totally down with geeks and steampunk and all that stuff!”

Oh, please. Why don’t you go back to the GQ photo spread you crawled out of, and leave geekery to those who know what they’re talking about.

See how stupid that sounds?

______________________________________________

From Patton Oswalt’s ridiculous Wired article about “the death of geek culture” to posts like this one at The Flickcast (enjoy the web hits I’m giving you. I hope people go there only to see how wrong your article is first-hand), we’ve been bombarded lately with “real” geeks criticizing other geeks for not being geeky enough.

For the love of God (or the Wormhole aliens), stop it.

I am sick of women needing to jump through hoops in order to prove their geek cred in a way men hardly ever have to. As Kristen McHugh points out in her eloquent blog post on the subject, an attractive male celebrity can simply say he likes Star Wars, and people fill in the blanks, assuming a knowledge that may or may not be there. Meanwhile, an attractive female celebrity who says she likes Star Wars has to take three written tests and a driving exam to “prove it.”

I am sick of geekiness being determined by how attractive one is/isn’t according to the mainstream media. A male friend of mine recently said that he doesn’t consider Chris Hardwick a “real geek”, because he’s so attractive and is an actor, so his nerdiness doesn’t count, because it doesn’t come from a “real place.” Um, I’m sorry, but anyone who was at the recent Doctor Who screening in NYC, at which Hardwick moderated the Q&A with the cast and crew, knows how much of a geek he is. His geekiness is palpable.

The fact is, if you are a geek, and you’re segregating yourself from others based on what they look like, you are not only doing the stories you love a grave disservice, but you are being a hypocrite, because you felt slighted in high school, and now want to treat the world the same way. Just stop.

Like Ghandi said, “Be the geek-friendliness you want to see in the world.” OK, maybe Ghandi wasn’t talking about geekery at all, but the point is still valid. You don’t want people judging your geekiness? Don’t judge someone else’s. Sounds pretty simple. Isn’t, apparently.

CONFESSION:

I’ve never read China Mieville before, though I’ve heard his name all over the place. I reluctantly decided to look him up one day a couple of months ago, because I kept hearing that he was someone I should be reading. I say reluctantly, because I’m not really a squid/Lovecraft/steampunk kind of a girl, and that’s the impression I got of his work. I’m more of a spaceships/other planets/alien civilizations kind of a girl.

Then, I saw that he was hot. Suddenly, I was interested.

So, while I don’t judge a book by its cover, I sometimes judge a book by its author photo. I don’t know what that says or doesn’t say about me, but I will say that my interest in Mieville’s work started because of people’s recommendations. The fact that he’s hot just makes me really excited about going to his readings. 🙂 Also, while his other work seemed not to be my thing (though The City and The City seems pretty close), his latest novel, Embassytown, has aliens, an alien language, a female protagonist, space travel…

It’s as if he was saying, “OK, Teresa, if you agree to read something of mine, I promise to write something you’ll like.”

I guess the moral of this story is, judging something by its looks is only cool if it makes you love something. Not if it makes you tear something (or someone) down. And certainly not if that’s all you’re doing. Mieville is brilliant and political, in addition to being ridiculously tappable, and these are all good things.

I guess I’m waiting for a time when people can look at a beautiful woman in the same way, realizing that beauty and substance aren’t mutually exclusive.

Geeks, Nerds, and Dorks

In writing a comment over at Tor.com on an interesting article by Ethan Gilsdorf, I realized that I never wrote about the way I distinguish between Geeks, Nerds, and Dorks here at The Teresa Jusino Experience, which is weird considering what geeky concerns this blog has. 🙂 Back when I was writing for Examiner.com as the “NY Geek Examiner,” I wrote a whole article on the subject that I just tried to find, but seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle of hard drive contents between moves. But here is the basic gist for your edification. Feel free to post your thoughts on the matter in the comments!

Original poster by Scott Johnson: http://frogpants.com

GEEK

Geekiness is measured by enthusiasm. If you looooove something SO MUCH;  if you love it enough to read every book, watch every episode/film, go to every event, write stories set in that world, buy every piece of memorabilia, dress up as a character, or have [This Thing I Love] theme parties, you are a geek. As you can see from the poster above, you can be a geek about lots of things, and lots of people who would never have applied the “geek” label to themselves are probably geeks about something or other. Hardcore sports fans are geeks. I came into contact with a lot of Jets geeks recently. They think of themselves as simply “fans”, but if they’re rocking jerseys and randomly bursting out with the Jets cheer in bars when there isn’t even a game on…they’re geeks, along with music fans who see their favorite artist/band play in as many cities as possible, keeping track of band news as if they’re keeping track of loved ones.  🙂 The important thing to realize here is that there are “acceptable” forms of geekery, and “unacceptable” forms of geekery that will get someone made fun of or looked down upon. But make no mistake, those who enjoy “acceptable” forms of geekery are no less geeks, and maybe if they understood that, the world would be a better place with a lot less judgment and bullying.

NERD

Nerdiness is measured by knowledge. If you know every episode number of a show along with its title and season, if you know every piece of trivia, if you can summon facts about a fictional world as easily as you can summon facts about the non-fictional world, and if you know fictional characters as well as you know your friends, you are a nerd. Sports fans who can recite stats and team history are nerds. Foodies who not only know lots about cooking, but can also tell you facts about every cooking show that’s on, or the ins and outs of the goings-on at popular (or, more likely, obscure) restaurants are geeks. All nerds are geeks (you’d have to love something immensely to know that much about it), but not all geeks are nerds.

For example, I consider myself a Star Trek geek who is on her way to become a Star Trek nerd. I aspire to nerddom, and I know that I know a lot more than non-nerds, but know that there are many people more knowledgeable than I am. One day, I will cross over to full-on nerddom, and when that day comes, I shall do a happy dance. Maybe, that dance will even marry me to Nathan Fillion!

 

Candis and Jessica of Awkward Embraces

DORK

Dorkiness is measured in sociability. If you are really awkward in social situations and either don’t talk much or talk too much to overcompensate, you’re a dork. Now, we all feel uncomfortable at parties and such from time to time, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Take Jessica on the fabulous webseries, Awkward Embraces. She is a Star Trek geek as well as a Trek nerd. She is also incredibly awkward when talking to anyone who is not one of her best friends. She’s horrible at mingling/flirting at parties, or holding conversations where she can’t relate everything to Star Trek. Jessica is a dork. There’s nothing wrong with being a dork – hell, Jessica still manages to get a ton of action despite her awkwardness, because she also happens to be gorgeous – they just need a little more friendliness and help than most people. So, if you see a dork at a party, talk to them! They’re probably really awesome and just need a little more of a nudge to get into comfortable conversation. /PSA

(I generally don’t have trouble around people, but there have certainly been parties where I haven’t been in my element and I feel like a dork…but whether I actually was one or not is up to other people to decide.)

So, that’s how I break things down, and what I mean when I use those words and label people at all. Labels are important so that you can find what you like, but I always try to use them in the most all-inclusive way possible, because narrow definitions mean a narrow experience of something. Geekdom, Nerdiness, and Dorkiness encompass more than people tend to think. Geeks are not as “alone” as all that, and non-geeks are generally geekier than they think they are. 🙂

The Willingness to Not Be Seen

It’s funny, I always insist that I don’t suffer winter doldrums, and yet this year I feel as though I am. There’s a thin sheen of “meh” over everything, the cause of which I can’t exactly put my finger on. It could be the weather, but normally I love cold weather, even though my Puerto Rican genes should be dictating otherwise. It could be my new apartment. I still feel as though I’m getting used to it, and the fact that there are no windows in my room, so I rarely know what time of day it is, or that it’s tiny compared to the house where I used to live, so I feel like a caged animal pacing the same square footage day in and day out makes getting used to it difficult. That is, when I’m home. This past month has felt like an endless barrage of babysittingcomicshoparticles, all happening in a blur, and opportunities to see friends and family have been rare. When I’m home, I’m working. When I’m out, I’m working. And even when I am out with friends, I’m thinking of the work I should be doing. Then a bunch of my articles hit all at once, and I feel proud, because I’ve produced so much! And then I feel not so great about it, because look at the kind of life I’ve been living to make those articles happen. A blur that, when slowed down, taken apart, and examined, reveals what seems like a big, blurry nothing.

*sigh*

However, two things happened recently that gave me some perspective. The first was that, sadly, the producer and director of The Pack, my friends Liz and Alex, decided that they didn’t have the time to devote to the project anymore, which is totally understandable, but had me a little bummed just the same. I really love this story, and if I hadn’t found time to work on it, it’s because I’ve been focusing on how to make writing my living, rather than just a hobby, and in doing so, I’ve focused on the opportunities that pay, rather than the ones that don’t.

That situation led to a great chat with my friend, writer Adam Hunault (if you’re not reading his blog, you should be. He can be really insightful when he remembers to post!), who sort of broke down what I’ve been doing in a way that I hadn’t been able to see clearly on my own. He’s good at that. What it boils down to is this: I’ve been devoting too much time to the writing that doesn’t matter to me, and not enough time to the writing that does. Or, how Adam put it, I’ve been writing to short-term opportunities and ignoring longer-term goals for myself.

You see, the whole reason I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I was a little girl is that I love telling stories. I love creating characters and worlds. I love making stuff up! Yet, I’ve spent the past couple of years mostly focusing on creating a geeky, non-fiction niche for myself; on making myself valuable to a community and a market to make myself easily salable. Don’t get me wrong, I love that, too! I enjoy being a part of a vibrant community, and I’ve developed skills that I didn’t know I had. Apparently, I’m not bad at creative non-fiction and, for some reason, people find my articles, essays, and interviews entertaining. Or, at the very least, informative. But the times I’ve been happiest were the times when fiction poured out of me. When I was sitting in Charles De Gaulle airport on the way back from a month in France in 2007 and my short story, “Talking About William,” fell out of me in one fell swoop. Or, when I wrote the original first three episodes of The Pack, and my pen couldn’t keep up with how fast my thoughts were coming. (Yes, I usually write all my fiction longhand first. Even scripts.) Or, as I was working on my spec script for Castle, and I spent weeks turning the characters over in my head to see what they’d do. Or when I wrote my short story “December,” suddenly inspired by a piece of music.

I rarely feel like that when writing articles, unless I’m extremely passionate about the subject matter (Caprica and Doctor Who ring some bells), or I manage to turn non-fiction into an opportunity to write fiction. (Step away from the holoband, Sasha!)

A couple of posts back, I wrote about the importance of creating opportunities. That’s still true. At some point, you need to stop writing for yourself and start getting your stuff out there to other people. The thing is, there needs to be a balance between doing that, and taking the time needed (and it does take time) to hole up and write the things that matter to you, even at the risk of people forgetting about you.

I realized something interesting about myself. Not good or bad, just interesting. A big part of why I write, aside from getting to make up stories (which I haven’t been doing lately), is to get people to pay attention to me; to make myself understood; to be seen. Every time I get to post another link to an article I’ve written, people notice. I’ve been interacting with writing the same way I used to relate to acting, treating writing as if it were live performance, hungry for immediate feedback. I love when people comment on my posts and articles, and having conversations with people at the websites where they post, or Twitter, or Facebook. And I’ll admit it, I love it when people comment on the flurry of activity they see in my corner of the world, marveling at how much work I do and how much I’ve accomplished. It makes me feel good in the moment.

The thing is, the act of writing isn’t glamorous, which is a difficult thing to accept when you’re as showy a person as I seem to be. I crave human interaction, and the act of writing is really solitary. There’s just no way around it. No one’s going to sit around and watch me write a novel or a script then applaud me when I’m done. That’s not how it works. And I see now that what I’ve been trying to do is cater to an audience without creating what I love. I’ve been feeding one part of myself while ignoring another, and someone who isn’t balanced (let the “crazy” jokes start now!) isn’t going to be very happy. I haven’t been happy, because even though I’m doing what I love, I haven’t been doing what I love – if that makes sense?

Now that I’ve made the decision to make writing my living, and those articles are where my rent comes from, I can’t very well stop. That said, I can be better about prioritizing projects and making more room for my fiction. I haven’t been very disciplined about keeping any sort of a schedule, and I think if I did that, it would make a world of difference.

I’ll talk about my specific writing goals another time, but I’ll end with the knowledge that I need to be willing to not be seen for a while. I need to not be such a god-damned show-off. I need to be willing to put my nose to the proverbial grindstone and plug away at the long-term projects that matter, even though no one can watch, or cheer me on, or pat me on the head. If I don’t, I’ll never get out these stories that are swimming around inside me, and I’ll continue to make myself miserable.

Though writers always tend to find new and exciting ways to make themselves miserable, don’t they? 😉

Teresa’s Tuesday Round-Up: 9/28/10

Sure, it’s not technically Tuesday anymore…but I haven’t gone to bed yet, so this still fucking counts.

Here’s my week in scribbles (9/21-9/27):

BEST SHOTS RAPID-FIRE REVIEWS: SEPT 23! Featuring my reviews of Black Widow #5 and Ultimate Spider-Man #14 (Marvel)

SEX AND THE SINGLE GEEK GIRL: CEE-LO IS A HATER! I love Cee-Lo’s song, “Fuck You”, and I love his video…mostly.  What I don’t love is how the video disses geek girls.  Read why!

DR. SKETCHY WRITE-UP AT TRAZZLER! So, I’ve entered a contest at Trazzler for a sweet writing contract.  I love travel, and this job would send me on a trip to cover the Hudson Valley and would pay $1,200.  Wanna help me land the gig? Go to the link, vote it up, and “save” it to your Trazzler trips.  Thanks!

Until next week!  🙂

Adventures in Apartment-Hunting: Bushwick

Specs: 1br in a 3br apt.  Bathroom, small kitchen, teensy livingroom

Rent: $520/month

NYC neighborhood: Bushwick, Brooklyn

I looked at my first apartment today, answering an ad on Craigslist for a bedroom available in a three-bedroom apartment in the Bushwick area of BK, which required me to take the J train for the first time in my whole life – and I’m a native New Yorker.

When I got off the train, I knew I wasn’t in Kansas anymore.

The neighborhood was certainly not the best.  To be perfectly honest, and in the words of the girl whose apartment I was going to see, “it’s ghetto.”  However, there were lots of families, and I didn’t feel unsafe.  While it wasn’t as nice as Astoria, there was a friendly vibe.  There was some kind of block party going on as I walked to the apartment, and so blaring reggae followed me down the street.  It was actually rather nice.  Then, I saw something that I thought could possibly be a sign.  Something that told me that maybe good things might happen if I decided to live here.  The apartment was on the corner of Evergreen Avenue and:

Surely this was a sign that if I moved here, I’d have a long and healthy writing career (Evergreen), and that I’d eventually get a job with the BBC writing for Doctor Who (Moffat).  At the very least, it was a sign that my geekiness knows no bounds in that this was the first thought that popped into my head…

Standing outside the apartment building, I was already skeptical. As I waited to be buzzed in, I stood on the front stoop and looked around.  I couldn’t imagine living here.  I couldn’t imagine leaving the house everyday and having this be my view.  The front door was beat-up, the street devoid of anything welcoming.  But I reserved judgement until I could see the apartment.

Angilique, the girl whose apartment I saw, was very nice.  Also, very driven.  An ambitious 27-year-old dancer and pilates instructor, she was very clear both about what she did want and what she didn’t want in a roommate.  We were definitely on the same wavelength artistically.  However, I wasn’t sure if this was someone I could live with, though she’d probably be home very little, so it wouldn’t even matter.

It is not to be.  The apartment, while cute, is really small.  Too small for my stuff, and that’s taking into account that I’m getting rid of a lot of stuff.  The bedroom I was looking at for $520 was the size of Liz’s bedroom here in The Commune, and she only pays $300 for it.  The slightly larger available room that was going for $565/month would fit my bed, but not much else.  There were no closets anywhere in the apartment.  While the kitchen and bathroom were new and lovely, there was no furniture anywhere, save an armchair in the corner.  There was also no room for any furniture if I wanted to bring mine.  There was no TV that I noticed and no cable/internet, so if that’s something I wanted, I’d have to get it on my own.

But the real nail in the coffin is the fact that she wanted to find someone to pay August rent.  I can’t do that right now.  It’s all I can do to get it together for September.

However, I’m glad I went.  You know how people seem to drop into your life exactly when you need them?  Well, my chat with Angilique about art and the things we do and don’t sacrifice for it was something I needed to have!  It reaffirmed my commitment to this crazy freelance writing idea – mostly because she kept saying things like, “I don’t want to get to be 30 and not have done anything!”

Er….yeah.  And yes, she knew I was 31.

So this apartment and I were not meant to be.  However, that didn’t stop me from contributing to the local economy, when I spent $1 to buy a really big (and really good!) cup of pink lemonade from some cute kids with a table set up outside their house, and another $1 on an italian ice from a woman pushing an ice cart.  Here’s hoping that finance karma will return the favor.  Or not, because I don’t think “hoping for it” is how karma works…

Rating: 5/10

Catching Up Is Hard to Do

Just a quick post to let you know I’m still alive!  🙂  There’s so much that’s happened recently.  It’d be impossible to do it all justice…but here are some highlights!

**Geeks Are Only “Anti-Social” Around Stupid People

Me at the Geek Girls Network NY Tweet-Up, hosted by @geekgirls. Why yes, that is a monkey in my shirt!

It always amazes me when people say that geeks are socially inept.  It amazes me, because just about everything geeks involve themselves in are things done in groups.  Conventions, meet-ups, and now, Tweet-ups.  We love being around people!  It’s just that we prefer to be around people who know what you mean when you say “TNG” or “TOS.”  🙂

I had the pleasure of going to the Geek Girls Network NY Tweet-Up two weekends ago, and it was such a great time.  Extreme kudos to Kristin (@geekgirls on Twitter) for organizing it!  She pretty much put a call out to all geeks within eye-shot of her tweets, invited them to The Brass Monkey in TriBeCa, and let the free swag and the alcohol flow!  🙂  I had a chance to hang out with the lovely Lisa from Pink Raygun (@pinkraygun), and got to meet Kristin and Geek Girl Diva (@geekgirldiva), whom I’d only ever “met” on Twitter before.  I also met some fabulous new folks, including Sarah (@dracona1031), Dale (@daleochase), Risa (@lachendwolf), Jill (@thenerdybird), and John (@sentroid91).  It was a great night full of wonderful, geeky conversation, much beer, and fabulously geeky gifts (I snagged a ThinkGeek.com monkey, along with a Space Invaders necklace, and a “Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock” shirt that I will be giving to Robin since it doesn’t fit me.  Which is fine, because RPSLS is the gift that keeps on giving!).

That weekend, I was house/dog/catsitting for Jean, and I had a much better time of it than I did the last time I did it…except for the bathtub leaking into the apartment below.

Sometimes, I feel like a walking Three Stooges episode.

Anyway, I also got to have a lovely lunch and quality hang out time w/Ms. Geek Girl Diva (no, she doesn’t give her name) the following day.

**Robin’s Getting Married (Or, My First Time As a Maid-Of-Honor)!

Robin and Matt right after question poppage!

One of my closest friends since I was in fifth grade, Robin, is GETTINGMARRIEDHOLYCRAP!  And she’s marrying my DP on The Pack, which makes things SO convenient.  🙂  This is such a strange thing.  I’ve known Robin since FIFTH GRADE.  We’ve talked about what it would be like when we were getting married, but it’s a whole other thing to have it actually be happening to one of us.  I have to admit that, at first, I felt a bit like Amelia in the movie Walking and Talking.  But I couldn’t be happier for these two!  And one of the best parts?  I’M THE MAID OF HONOR!  I have no idea what I’m supposed to do, but I’m going to DO IT.  With APLOMB n’ shit.

**Meanwhile, Over at Tor.com…That’s Right!  More Caprica.  (Though I Have Yet to Write The Final “Moffat’s Women” Post)

Not even Caprica being off for a week can keep me from writing about it, apparently…  🙂  Here are my most recent articles:

Beating Caprica Withdrawal (2/16/10)

From Vicki to Zoe: The Evolution of Robot Daughters on Television (2/19/10)

Caprica S1, Ep 4: “Gravedancing” (2/23/10)

Now, I’ve got houseguests staying with me for a week beginning this weekend, and I’ve got KATIE’S BABY SHOWER later today (I need to go to bed!), so I’m going to be pretty busy and not writing much.  However, here’s some of what you’ve got to look forward to here at The Teresa Jusino Experience:

Teresa’s Bookshelf: Breakfast of Champions

Tor.com Post: Caprica S1, Ep 5: “There Is Another Sky”

-I’ll be posting my short story, “December”, on March 10th, just before I find out whether it got me to the final round of the NYCMidnight Short Story Contest.

– a post on why Caprica (specifically the Tauron storylines) have struck such a chord with me

– a post inspired by Geek Girl Diva (and a discussion she fostered over on her blog)

Until then…keep up with me more regularly on Twitter and Facebook.  Later, kids!

2009 Year In Review

Since 2004 I’ve been doing a Year In Review post.  It’s a great way for me to look back on both the good and the bad of the past year, and it’s a great way for anyone reading to get a brief glimpse into the awesomeness that is my life!  🙂  If you’d like to stroll further down memory lane than this post will allow, feel free to check out my past Years In Review: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008.

And now….*drumroll*  TERESA’S 2009 YEAR IN REVIEW:

** began 2009 having brunch with some wonderful people, then fooling around with a cute boy in his car and, later, in my empty house.  Haven’t hung out with said cute boy again, but still, quite a way to start the year! 🙂

Me and Mariah the day we met!

** 2009 was the first full year I had mentoring Mariah through iMentor.  It was, and continues to be, a really cool, rewarding, challenging, interesting experience.

** OBAMA OFFICIALLY SWORN IN AS PRESIDENT! Was finally rewarded for my campaigning efforts and activism.

** Saw In the Heights, which has since become one of my favorite musicals!  Met Lin Manuel Miranda afterward…he’s such an inspiration.

** MET JOSS WHEDON with Adam! You can read about the experience here.  🙂  He was at the Apple Store in SoHo promoting Dollhouse, which premiered this year.  I enjoy the show, but don’t consider it Whedon’s best work.  Am hoping 2010 brings more interesting projects from him.

Me and Neil Gaiman at Housing Works bookstore

** MET NEIL GAIMAN! I’d been familiar with him since reading Sandman in 2004, but for some reason his work resonated with me this year more than it ever has, and I began devouring everything he’s ever written.  I met him for the first time at a reading he did at Books of Wonder in NYC that I attended with Adam, then several times at signings after that.  A talented and really sweet human being.

** DISCOVERED AMANDA PALMER! I’d vaguely heard of The Dresden Dolls ages ago, but it wasn’t until this year when my following Neil Gaiman led me to the solo music of Amanda Palmer.  Turns out, she’s not only a talented songwriter and a kick-ass live performer, but she’s inspiring in the way that she pursues art relentlessly, uses the internet to its best advantage, and works so hard to stay connected to her fans.  One of the best discoveries I’ve made this year.  Saw her perform live and met her twice.  Also a very cool, thoughtful person.

** Saw Eve 6 in concert for the second time at Mulcahy’s with Robin, Matt, and Sam.  They’ve still got it!  By the end of the concert I was drenched in sweat and felt energized and alive.  It was a good time!

** SAW STAR TREK!  Great, great movie.  So great, in fact, that I saw it in the theater about six times!  🙂  God, but I love JJ Abrams.  Also love Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto!  Rrrawr!  😉

** Met and hung out with Jasika Nicole and her awesome girlfriend, Claire, before they followed Fringe to Vancouver.  Not only is she an awesome actress and a fabulous artist, but she’s a sweetheart and makes killer Rice Krispy treats!  🙂  Had a lot of fun at her going-away party, and I was also happy to meet her amazing cadre of friends.

** Attended Dr. Ruth Westheimer’s 81st birthday party/book party/documentary screening at the National Arts Club, NYC.   I have to say, it felt strange to not only be one of the few people there under 50, but also one of the few people there other than the people working the party that makes less than $40,000 a year.  Still, it was a nice time, and there was some good, fancy food.

Me, Liz#2, and Adam at the Highline Ballroom after the Girlyman concert

** MET GIRLYMAN for the first time at their show at the Highline I attended w/Adam and Liz#2.  Liz#2 got her boobs signed by the whole band.  A great show, and they couldn’t be cooler people.

** Signed up on OKCupid, and had only one correspondence end up in an actual date.  The date wasn’t successful, but the guy was nice enough, and I was happy to get my first online date out of the way.

** Went to Wizard World Philly to volunteer at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund table.  The con itself was boring (except for when I got to MEET EDWARD JAMES OLMOS, who was the coolest dude ever, and signed my sketchbook in Spanish), and I was really annoyed/disheartened by the level of cynicism displayed by the people with whom I was volunteering (why work with the comic book industry at all if all you’re going to do is look down on the people who enjoy them?), but I was staying with Lisa and John of Pink Raygun fame, and I had a great time with them! They introduced me to a whole bunch of cool people by bringing me to an awesome clambake party…and I ended up hooking up with a friend of a friend of theirs.  🙂  That was a good, fun night.

** Was asked to be a comic reviewer for PopMatters.com.  Wrote a couple of reviews, blog entries, articles for them, had a lot of fun doing it, and really enjoyed working with the editors.  However, I stopped writing for them after a while, because it was too much work to be doing for free.  I made the decision that, other than Pink Raygun, I’m not going to write for any other websites unless they pay me money.

** Met a lot of cool friends this year, including – but not limited to – Lori, Emily, Ellys, Mary, Matt, Sam, Trisha, Laurie (in the UK), Janice, Sonia Aurora, etc.  If I missed you, I’m sorry! I’ve met a lot of people this year!

** Speaking of cool people, I interviewed artist, MOLLY CRABAPPLE, for Pink Raygun, and since then have become friendly with her, and been to her fabulous Dr. Sketchy’s live drawing sessions several times. Have also met her boyfriend, fellow artist, Fred Harper, and her frequent collaborator and friend, John Leavitt.  Attended the release party for Molly’s new graphic novel, Scarlett Takes Manhattan, and had the pleasure of introducing myself to Gala Darling, one of my favorite bloggers.  Would love to get to know all of them better in the coming year!

** Attended my first NY Liberty game w/Emily, Liz#2, and Adam.

Me filming a scene from "The Pack"

Me filming a scene from "The Pack"

** SHOT 3 EPISODES OF THE PACK.  Originally, The Pack was created as an entry for an NBC digital shorts contest.  NBC turned their noses up at us, but we’re continuing with the project.  Liz, Alex, and I hope to buy better equipment and I hope to write better, tighter scripts.  However, shooting those three episodes was A LOT of fun, and taught us SO MUCH.  It also established the fact that once we organize ourselves and get the equipment we need, we can’t fail, because we’re working with an AMAZING cast and crew.  Everyone involved in this project is so talented and passionate about what they do.  We are very, very lucky to have them all.

** CELEBRATED MY 30TH BIRTHDAY! You can read about my fabulous, 30s-themed birthday celebration here.  It was a great night, and I have to say that, so far, my thirties kind of rock!

** Midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince with Robin, Matt, et al.  I thought it kicked major ass.  Robin disagreed.  Vehemently.  🙂

** Star Trek Convention in Parsippany!  🙂  A lot of fun – but it would’ve been more fun had people come with me.  Conventions are always more fun when attended with friends.  Still, I MET LEONARD NIMOY, albeit very briefly, so that’s really all that matters!

** Raised over $1,000 for the RDC “Fallen Comrade” Fund to help Liz#2 with expenses incurred because of her broken leg.  I have to say I was very proud of myself for being able to pull that together, and I was so glad to be able to be of some concrete help.

** Was a housesitter extraordinaire – first for Jean and Kevin as I watched their pets while they were away (and I somehow got some kind of throat virus in the process), then for a friend of my friend, Elizabeth’s, in Larchmont watching HER dog.  I have to say, I really like housesitting.  It’s good to get away from communal living for a bit.

** KATIE GOT PREGNANT! That didn’t happen to me, obviously, but I was SO THRILLED about it, it had to be included.  She’s due in March…

** Saw Burn The Floor with Lori.  GREAT show!  I wish I could move like that.  Developed a crush on a German dance couple.  🙂

** Saw The Bacchae with Merle in Central Park.  Boooooring.  Still, Jonathan whassisface is hot.  🙂

Eileen, Vanessa, Joanna, and Me at Martha's in Forest Hills

** After reuniting at my 30th birthday shindig, Eileen, Joanna, Vanessa and I had an epic, old-school hanging out session.  Did I mention this was EPIC.  These are my oldest friends.  I’ve known these ladies since I was knee-high to a grasshopper (I’ve known Vanessa since I was about 3, and I’ve known the other two since I was about 5).  I thought it so cool that we’re all still friends – that we’re even BETTER friends now than we’ve ever been before!

The Cool Kids Table at the post-wedding brunch: Jessica, Nicole, Mrs. Zalas, Lindsay, Andie, Adam, Dana, Me, and Justin

** Trip to MICHIGAN w/Adam followed by ALANA AND ROB’S WEDDING in Chicago.  It was so cool seeing so many people that I don’t get to see nearly often enough.  Became better friends w/Adam’s mom, Joan.  Got to know his dad, Bill, and his stepmom, Kris better.  Got lost for 5 hours in Pyramid Point park with Adam, but made it out alive.  Met family and family friends of his that I’d only ever heard about before, including the infamous Donna!  Also, met Whitney and Casey who are really cool, and got to hang with Carsen, Sasha, Ruthie, Dana, Justin, Lindsay, as well as the Couple of the Hour.  The wedding itself was SO MUCH FUN.  I could’ve done without the threesome going on in my hotel room, but now I know to choose my roommates better on the next trip.

** Entered, and lost, the 2009 NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Contest.

** Went to a benefit screening of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog at Symphony Space, featuring a Q&A w/Joss Whedon, moderated by Ira Glass, with Adam and Liz#2.  As Liz#2 was still in a wheelchair because of her broken leg, we were let into the lobby first.  Joss Whedon walked right past us in the empty lobby and said hello as he went out to mingle with the people standing on line outside.  We would’ve missed him were it not for Liz#2’s eagle eye.  As he walked by, I said “Hello, Television’s Joss Whedon.”

** Discovered the wonder that is Roller Derby!  Saw Whip It, which I loved.  Went to my first Gotham Girls Roller Derby bout between the Queens of Pain and the Brooklyn Bombshells and had a great time!  I’m looking forward to spending the whole season with them in 2010!

** Met the woman who will hopefully be my future literary agent at a “Breaking Into Publishing” seminar I went to w/Adam at NYU.

** Other fun, work-related shindigs I went to included going to the Fashion for Dummies book party and seeing Chita Rivera perform at Birdland.  Fun evenings, both!

** Saw Jonathan Safran Foer for the UMPTEENTH time at a signing for his newest book, Eating Animals.  He remembered me. 🙂  We’ll see if his book can convince me to become a vegetarian…

** Attended a wonderful event called Salon97, a laid-back classical music salon organized by my friend Kevin’s fabulous wife, Cariwyl.  Met some cool people, including a woman named Ami who works for Tor.com.  We had lunch, she introduced me to Tor.com’s head honcho, Pablo, and I’ve been offered a chance to write for the site!  2010 is going to see even MORE geeky writing from me!

** Discovered THE BEST INDIAN FOOD IN NEW YORK CITY with Ruth, Joe, and Lindsay.  I’m not gonna tell you where it is, though, because I don’t want word getting out about it too much.  If you want to go, you’ll just have to make an appointment with me, and I’ll take you there.

Me and a liter of beer. Standard fare at Studio Square!

** This year saw the beginning of the Studio Square Table – the name I gave the writing workshop started by Jean, and which includes her, me, Alex, and Adam.  It’s been great so far, and I look forward to lots more writing criticism, and enormous mugs of beer with them in the coming year!

** Officially became a Whovian! (that’s a fan of Doctor Who, not, like, a resident of Whoville, or something equally Seussian…)  Great – yet ANOTHER TV show for me to be obsessed with.  🙂

** Discovered the work of writer, Paul Cornell.  Not only do I love his work on Doctor Who, as well as his comics (DARK X-MEN!), but he participates on his blog really actively and seems like such a genuinely nice person.  I look forward to reading more of his in the coming year.

** Thanksgiving at my sister’s place – where it seemed like we’re becoming closer than ever!  🙂  Christmas at my brother’s place – also a great time even though the kids ran me ragged.  I lurve my family.  🙂  Actually, the holiday season was jam-packed with more parties than I expected!  Christmas Eve saw an impromptu Christmas party happen at my house – Sebastien and Diana cooked an amazing dinner, and we had a bunch of people over, including Ellys, Emily, Mary, Adam, Diana’s friends, Patrick, Sam, Ashley, and some other folks whose names I didn’t catch. Lots of fun, and I got some great gifts, including a very special rubber duckie!  On Christmas Day, I celebrated Jewish Christmas, and hung out w/Adam, Ellys, Emily, Robin, Matt, and Sam to go see Sherlock Holmes, then went back to my house to be met up with by Mary and eat Chinese food while watching Wet, Hot, American Summer.  Also a great night.

** New Year’s Eve spent at Robyn’s new place that she just got with her boyfriend, Jerry, who is cool as all get-out.  Partied with them, Robin and Matt, and Brian and Carl, and made new friends in Maggie, Keith, Roger, and Evelyn. It was a great time.  There’s nothing quite like standing on a roof in the middle of NYC celebrating the new year!  Also, there’s nothing quite like interpretive dance the way Robin and I do it:

Well, that’s it!  WHEW!  This has been a truly eventful year.  Thanks to my wonderful family and all my amazing friends for making it so wonderful.  I love you all. Here’s to a wonderful, exciting, fulfilling 2010 for all of us!

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