Thursday, October 18, 2007

Dorkfest '07!!

This weekend, L&TM5K brings you Dorkfest '07!! It's an opportunity for all of us to celebrate our inner dork together, in a supportive and nurturing atmosphere. And win a prize! Really!

Now, in a few minutes, I'll be inviting you all to share your own dorkiness. But just to break the ice, I'll start by sharing some of my own.

Exhibit A

This is part of my classical music collection.

Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Aw, michael5000, classical music is OK. I've always thought it would be cool to learn more about it."

Sure. But see those little stickers? The red, green, yellow, and blue stickers at the bottoms of the CD case spines? Those are where I put the year of composition of the main piece on the CD.

That's right. I file my classical CDs chronologically.

And now, for the big, dazzlingly dorky finish:

red = baroque
green = true classical
yellow = 19th century romantic
blue = 20th/21st century

I expect extra credit for owning 21st century classical compositions.

Exhibit B

You see me running in the park with my headphones, and think "he must be spurring himself on with some vigorous, hard-driving rock music," right? Well, sometimes. But it's more likely I'm listening to recorded lectures. Right now, for instance, I'm working my way through the 14-lecture series on Epochs of European Civilization: Antiquity to the Middle Ages. Why? Because I'm a dork, that's why.

Exhibit C

Need more? I've got more.

I, a grown man, wrote and placed online a sentimental poem about my cat.

Let Your Dork Flag Fly!

But enough about me. Let's talk about you! It's time for you to confess your dorky streak -- and you wouldn't be here if you didn't have one -- to the greater L&TM5K commmunity.

There's a prize! You might recall that I won Mr. Shain's challenge a few weeks ago, and with a virtuoso display of dorky erudition I might add. The prize for Mr. Shain's contest was a $20 Starbucks card, which arrived at Castle5000 via the U.S. Post a few weeks ago. I thoroughly enjoyed a "grande" mocha frappicino -- dork drink! -- and there are now roughly $15 bucks left on the card. It travels on to the biggest dork, as revealed by your comments here. You've got until Sunday night.

Entries can be either in the form of a narrative, or in a link to direct evidence. Rebel, for instance, might want to offer the link to her post about the X-files. Not to single anyone out or anything.

Dorky Weekend Football Preview

Oregon will win big. Oklahoma will win huge. Oregon State won't even play.


Anonymous said...

Let's see... Being over 30 and having a different ringtone for every friend? Maybe that's not the type of dorkiness you're talking about... Making graphical representations, and posting them, of the people at my wedding? Yeah, that was pretty dorky.

Anonymous said...

I had an X-File thing going on for a while. Circa 8th grade. Back when it was on Friday nights—worked out well for me because I never had plans on the weekends. A few hours before airtime, I would log into AOL (yep) and head straight for the X-Phile chat room. I would proceed to spend the evening instant messaging with fellow Philes, and generally contributing to the chat room, which usually meant either to a discussion about the going conspiracy theory or the age-old "Will it ruin the show if Mulder and Scully become romantically involved?" debate. In fact, in the five minutes of chaos before history class would start, I on several occasions went up to the front of the room and wrote TRUST NO ONE and THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE on the chalkboard. I also wrote TRUST NO ONE on my backpack. Then, when the show moved to Sunday nights, my ability to watch declined drastically—TV wasn't allowed on homework nights.

Then, there were the Yankees. I obsessively followed the Yankees. I listened to every single game of the season on the radio (have always preferred radio announcers to TV announcers—I believe that because their job is more difficult they do a better one). When the Yankees lost to the Mariners in the wild card race of '95, I cried. And not just teary kinda-sorta crying—we're talking full-out body shaking sobbing.

OH! And, I took to clipping every newspaper and magazine image of Derek Jeter and David Duchovny that I could get a hold of. I would then use them to plaster my walls with their visages.

This is starting to sound less dorky and more creepy. Hmm. I was an obsessive 15 year old!

Nowadays, I suppose I am less of a dork. I have gone on a road trip with someone I know only through blogging—does that count as dorky? I watch LonelyGirl15 (the internet "phenomenon" that teenage girls watch by the million) and I often spend an hour or so a night perusing the forums for clues into the plot. Plot. As if there were actually something that could be considered a "plot."

Anyway. I'm typing away and it's 11:30. Must sleep.

Anonymous said...

Oh—forgot to mention: so I'd stay in the X-file chat room up until show time, at which point I would check back in during commercial breaks to talk about the latest development. After the show, natch, I'd get right back online and we'd geek out on the evenings events—except carefully, because you weren't really supposed to say too much due to the chatters on the West Coast who hadn't seen it yet. Once they'd seen it, anything was fair game.

OK. That's it.

Anonymous said...



blythe said...

dork this:
i can't think of anything. i'm too cool for school. unless using that phrase counts. eh. i don't like coffee anyway.

Michael5000 said...

@Chuckdaddy: Way to get the ball rolling. Am I still the "Jeapardy" theme? 'Cause I loved that.

@mydog: You're setting the bar pretty high there. Extra points for going back to correct a punctuation error.

@Blythe: Hey, if you're not a dork, you're not a dork. But you're still welcome at L&TM5K. It's a big tent.

blythe said...

hmm. i sort my skittles into colors. i listen to they might be giants. i read biographies about queen elizabeth (I) for fun. i watch jeopardy like it's my job.

Rex Parker said...

I have a blog about crossword puzzles. Do I really need to say more?


Rebel said...

Oh... I'm way dorkier than that. I agree with chuckdaddy - we might need a definition of dorky.

PS - MyDogIsChelsea - let's see your M&S fanfiction before we talk about who was the *real* X-Phile. ;)

Kritkrat said...

I went to GenCon once. And I own all the extended versions of LOTR. I don't think I can top my dawg Chelsea though!

Do movie soundtracks count and contemporary classical music? Because some of it is good. (Think Last of the Mohicans)

fingerstothebone said...

Can Mr. Fingers and I combine our dorkdom into one? You know, our love is so strong that we are one... (Score!)

1) Mr. Fingers is known to have gone to the gym wearing black socks with white sneakers. That alone, should win some prize?

2) I listen to NYT Op Ed Columns on my iPod.

3) I sort my CD's geographically. Although I don't color code them like you do. I just rely on my steel trap of a jaw (oops, mind, mind, mind) to keep them in their right places.

4) About the cat -- I once helped my cat write and illustrate a book of her very own!

OK, what do I win?

fingerstothebone said...

Oops, yes, you already said it was the left-over Starbuck's card. That's how dorky I am, I forget what you say in the time that it takes me to type in my response...

Michael5000 said...

Some very impressive entries here. Very impressive.

Anonymous said...

Kind Sir:

In reviewing my application for Prize Dork, please note the following:

I maintain a wide range of collections such as old books, vacuum tubes, tinted glass samples, fishing weights, feathers, and estate sale hardware. In my mind, all these objects patiently await some future transformation.

I have spent many a happy hour this fall sorting our Legos. They look so enticing in the cardboard compartments I fashioned from old boxes I can scarcely bear the thought of building something with them.

My husband and I habitually greet each other by ululating conversationally. We have a song for Garbage Night.

I am on the mailing list of Professional Door Dealer.

When I have trouble sleeping, I block the light by placing over my eyes the comforting leg of my teddy bear, Oberon King of the Berries.

Last night, when I had trouble sleeping, I worked at composing the above sentence.

I am prone to excitedly relating my dreams upon waking, though my husband does not encourage me to do so.

If, in evaluating these qualifications, you have any lingering doubts as to my preeminent Dorkiness, please peruse the photo you took of me last winter conducting optical experiments with a pinhole camera.

Mrs. 5000

Rebel said...

"I maintain a wide range of collections such as old books, vacuum tubes, tinted glass samples, fishing weights, feathers, and estate sale hardware. In my mind, all these objects patiently await some future transformation."

mrs5k - ^^ that's not dorky, that's artsy-fartsy =P there's a difference.

I thought about what kinds of things I could share about myself to win the award for far & away most dorky person ever... but then I realized that all I'd be getting was a $15 Starbucks card for publically humiliating myself! I'll remain quietly confident in my own dorkdom.

Michael5000 said...

@rebel: But I was hoping you'd share some fan fiction!

Jessica said...

"Last night, when I had trouble sleeping, I worked at composing the above sentence."

Mwhaha! Mrs. 5K gets points from me!

Karin said...

I play Speed Scrabble, then write micro-stories using the words used in play.

I love the Word Jumble and my mother so much that one year I made her a Word Jumble Mother's Day Card. I was 25.

Here's proof:

And finally, I am posting this comment at 9:45 on a Friday night. What a dork!

In all other ways I am completely and totally and always cool. I don't know why my husband snickered when I wrote that.

fingerstothebone said...

Ooooh, I have one more piece of supporting evidence for my dorkdom --

I brush my cat's teeth! Because the vet tells me to.

G said...

Please. You people are amateurs.

- I look up big words like callipygian. For fun. I keep lists of these big words. I have a collection of dictionaries. Blythe knows I'm not lying--in fact, she and I once considered starting a word of the day club, which would have involved us putting new big words on our dorm doors every day. (We were too lazy, though, and it didn't work out.)

- I have been known to do SAT and GRE math problems. For fun.

- I read books about brain surgery. For fun. (Another Day in the Frontal Lobe by Katrina Firlik--it's awesome!!) ...And then I try to get other people to read them.

- I don't just write poetry about my cats, I made a blog for them.

- My cats' names are Learned Claw and Erik the Red, after the eminent judge and the father of Leif EirĂ­ksson (and founder of Greenland), respectively.

- My books are organized by the year and order in which I acquired them.

- When I'm at home, for fun, my father and I go test drive cars we have no intention of buying.

-My brother and I, when young, had a slight obsession with being superheroes. We would dress up all in black and run around the neighborhood after dark, diving behind mailboxes and hiding in bushes. Fighting crime. Every now and then, I would do a cartwheel.

- I made (and maintain) a list of the books I've read. This list is on my blog. ...What you don't know is that I also made (and maintain) a list of the cheesy romance novels that I've read as well. Even though the latter is pretty incomplete, there are at least 200 books on it.

- I, a relatively non-ugly 20-something female, spent several months last year (and the year before) playing World of Warcraft. I stopped playing once my character (Eleri, a human mage) reached level 66. I read and commented on boards with threads such as "Frost mages not take imp CoC?" ...This was one of the things I did with my boyfriend for fun; we would have intense conversations over beautiful Italian food about what we thought were the best classes to play.

- I insist on owning only the British versions of Harry Potter, each of which I have read multiple times (like, try over 7 times for the first four books). I also went through a phase while in college when I read insane amounts of Harry Potter fanfiction (like, up until 4am multiple nights a week). I was (and still am) partial to Cassandra Claire, and commented with regularity when she posted her chapters. I remember one post where I really delved into her use of color symbolism. Tried and failed to write fanfic of my own.

I feel stripped of my illusions about myself; naked. Nice. (Ew?)

Karin said...

My vote was gonna go to Mrs. 5000, but now...

Karin said...

Oh, hey, g: you reminded me that in Junior High my three guy friends and I used to play The A Team. We took our roles very seriously. I was "the girl".

Heatherbee said...

I want to get in on this dorkfest one-up-manship (How is that hyphenated anyway? One of you literate dorks will know.)

@G: How many languages are those dictionaries in?

Mine are in 8 (if you count the ones I actually use). English, French, Spanish, Japanese, Danish, Chinese, Arabic, Korean. Then there are the ones that sit on my shelf for good measure (Welsh, Irish, Latin, Finnish, Esperanto...) My most recent dictionary acquisition is an electronic one from Sharp that has Korean-English, Korean-Chinese and Korean-Japanese, the better to look up cognates in the 3 Asian languages. It cost as much as my tuition for 8 weeks of Korean class.

If that's not dorky enough for you: Other people have songs running through their heads when they do mindless chores or lie awake at night (that is, unless they're crafting well-wrought phrases about their teddy bears). My audio loop at times like these is usually a word or phrase from whatever language I'm studying. Often I hear my teacher's voice, but it could be someone's voice who said the phrase, or a generalized approximation of how I think the phrase should sound.

I've logged 16 years of formal language study so far, and still counting. I text my new boyfriend (as of 3 weeks ago) in Korean, the language I started studying most recently (about 6 weeks ago).

Heatherbee said...

P.S. Except (thanks to g) a few days ago the audio loop in my head was actually "So wear the gold hat..." (Did anyone else get that stuck in their heads, or was it just me?)

Karin said...

Oh, yeah? Well, I'M such a dork that I only read non-fiction, generally about current politics, global warming, veg living, spirituality and personal accounts of atrocities or overcoming atrocities brought on by current politics, global warming, etc. And I think this is FUN!

I started doing this so that when, in heated debate, when my family would say, "Oh, yeah? Where'd you hear that bunch of nonsense?" I'd be able to tell them. But I continue with my rigorous studies even though my family and I have long ago given up discussing matters of importantce to me.

Karin said...

Dang it. I added an extra "when". Pretend it isn't there.

(Language teachers should never make mistakes. Never!)

Oh! Here's one: I can't leave the house w/o using a Q-tip. If I somehow rush out and forget, it's going to be a baaaaad day.

Jessica said...

After scanning the newer entries, Mr. & Mrs. Michael hardly seem like dorks...

G said...

I am definitely the top runner here.

Heatherbee: I am very flattered that the D'Invilliers quote was stuck in your head (did you translate it into Korean, too?).

To answer your question: 9 languages, but I actively use only 3 of them. My word books (dictionaries and thesauri) are as follows:

- Oxford English Concise (my litmus test was the word callipygian, fyi)
- The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraordinarily Literate, which I use less often than its companion,
- The Highly Selective Thesaurus for the Extraordinarily Literate
- Amo, Amas, Amat and More
- Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words: A Writer's Guide to Getting it Right
- Oxford Duden (German)
- Oxford French Hachette
- Larousse Dictionnaire du Francais d'aujourd'hui
- Harrap's Slang (French)
- The Cambridge French-English Thesaurus
- Various travel dictionaries in Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian, Welsh, Swahili, and Amharic, some of which have been misplaced in the recent move :( ... (not sure if these count towards my dorky dictionary/thesaurus collection or towards my dorky collection of travel guidebooks. I should mention that I've actually used the line, "Would you like to come up to my [hostel] room to see my guidebook collection?" to pick up a guy in Cortona, Italy. It worked.)
And here is proof.
Yes, you may have more languages than I do, but I believe I have the depth that defines true dorkdom. I mean, I have a thesaurus in French!

I am including a picture of a few of my word lists. Please note that one of the lists is on the back of my rejection letter from [redacted Ivy League University which may or may not be the name of a color], and that the last word defined thereon is "aleatory (adj): (1) depending on luck or chance; (2) especially in law, dependent on uncertain contingencies; (3) done at random, unpredictable"... which pretty much sums up how I feel about being at a better graduate program than the one that rejected me. I suppose the other word for that is irony.

I suppose the other irony is that I think I'm a pretty cool person and that my dorkiness just makes me cooler. Delusion? Perhaps. I'm just me, and the me that I am is AWESOME. I mean, Dorkfest '07!

Metacomment: Come on people, I just took a picture of my word books and of my word lists specifically for this comment. Can anyone else even touch me? I think not.

Chance said...

off topic, I'd like to return the compliment and say how much I like all 3 of your blogs.

iphigeniaj said...

i just have to say that you are all terribly unique in your dorkiness...every single one of you. and that in itself elevates your dorkiness to coolness. i, on the other hand, am just dorky. for example, no one is allowed to place an item in my cooler when camping. all removed items must be placed on the lid of the closed cooler so I can return them to their proper cooler spot. i do actually freakout if ANYONE, even my partner, engages in an unauthorized cooler item placement. okay, maybe not freakout, but i do find it necessary to immediately restore the harmony of my cooler.

G said...

Who won? Who won?!

Anonymous said...

The truest manifestation of my dorkdom is hard to explain, though if you were a colleague in my department at work you'd know about it. Basically, I have an uncanny ability -- and to some degree need -- to memorize computer commands and options for them.

I work for SirsiDynix which I typically describe as a "library automation company" for non "ILS" dorks. Our flagship product is Unicorn, recently renamed Symphony (long story) a client/server system that can be used in all facets of library operations.

My job title is Senior Technical Advisor, which basically means that I am a member of the customer support department and I spend most of my time as a second line of support, helping those who are working on the questions and problems reported by our customers. In particular, I specialize in using the behind-the-scenes troubleshooting and testing that can only be done well from the UNIX or DOS command prompt or via scripts. That means that I can rattle off things like this off the top of my head:

selcharge -d"<20070901" -oUIcdn |\
seluser -iK -oSB |\
selitem -iK -oBltS |\
selascii -iR -oF1F2F3FF6F4F5

This will produce a list that consists of the following things for all materials that were due before September 1, 2007:

• item barcode
• item home location
• item type
• user barcode
• date charged
• date due
• number of overdue notices sent

Each of these would be separated by a pipe character ("|").

Mind you, I am typing this from memory. And this is the easy stuff, I assure you.

I am also capable of running command line unix shell scripts, better than most of the programmers I know. Example:

for i in `ps -eo pid,args | grep " search | awk '{print $1}'" `
ps -ef | grep -v grep | egrep "sirsi * $i [0-9][0-9]*|sirsi * [0-9][0-9]* $i "
done | sort +7n

This will give you a list of all the running "search" processes and their child processes, sorted by the amount of CPU time they have consumed since they started running.

I also love a UNIX text editor called "vi." I love it so much, that I use a Window-ized version of it on my work and home PCs whenever I possibly can. One moves about in vi by means of keyboard commands, which really squeels my wheels. Some examples:

• x -- deletext one character
• j -- move cursor one line down
• k -- move cursor one line up
• h -- move cursor on column left
• l -- move cursor on column right
• cs -- change word
• i -- begin insert mode at current cursor position
• a -- begin insert mode movign cursor one position right (assuming not at end-of-line, in which case works like 'i')
• A -- go to end of line and enter insert mode.
• I -- go to start of line and enter insert mode.
• . -- repeat last text change or insertion
• cw -- change word (delimited by spaces, tabs, punctuation or end-of-line)
• cW -- change word (delimted only by space, tab or end-of-line, not puncuation
• . filename -- insert content of "filename" under current cursor position
• $ -- go to end of line
• :$ -- go to end of file
• :1 -- go to first line of file
• /string -- search for string, downward
• ?string -- search for string, upwards

I could go on for about an hour. Again, I'm only scratching the surface of the topic.

My fondness for keystroke commands also extends to various word processing and "office" style applications. In fact, I used many of them while composing this response. To a degree, I pride myself in how little I need to use a mouse within word processing and spreadsheet documents.

A few other things: I have rather strict alphabetization rules for my music collection, which of course means I must spend more time than I ought to changing artist names and the like within iTunes so my iPod sorts things to my satisfaction.

I also have a masters degree in Library and Information Studies. How's that!

Karin said...


Just remembered that I can recognize companies by their speed dial tones on fax machines. Saved my bosses ass one day when he was about to fax a confidential report to the wrong client.

I said, "Are you sure you mean to send it to them?"

He said, "Yeah. What? You can't possibly know the company by the sound of the speed-dialed fax number."

I said, "You better check."

He said, "Oh, shit!" And ripped the paper out of the machine. I should've asked for a raise.

Rex Parker said...

My vote goes to computer dude, if only because other people appear to have a weird egotism about their dorkishness that doesn't quite seem ..well, authentically dorky.

Even though I cannot compete here, I'm gonna throw a few more little things out:

2000+ vintage paperback books, all sealed in little plastic bags, all tagged with stickers indicating cover artist, publication status (e.g. 1st printing, first edition, etc.), year published, and resale value (I spent months one summer looking up that last stat for All of my books). I have hard copies and electronic copies of the list of my entire catalogue.

In 9th grade, I got a new dog and named it "Francis" because I thought France was a cool country.

One wall of my bedroom is lined with bookshelves that contain almost nothing but "Simpsons" toys. Somehow, my wife allows this.

I take Batman seriously. They hold my comics for me weekly at my local comics store - Fat Cat Books. I read Red Sonja for almost two years, just because she is so hot; the writing got so atrocious that I just couldn't continue. So, in case you didn't follow that: I stopped looking at pictures of a very hot, nearly naked (albeit cartoon) woman because the GRAMMAR IN THE SURROUNDING TEXT WAS BAD.

I spend a good portion of every day speaking in what I imagine to be the voice of my various pets. They call me "Mike."


Heatherbee said...

About dorkiness and coolness

iphigeniaj: Such humility. Not sure why you think your dorkiness fails to make you the very least, your camp food is the cooler for it.

Is not the very essence of dorkiness that willingness to stick one's neck out in a world where so many are afraid to do so for fear of being uncool? So, if you think your "dorkhood" is less cool than us other "dorks", and yet you share it anyway, aren't you somehow more authentically dorky?

In which case, maybe Rex has a point, and Mark has the field. Hmm. I know I'm out of the running, anyway. I just wanted to rile G about her dictionaries. :D (And by the way, I would have taken a picture too, were mine with me in Korea.)

Rhetorical Twist said...

I know I am a little late jumping in, but I thought I'd add something. By no means do I have the stuff to win this contest (when I first saw the entry I thought, "oh wow, I can do this!" but now, heh, no). However, do I at least get a few points for the following?

~Collecting ticks when I was 10 (I would put them between a piece of tape and stick 'em in a jar. In fact, I think said collection is still in my closet somewhere. I mean, that's just NOT the kind of thing you get rid of, eh?)

~I have a mild obsession with listening to Broadway musicals.

~Studying semiotics was my downfall because now I analyze the visual rhetoric of everything. For fun, mind you.

~My idea of a really good book is "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" or something along those lines.

~Reading notes must be taken in blue ink, class notes in black.

~A really good literary reference will make me giggle with glee.

blythe said...

i read this blog.


also, oregon over ou? wha? huh?

Rebel said...

"Oh! Here's one: I can't leave the house w/o using a Q-tip. If I somehow rush out and forget, it's going to be a baaaaad day."

Just keep them in the car & at work like I do. ;)

- dorky... but *prepared*

fingerstothebone said...

OK, my last ditch effort --

1) First of all, I think some are confusing geekiness with dorkiness, and they should be immediately disqualified!

2) And on my own fine qualities as a dork, I like to add that I keep track of what I do from the moment I wake up until I go to bed, in 15 minute intervals, in a filemaker database. In the morning, this often means I can get another 14 minutes in bed, if I play my cards juuuust right.

Dug said...

Wow! The bar is set pretty high here. I'm too scared to try jumping over that.

I do however maintain a blog about maps.
I also spend way too much time staring at maps as if they're porn.

Also I think various "cool things" are dorky like sports cars, sunglasses and yachts. Which probably makes me the dork?

Rhetorical Twist said...

Should we disqualify those who are confusing obsessive compulsive disorder with dorkiness too? :-)

Rebel said...

Did you ever imagine that you'd get 41 comments on the topic of "how dorky are you?" this is *amazing*.

Karin said...

Michael5000: Stop us, pleeeeaaase!

Michael5000 said...

@rebel: Know thy audience.

Sile Convery said...

my idea of fun----sitting with a group of friends knitting!

Michael5000 said...

@sile: Oh, the needle arts are downright hipster. Or so I keep telling myself.

Anonymous said...

I bone up in preparation by reading previous years' dork entries.

Rebel said...

LOL - you're not the only one! =)

G said...

Heh. Same here. Best of luck to everyone.

fingerstothebone said...

Ha! And I'm here to see who's boning up on dorkfest. I have the most bone of all, of course.