Monday, October 13, 2008

If you're a dork and you know it, clap your hands!

Michael 5000, whom you may know from his awesome blog: The Life & Times of Michael 5000 (the internet's preeminent provider of difficult pop quizzes on arbitrary topics ...and glib little posts about creative arts and dork culture) is hosting the second annual Dorkfest! Go on over and check out the submissions. I encourage you to revel in your inner dorkiness by participating. Last year I chickened out... I still felt that being a dork was a bad thing. But I was heartened by the many posts and along with the other changes in my life recently I have decided to fully embrace my dorkiness. If I'm going to be a dork... I may as well try to be the dorkiest dang dork in town. Or you know... in Thailand.

Herein lies my submission for Dorkfest 2008:

To start with, I looked
up the definition of “Dork” in multiple places to have an accurate operational definition from which to plead my case. I was unsatisfied with the definitions given as they don’t make a clear distinction between nerd & dork so I made up my own definition. To be a dork, one must have some obsessive traits, a hobby or quirk that is not generally accepted by mainstream society, and also display some degree of overall social ineptitude. Dorks share with nerds an interest in ‘school subjects’ (math, science, history) but unlike nerds are not necessarily experts in those fields. They think string theory is cool… but couldn’t tell you how you exactly how it works. They read XKCD, but only get about half the references.

Now that I've created my own operational definition... here are the ways in which I'm a complete and total dork.

Obsessive traits:

I read a book walking too and from work every day for a year to avoid talking to my neighbor.

The X-Files was an obsession of mine for several years. I read many X-Phile fan sites and even wrote my own, extremely crappy fan-fiction for it. When it jumped the shark I suffered intense emotional trauma that I have only recently begun to overcome.

Hobbies and quirks:

Knitting, quilting & embroidery are my major hobbies. Which I'll admit have come into vogue as hip & funky crafts... but I did needlework back when it was full-on dork-o-rama. I finished this piece in college. Yes, while my classmates were out drinking & getting stoned, I was cross-stitching.

I decoupage.

I look up new foods on Wikipedia before I try them… (and am now afraid to eat the persimmon I picked up at the market for fear of intestinal adhesions.)

This blog has 30 posts devoted to "Caturday".

Parades make me cry for joy.

I love Swing Dancing, and have a profound respect for Square Dancing & Clogging as part of our American cultural heritage.

Not only did I participate in Nanowrimo 2007, I completed my novella and printed out my certificate for posterity. I even bought the mug.

Wanna-be nerd factor:

I love watching documentaries. PBS was my favorite channel before I got cable, then it became the history & science channels. Basically, if the names Neil deGrasse Tyson or Ken Burns appear in the credits - I'll watch it. But unlike a nerd, I am unable to recall any of the pertinent information when necessary... say for a Thursday quiz. ;)

My favorite punctuation mark is the points of ellipses … could it be replaced by new-comer the interobang!?

I have a favorite punctuation mark.

I use blue-tooth technology to access the internet, and yet still have an AOL email account.
(the distinction being, a nerd would have a g-mail account, or better yet, some new fancy account I've never heard of)

Social ineptitude: (this is where my inner dork shines shines shines)

I showed up for my CELTA course orientation dressed in teacher clothes full skirt and button down top – everyone else was in shorts & flip flops.

I participate in the dork community – I read both Boing Boing and WWDN and XKCD on a regular basis.

I have more than 15 pieces of flair on my facebook account.

I made it to #4 ranking for number of posts on my online knitting forum then changed my user account at the new year. It’s took nearly 6 months for someone to overtake my #4 spot, and another two to drop me down to #6.

Let’s break that down, shall we:

1. I belong to an online knitting forum. a) knitting is still considered dorky by a great many people, b) it’s an online craft forum.

2. I posted so much I earned the #4 spot for total posts.

3. I was so far ahead of my competition, that even after I started posting under a different account, the old account held it’s position for MONTHS.

4. I check the total-post rankings

5. I check the total post rankings on a user account I don’t even use anymore!

6. I just did the math and if I’d kept using that account, I’d still be #4.

And for the record… it’s one of four online craft communities that I belong to.

I have more friends online than I do IRL and I have not actually been on a date since Dorkfest 2007. =/

I currently live in what is quite possibly the most beautiful and amazing country in Asia, and yet I spend hours - HOURS a day in my room, in front of my computer, reading blogs & playing Spider Solitaire.


Stacey said...

Hee hee. I think I'm a bigger dork though, perhaps I should make my own list. :)

gl. said...

awesome, rebel. you're a strong contender for the dork title. :) but why did you change your account on the knitting forum?

Kate said...

Wait, you did Nanowrimo last year? How did I miss this? Or maybe we did talk about it and I'm just forgetting now... hmm...
Anyway, I did it in 2006 (made it to 50k but didn't finish the story), skipped it last year (too busy working on the never ending sweater), and intend to do it again this year! How about you?

Olga said...

This stuff makes one a dork?! (BTW that is my fave punctuation mark too which I have taken a vow to beat to death) All this time I thought this stuff was what made you soooo interesting. Guess I got a few freak flags to fly myself.....(yet another of my fave punctuation marks ...)

Rebel said...

stacy, go submit your dorkiness to M5K... there's still time!

gl, for a couple reasons but mostly to match my blog-name.

kate - I did but now I can't quite remember if it was last year or the year before. I guess I finished my story... but I never edited it! =P

Olga...are you my punctuation twin?! ;)

Phineas said...

Ok. Now my comment about not checking other DorkFest entries before submitting my own is a lie.

And I'm scared. I don't even touch on the arts and crafts arena. I'm doomed.

I'll deny reading this entry. Despite the evidence.

You moved to Thailand? Cool. No. Too cool. I guess I need to read your blog more often.


Michael5000 said...

Very impressive, to be sure. VERY impressive. Points for using acronyms that go over my head. Trying not to stress about the spurious space you've put between "michael" and "5000," but that's just my OWN dork issues talkin'.

Yankee in England said...

What a dork! I am voting for you all the way. You could be the first international dork! Take a chill pill and don't google all your food or you will stop eating. Someone once told me they used industial floor polishing chemicles to make jelly bean shiny it took me about 2 seconds to decide I was cool with it and finish my jelly beans. Ignorance is bliss.