Thursday, April 22, 2010

New Experiences

I tend to think I'm an adventurous person. I like to try new things - cultural things, food, music, etc. I dislike visiting restaurants I've been to before, unless the food is such that I cannot have it anywhere else. I tend to like to be the first person who points out something new and fabulous to my social group.

So, that being said, while I was on vacation I thought it best to try the most interesting things available to me. We went to a Dominican Restaurant on property, and I ordered the goat.


This doesn't seem like such a departure from my normal habit of being the adventurous one, but somehow this little dalliance into the outer boundaries ran me smack dab up against what is apparently the limit of my tolerance for new and interesting. The goat was served on the vertebrae, which was initially a bit of a shock. I got over it, tucked in, and tasted it. I must admit, it was rather ok, if not downright palatable for the first few bites.

At some point around bite three, it occurred to me that I was eating goat. I'm not quite sure why this didn't sit well with my sensibilities seeing as how I'm rather certain baby calves are cuter than baby goats (although I have no proof of this.) But for whatever reason, it started to prickle the hackles on the back of my adventurous spirit.

Somewhere around bite four, I noticed what I thought was a mushroom. Hey! I like mushrooms! And mr. snark claims to be allergic to mushrooms (which he very well may be, but I'm pretty convinced he just doesn't like them) so I was thinking about this as I moved my fork towards the assumed-mushroom. The thought process went a little like this:

oooh...a mushroom...I'm such an adventurous eater, trying goat in a foreign country, look at me go! I'm one of those women who backpacks across Europe and meets fabulous people and has all these life altering experiences and then writes a book about it. And maybe I'll get to meet famous people... hey this has a strange texture for a mushroom and kind of an odd liver taste...and... oh. oh my. oh no this isn't a mushroom at all, and oh my goodness, it's in my mouth, and we're in public, and I can't... oh god.

Mr. Snark notices my obvious discomfort and inquires into the state of my personhood at which point I must answer negatively, and then, ever so politely, and with as much decorum as I can muster, spit whatever it was back onto my fork and quickly hid it under a chunk of goat-still-on-the-backbone and looked vaguely towards the direction of Europe, sighing ever so slightly, wistfully, mournfully, for all the backpacking through Europe that I might never do.

I spent the rest of the vacation being as adventurous as "The Pasta Trio" which came with three different sauces. Ooo, three different sauces!

In retrospect, it was bound to happen sooner or later. Not every new experience is going to be a good experience, but that doesn't mean I should stop trying new things. It probably just means that maybe I shouldn't try to push the envelope quite so much. I mean, goat? That was totally on the menu just to trick the unsuspecting tourist into trying to appear adventurous to their companion.

Well you win this round, world. And yes, I suppose this means Mr. "Chicken Fingers and Fries" Snark wins a little bit too.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Views from the Outside

So last night I attended a school function for one of the clubs in which I was a member, and when we got to the room we were supposed to be in, it was already occupied.

By Geeks.

These weren't any geeks, these were anime geeks. Now, I understand what you're saying... Madame Snark, aren't thee too but a geek? And while I am, my dear reader(s), understand that I like to pretend that I'm actually a geek liaison. I speak the language, I own some of the costumes, and I've participated in some of the activities, but I can also move unseen through the throngs of normalicy. (This post notwithstanding)

In addition to this title, I also claim that of Geek Princess. Meaning, I am relatively attractive (in my own reality, TYVM) have done a great number of things which make other geeks go "ooooo jealous!" and have a somewhat large-ish cadre of fellow geeks who allow me to pretend that I hold sway over them.

Last night, however, I was traveling incognito. I was playing the part of "Honors Fraternity Executive Council Member" and trying to usher in the new initiates into the group, lead them to where they needed to be, and hand them whatever they needed to be handed. And I was not in the mood to take crap from people who can't use the room reservation system.

These geeks got downright rude with me when I politely informed them that we were scheduled to use the room. But this isn't really the reason I'm writing, it's more the observations which I made that drove me here.

Every single geek stereotype was represented in this stolen room. Stereotypes that I was friends with, that, heck, sometimes I even represented. It amazed me that I felt as if I knew them all, even with the fact that I didn't know a single one of them.

There was "guy wearing a t-shirt with holes in it who doesn't so much talk to you, as he talks near you while walking quickly in the other direction because Ack! Girl!"

There was "asian guy who wears the hoodie with the cat ears or chainmail or some other socially unacceptable something while cracking jokes with obscure references."

There were many others, but the next one I want to discuss next is the Geek Princess. Yes, they had their own Geek Princess. She's lucky I'm not also an Anime geek or we would have had to fight because, gosh darnit, there can be only one.

Anyways, my point is, geeks far and wide seem to be subscribing to some type of the geek identity that comes with an Identity Kit containing all the necessary mannerisms, idiosynchrasies, lexicons, and accessories necessary to pull off the look. Are they selling these at Hot Topic? How are they labelled?

It just makes a girl wonder if anything is still sacred when even geek culture gets commoditized.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

buzz words

I hate buzz words. I'm not talking about technical jargon, I'm talking about the words that are used pretentiously and inappropriately by individuals with little understanding of [their] actual meaning who are most interested in impressing others by making their discourse sound more esoteric, obscure, and technical than it otherwise would be...(1)

Those kill me. If you don't understand something, ask. If you want to sound smart, try working towards that goal. Don't sit there and tell me all about how our vertical markets are going to leverage our organizational goals towards increasing core-product profits... gah! Stabby.

I understand that I recently posted a social contract that related to workplace relations, but I don't know if I can agree to not get all stabby when buzzwords get used. It makes me want to whip out all the acronyms I know when you ask me about your email. It makes me want to retaliate in kind and speak to you from a place which only the truly geeky (and socially inept) would ever resort.

So, go ahead and use them if you must, but understand that this means war...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

and we're off!

Every time I fly I hear that whole "And I'm leaaaaavin' on a jet plaaaane... don't know when I'll be baaaack again..." song in my head. Which is. I dunno. Kinda lame. I'm rather ok with my lameness, as I feel it makes me more accessible to the every-day common man.

Anyways. I am, in fact, leaving on a jet plane in the morning. I promise to return with dominican coffee and tales from the beach.

Friday, April 2, 2010

I am horrifically inappropriate

It is not safe to bring me to meet your parents. Even while sober. And especially while drunk. (Ask my sibling about the time I told her future mother-in-law how much I liked her "Gone with the Wind"-Themed Pittsburgh Toilet/bathroom in the basement after the St Paddy's Day Parade) Additionally, you will find, that I'm probably not safe around the children.

I mean. Don't get me wrong. I have a children. I like my particular spawn rather well. I am also good with the children of my close associates, compatriots, and partners in crime. However. They have been well briefed not to repeat anything mrs. snark says, no matter where they are.

The most horrific things pass through my brain on a regular basis. And I giggle about them. Often. So it is not odd to see me walking down the hall just giggling. And if you ask "What's so funny?" my reply might very well be ... "Oh... I... um... just think funny things sometimes." Because I absolutely cannot tell you what I'm laughing about.

Well. Ok. I can tell you guys. I mean. You probably don't know the people that I'm laughing about, so it's all good fun. Case in point. Today. I'm walking to the water fountain at work. And I pass by the pregnant woman at work. (Oh, trust me, she is THE pregnant woman. And we ALLLLLL know allllll about her first, and now up-coming second, spawn. And every little stinking thing they do. And the words they say. And what they had for lunch. and... omg. yes. its that bad.)

So anyways. I see her. And she's. Well. She's a big girl. Tall. Broad shoulders. She's just. I mean, she's really tall. And. well. Wide. And now she's preggers. And fairly deep into the pregnancy, and she just. Well. She looks odd. Like. Well, like Jabba the Hut.

So now I'm in the hall, water dripping down my face, giggling. And I can't tell anyone why this is funny. Except it totally is. She's one of those people that is Smarter Than You (tm). She has a piece of advice on every single thing you've ever done or have ever contemplated doing. Even if she's never done it.

During her first pregnancy, she was giving me parenting advice. O.o

So trust me. It's funny. And so I consult with one of my coworkers on the issue, and she agrees that yes, it just looks weird. And it occurs to me that we are probably going to Special Hell for thinking these thoughts.

Special Hell is this place that is worse than Actual Hell in that every once in a while, you forget you're in hell. And then, BAM! Back on your heads.

Anyways. The point of this post is to give a shout-out to someone who isn't a local blog, but is a rather amusing blog, and sometimes a poignant blog, but all around a good blog. Someone who reminds me that it's ok to be as inappropriate as I am, because she's just as inappropriate. And if you're going to be inappropriate, you don't want to also be alone. So, a round of clicking for your aunt and mine, Aunt Becky:
Mommy Wants Vodka

only so many dots...

As part of maintaining my image as "not a gamer" I play in a few different games, we could call them roleplaying games, things like D&D, but not D&D. (Cue the leaving of all of my current followers and readers...) (All two of you. ;) ) Anyways. One of these games involves a system of "Dots" to account for the different skills that you have, and the level of skill you posses in any one skill.

In the system that I play, once you've used your dot, you've used it. Like, for example, if you attempt to "Drive your car down a set of stairs and not kill anyone" you might fail, and then you've used up your dots and can't drive anything, anywhere, no matter how normal.

The dot system continues in real life. I have "dots" in drive, photography, cooking, work stuff, etc. Sometimes I try to do something ultra-cool and it works out, sometimes I try to do something ultra-cool and it doesn't work out. Sometimes, I manage to do something ultra-cool, and then later try to do something fairly simple and utterly fail... it's these moments where I realize "Crap. I'm out of dots for the day."

I don't specifically have a story that goes with being out of dots, but I find it rather interesting that most of my compatriots follow the same theories. I have a friend who has stated, "Sure, I can remotely mount your virtual server and connect you through the firewall to your VPN, but I'm likely to get stuck in the elevator on my way home."

So, my easter wish for you is simple. May you all have enough dots to be enjoyed, but not enough to get in the way!