It Takes Three Legs to Make a Tripod

| Friday, April 30
So, in honor of being tagged by the awesome Melissa over at who says i can't? I am answering things about myself that come in groups of three. And I'm also stealing inspiration for my title from hers, because I'm tired, it's Friday afternoon, and I can.

Three Names I Go By
Mrs. E
Thrace (see here)

Three Jobs I've Had
6th grade English teacher
physics tutor

Three Places I've Lived
Knoxville, TN
Wooster, OH
Bremen, Germany

Three Places I'd Like to Go
The Pacific Northwest

Three Favorite Drinks
GOOD coffee
Rum & Coke Zero
Sparkling Mineral Water

Three TV Shows I Watch
Big Bang Theory
Doctor Who

Three Favorite Old TV Shows
Gilmore Girls (Can that count? Only a few years off the air...)
Clarissa Explains It All

Three Favorite Foods (I can only list three? How wrong!)
Mom's Potato Soup (this was our family's "chicken soup" cure-all)
Red Velvet Cake
Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Three Make-Up Products I Can't Live Without
Tarte Cheek Stain
Fresh Firebird Mascara

Three Things I'm Looking Forward To
Cookout + Bonfire + Drinking at the in-laws' tonight
Dragon*Con (We'd better end up going after all of this talk!)
The end of the school year (3 weeks away!!)

Three People I'm Tagging
Catherine because she's an awesome writer and fun Twitter friend
Ashley who is super cute and honest
Tabitha because she just started watching BBT, which makes her awesomer

I am Mini-Sheldon

| Thursday, April 29

Every once in a while, as I'm sitting watching Big Bang Theory, I both outwardly laugh and inwardly cringe at some of the things that Dr. Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D., does. The reason for this is, yes, his actions are often amusing, but then I start to realize that I am often very much like him. Some of these similarities are simple OCD idiosyncrasies, others are just downright obnoxious.

1. I have a spot on the couch. You do not sit there. It is MY spot. Mine is, however, on the right side, not the left.

2. Most of my wardrobe consists of geeky graphic tees. And I often wear them with long-sleeved tees under them or cardigans over them.

3. I am a bit of a hypochondriac. Not full-blown Sheldon-style, but minorly, anyway. I'm scared how I'll react once I have kids.

4. Do NOT enter my personal space bubble. I do not want to be touched by strangers!

5. If my set routine is thrown off in the slightest way, such as my morning routine in getting ready, I am thrown off for the whole day. Or I shut down and pout.

6. I have a difficult time making real life friends sometimes. I'm happier with my tiny circle.

7. I feel the constant need to correct people when they're wrong. It's rude and obnoxious, and I've been doing it ever since I was a little kid. It's a seriously hard habit to break.

8.  I get super excited and nervous at the prospect of meeting celebrities and often make a complete fool of myself. (See: How Kara will act around Edward James Olmos and/or Jewel Staite at Dragon*Con if a chance to meet them presents itself.) Hopefully these encounters will not be accompanied by  a restraining order.

9. I am one of the few teachers in my school to have a Master's degree, and I sometimes often think I'm superior because I have more schooling and a higher IQ.

But I promise, I'm not a horrible person! I'm as awkwardly lovable as Sheldon!
 images /via

Hump-Day Hotties #3

| Wednesday, April 28
Today, for your viewing pleasure, I've decided to visit Torchwood. Though I've not seen a whole lot of this show yet, I do love me some Captain Jack and Gwen! They're both great characters, plus easy on the eyes, too. And how can you not love John Barrowman's smile?

The lovely Gwen Cooper

Someone better cheer Captain Jack up!

Goodness, Eve! 

Those eyes... That smirk...

Thank you BBC, for bringing us the Doctor Who spin-off


The Geek Chronicles: Number Three

| Tuesday, April 27
Part 3: The College Years
3 of 4 in an on-going series
Read Part 1 and Part 2 first

I was accepted in an honors program at a regional university about two hours from where I grew up, so I jumped at the opportunity. I was planning on going to medical school, and this university had a great one, plus it was a full four-year scholarship, so why not?!

I had a really heavy course load while in undergrad, but I still continued my search for Mr. Right Now and partied a bit. I started hanging out with some frat boys who convinced me to rush the sororities in the fall. I, to this day, still don’t think I was a good fit for a sorority, but I did anyway. In order to fit in at all, pretty much all geek-cred was checked at the door. My life was class, boys, sisters, tutoring, and drinking.

The Geek Chronicles: Part the Second

| Monday, April 26
Part 2: In Which I Become Too Boy-crazy 
(A Continuation of Part One)
image /via

In high school, I continued my closeted geek activities, joining the school Math Team. I eventually made it into Mu Alpha Theta, a math honor society. I wasn’t the greatest math nerd on our team, but it was fun.

I also was a bit of an obsessed German student. I loved learning the language and culture so much, that I took it upon myself to independently further my studies at the library. You must remember, in the mid-nineties, there wasn’t much Internet. I used AOL for chatting, basically, at that point. I was a painfully active member of the German club and was even president for two years. I happily brought home countless ribbons and trophies for our state German competitions.

And I was a band nerd. I played flute, piccolo, bass clarinet, and contrabass clarinet. I have to say, though, at a school my size, with a band that size, it wasn’t horribly nerdy. I just gave up any hopes I ever had of being recognized by the “in-crowd.” Instead, I became a popular girl in the band crowd.

That had some perks, let me tell you. They’re called boys. Suddenly, I was getting lots of boy attention, some wanted, some unwanted, but by fifteen, I was SERIOUSLY boy crazy and couldn’t stop. Mid-nineties pop-punk and boys became my new, more mainstream-accepted interests.

Every once in a while, I’d indulge in something geeky, like a Star Wars marathon with the cousins, but I had subconsciously moved out of that stage.

Home Sweet Home

| Sunday, April 25
image /via
"Love. Can know all the math in the 'verse but take a boat in the air that you don't love? She'll shake you off just as sure as a turn in the worlds. Love keeps her in the air when she oughtta fall down...tell you she's hurtin' 'fore she keens...makes her a home." - Mal Reynolds

I'm sitting, watching the "Objects in Space" episode of Firefly this morning, and they bring up an interesting point, that has been addressed in many aspects of culture over and over again. What is home? I find it interesting to see the places people consider to be "home" that are somewhat unconventional.

Obviously, to the crew of Serenity, their rugged old ship is "home." Simon makes the comment that he thinks that the ship is the first place River has ever felt at home. Even though she's having all of these mental issues, like hearing voices and seeing things not as they are, she is completely comfortable in the ship by this point. She actually claims to have become fused with Serenity to outsmart bounty hunter, Jubal Early. Her giggle is definitely "somewhat unsettling."


Dragons! and Cons!

| Friday, April 23
We have decided we might use some of our rockin' tax refund this year to venture a few hours south to the 2010 Dragon*Con. I'm thinking this will be awesome! I've not been to a con before. I'm excited at the prospect of going. It's Labor Day weekend in September, so we've got time to plan.

I am not a wig-wearer, so any ideas or inspirations on costume ideas would be awesome! What do you guys think?

Who Are These Children?

| Thursday, April 22
 picture /via
So, after being Debbie-Downer last night after a rough few days, I got to wake up to this. Thanks so much, Angela! You made my day just a bit brighter.

Then I got to spend a good part of the day spreading cheer thanks to the Sunshine Award.

When it came to my intervention class that I have dubbed "hellclass," they were actually GOOD! They were (mostly) respectful. They did what I asked. They were relatively quiet. They WROTE. And all of this on the one day of the entire year the Secondary Reading supervisor for the whole system decides to randomly drop in and observe my class. They were like perfect angels in that respect, especially compared to how they usually act. I'm not sure what happened to my normal students. I think they were replaced with pod people. I'm pretty sure my 6th period class today was aliens. Who like to write. This just made my day!

And to top off a great day, I found a CD of 21st Century Breakdown in my car when there was nothing on the radio to listen to. The Hub had burned it for me MONTHS ago. I got to rock out to epically great Green Day while driving home.

In the immortal words of Ice Cube, "Today was a good day."

Award Time!

The rockin' Angela over at Lariats and Lavender gave me the Sunshine Award. What a great thing to wake up to when feeling so down the night before. It really did make me feel much better. Plus, being able to vent to you, my awesome readers, made a huge difference.

So, without further ado, now that I'm feeling much more Sunshine-y, I get to pass on the award.

The Rules:
1. Put the logo on your blog within your post.
2. Pass the award on to twelve bloggers.
3. Link to the nominees within your post.
4. Let them know they received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and the link to the person from whom you received this award.


Chill Out

| Wednesday, April 21

Ok, I just need to take a deep breath and chill the frak out. If I were to go to the doctor anytime soon, I'm sure my blood pressure would be off the charts. I'm getting stressed out and irrationally worked up over the most asinine things right now.

Situation One - 
I'm still waiting to hear whether or not I'm gonna get the teaching transfer to something grades K-4 that I interviewed for last week. They have until May 21 to make the decision. That means another month of waiting. I'm not always that patient.

Situation Two - 
I'm starting to feel like I'm losing control of my 6th/7th grade reading intervention class. The 6th graders are still sweet and listen to whatever I say. They're nice and respectful, though they might try to talk over me sometimes.

The 7th graders have a major attitude, though, and act like my class is beneath them. Sadly, they're the ones that really need the help. Some of them have gotten rude and disrespectful over the past few weeks, and it really hurts. I've never had students be this blatantly rude to me before. Can you start to see why I want to leave middle school?


Hump-Day Hotties #2

For your viewing pleasure today, I would like to share some pictures of one of my fave geek crushes, none other than Angel himself, David Boreanaz. Also, Agent Seely Booth on one of my pseudo-scifi loves, Bones. Whether a hot, brooding vamp or a cute, goofy FBI agent, you gotta admit he's nice on the eyes. And apparently there was some tabloid trash about him, but I don't read that, so I don't care.


Playing Catch-Up

| Tuesday, April 20
This weekend was a wash, with the Hub coming back from his business trip and all, so I'm finally getting around to writing a new post.

I've got two things to write about tonight.

#1 - Who Returns

So, the US premier of Doctor Who. I frakkin' LOVE Eleven, even though it's a bit strange that he's younger than me. I'm not THAT old (see 20something Bloggers)! His introduction where he's trying to decide what food he likes was hilarious. And I love that he finally decides he loves "fish custard." So gross. And little Amelia Pond doesn't even blink.

Also, how cute is the whole apple thing with the smiley face and the fact that it looked fresh over ten years later?

I think I'm gonna love this new season A LOT!

#2 - Last Night's Castle
What are two of my favorite no-longer-running space-related tv shows? As we all know, Battlestar Galactica and Firefly would be the answer. What do you get when you add the two together? You get Nathan Fillion AND Michael Trucco on last night's episode of Castle, "Den of Thieves." The more I watch this show, the more I love it.

I'm generally not big on crime procedurals, but I do love me some Nathan Fillion, so I started watching this one. It's proven to be pretty clever. And last night's episode was fun. Liked how the two guys played off each other and how Beckett got caught in the middle. I'd like to be in her position...

"But he's dead."
"That's impossible."
"Unless he's a zombie..." Thank you for that insight Mr. Castle.

Oh, yeah, and speaking of hot guys, don't forget to tune in tomorrow.

Return of the TARDIS

| Saturday, April 17
So, I will admit, I'm a bit late to the party when it comes to Doctor Who, but I am super excited about the premier tonight on BBCA. I'll actually be at a close family friend's birthday party tonight, so THANK GOODNESS for my DVR! I've heard that the kickoff to the new series with the eleventh Doctor is great from people in the UK and Canada, and I seriously appreciate those bloggers for not giving me any spoilers!

In honor of this, I've decided to go back and watch some old eps from Netflix today, and so I sit, avoiding the pollen storm outside, in a self-created marathon with Christopher Eccleston, the ninth Doctor. I decided to go all the back to the beginning of the revived show and watch series 1. Personally, I prefer David Tennant, the tenth Doctor, as you never forget your first Doctor. But these episodes are still great! Less hair in this one, though. :)

I just hope that the young Matt Smith is as brilliant. (Not quite sure what to make of his hair, yet, though. Even more insane than Tennant's!)

Image from Mirror.co.uk

What are your favorite Doctor Who stories? 

The End is Near!

| Friday, April 16
So, this week at school has been horrible. It was the week of TCAPs, the Tennessee state tests. Four days of testing, the shortest test part was 45 minutes long. There are eight parts, four subjects, and a hell of a lot of bored kids. In the past, students were at least allowed to read a book when they finished the test. It was this way forever, as I remember that accommodation when I was in school. This year, the state Department of Ed decided that was no longer allowed.

Seriously? That means students who are brilliant and finish the science test, part one in 20 minutes and have 25 more to just sit there are gonna get really bored. I was so worried that the students would start to get disruptive when they finished. The group of kids I was testing was fairly obnoxious. Luckily I only had one or two problems on the first day. After that, they either took a nap or drew for the most part.

This week every year makes me remember how much I hate eighth grade students. We're not allowed to test students in our own grade level for security reasons. I can understand and respect that, but I really hate these kids by the time they reach eighth grade. It puts my desire to leave sixth grade in perspective. I appreciate my students so much more! Also, I've been driven to the desire to drink more this week than I have been in a looong time.

But honestly, sixth grade is not where I feel my teaching calling is. It never has been, but when you're fresh out of university, moved back in with Mom, looking for a job, you take what you can get. I've been teaching sixth grade for almost five school years now. (We're done in 5 weeks!) Some opportunities have presented themselves, so I'm applying for a transfer.

I had what I hope was a great interview at the elementary school next door yesterday. If I get the job, though, as the realization hit me this morning, I'll be going from teaching twelve-year-olds how to analyze characterization and write research papers to teaching five- or six-year-olds how to spell cat. Yes, I applied to transfer to kindergarten or first grade.

If this does happen, it will be a huge but fulfilling challenge, and I'm sure you'll get to read all about it! Sorry for the really random post, but it's been a stressful week,  and my brain is DRAINED!

Hump Day Hotties

| Wednesday, April 14
So, I was randomly inspired to create a weekly feature thanks to reading a discussion over at 20sb. I decided, that since Wednesdays are often tough days to get through, I'd try to provide some eye-candy every once in a while. This post is unusually long, as it is the first, but I wanted to share with you some of the hotness that is featured on Battlestar Galactica.

Warning, some pics are moderately NSFW.


Prepare to Squee!

| Tuesday, April 13

Okay, so not that it's apparently official or anything, but the interweb is blowin' up with news about the one and only Joss Whedon apparently signing on to direct The Avengers.

I mean, if your brother is tweeting the news, though, it's gotta be pretty accurate, right? This is what Zach Whedon said just a few minutes ago.

See, not only am I a Whedon fangirl when it comes to his tv shows, I also LOVE his comics. He's written some seriously awesome comics, such as Fray (Dark Horse) and his run of The Astonishing X-Men Volume 3 #1-24 (Marvel). He's also obviously written or overseen spin-offs of his own shows, Buffy (Dark Horse), Serenity (Dark Horse) and Angel (IDW). So, to bring someone like him on board for such an epic movie makes me want to squee more than just a little bit!

It even makes up for the fact that Chris Evans is Captain America, Steve Rogers. Okay, almost, but not quite. You owe me, Marvel!

The Geek Chronicles: Part One

| Monday, April 12
Part 1: The Early Years

Once upon a time, there was an incredibly precocious little girl who grew up to be a teacher, wife, blogger, and lover of science fiction and fantasy. That girl is me. Welcome to my story.

The earliest nerdy thing I can ever remember was at the age of three telling my neighbors that raccoons were nocturnal. The mom didn’t believe I knew that word, so when questioned, I proceeded to tell her that it meant an animal that slept during the day and was awake at night. My parents should’ve seen it coming!


Fits Me to a Tee

| Sunday, April 11
So, I decided to take today and list a bunch of my favorite geeky t-shirts, some of which I do own, and some of which are simply on my wishlist.

My fave places online to buy them are:
Twitter: @thinkgeek
Twitter: @threadless
Twitter: @topatoco

These are some I actually have: 

This was an epic find!

I LOVE wearing this one at school!

From the lovely Markli at Wondermark

Depend on Blue Sun products like Fruity Oaty Bars

And these are the ones I want so much:

Hijinks Ensue
Brought to you by the brilliant Joel Watson at Hijinks Ensue

In honor of Dr. Sheldon Cooper

Because I roll on the Oregon Trail

And even though it's not a t-shirt, or even anything close to wearable, I also really want this:

Brilliance from Ctrl+Alt+Del

I hope you have enjoyed my t-shirt tour and maybe, just maybe, I've given you something ELSE to spend your hard earned money on!

To Game, or Not To Game

| Saturday, April 10
First and foremost, I am not much of a video-gamer. I like to blame this on my parents. They wouldn't allow us to have any game system in our house growing up, so when I went off to college, and really had access to them via friends for the first time, I felt horribly incompetent. And something to know about me is I'm such an OCD perfectionist, that if I can't succeed in something fairly immediately, I usually won't do it at all. Hence not playing video games unless they're slow-paced and require no button-mashing. Also, I prefer games I don't have to co-op. Thus my love for my Wii and turn-based RPGs.

This is beside the point, though, as this post has nothing to do with video games. It's about games played while sitting face-to-face with your awesome group of nerdy friends. Some of our old friends from high school had started getting together once a week for "Family Game Night" and invited us to join them about two years ago. There is nothing family-friendly about this gathering. We usually drink a lot and create lewd versions of board games. One of my favorites was dirty Scattergories. And we play Adult Loaded Questions too much for our own good, even inventing our own loaded questions quite frequently.


Heroes in the Whedonverse

| Thursday, April 8
I sat down to start watching Angel from the beginning, streaming from Netflix the other morning, and as I was watching Season 1 Episode 1, "City of" a thought came to me. Many of Whedon's male characters have some seriously similar traits. Though it is not ALWAYS the case, Angel, Mal Reynolds and Paul Ballard are often very chivalrous heroes, relating to female characters without much sexual motivation.  And when they do finally give in, "bad things" happen.

**Warning: Dollhouse Spoiler if you've not seen the whole series!**


The Nicknames

I've only been on the Battlestar Galactica bandwagon for about a year and a half, but I can honestly say it's probably one of my all-time favorite shows. And one of my absolute fave characters on the show has got to be Kara "Starbuck" Thrace. She's hot, mysterious, and seriously bad-ass.  Because of my love for said character, and the fact that we share the same first name, spelled the same and everything, my geek friends started calling me "Kara Thrace." I even went so far as to be Starbuck for Halloween this past year. <-- See?

Then my poor husband started getting called Mr. Thrace. Not Anders or anything cool like that, just Mr. Thrace. That eventually turned into us getting called collectively "The Thraces." As in, where are we going to host Game Night? At the Thraces'. Who's bringing the movie? The Thraces. Now we are even stored in our friends' phones with those nicknames.

And then, my husband is also a "Toaster." This came about when we were first starting to play the BSG board game. In the game, you are either a cylon, not a cylon, or a sympathizer. The first three times we played, my husband was a cylon every time, and his covert actions cost the humans the game. I told him he was sleeping on the couch. Then on multiple occasions we have BOTH been cylons in the game, so apparently, now, to our friends, we are "Toasters," and they joke about it whenever they get the chance.

This is one of the many reasons I love my geeky friends. Do any of you have awesome nicknames given to you by friends? Any of them awesomely nerdy?

7 Weeks, But Who's Counting?

| Tuesday, April 6
So, today was the first day back to school after Spring Break, and let me tell you how much I want out already! After teaching 6th grade for 5 years, this is the least-attentive, most talkative worst-behaved overall group we've ever had. Even some teachers who've been there 20+ years are saying the same thing. They drain all the energy I have by 3:30 every day.

We start our state testing (TCAP) next week, so this week is "finish reviewing" week.  First of all, with a new curriculum, a new test that is supposed to be higher-level thinking such as application and analysis of skills, and the fact that our job security is now directly tied to our individual test scores, I hate "teaching to the test" more and more each year, but it's getting hard to find much of a way around it.

Our school at least bought these great test-review books that have helped me to review kids in isolation on skills we worked on earlier this year in a much more holistic manner. They've made the past few weeks really easy on me, but I know that the students are completely over it. I mean, a week and a half of test prep before the break and another week after? Yeah, that's how massive my tested Language Arts/Reading curriculum is.  Reviewing takes two and a half weeks. 74 tested skills. Yay?!

So, in other words, if I can make it through the next two weeks, after TCAPs are over, there are only 5 weeks left. All downhill from there, right?

42: It's the Answer

| Friday, April 2

As I was trying to fall asleep last night, for some reason, the date popped into my head as "42," and I immediately had an inspiration, but I had to file it away so I could actually get some sleep. The following is a true story about how a girl fell in love with a Hitchhiker and came to terms with her nerdy side. 

For some reason, Douglas Adams' A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has been on my mind recently, so it is no surprise that my subconscious wanted me to write about it. When I was about 12, I was browsing the shelves at my local library on my weekly Saturday morning drop-off while Mom ran errands. I came across a book with an interesting cover, a strange title, and the back-cover promise of being hilarious. That book was The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. As perfect as this book seemed, I could not get past the first few pages. Little did I know it was in the middle of a series I would put at the top of my list a mere 14 years later. 

Always a Badger

| Thursday, April 1
 I was watching the most recent episode of Chuck and noticed that the one and only Mark Sheppard had appeared as the director of the evil syndicate known as "The Ring." It is not the first time that the great sci-fi character actor has graced the small screen in my living room in recent years. Though it is not the role for which I will always remember him.

That honor will go to the sleaze-ball fence, Badger, from the "Serenity" and "Shindig" episodes of Firefly. Now, he was only in two episodes, playing a minor character, but for some reason, that is how I have chosen to remember him. He always gave Mal and his crew such a hard time for their dangerous work, yet, as shady as he was, I never disliked him.

So, you can only imagine my surprise, when I started watching Battlestar Galactica and saw him show up as the slick lawyer, Romo Lampkin. My initial thought was, "Who else but Badger would represent a weasel like Gaius Baltar?" Unfortunately, I could never quite get past the fact that he was Badger, and kept projecting those traits onto Lampkin. And strangely enough, I never ended up liking Lampkin that much. This is how most of my friends remember him, though, and when I bring up Badger, they seem to question my sanity.

Then, as BSG started to wind down, I started seeing him everywhere. What do I mean by everywhere? EVERYWHERE! He had a small recurring role on Dollhouse. Looked like good ol' Joss Whedon called in a favor from an old friend?

I've been told he was on 24, which I do not watch. Then he was cast on multiple cable shows that I actually love, so imagine my surprise when I start seeing my favorite genre character actor every time I turn on the television: Burn Notice, White Collar, Warehouse 13, Leverage, and finally (and most recently) Chuck.

Though his roles have been minor and short-lived in most of those shows, it makes me happy every time I see his smug face pop up. I always expect the cockney accent and bowler, but he's cleaned up a lot since then. Hopefully, we'll be seeing more of him for the foreseeable future. He's gotta be coming back in the Fall on Leverage as Sterling, I'm sure of it. And I'm waiting on a guest appearance on Castle, too.

I just hope he doesn't get cast on an episode of Caprica. You can't do that. No crossing canons. It isn't right.