My oldest brother, the eldest nerd of us

Another of my most beloved memories is the time my eldest brother and I went through the top ten logical fallacies together.  He’s a total skeptic – not just in life in general, but he actually identifies as “a skeptic” – and we’re both total nerds, so, out of some conversation one day came the discussion of what a logical fallacy was.  Utterly intrigued at how he explained them, I wanted to know more than just an example or two.  And so, we printed out a list of the top ten most common logical fallacies people use in arguments, each with a brief description with the name of it, and he and I went through the list, one by one.

I would read the name of the fallacy and the brief description, and then I would see if I could come up with another way of saying it and with an example.  He would help me whenever I was unsure or stuck in my understanding.  It was a fun activity for the two of us, he getting to be the teacher of something he loved and I getting to learn something I found fascinating, and both of us getting to bond further with the other, not just in spending time with one another, but also getting to be nerdy together.

What I find most silly about this was that, as I recall, this was around my brother’s second or third year in college.  That’s silly, you see, because that made me 12 or 13 years old.  What 13-year-old do you know who references logical fallacies in the middle of discussions, kindly informing the user of the fallacy that his or her point was, due to the use of the fallacy, invalid?  Indeed, I don’t know any children at all who do that, and I teach high school.  However, I believe that also was right around the time that I started reading a book on quantum physics (because I found what I had learned about it in a documentary to be fascinating, and so I’d bought one of the most popular books by one of the speakers in the documentary [whose name and book title I’d had to memorize carefully when I saw them at the end of the film, because the Internet wasn’t quite a thing yet then, let alone IMDb]).

So, to this day, I still love nerding out with my brother (though it happens with more family members than just with him, he’s the point of this brief trip down Memory Lane). I’m preparing to go visit him in just a few weeks, and I’m looking forward especially just to sitting around and hanging out with him, because the enthusiasm and excitement that arises in our conversations is always spectacular.  Nonsense shared is never just a nonsense with us – something nerdy and smart inevitably arises from the stupidest and silliest of comments, making the nonsense oddly sensible and, usually, quite comical in the utter dorki-/nerdiness of it.

Post-a-day 2018

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Nerd-ing

I am years into having a smartphone, and my most visited webpages remain almost exactly the same as when I started using one.  They are translation websites and dictionary websites.  Originally, it was wordreference.com and dictionary.com.  Wordreference.com was an easy one, because I had already done the research for my preferred translator for French, Spanish, and German.  But, after some research into different dictionary websites, I found that I preferred merriam-webster.com over dictionary.com.  So, today, my most visited webpages are wordreference.com and merriam-webster.com. (I would add in Google Translate, because of my constant use with Japanese on it for kanji translations and photo translations, but I had to download the app almost immediately, when I moved to Japan, so that I could use it almost constantly to understand things around me.  Therefore, it isn’t a website I’m visiting, but an application I am using.)

I’m just a word and language nerd.  It’s like that day at work, earlier this year, when I spent an hour looking up information on certain punctuation marks – I am a word nerd, and there is ample evidence to support the claim.

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Post-a-day 2017

Asian-English teatime with the bff sister

This evening, by a wonderful unfolding of events, I ended up having tea with my best friend’s little sister.  As my best friend’s little sister, she holds a sweet spot in my heart.  What’s more, the fact that she’s the first person I’ve seen go from little kid, singing nursery-rhyme-type songs, to a mature young adult (and soon full-blown adult), makes that spot even sweeter.

As we sat in the tapioca teahouse, drinking our warm (Taiwanese style, I think – at least, that’s what a friend of mine saw constantly while in Taiwan, and which we haven’t seen much elsewhere) bubble tea, our attention somehow turned to the menu on the wall.  Naturally, we hadn’t thought anything special of it when we actually were looking at the menu to order earlier on, but it was suddenly relevant to our conversation, so our attention turned to it.  She is studying Mandarin this year (since August), and I’ve just moved here from Japan.  So, we have some common ground on understanding Chinese characters.  (For those who don’t know, Japanese kind of stole the characters from Chinese, and adapted them a bit, so loads of them look exactly or almost exactly the same and have the same or very similar meanings.)

We joyfully pointed out that “ice” was on the end of each name in the ‘Snowy Drink’ category, and that “little” was next to one other character on the “Snacks” sections – likely ‘little meal’ or ‘little food’.  Something like that.  And then we discussed how we were scouring the menu, picking out little pieces that we understood.  It was like a fun little puzzle that we were putting together, piece by piece… one that we know will take months, even years, but the timing of which doesn’t seem to bother us in the slightest.  We’re just excited that we’re able to make the little sense of it all that we already can.  And we aren’t even using the same language to do it, technically, making it simultaneously that much sillier and that much more awesome.

So, we got to enjoy one another’s company and be nerdy language-lovers together, while sipping warm asian versions of English tea (Earl Grey) on a cold, cold night (for Houston, anyway).  Blessings abound when open our minds and schedules to them, it seems.  And I am grateful for this one in particular.  🙂

Post-a-day 2017

Washington

My mom is on a sort of artist retreat in Washington right now.  She called me up to show me the place where she’s staying for the retreat, and it’s gorgeous.  The barn-like house and other beautiful, wooden buildings on the plot of land look fabulous amongst the unfamiliar greenery.  I kept looking at it all, trying to place it.  It looked somehow familiar and yet totally not.  But I’ve never been to anywhere that has foliage like Washington, so it’s no wonder I couldn’t quite figure it out, place it all – it actually is unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

The temperature was in the 50s, with humidity in the 80s, as it was early morning.  I found myself asking my mom how far she is from Forks.  I had to spell the name for her, as well as tell her that it’s a city in Washington.  She had no idea that I was semi needing out.  But that’s okay, because it turns out that she’s something like four and half hours away by ferry and car.  So there’s no chance she’d be able to pop by for a quick look and a photo for me.  (Aka I’m not missing out on a total nerd opportunity.)

So, that was fun, discovering that I’m a bit more of a nerd than I had expected. 😛  Gotta love nerds, though, right?  I know I do.  🙂

Post-a-day 2017

Nerd Jobs to the Rescue

So, I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with myself come August, when my current job’s contract will be complete, and I will need to have a different job.  In brief, I have gone back and forth from calm serenity and trust in the universe and God to utter disaster, self-doubt, and depression.

Today, I happened to look into copy-editing, as a book I recently was given (I’ve only listened to the first bit so far) made it sound rather exciting.  The article I found was quite nerdy and helpful, but I eventually moved thoughts elsewhere, and forgot about the copy-editing.

Later on, as I was thinking about what I had done at work for the day, – slept two hours, done some research on the computer, played on Facebook a bit (truly only a bit today), chatted with a couple coworkers (while they were around, anyway), sat on the floor while listening to music, used the bathroom several times, and looked up grammar and punctuation rules – I chuckled at the last one on the list.

“I just spent an hour looking up punctuation, because I wanted to.  Can I just find a job that lets me do that kind of thing all the time?”

And then it struck me: Duh!  Copy-editing.

I already love editing people’s e-mails and papers and letters and websites and such.  That was part of what the article said as an early step to becoming a copy-editor, and I already do it…. and just for fun!

As my mom said when I mentioned copy-editing to her this evening (morning for her), it sounds terribly boring.  Really, I agree with her completely on how it sounds.  And yet, as I just mentioned on here, I already do it, and I do it for free and for fun. <– Yes.  See that?  I meant it, and still do mean it.  I do the editing for fun right now, and there’s an actual paying opportunity for doing just that, so I think it would be well worth my time and effort to take strides in the official copy-editor direction.  😀

Post-a-day 2017