Monday, September 27, 2010

Learning Is Forever

Let me sum up:
Story Corps >> Germans in the Woods

Let me splain:
I know I've posted a fair amount of sad tears, but this one was probably the most painful for me so far. In the photo you can see remnents of the "stork bite" that would pop up when I cried as a kid--looks like a little paw on my forehead. I can't find anything online about stork bites reemerging in adult life...maybe I've been crying too much.

The photo also provides some evidence of both my NPR geekery and psychology geekery. Let's start with NPR. StoryCorps is a non-profit organization with booths set up in several major city's where people can come to have their stories heard. StoryCorps has a weekly segment on NPR's "Morning Edition." Their stories also pop up on "This American Life" from time to time. This is the show that introduced me to NPR. My sister and I were road-tripping to the Monterey Bay Aquarium when I first heard "This American Life." It was an episode about fabricated realities. We were in the middle of a segment where they took a historian to Medieval Times (essentially, Arthurian Disneyland) when we started to lose reception. My sister drove for the remainder of the hour with her hand out the window desperately trying to keep the antenna in check. NPR and "This American Life" are chock full of touching, pointed, delightful, and wrenching little bits of humanity. Many of which make me cry. So I was excited to read that they've made animated shorts out of some StoryCorps stories.

As to psychology...I am currently on an internship to finish my graduate degree in psychology. I'm working at a VA and picked the PTSD program for my first major rotation. One of the most important ideas I've picked up during grad. school (from a wonderful, behaviorally oriented supervisor who reminds me of Dumbledore) is the fact that learning is forever. If I say "twinkle twinkle little _____" to you, no amount of therapy is going to stop the word "star" from popping into your head. You can learn new things, and you can choose to change your behavior, but learning is forever. Vets with PTSD know this better than anybody.

"And I don't know how to get my mind."

~Geek out

Monday, September 20, 2010

They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.

Let me sum up:
Sam's Speech from "Two Towers"

Let me splain:
Oh man. Sean Astin. Adopted son of John "Gomez Addams" Astin. You have brought me many geeky tears. First you made hunting for pirate treasure look even more awesome than it already is. Then you actually made me care a little bit about football. But it doesn't get any better than this speech. Reminds me a bit of this picture and quote from awesome "StoryPeople" creator, Brian Andreas...

"Anyone can slay a dragon, he told me, but try waking up every morning and loving the world all over again. That's what takes a real hero."

~Geek out

Monday, September 13, 2010

PAX Double Whammy

Let me sum up:
My reaction to....

1) The PAX Wedding Proposal

2) Tycho's post regarding his Mom and gaming

The high point of the show for my Mom was watching "Of Dice and Men" the first night. Playing host to dramatic theatre is not, strictly speaking, in the PAX charter. We talked about moving parts on Wednesday, but if you want to talk about some moving-ass parts, a stage performance constitutes an authentic whirligig. It takes some fucking balls to put on a show anywhere, let alone in a converted convention room. Something special must have happened in there, though, because people wanted to talk about it for the remainder of the show.

My mother has never entirely understood roleplaying. I don't intend to belabor the point, but when I was a young man it was the position of our church that Dungeons & Dragons held within it the clustered seeds of apostasy. She was so bewildered by what she had seen during Of Dice and Men that she made it a point to attend our D&D Live panel, where her son and his friends played this mysterious game on stage. The devil did show up, true, and we did go to hell, just as the clergy had suggested we might. Except in the actual version of events, as has happened so many times, we stood against the King of Lies at the very gates of his damned realm and emerged triumphant.

My mother came up to me after the panel was over, saying, "I'm sorry, Jerry. I'm sorry." She wiped the corner of her left eye with her thumb. "They told me it was something else."


Let me splain:
I have yet to attend a Penny Arcade Expo. My husband was at the original Necrowombicon--30 dudes hanging with Gabe and Tycho at a mall arcade and food court. He's old school. We fantasize about moving to Seattle one day, and dressing up fancy for the Child's Play Charity Auction each year.

In the meantime, I sate myself with such PAX news as pops up on the internets. Last Friday I heard that new hire Erika got engaged onstage during the expo, so I popped over to youtube to check out some video of this momentous event. I then emailed my husband so that he could feign surprise at the fact that I'd cried during said video. He mocked me roundly, and then pointed out that Tycho's Friday post would also likely make me cry. It did indeed.

I've actually only played D&D once, in an adventure made possible by lovely DM Kato (one of Geek Tears' 8 kindly followers to date). My husband kept inviting me over to play during high school, but his parents usually weren't around, and my parents didn't like the idea of me alone in a house with 4 testosterone fueled nerds and a bag of dice. But I love the game. I love everything it gave my husband. I also love the ways that families evolve and change over time...Tycho's post speaks to this quite niftily. I still remember the wonderful moment when I realized my Mom had gone from viewing the "The Simpsons" as something crass and offensive to something she was comfortable laughing at. Anyhoo, the photo of me reading Tycho's post doesn't show tears very well. But I love my husband laughing at me in the background.

Incidentally--this little blog usually gets 2-4 hits a day, driven almost entirely by traffic from my youtube channel. When I saw I'd gotten a whopping FORTY hits today, I new something was up. Thanks to Cyriaque Lamar from i09 for posting a link to my Dr. Mrs. the Monarch video and to stealthyslyth and Veg1v0 on the twitters making internet bird noise about it. And for any folks moseying this way for the first time--welcome! Ummmm, I'm a geek who cries easily. When I'm not working on my PhD in clinical psychology I enjoy making silly costumes and doing stand-up. Let's be pals. I come bearing gifts.

~Geek out

Monday, September 6, 2010


Let me sum up:
Edward Scissorhands goodbye.

Let me splain:
I would have done the "Hold me." "I can't" scene, but the only youtube vid of it that I could find had Japanese subtitles.

But seriously, only Johnny can do that much with a simple gesture like closing his eyes.

Happy Labor Day! I love being a federal employee, and sleeping next to my husband more nights than not in a week.

~Geek out