Unapologetic Nerdery



There’s this scene from the show New Girl that I think of often. Nick’s girlfriend Julia doesn’t like Jess because she’s too girly. Jess catches on that she’s being made fun of behind her back and treated with a good amount of condescension by this girl. So she throws her girliness right in Julia’s  face and refuses to apologize for being herself. If you’re not familiar with it, take a minute and LISTEN!:

So here’s the deal. I identify with this scene because I often feel like an odd bird. I promise it’s not intentionally counter-cultural hipster nonsense. Just naturally, my tendencies fall outside the bell curve. And you know what, I think it’s about time I just get unapologetic about my nerdery! (And it’s time for a lighthearted, self-deprecating post on this blog :)) So here goes!


Seriously. I can take about 10 seconds of American Idol and/or The Voice before I want to pull my hair out. I find them extremely boring. The ONE exception to this bit of anti-pop-culture nerdery is the show The Sing Off. It’s an a cappella group competition with a lot of talk about musical technicality that only airs for two months a year on NBC. Sounds nerdy, right? It totally is. And it’s constantly fighting cancellation. 🙂 I try to like Twilight, Harry Potter, Divergent…I just don’t get it. I tried to like Scandal, it didn’t hook me in. I gave Modern Family SO MANY TRIES and I’d just totally rather watch something else. I also detest The Bachelor. Any TV show that requires me to give up FOUR HOURS of my week listening to women speak through their noses and gossip about each other–um, no thanks. I’d rather watch 19 Kids and Counting, 30 Rock reruns, Friends DVDs or a weird art documentary on Netflix. My viewing choices are usually kind of unconventional and you know what, past roommates, future ones, I’m not apologizing anymore! Elizabethtown is a FANTASTIC film that should be impossible to fall asleep to, and yeah, subtitles are sometimes annoying, and the Duggars aren’t for everyone. I know. I know, I know, I know. But this is who I am. 🙂


HECK to the YEAH I do. One time, a married guy I know told me that pajamas aren’t allowed in his house. (Gross, I know.) But he didn’t mean ALL pajamas are outlawed. He specifically means the button-up lounge PJs that Victoria’s Secret so famously pushes every Christmas season, and most big-box retailers carry YEAR ROUND. It’s for a reason, y’all. THEY ARE AMAZING.  I’ve lived with roommates over the years who think my PJs are totally weird, but hey. If that’s nerdery? Call me a nerd. Whatevs y’all.



Up until about three years ago I had magical metabolism. The Eiken Family Blessing. Suddenly, my naturally lanky build started to round out and to be honest, I’m still a little bit in denial about it. I can’t eat WHATEVER I want anymore. But nothing makes me feel cozier than bringing food to bed (in my PJS!!!!). Like, a popsicle. Or a few crackers. A piece of chocolate. A tangerine. A corner edge of some square-cut pizza. A little dish of marinated vegetable salad. A waffle with peanut butter. Bedtime treats are THE BEST.


I’ve memorized song titles, musicians, and VH1 Pop-Up Music factoids since I could speak. Every single memory I have connects to what song was playing when it happened. I hear Ace of Base, I think Barbies. I hear “I Can’t Wait” by Nu Shooz and I think of my Dad playing it when I was little and me dancing in the living room, or of listening to it on split-headphones on a discman during choir practice with my friend Allie in High School. I hear Barbie Girl and I think of DJing high school dances. I know too much about Nirvana and No Doubt. I hear John Mayer and Dave Matthews Band and I think of college and times with my best friends. I’m a talker and a storyteller and this music/memory connection makes me a nostalgia nerd. BIGTIME. Don’t even get me started down a rabbit trail of 90’s music because I will tell you my life story, seriously. I have a story for EVERY SONG. EVERY ARTIST.




Always have been, always will be. I don’t idolize celebrities (anymore…) but I admire people’s comedic timing, their style, I see myself in movie characters, connect with musicians’ lyrics, and I start latching on. I become a one-woman promotional street team. It’s part of what I love about art–when it imitates life and you see things in a new way, or you feel like someone GETS IT (whatever IT is). I took an improv class last fall because I’m a fangirl about Tina Fey, Kristin Wiig and Amy Poehler, and had just read a book by Susan Isaacs that talked a lot about improv comedy. I was a fangirl for John Mayer, Gwen Stefani, and Bush (mainly Gavin Rossdale) pretty seriously in my adolescent years. At each of their concerts I fought my way to the front, screamed their names like a madwoman, professed my love in screeches, and even JUMPED on Gavin Rossdale’s sweaty back as he pushed through the crowd. (Highlight of my life.) Here’s a (terrible) picture of me looking at Jordan Knight at the New Kids On the Block/Backstreet Boys concert a few years ago:


Also, I took this just seconds after I touched Gavin Rossdale:


I spent my Spring Break money on seeing John Mayer in concert instead of going to Cabo with some girls in 2006. I snuck my way to the front and spent the entire show RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIS MICROPHONE! WORTH. IT.:


Taken just moments before I screamed, “I LOVE YOU GWEN!!!!”:



That’s right. ANCESTRY. Bored by that? Too bad. You know what? I have Antiques Roadshow on RIGHT NOW while I’m writing this post! I’m not even lying. Believe it. In my opinion, the past is always better. I am SO fascinated by history, and learning about how my family was affected by wars and culture shifts and immigration and slavery and civil rights just gets my heart pumping! I have paid for multiple ancestry.com subscriptions and proudly didn’t leave my apartment once for 48 hours because I traced my paternal Grandmother’s Dad’s line all the way back to a knight for the King of England named Sparrowhawk! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?! Sometimes I even go to the Minnesota Historical Society’s library (of which I am a MEMBER) and pull newspaper microfilm from different dates in my family’s history (birth dates, death dates) to find obituaries and see what the world looked like on those dates. FOR FUN. That’s right. If that’s not nerdery, I don’t know what is. I’m flying my flag high and proud now, folks!

There are a lot of pictures like this on my computer:

Screen shot 2012-02-17 at 6.46.54 PM


Did you know there’s a website called find-a-grave.com where people volunteer to go find your loved ones’ graves all over the country? If they live nearby you just put out the request and they’ll go take a picture and email it to you. 🙂 NERDERY!



I love treating myself to a nice dinner, a glass of wine, a puppy snuggle and a nice journaling sesh, a movie on Netflix, a little dance party, a wander around a museum, reading a book on a boat or in the grass, a long bike ride, an adventure in the woods by the St. Croix river, all by myself. I have NO PROBLEM with lots of alone time. This makes me afraid for my future. 🙂




I started collecting records in college because I wanted to play ORIGINAL VINTAGE FRANK SINATRA CHRISTMAS songs on vinyl. This is the TRUTH, folks. One of my most prized possessions is a Bing Crosby Christmas record that I got at an antique store. When I got home and pulled it out of the bag I noticed that it had MY NAME written in pencil in the top corner. The previous owner had MY NAME!!!!! I can’t even tell you how I got the goosebumps and my heart burst out of my chest. I have a reindeer costume for my car. I typically start listening to Christmas music and researching for my annual Christmas CD in late July. I know. WHATEVER. I get SERIOUS about playing Christmas music the week of my birthday, November 4. I also usually put up my Christmas tree around that time. I begin planning my Christmas decor for the year in August, usually. I buy things as I see them and store them in my car trunk until it’s time to decorate and assess the pieces. 🙂 All of this generally annoys people, because culture tells you that you HAVE to be a Scrooge or a Grinch. That’s the “cool” thing to do. You know what I think is cool? Acting like a KID and REVELING in ALL OF IT! Eating up the snowflakes, blaring Christmas tunes, baking cookies, watching Christmas movies with the fireplace on and SPREADING CHEER. I actually just started listening to Christmas music while writing this post and didn’t even realize it came up on shuffle…because to me? That’s normal. 🙂



It started with Victoria Beckham in 6th Grade. I HAD to have Posh Spice’s chin-length bob. Next, it was The Phoebe. I wanted The Rachel but I was too scared to cut all that hair off–so I opted for the longer-layered version of the Friends cut. Since then, I’ve had a Mandy Moore, several Gwen Stefanis, several Jennifer Anistons, another Victoria Beckham in late high school/early college times, a Zooey Deschanel, and I currently have a Katie Holmes on its way to a Zooey Deschanel.







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