Life

Little Petal goes to NYCC

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Never be boring.
Always feel beautiful.
Anything could happen.

Every little girl, at some point in their life, has probably imagined what their wedding would be like. As a nerd, you probably want to be a little more creative when the special day finally arrives. That’s where Little Petal is here to help you. Based in Brooklyn, Little Petal makes custom alternative style wedding dresses that reference comic books, science fiction, and horror themes. Since their target audience is largely nerds, it makes perfect sense that the little company that could would like to go to NYCC to show off their fashions. They currently have a Kickstarter running that, as of the time this posts, will have already reached their goal of $5,000. That’s great, but they could still use help. That’s where you, our lovely readers, come in. Extra funds will help them with advertising and labor costs. The Kickstarter also has way more information telling you what they’re all about, what goes into making one of their dresses, etc. You can also check them out on Facebook, if you so desire. And don’t forget to go visit them at NYCC this year!

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Why I’m Angry at The Big Bang Theory

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Yeah, I’m a little late to the Big Bang party, I know. Once a show gets that much hype, especially within a particular social circle, I tend to write it off quickly. ~I couldn’t possibly like something that so many other people like!~ After seeing Jim Parsons appear on a few talk shows and finding him intriguing and charming, I finally decided to give the show a shot.

I gave it 4 episodes then declared it a waste of my time and informed my husband that we would no longer be watching the show. Specifically I said “I’m done, let’s stop watching now’. As we are prone to do, we immediately launched into a critique of the show, bouncing pros and cons off each other as if an audience of anxious viewers were waiting to hear our opinions. Recently, it’s been fun to acknowledge how we digest some of our favorite shows differently, often due to our gender biased viewpoints. Shows like Mad Men, Modern Family, Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire are a few that we sometimes have differing interpretations of, all of which rely heavily on relationships and events that put a spotlight on the gender specific ideals of that time period, family or social environment.

Penny & the geek squad

When it came to digesting The Big Bang Theory, there was no difference in our opinions. The show is based heavily on some old and tired ‘geek culture’ stereotypes and lacks enough of funny scientist Sheldon to mask how offensive it is. Even leaning on the use of a chunk of the cast of the highly popular Roseanne isn’t enough to carry the comedic weight of a distasteful main artery clogged with bumbling, socially inept, sexually terrified geeks. Yes, the deep cut science, video game and pop culture references are fun and well represented, I admit. The relationships and depth of the characters, however, are not.

Annie (Community), Skully (X-Files), Olivia (Fringe), Rose (Doctor Who)

How sad is it that after so many years of well written, successful, charming and attractive geeky tv characters we find ourselves back to this? The group of friends who congregate in Sheldon and Leonard’s meticulously organized apartment while away their days playing an MMOG, debating scientific theory and the practical uses of it and proudly announcing their career achievements, yet this same group seem to lose half their brain power when faced with the air-headed, blonde waitress who lives across the hall.

Leslie

Penny doesn’t seem to understand much of what her neighbors say to her, in 4 episodes I never heard the girl mention any career motivation beyond working at Cheesecake Factory and she often asks for favors from the guys but never volunteers to help out in return. Leonard grovels at her feet, doing everything he can to impress her while she casually ignores his crush and unabashedly explains how spending the weekend with some equally attractive and dim witted guy wasn’t that much fun. Meanwhile, we are introduced to smart, frumpy little Leslie who tries in her nerdy way to flirt with Leonard, but just isn’t attractive enough to catch his eye.

It’s an old stereotype of ‘smart girl must dress badly, not be too attractive and struggle to catch the eye of the man she wants, regardless of how much of a dick he is to her’ and ‘super pretty girl must be ditzy, shallow and not notice the nerdy guy who does everything in his power to impress her’. To be completely honest, I’m not so much angry at this cheap shot, but disappointed. I really wanted to like Big Bang Theory but for a show stuffed full of smart characters, with an opening intro that cutely sings the big bang theory, I expected so much more of a smartly written core. I can’t stomach a show based on an insultingly outdated stereotype that I’ve so often found myself having to argue against. Exhibit A: my friend Elliott’s celebration of some accomplished, smart ladies (Top 11 Geek Girls of 2011), which was hotly debated over when a female reader declared that she ‘can’t take any of these woman seriously’. The reader went on to explain that her feelings were based on the ladies being too overtly sexy or attractive in their profiles.

‘nerdy girl stock photo’

I’m also a hairstylist and I’ve encountered numerous intelligent, accomplished women through the years with the feeling that if they try too hard to be sexy or pretty, folks won’t take them seriously. They will lose the credibility they’ve earned simply by wanting to be attractive. This belief is gross, ugly and completely a by product of stereotypes like the one represented in Big Bang. The sooner we stop supporting this idiotic idea that smarts and good looks somehow work against other, the sooner the geeks of the world can stop feeling guilty or ashamed of being sexy. Wouldn’t it be great to win the love interest you yearn for based on both of those blessings? If you read through the Geek Girls article, you’ll see that pretty geek girls really do exist, so why the hell shouldn’t they in tv and film?

Thanks for listening and feel free to offer your own opinions.

*The opinions expressed here are not representative of Nerds in Babeland, but only of the writer herself*

The Men in Black Suits and BugEyes: Redemption

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Have you been following the chronicles of our BFF here at Nerds in Babeland, BugEyes? If not, why not? Everything I write is golden, and also you should miss the ’90s. It was the greatest decade ever. People are always like, “If you could go back to any time, where would you go?” I would do the ’90s all over again. But, I digress.

If you wanted some closure but didn’t feel like you got it before, check out this YouTube clip, where we see him in action behind good old Agent K, whom you should remember from the ’90s. If not, you were probably neuralized, so consult your VHS collection immediately.

We only get a glimpse of BugEyes, but he’s clearly up to something. Here is a list of possible things he could be doing:

  • Saving the world. Likeliness: Unlikely. He’s 14. I have a sister who is 12 and she can’t figure out how to use the microwave.
  • Walking casually back and forth trying to get Agent K’s attention. Likeliness: Probable. This is what I do whenever I want someone who’s way cooler than me to notice me at work. I just come up with excuses to walk back and forth until they see me and speak to me. Okay, so I’ve been in actual awe of my employers before. BIG DEAL.
  • Being sent on an errand. Likeliness: Highly likely. If a 14-year-old kid works for you, even if he has great promise, and you work at an organization focused on keeping terrestrial citizens and extraterrestrials safe, you probably make him lick a lot of envelopes and go out and buy a lot of coffee.
  • Snooping. Likeliness: I bet he has tried, then realized there’s no point, so unlikely. He’s like one of those women who went to college in the ’50s to find a husband. He may have been ruthlessly devoted to the truth before, but now he’s like, “I no longer need this. I have gotten what I wanted. You guys find your own truth!” I can’t blame him. It’s rough trying to get a job you like in this economy. You wouldn’t want to ruin it like that.
  • Trying to walk off all the weight he gained eating so much surprise cake. Likeliness: He’s a 14-year-old boy. That jerk can probably eat whatever he wants without experiencing weight gain.

So what do you guys think? Will you miss BugEyes? You’ll probably see him again sometime. Wear sunglasses.

The Men in Black Suits and BugEyes

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As you may recall from some previous updates on the subject, we here at Nerds in Babeland were following the exploits of the 14-year-old BugEyes, a conspiracy theorist with big dreams, and his website, TheMenInBlackSuitsAreReal.com. He’s been on the trail of a mysterious “Pink Surprise Cake,” on sale en masse with purchase of tattoo at Clive’s Tattoo Parlor, and finally, he seems to have figured out the answer: documents! People were hiding documents in the cake to keep them hidden from the Men in Black Suits, because people ALWAYS go to tattoo parlors to get cake and documents. I KNOW I DO. It’s how I ended up with this weird tattoo of Tony Stark on my bosom. I just went in to sign some papers.

What were the documents? Perhaps only time will tell. Perhaps the documents include Arianna Huffington’s long-form birth certificate (SURE, ARIANNA, I BELIEVE YOU [it is interesting to note that neither James Franco nor Stephanie, co-founder of this blog, have come forward with THEIR birth certificates after MY accusations, but I guess no one takes me seriously]).

Whatever the case, as you can see in the video, BugEyes’ dedication to the cause was rewarded by membership in the elite and mysterious group of Men in Black Suits.

Can we talk about this? For one, I’ve been devoted to this since the ’90s, and the Men in Black Suits have YET TO CALL ME. Or even e-mail me. What a disappointment! What does a girl have to do? I can eat cake. I WILL dive in a dumpster for a full-time job. I’m just that desperate for one.

For another, it seems hideously irresponsible of the Men in Black Suits to enlist a 14-year-old kid. I’m just saying, he can’t even go into R-rated movies by himself! He probably hasn’t even finished taking Algebra II! This is the guy you want to help keep space aliens in line with the rules of Earth? PICK ME INSTEAD. I look great in black, and can type over 135 words per minute!

Well, “Mr. Eyes,” as Arianna Huffington calls you, it was nice chillaxing with you, and I hope you enjoy your time in a wonderful job that I can’t even get two years out of college. ENJOY IT. It is kind of adorable so I can’t be that mad. I’m just saying, I wouldn’t have to sit on a park bench all night and watch the sun set over the New York skyline like SOME PEOPLE. I won’t name names. I’m just saying, I would chill out, max, and relax all cool in that job. No b-ball, though.

aliana huffington

The Men in Black Suits and the Huffington Post

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Courtesy: the Internet.Arianna Huffington preparing to remove her human face.

Have you ever gone to the Huffington Post before, read a couple of the articles, and then been solidly convinced that something really bizarre or really sinister is going on?

Well, I know I have. Don’t pretend like you haven’t, either. Recently, Patton Oswalt began a Twitter hashtag, #BandNamesFromHuffPoHeadlines, which wasn’t just because the Huffington Post is internationally renowned for its status as a jumping-off point for indie music. NO. It is because strange things are afoot at the Circle K.

“But why?” you ask yourself. “What is the big picture? What is the point of all this? What am I not getting? Oh god! The horror, the horror!”

Well, our friend BugEyes from TheMeninBlackSuitsAreReal may at last have an answer: Arianna Huffington, extraterrestrial? That’s what BugEyes claims in this editorial that he had the gall to actually write on the Huffington Post. A tip from someone who is admittedly not successful enough to write for the Huffington Post so maybe you shouldn’t take my advice after all (for those interested in immediately hiring me to write for big name blogs, see my resume…it’s a rough economy), but maybe think of it as a tip from someone who can read and has common sense: perhaps it’s not the greatest idea in the world to accuse a globally (and perhaps extra-globally) recognized author, for whose blog you have been asked to contribute, of being an alien. I wonder what Arianna Huffington will have to say about all this.

On a related note, I have reason to believe that one of the founders of this blog is an alien also. I’m not going to name names, because I’m not the Fox Mole, or something, but I’ll give you a hint: her name rhymes with Wephanie Blooten. I also have pretty convincing evidence that James Franco is not of this Earth, BugEyes. So, Earthlings, feel free to drop me a comment and let me know what you think, or go ahead and just tell BugEyes on his Facebook.

The Men in Black Suits and the Surprise Cake

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If you read this website at all, and I imagine you do because you are reading it now, maybe you read a couple days ago when our new BFF BugEyes over at TheMenInBlackSuitsAreReal.com found some crazy technology that does not belong in the 1930s, which is weird because that’s apparently where it came from. He was also on the trail of Clive’s Tattoo Parlor, and an ice cream cake with an unknown ingredient that you get to eat for free and all you have to do is get a tattoo. (Honestly, maybe this indicates that I have a problem, but that might work on me.) Something weird was clearly going on with this place and its affinity for Pink Surprise Cake, but what is the surprise in the cake, and why does Clive’s Tattoo Parlor have 29312938985 of them?

Well, judging by this video, the surprise ingredient is dumpster. I’m putting it out there. BugEyes, do not eat cake that you find in the trash. Cake that a crazed supervillain sent you, yes. Cake from a serial killer, yes. BUT DO NOT EAT CAKE FROM THE TRASH. GOD. 14-year-old boys can be so gross. I once paid a boy a dollar in high school not to drink the half-finished bottle of Coke he found sitting in the middle of the parking lot in front of me.

Anyway, in addition to finding Clive’s Tattoo Parlor he has also found a contraption that seems to extract the core from the cake, which is RIDICULOUS because THE FROSTING IS THE BEST PART. But what could be in the core?

If you have any tips for BugEyes, you can drop him a line at 1 (888) 202-9797. I have a tip for BugEyes: DON’T EAT DUMPSTER CAKE.

The Men in Black Suits and the Monocycle

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What is a “monocycle”? What do a tattoo parlor, a cake, and a really bizarre Chinese food menu (I tried to order the blob fish and the crab cooks whore dust but apparently they don’t deliver this far) have to do with each other? I’m glad you asked, or I’m glad I asked and you read it aloud to yourself, as you are wont to do, probably.

Just ask BugEyes126, the 14-year-old investigator behind “The Men in Black Suits Are Real,” devoted to uncovering the existence of alien lifeforms right here on Earth (unless you are not reading this from Earth, in which case, you’ll really confuse our stats tracker unless you are using a proxy server) and a secret government agency that works with these extraterrestrials. A much talked-about subject in the mid-’90s, BugEyes has brought it back in vogue again.

It is clear that BugEyes–and that’s the only name he’ll give–is not alone. Over the course of his blog’s existence, he has amassed over 45,000 followers who have joined him in his call to action to get to the bottom of the situation. How do these “Men in Black” operate, and how can we prove their existence? After all, many a great scientist has said that there is virtually no way that we are alone in the universe, but what if we are not alone on our own planet? And who decided cake and tattoos mix? I actually think it’s a really good business model.

BugEyes has just uncovered this strange monocycle in his quest for the truth (which, as you know, is out there). Supposedly developed in the 1930s, it utilized bizarre technology far more advanced than that of its time, topping over 100 MPH. Why haven’t you heard of it? I DON’T KNOW. Until today, the evidence of it had been erased from all records. Could this be the result of alien technology, or is there a reasonable explanation?  If you want to know more about this bizarre device, visit BugEyes’ website at TheMenInBlackSuitsAreReal.com (or if you already know more, you can leave him a tip on his Facebook page). Supported by his own research and anonymous tips, BugEyes is greatly advancing the cause of everyone like him who believes that the Men in Black Suits are, indeed, reality. (I’d just love to catch up with this kid. Apart from being adorable, I know he has cake.) Alternatively, to see all the evidence he’s assembled in convenient flow chart form, visit Following BugEyes. His YouTube channel is also worth a look, compiling phone calls he’s received from viewers like you and suspicious videos he’s found on the YouTube in addition to his own videos. Decide for yourself what you believe.

Also, I will karate chop the first person who says “the cake is a lie” near me in the neck. This is just how I operate.

Pride and prejudice

Conceited Independence

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Disclaimer: The following is the opinion of the author and may not necessarily represent the opinions of Nerds in Babeland or any of it’s many fabulous contributors.

“It seems to me to show an abominable sort of conceited independence,a most country town indifference to decorum.”

-Jane Austen

If you’re a fan of Austen (or even just Colin Firth <3), you’ll recognize the above quote as a line from Pride and Prejudice, spoken by Caroline Bingley, a lady well-accustomed to looking down her nose at anyone she feels is beneath her. Basically Miss Bingley calls our lovely protagonist (Elizabeth Bennet) an ignorant hick for walking by herself “barely three miles” in dirt/mud to visit her beloved sick sister. Keep in mind that a lady walking alone anywhere was frowned upon, God forbid she get her petticoats dirty in the process!

Now I bring this up for a few reasons. First being that I love Pride and Prejudice so any chance I get to reference it makes me a giddy little school girl. The second is that I feel this kind of attitude–and Jane Austen herself, even–is extremely relevant towards the attitude and stigma towards self-published work.

“Oh,” you say with a touch of disdain. “It’s going to be one of those posts.”

Yes, it is.

There is a clear ‘status’ divide between many traditional and self-published authors and I think it’s time we tried to bring it to a stop, don’t you? Good. Now, let’s examine the major prejudice against ‘Self-Published’ work. The complaint I usually hear is that since anyone can self-publish and so there’s some real trash out there. Okay, fair point.

But can we agree that there is also some truly terrible traditionally published work?

Yeah. That’s what I thought. Regardless what your taste is, we’ve all read at least one book that made us go, “How the hell did that get published?”

A lot of people seem to think that you only self-publish after you’ve been rejected by multiple publishing houses–which is true for some authors, but again, this doesn’t mean that the story is bad or even poorly written.

Publishing houses aren’t really looking for a good story–they’re looking for a product they can sell. Did you happen to notice the boom of published vampire novels after Twilight gained popularity? Those manuscripts had been sitting untouched in publishing houses until it became clear that they were going to turn a profit because they were the ‘in’ at the time.

Yes, just like every other market, books follow trends and while possibly more discreet than the fashion industry, it can often be ten times more vicious.

It’s why we’ve seen certain repeating elements in books that may not have anything in common at all. Take ‘The love triangle’. It used to be a convention we only saw on an occasional sitcom and soap operas. Oh and in anime, but anime took the ‘love triangle’ and turned it into a polygon with much more sides (See ‘Harem’ Animes, Love Hina, Tenchi Muyo, etc etc). But ever since publishing houses discovered the marketing power of ‘Team Edward’ and ‘Team Jacob’–you’re seeing our heroines (and some heroes too, I guess) constantly at odds with who they’re going to get sugar from (or… y’know… love forever ‘n shit).

And before anyone starts on Pride and Prejudice–NO. Despite that romance is a major theme in the books, there was never a, “Oh, but I like them both, which shall I choose?” moment.

A friend of mine who has some beautiful traditionally published work even confided that the publishers MADE her make a character a second love interest so the love triangle marketing ploy could be employed.

Which brings me to why I decided self-publishing was the route I wanted to go.

The chief complaint I hear from any traditionally published author is fighting with the Publishing House over aspects of your story because at the end of the day they’re still looking to sell a product. Whatever that means. It could be adding sex scenes, it could be taking away some of that spicy talk that one of your character’s favors. It may be little things, it may be actual character or plot altering changes. Either way, it wasn’t a discussion I wanted to have. While being challenged about my work is fantastic and I encourage anyone who reads it to do so–I wanted that to come from a “What best suits this story?” stand point rather than “What bests suits our pocket book?”.

A publishing house tells you they don’t think they can sell your book? Fine, to me, that probably denotes a lack of courage and creativity that you don’t want supporting your work anyway.

I think self-publishing challenges authors in a way they may not have had to be challenged in the past. It’s not just uploading a file and pressing ‘publish’ through Amazon Kindle or Smashwords, it’s being your own marketing and pr team. It’s becoming less of an age where being that recluse on a mountain top is going to cut it. Now you have to network, now you need to cultivate some level of charm because ultimately, you’re promoting yourself. If someone likes you, they’re far more likely to give a damn when you mention you have a book out.

So maybe that’s where the disdain and hostility comes from; self-published authors try to do everything themselves and so they’re viewed as being self-important, or even possessing ‘a sort of conceited independence’.

But I would encourage you to look at it this way: Someone was passionate enough about something to go and create it without being directly sponsored. And does that piece of work discredit any other piece of work just by existing? No.

Self-published books are to the book industry as web-series are to television. Neither is ultimately better than the other, it’s just two different ways of going about getting your story to the world. Okay?

Can we play nice now?

Good.

Geek-vs-Hipster

Geek vs Hipster

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Which one do you identify with (click here for a bigger image)?

 

source: Ultralinx
Grimm-logo

My Day on the Set of Grimm

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When I moved to Portland back in August I saw a posting on Craigslist in my job search looking for stand-ins for Grimm. I was too short for what they were asking for but I thought “what the heck I will send in my info anyway in case they have a need for something in the future”. Months went by and I forgot about it. Then last week I got I call to be an extra, I was SO excited.

Nope I’m not going to be telling you anything about the story they were filming, who the guest star was or anything like that. You will have to just wait and watch the show, episode 1.14.

I showed up in the costume I had put together based on the guidelines, at the time I was asked to; then filled out the paperwork, was approved by wardrobe and hair and sat down to wait at a table and chatted with the other folks who had gathered there as well. Then one of the Production Assistants (who was AWESOME, by the way) came up and asked me how tall I was. They needed a stand-in for one of the actresses and I was the right height. So I went from being an extra to a stand-in.  Because of this I was able to witness first hand just how amazing a TV crew is.

It was really interesting being a stand-in; I’d heard the phrase before but didn’t know what exactly that entailed. You stand in the place of the actors, on their markers while lighting, camera angle and other decisions are discussed, tested and then decided upon. I was so worried that I would get in the way when I wasn’t doing this, so I found a seat near the back and started talking with the guy in charge of props. I spent most the time that I wasn’t doing the stand-in work back here talking to the different crew members and observing what they were doing.  People are all over the place, it’s like an ant hill.

A lot of people have asked me “did you get to meet the actors?” I did smile and say hello. But I’ve never really been a freak out “oh my god a famous person!” kind of girl. And honestly, after yesterday it really kind of irks me that people put all their focus on the actors. Yes, they are the visible part of a show and they do work very hard. But you never hear “Oh wow the lighting looks amazing in that shot, the guys who lugged that HEAVY ASS gear to get in in place and adjusted it over and over to get it just right are awesome!” or “The crowd is situated just right in that scene. The person in charge of the extras really knew what they were doing”. These are the people that are essential to a show; they run around working their asses off for 12+ hours a day.

I can honestly say I had an awesome day and would love to go back and do it again sometime. I really cannot wait to see the episode to see how the different special effects stuff they were planning out and filming turn out on the screen!

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