Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Tears

Let me sum up:
Two tearful Christmas videos for your enjoyment....

John Lewis Christmas 2011

Star Wars Christmas

Let me splain:
The John Lewis ad now officially rivals the "O Holy Night" hallmark commercial in my heart. And, ya know, Star wars.

Merry, Teary, Christmas.

~Geek out

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Operation Dumbledore's Army Boots

Let me sum up: Me surprising my family with the news that I finished my PhD. In the geekiest way I could manage.

Let me splain: If you wanted proof of the genetic/behavioral modeling contributions to overactive lacrimal glands, here you go! My mom is adorable. She is crying in that last clip before we even hit Potterland because the Seuss section of the park had a store named after a character I played in "Seussical the Musical" a couple years ago. Such a fun weekend! The park is pretty awesome on its own, but if you ever get the chance to go with my fantastic family, I highly recommend it! Also, BIG thanks to my dad for what is clearly the best Geek Tears photo ever.

I also want to give an usual corporate shout out to Graduate Affairs. I knew I wasn't going to be walking at the graduation ceremony this December (because I'll be in CA with my family, and because what could top this Harry Potter celebration?) I contacted the makers of the official University of Iowa robes to see if there was any way to rent the UI gear a couple months early. After three weeks I got a response which essentially read "Did we ever respond to this? Yeah, we can't do that." I did a lot of searching and couldn't find anyone that offered affordable, customizable robes. I also got ripped-off on ebay (yay buyer protection) trying to by a velvet tam from a company that apparently went kaput. I'd pretty much reconciled myself to renting a set of all black robes. Then I found Graduate Affairs, which offers customized, souvenir-quality robes for the same price as the rentals I was planning to get. When I ordered, they got back to me immediately. Even classier, they noticed a silly mistake I'd made on the order form, which they promptly helped me fix. I received my customized, super-awesome robes IN THREE DAYS!!! I identify with Slytherin, Gryffindor, and Ravenclaw all in their own special way, but getting grief from park employees all day for being a Hawkeye/Hufflepuff was AMAZING. And probably the most school spirit I've shown in my life. It also got us a free trip through the fast line at "The Forbidden Journey." I will treasure these robes as a memory of one of the niftiest days of my life. Thanks, Graduate Affairs.

Dr. Geisel, at your service.

~Geek Out

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I'll Hurt You If You Stay...

Let me sum up:
Horror flick fun, with The Fly (1986)

Let me splain:

The tear photo is from the final scene, right when he puts his grubby mitt on the gun. The other big tearful scene for me is the insect politics/"I'll hurt you if you stay" monologue. Good stuffs. And of course, I'm happy to enjoy Jeff Goldblum's hotness along the way. I've been listening to a lot of the Nerdist podcast lately, and a while back they had a fun discussion about what made this remake a successful endeavor, unlike so much of the reboot fever today. Namely--Cronenberg took a good idea and actually did MORE with it.

If you're looking for sumpin to do on Halloween, grab this version of The Fly, or the Vincent Price version, or both. And have funs.

~Geek out

Saturday, October 22, 2011

My Dirty Secret: I Heart Zygotes...and Rachel Maddow

Let me sum up:
Recent Rachel Maddow Man Cave

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Let me splain:
I was gleeful to see this edition of the Man Cave. And I was über-impressed by Beth Schopis’ bravery. I think there are crazy numbers of people (both men and women, unfortunately) who don’t have their heads wrapped around the science of hormonal birth control. Information is empowering, and I am thankful to Rachel and Beth for getting more of it out there.

I have some complicated emotions about contraception, and this hit home for me in a wacky, tearful way. (My Friday evening progressed with season 1 of “Walking Dead,” and even more tears).

Disclaimer/Paranoid-Attempt-to-Establish-Liberal-Street-Cred: I’m not a religious zealot. I went to college in Berkeley. I work in community mental health. I moved to Iowa a few years ago and giddily participated in a caucus for the first time by standing with Kucinich, and then Obama. I am not Elizabeth Hasselbeck. Interestingly, Hasselbeck is the only other person I've heard of discussing the pill’s uterine impact on TV. She is, of course, also a person who might have answered Beth’s question with “I oppose birth control because it kills people!” Or "What you're calling birth control, I call abortion!"

So…I don’t think zygotes are people, and I find it terrifying when people try to legislate on their behalf. But I had a very groovy philosophy teacher in high school who got me thinking about when people become people, and the immense grey area in this question. I don't have an objective answer to when human life begins. But I think that when two gametes have beaten the odds and fused together into a unique genetic code, that's pretty dang cool. And in my personal decision making, I don’t like the idea of doing something that would actively interfere with the viability of an egg after fertilization. When I first started taking the pill nearly a decade ago, I’d recently seen a scary evangelical rant about the pill and implantation. I explained my—admittedly quirky—stance on this topic to my doctor and asked for more information on how the pill works. Her initial response was “if you get pregnant while taking the pill, it won’t harm your baby.” And I said “Ok, but what I’m asking is whether the pill can interfere with the implantation of a fertilized egg. Can it do that?” She said “No.”

A few years later, I read an official FDA breakdown of the three pill mechanisms presented by Rachel this week. That is, the pill:
1. Reduces the odds of an egg being present in the uterus to nearly zero.
2. Thickens cervical mucus, impeding swimmers (I was debating the odds Rachel might actually say “mucus”)!
And 3. (despite what that doc had told me) Thins the uterine lining such that it would impede implantation should an egg sneak through and get fertilized, which does happen from time to time.

So…I made an appointment at women’s health and met with a nice resident. I explained my desire to avoid interfering with the implantation of a fertilized egg, and said that I was primarily interested in talking about back-up options (sponge/cap) to have on hand for times where break-though ovulation was slightly more likely (like if I was late taking a pill during the first week of a pack) to minimize the chance of a sneaky egg getting fertilized while I'm making my uterus less-than-optimally-hospitable by taking the pill. The resident was pretty stumped by my stance. She eventually called in an older, male doctor, who pretty dismissively said that I should just make my husband wear condoms because he was lucky to be getting lucky (I had explained neither of us was a fan of condoms). I tried explaining my position as calmly as I could, but by the end I definitely had a lump in my throat and some quaver in my voice. And after about 40 minutes of chatting with both of them, the resident suggested that I seemed really paranoid about getting pregnant and said that they could give me some Plan B (which is a great option for someone whose sole goal is avoiding pregnancy, but kind of the opposite of what I was asking for since it is another method that can, potentially, interfere with implantation).

After more consideration, a guilt heavy email exchange with the folks at (who certainly weren't down with me combining their methods with scandalous barrier methods), and some reading (I was lucky enough to have access to medical journal databases as a grad student—here’s hoping open access publishing becomes more widespread!) I decided to stick with the pill. Though the “actively interfering” piece still weirds me out, the odds of an egg getting fertilized and failing to implant still seem at their lowest while I’m on the pill, since the odds of an egg inadvertently getting fertilized are higher with condoms and fertility monitoring than the pill, and fertilized eggs often naturally fail to implant. Confused/bored/annoyed yet? Thanks for sticking with me.

My experiences while trying to make decisions about contraception left me feeling pretty frustrated and vulnerable. Emotions run so hot on reproductive issues, and that often impedes the distribution of accurate, helpful information. I am a lady who wants to minimize the odds that an inadvertently fertilized egg will get turned away from Ye Olde Uter Inn (ack). I realize that’s a pretty weird stance, but that’s where I’m at. And I was left feeling misinformed and alienated when interacting with both the "natural family planning" folks and with medical professionals. I wish it had been easier to find accurate information to help me make decisions consistent with my personal preferences—that is a right and a necessity for any woman making decisions about her health. And, again, I appreciate both Rachel and Beth navigating difficult conversations to make accurate information more widely available.

~Geek out

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Force is Strong with This One

Let me sum up:
Flower girl makes it through wedding with Yoda's help...

Let me splain:
Holy. Cow. Can't even. Tears. Ack.

~Geek out

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Science Tears

Let me sum up:
Video of a woman hearing her voice for the first time (submitted by reader Nile):

Let me splain:
Nile was debating the geeky merits of this video. I say--go team science! Using brain power to enhance quality of life and experience of the world is pretty sexy. And pretty geeky. And she's adorable.

~Geek out

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Vincent and the Doctor

Let me sum up:
The Doctor taking Vincent Van Gogh to see his work on display

(Couldn't get the clip, but it's in this lovely vid):

Let me splain:

Sorry! Naughty! It's been a while. I've been in the magical void that is dissertating. But I handed off a draft to my advisor last week. Hopefully he will greenlight my defense soon, and geeky celebrations will ensue!

I had a friend suggest posting some Doctor Who goodness a while back. When it comes to tears and Doctor Who, my dilemma is an embarassment of riches. I've just been having trouble picking. But we recently watched this episode, and it seemed appropriate fodder for posting.

I just started a job at a mental health center. I've had a framed "Starry Night" for years and had been toying with the idea of taking it to work. Van Gogh painted it while at Saint-Rémy asylum, which seemed appropriate. Maybe too appropriate. But this episode tipped'll probably always be a staple of my office from now on.

~Geek out
P.S. Enjoy the geeky musical stylings of TheBrand6011!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Potter Aftershocks

Still haven't made it to "Cowboys vs. Aliens." Was bummed I didn't find Hugo Weaving quite as compelling as usual in "Captain America" (I'm not enough of a villain geek to cheer for Nazis, even when they go rogue) but the hand grenade training scene did evoke a tear or two.

Anyhoo, I'm still hung up on "Deathly Hallows," so here are a few more things that got me misty (a little beautiful, mostly silly)...

1) WTF Japan, Seriously Harry Potter

2) Metal Potter

3) Feel Good Potter

4) It Gets Better Snape

~Geek out

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Comic Con Aftermath

Sorry I'm a week behind...I'm on the road with my husband for a bike trek across Iowa (I'm his "Sag Hag" or "Gear Gal").

I've caught up on comic con coverage, and here are a few items that got me misty!

From The Daily What....
Spoiler Alert of the Day: This photo is now cannon.

More Star Wars Kiddo Shlock

Surprise Hugs!

"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" Day Man Sing Along favourite masquerade entry. Futterwacken-ing Hatter!

In other con news, it sound like "Cowboys vs. Aliens" may be tear inducing. We shall see this weekend!

~Geek out

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Comic Con, Take 1

No tears yet from SDCC coverage....but here are a couple tidbits that I greatly enjoyed while cruising flickr...

1) From comic con 2010...shots of kids and awesome costumes are always fun.

2) People who are so excited about comic con, they take a picture of the badge lady.

3) Groups with delightfully discrepant costumes!

4) Iron Man dress AND a puppy?!

5) The family that cosplays together stays together.

6) The fact that I recognize a scary number of cosplay former "Who Wants to be a Superhero" hopeful, Purrkayla!

7) Skeptical children.

And finally, via io9, a shirt by Alaska Robotics that started off as something I wanted, and ended up as something my surly husband finds hilarious.

~Geek out

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Harley Quinn Makeover Mayhem

Let me sum up:
Sad tears for the new DC reboot Harley Quinn design...

Let me splain:

I know, I know. Things change. My bone is not with change, it’s with silly change. I was actually kinda excited when I heard about the DC Universe reboot. I fell in love with Harley on BTAS. I’ve grabbed some Batman comics over the years, usually for Harley or Joker content, and borrowed other books from my husband. But I’ve never gotten super into comic book geekery because it felt like there was just too much history to ingest. The reboot seemed like a neat potential antidote to this dilemma. That said....I fully appreciate the ire of fans who HAVE dedicated themselves to the comics already in existence.

Whatever my initial feelings about the reboot, like many Harleyites, I am really disappointed with how Harley Quinn looks in the new Suicide Squad comic. A fellow HQ fan requested that I post about the new design because it elicited some rare tears from her. Harley fans ain’t prudes. My favouite San Diego Comic Con experience (and costuming experience) to date involved some rather risqué Harley. Several fabulous pillars of the Harley costuming community have been known to shake their groove-things in burlesque shows. We like sexy! But we like character-consistent sexy. Sexy with a purpose. Harley's nightie getup in "Mad Love" gave us a perfect peek into her relationship with the Joker. Arkham Asylum Harley seemed a little more gratuitous, but I could wrap my head around it because sexy nurse is really just a hilarious bad joke. Harley can make that work. Shorty shorts, a precarious bustier, and a pointless cape...less workable. (Come on…a cape?!)

I have a really sweet memory of my Mom explaining how different takes on the same character come to be. I was trying to reconcile two different King Arthur stories as a kid…probably the musical “Camelot” and Disney’s “Sword in the Stone.” She explained that people pass on stories, and as they do they add on their own ideas. “So if someone really likes Merlin…maybe they add new details about him, or make him funnier, or more powerful.” And that’s art. That’s gorgeous. Over 800 years. But don’t introduce me to a wonderful character and then make her nearly unrecognizable all in my wee little lifetime.

Harley has a special place in the cockles of me old heart. She’s a character that resonated with me in those tricky, identity molding, early adolescent years. My psychology-geekery is tangled up with her. As is my love of villainry and hunting for humanity in big bads like the Joker. I won’t be at SDCC this year, but I hear tell there will be a Harleypalooza addition to other reboot protests. My good wishes and rubber chickens go with them! If previous comic con protests are any indication, it should be a sweet and hilarious good time. And hey, if anyone might listen to a pack of ladies in spandex, it’s DC.

~Geek out

P.S. Remember--we stand for sexy with a porpoise!

Wait, scratch that, I mean sexy with a purpose!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Deathly Spoilers--Part Tears!

Let me sum up:
So geeked out and happy with "Deathly Hallows--Part 2." It's been a fun week, full of anticipatory tears. There were many nifty moments etched in my mind that I was really anticipating would get me crying. A few of these didn't hit me quite the way I expected...sometimes because of departures from the book, but also admittedly because I had very vivid, rigid pictures of how these scenes would play. But I certainly cried a ton...twice as much as the last flick. And I was fully sated by the things I cared most about. Namely...

Let me splain:
My Snape allegiance is clear in the banner, folks (that's a Snape is Innocent shirt, and before/during shots of my first read through of Deathly Hallows). Seriously, for a "Harry Potter" fan, my investment in the character of Harry Potter is surprisingly tenuous. I joked with my husband yesterday that I wouldn't care if they rewrote the movie so that Voldemort won, as long as I got juicy Severus scenes. With that, let's break down the tears surrounding this flick.

Yeah, this is a thing. I knew I was in trouble when, several times over the past few weeks, just thinking about certain scenes got me misty (this happened around 7 times in line for the movie tonight). In addition to those moments, there were some ridiculous events that got me crying before the curtain went up (don't you miss when curtains actually went up?)
1) A message I received from my Mom as we arrived at the theater, indicating that she'd cried while reading a review.
2) Dead ringer for Comic Book Guy who came in and sat, alone, in an isolated chair in the corner.
3) Little girl at the theater with a blond wig (8pm Friday show, no other costumes). I asked her if she was dressed as Luna, and indeed she was. Glee. Don't worry, I didn't cry in front of her.

Tear Breakdown

1) Headmaster Snape at the window. Rawr.
2) Griphook breakin' it down at Shell Cottage. Okay, this was a ridiculous place to cry. But I dug the "Even goblins know Harry Potter" line. And I have a huge crush on Mr. Warwick Davis (I'm a villain geek, the Lep has a sexy tongue). Getting to see him play a lovely, lengthy, subtle scene tickled me.
3) Gringott's Dragon! Wow, this one did not hit me in the book at all. But those initial shots of the captive critter almost got me crying. And that made the escape extra gorgeous and exhilarating and tear-inducing.
4) Neville explaining the new DODA techniques, and his refusal to participate. Oh, Neville Hotbottom. You're top notch. This sweet moment reminded me a bit of Fred and George comforting young students during Umbridge's reign.
5) Guess who's at Hogwarts ya'll...Harry Potter! This scene was lovely and hilarious. The lightning has struck! I appreciated the face-time given to this wacky rag-tag band of students. Before many of them bit the dust.
6) Harry calling Snape out. Conflicted tears! Oh lil Harry, if you only knew.
7) Minerva saying she is glad to see Harry. Squee.

*** Ron and Hermione kisses should be next. If Ron had been talking about house elves, I would have been paying rapt attention. But in the seconds it took my brain to adjust to the rewrite, I kinda missed the kiss. I'm sure I'll enjoy it the next time I see the movie. I know, I know, they skipped all the SPEW stuff and that would have made the moment random. But Hermione is characteristically compassionate (example...they showed her indignant about the Gringott's dragon in this flick). It wouldn't have been that random. And I like that the book kiss was Hermione's response to Ron's delightful, unexpected thoughtfulness. I'm married to a guy I've known since high school, though we didn't start dating until college. When you know someone for many years, you often get some nifty surprises as you grow and change together. And those changes sometimes let the whole relationship take a new direction. This is makin me misty. Moving on.***

8) Aberforth...hrm, look who hasn't given up. Dug the shot of him fighting. Incidentally, I didn't really mind that they didn't get into Ariana or Grindelwald or other pieces of Dumbledore's backstory, though I'm sure this will bug some folks. These parts of the book didn't resonate much with me...though I haven't reread since Rowling spoke on Dumbledore's sexuality. That said, I was hoping for some allusion to Aberforth's penchant for the goats. Anyhoo, much love for Ciarán Hinds. Really dug his take on Rochester in "Jane Eyre" a few years back.
9) Snape's last scene with Voldemort. And Nagini. Lots of anticipatory tears. Thought how they shot Nagini's attack was powerful and well done.
10) Snape's last words with Harry. The tweak to "Look at me" was another moment where my brain took a second to adjust. I appreciate that they added "You have your Mother's eyes" to make the line clearer. Part of me wants to be annoyed they spelled this out, but it's a great moment and I get that they want folks to be in on it. But I was just waiting for those 3 little words, delivered with appropriate...Rickman...gravitas. The addition shifted the punch and took me by surprise. Another case where a change threw me but I'll probably bawl the next time I see it.
11) Fred?...George?...Remus...and Tonks. Yeah, I'm an ass. I adore them, but I can never remember which twin bites it. Sorry. Like the book, this moment was wrenching. And quickly gave way to the other heavy business at hand.
12) Lead up to the pensieve. Again, lots of anticipatory tears.
13) Snape, Lily, and other pensive gems. We're talking 8 minutes or so of solid tears.
Embarrassing, unavoidably audible sob at one point. I LOVED what they did with the childhood scenes. Really lovely. Rock on, kiddos. And so much Rickman goodness. And so many Snape tears. I was elated that they gave this moment its due. I'm a dork and had forgotten this is where Harry realizes he's an additional horcrux, so I should have know it would be in there. I was so glad they got the explanation of the doe patronus in too, though. The addition of Harry asking about the doe in King's Cross was a perfect way to bring this point home (this was an addition, yeah?) Honestly, the only detail I really missed in the other movies was the connection between Harry's patronus and his dad's animagus. It seemed like a pretty large (and easily corrected) oversight. So I'm glad things were different this time around. I know bits of the pensieve scene will still confuse my Dad and others who haven't religiously ingested the books, but I was so happy with what they chose to include here. Happy sigh.

***Incidentally, this series of really rough scenes for Snape-lovers is followed by like 10 minutes of near silence. Was I the only one mouth breathing while holding in a loud, uncomfortable sniffle this whole time?***

14) Lily's words to Harry via the resurrection stone. Fresh on the heels of the pensieve, Mom's rock.
15) Neville talking about losses. Aw, Neville.
16) Molly goes mama-bear. Man, I love this line. Again, yay Mom's. Moment didn't pack quite the punch I expected (maybe because the crowd didn't burst into applause like I had hoped), but I loved it. Doesn't hurt that Julie Walters is a dead-ringer for my mom.
17) Decapitation time, Nagini. Again, mad props Matthew Lewis. I'm looking forward to reading adorable interviews with you now that I'm not avoiding Potter coverage. Heh, notice I jump from here to the epilogue. Voldemort, schmodemort.
18) "Albus Severus". Well earned, tearful finale.

~Geek out

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Potter Prep

There's a lot of geeky goodness coming up in the next week, folks. I'll be posting my breakdown of hysterical sobbing from "Deathly Hallows--Part 2" this weekend. I'm planning a reader-requested post on the DC reboot of Harley Quinn next week. Aaaaaand I'll also be posting anytime Comic Con coverage catches my lacrimal glands off guard.

Seriously though. Harry Potter. I've avoided info/reviews as much as possible (though, baby spoiler, I did stumble across evidence that the epilogue made it in). And I gotta say, as a Snape girl, I'm excited. I'm blessed with a crap memory, so I'm rarely bummed about details from the book that don't make it into the movie. With the notable exception of Snapey-content. I've been dissapointed in the past by how little flashback/pensieve footage has made it in. So I was stoked when they announced they were splitting Deathly Hallows into two parts. I was happy to fork over the extra cash and sit through the nail-biting "We're hanging out in the woods!" action of Part I if it meant Snape might get more screen time in Part II. I don't expect them to cover Chapter 33 in detail (thought it would be amazing if they did). Honestly, I'd be happy if they just do a couple shots of Snape and Lily as kids as Snape says his final line. Yeah. That'd be good. I get misty just thinking about it. But for once, I think the movie might exceed my expectations, because you need a big dose of Snape and the pensieve to get to the epilogue. And because Snape deserves it, dang nab it. Greatest Harry Potter character ever.

In the meantime, a little niblet to whet your appetite...Rickman's letter written for the Empire Magazine Potter spread. Which totally made me cry.

~Geek out

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Home in the Sky

Let me sum up:
Shiny video submitted by Smeagol92055...

Let me splain:
Thanks, Smeagol--this video did indeed make me misty. I have Firely on the brain this week, having recently enjoyed Nathan Fillion's important new Nerd PSA (directed by Chuck's Zachary Levi!) And, of course, as I mentally gear up up for Comic Con geekiness. Thank goodness for youtube, when we're too lazy/poor to make the trek to California for SDCC.

Bonus--here's a Firefly rap, if that's more your speed.

~Geek out

Monday, June 27, 2011

Whimsical Disneyland Darth

Let me sum up:
Awesome commercial for the attraction that inspired sad tears last year (and my first Geek Tears entry)...

Let me splain:
It's been a wacky year, folks. Living apart from the hubs on weekdays. Completing that lameness (and internship) this Friday! Recently nailing down a great job/postdoc that I can do while living with my husband. And a whole lot of tears, gleeful and woeful.

I never posted any follow-up to my original post. My husband and I did make it to Disneyland last summer. We rode the original Star Tours several times. My teasy husband kept pointing to boys ages 5-10, and playfully reminding me: "The new ride is for them. Don't you want them to be happy?"

We have not yet ridden Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, which recently opened. I haven't looked at much review stuff...wanna be surprised when we do make it. Regardless of whether I enjoy the new attraction (which I probably will, cause I'm a sucker), this commercial is frickin lovely.

~Geek out

Monday, June 20, 2011

Love, Dad

Let me sum up:
Sweet Google Chrome ad....

Let me splain:
This isn't the only Google Chrome ad to make me cry, but it was the first.

Happy Father's Day, Geeks.

~Geek out

PS--Enjoy the new layout (sorry it took me this long to keep videos from getting cut off).

Thursday, June 16, 2011

In the Company of Mutants

Let me sum up:
It's a first ever geek tears mash-up! With "Company" and "X-Men First Class." (See--this new random posting thing can be fun...)

Let me splain:
Both bits of pop culture goodness definitely made me cry this week. And there is one sexy thread linking them that I really wanted to write about, but I'll save that for last. So we have a version of Sondheim's "Company" recently performed by the Philharmonic and and all-star cast, filmed, and released in theatres yesterday (Neil Patrick Harris's birthday--w00t!) And we have the latest installment in the X-Men movies.

I'd seen "Company" once before. Not my favorite Sondheim of all time, but I really enjoy it. It's a gorgeous show about the pain, ambivalence, and joy in romantic relationships. (Here's a taste). The cast was amazing. Stephen Colbert's performance of "Sorry-Grateful" was heart-wrenching, and definitely tear-inducing. Which is funny, because the song doesn't totally resonate with me. Granted, I approached dating in a very quirky way (lots of kissy-face in Preschool, made out with a few guys in Jr. High, made out very little with my two gay High School boyfriends, then had a reflective dry-spell until the night I gave in to being wooed by my best friend of 7 years). At any rate, I've never for a moment been sorry I got hitched. And--though this is me talking out of my ass--I get the feeling Colbert doesn't have a lot of sorry days either. But all relationships still bring vulnerability, complication, and struggle, and this song touches on the slippery, lovely reasons that we pursue relationships in spite of such pain.

There are too many things I loved about this show to name them all. But I loved that "Getting Married Today" finally got our audience clapping out loud (people love them some patter song!) I loved Lupone's take on "Ladies Who Lunch." And I loved getting choked up along with NPH as he sang "Being Alive." I am a relationship geek.

Now to comic book geekery. I'm not very familiar with the X-Men cannon, but I am a sucker for villain origin stories. Pretty much every Erik/Magneto scene made me cry. I loved many things about this movie (most centered around Erik and Charles), and strongly disliked some others (honestly forgot who Moira was by the end of the movie, not to mention the other mutants). And I was wildly entertained by the fact that Kevin Bacon looked exactly like Gary Cole for most of it.

So why write about these two movies together? You might think it's because debates have been raging around both projects over whether authors intentionally included gay subtext. I think the overall party line tends to be YES to "X-Men" and NO to "Company." I also think that once an artist hands-off their work to an audience, it takes on new meaning. And that's what makes art sexy, baby. Unless you take the Woody Allen approach and carry Marshall McLuhan around with you.

But my main point today has nothing to do with gay subtext. Or tears. It has to do with a little something I call the "Cary Elwes" effect. I grew up with a huge crush on Mr. Elwes, thanks to his work in "Princess Bride" and "Men in Tights." Wasn't crazy about him in "Twister." And most of the hostility I bear the "Saw" franchise comes from the fact that the first "Saw" movie confirmed that Mr. Elwes, though charming in his way, can't act his way out of a paper bag (or a death trap) unless he's hitting that one, dashing note. Sadly, many have noted that Ms. January Jones (who I adore on "Mad Men") seems to be subject to this phenomenon, too. I wanna say she got stuck in the same bind as Natalie Portman in the "Star Wars" movies--making a choice to play a character as super emotionally controlled is tricky (I worry this will come up for another XMFC star, Jennifer Lawrence, in The Hunger Games). But yeah. Throw Betty Draper in white lingerie, and you have Emma Frost.

Which is why I have to give one last bit of love to Ms. Christina Hendricks, aka Joan from "Mad Men." Her performance in "Company" was wonderful and goofy and endearing. My main comment afterwards to my hubby was "Did you see that? How she had a different voice than on 'Mad Men?' I think that's called act-ing."

~Geek out

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Super Baby

Let me sum up:
Hygena from "Who Wants to Be a Superhero" had a baby!

Let me splain:
I love me some Stan Lee. I love me some superhero reality TV. And I was sad to see this cheese-tastic endeavor get cancelled after 2 seasons.

I enjoyed Season 2. I actually auditioned for it, and met lots of fabulous geeks along the way (haven't watched my audition video in years, and I make no promises as to its quality. Mixing geeky auditions with a WWE Mall tour, frankly, did not seem like good synergy). One of the niftiest folks I met at the St. Lois auditions was Ms. Smegabyte, who digitized my "Mad Love Harley Quinn" vhs for YouTubes! Anyhoo, WWTBASH is long gone, so I'm comfortable revealing my secret identity.

The geek in me was rooting for Basura at the beginning of Season 2--she made our ranks very proud. Buy I had a soft spot for Hygena/Melody Mooney. I've long since lost touch with the fine Superheros on the Syfy forums, but I had a recent, random compulsion to google Hygena. Though she didn't win, she did show enormous heroism when she shared about her and her husband's battle to conceive. My husband and I aren't there yet, but I'm pretty terrified about the prospect of trying to make tiny humans, even in the best case scenario. Anyhoo, Hygena shared in the finale that she had struggled, but that she and her husband were going to try again. And since then I've googled (maybe once a year?) hoping for happy news. Which emerged recently! And my salty kryptonite did flow. Super-Mom, Dad, and baby appear to be doing well.

~Geek out

Monday, May 30, 2011


Let me preamble:
It's Geek Tears' 1 year anniversary! So many tears. Lots of changes coming up for finishing my internship and living with my husband full-time again, hooray! I'm going to be changing things up a bit here, too. Instead of the weekly post, I'll be updating as the tearful mood takes me. Might be a little less frequent, but I'll try to keep it geeky for ya.

Let me sum up:
My husband's super-geeky proposal...

Let me splain:
Reader Niles recently showed me this movie geek proposal. Sweet--but the couple look to me like they could definitely sit at the cool kid table. I also recently saw this article on Geeky Proposals. And I posted a while back about the PAX proposal this year (not the first PA proposal to make me cry).

My husband, however, can give all these folks a run for their geeky money. So here it is...

Trip to Vegas with his family. I spend the day with his mom and sister and aunt and cousin while he is secretly setting up. He calls and asks me to come meet him. A sign on the door says "Come in..."

The room is done up like the scene from UHF when Weird Al tries to get his girlfriend back. Balloons, flowers, crazy sign. He's nowhere to be seen (hiding behind the couch, apparently). The Nightmare Before Christmas "My Dearest Friend" song is playing (later, another of our favourite songs, "Simple Truth" by Tsunami Bomb starts to play).

There is a box on a table. As I walk up, a hands pops out of the box holding roses, ala the Joker's present to Vicki Vale in Batman. (The fact that his proposal involved a manikin hand elaborately rigged up on a car antenna, but that wasn't where he put the ring confused people no end). There's a note on the hand saying "Look under the table..."

Under the table there's a laptop on a box and a cd that says "Play me..." The CD has a power point presentation with many inside jokes, and which culminates in a recreation of the way Lisa Simpson gets proposed to on the Simpsons...fireworks, glitch, a cow with a sign that says "Marry Me?" The final slide says to look in the box under the laptop.

Which, of course, contains the man eating rabbit from Holy Grail with the ring in its mouth.

~Geek out

Monday, May 23, 2011

Save him

Let me sum up:
"Saving the Frogs" scene, among others, from E.T.

Let me splain:
I can't pinpoint the precise moment I became a crier. But this is definitely one of my clearest memories of a complete crying jag. I'd seen the movie many times as a kid. But when I was about 21 I was home on vacation, entertaining my 12 year old cousin along with my Mom. We watched E.T., and it was one of the first times I remember completely losing it. Along with my Mom. While my cousin just stared at us in confusion and horror.

~Geek out

Monday, May 16, 2011


Let me sum up:
Video of the opening day of the Dallas In-N-Out (if you don't have 2 whole minutes to spare, skip to 0:58-1:30).

Let me splain:
I've devoted very little space to what a food-geek I am. I don't get snobby about many foods (other than Mexican a transplant from California to the Midwest). But do I spend an enormous amount of time thinking about and enjoying food. For instance, my husband is about to do a bike marathon, and I spent 2 hours today googling delicious off-road sites where I can eat while I'm shlepping his gear from one town to another by car. Also, the main perk of my current psychology internship is that I get to be a cheese mule for an amazing local goat cheese (and get free samples) when I commute home on the weekends. Also also, I recently consumed my first (but not last) donut cheeseburger.

One of the first research labs I worked in studied hedonic capacity--essentially, the ability to enjoy things. I am very high on what they call anticipatory hedonic capacity (interestingly, this is often impaired in folks with schizophrenia). Early on while dating me, my husband realized you can't mention getting Japanese food in the morning and then decide you want pizza while driving to dinner. I've been thinking about that sushi all day, dang nab it...things could get ugly.

As a former Californian, I know that few things match the food fervor surrounding In-N-Out. I anticipate those burgers like few others (Kuma's Corner did recently blow my mind, though). Pre-smart phone, my husband and I had a hard-copy map to track In-N-Outs on our annual drive home for Christmas. I used to have a contest with another friend who had departed California to see who could eat at In-N-Out the most times during visits home. I remember feeling über-cool in Jr. High, in the back seat of my sister's boyfriend's car, enjoying a 3x3 while they ate their grilled cheeses with grilled onions (an enormous boon to vegetarians). All of which is to say, I feel your tears, random Dallas lady.

~Geek out

Monday, May 9, 2011

Baby Mine

Let me sum up:
"Baby Mine" from "Dumbo"

Let me splain:
A moment for Disney geeks. Such a heart tweaking scene. Even Timothy Q. Mouse can't help tearing up. For those who haven't seen the flick in a while, Dumbo's Mom is locked up because she was defending her baby.

The song is so 40's-tastic. There's an extra verse not included here...fits over the instrumental. I'm not sure who added it--possibly Bette Midler for her cover? At any rate, I remember being really moved listening to the lyrics for the first time as an adult. Which was while enjoying Bonnie Raitt's fabulous cover on the equally fabulous album "Stay Awake." I'd always heard this album was an underground, non-Disney-authorized affair. And it's totally worth it for the Tom Waits "Heigh Ho" cover. Not to be enjoyed alone in the dark. Check out "Music From the Park" while you're at it. It IS Disney authorized. And has Tim Curry singing "The Ballad of Davy Crockett," for goodness sakes.

Here are the full lyrics. Yay Mommies.

Baby mine, don't you cry
Baby mine, dry your eyes
Rest your head close to my heart
Never to part, baby of mine
Little one when you play
Don't you mind what you say
Let those eyes sparkle and shine
Never a tear, baby of mine
If they knew sweet little you
They'd end up loving you too
All those same people who scold you
What they'd give just for
The right to hold you
From your head to your toes
You're not much, goodness knows
But you're so precious to me
Cute as can be, baby of mine

~Geek out

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Friend Zone

Let me sum up/splain:
Top 10 Geeks to be Stuck in the Friend Zone (and make me cry)

Xander (Buffy) “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

Willow (Xander) “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

Ducky (Andie) “Pretty in Pink”

Dean Venture (Triana) “Venture Bros”

Hermione (Ron) “Harry Potter”

Mulder (Scully) “The X-Files”

Brian Krakow (Angela Chase) “My So Called Life”

Sally (Jack) “Nightmare Before Christmas”

Bert (Mary Poppins) “Mary Poppins”

Frye (Leela) “Futurama”

~Geek out

Monday, April 25, 2011

Geek Shirts

Let me sum up:
Some greatest hits of the geeky t-shirts my husband has bought me over the years.

Let me splain:
Yeah. We's nerds. My husband actually left the "Curie's in Love" shirt hanging from a ceiling fan on my last birthday. Which did indeed make me cry. Like a Wookie in an existential quandary.

~Geek out

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I Wanted to Save Both of Them

Let me sum up:
Butterfly scene from Trigun.

Let me splain:
More Japanese goodness. The husband and I have been having fun with streamy Netflix since we got rid of cable. I'd watched a little Trigun with him before, and remember the Rem story tugging me heartstrings. I really enjoyed rewatching this weekend.

This scene gets me. The things that feel right don't always make sense. Case in point--I'm totally with Vash. Aaaaaand I killed a spider for my husband this morning.

~Geek out

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mr. Children

Let me sum up:
Music video from Japanese rock band Mr. Children detailing their epic origins! Sort of.

Let me splain:

This week's submission comes from reader Nile. Though the video contains tears, it didn't quite tip me over the spill point. Tears are tricky and subjective that way. But you don't need to speak Japanese to enjoy the story. And as a regular reader of WTF Japan, Seriously!? I was happy to get some potential tear fodder from the floating kingdom that is both wacky and emotional.

~Geek out

Monday, April 4, 2011

Cr-Happy Ending

Let me sum up:
Brazil "Love Conquers All" Ending

Let me splain:
This makes me cry tears of rage...because it's so dang bad. This is the ending of the 94 minute version of this fabulous film, edited by Universal to make it more...accessible? commercial? palatable? for TV viewers. This version basically involves splicing a lot of random fantasy sequences together as though they were reality. And it hurts my brain. Gilliam's original cut makes me cry plenty of genuine tears. Take a twisty Gilliam world, add a dash of Tom Stoppard, throw in some Michael Palin (in my opinion, the most endearing Python) as a total creeper, and top off with a dash of melty-face Mona from "Who's the Boss," just for kicks!

~Geek out

Monday, March 28, 2011

Big Rocks

Let me sum up:
Covey on priorities

Let me splain:
This is cheesy as hell. But I have a supervisor who makes me cry whenever he says "put the big rocks in first."

~Geek out

Monday, March 21, 2011

Real Scrubs Finale

Let Me Sum Up:
Scrubs Season 8 Finale

Let me splain:
This week's submission comes from robertmillion, who recently--and very kindly--did a review of my youtube-ness. It feels nice and organic when a reader submission is something I KNOW made me cry the first time around. This season finale is no exception.

Scrubs is one of those shows that flew under my radar for a few years, then I finally started watching it with my hubby. It has made me cry many times (including this cover of Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's cover of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"...not the first time Israel made me cry). And I may have once had an erotic dream about the Janitor...but that's another story.

I have a very neat pal from Jr. High/High School who now works at ABC comedy, and I remember her voicing her frustration that today's tears fodder did not stand as the ACTUAL Scrubs finale. I think the hubs and I made it through all of Season 9. I think. And Eliza Coupe was delightful. But this is clearly the real deal.

~Geek out

Monday, March 14, 2011

Very Good Advice

Let me sum up:
Alice has a sad.

Let me splain:
Don't tell me the Tulgey Wood didn't freak your business out as a kid. Alice sheds tears a few times in this flick, but this is the one scene that can really get me weepy. Specially when I'm having one of those feels-like-I'm-always-too-small-or-too-tall days. We all get a little lost now and again.

Incidentally, there may be a few more Disney tributes over the next couple months. This is going to be a kooky year career-wise since I'm almost done with my program and my hubby has one more year. I'm about to embark on some...non-traditional job interviews. I needs to get in the mood.

Geeky fairy tale bonus!

~Geek out

Monday, March 7, 2011

Alien Encounters

Let me sum up:
Humanity translated via aliens, à la "3rd Rock from the Sun"

Let me splain:

The husband and I bid farewell to cable recently and have been getting our kicks through streamy netflix. We've been watching some classics, like "3rd Rock." Sappy enough for me, ridiculous enough for physicist husband. We've really been enjoying it.

I'm not a dorky English major, but sometimes I like to pretend I am. I've been thinking of how many cool bits of pop culture give us humanity through the eyes of aliens...or at least beings alien to humankind. I actually rely on this trope while doing IQ testing with kids--the vocabulary section usually starts with a question like "What is a shoe?" Which is kind of a weird question to answer. And when kids give a blank stare it is often helpful to follow-up with something like "Pretend I'm an alien from another planet and I've never heard of a shoe before-- what can you tell me about it?"

Lots of other alien goodness comes to mind..."The Forgotten Door," The Little Prince, The Doctor, Dr. Manhattan. Uhhhh, Blue Man Group? All give gorgeous takes on what makes us tick. Another favourite has got to be Anya from "Buffy." Alright, she's no alien, but the transformation from vengeance demon to high schooler was always rife with hilarity...and sometimes tears. Other favourites?

~Geek out

Monday, February 28, 2011

So nice to know there are Jackalopes around...

Let me sum up:
Pixar's Boundin'

Let me splain:
I'm in an Oscar mood. And this short came to mind (you can get 'em all on iTunes, I hear tell). I doubt they'll ever top this one for me. For enjoyment or tears.

I'm also geeking out because yesterday, I got to make Pixar-themey food for an Oscar party...(the flavors are "Sweet" and "Assaulty.")

~Geek out

Monday, February 21, 2011

Clone High

Let me sum up:
Clone High...let's say the last 30 seconds

Let me splain:

Clone High is one of those shows that I hesitate to recommend to folks because it was so very awesome and yet so very short lived. That makes the last 30 second of the last episode doubly sad. And I'm not going to post those last 30 seconds because you otta go buy the whole darn thing and watch it start to finish.

Here's the theme song though, for the uninitiated:

~Geek out

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sad Centaurs

Let me sum up:
The lonely, blue centaurs finally get some play...

Let me splain:
Sometimes, when you're a lady centaur, and you don't get quite as whored-up as the other lady centaurs, it takes you a while to find a nice boy.

Happy Valentine's Day!

~Geek out

P.S. Incidentally, the centaur scenes originally included a small, black centaur polishing the ladies' hooves and weaving flowers into their tails. In the later 60's re-release, Disney had enough sense to artfully zoom in on the hot, pale centaurs for these scenes, but for a while actually denied that the decidedly un-PC character had ever existed. Oh, Disney.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Silly Willy Tears, Narf!

Let me sum up:
Pinky and the Brain Christmas

And more...since I can't find the whole ending in one clip...

Let me splain:
Sorry...I'm a few months late on this one. But I didn't want to wait until next year. You remember this awesomeness? Yeah, I bet you do. This episode rivals O'Henry for tear-wrenching holiday spirit. You know they have this business on dvd these days? That's right, nerds. Netflix, post haste!

~Geek out

Monday, January 31, 2011

Sal. Kitty. Ooooooh.

Let me sum up:
Sal dances. Kitty gets it.

Let me splain:
I am a theatre-geek. My two serious boyfriends before my husband are both gay. One of them has über-evangelical parents and once told me that if I hadn't broken up with him, he thinks he might have tried to make me a Beard for Life. That's terrifying to hear. That's why I was super mesmerized by this scene from "Mad Men" season 3. It's gorgeous. And so sad. Kitty doesn't have many scenes but man, she nailed this look. My husband had to ask "Is that her getting it?" "Yeah baby. That's her getting it."

I also wanted to post this scene because my husband and I are almost finished with season 3. I have a lot of empathy for Kitty. But also for Sal. I think every Sal storyline made me cry at some point. I'm pretty big on martial fidelity, but I was totally rooting for him every time it seemed like he was finally gonna get some XY love. And events near the end of season 3 made me very sad indeed. Totally thought Don had Sal's back. But of course, Don just minds his own business, until someone's "business" interferes with business.

~Geek out

Monday, January 24, 2011

Last Minutes With Oden (Warning: wrenching tears)

Let me sum up:
Beautiful documentary about parting with a much loved friend.

Let me splain:
This is a little off the geeky path, but I will gladly defend my status as an animal geek. I think I've mentioned the dog paw mark that would pop up on my forehead when I cried as a kid (it has resurfaced can catch it in some of my photos). At any rate, this mark was often deemed appropriate for a girl who favored St. Francis and who maintained her Ranger Rick subscription until the age of 15.

However, I also came from an allergy heavy gene pool. We never had proper mammals growing up. A couple family pets--a hamster named Marble, a tarantula named Noel. My sister got an adorable lop that ended up being more akin to the Monty Python bunny. And I sated myself with a snake named Blossom and three chameleons (named--possibly to overcompensate for "Blossom"--Byron Caliban Mission De Bergerac, Vladimir Adrian Chernabog Dodgson III, and Dolores Augusta Persephone Liddell).

I have, however, developed a big old pile of love for my husband's family dog, Shelby. A few years into my relationship with my husband, I mistakenly thought I'd achieved Family Member Status when Shelby stopped jumping on me when I entered my in-laws' home and barking at me when I hugged my husband. I quickly realized, however, that Shelby's aging muscles and eyes were the true culprits.

Shelby is hanging in there but I've recently begun to realize that soon I will be faced, for the very first time, with the loss of a dog I call family. The video above captures the struggle to release the pure, unconditional love that a pet brings. The eyes of a dog have a sort of wonderful warmth and acceptance. The same feeling we get when we bask in the face of a tiny hu-man...before language comes along and mucks things up. Letting go of this kind of love necessitates overcoming a basic human selfishness. Just like reconciling ourselves to the death of any loved one who has been in immense pain. Physical or otherwise. Trading our pain for their liberation. Letting go as an act of love.

~Geek out