There are few things that I am really passionate about but one of them is Classic Movies. I love the classics! It doesn't matter what genre: WWII films, screwball comedies, film noir, Alfred Hitchcock suspense...if it was made between 1930 and 1950 I geek it.
I love coming to the Central Branch of KPL because there are so many wonderful movies to discover and so many old favorites to re-watch! The KPL movie collection definitely feeds my "old soul"!
When I was young, I used to watch Gundam and Zoids and other anime with giant robots. Now that I am older, movies like Transformers and the soon to be released Pacific Rim get me jumping in my seat.
I often say that Optimus Prime is my hero, and I will stick by that, even if he's not in the fourth movie.
Serendipity: The faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident. This simple word manages to play a role in my gravitation toward most everything I find meaningful upon which to embark. From the time I spend working with the Friends of the Library here at the KPL, to my hobby of ancestry research, to retired items of clothing that beckon to be created into animals I make and sell, serendipity creates a draw toward things that grow me. I encounter people from whom I learn important things, ancestors that shaped my place in this world today, and activities that sustain the creativity that lives in my soul. It shouts cheerfully as it weaves across my path, "Look! This way," and off I veer helplessly.
Invariably, I've learned to know when it's serendipity at work and not just a passing fancy. It's when the emotion grabs me quick, and I'm lost if I don't follow. It's where I find the good stuff in life; the lucky stuff that leads me to even more serendipitous discoveries.
There are so many things I geek. Comic books, books, music, food, libraries. I could go on and on. I enjoy so many things because each brings a unique perspective to my life and I learn from every one of them. And learning is the biggest geek of them all. I love learning more than anything else in the world. Knowledge truly is power. Because I am a learning and information geek that is why I geek so many things.
"The Fractalist: Memoir of a Scientific Maverick” just arrived at KPL. It is by Benoit B. Mandelbrot, the holocaust survivor and genuis who coined the term "fractal" and opened our eyes to the math behind so many beautiful events of nature, such as trees, clouds, and mountains.
World Book Online defines a fractal as "a complex geometric figure made up of patterns that repeat themselves at smaller and smaller scales," where "any of its smallest structures is similar in shape to a large structure, which, in turn, is similar to an even larger one, and so on." I'm sorry, what? To be honest, defining fractals is easier with real world examples, like the Romanesco broccoli. But I think the heart of why I geek fractals is that they encourage exploration and discovery. Computer-generated fractal images, such as the Mandelbrot Set, can be "zoomed" in forever, and essentially, the more you look, the more you find.
While basic patterns of the image are repeated at different scales, self-similar fractal patterns are always unique, never exactly the same, and “roughly” similar at different scales of space or time (yes there are temporal fractals, too). Because mapping fractals requires extensive calculation, only since the 1980s have computers allowed us to gain a more comprehensive understanding of their presence and dynamics. I hope that our continued exploration of fractals will create better understandings of human ecology, while potentially solving aspects of our energy production and energy storage issues.
Also, they just look really cool, and since the brain itself is fractal, my hunch is that observing fractals kind of tickles the perception - like letting one’s neural networks glance into a mirror reflecting their own fractal nature.
I can sit and read a cookbook cover to cover just like a novel. I love finding new recipes and learning new styles of cooking. I have a collection of unusual cookbooks I take out from time to time just to read them. Some people express their creativity thru drawing or painting, I express my thru cooking!
I was born in 1990 and we got our first computer around 1995. I remember it came in a ginormous box and it was a top of the line Compaq computer. My parents had no idea how to use it, how to set it up, or what to even do with it once they turned it on. My friends all had computers so I knew exactly what to do, and what went where, and why it went there. I remember my parents were confused when I had a better idea of what was going on than they did.
Around 1999 we finally replaced our slow dial up connection with high speed internet. It worked perfect on every computer in the house except for my sister’s. The guy who set up our internet couldn’t figure out how to make it work on my sister’s computer. My parents were too busy/afraid of technology to call up our service provider to figure it out, so I called up our service provider and asked if there was anything I could do to fix the problem. After about an hour of holding and going through a list of questions they determined they didn’t know what was causing the problem. I decided to take matters into my own hands, and started digging through the box my sisters computer came in. Remember these were the days before everyone posted everything on the internet and it was before “Google” was popular. I came across a CD that resets the computer back to factory settings. I put it in the computer and reset it, installed all the correct drivers, and then plugged the ethernet cable into the back of the computer. I crossed my fingers as I opened Internet Explorer. Microsoft’s webpage opened up and my sister now had internet on her computer. I later learned that the process of resetting a computer is called reformatting it.
Around 2000 I was in sixth grade, and my CD drive stopped reading CDs. I called Dell and told them my disc drive was dead. My computer was still under warranty and they sent me a new CD drive. I had never opened my computer case until then, I had no idea what I was doing. When I opened it I could see how the disc drive connected to the motherboard and I disconnected the old CD drive. I took out the old CD drive and sent it back to Dell. I continued to install the new one that Dell had sent me, and it worked perfect! I remember thinking this is what I want to do with my life.
I took all the computer classes I could possibly take during the rest of middle school and high school. In tenth grade the Kalamazoo Valley Community College counselors came in and showed us all the programs and degrees they offered, and soon as I saw “Computer Support Technician” I jumped all over it. As of today I am 5 classes away from completing that degree, and I still love it now as much as I did back in 1995 when we setup our first computer.
I moved to Japan 27 years ago to teach English with a B.S. in Int'l Mkg, discovered Taiko, turned 180 degrees from my path, and have never looked back. I teach the first taiko group in MI at Kalamazoo College, MI Hiryu Daiko (the 3rd MI group) in Kalamazoo, workshops all over the Midwest, after leaving my legacy of 19 years, Fushicho Daiko, in Phoenix, AZ. I study and perform in Japan almost every year. I love to share.
I look forward to winter! Not for the snow, but because I know it is Competitive Cheer season. This year will be my tenth season as an MHSAA Competitive Cheer Official. I "geeked" cheerleading long before that though! My mom also geeks the sport and coached my team in middle school! I cheered in high school and college and coached for four years prior to becoming an official. Not only do I have the best seat in the gymnasium to watch competitions, but I also get to be a part of educational athletics.
Competitive cheer has one of the highest participation rates for female sports in the state. The enthusiasm, dedication and athleticism we see each year are amazing. I have been selected as a State Finals Panel Judge three years in a row!! I also serve on the Michigan Cheer Judges Association board where I manage our mentoring program for new officials and facilitate trainings in the state. Check out the MHSAA website to learn more about giving back as a registered official to the high school sport you once loved!
I know, it's super girly, but I geek sewing. It is so neat to be able to take a simple piece of fabric and make it into a dress or shirt that is totally unique, and fits you perfectly in size and style. I love to turn on an audiobook or CD from the library and sit down to sew as a way to unwind from a long day at work. And then when you finish something and put it on for the first time it is so exciting! (At this point I usually have a little fashion show for my lazy cat Buster who likes to sit by me and beg to have his belly rubbed while I sew.) I have found that the more I sew, the better become at it. The better I become, the more successful my projects are. The more successful my projects are, the more I geek it! It's a vicious (but wonderful) circle!!