Archive for May 28th, 2010

In Which Kid2 And I Share A Geekasm

May 28th, 2010

Today was full of awesome and win. And I thought an experience I shared last night with Kid2 wouldn’t be able to be topped for awhile.

Last night, The Hoff somehow came up in conversation. I decided to share some of my most favourite cheesy Hoff music videos with Kid2. And he loved them almost as much as I do. It was a pretty fun thing to share with him. It was nice to see him share the same enthusiasm that I do for things that are just a little bit off. I keep trying to figure out if I am a bad influence or a good influence on my children as I expose them to things children normally have to come upon on their own or that in “normal” households, they cannot share the joy with their parents. I thought it would be awhile before an equally awesome event would take place. And then earlier today, was The Awesome Hour.

Wil Wheaton is currently at the Phoenix Comic Con. He has this thing that he does at conventions called The Awesome Hour. He blogged about it yesterday and I called him a tease for not sharing with his readers the epiphany he had come up with that would later become The Awesome Hour. Then today, just as it was about to start, he tweeted that it would be streamed live over this thing called the internets. This made a happy Jules a very happy Jules indeed.

Just as it was starting, Kid2 came whizzing into the house (as he does) with a quick “Hi!” and “Bye! Going to go whiz through Splinter Cell again!” Then this streak of a child went flashing down the corridor. I called out, “Hey! You! Not so fast! Wil is speaking. Do you want to come and listen with me?” He replied with, “I’ve heard Wil speak, mom. Maybe another time”, as he began to turn to make his exit. Before he could get a quarter of the way there, I informed him that Wil is currently speaking live at a convention and we can listen to it live! Online! We don’t even have to leave the comfort of being pantless to attend a convention that is 2620.012 km away! He found this idea to be pretty intriguing and pulled up a chair beside me. (Isn’t living in the future awesome!)

Near the beginning of his talk, Wil was speaking about the Atari 2600. Holy jumping jellybeans! If only you could see Kid2’s face as it lit up as Wil spoke about gaming. And to make it even more awesome, about gaming from the 80s. Kid2 loves the 80s. There are times I think he knows more about the 80s than I do and I grew up in the them. Kid2 wasn’t even a glimmer in his dad’s eye at that time. It really was this super cool thing to watch as Kid2’s face was pointing towards me. However, he was looking passed me as he cocked his left ear to listen ever so intently to the words Wil spoke.

As Kid2 looks passed me, I found myself staring back at him while the tones of Wil’s voice faded into the background. I watched the sparkle in his eyes, his mouth curl with half smiles. I watched him fist pump the air, only to be jostled back into reality when Kid2 would exclaim, “O.M.G! MOM! This is freaking rad!” and I would have turn my ear back to what was being said so that I could comment and have a geeky conversation with my son. We laughed at how Wil has thrown around “that’s what she said” with his boys, as it is a common occurrence in this house. We had discussions about all the games Wil mentioned as they are some of Kid2’s favourites. We talked about how Wil’s kids are weird since they would tell Wil he’s weird when really he isn’t (clarification: my children call me weird all the time. But in this house it is a compliment as my boys think I am pretty damn cool). I smiled every time Kid2 would comment about how similar Wil and I are.

That actually use to be a running joke with my ex. I would say something or talk about something, only for Wil to tweet almost the exact same thing or blog about it shortly afterwards. He would joke that Wil and I were long lost twins even so we are 3.5 years apart. Something about a tear in the space-time continuum messing with when I came into existence as you hear and see me now. And this is the major reason why I enjoy Wil the way I do. Not because of some silly crush that formed when I was 10. But because we are the same “people”.

Our lives developed very similarly. An example of that is when he was 25ish he had two boys, the oldest being 5ish. When I was 25ish, I had to two boys, my oldest being 5. We also share A LOT of the same geeky/nerdy obsessions. We have the same warped sense of humour. And we are basically the same age. Even so I didn’t literally grow up with him in the sense where we grew up as friends and hanging out etc, I did grow up with him and he was the first geeky person for me to be acquainted with in some manner. It was nice having someone similar to me having the same experiences I would have but a couple years before me so that I knew what was to come.

So, of course it makes me happy that he is one of the people Kid2 looks up to. When I was Kid2’s age, I was the lone geek/nerd. I wasn’t teased for it by my peers. They always seemed to just accept it. But I had no one to really look up to or to relate with. I had no models in the media to let me know that it was cool and okay. I had to tread these waters alone. It wasn’t until adulthood and the internets that I was able to find my tribe and by that time, I was too old for role models.

And even so I think my boys have a pretty cool geeky role model in me, it comforts me that they get to have role models outside of me. They were born into this geeky family which my generation had to go through a lot of teasing and pain to create and have it be accepted. It makes me smile with a stupid grin that my once childhood crush is now one of Kid2’s biggest role models. (Don’t tell Wil. He gets a little self-conscious when he has to think about these things.)

The Awesome Hour was almost over and Kid2 decided he didn’t want to listen to anymore of the Q&A and really needed to tear through Splinter Cell for like the billionth time. He went into the living room and played his game. But every now and then I would hear a big cheer as Wil would mention things such as, people who think girls shouldn’t like these things are stupid. There was an even louder cheer (and I swear I heard a fist pump) when Wil said geek girls are hawt (and a “Mom, Wil thinks you’re hawt! They don’t get much geekier than you, mom!). And an “all right!” when Wil said he was left handed (Kid2, even so he is ambi, decides to use his left more than his right).

I have to say The Awesome Hour was pretty damn awesome. And not because of what Wil had to say (don’t get me wrong he is a great speaker and very funny) but because I got to geekasm with my 11 year old son. We may have been geekasming over different things, as our heads were in different places, but I cannot think of a better way to spend time with my son. Thank you, internets. Thank you, future. Thank you, Wil.

Soul Wrenching

May 28th, 2010

So tonight (well technically last night) was the first episode of season 7 of So You Think You Can Dance. And judging by my reaction tonight, I can already tell this season is going to blow me away. I’m not too happy about the changes to the format. However, as the next few weeks will just be auditions, final judgment on that will have to be reserved for later. And even so the format may have changed, the dancing will not.

I do not think I could ever adequately explain just how profound of an affect this show has on me, how profound of an affect dance has on me. Real dance. There is something quite magical about this show. Something that isn’t even close to achieved on that other show. Most likely that has to do with the other show being about the “stars” and not about real talent and dance. Dance. This art form that pulls at me in such an incomprehensible way.

You hear terms like heart wrenching and gut wrenching. For me, dance is soul wrenching. It pulls at the very fabric of my being. It has this ineffable quality which reaches far beyond time and space. When I dance, I get to submerge myself into unexplored worlds. Worlds not yet imagined. Worlds waiting to be found. Worlds that cannot be written about. Worlds that cannot be spoken about. Worlds that cannot be painted. Worlds that cannot be staged. Worlds that cannot be expressed through music. But when the dancer becomes the canvas, when the dancer becomes the music, when the dancer becomes the words, when the dancer steps onto that stage, universes are created. The inconceivable is given life. Breath is given to a reality you didn’t even know existed.

Dancers are more than movement. They are the art. Everything aesthetically pleasing is homogenized and perfectly encapsulated, waited for the moment to burst forth into being. Dance gave me the drive and determination to get out of a wheelchair 4 years ago. Dance gives me reasons, outside of the tangible, for existing.

I do not know if I could ever really explain why. It is just so “other world” and my rational being has a hard time expressing such things. When I watch dance, when I dance, there is this ball that forms in my gut. And it isn’t like the other balls that form there for different situation, such as the ball that forms when you are worried or the ball of butterflies that forms when you are exited or anticipating something or are in love. This ball has a completely different life.

The ball is vacuous yet filled with bursting energy. It is weightless and it is heavy. It is vibratory but completely calm. It is dense with matter and it is void. It is hot and it is cold. It is black and it is white. It expands and collapses upon itself all at the same time. When I try to visualize this process, I almost see one of the few times movies have accurately depicted something being blown out into space (the Star Trek reboot).

You see and hear the explosions within the ship and then sharply, there is nothing. Silence. Emptiness. Black. Cold. Imagine playing that scene forwards and backwards, amplifying the sound and lack thereof. Now speed up the process so that matter is being forcibly blown out into deafening silence and sucked back into loud existence with equal force, simultaneously. Then add to that the Universe in which we currently inhabit exploding with the force of the Big Bang and collapsing back into itself at the same time. This is a minuscule and pathetic attempt at describing the indescribable.

That is soul wrenching. That is dance.