levels of geek

why eric can no longer tease me

The show went really well. People laughed in all the right spots, and I think they laughed more than the cast thought they would. I like looking in at the actors’ faces the second that thought comes over them like, “Wait a minute! Pam’s right! They really do think this is funny!” Then the actors don’t know whether to keep barreling through like they’ve been doing or take their time and find out what the audience likes. Five minutes into the play the actors had found their groove and things went much more smoothly. We find out tomorrow evening if we get to perform again on Saturday. It’s a tough week. Lots of talent. It’ll be a tough call.

Also, I didn’t smoke last night. Amazingly enough, I didn’t smoke last night. I almost did. I had rationalized to myself that I deserved one. What I really wanted was someone to burst into the bar with a gun, hold it up to my head and say, “You need to smoke that entire pack of Marlboro Lights before dawn or you’re gonna get it. Now have fun and I’ll be back to check on you in the morning.” Then I could be all tragic and romantic and say, “I was doing so good! And now… DAMN THOSE TERRORISTS HIRED BY THE TOBACCO COMPANIES! You never know when they’re going to strike. Can I see your lighter?”

And I could smoke without guilt.

But right now I’d feel guilty. And you know what? I’m sick and tired of thinking about cigarettes. I swear, when I smoked I didn’t talk or think about cigarettes this much, and I would smoke one about every half an hour. Now, it’s like I’m some sort of junkie. I can’t stand talking about them anymore. I can’t believe my friends haven’t shunned me, and no one has gone, “For the love of God would you just SMOKE already? Jesus Christ, I can’t take listening to you anymore. Shutup and smoke.”

I have good friends.

So, I think I’m making another resolution… I resolve to talk less about cigarettes and when I do have a nicotine fit I will quietly keep it to myself and practice some good yoga breathing and not bother everyone around me with my evil vile talk. This way I won’t smoke, and I’ll keep my friends.

And really, if I’m gonna lose all my friends, I’d rather just smoke.

Last night at the show, they had a new section on the FronteraFest programs called Fest Facts. Things like number of shows since the festival began, messiest show, strangest evening of shows, things like that. Guess who won “Most Cuss Words in One Show?” You guessed it, yours truly. For what show? “LOL(connected).” The show that’s for the kids. I consider it an honor.

It is really difficult to work in my office today. They are moving my desk to a different wall– I thought they were doing it this morning. It’s actually going to be this afternoon. But they already moved my phone. So right now I’m surrounded by all of my belongings boxed up, my phone stretched from one side of the office to the other propped up on my officemate’s chair. She comes into work in about three hours. Her phone has been moved to the corner on the floor. This will be interesting. I hope they come and move my stuff soon.

It sort of feels like it did when I was a kid and we’d spend that last night in the house before we’d move away. I’m trying to fall asleep, but my bedroom doesn’t really look like my bedroom and there’s all these boxes stacked up over my head and I’m about to enter a whole new world where I don’t know a soul.

Okay, they’re only moving my desk 180 degrees and four feet, but still… there’s boxes in here, okay?

Eric has started a new job. He’s working for a rival computer company. I’m sleeping with the enemy. What’s funny about him working for a computer company is that he often teases me for being such a geek. He teased me terribly about Squishy until it made him a small celebrity and we were at a bar one night and someone said, “Oh, if this is pamie, then you must be Eric!” That and I usually make him sound terribly tolerant and cool in my entries. He teased me about wanting a computer until we got one and he started using it every night. He teased me about the web until we got online service and he found out about www.espn.com. He teased me about playing Riven and Myst until he got Half-Life. And now, as he sits in his cubicle as I sit in my office and he’s trying to understand a firewall I have to sit back just a little and cackle like a witch in heat. I tried to teach him gradually over the past two years, but no. Now he’ll just have to learn it all himself. At work. And he sells hardware. How geeky is that? He has to talk about motherboards. That’s two steps away from talking about the Enterprise. Ha. I’m a web grrl. There’s a difference.

See, there’s different levels of geek. Some geeks are actually pretty cool. You know, like when you call someone an asshole, but really you love ’em? Maybe that isn’t the right example… In any event, there’s a certain level of geek that means “In the know.” Think Matthew Broderick in Wargames. Think Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Just think Matthew Broderick.

The next lowest level of cool is that geeky, yet attractive geek. This guy is misunderstood, but once you put some gel in his hair, you realize that he’s a hunk, and those poems he’s been writing are actually quite good. Think Patrick Dempsey in Can’t Buy Me Love. Think Michael J. Fox in Teen Wolf.

Then you have the geeks that are so strange, so unreal that you find them attractive. You probably wouldn’t date them, but knowing their quirks makes them appealing to you. You guys probably would be great friends. Think Andy Dick on News Radio. Crispin Glover in Back to the Future. John Cusack in Sixteen Candles.

You know, and then there are geeks. People that you probably wouldn’t date, or people that are friends with your brother…There’s no need to shine a spotlight on them here.

I guess what I’m saying is, I have a weakness in my heart for geeks. I always have. I love a great brain. I like charm, wit, humor, and intellect. I’m not looking for someone who can beat up the guy that gives me cat calls, I want the guy who can make me laugh with an insult about the guy giving me cat calls that we’d never repeat to his face. I want the guy who wants to teach me to drive, and doesn’t mind if I screw it up, because it’s his mother’s car anyway.

Well… not anymore. I hope that if I’m dating a guy now he’s not driving his mother’s car. You see what I mean, right?

There’s an image in my head from an eighties film… gosh, I can’t remember exactly which one it is, where these frat boys and sorority girls are leaving a party and the frat boy just picks his girlfriend up, tucks her under his arm and leaves, carrying her like a twelve-pack. I never wanted to be that girl.

Now in Sixteen Candles when Molly Ringwald and her girlfriend are looking at the cheerleader in the shower? I kinda wanted to be that girl. Not the sound effects, though. I never want my breasts to be shown on a screen and the sound “BOING!” goes over them.

As I say this I’m talking to the guy from my Anime gig– a film where I think you see my animated panties and the sound, “AHH!” goes over them. But, you know, they aren’t really my panties…

I am aware of my hypocrisy.

I brought up the levels of geek because I think that some people just lump them all into one kind. This is not true. Geeks have a class system all their own. We look down on some geeks, and we look up to others. And I think this is all going to be a very good lesson for Eric, this whole new job.

He used to be the eye-liner wearing, basketball playing lady-killer who would never say the letters “www.” Now he’s asking someone what color they want their imac. Now when he has to talk about a bus, he’s not talking about Jerome Bettis. It’s gonna be painful for him, I think. But it’s gonna teach him something about geeks. We’ve got a lot going on. And some of us are merely labeled geeks for our day jobs.

It’s like a reverse Can’t Buy Me Love. Eric is now one of us. And he’s going to have to learn to survive.

In a world where Dilbert is king.
One man must fight to keep his muscle tone.
With the power of one woman, two cats, and a guy named Chuy
he just might keep his sanity intact.
“Back off, Geek,” in theatres everywhere

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