Wednesday, December 14, 2016

my road to nerdfighteria

Greetings and salutations reader!

My road to Nerdfighteria did not start with the “typical” evening at home crying over The Fault in our Stars. No, I'm too much of a mule for that. I managed to stubbornly ignore the book and by association Nerdfighteria for a VERY long time

I want to take this moment to thank Nerdfighteria for not giving up on me. You’ve been a real mensch! I trust you and depend on you for so much. You are my virtual porch. You are the place where I can bring my sub-par green bean casserole and play corn hole with my totally awesome soon-to-be friends.


Now, my story begins in my hometown Chicago. I was at my bestfriend’s (Brian’s) new place, next to his equally new baby; Greyson. I had flown in the night before and was exhausted from catching limited hours of rest on Brian’s “fancy” mid-century couch.

“Watch Greyson for a minute,” Brian had said to me, “I’ll put something on for you so you don’t get bored.”

I didn’t reply. I remember him fumbling around with his gadgetry. At the time, I had no idea what he was up to. I only had just awoken and I was still questioning the cruelty of the sun. Brian clicked something, handed me a remote, and left the room calling over his shoulder, “Don’t worry. You’ll like it.” 

He had put on CrashCourse Astronomy.

I must confess remembering three things about this experience. 
Number 1: I was vaguely aware that Brian had made this selection in the interest of his son. True, Greyson was a newborn. That would not hinder Brian from starting his spawn's education early.
Number 2: My sleep addled brain was not ready for science and thereby I was pretty angry at CrashCourse.

Number 3: I could not (for the life of me) figure out how to use Brian’s Roku remote and was considering the aftermath (and subsequent loss of a ten year friendship) from destroying his television.
I need to point out that I’m not usually this hostile. Unfortunately, lack of sleep, lack of food and repeating myself tend bring out my darkside. Plus, my other half Andy was at home and I was already suffering from withdrawals.

Through a series of miscommunications, Andy and I had both scheduled hangout sessions with our friends. I obviously had flown to see Brian and Kass had flown into town to see Andy. So while I had the pleasure of sleeping on Brian’s couch, she had the pleasure of sleeping on mine. Which in hindsight wasn't the best of bargains. Our couch was (and still is) a ripped up vomit green number from the 70’s.

My time in Chicago continued with relatively mundane events. I ate food, played board games, slipped on some ice, and eventually flew back to Dallas. This is when I first met Kass. 

She was (and still is) a kind hearted person and my first Nerdfighter friend. Although, I did not know that at the time. We bonded over many things; vellux blankets, video games, food, nail polish colors...but mainly we bonded over books. 

Ah, precious books. We talked about Goodreads, YouTube book reviews and the appropriate (or not appropriate) decision to dog ear book pages. There was mention of John Green.

At this juncture in my life there was only one John Green. The John Green that I am referring to was (and still is) someone that can be best described as the redneck employed at Andy's work. Everyday Andy had been coming home to regale me tales of this John Green. He was lazy, racist, and generally a no-good guy. So when Kass informed me her favorite author was John Green, I was less than impressed.

My lack of enthusiasm did not stop me from supporting her interest. When she told me that she was trying to find a copy of Looking for Alaska, we drove across town to the Half Priced Books flagship store. The store was (and still is) 55,000 square feet of literary glory. Anyone looking for...Looking for Alaska would find it there.

I remember standing in line as she clutched her precious treasure. I said something like, “Looking for Alaska huh? You know, when I was a kid I used to tell my mother that I would run away to Alaska and never come back.”

“Do you even know what the book is about?” she had asked.

I didn’t know of course. I was fairly confident it had something to do with Alaska. Though, I wisely kept that notion to myself.

You may believe that this is when I decided to read a book by John Green. Nope. Instead, I erased the chain of seemingly disconnected moments from my immediate memory and moved on.

I can’t remember how I came across CrashCourse again. If I had to posit a guess; I’d say it was during one of my Youtube surfing binges. You know the kind. Those endless streams of electronic consciousness and point-clicks.

My first thoughts on Crash Course Literature (the Crash Course I had stumbled upon) was as follows..
Impression 1: I too would like a sticker that reads, “This machine kills fascists.”
Impression 2: What color is that nerd man’s shirt? Is it peach? Coral? Red? Orange? Why do I have difficulty seeing shades of yellow!?

Impression 3: Wait. Did he just say that? Is he that guy-author-dude that Kass likes? Is he (dun dun dun dun) the other John Green? I should probably read his books
This description makes it seem like I have the attention span of a wayward fish but this is how coincidence led me to Googling John Green. I became an Alice in my own Nerdfighter Wonderland. I'm curiouser-and-curiouser about my story (and other Nerdfighter stories) and where our paths will lead.

Don't know what a Nerdfighter is? I suggest Google. It worked for me.

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