04 March 2013

Origins: Hannah


Part I

A little while ago I found myself in a game store. Not like video games...but a real one. The kind where you walk in to see board games, and eventually if you walk far enough through the thick clouds of body odor, you end up in the very back, surrounded by the unwashed social misfits you only ever saw huddled in the corners of your high school, all staring up at you as if you were some sort of strange mirage.

I don't want to delve too far into the reasons why I was in such a place. All I know is that I had a little bit of an existential crisis.

So here we go. We are going to take on the massive and probably terrifying task of tracking my nerdiness back to its origin. Wherever and whatever that may be.

Before we begin, there's something I need to explain. As I was thinking back on my life, I had a realization. That most of my "nerd" phases were more like obsessions. Obsession that I was incredibly loyal and dedicated to.

When I love something, I don't just love it. I flat out obsess over it. Even as a 25-year-old, I still find things I love and I just...hold on to them for dear life.


I believe it all began with cats.

I loved cats.

I mean, you don't even know how much I loved cats.

My only goal as a child was to obtain as many cats or cat-related things I could.


My love for cats was only matched by my love for space. Yeah, space as in...the solar system and stuff. There was a point in my life when I knew almost all 50-or-so of Jupiter's moons and I would make sure everyone knew it.

My favorite planet was Saturn...by far.


I just want to stress how intense my love of cats was when I was a small child.

My laser eyes will obliterate anyone who keeps me from holding every cat.


Come on. If you are currently in your twenties, then you know what it was like when Pokemon first became a thing. 

Pokemon was the best. Especially when you opened that fresh pack of cards. It was like freaking Christmas morning! You never knew what you'd get, but you knew there's at least one rare in there. Just waiting for you to see it, to cherish it, to show your friends, and maybe even trade for a Charizard or something. 

Usually you just got like 5 more Weedles or whatever.

But we all wanted that stupid Charizard! And those of you who were lucky enough to get one were the envy of all. Oh and those of you who were even luckier and got the freaking HOLOGRAPHIC CHARIZARD?

You were Gods among children.

I never got Charizard, but my brother did. And when he showed the neighbor kids, one of them bit him.


Not nerdy. I included this because I'm feeling vulnerable and need some sort of redemption before I delve even deeper. I used to play sports. A lot of them.

I don't know what happened.


Oh that's right. This happened. The internet happened. And with the internet came my discovery of HTML code. I could make my own Internet!

It was my ticket to a lifetime of pasty skin and strained eyes.


If you're new, then let me tell you now. There have been few things that have rivaled my dedication to the Harry Potter fandom. I read the books when I was 11, and subsequently cried myself to sleep that summer when I didn't get a letter. From the 4th book on, I was at every single midnight release - dressed up. 

My sister, Annie, finally gave into my pestering and started the books last year.

I could go on and on about sentimental stuff like how Harry Potter made me feel less lonely when I moved and had no friends, or that Harry Potter made me love reading again, etc, etc...but I'll leave it at this.


Oh man. I did love LOTR. The fact that I usually still call it "LOTR" should tell you that. I wish I could say I'd read the books first, but that wasn't the case. Although... I began reading them almost immediately after seeing the first movie, and I was truly dedicated. The final one was the first time I'd really cried during a movie.

Unable to deal with these new emotions, I hid inside of my sweatshirt so nobody would see my Lord of the Rings-induced tears.


This is an example of one of those times where two nerd forces combine to make something nerdier.

When I was 14, I was the creator and webmaster of an LOTR fansite.

I gathered news, interviews, statistics, and photos and compiled them all on a crappy little website made completely of tables and hosted on Angelfire.

If I still had any of the original graphics or anything, trust me...I'd post it. But maybe it's a good thing that it seems to have disappeared forever. Just know that the font Papyrus was used in excess and that most of the website revolved around Elijah Wood.

We've made it halfway through. There's quite a bit more. The rest covers the second half of my life so far, and we get into some pretty dark nerd stuff.

The second post is almost done, so it won't be too long to wait.


Musical Lynn said...

You and I are a lot alike!!! I obsess over a lot things as well and I can never get over it! Right now my addictive obsession is How to train your dragon!!! :D

LJ said...

The only time I ever bought a magazine in my entire life was because Seventeen did one dedicated to Orlando Bloom post-Fellowship.

I just barely trashed it before our last move.

Seven months ago.

I'm almost 28 years old.

Also! We once had a party in my friend's basement to watch Fellowship and we stopped, rewound and re-watched the part where the entire posse walks through the cleft in the rock and squealed in unison.

I was a senior in high school.

Michelle Arno said...

Hilarious post! I know you said "the second post is almost done, so it won't be too long to wait." But seriously. Can it please not be too long to wait? Your posts make me so happeee.

Judd said...

Hey There!

So I know this might be weird, but I love you and this blog! I also go through obsessions, and this blog is one my biggest obsessions. I found it when I was randomly searching the internet in my boring as death Life Planning class. I read How To Be a Hipster Part 2 and I fell in love. For the rest of the class I read everything you had ever posted, and now I anxiously await for every post.

I think you're awesome. Which I know is weird/creepy coming from a total stranger, but if it's the truth then it's the truth.

Have a wonderful day! And don't ever stop being a nerd! Nerds are the coolest!

Emily said...

I majored in English Lit, and the last class I took prior to graduating was a class on J.R.R. Tolkien. We read The Unfinished Tales, The Book of Lost Tales Volumes I and II, The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, and LOTR Trilogy.

The professor was an older gentleman from New Zealand.

It. Was. Amazing.

I have held on to the awesomeness of this class the past three years to get me through law school.

And anything you just wrote about was just out-nerded by what I just told you, so you're safe. It's okay.

Katie said...

I was crying with the "awe poop. weedle again." picture. I get so excited when I see a new post from you!

Anonymous said...

Ha, you're not that nerdy. I'm a year younger than you, but I read LOTR when I was maybe 8 and when I first saw a trailer for the film a few years later was like OMFG YES.

And my boyfriend is 30 and still obsessed with cats. We feed all the strays in town.

Vief said...

Ahhhh I;m completely the same! So obsessive! Over loads of random things... But I also get way too defensive, haha. Can't wait to read the next bit, this post was brilliant!!!

Chelsea said...

Hi Hannah!

It's me, Chelsea. That crazy girl who walked up to say hi to you at Cory and Courtney's wedding because I read your blog and am apparently a total stalker :)

I just wanted to let you know that my childhood pretty much paralleled yours EXACTLY. Except for me instead of cats it was/still is killer whales. The rest is verbatim. Right down to Pokemon, fan sites, random sports, and crying over my non-existent Hogwarts letter.

Just thought I'd let you know you had a kindred spirit out there!

Alexis Davis said...

We could have been BFFs.. Like this is some freaky alter universe wormhole shiz. I love it!

Marlee said...

I know the Sims is coming. I just can't wait.

Somewhere Circus said...

My childhood was nothing like yours except for the one all-consuming unifying aspect of Harry Potter.

Emma. Emmalita. Em-uh. Em and m. said...

Soooo....I found your blog because you and I both know Rachel Reddoch (who we all know is THE BOMB). I don't want to comment without telling you why I stalk you.

Anyways, I just had to tell you that when I was in 3rd grade I GOT THE HOLOGRAPHIC CHARIZARD!!!!!!!! All the babysitting money was worth it. Thank you for understanding what a big deal it was in the grand scheme of my life.

the Derpster said...

Try being obsessed by LotR in a small town, when the internet didn't exist, which meant nobody I knew had even heard of the books. I read them at 13, and it was all I thought about for years (ok, that and Sherlock Holmes. Because I got the complete stories of SH for my birthday when I was 11. And soon after made my own deerstalker hat.)

The only thing I asked for at Christmas when I was 14 was Tolkien's new book (unfortunately, also his last book), The Silmarillion. It's still my favorite book series OF ALL TIME (the all caps are required, so you can hear the echo.)

Louise said...

I totally share your obsession with cats <3

kursty13 said...

Some of my childhood obsessions included:
dogs, html, The Pretender (the best fan website was also on Angelfire, I literally cried when it was cancelled), Harry Potter (duh), etc.

Thanks for reminding me of those good times.

Joe Kelly said...

Hi, its a nice story and nice theme. I swear, awesome theme concerning this story. Really awful.

Stickyskip said...

You pretty much just recounted my childhood.

Only my crappy website was a Harry Potter fansite and I obsessively downloaded pictures of Orlando Bloom in about 2002.

No post on the internet has touched me quite as deeply as this has.

(enjoying the new Hobbit fandom chaos, btw?)

Anonymous said...

I had all of those obsessions in like almost the exact same order! In middle school I would bring The Lord if the Rings books to read at lunch, and to this day my friends still make fun of the fact that I spontaneously burst into tears when one of the characters died.

Anonymous said...

this is sooo funny! I see myself in your description. Caaaaaaaats yeah! Cool blog!

Melissa Andrea said...

This is fabulous. And so '90s-accurate.

Anonymous said...

Been dying waiting for new posts! Please post more often :) xo

HelpfulPapers said...

You are so talented! Amazing pics. As to the obsession leading to nerdism - I understand what you mean. When I do something, I put my heart and soul into it. Kurt Cobain said: "It's better to burn out than to fade away".

Kri said...

You just made me smile with this post. I enjoyed reading it. I get obsessed with playing sports too! I like to try and play all kinds! Have a good one !

Lily said...

Sherlock. Sherlock is my latest obsession. If you have Netflix, and you want to be addicted to something fantastic right now, search 'Sherlock' and watch the first hour and a half episode, RIGHT THEN AND THERE. Well, only if you have an hour and a half... But, um, be careful.. There are two seasons and only three per season... Season three is coming out near autumn, I think. The main characters are Benedict Cumberbatch (sherlock Holmes) and Martin Freeman (Doctor John Hamish Watson). It's a marvelous BBC show. The Sherlock Fandom (we like to call ourselves sherlockians) has gone insane. Until season three, the fandom has legally gone MOTHAH FRAKKING insane, so... Yeah.. o_o just wanted to introduce you to sherlock, see if you wanted another obsession... So... Alright! Keep the blog going, have fun with Sean, have fun with your art, and just have fun with everything. Happy Easter and I hope your April Fools' isnt horrible. (DONT BELIEVE ANYTHING ON THE INTERWEBS ON APRIL'S FOOLS DAY. Firefly isn't rebooting, justice league casting hasn't happened, NOTHING IS REAL ON THIS DAY. Just a warning, I saw a lot of cool fake stuff today.) Alright, have a nice day, man. :D

Nicole and Garrett said...

Um, yes, this is me! 25 year old girl...part of a LOTR club in middle school... I won "Biggest Lord of the Rings Fanatic" as a superlative in the 9th grade yearbook! (My mom was so proud...). I dressed up and helped at the BYU bookstore for the 7th HP book release! There will never be anything as cool or obsessive-worthy as LOTR and Harry Potter. Or maybe I'm just old now?

Kitty Kane said...

Jupiter has 67 moons.

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