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Month

August 2015

02 Nerd Rage – Some Nerd Girl Original Webcomic

This is about as extreme as the nerd rage gets. Well, this and forming very strongly worded letters.

Check back every Monday for a new SNG comic!


AlexAlex is our resident Webcomic creator. He grew up in Puerto Rico, but didn’t reach true Nerdom until he came state side when he was in middle school. He’s been drawing since he was five, but has only started posting Webcomics in the past year. You can check out his amazing and original work at tapastic.com/gomezalexj.

TedX? TED-yeah!

Last year I was presented with the amazing opportunity to give a speech at a TedX event in Sarasota, Florida. A friend had suggested that I apply, and my original speech idea was along the lines of “Women’s Roles/Voices in Geek Culture”. Little did I know how much that would change and evolve throughout the few months between being accepted as a speaker and the event itself.

As someone who is fully immersed in geek culture, I was admittedly surprised at the reactions to the first version of my speech. Basically, most of the people who heard it said that they either didn’t understand a lot of what I was talking about, or that they weren’t sure it was ‘universally palatable’ the way TedX speeches are supposed to be.

Like I was asking them to try and figure this out...
Like I was asking them to try and figure this out…

To be honest, it was difficult to take a step back from something I love so much and view it from an outsiders’ perspective. I wanted to use my speech to bring the idea of geek culture – and specifically, women’s involvement in it – to others. But suddenly I found myself wondering if it was even possible to do that in the twelve minutes I was allotted on stage.

We're nerds. And we're women. We do exist. It's pretty simple... I thought.
We’re nerds. And we’re women. We do exist. It’s pretty simple… I thought.

Because that’s the thing you don’t know or see when you view Ted or TedX talks – that so much of the time, the end result – what you see live or online – is the product of months worth of coaching and feedback and editing (and in my case stress and anxiety and wondering if I’d ever get it right or if I should just admit that I was in over my head and throw in the towel).

TedXQuote2

My speech went through several iterations before it was completed, and as weird as it sounds I was both under- and over-prepared for the event itself. As fate would have it, I ended up giving a speech I was proud to have written…while suffering through a terrible case of bronchitis. I was medicated nearly out of my wits just to be able to get up on that stage, and this led to a lot more “um’s” and “uh’s” and other silliness that I wish I could edit out of what became the true final product.

But other than the difficulties that my illness caused (and of course the previous frustration with how to make my geeky story into something a bit more relatable to the general populace), TedX was nothing short of an amazing experience. I’m glad I didn’t throw in that towel, because not giving up meant that I got to spend nearly twelve minutes on a TedX stage, talking about the general ideas of self-defining oneself as a geek and how people can ‘geek out’ over so many things. Because there really are so many different kinds of geeks out there. I’m the geek who gets nearly obsessive over certain books and movies, who goes to conventions and speaks on panels about the things I love, who cosplays, who has a house full of Star Wars-themed rugs.

And I quote...

The question I tried to raise with my TedX speech was, what do you geek out about? And I’ll probably never stop talking about my TedX experience because that’s a conversation I’d like to keep going.

We at Some Nerd Girl wanted to know more about Tara’s experience – so we followed up with some burning questions!

What made you want to get your thoughts and ideas out there?

Well, I guess I’d been doing so for years through my blog and then writing for The Geekiary, as well as being a panelist at several conventions from 2012 on, but until my friend suggested that I apply to be a speaker, I’d never really thought about doing so – at least not for TedX.

What was your process for coming up with ideas and what you wanted to talk about?

When I was approached about applying to be a speaker, it was suggested that I stick with talking about geek culture, and to be honest, my original idea to focus on women’s roles/voices in geek culture immediately popped into my head.

How were you approached? What was the selection process like?

An acquaintance of mine was a speaking coach for TedX Sarasota and he thought I could bring something different to the table, so he suggested that I apply. I filled out the online application and was contacted maybe a month or two later – I can’t remember exactly how long. I’m not sure how the selection process went for TedX Sarasota, but I’ve since volunteered for TedX Greenville (just on the event staff) and I know that theirs is a pretty intense, time-consuming process, where they review all applicants, choose the ones they think best fit, and then continue to narrow it down from there. I’m assuming it’s probably similar with other TedX events.

Were you totally geeked out or were you like… of COURSE they picked me! ??

Oh I was totally surprised and nervous and excited. Even though I was encouraged to apply, I certainly never *expected* that I would be chosen. I actually had to keep it a secret for a while after I found out, and let me tell you, that was one of the most difficult secrets I’ve ever had to keep! I just wanted to tell everyone because it was such a big deal to me that I would get to be involved in something so amazing.

How familiar were you with TED Talks? Did you have any favorites that inspired you to go for it?

I knew about TED talks and had watched a few throughout the years, but before participating in this event I hadn’t really delved into them all that much. (Mostly due to lack of time on my part, to be honest.) That said, now that I’ve done one myself, I’m constantly on the lookout for good ones, new and old!

What was the biggest challenge you faced?

Definitely having to take my original speech idea and basically rework it entirely so that it was more ‘universally palatable’….although coming down with a horrible case of bronchitis two days before the event didn’t help things either. Giving such an important speech all doped up on cold meds (I didn’t have time to go to a doctor and actually get real medication until after TedX) and with a 100+ degree fever was difficult to say the least.

What, if any, feedback or comments did you get afterwards? The nerd/geek culture is not always kind to those who point out girls love nerdy things, too.

Actually, it was during the preparation process that I struggled a bit – not that anyone was rude, but there were a lot of comments from the organizer and even fellow speakers that were along the lines of “this isn’t interesting because we don’t understand it”. I tried not to let it get to me, but I definitely got really stressed out about it, especially when I had to rewrite my speech several times. In the end, though, the final product was very well-received. I was approached by several attendees later on that day – some of them wanted to discuss similar interests (I had a great conversation about Timothy Zahn’s Star Wars EU novels); others just wanted to share with me what THEY ‘geek out’ about. To be honest, it was those conversations that really made the event memorable for me.


TaraTara has been a geek at heart all her life. She has spoken about geek culture at several industry conventions (including San Diego Comic-Con and Dragon Con), Ohio State University, and TedX Sarasota. She also co-founded and co-organizes Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones/Song of Ice & Fire convention in the U.S.. She resides in lovely Greenville, SC in a house full of Star Wars-themed carpets and a plethora of dogs and cats. You can find her personal stories at her blog, A Geek Saga.

I Find Your Lack of Ending Disturbing

‘I Find Your Lack of Ending Disturbing’ is part of a multi-post series where the writers of Some Nerd Girl share their Origin Stories – in other words, when and how did the nerdening happen?!

All nerds have an origin story – that moment when they realized they could not live without an action figure or seeing the next release of their favorite movie franchise. It just kind of snowballs from there. For some of us it’s early – like playing Wonder Woman or becoming obsessive about your rock collection when you’re five.

Mine was later than some of my fellow writers. A late-onset nerd, if you will. This is my origin story – how I became the science-fiction loving, costume-wearing, all American nerd that I am today.

I mean look at me. I am in my happy place.
I mean look at me. I am in my happy place!

When I was 12 years old, a pipe burst in my family’s bathroom over the Thanksgiving holiday. This event transformed my life in ways I still may not yet understand! Let me tell you how it all went down.

My dad is a do-it-yourself kind of guy, so naturally fixing this little problem was a challenge he readily accepted. He was not, however, under any illusion it would be a quick fix. So with two kids in the house with no school to attend all week, he decided it was better to send us off to our uncle’s house than to have us underfoot and complaining about trivial things like not having running water.

This stuff is pretty important, I guess?
This stuff is pretty important, I guess?

While my sister played Rollercoaster Tycoon all week; I was left somewhat adrift with no real concept of what to do. Recognizing this, my uncle asked if I wanted to watch this movie called “Star Wars”.

I had nothing better to do so I said yes.

He popped in a hand-labeled VHS tape – a recording from HBO – with modest video quality.

So, you know, kind of like this.
So, you know, kind of like this.

The opening credits rolled. The music was amazing. The action! The characters! Oh my god, this movie was amazing!

When it was over, I found out there were two more of these glorious movies. I insisted on watching them immediately.

I was all like, 'There's more? Hells yea it's my lucky day!'
I was all like, ‘There’s more? Hells yea it’s my lucky day!’ This was also, apparently, the beginning of my binge watching habit….

I remember being only slightly terrified of Darth Vader (/s), and really sad when Ben Kenobi died. I felt bad for Luke and wanted to be Han when I grew up. I thought Leia was a total badass and Jabba was disgusting. I was completely ready to apply for a position in the Rebel Alliance when I was old enough!

Leia. Let’s pause a moment to talk about this glorious woman. She was probably the first strong female lead I’d ever really seen in a movie – outside of April O’Neil from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Leia took charge, wasn’t afraid to risk her life, and didn’t take sh*t – even from the roguish, handsome and impossibly charming Han Solo. As you will find in many of my upcoming pieces, strong female leads are _very_ important when it comes to getting me engaged in a movie, book or show. Star Trek Voyager, for all it’s flaws, was the Trek that made me fall in love with Trek. Between Captain Janeway and Seven of Nine, I was in strong female lead heaven!

And, if we’re going to be visiting retrospect land for a moment, the fact I wanted to BE Han Solo and was really, super interested in Leia in a bikini probably should have clued me into some facts about myself. Nooo, that revelation took like… way too long.

I digress – my Star War experience really escalated when, like, Han was trapped in carbonite! And then the Empire was winning! Holy sh*t this could not stand. So when Return of the Jedi started at 90 MPH with Leia being a bad ass bounty hunter and Luke kicking some Rancor ass, I was in it to win it.

Imagine my utter dismay when, just as the Rebels were getting ready to destroy the partially constructed Death Star in Jedi, that the TV screen suddenly blinked to blue.

There was angry sputtering and everything...!
There was angry sputtering and everything…!

Alarmed, I hopped up and performed immediate troubleshooting. I knew from wearing out my copy of the Lion King how to revive a VHS tape from the brink of death.

I inspected the tape and realized it was out. The movie was too long and the VHS simply ran out of recording space. I found my uncle and brandished the tape at him, explaining the atrocity. He could offer me no comfort, and so I sulked for the rest of the week and racked my brain for how I might get my hands on a copy of this Star Wars trilogy I had just discovered.

Do people KNOW about Star Wars?!, my naive 12 year old brain wondered with some concern. As far as I knew, Star Wars was a little known cult trilogy that only my uncle possessed. Neither of my parents were particularly nerdy, or interested in this ‘Star Wars’ I was going on about. I was on my own to find my Holy Grail. There was no Amazon or eBay I had access to. There was Blockbuster – but I didn’t want to rent these movies. I needed to own them.

The struggle was real.
The struggle was real.

And so my quest began. If I had watched RotJ all the way through, I might have simply moved on with my life thinking – well, that was fun. But I hadn’t seen the ending – and that was unacceptable. Completely unaware of how this glorious trilogy ended, I was on a mission that made me expand my knowledge of science fiction – of what was out there.

First I found a copy of A New Hope – a single, original VHS before the other two movies were even out. As an aside; I have no idea where this eventually went – mom and dad, if you’re reading this and you know, I’d like that back!

Use this for reference.
Use this for reference.

I digress. I’d already seen A New Hope. This find was exciting but did not complete my mission. Finally, after searching row after row of the Wagon Wheel Flea Market, I found the complete Trilogy Set. I was ecstatic – beyond thrilled in a way I haven’t often felt since. This is probably what sealed the deal for me. As the endorphin rush hit me full force; I knew I wanted to hold onto the feeling forever. And it was this Star Wars thing that had given it to me. I was to forever associate science fiction with happiness.

Waiting to get home with it was excruciating. I wasted no time popping in the RotJ VHS tape and fast forwarding to the exact second where I had left off.

I basically missed the alternate view explosion...
I basically missed the alternate view explosion…

I soon realized I had not missed much. A glorious explosion, certainly that was exciting – all that remained after that was an Ewok bender and a funeral pyre. Nevertheless – it was closure! For both me and Luke Skywalker. Han got the girl and everyone lived happily ever after!

You hear that JJ Abrams? EVERYONE LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER!

'Calm your shit' is how he probably approaches most of us nerds...
‘Calm your sh*t’ is how he probably approaches most of us nerds…

Ahem.

And that, my friends, is my origin story for becoming a nerd. It corresponded with the much anticipated Episode I release, and I was young enough to not be too critical of the prequels. My notoriety for being a nerd was widely known and (luckily!) accepted. Friends would bring me random Star Wars paraphernalia they’d gotten and I was the kid making lightsaber noises while dueling with an empty gift wrap tube given half a chance.

Real like photo of me in a home-made Jedi robe that I just HAD TO HAVE (thanks mom!)
Real life photo of me in a home-made Jedi robe that I just HAD TO HAVE (thanks mom!)

My friends and I actually attempted to choreograph the entire Duel of Fates fight scene in my side yard with two bokkens and a bo staff I had from my karate class. (Injuries were minimal)

This part was always the most fun!
This part was always the most fun!

I sought out like-minded people on this cool thing called the ‘internet’ and stumbled across a lovely website called “Star Wars Chicks.”

This place is still around!
This place is still around!

That was an important discovery because of two things:

  1. It made me realize that being a nerd and a girl was not a total anomaly
  2. I met my best friend of (now) 15 years there! Our adventures have been vast and included hitting each other with sticks and being there for one another during the best and worst times.

Being involved in this online community allowed me to express myself honestly and enjoy my passions without reserve. I could wax poetic about how wonderful and life-changing the internet is, but that is a topic for another blog post!

And so it’s true; a pipe busting in my family home at the age of 12 was the catalyst for my nerd-revelation that ultimately helped shape the smart, witty and of course talented person I am today. Thanks random catastrophe!


Eve2Eve is the founder of Some Nerd Girl and the author of urban fantasy novel Children of the Fallen. She has been writing since the age of 13 and has been flying her nerd flag for the past 16 years. You can visit her website at www.somenerdgirl.com and look up her works of fiction on Amazon.

01 Nerd Hubris – Some Nerd Girl Original Webcomic

Inspired by a true story…!

SNG Original Webcomics are posted weekly every Monday!


Alex

Alex grew up in Puerto Rico, but didn’t reach true Nerdom until he came state side when he was in middle school. He’s been drawing since he was five, but has only started posting Webcomics in the past year. You can check out his amazing and original work at tapastic.com/gomezalexj.

Battling The Dark Lord of Illnesses

This is a story about how my nerdom got me through one of the roughest times in my life. To me, being a nerd isn’t trendy – it’s a way of life that has served me well! With that said, there are all kinds of words I would use to describe myself – mom, wife, the 4-H Lady, Geek, runner, yogi.

But even with having a mother and grandmother with a history of colon cancer, I never thought I would have to add “cancer survivor” to my list.

Don’t get me wrong – I am very thankful that ‘survivor’ is included in the description! So since both my mother and grandmother had colon cancer, while unpleasant, I had to begin my screenings at age 25 (much earlier than the recommended 50). For my first checkup, everything came back fine. I got the referral from Dr. Fricker to come back in 5 years and went on my way.

In July 2014, my 30th birthday rolled around and I remembered it was that time again. I finally got around to making the appointment for my colonoscopy in September. After the procedure my doctor said he found a thickened fold and that it could be irritation from the prep for the procedure or it could be cancer. I honestly didn’t give it another thought as my husband, A.J., rolled me out of the office. All that was on my mind was how hungry I was!

Editor's note: the struggle is real.
Editor’s note: the struggle is real.

That was September 19th. My follow up was a rainy Monday morning on September 29th. I remember telling A.J. before we went to bed that night that I didn’t think they found anything because it had been a week and a half. When my mama was diagnosed she went for her colonoscopy on Monday and found out she had cancer on Wednesday.

That rainy Monday, Dr. Fricker walked into the office and just said it; “I don’t have good news for you. It is cancer.”

I was in total shock.

He said I would have to have surgery. I asked, “Surgery like Mama had?” I was there with her and knew all she went through. All I could think over the next days and weeks was ‘I don’t have time for this. I don’t want to stop my life for this.’

For some reason, my mind went to the scene in Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring where Frodo and Gandalf are talking in the mines of Moria. Frodo says,

“I wish the Ring had never had come to me. I wish none of this had ever happened to me.”

Frodo
Source @ http://myelvenkingdom.tumblr.com

Gandalf’s reply is one that I clung to as I went through my cancer/chemo journey.

“So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

I felt like Frodo sitting in that deep dark mine. I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t want to have to face what was ahead. I didn’t have a choice. I didn’t want to have surgery and put my busy important life on hold (insert sarcasm here). I had to have the surgery. I had to take the chemo. I wanted to live. To see my little boy grow up. To grow old and grey with my husband.

And when I would get to feeling bad about my situation my mind would also go to the quote from Harry Potter: Prisoner of Azkaban when Dumbledore is addressing the students of Hogwarts on the dangers dementors.

“A word of caution: dementors are vicious creatures. They will not distinguish between the one they hunt and the one who gets in their way. Therefore I must warn each and every one of you to give them no reason to harm you. It’s not in the nature of a dementor to be forgiving. But you know happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light.”

Not much ever got Luna down!
Not much ever got Luna down!

Good things have come from having cancer. My parents who divorced when I was 2 finally speak to each other instead of the awkward silence and stares from before. I have renewed my friendship with my childhood best friend. We had drifted apart our Senior year of high school, but our friendship is stronger now than it ever was. There can be happiness in even the darkest of times – you just have to find the light!

I had my surgery on October 13th. Everything went well but even though the cancer was only in one lymph node out of 57, I would still be facing chemo. I was in the hospital with instructions not to pick up anything heavier than a gallon of milk. Brody, my son, was 9 months old at the time and was much heavier than a gallon of milk! Luckily, we have a wonderful nanny named Ms. Mary that keeps him in our home. But in the meantime, I was still around Brody 24/7 and unable to do anything with him. I could feed him when someone put him in his high chair and give him a bath but that was it.

No rocking at night, no playing on the floor, no changing diapers. I could not even sit and hold him because of my incision. He not being able to understand why I couldn’t pick him up upset both of us. So most days I would stay in my bedroom so I could stay out of his sight. This was the first time in 9 months that I had idle time on my hands. Working full time and having a family doesn’t allow for much downtime!

The show Warehouse 13 had been on my Netflix queue for some time but I had just never gotten around to watching it. I decided now was as good a time as any. I can honestly say that show got me through one of the hardest times of my life.   Instead of sitting around feeling sorry for myself, I was transported to a world of science fiction and history sprinkled with humor and topped off with a great mix of characters. Being able to escape into the world of Warehouse 13 helped me get through those hard days.

Serious warehouse-type things about to go down. Really, though, these people got me through rough times!
Serious warehouse-type things about to go down. Really, though, these people got me through rough times!

In May of 2015 I was declared cancer free! Which is great news, but every year for the next five years I have a date with my surgeon and gastroenterologist just to be sure.

Being a nerd and the wealth of content, story and enduring themes of bravery and hardship within nerd culture gave me strength to get through some of the hardest days of my life. Yay for bring a nerd!


JuliaJulia is a curious mix of southern belle and nerd. She resides in South Georgia with her non-nerd husband , nerd in progress 19 month old son  and two spoiled rotten Australian Cattle Dogs.  A lover of Harry Potter, Star Wars, Dr.Who, Lost Girl, Warehouse 13 and all things Tolkien. She has a been a nerd for most of her 31 years, and somehow seems to be getting nerdier the older she gets!

7 Webcomics That You Need In Your Life [Some Adult Content]

Okay, let me start by saying that I read a lot. And by that I mean… A LOT. I read a metric f*ck ton of stuff. Blogs, novels, comics, books, graphic novels, webcomics, tumblrs, twitter. A lot!

Like this is a normal day for me.

I read a shocking amount of online comics. And if you want more recommendations than what I am listing here just let me know. I am just going to specifically talk about some feminist and nerdy ones right here and now.

Maybe you have already heard of some of these online comics. And if you haven’t; then I hope you give them a chance and grow to love them as much as I do.

1. XKCD: I honestly feel like I HAVE to include XKCD in any mention of nerd webcomics. It is probably the most well known and poorly drawn. [https://xkcd.com/385/]

Here’s why you should love it: What it lacks in artistic skill it makes up for in general nerdiness. This is created by a guy who gets it right about women in geek culture pretty often. He’s what I call hard nerdery. Math jokes abound.

Here’s a favorite of mine:

Wait a minute...
Wait a minute…

2. Questionable Content: This one is outwardly just a great comic about relationships and dating. However, the creator of this (a guy) has recently done a great job of including all sorts of relationships, genders, ethnicities. [http://questionablecontent.net/]

Here’s why you should love it: The thing that puts it on my list for sci-fi is the development of artificial intelligence in this world. The AI are some of my favorite recurring characters. It’s also very interesting to watch the progress of his artistic skills as time has gone by.

My favorite quote from the comic:

Insert food into mouth to avoid the hangry state.
Insert food into mouth to avoid the hangry state.

3. Hark! A Vagrant!: This is another comic that is hard nerdery and generally super dorky. The creator is a Canadian and a woman. [http://www.harkavagrant.com/]

Here’s why you should love it: She makes jokes about historical stuff and I really can’t even explain what is going on with her except that she’s hilarious. I own a print and t-shirt of hers and I want more. She is a f*cking genius!

A favorite drawing of hers (and the glow in the dark shirt I own!):

You can never be sure...
You can never be sure…

4. The Hues: Okay, this comic is the sh*t! It is created by a very sweet woman I follow on Twitter. [http://thehues.alexheberling.com/]

Here’s why you should love it: Besides having a mostly female cast, multiple genders and sexualities presented and a POC main character. How about women with superpowers fighting robot alien invaders? I feel like this creator basically took that advice that if you want something to exist you should make it yourself.

Shiny!
Shiny!

BEWARE! (Or be excited), thar be adult content ahead!

5. Oglaf: This one is 100% NSFW. Seriously. It starts out pretty slow with an ongoing storyline that I don’t really like. But it soon becomes one of the funniest webcomics I have ever read. [http://oglaf.com/sextiles/]

Here’s why you should love it: It is smutty fantasy, and not like sex fantasy (though it has a lot of sex). More like dragons and magic and shapeshifter fantasy. It is created by a woman. Lots of homoerotica too. The below image is one of the better ones that was not ridiculously indecent. It was tough to find one.

Here’s a favorite of mine:

I'll be in my bunk...
I’ll be in my bunk…

6. Starfighter: This one does not do so well with the feminist aspect as it appears to take place in some all male dystopian future in space. [http://starfightercomic.com/comic.php]

Here’s why you should love it: There is a ton of homosexual relationships and encounters depicted in this one. Which I excitedly endorse. I can’t really tell where this comic is going. It is fascinating and interesting and I wish it updated more often. I also have no clue who created it. The whole thing is very mysterious and beautiful. A LOT of graphic adult content, yada yada.

Sh*t is about to go down...
Sh*t is about to go down…

7. Chester 5000XYV: Have I spoken about the art of any of the other comics yet? No? I guess I was saving it for this one. This is a NSFW romantic comic set in Victorian times about a woman and a robot. It is created by a woman. [http://jessfink.com/Chester5000XYV/?p=34]

Here’s why you should love it: It is beautifully drawn. There are no words, only gorgeous art. It has a compelling story. I love her use of borders and perspective in her storytelling. And in case you missed it, robot sex!

We all knew this day would come...
We all knew this day would come…

So there you have it. Yes, I do read more online comics than this. Think I am missing out on something good? Let me know in the comments! I definitely don’t have enough to read in my life.


MaurnasMaurnas is the barely anonymous alias of a reclusive Floridian fangirl. She has an alleged humor blog at cursitivity.WordPress.com and can also be found at maurnas@cursitivity on Twitter. She writes almost as much as she reads but has done nothing with her debatable talents thus far other than all the blogging and tweeting and writing.

True story…

After writing on all day Sunday, I can confirm.

Enjoy this little bit of levity on a Monday – I hope it makes this Monday suck less!

Vampires – Love ’em or Leave ’em?

We here at Some Nerd Girl like to tackle the real problems of the day… like vampires – love ’em or leave ’em?

The world is losing its monsters, and it may not be a bad thing. The vampires that I grew up with- brooding, sexual, and tormented; they are truly a thing of the past. The modern era has no room for them. These days, the vampires we see may be tortured, but they’re tortured by petty pursuits and many are borne of their own machinations. “Vampire Politics” is a term seen in every new book these days. But why did vampires become boring? At the very base of the folklore, vampires have always served as cautionary tales. Folklorists have some pretty solid theories that vampirism is based on rabies breakouts. Unusual sightings of bats, a transition period before death, hypersexuality, and of course rabies is transmitted by being bitten. The tale of vampires told people the signs of a very dangerous disease. (Here’s a source if you’re on of those ‘fact checkers’: http://www.theverge.com/2013/4/18/4201878/sick-idea-how-rabies-spawned-vampires-and-zombies)

I am pretty sure Bella would not let THIS bite her.
I am pretty sure Bella would not let THIS bite her.

Even Stoker’s Dracula is a cautionary tale warning of the danger of foreigners. While that side of the story is maybe a little politically incorrect, if you consider the social and economic factors of the time the book was written, it makes sense. The fact that technology helps fight the danger is actually pretty neat. Mina’s typewriter and the use of a phonograph may not be cutting edge today, but the technology of the time was used to counter the darkest forces of evil. Let’s consider that for a moment, the fact that technology and logic beat out superstition and mythical creatures. We’ll come back to it later.

Hipsters may have the edge if Dracula ever makes a comeback.
Hipsters may have the edge if Dracula ever makes a comeback.

The most important part of the “old school” vampire stories, of course, is the temptation. The trade-off. What would you give for immortality? Would you flee from your friends and family as they try to introduce you to the pointy side of a stake? You’re a blood-hungry monster, after all. How will you stay sane for a millennia while seeing those around you wither and die; except for the ones you kill yourself? Would you trade in bacon for blood? Could you forsake the sun and a life in the light, for immortality in the dark? Even if you did, would it be worth it? Vampirism has always been a deal with the devil, and the devil always got his due.

Is now a bad time to mention humans are called the long pig..?
Is now a bad time to mention humans are called the long pig..?

In modern media, there are no cautionary tales to scare us in the night. We know all about bloodborne diseases, and sun allergies, and even the fact that skin shrinks in certain earths, making nails and hair look longer. In modern works, technology helps vampires. Who cares about sunlight when the only thing it will do is make you sparkle?! Even if you are one of those “bursts into flames when the sun rises” kind of vampires, well, these days you just need a witch to make you a fancy ring. Or get yourself some broad-spectrum 100spf. Why lurk in the dark worrying over the life you’re taking to feed on, when instead you could open up bottle of Bacon-flavored TrueBlood™?

Supposedly
Supposedly

Even the society of the undead has changed. With little exception, vampires have been outcasts and lone wolves. Dracula may have had a harem, but they’re barely mentioned and barely used. Lestat, the devil, tries endlessly to create bonds with other vampires, only to be spurned and betrayed again and again. Even when Rice’s vampires do manage to get along, eventually someone realizes what a terrible idea it is and sets the whole business up in flames. Even the maker of vampires in Rice’s books spends a lot of time setting them on fire.

“Not _again!_” he seemed to say….

On the other side of the fang, modern vampires own night clubs, they work as covens, they boss each other around and swear fealty to each other. Some get married, some work in gas stations. The vampires of today have integrated. Modernity, it seems, has finally made us the DietVampire.

Although... I'm pretty sure you have to diet to get a body like that.
Although… I’m pretty sure you have to diet to get a body like that.

All the eternity, but none of the torment or loneliness. Gone is the struggle to survive and not hate yourself. The modernization of vampires has been a massive tradeoff. These DietVampires really don’t have struggles very different from the ones that normal folk have. They own businesses, they call in to radio shows, they have creepy half-vampire children. All the hardship of olden days has been replaced with modern convenience, and authors have recognized that. To try to give us something to care about and make vampires scarier, the writers have turned to something different – politics and chess games. Usually there’s some sort of “let’s turn humans into livestock” angle to it, of course.

Modern vampires could learn from Supernatural's Leviathan, who are genuinely creepy.
Modern vampires could learn from Supernatural’s Leviathan, who are genuinely creepy.

There isn’t anything tantalizing to the plot lines of modern vampire stories, because even if they’re after our blood, they’re really not after our way of life. They’re not asking us to make a choice. While being livestock that may be scary to society, it isn’t very scary to a single reader. What makes vampires scary to people aren’t plans and games, it’s the temptation that they offer; the temptation to make that deal with the devil… unfortunately for horror fans, now the deal with the devil comes with 0% financing.

The verdict? You decide! Leave your thoughts in the comments!


Barb2Barbie O’Havoc has been considered a nerd since the first time she pissed someone off for having a weird opinion. Since then, she’s been spending her time indulging in the surprisingly expensive habits of reading trashy vampire novels and hitting people while playing roller derby. Both of her main hobbies have led to a love of terrible puns, much to everyone’s dismay.

Barbie O’ also loves coffee and local restaurants, and occasionally rambles about both on the Johnstown Food Blog.

Origin Story

Ka-POW!
Ka-POW!

All good superheros have an origin story. This is ours.

Some Nerd Girl represents all the ladies out there – young and old – who find joy in all the nerdy things in life. We thrive in a culture of creativity, invention, learning, laughing, exploring, expanding and damn good storytelling. We love everything from web comics, robots and video games to books, board games and cosplay and so much more in between. The universe of our interests is dizzying, and we’re here to tell you all about it!

You might be thinking; why focus only on the X chromosome? I mean, isn’t the goal to be equal and gender neutral these days?

Quite frankly; that would be a relief! The truth us, there are still a lot of misconceptions out there that deserve discussion and introspection. At the same time, there are plenty of things that deserve celebration as well – and we want to make sure we reinforce those times of triumph. We hope that by sharing our experiences and opening a dialog about all things interesting or controversial, we will contribute to the evolution of the culture we proudly subscribe to.

At Some Nerd Girl, you’ll see a series of Origin Stories where our writers tell you when and where they first realized the nerd inside of them. You’ll hear about convention tales, whether they be good, bad, or ugly. And you’ll see original pieces and recommendations for all things nerdy!

Our contributors are diverse – anyone who wants a voice regarding women in medium or the culture is welcome to be a part of our troupe. We hope you’ll enjoy hearing from them and nerding out with us!

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