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07 July 2010 @ 05:53 pm
Nerdiness is inherited, geekiness is learned.  
Da and I go to a lot of movie together. It's a tradition that started right after his divorce from my mother. Sometimes, at least at the beginning, we pretended that the movie outings were commemorative or at least occasional: the first few X-men movies because they were released in theatres right around my birthday... the Lord of the Rings movies because they came out around Christmastime and we both had nothing better to do...Hellboy because Guillermo del Toro directed it, and any such movie is an event in and of itself. But the real reason, and the sad truth, is that they were mostly movies that no one else would see with us. Because, you see, Da is gruffly scary and, for awhile anyway, I was mistaken for someone who was cool. We had reputations to maintain. Sort of. And the movies we wanted to see were based on comic books, or sci-fi/fantasy, or foreign and really artsy. We like the stuff we like.

The man raised my sister and I on Star Trek, Doctor Who, Monty Python and the literary miniseries that PBS used to make based on 19th century novels and the works of Shakespeare. Libby and I were already pretty nerdy by nature: I liked looking at bugs and reading far more than little girls ever really do, and my sister was preternaturally good at mathematics and mechanical engineering even before she was in kindergarten. But our parents added that dose of geekiness that has lingered in various ways with both of us.

We were all nerds. Even my mother, who was, and still is, quite beautiful by most standards and who grew up in a very straight-laced, conservative, military household. I think she took up with my father and had nerdy little babies in small part as a way to embrace her natural, and up to then subdued, theatrical form of geekiness. Such was our family. Two former hippies and their two barbarian bluestocking daughters. We owned all the Star Trek movies and series of Doctor Who the moment they were released on video tape, and this was back in the time when the cost of VHS was prohibitive. We reenacted great battles in the back yard with dowel rods and the garden hose. We were read Grimms Fairy tales at bedtime. The real ones. The stories with blood in them.

The place where Da and I bonded was Star Trek, though. He explained to me the history between Vulcans and Romulans, why we knew Spock was evil in the alternate universe because of his facial hair, how Mudd always escaped consequences, generally. It was ... okay. Apart from The Wrath of Kahn, most things having to do with the original series were just fun background. Because, you see, my life was changed in September of 1987. I was ten years old, and Star Trek: The Next Generation had its television debut. I was riveted. Riveted. Da, though being an Original Series man himself, sat and watched it with me. Every week, no matter what else we had to do. Sometimes he'd grumble that Patrick Stewart should have stuck to the stage, and how he had seen Stewart with the RSC several times when he lived in London, and how, had he known then what he knew now, he would have warned the man. I ignored poor Da. Because I had fallen in love with an idea.

Now, I wouldn't say I am either a trekee or a treker or anything even close. I have never dressed as a Klingon and I've never been to a convention and I've never written either a fan letter or fan fiction. I just, as I said several paragraphs ago, like the stuff I like.

My sister escaped all this, bless her. She's more of a Star Wars fan herself. She is more able to hide her geekiness, and she has all but shed her nerd-atude. My husband has a theory: Star Wars fans are less geeky because their fandom started in movie theatres, forcing them out of their basements and into public where they were forced to interact with other people. I think that's sort of an unfair assessment, but Chris is a Star Was fan and therefore biased to say the least. My sister is still a bit of a genius, striking as our mother and as theatrical as both our parents, but she is fairly normal, preferring booze and pirate films over comic books and sonnets. She would never stay up until one in the morning arguing with our father over the Picard/Kirk question. (This is the only time I'll say this: while Kirk was admittedly The Man, Picard was the better captain. I have a whole rap on it, actually. Yes: THAT level of geek. Sorry.)

And Da is maybe a little disappointed in me for loving Next Generation over the original. But lovingly. There is always, when we speak of Star Trek, an undercurrent of playful, passive-aggressive war between us. I will give you an example, which ties us back in to the first subject, Da and I going to the movies:

When Generations came out in theatres, Da and I went to see it opening weekend. It wasn't too bad, though it suffered a bit from The Curse of Alternating Trek Films. About twenty minutes in, Patrick Stewart has his arse handed to him by Malcolm McDowell. As we watched Picard lose his stones on the rocks, Da leaned over and whispered "Kirk coulda taken him." I snorted. Then, fifty minutes later and thanks to one of those mind-numbingly, awesomely awful space/time shenanigans that always happens on Star Trek, William Shatner shows up and takes the bad guy to the cleaners. Of course. Da didn't say a word. He just turned slowly in his seat and gave me a look, one eyebrow raised.


Chris and I, for one reason and another, can't have kids. But we can and do have dogs. We are animal people, him being in the veterinary field and me being a little childish and naturally good with fuzzy mammals. We talk to our pets like people. Sophie-Pig, our pug, is a bit more my baby in the same way that our black lab Dakota is more his girl. I don't know if it's because of the moving things on the screen or because she actually is watching, but The Pig likes to sit with me and watch Star Trek streaming from Netflicks or Hulu on my computer. She likes to lay on my shoulder with her chubby, whiskery face pressed to my cheek, both of us only illuminated by the glow from my laptop. Even considering that household treat the animal companions like people, and even considering our general household geekiness, I still think it maight look strange if viewed from above: a pudgy gypsy and a small, squash-faced beast curled up in the easy chair; the gypsy's lips next to the dog's soft little ear, telling her not to be afraid of the Borg because they aren't real, about how it's okay to think Jonathan Frakes looks like a gorilla, about how the holodeck is suppose to work; and the little beast seeming to listen to every word, following the spaceship across the screen with her little bug-eyes.

I just hope she doesn't grow up to be a Voyager fan.....
The One and Only: Geektechnocowboy on July 7th, 2010 10:02 pm (UTC)
I just hope she doesn't grow up to be a Voyager fan.....

Ouch. :-( Sad cowboy.

(And no, that's not all I took out of this. I agree with a great deal of it, but I love Voyager...)

Edited at 2010-07-07 10:04 pm (UTC)
Andromachebeansidhe on July 7th, 2010 10:05 pm (UTC)
Heheheheheh... no, I liked Voyager alright. I REALLY liked Deep Space Nine, which is a great deal more shameful. I was going to type: I hope she doesn't grow up to be an Enterprise fan, but that would have wounded Da once again: Enterprise is the one spin-off he enjoyed almost as much as the original, even with that horrible theme song.

So I switched it to Voyager.
The One and Only: Geektechnocowboy on July 7th, 2010 10:09 pm (UTC)
I've not seen more than a handful of Enterprise (it's next on the Netflix queue, after we're done with Voyager). I tried like mad to get into DS-9, and while I can appreciate that it shows a different slice of Federation life, I couldn't stay with it. Although, I <3 Jeffrey Combs more than I can put to words. He was AMAZING as Weyoun, and I'm giddy happy that he was on Enterprise as that Andorian.

...why yes, I'm a bit of a Trek fan, why do you ask?
Andromachebeansidhe on July 7th, 2010 10:14 pm (UTC)
Ah, well: you see, for me, the DS9 attraction was Avery Brooks. My mother loves cheesy detective shows almost as much as my father and I love cheesy sci-fi and Libby loves being shocking; so I also watched a lot of Mike Hammer and (more importantly) Spencer for Hire along side the Doctor Who and Star Trek as a kid. I had the female equivalent of My First Boner over Hawk at a young age. So when I saw the same actor staring in (be still my beating heart!) a Star Trek spin-off, I couldn't look away.

So I understand. :-D
ersatzpixieersatzpixie on July 7th, 2010 10:46 pm (UTC)
you just described why I like Avery Brooks myself, only I didn't know it. my mom & dad loved Mike Hammer & Spencer as well. I knew I should know who Avery Brooks was, but I could never quite figure it out.

I'm a voyager/ds9 fan myself (hellooooo 7 of 9!), though I did watch the hell out of tng when it was on. I even liked Wesley. *ducking from hurled stones*
The One and Onlytechnocowboy on July 8th, 2010 04:26 am (UTC)
And I can totally get behind that. He was the weakest link for me. It was the first time I looked at someone who could have been so much higher in my opinion, but when I found out that he was doing it just as a job and even after the series ended wasn't a Trek fan? That really ruined it for me. Don't get me wrong, I'll totally watch the whole thing, and gladly, because I really miss my Trek fix, but it's the second-to-last in my favorites (TOS being my least favorite).
Nikkibohemiangrrl on July 9th, 2010 11:56 am (UTC)
I thank the heavens every day that Yuna likes musicals. That's my girl.
(Anonymous) on April 7th, 2011 05:45 am (UTC)
NATO takes over command of military operations in Libya
[b]NATO is taking over command of military operations in Libya from coalition forces, world media reported Sunday.[/b]

The UN Security Council imposed the no-fly zone over Libya on March 17, along with ordering "all necessary measures" to protect civilians from Muammar Gaddafi's attacks on rebel-held towns.

The 28 NATO ambassadors met on Sunday to decide on further military plans in Libya.

The United States transfers command for a no-fly zone over Libya to NATO, while coalition forces will continue to protect civilian population from attacks by Gaddafi forces.

The military operation in Libya, codenamed Odyssey Dawn, has been conducted so far jointly by 13 states, including the United States, Britain and France.

NATO members decided on Thursday to assume responsibility for the enforcement of a no-fly zone in Libya, but could not agree on taking full command of all military operations in the country.

Meanwhile, leaders of the 27 European Union states on Thursday issued a statement saying the EU stood ready to assist in building a new Libya "in cooperation with the United Nations, the Arab League, the African Union and others."

MOSCOW, March 27 (RIA Novosti)