Lists: Getting to Know Me

I love lists, especially countdowns. I will read articles about things I know very little about (anything sports- or car-related, for example), just because I love to see what is number one. Maybe it will even be a team or a car that I’ve heard of!

With the recent Buzzfeed-inspired “listicle” fad, however, I’m beginning to lose my affinity for Internet lists. I especially hate those “Top Ten Jokes that Only Chemistry Nerds Will Get” types of lists with their exclusionary titles. And, typically, they ought to be titled something more like “Ten Jokes You’ll Probably Get If You Didn’t Sleep Through High School Chemistry and That Aren’t Funny Either Way.”

I get what they’re going for: You read the list if you are a chemistry nerd so you can feel a sense of camaraderie with other chemistry nerds. Or, like me, you read the list if you aren’t a chemistry nerd so you can feel smart when you get the jokes, but then ultimately feel annoyed when someone you know is not so very academically inclined shares the list on facebook with a caption like, “Hahahaha! i’m such a NERD! lol!”

(Side Note: I know I shouldn’t be bothered by people self-identifying as whatever they want, but the over-self-identification of people as nerds bothers me. Thinking that science is cool or recognizing symbols for elements in a badly-worded pun does not make one a nerd. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a nerd as “one slavishly devoted to intellectual or academic pursuits” And I think self-identified “nerds” forget the other part – the first part, actually – of the definition, which is “an unstylish, unattractive, or socially inept person.” Maybe it’s my identification with that part that makes me bothered by the popular usage of the word to describe people who, say, like Dr. Who.)

Anyway, lists. I still love them even if they often annoy me. And they are a convenient way to say things that you don’t have an entire post worth of material for. And so, with that in mind, and as one of my first blog posts, I’d like to present:

Lists About Me: Four Things in Three Categories!

Novels I Started To Read and Never Finished

1) Breaking Dawn –Threw it on the floor after the first couple of chapters and read the Wikipedia plot synopsis instead.

2) Black Beauty – One without a great love for horses can only read about bridles so many times.

3) The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay – Too much description of too many parts (OK, one part) of a character’s father in a sauna. Threw the book across the room into the trash. I’m a bit of a puritan. Don’t mind me.

4) Les Miserables (Unabridged) – You have to read this one unabridged because if you read it abridged and you ever say you’ve read Les Miserables, inevitably someone is going to ask if you read it unabridged and you’ll have to feel like an intellectual inferior and answer “No.” So instead, I’ve read the first… third, maybe? of the unabridged version up until (UNNECESSARY-FOR-ANYONE-WHO’S-EVER-HEARD-OF-LES-MISERABLES SPOILER ALERT) Fantine dies. Then I forgot I was reading it. Maybe someday I’ll finish this one.

Things I Know Enough About To Publicly Proclaim My Fanship

(There are lots of things I like, but I exclude myself from being a Whovian, for example, because I have not seen anything of the first eight Doctors… other than a third of an episode I tried to watch on Netflix once and was so bored I gave it up as a lost cause.)

1) The Beatles – Honestly, how many people have watched any of the eight-VHS Beatles Anthology documentary?

2) Harry Potter – Why yes, I can name all 199 chapter titles! Like any normal person can.

3) The Lord of the Rings – This one I only claim tenuously, but I have read The Silmarillion, which I think counts for a lot.

4) Star Trek: The Next Generation – I have to qualify this one as being TNG, though I’ve seen the original films many times, watched DSN through, and tried really hard to enjoy the two seasons of Voyager I watched. Apparently there are people who like that one without having to work at it. Or maybe it gets better?

Movie Scenes That Make Me Cry

(There are many more than four of these, but here are a few.)

1) It’s a Wonderful Life – Even if I haven’t been watching the movie and I hear “To my big brother George, the richest man in town” from the other room, I cry.

2) Star Trek (2009) – The opening scene. You know, that moment when the autopilot goes out and George Kirk realizes he’ll have to take the ship in manually… I can’t take it.

3) Dumbo – Are there people in the world that can watch the scene with the song “Baby Mine” and not cry? I don’t want to know those people.

4) Apparently like four parts of the movie Real Steel, which I’ve seen twice, and which we refer to as “Rock’em Sock’em Robots: The Movie” at our house. My husband and I weren’t married, yet, the first time we watched it together, and I was very embarrassed by my overly emotional response. He married me anyway.

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