Archive for the Geeks/Nerds Category

Tongue of Dog’s Breakfast has moved!

Posted in Geeks/Nerds, Pop Culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2012 by Nicole Chardenet

If you’re looking for all manner of weirdness and snark, Tongue of Dog’s Breakfast has moved to its new location at www.nicolechardenet.com. Well, more specifically at www.nicolechardenet.com/blog.

Click to buy on Amazon

And hey, while you’re at it, check out my humorous fantasy novel Young Republican, Yuppie Princess. It’s about a Young Republican college student and her three nerdy D&D-playing friends who must travel through to an alternate universe opened up in the dorm room shower by the computer geek. While searching for a missing college student (not to mention a missing floppy disk which they must reclaim, long story there) they meet up with a feminazi witch, a heavy metal sorceror, Conan-style barbarians (but only half as bright) and a prince who sounds suspiciously like he’s from New Jersey.

It’s only $2.99 for the e-book. And guaranteed to entertain you for way longer than, say, Jersey Shore.

And oh, if you’re looking for the lesbian thing, it’s right here.

Top 10 Things A Man Should Never Do On A First Date

Posted in Geeks/Nerds, Sexy Stuff, Top Ten Lists, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2012 by Nicole Chardenet

10.  A man should not show up drunk and an hour and a half late.  You’d think after 32 years of MADD threats and all those scary gross movies they made us watch in Driver’s Ed that no one needed to be reminded of brains and gore and guts splattered all over the highway like some horrendous Jackson Pollock road pizza.  Well, apparently you do, and you know who you are, even though I doubt you’ll ever read this.

What showed up. And about 40 lbs heavier.

What he texted me.

9.  A man should never send a picture of himself looking like a young Richard Pryor and show up looking like Morgan Freeman.  (Yeah yeah, I know you guys don’t like it when women send pictures of themselves 35 years and 200 lbs ago!  Hope they end with the first date too!)

8.  A man should never turn everything I say into a double entendre.  Him: “I’m hungry.”  “Me: “Well why don’t you order something to eat.” Him: (Giving me what I assume he thinks is a smoldering look) “That’s not what I’m hungry for.”  Well I hope you’re hungry for your twelfth viewing of Debbie Does Duluth with a handy jar of Mazola at your elbow because my amazing psychic powers tell me that’s in your immediate future tonight.

7.  A man’s online profile photo should look enough like him so that, when he feels an attack of the guilties and emails saying, “Here’s a somewhat more updated picture of me,” I should be able to pick him out in a photo that shows only two people. If he has gained so much weight and gotten so much scruffier that I have to squint and mutter, “Is he the guy on the left or the guy on the right? How can he be the guy on the left?  It doesn’t even look like him, but the caption says it’s him.  He’s not the stuffed grizzly bear in the background, is he?  Or the big desk lamp?” then really, just post the most recent picture online.  You’ll get fewer first dates but you’ll never wind up on anyone’s Top Ten list. 

6.  A man should never say on a first date that he thinks rim jobs are fun.  Ewwwwww.  (No, I’m not gonna link to an explanation.  I might get, like, contact cholera from it.  Google it, or ask your mother.  No, wait, just Google it.  And no good-night kiss for you!)

5.  A man should never end every sentence he utters with, “…and stuff.”  As in, “I went to work and stuff, and I had a meeting with the boss and stuff, and we went over this big project and stuff, and then I ate lunch and stuff…” (Okay, my bad for going out with a 28-year old and stuff. It was several years ago and stuff.)

4.  A man should never throw himself at me on a first date and whine, “But I need affection and cuddling!” when I fend him off with a nail-studded clue-by-four.  I don’t want to hear about your physical needs on the first date.  I do not want you diving down my blouse like an estrogen-seeking testosterone missile.  Guaranteed you will never learn the colour of my underwear.  You might learn what a restraining order is, though.

I promise it won’t hurt. You won’t even bleed.

3.  A man shouldn’t look terrified (even if he is) and mumble something about whether I understand how the Catholic Church feels about premarital sex.  Dude, you’re 37 years old.  You’d BETTER not be what I think you are! (Okay, my bad for going out with a Toronto guy.)

2.  A man should never ask me, I repeat, on a first date, if I’ve ever had sex with a woman.  And I won’t ask him if he’s ever had sex.  Period.  Which I will ask purely out of curiosity since he will never get past the first date regardless of what you answer.

GRAND PRIZE WINNER

What’s the all-time Number One thing you should NEVER

do on a first date?  Drumroll, please!!!

A MAN SHOULD NEVER ANNOUNCE, OVER DINNER, THIRTY MINUTES AFTER MEETING ME FOR THE FIRST TIME, THAT HE’S KILLED 59 PEOPLE.  Yes, this really happened to me!  Of course my first thought was, Oh my God he’s a serial killer! Then my second thought was, Okay, he’s probably in the military.  Which he was, a sniper in South America in the ’80s.  Fair enough.  Still, a lot of women won’t regard that as something to brag about. War is like politics and sausage.  Both are necessary but you don’t want to know how it’s done. (That was only the first example of his appalling lack of common sense.)

Men, I’m sure you’ve had some truly appalling experiences with women on first dates.  By all means, please feel free to bitch, moan, whine, rant, complain, and threaten to never go near anything in a shorty shirt and a g-string ever again.  Since I don’t date women I can’t speak from personal experience.  (Lesbians/bi’s, please feel free to bitch moan whine blah blah blah away too!)

Longer, Thicker, Harder, Massive!

Posted in Geeks/Nerds, Pop Culture, Sexy Stuff with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2012 by Nicole Chardenet

I have a dirty little secret.  I miss penis enlargement ads. Between the successful takedown of several large spammers and my own efforts, I get almost no spam any more.  Believe me, I don’t miss 99.999% of it.  Just the best of the make her long for your schlong ads sent by people in countries for whom English is not to be speaking the language of primary. Many of these foreign fraudsters possessed all the communication skills of the friendly folks who brought us All Your Base Are Belong To Us or Engrish.

I adored the way they tried to find new and unique ways to refer to a man’s pride and joy without actually using the clinical term for it. (And I have to admit the cleverness lacking in calling it a ‘man’s pride and joy’ would not make it into Nicole’s Hall of Sham(e) below.)

Big enough for ya?

I don’t think anyone went broke underestimating the number of males who suspect they’re under-endowed, or who believe that having a perfectly normal ‘love cannon’ is simply not acceptable to modern females who want it to be no less than the size of the rod in a Tom of Finland cartoon. What was a wank fantasy for post-War gay males, apparently, is only good enough for today’s voracious woman.

“Smilin’ Bob” from the old Enzyte commercials. Bogus penis pills that were actually advertised on American TV for awhile in the early ’00s.

As much as we might laugh at the ridiculous claim that some miracle pill can produce three inches in a month or a thicker girth in seven days, articles I’ve read over the years indicate that not only men respond to these, but women as well. I am so curious about this! Do you hand them to your lover, a tacit admission that he’s not satisfying you? Or do you tell him they’re “vitamin supplements”? Or do you crush them into powder and mix them in with his mashed potatoes?

Every once in awhile some spammer’s servers got hacked and customer data was exposed for all the world to see just how massive and imposing some men’s…….gullibility really was. Several years ago I read of a case where an enlargement spammer’s customers included men with college educations and prominent jobs on Wall Street. (As Xaviera Hollander, the Happy Hooker once put it, “When the stocks go up, the cocks go up!”) You’d think these people would be smart enough not to fall for one-eyed trouser snake oil, but apparently the fear of not measuring up, as it were, overrides any logic circuits in the male brain and they whip out……..the ol’ credit card.

For awhile I kept a list of some of my favourite enlargement spam headlines. A few are more for, er, performance issues rather than size.

NICOLE’S MASSIVE MANDINGO HALL OF SHAM(E):

Make your love torpedo drive all the way to her tanker

Your girl very likes to be engaged in love! And can not you do love long?

Would you like to be a sculptor of your own penis?
(Does this involve plaster-of-Paris?)

Literally become a monster snake in my pants
(This just scares me. I don’t want to be a monster snake & I’m very sure if I was I wouldn’t fit in your pants even if your name was Michael Moore!)

Hoist your darling sexual times

The One Secret to Giving Your Woman Paralyzing Orrgasms That Will Have Her Brainwashed
(Does that mean I’ll turn into a Teabagger?)

Capture rapturous girls’ looks on your zipper protuberance!
(Jim is bustin’ out all ohhh-ver!)

Deeper in her shaft

Doping for your porksword…Be her mighty night predator!
(H1N1 isn’t now an STD, is it, you swine?)

2 Steamy Small penis sex Positions – Supercharge Her Pleasure No Matter How mSall You Are!
(Not an enlargement ad, obviously, but if all else fails…)

Don’t let porksword rust – Support your custard launcher – It’s like having a female catcher
(Three utterly unrelated mental images. I mean WTF is a ‘female catcher’?)

Make your tentacle work well – Prosperity in banging – Cures bed fast finish
(Attention all hentai lovers!)

Negroes admire with the of the size – we will surpass them!
(I have read that the real reason many men want bigger you-know-whats is to impress the guys in the locker room. Yes really. You can draw your own conclusions about the Average Male from that.)

Rasputin’s alleged preserved ding-dong, or just a giant clam?

Power up your pork rocket – Neither rod will stay so long – Nail her like a youngster
(How many rods do you have, exactly?)

Harder banging is real
(Good to know. I was afraid it was all a fig newton of my imagination!)

Your wood will be prefect for her fornicator – Lite your bedroom with fire once and for all!
(We’re gonna have to hurry before we die of smoke inhalation!)

Stop repelling your manliness – Get hot in a while – Make your intruder the best for her – If she is tired of your night games you can rock her world using our products!

You’ll brake walls with your boner
(Does this mean you can use your boner to brake your car so you don’t hit a wall?)

Your shlong can be shlonger
(Oh, that’s original.)

Virtual Sax can not be compared with real pleasure!
(Sex is still better than jazz music)

Make your weapon of love shoot twice more at one night! With our goods it isn’t a limit!
(Hope you’ve got a permit for that thing)

Your unstoppable love force will be all about you
(May the Love Force be with you, young Skywalker)

Desire will literally circulate in your wang
(That’s gotta feel weird)

Do not let your intentions in love go flop anymore!
(Heaven forfend)

Three girls at one night? It is easy for your manhood when you know our address in Internet!
(Because, like, the women who will agree to ménage-à-quatres live at your place?)

Get incredible sizing profit in pants
(Ironically this was for a thyroid drug!)

You can drill ladies better! Faster rod boosting!

The dangers of addiction.

Women will see your talent in drilling and banging
(Who knew carpentry was so erotic?)

Breakthrough in wang-liftin!
(Is this an Olympic event?)

Impulse for manliness ideals of bed-marathons

You’ll be able to invade so deep into woman, she’ll scream and shout like crazy
(“OW, MY STOMACH! OW, MY LUNGS! OW, MY THR–AIIGIIGGHHHLLLLLEEE!!!”)

Be her wild banger!
(But don’t mash her potatoes)

The quicker pecker picker-upper!
(Someone’s showing their age)

You’ll fap with eager on it
(WTF? I’m fairly certain ‘fap’ is a reference to masturbation, but why would you want to get bigger if you’re by yourself?  Maybe you need to shoot over a few of those Hot Filpnio grils who are dying to meet YOU!!! spams)

If you aren’t American you may have missed the classic “Smilin’ Bob” Enzyte commercials:

Don’cha think if it was possible for medical science to give you a longer, thicker, harder, more massive Pied Piper that most men today would be forced to go everywhere pushing a wheelbarrow in front of them? Believe me, the marketing success is guaranteed. As soon as a REAL enlargement pill works, Pfizer and Eli Lilly will be all over it like a banker on a bailout!

Now if your problem is erectile dysfunction, and you’re short of cash, there is an alleged cure that’s a lot cheaper than Viagra…however, you’re not gonna like it…

4/20 Day: A Brief History Of Weed, Maaaan…

Posted in Geeks/Nerds, Politics/Current Events, Pop Culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2012 by Nicole Chardenet

It’s 4/20 Day! Stop whatever you’re doing on April 20th, at 4:20pm, and light up a joint just to mellow out, show the world that reefer smokers are way nicer people than drunks, and really, really piss off Republicans and other incurable tightasses.  While you’re waiting for the mellow to set in, here’s a brief history of weed, from those tuned-in stoners in early China to the present day – that’s 4/20 Day 2012, baby!

10,000 B.C.: (Before Cannabis, not British Columbia!) The Chinese are, thus far, the most likely first humans to discover and use weed. They brew it into a tea and call it ‘green’.  China doesn’t invade anyone for 800 years.

1300 B.C.: India invents the pot brownie.  Indians believe weed encourages sleep, lowers fevers, cures dysentery and improves the mind and judgement.  It also makes them very horny.  Pretty soon there’s more than a billion Indians.  They’re so mellow and laid (back) they barely notice when the Mughals invade in 1526 A.D., but boy oh boy do they have some really mind-blowing art and statuary to show them…

4th CENTURY B.C.: Alexander the Great smokes a pipe full of weed and puts off conquering Asia Minor for at least three weeks while he contemplates the intricacies of his favorite concubine’s testicles.

610 A.D.: Islam is invented.  The Prophet Mohammed decrees that alcohol is prohibited, but weed is not.  Hashish becomes popular in the Middle East, which remains to this day the only place on the planet where smoking weed fails to mellow you out.

History's first recorded Republican.

1787: America’s Constitutional Convention, held in Philadelphia and attended by 55 delegates and 189 hookers, wraps up in September when the delegate from Virginia passes around some weed he brought back from his recent trip to Jamaica.  That day they write out the plan for something they call the electoral college.  The next morning, after sleeping it off, no one can figure out how the hell it works.  Or what they’re all doing in the belfry of the Old North Tower.  Or why they’re naked.  Or why Steve is grinning like George III on Tax Day.

1936: The movie Reefer Madness is released, horrifying Americans with its depiction of what kind of movies are made by people who’ve clearly never smoked weed before.

1966: Marijuana is popularized by drop-out long-haired bell-bottomed Communist hippie weirdoes who never shut up about Ginsberg and Camus and Che and who listen obsessively to a terrible racket they call ‘psychedelic music’ and which their parents call ‘sound of cats being tortured .’  The new ‘reefer madness’ works to many new rock stars’ advantage as, for example, no one notices that Jim Morrison writes lyrics like a mentally-challenged banana slug and that Canned Heat guy can’t sing for shit.  In 1967, Timothy Leary urges people to turn on, tune in, drop out.  Everyone’s far too stoned to realize Leary is 47 years old and waaaaay past thirty, which means they shouldn’t trust a damn thing he says.

1996: Famed astrophysicist Carl Sagan dies, and it comes out shortly thereafter that he liked to smoke weed while taking a shower with his wife.  This comes as a giant embarrassment to marijuana critics who contend that weed wrecks your brain and turns you into a total underachieving slacker loser.  “Toldja,” says Harrison Ford, eyes half-mast.

2001: Canada becomes the first country in the history of the world to legalize weed for medical use.  Conservatives complain that those damn godless socialist lefties will legalize anything.  What’s next, gay marriage?

2002: The Canadian Special Senate Committee on Illegal Drugs issues a report saying, in essence, marijuana should be regulated like tobacco because it’s less harmful than alcohol, which comes as no surprise to anyone who’s ever been to a Jimmy Buffett concert.  Canadian conservatives, like, completely freak out totally all over the place prompting the Committee to issue a second report saying, in essence, chill, dudes.

2010: California Proposition 19, also called the Regulate, Control, & Tax Cannabis Act, becomes a statewide ballot initiative.  It would allow certain types of non-medical marijuana use although still prohibit the sale of it.  Supporters argue it would help reduce the budget shortfall as well as force vicious Colombian drug cartel overlords to start shopping at Dollarama.  It’s defeated by a powerful group of Republicans who object to the fact that the new law doesn’t negatively impact the poor, illegal Mexicans, old people, baby bunnies, and children dying of leukemia.

Have a totally groovy day, amigos!!!

Better Living Through High Tech Toiletry!

Posted in Geeks/Nerds, Science/Technology on February 26, 2012 by Nicole Chardenet

The Darth Vader Laser Toilet. Pray your butt isn't Alderaan.

Isn’t it about time we had an adult conversation about, you know, high-tech toilet technology?  Not just the flushy things, but all things related to the process of elimination that can make our lives better.  Or maybe just save them, even if we fervently hope the following remains in the realm of science fiction…

For example: The Japanese, those wacky wild-asses who gave us hentai, tentacle porn, bukkake, undies vending machines and Pearl Harbor, have come up with the ultimate in bad taste – the Turdburger!  (With shiitake mushrooms, please! Ar ar!)

A Japanese researcher has created an new burger which is sure to please PETA – no animals died to make it! – out of soya, steak sauce essence (WTF? What is that? Artificial A-1?) and protein extracted from human you-know-what.  Yes really.  Don’t look at me like that, I’m not making this up!  All right, see for yourself!

Fortunately, it’s way too expensive to even consider mass manufacturing, but give it time. Hey, it’s a hungry world out there and those Third World people should be grateful they’ve got anything to eat, right? Never mind that this’ll probably be a platform idea for the Republican candidate for the 2012 election if the liberal-biased press (what little of it is left, ar ar) pushes them enough on at least throwing a bone to the poor.  Or in this case, a turdburger.  Can you just hear Mitt Romney on this? “You want socialism?  All right, you foul liberals, here’s yer stinkin’ socialism.  In place of food stamps we’re offering all unemployed losers – I mean Americans – free turdburgers.  Get a job, or eat shit!”

An article recently in Scientific American argues that it’s time to think about recycling urine for drinking water.  Because the U.S. is running low on same and anyway, you’re kind of sort of already drinking recycled urine that’s gone through American treatment plants.  (Relax, Canada: This is not a concern of ours for now.  We possess like 20% of the world’s drinking water, so we don’t have to let the yellow mellow or restrict our showers to no more than an hour and a half.)  But wait!  NASA’s already on it!  Because it’s really cost-prohibitive to schlep water into space for the astronauts on the International Space Station, they’ve figured out a way to convert piss and sweat into potable water!  Uh, well, that’s what they claim, anyway, although evidence indicates their first experiments needed a little tweaking:

 

Wonder if it would taste any better with a shot of Stolichnaya?

But, on the less disgusting side of things, Bill Gates wants to revolutionize the way people take a dump. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will work with the government of Kenya to provide decent sanitation facilities and clean drinking water to 800,000 Kenyans. (No word yet on any NASA involvement.)  With no less than 2.5 billion people in the world without the ability to flush the brown down, it’s an admirable project, although I hope the Kenyans already have enough food before some Republican dreams up an excuse to cut off foreign aid without starving them to death.  Among the ideas are waterless toilets that separate urine and feces for drying.

Plumbers fear it worse than laser toilets.

But don’t worry, our First World engineers are forever thinking up ways to revolutionize the way you take a wiz!  Speaking of dry toilets, our finest minds have been working on the waterless urinal.  Don’t expect one coming soon to a public washroom near you, as plumbers unions are pissed off about this threat to their livelihoods.  But, if you’ve got six grand just lying around doing nothing, you can buy a waycooler fancy high-tech twa-lette with a heated seat you can also adjust for height, a charcoal air filter and an FM radio/MP3 player while you do your thang to the beat of Salt ‘N’ Pepa’s Push It.  (What? No built-in Kindle for Dad so he can check the New York Times?)

But, getting back to the Japanese (because weird shit always comes back to them!), for the must-have 1%-rich-kid science fiction toy to impress all your friends, there are the highest-tech toilets imaginable – motion-detecting lids that open and close when you approach and walk away, butt-cleaning water nozzles, automatic lights for nighttime use (never miss the bowl again at 3am!) and major advances in flushing technology/water conservation (the Japanese are down to 3.8 liters per flush vs. our water-wasting 15 liters.

Better living through high-tech toiletry.  You can thank the Japanese.  And Bill Gates.  And NASA.

Coming soon to a McDonald's near you!

Attack of the Chinese Porno Zombies! (Flashfic)

Posted in Geeks/Nerds, Pop Culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 1, 2012 by Nicole Chardenet

Take some paranormal creature and combine it with some Toronto neighbourhood: That was the writing exercise we had to do for the T-Dot Writers group.  And what did I pick?  Zombies, which hadn’t yet been done to death in popular fiction, and Chinatown, a familiar neighbourhood.  Which led to the following humorous flashfic…

ATTACK OF THE CHINESE PORNO ZOMBIES!

by Nicole Chardenet

I was just stumbling out of the dim sum restaurant in the center of Chinatown when the first zombie attack occurred. A naked elderly Asian gentleman, growling in Cantonese, attacked two young women on the street corner and began munching on them. I lurched forward to pull them away, but other strangely-unclad zombies stopped their threesome to grab me and I was lucky to pull myself away before any of them bit me. There was nothing I could do for the young women, the zombies who’d attacked me now turned to them and they and the elderly zombie mercilessly ripped into the women as their dying screams joined those of others around me.

I raced down the street, dodging naked horny zombies right and left until I reached Kensington Market. All the zombies were Asian; it was like a Bruce Lee movie gone horribly awry. Five Japanese school girls, dressed only in g-strings, all pointed at me and shrieked, “Kawaaaaiiii!” as they surrounded me and began clawing at my limbs. Using my best Xena, Warrior Princess move I pivoted around with my fist out, punching them in the face one by one until they all sprawled on the sidewalk. A well-hung young Chinese guy landed in front of me; he’d jumped down from the deck above the fruit stand, his body a horrible pasty color and the look of naked desire in his lifeless eyes. He pulled back into a kung fu move but I pulled an Indiana Jones on him and removed my concealed Walther PPK and blew several holes in him. It’s good to be an American tourist, and everything they say about the porous Canadian border is true.

Unfortunately, I’d forgotten you can’t easily kill a zombie; they are, after all, already dead, so it takes more than a Dirty Harry weapon to stop their mindless blood/lust. The good thing is even my grandmother can move faster than a zombie, and she uses a walker. I shoved a decomposing dominatrix into a corn bin and a gangrenous geisha girl into the fo fi tien display; she fell against it and it collapsed, showering her with Chinese herbs and lychee nuts. I raced toward Spadina Avenue but found myself blocked by a gang of otaku dweebs dressed like their favourite skimpily-clad manga comic characters; the poor shits had probably died virgins. I turned around to find myself at another street market; I grabbed coconuts and began hurling them at the flesh-eating freaks.

Screams filled the air around me; blood ran in the streets as all of Chinatown turned out to eat the foreigners. “And they thought SARS was gonna kill tourism in Toronto,” I muttered as I ran down the sidewalk, grabbing a parasol from one of the vendors – what, like she was going to stop me and make me pay? She was too busy eating a hapless Brit – and whacked zombies right and left as I tried not to look at the sight of so many unlucky tourists being mangled and ripped apart by crazed Asian nudies infected with some bizarre virus they’d probably picked up from, I don’t know, a tainted restaurant or something.

Asian zombie porn. It's just hot.

Just as I thought I would collapse from exhaustion – right outside an Asian porn house featuring the classic triple header, Great Balls of China, Behind the Green Tea, and Peking Suck– I heard someone yell “CUT!” and then all the zombies dropped whoever they were eating and looked toward the sound. A terribly well-dressed, extremely hip-looking young guy with streaked hair, uber-cool sunglasses and a desperately fashionable beret walked toward us and yelled, “That was fabulous, absolutely fabulous!” And the half-eaten victims and their famished flashers all stood up, brushed themselves off and stood waiting for more instructions.

“You mean this is a MOVIE?” I screamed into the director’s face, and he laughed, displaying perfectly even white teeth.

“Of course it is! What did you think, zombies are real? This is my pornographic political allegory of China’s Cultural Revolution – I call it Mao Tse-Dong of the Dead!

Tragically for the director, there actually had been some horrible mutated virus in the roast pigeon I’d had for lunch. Suddenly feeling ravenous, I sank my teeth into his shoulder and began feeding.

The next scene didn’t require any acting from anyone. Because within an hour all the actors were un-dead anyway.

It's just not looking too good for our heroes...

The Geeks Don’t Want No Freaks!

Posted in Geeks/Nerds, Pop Culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2012 by Nicole Chardenet

“Aren’t you awfully old to be playing Dungeons & Dragons?”

That’s not what I thought when I was standing in line with a friend recently who mentioned that her D&D game was on Tuesday nights.  It’s what many people would think upon learning this from a 38-year-old woman in a stable relationship and with a good job and who doesn’t live with her parents.

Far be it for me to judge harshly her geekly interests.  Who, moi?  Who for several years rumbled around New England in my trusty Ford Festiva to Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) medieval re-creation events when I was younger?  Whose misspent (but not wildly wasted) youth included belly dancing around campfires at midnight surrounded by Vikings, pirates, Crusaders, and the occasional slightly non-medieval barbarian wannabe wearing a fur loincloth and roadkill on his head?

Some might think we’re freaks to dress up like long-dead historical artifacts or pretend to be fantasy/fairy tale creatures like my friend but I figure it keeps geeks off the streets and out of the bars.  Drunken geeks?  Not a good thing.  Okay, when I said my youth wasn’t wasted I didn’t mean, like, that I never got wasted.  It just didn’t happen to me much in the SCA because I learned early on that Drinking And Belly Dancing Don’t Mix.  Otherwise, well, it can get a bit messy.  In one case (not me) it resulted in awe-inspiring projectile vomiting in a parking lot.

Don’t do it, kids.  Just don’t do it.

(But if you do, do it discreetly behind a building like I did.)

That's me in the lower right corner next to the good gentle in the green and yellow. Yes, I've been a dork most of my life. And damned proud of it!

When I wrote my sci-fi fantasy novel Young Republican, Yuppie Princess, my SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) years were the biggest inspiration.  I confess I didn’t do a lot of ‘research’ for this novel.  At least not until the second draft many years later, when I had the Internet, and realized just how many humorous anachronisms I had: “Oh my god! I can’t say ‘hot beef injection’!  The Breakfast Club hadn’t come out yet! Better change it to ‘tube steak boogie’! Reference check: Wikipedia! Yes, that song was popular three years prior to Chapter 1!”

I wrote it when I was bored and depressed about being out of work in a recession.  I think I was also longing again for the 80s which seemed like a better decade to be in, at least from the perspective of the early 90s before Clintonomics kicked in, which is when I began the first draft.  Many years later, when I pulled it out for kicks ‘n’ giggles, I indulged my inner geek and cut loose the madcap pop culture references.  I’m addicted to them.  My geeky masks have been many over the years – Star Trek, Star Wars, Cosmos, Elfquest, computers, the Internet, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and now The Big Bang Theory.  No, I don’t say “Bazinga” but I can do a wicked impression of Howahd’s mothah.

To go all geeky-pop-cultural-reference-y on you for a sec, Ah pity da fool who can’t cut loose their inner child – or inner brat – every now and then!

How do, you know, “normal” people spend their time?  What will they look back on and say?  Oh man, I had a forty-year mortgage but I totally paid it off in 38 years!  I rock!  Or, Man, back in the day I held the neighbourhood record for Xtreme Lawn Mowing.  My lawn was ace!!!  Doing something like playing a fantasy game like D&D might be little more than a grown-up version of “let’s pretend”, but it sure beats what I saw on a Friday night in a Toronto bar with a friend a few weeks ago.  Let’s just say I kept waiting for Billy Joel to start playing Piano Man.

Some people used to look down on those of us who are “too old to play dress-up”.  And I say, you are NEVER too old to play dress-up!  Halloween, hello?  Mardi Gras?  Murder mystery nights?  Gay Pride Week?  Zombie walks?

Oh.  Wait.  That’s mostly just us geeks doing that.  Never mind.

So sue us, then, milords and ladies, if we like to make historical costumes and battle Visigoths, or Hessians, or the South, or Ferengians.  It still makes for a better, “No shit, there I was,” story (as we called exaggerated tales of personal glory in the SCA) then you will ever have if all you did was play squash on the weekends and fall asleep in front of Glee.

While playing D&D isn’t my cuppa, I’d much rather do that than what I saw those poor souls in a run-down bar doing over the holidays. Joyce, the main character in my novel, looks down on her fantasy-loving D&D-playing friends but when they’re all transported to an alternate medieval universe she’s the only one who’s @#$%ing useless in, well, everything.  Nor does she possess the savoir faire for schmoozing with the locals.  Whaddaya mean they don’t have Porsches here?!?!  Where’s the damn fork?!?  What is an undine and why’d she turn Hacker into a cactus?!?

Laugh all you want, but I promise you my stories will be better than yours in the nursing home some day!

The SCA was where I learned to belly dance, and here’s how that silly hobby affected my life: For the next fifteen years I was the terror of 40-year-old men on their birthdays in a tri-state area in New England where I performed “bellygrams” and made a lot of extra money on the side.  It helped pay for my trips to the Pennsic War, some of my flashier bellydance jewelry, and European vacations, where I got to see real medieval castles and cathedrals.  Yeah, sure, I wasted my life on kiddie stuff.

If you agree with me that geek-style is best, you are one of my tribe.  You may well like my novel.  Click the link at the top of the page, check it out.  ‘Cause geeks-not-freaks rule!!!

Jurassic Lark: Toronto’s dino-chicken sci-fi epic!

Posted in Geeks/Nerds, Pop Culture, Science/Technology with tags , , , , , , on October 17, 2011 by Nicole Chardenet

"Muffin"

I want a pet dinosaur.  Not anything dangerous like an attack Tyrannosaurus Rex or anything, something kind of mild and cool like either a vegetarian hadrosaur or maybe a Stegosaurus.  This month’s Wired magazine has an article about a scientist who wants to – I kid you not – reverse-engineer a chicken to create a, I don’t know, Chickenosaurus.

"Steg Larsson"

Forget Jurassic Park.  Dr. Jack Horner (yes, that’s his real name) says you can’t extract DNA from amber-preserved insects because it breaks down in less than 65 million years. (You can however do it with woolly mammoths, as apparently 30,000 years is nothing to the hardy double helix set.)  He does, however, think you can take Henny and turn her into a vicious, nasty-toothed, velociraptor-claw-bearing, tailed and scaled nightmare out of a Stephen Spielberg movie.

"Welcome To My Nightmare"

Well, okay, said nightmare would still only be the size of a chicken because, apparently, Dr. Horner has thought this thing through and realizes you need to be able to chase and catch it.  Just in case it decides to go rampaging through downtown San Diego or something.  Which, when you think of it, would be funnier than scarier.  “Hey lady, hide your Pekinese or else it’ll–uh, wait, on second thought, I think that two-inch-legged ambulatory floor mop could still kick its ass.”

But still, you know, that would be kind of cool.  Especially if an evil genius bred a whole bunch of ‘em and sic’ed ‘em on, say, the mad founder of a certain fried chicken chain who, really, has just been askin’ for a midnight attack of Velocipullets.

And I don’t mean a late-night order at your local drive-through.

Now, it should be pointed out that Dr. Horner hasn’t actually produced a Chickenosaurus yet but I don’t think that’s any reason to wait on the major motion picture.  Canada, I expect you to come through for us here: Be the first country to produce the world’s first Jurassic Dino-Chicken sci-fi horror epic!!!

Before, you know, You-Know-Who down south.

Toronto’s got the indy producers and directors, we’ve got the starving actors, we’ve got downtown Toronto which has been New York and Boston and Bangkok and Mars and can now be, like, Jurassic Canada.  Or something.  We’ll just close down Yonge Street for a day.

"Where's the Colonel?"

J.B.’s Top Ten Ways To Kill A Man

Posted in Geeks/Nerds, Pop Culture, Top Ten Lists with tags , , , on October 13, 2011 by Nicole Chardenet

This just in…the Fluidity of Time book blog run by self-described book addict Jo just ran this Top Ten Ways To Kill A Man list based on the character J.B. from Young Republican, Yuppie Princess.  However it’s gone now so I’ll just grab it from my web site.  J.B. is the self-described ‘holistic hitman’ who knows 27 different ways to kill a man and at least as many to heal him.  Thanks, Jo, for running the Top Ten list!  Hopefully no one sues you if some numbnuts actually tries that thing with the brown recluse spiders!

1984: The year Steve Jobs revolutionized the world

Posted in Geeks/Nerds, Politics/Current Events, Science/Technology with tags , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2011 by Nicole Chardenet

I’m not going to eulogize Steve Jobs like a million and a half others the world over are doing; fark it, I don’t even like my iPod all that much and it’s the only Apple product I’ve ever used.  What depressed me this week is that part of my young adulthood died; kinda like Michael Jackson’s death except with more brilliance and no icky accusations that forever ruined him for you.

I didn’t see Apple’s famous sci-fi Metropolis-inspired commercial during the Superbowl in 1984.  I could have cared less about computers and when my father showed me a picture of one in a magazine and told me, “They say in the next ten years every household will have one of these,” my response was, “Whatever on earth for?”  “Well, you can balance your checkbook with it,” he said.

Oh yay.  Sign me up right now.

Well, neither Dad nor the pundits were so stupid after all; in 1992 I had my first computer, Dad’s cast-off Tandon after he replaced his own with a spiffy new Packard Bell <snort>.  (Hey, we were both new to computers.  We didn’t know any better.)

Today I own four computers, only two of which work at the moment, and a whole host of gadgets, not a one of which are Apple products.

But it’s not like my life is untouched by Apple.  My whole life is influenced by Apple, just in an indirect way.  They invented and innovated things and I bought their competitors’ products.  It’s not that I don’t appreciate innovation, it’s just that there’s a famous learning curve with Apple.  As I discovered with the iPod and which is why I probably won’t buy another when this one breaks.

I respected Steve Jobs as an inventor and innovator.  I know the story of the first Apple built in a garage by two college dorks, one of whom was desperately cute and probably didn’t know it.  (Hint: It wasn’t Woz.)  I know how Jobs got pushed out in the mid-80s for being a giant pain in the ass, but then Apple went down the crapper and he came back in the early 90s to save it from itself.  Which he did.  And led it to even greater heights of, well, greatness.

Still, when I think of Steve Jobs and Apple I think of the 1980s.  That’s where it all started, and even though I hated computers in the 80s, I came to know and love them in the 90s when they could actually do interesting stuff with minimal hassle…like connect to other people in cyberspace, not that anyone called it that yet, and in fact most non-tech people didn’t know what the Internet was.  But, I was introduced to bulletin board systems – BBS’s–and I was hooked.

Computers defined the 80s.  Apple.  Tandy.  IBM PC.  Video games.  Max Headroom.  Electronic-sounding pop music and sci-fi references to same (“The silicon chip inside her head gets switched to overload…”)  Funny movies like Weird Science, about a couple of dorky high school kids who program a woman with their computer, became popular.  (Anyone who thinks a Barbie doll can’t possibly be a real woman needs to watch this movie.)  In the 90s, the Internet prevailed and pretty soon the whole damn planet was wired.

We have Steve Jobs to thank for all of that, even if we’ve never used an Apple product, ever.

You might not like technology.  You might think it’s made the world worse, not better, you might curse Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook, and there’s always an argument for that.  But, speak for yourself, because I will argue it’s made things better more than it has made things worse.

“Revolutionized” is a word that gets tossed around way too freely.  But in this case, it’s dead-on accurate. Apple, and the phenomenal Jobs/Woz team, really revolutionized the world as we know it today.

Fifty-six is too young to die, even though it’s not.  When you hit 45 you’re at that age where you could kick off at any moment, because your body is aging and diseases can kick in or maybe the ol’ ticker gives out.  This is especially true if you don’t take care of yourself.  But really, in the end, 56 is still very young, by today’s standards.

And, you know, I really don’t lose much sleep when some sick asshole who tortured a man to death loses his life at the age of 49 on death row.

I do, however, mourn a man whose creative genius changed the way we live our lives, enabled us to talk to people all around the world on the cheap, spark revolutions and provide endless annoyance to tyrants.

We all gotta go some day, but damn, for some of us it really needs to be later rather than sooner.

C'mon. You know he'd see the humour in this!

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