A Little Bit About Technogrrrl

When I was little, I wanted to be an astronaut. I told my 6th grade class this during a “what do you want to be when you grow up” session and everyone laughed. I kid you not! I found their laughter so puzzling! What’s funny about wanting to be an astronaut? I didn’t end up becoming one, but still, it was a nice idea at the time.

The next year, I begged my parents to get me a computer for Christmas. This would have been around 1985. On Christmas morning I discovered a big box under the tree. Instead of the intensely desired computer, it was a large German collector’s doll. That’s right, instead of a computer, I got a doll. So, I read my little basic computer programming magazines and wished I had some way to try out the cool programs inside. Being 1985, these programs would do things like tell you what date Easter would be in the year 3030 or how many feet there are in 456 miles. But I loved the idea that I could punch in these neatly ordered lines of code and then something cool would happen.

In any case, I mention this because no one I knew had any clue what the hell I was talking about most of the time. My parents didn’t understand the potential that computers held for my generation; they thought it was a really expensive toy. My girlfriends, all the way through college, treated me like their nice eccentric friend whom if they pretended was normal, might someday actually be normal.

I discovered at about age 12 that several of the boys in my class actually did know what I was talking about most of the time. While my girlfriends were giggling about boys, passing notes about them, cruising the malls in hopes of meeting them, and generally trying to figure out how to get their attention, I got to actually hang out with them. We always talked about cool stuff that we’d read in our science magazines or National Geographics. Great, geeky stuff!

Technogrrrl was born in those days of the 1980’s. I loved techie stuff, science fiction, fantasy, baseball, and New Wave music. My few girlfriends chose to ignore these eccentricities and instead focused on the fact that I could hang out with the guys, but not actually compete for their attention. Hence, I often found myself out on a Friday night with my best friend, who was a cheerleader, surrounded by cute boys. Oft times the odds were 6 to 2 in our favor. I got to talk to the ones that she was choosing to ignore, as per the standard code of women everywhere. Popular girl + sidekick = Peace in the realm. It was quite a lot of fun and worked out well for both of us.

Years later, at the ripe old age of 33, I’m still the only girl I know who can go to Fry’s, buy a bunch of parts, and build her own computer. I still feel most comfortable hanging around with geeky guys. Not nerdy guys, geeky guys. There’s a huge difference! I know there are plenty of other women out there who are more geeky than myself, but I think they probably have their own cadre of geeky guy friends and so we don’t seek each other out very often.

My “little bit about Technogrrl” seems to have turned into a self-indulgent “lots about Technogrrl” ramble so I’ll stop there. Suffice it to say, I grabbed the Yahoo username “Technogrrrl” back in 1997, before the grrrl craze hit I might add, and it’s served me well!

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