Asst DreamGirl & Editor: J

Asst Dream Girl JHi!  I’m J. I’m the Assistant Dream Girl and I couldn’t be more excited to be here.

I am a second-generation geek.  Most of my loves can be traced back to my mother, though she’s never applied a label to herself.  The other day I explained to her that most houses weren’t full of books like the Foundation trilogy, and most children don’t spend quality time with their parents curled up watching Alien Nation or The X-Filesor Them.

Now, she reluctantly agrees:  she’s a geek.

It’s just that for us, being a geek is normal.  I grew up with only sisters, so I never had any predisposed gender notions regarding things like video games or sf  (I had a professor once who was so intimidating, she broke me of ever calling it sci-fi).  It was perfectly acceptable to use one’s ColecoVision controller as a pretend car phone, or to reenact scenes from Star Wars or Beauty and the Beast with Barbies.  And I can’t be the only one who thought of the first Rainbow Brite movie, The Beginning of Rainbowland, when I saw my first anime.

As I got older, I divided my time between my two loves, books and music.  I have a degree in music, and I play French horn.  I’ve been a band geek, an orch dork, and a college DJ.  When I say I like just about every genre of music, I really, really mean it.  After not playing for awhile, I recently joined an orchestra, because I realized my life just isn’t complete without it.  And it’s just not Christmas unless you’ve been playing the darn music since October!

As important as music is, my main love has always been reading (and writing, to a lesser extent).  My favorite author is Julian May, but I love me some Asimov, Heinlein, Clarke – when I say I like the harder stuff, I mean sf, not alcohol.

My TV tastes, on the other hand, are decidedly soft.  Red Dwarf and the Taken miniseries are long-term loves.  My favorite Doctor changes on any given day, but I’m currently torn between David Tennant and Patrick Troughton (and I’m one of those rabidly awaiting Steven Moffat’s turn at the helm as head writer and executive producer, and wishing Neil Gaiman would write an episode).

I’m an unabashed lover of the original NES – I still have mine, and it’s functional.  I’ve owned just about every console since then, but the NES and Sega Game Gear hold very special places in my heart.  I first heard that I would be “the perfect girlfriend” when I demonstrated how to beat the first Mario game in ten minutes to my AP Physics class.  I did my time at the arcades; my heart shriveled a little the day they got rid of the Beatmania machine.  I’ve always been a pinball junkie and I’ll challenge anyone at air hockey.

At home, I play every instrument on Rock Band on Expert.  In the past few years I’ve spent an awful lot of time playing WoW.  I tell other people, and myself, that I’m a casual gamer, but I’m not fooling anyone.

I was barely a teenager when I first recognized the plight of the geek.  While chatting on irc, I grew quite upset when no one would believe I was a girl – they were sure someone who liked Nine Inch Nails and knew how to play Magic: the Gathering was more likely to be a 40-year-old man posing as jailbait.  Geek girls are not unicorns!  There are plenty of us out there.  Why didn’t most guys understand that?

After a few years, it became more clear.  While I might be comfortable hanging with guys, neither social awkwardness nor shyness come with a gender bias.  Many of my geek girl friends have trouble meeting guys, even ones with common interests.  I hear the same stuff from male and female geeks alike, and ultimately, I want them to find love, like I have.

On the internet, we get so hung up on lists and memes and jokes that don’t translate well to the printed word;  I want to help cut through the minutiae and let others see you for the awesome person you are!  Online dating profiles are a perfect place for a great first impression.  Geek girls may not be unicorns, but that doesn’t mean we can’t create a little magic.