And now to complete the trilogy (bet you didn’t even know it was a trilogy, huh?!) – I bring you 10 ways to celebrate the birthday of my Made-Up Pseudo-Sibling (#MUPS) Jess (@toasterlicious). As I did with my other #MUPS Kylee Lane and the ever amazing Ruth/CthulhuChick, I’ve offered some ways to appropriately mark this happy occasion:
1. Read something good. Shakespeare would be the obvious choice, but by no means the only one. Savor the words. Think about what you’re reading. Immerse yourself in it. Jess does that sort of stuff all the time. (Optional) Either write about what your reading or talk about it with a friend. Or, if you’re very literal in your interpretations and have no new obvious insights, talk about it with an enemy.
2. Read something bad. How can you have good without bad, right? Well, it’s not like we’ll ever know — we’re not in any danger of running out of bad writing anytime soon. However, reading bad literature does two things: 1) helps us realize what makes bad writing really, awfully, horribly bad; (Hint: adverbs) 2) it allows us to post frakking hilarious YouTube videos about how bad it actually was. Such as this, this, and this. (Oxford comma usage just for Jess! Doing it when it wasn’t necessary — well, that was just for me because I’m a smart-ass.) [Editorial Note: There used to be videos at the end of those links and now there are not, but trust me when I say that they were amazing. No, seriously, trust me.]
3. Go to grad school. I mean, it must be really cool, right? All these brilliant, smart people seem to do it, so hell, we should all probably do it. *checks price of tuition* *checks bank account* Hmmm… maybe that’s a bit too much. Instead of *actually* going to grad school, how about just for today, you work twice as long as you normally would (doing your boss’ work in addition to your own would be the most authentic approach), go home and splurge with ramen, eggs and toast, or (not “AND”) some other entree that can be had for less than $2, and then sit around your apartment having an existential crisis vis-à-vis why the hell are you doing this, what the hell are you going to do with your life, how your entire approach to your work is never going to be understood by those other idiots in the department and why the hell can’t you have a life.
On second thought, let’s leave this for the folks who can actually handle it. Instead, just drive by a local university and throw some food at the grad students. One or two might follow you home, but it’s worth the risk.
4. Sketch something. Let your mind go and your pencil will follow 🙂 As her made-up pseudo older brother, I have encouraged Jess in many things (not hard to do, she is honestly one of the single most intelligent, capable people I’ve ever met — basically my encouragement usually boils down to “Hey, all that stuff you’re doing? That’s awesome! Go do some more of that!”) but I have to say the one I think I’ve enjoyed encouraging her about the most is her drawings. Jess continues to protest to this day that she can’t draw. I continue to tell her that’s bullshit. My dream is that someday she and I will collaborate on what will possibly be the funniest and most disturbing children’s book ever created. We’ll both write, she’ll illustrate, and possibly we would be the only ones laughing at our awesome absurdity, but I’m telling you it would be EPIC! I could point to many examples of her drawing, but that would only make her uncomfortable, so I’ll just highlight three favorites:
- Funniest Valentines Day Card Ever
- Recent sketches on courage
- One of the very first things she drew specifically for me (on my birthday as it happens)
5. Write some crazy notes in the margin of a book you’re reading. Again, Jess does this all the time. In fact, this may be one of the reasons she is pursuing a life in academia — just so she can get paid for writing in books for the rest of her life. Extra bonus points if you go back later and have no idea what the hell you meant when you wrote whatever you did. That’s how the pros roll.
6. Watch some Battlestar Galactica…or Big Bang Theory, or really anything sufficiently nerdy. Or just anything you can be sufficiently nerdy about really. Again, if you’re looking for extra bonus points, write up the episode as you’re watching it. As an example of what you’re aiming for, may I present Jess’ “transcript” (ironic air quotes hers, not mine) of the “Happily Ever After” episode of LOST,
7. Wear a nerdy t-shirt. Again, this can be something universally regarded as nerdy (like this or this) or just something nerdy you enjoy. Also accepted: wearing a costume (“Post-apocalyptic Dorothy“). For this one, extra bonus points can only be earned by creating your own nerdy t-shirt, preferably with a partner in crime.
8. Play a video game. You all have a lot of latitude here — everything from Portal to Skyrim. BUT YOU MUST JUMP A LOT. And push all the buttons, because you never know what might happen. It is preferred that you also worry about how well you are playing the game, despite the fact that flies in the face of why most people play games. If possible, choose a game that is multiplayer or co-op, because that will be much more entertaining to your friends.
9. Use interesting swears. A lot. “Frak” is an obvious choice, but really just let your creativity fly here. Try for something on par with “blistering fuckweasels.” (which is indeed a Jess-ism) Bonus points for using them in insults when talking to your brain on Twitter, e.g. “twat waffle.”
10. Care about things, people, animals…just something. Even when it hurts, or is difficult, or other people don’t care about them. I think one of the most important things I’ve learned from Jess is that in a world that constantly seeks to define us, the best way to fight back is to define ourselves through what we’re passionate about. And if that’s not a central tenet of what it means to not only be a geek, but just a quality person in general, I don’t know what is.
Or you can just simply wish her a happy birthday. 🙂
(there is actually an 11th way to celebrate, and it is a ritual that is shared with observances of Ruth’s birthday — If you are of a persuasion to appreciate it, spend a few minutes in quiet meditation and contemplation over this: bit.ly/dropthetowel. Personally I don’t get it, but I’m told this is of almost religious significance.)
(Update 2015: And because there is no gag I love like a running gag, here’s the 12th way to celebrate Jess’ birthday: get drunk, read Shakespeare, and make a video of the proceedings)