I want to take a nap.

It’s hard to distinguish between boring work, and work that makes you fall asleep. What I do for a living is boring. It’s not glamorous, it’s not fast paced—it’s boring. Fortunately for me, when I DO have work to do, I don’t feel like falling asleep. The problem comes in when I don’t have anything to do… or at least anything pressing to do. This is usually the case during my afternoons. For the life of me, every afternoon I struggle to stay awake.

Yesterday was no different, except when my boss came over to talk with me about a form I was creating. I suppose I’ll skip the nuances of form making—even though it’s pretty engaging stuff. Anyway, there she is, listening to all the great things my form can do, but she can’t keep herself from yawning. Over and over. And over. The truth is I’m not offended.  She can yawn all she wants. She’s tired, I’m tired, and we’re talking about forms.

The interesting part was when she started talking about this business class she used to teach; apparently one of the topics she let her students research was napping in the workplace. So, the topic ensues, but I’m feeling this weird struggle between TOTALLY agreeing with her that it would be AWESOME, and trying to appear as though I’m much too motivated to spend any time napping, away from…form making. But in the end, I agreed with her. Hell, she’s the one who brought it up.

This whole fear about not seeming lazy is ridiculous to me. In practically every meeting I sit in, there’s somebody who’s FIGHTING falling asleep. And it’s a struggle. Sometimes that person is me. Other times I manage to entertain myself with ideas on what I’m going to do this weekend. So of course there’s research out there (where? I don’t know….THERE) that talks all about how short naps boost productivity. I believe it. But what I believe more is that when your body is fighting you that hard, it just doesn’t feel right to fight back. But in a world where everyone feels that afternoon lull, who’s really going to take the leap and actively pursue a workplace napping policy?

I barely started this job, so that person is definitely not me. But I just can’t wait for the day that somebody Makes. It. Happen. I don’t need the lights dimmed. I don’t need a pillow or blanket. All I need is my chair, and somebody to say: “It’s alright. You take that nap.”

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Nerd is the word.

Me and my friends will meet a minimum of once a week, where we catch up on whatever it is that people catch up on. Someone will bring up a movie they want to see, or some interesting bit of news they heard, or something that they may be interested in doing in the future, individually or as a group. Depending on if that activity is nerdy, one of my friends will let out a long-extended, “Ner-eerrrd.” Before, when we were first just starting out being friends that might have been embarrassing the person who suggested the activity, but now everyone just sort of lets it slide. But that doesn’t usually stop the conversation that follows which is usually just the person being accused arguing that they’re not nearly as nerdy as the person that made the accusation in the first place. It always sounds something like:

Friend 1: “Ner-eerrrd!!”
Friend 2: “YOU’RE calling ME the nerd?
Friend 1: “Yeah, I am”
Friend 2: “What?! Look at you; you’re the nerdiest one in this group!”
Friend 1: “What’s that supposed to mean?”

At this point, it starts growing into something different—usually an attack on personal style. If it happens to be me in this conversation, I try and end it here. It’s one thing to have nerdy interests, but it’s completely another to accuse someone of looking nerdy. So anyway, these conversations happen every once in a while, and they always make me think: are we really nerds? Individually, we don’t like being called out on our varying degrees of nerdiness, but as a group, we agreed that we are nerds.

Lately, though, I’ve started to really question this identity we’ve assigned ourselves. No, it’s not because I think we’re unbelievably cool, and anybody would like to be friends with us. It’s more because I don’t think we really understand the definition of nerd.

Cool Nerds

The truth is, we think we’re cool nerds. But it’s not really fair to say that the cool nerd is a real nerd for a number of reasons. Here’s a little breakdown of the cool nerd:

1.      Cool nerds are at a minimum, mildy attractive. Or at least, not ugly.
2.      They sometimes wear thick framed glasses.
3.      They have eclectic music tastes.
4.      They love SAVERS, Goodwill, or vintage stuff.
5.       They do “nerdy” things.

The problem with them doing “nerdy” things is that those nerdy things are becoming increasingly more popular. Once those nerdy things enter mainstream popularity, it should no longer be considered nerdy.

Real Nerds

One characterization of real nerds is that they are supposed to be exceedingly smart. Generally the cool nerd phenomenon has lowered the standard of smartness, because really, it’s not enough to just keep up with the news, or contribute to interesting conversations. You have to be enthusiastic about something that someone else can only feign interest in for a short period of time.

To be a true nerd you have to be devoted—to at least one topic. And no, that topic shouldn’t be photography, or food, or painting, or music. Again, those interests are, at this point, too popularized.

In high school I took a Physics class with this one guy who was a year younger than me. At the time I was also taking Calculus. This guy, even though he wasn’t in the class, somehow managed to get our Calculus book, and would work out problems from it for fun. He would ask me for help, knowing I took the class, and sometimes I would see him after school going to my Calculus teacher, asking her for guidance as well. I guess I sincerely respected his genuine interest in the subject, but at the same time I couldn’t help but think it was a little excessive. And nerdy.

I guess what I’m trying to do is take away the trendiness people have assigned to being nerdy. That doesn’t means that the cool nerd shouldn’t exist. All that means is that the cool nerd should be called something else, that doesn’t involve to word nerd. It just sort of cheapens what used to be assigned as a humble fact to those who are truly nerdy.

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Tell me that you like my username because it’s great.

Creating a blog forced me to make a couple of tough decisions. At the moment, I’m reflecting on the whole select a username process that I went through. Initially, I thought I had come up with a pretty clever little username that best fit my blog, but soon went through an unfolding realization that has forced me to reevaluate my initial assumption. My original choice was taken. So if that doesn’t tell me something about my originality, I don’t know what will.

So, back to my original point. I couldn’t go with my original idea because it was taken. That left me to think of a series of other names to use. Username picking is interesting business. Whatever you pick will certainly indicate your level of devotion to your blog and/or topic. In hindsight I can’t say that I thought particularly long about this, after my initial choice. Instead I thought I would put in seemingly random names to see the likelihood of their prior existence. Here’s a breakdown of what I found.

1. Imabitch. No, I’m not a bitch, but this seemed like a username that someone (presumably a bitch) would take. I always appreciate someone who is straightforward with their bitchyness, especially in blogs. That way, I don’t have to come to this conclusion after I’ve read dozen (no plural here) of entries indicating so. This particular one is devoted to Neela’s random thoughts. Either way, her blog was abandoned, so we’ll never know the true extent of her bitchyness. But honestly, for some reason I don’t really think she’s a bitch.

2. Imsochic. No, I’m not so chic, but I wanted to find out who was. Like the previous, I like how affirming the name is; and, like the previous, it already exists and is not developed. A couple things interest me with this one. First, which definition of chic are they using? Chic as in sylish? Chic as in girl? Or, chic as in baby chicken? Whatever it is, I want to know about “chic.”

3. Sillypeanut. This, apparently, is a reserved site that does not yet exist.  I chose this one because I was thinking of my brother, who likes calling his friends silly (li’l) peanuts, in what I think is just his attempt to unnerve them.

4. Lookbehindyou. I picked this one because it’s part funny, part creepy. All I found was a lot of pictures of some girl, who’s running a blog related to some other company called hush hush (Hey, it’s like that one Paul Abdul song, but different!). This blog hasn’t really been updated in two years. That might not be so good for business.

5. Marvingardens. When I entered this name in, I was thinking about an old friend of mine who used to say “Maarvin Gaaardens” in this dreamy sing-songy voice whenever we would play Monopoly. Apparently it’s spelled Marven, not Marvin. It’s misspelled in Monopoly. This was taken, but apparently later deleted by the original author. Monopoly is a terrible game.

6. Lacapitancognito. This is the one that stuck. I’ve used this name before, and all it really is an amalgamation of other usernames I’ve had in the past—something of a homage. I don’t normally use the word homage—but the way you choose to say gives me an opportunity to judge you. So what is it: “hom-aj” or “oh-maj”? Anyway, I like the idea of being a captain, and I especially like the Spanish pronunciation of the word. And, being in cognito makes me feel like a spy. There are very few things cooler than a captain spy. I also like alliteration, so to “in” had to go. But, the idea is that most people won’t notice.

So I guess I’ll finish by saying that there are, I’m sure, a number of reasons explaining how some of these sites already exist in the first place. Or that I can change my site address and/or username, but that’s not really the point. Here was a chance for me to see who committed to usernames that to me, were just picked on the fly.

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Don’t sing in your car because I’ll laugh at you.

There are two kinds of people who drive. Those who sing and those who don’t. Today the focus will be on those who sing. Everyone loves singing. No, not always in public, but generally, in the safety/seclusion of their homes or showers, people like to push their voices to the limit—they like to see if they can hit Steve Perry’s often imitated never duplicated high notes. Since there is a real fear that one may not be able to hit the note, most people don’t like to embarrass themselves by trying in front of other people. This brings us to car singers. When you’re driving to work, all by yourself, there’s a sense that, indeed, you’re safe to sing in the confines of your car. But that is not the case. There are drivers all around you, and if they’re anything like me, their overwhelming sense of curiosity drives them to look at their surrounding drivers. Yup, I like to just look at people; driving down the road, on the freeway, at traffic lights, whenever I get the chance. Staring at the drivers next to you at a stoplight is always tricky in case they happen to be doing the same thing. For me, whenever that moment happens, I give a mini “Ah!,” proceed to giggle and just look straight forward. I guess the point of this is to say you’re driving solo in a car, doesn’t mean you’re ever really alone.

So back to the original point I was trying to make—if you’re never really alone, do you have the guts to really sing the way you want to, knowing full well that you may be observed? There are drivers who, say, just don’t give a shit. You know who they are; they’re the same people who don’t care what people think. They’re the same people who annoy the hell out of you with their overwhelming lack of shame, whether justified or not. Unlike them, there are others who would cover their voice with a fig leave once it was revealed to them that somebody may be watching/listening. So, that person falls into a subcategory of driver, who, also sings, but only in specific circumstances. When they can be sure no one is watching. As a “sometimes” singer, they are aware of when they are in someone else’s line of vision. They use their mirrors often, always aware of the proximity of other vehicles. They are aware that older drivers check their mirrors less often (you know it’s true), among other things. It is in those “safe zone” moments where they sing. This results in something of a jolted form of singing. Singing will be abruptly halted once they enter the “danger zone.” This is better than nothing.

Another option is the cell phone fake. Fortunately, cell phones have proven to be something of an instrument of illusion in various scenarios. People pretending to text to look busy, people taking phone calls right as they pass mall kiosk employees, you get the idea. Singing while holding a phone to your ear gives the illusion that you are just talking, if not somewhat animatedly. This is harder to do, if you’re from a city that has banned cell phone use while driving. Then of course the cost of a ticket might not outweigh the embarrassment in trying to explain to a cop that, “I wasn’t actually talking to anyone officer; I was just holding the phone up to my ear so that I could sing a song about cops.”

The worst part about any of this isn’t that I fall among the shameful car singers (which I do), but that I will laugh at anyone else I catch. I guess the good thing about that is that anyone who I catch singing probably falls under the carefree car singer, who just happens to not give a shit about what I think.

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Blogging is embarrassing.

My first blog is going to be about starting my blog. Yes, I’m metablogging. So maybe that’s not the most creative thing I could possibly do, but maybe this is the best time to start off by saying that I’m not really that creative in the first place. Anyway, back to starting my blog. I’ve thought about blogging for a very long, long time. Just like all other bloggers out there, I have interesting (?) things to say. So, anyway, as I’ve been thinking about blogging for a while, I’ve thought through a few things that I thought would be best said up front right now.

1. I have a slight tendency to write in a slightly elevated/snooty way, but I’m not really snooty. I just write that way. This causes a few problems for me. On one hand, writing in a slightly elevated way tends to come a little bit more naturally, meaning, it’s easier to get my thoughts down. Still, I don’t like that I do it, so I’ll periodically de-snootify my language a little bit. For example, earlier I said “I have a slight tendency.” Yeah, that’s not super snooty or anything, but really I could have just said, “Sometimes I write like I’m smart.” So in conclusion, the point is I write semi-snooty, but I’m not semi-snooty. But if you start calling me snooty, I might start to believe you and try to adjust my whole “issue.”

2. As indicated by the end of the second paragraph (I’ll give you a second to take a look)…I’m trying to be as honest as I can. This honesty just doesn’t come in the form of me telling you what I think, it means trying to explain to the best of my ability, why I’m telling you what I think. This sometimes will result in additional explanations for things, but I’ll try and limit that, as well. For example, I refrained from pointing out that there’s no real way for me to give you a second to take a look at the end of the second paragraph, as indicated earlier. I don’t think I need to point out that I’m doing what I said I would try and limit doing. So, I’ll acknowledge indeed don’t need to do it, while continuing just doing it just because I want to.

3. What I write today will be stupid tomorrow. This is probably why I was never able to keep a diary or a journal (What’s the difference? Don’t answer that because I know the difference.). So this issue will affect not only me, but you as well. As a result of this issue, I imagine revisiting my blogs will be highly uncomfortable for me. It will make me question who I really am. It will make me ask, who wrote that shit? Me? Who AM I? So after I’m done being self-deprecating, I’ll just continue to blog, because hey, writing is fun. For you, the reader, it’ll mean that I hope you can understand that some of my viewpoints have the potential to change from blog to blog. Some will of course stick, but I will question what I think. I hope this blog doesn’t become a neurotic diary. Right now I haven’t really figured out the theme/subject/format/approach, but hopefully I’ll be able to develop those as I go along.

4. Though blogging is inherently about the self, this will probably be the last blog I write that is so “I” intensive, which means I’ll try and explain less about who I am, and maybe just focus more on what I think. I’d like to point out that I’m not an authority on much, but neither are most people. So, if I have something to say about the legalization of marijuana,  that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ve spent the last 10 years researching the subject and/or spending 4 years of my high school lunch hour on Linum. So that’s just a reference to the street where all the potheads smoked when I was in high school.

5. I actually have a lot more to say about the commencement of my blog, but I’m thinking maybe it’s best that I stop now. Let things be uncovered on their own. This is really hard for me to let happen, by the way. Blogging is embarrassing.

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