TLDR; Tina Louise Jones is proud nerd navigating life with one foot in fandom and the other in the non-fiction section (Dewey was on to something). She sometimes forgets she’s not shy anymore and might be described as good with people. She loves Star Trek and cartoons. Godzilla may be everyone else’s favorite monster, but Tina is still singing the Gamera song from MST3K (with Joel). Her life goals include being healthy, creatively fulfilled and dressing whimsically every day. She’s busy with half-crazy projects and listening to podcasts, but intends to try to blog more often and, perhaps, shorter ports. No promises.
Enjoy a random (not kidding about random) selection of photos! Afterwards, if you are brave, there’s more.
Nerdbliss is my personal blog. You’ll also find The Nerdbliss Podcast to which I’ve loaned the brand, my limited WordPress experience, and my reluctant on-air talents. As the name implies, I proudly embrace my nerdiness, geekiness, and even dorkiness. Everything I’m into, I approach from a nerd perspective, so with obsessive enthusiasm. Being a grownup nerd (est. 1980), I’m not even bashful about my passionate weirdness.
It has been a long time since I updated my bio. You can read my previous “About Tina” page. I wrote it when I purchased the domain in late 2010 and revised it in 2013 after Chris and I got married. Nothing in it is incorrect now. I haven’t changed in the intervening years so much as evolved, assimilated new ideas. Less like the Terminator and more like Short Circuit but a useful metaphor.
As it happens, this time period coincides with the longest period of time I’ve ever lived in one place. I met Chris soon after my arrival here in Upstate South Carolina in August 2010. I’d just celebrated my thirtieth birthday a few weeks prior. I love it here, but can’t know for sure how much of that is location and how much is the company I’m keeping. Either way, I’m home. Modest-sized Greenville is a gem of a city. We are close enough to both Atlanta and Charlotte for anything not at our doorstep. The weather is mild and friendliness is genuine.
Moving around all my life has influenced me in a million ways and complicated my answer to the question “Where are you from?” As a result, I’m adaptable, independent and a bit of an amateur sociologist. I’m also not the best at maintaining friendships or being part of community organizations, but I’ve worked at it. Finding one’s tribe is about the most important thing to a fulfilling life. Thank goodness for the internet and smartphones when family and friends are all over the country. If only I’d had text messaging growing up.
As for my nerd/geek credentials, I’m more than happy to provide evidence. One would assume people like me aren’t competitive based on our stereotypical tendency to abstain from sports and popularity contests. This is absolutely untrue. I will kick your butt at Trivial Pursuit or at least answer the most questions and lose. I’m terrible at the strategy part to the point I’ve lost games because I didn’t pay attention to which pie pieces I needed to win. It’s okay; I married a chess player.
In person, I will occasional have a causal acquaintance – usually coworkers – say “I didn’t expect you to be into <insert uber-geek thing>” and I am legit offended. Doesn’t everything about my dress and mannerisms project my inner nerd? My word choice alone is a clue even without my t-shirt collection.
I will escalate the conversation to my geek ace-in-the-hole: Klingon wedding.
My first love is books, all the way from picture books and kid lit to classic literature and trashy beach reads. Stories illuminate the human condition. I get upset about spoilers to this day because fictional characters mean more to me than most individual humans. Non-fiction is great, too. If you want to learn something, go to the library. It’s the entire premises of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic up until the point where the bookish librarian grows wings and TRANSFORMS INTO A PRINCESS. Who knew? You’d think Lavar Burton would have covered *that* on Reading Rainbow.
Star Trek was my first science fiction love. I must have seen episodes of The Original Series incredibly young as my memories of watching don’t involve seeing episodes for the first time at 7 or 8 years old, but thinking “Oh, I like this one.” When The Next Generation came out in ’89, I loved how the other girls at school were now into Star Trek even if it was only because Wesley Crusher was cute. My heart has always belonged to Spock. For the record, I often say I don’t like Star Wars that much, but it’s only in comparison to how much Star Trek means to me.
By middle school, my reading took me into some iconic science fiction universes. Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time and Isaac Asimov’s myriad short stories and novels (FYI: I recommend the Robot novels as a starting point) would provide the basis for my internal universe which explained from there with too many books to list or even remember. I enjoyed The Hobbit, Narnia and Lloyd Alexander‘s wonderful books, but tended to think of myself as not much into fantasy. Harry Potter was after my time; I’m Hufflepuff just like Deadpool. I’ve come to realize spaceships do more for me than dragons, but freakin’ love dragons. In my teenage years, I often spent entire weekends reading and scribbling in notebooks. I miss that sometimes but I’ve come to appreciate real people, too.
Since I met Chris in 2010, I have caught up more with the film and television side of pop culture geekdom. Pro-tip: If you want to pick up a sci-fi loving girl, tell her you’ll introduce her to new universes. He also took me to my first convention. I’d always wanted to go and found the reality is more fun than I imagined. It’s not an event as much as a meeting of like-minds over a mutual passions. I come home inspired by the guests and my fellow con-goers.
I believe humans are naturally creative and everyone should be a maker. Sometimes it only means making dinner. If you’ve read this far, you know I love to write. Personal writing, like blogging or what used to be called essays before the internet, seems to be what comes out when I sit down at the keyboard, although I have a history of poetry. I dabble in various projects because I’m usually creating to solve a problem. I always plan and buy supplies for more project than I actually pull off. Still, I’d rather be someone with too many ideas than none at all. Time and energy cannot all be spent on hobbies, after all. Sewing is the activity I most pine for when I’m not able to make time to do it. I still have a ton to learn and practice but I love it. My crafty ambitions outpace my knowledge and experience. My famous last words when trying a new type of project: “How hard can it be?” SMASH CUT to frustration and swearing. In a good way. It’s fun to learn by jumping in the deep end and figuring out how to swim.
As of late, I’ve cut back a bit on binge watching new or favorite series investing the time in some real-life life improvements. My current pursuits include eating and cooking a whole plant based diet with no added salt, sugar or oil, attempting to grow vegetables in our apartment and on the patio, practicing mindful meditation, studying stoic philosophy to better tackle life’s challenges. I try hard not to be insufferable in conversations on my favorite hobby horse topics. Doesn’t always work.
I want to be the best version of myself and I require assistance from experts. Some of my role models may be a little unorthodox but Adam Carolla and Penn Jillette, for example, have been influential in driving my progress. Yes, comedians are some of my greatest role models. I’m going to quote Mel Brooks and Eddie Izzard as often as Marcus Aurelius. I like to think my favorite stoic had a sense of humor in his real life as being the emperor would make for some hilarious moments. Plus, I’ve known Mel and Eddie longer.
My philosophy is keep an open mind. You never know what ideas might be worth letting come in. Growth matters more than the ultimate outcome and struggles are inevitable. Isn’t that ultimately the hopeful message of the stories which first introduced me to the nerd life?