A Few Things I Love: The Nerd Edition

Quite a while ago I wrote a post about things that I loved, this is kind of the same thing, but nerdier.

1. Shakespeare, especially the “boring” histories. I actually have coached a competitive high school Shakespeare team for nine years and I just can’t get enough of The Bard. Favorites include Henry V, Henry VI (parts 1, 2, and 3), Cymbeline, and Richard III. If you aren’t watching The Hollow Crown series, you probably should: Benedict Cumberbatch, Jeremy Irons, and Tom Hiddleston, ’nuff said.

2. I prefer Velociraptors to all other dinosaurs, and would like you to know that April is Velociraptor Appreciation Month. (Really.) Put it on your calendar for next year.

3. Fairytales. There’s just something so delightful about life with a little bit of magic in it, isn’t there? I mean, Frozen and Tangled were okay-ish, but Disney’s version of events is absolutely not what I’m talking about here. Fairytales are really morality lessons and teaching stories, right? So the basic concepts of love, hate, danger, death, family, and the unknown weave through all of them. Once while digging around in a University bookstore (which yes, I sometimes do for fun), I found a book that contained different versions of five or six universal fairytales: Cinderella according to the French, English, and Russians; Beauty and the Beast according to Native American tradition, Belgians, and Italians; Hansel and Gretel according to the Germans, and a tribe in Africa; The Three Little Pigs as told by Roald Dahl. I loved reading the same basic story with so many different variations, and since then I have made a habit of collecting fairy tale books. Of course I have the complete Brothers Grimm stories, and Hans Christian Andersen’s stories, and a few hilarious versions of familiar-but-fractured fairy tales, but I also have a book of Icelandic fairy tales, bedtime tales from Africa, The Arabian Nights, a couple of different versions of the most fantastical stories, legends and myths from China, India, and South-East Asia. And did you know John Steinbeck wrote down all the legends and stories surrounding King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table? Also, Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Cymbeline are both fantastic fairy tales. The more you know.

4. Sloths. I’m kind of like Kristen Bell, you guys, with the notable exception being that Blue Eyes has never brought me home a sloth to snuggle. A sloth necklace, yes, with the cute little guy hanging off the chain, but no live sloth. (Note: something to consider.)

5. Maps, maps, and more maps. I had an enormous map of the world on the wall of my bedroom for over a decade, and if I had my way (and more wall space) I’d have maps in every room of the house.

6. Race cars. Not like Indy 500 race cars, or a nitro-engine souped-up Honda, but the long, sleek cars that make and break land speed records at Bonneville

7. Volcanoes!! I became particularly obsessed with the Pompeii and Krakatoa when I was a kid and have since read a handful of thick, non-fiction books about volcanoes, how they work, how they explode, history of eruptions, etc, etc, etc. I have gone SCUBA diving in a dormant crater filled with hot spring water 65 feet deep, I have explored unmarked lava tubes in Hawaii and spent a couple of hours completely transfixed watching lava roll down the side of an active (but not spewing) volcano while smoke filled the sky.

8. Trains. I love trains, my Dad love trains, my older brother loves trains, my nephews love trains. I have my own stripey conductor hat (it says Sr. Engineer on it, btw), and a few years ago I finally got my dream trainย  for Christmas. It’s a big, G scale, German-made LGB with indoor-outdoor all-weather track, a Santa Fe engine and is in desperate need for a couple more loops of railroad. I like “real” trains too, freight trains and passenger trains and tanker trains, but it’s a lot harder to fit them in a neat little circle of track in my living room. My LGB train has been set up since the day I brought it home, my nieces and nephews and stepkids play with it every time they come visit. I even have two Jr. Engineer stripey hats for such occasions.

9. Narwhals (i.e. swimming unicorns).

10. Lists that have an acceptable number of items.

What nerdy things do you love?

Harriet sig




14 thoughts on “A Few Things I Love: The Nerd Edition

  1. I love fairy tales, too. You should see if you can find the book My Mother, She Killed Me, My Father, He Ate Me. Retellings of fairy tales by contemporary authors. Sooooo good!

    One of my nerdy things is fonts. I notice how they’re used and get annoyed by ugly ones and make jokes that only another nerd font would get! ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. Oooh, YES on fonts!! I just read a (self-published, generally terrible) book and the entire time I was annoyed by the font!! WHAT IS WRONG WITH HELVETICA?!?!?

      Ahem. Rant over. For now.


      On Mon, May 4, 2015 at 8:31 AM, Feisty Harriet wrote:



  2. So maybe you will like _The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making_ (Catherynne M. Valente). It’s billed as a modernist fairy tale. I have it and enjoyed it very much.

    Right now I’m wondering why I’ve never seen your train. Must be rectified!

    Nerdy things I like: alpabetizing my books, and just generally having them all on display. (When we move, I am claiming a lot of wall space for my books.)

    Dinosaurs, especially of the stuffed variety.

    Understanding the way a created universe works. We went to see the new Avengers movie on Saturday, and most of the post-movie conversation was about the universe and how things work there, and where the stories are going to go. Similarly, most of the time we spend watching Star Wars, I’m running a monologue (in my own head, but sometimes external too) about the rules of that universe, the ways it mirrors and departs from earth, etc. (And commenting cynically about the portrayal of women. Ugh.)


    1. I actually have that book on my “to read” list, but I had kind of forgotten about it! Must move towards the front of the queue!


      On Mon, May 4, 2015 at 9:57 AM, Feisty Harriet wrote:



    1. I really love rushing mountain creeks, the ones that are super cold and white and frothy from melting snow higher up on the peaks. We don’t have many lakes here, a few reservoirs and a super salty/smelly lake that is no fun to swim in. And I have a strange fear/love of the ocean, it’s just SO ENORMOUS and full of so many secrets and worlds and creatures…it’s awesome in the literal definition (inspiring awe) and just…it’s stunning. And I am a little afraid of it, to be completely honest. I love to stay on the beach and get nervous about getting in the actual water. Hello, I am a Rocky Mountain/high desert born-and-bred girl…I think it shows. ๐Ÿ˜‰


      On Mon, May 4, 2015 at 10:38 AM, Feisty Harriet wrote:



  3. We hiked Mt. Vesuvius and toured Pompeii 5 years ago, and it was so amazing. If you ever get a chance to go, I can’t recommend it enough.


    1. ….Oh my goodness, this sounds like a dream!!!! A girlfriend of mine visited Pompeii last year (no hiking though) and she brought me a bracelet made of tiny little black lava stones from Vesuvius and I swoon every time I wear it. Gah, love love love!


      On Mon, May 4, 2015 at 6:28 PM, Feisty Harriet wrote:



    1. Yes! I can spend hours looking at maps and wondering about all the people and cities and culture inside those squiggly lines.


      On Fri, May 8, 2015 at 1:52 PM, Feisty Harriet wrote:



  4. Ah, I love a lot of what you love! Velociraptors, Fairy Tales (though I prefer the dark ones!), Sloths (watching a video of a sloth will literally make me happy for hours), Maps (I like really old ones and fantasy maps!), Volcanoes are also awesome yes, and Trains (as long as no one is sitting next to me!) I’d have to also add chocolate, bugs, dogs with issues, and graphic novels!


  5. I love love love old maps! This year for Christmas I asked Chris for one of those big wall maps with colored pins to stick in for every place we’ve been. I adore it (although we still need to hang it! It’s all filled in with pins, but leaning against a wall).

    I love fantasy novels that pull me into and convince me of the reality of their worlds. One of the first fantasy series i read was The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay back when I was in highschool, and I fell in love with how complete his world building is. Any good fantasy book still gets me all tingly.


Say what you've gotta say!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s