The Sexy Nerd

I’m remembering my childhood and a little movie series titled ‘Revenge of the Nerds’.  Those boys were truly fashion victims with a severe lack of social skills.  Then there is every other archetypal ‘nerd’ that has been portrayed from Ducky in ‘Pretty in Pink’ to Spengler in ‘Ghostbusters’ all the way to the nerdy hotness of Conner Temple in ‘Primeval’.  The only reason that this is floating through my head is that I’ve spent the day catching up on my seasons of Primeval via streaming media since I neither live in the UK nor do I pay for BBC America.

When this show was first on TV, I really didn’t have any interest in it.  I am a big SciFi dork, and I love me some Dr. Who and anything Supernatural (especially Jensen Akles and Jared Padalecki), but I can safely say that because there were Dinosaurs involved- I had little to no interest.  THEN, the SyFy channel aired ‘Alice’ and I cannot lie- I developed a little crush on Andrew Lee Potts as the Hatter.  He’s not a typically hot guy, but there was something about the character, the look and his portrayal of it that made him kind of sexy to watch.  So, of course, I enjoyed the mini-series and continued to ignore Primeval.

Then, SyFy channel aired a marathon of Primeval on some random weekday when I didn’t need to work and I watched it.  I do blame that channel for many a wasted hours on some of the most horrible cinema and television ever filmed.  To my surprise, I did enjoy the show.  And as an added bonus- the little cutie from Alice was one of it’s stars 🙂  I enjoyed the nerdiness of the character.  There was an earnest sweetness about him and that does seem to be the type of character I’ve seen this actor play.  Who knows- maybe it’s type casting, maybe not, but it’s got me to thinking- has the nerd evolved?

I truly consider myself to be a nerd.  I am not a computer expert, I don’t go out very often, I like to hang out with a book (or my book) and drink coffee or read the news paper.  If I can, I like to watch the occasional Rugby match, but other than that- pretty much stay at home and mess with my cats, so I ask you- where have all of our 1980’s style nerds and dorks gone to?  It’s as though they’ve been replaced in popular culture with the quirkily handsome, but socially awkward guy who is supposed to be a dork.

I feel bad for all of the guys out there who see these television shows and think that they need to have a unique, hipster sense of style because I guarantee that were the character of Conner Temple real he’d look one of two ways- completely average and nondescript, or he’d be super skinny or pretty fat computer geek who is probably still a virgin.  So I say- hats off to you BBC for giving me some geeky eye-candy and hats off to all of the real and unrepresented nerds out there.  We can all pretend.

Cold War Kids might have jinxed us

I was driving home from Philadelphia today and damned if I didn’t have a Cold War Kids song come onto my IPod and he kept singing that things could be much worse.  Well, thanks a lot guys all of your examples of how it could be worse have come to pass.  I will now deem you all Doom-saying Casandra’s and politely request that you start to sing that it could be worse- people now have jobs and there are not any natural disasters.

My Thoughts on the Character that is Henry Rollins

I’ve always loved Henry Rollins.  He is a loud mouth S.O.B. who will tell you what he thinks regardless of who you are and what you could do to him.  This of course is a romanticized view of a celebrity that I’ve put together in my own twisted mind because- of course- I’ve never met the man.  I do believe that should I ever meet him and sit down to have a drink and some good conversation that I will be reduced to tears and that I’ll leave the meeting feeling that I’ve met a person who honestly wants to know why I might disagree with something he’s said.

I can’t deny that just watching this man makes me tired.  For a guy who’s just turned 50, he’s the freaking energizer bunny on speed!  I just watched an interview he did on Chelsea Lately and he said that he’s touring 9 months out of the year for his various projects and all I could think was- DAMN!  This is a man who epitomizes my youth and dare I say, could be the poster-boy for the entire population of Americans who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s.  Hell, Black Flag was stuck into the remake of Boy’s of Summer for crying out loud.

His mentioning that he was single did surprise me.  For a man with such a following, I imagined that he had found someone years ago and was raising a couple of teenagers, but it was a little heartening to know that even uber-successful workaholics can truly despise dating.  Granted, I really have no basis for comparison seeing as I am a true commitment phobe who (whether I want to believe it or not) grew up on Disney movies and can’t shake that idea that you’ll know love when you feel it.

Anyway- my hats are off to you Mr. Rollins.  Keep on talking, keep on pissing people off, and hopefully someone will follow your example and something could be accomplished instead of a bunch of monkeys blowing smoke up each others asses, which seems to be the status quo these days.

Book Review: The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray

Book 1: Great and Terrible Beauty

Amazon.com Synopsis-

“A Victorian boarding school story, a Gothic mansion mystery, a gossipy romp about a clique of girlfriends, and a dark other-worldly fantasy–jumble them all together and you have this complicated and unusual first novel.

Gemma, 16, has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother’s death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls’ academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique. Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions “for a bit of fun” and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left wi! th the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the “others” and rebuild the Order. A Great and Terrible Beauty is an impressive first book in what should prove to be a fascinating trilogy. (Ages 12 up) –Patty Campbell –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book 2: Rebel Angels

Amazon.com Synopsis-

“In this sequel to the Victorian fantasy A Great and Terrible Beauty, Gemma continues to pursue her role as the one destined to bind the magic of the Realms and restore it to the Order–a mysterious group who have been overthrown by a rebellion. Gemma, Felicity and Ann, (her girlfriends at Spence Academy for Young Ladies), use magical power to transport themselves on visits from their corseted world to the visionary country of the Realms, with its strange beauty and menace. There they search for the lost Temple, the key to Gemma’s mission, and comfort Pippa, their friend who has been left behind in the Realms. After these visits they bring back magical power for a short time to use in their own world. Meanwhile, Gemma is torn between her attraction to the exotic Kartik, the messenger from the opposing forces of the Rakshana, and the handsome but clueless Simon, a young man of good family who is courting her. The complicated plot thickens when Gemma discovers a woman in Bedlam madhouse who knows where to find the Temple; Ann shows signs of being enamored of Gemma’s loutish brother Tom, and their father’s addiction to laudanum lands him in an opium den. A large part of the enjoyment of this unusual fantasy comes from the Victorian milieu and its restrictive rules about the behavior of proper young ladies, as contrasted with the unimaginable possibilities of the Realms, where Gemma has power to confront gorgons and ghosts and the responsibility to save a world. (Ages 12 and up) –Patty Campbell –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.”

Book 3: The Far Sweet Thing

The Publisher’s Weekly Review-

“The concluding volume in the trilogy begun in A Great and Terrible Beautyis a huge work of massive ambition, an undertaking that involves the plaiting and tying off a dozen plot threads-impending war in the realms and heroine Gemma Doyle’s control of its magic being the central thread but, perhaps, not the most interesting. In chronicling Gemma’s first year at Spence Academy, Bray has, over three books, widened her canvas from finishing school to fin-de-siècle London, weaving in the defining movements of the era-labor strikes over factory conditions, suffrage, the “radical” Impressionists just across the Channel, even fashion trends like bloomers for women daring enough to ride bicycles. Gemma is both buffeted and bolstered by her exposure to these developments, and readers experience how they shape her burgeoning understanding of who she is and who she may become. Some of Gemma’s struggle is about power. As exalted as she is within the realms for her role as High Priestess of the secret society, her “otherness” marks her as unsuitable for proper Victorian circles. Gemma chafes not only at the physical constraints of a corset but at the myriad restrictions placed on women. Her quest is to break free, but at what cost? Bray poses these vital questions without sacrificing the gothic undertones of the previous volumes-the body count is high, and the deaths, gruesome. That creepiness is balanced by the fully realized company of players, including the insufferable headmistress, Mrs. Nightwing, the acid-tongued Felicity Worthington, hunky heartthrob Kartik and, of course, Gemma herself, a heroine readily embraced. Ages 14-up. (Dec.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information”

So, again, this review has come a little while after I’d read the books so I will review the lasting impression that I have kept from this series.

I fell in love with the main characters!  One of my biggest pet peeves about current literature that is targeted at young women is that the female leads are a little wussy and whiny.  Gemma Doyle is a budding suffragette and Libba Bray points out all of the historical hypocrisies of  Victorian England while also adding an element of reality to the situations.  Not the parallel world stuff, but the idea of showing the world through an outsider was ingenious.  We got to follow Gemma as she came to fully understand that the world isn’t fair, but that you cannot immediately change reality without suffering the consequences.

There are true tragedies for the girls in this story and they are personal, social, and meaningful and I cannot tell you how much I enjoy that.  All-in-all, I can’t add much to the professional reviews aside from a huge two thumbs up.  This is a great light read for adults and a wonderful story with real meaning for young adults.