Wednesday, April 01, 2015

In The Pursuit of Happiness: On the evolution of geeks

Yesterday, we began an intimate look inside the ever-evolving world of geekdom, and I shared a quote from Lauren Stracner, a Los Angeles-based PR coordinator and self-proclaimed nerd fan. Today, I'm psyched to share the rest of our interview! Ready to get your geek on? Here. We. Go...


A bit of background about Lauren: I work for a public relations firm that specializes in working with consumer electronics clients. In 2009, I went to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to work at a client’s booth, and CES is where I met my boyfriend. The Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions was being filmed at the Sony booth, and I secured stand-by tickets for the final show. I was #5 in line, he was #6 -- all bespectacled, curly-haired 6’9” of him. We had two hours to talk and the rest is history.

Why have geeks suddenly gained such credibility now?
The joke phrase "the geek shall inherit the earth" has come true: We've become a society that’s almost wholly dependent on technology not just for entertainment, but for making our day-to-day lives run smoothly. Even non-geeks are trying to out-geek each other by lining up for the latest consumer electronics gadgets. Even Hollywood stops for geeks when Comic-con International -- a.k.a. Nerdvana -- rolls into San Diego every year, with studios previewing their latest blockbusters to gauge the all-important reactions from the attendees. Smart phones, high-powered laptops, super-realistic video games, eye-popping movie special effects -- geeks are behind all that now “wows” us, making the brains that develop such toys the new hot commodity.

Why have they been avoided as potential dates in the past?
Societal pressure from movies, television, magazines and books has always dictated that geeks should be shuffled to the sidelines as the endearing sidekick to the more masculine romantic lead. A perfect example of this is actually embodied in my boyfriend, who has long had several close girl friends who had no desire to actually close that space and become a girlfriend because he was a geek and not the guy they felt they should be dating. Their loss. ;)

However, with the culture shift towards an emphasis on science and technology, geeks are in the spotlight, as is their success. With the exposure, they’re also finally able to shed the basement-dwelling gamer stereotypes and present themselves as clever, funny, even cute people with multi-layered interests and an endless supply of conversation topics. With smart becoming a new form of sexy, they’re definitely transitioning from third-wheel to main catch.

What can women gain by giving a geek a chance?
Most geeks make great conversation because they’re excited about learning and want to share their knowledge and engage in discussions. Also, in my personal experiences, geeks don’t try to adhere to the expected alpha-male model of masculinity; they aren't afraid to be sweet, sensitive and genuine.
What are the best hot spots for meeting a lovable geek?
As I mentioned, I met my geek at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. I’ve also talked to some great geek guys at Comic-Con, Siggraph (a graphic artists’ convention) and E3 (a game developers’ convention). However, most of these are industry events I get into because of my job, but alternative approaches are out there. The most important thing is to go where geeks are in their element and comfortable. You’re probably not going to pick up a geek at a trendy bar.

P.S. An EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT is coming up this afternoon! Get pumped, friends! :)

[Photos via We Heart It]

How I Feel (In 5 Photos) Wednesday.

"You can lay your head back on the ground...And let your hair fall all around me...Offer up your best defense...But this is the end...This is the end of the innocence..." --Don Henley

[Photos via My Summer Twist]

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Love Lounge: Revenge of the nerds

I've never made a secret of the fact that my heart beats loud and clear for the nerds -- both the human kind and the sugary candy kind. But today, I'd like to speak about the former.

I was going through some old emails and found a magazine pitch I wrote way back in 2009. It looks like I was quite the trendsetter, as I was extolling the virtues of the Mighty Geek all the way back then. This was a time when Sheldon and company were just beginning to cement their place in the pop culture lexicon. That’s right. There was never a been a better time to be a bit quirky, offbeat, a little left of center. Mr. Bespeckled no long had to hide under the peripheral radar – or behind those specks! The time had come where it was finally hip to be a square.

This week, I thought it would be neat to look at what men and women have to say about the appeal of nerds, starting with a woman's perspective...
"Geeks are really chic now because, as technology is replacing humans at an alarming rate, we “need” these people more than ever. They are truly modern knights in shining armor," says Dr. Nancy Irwin. "All the brawn in the world can’t kill a computer virus. Geeks can. Brains are replacing brawn. By giving geeks a chance, women can see what is on the inside of a person vs. focusing on the external. And, the best places to meet geeks are at computer convention, science fiction sections of bookstores or the physics department of your local university
It's. About. Time. Two more great nuggets from awesome women...
*"Guys are going for geeky girls too! I know that for a fact, as a she-geek who runs a web marketing agency. The geek thing goes both ways. My 'wild web woman' agency is a bunch of nerdy web girls who dress conservatively and guys think we are totally hot -- they love us for our minds, not our bodacious bodies! I have found a way to make my geekiness cool and lucrative! Also, the love of my life is an IT guy and his geekiness is totally hot. It's all about smarts, humor and authenticity. I have gained a ton by going geek, both personally and in my love life!" --Lorrie Thomas from Lorrie Thomas Web Marketing 
*"Geeks are just inherently approachable, and I think both women and men have picked up on that and are realizing it’s not always what’s on the outside that’s attractive. What’s behind those thick-rimmed square glasses can be quite fun and sexy, too." --Lauren Stracner, public relations specialist
Your turn, friends: Are you pro geek? How have you felt about the evolution of geeks over the years? Do you think they're more "socially acceptable" than they were, say, 10 or 20 years ago? Why do you think so? Let's chat, shall we? Look for more fun -- and insightful! -- quotes and interviews tomorrow! And keep the conversation going on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #GiveGeeksAChance.

P.S. More geek goodness, like geeky buttons, for grammar nerds, Nerd Boyfriend, overused words, math pillows and pocket squares!

[Photos via We Heart It]

Family Photos: It's almost summer salad season!

I just couldn't resist sharing a snap of our home cooked meal last night, courtesy of Ms. Bear, of course. You know what this means, don't you? Those light and tasty dinners are right around the corner! xoxo

Monday, March 30, 2015

MEMO TO MEN: Three places you can find me...

TO: Men all over the planet
FROM: Melissa
RE: Where am I...?
DATE: March 30th, 2015
Well, boys, it's come to my attention that I should let you in on a little secret of mine; maybe not so much of a secret, really, but at the very least, a little 411 intel on my whereabouts. You see, now that spring has sprung, I too have been, well, sprung! No longer will I be relegated to the house most days because of the frigidly cold weather. Do you know what this means? I mean, really, really know?


It's quite a liberating feeling, as I'm sure you can imagine, to be able to venture out whenever I want and go wherever I want. I could do this before, of course, but who wants to battle with the winter? No me, obviously. Maybe the warmer weather is messing with my head, but I thought it only logical to let you exactly where you'll be able to find me over the next several months. No, I'm giving you actual addresses here -- I'm not stupid and the last thing I need is a stalker -- but here are three "places" I can usually be found...

1. The library: Yes, I'm one of those people who loves spending an afternoon enjoying the quiet ambiance of a library. I'm pretty partial to the local university library -- it brings back such fond memories of my college days and studying until my eyes started to hurt. Plus, I like to get out of the house and get a change of scenery; I find I actually get more work done!

2. The aisles of Target: I've been known to spend upwards of an hour zipping up and down each aisle of this glorious store. Heck, half the time, I'm not even looking for anything in particular -- like most people, I just find the entire place incredibly intoxicating. And if you really want to find me, check out the magazine section. I'm doing research for work, of course!

3. Outside for a walk: I've made a vow that I'm going to go for a walk every day this summer. There's nothing like the sun to make you feel all sorts of invigorated. I also come up with some of the best ideas while I'm walking (well, riding, I guess...!), so it would be extra productive!
So! Come and say hello. I double-dog dare you, boys! What are you waiting for? And, I wonder where I can find you. You can be sure I'll be on the lookout!

[Photos via We Heart It]

New collections: Upper Metal Class

Almost a year ago (yikes!), I featured the amazing work from Upper Metal Class, the Los Angeles-based jewelry shop full of bracelets, earrings and necklaces. Well, they recently introduced some gorgeous new pieces to four of their classic collections...

Arcs Collection, like the small arc necklace ($65), the curve earrings ($45) and the semi oval ring ($55).

Waves Collection, like the long wave bracelet ($80) and small wave hoop earrings ($70).

Grace Collection, like the rectangle grace tag ($58), the long grace tag bracelet ($68) and the square grace tag ring ($48).
Custom Engraving Collection, like the short grace tag necklace ($98).

What do you think, friends? Do you have a favorite? I'm loving the futuristic feel of the entire collection, with all the metallic gold and silver! xoxo

(This post is sponsored by Upper Metal Class, though all opinions expressed are my own. Thanks so much for continuing to support So About What I Said's wonderful sponsors!)

Man Candy Monday.

Good morning, friends, and welcome to a new week! As I mentioned, my mom is living the good life on spring break this week, and I fully intend to take advantage of some downtime myself. But first: Today's guy is multi-talented. He's played both a prison guard and a law student. He's got that cute boyish grin. And his charm seems like it would knock me off my feet...

MATT MCGORRY!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Have a lovely weekend

Happy Friday, friends! What are you doing this weekend? The weather is supposed to be sunny here in the Midwest, so I'm thinking a walk or two is in order. Plus, my mom is on spring break next week; it will be nice to spend some time together! We've already got some restaurant trips picked out, which, really, is the most important part of any vacation! I hope you all have a great weekend and here are my favorite finds from the wonderful Web...

What compels us to share?

Welcome to the world, baby Violet!

On details.

How adorable is this Peter Rabbit-inspired gender reveal party?

Fortune magazine reveals the World's 50 Greatest Leaders!

Fashion Do or Don't: Multicolored manicures (via Diana).

9 DIY Easter crafts.

Foodnited States of America is hilarious.

Doing any public speaking soon? These handy tips will put you at ease.

Turn supermarket flowers into a gorgeous bouquet.

Awww, sister style!

These women have great responses for why they don't have kids.

Want to be happier? Stop being so busy!

Where do you stand on free-range parenting?

Sam Hunt, you're amazing!

Why procrastinators procrastinate.

In need of some flower inspiration? This Pinterest has you covered!

Look! It's a vintage ice cream vendor bike!

One advantage of marriage is that...

Pretty ring.

...and a cute coin purse!

**Don't forget to enter the Olive Yew Name Bar Necklace giveaway! You've got until next Tuesday, and there are lots of chances to win!

And as always, feel free to connect with me on PinterestTwitterFacebookInstagram and YouTube! See you there, friends! xoxo

[DIY emoji balloons from Studio DIY]

Fashion Friday: Madewell's spring collection

The denim! The crisp whites! The prints! As if we weren't already ecstatic for spring's long-overdue arrival, Madewell has managed to capture the season perfectly with these easy, breezy styles.

"This collection was a resounding nod to the optimism that comes with spring," Madewell's Head of Design, Somsack Sikhounmuong, told Fashionista. "The pulling out of all the things you love and packed away — your favorite jeans , a classic tee, a trench — we looked to all those things, tweaked and updated them to feel fresh and new."

I can smell that fresh air already and those spring flowers, can't you, friends? Check out more of their awesome spring style, and share your favorite looks in the comments! xoxo

P.S. Friday link love is coming up! :)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Tip: Write a personal manifesto

Speaking of balance, it can be so easy to get stressed these days, can't it? Sometimes, it seems like all you have to do is breathe and all that crazy stress just fills your lungs. Appointments, obligations, family, work, those never-ending to-do lists, even a headache that's been nagging me for the last couple of days -- they all compete for our attention.

I'm always on the hunt for ways to dial back the stress, even if it's only a little (every little bit helps, right?), and sometimes, I've found, just writing things

Enter: The manifesto.

Think of it as a playbook or a road map for your journey ahead. What do you want to accomplish? What steps do you have to take to get there? What's your action plan going to be? They can even be little rules that you want to follow to enrich your life. 99U, the Web hub that helps you makes your ideas a reality, perfectly explains the power of manifestos...
"Manifestos are a powerful catalyst. By publicly stating your views and intentions, you create a pact for taking action. If you want to change the world, even in just a small way, creating a personal or business manifesto is a great place to start. Needless to say, developing a set of principles that you believe in and constantly strive to stand by is an invaluable tool."
The article also lists the personal manifestos of some famous -- and successful! -- folks, like Frank Lloyd Wright ("An honest ego in a healthy body"), Seth Godin ("The greatest bloggers blog for their readers, not for themselves"), Leo Tolstoy ("Get up early -- five o’clock") and Apple ("We have the self-honesty to admit when we’re wrong and the courage to change").

I'm a big fan of outlining. Whether you're thinking of changing careers, moving to a new city or merely trying to add more vegetables to your diet, articulating your vision and ideas is a solid first step. A few things on my personal manifesto...

*Give your heart in all you do. It could make all the difference in the world.
*People want to help. Let them in.
*Trust your instinct and stick to your guns.
*Develop a routine and make sure you follow it.
*Family comes first, no matter what.
*Don't be afraid to blog exactly how you're feeling. Honesty and vulnerability is a beautiful thing.
*Sing like nobody's listening and fangirl to your heart's content.
*Smile like it could move mountains.
*Be the friend you'd like to have.
*Kindness is a gift. Give it often.
So, friends, have you ever written a personal manifesto? What are some things you'd include on your list? Have your goals/ideas changed over the years? Do you think they'll change in the future? I'd love to hear what's on your manifesto now, so be sure to share in the comments! Let's inspire each other, shall we? xoxo

[Photos via We Heart It]
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