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December 2015

Some Nerd Girl 2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for Some Nerd Girl!

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 24,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Colony One is On Sale for the New Year!

Happy New Year Everybody!!

I wanted to ring in the New Year with a deal on my latest book Colony One! You can download this first-of-three novel at Amazon for $1.99 (normally priced at $4.99).

Kindle Fire Mock Up New Years.png

The special offer will last from December 31st – January 4th. If one of your resolutions is to read more, here’s your chance to get started on the cheap!


Eve2

Eve is the founder of Some Nerd Girl and the author of urban fantasy novel Children of the Fallen and science fiction novel Colony One. She has been writing since the age of 13 and has been flying her nerd flag for the past 16 years. Fandoms include Star Wars, Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica. Basically if it has ‘star’ in it, she’ll give it a shot.

Resolutions – We Have Them!

It’s December 31st – and we all know what that means. Late night boozin’! Also… those resolution thingies. It seems as though making resolutions has waned – it felt like a MUCH bigger of deal when I was younger. Now people appear to prefer to hedge their bets and forego making goals. Not here at Some Nerd Girl! We have some very specific goals for the upcoming year!

Feel free to share your resolutions in the comments – we want to hear them!

 #1 – Get back to our nerdy roots

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Be it playing long-ago packed away video game systems *coughRogueSquadrononN64cough* or, as Claire intends, getting an old raiding crew back together for Final Fantasy 14 to finally clear the Coils of Bahamut and rediscovering her Magic the Gathering roots. Speaking for myself – I distinctly recall drifting away from my beloved Star Wars video games because they were seen as ‘time wasters’ that ‘normal’ people thought were geeky.

Well, it’s the golden age, mothafrakkers! I do what I want!

Also thank the Gods for eBay because I couldn’t find my old gaming systems. Soon I’ll have an N64 AND a Gamecube!

And then there’s Julia, who is resolved to let her nerd flag fly high and proud this year!

 #2 – READ MOAR!

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Some of us, like Sandy are taking on a 20 Goodreads Reading Challenge, others like Rose intend to read every book on her bookshelf (all 100 of them!), and Barb, is setting out to read more non-fiction to add to what is already a pretty impressive mental encyclopedia. We also are looking forward to reading more sci-fi and finishing series that are long overdue to be finished!

 #3 – Fitness For Nerdy Reasons!

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It’s no secret some of us, like Rebecca are motivated to get in and stay in shape for Cosplay reasons. Others, like Heather, want to get her Zombie Run on with the added bonus of being in prime condition for Cosplay. For myself, I’m resolving to cycle at LEAST 520 miles this year – ultimately making the ability to rock Starbuck at DragonCon that much more likely!

 #4 – Fully Commit and Finish Our Projects

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Rose is set on finishing her 2015 NaNoWriMo story, Tessa wants to get an original work of fiction on paper as well as learn Python. For myself, I fully intend to publish my 2015 NaNo novel ‘Unforgettable’ and write the sequel to Colony One. And of course, we want to continue providing awesome, original content for our followers here at Some Nerd Girl!

 #5 – Catch up on all that TV Show Goodness

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A lot of amazing content came out in 2015, and it shows no signs of slowing in 2016. Therefore, many of us have resolved to get up to date with our beloved TV shows, lest we slack and they get *gasp* canceled!

People are relying on us! It is our duty to re-commit to our watching duties! Miranda has agreed to take up the first charge!

 #6 – Connect with our Fellow Nerd

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Last but certainly not least, we would like to resolve to connect to our fellow nerd – be it our long-time friends, new friends, friends we have yet to meet, or possibly even those special more-than-friends connections – we want to ensure these relationships are nurtured and cherished throughout the year. Community is a big deal with us nerds – we stick together and share so much passion for so many things. That sense of togetherness is just one of the many perks of being a nerd.

So say we all!


Eve2Eve is the founder of Some Nerd Girl and the author of urban fantasy novel Children of the Fallen and science fiction novel Colony One. She has been writing since the age of 13 and has been flying her nerd flag for the past 16 years. Fandoms include Star Wars, Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica. Basically if it has ‘star’ in it, she’ll give it a shot.

The Life and Times of Being a Professional Nerd

I’m a professional nerd. I get paid to be a nerd, to be the nerdiest one in the room, and to be the most knowledgeable nerd in the room.

Okay, who am I kidding? I’m a science teacher. That’s even better than being a professional nerd. My job is to get 7th graders interested in science. Well, not exactly. 7th graders are naturally interested in science. My job is to teach them critical thinking, reading, and writing skills without ruining their innate middle school love of science.

The first step, as I teach my students, is to ask questions. Always ask questions. Where does electricity come from? Can a woman get pregnant while she is pregnant? Why don’t they put all of the money currently in fossil fuels towards researching more efficient ways to collect, store, and distribute energy from renewable sources? Why can’t I make a clone army?

Questions
You can never have enough of them!

The second step is to learn how to answer those questions. Depending on the type of question, the answer can be found with a simple Google or Wikipedia search. When they reach high school and college, finding the answers will require more refined skills in internet searching, including the ability to determine the accuracy and validity of various sources. They will also learn to ask librarians, read textbooks, and eventually, seek out journal articles. They will read about past experiments and determine whether the scientist had a controlled study and a large enough sample size. They will understand the limitations in funding and participants, and the limitations in designing a perfect experiment. This doesn’t mean they will discount the experiments; rather, they will use their experience and education to determine how these limitations may have affected the data and how the experiment can be improved for next time.

Hopefully, they will reach the level at which they can no longer search for previously-discovered answers, and they will have to find the answers themselves. They will have to meticulously study all previous research and determine the best testable hypotheses to answer their questions. They will have to write grant proposals and design the best experiments possible with their limited resources.

paperwork
Paperwork is a necessary evil to achieve greatness!

When they have reached the last of their time or funding, they will collect the data, run statistical analysis, put it through Matlab, or find another way to create magical graphical and tabular representations of their work. They will realize that all the lab reports they wrote in middle school and high school (about which they complained, and complained, and complained) have prepared them for this moment, to finally put the finishing touches on their Masters theses and PhD dissertations and journal articles to submit for peer review.

I wear a lab coat every Friday. At first, it was an opportunity for me to reminisce about my years in the lab and to finish my last classes of the week strong. When students and colleagues smiled at me on that first Lab Coat Friday, thought about how nerdy I looked, it made me smile back, and I taught my classes with enthusiasm that I thought was lost earlier in the week. Since then, Lab Coat Friday has become an opportunity to show my pride in my nerdiness and to tell students about all the wonderful and lucrative science careers they can pursue after college, from volcanologist to field ecologist.

LabcoatFriday

In the meantime, I prepare them for internal and statewide assessments, because it is important that they have a foundation of science content knowledge so that they can be, well, functional human beings. They need to know how the human body systems work together, so that they know how to make better decisions about their health and know what questions to ask a doctor. They need to know how to understand a weather report, and when to stock up on supplies in anticipation of a major hurricane (or when it’s just media hype, and they should be ready for work or school the next day).

It is also important that they walk away from middle school science with good test scores. And so I read and reread state standards, write my own tests, and work backwards into lesson plans for over 180 days of school, over 180 individual lessons, each lesson building upon the last. Each lesson bridges the gap between what they know and what they should know, and then pushes them even further. I analyze test scores and student response data and make sure that when state testing comes, they are ready to go, #2 pencils in hand, still filled with the curiosity and enthusiasm for science that they had on the first day of school.

I want them to have good assessment scores so that people don’t see our students and think, Oh, they’re from that city. I want people to see the scores and say, Wow, those students are smart, and are outperforming students in much wealthier school districts. Wow, those students are opening up opportunities for themselves that they may not have had otherwise. Wow, those students are going places.

But at the end of the day, we show our students their state assessment scores on bar graphs and talk about percentages. We analyze our data together, because at the end of the day we’re all nerds, and we love to get our analytics on.

At the end of the day, knowing that I set the foundation for countless children to go on to think critically, make discoveries and contribute in meaningful ways makes being a professional nerd all that much sweeter!


Robin

Robin has been a professional nerd since 2011; that is, she is a 7th grade science teacher. She loves reading and watching science fiction and is working on creating her own young adult fantasy series. She prefers Star Trek to Star Wars because she enjoys the plot-driven social commentary, rather than fast-paced action sequences. She enjoys video games, but only those with graphic technology prior to 2003 because anything newer makes her dizzy.

19 When Life Needs Ctrl+Z, #2 – Some Nerd Girl Original Webcomic

There are few morals to this story:

If you’re going to spay paint outside, always weigh down your newspaper (as it, too, will fly up and stick to whatever you’re spray painting when the wind picks up).

Also, elevate your work space so leaves are less likely to attack it when the wind picks up.

If all else fails… go directly to Lowes and buy a new mailbox. You know, like I had to do…..

Check out all the SNGCs here and join us every Monday for a new original SNG Webcomic!


Alex

Alex 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.

8 Burning Questions I Have After Watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens [Huge Spoilers, duh]

So, to reiterate. GIANT SPOILERS AHEAD!

 

Also, a disclaimer; I really enjoyed Star Wars TFA – but as a nerd, I feel compelled, like many of my nerd brethren, to pick it to itty bitty pieces. That being said, I have some burning questions that I really hope will be addressed in the following movies. Many of you know that my nerd origin story is deeply influenced by Star Wars, and so these movies are very near and dear to my heart. And also very easy for me to obsess over. And with great obsession comes great ability to over-analyze!

And yes, I know there is a book, and a whole host of other references I could probably source to answer a lot of my questions but I am a busy professional, damn it, and it’s way more fun to speculate. Also, I want it on the pretty big screen. Anyhow, let’s get this listicle started.

1. Where the hell is Jakku, why is it important and what is with all these desert planets?

Star Wars: The Force Awakens..Ph: Film Frame..?Lucasfilm 2015
Clearly, some shit went down on Jakku.

Despite the fact ‘Jakku’ was right there in the screen crawl as this movie kicked off, it took me WAY too long to realize this planet was not Tatooine. Mostly because I kept wondering why no one was calling it Tatooine.

Okay, so I typed Jakku into Google and evidently it’s a far out planet where people thought they could avoid the Empire on. Guess they were wrong. I still fully expect JJ to address why Jakku is where we find our loveable Rey.

2. The Big One: Who are Rey’s parents? And why would they abandon someone so awesome?

Rey
She is perfect in every way. Look out, Lilo Dallas Multipass!

So it’s got to be Han/Leia or Luke/Mara(??), right? If this is a Solo, we have to assume she was stolen from her parents as opposed to willfully hidden by them. They clearly didn’t hide Ben, although I think we can all agree they really, really, really should have.

3. Why does the Republic know nothing about the Starkiller Base?

StarkillerBase
This uh… kind of seems like a big deal.

Come on guys, you’re losing your touch. Looking at you, Leia. Are you telling me that until Finn, a sanitation Stormtrooper, showed up, you knew nothing about the Starkiller Base? The Rebel Alliance was on top of it back in the day, stealing Death Star plans and getting the drop on the half-constructed Death Star. And you know this is the Empire’s / First Order’s go-to strategy.

Thank goodness Sanitation Man showed up! Forget wanting this explained in future movies. I wanted this explained in this movie.

4. Also, why is a sanitation Stormtrooper being sent to Jakku in a hunt for information about Luke Skywalker?

Finn
I am just as confused as you are, Finn!

First of all, I have no idea how close the Starkiller Base is to Jakku. I also have no idea if that thing can even travel through space. How do you propel a planet? Actually, there’s a lot of questions I have about the Starkiller Base, but that is one thing I’ll allow myself to suspend my disbelief on. We needed a big threat. It’ll do.

Back to my original point; the Finn character while enjoyable in many ways… I am baffled by in terms of overall involvement. Also, I wonder why the brainwashing had less of an effect on him. He’s probably Force sensitive but it doesn’t seem to present in any particular way, except for maybe being drawn to the ‘Light.’ He immediately runs to Rey when he thinks she’s in trouble. For that, your nonsensical involvement is acceptable.

5. Why does Han think he’s a good smuggler?

HanSolo
Stick to what you’re good at Solo; being charming.

I refer here to his line to Leia, “I just went back to doing what I was good at” or something along those lines. Han. Buddy. I love you, bro, but you are not a good smuggler. You’re terrible at smuggling. Every time we’ve seen you try to smuggle something on screen, you fail. You should have stuck to plucky Rebel capers. THAT you were good at.

6. Who is Space Hitler and why is Kylo Ren not Force choking the shit out of him?

GeneralHux_KyloRen
Evil intensifies

There is an odd tension between Kylo Ren and General Hux that make it feel like they are both trying to one-up each other in order to impress Hologram Man (Snoke? I’m still learning these new people’s names). Hux’s wide-eyed fanaticism seemed like overkill, and I was really enjoying the prospect of Ren having a Force temper tantrum that resulted in many loss of limbs. Sadly, it never came. Ren was completely unaffected by Hux’s not-so-quiet insanity, and I want to know more about that dynamic.

7. What messed Ben up so much?

KyloRen
Whininess clearly runs in the Skywalker line.

I don’t buy that Snoke seduced Ben to the Dark Side and That-Was-That. Anakin lost his mother, grew up a slave, was constantly denied in his aspirations as a Jedi, was defeated by Obi-Wan, left to die, and then informed upon his painful recovery that his one true love was dead. Granted, I think his seduction to the Dark Side was a little slap-dash as well (before the limb-loss and news of Padme’s death), but he would have never, I repeat never have killed a family member.

So I want to know what messed up Ben. And it better be believable and relatable. Because if JJ just killed off Han in order to make a ‘bigger, badder villain’ I’m going to be forced to write many a strongly worded articles about my discontent.

Be afraid. Be very afraid!

8. Did Ben regret killing his father?

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Vader would NOT approve, buddy.

Please, please let this be a featured struggle in the future movies. I noticed that when he is deciding if he will kill Han or not, there’s a reflection in each of his eyes – one red, one blue. I noticed this on my second viewing. And I thought to myself… wow, well done! I bet both reflections will be red when his Lightsaber activates.

But they weren’t. They were both BLUE. This, combined with how erratic and sloppily he fights Rey, indicates to me that he might have realized the instant he killed his father what a terrible, terrible mistake he had made. Perhaps instead of feeling the wash of the Dark Side fully embracing him, the Light lashed out and filled him with well deserved regret.


 

Overall, I loved this movie, and I am so very much looking forward to more. I’m unleashing my thoughts and questions here, in this magical place called the internet, in hopes I might get my wish of knowledge in 2017. (JJ reads all these, right??)

Do you have unresolved questions after watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens? If so, leave them in the comments and we’ll speculate together!


 

Eve2Eve is the founder of Some Nerd Girl and the author of urban fantasy novel Children of the Fallen and science fiction novel Colony One. She has been writing since the age of 13 and has been flying her nerd flag for the past 16 years. Fandoms include Star Wars, Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica. Basically if it has ‘star’ in it, she’ll give it a shot.

A (Very) Brief Summary of Why the Internet is Awesome (pt 1)

The following is a series SNG will run where our contributors explain why, particularly to them, the internet is (OBVIOUSLY) awesome.


 

Although there are many reasons why the internet is awesome here are my two favorites:

The Internet facilitates connections

 

Besides the fact that the Internet is literally wires upon wires all connecting computers to each other, access to the internet is access to (other then practically the entire world) websites like Facebook, Reddit, Tumblr, and Twitter and programs like Skype, where you can talk to people you don’t know and people you do know.

My uncle lives in England and the only way I can actually have a conversation with him is over Facebook Messenger or while we are on a Skype call.

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If you’re feeling really excited about a fandom, you can log onto a forum where you can fangirl about a book, a movie, or anything really with someone who also cares about that thing as much as you do.

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Did someone say fangirl?!

Collaborative (Collab) channels on Youtube are a really prevalent example of how people who barely know each other can start connecting and maybe even build that into a friendship or enterprise.

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Exhibit A

Whether the connections are shallow or don’t matter as much is up for debate, sure, but having access to other people does facilitate connections.

The Internet is a great resource

 

If you’re having a conversation and someone says something that doesn’t sound right you can look up that factoid and either confirm it’s right or tell them that what they have believed all this time is wrong and they should have done some research.

google
The real tie breaker!

If anyone wanted information before the internet was invented it took hours to research the information they needed in books, and while books are great, the internet is like having a library at the touch of a button.


 

Miranda.pngMiranda is a college student studying Adventure Education and Sustainable Agriculture. Don’t let all that outdoorsy-ness fool you, when the Deathly Hallows came out Miranda was at the release party. Other nerdy credits include having deep discussions about various book series on reddit, tumblr, and twitter. She loves Harry Potter, the Hunger Games, the Delirium series, basically anything dystopian and the community of Nerdfighteria. You can find her on twitter @genderisweird, check her out on her blog and tumblr

18 Happy Holidays from SNGC! – Some Nerd Girl Original Webcomic

We here at SNG wanted to wish everyone Happy Holidays! Get your nerdy holidaze on!

Check out all the SNGCs here and join us every Monday for a new original SNG Webcomic!


Alex

Alex 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.

Nerds Then Vs. Nerds Now

So I’m sitting on the couch, watching TV with my future sister-in-law, and we’re talking about what her friends were into watching these days and she gets onto the topic of anime. And then I had it: my first “back in MY day” moment.

“Back when I was in high school, we watched all our anime on Saturday when it came on after midnight. Everyone watched the same things because we didn’t have Netflix or Crunchyroll to watch anime.”

Granted, when I googled the year in which Crunchyroll started I realized it came out when I was fourteen (2006), but I didn’t know it existed at the time and neither did my friends so my point stands. Those of us in the nerdy community who are in our late twenties and early thirties have seen a very curious thing happen. We’ve seen nerd culture, a culture we grew up in and embraced and (sometimes) felt ashamed of, become a widely accepted and growing culture. And it’s a wonderful thing!

So I thought I’d take a moment to talk about the some of the differences between not only people my age and older, but also about my future sister-in-law and her friends who are eight years younger.

Book smarts

In my day, being a book smart kid made for shaky social ground. People wanted to be smart but they didn’t want to show that they were smart. I was very smart. I excelled at memory games and could read before most kids. Going into elementary school, I had encyclopedias (yes, more than one) on the animal kingdom and on dinosaurs and I could tell you all about nearly every animal in each book. As a kid, showing that your smart both amazes and threatens others, so they don’t know how to react to you. In middle school I was often singled out by others and asked if they could copy my work. I rightfully and indignantly told them “No”. But I wasn’t left with many friends.

NerdyReading
Now it’s all about flaunting your smarts!

Now-a-days, I feel like kids are getting smarter. They have access to technology and a near infinite wealth of knowledge. Being smart is still looked at with amazement but it’s not seen as something you should hide. Intelligence is celebrated and not just by adults. Intelligence has also become a trait people would like to see in their partners. Being intellectually challenged is a good thing.

Stereotypes: What’s in a Nerd

Again, even just sixteen years ago, your stereotypical nerd:

  • Wore glasses
  • Was portrayed as only very skinny or very fat
  • Had no fashion sense
  • Had bad hair, skin, teeth, or all three
  • Was shy and introverted or
  • Arrogantly pretentious (is that redundant?)

This was a very negative portrayal. People didn’t want to be friends with nerds. In the minds of the general public “the nerd” (latin name Alumnorum Diligentis) was a recluse except to it’s own kind. “The Nerd” had no social life except to get together with other nerds and play Dungeons and Dragons in someone’s mother’s basement.

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Exhibit A.

By the time I got to high school, being a nerd had changed. Instead of being shy they overcompensated by being over the top friendly and open. Their fashion sense became less preppy and more dramatic (my school’s nerd community was MAJORLY into lolita). And it felt strange how much people loved it. I felt lucky to go to a high school that didn’t abide by strict cliques one might see on Mean Girls or High School Musical or whatever the kids watch these days. People other than “the nerds” were interested in our games. They asked us about our clothes and often times genuinely seemed interested. There were still those who put us down for being who we were, and those people had a big impact on how I behave now as a nerd. But overall the transition was positive.

Now, thanks to shows like The Big Bang Theory, nerds aren’t seen as one or two stereotypes. Anyone could be a nerd. In my sister-in-law’s group of friends there are skaters who want us to teach them how to play dungeons and dragons. There are “preppy girls” who are hip and fashionable out in public who go home, put on sweats, and watch anime until it’s time for bed, and so on.

Cosplay

The first time I cosplayed ended in tears. It was in middle school and I was still very new to being a nerd. There was a costume contest at school for Halloween and I went as a character from the manga I was reading. My mom helped me put it all together. We put on a little parade then everyone who participated said what their costume was and if people liked it they clapped. No one clapped for me. After the parade, there was a dance, and I spent a good portion in the bathroom crying from the sheer embarrassment I felt. I didn’t cosplay again until high school and it was always stuff that I could easily pass off as a regular outfit: I went as L to a park for example with some of my friends. Back in my day, cosplay was saved for conventions.

Now, I see it everywhere and people take it very seriously! There are cosplayers who make embroidered fabrics, work with leather and forge metals, and even use CAD to 3D print their costume pieces! It’s a community that encourages people to be outgoing and to be more than themselves. It’s a hobby that challenges cosplayers to keep learning and aquiring skills. Now, my future sister-in-law probably wouldn’t cosplay. She’s not THAT nerdy. But the friends that are just a few years younger than me really live in that culture. They dress up all the time. I honestly wonder where they get the money… But the point is they dress up all the time. It’s no longer just for conventions or for holidays like Halloween. People cosplay because it’s Tuesday or the weather’s nice or they want to get attention for something they worked really hard on. And, at least from I’ve seen, people the costumes are cool. They admire the work that goes into them. And they admire the passion.

EpicCosplay
I seriously can barely tell this is an actual real-life person and NOT a video game still. These people are intense!

And in the end, that’s all being a nerd really is. It’s about being passionate about things. We’re smart because we have a passion for learning. We cosplay because we have a passion to create and a passion for the shows we watch. We play Dungeons and Dragons because we’re passionate about using our imagination. Nerds then and nerds now are different. But at the same time, the light in which they’re viewed is different. As nerds opened up to the world and showed the world that it was okay to still do things that might be considered childish, the world opened up and embraced them back. Bullies still exist, both inside and outside of the nerd community, but the community itself, and the culture at it’s heart, is about doing what you love. We love to share what we’re passionate about and we love it even more when you become passionate about it too.

Because of the social stigma that still surrounded being nerdy as I was growing up, I struggle to open up and show people just how nerdy I am. But then you could be talking to me, and silence falls in the conversation. And the next thing you know I’ll bust out in Disney tunes or start rambling about a book I’m reading or some random history knowledge I’d just learned. It used to be, that if I did this to anyone but my friends, the people I was talking to would give me a look that wounded my confidence. Now when it happens, I’m always still a little stunned when they smile or chuckle and say something along the lines of “Oh my god, you’re a NERD. I didn’t even know! So what were you saying about that mummy they found?”

Today, people are proud to call themselves nerdy. And you know what? I’m proud to be nerdy too!


 

RoseRose is a casual nerd who has been writing since she was able to form words. She loves anime and anything cute and fuzzy. She’s a casual gamer who plays all her games on the easiest possible setting and still gets terribly stuck. She’s a fan of Disney movies, theatre, superheroes, Star Wars and Star Trek, and making things from other things because making things from scratch is too hard.

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