Fangirl : The Nerd Unleashed?

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My roommate and I are nerds. In fact, we have a John Green quote posted on our living room wall that reads:

“Nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff… Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-the-chair-can’t-control-yourself love it. Hank, when people call people nerds, mostly what they’re saying is ‘you like stuff.’ Which is just not a good insult at all. Like, ‘you are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness’.”

When I first saw this poster I remembered being so excited that “Yes! someone put into words how I feel about a lot of things! Oh my God John Green be my friend. I love you!” which introduces, in the same sentence, the Fangirl.

I’d like to consider myself in someway an experienced fangirl. I wouldn’t go to say I’m a professional like Tyler Oakley, but I’ve had my fair share of pure joy moments brought on by the sheer existence of my favorite person, show, or band.

Let me give you a bit of exposition on my fangirling days. It’s hard to say who started it all, The Spice Girls or The Power Rangers. While these things are polar opposites, they both had me enthralled as a young girl. I needed to be Sporty Spice and dreamed of the day that I could do backflips in platform shoes (which I don’t think ever actually happened), and I would fight tooth and nail for the chance to be the Pink Ranger in Power Ranger Play Pretend (although my sister normally won 😦 and I’m apparently still butt hurt). I remember spending hours upon hours singing songs or karate chopping my stuffed animals. I’ve seen Spice World and the Power Rangers (both original and Turbo [obvi the better one and I will fight you about it]) movies more times that I care to admit and can probably explain them, shot-by-shot, in great detail.

As I grew older, the frequency in which I actively talked about these two things or watched the movies decreased to almost nonexistent, but my love and appreciation for them never went away. Which led me to think, was I ever really just a fangirl?

blurrytwiconpicIn contrast to this is my experience with Twilight. I always say “Everyone went through the Twilight phase” normally followed by a snarky “don’t even try me.” But I remembered being so invested in all of the… hype[?] and needing to know everything about the characters which then transferred over to the movie in relation to needing to know everything about the actors. I watched hours of press junket interviews, talked ad nauseum about my Bella and Jacob feelings and my much stronger anti-Edward feels. I did it all, read the books, watch the movies, reread the books, went to cons, rewatched the movies, and regrettably spent way too much time looking at pictures of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. I look back and can really only be grateful for a few things during this time in my life, unlike with Harry Potter which I was exposed to several years earlier and still to this day talk about with my friends, revisit the books and movies, and appropriately freak out at the theme park.

But this isn’t another debate about Twilight vs Harry Potter or the impact either had on popular culture, but more so about differences between being a nerd and a fangirl.

I asked a bunch of my friends this week if they thought there was a difference between being a nerd and being a fangirl. I wasn’t surprised that it was overall “Yes”, but I was surprised that it was unanimous. And more than that, the idea of being a fangirl was viewed negatively.

Before I started writing about this, I never thought to compare these two types of groups. But then I thought “well wait, it’s like John Green’s quote, they both just really love something. Why is it different?”

According to my friends Fangirls are obsessive, superficial, extreme, stalkers and emotional; while Nerds are passionate, rational, inclusive, and excited. It’s easy to point fingers at certain groups of people like the Directioners and Beliebers and even the Twihards because even I can recognize crazy. But for me, this was alarming. I never really thought of the negative connotation given to the Fangirl because I for so long associated myself as one of them. Sure, I was aware that other people cared more (way more) than I do about certain aspects of things, but to me that didn’t make me less of a fan.

Which opens up a whole new realm of conversation about the topic. Are there levels of Fangirling? Are Fangirls Nerds who just missed the mark of passion and sailed into obsession? OR are Nerds Fangirls who matured into respectfulness?

Coming to the end of this, I don’t really have a conclusion or an answer. Have the tendencies of a nerd turned into fangirling through the access to social media? Is it a widespread problem that involves only our youth (*Schmidt voice*YOUTHS). However, after thinking about it further I came to this realization; while a Fangirls excitement is a feathery moment caught in the fleeting winds of popular culture, the experiences of a Nerd lingers. It embeds itself into the core of our DNA and last forever.

Philadelphia Freedom

“I love the dignity in the name Philadelphia, but at heart, we’re Philly” — Lisa Scottoline

This past weekend I went back to the city where my parents met, where I was born, and where some of my fondest memories are: Philadelphia, PA.  I am a person who is so proud to have my roots embedded into this city. The sports, the culture, THE FOOD (ugh the food). Every aspect of it is intoxicating and I get giddy every time I visit.

This weekend started off a little crazy, a little off wire, but in the end it could not have been more perfect. Please let me explain:

Thursday:

I plan to leave IN at 3:55PM from the Fort Wayne airport. I leave work a little early and am expecting when I get there to get on the plane off to Detroit. I arrive at the airport, get to my gate, and notice that no one is boarding yet. I say to myself: “Okay, I have some time to sit and relax before get onto the flight.”

I put in my headphones and start blasting my new Spotify playlist. They announce the inevitable over the intercom that the flight will be delayed what they “think” only for an hour.

I sit there thinking “Okay, my  connecting flight doesn’t leave until until 8:25 I’m good.”  At this point I was eavesdropping on these two ladies conversating about how this happened to them before in Philly and they just drove to their next destination. I felt the need to jump in and tell them that the drive to Detroit is only a little over 2 hours. This sparked a bigger conversation and we all decided to caravan to Detroit from Fort Wayne so we could make it to our connecting flight in the knick of time.

I am avid snapchatter so I had to take this to send out to the world about my adventures when traveling. It never cease to amaze me!

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We had to stop for a picture before running like mad men through the airport!

These ladies were the sweetest to me. They all had come to Fort Wayne for a conference and took me in like a lost puppy. Well, I guess I wasn’t the lost puppy since I was the navigation system and personal DJ for the trip. But in the end I made some new friends and a story to tell. I am so happy that I can put myself out there to meet new people and experience these treasures. I made my connecting flight thanks to them and got to spend that extra night with my family which otherwise would not have happened. So to the ladies from LF, thank you from the bottom of my heart for accepting this weirdo who eavesdropped on your convo and hitchhiked to DTown. Hope to see you all soon! (I gave them the link to the blog because obviously).

The weekend:

Got to spend time with my cousins and it was great. When I am out there it is normally in the winter and Christmas, and  running around always takes over. It was really nice to just relax by the pool, catch up and be active with my family. Not something I get to do very often. An impromptu Big Sean & J. Cole concert, graduation celebrations and birthday parties made for an epic weekend.

My Momma is the coolest (and tannest) person I know. Can’t help but smile when she’s around.

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My goofy little man Tomas. He would not take the picture otherwise.

 

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Love that I was able to experience this night with my family (and extended family).

 

Here are some videos to recap the weekend:

 

 

My cousin and his Fiancé invited me to hang with them at the J. Cole and Big Sean concert. So we obviously had our tequila confidence to help us dance.

My cousin Lou is always the life of the party with his happy feet. I had to capture this moment to keep it forever. 74 and still kicking, literally.

Celebrated my nephews birthday with my Mom’s side of the family with the best minion bash EVER. Love getting to experience these moments together as a family.

All in all, as I sit here back in Fort Wayne all I can think about is being back with them. It went by way too fast and I feel every time I go it’s never long enough. Family is forever and they are the main thing that keeps my heart beating. From my Nonna’s cooking to my Grandmom’s “whatchamacallits” the second I leave Philadelphia soil, I’m itching to get back.

Wait is it December yet?

Stay cool kids,

Ale

A Beautiful (Self-Destructive, Insecure) Mind

Kristen’s open letter to her insecurities got me thinking.

“Gosh she is so right, our insecurities and mind get the best of us.”

I was thinking about this a lot this weekend as I was taking a trip to Indianapolis. My air wasn’t working and with the windows down going 80, my mind was the only thing that kept me from going crazy in the 90 degree heat. And of course it led me to a questioning place.

Like most people in the world I am EXTREMELY insecure. In every aspect of my life, but I think mostly in my relationships. I am the type of person that will doubt a friendship, significant other, etc. And it guides my every move within that relationship.

Imagine an annoying, nagging, bitter person constantly telling you that everyone is fake and being nice just because. It’s that devil on your shoulder telling you you’re never good enough. I have trained myself over the years to bury that voice, deep down in the ground so it can never creep up. And for months that voice has been a faint memory, that I felt was long gone.

Until this weekend. Silence, driving down the open road, that little voice crept back into the forefront. It was telling me that once again, even though I’ve been so incredibly happy for the past 5 months, that everything was a lie.

I continually wonder why my mind chooses to think that when it comes to people in my life. I am an anxious person. I overthink everything. I choose to believe that everyone is out to get me.

But why?

I always snap out of it, the angel guiding me always bitch slaps the devil to say that I am getting too caught up in the thoughts. I just wonder if people experience these same thoughts.

Am I alone?

The point of this rambling is to reach out to anyone going through this, and if there isn’t an angel guiding you, to let you know that you are not alone. Try your hardest to stop those thoughts from breaking down your spirit. Stop believing that you’re not good enough, because you are.

Insecurities are an evil thing, they make you think and believe the worst about yourself. A goal for myself is to try my hardest to never let them take over like they have in the past. I have to continuously remind myself that I am blessed and live a life that is extremely fortunate. I have people in my life that love me and that I love, that help remind me that these thoughts are just thoughts, never reality.

Your mind is the most beautiful, yet destructive thing in your body. It can give you the creativity to make something magical, but also put you through your the lowest lows.

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This community that we are trying to build with this blog, the people we are reaching out to each week, understand that, as Awkward Adults, we are here to bitch slap those insecurities and hurtful thoughts away. We understand and will get through this.

Until next time…

Ale

My Neverending List of #fails: Part I

Somewhere on the internet there is a quote from Steve Carell that sort of goes like this: Comedy is being good at being bad at things. Or something about failure is funny. I don’t know I couldn’t find it in my ten minute Google Search…so, whatever. It stuck with me for so many years (this was during the press junket for Get Smart so obvi a long time ago) and I reference (incorrectly) it all the time: in writing, in life, whenever I fail hysterically at something, which is often. Hence this list.

My incomplete list of total and complete fails in no particular order:

  1. The Real reason I don’t cook more often. Moral of the story don’t leave a boiling pot unattended for more than a few minutes. (or ever idk. I mean can i live?)Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 12.28.27 PM
  2. That time I yelled at Julia Stiles.
  3. That time my roommate and I had a sick ass Bar B Q
  4. That time I cried meeting Jake Bundrick
  5. That time I almost cried the second time I met Jake Bundrick
  6. That time I cried meeting Bryce Avary
  7. Anytime I’ve cried meeting anyone
  8. That time my mom asked me how I knew what “choke the chicken” meant
  9. That time I tried to do that thing and then failedScreen Shot 2015-07-22 at 12.28.51 PM
  10. That time I told Jason David Frank that I watched Power Rangers until I was 13.
  11. That time I tried to impersonate a stripper and fell off the railings
  12. The Twilight phase
  13. That time I yelled out at an Ellie Goulding show “Wooo yeah Guns and Roses” When she in fact said “This one’s called  “Guns and Horses”.
  14. That time a band member called me out for dancing so hard
  15. That time I wore a Fedora
  16. High School in general
  17. Whatever is happening here                                        .Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 12.29.15 PM
  18. Every time I log into Myspace (yes that still happens)
  19. My customized Myspace page
  20. That time someone asked me if I was going to Big Bend and I said “Oh no, I don’t have a passport.”                                                                               youtried

Everyone has those days, those brain-fart moments, or times where all they want to do is forever insert their foot in their mouths. Sometimes you just gotta roll with it and move on. When the people start to laugh, chin up and join in.

 

Twinning: The Day My Life Changed

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I am an individual who possesses many names.

Birthname: Alessandra

Nicknames: Ale (like Allie), “Ale” (like the beer), Sandy, Ali Baba, Ale Dee, and the list goes on.

There is one name that I was given 8 years ago (tomorrow) that holds the most meaning to me: Zia (those of you who are not of the Italian descent that is translated to “Aunt”).

21261_4773481899657_1805722630_nThe day my nephews were born was the day I knew I had a significant purpose in this world.Holding them for the first time is a moment in my life that I will cherish forever. I honestly never thought about having kids until that moment. I realized then that I could love something (or someonex2) more than myself. I wish everyday I would have cherished the moments when they were itty bitty, but the conversations we have now make up for it.

Here are a list of things I adore about them:

  • Benny’s high pitched voice with the cutest little lisp, and Tom’s deep man voice.
  • The way they scream “ZIA!” and run to hug me everytime I visit. Seriously my heart MELTS.
  • The way they tell me EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING all the time. I tend to have no idea what they’re talking about, but I try my best to listen.3016_1091338328369_562583_n
  • Their toothless smile with the cutest laugh.
  • When they let me watch Netflix or play their games.
  • The way they barge into my room at 6AM to tell me that the sun is shining and I have to get up.
  • BOOM. BOOM. POW.
  • The excitement they get about swimming and the park. Even when Tom tells me it’s an exercise park.
  • How ticklish they are. Seriously. Just initiating a tickle fest brings out the giggles.
  • Their wit: constantly on point and unlike anyone else.
  • Their mind: beautiful and intricate.
  • Their quirks: unique and original.
  • Their love: the thing that keeps me going.

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I am obsessed with these two boys in the healthiest way (they probably do not think that as I’m squeezing them). The fact that I get to experience their firsts alongside them is truly something magical. I hope one day they will read this and know that no matter what I am there for them, thick and thin, forever and always.

They are not my children, but I love them as if they were. My quality time with them are the moments I look forward to. I want them to be proud of me and hopefully in the future confide in me. I am so grateful to have a sister and brother-in-law that allow me to have those times with them so we can make lasting memories.

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Happy 8th Birthday Benny and Tomas. You are two of the brightest stars and my biggest inspirations. (Stop growing up though, you’re already smarter than me).

Love always,
Zia

True Life: How I Got out of the Friend Zone

Dating is tough, especially with all these dating apps and sites making you feel like you’ll find the one right away. What they don’t tell you is that it’s never that easy. I personally chose to wait until I got into a relationship with someone I could consider my best friend.

Make dating easy for yourself. Try and have fun! Meet lots of new guys and put yourself out there! Once you let go of all the expectations, you might find yourself meeting that special someone out of the blue and it’ll all be worth it.

Try and keep your cool - unlike my friend Chandler here.

Try and keep your cool – unlike my friend Chandler here.

I’m not here to say I’m an expert on relationships, because Lorde knows my boyfriend and I pick fights over the dumbest things. Mostly this is a “this is what I’ve learned/what I wish I would’ve done instead” type of post.

Living in the Friend Zone: I used to live in the friend zone and I was totally okay with that. The thought of dating boys terrified me because I had no idea how to be someone’s girlfriend.
I grew up in a single-parent household where it was just my mom and I – very Gilmore Girls, minus the witty banter because Hispanic mothers are not about that.

I got my tips on dating from movies and shows, which we all know is a huge letdown because I never had a guy write me a letter every day or play a boom box outside my window (granted I grew up in the Walkman/iPod era, so it would’ve had to have been on a speaker system.)

hlosUPWThe most attention I ever got from a guy was if I was helping him with his homework (i.e. let them copy, but joke was on them because I was not a straight A’s student) or if I quoted some song or movie the certain person liked. Even if I got attention from a guy, I had no idea how to handle it – I feel like I self-sabotaged lots of potential relationships because I was so awkward.

Tip: If you ever feel/have confirmation from a friend that a guy likes you, seize the moment. You’ll look back on this and regret you never said anything if you don’t.

If you don’t care about rejection, then tell him yourself! Make sure you’ve talked to this guy long enough to where you know you want to pursue something and mention you’d like to go to dinner and a movie sometime. If he’s interested, he’ll be all for it. If he’s not, hopefully he won’t be a jerk about it and let you down easy. If he’s an ass, then GOOD RIDDANCE. (Please make sure to give me his address so we can slash his tires while blasting some Carrie Underwood.)

The one that got away:
I was in the fifth grade and I was head over heels for this boy named Jorge.
From what I remember, he was tall (for a fifth grader), Hispanic, played sports and word in the hallway was he liked me too! I’m pretty sure we never dated because we were waiting till we went to middle school in order to feel more ~mature~ about it.
Then, I switched middle schools the summer before 6th grade and I never saw him again.

More than “Just Friends”:
EVERYONE KNOWS WE’RE MEANT TO BE, FALLING IN LOVE JUST YOU AND ME TILL THE END OF TIME.” If you can name that song, then you and I should be best friends forever.

Picture this: You and your “friend” have been hanging out for a couple of weeks/months/years now and you both can feel the chemistry. You are constantly hanging out with this person and you would love to make this official. When do you jump into the relationship? My experience was definitely different from your average, “Hey I like you, and we should date” scenario.

319329_4421027604187_1444885954_nI knew my boyfriend for a full year before we started dating. We were introduced to each other my freshmen year of college and we spoke/hung out occasionally until the mid-way through the fall semester of my sophomore year. Since we lived in the same apartment complex, this made it super easy to call each other up and say “Hey, wanna study?” or “Hey, wanna go out to eat?”

I didn’t think anything of it until we had a fall out with a mutual friend that turned out to be a scum-sucking road whore that tried to ruin our lives. We found comfort in each other as we both ended up losing friends and were both embarrassed we let this person into our life.
Months later, we were definitely hanging out more often than normal friends do.

I think the moment everything changed and went into this “soooo, are we dating?” situation was when he kissed me during SXSW 2012 while we listened to that “Young, Wild and Free” song by Snoop Dogg. Yes, this was my first kiss song and it was very romantic.

Months followed and he still hadn’t asked me to be his girlfriend, but we were “technically” dating.

Tip: This is what I meant by, “If you have confirmation someone likes you, then bite the bullet and ASK THEM OUT.” Do NOT wait this out. Boys can be clueless and assume you’re dating without having to ask you.

It wasn’t until one evening in November (yes, I waited this long) when we were working out that I finally got clarification on our relationship status. I was telling him this story about how a guy was trying to ask me out earlier that day on the shuttle to school.

To this he simply went, “Why didn’t you tell him you were seeing someone?”
Me: “Because I didn’t know I was seeing someone? Am I seeing someone?”
Boyfriend: “Yes!”
Me: “Then why haven’t you asked me to be your girlfriend??”
Boyfriend: “Because…” he paused, “I haven’t asked someone out in a long time!”

He said this all in one breath and quickly went back to working out. Turns out he was too nervous to ask me out because he didn’t want to lose me as a friend/girlfriend. (Even guys get shy about asking someone out.)

unnamed (1)Now, I tell you this story because if you have the same awkward situation going on in your life, make sure to clear things up immediately!
I wouldn’t change my experience for anything in the world. I think it’s hilarious and now I’m head over heels for this goofy, talented guy that makes me feel like it was all worth it.

This week’s post is dedicated to a certain special someone to celebrate our three year anniversary.
You’re all I need, and I love you and I like you, B!

Open Letter To My Insecurities

picDear Insecurities,

We’ve been friends for quite some time now, long before high school, long before puberty, possibly even earlier. You’ve kept a steady hand at my back, a tight grip on my shoulders, and made sure to be there in my darkest hours. You’re around when I buy groceries reminding me some things cost more than money and my thighs can’t afford it. You’re there when I look in the mirror and there when I step on the scale, a sweet whisper in my ear saying you should be better.

You’re there to remind me of my failures, so I can remember that I can’t do better.

You play my embarrassments on loop, so I remember who I really am.

You slip in side-by-side comparisons when every pretty girl walks by, so I know what I’ll never be.

You are always there when I fall to remind me this is where I belong.

Over the years I’ve called you different things by the ways of “security blanket” or “that’s just who I am”. You’ve worn different faces in friends and boyfriends and mentors and peers, but mostly one that looks very similar to me.

For so long you’ve been apart of my life, we’ve basically become one, and over time, together, we’ve created something big and impressive, monstrous and terrifying that skulks through the plains of my mind — my own worst enemy.

You recently took on the face of someone I once considered a friend, and in a vile and vicious attack you told me to get some confidence along with other things.

Well here’s step one: Insecurity, kindly piss off.

Actually scratch that, pack all of your shit and leave. Take all of your advice and needling comparisons, take all of your scathing insults and side-eye’d looks and just GTFO. You’re no longer needed here, and most importantly you are not welcomed here.

I will rise above my failure, because I can learn from my mistakes.

I will laugh at my embarrassments, because perfection is boring.

I will smile at and compliment the pretty girl as she walks by, because we all need a little boost sometimes.

And when I fall, I will get back up and soar above everything that knocked me down.

Today, my #wcw goes to me, because without you, I am amazing. Without you, I am fearless. Without you, I am proud to be me.

See you never,

Kristen