Tag Archives: geeks

Typing

There are more ways than one. First is sorting people by type at first glance and making a decision before a word is spoken. Second is the infernal machine called a typewriter, now called some form of computer.

When the typewriter was invented it was surmised that only men could achieve mastery of this device. The pay was high, then the guys got bored and gave the job to women, thus making it a pink collar job with a cut in wages.

When I graduated from high school my dear Aunt L gave me the 1957 portable Smith-Corona typewriter that helped her through college and to become a venerable teacher. It was the first year anyone made a portable electric typewriter and I still have it and move it everywhere we go. It’s very heavy and now goes for $6 on E-Bay but I’m keeping it.

I was the envy of the dorm and after I wrote my paper I lent it out. I should have rented it just to pay for ribbons! Now I can’t even find those. After college graduation I was advised by several prominent women to never let anyone know I could type, lest I be assigned a secretarial role. Sexism. That was before computers.

With a potential book in my head I wonder if I should exchange my keyboard for the old Smith-Corona. I think I’m too prone to computer editing to do so, sorry. I don’t think there’s enough white-out in the world for that debacle.

Typing of another kind comes to mind. If I was asked about family I’d say we are intelligent, some book-smart and some street-smart. While our parents weren’t necessarily progressive, they were tolerant of differences and encouraged us to be so as well. That said, I didn’t meet a black friend until freshman year of high school, or my first gay friend back in grade school but I’d no idea and just protected him from his sister and mine and other students because he was being verbally abused. I didn’t know about such things so had no clue, only that he needed my protection.

I thank my parents for my education in many ways, and tolerance is high on the list. When one is labeled as a gangster, druggie, gay, mentally challenged or called any religious name in a bad way, you get the picture.

In grade school I took the mini-bus. We lived way out in the country (five miles out of town) and our bus picked up all the farm kids. It took a long time so we had to get to our bus stop early. When we pulled into the school all the other kids said we were on the “retard bus.”

One day two boys in a large family of boys took my hat. I was eight years old and stood up in the aisle while they threw my winter hat over my head several times then ripped it in half. As we pulled in I was crying and the lady who made sure all the buses and all the kids arrived safely at school took me aside and took me to see the principal.

The principal made me identify the boys and I did, all the while wondering if I could ever take that bus again, in fear of my life. The next day everything was fine and the F boys never bothered me. My neighbors, two large families with a dairy farm down the hill, were more in number, strength, might and right to make our school bus a model for all to see and I don’t think they even had to throw a punch. They saved me and my little sister. I love farm boys, especially from a dairy. I married a physicist who grew up on a dairy farm.

Now there’s another type or label, farm boy or geek, or both. Perhaps my book should be about this. Gals want the hunk in English class who is getting passing grades because the prof knows he needs to get them to play football next season. I waited a few years and polished the rough edges from a diamond who brings everything to the table and has been my best friend for over 12 years. He once had only Dr. Pepper and individually packaged string cheese in his refrigerator and he now opines on the difference between four-year and five-year cheddar. Yes, I created a food snob.

That person, my dear husband, was not content with my laptop. Over my objections he got me a large monitor, arthritis-friendly mouse, and wireless keyboard. I fought each one and now cannot live without them, or him. Please type on your phone, whatever you do but create something. And please do not judge a person summarily.  In hope of a better world, Dee

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Family and Friends

A friend once asked my father out for a drink after work on a Friday. Dad said no, he had to finish up paperwork so he could start fresh on Monday. This wonderful gent said to leave something on your desk else you may die. No, I don’t know the Irish story – tried to look it up – but this is a true friend and I believe they had that drink.

People always say that when one is nearing the end of life, one does not devote thoughts on time, on hours, weeks, days, years spent at work. It should be centered on friends (some may be from work over the years) and family. I think of loved ones and am concerned.

There was a party here yesterday for all the neighbors. My husband and I attended, got separated and met many new people. We like knowing our neighbors and my husband even pulled a few balloons out of his hat to engage a child. The kid challenged his father to a balloon pirate sword fight!

Yes, that’s what it’s like to be older people at a party. I was asked for serving items I may actually get back someday. People always know to ask Dee for kitchen equipment.

I did get to dance, twice, to a good band. Once with my wonderful husband and once with a neighbor who did not know of my disabilities (except I told him I was wearing rubber-soled shoes so couldn’t turn as fast as he wanted me to) and I’ve nominated him best dancer of the evening. Hey, hubby taught me the Texas Two-Step in his closet as I was helping him move away due to dot-bomb 12 years ago. He came back three weeks later… for me.

Single gals, a word of advice. Aside from waiting until marriage, yes, consider who you’ll be sitting across the table with for breakfast for the rest of your life. That will rule out the serial cheater at the gym and the married guy. Great abs do not a great husband make. A mind, however, lasts forever. Do I need to write a piece on geeks? I love geeks. Enough for now, I’m babbling, Dee

Millionaire Matchmaker: Geek

We hear the lifetime-bonded pair of Greater Sandhill Cranes as they returned two weeks ago and see the preening of their feathers turn them rust-colored again. They’re blue-grey when they arrive to nest from NM, and the iron-rich soil here in UT makes them rusty red. They mate at age two and bond for life. Last year, our first year out here, we watched a pair raise a “colt” beginning early April and leaving in October. Yes, they mate for life and are back and making wonderful prehistoric sounds that carry for at least a mile.

So what’s the hitch with the Geek on Millionaire Matchmaker. I made it a point to see this recent episode because I’m married to a geek. Both the millionaire and my successful husband are, in my mind “high-functioning” socially. My husband said he was always attracted to nurturers (like teachers) or artsy-types. It makes sense because he uses his brain differently than I do in terms of work, then add in the basic male-female stereotypes.

I’m a smart feminist who is married later in life (about Patti time) and cares for a husband, home and dog and has a blog. Where did the years go?

Jim and I met in La Jolla. The first time we danced around marriage, about two weeks into the relationship, we talked about marriage being the point, not one perfect wedding day (we eloped 16 months later). He is a geek whose religion prohibits dancing but he taught me to Texas Two-Step in his closet in week three of dating. He was dot-bombed and had to move home and I was at his place to help him pack.

Four weeks later he moved back, a 3,000 mile round-trip and actually told a neighbor he moved back to take this new “safe” job because of his girl. So we spent the next year getting to know each other, and meeting parents.

This is for the geeks out there who think you’ll never get the girl. Do something outside your comfort zone like whitewater rafting or taking up a musical instrument just so you have something to talk about. I’m not dealing with the money thing at all, only geek dating in the upper-echelon work world.

Forget most models. Think about your future wife and the mother of your children. Most importantly, find someone who cares about you for who you are, you’re interested in, and a person you can have conversations with until the end of your life.

We eloped, but are now married over seven years and he just called from the grocery store because he has to have horseradish in his mayonnaise. And he insisted on bringing the dog because she loves riding in the car. He talks physics and other lessons on long car trips and while a lot of stuff is rote after nearly 10 years together having a person who can think and talk and cook for the breakfast table works for him.

As for Jim, he always challenges me. For a girl who tried to hide intelligence in school and got good grades, I went out with a few dumb guys. I finally found a few smart ones, one that’s a keeper. I look forward to cooking breakfast for him for many years. Cheers, Dee

Always Looking Up

Yeah, I went out with a couple of dumb guys in high school. I never thought of myself as smart but, unbeknownst to me, always surrounded myself with smart people. All well-spoken, they write well although their handwriting may be atrocious (witness husband Jim) and some genius-level talents.

My father is smart, Mom was wicked smart. Sophomore year in college I got tired of hanging out at school so met some folks at the local law school and shared witty banter. Years later I ended up with engineers. My loving husband is a physics grad who went into software development. He’s of the brilliant variety, getting a letter from a place called MIT at age 15 and not knowing what it was, he threw it away. He still got a good education and is furthering it every day.

Here is a lesson for you young girls out there today. Study. Learn your lessons. Concentrate on math and science. If you’re the smart girl in school, don’t hang out all the time with those with lesser potential just because it makes you feel superior. Always hang out with folks that are smarter than you. Learn. Do not dismiss guys you think are “geeks.” Go out with the cute running back or go out with a future Bill Gates. Your choice. The Bill Gates variety will give you 50 years of great conversation, which is way better than the physical rush you’ll get from the dumb jock. Not that all jocks are dumb.

Learn something new every day. How to press grapes, mine copper or whatever. Always be learning. In junior high, I hung out with girls who wanted to be Freshmen cheerleaders. They were neighbors and we’d just moved in. They passed because they were “cool” and I failed. Mom said, why cheer for something when you could be doing something? So I joined track and gymnastics. Thanks, Mom. Cheers, Dee