Monday, October 13, 2008

DorkFest '08 is Here!!!

Gentle Readers, the cycle of the seasons has gone once round, and we find ourselves again in October. This means that it is once again time for DorkFest, the grand annual celebration of personal dorkitude and the mechanism by which this Blog selects its high officers:

The L&TM5K Dork provides a range of ceremonial functions within the L&TM5K community, most of which are fulfilled merely by existing as the Blog Dork. The Dork must also be prepared to take on occasional practical tasks, such as picking a random number to determine the next book on the Reading List and so on. During one's tenure as Dork, one is expected always to act in a dorky manner befitting the high intellectual and moral standards of the L&TM5K readership and the larger dork community.

The L&TM5K Vice-Dork must stand ready to assume all the responsibilities of the L&TM5K Dork in the event of the Dork's incapacitation, decapitation, or defenestration. The Vice-Dork may also be asked to pitch in with the practical tasks as well. During one's tenure as Vice-Dork, one is expected always to seethe in resentment of the Dork, who is clearly not nearly as qualified for the position and is not doing nearly as good a job as one would have done oneself.
But before we proceed, many thanks to the 2007-08 officers. We will have a very difficult time filling the shoes of '07-'08 Dork g, and '07-'08 Vice-Dork Fingerstothebone. They have served honorably and well.

By the bylaws of the blog, the sitting Dork (if you will) is not eligible to run again for the year immediately after her tenure, but will rather assist me, michael5000, in the selection of her successor. The Vice-Dork, however, is free to put her proverbial hat back in the proverbial ring. Seething with resentment that she does not automatically ascend to Dork is also allowed, and in fact would be seen as qualifying as solid evidence of dorkiness.

Let Your Dork Flag Fly!

For the remainder of the week, we will be accepting submissions of evidence. These may be in any of the following formats:

  • DorkFest Classic: In DorkFest'07, the typical pattern was to mention a dorky thing or two about oneself in the comments, then to compulsively return later to disparage other peoples' entries and puff up one's own dork credentials. This form of entry is quite acceptable.

  • The Dork Resume: A resume laying out your training, experience, and special skills in the field of dorkiness may be sent in .doc or .pdf format to M5KDecathlon {at} (No, I'm not going to get ANOTHER Email address just for DorkFest. A man has to have his limits.)

  • The Dorky Post: You may make a case for your own dorky qualifications on your own blog, or any other publically available website. Just don't forget to post a link in the comments, to make sure it gets seen by the committee.

  • The Drunken Late-Night Phone Call: This format is actually kind of discouraged. By me, anyway. I don't want to put words in g's mouth.

  • The Multimedia Extravaganza: Songs, videos, photoessays... Post a link, or send 'em to M5KDecathlon {at} But don't you think you might be going a little overboard?

Fair Notices

Don't get all excited about trying to maximize your score on last year's algorithm. That's ancient history, Daddy-o.

Anything you submit to the M5KDecathlon address might get posted.

The L&TM5K is not responsible to any damage to reputation, self-esteem, or social "pull" you may incur due to participation in DorkFest '08.

The decisions of the Dork selection committee are final. Dorky as it might be to have a long, running battle about who is really dorkiest, it would distract from other, more important issues that we will need to address, such as my opinion of obscure old movies that nobody cares about.

Oh, and I Almost Forgot!

Per tradition, the winner of DorkFest will be awarded the Mr. Shain Memorial $16.40 Starbucks Prize!!!


Morgan said...

Alright. My first credential is that I am the first to post. More to come.

G said...

Woo hoo!

Let the games begin! Obviously, I have been atwitter with excitement ever since M5K asked if I would aid in the judging. I expect great things from all of you. Especially you, Rex.

fingerstothebone said...

Not so fast, morgan. It would seem that I got an even earlier start with the previous post, nitpicking on our host's selection of the Monday quiz. Rebel will vouch for me!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I was under the impression that the winner of the M5K Decathlon would automatically ascend to the throne of the grand dork? That's the mailbox of my short-lived triumph you're stuffing with resumes, people! Not that I'm bitter.

Yankee in England said...

When using public toilets I never choose the first stall. I always go to the next available stall. Is that Dorky or just OCD?

Jennifer said...

How dorky is it that last year, I didn't compete because I really wanted to be crowned L&TM5K Dork, but I was afraid of the emotional trauma of not being judged sufficiently dorky?

Also, I would just mention that I'm up for tenure & promotion this year, and I'm dorky enough to think that, were to receive the supreme honor of being chosen to hold either dork post, listing this on my c.v. would make me a shoo-in!

More dorkiness to come. . . I would really feel better with a clear-cut definition of dorkiness, though, especially distinguishing it from geekiness; having researched the issue in the past, though, I know that might be a non-starter.

Yankee in England said...

Yes and one time on the walk home from the train station totally sober I changed the words to Queens I Want to Break Free to explain musically to my husband how much I really needed to go pee.

Jennifer said...

Doh. And now I'm embarrassed because definitions of dorkiness showed up in the grading criteria for last year's contest. I'll be kicking myself for that one all day. . .

Rex Parker said...

Rex does not have it in him to put up a fight this year, I'm afraid. Still bitter over last year's travesty.

It is my wife's birthday, so I'm awarding her 5 points right off the bat, despite "points" not being relevant and my not having the authority to award them.

I have crossword grid-patterned shoes and wear them frequently. And proudly. I wear a bulky bright sea green Krusty the Klown watch to school every time I teach. It's supposed to say "Hey kids, it's story time!" but the battery is Soooo low that it sounds like Stephen Hawking @#$!-ing around with the space-time continuum. In my spare time, I am currently writing a werewolf novel.

Maybe I am competing. But I have Zero Geek (tech) cred, so no hope there. I mean ... I had to have the winner of Dorkfest One design my vintage paperback website banner because I lack the requisite skillz and design sense. On the up-side (dork-wise), I have a vintage paperback website.

Lastly, my sister will Totally vouch for my dorkiness. I grew up being called a "dork" nearly every day of my life, and that has *got* to count for something. If you need to hear it from her directly, that can be arranged.

I spent my early teenage years alone in my bedroom recreating baseball games with the stats on the backs of baseball cards. Is this were a "Depressing Adolescence" -fest, you'd all be so dead.

I wrote and self-published a crossword puzzle about Sarah Palin.

Is ANY of this sticking!?


Yankee in England said...

OOOOOOOOOOOOOhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh where oh where do I find the self published Sarah Palin crossword. I vote for Rex I mean really anyone who proudly wears crusty the clown watch has my vote.

Rex Parker said...

M5K, I hope you don't mind the link, but since Yankee asked:

"Don't Blink" - a VP debate-themed crossword puzzle

Please share with everyone you know.

Back to the Dorkfestivities,


Rebel said...

Ok - I was checking all last night and this morning to see when Dorkfest would commence... and here you all got a head start on me! My base-line dorkiness may be judged here:

(and I totally call dibs on 'first dorkfest post' - see my comment from last week!) =P

Rebel said...

Jennifer - I was dorky enough to create my *own* definition of dork for dorkfest.

And Rex - I stayed alone in my bedroom memorizing the Presidents of the USA. And the only time it's *ever* come in handy was for one of the early Thursday quizes.

Rex Parker said...

In the old country, that is what we call Trying Too Hard - I mean there's "dork," and then there's "Horschack." Fine line.

I demand penalties be assessed for working on the project before the contest was declared officially underway. You can't jump the gun in a 100m dash. Foul! Not dorky! Cheaty!


Rex Parker said...

And a true dork would have had those presidents memorized in a day. I spent YEARS with my baseball cards. Presidents, pffft.


Rebel said...

The count-down banner for Dorkfest 2008 was up & running before I started. Do not runners begin warming up as soon as they enter the stadium?

Rex Parker said...

If you aren't dorky enough to know the dorkiness of "First!" (and its single-post specificness), then you are not dorky enough to win this thing.

morgan was first in the only way that matters. Well played, sir. Well played, indeed...


Jennifer said...

How's this: I got excited and told my students about Dorkfest today in one of my classes! (I think they were not surprised that I was participating once they learned about it.) I stopped short of asking them to write letters of recommendation for me, though. . .

More dorkiness: when I was presenting an academic paper at a conference once, several people came up to speak to me afterwards. The first guy started off, "You are such a geek!" He then followed up by explaining that it was my dorky excitement over the three different kinds of question marks in Shakespeare's First Folio that prompted that comment. (By the way, I was later told that he was one of the dot-commers who had quite a reputation for geekiness himself.) Now I work it into the conversation every chance I get! See?

In other news, I was in junior high, I think, when the Zork games were big on the Apple computers. A friend loaned me her brother's copy of the game to play at home, but our computers were slightly different, so all of the text was cryptogrammified: every letter was transliterated for another. I first cracked the code (wasn't really a challenge) and then became fluent at reading the encrypted text (without needing to use my key).

Rebel, the presidents I memorized come in handy sometimes for navigating streets in cities where they're named after the presidents! (Sadly, I remember the first ones quite well, but not the ones that actually showed up on the quiz. . . sigh)

fingerstothebone said...

I'm just here to disparage all your entries. Me? I'm putting up my dorksume on my own blog, in good time.

Disparaging remark 1: I always use the first stall, because research shows that that's the least frequently used stall and therefore the cleanest. You gotta keep up with the latest research, people!

Disparaging remark 2: I never once looked up the definition for dorkiness, completely oblivious that there might be a definition out there.

Disparaging remark 3: Ha! A true dork would know C and therefore would know that '0th' is the true '1st!' So I still win.

MJ said...

after reading previous comments i'm overwhelmed.
i thought having voluntarily chosen latin and classic greek in highschool would qualify me as a dork, but i'm not so sure anymore.
now i'll go on soul-searching mode for a couple of days and then come back with something. if i dare, that is.

gl. said...

"No, I'm not going to get ANOTHER Email address just for DorkFest. A man has to have his limits."

phhht. -i- would have gotten another gmail address for dorkfest. you are obviously not dorky enough.

d said...

here's my entry, but i think i might be too stupid to qualify as a dork.

what makes a dork anyway?

Anonymous said...

I participate in this blog.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't going to enter, because I didn't think I was a dork, but Rex, my wonderfully supportive husband, assured me I was in fact the biggest dork he knew, albeit an unostentatious one. So, let that be my first piece of evidence. Second piece: my shrill cry "but I've tried all my life to be cool!" That just made Rex laugh - he says if I could capture the squeaky desperation in my voice, I'd win for sure. He then enumerated more reasons I'm a quiet dork: I make lists for every damn thing I do; I have read and reread Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Narnia, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Watership Down; I am insanely proud of every damn little karate thing I do. I'll try to come up with more, but this is hard, because I've tried most of my life to deny any connection with dorkiness.

Rebel said...

"Karmasartre said...

I participate in this blog."

I participate in this *awesome* blog.

(you've got to get your pandering to the host in there too you know. ;) )

Rebel said...

And can I make a aside regarding the first-stall, second stall debate? You kids just need to be glad that when you get in the stall- it's not a squat toilet. Seriously. Nothing dorkier than not actually knowing how to use the facilities.

Anonymous said...

Today is my birthday. Know what I did this evening? I watched "Chuck" (recorded on my DVR). I am off to bed now - it is 8:30 here in NY.

Rex Parker said...

OK, she left out that I, too, watched "Chuck," and I, too, am likely going to bed soon. Sneaky wife, trying to score points on me.

I also spent part of my afternoon, while students were taking exams, reading a comic book about Barack Obama. A very earnest comic book about Barack Obama.

I watch "Fringe" and then complain about its lack of verisimilitude.


G said...

@rp: Sandy gets points for "Chuck"-watching because it's her birthday activity. However, I must congratulate you on making a much better case for yourself this year.

@all: Keep it coming!

Morgan said...


It wasn't a comment on the "Dorkfest is Here" post, so it doesn't count.


Ha ha! One step ahead of you! I actually had one classmate say that he'd write me a letter of recommendation!

Anonymous said...

I am genuinely excited about going to the crossword puzzle link that Rex provided and will do so immediately when this comment is completed.

My great plan for the night is to go through these commenters and see if I can add all their blogs to my google reader before bedtime.

I have a puppet and I use it. I may use it for this but he is actually cool and not as dorky as I am.

But I might forget to come back because I know I will get lost in that crossword!

Elizabeth said...

I am aware of all dorknet traditions.

Anonymous said...

I'm rather more of a dorkophile, myself, though for the record I do proofread dictionaries for fun and profit. I love you all, arch-dorks and dork-wannabes alike. Happy squabbling, I'll be loving it!

Rex Parker said...

"I have a puppet and I use it."

That is a stellar opening gambit.


Rhetorical Twist said...

I really don't think I can compete too well, but I have a picture of Paulo Freire on my desk, front and center where I can always see it.

I should ask my students to write letters of recommendation for me. They could comment on my enthusiasm for deconstructing racist and sexist Disney cartoons and advertisements. They could also comment on my obsession with revealing the ideology operating behind *everything*.

I have a t-shirt that says, "out damned spot, out I say" with fake bloodstains on it.

Class notes are written in blue ink, reading notes in black, and the first few drafts of my papers have to be written with wooden pencils. Besides which, the pens I use have to be appropriately thin tipped, but not the kind that bleeds through the paper. If any of these conditions are not met, I cannot work.

I read critical theory for fun.

I was officially the dual titled queen of the dorks as an undergrad: president of Sigma Tau Delta (English honor society, people, nothin' traditionally Greek about it except for the weird induction ritual) and president of the Honors Club.

As an undergrad, I spent more time with professors than fellow classmates. In fact, my idea of an awesome time was going out for coffee with one or more of them.

I'll think of some more...

Rebel said...

I correct the English / Grammar in the text books and worksheets I use. I also spend a great deal of time highlighting the differences between British and American English.

"He needn't have worn his trainers to the cinema, but he did do."

During the CELTA course I actually cheered my fellow North American teacher after he gave a lesson and drilled the pronunciation of "Advertisement" as /ad ver TISE ment/ and then participated in some smack with the Brits and Aussies regarding their whole /ad VERT ise ment/ garbage.

Anonymous said...

I'm actually scared to post since there are people proof read dictionaries and correct grammar! But,I'M NOT COMPETING! I just couldn't help wanting to add to the stall argument: if there's a squat facility, always choose it because you NEVER have to touch any part of it and still be able to do the business. BTW, I vote for fingerstothebone.

sister of fingers

McGuff said...

I submit "My 13 Degress of Dorkness", aka Triskaidorkaphilia.

Yes - I carefully compared and researched the choice of 'dorkness' vs. 'dorkiness'. You can too.

Rex is right. What a great shot from Boo.

gl. said...

@rebel: alas, according to a speech and diction class i took (in america), adVERTisment -is- the correct way to say it.

fingerstothebone said...

Woohoo! I have a vote, although it does appear to be from a relative. But that still counts, right? It just goes to show, it doesn't matter if the sister is older or younger, they always think you're the biggest dork!

But, I must return to my regularly scheduled programming, so I submit my dork credentials here:

MJ said...

ok, that's it, i give up
this is all i have
(i don't advise reading it)

Anonymous said...

@rhetorical twist:
Are you sure you don't just have an OCD?
Disparage! Disparage!